January 30, 2013

Only a fool

Yom Kippur is a Jewish holiday known as the Day of Atonement. Many Jewish people in Australia spend the day fasting and praying.   In 2013, the Day of Atonement is on Saturday, September 14.

September 14 is also smack bang in the middle of the footy finals, it's the pointy end of the season for all codes of the game, a time during which many people in Australia spend their weekends eating, drinking and praying.

On Wednesday 30 January 2013, Julia Gillard, Prime Minister, announced that the next federal election will be held on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

Yesterday,  Tim Mathieson, the fun-time partner of the Prime Minister, who has quietly undertaken a full time workload of good works during his time in The Lodge, made a nervous, ill-thought, yet funny remark about the anal finger probing procedure that forms part of a standard prostate-health check up.  The Prime Minister was not amused.  Today, the Prime Minister stuck the finger up everyone.

The nearly eight month election campaign is already being touted as clever, much in the way people praise a dog that figures out how to sit or roll over.  What a clever, clever girl.

It's not clever.  

P.S.  This is the reason we urgently need fixed four year terms in federal politics.  No more idiotic stunts.  No more interminable speculations on when the next election will or won't be held - and with Gillard as PM, we have had non-stop speculation, two years and four months of it.  Enough of this shit.


  1. Ah, but this was a very clever post.
    R and I still chuckling over your " stuck the finger up everyone
    " comment. :-D

  2. Anonymous10:42 PM

    In that case we best learn:

    How to vote twice twice

    Sorry about this.


    Nah I'm not

    1. Oh yeah.

      That better be a really BIG "sorry".

    2. Anonymous11:06 PM

      Would John Howard be sorry?


    3. Hey maaate
      I can sympathise with the two headed giraffe for a mother but don't press it too much

      At least you,re not the son of a pig and an ape

  3. I have sent Tony a plea that he promise to introduce fixed four year terms.

  4. Fixed four year terms is the way to go. What stands in the way is constitutional change. This term (pardon) is viewed by the voting public in similar terms (pardon) to HIV Aids. Not only would the lower house term need to be altered but also the term for the Senate. I doubt you'd get both "sides" agreeing.

    On the announcement of the date, no one likely checked the date of Yom Kippur. The outrage is rather over the top (just as with the finger poke joke). Seems nowadays we have the need to be outraged often or perhaps we have a very low "outrage threshold". Some Opposition parliamentarian was waffling on yesterday about this being an "affront" to Jews and that this would mean the "disenfranchisement" of many of them (the soundbite was too short to indicate whether he felt this deliberate or not). Anthony Green put the lie to that in observing that those of a strict belief have seven months to remember to organise a postal vote.

    If we can manage to confect outrage we can surely manage to organise a postal vote?

    1. I think the punters would be willing and able, Father. Most already have four years for their local elections, and would have figured out by now that the world doesn't fall apart.

      (The ACT was set up with four years plus a fixed date - no one has ever suggested it was a wrong move.)

      Easier for the states and territories, though, as some don't even have senates.

      So yes, the problem of what to do with the senate would need to be resolved, as eight years, frankly, is a bit too cushy, in my view. What's wrong with a mid-term? But only when needed for the six year half election? Would shake things up a bit, keep the pollies on their toes!

      Not sure that anyone has been especially outraged about choosing the Day of Atonement, merely another piece of data to add to the rest of shockingly bad judgement. More important: even Gillard has been quoted insisting she would never be foolish enough to call an election in September.


    2. It's just not that difficult to Google an Australian calendar, Father.

    3. It is easy to organise a postal vote and orthdox Jews do that anyway because Australian elections always fall on the sabbath

      The problem is for non orthodox Jews (the large majority) who have few or no qualms about travelling, working or voting on Saturdays but feel very different about Yom Kippur

      But again this is minor. Organising a postal vote takes some stuffing around but a lot of people have to do it. There is also a mild semse of miffedness at feeling excluded from a national event. I like elections and the atmosphere of polling stations. There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world. It is very Australian

      However the more serious issue is for Jews who take an active part in the election process especially candidates for office and party workers. It is not exactly conducive to democratic inclusiveness that they can take no part in the day or even much of the day before

      Having said that it is not at the top of the list of issues of major concern for me or from what I can see for Australian Jews in general. There is very little comment about it.From what I can tell nearly all the noice has come from people who are not Jews.Jews traditionally do not complain about things like this

    4. I think it’s more an omen than anything else.

      Gillard holding an election on the Day of Atonement.

      For whom will atonement toll?

      As for postal votes: Gillard handed all other parties a free kick. Normally they'd be lagging behind, with the incumbent ready to send out postal votes the minute after the date is called, while the rest have to scrabble to catch up. Not this time. Everyone else will be on the same front foot. The ALP gave up numerous advantages when the date was announced.

  5. Anonymous4:02 PM

    Craig Thompson just got arrested, the day after Bluey announced the election, mmm, labor's weeping sore, and a sleazy one at that.


    1. iJustin - I still haven't seen the news, but am advised that reporters are claiming the Thomson arrest will NOT affect the election.

      More fools rushing in!

      The juxtaposition alone will cost votes, seats, potentially entire states.

  6. It's just not that difficult to Google an Australian calendar, Father.

    No doubt. The point is, no one bothered to do so. Probably tells you much. I would think that, surely, those of a strict observance might have difficulties with the 'work' of voting on the sabbath?

    These come just days after the Lebanon Army stated that Israeli jets had violated Lebanon's air space in four separate incidents on Saturday, with the Daily Star newspaper reporting the fighter jets had been seen over the Bekaa Valley, which borders Syria.

    Then again, maybe not.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/israel-attacks-syrialebanon-border-report-20130131-2dlwl.html#ixzz2Jbhe9aHO

    1. I thought they were practicing, you know, for a run on Iran, or, you know, anyone else.

      I still haven't figure out what they were doing in Syria. What they thought they were doing there.

    2. Defending themselves

    3. Haven't had time to get across the Syria thing, Geoffff. I thought Syria was too busy murdering their own citizens to be a threat to anyone else. Wasn't aware they had attacked Israel or any other country.

      Have seen headlines, not read any of it, other than murder and refugee numbers.

    4. Actually the situation in Syria is pretty dangerous quite apart from the horror for the Syrian people (which is going to get much much worse) the UN says over sixty thousand are dead already and to put that in perspective it is four times the number of palestinians who have been killed since 1948

      The real figure is probably closer to 100 000

      The danger for people who are not Syrians comes from that while this is a civil war, like all civil wars it is dripping with outside intervention some of which are very ugly indeed. The rebels include AQ linked Salafists which are just as brutal or worse than Assad s men and are funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Also in the mix are free range jihadists sponsored by the BH and regime mmilitary defectors

      On the regime s side is Iran and it s proxy Hezbollah. The country is swarming with Iranian advisors" aTnd there are gangs of Hezbollah fighters especially around the Lebanon border. Also Alawite militia which have been responsible for some of the worst massacres

      The threat is wwhere the weaapons end up Isral is nt sayyi ng what they have done but it seems pretty ceaar they attacked at least and destroed two targets The first was a biochemical weapon plant outside of Damascus that was at risk of falling to AQ if the regime falls (and inthe meantime was athreat to the people of Syria The other was a cconvoy of sophisticated Russian war hardware and especially anti aircraft missile batteries on its way to Lebanon. Of no use to Assad because his eneemies ddo not war planes but of huge benefit to Hezbollah. Unquestionably they were being transferred under a deal with Iran

      Both legitimate acts of self defence

    5. Sorry
      That should be four times tne number of Palestians since 1948 who have been killed in the conflict with Israel
      Many times that number have been killed in wars among themselves and with other Arabs

    6. That's a strange comparison, Geoffff.

      Palestinian deaths in conflict with Israel over a period of 65 years versus Syrian deaths during two years.

      Is this to suggest Palestinian deaths over a long period of time is immaterial?

      I'd guess you didn't intend it that way, any more than that Liberal MP intended any comparison between Gillard's Government with Hitler and his democratically elected colleagues.

      My relative ignorance of the Syrian political linkages - as opposed to the facts of dead and tortured children, for example - wasn't to suggest I wasn't aware of the extent of murder and deprivation being inflicted on the Syrian population, and the millions now refugees; at least those people are alive.

      The murky alliances and grab-bag of lunatics in the Middle East exasperate me. Really, the whole damned lot of them, all the men, need to grow up,and need to act like men. Thus why I have little patience with reading all about it.

    7. There s a very important point here Caz that I ll get back to when I m I m blog non disadvantaged to do with moral relativism and Western perspectives. It s a terrible calculus but it is about time we confronted it for our own selves. For now every violent death is horrible and diminishes us all

      To respond to your point on the other thread regarding hitler and the nazis I agree entirely for several reasons including this one

      It dilutes the allegation of nazism and hitlerism where it is entirely appropriate

      The Iran regime Hamas Muslim Brotherhood are fucking nazis and I mean that quite literally They are the inheritors of the doctrine

      It is a terrible fact that this can not be pointed out because these terms have been made meaninless by those who have not the slightest idea of what they mean

      We are dealing with something that is beyond the comprehension of most Australians and the West

      They don t get it or they are in denial

    8. Moral relativism has been with us - and it's NOT a Western prerogative - since the population became big enough that people no longer spent a lifetime in one place and knew everyone there. Around the time of industrialization, I'd guess.

      You don't think the life of a Christian or a Jew has less or no value to a Muslim? Gosh, I think we all know that's true. So there is no finger pointing at the West.

      In the West, we do value lives differently, and donate, for example, to disasters depending on proximity - geography. This is well known, but also not a Western moral deficiency. It's normal. Humans have a compassion radius, much like a friends radius. There's a limit.

      Syria is shocking, and no one is about to step in to save them. No one can. Look at the succession of failures in other countries. That too is shameful.

      It's a joke to think humans are civilized.

      It's ok for me, and you, we're in Australia, the land of the free, in which people complain about being "forced" to vote. Poor babies.

  7. I feel aggreived and outraged

    Even though the tradition in my family is to break the fast at 10 am with eggs and bacon

    1. You'll be able to vote many times fueled-up on bacon and eggs.