richard.obrien's blog

All just fantasy

In the fantasy version of the world that exists inside my head (the one where the assassin's bullet missed JFK and hit Robert Kardashian's testicals) Hillary Clinton would have been a no show at yesterday's presidential debate.

The Northern Territory: A Failed State

The suicide rate in Australia is at a 10-year high.

Suicide accounts for less than 2% of overall deaths in Australia but claims the lives of a third of those aged 15-24 and more than a quarter of 25-34 year olds.

The suicide rate in the Northern Territory is twice the national average with 21 deaths per 100,000 people.

The NT rate has increased by more than 38% since 2006 compared with 23% nationally.

People aged 15 to 24 in the NT are more likely to kill themselves than die in a car crash.

Why We Can't Have Nice Things

This is Jackson Pollock's Number 11, 1952 - better known as Blue Polls. In 1973 the Whitlam government authorised the National Gallery of Australia to purchase the painting for $1.3 million. The decision drew much critisim at the time, particularly from conservative politicians, who claimed it was an extravagant waste of money. Today Blue Polls is the NGA's most popular exhibit, with an insurable value of $350 million.

Big Mal's Discount Warehouse Weekly Special

The Barnaby Joyce Storm-Resistant Non-Renewable Energy Delivery System.

As storms in South Australia recently proved, power lines delivering electricity produced from renewable energy sources are not up to the task in high winds!

This is due to the fact that renewable energy is largely produced using light or weightless materials such as wind and sunlight.

The Barnaby Joyce Storm-Resistant Non-Renewable Energy Delivery System uses non-renewable energy produced from coal, which is much heavier and weighs down the power lines resulting in greater wind resistance.

Oh the Thinks You Don't Think Mr Howard.

Not by Dr Seuss

Oh the thinks you don't think Mr Howard it's true
Are often the thinks that you haven't thought through

You don't think that women will have equal say
You don't think we need laws to have equal pay
You don't think anti-villification's okay
And you don't think that we should have marriage that's gay

An Australian Republic?
I don't think today
Perhaps an Indigenous treaty?
No way

Oh the thinks you don't think Mr Howard you twit
You clearly don't think of the nation one bit

The Devil You Know

Once upon a time:

The devil you knew was superstition, the devil you didn't was reason.

The devil you knew was conjecture, the devil you didn't was knowledge.

The devil you knew was trepidation, the devil you didn't was discovery.

The devil you knew was tyranny, the devil you didn't was democracy.

The devil you knew was slavery, the devil you didn't was freedom.

The devil you knew was a woman in her place, the devil you didn't was a woman fulfilling her potential.

The devil you knew was segregation, the devil you didn't was inclusion.

A Hanson Reward

Why shouldn't we condemn Pauline Hanson as just another ignorant racist? Well because all the other ignorant racists didn't cost us $1.2 million this election.


Under election rules, the Australian Electoral Commission pays parties and candidates $2.62 for every first-preference vote they get in each state or division in which they attract more than 4% of the vote.

Three Years of Governance

Today Malcolm Turnbull returned to the prime minister's office to commence another three years of insipid, dishonest, manipulative, underhanded, discriminatory, narrow-minded, economically inept and socially irresponsible government on the back of three previous years of incompetent, second-rate government.

Also on the this day, one hundred years ago, Edward Gough Whitlam was born.

Here is what he achieved in just under three years:

No Regrets

“I defend the decision that I took. I don’t resile from it. I don’t believe it was the wrong decision.”
- John Howard

So just to clarify:

In 2003 John Howard made a decision to go to war based on flawed evidence and inadequate planning.

A war that the majority of Australians did not support.

A war that was not sanctioned by the United Nations.

A war that did not produce any evidence of the weapons program that was used to justify the invasion.

Malcolm Turnbull, a Who's Not Who of Prime Ministers.

Malcolm Turnbull was born in Sydney in 1954. He did not grow up in poverty, with a dissability, in a remote community, the victim of domestic violence, or reliant on any number of government services. He was not a fee paying student at university or person in debt to the government for his law degree.

Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister in September 2015, on the basis of not being Tony Abbott. The Coalition's flagging popularity improved and Turnbull began to open up a lead as preferred PM, on the basis of not being Bill Shorten.


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