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    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      05:59am | 12/01/13

      Paul Keating recently said our priority in Australia in the Asian Century should be to focus on Indonesia our most important neighbour. We seem to loose sight of Indonesia and it is below our radar because bi-lateral trade between Australia and Indonesia is a small fraction of our trade with China and Japan.

      Some years ago I had a discussion with a top ecologist from UK. He stated that the UK Govt then considered the risk of bird flu from Nature or terrorists as the number One strategic threat to the security of UK. It viewed the potential bird flu threat of higher significance then a nuclear war.

      Given these facts,  I hope our leaders political, scientific, military (Intelligence) and academics in Australia take note that the National Intelligence Agency (BIN Chief Lt. Gen. Marciano Norman frets that terrorists may one day unleash bio-weapons in Indonesia. The National Intelligence Agency says it will monitor the recent outbreak of a new strain of avian influenza in Indonesia. http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/01/11/terrorism-likely-behind-avian-flu-outbreak-bin-chief.html

    • acotrel says:

      07:27am | 12/01/13

      @Dr B S Goh
      ‘We seem to loose sight of Indonesia and it is below our radar because bi-lateral trade between Australia and Indonesia is a small fraction of our trade with China and Japan.’

      That is obviously an assumption on your part.  One thing we never do is offend the Indonesians.  We allow their troops to train with our defence force, so they know what we have.  You will note that every time Australia makes a large defence purchase, the Indonesians accuse us of having ‘territorial aims’.  The internal politics in Indonesia were one of the main reasons Australia we became involved in the Vietnam war.  The commiephobia of the DLP and the way Menzies exploited it to stay in power, was the other.
      If we have one big fight with the Indonesians, we could all end up as boat people.

    • Gregg says:

      08:12am | 12/01/13

      Given Indonesia’s recent history of terrorism attacks and the general environment of disruption, muslims Vs others and separist movements etc.in some quarters, one can understand Indonesian officials being suspicious and even somewhat threatened as to their own grasps of power.
      That Indonesia has as large a disparity between wealth and eking out a living dismal poverty and living conditions as any countries of that ilk, it is not too surprising that many people will be recruited by extremist organisations, so yes Australia should be somewhat focussed not so much for trading purposes but to maintain awareness of potential threats for Australia, both on the political front and in trading.

      ”  In Bali, officials at the province’s animal quarantine centers said they were tightening measures to block the delivery of poultry from outside of the island through Gilimanuk Port. “

      Bali certainly has the right idea for trading and they are even part of Indonesia, Australia needing to be fully alert to such issues.
      Our ability to trade with Indonesia will always be somewhat limited given it’ll only likely be for resources/live cattle etc., for our manufactured goods, that which we still have will never compete with far cheaper products available out of asian countries.

      Being focussed and alert will always be an advantage on international matters
      Hopefully, having a very temporary seat on the UN security council will not have some politicians getting heads too swollen they lose the basics of being focussed and alert.

      When it is all said and done, there are limits to what international diplomacy will ever achieve over poverty, terrorism and other countries practices, people smuggling for Indonesia, violence in Syria and a multitude issues in many other countries being examples that Australians would have no wish for nor any ability to influence.

    • Dr B S Goh, Australian in Asia says:

      10:13am | 12/01/13

      It is not my assumption. I said Paul Keating said that Indonesia should be our no 1 priority among Asian nations. I think he is dead right.

      Do your own survey. I read regularly the writings of many outstanding experts and professors in Australia on China in our media but I do not see comparable comments on Indonesia.

    • Fed Up says:

      06:26am | 12/01/13

      Political correctness!
      They may find it hard to understand why its wrong to have a TV commercial depicting the West Indian cricket team eating KFC.

    • LJ Dots says:

      07:11am | 12/01/13

      I’ll add - How people got so big and why we now pay good money to gyms to perform manual labour, walk or cycle.

    • Gregg says:

      08:21am | 12/01/13

      @LJ Dots
      You mean you would have difficulty in explaining how people are so lazy and dumb?
      Someone from the 1950s would say don’t bother for I’ve had sixty years of seeing kids, grandkids and in some cases great grandkids develop the think less minds mindful of what gadgets might do until they don’t work or something fancier is about and all gadgets eventually end up on the scrap heap like minds.

      The pharmacists computer was on the blink the other day and so she actually wrote me a blank IOU because she did not know the price!

    • ramases says:

      09:07am | 12/01/13

      I’ve always found it interesting that people pay good money to “get fit” when all it takes is a bit of willpower and to get off the see food diet that most are on.
        On a purely unpolitical correct note, up our way we have a city that boasts the fattest people in Australia and when I watch them out shopping I can see why. They continually load their shopping trolley’s with the most fattening foods, fill their faces at the food halls with ditto food and then waddle out to their vehicles which strain to maintain a even balance as the weight is all on one side. Of course these people all have a medical condition and expect its hand to mouth disease where everything that comes into their hands ends up in their mouths.     
        I’d like to know what the cost is for treating the obese for the diseases that are so prevalent in these people as compared to those who look after themselves and their health. We are heading for the highest per capita diabetes numbers in the world and will soon outstrip the USA per capita of obese people but the people themselves will not do anything to help themselves except to eat even more crap and get even fatter.  Sad isn’t it.

    • Gregg says:

      10:17am | 12/01/13

      @ramases
      ” On a purely unpolitical correct note, up our way we have a city that boasts the fattest people in Australia “

      So you’re the bloke I see at Sugarland and Hinkler watching all the shoppers and checking out vehicle suspensions, notebook in hand for the thesis.
      I always just thought it was the Rum and then warmer temps most of the year to work up a good VB thirst.

    • tez says:

      01:23pm | 12/01/13

      @ ramases: Don’t worry about the medical cost for the obese the country save on pensions due to their early demise.

    • BC says:

      11:49am | 13/01/13

      Sorry, I don’t know why it’s wrong for the WI cricket team to advertise KFC.
      Is it because they don’t really like it, and there is an ethical problem? It didn’t bother Warnie with his smoking thing.
      Is it because the WI cricket team have dangerously high cholesterol levels and one more bucket will put them all in intensive?
      I just caught sight of myself in the mirror: Short back n sides, sport jacket, trousers hitched up to my waist, smoking a pipe.
      I’m from the 50s !!! Please explain.

    • Terry2 says:

      07:33am | 12/01/13

      So the International Monetary Fund has identified the Howard government, particularly in its latter years, as having been the most profligate spender in recent times: Hmm, profligate; adjective : reckless, excessive or wasteful.
      Obviously the IMF have been infiltrated by the Labor Party.

    • Mickey T says:

      10:00am | 12/01/13

      Steve - Howard wasted billions on middle class welfare purely to but votes, it did not take the IMF to point this out, most non welded-on political observers knew this, your linking to someone’s blog does not change that fact.

      If the ALP had any ‘balls’ they would start cutting back on this wasteful expenditure, it would cost them dearly at the next election but if the current polls are any indication then they are going to lose anyway, so they should make the tough decisions now for the sake of the future.

      Middle class welfare is obscene, families earning 150K plus a year with their hand out is not only obscene but totally unethical and immoral.

    • ZSRenn says:

      11:25am | 12/01/13

      Terry Labor supporters are not taking in 2 very important points when looking at this report. The first is the qualification of the word profligate on page 4 of the report in the 2nd paragraph of the Introduction of the report.

      “Although a precise definition of prudence or profligacy has not been established, policymakers, investors, and voters need to take a view all the time, in real time, on whether a country’s fiscal policies are appropriate to support economic growth and achieve other social objectives without causing a fiscal crisis. The focus is on the fiscal stance within the control of the government—usually proxied by the primary fiscal balance (i.e., the fiscal balance net of interest payments”

      Unless they are suggesting Howard was responsible for the GFC I see no fiscal crisis brought about by Howard’s management.

      The second point, they are missing, is that Howard spent the money paying off the massive debt which was incurred by Labor under Hawke and Keating.

      The IMF may see this as wasteful spending because it meant the money was not spent on infrastructure building or economic growth. The ratings authorities, however, looked at it differently by returning our AAA rating, lost by Hawke seventeen years earlier.

      The same AAA rating that Labor welded on’s now suggest is proof that Gillard is doing a good job. These guys want their cake and eat it too

      ).http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2013/wp1305.pdf

    • Chris L says:

      11:54am | 12/01/13

      I agree with Mickey. We can blame the Coalition for encouraging this entitlement attitude our population seems to have, but it’s also fair to look at the current administration and ask what they’re doing about it. The current attempt to cut back on payouts for breeders is a start, but it’s a timid toe in the water.

      Much more is needed. Whoever does it will face screaming accusations, especially from barrackers from the other team, but it is essential and whoever does it will earn some respect from those who pay attention.

    • Neil says:

      02:03pm | 12/01/13

      Anybody earning over say $50k household income shouldn’t get a dime for anything. But then again neither should the real estate industry.

      All or nothing. If they’re going to give money to the real estate and banking industry via “First Home Owner’s Grants” and the like then people on $150k+ are damned well entitled to some money from the government too. They have a lot less money than banks, real estate companies and boomers living lavish retirements off the back of massive capital gains that have resulted from mass immigration, selfish nimbyism, and very loose credit from the banks themselves.

    • Gregg says:

      08:26am | 12/01/13

      ” I posess a device in my pocket that is capable of accessing the entirety of information known to man “

      You reckon that’s good eh!
      Back in the good old days, ours was not in the pocket and neither our hands and we may not have called it a device but they certainly worked well with some women we were more partial to and if you ever want to know something of real value, it’s a woman talking that will do the trick.

    • Gregg says:

      09:01am | 12/01/13

      I discovered earlier in the week that my Disallowed Key Stroke exclusion was no more so not sure if I had earnt a temporary exclusion or what for what I have absolutely no idea and Rocky Nicola doesn’t have that new legislation slipped in and working on the quiet by any chance does she? and hopefully the rest of the year will progress more smoothly.

      I doubt that some will think that it has started too smoothly with claims of living on the dole being OK and then retractions because of the insensitivity when it was just plain dumb and then some other guy tweeting about being on standby fire fighting duty a standby stunt only to quickly retract the statement in recognition of that foolhardiness of a slur against volunteer firefighters.
      These people, the politicians that is, might be better off reducing if not entirely eliminating their public profile.

      And then of course, what seemed a great Xmas present in the Slipper judgement, possibly yet a gumboot seeing as Ashby has sought to make an appeal but that did not stop the boots going in and politicians even raising the conspiracy allegations to the extent of being involved directly with urging judicial action!
      Is this surprising or not when even our PM has recognised that judicial matters are best handled by those charged with the responsibility and in a completely independent manner.
      Well that is what she claimed when talking about a MP she later had the party disown and then even used it as an excuse in a matter about another MP when it was entirely irrelevant and the whole party went along with it.

      As it is, wearing sneakers rather than slippers would probably be a lot better and even polished leather for court attendance to face fraud charges.

    • Chris L says:

      12:10pm | 12/01/13

      Previously people posting messages here suggesting we withhold judgement (on Slipper and Thompson) until an official verdict is arrived at were pillioried for being “Labor luvvies” and such. It’s refreshing that there are now fewer calls to lynch people before due process is served.

      I agree that Gillard, Abbott and company should keep their collective mouths shut about matters before the court. It is not only obvious political manoeuvring but also, in itself, an abuse of process.

    • marley says:

      12:54pm | 12/01/13

      @Chris L - it would be an abuse of power to claim that either Slipper or Thomson are guilty of anything before the courts or tribunals have ruled on the cases before them.  It is not an abuse of power for Parliament to decide whether or not Slipper is a suitable person to be Speaker.  Those are two different issues, and Parliament has every right to decide on the latter point.  Like it or not, and irrespective of the outcome of the court case, those text messages made Slipper’s position untenable, not because they established guilt in the court case, but because they established that he shouldn’t be representing Parliament before the world.  And that is a matter for Parliament, and Parliament alone, to decide.

    • Steve says:

      09:09am | 12/01/13

      If someone was brought forward to the 1950’s today the first thing they would ask is why everyone is so big as in fat.

    • sunny says:

      10:32am | 12/01/13

      And why no tail fins on cars here in the future? Surely these future people comprehend aesthetics and aerodynamics, unless they somehow regressed.

    • Chris L says:

      12:12pm | 12/01/13

      ... and why does the music suck?

    • AdamC says:

      09:54am | 12/01/13

      I actually think they would be just as struck by how familiar so many things are. Many of our habits and technologies are little different from the early 1950s. Someone going from 1890 to 1950, by contrast, would have been awed by novelties like automobiles, aircraft, movies, television, the telephone, domestic use of electricity and antibiotics. Communications technologies seem to be the main thing that has changed since the 1950s.

    • Steve says:

      10:07am | 12/01/13

      So Piers Morgan eh.

      Invites a loon on the show that believes in 9/11 conspiracies to talk about gun control and claims a win. Twitter and the msm cheer.

      Actually, stupidly, invites a sensible person with a brain on to talk about the same topic. Hilarity ensues as Piers gets his junk handed to him gift wrapped. Hilarious viewing seeing a pompous overbearing bully getting pwned on his low rating show. Love how the constitution is just a “little book”.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2013/01/11/piers-morgan-accused-of-exploiting-newtown/

      Strange. Didn’t certain staff writers of the punch get excited about the jones lunacy and link it fart and wide? Are there similar links for this abject hiding?

    • sunny says:

      11:40am | 12/01/13

      I reckon Piers Morgan missed a prime opportunity to make the defining point of the whole debate.

      Shapiro: “Adam Lanza had two pistols on him.”
      Morgan: “He didn’t use them as you know.”
      Shapiro: “And if he hadn’t have had the assault rifle he wouldn’t have used them?”

      This is where Morgan missed the opportunity to say “There’s a good chance less people would have been murdered if he only had the pistols. There’s a possibility the nut would not have gone on the shooting spree in the first place without the assault rifle.”

    • Chris L says:

      12:19pm | 12/01/13

      The Alan Jones lunacy happened in our own territory.

      It would be better to compare Piers Morgan with folk like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and other such pompous, overbearing bullies of the American states. I don’t think there’s any deliberate silence, just less interest.

    • Gregg says:

      10:29am | 12/01/13

      What’s not making me laugh and about the worst thing this week happening to those with no say in it goes under the title of the Magic Millions Carnival!

      Like we have the old saying of ” you have to be a mad dog or an englishman to be out in the midday sun ” when it comes to playing cricket but at least those playing are volunteering just like the spectators and that goes for Tennis tournaments on too or any other sports we seem to love to schedule at the height of summer.

      Whereas at least they schedule some evening play for one day cricket matches and tennis tournaments the poor horses though will have no say in being flogged to run faster at the height of a scorching summers day temps and have to be carrying a jockey too.

      We have people protesting about how overseas countries might handle and kill livestock according to their culture and yet right here in our own backyard horses are being mercilessly treated all for entertainment and it needs to be stopped.

    • ZSRenn says:

      11:59am | 12/01/13

      I wonder what horses did back before man. Lived in nice houses with air conditioning and read the foals books before bed.

      These animals today have millions spent on them making sure they are in the best of health and in peak physical condition and your complaint for them is that they have to run a quarter mile in the heat before returning to their pampering.

      PC is starting to become a dirty word!

      aiya!

    • Davo says:

      01:39pm | 12/01/13

      good one. that really sorted him out .what’s the score today? you must be proud zsrenn or already drunk? time for some more punch mayhem again today?

    • stephen says:

      04:27pm | 12/01/13

      Mister Scott, the head of the ABC, applied recently to head the BBC.
      He didn’t get in, but has applied again, apparently.

      Hmmm ... I wonder why.

    • yeah-no says:

      10:59am | 13/01/13

      Maybe he’s ambitious and wants to lead a bigger organisation with a world-renowned reputation.

    • Mouse says:

      01:55pm | 13/01/13

      .....and you think that is funny do you nihonin?  I was aghast when I saw that yesterday. I hope that male gets caught by a Minotaur and dragged backwards to the bowels of hell before he gets eaten!!  But no, I’m not vindictive!!!    *giggle,giggle*    :o)

    • sunny says:

      03:38pm | 13/01/13

      Mouse - Lookout!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

    • nihonin says:

      04:08pm | 13/01/13

      Nature or its rules are always funny, hence the rise of humans to the top of the sludge puddle of life.  wink

    • LJ Dots says:

      05:09pm | 13/01/13

      Well, I understand the Punch mods are really cracking down now, but using hawks is a bit extreme.

    • sunny says:

      05:58pm | 13/01/13

      LJ Dots - I watched Fail Safe on YouTube last week - brilliant show!

    • Robert S McCormick says:

      11:06am | 13/01/13

      “Stephen says”
      If the current head of the ABC does get to become the head of the BBC the Brits are welcome to him!
      When he’s gone we might just start to get:
      A Decent News Service
      Decent programmes
      and, above all,
      The cessation of the perpetual self-promotional advertisements for the ABC
      The cancellation of all those damned repeats of repeats of repeats.
      The ABC gets almost untold millions of Taxpayer’s money yet they produce nothing new, their so-called News Service is almost in a constant loop of the same crap just run all day or they pinch stuff already shown on SBS’ News - now that is a now that IS a Real news Service

    • PJ says:

      03:49pm | 13/01/13

      First we got a load of anti propaganda about single mothers living it large on benefits as the Gillard Government cut there entitlements and ordered them into a none existent job market after an average of 8 years absence.

      Following secret polls and focus groups costing us $126 million per year the Gillard Government tries to repair its reputation as the cruelest of the cruel with a knee jerk increase in dole payments.

      The Australian: “THE Gillard government has begun modelling a suite of measures to assist those on unemployment benefits, amid a growing cabinet push to deliver an increase to the Newstart Allowance payment in this year’s budget.

      The move is designed to help the most vulnerable people on Newstart, including single mothers who were forced on to the payment after Labor tightened eligibility for the single-parent payment.”

      Just as the Labor MP Tanner said, a clueless party driven only by polls and the sole objective to get Gillard re-elected.

      As if with record Debt and deficits we should be making Dole payments a larger percentage of our GDP and a way of life for the casualties of the Carbon Tax.

      The extra Dole Money could be used to create jobs for these people rather than making them comfortable on Benefits. Give them self respect Julia, get them a job.

      But we’re talking about a Government that signed off 53.6% of the 1 million jobs the economy created over 5 years, to overseas temporary workers to create its Big Australia.

      Aah There will be bad decisions and knee jerk fixes under a Government they lead…

    • pavlo says:

      06:05pm | 13/01/13

      “If someone form the 1950s appeared today what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them about life today?

      Why we aren’t living futuristic lifestyles with heaps of leisure time?

      Jetcars?

      Why we are mostly working harder than we ever did?

      Why families and marriages / relationships are so screwed up?

      Coffee?

      Internet?

      What’s a Google?

 

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