"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself." - Friedrich Nietzsche
John Hawkins, Chudleigh. First published November 23
24.11.15 4:30 am
The Examiner, the organ of the Right Wing of the Liberal Party in Tasmania has spent the past month - for some completely unknown reason - promoting our Erich Abetz as the Number 1 candidate on the Tasmanian Liberal Party Senate ticket.
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• Jack Lumber in Comments: … It is with regret that I admit that Mr Abetz has achieved what we all thought was an impossibility ... a consensus. Throughout the state a “WTF” was heard in every room ( with the exception of the dazed and confused state Liberal Party room )
• John Hawkins in Comments: … We must ensure that the Liberals do not get 2 quotas, in the next election. With this in mind Scruffy will be standing against Abetz for a seat in the Senate. “If you are going to vote for a dog ... vote for a real one”. Vote Scruffy …
23.11.15 4:15 am
A response to Lissa Johnson: Spot the Extremist It is undoubtedly true that the US-led invasion of Iraq under George W Bush, Blair & Howard et al. was a duplicitous piece of foreign policy that has had far reaching consequences which are still reverberating today.
John Martinkus, The Saturday Paper. Pic*
23.11.15 4:00 am
John Martinkus: ‘What my captors wanted to know’ When armed insurgents kidnapped John Martinkus in Iraq, they interrogated him on building a propaganda machine. A decade later, they became Daesh.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: To have been in your position in a war zone and to know that what you were hearing in the media and from the government was total bullshit would be very hard. Thankyou for writing your story and giving those who can think a chance to understand what was happening and what is still happening with our sanitised reports of what is going on in the world. Sorry that you and many others have had such horrid experiences, we live on a planet surrounded by angry, violent madmen ... and some very beautiful people too.
• Peter Bright in Comments: Pete Godfrey at #4 perceptively refers to media and government bullshit and indeed I’ve become increasingly suspicious about everything these distorting, deceiving, misleading and lying institutions tell us. One of their greater sins is to conceal the truth by omission. Our citizens are not thinking, and far worse than this, they don’t want to. Worst of all is that many just can’t.
23.11.15 1:30 am
A computer scientist has created a livestream of all the websites he’s visiting—including those not safe for work—to show what the government’s proposed new surveillance legislation could mean for UK citizens.
Martyn Goddard*, Analyst. Pic* First published November 13
15.11.15 4:00 am
… Another dismal employment scorecard … The trend statistics are good at telling us what was happening six months ago but they ignore anything happening over the most recent couple of months. The Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, would have known this when he issued a press release saying: ‘At 6.2% Tasmania now has the third lowest unemployment rate of all the states’ ( TT Media HERE ). He quoted trend figures without saying so. This gives a highly selective and misleading view of the current situation. But the real employment problems facing Tasmanians are both more complicated and more serious than the headline figures ‒ or Mr Gutwein ‒ reveal.
This is perhaps the most revealing of all labour force statistics and shows the broader impact both on the economy and on the society. In both seasonally-adjusted and trend terms, the Tasmanian figure remains by far the worst in Australia ‒ a position the state has consistently held for a very long time. Socially, the impact on individuals, households and communities can be devastating and no amount of sunny press releases from the Treasurer can change that reality.
• Pete Godfrey in Comments: Lying to the public should be treated the same as lying to parliament. Politicians who deliberately lie to the public should be dismissed immediately. Like the old saying goes there are Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics.
• Examiner: Gutwein drives development PLANNING Minister Peter Gutwein has urged the West Tamar Council to scrap outlines for reticulated water at Greens Beach in favour of a golf course development worth up to $200 million. … The stipulation would have secured running tap water for Greens Beach as well as properties passed at nearby Kelso and Clarence Point. However, the proponent in June argued that supplying water and sewerage to the lots would make the development – valued between $175 million and $200 million – unviable. Mr Gutwein wrote to West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl in October, advising the council to delete its requirement to allow for the development …
• Leonard Colquhoun in Comments: Two observations about how politicians usually announce new developments: ~ they usually give importance to claims like “[whatever] is a 123 million dollar project”, seemingly as if highlighting the mega-dollar size of the cost is more important than telling us WTF it is, or explaining why it is needed (and our media is complicit in this); ~ they also make assertions like “it will create n-hundred or x-thousand jobs during construction”, as if the temporary work in that phase is the most significant effect. (If that’s so, might as well pull it down and re-build it several times over!) … • You’d reckon, wouldn’t you, that the sort of detailed statistical / mathematical breakdown and analysis presented in Comment 5 would be taught to undergrads in university J-Schools. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?
• Martyn Goddard in Comments: I accept Graeme’s point, but for a Treasurer to quote an unemployment figure without saying whether it was trend or seasonally adjusted—which just happened to be the figure that served his political purpose—is misleading and I suspect deliberately so. Both series have problems. As I said in my piece, ‘seasonally-adjusted data must be regarded with caution. These figures can be buffeted by survey variations and one-off factors’. Ideally, we would quote both the seasonal and explain to our audience the advantages and limitations of each. Unfortunately, neither journalists nor most politicians know the difference: they assume, I think, that both series refer to the current situation. But they don’t. Only the seasonal data do. Here we have the problem of two professions looking at the same figures. Economists, like Graeme, can (and should) wait for the more reliable data, even if that takes six months. Journalists (like me) don’t have that luxury. Our job is principally to report on what’s happening right now. Anyway, I’ve always been bemused at the desire of state politicians to pretend they have their hands on the levers of their local economies. They like to take the credit but this means they’re also putting their hands up for the blame. Most of the forces affecting state economies are from outside. Colin Barnett did not create the mining boom but took credit for it, and is on the nose now that it’s ended. Suddenly improved economic times in NSW and Victoria have far more to do with the exchange rate and the price of oil than anything the Baird or Andrews governments have done. And the Hodgman government did not create the uplift in tourism: that was David Walsh and the lower Australian dollar.
• Luke Martin in Comments: Public health, economics, employment, climate change, the arts, events, tourism.. Martyn Goddard is like the ‘Leonardo DaVinci’ of Tasmanian policy “analysts”! Must be an amazingly impressive and broad suite of experience and credentials Mr Goddard possess in each of these areas to be able to offer such authorative commentary wrapped up as ‘analysis’. Or is this commentary really just one person’s opinion backed up by a slanted interpretation of readily available public data?
• Simon Warriner in Comments: “Or is this commentary really just one person’s opinion backed up by a slanted interpretation of readily available public data?” You could be talking about anything our liblab politicians have said about pokies in this state for a very long time there Luke, and about tourism, although MONA seems to have spoiled that little rort. Actually it takes a relatively narrow range of talents to smell the putrified offal on offer across a range of portfolios. A functioning olfactory nerve is all anyone needs. The same tricks are recycled over and over, and were it not for the studious and strenuous efforts by all concerned to avoid an Integrity Commission worth the name, they would have been shown up for the shonks they are long ago.
• Leonard Colquhoun in Comments: A journalist’s job “is principally to report on what’s happening right now.” (Quoted within Comment 14) If only!
• John Hawkins in Comments: … The Liberals have now passed legislation to take planning powers from local councils - the right of approval rests with the Minister - the ex mayors in the Upper House fell into line with alacrity but they know about the desires and integrity of property developers. Does Gutwein agree that running water now makes Tasmanian housing so expensive it cannot be included in the spec? …
• Leo Schofield in Comments: The egregious Luke Martin seems to have taken time off from penning his papal pronunciamentos which weekly find space in the Mercury to attack Martyn Goddard, ostensibly on the grounds of his variety of interests. The Lukester of course confines his dubious expertise to tourism matters, beating up fantasy figures for visitations. Does he include in his hyper-inflated numbers, passengers from cruise ships? These ‘visitors’ breakfast on the ship, mostly wander off to buy ugg boots and a kebab before returning for dinner and a sunset sail away. Restaurants, retail businesses and hotels gain bugger-all from these cruisers. But the magic numbers Martin produces provide comfort for his political masters and, perish the thought, prime him for a tilt at parliament. God help Tasmania.
Paul Carter, Mercury. Pic: Facebook
15.11.15 3:45 am
HOBART woman Emma Grace Parkinson has been shot in the Paris attacks, authorities say.
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Rosemary Bolger, ABC. ABC pic
04.11.15 3:06 am
Travel guide publisher Lonely Planet is standing by its latest advice to travellers to visit Tasmania before its wilderness is “compromised”, rejecting suggestions of political interference.
• phill Parsons in Comments: It’s so Tasmania focused. To get a clearer view remember that Lonely Planet also referred to the Great Barrier Reef. No wild area is safe under the current business as usual and the proposed reductions in emissions flagged for the Paris COP later this year. Sea and sky islands will be severely compromised if not disappear, coral reefs will undergo massive die offs if not collapse under the pressure of ocean acidification and forests will retreat across the landscape as drying and changed fire frequencies add extra pressure to the balance that sustains them. Indonesia’s fires not only affect the terrestrial they also compromise coral reefs affecting the protein flow to humans onshore. Are we too stupid and greedy to learn and change direction. I hope not but experience tells me otherwise.
Amy McQuire, New Matilda. Pic of Annabel Crabb
04.11.15 2:25 am
When Crabb breaks bread with the Morrisons and Macklins of the world she helps further marginalise the people being punished by their policies, writes Amy McQuire.
02.11.15 3:30 am
In a series of articles published by the Tasmanian Times over the years – the Chronicles – Donald Knowler has set out to record the life and death of the industry he has served for more than half a century, that of the newspaper. He has sought to reveal the unknown and esoteric in an ancient field of journalism reaching the autumn of its existence, a world now referred to derisively as “dead tree” media after the emergence of the internet, which is rapidly succeeding print.
Life at the Typeface is Knowler’s latest contribution to the Tasmanian Times.
Martin Hickman, openDemocracyUK
02.11.15 2:05 am
our years ago Rupert Murdoch was on the brink. Now he’s resurgent. Martin Hickman, co-author of Dial M for Murdoch, asks whether the phone hacking scandal changed anything.
Emma Hope, Mercury. Pic* First published: October 18
22.10.15 5:30 am
FEDERAL Group will put the handbrake on investment in Tasmania if it does not get certainty over a gaming licence in the state, says chief executive and managing director Greg Farrell.
• Greg James in Comments: Farrell’s handbrake can only be a good thing for the economy and should be grasped with open welcome arms. No one who has studied economics and monopolies would question that threat and take it as meaningful. Tasmania would see a sick subsidised gambling industry forced to become competitive. The fact that Farrell threatens to not invest in what should be his stand-alone businesses, shows how little he appears to personally care for his employees. The fact that he admits he needs subsidies puts the casino industry on permanent welfare, like the Metro buses or agriculture boards.
WEDNESDAY October 21 ...
• Elizabeth Viney in Comments: “Mr Hodgman dismissed Ms O’Connor’s suggestion that Federal Group’s demands were an attempt to “blackmail” the Government. “We don’t see anything untoward in that at all,” he said. “They’re a business, they’re looking at investing in properties and their options as you’d expect them to do. “There’s a long timeframe involved here, we’re not rushing into any discussion. “There will be transparency, there will be due diligence undertaken by Government and a decision that’s made in the best interests of Tasmania.” ” I would not have believed this if I had not heard him say it on the ABC last night.
• The Age Exclusive: Landmark pokies legal challenge on the cards Poker machines are illegal because their design is deceptive lawyers will argue in a landmark legal action against the multibillion-dollar pokies industry. Maurice Blackburn lawyers will argue in a state or federal court that poker machines are in breach of consumer law for misleading and deceptive conduct.
John Martinkus, The Saturday Paper. Pic: of Michael Ware
17.10.15 6:15 am
Michael Ware’s hair-raising documentary Only the Dead explains how he reported the beginnings of the Iraq insurgency that begat Daesh.
EARLIERon Tasmanian Times by John Martinkus ...
Johan Lidberg Senior Lecturer, School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University. Graphic*
16.10.15 5:00 am
In a year and a half the Abbott government managed, in practice, to undo the painstaking reforms of the federal Freedom of Information (FOI) system that took shape in 2008 and came into force in late 2010.
Jonathan Pie, YouTube
12.10.15 3:10 am
MEDIA ELSEWHERE ...
Myriam Robin, Crikey Media Reporter Pic*
01.10.15 2:45 am
Mastheads will either go broke or be forced to turn to things like content marketing or “native advertising” to fund their journalism.
Lindsay Tuffin. Damien McIntyre, ABC
25.09.15 6:01 am
And so it’s come to this. Well it’s not as if they weren’t warned. Six years ago I wrote this at this wondrous, We’ll-be-alright-backslapping-Walkley-event ...
• Damien McIntyre, ABC: Launceston Examiner and Burnie Advocate could lose editorial and admin staff in Fairfax restructure
EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...
• mark in Comments: Who cares. If either of these newspapers died tomorrow we wouldn’t lose a thing. They don’t hold anyone to account. They don’t shine a light on Erich, Gunns, FT, Ta-An, Shree, Federal, Thuggo etc etc. If you’re an average bogan up before the courts you’ll get your front page though. They exist for their own ends. They don’t attempt to educate. They pull the wool over the eyes of their readers. They shake their pom poms and cheerlead uneconomic dud projects in ecologically sensitive areas. When those projects inevitably fall over they never explain the reason. They’re happy to let the myths of Nikolic, Whiteley, Abetz & their faceless goons control the narrative.
• Rose Grant, ABC: Tasmanian regional newspaper bucks the trend of falling circulation … “And in terms of a local newspaper and the whole media cycle, I am very buoyant and optimistic about local newspapers because things that happen in [Tasmania’s] north east, for example, you can’t hop online and find out about the bad state of the pot holes in the road to Bridport. “You won’t get the Friday netball scores. “You won’t find out about Mr Beattie topping the sales with the sheep. “You won’t find out about that online. “You won’t find out about that in a nationally owned newspaper. “But you will find out about it in a local newspaper. “And our circulation has increased, our advertising revenue has increased, because we made the strategic decision that we will focus on local issues and local people.”
Urban Wronski* http://urbanwronski.com/ First pub: September 21. Pic: ABC of Malcolm Turnbull
23.09.15 5:00 am
Another week, another Prime Minister struts and frets the poop deck of Federal Politics as the Liberals throw mad Captain Abbott overboard and bring back Malcolm Turnstile from the brig in a desperate attempt to calm rising seas, distract circling sharks and other monsters of the deep and to keep their leaky vessel off the rocks. Captain Ayatollah, as Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is known to former crews, appears delighted to be at the centre of the political universe and in his rightful appointed place at last. He can’t get seem to get that thin grin off his face. Turnover flashes his barracuda bottom teeth as he contemplates his new cabinet demotions and the settling of old scores. Ever gracious in victory, he congratulates Fortune on finally coming to her senses, even if it did take five long years for her to get it right.
• Lenore Taylor, Guardian: Seven things the cabinet reshuffle tells us about Malcolm Turnbull He won’t die wondering – this reshuffle is big. Joe Hockey, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews, Ian Macfarlane and Michael Ronaldson are all out. Although most were on the Daily Telegraph’s list of ministers Abbott was thinking of demoting anyway, Turnbull has not responded to threats of retribution or destabilisation by proceeding with hesitation or caution. Twenty-first century government requires changes, he says, which seems to imply something about the modernity of his predecessor. The conservative far right is threatening to split from the Liberal party, there is talk of resignations from some branches and an unnamed but diligent conservative is putting together stopturnbull.com – a website dedicated to proving Turnbull is a kind of Labor/Green sleeper agent who has infiltrated the Liberal party in order to destroy it. Turnbull has ignored all that and chosen to seize the day. Tough calls, he says, are “what leaders have to do.” This ministry is more moderate than the one it replaces, and Malcolm Turnbull’s backers got the biggest promotions. • HERE, for the other six points ...
• Tess Lawrence, Independent Australia: Having the hots for Cory Bernardi, Andrew Bolt and Jeff Kennett IA Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence wanted to be the first to sign up to Dr Bernardi Anti Panty Bestiality Party, but was beaten to it by his many groupies.
• Guardian: Malcolm Turnbull’s rise to power delivers Coalition a five-point bounce Newspoll puts the government at 51% to Labor’s 49% on two-party preferred measure, a change from 46% to 54% in the last survey under Tony Abbott
• Phil Coorey, AFR: Tony Abbott’s backers target Scott Morrison Liberals still seething over last week’s leadership spill are vowing to target Treasurer Scott Morrison, who has found himself the ongoing focus of Tony Abbott’s ire. Mr Abbott accused Mr Morrison of “badly misleading” the Australian people after Mr Morrison said last week that he had tried to warn Mr Abbott ‘s office three days before he was ousted by Malcolm Turnbull that the brewing coup was a real threat. “Not true, not true; Scott never warned anyone,” Mr Abbott told The Daily Telegraph. “He certainly never warned me. I spoke to him on Friday [before the coup]: not a hint of a warning. “So I’m afraid Scott badly misled people. I was doing what I could do to save the government, that’s what I was doing.” Mr Morrison voted for Mr Abbott in the spill but was elevated to Treasurer, replacing Joe Hockey. His former friends accuse him of running dead by knowing all along he would benefit from a change to Mr Turnbull, and not using his numbers to protect Mr Abbott. One Liberal still angry at events said Mr Abbott’s outburst was “not the end of it” and the new Treasurer would be the target of ongoing ire from the right.
Peter Jukes, Politico
21.09.15 4:00 am
LONDON — “The sun is shining.” So wrote Rebekah Brooks to staff on September 7 as she returned as CEO of News U.K. (formerly News International), a post she was forced to resign four years ago under threat of imminent arrest, leaving the corporate HQ in the company of security guards.
Roy Greenslade The Guardian via Peter. Pic: of Bill Reynolds
14.09.15 3:31 am
On my first day as a journalist I was introduced to a colleague who was genuinely delighted to see me. With a beaming smile, he said: “I was the junior. Now you are.”
Rob Messenger for Senator Jacqui Lambie, Senator for Tasmania Media Release
13.09.15 7:00 am
Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie will refer an article by journalist Steven Drill in today’s Herald Sun to the Australian Press Council for investigation and has issued the following statement
Cathy McGowan AO MP Federal Member for Indi Media Release. Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist
09.09.15 6:30 am
• Cathy McGowan: ABC crucial voice in rural and regional Victoria Independent Member for Indi, Cathy Mcgowan AO, welcomes the Australia Institute report, Heartland – the bush loves its ABC, released today.
• Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist … Regional media is viewed as an essential democratic institution by regional Australians, with 95 per cent accessing some type of local content each week …
It has just been announced that the tomb of Queen Nefertiti may have just been discovered. In order to inject more hybrid…