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Can we make a difference?

the-tide-has-turned

Image courtesy of memecreator.net

In January this year I got an email from Michael (site owner for those who don’t know) saying:

“We had 1.95 million visitors in our first year and I reckon we’ll easily get 3 million this year.”

A quick look at the stats shows that, 4 months after that email, we look like going over 4 million views sometime this week, or even today if Victoria writes another blockbuster. Her last story has had well over 400,000 views in two days. That is over 2% of the adult population of Australia (and yes I realise some were repeat views but still, that’s a lot of people considering we only need to change 30,000 votes in marginal seats, or get young people to enrol, to change the government).

The wonderful thing about this site is the contribution made by the commenters. I have learned so much from their insights, their knowledge and experience, and the many links they share.

People disagree at times but, in the main, it is done in a respectful, constructive way, unlike some of the pure vitriole I see poured out on Facebook. Sometimes people are critical of literary style, sometimes of opinion or subject matter, and any errors are quickly pointed out. This is a good thing as it improves what we do, though I would ask for a little leeway on typos as we do not have staff to help us and when proofreading your own stuff your eyes see what your mind meant. Point out necessary corrections but do so with some empathy for we imperfect scribes.

This is not just a safe haven where “communist pot-smoking lesbians” can congregate in comfort or “tree-hugging atheist leftards” can spit venom about Tony Abbott. This is an information exchange, an exchange of ideas, a place where the truth matters to us, as do tolerance and respect.

It would be fair to say that we generally share a progressive’s desire for social justice and that our regular readers tend towards the left but it would be wrong to think it is just a round of back-slapping Labor/Green devotees who think all things Labor/Green are good and all things Coalition are bad. Those parties attract as much scrutiny and criticism as does the Coalition, at times even more so as we plead with them to offer a strong alternative message. It’s more about the ideas and policies than the parties.

Great suggestions are made every day by people who genuinely want our country to be a better place for ALL Australians. The occasional accusation of envy and class warfare does not hold water. I have not seen anyone ever suggest that Communism would be a better alternative (though a philosophical debate can be mounted – shame about human greed and corruption), or that we should nationalise all industry.

If we could just stop this being a game played by two teams and started pooling our resources, think just how productive we could be in finding solutions to the nation’s problems both in the short and long term. Think how much money would be saved if the political parties didn’t have to promote themselves and how much more constructively time could be spent.

For those Labor voters who want us to sit back and watch Tony implode so we can win next time, we cannot afford to let him wreak three years of havoc while we refuse to point out a better way. We must force him to change his mind by offering alternatives that produce better results, informing the public, and making our voice heard loud and clear.

We were largely ignored when we marched in March – a disorganised rabble with no clear message and no official backing. How wrong they were. These were not professional protesters, they were not militant unionists, they had nothing in common at all except a growing unease about the direction this government was headed – and that was BEFORE the budget! The grandparents got the ball rolling, the students picked it up and hit the line running. The scientists are being as loud as scientists get, the teachers are campaigning, the medical fraternity is pleading to be given some say in health policies, the welfare and environmental groups are doing interviews and running court cases and protests and banding together to lobby the government. Bloggers are typing their fingers to the bone while they drink endless cups of coffee as they surf the net to find and pass on the truth.

Anomander commented

“Unfortunately, large swathes of the population are lazy and take no interest in politics at all because it requires thinking. Easier to blithely accept the repeated lies and cast your vote for the one who seems to espouse your values rather than look deeper and doing the research into their policies and their actions.

In many respects, it is the populace who is also complicit in this situation. In refusing to engage with politics, in not wanting to expend the time and effort to look deeper than the superficial messages delivered by a compliant media, to analyse the policies and extrapolate the outcomes, we allow these kinds of sociapaths free rein to implement their evil plans.

We need a way to make people engage, to realise they are not powerless, to see there are other choices available, other parties, better candidates and outcomes that could better serve us all, rather than allowing a select few to run riot and dictate their terms and impose their ideologies onto us. It should be we who dictate our wishes to the government.”

A tsunami is small when it first starts. We don’t need a tidal wave, just an invigorating incoming tide buoyed by the support of the people of Australia.

I salute you all and your contribution is appreciated and applauded. This is a smart country, we just have to get Tony to listen. Keep learning, sharing ideas, and spreading the word. The picture at the beginning of this article may seem optimistic but the more I see the more I believe…..the tide has turned.

 614 total views,  2 views today

107 comments

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  1. M-R

    I reckon so too, Kaye ! – I will not be swayed from my opinion that, AT LAST !, the realization of having been done like a dinner at the election has overwhelmed the masses. Of which I’m one: that’s not a pejorative term.

  2. John Passant

    Wow. Maybe I should write for you. I might be able to build an audience for socialist ideas or at least put them into the mix of people’s thinking.

  3. Sir ScotchMistery

    Each one of us has the capacity to change the way things are done as long as we start the process with a positive mindset, rather than making a decision to go out and destroy.

    Unfortunately, much of the decision/s about destruction have been taken by Tony Abbott’s government, with little else in mind than changing the view of the population to align with what can only be called the backward mindset of a neo-con Catholic reformist agenda, framed around the “old school tie” premise of entitlement.

    As voters, we are not required to align our minds with those of our “leaders”. What we are required to do however is think carefully before casting a ballot, because whatever we do in that little cardboard box is with us for the next three years at least, though it wouldn’t take much in the way of legislation to change that to 4 years and get away with it, because so many of us Australians do not care that we have the ability to plan and choose our own direction based on the political party we vote for.

    AIMN has been a gift from the gods. We have a place to record our views of what other people think as well as to place our own views before a group of 30 to 40,000 people who think before they vote, otherwise they wouldn’t be here. Those of us who actively support the site with a regular donation are truly voting with our wallets as to the importance we place on having a voice, sharing our views and not being relegated to a darkened backroom filled with smoke and old beer. Our “Politics in the Pub” moments do not have their audience measured from door to door. Our pub is international. Likewise, our audience.

    The main thing this place gives us is a place to be heard and also to be listened to. A place to air our views, and justify them within a group of people who may not agree with everything we say, but at least our views are heard which if we were stuck with Ltd News, they most certainly would not be.

    To all of you, Michael, David Kaye Leeand all the other regular writers, my thanks.

  4. Joe Banks

    I agree, Kaye Lee, but progressive politicians must now take full advantage of the tsunami of budget outrage. I emailed my thoughts to many of them last night:

    What have we seen from the coalition in the delivery of the 2014 Budget of MALICE?

    We have seen congratulatory CIGAR smoking….
    We have seen a DANCING-with-glee treasurer….
    We have seen the government front bench LAUGHING amongst themselves….
    We have seen CELEBRATING in the office of the biased speaker of the House….

    Cigars for a job-well-done in deceiving the population!
    Dancing on the graves of desperate youth and the elderly!
    Laughing at the fools who were deceived into voting for them!
    Celebrating a victory of the privileged over the disadvantaged!

    In a GENUINE crisis; a REAL budget emergency; a TRUE need for austerity….
    a budget would be delivered in sombre mood, with long-faced politicians apologising for necessary pain. The population would largely understand and be willing to pull their weight…. especially in times of disaster or war…. for the GREATER GOOD and protection of our way of life.

    Now we have a FICTITIOUS emergency and a HOAX budget in a war being waged on our own people by those intent on undermining Australian values and our cherished way of life for the ‘good of a few’ at the ‘expense of the many’.

    And the ultimate insult: Accusing those most affected by the MALEVOLENT budget of being Whingers and Whiners.

    NO PART OF THIS BUDGET should be passed on the principle that the election was won by misrepresentation, lies, deceit, trickery – as evidenced BY the budget itself – a document born from deceit. The population was misinformed and misled about the true intentions of the coalition and therefore DID NOT GIVE INFORMED CONSENT when voting took place.

    IF supply is allowed, the Senate will be conceding that the coalition has formed government and taken power by legitimate means, when the budget itself completely contradicts the guarantees made before the election.

    Endorsing any part of this budget would be condoning CHEATING, LYING, MISLEADING and MISREPRESENTING as LEGITIMATE means to gain power.

    The GAME PLAN of the coalition is NOW CLEAR and it does not include HONESTY and FAIRNESS.

    Giving endorsement to any of their schemes is simply delaying the implementation of their full agenda. People are awake and angry NOW. Will they slide back into forgetful slumber before baubles are dangled before them in a couple of years time?

    AND, the fear is: The next time a political party CHEATS its way into government, IT MIGHT HAVE CONTROL OF THE SENATE TOO!

    The people should cast judgment on this government NOW.

  5. Kerri

    Well said Kaye Lee. Thank you so much for a much needed focal point and an overdue amalgamation of independant ideas and views.

  6. Team Oyeniyi

    Great effort! Well done to all. 🙂

  7. Michael Slocum

    Dear Kaye, I still haven’t found that reference to the 677 billion dollar ‘debt’ on the PM’s website. Michael

  8. Stephen Tardrew

    My warm regards and thanks Kaye, Michael and all the contributors to this site. It has given me hope that intelligent well informed people can come together in community of shared ideas – an open forum without fear or favour. Thank you all for keeping me sane. In all I think we simply wish for peace, tolerance, justice, equity, compassion and love

  9. Kaye Lee

    Michael,

    Click on the following link and just stay on the page it takes you to. The display loops through about five different pages in a slide show without you having to do anything. On the page saying “A message from the PM – Reducing Labor’s debt” is where you will find the quote.

    http://www.pm.gov.au/

  10. ChristineR

    Reblogged this on Christine R and commented:
    It is not about taking “sides”
    Reblogged from The Australian Independant Media Network
    From the article…
    “We need a way to make people engage, to realise they are not powerless, to see there are other choices available, other parties, better candidates and outcomes that could better serve us all, rather than allowing a select few to run riot and dictate their terms and impose their ideologies onto us. It should be we who dictate our wishes to the government.”

  11. ChristineR

    Reblogged, thank you.

  12. Stephen Tardrew

    And the merry go round just keeps rolling on as a never ending cycle of inhumanity and injustice.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/manus-island-asylum-seekers-in-mental-health-crisis-20140525-38wwd.html

    So let’s see some boats sink on their way to New Zealand. Top solution there Morrison. Stop the boats? Nah just send the drowning refugees somewhere else.

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/new-zealand-is-the-new-destination-for-desperate-asylum-seekers-20140524-zrn22.html

  13. Olivia Manor

    Thank God for theaim!

  14. Wen

    I rarely comment, but that is not to say that I don’t read, analyse and absorb every article and comment in one of the very few sane, intelligent arenas in these very insane, unintelligent times. Well done to all the contributors and participants and yes, it does make a very big difference.

  15. Brian Bassham

    Thank you.
    Can we make a difference – of course we can.
    Lets get on with it.

  16. Anomander

    Thank you Kaye for another inspiring article.

    As a “tree-hugging atheist leftard” who has become a devotee of this amazing amalgam of ideas and visions over the past two years, it’s great to finally see the site gaining a broader following and garnering more attention because the quality of articles here far exceeds those of the mainstream media by many factors.

    The commenters on this site too are also a cut well above the average with many incisive, inventive thoughts, visionary ideas and deeply considered convictions on display that clearly fuel the contributors to even greater heights.

    Every day I look forward to visiting here and reading so many intelligent articles from clever and articulate contributors and commenters, each of whom care deeply and passionately about our country, our society and our people.

    AIMN is my personal light in the darkness, a special place that constantly restores my faith in humanity and reminds me that, although I may be a dreamer… I’m not the only one.

  17. Judith

    If my children were in a runaway bus, driven by a drunk, about to go over a cliff, I would ask why someone did not remove the driver and take control. What’s different ? Still my children, their future is being threatened and the driver’s mental capacity is doubtful at best!

  18. bobrafto

    I would ask for a little leeway on typos as we do not have staff to help us.

    No, no, no leeway given here. No excuses. You have to lift your game.

    Just joking, but if anyone wants me to proof read a story for typo’s. I can do for u for O.

  19. Fed up

    Debate now on Bishop and fund raising event Burke now on

  20. winstonclose

    Congratulations. Well done.

  21. flohri1754

    ” when proofreading your own stuff your eyes see what your mind meant. ” Yes, all too often I find that is my problem as well!

  22. Anne

    You are doing a great job – we don’t give a rats about the typos – it’s the content that’s important. People will believe what they want to believe (politically) BUT people are lazy and feel more comfortable being led, that’s why we must rail against this ridiculous government who is leading us all into a recession at the speed of light. They must be stopped and yes, the Labor Party must offer alternatives and possibly (small) compromises where necessary. If it was up to me personally I would block supply and let them fight it out with the GG – wouldn’t that be fun?

  23. Kaye Lee

    Anne, if I was in Parliament, every time one of them stood up to speak I would stand and turn my back on them as our Indigenous brothers and sisters did when Brendan Nelson tried to say a belated inadequate Sorry.

  24. corvus boreus

    A deep bow of gratitude and hats off to all the staff of AIMN. You provide a perceptive overview of events, linking unseen threads, and provide an open forum for rational debate and constructive ideas among the community. The absolutist tribalism of standard party affiliated politics and commercial media is rarely seen(bar the trolls), replaced by a broad spectrum of viewpoints and ideas, rather like the ideal of pluralistic representative consensus democracy.
    Love your work people.

  25. Kaye Lee

    I would also like to thank those who take the time to read but may not comment. You are taking the time to look beyond the newspaper and nightly news. You care enough to inform yourselves rather than accept what you are being told. Discussing issues with family, friends, and work colleagues is what we need. Encourage your young friends and relatives to enrol to vote encouraging them that they too make a difference. Big business may have the bucks, they may have the voice, they may even own our government, but they do NOT have the numbers. That power still belongs to the people.

  26. Nuff Said

    Just joking, but if anyone wants me to proof read a story for typo’s. I can do for u for O.

    That was awesome.

  27. Cassmiranda

    Thank you for a place where I can reassure myself that like minded people are plentiful. I am so very thankful that sites like this are enabling real discussion of issues.
    I do think that the MSM print editions and TV news are the only sources that many people use, mainly out of habit and ignorance but also due to time pressures. Sadly I don’t know many people in my day to day travels who read sites like this.
    I often wonder how more people can be encouraged to actually engage with politics and seek out meaningful discussion. Without sitting at a computer there are few options, however I recently bought the print edition of The Saturday Paper which is like a jewel amongst a mountain of cheap trash. The significance of it is that it is available to people who don’t go on-line.

  28. Michael Taylor

    Kaye Lee, did you get my email about the new site?

  29. Kaye Lee

    ummm…no Michael? can you resend?

  30. Terry2

    Kaye Lee thanks to you Victoria and Michael and the engaged contributors to AIMN we can and are making a difference.

    The quality of your work and commitment is greatly appreciated.

    Keep it up.

  31. RichardU

    Suggesting the disengaged become engaged is a challenge. Even the back-benchers don’t seem to get a look in with the inner sanctum which calls the shots.

  32. Michael Taylor

    Shall do. 🙂

    Give me a few minutes tho – I’m meant to be studying for Wednesday’s exam. 🙁

  33. Kaye Lee

    That inner sanctum only has less than ten votes RichardU. Prior to that we can offer support to any Coalition backbencher who has the courage to make a stand.

  34. Kaye Lee

    I know how you feel….my BAS is 5 days overdue and I haven’t paid last month’s super. Burn this after reading it will ya.

    Getting right on that as we speak 😉

  35. Carol Taylor

    Richard, my impression too..with the backbenchers left looking extremely flat-footed. The Nats always have said that they will not have a bar of the PPL as it unfairly prejudices country women who are seldom in the income bracket to attract maximum benefit. I wonder if Abbott and Hockey were paying attention when they said this?

  36. Cattlin Ian

    CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WONDERFUL ARTICLES!!

    We have only just subscribed and look forward to your daily articles.

    Kind regards

    Julie Cattlin cattlin@netspace.net.au

  37. Stan

    Well said Kaye

  38. Kaye Lee

  39. bobrafto

    Kaye’s

    This thought has been occupying my mind for the past few days, that Abbott’s claim for $13K for travel while he was promoting his book.

    $13K just for travel seems a lot, where did he travel to? I have a sneaking suspicion that Tone lobbed the cost of printing the book in his travel claims.

    If he went to all the states flying 1st class, my cost estimation would be around $5K or less.

    My hunch could be right and it could also be wrong, but judging by Tone’s form, I wouldn’t put it past him.

    Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission. Ring a bell?

  40. bobrafto

    Is anyone interested in proofreading my comments?

  41. donwreford

    The correction of how to write is a misnomer, in the sense is their is no correct English language of perfection, that I know of, in general we have to look at philosophy for further inquiry as to the meaning of language, I believe “Alice in Wonderland” had the effect of how language becomes a problem, in Lewis Carroll’s, story line as to what I mean is how ever I mean? and this go’s on, the important thing about language is it means to convey ideas, it is not for you or any one else to give English lessons of correctness, I have a spell correction, on my computer, so I know if its wrongly spelt, if someone has not got this, is up to you to do corrections?
    The worst thing about language is its use as social repression and control of the other, just to mention a few problems with language.

  42. aravis1

    Excellent news, and heartening! The tide is beginning to turn. Thank you to all on this network; you have helped and are helping so very much!

    Carolyn Janson

  43. bobrafto

    sorry to go off topic folks, the big game is only a couple of moons away and of course I read the trash associated with the build up and sometimes if you’re lucky, you will get a para like this

    The QRL has changed state and national borders to suit. It has raided NSW and New Zealand for Origin players and even reached up to Papua New Guinea to claim Kumuls captain Adrian Lam. There is a deeply entrenched psychological reason why Queensland considers PNG part of their territory. It dates from World War II, when the federal cabinet drew up what was called “the Brisbane line”, meaning everything south of the Queensland capital would be defended and everything north surrendered to the Japanese.

    It must have been a coalition cabinet.

  44. Andy

    I agree with most of the points made here. There is just one big problem. Getting Tony to listen. He has shown no inclination to listen in the past and now he has the reins, I suspect, even less inclination now.

  45. Frank P Mcenroe

    We have only one way to change the system.– a door is still open,– and we must pass through before it is slammed shut by corrupt politicians, elections are rigged so your vote does not count unless you vote for a extreme Left or Right Party.. most Australians are not aware we elect politicians using a system that is not honest/fair, a LNP seat in Canberra is worth 61.946 votes, a GRN seat is worth 1.097.444, should they not be equal. I found a Facebook site that is only days old , they are looking for 18 to 25 yr old people who want to change society for the better , to end the power of lying politicians , go to that site make a comment read about how it can be done, before the “commanders of our freedoms” silence the voice of change, the site is Australian Active Alliance, like their site. or better still join them to create history, they need 520 members..

  46. Helen Shanks

    Thanks Kaye for another great article. I read AIMN regularly, but do not always comment…though am forever sharing with family and friends. I was starting to get concerned as when I started sharing there was no feedback for a while (except for a few like minded family, and my staunch Labor member partner)…but in recent weeks I have had others, especially on Facebook, begin to share and like, and have made comments, indicating to me that they are actually reading the posts and articles. So it is great that people are starting to wake up, see the situation as it really. Keep up the terrific work. About to share. 🙂

  47. Denise Irwin

    Unfortunately conservatism is to a large extent gene driven. Add to that a tendency towards psychopathy..also a largely genetic trait then throw in some monumental ego …. just how much do you think the Budget Smuggler will listen…let alone change… ? We need to remove them, they just don’t have what it takes to feel other folks situations. They have a DEFICIT in EMPATHY … this can’t be changed so we must choose folks who can feel !!

  48. MissPamela

    Thank you all for your articles. They restore my faith that there are still Australians who believe in social justice, democracy and compassion and care for others. If we can get enough people to read truthful, quality articles like this and be informed of the facts- we shall overcome!

  49. gorgeousdunny1

    The alternative media is not as widespread in influence here (yet) as it is in the US, where President Obama used it brilliantly to overcome a huge disadvantage in big corporate ownership of the mainstream media. But it is still serving a very important service, whether Facebook, Twitter or blogs, in getting information out rapidly.

    This has been a stinker of a budget by almost any measure and that reaction has spread rapidly throughout the community aided by the alternative media. The mainstream is still catching up, but would look even more out of touch if it chose to ignore this reaction, as initially it did with March in March and earlier with Gillard’s Misogyny Speech. So even there the bad news has got through.

    The reaction has varied. The coalition shills like the News Ltd and Talkback radio are going along with the line, “nasty medicine but for your own good” but not getting a lot of traction, which is why the Telegraph is trying Downward Envy and Jones is on about Fire Brigades and putting out fires. The believability factor, however, is about the same as the government’s: zero.

    Fairfax and the ABC have at least avoided this nonsense, and are getting in some reasonable reporting at times. The commentary, where it exists, is along the lines of shock, that they had no inkling that this government could be this incompetent, dishonest and nasty. But, of course, they almost certainly would have if they’d bothered to do their job properly. There are ample blogs around that have informed us of the truth from the time that Gillard’s character was assassinated. Their complaints now do not compensate for their own inadequacy in their professional duty. They bear as much responsibility as do the shills for us trading a competent, caring government for this bunch of corporate lackeys.

    Congratulations, and may the growth continue, as I’m sure it will after this recent burst of reality.

  50. Kaye Lee

    We tipped over the 4 million quicker than I thought …. 4,000,239 at this moment. Keep sharing the word everyone. We CAN make a difference.

  51. Roswell

    Four million! Gosh, that was quick. Well done.

  52. Anomander

    4 million in just 5 months is an impressive achievement and testament to the quality of all contributors.

    Based on those figures the site would definitely be on track to make 10 million by the end of the year, if not 12 million?

    Keep sharing, linking and spreading the word everyone, we ARE making a difference.

  53. DC

    Congratulations to the staff and contributors

  54. Kaye Lee

    Anomander, I think that is 4 million since it started maybe 18 months ago? Over 2 million of them have been in the last 4 months.

  55. Möbius Ecko

    Another way we are making a difference. Crikey is reporting that The Guardian Australia has made a big dent in its first year. This comes on the back of serious declines for the right wing hardcopy media outlets.

    The Guardian’s success would only be possible because people like us a crying out for a voice and are being heard. Small step to be sure, but a step nonetheless.

  56. Kaye Lee

    I agree, the Guardian has been great. It contributes to much of what I write either directly or by leading me to other sources. Why on earth would you pay to read the Australian or the Telegraph when you can read the Guardian for free? It’s like paying for Skynews when we have the ABC (sometimes – I am heartily sick of seeing Rowan Dean on there and I see he is on Q&A next week. What a waste of a chair.)

  57. scaper...

    Can you make a difference? No. You are just playing to your left wing audience, I suppose it is confirmation bias in full flight.

    I find the articles here are echoes of what others have written and absolutely one sided with no critical thinking at all. Some articles are poorly researched with no editorial oversight whatsoever. Until these issues are addressed this place is not media at all. I’m sure you can do better.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Gee there are getting to be a lot of us left wingers 🙂

  59. Stephen Tardrew

    Scaper

    Well that may be the case for your lopsided brain scraper devoid of moral balance and a vision of truth and justice free from lying and deception. Who do you think you are fooling?

  60. Bacchus

    No, we don’t make any difference whatsoever 🙄

    Most of my extended family are from country Qld. Until recently, most would readily identify as LNP (previously Country / National) supporters.

    What is interesting now though is that whenever I post articles from the AIMN or TPS on FB, I get comments and likes from them. Their growing dislike of the conservative side of politics is very noticeable, especially whenever Campbell Newman is raised in a topic. If these long-term ‘rusted-ons’ are for turning, what of genuine swinging voters? I know even my son’s conservative friends (mid 20s, arts / economics / law graduates) are not at all happy with the current governments.

    It’s just a matter of getting the message past (or around) the MSM gatekeepers to them – every little bit helps 😀

  61. Kaye Lee

    Scaper,

    That is true for some articles of mine. A recent one was just Tony’s words in fact, with some links to see how well he is going. Warning, Coalition voters may find clicking on the links injurious to their worship.

    And Bacchus, I have a few converts too 🙂

    I also note that the former SA Liberal leader has seen the error of his ways and left the dark side.

  62. scaper...

    Kaye, do you really believe that all the multiple hits here are from the left? The other side do come here to view as a form of entertainment, I more than suspect.

    Gee, just tried to give some constructive criticism and was called by a wingnut, lopsided. Look at the last twenty threads and how many of them are Abbott hate themed? I’m sure you can do better.

  63. Matters Not

    I think scaper is a lurker. LOL. And while he is a paid up member of the IPA he claims he’s neither ‘left’ nor ‘right’ in his political affiliation. How’s that for someone who is deeply into ‘critical thinking’?

    Hilarious!

  64. scaper...

    Hehehehehe

  65. corvus boreus

    Scaper, you are seemingly upset about being called a lopsided wingnut but have slung around terms of derogatory abuse, like accusations of others being bludgers, whingers and unpatriotic ,apathetic spivs.
    If you wish for respectful address during discourse, I suggest you work at modifying your own terms of reference and reigning in your scornful negativity and you might find a more civil exchange of dialogue ensues.

  66. scaper...

    Nah. And you talk of scornful negativity?

  67. corvus boreus

    I do. Your point?

  68. Kaye Lee

    I have tried very hard to think of something positive to say about Abbott but I come up blank. Perhaps you could remind me what I should admire about him scaper. He stopped the boats but it cost us billions, pissed off all our neighbours and made us look bad to the world, led to thousands of people being indefinitely incarcerated, with many beaten, one blinded, one throat slit, and one dead. I don’t consider cruelty a success but that’s all I can come up with. Any suggestions?

  69. Neil of Sydney

    “He stopped the boats but it cost us billions

    What crap is this?? We had six boat people in detention in 2007.

    The whole detention network cost $140M/ year in 2007 and that included everybody (visa overstayers etc)

    We are now spending $1B/year more than when Howard was in power.

    “led to thousands of people being indefinitely incarcerated”

    The ALP/Greens locked all these people up. There were 6 asylum seekers in detention in 2007.

    Kayle lee you are one dishonest person.

  70. corvus boreus

    Neil, you may not be intentionally dishonest, but you are certainly mistaken regarding the greens’ involement in legislating offshore, privatised detention of asylum applicants. The voting of members on this issue is a matter of public record, available through Hansard, and I suggest you look this one up.

  71. MissPamela

    Scaper
    “Can you make a difference? No. You are just playing to your left wing audience, I suppose it is confirmation bias in full flight.”
    Clearly the audience is NOT all left wing. You are here often.

  72. Neil of Sydney

    “but you are certainly mistaken regarding the greens’ involement in legislating offshore, privatised detention of asylum applicants

    Get stuffed. There were 6 boat people in detention in 2007 and they were most probably in detention because they were most probably Revolutionary Guard or some other military group.

    You lot, Greens/ALP locked up more women, children and whatever than any govt in Australian history.

    That is a fact.

  73. Bacchus

    Hint: If you want to know what “Neil of Sydney” is likely to say next, refer to this search:

    http://tinyurl.com/lvd8goy

    There’s nothing new under the sun when it comes to this unthinking moron 😉

  74. scaper...

    Oh Pam…I’m used to getting that thrown at me by both sides. I’m sure you can do better than that.

  75. corvus boreus

    Throw invective,do not address refuting statement, repeat assertion, claim fact. Conclusion; troll.

  76. Kaye Lee

    Neil can you show me how much it is costing for the military to patrol? I have been unable to find those figures. Can you also tell me how we are paying to PNG, Nauru and Cambodia? How much is the contract with Transfield worth and do they get paid still even if there are no detainees? How many orange life rafts have we used Neil? I can’t find any of these figures. Can you?

  77. Michael Taylor

    Scaper and Neil here on the same day.

    Talk about bad luck. 😉

  78. Neil of Sydney

    Kaye Lee

    Asylum seekers, the facts in figures

    -Amount to be spent on detention operations, including $85.8 million for new detention contracts in 2008 — 09: $120 million

    -Amount spent on detention in 07-08: $142 million

    -Total number of persons in immigration detention in Australia as of 12 September 2008: 274

    -Number of these detained people who were unauthorized boat arrivals: 6

    Get it?? SIX boat people in detention before you lot abolished the Pacific Solution.

  79. Michael Taylor

    Bacchus, thanks for reminding me of that post. I’m surprised that Neil didn’t hang up his boots after that.

    No, hang on . . . That would have involved applying some thought processes. These are definitely beyond Neil.

  80. Michael Taylor

    Kaye Lee, that link of Neil’s is dated 17/4/2009. Do you want to know how many times that Neil has linked to it since then? Here’s a clue: how many days have passed since 17/4/2009? Take the number and multiply it by three.

  81. Carol Taylor

    And in today’s world and not back in 2009,

    Associate Professor Karen Zwi from the University of New South Wales says there were 356 children on Christmas Island when she visited there recently, with many held there for up to nine months.

    She says children in detention are showing physical health problems like rotting teeth and fungal infections, along with developmental and mental health problems.

    Perhaps Neil might entertain the thought that although you cannot change the past, that you can do something about the future.

  82. Kaye Lee

    Neil, are you Tony Abbott? You didn’t answer one of my questions.

  83. Kaye Lee

    Operation Sovereign Borders: Costs snapshot

    Department of Immigration

    2013-14 budget allocation for offshore asylum seeker management (Source)
    $2.9 billion

    Department of Immigration

    Additional allocation for offshore asylum seeker management in MYEFO (Source)
    $405.9 million

    Defence

    2013-14 budget allocation for Operation Resolute (Source)
    $9.9 million

    Defence

    Estimate by military analyst James Brown for 2012-13 Operation Resolute spending (Source)
    $262 million

    Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

    2013-14 Budget allocation for Civil Maritime Surveillance and Response Program (Source)
    $342.2 million

    And this is for ONE year. But let’s hit the sick, elderly, and disabled. Let’s hit the students and the unemployed. We need more orange life rafts.

  84. Neil of Sydney

    “Neil, are you Tony Abbott? You didn’t answer one of my questions.

    I don’t need to answer your stupid questions.

    All your stupid questions were caused by your vote in 2007 and the ALP/Greens.

    The whole detention network in 2007 cost $140M/year and that includes everything (visa overstayers etc)

    We had SIX boat people in detention in 2007. Get it???

  85. Kaye Lee

    When did the war in Syria start Neil? And then we have Sri Lanka. After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009.

  86. scaper...

    Raven, like your handle. Has the ‘Relict’ got a silent ‘t’? An image.

    http://www.pbase.com/image/120434074

    Some observations.

    The bird is clearly a fledgling. The pink around the beak, the dark eyes and the short tail feathers. I would say it is male based on the end position of the wing feathers but the bird is obviously in the defence judging by the breast plate.

    Got a coven of crows that I’ve been feeding and observing for some years. Undoubtedly the smartest birds in my experience. The size of chooks with attitude! When I come home, I sit on the back lawn surrounded by over thirty of them.

    Shame they are not into technology…would make an interesting blog.

  87. Matters Not

    I’m used to getting that thrown at me by both sides

    Forever the victim. Some may think of scaper as combination of Don Quixote and Walter Mitty but I think he has more in common with Gonçalo Mendes Ramires the hero in The Illustrious House of Ramires.

    Go Google, scaper.

  88. Kaye Lee

    And then we have Iran

    Millions of Iranians participated in presidential and local elections in June 2013. Executions, especially for drug-related offenses, continued at high rates. The judiciary released some political prisoners, but many civil society activists remained in prison on political charges. Authorities regularly subjected prisoners, especially those convicted on politically motivated charges, to abuse and deprive them of necessary medical treatment. Iranian women continued to face discrimination in many areas including personal status matters. Authorities restricted political participation and employment of minority groups, who account for about 10 percent of the population.

    And Afghanistan

    After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Taliban were overthrown by the American-led invasion of Afghanistan. Later it regrouped as an insurgency movement ] According to the United Nations, the Taliban and their allies were responsible for 75% of Afghan civilian casualties in 2010, 80% in 2011, and 80% in 2012.

    Neil have you ever considered why people are seeking asylum? Do you think they just wait for a change of government here or do you think that maybe there might be other things on their mind rather than our domestic policies?

  89. Carol Taylor

    Neil, gosh only “$140M/year”. Although the figures are almost impossible to obtain due to the Abbott government’s paranoia about the public finding out anything that it’s up to, we have…

    The midyear budget review, released last week, set aside an extra $2 billion to process refugee claims offshore. The scheme’s projected expenses over the next four years are now about $9.5 billion.

    Therefore the *success* of the Abbott government’s turn-back-the-boats policy is costing us $2 BILLION/year. Or did you think that those offshore processing centres come cheap just because they’re in 3rd world countries?

  90. Neil of Sydney

    OK Kaye

    Lets take them all. I believe there are 20-40 million asylum seekers around the world and a further 1-2 billion economic immigrants..

    I do not trust your motives. The greenies i have meet think humans are a pest on the planet so want to reduce our population.

    So when greenies want to increase our population by taking all the worlds asylum seekers, i smell a rat.

  91. Matters Not

    Kaye Lee, if ever there should be a Royal Commission, our involvement in Iraq (the why) should be at the top of the list.

  92. corvus boreus

    Good observation,scaper, regarding the posturing. Yes, it is clearly a juvenile, though the tail feathers are not as clear an indicator of age in the relict(silent t? dunno)raven, which is shorter of tail and wing, and heavier in the body. Probably an adaptation to inhabiting denser forest than it’s more common cousins. Wouldn’t necessarily encourage feeding them though, they can be a murderous bird.

  93. Kaye Lee

    Can we add the Australian Wheat Board to that RC?

  94. Matters Not

    As for people who feed a murder of crows on a regular basis, they must dislike crows and their human neighbours. The Brisbane City Council asserts re Problems caused by crows:

    The availability of food scraps at parks and public areas and from industrial waste bins allow crows to become dependent on artificial sources of food.

    This causes their numbers to increase unnaturally. They can also be very noisy; therefore, they can be a nuisance to local residents

    Can’t understand why scaper hates his neighbours and the natural environment.

  95. Matters Not

    Can we add the Australian Wheat Board to that RC?

    Certainly can. But rather than have a separate exercise, we might include that in the Terms of Reference of the RC as suggested above. After all, we must think of the cost and not have an economic recovery based on RCs as the current government believes.

  96. Neil of Sydney

    “Therefore the *success* of the Abbott government’s turn-back-the-boats policy is costing us $2 BILLION/year

    More lies.

    It cost us $140M/year until you voted for Rudd in 2007.

    You Kaye, Adrian, Michael, Bacchus et al locked up more asylum seekers than any govt in Australian history.

    It will take many years to clean up the mess you created.

    The biggest worry is that you are in total denial about the damage you have done.

  97. Kaye Lee

    Neil. I ask again….do you in any way consider why people are seeking asylum – the push factors? Or do you think everyone is just sitting there watching Australian politics and choosing to risk their lives because of our domestic policies?

  98. Kaye Lee

    Today I saw some people from the Pacific Islands who were in Canberra to plead with our government to take action on climate change. One young man cried as he spoke about his home disappearing. Batten down the hatches Neil….we are going to have a whole heap more people seeking asylum because of this government’s idiocy.

  99. Möbius Ecko

    http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BooBp0cIUAAYhiB.jpg

    You will never see the likes of Neil address Abbott’s lies and his lies on lies. Indeed every time he has been asked to comment on or justify Abbott lying through his teeth time and again the response has always been, “Labor”.

    The AFP catches Abbott in a lie, and a big one at that, and Abbott still continues the lie. This means Abbott is calling a senior officer in the AFP a liar, yet the sad thing is he will get away with it. Any other politician who did that would have been out on their ear or at a minimum been heavily lambasted by the media, but not Abbott.

  100. Carol Taylor

    Neil and,

    “Therefore the *success* of the Abbott government’s turn-back-the-boats policy is costing us $2 BILLION/year”

    More lies.

    Ummm…no. That figure comes from the government, it’s their own estimate.

  101. Kaye Lee

    Did anyone see Michaelia Cash before the Senate Committee today? Next to her Sophie Mirabella appears positively affable. Tony Windsor might need a rethink on the nastiest person on Parliament – our non-feminist Julie Bishop wannabe Michaelia is a serious contender.

  102. pimmento

    Abbott lost me when he related the death of one of our own soldiers to ‘shit happens’, from that point on I have had no respect for him at all. When he was questioned about this remark by a news reporter he turned the discussion towards the journalist saying that it should not be turned into a political fiasco. Did anyone understand what he was doing, ‘no’, they still voted for this man with everything he does he shows his disrespect for Australians.

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