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Syria Update: Tel Rifaat

Oh, nice. It looks like the Turkish backed rebels who had been attacking the Kurds have decided not to wage a bloody battle for Tel Rifaat and will instead do what they're supposed to be doing, which is taking al-Bab from ISIS. Or they're going to pounce on the regime and try to lift the siege of Aleppo from the north. Either way, I think the Kurds have learned their lesson about expanding where they're not supposed to expand.

Stay out of politics

"Stay out of politics and stick with human rights"
Christopher Pyne commenting on Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs

When you stick with human rights and stay out of politics you end up with the Coalition government's Border Protection policies.

When you stick with human rights and stay out of politics you end up with the Labor party supporting those policies.

When you stick with human rights and stay out of politics you end up with psychopaths like Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton presiding over those brutal, costly and ultimately pointless policies.

O'Brien V One Nation

As many of you already know, I've recently committed to running as a Senate candidate for Victoria at the next Federal election.

How did that happen?
Last week newly elected One Nation Senator for NSW, Brian Burston delivered his maiden speech to Parliament. During the speech Burston made a number of incredulous claims including lamenting that we never hear about the First Fleet. So I wrote him a response:

The Times They Are A-Changin'

- With apologies to Bob Dylan

Come gather 'round people where ever you roam
And see funding for services cut to the bone
By a pack of incompetent, self-serving drones
Their fat arses are all that they're savin'
For three years the economy's sunk like a stone,
Oh the times they are a' changin'!

Learning About The FIrst Fleet

"Why don't we ever learn about the First Fleet?"
-- One Nation Senator Brian Burston

Dear Brian,

The First Fleet consisted of 11 boatloads of illegal immigrants who were allowed to enter this country on January 26 1788. They came here refusing to assimilate into Australian society and began imposing their strange customs and religion on native Australians. They didn't even bother to learn the language. Soon more boats began to arrive and before long Australia had been swamped by immigrants.

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.

Syria Update: Aleppo, Hama and Shirqat (Iraq)

SYRIA UPDATE: After breaking the cease fire, Russia and the regime carried out a massive series of airstrikes on rebel-held east Aleppo, killing hundreds of civilians and cutting water to the entire city. They then launched a ground offensive from the north, lead by the regime-aligned Palestinian militia, Liwa al-Quds, which was able to seize some territory. Somewhat astonishingly, though, the rebels were able to push them back, inflicting heavy losses and retaking the lost territory.


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