Friday Siesta at the Cafe (Roo gets fed to Qatar edition)

dead roo near beach

Image by jessamyn via Flickr

What a bummer for soccer fans in Australia…no World Cup.

No rushing around building mega-stadiums with a 2022 deadline. No further debt added to the bottom line.

Tho, it seems forty-five million dollars went down the gurgler (unless ya call paying well-off soccer consultants, advertisers, hoteliers & transport companies a good investment…at least our Governor-General got another opportunity to demonstrate on the world stage that we are not a republic)…money that could’ve been used to pump up the game in local schools, promote the sport Australia-wide…and maintain existing stadiums where soccer is played.

I guess it can be argued tho that if we had won the bid then that in itself would’ve been a real motivation for young people to get involved. There’s nothing like the prospect of attending a sporting event with a cyclone of corporate advertising to get the wee ones off the couch, away from the computers, and eating healthy food instead of cheese-encrusted pizza boxes & Big Sloppy Macs. Hmmm.   

Instead, we get humiliated. ONE FREAKIN’ VOTE. I think we need a pretty octopus.

Pays to be part of the wealthy & influential Gulf States these days…or to have a big population, like Russia.

Fortunately, Frank Lowy can console himself with his money & property empire…and we can feel better knowing that the Poms lost their 2018 bid…and get back to taking out our frustrations on each other by way of The Ashes.

Besides, the UK is hosting The Olympics. How much can one BROKE BRITAIN afford? I guess it would’ve kept those long-term unemployed public servants enthused & distracted.

I’m not overly disappointed, even though I enjoy the World Cup and coached a soccer team as a secondary teacher…I reckon that in these wobbly economic times it’s better to focus on music, art, museums & other sporting events that bring in crowds but not massive debt…nor football/soccer stadiums that sit virtually empty post-World Cup…as is the case with South Africa, as mentioned by University of Melbourne Professor, Richard Tomlinson, on ABC Breakfast this morn.

Anyway, it should be fun travelling to the corporate mafia state of Russia in 2018…I wonder if at the opening ceremony Vladimir Putin, stripped to the waist, will enter the stadium atop a giant Gazprom ball…rolled by Dmitry Medvedev, arms & shoulders bulging from 8 years of lifting Russia’s oligarchs?

Just kidding Vladimir.  

And at least Qatar will be launching a sports event, rather than an invasion of its neighbours.

 Provided of course that Iran behaves itself…and the Saudis, UAE & Israel don’t get itchy fingers.

Tho, the liberation of Iran could be all over by 2022. This is a great motivation. Clean the decks for a corporate event. These places are getting billions & billions of dollars of weapons from the USA & other allies…more than enough to sort out their own problems.

But of course we can’t rule out Jeb Bush & Sarah Palin wanting to ride a few mini-nukes into Iran…leaving Qatar in a state of turmoil – not a nice place to visit, and I sure wouldn’t want to live there scenario- anything is possible in this loopy, volatile world we live in.

Hopefully, the buildup to the Qatar games will go peacefully…and most of those who signed the Project for the New American Century will have either departed this life or become as influential as Britney Spears…and the top Iranian kooks have accidentally blown themselves & their power sky high. That should also make Frank Lowy smile.

Other positives: Qatar might accept compulsory International Court of Justice jurisdiction…and become a cooler country all up, influencing other Arab, Muslim states.

And the USA will ratify the New START treaty because they won’t want to miss out on a chance to kick Russian butt in soccer on Russian turf.  🙂

TGIF…over to you…chat about whatever comes to mind. That might include the topic “Does manning-up mean all we blokes should now walk around topless, bearing arms, flex our biceps as oft as possible, hunt all other specious with a serious frown, watch kickboxing films, stroke tigers and grab our package with a nod of appreciation whenever we feel so inclined?

I’m flexing right now…but I don’t think they’re referring to the gut.

N’

71 comments on “Friday Siesta at the Cafe (Roo gets fed to Qatar edition)

  1. I must admit that I feel much the same as you Nas’ about the squillions of $s going on commercial sport while kids teams struggle for basic equipment. Eldest was Victorian gymnastics champion on the beam and there was zilch by the way of sponsorship but rather mums were reduced to having cake stalls to be able to afford team uniforms.

  2. How could they spend ten million let alone fifty million dollars on flying a few people to the FIFA venue and a short promotional film?

  3. “Eldest was Victorian gymnastics champion on the beam and there was zilch by the way of sponsorship but rather mums were reduced to having cake stalls to be able to afford team uniforms.”

    Ain’t it too oft the way Min? What would the kids do w/out those cake stalls etc? So many volunteers out there who get little credit like yer good self.

    Annoys me that these super rich schools are squealin’ about the MySchool site.

    Do the little people ever get a break from it? Rich people squealin’…and riggin’ the system?

    N’

  4. “How could they spend ten million let alone fifty million dollars on flying a few people to the FIFA venue and a short promotional film?”

    Patricia, give us that money & we’ll build us a media empire. 🙂

    Gawd knows where the money goes eh? Bleedin’ blackhole.

    N’

  5. Apparently Leigh Sales & Chris Uhlmann will be co-hosting the 7:30 Report next year.

    Will be sad to see Kerry O’Brien go…but he departs w/ a great reputation…really made the show a “must see” over the years.

    I’m pleased they picked Leigh…I enjoy her work on Lateline. Chris is a bit more balanced now than earlier in the year.

    Should be worth watching…provided Leigh gets quality time.

    I feel sorry for Tracy Bowden tho, I thought she had the job…she’s done a superb job the past few weeks. Will miss her. Hope she gets another plumb ABC post.

    Link here:

    7.30 Report loses one host, gets two

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/media-matters/730-report-loses-one-host-gets-two/20101203-18iv9.html

    N’

  6. And using public money to finance private education is another of my bugbears. What happened to the Liberal Party’s mantra of user-pays?

    I believe that this doesn’t happen in the US as their Constitution specifies separation of church and state.

  7. Must admit I wad unfazed at missing out on the World Cup, even tho the media has had me believing for a few weeks now that it was all wrapped up.

    I’m more interested in which wines I should buy now that will be good drinking in 2023.

    I’m also interested in what the world will be like in 2022. Last night I heard a young scientist predict that his generation will either be humanity’s last, or the ones that will ensure immortality for the human race.

    Our future rests with them. We need to show them the way.

  8. An Aboriginal activist seeking to establish a political party for Australia’s native people Thursday said he hoped to give the country’s disadvantaged “first people” a voice.

    Indigenous rights campaigner Maurie Ryan has applied to have the “First Nations” party registered with Australia’s electoral commission to address what he feels is a lack of real advocacy for the country’s native tribes.

    More here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101202/wl_asia_afp/australiapoliticsnative

  9. “Last night I heard a young scientist predict that his generation will either be humanity’s last, it the ones that will ensure immortality for the human race.”

    Well if he finds the immortality drug, call me. 🙂

    Migs, I think humanity will last along time on this planet…we’ll be like those painful, grumpy old men who constantly think they’re dyin’ & talk about it non-stop…but outlast their poor, sufferin’ wives.

    The rest of the species will be the poor, long sufferin’ wives.

    N’

  10. “I think the Russians made FIFA an offer they couldn’t refuse.”

    Indeed.

    “Hey FIFA, you’re staarting to lookk very yournalist looking to me”.

    N’

  11. Up to business to raise workplace law worries, ‘pragmatic’ Tony Abbott says (Warning: it is The Australian and constant exposure has been known to cause brain damage & racism)

    Anyone else getting the idea Tony is hinting that the business lobbyists need to give him some cover (and funds) before he’ll retry WorkChoices?

    Look guys, I want to help you but the public really doesn’t want it. Let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about how much you’ll give me to give it another shot…

  12. Couldn’t agree more Ben.

    I think it would take Abbott 2-3 terms to bring back most of WorkChoices w/ the aid of his corporate allies includin’ media. And a less Green balance of power senate.

    But he surely would.

    But only one-two terms to screw the economy up. And make us feel like we’re livin’ in a social Dark Ages.

    The idea of all those mornin’ bike rides shown on tele ad nauseum would also turn this stomach…and millions of others.

    And if the ABC ain’t RIGHT enuff already.

    N’

  13. Miglo,
    Bingo! That’s my son you’re talking about there! All the time with the “I’m going to invent a way to live forever! Just for you mum!”…As mum creaks aroound with her arthritis and failing eyesight…but brain still goin’ OK(till tomorrow when the dementia starts kickin’ in…). And when I say this, and this is the bit that belies the fact that he has been watching too much Futurama, he says, “Well, I’ll only really need your brain, the rest of you will be a new body, or you can just have your brain in a jar to talk to me. At least you’ll still be alive!” To which I reply, “Thanks, but no thanks, sweetie. I think about 80-100 years will do me just fine. I really don’t want to be around forever and be forced to watch all those irritating conservatives, with their ‘holier than thou’ Master Race ideas trying to dominate the scene.”
    He still wants to be a Biophysicist/Nanotechnologist and Australia’s First President, though. Bless. 🙂

  14. Nas,
    The Cons are puffed up with their success over the Mining Tax. All it took to get the govt to cave was a well-targeted ad campaign, aimed at the heartstrings and the pursestrings of ‘the mob’, and they were home free.
    I don’t think it’ll be as easy to ressurect WorkChoices, tho.
    ‘Whatever the name, never again!’ Especially with Ged Kearney at the helm of the ACTU. No amount of, “We JUST want to change the ‘Unfair Dismissal’ Laws for small business” is going to cut it. I think most people are hip to the jive that that is just the tip of a very big wedge, no matter how much ‘productivity improvement’ lipstick they try to put on that pig.
    Anyway, my argument always has been, why should small business be able to dismiss employees out of hand?

  15. nas,
    Just be thankful we don’t live in Victoria and have to put up with footage up the jacksie of Ted Baillieu doing pushups in his Budgie Smugglers after his daily swim.

  16. Feral the anti-mining tax campaign had one other big factor in their favour, the unions were onside with the mining companies, that won’t be the case with WorkChoices Mk(whatever).

  17. Mobius Ecko,
    Rilly? The Unions were onside with the Miners? Did they seriously believe that the Miners would put more money in the workers’ pockets if they didn’t have to pay a Mining Tax?

  18. ‘Up to business to raise workplace laws worries’?
    But it’s business that IS the worry about workplace laws.

  19. OK not all unions but they certainly were not united in their stance for the mining tax, though I guess since the MUA, which is the union most involved in mining, was on the side of the Henry review in full. Still they didn’t go against the mining company lobbyists to the same extent they went against the business lobbies regarding WorkChoices.

  20. The CFMEU did put together this great advert tho’, plus of course the anti WorkChoices campaign through necessity went on for a lot longer.

  21. Good morning Hillbilly.

    You have been writing some brilliant pieces over at TPS and I’m sorry that I haven’t had the time lately to engage in them. But I do read them, and it’s good to see the number of Café people that are now visiting TPS.

  22. Miglo,
    Thanks for reading my work, and for your approval of it. 🙂
    All I hope is that the forces of darkness, i.e. Tony Abbott & Co. read it to and realise we are onto them bigtime. Bunch of silver-tongued shonks that they are. 😦

  23. “Just be thankful we don’t live in Victoria and have to put up with footage up the jacksie of Ted Baillieu doing pushups in his Budgie Smugglers after his daily swim.”

    Gawd forbid! Feral. 🙂

    I’m still waitin’ for Abbott & Bishop to put out their version of this song:

  24. Too true, Hillbilly. When Howard was PM, every time I’d drive past the Lodge I’d give him the finger, hoping that he always saw it and eventually thinking that I had a point.

  25. Sad days indeed. And worrying.

    Conservatives obviously prefer irrational, fear-mongerin’, rich dick commentators to inspire, inform & lead them:

    The Republican base’s favorite pundits

    By Alex Pareene at Salon.com

    Republican opinion outfit ConservativeHome polled 1,152 Republican activists (according to “YouGuv America”) on their favorite conservative pundits. The results: mostly unsurprising. Rush Limbaugh is No. 1 and Glenn Beck is No. 2. Republican activists love being angry and scared, and getting lied to.

    The only newspaper columnists Republican activists actually like are George Will, at No. 10, and human smarm machine Charles Krauthammer, all the way at No. 3, thanks in large part (I assume) to his frequent appearances on Fox and the fact that he has a professional wrestling stage name. (There is also Ann Coulter at No. 9, but she’s more of a mascot than a columnist.)

    The winners, in order:

    Rush Limbaugh: 41 percent
    Glenn Beck: 33 percent
    Charles Krauthammer: 29 percent
    Bill O’Reilly: 24 percent
    Sean Hannity: 21 percent
    Newt Gingrich: 16 percent
    Michelle Malkin: 16 percent
    Mike Huckabee: 13 percent
    Ann Coulter: 13 percent
    George Will: 13 percent

    It must kill Ann that she’s tied with boring old George Will. It looks like “evil” still barely beats out “crazy,” too, with Rush beating Beck. And angry trumps stupid, with O’Reilly beating Hannity.

    The authors of the survey are slightly dismayed by the news that GOP activists enjoy frothing rage and hysterical conspiracy theories more than coherent arguments. “Worryingly, columnists often regarded as among the most thoughtful conservatives did not fare well.” Three people voted for David Frum and 35 people voted for Peggy Noonan.

    And what are the GOP’s favorite pundits up to, lately? Rush is dialing up the racial rhetoric and attacking American Indians. Glenn Beck is still flagrantly ripping off his worshipful followers. Krauthammer would like us to act a bit more like the KGB and assassinate Julian Assange. Bill O’Reilly is attacking Andy Griffith. Ann Coulter just wrote an astoundingly homophobic column.

    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/rush_limbaugh/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2010/12/03/republican_pundits

    Should be a wonderful 2011.

    N’

  26. Nas said on another thread:

    Always a new road to travel eh? Just like this blog. Who woulda thought we’d be doin’ this a decade ago?

    Isn’t the uncertainty of life beautiful? When I posted my first comment late 2006 on Tim Dunlop’s site I never expected that four years later blogging would open up so many friendships for me. Such a thought never crossed my mind.

    And I remember the feeling of submitting my first post. I was a bit nervous, so I kept the comment short and one that wouldn’t make waves. If someone had have jumped on me I reckon my blogging career would have ended after that first comment. Seeing my post published almost caused a panic attack BTW.

    Four years later I still don’t like to make waves. 😛

  27. That’s a bit low for Ann Coulter to be writing a homophobic column. I mean, for a Tranny….Or so they say.
    Anyway, it’s obvious, since the rise to supremacy of Fox, that the gloves are off when it comes to conservatives’ bete noirs, such as any democratic politician ever, and these so-called commentators have free reign to tear them down, by whatever means necessary.
    The thing that strikes me as aodd is that so many people believe them, when they are so obviously making it up as they go along.

  28. Miglo,
    Make waves? I like to make tidal waves! Always have. And guess what provided the perfect medium for me to do it?
    Right back from the good old days, when you had to go to the Blogger website and do it through them everyday, and there were so few blogs in the world that you could also just go there and read stuff from all over the world in the one place. Tho even back then blogs were being added to the list, which is all it was, at about the rate of one new one every second. Back then I was, after ‘Duck Dodgers of the 21st Century’, ‘Victoria Cross of the 21st Century’. I didn’t last long doing it there because Evan Thornley, he of the LookSmart website and subsequent fortune, decided to bequeath a blog to the ALP, called ‘Labor First’. It was up and running out of Melbourne, manned by the arty and left wing types that used to be/are(?) the lifeblood of ALP politics down there, and I came along a little bit later as their first woman blogger. Strangely, you can still find our blogs archived on Gary-Sauer Thompson’s blog today! Anyway, I kept that going until I struck up a friendship with Christian Kerr of Crikey fame, and now infamy at The Australian, because I just kept writing to him via e-mail and sending long critiques about his stuff. 🙂
    Then Matt Price started up his politics blog at The Oz and I gravatated over there too. As my mother used to say, I could talk the leg off an iron pot! I learnt to type the keys off the keyboard too. After Matty passed away, the regulars on his blog migrated over to Jack the Insider’s blog. Which is where I came across Ad Astra’s blog. He was kind enough to offer me blogging space. And the rest is recent history!
    I have always been of the opinion that good men and women who do nothing about their adversaries on the dark side deserve everything they get back off them. I don’t want to be accused of having done nothing. 🙂

  29. Feral, I also really enjoyed your post over at TPS. I hope the Smuggles Set read it and wept; you dissected and destroyed their apology for a broadband policy so neatly. I look forward to reading many more.

    We really have some very astute bloggers in this country who provide us with the balanced and truthful political analysis so lacking in the Murdochracy. It’s no wonder they scheme constantly to shut you up.

    I no longer feed his coffers; all the OO does is raise the blood pressure and feed us lies, obfuscations and treacherous LIEberal crapaganda. We can get all that from Neil and we don’t have to pay him a cent!

  30. Well said, Hillbilly. It was tongue in cheek about not making waves. I intend to make more than a splash while I’m attached to this mortal coil. My work is far from done.

  31. Jane,
    That was very sweet of you to say those nice words. 🙂
    I’m just motivated by an overweening urge to tell the truth so that electors may judge fairly at election time. Goodness knows there is just too much disinformation out there from the Murdoch media empire.

  32. In all seriousness, we certainly are gifted with some great bloggers in this country. Through Australian Blog Sites I have found many more than those we people visit. There are too many to mention but we are all working to the same agenda. It’s good to know we are not alone.

  33. Not nice words, Feral, the truth, although the words may seem nice.

    Much as I hate to swell Migs’ head too much, on this very site we have some very good ferreters and reporters of the truth and I thank them.

  34. Nas’ @ 6.28pm…that’s me when I first get up in the morning 🙂

    I would also like to second the previous comments from FS, Migs and Jane.

  35. Like most people on the left (and quite a few on the right it sems) I’m pelased Australia only got one vote at FIFA. YeeHa!

    It was regrettable that $45m was spent on this fandango. On the day I heard this I heard a report from Sind Province, Pakistan. A BBC reporter who had covered the story of a baby born 3 months ago during the flight from the floods had survived … but whose family had no access to government aid, and were, as the winter approached, considering which of the family members would miss out on the blankets while sleeping rough in the ruins of their house.

    Apparently they didn’t have enough money to bribe the government official so they could register for aid. Like many others, they had no choice but to make do with the sub-potable flod waters to drink.

    So while the FIFA bidders had money aplenty to bribe, the people of Sind province could please themselves. That makes sense doesn’t it?

    Isn’t it time that the working people of the world began to assertively reconfigure how the wealth they produce is used? I’d say so.

  36. Fran, I don’t know why I continue to be astounded by the report you’ve just posted, but I am.

    I guess one of the problems besetting people like the family in Sind is that the government officials they have to deal with are themselves paid a pittance and resort to bribe taking to augment their wages.

    That and the fact that Pakistan itself is in turmoil with widespread corruption, a police state mentality and religious extremists. How you bring order to such a mess is beyond me.

    You have to question whether the government has the political will or ability to tackle the problems and if so, in what order.

    And it’s very easy for me to sit at my keyboard with a roof over my head in a democracy several thousand kilometres away and criticise.

  37. “on this very site we have some very good ferreters and reporters of the truth and I thank them.”

    Thank you for your kind words Jane.

    I appreciate it.

  38. Jane said:

    I guess one of the problems besetting people like the family in Sind is that the government officials they have to deal with are themselves paid a pittance and resort to bribe taking to augment their wages.

    This is true. From experience working in the developing world with NGOs it is common practice for government jobs to be sold to family and friends, in part on the basis that one can make money on the side, build a network of organisational supporters, acquire more influence and recover the money paid and eventually get directly involved in the arbitrage. That’s the culture there.

    Sinecures and what we’d call corruption were a feature of western societies in their development too of course.

    Trying to imagine a context in which this pernicious self-reinforcing cycle can be supplanted in favour of a professional and accountable public bureaucracy is not easy. You need mass literacy and numeracy, higher labour productivity, good communication systems and thus the material basis for moving from securing benefit through patronage networks to those based on non-arbitrary and citizen-centred criteria. That’s not something that can be done in a short period of time. It took many decades in the west and every now and again, we discover backsliding don’t we?

    The ongoing cultural and ethnic conflict, the poor per-capita carrying capacity of the land, its large population and the fact that Pakistan, like so many developing countries has suffered violent US-backed authoritarian, military-centred and quasi-theocratic rule since its inception as a nation have been serious constraints on their progress.

  39. Fran Barlow,
    All I can add is that I hope the unseemly wealth of the Qataris combines with a philanthropic spirit and they donate one of their Air Conditioned Stadia to poor Pakistan. Not that Pakistan could afford the Air Conditioning but the stadium would be nice for the people.
    I wonder tho what will happen to places like Qatar, who appear to think nothing of wasting $50 billion on stadia that they will not even be keeping, and which are basically patches of desert with oil or gas underneath them, when the fossil fuel runs out, or global warming forces a radical rethink about the amount of fossil fuels we need to use. Also when renewable energy sources come on line in a big way and the price people are willing to pay for fossil fuels drops without such high demand.

  40. Jane, et al,
    Can’t wait till next year, ‘Toxic’ Tony’s supposed ‘Year of Policy’. Which, according to an interview this morning, is actually just going to be all the old policy rebadged with ‘kinder, gentler’ wording. No more ‘Stop the Boats!’ but instead, ‘How About We Tow You Back to Iran or Pakistan?’ :0

  41. Feral Skeleton said:

    All I can add is that I hope the unseemly wealth of the Qataris combines with a philanthropic spirit and they donate one of their Air Conditioned Stadia to poor Pakistan.

    It would be better if they sold one of the said stadia to someone else with more dollars than sense and used the money to build a dedicated clean water and sewerage facility and a quality mobile phone network. In parts of Africa you can do banking by phone, apparently.

    I wonder tho what will happen to places like Qatar, who appear to think nothing of wasting $50 60 billion on stadia that they will not even be keeping …

    What this means is that each Qatari is paying about $40,000 for the World Cup, whereas each Australian is paying about $1586 for the NBN. It puts it into perspective.

    It probably doesn’t bear thinking about, but in carbon footprint terms this whole thing would be horrendous.

  42. FranB,
    I agree that the Carbon footprint for the World Cup out of Qatar will be horrendous. What can you do? It appears that bread and circuses have triumphed in the minds of the plebs over working towards a sustainable future, and pan-national ‘governments’, like FIFA, have distracted us from what we really, as a world, should be focussing on. It’s obscene, really, to think what could be done for the 3rd World’s citizens with all that money. No one seems to have the guts to say, ‘No more!’, or the power to bring about the change we need in the global mindset.

  43. I’ve just looked Qatar up on the CIA World Factbook. In 2009 the population was given as 833,285 meaning that the per capita spend was even higher than the 40K I estimated — instead, just over $72k for every Qatari. That amounts to 59.5% of per capita GDP for that year on something that will “benefit” them for about one month.

    By way of comparison, the $35.7bn for the NBN works out at $1586 per Australian, or about 4.11% of per capita GDP for something likely to be of huge value for 50-100 years.

    The successful Qatari bid sets an impressive new benchmark for “white elephant”. Given that Qatar already has the higherst per capita CO2e emissions in the world (IIRC about 57tCO2e each and 3 times that of Americans) we should call this a black elephant.

    It seems hard to believe they could pollute the planet any more than they already do, but they are apparently going to give it a serious try.

  44. Feral Skeleton – responding to Jason’s comment on slogans at TPS I had forgotten in my lately amnesiac state of mind that I had read your comment here above about Abbot’s ‘kinder gentler policies’ which I then thought could be a ‘great’ Abbott slogan. Even as I pressed the submit comment button at TPS I felt I should have focussed more on the sloganeering anyway.

    So forgive me if I do a bit of a re-write here at Cafe Whispers which more appropriately belongs on Miglo’s new thread “Spinsiders”

  45. “Very interesting” as a comedian in a German WWII helmet used to say: Public Opinion on same sex marriage

    The most interesting bit for me is the obvious homophobia of the conservatives. What is it that makes them want to remain in the dark ages?

    ———————–
    As to the Qatar stadiums I heard on the radio their advanced cooling system is designed to be carbon neutral and for mine I don’t believe it is a waste to give the stadiums to underdeveloped countries once Qatar is finished with them. Sporting stadiums are an important part of any society, which is why so many governments over thousands of years now have spent so much money on them. I believe they are integral to the social fabric and morale of a society and can only benefit an impoverished one.

    As an example of one I grew up with just ask the citizens of Melbourne’s Eastern corridor how gutted they were when they closed down Waverley Park forcing them into the city for major sporting and entertainment events.

    Waverley Park cost $3 million to build to at the time service the fasted growing suburbia in Australia. The new Ballarat stadium will cost $30 million and service a smaller population than Waverley did.

    http://www.austadiums.com/index.php shows how many stadiums there are in this country alone and how much resources goes into them.

  46. Mobius, some interesting stats there via your link to Possum.

    It seems that according to the Galaxy poll, the ‘typical person’ in favor of gay marriage is: unmarried (although married isn’t far behind), has children, works full-time, is a white collar worker on an income of over $70k, is tertiary educated and is in the general age bracket of 16-34. I demand it! Something must be done immediately to weed out and expose these types of radicals 😉

  47. Yes Min how dare these middle class average white collar workers with normal heterosexual lives subvert our society. Send out the goon squads and hunt down these radicals now I say.

    Or give them all aluminium foil deflector beanies (AFDB) because obviously the ABC transmission towers are sending out leftoid mind altering waves for no normal person would support gays in any way.

  48. Thank you for the link Mobius..am about to dash into the kitchen and make one of those. My need for a AFDB is clearly urgent (whispers aside: you might need one yourself Mobius).

  49. Good idea, Min. Just watch how your seams are sewn.
    Here’s a tip. Use foil in which you’ve cooked a bone.
    Somehow those rich brown lingering animal juices
    Have special protective paranormal uses.

  50. Of interest in this morning’s news is Rudd and WikiLeaks. I was particularly interested to see how the MSM would play this one. Would Rudd be portrayed as naively playing a dangerous game?

    The first part of this link would seem to suggest this. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/the-chinese-have-former-pm-pegged-20101205-18lcv.html#poll

    An international analyst accused Rudd of ”turning his face against China”.

    It is not until the concluding paragraph that the reader learns…

    This year, however, as China has increasingly thrown its weight around, Clinton has personally and successfully pushed back against Chinese power in ways that strongly resemble what Rudd had privately advocated.

    Once again we see the old journo trick.. put forward a controversial Headline (even if inaccurate), put ‘the message’ (again even if inaccurate) in the first few paragraphs and then hide the factual information which may even contradict the headline and the first paragraphs down the bottom of the text.

  51. Excellent tip Patricia, thank you for that one. However, I must admit that I’m a wee bit concerned about the rancid animal fat..might that not attract werewolves?

  52. Whatever they decide he’ll be,
    He’ll go along with it, you’ll see.
    He’ll ‘run’ for the next election
    From a fresh, ‘new direction.’
    They’ll find another catchy phrase
    For him to say, or sing his praise.
    Watch! Abbott, with PROs like these,
    Could yet sloganeer with – ‘Kinder, Gentler Policies!’

    Spot on Patricia! Great poem!

    They might be tryin’ to soften the rhetoric & make Abbott out to be a less harsh, mean-spirited character…

    but you can soften the lighting on an evangelical televangelist, try to make them look angelic…

    but they are still bigoted, profiteers, con artists & snakeoil salesman & women…full of manure…

    and one only need to take a perfunctory look into Abbott’s past to know the man will attempt to turn unionists into eunichs…

    and wearin’ the hard hat he’ll be cheerily wavin’ on the corporate bulldozers as they rip into workplace protections and worker’s wages & conditions.

    Imagine the hard hat decal reading:
    MR. GOSPEL TRUTH

    N’

  53. In 2009 the population was given as 833,285 meaning that the per capita spend was even higher than the 40K I estimated — instead, just over $72k for every Qatari. That amounts to 59.5% of per capita GDP for that year on something that will “benefit” them for about one month.

    By way of comparison, the $35.7bn for the NBN works out at $1586 per Australian, or about 4.11% of per capita GDP for something likely to be of huge value for 50-100 years.

    Good point Fran.

    And if Australia was ever in a conflict w/ China it would be handy to have various forms of communication in Australia…if the satellite system was taken out then at least we’d have others way of communicatin’.

    Tho, I think we need to get more local control of internet…and more professional re: internet security:

    China attacked Google over anti-censorship moves, WikiLeaks cables claim

    Monday, 06 December 2010 09:26
    Patrick Stafford

    The New York Times, which has received early access to the cables, has reported that Li Changchun has been named as responsible for the attacks. The cables show that the Chinese Government was unhappy with the fact that Google would not remove a link from the Google.cn site to the uncensored Google.com.

    The cable also states that, according to a Chinese source, Changchun found articles critical of him when he typed his own name into the Google search engine.

    “A well-placed contact claims that the Chinese government coordinated the recent intrusions of Google systems. According to our contact, the closely held operations were directed at the Politburo Standing Committee level,” the cable apparently states.

    The attack came shortly afterwards, directed at several of the email addresses of Chinese human rights activists. The global community swiftly condemned the attacks, with Clinton quickly blaming the Chinese.

    But the report also suggests that the Chinese Government is now more accepting of the internet, or at least in its use for maintaining control. Another cabled cited by the NYT states that the Chinese State Council Information delivered a report saying that the “web is fundamentally controllable”.

    The Chinese Government is thus using the internet more as a basis for cyber-attacks. The cables cite several instances, some taking place even as early as 2002, where Chinese hackers have been able to successfully attack websites in the United States, including official government websites.

    The cables state that during one incident in 2008, a Chinese attack gained over 50 megabytes of data from a government agency including emails, along with user names and passwords.

    http://www.smartcompany.com.au/politics/20101206-china-attacked-google-over-anti-censorship-moves-wikileaks-cables-claim.html

    N’

  54. The Bush administration learnt how to torture partially by way of Chinese methods…

    And some American Republicans are callin’ for the DEATH SENTENCE for Wikileaks’ “traitors”.

    now America & France are learnin’ from the GREAT FIREWALL OF CHINA.

    Access to the WikiLeaks site is thought to have been blocked (in China) for some time before the release of the US embassy cables. But articles about China-related cables, including those on the Guardian site, could still be reached at time of writing.

    Some users on Twitter – blocked from the mainland, but still used by people who access it using proxies to mask their location – said translation of WikiLeaks coverage of China into Chinese was under way. It seems likely that material will not last long if it is posted on sites hosted on the mainland.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/the-us-embassy-cables-china

    AND:

    France Joins U.S. In Blacking Out Wikileaks

    Geneva : Switzerland | Dec 05, 2010 By Robert Weller

    It’s a brave new world for the Web. France has followed the example of the U.S. and blocked access to Wikileaks on its servers. Unlike China, however, users are easily able to get around it.

    China set the example earlier this year when it forced Google to temporarily shutdown its operations. On the surface the issue was Google’s decision to discontinue helping China monitor dissidents and others who wanted to be able to read material denied to them.

    Among the U.S. State Department documents recently released it was confirmed that the Chinese move was part of a larger hacking attempt to get into the accounts of Gmail users.

    The French move is much more transparent than the U.S. A government minister ordered the agency that monitors the Internet to deny Wikileaks the user of any French-based servers.

    In the U.S., the agency that monitors the issuance of important .org domain, used by non-profit agencies, announced Friday it would deny Wikileaks the use of the domain. The reason given was that Wikileaks had become a target of hackers. If this procedure becomes a standard then Facebook could be taken down when it is hacked.

    This weekend the situation became unclear when it appeared the Swiss provider, run by the Swiss Pirates Party, also appeared to have been taken down by the American company that owns the server.

    http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/7529814-france-joins-us-in-blacking-out-wikileaks

    Go DEMOCRACY…and FREEDOM OF SPEECH…not.

    Who needs democracy when ya can be a semi-totalitarian capitalist society.

    N’

  55. They transform into siamese twins:

    The CIA Should Kill Julian Assange

    Julian Assange deserves to die for what he’s done and he should be killed to send a message loud enough to convince other people not to publish documents like this in the future.

    http://rightwingnews.com/2010/07/the-cia-should-kill-julian-assange/

    O’Reilly: WikiLeaks Leakers Are Traitors, Should Be Executed Or Spend Life In Jail

    Bill O’Reilly took a hard line against the leakers of the classified State Department cables released by WikiLeaks this week, saying they were traitors who “should be executed or put in prison for life.”

    Speaking on his Monday show, O’Reilly said that the leaking of the cables, which have sparked a global diplomatic crisis and unearthed scores of revelations about the inner workings of the State Department, was an outrage.

    “Whoever leaked all those State Department documents to the WikiLeaks website is a traitor and should be executed or put in prison for life,” he said. “The guy who runs the website is a sleazeball named Julian Assange, who is bent on damaging America. Since he’s not a U.S. citizen, it’s hard for American authorities to move against him. But we can prosecute those who leak the documents to Assange.”

    O’Reilly then turned to Bradley Manning, the intelligence analyst who has been widely tipped as the source for WikiLeaks. If guilty, he said, Manning “is a traitor and should be given life and hard labor in a military prison.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/30/oreilly-wikileaks-leakers-executed_n_789654.html

    Who are these people soundin’ like?

    Capital punishment in China

    is currently administered for a variety of crimes, but the vast majority of executions are for cases of either aggravated murder or large scale drug trafficking.

    The People’s Republic of China executes the highest number of people annually, although other countries (such as Iran or Singapore) have higher execution rates per capita.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_the_People's_Republic_of_China

    Harper advisor calls for assassination of Wikileaks director

  56. Mitch McConnell: WikiLeaks Chief ‘A High-Tech Terrorist’

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is calling the founder of the online site WikiLeaks a “high-tech terrorist” for releasing classified material from the U.S. government.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/05/mitch-mcconnell-wikileaks_n_792186.html

    AND previously:

    Long Island Rep. Peter King told 1010 WINS the release of the information put “American lives at risk all over the world.”

    “This is worse even than a physical attack on Americans, it’s worse than a military attack,” King said.

    King has written letters to both U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking for swift action to be taken against WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange.

    King wants Holder to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act and has also called on Clinton to determine whether WikiLeaks could be designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

    “By doing that we will be able to seize their funds and go after anyone who provides them with any help or contributions or assistance whatsoever,” King said.

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/11/28/king-wikileaks-cable-release-worse-than-military-attack/

    Who are actin’ like totalitarians?

    N’

  57. More Wikileaks:

    Saudi Arabia: An ambivalent ally

    Editorial
    The Guardian, Monday 6 December 2010

    The state department behaves very differently towards their Saudi partners than the Pakistani and Afghan governments

    America’s closest military and diplomatic ally in the Gulf is causing it almost as many problems as its declared enemies. Saudi Arabia has become the world’s largest source of funds for Islamist militant groups such as the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the state department cables reveal. A secret paper signed by the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, in December last year said that donors in Saudi Arabia constituted the most significant source of funding to Sunni militant groups worldwide. Part of the problem is a lack of state capacity. The annual hajj pilgrimage is a major security loophole, as pilgrims often travel with large amounts of money and the Saudis cannot refuse them entry. Militants slip into the country disguised as holy pilgrims, set up front companies to launder funds, and get money from state-registered charities.

    But the other side of the problem is foot-dragging. The cables complain of a continuing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat stopping the flow of these funds as a strategic priority. Although some progress had been made and al-Qaida’s fundraising ability had deteriorated as a result, Saudi officials come across in the cables as reluctant partners, refusing in one instance to ban three charities classified as terrorist entities in the US. Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi anti-terrorist chief, is quoted as telling Richard Holbrooke, the administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in May 2009, “We are trying to do our best” but if “money wants to go” to terrorist causes “it will go”.

    There is, however, a big difference, in the way the state department behaves (at least in public ) with their Saudi partners, and the treatment senior US officials mete out to the Pakistani and Afghan governments, who are regularly hauled over coals by well-sourced leaks to the New York Times. When it comes to powerful, oil-rich allies, US diplomats keep their concerns private. And yet there is a fair amount of evidence that Saudi Arabia, as a state, throws its weight around an unstable region at least as much as Pakistan is doing through its militant proxies in Punjab and the tribal areas.

    more here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/06/saudi-arabia-ambivalent-ally

    AND:

  58. Mounting Debts by States Stoke Fears of Crisis

    By MICHAEL COOPER and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
    Published: December 4, 2010
    NY Times

    The State of Illinois is still paying off billions in bills that it got from schools and social service providers last year. Arizona recently stopped paying for certain organ transplants for people in its Medicaid program. States are releasing prisoners early, more to cut expenses than to reward good behavior. And in Newark, the city laid off 13 percent of its police officers last week.

    While next year could be even worse, there are bigger, longer-term risks, financial analysts say. Their fear is that even when the economy recovers, the shortfalls will not disappear, because many state and local governments have so much debt — several trillion dollars’ worth, with much of it off the books and largely hidden from view — that it could overwhelm them in the next few years.

    “It seems to me that crying wolf is probably a good thing to do at this point,” said Felix Rohatyn, the financier who helped save New York City from bankruptcy in the 1970s.

    Some of the same people who warned of the looming subprime crisis two years ago are ringing alarm bells again. Their message: Not just small towns or dying Rust Belt cities, but also large states like Illinois and California are increasingly at risk.

    Analysts fear that at some point — no one knows when — investors could balk at lending to the weakest states, setting off a crisis that could spread to the stronger ones, much as the turmoil in Europe has spread from country to country.

    Mr. Rohatyn warned that while municipal bankruptcies were rare, they appeared increasingly possible. And the imbalances are so large in some places that the federal government will probably have to step in at some point, he said, even if that seems unlikely in the current political climate.

    “I don’t like to play the scared rabbit, but I just don’t see where the end of this is,” he added.

    More here:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/us/politics/05states.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a2

    Imagine if we get another domino effect.

    American problems will hit China…already havin’ probs w/ inflation…and possible housing bubble burst.

    Could China then head into extreme nationalist mode in order to deal w/ an economic downturn?…and distract from the problems that will come from an ill-prepared social security, healthcare & pension system.

    It’s been done before by capitalist nations that need to create jobs & distractions.

    China now relies on capitalism.

    But they know how to be a collective very quickly. In need of resources, jobs & distractions.

    Could turn on a dime.

    Always be prepared.

    N’

  59. Neil, you may be a ferret, but a reporter of the truth…..??? You are but a parroter of the LIEberal crapaganda you wallow in when you go to your regular brainwashing sessions at Crapaganda Camps for the Politically Brain Dead! However, neatly done. LOL!

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