Disclaimer: Today’s open thread begins with an apology to those in the less fortunate states because Sydney had some glorious weather this weekend. A little more ‘get outside and play in the sunshine’, than ‘stay at home and read’.

What did you read this weekend?

Saying that this Time Magazine article is worth a ponder. A recent study by a British social networking site has found that the average person doesn’t find true happiness until they reach the tender age of 33.

Same goes for this fascinating and tabloidy tale from the UK’s Daily Mail (otherwise known as THE bible of all tabloidy tales). It’s a story about seven year old Kian and Remee, twin girls who were born a minute apart. Only Kian is black and Remee is white.

For something a little more high-brow, try this excellent piece from James Risen of The New York Times about the clash between the CIA and the White House in regard to their dealings with Iran.

Now back to you. What got your toes curling in the reading department this weekend?

Most commented

191 comments

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    • acotrel says:

      05:44am | 02/04/12

      Julia Gillard is the best Prime MInister that Australia has had since federation !  Even with the minority government, and facing endemic sexism,  she has achieved more progressive legislative change than any other !

    • John Findlay says:

      07:13am | 02/04/12

      BULLSHIT !
      Gough Whitlam has that record.
      The things he did actually made a Australia a better place to live, Julia has made it worse !

    • TimB says:

      08:08am | 02/04/12

      @ Acotrel-

      “And in other news from Fantasy Island, Kyle Sandilands voted most popular & best-loved Australian of all time.”

    • Mark G says:

      08:33am | 02/04/12

      “she has achieved more progressive legislative change than any other !”

      I have said it before and I will say it again. When has the ability to cram a whole bunch of legislation through a minority parliament been the measure of a good PM? Also who said that everything that she has got through has been progressive? It’s amazing how everyone describes the policies that fit into their political ideologies as ‘progressive’. Progressive would suggest forward motion. There is little forward motion in politics just a pendulum that swings from left to right. Most of Julia’s policies have just been a swing back to the left.

      Fact is each PM wants to further the cause of their party. Julia is not different. The measure of a good PM is economic and social successes and ultimately popularity. Most of this remains to be seen in Julia’s government. This success can actually be achieved just as well by passing a small number of highly effective policy as opposed to a thousand mediocre (Green arse kissing) backwardly socialist policies.

    • nossy says:

      08:49am | 02/04/12

      @TimB   great to see acotrel back huh Tim - you said you missd him last week - now you two party members can “dialogue” again.

    • Anubis says:

      09:09am | 02/04/12

      You are one seriously deluded laborite there acotrel. The polls are reflecting the true “value” of Julia. She has plunged Labor down to 27% primary vote, her Preferred Prime Minister figures are now a full three percentage points below Abbott (who has to be one of the most disliked potential PM’s in decades). Julia is not facing endemic “sexism” as you say, the public and the press are rightfully slamming her for ebing a shite Prime Minister who is totally divorced fro reality. Her policies are runbbish and she has so far failed to bring any project to a successful completion without the involvment of union rorting, waste and/or corruption. She is setting Australia on a path to economic oblivion with this ridiculously regressive CArbon “tax” that she promised she would not introduce, every time she opens her mouth she lies, she gets involved in divisive tactics for political gain such as allowing her staff to agitate “Race baiting” and fully supports corrupt members of her Government and, it would apper, allows intervention in the flow of legal enquirie and investigation to save her slim hold on power and to avoid true scrutiny of the level of (alleged)corruption by members of her party.

      None of her legislation has been progressive and it all has a limiting impact on the growth of Australia. She and her party are actively steering us toward the same sink hole that Greece is disappearing down and the rusties refuse to acknowledge just how bad she is.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      10:51am | 02/04/12

      Actually Paul Keating was the best Prime Minister since federation. John Howard was the worst for building the middle class family welfare state.

    • Angel says:

      11:14am | 02/04/12

      @acotrel.  I previously suspected it, but now I know with absolute certainty ... you are simply a troll. 

      Wave bye bye, as you float into obscurity.

    • Fezzbo says:

      11:23am | 02/04/12

      @ Shane

      Actually, the Howard government managed to lift Australia’s financial situation out of the appalling red to the wonderful black by managing our countries financial interests to a T.

      Round of applause for Johnny and Pete. Huzzah!!!

      He then gave back to the community through your so-called “middle class welfare” to help with cost of living.

      What exactly is your problem with giving a little back to the people who worked their ass off to contribute to their own lifestyle as well as give a little more to their country?

      Oh, unless you missed out? Are you more annoyed about the government giving back to people who contribute to the country as opposed to those who bludge off it?

    • Kheiron says:

      11:23am | 02/04/12

      Someone should tell Acotrel that Aprils Fools day was yesterday.

    • Ben C says:

      11:33am | 02/04/12

      @ acotrel

      If Julia Gillard’s policies were about progress, she wouldn’t be giving the money received from the Carbon Tax back to the people, she’d be using it to invest in research into effective, efficient renewable energy sources, something that will replace our current energy sources. That is what I call progress, unlike the wealth redistribution that she is engaging in.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      11:58am | 02/04/12

      @Fezzbo- I have no problem with giving money back to the tax payer in the form of tax cuts, which is fair and equitable to all taxpayers (although very inefficient and does nothing to address actual problems like bracket creep and the quiltwork of tax deductions). I do have have a problem with the middle class family welfare system which is socialism or wealth redistribution, inequitable to parts of the taxpayer community, social engineering and ultimately destructive to the nation’s finances. Tax cuts can be decided to be given or not on an annual basis, middle class family welfare is forever. It is massive recurrent social expenditure that the nation cannot afford. John Howard started the game and now both sides play the “bribe the voter with handouts” game in an economic climate in which the nation cannot afford it.
      We have the crazy situation in which the federal government will slash and burn parts of bureaucracy to meet a budget surplus but at the same time expand federal bureaucracy to administer an expanded middle class family welfare system whether it is maternity leave, childcare or nannies.

    • Rosie says:

      01:33pm | 02/04/12

      acotrel

      Poor deluded soul to have not yet realized that Julia Gillard is PM in name only. She will stand out since federation as simply that. In reality Bob Brown is the real PM and as far as achieving more progressive legislative change, none of it belongs to the Labor Party she leads. It is all the possessions of the Greens led by the real PM, Bob Brown. Julia Gillard is up to her eyeballs in the muck she herself has managed to create because of the stupid deal she made with Bob Brown and the Independents. How could she be the best PM when she is ruled by Bob Brown to go against what she told the people and implement a carbon tax? She was then ordered by Bob Brown to negotiate and implement a mining tax, messy and watered down it doesn’t matter as long as one is legislated.

      acotrel you must be mentally exhausted on a daily basis, trying desperately to defend what is common knowledge a very bad govt, made worse by a deluded leader who for the good of the nation should step down and allow someone else to begin focusing on good governance the Labor brand way so all the progressive legislative change ends up belonging to Labor!

    • Impressionist says:

      02:31pm | 02/04/12

      Hilarous and demented,,,,,But I love the Archibald Prize winner this year,Uber Contemporary

    • acotrel says:

      04:48am | 03/04/12

      @Rosie
      ‘acotrel you must be mentally exhausted on a daily basis, trying desperately to defend what is common knowledge a very bad govt, made worse by a deluded leader ‘

      I suggest you only have that opinion because you listen to Tony Abbott and want so much t o believe in him !

    • alan says:

      04:57pm | 03/04/12

      agree acotrel - most citizens have s—t for brains and only care about the amount of cash in their wallet 5 minutes ago.  Julia is brave,strong and fair - not perfect like me but a whole lot better than the conservatives.  Problem is most of us cant read and analyse social policy and have no interest beyond our front porch.
      Abbot and co. would be a disaster and we would begin the descent into USA-lite.  If you are rich and profess to be a christian, fill your boots - otherwise f—- off.  Conservatives, especically wealthy ones, world-wide are all the same, they despise most of us in their hearts becasuse we have not made it like them - look at Romney and tremble.

    • nossy says:

      06:08am | 02/04/12

      Good stuff there Lucy - what are we readingyou ask - currently I am reading Rob Mundles book on William Bligh ( of the Bounty fame)  called “Bligh, Master Mariner”. Being a ocean lover myself I find it a great read and what a seafarer Bligh was - possibly completeing the most hazadous voyage ever of 3600klms in an open boat with 20 dispirted men onboard and he navigated them all to safety after Fletcher Christian put them overboard during the Bounty Mutiny - can reccomend that book to anyone.

    • Michael says:

      08:11am | 02/04/12

      Better than talking about the polls hey nossy? smile

    • Scotchfinger says:

      08:41am | 02/04/12

      I liked how Mel stood up to Anthony Hopkins over his mistreatment of the men with that nutty look Mel gets, that we later found out was not acting.

    • nossy says:

      08:46am | 02/04/12

      @Michael as a swing voter Michael I dont give a rats arse fella - just dont want that ghastly dud Abott as PM!

    • Michael says:

      09:41am | 02/04/12

      Sure you do nossy, that’s why you talk up the numbers when they say what you prefer them to say, and back to swinging in the wind when they don’t. smile

      How sweet will it be when Tones is your P.M.?

    • TimB says:

      09:45am | 02/04/12

      There’s a myth that Nossy likes to perpetuate about being a swinging voter.

      Long time Punch users will know that the reality is that Nossy is Labor as they come. Any and all ‘swinging’ is a result of blindly following the polls.

      Not much integrity there Nossy.

    • nossy says:

      10:02am | 02/04/12

      @TimB   hahaha thank you Timmy - coming from a fully paid up Liberal Party Member thats rich fella! Not much integrity there Timmy! I most definately have no connections or affiliations with ANY political party and am most definately a swinging voter - in fact last weekend voted LNP in QLD.

    • AdamC says:

      10:19am | 02/04/12

      Nossy definitely displays the Labor habit of obsessing about Tony Abbott.

    • TimB says:

      10:20am | 02/04/12

      Oh and he makes up lies too.

      Yup, integrity definitely not one of the qualities our Nossy possesses.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:33am | 02/04/12

      @TimB

      You should be the last person to accuse anyone of bias..

      In all fairness to Nossy, he wrote an opinion on a book and Michael railroaded it for no good reason.

      @AdamC

      Showing a dislike for someone shouldn’t be seen as showing an obsession. The fact is the guy is going to be the next PM and we have two duds as PM and as Opposition leader at the moment.

    • TimB says:

      10:52am | 02/04/12

      I’m not accusing him of bias Simon. Just pointing out his deception.

      Imagine if Tony started sinking like a stone in the polls and I tried to pass myself off as someone who didn’t support the Libs and never did. That crap wouldn’t fly with any of you lot if I was silly enough to try it, and that kind of crap from Nossy shouldn’t fly here.

      If Nossy wants to jump off the Labor bandwagon because it’s heading for a collission with a carbon-tax shaped road sign, then fine.
      But at least he should be man enough to admit that he made a mistake and that he’s simply changing his mind. He shouldn’t be re-writing history and pretending that he was never on the bandwagon to start with.

      Oh and he shouldn’t be throwing around baseless and untrue accusations about myself either. Every time he does it, I lose a little bit more respect for him.

      And yes, agree with what you say about Michael diverting it. A bit of poor form there.

    • Aitch B says:

      10:57am | 02/04/12

      @Tim B

      One thing’s for sure - you can definitely spell…... nossy definately can’t!! smile

    • AdamC says:

      11:21am | 02/04/12

      Simon, I have two words for you:

      Budgy Smugglers !!!!!

    • Michael says:

      11:21am | 02/04/12

      aww come on guys play nicely, i was just having fun with nossy not trying to be mean or start anything.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      11:22am | 02/04/12

      @TimB

      Thanks for the response.

      He did vote LNP though, so some credit where credit is due I guess!.

    • nossy says:

      11:23am | 02/04/12

      @TimB and you make up lies too TimB - integrity not something you possess my little Liberal Party Member huh!  hahaahhaah

    • TimB says:

      11:25am | 02/04/12

      Yeah Aitch, but I managed to find another S in ‘collision’ smile

      This thing needs a built in spellcheck to counteract my lazyness.

      And the really sad thing is I know better. Or I should.

    • nossy says:

      11:27am | 02/04/12

      @Aitch B yess eye cann Aitch B!  hahaahah love ya fella!

    • Scotchfinger 'the Sheriff' says:

      11:39am | 02/04/12

      this is like watching a group of teen boys going from a slanging match to a scuffle when someone mentioned someone else’s mother or sister. Please gentlemen, dust yourselves down and play nicely. And Michael you should be ashamed for bringing up politics out of nowhere.

    • TimB says:

      11:46am | 02/04/12

      Which lies are those Nossy? Hit me with them.

      I’ve identified yours- Your constant unsubstantiated claim that I’m an LNP member, denied by me time and time again.

      Simon, most of the state voted LNP, he doesn’t get THAT much credit wink (especially seeing as he was voting KAP until Katter came out with that ridiculous ad).

      But I guess he deserves a little credit. The ultra-rusties of Acotrel’s ilk would still have voted Labor no matter what.

    • nossy says:

      11:56am | 02/04/12

      @AdamC cant stand him Adam - that should be clear by now - and the latest polls show his dissatisfaction rating as leader high once more so I am not Robinson Crusoe my good man!

    • nossy says:

      12:11pm | 02/04/12

      @Scotchfinger ‘the Sheriff’  hahha e love it all Scotch - god knows what people from outside think- probably say “I dont want to play with those bullies”  haaah but we are all good people arnt we? Blogs arnt for the faint hearted or easily insulted.

    • AdamC says:

      12:21pm | 02/04/12

      Nossy, of course you aren’t Robinson Crusoe. There are still a few Labor voters around - even in QLD! (Just not as many as Gillard, etc, would like.)

    • mr g says:

      12:39pm | 02/04/12

      AitchB. Don’t criticise Nossy’s spelling whilst praising little TimB’s. Tim might have a “collission”.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      01:17pm | 02/04/12

      @AdamC

      Budgie smugglers aye, wasn’t a good look on him, must the same as a bikini wouldn’t be a good look for Julia.

      @TimB

      True. Don’t think even I would of voted Labor up there.

    • TimB says:

      01:31pm | 02/04/12

      Wow Holden McG. Aren’t you a clever little birdie for pointing out a mistake I already admitted to?

      Have a cracker.

    • SimpleSimon says:

      02:37pm | 02/04/12

      I’ve been under the impression for some time that nossy was a “she”? If I was wrong, then I have no idea where I got that impression from… confused

    • TimB says:

      03:09pm | 02/04/12

      @ SimpleSimon- BWAHAHAHAH.

      Poor Nossy LOL .

      I’d offer a couple of theories on why you might have thought of Nossy as a girl, but the fairer sex may not take kindly to them. And then Fairs and Elph will rip me a new one. So I shall refrain. smile

    • nossy says:

      03:43pm | 02/04/12

      @TimB   your ok Timmy - not a liar just a bullshitter - and a good one too!  hahaha love ya fella.

    • nihonin says:

      05:45pm | 02/04/12

      I’ve seen the real nossy on another forum, called him out here on the Punch, and Nosworthy replied with, I’m a paid up member of the Liberals.

      ooooooooooooooo how sweet that was, I’ll even take being called a party sycophant when catching people out, being duplicitous.

    • ZSRenn says:

      06:11pm | 02/04/12

      @ nossy I think you have known me in these pages long enough to know I am not a paid contributor and I also agree that you are not but
      mate
      m-a-t-e!
      m—a—t—e!
      m—-a—-t—-e

      I gotta agree with little TimmyB a swinging voter you ain’t!

    • nossy says:

      07:17pm | 02/04/12

      @ZSRenn 7.11pm thats the silliest comment of the day ZSR - did TimB pay you to write that?  hahahha honestly fella I dont give a rats arse what you think - blog on fella!

    • acotrel says:

      04:55am | 03/04/12

      Have you got to the part where John MacArthur used the bounty mutiny to blacken Bligh’s character so he could depose him as governor of New South Wales ? You know after Bligh took his still away from him, which he’d be n using to print his own money.  Rum was the currency of the day !
      Macarthur was the founding father of the conservatives in Australia - bet they’re proud of that poisonous bastard ?

    • Kerryn says:

      07:28am | 02/04/12

      Everyone laughed at me when I said Brisbane Lions by over 40 points.

      Guess who’s laughing now?

      Watched a bit of sunrise before work too, apparently one politician is now more popular than the one in charge.  I still believe that either way we’re doomed.  Power-hungry political rats (although they’re probably very nice people).

    • wingnut says:

      08:29am | 02/04/12

      Melbourne were absoloutely pathetic, heartless, gutless, spineless, and that was only last year, I couldn’t even describe their efforts on Saturday after what had occured in the week beforehand. Good thing I don’t support that rabble

    • nossy says:

      09:05am | 02/04/12

      @Kerryn hows that new Veloster going Kerryn - looks a smart machine and selling well too. Different idea having on drivers side door and two passenger side doors though?
      http://www.hyundai.com.au/Vehicles/Veloster

    • Scotchfinger says:

      09:27am | 02/04/12

      @nossy I’m sure you’re a great saleswoman and a credit to Hyundai, but let’s keep cash for comment to a minimum please.

      Plus everyone knows Hyundai cars fall apart after five years. Korean rubbish. Sorry Kerryn.

    • Kerryn says:

      09:53am | 02/04/12

      @nossy The “Tendulkar” or “Tenny” as I like to call her is doing GREAT.  Easily the best drive I’ve ever had.  The only real issue is a blind spot on the right hand side when checking lanes but that’s fixed by carefully adjusting the mirror.  Very good on fuel too, but I like to use the expensive stuff lol

    • nossy says:

      10:10am | 02/04/12

      @Scotchfinger   hahahah Scotchfinger most unkind - just had a look down the trousers and its meat and two veg fella. As for selling - its a passion of mine and often slips through in general conversation/comment.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      10:17am | 02/04/12

      oops, sorry Nossy, difficult to tell sometimes with the ol’ tags…

    • adam says:

      10:39am | 02/04/12

      Kerryn, your Lions may make a few sit up and take notice this year.
      re the blind spot, if your indicators are on, it’s everyone elses job to avoid you I say

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:40am | 02/04/12

      @Wingnut

      I watched that too and couldn’t believe it. If as a team they can’t getup for the first game of the year after Stynes death I don’t have much hope for them for the rest of the year.

      Mind you, as a Collingwood supporter I was pretty disappointed, if only we knew how to kick straight.

    • adam says:

      10:59am | 02/04/12

      Simon, the times they are a’changin’

      The Pies time in the sun may be drawing to a close my friend. Melbourne should be ashamed, and the coach should wield the axe. From the celebration Mat Primus at Port seemed to have a fair bit of pressure on for a round 1 game

    • Anubis says:

      11:13am | 02/04/12

      @ Adam says - if your indicators are on, it’s everyone elses job to avoid you I say”

      I hope you don’t drive anywhere that I do Adam. You really don’t understand the road do you? Your indicators are to let other drivers know what you intend to do - they do not give you an automatic right of way to immediately jump lanes/turn corners/throw a u-turn etc. You are still by law required to give way to other motorists in the lane/part of the road you are moving to.

      And for those that don’t understand it, turning your indicators on while you are already in the act of changing lanes (or just as you finish changing lanes like a lot of numpties do) does not mean you are indicating your intentions. Let ‘em blink for a while before you commence changing lanes so other drivers know what you intend. And guess what? One blink does not an indication of intent make.

    • wingnut says:

      11:16am | 02/04/12

      Pies fan as well Simon, could have it wrapped up early in the second quarter! Not worried though plenty of players still to come back, so Adam we’re not going anywhere!

    • adam says:

      11:30am | 02/04/12

      Anubis, so sorry I don’t have a little smirk emoticon, I was being toungue in cheek.
      Wing you may be right but I’m not so sure. Don’t reckon you’ll drop out of the 8 but the big one? may be a bridge too far.
      As a Swan, any promising signs for replacements for Jude, and O’Keefe would be nice

    • Cynicised says:

      11:51am | 02/04/12

      I was at the MCG and as a Melbourne member it was bloody torturous! Young side, no tall timber to speak of, but their lack of bottle at the bounce, shocking disposal and inability to either stick a mark or find the big sticks was all terribly disappointing. However, with a new coach who was utterly ropable after the game, and some class players who will be returning from injury later in the season don’t right the Dees of completely yet, Simon. The end of the year results matter a helluva lot more than one match!

    • Cynicised says:

      12:02pm | 02/04/12

      Oh crap, I’m having a shocker of a morning myself this morning! Write, not right, of course!

    • wingnut says:

      12:21pm | 02/04/12

      @Adam, too hard to call who will play on GF day, but I were a fair crack still, depth is an issue, if we lose a few key players then we’re stuffed, but if we can get most players out there then were going to be hard to beat!

    • Kerryn says:

      01:09pm | 02/04/12

      I actually went for a 15km walk during the game (worked in the NAB cup against Carlton…) and I finally checked twitter on my phone about 12km into the walk at 3/4 time…I ran in glee for about 500m before my foot gave out and I limped the rest of the way home.  Yay Lions!

    • NESLIHAN KUROSAWA says:

      07:36am | 02/04/12

      Hi Lucy,

      If we really enjoy reading immensely , would it make any kind of major difference if it happened to be a sunny or a rainy day? If we are dedicated readers, we could surely put aside some time to read at any time of any day, rain or shine, right? If we only could dedicate the smallest portion of the time spent on our mobile phones to the ultimate enjoyment of reading, I truly believe that the world our would be a better place for everyone.

      I am just wondering if reading news headlines and news updates on our mobile phones could actually count as reading as well? Reading a good book does a great deal of good for our brain functions in general. While watching TV programs there might only be a very small brain activity in our brain waves, however just reading books and listening to music do wonders for our most powerful organ which happens to be our brain.

      Right now I am reading a great book by Tina Fey, from Saturday Night Live, called “BOSSY PANTS”. A great book written with lots of intelligence and a special sense of humour.  I would like to get my hands on a copy “Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America”, by Mark Levin as well in the near future. 

      Who actually knows if the great enjoyment which comes with reading a good book might actually make a great come back, just like it was so in the good old days.  Just before with all the fascination and almost obsession with the latest technology electronic gadgets and social media networks. 

      May be you can also provide us with a list of good books to read, a bit like the “Oprah’s Book Club”.  Would be a great idea, besides the fact that we really do enjoy most articles on the Punch. Kind regards to your editors.

    • Suzanne says:

      07:39am | 02/04/12

      Shocking polls for Labor got worse today.  Carbon Tax unsellable.  I think both parties will have new leaders before 2013 election

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      07:55am | 02/04/12

      Oh to see the back of Ms Gillard sooner than later would be better than winning a great big lottery!!!!!!  She is damaging for my - and many others’ I know - health. Think we’ll start a class action. This country cannot afford the costs for the damage to good health which she has wrought and continues to do so; increased incidence of hypertension, heart disease, stress, alcoholism; you name it. We cannot ‘afford’ her in any way. And certainly not in conjunction with Swan doing the bookkeeping!  And she is SOOOOOOOO…....embarrassing!!!!  Never thought I would regret not having Keating as PM. But she makes him look/seem like a gift from god!  Please, God!!!, make her go away!!!!!

    • Mark G says:

      08:41am | 02/04/12

      Tell It Like It is,

      Geez being a bit melodramatic. I’m not a Julia supporter and I will be happy to see her defeated but come on. Medical issues??? You just need to sit down and relax. A few deep breaths. Julia is not going to go away because of your medical problems. If politics gets you that riled up them maybe you should turn off the tele and close down the internet. Your ability to deal with conflict appears to demonstrates some serious psychological issues.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      09:05am | 02/04/12

      I believe Tell It LIke It Is is going to go all Lee Harvey Oswald on us. Don’t provoke him MarkG, or you’ll be next…

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      10:19am | 02/04/12

      Just as would suspect, @nossy. No sense of rhythm!  Terrible dancer. This girl can do much better!  But I’m too busy for dancin’ just now. I’ve loaded up my rifle and am heading briskly to a grassy knoll to take out Mark G AND Scotchfinger. Nothing to do with their politics - well not a lot. But anyone who takes things so seriously/lacking humour….

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      10:27am | 02/04/12

      Oooppsss….Sorry. A bit confused there…. Make that the book repository.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      10:42am | 02/04/12

      I’ll make sure to take another route for the next few weeks…

    • John Findlay says:

      10:50am | 02/04/12

      @ Tell it like it is, thats enough of a threat to get a malicious AVO taken out against you. The courts have no sense of humour about these things especialy if it’s directed at a female.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      11:05am | 02/04/12

      ha ha John Findlay, he threatened me and MarkG not PM. I wouldn’t take out an AVO on ol’ TILII; I need a bit of Clint Eastwood vs John Malkovitch excitement in my life…

    • Tell It Like It Is says:

      11:33am | 02/04/12

      @Scotchfinger you did not carefully read my earlier post when I said “this girl can dance”. I was referring to moi (certainly NOT Gillard who the video clip showed as no sense of timing in ANYTHING!).  You assumed I was a ‘he’, it seems,  just as you assumed incorrectly that old @nossy was a female. Put your glasses on!  Can’t ‘do’ Clint Eastwood or Malkovich therefore. Sorry.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      12:11pm | 02/04/12

      *sigh* ok sorry Tell Me Like It Is. But you shouldn’t use a gender-neutral handle if you don’t want to be offended. Please don’t shoot me; or MarkG; or John Findlay; or J Gillard; or anyone. *smiles meekly before going off to lunch*

    • TChong says:

      08:06am | 02/04/12

      Bloody West Tigers.

    • Ted says:

      09:27am | 02/04/12

      Anasta wouldn’t have let Souths win that match.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:41am | 02/04/12

      Unreal! talk about throwing a game away.

    • Tim says:

      12:02pm | 02/04/12

      The Raiders mentally scarred the Tigers last week and they choked accordingly on the weekend Chongy.
      Raiders by two tries tonight against the Cowboys.

    • nihonin says:

      05:52pm | 02/04/12

      But Tchong, goooooooooooooooo the Bunnies.

    • TimB says:

      08:13am | 02/04/12

      WTF Manly? Of all teams, you get beaten by Parramatta?!

      You suck.

      4 from 6 so far, thanks to some patented Benny Barba magic, and a completely inept West Tigers team gifting Souths a win and myself a tipping point.

      The less said about Saturday night the better though.

    • Ted says:

      09:31am | 02/04/12

      How good was that Josh Morris try Benny set up?

    • TimB says:

      10:16am | 02/04/12

      That was brilliant stuff. 3 defenders beaten to escape the in-goal area, then another 2 or 3 to get down the other end of the field.

      Then managing to prevent that last Titans try attempt.

      The kid is a magician.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:44am | 02/04/12

      Thought we were gone early on. Titans had awesome ball control and the Bulldogs were offering nothing, lucky we could pull away on the few chances we had.

      Sam Kasiano is going great guns for the Dogs this year.

    • TimB says:

      10:54am | 02/04/12

      Titans had quite a bit of luck too. Those rebounds off the posts? My jaw dropped. One in a thousand shot right there.

      And I still have no clue how the ball magically disappeared from Ennis’s hands and ended up in the Titans posession.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      11:43am | 02/04/12

      @TimB

      LOL when that ball hit the post, I was like man maybe our luck is done for this game, thankfully all came good.

    • subotic says:

      08:19am | 02/04/12

      Books are useless!

      I only ever read one book, “To Kill A Mockingbird”, and it gave me absolutely no insight on how to kill mockingbirds!

      Sure it taught me not to judge a man by the color of his skin, but what good does *that* do me?

    • Mouse says:

      04:12pm | 02/04/12

      Why would you ever want to learn how to kill a mockingbird??? They are such cute little things. OMG you are so cruel!!!  :o)

    • wingnut says:

      08:55am | 02/04/12

      How are the many north of the Victorian border feeling about the Melbourne Storm so far? I’m guessing hating every minute of it

    • fairsfair says:

      09:16am | 02/04/12

      I love the Storm. They are my number 3 team behind the Boys and the Broncs.

      I laughed out loud for a prolonged period of time at the Tigers yesterday. Hahahahahah!

    • Ben C says:

      09:47am | 02/04/12

      I’ve been supporting the Storm since they entered the competition in 1998. Loving every minute of the season so far, although I was a bit disappointed with the last two tries they conceded to Newcastle on Friday night - soft by Storm standards.

    • TimB says:

      09:54am | 02/04/12

      Not too fussed yet. The Mighty Bulldogs are nipping at their heels.

      We’ll see how much I hate it in Round 7 I guess wink

    • Ben C says:

      10:26am | 02/04/12

      You’ll hate it heaps, TimB wink

    • wingnut says:

      10:40am | 02/04/12

      They are sure doing us proud down here! 5-0 don’t even look like close to dropping one at the moment.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:45am | 02/04/12

      We’ll most probably have no players left, the Storm would have choked them all out.

    • wingnut says:

      10:51am | 02/04/12

      SFL there’s that Melbourne hating bias I was after!

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      11:45am | 02/04/12

      @Wingnut

      You can always count on me for that!

    • Tim says:

      12:06pm | 02/04/12

      “They are sure doing us proud down here! 5-0 don’t even look like close to dropping one at the moment. “

      Except for round one against the Raiders, when the Raiders had a legitimate try disallowed and the Storm were awarded a try when a player was in an offside position.

    • wingnut says:

      12:24pm | 02/04/12

      @Simon good to hear, I was expecting more bites than I got to be honest!

      @Tim- admittedly that was a shaky game, but noones come close since, anyway, any ref blunders make up for the countless errors we’ve had to put up with in the past :p

    • wingnut says:

      12:24pm | 02/04/12

      @Simon good to hear, I was expecting more bites than I got to be honest!

      @Tim- admittedly that was a shaky game, but noones come close since, anyway, any ref blunders make up for the countless errors we’ve had to put up with in the past :p

    • Rowdy says:

      08:58am | 02/04/12

      NUFC 2 - 0 Liverpool…..C’mon the Toon!! Howay the lads!!

      Now up to 5th and equal on points with Chelsea. Nose bleed issues aside, I hope the lads just don’t look down! It’s not often we get up this end of the ladder. Papas Cisse looks the goods at No.9!!!!

    • wingnut says:

      10:38am | 02/04/12

      Arggh as a Sunderland I have been waiting for the usual Newcaslte self implosion but it’s just not coming this season!

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:48am | 02/04/12

      Demba Ba is killing it this year.

    • wingnut says:

      10:52am | 02/04/12

      As a Sunderland supporter*...to follow on shit we were stiff not to beat City!

    • Ben C says:

      11:24am | 02/04/12

      @ wingnut

      As a Manchester United fan, I’m not begrudging Sunderland’s efforts. Sure, we would’ve preferred a Sunderland win, but to hold City is still good enough, still 2 points dropped by the Citizens.

    • Rowdy says:

      11:32am | 02/04/12

      I must admit I would have liked to see City go down…..even to the Mackems….but 3-1 up and to draw…..facepalm….  grin

    • Ben C says:

      11:46am | 02/04/12

      @ Rowdy

      It could be worse, could be Liverpool - 2-0 up against QPR (of all teams) with 15 minutes to go, and end up losing 3-2.

    • wingnut says:

      12:28pm | 02/04/12

      @BenC- I think we’ve still screwed them over for you anyway, not that I am that keen on United winning it again, but gotta hand it to you, even with what would be one of the more weaker United lists in a long time the job still gets done. Too many egos at City, the petulence of Ballotelli (who I actually like) when they had a set piece on Sunday morning was bewildering!

      @Rowdy, that’s pretty much what I did, if you give me 3-3 at the start of the game I take it, but 3-3 when you are 3-1 85th minute…hurts!

    • Rowdy says:

      01:16pm | 02/04/12

      @wingnut….there would be a few teams who would take 3-3 prior to a game with City at their ground…..

      And you are right about City & egos. I laughed at Ballotelli and was it Tevez? Arguing over that free kick! You would never see Toon players fight like that….......oh wait….....

    • Ben C says:

      01:19pm | 02/04/12

      @ wingnut

      Balotelli - prodigiously talented, but definitely lacking something between the ears.

      United this season has relied more on grit that style (with the exception of 8-2 vs Arsenal). Even so, it has failed them in every other competition that they’ve entered this year (League Cup, FA Cup, Champions League, Europa League). Winning the Premier League this year will be more a testament to Sir Alex’s management of the players than anything else - the only player he’s been able to rely on with confidence has been Rooney.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      01:20pm | 02/04/12

      @Wingnut

      Martin O’neil has done wonders for that team since taking over.

    • Ben C says:

      01:38pm | 02/04/12

      @ SimonFromLakemba

      I remember reading somewhere (I think it was Soccernet), that over the first ten games of O’Neill’s management, Sunderland performed better than any other team in the League over the corresponding period. He’s really turned them around since he’s come on board.

      Sunderland, along with Swansea and Newcastle, have been my surprise packets for the season.

    • wingnut says:

      01:46pm | 02/04/12

      Rowdy-Absoloutely take 3-3 I guess it’s just the circumstances, as I said being 3-1 up and think we were going to pull off the double against them, to then have it taken away, but hey 4 points taken from them this season, I dont think anyone else can lay claim to that!

      Balotelli, Teves, Kolorov the lot of them, but it mainly Balotelli having a whinge because he wanted it!
      Agreed Ben C, something definately missing! As for United, certainly a testament to him, I cannot stand him in anyway shape or form, but shit he knows how to get the best out of a team, and you just wouldn’t get the above (fighting over a set piece) at United.

      Simon- he has worked miracles almost, if he work a miracle and cut out the bizzare inconsitency ( 2-0 loss to Blackburn, 3-1 win against QPR, appalling 2-0 FA cup loss to everton, 3-3 draw at Manchester city) we’re a box of chocolates!

    • HappyG says:

      03:03pm | 02/04/12

      Rowdy as a long suffering Liverpool supporter I wasn’t surprised to see the Toon win. They’re a good side performing above their weight. As for my blokes they seem to think that because Kenny’s back everything will fall into place. A couple of quality players will only get you so far. If they want to succeed they need to apply a bit of heart and stop reading their own press.

    • wingnut says:

      03:30pm | 02/04/12

      What was Andy Carrol thinking taking that dive? Could of ran into an empty net bizzare stuff!!

    • Ben C says:

      04:12pm | 02/04/12

      @ HappyG

      I was speaking to three people separately, all Liverpool fans, last weekend. They all seem to agree that Liverpool have become complacent, and aren’t showing enough ticker. One has even suggested that Kenny is the wrong man for the job, having been out of the managerial game for so long - the game has passed him completely.

    • Jacko says:

      08:59am | 02/04/12

      What on earth does Bill chat about to his mother-in-law these days?

    • Angel says:

      11:19am | 02/04/12

      “So, Quentin, they say in the media you are classy, decent and respectable.  You’d probably be a lot more respectable and decent if you dismissed GIllard and installed me as PM. At least I would drop the carbon tax as PM, because we as Labor simply cannot win an election with that dead drongo hanging around our necks. Meanwhile, I like you a whole lot better than my last mother-in-law, because you can at least look after me when I’m PM, eh?”

    • fairsfair says:

      09:02am | 02/04/12

      Lucy, the weather here was spectactular. I have never seen the sky so cloudless and blue. The weekend we just had made me realise why we choose to live up here….Other than the weather it really had nothing going for it though. I have had minimal sleep thanks to the wowser neighbour having a window rattling dubstep party that lasted into the early hours of the morning. I then got up early (6:00am) and mowed out of spite and got an assignment done for uni. I am coming down with a cold - look the wheels have falled off for fairsfair :( Bring on Easter.

      On another note - I was watching the news last night re the Fiji floods and they interviewed a returned traveller who’s name was “Michael Hunt”... You’ve got to be kidding! That then got me thinking of the most random names I have ever come across. Dirk Pronk, Richard Staines, Gene Pool, Fanny Tang and Mrs Biejkrdijk (pron Bikerdyke). Has anyone else got any corkers?

    • TChong says:

      09:24am | 02/04/12

      Hi ff
      Remember 1st year tuts love the anecdote, both written and verbal.
      one day, you’ll look back and larf wink
      funny names.
      Claude Borls

    • adam says:

      09:31am | 02/04/12

      this is a true story

      When in the Navy we had a chap who was of low rank and unfortunate surname. His official title was Seaman Staines

    • nossy says:

      09:38am | 02/04/12

      @fairsfair   but what about the humidity in Summer fairs - get bloody sticky up around Cairns.

    • SimpleSimon says:

      10:15am | 02/04/12

      @adam - I actually had to hold in my laughter at that, from risk of drawing unwanted attention to myself! That’s hilarious! Poor bugger.

    • fairsfair says:

      10:20am | 02/04/12

      Nossy - it gets bloody sticky up around everything wink

      But the weekend just past makes that worth it. There is nothing as good as laying on a sunlounger atop freshly mowed grass with the Autumn South Easterlies rushing though the palm fronds, beer in hand. I would take two of our Summers for one good Winter up here - it is bliss.

      My second assignment is based on an anecdote TC wink rofl at Claude Borls!

      ads - imagine if Seaman Staines hooked up with Amanda Preen…. together they’d work it out wink

    • adam says:

      10:46am | 02/04/12

      fairs A Preen, thats good!

      There was also a Coxswain, sorta sea going police for those not of a Naval bent, whose mane was Robert Soles. And yes he was one

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:50am | 02/04/12

      I knew of a lady whose last name was ‘Whore’ mustn’t of been too great being referred to as ‘Mrs Whore’.

    • patsy says:

      10:56am | 02/04/12

      @fairsfair- I once had to write a receipt for a lady who pronounced her surname as Siddee bottum. I asked how to spell it. It was Sidebottom.

    • TRBNGR says:

      11:01am | 02/04/12

      Anyone with the surname Grogan.

      Ewww.

    • Tatty_Anne says:

      11:31am | 02/04/12

      SimonFromLakemba,  my husband used to work with a guy whose last name was Herpes.  We held similar sentiments, poor guy.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      11:50am | 02/04/12

      @Tatty Annie

      LOL that’s awesome, you think you would have to change your name.

    • Chris L says:

      01:00pm | 02/04/12

      Wasn’t there a weather presenter named Sue Ridge?

      My brother had a friend in school named Pat McHunt.

    • fairsfair says:

      01:48pm | 02/04/12

      There was Sue Ridgepipe in the 12th Man as was there a Grogan. Dropper was his nickname if I recall correctly. God I love those tapes! The accounts assistant is also Annette Profit and umpire Hugh Jarse will always be my fave…

      Michael Hunt was an older gent, so I can sort of see why his parents perhaps maybe didn’t make the link… but I really wonder what some parents are thinking. Its a concern.

    • Shenanigans says:

      02:30pm | 02/04/12

      one of my friends works for a guy called Moe Lester.
      still can’t get over how funny that is XD

    • fairsfair says:

      02:47pm | 02/04/12

      Lol Shen… not sure why, but that has now made me think of a classmate’s dad… Jack Imhoff. I wish I was joking. His name was John, but he chose to go by Jack… why?

    • Shenanigans says:

      03:03pm | 02/04/12

      maybe just maybe, he had the wrong kind of intentions….

    • Goanna says:

      05:03pm | 02/04/12

      Michael Hunt is the brother of Yorke Hunt.

    • fairsfair says:

      09:14am | 02/04/12

      I’m currently hurriedly reading “The Lucky One” before I see it at chicks at the flicks later this month. So far it is good and I am quite looking forward to seeing Zac Efron at various stages of undress. I feel borderline pervert but that High School Musical pretty boy has sure grown up good…

      I once bought some second hand books (they were Marian Keyes) and in them, the previous owner had underlined (what I could work out) all the words that she did not know the meaning of. I am only assuming that she then found the meaning. I thought that a very worthwhile exercise. In reading, we read over so many words we don’t use in everyday conversation and we understand the general gist of what is being said, but when put on the spot we would not be able to provide a concise meaning. Since that time (even though I have stopped short of underlining of having a pocket dictionary companion) I have made a concerted effort to remember and find the meaning of the more unusual words I come across.

      Reading is fantastic.

    • Scotchfinger says:

      09:46am | 02/04/12

      someone underlined difficult words in a chikc-lit aimed for young adults? I hope she learned english as a second language and is not a product of our school system.

    • AdamC says:

      09:50am | 02/04/12

      You are right, Fairs. I occasionally look up unfamiliar words that I see in books. You don’t want to overdo it, though. I hate it when people write like a thesauraus!

    • fairsfair says:

      10:05am | 02/04/12

      Marian Keyes isn’t young adult. Her books explore some very serious adult issues like drug addiction, mental illness and domestic violence. 

      I believe that ESL may be the case as some of the words (I thought) were quite simple. Rather than overthink her origins too much, I was simply applauding her desire to increase her vocabulary.

    • Slothy says:

      01:00pm | 02/04/12

      fairs, quite possibly my favourite thing about my Kindle Touch is that when I come across an unfamiliar word, I can just touch it and up pops the Oxford dictionary definition. Extremely handy, especially considering the two books I have on the go (“How To Defeat Your Own Clone”, a nonfiction book about bioengineering, and “Sacred Games” about a police detective in Mumbai) are chock full of terms I’m not completely across.

    • Cynicised says:

      02:26pm | 02/04/12

      Same as on an iPad with a Dictionary.com app. One touch, type in the unfamiliar word (or a few letters) and up it pops, with synonyms and antonyms from the Thesaurus as well. Brilliant stuff!

      I also have a small Kindle, not the Touch model though, which does the same, Slothy. Brilliant stuff! Not that I need to look words up all that often though. *cough* wink

    • fairsfair says:

      02:50pm | 02/04/12

      What will they think of next?!? LOL.

      Damn.. I am going to have to get a Kindle.

    • Elphaba says:

      09:41am | 02/04/12

      I’m reading Wilbur Smith’s ‘The Burning Shore’ right now.  I’m reading the entire Courtney series from start to finish on my Kindle (written order, not chronological order).

      My new yoga DVD arrived in the mail today.  I’m bored with my current ones, so I’m mixing it up - this one is split into a specific morning and evening workout.  Morning yoga is the best! smile

    • fairsfair says:

      10:13am | 02/04/12

      I did Yoga Friday afternoon Elph - loved it. Must get back into it properly. Have now joined the gym though, so ample opportunity to do so - I have no excuse!

      I saw The Hunger Games yesterday. The movie was slammed by Margaret and David, but aside from the camera style I disagree with their summation. It was entertaining. Perhaps it is because I have not read the books? I watched it for what it is - a young adult tale and it was 1000 times better than Twilight.

    • Elphaba says:

      10:27am | 02/04/12

      @fairs, most of the time I like Margaret and David, but occasionally they suffer from being in the biz too long.  Not every film is supposed to be serious, sometimes they’re just good ol’ escapism.

      I’m waiting to tee up available times with a couple of girlfriends to go and see it - we’ll get there.

      Yoga is the only thing that keeps me sane… wink

    • AdamC says:

      10:44am | 02/04/12

      I haven’t seen the Hunger Games, but I am usually a fan of Margaret and David’s reviews. They are, at the very least, entertaining to watch. However, they are often unfairly critical of big budget studio movies (in my experience, if a blockbuster gets a 3/5 from them, it is pretty damn good) and way too ready to gush about the latest Aussie offering. I remember reading somewhere that Aussie film critics, unwittingly or otherwsie, usually give Australian films one star more than they would an equivalent film produced overseas. This rule seems to apply to Margaret and David.

    • Markus says:

      12:12pm | 02/04/12

      Didn’t see their review, but I found the Hunger Games a fairly unimpressive movie too. Dodgy camerawork as you say (shaky cam as a means of obscuring poor fight choreography is a pet peeve of mine), and quite a few parts where it seems they just skimmed over the story without any real explanation.
      Not unbearable by any means, but I doubt I’ll watch it a second time.

      Regarding the comparison to Twilight, 1000 times zero is still zero smile

      @AdamC, they also seem very quick to rate any foreign film 4 stars or higher. I remember when they gave both Hero and House of Flying Daggers 5 stars each, despite both lacking any real substance beyond the shiny colours.

    • nossy says:

      09:58am | 02/04/12

      Having been around the music and entertainment/PR/Ad world nearly all my life, now retired,  its wonderful to see young kids get a start - and its bloody hard indeed. So when young Jonathon Antoine auditioned before “Britains Got Talent” recently he was doubly lucky - firstly he had talent and secondly he performed before starmaker Simon Cowell. Cowell cuts to the chase as always and this audition is well worth a look.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt3Utn4mjeg

    • Mark G says:

      10:07am | 02/04/12

      I have been reading the song of Ice and Fire (game of thrones) series. I did a marathon read of all five books. It was only when I got towards the end of the fifth book (A dance with dragons) that I realised that that was not the end of the series and that the subsequent books had not been written yet. Dammit. I now have to wait for the sixth book to be released and apparently there will be a seventh in the more distant future (according to internet sources). Its already a bloody long story and it keeps going. The funny thing is that I was surprised in the first couple of books how extensive George Martin’s character list was. As this list begins to get very thin in the later books you realise why he needed all those characters at the start.

    • SimpleSimon says:

      10:20am | 02/04/12

      I’d never heard of game of thrones until I stumbled across the first television season. It’s not normally the sort of genre that I get in to whenI read, but after watching the seriers I’m seriously considering getting my hands on the books. I thoroughly enjoyed it and, in my experience, books are usually better than their TV/movie adaptions, so I think I’ll give it a go.

    • Elphaba says:

      10:48am | 02/04/12

      I feel your pain.  Apparently there was 5-6 years between A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons.

      The 2nd series starts on Showcase next week, yippee!

      @SimpleSimon, it’s been touted at the fantasy series for people who don’t read fantasy.  It’s normally a genre I steer clear of, but these were so good.

    • Ditz says:

      11:39am | 02/04/12

      Ha, you think A Song of Ice and Fire is bad. Try the Wheel of Time series, 22 years, 13 books, the author has died and we’re still waiting for the last book.
      In slightly heartening news it is slated for release next January. And in regards to the next SoIaF Martin has said that the next one should be out quicker than the last - he had a lot of trouble with the Danearys scenes that pushed back publication.

    • Kath says:

      11:54am | 02/04/12

      Still waiting on the Captal’s Tower, the final book in “The Mage-born Traitor” a trilogy by Melanie Rawn.  I think even she’s given up on it.

    • Anubis says:

      01:11pm | 02/04/12

      You guys want story interupptus - I have been (trying) to read Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” series since the first book was released in 1982 - now the series has made it to book number 7 published in 2004 (but the last few books have proven difficult to find here in Aus) another book due out this month and a short story prequel published in 1998 (which I am yet to locate a copy of). Frustrating read so I have stopped until I can get all the books together in one place.

    • Slothy says:

      01:14pm | 02/04/12

      I’ve put the first chapter of Game of Thrones on my kindle, but I’m wary of starting it for this very reason. I was traumatised reading the Obernewtyn Chronicles as a teenager - I was 13 when I read the fourth book, but book five didn’t come out until I was 22, by which time I’d forgotten most of the plot.

      I’d love to know how it ends but I’d have to go back and re-read the first four novels to have any real handle on what was happening and I’m worried they won’t hold up to my more adult brain.

      Hah, I just went back to check, and the first book of this series was written in 1987, last book (book seven) is due out sometime this year. The series is only a year younger than me!

    • Ted says:

      02:30pm | 02/04/12

      The Wheel of Time was rubbish, why would you bother? After being burnt once reading his complete butchery of Conan, I should have known how pathetic it was going to be.

      As for those of wishing for completion of fantasy novel cycles, be careful what you wish for. Katharine Kerr’s Deverry Cycle went right off the deep after Book 12 before rushing to a completely unsatisfying conclusion five novels later.

    • Yuri says:

      02:50pm | 02/04/12

      I did the same thing Mark G, I read all 5 in about 3 weeks mid last year, and now I’m wishing I paced myself better. Maybe I’ll just re-read them all when book 6 comes out. From memory, there are only about 3 original characters left at the end of the book 5 so it will be interesting to see where the story will go from there.

    • Sarah says:

      10:38am | 02/04/12

      We had beautiful weather on the Gold Coast this weekend - a couple of showers and a bit of wind, but overall it was nice and warm.

      I sat in my backyard, got some tanning action on (yes, yes I know) and devoured for the tenth time, ‘Swan Song’ by Robert McCammon. Great book!

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      10:55am | 02/04/12

      I’m reading Mob Star by Jerry Capeci .

      About John Gotti, pretty good book although I have read about 3 or 4 on him and the Gambino Family over the years. This more focuses on him directly and the tapes which got him sent to prison.

    • nossy says:

      11:34am | 02/04/12

      @SimonFromLakemba   love the crime stuff Simon - have noted that book for a read asap - thanks.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      11:49am | 02/04/12

      @Nossy

      No worries bud, good read. Its amazing to see how powerful the Mob really were. To come off the boats as non English speaking poor peasants to form a huge secret identity and run America, truly mind numbing stuff.

    • AdamC says:

      11:44am | 02/04/12

      I only agree with these initiatives if people get equivalent tax cuts. Otherwise, they are just tax increases by stealth.

    • SimonFromLakemba says:

      11:48am | 02/04/12

      I’m friends with News.com.au on their Facebook page. Its good to comment for a laugh when needed.

      All the people voting for the Libs and hating on Gillard because she is taking away ‘their welfare’, have to love it.

    • fairsfair says:

      12:12pm | 02/04/12

      I’m all for it. However, I wonder what the deliniation of the “classes” is. Like James1 - I think it is a start, however I am reluctant to think it is being done out of necessary change, more to cover backs in terms of the budget return to surplus… so I would assume that they would leave it alone to retain votes if they could.

      I am more of the opinion that the Baby Bonus and other ridiculous measures should be wiped totally - nobody (of any class) should be paid to breed. Assisted with bringing up kids through the provision of accessible services yes, but a cash payment to pop out a child - that still really goes against all that seems right in this world.

    • Tim says:

      12:12pm | 02/04/12

      The only problem is that the means test limits will not be anywhere near low enough.
      Start cutting families off the public teat at $75K.
      AdamC, they are only tax increases if they affect all people like the health insurance rebate.
      I wouldn’t consider cuts to family payments a tax hike because they only affect families.

    • AdamC says:

      12:39pm | 02/04/12

      Tim, yes, they ‘only’ affect families. However, given that families have less income available to pay taxes and the inconvenient reality that, while having children may be a ‘lifestyle choice’, each of us has to make that choice at the rate of about 2.15 babies per woman simply to maintain the current population, some financial arrangeements are needed to lift the burden on families.

      Vacuous neologisms like ‘middle class welfare’ seem most often used simply as excuses for gouging those among us willing to make the effort to bear and raise the next generation.

    • Markus says:

      12:51pm | 02/04/12

      The 2.15 babies is a false value, based on the assumption of a zero rate of immigration. When was the last time that was even close to being the case in Australia?

    • Tim says:

      01:22pm | 02/04/12

      Adam C,
      “for gouging those among us willing to make the effort to bear and raise the next generation. “

      Firstly, gouging?
      How is not giving someone taxpayer money gouging exactly? Far too many people treat this money like it’s their god given right to be paid for having children. It’s ridiculous.

      Secondly, people have children for many different reasons but helping the economy or the country wouldn’t feature anywhere on the list. People have children because they want them and I don’t think the taxpayer should be forced to pay for that choice.

    • Elphaba says:

      01:34pm | 02/04/12

      The main review I’d like to see is the abolishing of the baby bonus.  We have paid parental leave now, so I think we can nix the bonus.  I don’t see a need to have both.

    • Anubis says:

      01:51pm | 02/04/12

      @ Elphaba - I don’t see a need to have either. You want to breed then be prepared to pay for it - can’t afford it then don’t breed

    • AdamC says:

      02:25pm | 02/04/12

      Tim, my point is that it is unreasonable to expect a couple on a particular income with three children to pay the same rate of tax as a childless couple earning the same amount. This is because they are supporting five people rather than two with their income.

      Personally, I would rather that all the various payments and subsidies given to families (some of which are designed to coax mothers back into the workforce even when it makes no economic sense) and replacing it with a system in which each child is treated like half a taxpayer. That is, if a two-parent family has two kids, their income will be grossed up and divided by three, to reflect the economic reality of their situation.

      Markus, that immigration argument only works where we are importing children as immigrants. As it stands, most immigrants are around the average Australian age (that is, late twenties to early thirties). This means we are just going to make the ageing crisis worse in the longer term by importing migrants today. In other words, we are chasing our tail.

    • Elphaba says:

      02:38pm | 02/04/12

      @Anubis, I’m ok with paid parental leave, for both parents, and I’m ok with it being taxpayer funded (because if it was business funded, suddenly women in my age bracket are going to find it really hard to get hired, regardless of how vehement we are about not having them).

      It’s always struck me as rewarding mediocrity.  “Yippee!  You procreated!”  Who the fig cares?

    • James1 says:

      02:58pm | 02/04/12

      Tim, do you see the extension of tax breaks to people with children being the same as actually handing over money, as is the case with the Family Tax Benefit now?

      That is, if the FTB was to be removed and replaced with a small tax concession for people supporting children, would that be better than what we have now or the same?

      Adam does make a good point that people raising children necessarily will have less money than those who aren’t, and that these children will one day grow to be the future of the nation, thus contributing to its future in a way that people without children won’t.  Thus, if we don’t ease this path a little, the wrong sorts of people will continue having children and the people who should be having children won’t.

      I’m not sure I totally agree with this line of thinking, but it does raise some interesting lines of argument.

    • James1 says:

      03:00pm | 02/04/12

      Actually, I like Adam’s half taxpayer idea.  Nice thinking.

    • Markus says:

      03:40pm | 02/04/12

      I disagree. If anything the government would be saving a motza by importing adults in their late 20s, as they do not have to pay for their childcare and 13 years of school before having another source of tax revenue.

      That we are not seeing any economic benefit is, like most things, down to mismanagement at all levels of government.

    • Tim says:

      04:14pm | 02/04/12

      James1,
      the only reason the wrong people are having kids now is because the government financially compensates them for doing so.
      I don’t think more financial compensation for people’s life choices is the answer.
      Family assistance programs are the second biggest spending area in the budget behind the pension.

      If we have to look at financially compensating people for having kids, then I would be OK with actually raising the amount given but only for the first two children. After that, if you want more kids you’ll have to fully fund it yourself.

      As well as this, I think we should pay certain types people to get vasectomies or have their tubes tied. Perhaps even give these people money to have a contraceptive implant. That should lessen the problems we currently have with multi-generational welfare dependency.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      05:51pm | 02/04/12

      @AdamC- “Tim, my point is that it is unreasonable to expect a couple on a particular income with three children to pay the same rate of tax as a childless couple earning the same amount. This is because they are supporting five people rather than two with their income.”

      Absolute rubbish. They should be taxed at the same rate. Level of income is the same. Just because the couple made a decision to have three children doesn’t mean that the childless couple should subsidize their lifestyle. Spare us the national interest BS- if Australia need more people we should import them (sans dependents) like we always do.

    • Ally says:

      11:22am | 02/04/12

      I generally prefer to read outside. I like nothing better than to spread a picnic rug out on the back lawn and lay down with a good book. Until the time when the dog decides that he really should be laying down on the blanket with me.

      I’m currently reading Monty Don’s Gardening at Longmeadow. I don’t like Australian gardening books because they focus so much on the arid, sub-tropic or tropic areas and they’re just not relevant down here in Tassie. Anyway, this book is full of gardening tips that can be transferred to my gardening needs and beautiful photos of lush green gardens and neatly clipped hedges and borders. Gorgeous.

    • Aitch B says:

      12:28pm | 02/04/12

      I’m reading music books and chord charts for Blondie and The Pretenders material. Boring you might say but the new band (“Pretend Blondes”) is going gangbusters!!

      We’ll have the new lead guitarist stitched up by the end of this week and then it’s full steam ahead to gigland!! smile

    • Shenanigans says:

      12:28pm | 02/04/12

      as per request of the lady friend I just finished the series that the ‘hunger games’ movies are based off. Good if you like the whole survivalist/stick it to the man, young adult themed books. Now back to Game of Thrones, looking forward to the first episode of the second season of that too!

    • Frank says:

      01:05pm | 02/04/12

      lol a British social media site? what you forgot the name of the site?

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      04:01pm | 02/04/12

      Congratulation to Adam Sandler for his movie Jack and Jill, winning a record 10 Razzies. You, sir, are The Man.

    • nossy says:

      04:26pm | 02/04/12

      Just a “quickie” before I head off for a late surf:
      “At a recent U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland, [Bono] is said to have asked the audience for total quiet.
      Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds. Holding the audience in total silence, he said into the microphone, “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”
      From the front of the crowd a voice with a broad Scottish accent pierced the quiet …
      “Well, f**kin stop doin it then, ya evil bastard!”
      Bono has denied it happened.

    • acotrel says:

      05:03am | 03/04/12

      @Nossy
      You could change that:

      ‘Every time I clap my hands Tony Abbott tells a lie.  Don’t all applaud at once ! ’

    • Lou Slipz says:

      10:25am | 03/04/12

      How come Mr R Carr knows everything about drugs (and advises us of his expertise) as well as being FM of Oz, a social comedian and a Labor laugh coach? He hasn’t done too well at the FM job yet and sure can’t match Kev’s FFPoints but the comments here should prime him for really worldly issues.

 

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