Begin Rant: Land clearing only tip of farming issues undealt with

13 08 2014

It is always an incredibly sad thing when anyone loses their life, particularly when going about their job. As someone who enjoyed their time working with the union movement and has a bit of a thing for OH&S, it’s something that always angers me. My heart genuinely goes out to Glen Turner’s family colleagues; there are no words that can console your loss.

That being said, the purpose of this post is, I’m afraid, to talk about the problem that led to the situation, so if that’s going to upset you, go back to Facebook or turn off the Internet now, because I’m going to say it anyway. I find those who suggest we shouldn’t be talking about the issue of land clearing and the native vegetation laws, or the extraordinary harassment of the Turnbulls, but only talk about what a great guy the deceased was, to be just guilty of wanting to decide their own facts. Because that’s simply not the reality of the situation. 

Of course, there is no justification for what has happened, and I’m not trying to do that. I just want to look at the whole picture, rather than one tiny sliver of it, and discuss the real issue, rather than a single matter before the courts that we probably shouldn’t be discussing anyway.

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Begin Rant: Pondering the Government’s mid-week Take-Out-The-Not-So-Trash

7 08 2014

There are only so many column inches, so the theory goes, and no one reads the paper on Saturdays, so on Friday (or Sunday and thus Saturday, depending on your beliefs/media in your region), you release a whole bunch of stories to bury the real story you don’t want anyone to actually cover. If you give them six stories instead of one to put in their limited column inches, the journalists won’t research it, thus no one will look. It’s called taking out the trash, and it’s a time honoured tactic.

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Begin Rant: A cautionary tale in outrage management

30 07 2014

If you missed the weekend’s announcement, the New Choice Committee has completed the exploratory phase and determined to go ahead with planning a new political party and, a somewhat unexpected result for most of you, we’ll be launching a separate think tank as well.

There are a couple of ways to look at this. Either, it is the successful conclusion of a challenging exploratory process that at several points didn’t look like it was going anywhere ; or, it’s a cautionary tale in effective outrage management.

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Begin Rant: In opposition to legalisation of marijuana for medicinal use

25 07 2014

I’m a pretty big fan of letting people do whatever the hell they want with their lives – it’s a core part of being the ‘little l’ liberal that I am. So you may think that my position of being against the legalisation of marijuana for medical use is inconsistent with that.

And that may be fair. But as with each issue that comes up, I examine all the evidence that’s before me and make a judgement call both in terms of the values I hold dear – like individual freedom – the facts of the situation, and what’s right: what’s good for the community, and in this case, our duty of care for young people in the community.

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Begin Rant: The EasyCount code – why it just can’t be public

23 07 2014

Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know I’ve been struggling for some time with the repeated calls and FOI requests for the release of the code that does the allocation of Senate preferences for federal elections – a program called EasyCount.

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Begin Rant: When I’m calling misogyny, you know they’ve gone too far

17 06 2014

I’m not often calling someone on misogyny. More often than not, I’m the one siding with the boys and telling the sisterhood to sit down and shut up, because they’re carrying on over nothing, and or deliberately playing the sexism card in a way unbecoming to women. Witness here, here, and here for example.

But Tim Blair, this poll is straight up misogyny, totally unacceptable, and never should have been permitted nor should it have been allowed to stay on the Telegraph’s site (presuming there hadn’t been some level of editorial control to block it in the damn first place, on the grounds that it is your blog).

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Begin Rant: Some reflections on the ‘occupied’ kerfuffle

7 06 2014

For those that missed it, some are claiming there has been a significant shift in foreign policy this week because the Australian Government dropped the word “occupied” when referring to East Jerusalem. That’s not how I read it.

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