Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

A character like Trump could not exist in decent fiction

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-30

A writer of fantasy fiction looks at Trump and his enablers, doing character analyses as if they appeared as villains and minions in her novels – and notes that if she wrote a villain like Trump, she’d be pilloried for writing such an unbelievably cartoonish character.
This is an interesting way of looking at the story of the times, not as politics, which is naturally partisan, but as if it was literature, doing the character analysis that we’d all do in class assignments – except authors, used to criticism of their characters, have seen more character analysis than most.
And it is so often as literature and as characters that we look at history in the long term, and it is character that drives history when it is at delicate times. Without Tarquin the Proud being so proud and arrrogant, would Rome have ejected kings and become a republic, developed into the powerhouse it did? How do we look at Caesar and Cicero and Brutus and Antonius? Character analysis, by a practitioner in the art of character authoring and criticism, is a valid way of looking at what will be history one day. It’s how today’s news will be looked at a few centuries hence, if Trump and his buddies, in the USA and overseas, don’t prevent a future having memory of the present.
I’d add the real world is not a fantasy novel. In fantasy novels, the saviour flies in on a dragon with the sword of destiny to take out the minions and then the evil overlord one by one.
In the real world, they’ve got no magnificant dragon, but got to ride a damned donkey. And this particular donkey has for too long been fed by those who helped the likes of the Evil Overlord to power in the first place, so cannot be trusted to carry you all the way.

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Achilles, the Eagle, and burning Australia

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-14

We need to own our votes, past and future.  We need to ponder Achilles owning his actions and consequences.

Libyan Eagle

A famous Libyan fable says to those who’d learn,
that, when an eagle saw an arrow strike it through,
equipped with plumes to speed the missile to its mark,
said “not by others, but by feathers we have made
are we now slain”

Achilles in “The Myrmidons” by Aeshylus
on learning Patroclus died warning armour borrowed from Achilles

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Taking Responsibility

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-12


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Who will cough up for this?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-12

Aussie Beach Safety Tips

How many billions will it cost the health system in the years to come, just from damage of this year’s “smokers” with a bushfire, rather than nicotine, habit. And from next year’s? And the year’s after that?

More Reading


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The Indian angle on the Australian bushfires

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-11

Right wing Christians and their allies in Australia blame Greens.   Right wing Hindus and their allies in India blame Islam.
Aaaah, so it’s environmentalist jihadis. It all makes sense now. (eyeroll)

How long before Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones and the Gestapotato pick this up and run with it?


Posted in Australia, International, Media, Politics, Society | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Arsonists v Murdoch’s Papers – Who kills the most trees?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-11

Using official data from police and firefighters, and attribution of suspected arson to individual fires, arsonists might be responsible for destroying fewer trees than used for the newspapers Murdoch spreads his lies with.
“Only about 1 per cent of the land burnt in NSW this bushfire season can be officially attributed to arson, and it is even less in Victoria, the ABC can reveal.”

“In Victoria, where about 1.2 million hectares has burned, only 385 hectares — or 0.03 per cent — have been attributed to suspicious circumstances.”

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Wait for it …

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-09

How long before righties suggest preventing bushfires by burning enough coal to melt the icecaps and flood everything?

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Victorian fires? No known arsonists

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-08

QUOTE: “There is currently no intelligence to indicate that the fires in East Gippsland and the North East have been caused by arson or any other suspicious behaviour,” a Victoria police spokeswoman said.

In other words, Murdoch, right wing politicians, climate change denialists, rapture fans, and the usual anti-science brigade, are lying. As usual. Whether the lies are out of malice or habit is a moot point.

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Punching Up Accidentally

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-08

Punching Up Accidentally.png

Craig Kelly perfectly demonstrates that the LNP has a problem with women and science in just four words.

But he is punching up accidentally.

#NotAWeatherGirl #AusPol

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Hindsight isn’t always 20/20 in 2020

Posted by Dave Bath on 2020-01-07

Garnaut and Bushfires - some refuse 2020 hindsight in 2020

Some people can look at the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review, in 2020, in hindsight, and still not have 20/20 hindsight.

From the report – “Recent projections of fire weather (Lucase et al. 2007) suggest that fire seasons will start earlier, and slightly later, and generally be more intense. This effect increases over time, but should be direct observable by 2020.

More information:


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Thanos oops

Posted by Dave Bath on 2019-12-29

Thanos Forgot The Rainbow

Posted in Humor, Theology and Religion | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Racist Jesus

Posted by Dave Bath on 2019-12-28

If you are not Jewish, Jesus would not give a damn about you. Jesus was a racist.

If you read the gospels cover to cover you realize what Jesus meant by “neighbor”. Certainly not the Canaanites living in the same cities, as he explicitly likened them to dogs (considered unclean animals), rejected the notion his message related to them (Matthew 15, Mark 7). Combine that with the long rejection by those who actually knew Jesus of Saul-Paul’s push for market penetration of the sect into the non-Jewish population, and you can see that “neighbor” was restricted to Jews (which included Samaritans).

Matthew 15:24 “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (KJV)

(After a few verses of pretending the Canaanite woman did not exist, ruder even than “talk to the hand”)

For context: Matthew 15

22 A gentile woman came to him begging him to help her sick child. 23 Jesus studiously ignored her. The disciples said “Can you send her away? she won’t listen to us telling her to bugger off.” 24 Jesus said “Not talking to her – my mission is only for Jews.” 25 Then the women fell at his feet and begged again. 26 He answered “People don’t take food for family and give it to dirty dogs.”

Yeah – Jesus doesn’t give a damn about even a sick kid – if the kid is not Jewish. (Guess that explains all those altar boys left to rot by God)

You will find the same metaphor of non-Jews as dogs, unclean animals, (not as bad as pigs, but a similar notion) in Mark 7 – it is not an “accident” by a scribe in Matthew.

How nasty is the dog reference?

Dogs were barely tolerated in ancient Judaism and the Talmud, except for control of vermin like rats. They were symbols of prostitution and the demonic, so unlike most animals, could not be used in sacrifice. They had to be kept chained. It was not until the middle ages that things started to get a little more relaxed. Even now, as a percentage of pets kept in households in the USA, dogs are far rarer in Jewish households (and Muslim households) than the general population.

So all those white Neo-Nazi Christians? Bit stupid thinking Jesus might love them. But spot on thinking Jesus would approve of their racism.

Posted in Theology and Religion | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

When you say you love cooking

Posted by Dave Bath on 2019-12-28

When you say you love cooking

Posted in Humor, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The Beach Necessities

Posted by Dave Bath on 2019-12-26

Because with all the smoke, nobody needs insect repellent or sunscreen
(Copyleft Dave Bath 2019)
Keywords: Australian Bushfires; Climate Change

Photos of Sydney – (other Australian cities also affected by smoke from bushfires)

The Sydney Harbour Bridge actually takes up most of this picture – but you need to look carefully to see through the haze

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Has Gina done us all a favor?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2012-06-20

Has Gina Rinehart done us all a favor by her ham-fisted attempt to stifle the only moderately-balanced privately owned newspapers in the country, by making it obvious Big Money thinks the press can be bought as a proxy means of buying politicians?

The world’s richest woman, mining magnate Rinehart, has made it plain she wants to make Fairfax (The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, as well as numerous popular radio stations) more mining-friendly, more anti-scientific-consensus, and I suspect, more against the opinion of independent economists when it comes to policy in general.

  • No more can informed debate dismiss as ridiculous what was previously almost held as "conspiracy theory" the notion that Big Money will seek to control the press to control debate, and policy.
  • She has certainly increased the feelings progressives have to a decent media sector that, at least as a whole sector, is theoretically important to a liberal democracy.
  • She cannot trash the brand, and profitability, while avoiding the wrath of corporate regulators, without a complete takeover.  This will at least raise the price of fairfax shares during a takeover, putting money in the pockets of people who have been supporting better journalism, and more likely to contribute to society with it than Gina ever would!
  • Her claims that moving to the right editorially is the fix to Fairfax’s woes is rendered ridiculous when the centrist Fairfax, just in Melbourne, sells more newspapers, at least 25% more, than the pro-plutocrat Murdoch "The Australian" does across the entire nation.  She is either stupid, or a liar, or both – and proof not everyone, especially with inherited wealth, should be listened to.
  • If she does destroy what existing investors see as their most valuable asset and product differentiator – relatively independent journalism – then most readers will move their habits online to the likes of ABC Drum for their daily dose of analysis, opinion, and "letters to the editor".
  • The timing, with Murdoch on the nose with criminal investigations in England for privacy violations and improper political interference, could not have been more likely to inflame progressives.
  • By bringing forward the rationalization in size of the print edition, moving many classifieds to the net, less trees will be killed, and the latte sippers will have more room on their tables in cafes!

While progressives may be angry at Gina in the short term, it may be the pigs, the "one percent", the "five percent", those against evidence-based policy, that will be angrier with her in the long term.  That’s not guaranteed, but it is a possibility, a possibility the arrogance of Big Money is naturally too stupid to consider.


  • "Go ahead Gina, build another content company", Alan Kohler, takes a wider view of things, and in places, against the "common wisdom". (Business Spectator, 2012-06-19)

    Gina Rinehart has absolutely nothing to contribute to the transformation of the company into a profitable digital publisher and is not interested in it anyway, …
    the combination of print and digital publishing simply does not work. They are completely different products with different uses, and the construction and operation of them require totally different ways of thinking.


  • "In defence of independent media", Malcolm Fraser, former PM, once-bogeyman of the left, now the only publically-active elder statesman in the country, (Business Spectator, 2012-06-19)

    Media should not be under the direct control of special interest groups whether they belong to this country or to other countries. That is why we need diversity of media ownership. That is why I stood on the back of a truck with Gough Whitlam overlooking Fitzroy Gardens long years ago, to try and prevent the Fairfax empire falling into foreign hands. A foreign owner has interests that are not ours. A mining magnate has specific industry interests that are not necessary those of Australia.

Posted in Australia, Ethics, Governance, Media, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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