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How do you argue with that?

In order to progress sensible policy direction in this country, it is necessary to listen to different ideas, consider other people’s opinions, look at the evidence, weigh up the pros and cons, accept criticism and be open to amendments that address genuine concerns, negotiate and compromise – that sort of stuff.

Too often we retreat to our safe space of affirmation, talking to people who share similar views, being led to information from the sites Google thinks we like. We preach to the converted in echo chambers which may be accused of indulging in groupthink.

So sometimes it is valuable to take a walk on the wild side where people don’t agree with you to see if others can help inform your thinking and if negotiation is possible to help us out of our current policy paralysis.

As you may have gathered by some of my recent articles, I have been attempting to do this in the lion’s den of Craig Kelly’s Facebook page. Why there? Because it is a bastion of the far right championing the predictable conservative hobby horses. Kelly represents that small rump in the Coalition who have stymied their own government from any chance of consensus, seemingly wielding way more power and influence than their numbers deserve.

It has been… interesting… as these couple of exchanges exemplify…

EB: we need labor to keep us in debt and down on our knees and millions of refugees to support who cant speak English or read and write in their own language. maybe then we will get aid from Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG etc etc.

KL: As at July 1 2018, the budget estimate of net debt in Australia was about A$341.0 billion, up from A$174.5 billion in September 2013, when the Coalition took office. That’s an increase of A$166.5 billion, or roughly 95%, over almost five years. Gross debt as at 31-August-13 was $270 billion. Today it is over $535 billion. But hey, why let the facts intrude.

EB: how old are you? I have a memory going way back, never knew any Labor govt that was any good for the people, for business yes, for the rich yes.

KL: What has Labor ever done for the people? Removal of property qualifications for the franchise, Medicare, Superannuation Guarantee, paid parental leave, Indigenous land rights, NDIS, anti-discrimination laws….how long have you got?

EB: paid parental leave? come on what a load of snot to feed to the easily offended crowd, anti discrimination, what still exists the govt prefer refugees to the Australians living here.

KL: Paid parental leave is a “load of snot”? Well gee, I can’t argue with that. Or let’s just say I won’t bother.

Unfortunately, my attempts at sharing information or discussing different points of view have not been particularly successful. After Craig Kelly posted this gem in response to the latest IPSOS poll showing that 39% of people prioritised reducing emissions over reducing power bills …

“There is a solution to make everybody happy.

Those that want to prioritise ‘’reducing carbon (dioxide) emissions” can pay for all the subsidies (at least $3,500,000,000.00 this year alone) given to ‘renewables’.

The hidden green taxes on electricity bills (which pay for these subsidies) can be removed for 60% of the population and the 39% that want to prioritise ‘’reducing carbon emissions’’ can pay extra.

Secondly, those that want to prioritise “reduce carbon emissions” would be first households to be blacked out on a hot summers evening when the wind is not blowing.

And to help with their virtue-signalling, they’d also get a ‘Certificate of Appreciation’ personally signed by Tim Flannery and Kevin Rudd.”

… the following discussion ensued:

KL: Market Forces estimates that tax-based fossil fuel subsidies amount to almost $11,000,000,000.00 per year federally. This figure includes subsidies that support both the production and consumption of fossil fuels. But tax-based subsidies aren’t the only government financial support afforded to fossil fuels. Direct handouts and contributions to the fossil fuel industry are doled out at both federal and state levels. On top of this, public money is used to finance fossil fuels through our national export credit agency EFIC, as well as our involvement with international financial institutions.

TT: If you’re quoting a report that doesn’t know the difference between a tax concession and a subsidy then you’re a big a goose as the muppets that wrote this

LL: I am continually amazed at the absolute malarkey you keep coming up with, it’s time you disclosed your real purpose in life.

MG: not again..*sigh*…lets all repeat for Kaye’s benefit…”tax rebates are not subsidies”

KL: I think you will find that they are called “fossil fuel subsidies” gentlemen. Different studies include different things so come up with different amounts but they ALL call them fossil fuel subsidies. “The Australian federal government provides an estimated $5 billion in national subsidies to fossil fuel producers each year.”…/publications-opinion-files/9992.pdf

KL: “Subsidies come in various forms including: direct (cash grants, interest-free loans) and indirect (tax breaks, insurance, low-interest loans, accelerated depreciation, rent rebates)”

JP: Kaye Lee you really don’t like being held to account and your rubbish claims being exposed, do you! So you cannot support any of your claims regarding tax. But I’m sure you will post the same debunked claims and link all over again on Craigs next post as that’s all you can do, repeat lies and rubbish claims.

KL: Accelerated depreciation brings forward the time at which investment expenses are claimed. In effect, the concession is a subsidy to the favoured investments not available to alternative investment options. Accelerated depreciation is one of the largest corporate subsidies in the tax code. It allows taxpayers to take bigger deductions, and therefore pay smaller tax bills, in the earlier years of an investment. Accelerated depreciation therefore subsidises business investments.

JP: Kaye Lee how are you doing with those links to support your claims? Haven’t got any?…thought so!

In order to maintain my sanity and reassure myself that it is possible to have rational discussion, I have returned to my safe space to ask for your opinion.

How do you argue with that?

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  1. Joseph Carli

    K’-Lee…The positives you espouse to those criothans of the right will always fall on deaf ears..It is not the job of politics to know “best” from “opportunity”…it is the job of politics to explain to their followers and whoever might want to agree the difference between : “best of” and “best for”…the latter leaning ever so predominately toward those most favourable to the party.
    No..I am not being facetious nor cynical…For even politics has its differing levels of communication..there is the “Parliamentary politics”..; the argy-bargy of wheeling and dealing with policy and cross-benchers..and there is “Street-level politics” ..where the individual politicians converse with their constituents…The former gives chance for debate and comparison..the latter is pure rhetoric…with one desired outcome..pure partisan politics…brutal, dirty even, but never open to reason or logical persuasion.
    You cannot go to such dens of political iniquity and HOPE to find honesty and intellectual discussion…just polish up those steel-caps and sink the boot in..and some..just a few..will respect you for that!

  2. Kaye Lee

    Of course you are right Joseph. But we have to get 50% of people to realise we have to get rid of certain lunatics in order for the government to be able to govern. The list is long but Kelly has to be towards the top. I am hoping I can make a few people think beyond his lies.

    On negative gearing changes which Kelly is whipping up hysteria over …..

    KL: According to Treasury, 52.6% of the tax benefits from negative gearing go to the top 20% of income earners. For capital gains tax, three quarters of the tax savings go to the top 10% of incomes. The changes would increase revenue by approximately $6 billion, give first home buyers a chance to get in the market, and promote construction of new premises for new investors. When the deductions were introduced, they skewed investment away from more productive enterprises. This is a good policy that will have beneficial effects for the majority of Australians. The top 10% don’t need any more help.

    SS: It would hit families in the middle income bracket. They’re the ones who need the negative gearing nest egg for retirement.

    KL: SS You think the need of people who own two or more homes is greater than those who own none?

  3. Nick McCarthy

    Hi Kaye,

    You are trying to have a rational argument with a group of people that believe that the only thing that has value is profit. Therefore putting public money into health, education, infrastructure, or any form of social services, ect, ect is just a waste. Unless of course public money goes to corporations that make a profit, incidentally if they pay no tax then they are clever businessmen, and the only sound social services are the ones that underpin politicians overgenerous taxpayer funded superannuation.

    I believe that Craig Kelly was a furniture salesman so you would be far better off having a discussion with him about a new ottoman rather than anything science or tax related!


  4. Kaye Lee

    Sadly that appears to be very true Nick. They have forgotten how to care for others. Protecting one’s own wealth and privilege is the most important thing it seems. How can we have a national conversation when individuals are purely focused on themselves?

  5. Joseph Carli

    This reply from “EB” ……” EB: we need labor to keep us in debt and down on our knees and millions of refugees to support who cant speak English or read and write in their own language. maybe then we will get aid from Indonesia, Malaysia, PNG etc etc.”

    You recognise ALL the slogan points from LNP propaganda…everyone of them has hit a button on that person’s control panel..and ALL of them are utter rubbish…yet there would be NO persuading them over to the left.

    I hear it from some relatives of my own..blind repetition of group-think slogans of the LNP….even when Rudd/Gillard gave the cash to their hands for the “education revolution” spending of the GFC…they took it and cursed the hand that giveth…blind idiocy where only a sad lesson of life could make them change (in secret) their vote from one side to the other..and in one case, that did one of their children, where Labor’s health policies were needed for the child and parents to afford regular attention…and I suspect (knowingly) that the mother voted the other way for her child…not the father..he was a fool..a sad fool all the same…but mothers know best in such situations.

  6. Karen Kyle

    Arguing with right wingers is a waste of time. Dunning Kruger Effect I find reading right wing web sites is useful for getting out of the bubble. If you can bear it. Some are quite good and publish worthwhile articles. Some are hair raising. My favourite is Right Wing Watch. Horrifying but often good for a laugh. .

  7. Matters Not

    Some people think that political arguments are won or lost on the basis of the facts presented but that’s not the case. Facts are a dime a dozen – almost infinite in number. It’s not a particular fact that is important but rather the meaning given to that fact. And that includes the emotion(s) aroused.

    Arguments are never resolved by just presenting the facts. Here’s two facts.

    John Howard is the second-longest serving Australian Prime Minister.

    Gough Whitlam was dismissed by the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr.

    I suspect those two straightforward facts when cited in a debate would evoke vastly different emotional reactions in different social settings.

  8. paul walter

    I suppose some of you watched Greg Sheridan and Alex Hawke on QA last night…old firm Dunning (and Freddie) Kruger at work here.

  9. Bronte ALLAN

    Great article Kaye, however I think it is near impossible to try to argue or reason with ANY of these inept, lying, climate change denier, right wing, flat earth, obscenely over-paid so-called “liberals”! NOT ONE of them can think on their own ALL toe the party lines, no matter how ridiculous or far-fetched any of their own “ideas” (do they have any?) or thoughts (do they have any?) are. Sadly, nothing “good” will happen in this country until the Labor lot are elected into Federal Parliament & (we hope) some normalcy, & conscience etc can again find the Australian parliament doing what it should always do–govern for ALL Australians, & treat ALL Australians with dignity, trust & proper concern for all Disadvantaged persons, Welfare recipients, Unemployed & Pensioners.

  10. Phil Gorman

    Brilliant as usual Kaye. How about standing as an independent?

    The Australian Spectator gives a veneer of respectability to the gross corporatist gloss.

  11. helvityni

    paul walter, watched the Q&A and disliked Alexander George Hawke the instant he opened his mouth; read some more about him and found out that he too is part of the Hillsong church… His mum’s family came here from Greece, now he’s busy protecting our borders, I don’t think he too kind towards gay students either…I stopped reading and finding more about him….

  12. terence mills

    It’s like shadow boxing with these people, the same people who argue until they are blue in the face that the subsidy going to Private Health Insurance companies is not a subsidy.

    They demanded that the automobile industry stand on its own two feet yet the direct subsidies and tariff support under the previous Labor government car plan was a mere $A5.4 billion over 13 years from 2008 to 2020, totalling about $A415 million a year. Contrast this to around $A6 billion a year to private health insurers.

    The coalition succeeded in driving the car industry out of Australia and they still look on this as an achievement of neo-Liberal economics over socialist industry support.

  13. paul walter

    Helvityni, Hawke and Sheridan, between them, spoke hundreds perhaps thousands of words and not a single one contained even a skerrick of truth, on Monday night.

    The already severe credibility gap that worsened with Simon Birmingham’s execrable performance on “Backsliders” unbelievably worsened from what had seemed already an absolute rock bottom with the efforts of Hawke, who span like a nuclear powered top on QA.

  14. Matters Not

    Rather than use words like ‘subsidy’ why not try the term used by Treasury – tax expenditures defined as:

    Tax expenditures alter the horizontal and vertical equity of the basic tax system by allowing exemptions, deductions, or credits to select groups or specific activities.


    Major tax expenditures — such as lower rates on capital gains and dividends, deductions for charitable contributions, deductions for state and local taxes, and the mortgage interest deduction — tend to benefit high-income taxpayers more than lower income groups.

    Kelly no doubt would understand that. After all he’s a an MP.

  15. Frank Smith

    These people are not capable of listening or attempting to understand rational arguments – they are totally rusted on to their illogical belief systems. As a scientist I find it very difficult to fathom out such thought processes, but I do acknowledge that they exist, even among otherwise well-educated people. I have found that little can be gained by trying to debate such people so I gave up long ago – they don’t want to listen. They are in a minority, but unfortunately they hold a powerful sway in the present Coalition Government and have a significant “base” among the population. They have in effect hijacked the capacity of anyone to govern for the people over the last 5 years and, indeed, even made life very difficult for legislators during the Gillard Government.

  16. MikeW

    Kaye Lee I rarely post a comment here because we are all in agreement, same at the Guardian. Most of my comments are on Andrew Bolts blog because I disagree with the bile, hatred, and absolute crap that he writes as do most of his commenters, lately there seem to be a lot more non right wing nut jobs getting comments posted including me, I try to research and write facts which result in few if any replies, or if there are replies they are usually insults as rwnjs don’t like facts and figures proving them wrong.
    Anyway keep up the good work.

  17. Kaye Lee


    I am looking on it as character building resilience training. I cop a lot of abuse but I am noticing the same thing – if one voice speaks up, increasingly others join in. I read an article by Julian Burnside about the hate mail he receives about his advocacy for refugees. He ignores the insults whilst trying to address the concerns of the haters. He reckoned they got better if he just persistently spoke to them in a reasonable manner. I’m not necessarily seeing it yet but I live in hope. (I’m also not as good as him at ignoring their foolishness but I am working on it)

  18. Kaye Lee

    Phil Gorman,

    A lot of people have encouraged me to run for political office and, at 2am, during conversations about saving the world after too much champagne, I have considered it. And then I wake up and realise I am almost 61. My time is far too precious to waste pretending Question Time serves any useful purpose. I would detest turning up for doorstops just to be a nodding head behind a grandstanding Minister. I don’t like dressing up and having my photo taken. I am in the contentment phase. That doesn’t mean withdrawing from the fray. I try to contribute to the debate but I get a lot more satisfaction from actually achieving things locally. In the mean time, we all keep talking in the hope we may convince enough people that our well-being, our survival, is a shared responsibility.

    PS I would happily do research and write speeches for others if it did not require leaving home. (Smile)

  19. Matters Not

    Frank Smith re:

    they don’t want to listen

    And you do? Can you honestly say that you continue to listen when an interlocutor claims, for example, that God created the world in 7 days and there will be a day of judgement … ?

    What makes your knowing or way of knowing somehow right – or at least vastly superior to theirs?

    Aren’t scientists also sceptics? Always prepared to entertain doubts? Always prepared to listen?

  20. Kaye Lee


    One of the futile lines of discussion I have been trying to encourage on CK’s page is the importance of the credibility of your sources. How far do you indulge people who continually quote people like Milo Yiannopolous and Christopher Monckton? Or who quote a mortgage broker’s opinion about Labor’s negative gearing changes? There are some times when the crap you are being served up goes beyond scepticism.

  21. Matters Not

    KL, over the years I spent considerable time watching, listening et al to good politicians (pejoratively speaking) and rule number one was always to agree with everyone, if it was at all possible and it always was – when there were no witnesses.

    When you go to CK’s site you are now an offensive interloper. There, your reputation (established over time) is your death knell. Think what happens re visitors on this site. Upset the common sense and the regulars automatically go into attack mode. Logic means nothing. etc.

    As an experiment, develop a new persona – one who enters the site with complimentary comments re one of the apparent power players – get accepted and then proceed to re-educate from there. But very, very SLOWLY.

    See what it’s like to be … political

  22. Diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    You have the patience of, um, a very patient person (I am rather sceptical of saints).

    On the “tax concession/break” versus “subsidies” deliberate slide into semantics … if the government is paying out our money to the fossil fuel industry what is the point of their (CK & co) argument?

    And WTF is so important about your age? As in the inference, “you must be so young as to not have any credibility”.

    Age is no more an indicator of knowledge than gender.

    You are influencing people, be certain of that, Kaye Lee, people who for good reason do not comment but can see very clearly.

  23. Matters Not


    if the government is paying out our money

    Rest assured, the government is paying out government money – legally acquired. Sometimes directly. Sometimes through tax expenditures.

    If in doubt, check your bank account

  24. Miriam English

    Kaye, some time back I read a very interesting article by a guy who was talking about how he discusses things with people who disagree. He said he doesn’t formulate his responses for those slinging insults; he phrases his replies for all the silent people looking on. He figures that people reading an exchange can see the ones making fools of themselves and contrast them with him if he stays calm and makes sense. It’s really hard to do, but is a nice technique for detaching yourself from the bump and jostle of such discussions. Just try to remember that you’re really addressing the silent audience, not the loudmouths.

    Whenever Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins are asked why they bother arguing for rationality against fundamentalists who will likely never change, they often point out that they receive many letters from ex-religious people thanking them for helping them free themselves from religion. It can seem like bigots never listen — and of course, many really are completely closed and beyond reach — but some are prompted to question their preconceptions and look up the facts. (Matters Not has a slight problem with definitions; he confuses fact and opinion.)

  25. Kaye Lee


    I don’t want to be political. I want to be truthful. But I do understand that to achieve anything you have to try to convince others to agree on the best course of action and that is often done by conceding points to them first. I did debating. I know the techniques. My patience is perhaps more the test.


    My aim is to inform rather than influence. Which exposes my naive belief that truth is what matters.

  26. Kaye Lee


    It’s funny. Commenting on CK’s page I have felt like those young years when I would be the first person on the dance floor. Others join in the questioning if you break the ice and they know they won’t be alone.

  27. mick

    kaye lee,, i think it’s called idealism.. i’m obviously and idealist.. Australia has a rich history.. and there is The Australian Labor party to thank for that.. pension scheme with prime minister Chifley.. from the wikipedia..Some of Chifley’s more interventionist economic policies were poorly received by the general public, particularly an attempt to nationalise private banks.These included the expansion of the welfare state, a large-scale immigration program, and the establishment of the Australian National University, ASIO, and the Snowy Mountains Scheme. This egalitarian altruistic policies are considered socialism.. today it is no different. to like the days of Jack lang.. By 1931 it had become obvious that “capitalism” had – as a system – failed miserably. It either had to be modified or replaced. The Establishment responded to the slump with plans for “austerity”. In 1930 Sir Otto Niemeyer from the Bank of England visited Australia to “advise” governments to implement a” “deflationary” policy. Niemeyer contended that wages must be “depressed” (i.e. cut) to make our exports more competitive and to raise profits. According to Niemeyer (in a language we still hear nowadays) our living standards were “artificial in nature” and trade was the secret to “recovery”. Indeed, “international trade” was supposedly at the root of the Depression. Niemeyer advised savage cuts in all existing social services. But more significantly Niemeyer demanded that Australia not default on her international loan obligations to Britain. With pressure tactics and careful diplomacy Niemeyer sold his sorcery to Australian state and federal politicians. They called it the Melbourne Agreement of August 1930.
    Labor in the time of the GFC used stimulus packages to save Australia from the recession.. while the neo liberals.. are at it with Austerity measures.. privatization and sell the profitable components of the government services.. telecomm is an example as is medicare. You don’t have to believe me… that’s right i’m a commie.. ad hominem.. Professor and noble prize winner stiglitz spells it out at a Unsw conference. Bourdieu, Peetz (griffith uni GC), standing are just a few that point out the reality.. not some neo liberalist wet dream of utopia.. so the Answer is complicated,, but the truth is simple..

  28. Miriam English

    Kaye, you have probably heard of Solomon Asch’s research on conformity and peer pressure in which a subject was shown 3 lines, then shown another line and asked which of the 3 lines was the same length as this 4th line. The catch was that the test subject was asked only after several confederates of the experimenter, pretending to be test subjects, all gave the wrong answer. Out of 12 trials 75% of test subjects gave the wrong answer at least once. A large minority (32%) of answers overall conformed with the wrong majority. In the control group without the pressure of conformity only 1% of answers were wrong. This is the amazing power of conformity. It doesn’t affect all people, but does affect the great majority, distorting their judgement.

    I think this is why the propaganda technique of “repeat a lie often and people will believe it” works — each repeat is unconsciously counted as another instance. This might also be why authoritarians unwisely crack down on dissent so strongly — they feel the need to control the narrative, even though it destroys their self-corrective feedback and always ends up collapsing itself as it drifts further and further away from reality.

    Even more interesting was when the experimenter included just one dissenting voice among the fake test subjects. Then almost all people tested were freed from peer pressure and were able to believe their own eyes, with only 5% conforming to the majority.

    You are making a difference, even if you can’t see it, just by being a voice for reality.

  29. Joseph Carli

    I too see myself as an ‘educator’…and with a sense of humbleness not unfamiliar to yours truly, I too have had suggested to me that I go into politics…well…really…it was more of an accusation than a suggestion…but the epithets that accompanied the comment gave serious intent to the writer’s OTHER suggestions as well…but I, likewise have to decline…as I remarked to the person above..I am too ugly and have lived a “too colourful” life for the average punter to accommodate in a established party portfolio….mind you, there IS Bob Katter as example…so..??

  30. Stephengb

    Kaye Lee, you always have something to say, which makes absolute sense to me, thank you.

    I am not a well educated man, but I do not believe I am unintelligent. I read most articles published on AIMN and also the comments that people make after the articles.

    I have indeed taken heart in the knowledge that there are people who think similar to me,

    S G B

  31. Kaye Lee


    Life is an ongoing education. Formal schooling is a very small part of that. Stuff changes anyway (look at an atlas from the 1960s). We have to keep up as best we can by reading and sharing information with each other. The comments section is the best part of the AIMN.

  32. DrakeN

    I like the expression: “Everyday is a School day”.

    I feel seriously deprived if a day goes by without someone and/or some occurrence teaching me something.

  33. Kaye Lee

    My dad always used to say every experience in life, good or bad, teaches us something.

  34. Diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    I understand your intent is to inform with facts, leaving the reader to make up their own mind, which may well influence?


  35. Kaye Lee


    My facts over at CK’s page seem to influence people to abuse me….but as MN would be quick to point out, one man’s fact is another man’s leftard alarmist world conspiracy in which climate scientists, Jewish bankers and the UN are in cahoots to kill your pets and bring an end to sausage sizzles.

  36. Joseph Carli

    Yes..I like to think the everyone and every situation can contribute to one’s education..and I offer this little example to illustrate that noble principle…:

    “Static Electricity”.

    I hope I have not given the impression that the only intellectual activity in the front bar of the Seacliff Hotel was “bending the elbow”…and getting inebriated?….I would like to assert that, like many front bars dotted about this great country, a good deal of instructive and philosophical comment was conducted on any given night of the week in that establishment…I would like to assert that..I really would….why, it would not surprise me in the least that the great discovery of the healing mould from which Florey extracted penicillin was not in a Petri-dish in his sterile laboratory, but rather scraped from the underside of a drinks-coaster surreptitiously slipped into his hip pocket by the very same Florey from down the local hostelry.

    The front-bar of “The Cliff” had it’s own level of curious and investigative clientele right there on the spot…amazing revelation was not a stranger to that den of iniquity…there were things….strange things.. For instance, there was the night of Mick’s discovery of anti-gravity. It happened like this..:

    Mick, in the middle of a discussion group debating the case of whether the Morris Minor 850. was the better than the Datsun 120Y. in both acceleration and cornering capability, suddenly felt the urge for “ablution”, excused himself with a polite “gotta have a leak” and made for the men’s toilet there just behind them…taking his pint-glass of beer with him because he was too lazy to place it on the busy bar, he alone, fronted the porcelain…the old ceramic urinal was in the corner, and as every male knows, you have to go to the least exposure risk place while “shaking hands with your first lover”…there, while doing his business, Mick leaned with his pint glass held pressed into the corner of the walls..the plaster there being softened from years of warmth and steamy moisture had become somewhat softer, so when Mick leaned his weight against the pint-glass pressed into the corner the plaster “gave” a tad so that the glass became “wedged” into the least, that is what a “novice” like myself would have concluded..A curious and investigative mind such as Mick’s concluded differently. When he zipped up and pulled away from the urinal and the wall, the glass stayed there, suspended, unaided by anything visible to the naked eye…almost like anti-gravity!….Now, Mick was already given to occult-like sympathies..”the paranormal” was normal to Mick…to inform that he once gaily announced to his mate ; Mark that when he and Tracey have a child they will call HIM “Andromeda”..well?

    “Have a look at this!” Mick announced loudly from the door of the men’s toilet..indeed, there was hesitation…then as the obvious faded and curiosity took over the crowd surged toward the doorway…there being room only for a small number to enter, the crowding was extreme, the interest also…the general hubbub of opinion on “what was the power?” suspending the pint-glass of beer mid-wall, mid-air as the case may be was discussed…many worthy theories were put forward and rejected with equal intelligence…until, in a moments pause in the hubbub, the high, falsetto voice of Jeff Otto sang above the crowd…

    “Static electricity”….

    There was a gasp of wonder at the obvious simplistic truth of this explanation that solved the puzzle and the crowd, in accepting the obvious resolution quickly drifted back to their previous conversations at the bar.

    And throughout the rest of the night, in those curious hushes that every now and then descend upon crowd chatter, Jeff Otto’s attractive falsetto could be heard to pronounce in a now more confident assertion…

    “Yep!…that’s what it was…static electricity..simple, when you think on it !”

  37. Diannaart

    Kaye Lee

    Sure, your facts press the buttons of the most egregious and I know exactly how you feel, having taken the occasional dip into the waters of the terminally self righteous. One such blog was in Texas, where I argued against capital punishment – did not go well, as you would expect, in fact I was dumped almost immediately. Seems they had some kind of filter for limp lefties. Although I did manage to get in a comment to one woman, asking her how Jesus would feel about innocents being executed. On the ubiquitous YouTube, when arguing against violence, I have been threatened with anatomically descriptive rape, yeah, that’ll learn me. So it goes.

    You’re doing good, just remember to take a break, that the poo-tossers really are the minority, a noisome obvious minority. Some people are incapable of learning, especially when they believe they are (self-proclaimed) “educators”; uppity women, in particular, jest git their heckles bristlin’.


  38. Vikingduk

    You could ask the Kelly thing why he is such a slovenly slacker when it comes to updating his freebie register. Not bothered to update register since September 2016 despite at least 2 os trips funded by a foreign government and a coal lobby group.

    April — travels Azerbaijan, state-sponsored visit, second time, to observe its presidential election.

    July — Japan, all expenses paid, by the mineral council of Australia’s COAL21 fund. This little jaunt included “business class return airfares, accommodation, transfer and hospitality.

    The Kelly thing sez: “some miscommunication” by his office, but, amazingly, when contacted by SMH, he has rectified the record.

    One of many who haven’t bothered and because this process seems to have very little/no oversight, it seems they only bother to update the register when contacted by an intrepid journo.

  39. Julianne

    Ultimately this all gets back to Money and Capital. While Capital own our Government via the Lobby Groups and their funding of our political parties, media and Independents – the stock exchange and the stockholders have become more important than the electorate. All economic and political decisions are made to benefit Capital only. After paying for the LNP these Lobbyists expect their “pound of flesh” – Corporate Welfare. The Federal deficit has been channeled to paying off this debt. The size of the deficit demonstrates just how much money hasn’t been taken back in tax from these Corporations and wealthy people. Social Welfare is cut.

    So people like those who follow the LNP have vested interest in calling out “the warriors of facts” as liars. It’s the old case of “he who shouts loudest”. To these people money is like heroin. Enough is NEVER enough and Capital must be protected. You can’t talk sense to them without revealing this corruption of our Representative Govt.

    Until the system of Lobby groups financing Political parties is completely weeded out of our Govt, at ALL levels – the people of Australia will run second to the Corporations who buy up these parties and Independents – and then require their “pound of flesh”…… It is no longer a Representative Govt – it is a Kleptocracy – and we are its victims.

    Labor is tainted as well. We all have fears of the failure of the left. Why? Because most of us realise that Capital has shares in Labor too. Lots of smoke screens – but Capital IS there. Even Communism has been suborned….. There is no greater evil than Capital in Govt.

  40. totaram

    As Vikingduk’s post proves, the man is just a paid shill. I would suspect that the people who rush to his defence when his posts are challenged, are also paid supporters. So, there is no chance you can convince them of anything. However, if there are persons who read these exchanges, they may yet benefit by reading Kaye Lee’s fact-filled challenges.

    I could suggest a concentrated attack by many like-minded persons on the same Craig Kelly page, over a period of some weeks. Many posters backing each other up makes the job easier. This is sure to at least trouble him sufficiently, to take some action , like toning down his posts or blocking people. That would tell you you have had some effect. The gang could then move on to another target such as the fascist ex-general, Jim Molan perhaps. Just some thoughts.

  41. corvus boreus

    Apparently, Tuesday before last, enough Labor and crossbench senators voted in support of a Greens motion proposing a federal anti-corruption commission to enable the passing of the motion.
    I gather this now enables the proposal to be tabled before the HoR, which should help tighten the thumbscrews.
    Encouragingly, Bill Shorten is starting to display some stiffening of spine and growth of gonads.
    A positive development.

  42. Miriam English

    Wow! That’s encouraging news. Thanks Corvus.

    Incidentally, here is Larissa Waters’ passionate speech imploring them to vote to limit big money in government:

  43. Kronomex

    Holy crap!

    “A cornerstone of these changes, digital ID, will be rolled out after trials and Mr Keenan has vowed it won’t become another version of the “Australia Card” creating an identity document for Australians or pooling their personal information. He promised the government’s roadmap for reform would protect privacy.”

    Noo, of course it has nothing to with the “Straya Card” it just so happens to be the digital version, which is completely different and far more dangerous.The bullshit level for the above is neck deep and rising. Whenever the bloody LNP mentions the words “protect” and “privacy” we know it’s a massive steaming pile of faeces. The Democratic Republic of Australia takes another step towards closer.

  44. Diannaart

    News break:

    Just in from Mad As Hell, Tony Abbott’s shrink confirms Abbott’s PM’s envy… penis envy? Well that too.

    Can’t argue with that.

  45. Matters Not

    cb, Shorten’s ( supposed) political stiffening does not extend to donation transparency in real time (like we have in Queensland).

    Voters will be left in the dark about who donated to the major political parties ahead of the next federal election, after Labor and the Coalition united to reject legislative changes being pushed by the crossbench


    Under current federal laws, voters have to wait months to find out who donated more than $13,000 to the parties, but if the amendments had passed, the public would have gone into the next federal election with more information about political party funding than ever before.

    The Greens also failed to pass amendments that would see all political donations above $1,000 declared, meaning anything less than $13,000 will remain anonymous.

    Clearly there’s something to hide. Perhaps the odd inconvenient truth. All the more reason to give The Greens your first preference. (When will Labor learn that they are being watched.)

  46. Matters Not

    Yes paul walter. Seems to me that too many illegal (and immoral) activities proceed without legal penalties.

    At a deeper and much more significant level we have Trump who constructs a reality (we all do it) that resonates with so many Americans (latest polls suggest at least 40%.)

    The joys of democracy.

  47. paul walter

    MN, it appears that all major political formations do the politics of appearance in preference to the politics of substance and issues and we poor, increasingly disempowered and brainwashed mugs vote for a choice of illusions.

    Nothing makes me sick.

  48. Anthony Andrews

    Kaye Lee, for someone like yourself, who sees what’s happening around you and has the skills to present a counter narrative, the question should be “how can you not argue against that”.

    In this age of the salesman politician’s rise to domination over the collective agenda, people who can prove that the ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ and ‘no money down deal of the century’ style of political argument is offering nothing of any lasting value, are way more important to all of us then having a high GDP or saving to buy a house.

    As you definitely know, the collective has many voices and they are all equally important. When someone (such as Mr Kelly) believes that their personal vision for us allows them to force their individual will on us all, every other individual with the training or ability within the collective has an obligation to the rest of us to provide balance, with whatever means they can.
    Countering extremism is everyone’s responsibility and anyone that thinks they are entitled to make the decisions for all of us based on their own personal, philosophical or religious views, are extremists and unqualified to lead a collective.

    Personally, I believe that if you don’t waste a bit of your time educating the uneducatable and the cognitive dissonant, then the politically unaware that find themselves on those pages have no food for thought that actually provides sustenance. Just a feast of words with nothing to digest.

    Obviously, I get blocked often and not just from pages of the right either;)

  49. Diannaart


    If you manage to piss-off everyone some of the time, you are probably doing something right.

  50. totaram

    While Craig Kelly continues to spout his propaganda,

    “BREAKING: In a world first, the Government of Vanuatu has just announced plans to take legal action against big polluting companies, and the governments that enable them, for their role in causing catastrophic climate change. ”

    So Peter Dutton’s joke about “water lapping at their feet” should now fall very flat indeed!

  51. Ingrid Srubjan

    Hi Kaye. I love your work (which usually comes via Michael Taylor). I don’t think people are really going to listen to reason until their lives are more severely impacted by climate change. I contribute as moderator in a science based international group Global Warming Fact of the Day which educates and connects around the latest science. It’s an uphill struggle but I think most of us agree the planet is trying to tell us something and that the fossil fuel lobby is behind the resistance. I think humans perceive they are under threat in varying degrees of clarity and are reacting as humans do. What’s clearest is that we don’t have endless time to clean up our act. Please keep up your wonderful journalism. I live in the country and would be lost without social media.

  52. Anthony Andrews

    Cheers Diannart. I’m constantly amazed at how easy it is to piss everybody off… even people that agree with you.

  53. Diannaart

    Many people are on hair triggers. Which can be entertaining for a while …

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