« profile & posts archive

This author has written 619 posts for Larvatus Prodeo.

Return to: Homepage | Blog Index

227 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. joe2

    It looks like The Australian and AFR had it wrong about Pete love, after all.
    http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=729603&vId=

    Making stuff up, getting it completely wrong and never admitting it, is becoming more and more of a habit.

  2. Paul Norton

    Drat! Even with a laptop and dongle on my table at home I couldn’t be frist!

  3. Wantok

    An amusing take on the politics of the mining tax from Annabel Crabb:
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-16/crabb–/3893144

    On the Future Fund: Gonski was the obvious choice and as Costello has shown since, he is too politically partisan to take on an impartial roll.

  4. Chris

    su @ 148 from the last thread – Interesting. Most of my friends who are married (at least first marriages) just have wages going into a joint account and joint credit cards. No such nonsense such as having to ask for housekeeping money.

    There are certainly issues around optimal financial work patterns for a family as a whole vs individuals of the family. For example when I was married for every day less that I would work so I could spend time alone with my daughter my wife would have to work 1-2 days if we wanted to end up with the same amount of money. So it was very difficult to convince her to let me work more part time.

    One thing that has been very noticeable is that since my ex and I separated is all the government benefits which kick in because we drop below the magic thresholds. So ironically things like childcare are much more affordable separated compared to married even though we have 50/50 care.

    Also I’d agree that women’s careers are more adversely affected by having children – they take a lot more time out of paid work and work part time for much longer on average. But if you’re doing a survey I think you have to ask their partners rather than them if their partner’s career was affected. My ex thought that my career had not been affected until after we separated as I hadnt told her about the opportunities I’d just auomatically turned down after our daughter arrived as it didn’t seem reasonable to complain about something like that given how much time she had to take off. Talking to colleagues this is pretty common.

  5. Fran Barlow

    Interestingly, even Minchin is saying that giving the FF job to Costello would have been a bad idea. The Coalition is arguing that the mere fact of the Board (apparently) mostly preferring Costello, meant that the fund should have been run by someone who was palpably inferior to another candidate and that the Board’s opinion should be decisive in the matter. If that isn’t classic “jobs for the boys” it’s hard to know what would be. It’s so old school tie that one has to laugh. It didn’t help that Hockey and Robb had already said that Gonski was the best for the job before their riding instructions changed to suit the LNP’s convenience.

    On a separate and amusing note, Costello repeatedly said on #theirABC that he was the only person to have put money into the Future Fund — it was as if he personally had donated to it, rather than providing the context for the fund to aggregate public moneys in this way. Needless to say, this bizarre claim went unchallenged on #theirABC‘s Newsradio.

    I’m reminded of that famous speech in Julius Caesar by Mark Antony:

    But here’s a parchment with the seal of Caesar;
    I found it in his closet, ’tis his will:
    Let but the commons hear this testament–
    Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read–
    And they would go and kiss dead Caesar’s wounds
    And dip their napkins in his sacred blood,
    Yea, beg a hair of him for memory

    {…}

    Here is the will, and under Caesar’s seal.
    To every Roman citizen he gives,
    To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.

    {…}

    Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
    His private arbours and new-planted orchards,
    On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
    And to your heirs for ever, common pleasures,
    To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
    Here was a Caesar! when comes such another?

    Costello apparently thinks he is a 21st century Caesar. The FF is his personal gift. You can’t blame him. The old “we paid off Labor’s debt” troll has been running a long time, aided and abetted by the yappy puppies of the Murdochracy.

  6. Fran Barlow

    So how useful was the HIP scheme (a.k.a. “Pink Batts“) , with hindsight?

    The council commissioned a study by the consultancy firm Energy Efficient Strategies, which found recently that the dumped batts scheme had proved a raging success for the 1.2 million homes that had insulation installed (and that did not burn down).

    Each of these homes had saved an average of $299 on their energy bills in 2011. That figure would increase to an average $375 a household by 2020 because of projected rises in fuel prices.

    Furthermore, those more energy-efficient insulated homes would reduce peak electrical load by 400 megawatts by 2020, which would save around $1.7 billion in electricity infrastructure.

    So now the record is straightened out, obviously.

  7. joe2

    Margaret Whitlam dies at 92 leaving Gough still at the wicket on 95.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-17/margaret-whitlam-obit/3894502

  8. CMMC

    Costello-led Future Fund invested in tobacco companies and nuclear weapons manufacturers:

    http://greens.org.au/content/future-fund-invested-big-tobacco-under-costello

  9. joe2

    Fran@6 full report downloadable below …

    The Value of Ceiling Insulation: ICANZ

    http://icanz.org.au/pdf/2011_ICANZ_Report_-_V04__final_260911.pdf

    So now the record is straightened out, obviously.

    Yep, media has been falling over itself to let us know the good news…not.

  10. Katz

    Apart from the panicked disorder with which the Pink Batts program was discontinued, the most extraordinary feature of its administration was the incompetence with which the government failed to fend off the Opposition’s hysterical and mendacious attacks.

    The political glass jaw revealed by the Rudd government provided both the momentum and the methodology of the Abbott Opposition ever since.

    When the history of the 2007 – 2113 ascendancy is written, the Pink Batts fiasco should be given a prominence far greater than its financial cost as a prime example of a government trying to do the right thing but failing miserably at the level of execution and spin control.

  11. akn

    Unemployed at last! Having spent almost eleven months suspended on full pay from my work in child protection in NSW DOCS (now FACS) a separation agreement has been finalised. Goodoh then. This a.m. I’ve been ensconced at my daughter’s house, on the verandah while warm Sydney rain pours down, reliving my recent past by reading the brilliant Anne Funder’s Stasiland.

  12. Fran Barlow

    Thanks Joe and Katz …

    It’s not hard to find government programs, including some that have been well-intended, that performed poorly, but it seems that this one has been one of the standouts.

    If for example, you calculate the total savings to the 1.2 million households by 2020 using the modelling, you get a figure of $4.019773m. If you allow a 6% bond rate for the $2.4bn program cost, you get $4.0574million — so nearly break even on this measure alone. We don’t know exactly how much tax was paid or welfare forfeited by unskilled people who were employed as a direct or indirect consequence of the program but I’d be surprised if the program wasn’t well into the black when that is factored in. It was in practice a stimulus program.

    Then there are the environmental benefits and, as we saw above, the value to the system of moderating peak demand.

    Part of the program cost reflected the need to check a large number of premises for electrical and fire safety. That’s not something that would otherwise have been done, but again it was useful. It seems that more than 114,000 premises had some problem that needed correction — not surprsing given the age of the stock. Governments tend not to get anywhere near as much credit for preventing problems as solving them, and we will never know precisely how many life-threatening incidents this has averted, but undoubtedly, we will see fewer emergency call-outs per premise, less property damage and fewer fire-related injuries.

    Neither side has an interest in reviewing this program further, but it would be interesting if one occurred.

  13. Terangeree

    Now you can write The Great Australian Novel about your dealings with truckies in the Riverina, akn.

  14. Fran Barlow

    Now we can guess where Rick Santorum gets his more out of the box — or should that be (out of the pot?) ideas:

    The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” he said

    He doesn’t report his own experience of that conversation and just what witness the plants with which he discussed the concentration gave, which is a pity, and rather weakens the claim.

  15. akn

    Thanks Terangeree. The novel, the play and the musical as well. I ain’t done with this.

  16. joe2

    Neither side has an interest in reviewing this program further, but it would be interesting if one occurred.

    Same for The Green Loans scheme. I would be most interested to see how that stacks up as an energy use saver. Our bills have dropped significantly as a result of it, that is for sure.

  17. Terangeree

    Not to mention the TV mini-series, the operetta and the ballet adaptations, akn.

  18. Terangeree

    Fran, could it be possible that Rick Santorum has been watching too many old Clint Eastwood movie musicals lately?

  19. Fran Barlow

    Probably not Terangeree … he admits they didn’t talk back …

  20. Chris

    Joe2 – I read through that report and i think it is very good and comprehensive. Perhaps even on the conservative side. I’d like to see the government introduce a scheme for energy house efficiency like they have for pool fences. Eg when you sell your house it must meet a minimum standard. Given the large amounts of money involved in selling a house anyway it may not need a subsidy and avoids the boom/bust issues of the previous scheme as there would be a sustainable increase in work.

    The only minor criticism I have is that it would have been good if they’d taken the opportunity to track energy usage of houses which had insulation installed as well as control houses rather than just use models.

  21. Douglas

    Rest in peace, Margaret Whitlam. I was privileged to meet her once, a few years ago – a witty, sensible and profoundly likeable person, and Australia is a little poorer and a little duller without her.

  22. Katz

    he was masturbating in public

    In addition to his YouTube?

  23. Terangeree

    Fran, they never listened to Clint either.

  24. Terangeree

    Hyundai makes ships as well as cars — but they do not make cars that float.

  25. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Here’s a video of Russell. Bare buttocks are shown, but no masturbation in evidence.

  26. joe2

    Nice tributes to Margaret Whitlam rolling in on twitter.
    https://twitter.com/#!/search/%22Margaret%20Whitlam%22

  27. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    My sympathy to Gough on the loss of his wife. Losing anybody is tragic; losing ones loved one after nearly 70 years of marriage is heartbreaking.

  28. Eric Sykes

    So Assange is going to run for a seat in the Australian Senate…that should cheer up question time…..

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-17/julian-assange-to-run-for-senate/3895958

  29. tssk

    There was an interesting read over at Boing Boing about the Invisible Children group at http://boingboing.net/2012/03/15/revealed-kony-2012s-siniste.html

    They’ve been trying to go viral since 2006. Given very recent events I’m thinking the worst thing that can happen sometimes is acheiving your dreams.

    On the pink batts scheme the cynic in me thinks this new report will get a very big run through the media.

    A spokesperson for energy companies claimed today that government interference had cost the industry up to $1.7 billion. “As you can see from this we’ve now been denied income that would have allowed us to upgrade infrastructure and employ more Australians. We’re losing about $299 per customer and we’re asking the government point blank are they going to compensate us for our losses?”

  30. Fran Barlow

    Eric Sykes observed:

    So Assange is going to run for a seat in the Australian Senate…that should cheer up question time…..

    Wrong House for that. It might add to the amusement in Senate Estimates or other committees though …

  31. Link

    Hope Gough isn’t caught short with not having given much thought to the funeral of his cherished wife. 70 years of marriage. Gee…that’s pretty amazing.

  32. Link

    It’s probably reasonable to assume that a bizarre naked outburst on busy street translates to a severe psychotic episode~sadly. Poor bastard.

    To his credit I can’t remember his name, but I can remember Joseph Kony’s. So I think he’s achieved his goal in making Kony ‘famous’- or infamous or something.

  33. Fran Barlow

    My sympathy to Gough on the loss of his wife. Losing anybody is tragic; losing ones loved one after nearly 70 years of marriage is heartbreaking.

    Indeed. As much as there was to admire about Gough’s intellect when he was in his pomp, when Margaret spoke, she sounded like his peer. She utterly broke the stereotypic image of “Prime Minister’s wife” (though in a very different, Jacqui Kennedy kind of way, so did Sonia MacMahon) and underlined for me that women in public life need not stand in the shadow of any man. At the time, it struck me that she might have been a good PM — which was an odd thought because in the early 1970s, few people with any standing were paying lip-service to the idea of a female Australian PM.

    Although I’ve moved on from the days when I was an admirer of the ALP, it’s hard not to feel a sense of loss today at the connection she provided with my earlier and more naively optimistic self. I recall those days laughing at Leunig, reading the Nation Review and a then apparently radical Mungo MacCallum, wondering how well Gordon Barton and the Australia Party would go. Friends of mine who were your quintessential hippies were very keen and over long games of “500″ and canasta there was many a hopeful moment. We spoke of Australia finally coming of age, much as we were. Ah … nostalgia

    Vale Margaret Whitlam.

  34. joe2

    Twiggy’s land grab

    In mining parlance, it’s called tenement parking – and Fortescue is an exemplary practitioner, having locked up as much as 57,000 square kilometres of land and coastal waters across north-west Australia, rent- and tax-free. It’s barely legal

    http://www.afr.com/p/national/twiggy_land_grab_yoPM5nGkewXEizoswt1GCP

  35. Fran Barlow

    Hmmm … Baillieu regime backs Elmer Fudd

    ANTI-DUCK hunting activist Laurie Levy has been fined with entering the water illegally at the opening of the duck hunting season at Lake Buloke.

    Mr Levy was taken into custody by officers from the Department of Primary Industries after entering the water to retrieve a wounded duck.

    Members of the public must hold both a game and shooters licence if they want to enter specified hunting areas before 10am on the opening weekend of the duck hunting season.

    Mr Levy was fined $122 for the infringement.

    “This seems to be a bigger issue than a shooter wounding a bird and not collecting it,” Mr Levy told the Sunday Herald Sun after being released.

    “If I don’t go in and collect a wounded bird there is a good chance that it will continue to suffer. How can Ted Baillieu, who is supposed to be a family man, let this kind of thing happen in Victoria?”

    About 150 activists – armed with whistles, flags, video cameras and army-issue goggles – turned up at Lake Buloke to protest the opening of today’s duck hunt, the largest since 1999.

    The protests have so far been devoid of the drama which engulfed last year’s opening when a protester was hit in the face by several shotgun pellets.

  36. akn

    Terangeree: thanks for the suggestion of the ballet adaptation although on second thoughts perhaps the best performance medium might be muppet theatre.

  37. Chris

    I’m not a fan of duck hunting – unless there’s an environmental need to cull the population I don’t think it should be legal, but:

    “If I don’t go in and collect a wounded bird there is a good chance that it will continue to suffer. How can Ted Baillieu, who is supposed to be a family man, let this kind of thing happen in Victoria?”

    Don’t the hunters collect the dead and wounded?

  38. su

    Fran??– they have question time in the Senate, I’ve been watching it for the past week. At least I hope I have, surely I could not have hallucinated Conroy droning on as he reads off the briefing notes, that would be too cruel. If I’m going to lose my grip I would want dragons, at the very least.

  39. Fran Barlow

    Chris asked:

    Don’t the hunters collect the dead and wounded?

    Speaking as someone who has gone on rescues with WIRES in years past the answer is, typically not. They like shooting the birds and seeing them fall, but collecting them is a bother.

    Wetlands areas are taxing to navigate. Wading waist-deep in water often through long grasses with silt underfoot is very physically demanding. It gets even more demanding when you are carrying a substantial bird — such as a cormorant or tern. It’s harder if you are trying to rescue of course because carrying a dead bird is much easier than carrying a live one in distress, but the reality is that the shooters don’t and can’t know which birds are theirs and they don’t really care about them anyway. Fetching them would cut down on shooting time.

  40. tssk

    This might be a generational thing. While I get the appeal of using a gun to shoot live unpredictable targets I don’t understand in this day and age you’d slog off to a cold marsh spending the day in the damp for tagets that may or may not appear and putting yourself at risk of being accidently shot when you can get the same thrills from videogames over the past 30 years.

    When an adequete simulation is available is it acceptable to kill things in real life for a dopamine rush?

  41. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Why the hell would you shoot a cormorant or a tern? Ducks I can understand – you can at least cook them afterwards. Deer can go in the larder and provide food for your whole family.

    I’ve never hunted. I’ve never even fired guns outside of a firing range. But I have no problems with other people hunting for food as long as it isn’t damaging to the ecology.

    But why seabirds? Are they particularly edible?

  42. Salient Green

    @42, “But why seabirds? Are they particularly edible?”

    It’s just a mistake. Some hunters are dickheads who don’t bother to familiarize themselves with the shape of the desired species and shoot at anything vaguely resembling a duck.

    For those who like eating wild duck or any other game it is the ultimate in organically grown food. I’m not a fan of any duck meat let alone wild duck but I have eaten wild venison several times and it is delicious.

    Identifying a deer and making a clean kill is obviously a lot different from identifying a duck on the wing and then downing it let alone making a clean kill.

    I think that to get a duck hunting license you should need to attain a certain level of profficiency at clay target shooting, and maintain it by regular shoots, as well as intensive training to identify bird species on the wing.

  43. Salient Green

    proficiency 100 x.

  44. Eric Sykes

    Fran @ 32

    Yes, however I was actually referring to question time in the Senate … Assange and Joyce going at it would be well worth an earful IMHO.

  45. Nickws

    So, hivemind, how do you think the Kony 2012 phenomenon is being treated by the Oz leftosphere?

    My feeling is that the European, Guardianesque critique of it is fairly rational (“it’s cultural imperialism”, “it’s disposable Internet content”), but that the Americans are going off into some genuinely misplaced anti-war-movement stuff. I’m getting a distinct “no new crimes against humanity for Generalissimo Obama” vibe, even against the slightest mention of the International Criminal Court being a legitimate place for Kony to pay a visit to. Is the internationalist jurisprudence angle enough to make people here reserve judgement?

    (I’m wondering which US Left blog will be the first to mention that Ron Paul might be wrong about a lot of things, but dammed if he isn’t a clear eyed fellow who won’t fall for this viral video nonsense.)

    tigtog @ 26: Of course, Tony Abbott couldn’t pay tribute to her memory without adding “”There was a lot wrong with the Whitlam Government”.

    I just cannot imagine a Labor leader in twenty years time saying “there was a lot wrong with the Howard government, but our sympathies on the death of Janette.”

    Jesus, when Lady Flo croaks I bet neither Bligh nor Beattie even mention Joh’s flaws.

  46. robbo

    @47, surely it was Beattie who insisted on a State funeral for Joh? And to his shame, I might add.

  47. billie

    Duck shooting has been banned in NSW for decades. Victoria’s real Premier Peter Ryan of the Exploiters R Us Party won’t be happy until the last native tree has been chopped down and the last native animal exterminated [apologies Daileks]

  48. Jules

    Nickws.

    Kony 2012 is a bit of a scam isn’t it.

    Kony is an evil bastard sure, but he’s time is passing and the LRA is nothing like the force it was 3 or 5 years ago. Its pretty much cactus isn’t it?

    So now would be the perfect time to go after him… or rather any time in the past decade would have been, perhaps in 2005 when the ICC actually issued a warrent on him. On reflection, its probably pointless now, as he seems to be a spent force, at least if protecting people was your main concern. So wrt to the ICC angle … well it’d be nice to see a TONY 2012 campaign about a former UK pm.

    Invisible Children, who appear to be a pack of fundie nuts are supporting the Ugandan govt. Its led by Yoweri Museveni who appears to be a genocidal psychopath and a fundie nut himself with a desire to cleanse the earth of abominatons like homosexuality. His response to the LRA may have killed and dispossesed more people than the LRA themselves.

    Here’s a Ugandan response to their video.

    Juice Media’s Yes we KONY has a some average hip hop about the whole thing.

    Its hard not to be cynical and think this sums the situation up nicely.

  49. Fran Barlow

    It’s as salient says. Plenty of folks there can’t distinguish ducks at a distance from other birds or don’t care or are poor enough shots. Actually, not all ducks are allowed either, but that’s even more subtle a distinction.

    Re the Senate and QT — I apologise. You learn something every day.

  50. Terangeree

    On to serious matters: why does Miss Fisher (in 1928) have a Modigliani nude hanging up on the wall of her St. Kilda ensuite bedroom?

    And how did it get from her bedroom wall to the Guggenheim Museum in New York?

    And why does everyone in the series refer to the Mortuary as a “Morgue”?

  51. Resurgent rick

    Fran, Gordon Barton? Nation Review, you must have been a hell of a precocious 5 year old. :-)

  52. David Irving (no relation)

    Picky, picky, picky, Terangeree.

    She had the Modigliani because she’s sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

  53. akn

    Why, thank you t-t. I may have found my niche, at last, in Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre.

  54. Terangeree

    I sit corrected on the morgue/mortuary — I was under the impression that “morgue” was the US English preference for the place that the Brits call a “mortuary”.

    Maybe she posed for Modigliani when she was 17 and on leave in Paris from her nursing station on the Western Front, and the painting was a gift from the artist?

    And I noticed that she was reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover on the train to Ballarat. It must have been the original Italian publication, and she managed to sneak the book into the country before it was officially banned (did you know that, in 2009, Australia Post banned Lady Chatterley’s Lover from being sold in their post offices? It apparently ‘doesn’t meet the theme of Australia Post stores’).

    Tigtog, wouldn’t Miss Fisher’s inheritors be Jane and Ruth — her adopted daughters?

  55. Terangeree

    A bit of googling about Hispano-Suizas found pictures of this car, which (under the skin) is a Hispano-Suiza H6 like Phryne Fisher’s.

    It was parked in a sealed tunnel for five years in WW2.

    And when I win the Lotto, I’m going to get one made just like it. :)

  56. Fran Barlow

    Resurgent Rick

    said:

    Fran, Gordon Barton? Nation Review, you must have been a hell of a precocious 5 year old.

    It’s a lovely thought but I turned 5 in June of 1963. I was reading the Nation Review a decade later.

  57. Geoff Henderson

    Resurgent rick @54 If she had been a little older, Fran might have included Oz magazine,one of the most wonderfully disrespectful papers ever produced in Australia.

  58. Hal9000

    I’m a few months older than you, Fran, and share your recollections. The NR was a breath of fresh air to Australians starved of entertaining writing or alternative views. The MSM at the time was reporting in the main good news from Vietnam, Ivor Greenwood was Attorney-General and an enthusiastic censor, what passed for political commentary was the letters page and the editorial column, the restaurant review hadn’t been invented, and the red scare was a political gold mine for the Liberal and Country parties.

    Five hundred and canasta… ah, yes, that was the sort of thing we used to do before colour tv!

    I first voted at the 1974 double dissolution election, which was accompanied as you might recall by a referendum on the national anthem. I still remember the choices – AAF, God Save the Queen, Waltzing Matilda and something nobody had heard of called Song of Australia (I believe it was sung in South Australian schools). I voted for Waltzing Matilda but it went down because people thought it wasn’t serious enough and didn’t say national anthemy things. I’m still sad about it – this tale of a suicidal sheep thieving swaggie sung to a jaunty tune far better encapsulates national character than the awful dirge we have in AAF.

    Parliament used to be fun to listen to in those days too. And we all sat around goggle-eyed watching the televised proceedings of the Joint Sitting.

  59. Socrates

    Vale, Margaret Whitlam. One of the last figures from the generation when Labor really cared about social justice, she will be missed by many. Still, she had a great life. I never even knew she was a champion swimmer on top of all the rest.

  60. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    So, hivemind, how do you think the Kony 2012 phenomenon is being treated by the Oz leftosphere?

    I think they’ve been mostly indifferent up to now. Some satire, but mostly indifference.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/03/16/the-time-has-come-we-must-invade-america-to-save-its-kids/

  61. Jules
  62. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    tigtog: Australians may be different from Americans, but are also not the same as Ugandans. Australians can afford to remain indifferent about Kony 2012; Ugandans – sad to say – do not have that freedom. So when they came to see the film with their own eyes, they couldn’t help but be moved.

    They were so moved that they want to move a few things of their own – like rocks, insults and rubbish – towards the screen and the projector.

  63. Fran Barlow

    Hal 500 said:

    Five hundred and canasta… ah, yes, that was the sort of thing we used to do before colour tv!

    Indeed. We used to play a “strip” version of 500 in which the winner of the hand could nominate one person to remove an item of clothing for each trick won above bid, and had to remove one for each below.

    A huge laugh, but the game rather lost its edge when I’d accompany my friends up to Rosco’s nudist camp at Toronto in the summer …

  64. Fran Barlow

    oops … Freudian slip … HAL 9000

  65. Chris

    Fran @ 41 – ah, I naively thought that the shooters hunted for food, not just for fun.

  66. faustusnotes

    Responding to Chris earlier with a question about his question – besides Monster Hunter (which I’m not sure is available in the west) – is there any kind of animal hunting game? It seems like a really good market, combining first person shooter with mad ninja skillz and enabling one to kill animals in digital form that would be highly illegal in real form. You could also do different eras and different styles – from neanderthal on. Sounds like a really good idea for a game!

    Maybe the ability to kill humans in computer games makes the animal hunting seem kind of pathetic?

  67. tssk

    Monster Hunter is available on the Wii and PSP here in Oz and I know there’s a whole range of Deer Hunter arcade games in some pubs. I find them a little poor taste as one of the attract modes shows the wildlife you can shoot including a deer and it’s young but hey, better on screen than in real life in my opinion.

  68. Fran Barlow

    Monster Hunter wouldn’t be my style of game, but it is clearly preferable for those inclined to shooting animals for fun to satisfy their urges causing a pointing device to mark a twip on screen.

  69. Nick

    tssk, I remember those Deer Hunter games in pubs back in the late-90s…I didn’t know they were really hoped they weren’t still around.

    It was pretty ugly stuff, and probably not a bad simulation of ‘real’ hunting, since you got to hold an erect rifle up in front of your drunken mates and fire it at whatever defenseless creature tries to run away from you.

    The deer were cute and bled I think, so in a Disney meets Cronenberg way (representations of death act as warning and learning experience) maybe you could argue it did some good…you had to be a bit of a loser even to be seen playing that game…

    This looks a bit better though, and maybe what fn had in mind:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gU-uU4Pfgo8&feature=relmfu

    OTOH, what’s that story about the camel who bites his tongue to get off on the taste of his own blood…

  70. alfred venison

    they’re dead now, but two of my uncles, uncle buck & uncle bud (its true), used to hunt, kill & butcher a moose or a deer each per season per year. they also fished the lakes & shot ducks. they filled the freezer. they & their families ate everything they brought down or fished up. they did that every year of their adult life until senility. they drank when they got home.
    a.v.

  71. Resurgent rick

    How many Canadians are on this site??? You’ve got an Uncle killing Moose and Fran’s off to a nudist camp in Toronto?

  72. Fran Barlow

    Resurgent Rick said:

    and Fran’s off to a nudist camp in Toronto?

    Toronto, NSW, near Newcastle.

    Sadly, I’ve never been to Canada.

  73. Jacques de Molay

    Guy Rundle on Bob Carr’s PNG comments:

    But to paraphrase St Behan, there is no situation so bad that the appointment of a new foreign minister cannot make it worse. Perhaps Carr’s muttering about sanctions was some Dada attempt to unite the country afresh — nothing like the former colonial master barking instructions over late-night radio — but i doubt it. Were it any government other than the Gillard outfit, you would wonder if it were not a well-worked out plan to fire a shot across the PNG’s bows, but hey it’s the Gillard government. There was more collective purpose in The Vines.

    No, this one is a Bob Carr original, and it suggests Carr is at the point where he can make a decision — he can either be a judicious and effective foreign minister, or he can be a disaster, using the post to project all his obsession, neuroses and petty political conflicts onto a world stage, to the country’s detriment. For the seasoned observer, the most important thing you have to know about Bob Carr is that it’s never about what it is. Like many on the Right, Carr is defined and consumed by a war aginst the Left — inside the ALP, outside it, on a world stage. For the Right — inside the ALP and outside it — New Guinea’s indepedence is a sore point.

    http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/03/16/rundle-png-a-perfect-storm-for-carr-to-run-amok/

  74. joe2

    Terangeree@60, love those Hispano-Suizas pictures. In Illywhacker, by Peter Carey, Jack and Molly McGrath drive one, probably not quite as grand as that, around the streets of Geelong. What a thrill to drive one of those babies, even if it was just the standard model.

  75. mediatracker

    @81 Jacques de Molay
    Right up Guy Rundle’s alley! He is nowadays given to so many of these precious outbursts. His views are often as outmoded as his prose and his referents and his disdain (from afar) spewed around all and sundry.

    I don’t think Bob Carr makes too many blunders when he targets someone or something and I’m not sure that this latest effort is really the blunder it is being made out to be. We will see in a few months time.

  76. Terangeree

    Tigtog @ 65:

    I now lean insouciantly against the wall, further corrected, in regard to the mortuariasticality of morgues.

    The Modigliani in question was painted in 1917.

    There is a possibility that it was painted after Russia removed (“revoltingly removed”?) itself from the list of belligerent nations in WW1, but only a wafer-slim possibility.

  77. Fran Barlow

    Fran, I used to visit the Rosco nudist camp near Toronto in the 70s – I wonder if our paths ever crossed? You’re a bit older than me, but not much.

    It’s possible … I was there for some of January in 1974 and 1975 …

  78. Chris

    faustusnotes @ 73 – just send the hunters off for a weekend of paintball or laser tag if they don’t like getting hurt :-) I have some sympathy for hunting if its done for the purposes of gathering food and is done as humanely as possible. But just for giggles? No.

  79. Fran Barlow

    I’ve long been a Rachel Maddow fan … she’s so sharp and articulate …

    This on the Repugs and their problems with “lady parts” is an astonishing commentary on the misogynist side of the culture wars.

  80. akn

    Assange’s declaration of intention to stand as a senate candidate is so good I’ll vote for him twice! It ups the ante considerably for the yanks and all Australian parliamentarians. Worst case scenario would be Assange elected while in US custody. Deeply embarrassing. He certainly knows how to piss off whole categories of people.

  81. joe2

    He certainly knows how to piss off whole categories of people.

    Wow..that sounds like a winning formula for someone seeking electoral office.

  82. tssk

    I’ve noticed a new political lobby group called Election Now spread across my Facebook pages. They’re lobbying for an early election now and judging by how many of my friends are ‘liking’ and quoting from it there seems to be some steam building up.

  83. tssk

    (Oh and NIck @76, that clip of that hunting game looked great although I think the designers are missing a massive opportunity. They should have you playing the animals attacking the hunters! That would be loads more fun!)

  84. Jacques de Molay

    I’ve noticed a new political lobby group called Election Now spread across my Facebook pages. They’re lobbying for an early election now and judging by how many of my friends are ‘liking’ and quoting from it there seems to be some steam building up.

    tssk, there is not going to be a new election now just because some right-wing group no doubt connected to the Libs thinks there should be.

  85. Ambigulous

    Farewell and thank you, Jim Stynes.
    RIP

  86. Fine

    akn@ 88. I think Assange needs to go to Sweden and face the sexual assault charges. I, for one, won’t be voting for anyone whose an accused rapist.

  87. akn

    There’s the rub, Fine. Too many people with their noses in the air who simply don’t know what they are talking about. Assange has not been charged with any offence under Swedish law. Remember that there is a difference between informed opinion and hot air?

  88. Helen

    There’s a lot of hot air coming from people who simply refuse to believe that their hero could possibly have done anything wrong. This is not seen as bias, unlike that of people who think that it is humanly possible that he may have done something wrong.

  89. akn

    @ 89 – given the state of play in Oz politics Assnage’s capacity to piss off the major parties very likely is a winning strategy. He’d be running for a senate seat, might knock off a Green, but certainly would liven up the Upper House. Moreover, if he is excluded from standing there is a possibility that his mum might stand and succeed on the basis of name recognition alone.

  90. Chris

    Helen @ 96 – I think he may have done something wrong, but that the risk if he is sent to Sweden that he would end up in the USA facing the death penalty is too high. I don’t think he should be extradited to Sweden unless there are high level government agreements that he will not be allowed to be sent to the US. Or they find a way for him to stand trial for his actions in the UK instead. Note that there is a special agreement between Sweden and the US which would make it easier to get him extradited to the US from Sweden than from the UK.

    Also as akn mentions Assange has not actually been charged with anything yet and there are EU mechanisms for him to be further questioned by Swedish authorities while in the UK. So they could continue the investigation and then charge him if there is sufficient evidence before extraditing if they wanted to.

  91. Jules

    there are EU mechanisms for him to be further questioned by Swedish authorities while in the UK.

    If that is the case then surely that should be happening. It would certainly remove any doubt about the nature of his extradition. It would also make the extradition easier if he has a case to answer in Sweden.

  92. zorronsky

    Watching the Victorian Government and listening to commentary re same convinces me that it wouldn’t have mattered one jot what Federal Labor had done in the post election period ’07. When the huge, and growing, list of backflips and straightout bastardry is described, as in the Age today, as 15 months learning the job, not to be confused with bad Government (like Canberra since the very first day of Labor’s election) then one can only agree with the oft quoted “tell the lies until they’re believed as inevitably they will. ”
    How effective the propaganda can be will become even more apparent during the Victorian Governments push supporting dirty coal.
    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/baillieu-set-to-boost-brown-coal-20120319-1vfue.html

  93. Helen

    The “Lone madman!” argument has been duly applied, as per usual practice, to the soldier who heroically shot 16 civilians including 9 children in Afghanistan. Robert Fisk argues convincingly that this isn’t the case.

  94. Chris

    Jules @ 99 – well that’s one aspect that increases my suspicion that there are significant political motivations behind his extradition. The Swedish authorities have instead gone straight to extradition instead, which I’ll add they are allowed to do.

  95. Fine

    “Informed consent”, akn. Who knows? Not according to the women. Of course, you believe the great male hero is being traduced by some evil CIA inspired feminazis.

    No doubt you think your politics are progressive too.

  96. Fran Barlow

    Fine said:

    Of course, you believe the great male hero is being traduced by some evil CIA inspired feminazis.

    We did have a very long and stoushy thread here when this matter first arose. Until due process is at least a little more advanced than it was then I see little to be had in uttering the usual shibboleths. Assange is yet to be even charged with an offence. Nothing like evidence has been led in any court. It remains the case that the US would like to make an example of Assange on grounds that have nothing whatever to do with the safety of women.

    If it seems probable that Assange has done anything that infringes the legitimate rights of any person, I’m entirely for him being held to account for that by an appropriately qualified court. Let us all hear what evidence emerges on such questions. On the other hand, I’m utterly opposed to him being bullied by those who want government and corporate skullduggery to remain out of public view. Bradley Manning is case in point.

    As to him running for the senate, at this stage, I say good luck to him. I might change my mind of course, but let’s see what he has to say.

  97. Patrickb

    Total outrage!!! That’s what I felt when I read that Premier Barnett is planning to join with Forrest in seeking a HC challenge to the MRRT. What the bloody hell is he doing paying the legal bills of a mining firm that would be the sole and only beneficiary if (and this is unlikely) the action was taken to the court and actually succeeded? Where is the benefit for the vast majority of us who do not own a large mining concern? Surely the benefit in having the tax raise a larger amount of revenue to be shared among more people is real and material. As opposed to the implausible and unknowable risk of mining companies abandoning their hugely expensive investments here and plunging into the depths of the Belgian Congo or whatever. Honestly, the disconnection of the Right from reality is almost complete. They are cutting us a drift and making ready their walled communities and security patrols.

  98. Patrickb

    And the WA ALP better get off their arses and start getting outraged themselves.

  99. Chris

    Actually WA does have something to lose from the MRRT. The federal government stupidly promised the miners that they will be compensated for any increase in state royalties by reducing the MRRT paid by the same amount.

    But afterwards they realised this would mean that state government would be able to increase royalties with no cost to the mining companies and only a revenue loss to the federal government. So they have told the states that if they do increase state royalties on miners that they will take the same amount of money out of GST payments.

    So with an MRRT the states are no longer able to increase royalty payments for miners. That’s a pretty big concession for states with big mining resources like WA. All of this could have been avoided if the federal government never made the concession to the big miners in the first place.

  100. Patrickb

    @107
    Actually from what I have heard on the subject, there would be no net loss of revenue. If you are talking about the purported loss of the “right” of the state to raise royalties then there is no loss there either. In fact this is purely politics, the state can still raise royalties and it’s up to the Commonwealth to recoup its loss or not. There is far more to be lost by blocking the tax which is what I presume this ludicrous attempt at a challenge is designed to do.
    Also based on what I have heard and read, the action will based somehow on the constitution. This is so lame. The superannuated and the super rich attempting to protect their interests via an outdated and superseded list of property rights and customs laws. Good luck with that.

  101. akn

    Fine: there are matters of established fact – deleted tweets, a concerted media campaign denied and then that denial recanted on the facts (ie, a lie exposed), the personal involvement of one of the complainants with a CIA counter Castro group itself deeply engaged with a convicted mass murderer (aka terrorist) … and more, all of it on public record, that demand a considered approach rather than the lynching you seem to want. I’m sceptical about the so called case against Assange. Your conviction appears to be based on the belief that no-one has ever been falsely acused. What, youve never heard of the Rosenbergs?

  102. Fine

    akn, I have no wish to relive the stoush about this. Let me just say, your view on it is partial and completely uninformed by any feminist analysis. There are contending views about what actually occurred, of course. I’m just filled with amazement that men like yourself, who consider themselves as being on the left are so lacking in any feminist analysis and so quick to claim that two women who say that they’ve been sexually assaulted should be treated with such disbelief. But, I shouldn’t be surprised. The record on male lead Left movements is pretty dire when it comes to feminism.

    Clive Palmer also says the CIA is behind the Greens. I treat both claims with an equal amount of scorn.

  103. Chris

    Patrickb @ 108 – well not being able to raise royalties in the future is definitely a concession. Yes they can technically raise royalties, but there’s no point if they’ll be punished by the federal government by a corresponding decrease in GST revenue.

    I don’t disagree that Australia as a whole has a lot more to lose if the the MRRT get sucesfully challenged (which I rather doubt), but that doesn’t mean that WA & QLD might be worse off. Expect QLD to join the legal action once Bligh is gone.

    The state support of the action has been encouraged by the federal government though. They made a stupid rash promise to the miners which they could not afford (compensation of increase in royalties).

  104. Chris

    Fine @ 110 – even presuming the Assange is guilty, does he deserve the death penalty for his actions? Because that is penalty for the charges that he will likely face if extradited to the US via Sweden. Do you think he would get a fair trial in the US or Guantanamo in a military tribunal?

    If Sweden would absolutely rule out any extradition to the US (eg at least returned to UK or Australia first) then I would be quite comfortable with Assange being extradited to Sweden.

  105. Katz

    Given the highly compromised nature of the evidence in the Assange case, it is surprising that the Swedish prosecuting authorities are pursuing this action:

    http://radsoft.net/news/20101001,01.shtml

    Perhaps the prosecuting authorities are in fact pursuing a case against the complainants under the Swedish Penal Code Chapter 15, 7 §

    A person who, otherwise than in 6 §, with prosecutors, police or other authority falsely testifies of a criminal act, provides compromising circumstances, or denies acquitting or mitigating circumstances, shall be found guilty, if authority review such a case, of false accusation to imprisonment not exceeding two years or, if the crime is petty, to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding six months.

    It should be noted, in relation to the extradition proceedings in the British courts, Their Honours are prevented under the provisions of the European Arrest Warrants to take into consideration the merits of the case regardless of how corrupt or tainted is the Swedish judicial process and the chain of evidence upon which the case exciting the extradition is based.

  106. Patrickb

    @111
    “if they’ll be punished by the federal government”
    And that’s the key point for me. You say punishment, others would say it’s an offset. The HC doesn’t want to get into politics.
    Is there an automatic mechanism for reducing GST if royalties are raised? As I understand it the Commonwealth are having a GST review commission look at whether or not WA will have its share of GST revenue reduced to offset an increase in royalties.
    “but that doesn’t mean that WA & QLD might be worse off”
    And who or what are these “WA & QLD” that you speak of? As far as I can tell in Barnett’s mind “WA” is some sort of pitiful, helpless giant, condemned to work in the mines under the lash of a heartless, exploitative “rest of Australia”.
    I actually think that we all, as citizens, WA included, would be better off if we collected more revenue from this finite resources boom. Perhaps if you substituted “large mining firms currently exploiting resources in WA” for “WA” and “paying a more equitable rate of tax” for “worse off” in the above quote you might be closer to the mark.

  107. Chris

    Patrickb @ 114 – Swan has told the states that if they raise mining royalties that the extra money they receive will be taken out of GST. Given how dependent the states are on the GST revenue stream it has in effect taken away the ability to raise any additional revenue through mining royalties.

    I agree that the MRRT will raise a lot of revenue which will be good for Australia. But if you look at it from the WA government point of view a lot of that money that is going to the whole of Australia is money that otherwise could go just to WA. That sort of deal is never going to make a premier happy.

    And as I’ve mentioned before its a situation that was totally avoidable – the Federal government never had to make the promise to the miners in the first place. The miners had to deal with royalty increases in the past, no reason why that should change with an MRRT. Though I guess it was kind of sneaky of them to give a concession to the miners that someone else would have to pay for ;-)

  108. faustusnotes

    Putting aside Assange’s legal problems in Sweden, with or without the possibility of a rendition, I find the thought of him in the Australian senate a little alarming. Sure, his run would be pesky, and more peskiness in politics is a good thing. But then, Katter is pesky too, isn’t he? We don’t need more of that kind of peskiness.

    I think that if Assange enters the Senate we’ll discover a lot more about his more unsavoury and kooky libertarian ideals – his weird obssession with IQ, probably some really barking mad right wing ideas about the economy, etc. Reading between the lines of his “thoughts” (ie brainfarts), I suspect he might have a eugenicist viewpoint on welfare, for example, and if the ALP were in power he might well side with the opposition on economic and welfare policy quite often.

    Furthermore, he’s got a lot of (probably legitimate) scores to settle with the establishment, and that’s not going to lead to good policy-making.

    Finally, whether or not he did anything bad at all in Sweden, it’s plainly obvious that he’s got a pretty wide streak of misogyny going on. Is he homophobic too? They’re often together in a pretty little package, those two things. I don’t think he’d be a good policy-maker and I don’t think he’s as left-wing as many people think.

  109. Patrickb

    @115
    Sorry, have to agree to disagree. As far as I know there is nothing stopping the states from raising mining royalties. Swan’s statements aren’t binding and Barnett is just scaremongering on states rights. A Federal LNP govt. may develop a formula that gives the states a measure of flexibility with regard to royalties without affecting GST payments.

    The point is that the Premier is proposing to join what borders on a vexation action based on nothing more than the assertion that the MRRT will be bad for WA when in fact there is considerable, objective evidence that the majority of Western Australians, along with the rest of the country, would in fact benefit.

    He proposes to use the resources of the state to oppose a measure that is in the interests of the citizens of the state. Outrageous wouldn’t you say?

  110. Fran Barlow

    Hmmm

    Study puts horse whipping under scrutiny

    For years the RSPCA has been campaigning to have whips banned from horse racing, and the animal rights group now says it has evidence that jockeys are not following the rules.

    A study of slow-motion footage found horses being struck in the stomach and groin.

    The racing industry denies that jockey whips are harming horses, but the report’s author says the study is a world first.

    {…}

    The RSPCA obtained footage of 15 races over two days in June last year at the Gosford race track, north of Sydney.

    The footage was examined by Professor Paul McGreevy, a veterinary scientist from Sydney University and a scientific adviser to the RSPCA.

    Professor McGreevy says the footage is unique because the impact can be seen at 200 frames per second, allowing experts to carefully analyse how the whip impacts with the horse.

    On the two days the races were filmed, the stewards noted just one infraction of the whip rules.

    But Professor McGreevy’s study found 28 breaches, half of them when the jockey’s whip arm rose too high above the shoulder and on 13 occasions when the whip hit the horse’s head.

    Count me amongst those who find the use of whips on horses as utterly unwarranted by any conceivable advantage to humans and cruel to horses. I’m not a supporter of commercial horse racing, obviously, but even putting that aside, I think the time has come to ban the use of whips. The jockeys either cannot or will not follow the existing rules and the authorities seem unwilling to enforce them, FWIW.

    If the banning of whips results in slower races personally, I don’t see the difference. We ought to be avoiding cruelty to animals wherever it is humanly possible to do so.

  111. Chris

    faustusnotes – I don’t think his senate run is a serious one, nor that he has even a minute chance of getting elected. Its all about publicity. And whilst I think he has done great work with wikileaks, I’d agree that he’s unlikely to make a good senator.

    Patrickb – well sure, a future federal government may decide not to penalise states for raising royalties. They may even roll back the MRRT completely! But thats not really the point is it – or should we not believe what Swan promises to do?

    He proposes to use the resources of the state to oppose a measure that is in the interests of the citizens of the state. Outrageous wouldn’t you say?

    I think its highly unlikely the lawsuit will succeed so its probably a big waste of money and time. Then again the government have overreached before (Malaysian solution).

    But where I disagree is that its completely clear that an MRRT is better for WA residents than the state raising royalties and keeping the loot for themselves. Not that I would endorse such an approach, but that does not mean that WA has nothing to gain as you first asserted.

    There’s a lot of political opportunism in play here, but that does not mean there is also a financial incentive for the WA government to be involved.

  112. Fran Barlow

    Then again the government have overreached before (Malaysian solution).

    The situations are not comparable. In the case of the ‘Malaysian Solution‘ the problem concerned not th sweep of powers under s51 — as it will if there is to be a challenge to MRRT — but whether the Minister had acted in accordance of the relevant requirements of s38 of the Migration Act. The court found by a majority that the minister was in breach. Had the provisions (ironically inserted by Howard with ALP support) not been there, or if they were removed later then the minister would have had/have the power. The Coalition chose not to support amending the act and there the matter rests.

    In the case of the MRRT, the government will either rely successfully on one or other power conferred by S51 or fail. It’s hard to know at this stage what basis there could be for challenging the Commonwealth’s authoroty, and it’s actually rather risky, since the court might find that, contrary to popular opinion, minerals do not belong to the states at all — but to “the Crown” — in this case the Commonwealth. It’s at least doubtful that pre-Federation the “crowns” in the colonies were separate entities from the British Crown (sub-crowns?), in which case post Federation, the only Crown can be the Commonwealth.

    A court might find in favour of state equity in these assets, but there’s a huge downside risk here for them and almost none for the Commonwealth.

  113. Patrickb

    @118
    While agree it is “not completely clear” I take the position that the state should not expect to have exclusive or privileged access to the benefits of it’s mineral wealth. If it does then it has clearly not embraced the spirit and the intent of the federation. It’s also worth remembering that for the first 70 odd years of federation WA was a net recipient of Commonwealth largesse. And philosophically I’m opposed to exceptionalism of any kind.

  114. jumpy

    Chris@118

    I don’t think his senate run is a serious one, nor that he has even a minute chance of getting elected. Its all about publicity.

    If he is serious and ” dirt files ” are important tools in politics, just imagine what he and ” anonymous ” will have by election time.

    His political detractors/opponents take heed.

  115. Chris

    Fran @ 120 – I think its comparable in that the government have previously stated with the Malaysian solution that there were no problems with their proposal. But that turned out not to be the case. Never really know with the high court, but I am similarly skeptical. I’d actually initially assumed it was just a bit of political theatre on Palmer’s part and he wouldn’t actually initiate anything.

    Patrickb @ 121 – I too don’t think they should have exclusive rights, but I do think the MRRT has removed some rights they previously had. Its most likely better for the country overall but inevitable that some may get upset especially when its in the political interest to do so, and play the “WA vs the eastern states card”.

  116. akn

    Fine: re Assange

    Let me just say, your view on it is partial and completely uninformed by any feminist analysis.

    You may be right in this. I support women’s advancement in democratic equality in the private and public sphere. I’m unsure whether this is a feminist project or not anymore. I would therefore appreciate you outlining a feminist analysis of the allegations against Assange and his responses. Just so’s we’re all on the same page as to exactly what my failings are here.

  117. Fine

    akn. No. I’m not educating you. We did this in a long stoush before and I’m way to busy to take care of your education. I suggest you do your own education by looking at threads about this issue in an USA blog titled Feministe. Try googling ‘rape culture’ and read the Feminism 101 blog.

    Fran, I’d be very happy to see whips banned in horse-racing and I’m a racehorse owner. One of the problems is that the stewards don’t hold jockeys to the rules already. Any rules about how often and where you’re allowed to hit a horse are doomed. This is because it’s a betting medium and there would be howls of protests from punters if the stewards took a race off a horse because they were hit too often. The stewards aren’t good at protecting horses’ welfare. Simply, don’t hit them and let the best horse win.

  118. paul walter

    Of course Fine is happy is happy for Assange to return to Sweden, certain beyond a shadow of doubt that the thing is not a pretext employed by the US to “get” Assange for Wikileaks; that Assange’s as yet to occur trial definitively means he is not harmed by the US, even if the sexual misconduct charges are found to be not sustainable.
    Would it bother you, if he was found not guilty, that he was still banged up at Gitmo or under circumstances like Brad Manning, for embarking on a principled project that would be arguably for your benefit also?
    I would hate to have rely on some like you, if what you are proposing is your version of the fair go and it’s a pity the probably charlatan Swedes couldn’t cede their vindictive and petty project out of respect for the bigger picture.
    Or perhaps money or low grade ideology is involved somewhere?

  119. akn

    I’m deeply disappointed Fine. I was hoping how you could explain to me how feminism trumps basic human rights. How, for example, from a feminist perspective, keeping the world’s leading freedom of speech activist under house arrest on the basis of profoundly confused allegations, is justified. And how it is justified when there are not and have never been any charges laid. And how it is justified, from a feminist perspective of course, that Assange can be held in isolation for ten days in a UK lockup.

    What is feminism’s specific perspective on the fact that the Swedish investigators can interview Assange in the UK but have declined to do so? Does feminism have a comment to make on the fact that Interpol has issued a “red alert” on Assange while Gaddafi only ever earned an “orange alert”?

    Well, apparently not.

    Your refusal to explain what a feminist perspective on this might be is a glowing failure of philosophical nerve. Feminism either has something to offer on this mater or it doesn’t. As a self nominated spokesperson for the movement here on this thread all I can hear is the Goonshow sound of your feet running away. So, I’ll take your comments as signifying that feminism actually has nothing specific to offer on this subject at all. In which case your drive by allegation that my views are uninformed by feminism is like saying that my views are uninformed by irrelevant theory. Thank goodness for that then.

  120. Geoff Henderson

    If no jockey has whips in a race then the playing field is just as level as with whips. Maybe the race times will move out a bit – so what? And maybe some horses only go their best speed under the whip will enjoy less success – too bad, it is only a damn horse race.

    I would add to the no-whip lobby but ending steeplechase. I see no merit in such racing at all, the risks to horse and rider are needlessly high.

  121. akn

    BTW: what’s the feminist perspective on flogging horses? If feminism is a global analysis relevant to everything then surely there’s a feminist critique of dominant modes of jockeyism? Or is it down to ownerism? The accusation of speciesism belongs to the animal lib mob. But what does feminism have to say?

  122. Mindy

    akn – have you actually looked at any of the threads Fine has suggested? Feminists have a lot to say about Assange and the allegations that you so casually dismiss. Hint: he is not the Messiah, and he is more than just a naughty boy. Anyone who thinks this was just a honeytrap is deluding themselves. If somone wanted to honeytrap him they would have done a much better job than this farce.

  123. akn

    Well Mindy I’m across the board on allegations against Assange and I’m far from unacquainted with feminist philosophy and activists having been around as an engaged activist since the sacking in ’75. Hint: I’m not after hints. Rational discussion rather than drive by allegations of political incorrectness, repeated rumour and so on would go a long way towards establishing the grounds for serious consideration of the issues. I don’t hold that Assange doesn’t have a case to answer. I do hold that so far there is no reason for him to go to Sweden to do that;
    if charges are laid then surely he ought to be extradited according to the rule of law.

    In the meantime all I can see is people lining up like a cast from Leviticus: stone him! We just knowhe’s guilty.

  124. GregM

    I don’t hold that Assange doesn’t have a case to answer. I do hold that so far there is no reason for him to go to Sweden to do that;
    if charges are laid then surely he ought to be extradited according to the rule of law.

    Anthony, if Julian Assange has a case to answer, as you say he does, then where else could he answer it except in the jurisdiction where it is alleged that he committed offences?

    The whole point of having extradition treaties is to return people who are alleged to have committed offences in jurisdictions from which they have departed to those jurisdictions for proper application of judicial process resolving those allegations.

    He is being subjected to the rule of law which in this case is through an appeal to the UK Supreme Court testing the application of the EU extradition law which applies across the EU and in which the court will have to resolve how that law applies where members of the EU have very different legal systems and concepts.

  125. Patrickb

    @123
    I’d be interested to hear what rights they have had abrogated by an act of the Commonwealth parliament. That would usually require an act in itself, there was some of this in the 1980s I think but I can’t find the reference.

  126. Fine

    There are many things I could say to you akn. But, I won’t. Because I can’t be arsed educating a supercilious, windbag such as yourself, who’s too lazy to read the material I kindly directed you toward and too much of a supercilious, complacent, fuckwit to even imagine that what feminists have written about the issue might just be relevant and so deluded and confused as to imagine that that a libertarian, right-wing narcissist such as Assange is someone to be hero-worshipped and adored. Why should I argue with someone who thinks human rights and feminism are incompatible? Come back and talk to we when you’ve learned something. But, I say that with all due respect.

  127. akn

    Fuckwit? That’d be a feminist term of endearment wouldn’t it? BTW: Collard and Contrucci’s (1989) ecofeminist Rape of the wild: man’s violence against animals and the earth provides an anti-patriarchal argument against animal exploitation. That’d include beating horses as well. Or maybe you have problems with that variant of feminism?

  128. akn

    Oh I see. You thought I should look up “rape culture”. I googled ‘rape culture+assange’ and found this:

    By the way, I came across a brilliantly written column by Brendan O’Neill on the feminsts’ anger over liberal support for Assange. Excerpt: “What this unappetising spectacle of feminists telling us that everything with a dick is capable of rape really represents is an attempt to assert one longstanding liberal orthodoxy – that rape is rife – over another, newer liberal orthodoxy – that Assange is an untouchable, saintly speaker of truth to power. This is a competition of victimhoods, with the feminist set within the liberal elite feeling aggrieved that their favoured victims – women, everywhere, at all times – have seemingly been elbowed aside by a new pet victim: Assange and political hackers. There is no meaningful principle at stake here; rather we’re witnessing a clash of miserabilist, conspiratorial outlooks, with one side insisting that all women are at potential risk from ‘rape culture’ and the other side arguing that Assange is at risk from the military-industrial complex’s ‘power culture’.”

    Is that what you meant?

  129. Patrickb

    “confused as to imagine that that a libertarian, right-wing narcissist such as Assange is someone to be hero-worshipped and adored”
    Hmm … I don’t think you’re helping yourself. Unless you have some sort of personal knowledge of Assange you’ve just made yourself look like a complete dick. Piss weak effort. In fact it might help if you reflected on your own browbeating tone and it’s likely effectiveness in convincing anyone of anything.

  130. Patrickb

    In other news, George Osborne has just lowered the top UK tax rate by 5p. What ho, there’s a jolly good chap. Let the see if that sets the oiks a’riotin’!

  131. Ootz

    With pride, from the pragmatic Deep North, I present to you – Marita Cheng.
    Go for it girl : “…. power our imagination ….”!

  132. Terangeree

    @ 139:

    Wow!

  133. Mercurius

    akn, you’re being a…dick.

    But, you know, it’s not an insult…dick pride, and all that…

    You don’t want to listen, you don’t want to learn, that’s fine. But please stop making a spectacle of yourself.

  134. joe2

    In other news, George Osborne has just lowered the top UK tax rate by 5p. What ho, there’s a jolly good chap. Let the see if that sets the oiks a’riotin’!

    ‘A budget that helps those who least need it’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/21/budget-2012-verdict

    The three stooges will be taking notes.

  135. Geoff Henderson

    Ootz@139, from another deep norther – excellent!

    I think this video advances feminist issues on a broad front, but without any aggression or drum beating – it alienates no one.
    .
    It eclipses much of the well-intended stuff that Germaine put out, and contrasts vividly with a couple of recent exchanges on LP.

  136. alfred venison

    …don’t overunderestimate germaine…

  137. Helen

    I think this video advances feminist issues on a broad front, but without any aggression or drum beating – it alienates no one.

    Yes, we wouldn’t want a woman to be loud or assertive or anything. (Not a criticism of Marita Cheng, but the gloss that’s being put on her.)

  138. Paul Burns

    I’m not going to get involved in the Assange debate again. But after his egregious performance on Q&A last year, anybody citing Brendan O’Neill as an authority on anything is a fuckwit.

  139. Helen

    I’ve said this before, but the inability of the Assange fanboys and fangirls to understand that two bad things may simultaneously be true (and may hinder a good or easy solution – see “wicked problem”) – is at the root of many of the current attacks on feminism. There seems to be a feeling that if excessive measures are being applied to Assange, he cannot possibly be guilty. It’s as if the fact of the authoritarian measures being brought to bear on him are causing time to wind back and the events in question to cease to exist.

    Fanboys and fangirls like to give the impression, also, that feminists like the fact that Assange is being subjected to legal harassment and possible danger if shipped to the US. They either cannot conceive of someone holding a nuanced “both/and” stance, or they disingenuously ignore it, because that makes us look bad. (They also hold “feminists” as a useful concept of a hivemind, of course.)

  140. Helen

    Also, what Paul Burns said. Really, Brendan O’Neill!

  141. Katz

    There seems to be a feeling that if excessive measures are being applied to Assange, he cannot possibly be guilty.

    Not quite.

    If “excessive measures” have been applied to any defendant, then that defendant is not subject to the rule of law. Instead, that defendant is subject to some form of star chamber.

    This jurisprudential principle should not be difficult to understand.

  142. Geoff Henderson

    Helen @145 “Yes, we wouldn’t want a woman to be loud or assertive or anything.”
    Sorry if I somehow implied that Helen, it was not the intent.
    My comment was intended to acknowledge that much feminist activity was not productive. Maybe that was necessary to generate real debate and to ultimately cause a process of change.
    That process has continued but it also has many more facets, and Marita is an example of a person working to un-fetter women but without engaging in alienating conflict. I believe there is now room in the process for that style of engagement.

    alfred@144 Yes. I was there during her days (Female Eunuch, Clive James) and watched her move around over those years, always with something important to say (spray?). I saw her on Q&A recently and thought she was great – and somehow more gentle or mediating in her approach. Like Marita, the approach did not seek conflict, more of an invitation to see the argument on merit, as opposed to hammering someone to change their view. Greer remains great, despite pissing many people off over the years.

  143. adrian

    What Katz said @ 149.

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting some comments, but are people suggesting that ‘excessive measures’ used against an accused person are OK, depending on the nature of the alleged crime?

    I hope not, because I seem to have heard variations of that argument before. Probably from the likes of Bredan O’Neil and worse.

  144. Mercurius

    Yes, we wouldn’t want a woman to be loud or assertive or anything. (Not a criticism of Marita Cheng, but the gloss that’s being put on her.)

    Hear hear! Again, without taking anything away from Marita Cheng, it’s a bit bloody much for some to insist that women, in their struggle for liberation and equality, mustn’t say or do anything that would upset the fee-fees of the menfolk…I mean, I’m no subscriber to the ‘tough man’ form of masculinity, but I reckon blokes should be robust enough to handle a bit of roast on this topic…as some would say to teh Feminists, fellas, “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen”!

  145. akn

    Helen: I’m not a ‘fan’ of Assange. I support what he does. There’s a difference between his person and the results of his radical work. The problem here is not that the personal is political but that the political has been personalised so that the merest hint of interpersonal impropriety is taken as evidence of Assange’s bad faith. And that, of course, without even a judicial decision.

    This entire discussion was initiated by my comment of gleeful support for Assange’s declaration of an intention to stand for the senate. This appears to up the ante for both domestic pollies and the yanks. Where will our foreign minister, the one who campaigned so hard against a bill of rights and for the benefits of the protection of the common law, come down on this? How will he respond if the yanks have rendered an Australian citizen who is seeking office or who is in office? And so on.

    Whether or not that initiative succeeds now is not the issue here. The point is that I was castigated for supporting Assange … because… because it is apparently unseemly to offer political support of any kind for a man who has been accused of sexual impropriety with a woman notwithstanding the extremely murky circumstances in which the allegation was advanced, withdrawn, resubmitted, dare I say it, conspiratorially designed in the first instance. And notwithstanding the now well documented attempts by one of the complainants to remove evidence that goes to undermine her complaint. It reeks.

    Mercurius: I accuse you of suffering from dick pride envy.

    NB: everybody else – I cited Brendan O’Neill because that’s the level to which discussion of this issue has sunk. If you don’t want Brendon O’Neill sneering at you don’t give him the ammunition.

  146. su

    Maybe that was necessary to generate real debate and to ultimately cause a process of change.

    Hello… the past tense is completely inappropriate. The current US election is being fought in part on a debate about whether women should still be afforded rights that were won in the sixties and seventies, rollbacks and reversals have been happening in earnest since 9/11. I don’t think it is any coincidence that there seems to have been a very successful wedge strategy applied to liberal dudes to get them to attack feminists. The corporatist state seems intent on winding back civil rights and women are among the first targets. This here is the real road to serfdom.

  147. Ootz

    dick pride envy

    A little known beaut Aussie shortie, encapsulates the testosteron fueled one-up-man-ship displayed here by our two strutting roosters.

  148. akn

    Thanks for that Ootz. Very funny and an excellent reminder of why I don’t smoke ciggies anymore. Of course I identify with one of the characters but I won’t admit which one:)

  149. Chris

    I’ve said this before, but the inability of the Assange fanboys and fangirls to understand that two bad things may simultaneously be true

    I think a lot of people who speak out in support of Assange (me included) do actually understand that both could be true, that it is possible that he is guilty, but…

    Fanboys and fangirls like to give the impression, also, that feminists like the fact that Assange is being subjected to legal harassment and possible danger if shipped to the US.

    I’d suggest that many consider the risk of him facing extradition to the US and the death penalty to be unfortunate, but an acceptable one, if it is the only way that he will face a trial in Sweden.

  150. Helen

    If you can’t understand that the authoritarian measures against Assange and the likelihood or unlikelihood of his guilt can be decoupled and considered separately, I can’t help you.

    The case is still sub judice, and one wonders whether any more useful information will come out after it has gone ahead, if it ever does. But “innocent until proven guilty means accusers are all liars until proven otherwise” is a grubby distortion of the judicial process. You suspend judgment on one protagonist, you suspend judgment on all of them. End of.

  151. adrian

    But “innocent until proven guilty means accusers are all liars until proven otherwise” is a grubby distortion of the judicial process.

    I don’t think that anyone here is saying that, merely that we should suspend judgement in both sides until proper judicial processes have been worked through.
    The problem is that many of us have doubts over the judicial processes in this case. Which doesn’t equate to calling the accusers liars.

  152. Helen

    Adrian, that is exactly what I am trying to say. It is possible that the womens’ accusations were spot-on AND that there are doubts as to the judicial process unfolding with Assange. However, many bloggers and commenters would prefer to say the women are lying, straight up.

    Seems we’re between a rock and a hard place here; don’t want to take this matter up until a court case has taken place (and when is that likely to happen – I have no idea!) as it seems unfair to everyone, but when one is disinclined to discuss something, the Universal Internet Explanation is that one has “run away” from the discussion (cue Goons sound effects).

  153. adrian

    Fair enough Helen, but of course it’s also possible to consider that the womens’ accusations are far from ‘spot on’ and also to have doubts about the judicial process, we just don’t know at this stage.

    It’s pretty unedifying when those who take the ‘don’t know but have doubts about the judicial process’ position are accused of being Assange fanboys and associated insults.

  154. Geoff Henderson

    Su@154
    “The current US election is being fought in part on a debate about whether women should still be afforded rights that were won in the sixties and seventies, rollbacks and reversals have been happening in earnest since 9/11. I don’t think it is any coincidence that there seems to have been a very successful wedge strategy applied to liberal dudes to get them to attack feminists.”

    I live under a large rock it seems – I have missed becoming aware of your claims. But if you can point me to some stuff to read I’d appreciate that.

  155. Mercurius

    I accuse you of suffering from dick pride envy.

    The WTF is strong in this one.

    If you don’t want Brendan O’Neill sneering at you don’t give him the ammunition.

    Haters gonna hate. Why on earth would any self-respecting person modify their position on the basis how that guttersnipe would react?

    Although, akn’s admonition follows the precise logic of rape culture: “If you don’t want (to be attacked by X) don’t (do anything that X would use as a pretext for attacking you, by the way, X will use anything you do as a pretext for attacking you)”. And to think you didn’t get what rape culture is about. As Jeannie Little would say, you’re soaking in it. Nice work, akn!

  156. su

    @ Geoff; some keywords for your search: Contraception, Santorum, Sandra Fluke, Blunt Amendment. You could listen to the radio national broadcast “Women’s bodies and US politics”. I don’t think you have been necessarily under a rock, I think that there is a tendency by many to automatically deem what are major regressive trends less important because they are targeted at women.

  157. akn

    Mercurius: it means that I’m not ashamed of my biology. It means as well that I’m not determined by my biology and form alliances with people rather than sets of reproductive organs. Beyond that it means, as Helen argues we ought, that I’m prepared to suspend judgement on Assange as a person until there is a judicial decision about his interpersonal conduct. That does not mean, however, that I’m prepared to not mention his name in polite company in order to conform with the narrow understandings the self appointed gate keepers of so called progressive politics.

    In the meantime if you reckon that raising issues about the complainant’s conduct, the timing of the ‘investigation’, the CIA connection, the Karl Rove connection etc and so on is evidence of me ‘soaking in rape culture’ then I’ll say in reply that this sort of Manicheanism is precisely why, as one feminist blogger puts it, feminism isn’t automatically counted in as a serious force for liberation any more. Too much like a bourgeois dinner party and too little to do with the relations of power beyond incessant complaining about glass ceilings that the bulk of the world’s women don’t even know exist. Talk about unacknowledged privilege.

    Gender, as Ann Curthoys notes in Feminist Review, is one fault line of power. Not the only one.

  158. alfred venison

    dear Geoff Henderson
    “greer remains great, despite pissing many people off over the years”.

    well, that’s what i like about her – bouleversé l’etablissement. coverage of her in mainstream media though is a race between pathetic predicable farce & outright lie – manufactured confection by lazy lowbrows, looking yet again & again to milk the same old, same old, tired germaine greer tropes their mentors taught them in smoke filled bars with sawdust on the floor. its always at least entertaining, sometimes enlightening too, because she always holds her own & returns as good or better than she receives in barbs & brickbats. in the end they look stupid & she looks smart & i’m usually grimly or smugly satisfied. thanks germaine!

    she got a fair go as they go on “gordon street” the other week, but who’s going to be heavy or sorely provoked on “gordon street”? what i’d really like to see is more greer on “late-line” deconstructing some of their conventional wisdom & contentious conservative presumptions.
    yours sincerely
    alfred venison

  159. alfred venison

    . . . and thanks to Chris & adrian for expressing points of view consonant with mine but with greater grace & clarity than I could ever raise.
    ta.
    a. vension

  160. Eric Sykes

    I’d just like to say thanks to Helen for, as usual, talking sense and also for mentioning the Goons.

  161. Terangeree

    Mercurius @ 163

    As Jeannie Little would say, you’re soaking in it.

    Don’t you mean Robina Beard?

  162. Katz

    Adrian, that is exactly what I am trying to say. It is possible that the womens’ accusations were spot-on AND that there are doubts as to the judicial process unfolding with Assange. However, many bloggers and commenters would prefer to say the women are lying, straight up.

    But as I mentioned @113, the complainants have been caught red-handed attempting to destroy evidence. This is a very grievous form of lying.

    Perhaps someone with knowledge of the Swedish judicial system might explain how a case can proceed despite the fact that the only material witnesses have thoroughly undermined their own credibility.

  163. paul walter

    Shucks, Katz, thats’ only an example of “politics as the personal”- you haven’t acquainted yourself with “feminist theory”.
    It obviates the tiresome phallocentric requirement for evidence to sustain a proposition.
    Remember, it’s only “ad hominem” when employed by those outside the charmed circle…

  164. Helen

    See, there you go. Why don’t we wait for the courts to examine the “evidence” (and if by that you mean the womens’ twitter stream, we all know how those things can be twisted for a hostile audience). I am not arguing for one side or the other here, just pushing back against the “honey trap” theory which is the overwhelmingly popular interpretation and no-one needs reminding of it.

    @161, Adrian, to make a logical point I was saying it is *possible* for the womens’ accusations to be spot-on. (The account of it in the Guardian, if true, does seem reasonable to me, at least). I was not saying it *is* spot-on. I can’t know that and neither can you or AKN.

  165. Katz

    Prosecuting authorities have to make judgement calls on a daily basis about the likelihood of the success of any action. Otherwise tax payers could legitimately claim that prosecutors are wasting funds on legal frolics.

    I’d like someone with some expertise in the Swedish judicial system to explain how the Assange case is not perceived as a prosecutorial frolic.

  166. adrian

    I understand that Helen, I was merely pointing out that the counter proposal, that may not be ‘spot on’ is equally valid in that sense, since we simply don’t know.

  167. akn

    Moreover, not only are there serious issues with the Swedish judicial system but it appears that even the condom may not be telling the truth.

  168. Mercurius

    @164, nice wriggling around, but unconvincing.

    I called out your dickish behaviour @135-136. Dickish behaviour is what it was. You’ve responded @164 with a whole lot of deflection/changing the subject (para 2), and making the Assange/feminist issue about you (which it isn’t – who is asking you to be “ashamed of your biology”, FFS, if it’s not about you, it’s not about you!), (para 1).

    All this convolution because you don’t want to face up to your own dickish behaviour @135-136.

    “In the meantime if you reckon that raising issues about the complainant’s conduct, the timing of the ‘investigation’, the CIA connection, the Karl Rove connection etc and so on is evidence of me ‘soaking in rape culture’ “

    I don’t reckon any of those things are evidence of you ‘soaking in rape culture’. I produced very precisely what the evidence of you ‘soaking in rape culture’ was @163. It was you producing a statement that follows the exact logic of rape culture; i.e. that people shouldn’t behave in certain ways if they don’t wish to be attacked. You have offered only deflection in response. You have multiply demonstrated, in this thread alone, an unwillingness to confront the underlying social logic of rape culture. You don’t want to engage with it. You want to make dickish remarks about it (@136) and change the subject (@164), well, fine, but most of us around here can walk and chew gum.

  169. Mercurius

    it means that I’m not ashamed of my biology. It means as well that I’m not determined by my biology and form alliances with people rather than sets of reproductive organs.

    A feminist could not have put it better.

    And yet, it’s being put here as part of an anti-feminist diatribe.

    The projection is breathtaking. Patriarchal culture has, for millennia, taught women precisely to be ashamed of their biology, and that their biology determines their personhood. This is/was a real oppression of millions if not billions of women, for thousands of years, who lived with it and through it.

    Yet when women, globally, are engaged in trying to overturn that culture, who in a few countries and a few classes actually start to make some progress in overturning it; we hear these wounded, defensive, plaintive projections from some men who bravely cry that they refuse to be ashamed of their biology, and refuse to be determined by it! As though they now face oppression on account of their gender…really! It’s an imagined five-minutes of oppression up against the real millennia-old oppression…it’s no contest, I’m afraid.

  170. su

    There’s a problem with basic logic here; if that site akn linked to is correct, the US can trigger extradition in the UK just as easily as in Sweden. Why the weird conspiracy theory when all the US needed to do was wait quietly for Assange to enter any one of the countries with which it has extradition treaties?

    There is no fucking CIA connection, there is just a ridiculous guilt by association linkage where one complainant appeared as a guest speaker for an organisation in South America that has purportedly been infiltrated by the CIA. Yeah right, if you have ever been part of any organized protest movement or left of centre political party then you have rubbed shoulders with an ASIO informant, so by that logic we are all damned.

  171. adrian

    Care to address the issues raised by Katz and others, Mercurius, or is it more satisfying for you to get stuck into akn?

  172. Meeee

    Possibly a new low in the treatment of women in politics.. Photoshop claims about her campaign photos. The polling must be horrendous in a very safe ALP seat if either side thinks it’s worth chasing a candidate who will be lucky to get 5%.

  173. akn

    Mercurius:

    It was you producing a statement that follows the exact logic of rape culture; i.e. that people shouldn’t behave in certain ways if they don’t wish to be attacked.

    This may be evidence to you of immersion in rape culture but it doesn’t convince me. That, really, is all there is to it especially when absolutely dominant expressions of rape culture are available 24/7 via internet p*rn. You think that raising questions to do with the allegations against Assange puts me in the wrong camp? You’d take on the Larry Flynt’s of the world but don’t because in fact you’re powerless to do so so you do the only thing you can which is personalise the political and attack people by suggesting that they’re ‘soaking in rape culture’.

    If I make comments worthy of a feminist it is because I’ve been immersed in feminist philosophy for some time. The fact that I don’t line up in generalised condemnation of Assange and go on to accuse anyone who questions the grounds of these allegations of engaging in rape acculturisation is because I maintain a critical political capacity that Australian feminism lost just about when it started banging its head on the glass ceiling.

    Not all feminists are ok with Assange being 471 days under house arrest today including 10 days in solitary. We used to say “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time”. What’s goin’ on here is that Assange is doin’ his time before even being charged with the crime. That’s a disgrace, you know it and no amount of sophistry is going to defend this failure of political analysis.

  174. su

    Linking to a site (2nd link 175) which purports to have established (how– innate wisdom, remote intuiting of the status of evidence? What a crock) a complainant is manufacturing a falsehood is utter bullshit, this has nothing to do with presumption of innocence it has to do with asserting innocence and damning the complainants ie. rape culture. It was arseholes who had similarly made up their tiny minds to that effect who published the names and addresses of two women and suggested rape was an understandable response to their complaints. Soaking, yes.

  175. akn

    su: link to allegations of Anna Ardin’s CIA connections.

    Personally I’d take my lead from the Argentine Madres de Plaza de Mayo than anyone else on this. They reckon the Cuban ‘Ladies in White’ are dirty and this is the group that Anna Ardin worked with. I don’t know about you but I always make a point of finding out who I’m standing next to.

  176. faustusnotes

    akn’s just producing a rehashing of the old “lie back and wait for the revolution” argument so beloved of old school trots and their fellow travellers. All this rapey rape stuff should just be filed with the other chick lit until after the revolution, when the boys will have sorted out the serious issues like international politics and the state of the proletariat, and then we can start to worry about all this girly stuff.

    It’s always been a crap argument and akn’s vituperative defense of his own genitals isn’t really adding anything to it. Nice to see that legitimate discussion of whether the Swedish prosecutor’s motives are politically suspect has been sidelined into another debate about whether the girls should lie back and think of Lenin.

    Katz, are you suggesting that twitter content would be admissible as evidence in a rape trial? Why exactly?

  177. faustusnotes

    oh mods I’ve been chucked into moderation for upbraiding akn’s “lie back and wait for the revolution” logic.

    [actually the automoderator doesn't care how you are using certain trigger words, it's a simple string filter that catches all matching fish in its net - you're out now (10.08pm) sorry there haven't been many mods on duty today ~ Moderator]

  178. akn

    Oh Lord. faustnotes as well. It’s like being nibbled to death.

  179. faustusnotes

    those links are really piss-weak, akn.

  180. su

    That is exactly what I described, it is a guilt by association trail, in this case at two removes at least. It isn’t a tie, it is ridiculously tenuous hearsay that hasn’t been tested. See what Machetera, one of the sources for Cockburn’s hit piece on this complainant thinks of the misuse of their site.

    From your link

    “I’ve spent much of my professional life as a psychiatrist helping women (and men) who are survivors of sexual violence. Rape is a hideous crime. Yet in Assange’s case his alleged victim – the gender equity officer at Uppsula University – chose to throw a party for her alleged assailant…”

    BS: a person who is sufficiently educated and has genuinely been involved with victims of sexual violence would not perpetrate this horrendous rape myth. People who have been raped do not behave in predictable ways, they get up and make dinner for their assailant, they go and pick the kids up from school, they do all kinds of things that to an uninformed idiot doesn’t seem congruent. Only very rarely does this set of behaviours include going to the police and making a complaint and the reason for that is the vicious response that all women, not just these women (though it has been particularly vile for them, relatively few women have to face the public pleas for other men to rape them), but all women, get when they dare to stand up and say “that was rape”.

  181. adrian

    Who cares about the friggin’ links, the basic argument’s sound, and nobody appears willing to actually engage with it.

  182. Mercurius

    Adrian, there’s no argument, much less a sound one, to “engage” with. There is a lot of animus directed against feminism and a foolish invocation of Brendan friggin’ O’Neill. Bringing Brendan O’Neill into an “argument” is a pretty big clue that earnest engagement is not being sought — it’s just stoush-bait.

    When it comes to an argument, there is no there, there. Do you seriously expect anybody to “engage” with the tendentious ranting about:
    (a) you’re either with Assange, or with Teh Feminists? or –
    (b) don’t you dare try to make me ashamed of my man-bits! or –
    (c) OK I’ll go and do some earnest and open-minded reading about rape culture something something Brendan O’Neill.
    —-

    Besides, @186, @179, Helen has already addressed akn’s “argument” far more ably than I could, any attempt on my part to do so would be redundant.

    Helen has already explained, patiently and repeatedly (@147, @158), that the issues of Assange’s mistreatment at the heavy hands of authoritarian government(s), and his alleged misdeeds, can be, and should be, decoupled. That it is a quintessential “wicked problem”.

    So those issues have been dealt with. That you can’t see it is your problem, not mine.

    This point is tendentiously missed, again and again, by you and akn, and it is not incumbent on anybody here to make amends for your inability to walk and chew gum.

  183. akn

    Oh I’ve uncoupled the issues alright. Mercurius ignores the coupling engaged in by Fine @ 110 thereby leaving loose an ideological stalking horse in the paddock. Fine says:

    akn, I have no wish to relive the stoush about this. Let me just say, your view on it is partial and completely uninformed by any feminist analysis. There are contending views about what actually occurred, of course. I’m just filled with amazement that men like yourself, who consider themselves as being on the left are so lacking in any feminist analysis and so quick to claim that two women who say that they’ve been sexually assaulted should be treated with such disbelief. But, I shouldn’t be surprised. The record on male lead Left movements is pretty dire when it comes to feminism.

    In other words shuddup and get inna line with the rest of us or face condemnation as a reactionary blah de blah.

    Anyway, I reckon that the real issue for feminism in Sweden is womens’ attitudes. Hard to argue that the movement has any traction there at all in the light of this. Maybe that is the issue?

  184. adrian

    Helen has already explained, patiently and repeatedly (@147, @158), that the issues of Assange’s mistreatment at the heavy hands of authoritarian government(s), and his alleged misdeeds, can be, and should be, decoupled.

    Please excuse my tendentious missing of the point, but how and why should they be decoupled when the are so intrinsically related?

    While you are there, would you be so outraged about whatever it is you’re outraged by if Assange had been charged accused of manslaughter, say?

    So those issues have been dealt with. That you can’t see it is your problem, not mine.

    Of course Mercurius, but since you seek to so wilfully misrepresent my points, may I emphaise that your a, b and c are a complete crock of shit as far as I’m concerned, since none of them even come close to what I have been consistently claiming. Try reading for meaning.

    Maybe you’ve had a bad day with some tendentious students, but you’ve certainly shed more heat than light on this particular issue.

  185. su

    Changing the subject for a sec: the ABCC has been abolished, good news, but, to cut and paste from the rights on site email, for those don’t get them:

    While the coercive powers that allowed the ABCC to secretly interrogate workers with no oversight have been modified, Fair Work Australia can still, under some circumstances, interrogate construction workers. This means that construction workers are still subject to special powers that don’t apply to other industries, and that’s wrong.

    Even worse, Tony Abbott has vowed to restore the ABCC at the first opportunity, showing that his claim that WorkChoices is ‘dead, buried and cremated’ is just hot air. An Abbott Government would be bad for unions and workers.

    I have never seen such an effective campaign as the rights on site poster fury of ’07, I think it won the election for the ALP more than any other factor. There was literally one on every street, even in my tiny town. I really hope Abbott sticks to his convictions and tries to resurrect Work Choices, because he will be toast.

  186. faustusnotes

    adrian, the argument is not sound. There is no evidence of a link between Assange’s alleged victim and the CIA. She published some articles in a magazine, that makes her CIA funded? The links akn gave offer no proof of any kind of CIA involvement, it’s conspiracy fodder. And being a critic of Castro does not make one an enemy of the left or of Assange, and it certainly is not relevant to whether or not Assange assaulted her.

  187. adrian

    That’s not my argument.

  188. Fine

    Ok. I had to google ‘Brendan O’Neil’. This is the man who akn quotes as his go-to guy for feminism. Impossible to take this seriously.

    It’s also a pity akn can’t read. I decoupled the two issues by stating that it was impossible for us to know what actually occurred (how that can be an example that I’m assuming Assange is guilty of anything is beyond me), but that we should never automatically assume that women lying when they claim that they’ve they’ve been sexually assaulted. That assumption, in this case, is partly underpinned by a whole bunch of ignorant and ill informed attitudes about how women are supposed to behave when this occurs, as su points out. It’s also underpinned by ludicrous conspiracy theories, which carry about as much weight as Clive Palmer’s infamous statement does. And no, akn that’s not an excuse for a bunch of fat jokes either.

    adrian asks us to address the argument. But no argument has been made.

  189. alfred venison
  190. Joe

    So, what about we think about some possible scenarios to help us decouple the ideological arguments:

    How would people feel about an Australian citizen being extradited to Sweden for an alleged crime in Sweden only to be then extrdited to the US for a crime that he apparently commited there?

    Seems pretty reasonable on the face of it, right? So, why is this issue so polarizing? Well, both crimes are the result of ‘new’ laws, the first law is related to female rights and sex and the second is related to the internet and publishing rights. Both of these laws don’t exist in Australia.

    So we can ask, should they? And if not, why not? But I don’t think that we can reach a conclusion, by asking these questions, at least not in relation to the Swedish consent law, because Australians are different to Swedes. Even though, there is broad commonality, as we’re all humans– we have different cultures, i.e. different histories, which means that we can’t just have a ‘rational’ argument about the apparent truth or non-truth of what rape is. Rape does mean different things in different cultures. This isn’t to prohibit dialogue, by the way, this is simply to point out a difficulty when discussing this particular case.

    A similar argument can be made with respect to the US, although in this case, there is less of a cultural gap, at least with respect to how we use the internet. So, maybe it’s more legitimate to ask the above questions here? The government really should explain why what Assange did, when he ‘published’ US diploatmic cables, was criminal. One possible response from governments would be to reform freedom of information laws– but of course, that would be unthinkable at the current time, what with the terrorist hordes on our doorstep!

  191. Mercurius

    @191 Adrian I’m well aware that you weren’t arguing a) b) & c) — you drew a wrong inference there, but in any case all your earlier arguments were addressed (like I said) by Helen.

    But you did throw down a couple of gauntlets @179 @188 saying the ‘arguments’ in akn’s link stew were sound, and why oh why wasn’t anyone engaging with them, (and with Katz). Well, I picked up your gauntlet, and reiterate that a), b) and c) are certainly the “arguments” that akn’s been putting (no tendentiousness required on my part), and it was senseless of you to call for “engagement” with, well, nonsense.

    As for Katz’s points, I do believe Helen addressed them also, as explained, it would be redundant of me to do so.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  192. akn

    su: thanks for the link re. Anna Ardin and what you seem to think are spurious allegations of being too close to CIA funded fronts in Cuba. It was, of course, a barrage of accusation and counter accusation. I therefore took the effort to read Anna Ardin’s reports on Cuba and drew some conclusions from them and the general tone of where they are published which it appears to be a hard line anti-Cuban journal. In which case I reckon that Anna Ardin’s role as a rat is now confirmed.

  193. faustusnotes

    so akn, your conclusion is that because she doesn’t like Cuba she fabricated a rape allegation?

  194. Katz

    Why don’t we wait for the courts to examine the “evidence” (and if by that you mean the womens’ twitter stream, we all know how those things can be twisted for a hostile audience)

    1. In jurisdictions that respect the rule of law court cases don’t proceed unless the prosecution has probable cause. Probable cause inheres in relevant evidence and credible testimony.

    2. How has the twitter stream of the two complainants (link @113), which the two complainants attempted to expunge, been “twisted”?

    So here’s the thing. Unless the Swedish prosecuting authorities can establish that there is a benign explanation for expunging deeply contradictory evidence then it would be difficult to sustain an argument that the Swedish prosecuting authorities could establish probable cause in the Assange matter.

  195. akn

    No f-n. My conclusion is that if you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.

  196. faustusnotes

    Katz, those twitter comments are only relevant if the defense intends to use them as proof that the victim is making up the claim, i.e. lying about whether she was assaulted. As others have pointed out, this is a common accusation against rape victims. Two tweets saying Assange is cool have nothing to do with whether or not he raped the tweeter.

  197. faustusnotes

    well that will certainly get you far in a court of law … and isn’t the guy accusing the victim of being CIA funded himself associated with some neo-fascists? In which case, by your own adage …

  198. akn

    Fine: Brendan O’Neil’s cited report was the first on the top of the google listing when I ran ‘rape culture assange’ on your advice. That’s what happens when you make drive by allegations and then are too precious and suffering a fit of the vapours to back it up. So I cited O’Neil as an example to you of your precious political attitudes gone waaay wrong.

  199. Katz

    Not true fn.

    One of the criteria for sustaining an accusation of rape is the mens rea of the alleged victim. With a few exceptions, if the alleged victim does not believe s/he has been raped, then s/he has not been raped.

    If a complainant is on record as remembering the experience as consensual, it is difficult for the complainant credibly to subsequently change his/her mind about having given consent.

  200. GregM

    1. In jurisdictions that respect the rule of law court cases don’t proceed unless the prosecution has probable cause. Probable cause inheres in relevant evidence and credible testimony.

    Well Australia’s stuffed then Katz. Its jurisprudence does not even have the legal concept of probable cause. It has different legal concepts and structures, which also address relevant evidence and credible testimony before a person can be arrested.

    As are the Europeans, in their various jurisdictions and jurisprudences for they have ordered their society differently than the Americans based upon their different histories concepts of law and liberty and their assessments of what is just and necessary for the good order of their societies.

    Probable cause is an American legal construct. It has no place in a discussion of UK and Swedish law as they may apply to Julian Assange. Only their legal constucts are relevant.

    You are a naughty little US hegemonist for suggesting that it does.

  201. su

    Katz –which tweets, my recollection is that none of the tweets referred to sex, let alone consent. Being at a crayfish party with some very cool people is somehow now an indication of prior consent to Assange? What? How?

    akn the logic you use to damn Ardin was exactly the sort of tenuous and faulty logic used to consign David Hicks to Guantanamo and to leave him there. At least you’ve dropped any pretence of simply wanting the presumption of innocence respected.

    Alfred, that tweet uses a very poor analogy, the situations are completely different. Like akn, Klein seems to be making the assumption that Assange IS innocent in fact. It certainly doesn’t make sense from the perspective of a presumption of innocence; a complaint of rape has been made, how else is an investigation and then if appropriate, a prosecution meant to proceed except by addressing rape? Or do people think that these women should drop their complaints as a matter of principle, for the sake of the hero. Female self sacrifice and the idea that the law only applies to some people; those without any influence or any powerful allies. How regressive.

    Well, both crimes are the result of ‘new’ laws, the first law is related to female rights and sex

    One of the complaints related to having intercourse with someone who was not conscious, that constitutes rape in most jurisdictions. In NSW:

    A person is not considered to have the capacity to consent if they are unconscious, asleep, or have consumed drugs or alcohol to the extent that they are incapable of consenting.

    (from NSW Rape Crisis Centre summary of NSW law)

  202. akn

    Oh, fair dinkum, the charge @ 203 is now that Assange raped a tweeter! Eff me dead. Like he committed bestiality with a paw wittle boidy. If he weren’t in danger of rendition to the US this would be funny. I’m off to cuddle me Wyandottes.

  203. Lefty E

    The last time this metaphor was used by the rabids of the Anglophone right, a US Congresswoman was shot.

    Abbott is a dangerous fool. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-03-22/abbott-apologises-for-target-comment/3906838

  204. Darin

    Well, It will certainly make the government think twice about grammar rules and mind control tactics, LeftyE.

  205. faustusnotes

    Katz, that website you linked to at 113 says that the tweets “indicate Julian Assange is actually innocent of at least the charge of ‘molestation’ that he’s been accused of.”

    Can you explain how they do that? All they indicate is that she was impressed to be at a party with him, and that she helped (maybe) organize that party.

    Are you absolutely certain that no victim of assault would not do this?

  206. Geoff Henderson

    Su @164 Thanks for those. I looked at the Fluke case. I had read of this before but went a bit deeper this time. My first read I attributed to simply weird America. I have close ties to some Americans, and have been a regular visitor since the late 1950′s – well west coast anyway.
    I’ll maintain that most individual Americans are good, but their society is so broken that collectively they are cactus. And yes they are going backwards e.g. That argument about creationism/evolution is getting some legs again.
    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/864978/uh-oh%3A_tennessee_passes_%E2%80%98monkey_bill%E2%80%99_to_water_down_curriculum_on_evolution_and_climate_science/#paragraph6
    I still don’t know enough about feminism in Australia, something I’ll need to look at.

  207. alfred venison

    naomi wolf expands on her tweet here:-
    http://rt.com/usa/news/naomi-wolf-assange-feminists-707/
    a.v.

  208. Katz

    fn, I linked to that site because it contains primary evidence. I don’t necessarily endorse the surrounding commentary.

    And then this:

    Are you absolutely certain that no victim of assault would not do this?

    Very little is “absolutely certain” In human conduct. Perhaps you have heard of the principles of “balance of probability” in civil law and “beyond reasonable doubt” in criminal law. You may notice that absolute certainty plays no part in these principles.

    The task of defending Assange in an Australian court would be as simple and straightforward as any case could be, given the uncertainty entailed in the deliberations of a jury. I recall that recently there was some discussion of the role of Luke Shaw on Joh’s Jury. But as I have said more than once, I know little about the principles guiding Swedish criminal jurisprudence. I’m confident that very few who contribute to this site have much expertise in this area.

  209. akn

    Let’s not forget:

    i) no charges laid so far;
    ii) initial investigation concluded that there were no grounds for a charge;
    iii) this decision overturned after a political intervention by Nye;
    iv) Sweden has co-operated with the US in rendition (2 persons) prior to this;
    v) Sweden has extradition agreement with US that differs from the UK in that it is not necessarily subject to judicial review;
    vi) The US establishment is furiouswith Assange.

  210. Ootz

    I’m off to cuddle me Wyandottes.

    Hail fellow pullarius. Dicito, si pascentur? By Jove, that would settle the issue!

    I’ve got English Game, probably the closest thing to the original wild bird. My old rooster died not that long ago. Recently the hens have come up to me and do that distinct crouching. I’ll give them a cuddle and they walk away shaking themselves with pleasure. Some even come back for more! It does settle them somewhat, which is good, as the roost has become bedlam since the roost has gone quite in the morning.

    Marvelous really, what cuddles can do.

  211. Helen

    Pullarius = Chicken master. Gold!

  212. akn

    Yes, Ootz, time for augury methinks. So, you’re graced with the skills of a chicken whisperer then? What delight. Such funny and gentle creatures – even the rooster! Mine haven’t laid yet but apparently Wyandottes are slow to come on. They appreciate my presence in the coop and get feisty if I don’t visit for a day or two.

  213. Geoff Henderson

    Alas my chookens have all but ceased to lay, and I don’t have the heart to replace them. No rooster either – he was taken by dingo or snake and we did not replace him – especially given his attitude to the girls and his non-consenual rampaging through their midst!

  214. Ootz

    Not so much a chicken whisperer, akn. It is obvious the girls, as it is particularely the young ones, just want me to get them off! Previous, in old rooster’s time, non would turn up and crouch for a cuddle.

    Since we all seem to have to get our rocks off, one way or the other, why has there to be so much complexity between sexual deviancy and pleasure? A pleasure which appears to be important to keep the peace.

    I am in the queue for a ticket to turn up as a Bonobo in my next life.

  215. su

    Alfred, the tweet was Naomi Klein’s, not Naomi Wolf’s. Women not fungible etc etc.

  216. Ootz

    I may not have put that question in second para above very clearly. I try to look at the broader context to that particular aspect of the Assange issue. Why does our sexuality seem to get us into so much strive yet is essential for fundamental aspects of our lives?

    So I revisited Jared Diamond’s Why is Sex Fun – The Evolution of Human Sexuality. He starts off in the opening chapter The Animal with the Weirdest Sex Life with a hilarious account of a metaphorical dog’s puzzlement while observing the idiosyncratic human sex life. Which includes such weirdings as sex – out of oestrus, – past menopause, – just for fun (hence the title of the book) and most unusual we do close the bedroom doors.

    To understand where your dog is coming from, you need to free yourself from your human-based perspective on what constitutes normal sexual behavior. Increasingly today, we consider it narrow-minded and despicably prejudiced to denigrate those who do not conform to our own standards. Each such form of narrow-mindedness is associated with a despicable “ism”—for instance, racism, sexism, Eurocentrism, and phallocentrism. To that list of modern “ism” sins, defenders of animal rights are now adding the sin of species-ism. Our standards of sexual conduct are especially warped, species-ist, and human-centric because human sexuality is so abnormal by the standards of the world’s thirty million other animal species.

  217. Nick

    “Why does our sexuality seem to get us into so much stri[f]e yet is essential for fundamental aspects of our lives?”

    Ootz, the girls and the sex were Assange’s modus operandi.

    Staying at their houses meant not having to book hotels in his own name, not having to pay rent etc.

    But he couldn’t be polite about it. Unless you like playing with fire/hurting people/losing friends, it’s not exactly good form to mooch off someone, and sleep around behind their back at the same time. For a bunch of reasons, it’s not exactly good to sleep with someone who’s putting you up at their house in the first place.

    Do I believe it’s possible he did the things they said he did? Absolutely.

    Do self-righteous people think it’s more ok if they slip and do bad things once in a while, since they never slip up and do bad things? Of course.

    Would either woman have gone to the authorities if he hadn’t lied to them/they hadn’t found out? Probably not.

    How did this all elevate into international farce? Timing.

    Assange screwed himself the same way all do gooders do: an inability to tow your own moral codes.

    A shame given the once in a generation opportunity for what Wikileaks could have accomplished.

  218. Nick

    And what is it with all these anti-types wanting to become part of the establishment?

    Fair enough your company’s been reduced to selling t-shirts, but…

    Ah, you didn’t want to change the world did you, you wanted to be part of it…you’ve lost something, and you want it back.

    Occupy all over again.

    Tiresome.

  219. alfred venison

    too right, su! blogging before coffee.
    a.v.