Tag Archives: Watermelon Blog

Why I can’t write anything today

26 Oct

Bellagio Hotel and fountains

I knew I was heading for trouble when yesterday I said goodnight to my iPhone. I’m only mentioning this because my entire household threatened to leave comments on Sheep about it and I want to get in first.

Then at midnight, there were really scary thunderstorms. The whole house lit up with forked lightning and big noise. The Dog is terrified of thunderstorms and has to be talked through these events. For some reason it’s always me who ends up talking him through it, while everybody else cowers under their doonas.

But last night Mrs Chook appeared, all wrapped up in the luxurious white cotton robe she bought at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas a few years ago. She manifested in the doorway, momentarily illuminated by nature’s theatrics. I glimpsed her for one terrifying instant and then there was the thunder and then there was the darkness. I screamed and leapt out of bed, treading on the Dog who was cowering beside it. The dog howled and tried to get up, with his bad back leg hampering his progress. I fell and hit my head hard on the corner of the wardrobe. Then I cried. It was shambolic. I’m exhausted. I’ve had no sleep. There’s a big egg on my forehead. I’m sick of everybody and I need to find some new friends.

Re the cotton robe: these are supplied in the rooms at this hedonistic hotel. Some people wear them down to the pool. Mrs Chook fell in love with hers and expressed an intention to nick it. I yelled about that, seeing as it was my credit card being used to pay the bill, and she was shamed into going down to the lobby shop and buying her own.

Mrs Chook also insisted on wearing hers down to the pool, so I insisted on taking a later elevator so I wouldn’t be seen with her.

It’s my intention to write something serious later in the day, but first I have to go to my aerobics class, have coffee with a few people, and get iOS 5 on the iPhone so I can get into the iCloud, which is where I really want to be today.

In the meantime, New Matilda has this on how Chris Bowen lied about Malaysia.

And there’s always something interesting over at the Watermelon Blog, where David Horton gives an account of his latest contest with seabirds on Twitter.

And you have to read this in Slate about how Occupy Wall St is framed as an anti semitic movement.

See you later.

PS I just realised this is a post about nothing and I subconsciously stole that idea from Jerry Seinfeld. I hope this acknowledgment will forestall any litigation.

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Abbott determines government’s asylum seeker policy and Cabinet’s in a leaky boat.

16 Oct

Is this the face of the next Prime Minister?

Somewhere in the never-ending and increasingly despicable contest between the government and the opposition over asylum seekers and on-shore processing, the human beings around whom this furore rages ceased to matter altogether.

If you doubt that statement have a look at this article by Peter Hartcher in Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald. Hartcher unpacks the politics that led to the Gillard government withdrawing its proposed Migration Act amendments last week and defaulting to on-shore processing, at least for the forseeable future.

Every aspect under discussion in Cabinet revolves around what Abbott might or might not do in reaction. And who’s the plank that said Bob Brown’s the real PM?

It’s patently clear that Tony Abbott is running this part of the show. The government reveals itself to be incapable of making any decision at all about boat arrivals without first considering what Abbott might do in response. There’s no mention of how best to design a policy that will prevent asylum seekers drowning, an endlessly cited core concern that actually looks as if it’s just trotted out for the media by both parties with the intention of applying a veneer of humanitarian concern to their self-interest.

That fake concern also has the added benefit of supplying ammunition for both sides to sneer at their opposition: “Don’t you care about what happened at Christmas Island,” followed by “Wanna see that happen again do ya, what are ya then?”

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen came up with the option of extending the Malaysian “solution” to include PNG and Nauru. This would give Abbott what he wants and cut his arguments off at the knees, Bowen claimed. If Abbott continues to protest, Bowen argues, he’ll be shown up for the malicious nay saying blood-oathing troll that he is.

Plus, argued Bowen,  if an extended Malaysia “solution” acted as a deterrent to boat arrivals we could up our humanitarian intake, thus making application through the proper channels more appealing to asylum seekers than getting on a leaky boat. Bowen seems to think that would work, without going into details about where our increased humanitarian intake is to be sourced. It could well pass boat arrivals right by, and there’d still be people taking dangerous journeys because they still can’t apply for a life here any other way.

But, but, Greg Combet spluttered, not Nauru! There’s some 10 years of TV footage of Julia Gillard bagging Nauru! Imagine what would happen if Abbott decided to trot a few years worth of that out, especially considering what Abbott’s done with footage of Gillard declaring there’ll be no carbon tax on her watch!  Ooooh Aaaah! It doesn’t bear imagining!

At the end of the day Gillard herself decided Nauru was off the table, presumably not wanting to look as if she doesn’t know what she’s doing on this issue yet another time because Abbott will slaughter her with it yet another time.

See? I told you. All about Abbott. Human beings? What are they and why are they relevant? Please stay on topic, we’ve got a lot to get through before Abbott starts up again.

Because of this politicking we may end up with decent on-shore processing options that are some way to the left of the options the Gillard government has been so rabidly pursuing, so for this Tony Abbott, much thanks. However, if Abbott wins the next election of course he will do a great big dismantling of everything, and having crawled laboriously up the ladder to comparative decency we’ll again be thrust back down amongst the venomous snakes of fear, self-interest, and xenophobia.

Now I ask you Mr Abbott, catholic ex-seminarian, what would Jesus do about asylum seekers? Turn back the boats? Indefinitely imprison them and their children?

At least Julia Gillard doesn’t pretend to have Christian values, well, mostly she doesn’t, only when the Australian Christian Lobby makes her.

Then there’s the curious question of who in Cabinet is leaking like an Indonesian fishing boat and why?

For another good read on the current parlous state of our political affairs as constructed by the media have a look at this piece  over at the Watermelon Blog:  Time to start again, and the whole cycle is repeated with new leader, the political party discovering, belatedly, that changing leader doesn’t stop instability (a media creation in fact), the instability having nothing to do with who the actual leader is, but merely being the signal for the media to begin a new round of destabilisation, writes David Horton.

Mentioning the war – on the Watermelon Blog

26 Jun
WikiWorld comic based on the articles "Go...

Image via Wikipedia

Have a read of Mentioning the war on the Watermelon Blog. David Horton reclaims THAT word from the climate change deniers who call Godwin’s Law!

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