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39 responses to “Saturday Salon”

  1. tigtog


  2. joe2

    There is a very worthwhile read over at ZDNet on the NBN and the Murdoch campaign to destroy it.

    I notice in the comments section people talking of trying to post on Newscorp sites, in favour of the scheme, with little success.


  3. Paul Burns

    No comment on a News Ltd site that goes remotely against Rupertian ideology ever gets posted on News Corp. I’ve been trying on and off for at least three months now. No success so far. (Couldn’t even get them to acknowledge John Howard was an unflushable turd, though, of course, I phrased it much more politely.)

  4. Don Wigan

    As an old (ex) South Aussie it saddened me immensely to hear about the Woodside protest re the plan for putting up asylum-seeker families while in detention awaiting assessment at the old army accommodation at Inverbrackie.

    Some locals might be able to bring me up to speed on this. My impression from distant Victoria was that it was stirred up by the local media -specifically The Advertiser and Bob Francis- leading to a type of hysteria normally only encountered when the media learns about a paedophile being quietly settled into a community.

    Very sad when considering SA’s history as a haven for Lutheran refugees from Prussia in the mid-19th century. Even the original Wakefield idea had the thought of providing an opportunity even for impoverished migrants.

    I was so pleased that SA (like Victoria and Tasmania) chose to ignore the Abbott-Morrison “Stop the Boats!” hysteria at the last election. I thought perhaps it was a legacy of two great Premiers – Playford and Dunstan – and their respect for human dignity.

    Alas, our Orwellian media can transform things quickly.

  5. joe2

    [email protected] I have had no success on that front either though I gather Newscorp allow a few slightly contrary opinions through their censorship rules for ‘show of balance’.

    It’s definitely become a murdochracy in Australia.

  6. joe2

    The Guardian have a pretty comprehensive coverage of the wikileaks, just released, war logs.


  7. Fran Barlow

    Listening to Leigh Sales on the ABC putting the question to Andrew Leigh, the ALP member for Fraser, one has a firm statement of what all right-thinking people think (pun intended), the official ideology so to speak:

    Sales: Andrew Leigh, as an economist you’re trained to see that market forces are the best way to get good environmental outcomes [… goes on to raise the MDBA water allocation issue]

    Leigh: That’s right Leigh … […]

    It’s really helpful that the ABC helps out in the cat-herding business by reminding us all what to think. The Murdochracy needs all the help it can get when training economists what to think.

    It would have been nice if Leigh had corrected Sales, pointing out that “market forces” weren’t always what they seemed to be and that while “market forces” were sometimes good at delivering some public goods, economists (the worthwhile ones anyway) would have an eye to their limitations in delivering outcomes where significant risk and uncertainty attached or where there were accretions of monopolistic or monopsistic power or in circumstances where there were significant collective action problems.

    Then again, in a week and during a program when when he was taking a swing at Hockey for opening the door to state intervention in the private banking system, getting off message would have been injurious to his political health.

  8. Paul Burns

    Heve ben doing some cookery experimentation. Earlier this week tried adding corn kernels and chopped cauliflower to my usual chicken stockpot. Wasn’t too bad.
    Has anybody else noticed its hard to buy one or two turnips lately in Woolies. You have to buy a packet of seven or something (which is far too much for single bloke.)
    A much more important food experiment, which came about because I was bored with cans of sphagetti bolognaise sauce, was making my own pasta sauce – sort of. I got a whole heap of minced beef, fried it, put it in a saucepan and added a small tinned of Italian tomatoes, capsicum and onions. Not too bad, but it probably needs a large tin of Italian tomatoes etc or at least three quarters of a large tin -which I will try next week or the week after.

  9. David Irving (no relation)

    Paul, you’d improve the spag sauce enormously by adding some garlic (a smashed clove or a teaspoon of the stuff in jars), a teaspoon each of basil and oregano, a bay leaf and a glass of cheap red (or white) wine.

    Another possibility (if you like chillies) is to fry up 4 cloves of garlic minced (or equivalent from a jar) and about 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes for a minute or so in a fair bit of olive oil, dump in a big tin of tomatoes and simmer for 5 mins or so, then throw in a handful of chopped olives, half a dozen minced anchovy fillets, and some capers (optional) just before you add it to your cooked noodles.

  10. mediatracker

    @8 Paul Burns – A good pasta sauce needs a lot of coaxing, tlc and hours of very slow cooking. Onions slowly cooked in good olive oil until opaque, a goodly dollop of garlic, tomato paste which is fried along with the onions for a few minutes until it loses its raw look, add the meat content if using and let it brown well all over and then add some wine and reduce the liquid until nearly dry. Add a little more wine and reduce once more. Then add a can of Italian tomatoes with their liquid, the can rinsed out with water (the can full), salt, pepper and a little sugar. Turn the heat as low as you can and let it bubble gently along for hours, adding more water if needed.

    The size of packaging of food from supermarkets is an old bugbear. I do some work with bereaved people, mostly living on their own. Many find it difficult enough to cook and eat on their own without having to face the constant problem of too large packaging. There’s a limit to how much you can cook and freeze for later even if you didn’t mind eating the same meal more than once or missing out on a roast. We thought we had some success with one of the larger supermarkets but it doesn’t look like it has continued from your comments.

    Buying vegetables from supermarkets is fraught with danger anyway. Most of the root vegetables are old and tired with little flavour. We have the good fortune of being reasonably close to a market and also grow a lot of our own vegetables – all good enough to eat raw, so I feel sorry for anyone who does not have this kind of access to good quality food.

  11. Zorronsky

    joe2 @ 5 Tony Blair has no problem with these crimes against humanity and in his words “would willingly do it all again”.
    George W no doubt ditto. John Howard too. Seriously sickening.

  12. sg

    I’d like to draw everyone’s attention to the World Wildlife Photography Prize at the Natural History Museum in London, it’s awesome and you can view the pics online.

    Who knew that lions had learnt to kill giraffes by driving them onto roadways? Cunning buggers…

  13. Paul Burns

    DI (nr) & mediatracker.
    Thanks for the recipes. Will bear in mind next week.
    re packaging = so far its only the turnips. Most of the other stuff you can buy singly. Don’t think there’s many good vegetable markets around here. And I like to do a whole fortnight’s shopping on the one day, to avoid going backwards and forwards into town.

  14. Fiona Reynolds

    Paul Burns, I endorse DI(nr)’s and mediatracker’s observations, and would suggest a variant on DI(nr)’s first recipe: some diced bacon or ham. Finely diced carrot and/or celery. For me, however, the garlic is essential.

    Other than that, after a wet night and damp morning, it’s been a lovely afternoon in Melbourne. The sun is shining, the birds are singing. More to the point, I don’t have to spend my evening chained to the computer, as our honours students are just about ready to submit their theses on Monday. Oh bliss oh joy…

  15. Paul Burns

    Tis indeed that, Fiona. Must be a day for running out of work. I’ve just spent the day revising some writing on John Hunter for ch. 2 of my book, and re-checking Howe’s Orderly Book to make sure I’ve missed nothing out. Have, I think done all the revisions and rewrites for the first 5 chapters of my book, and still have more research to do on chs 6 and 7 which deal with the siege of Boston, 1775/6 but I’m waiting on three books I need to read first which are in the mail and should arrive some time next week, hopefully at the latest by Wednesday.
    Agree with you about adding ham, bacon and celery to stuff. And chili sometimes.

  16. Fiona Reynolds

    Chris Bowen rocks! Talk about taking the wind out of the Opposition’s sails.

  17. Fiona Reynolds

    Paul Burns, I am not running out of work, but it is fantastic to have this aspect finished, so that I can get on with something serious. Like analysis. Like writing.

    As for sauce, chopped mushrooms. Even tiny broccoli flowerettes. Mmmm, getting peckish – time for lamb chops and asparagus and (my recent culinary discovery) Dutch carrots.

    I’m not quite sure why they are “Dutch” (apart from their orangeness – but that goes for all commercially available carrots that I have ever seen). Whatever the reason, they are absolutely delicious.

  18. Jacques de Molay

    Don @ 4,

    Surprisingly if anything The Advertiser is running to the Left on this issue. I thought they would really beat it up and stick the German woman on the front page who was banging on about her house price going down at the town hall meeting but no.

    The last couple of days they’ve had double page spreads devoted to people in that community talking up the positives of the arrivals of the latest immigrants.

    Mind blowing, in a good way of course.

  19. Hal9000

    I see in the evening news that the latest from Wikileaks has the US turning a blind eye to widespread torture and execution of prisoners by our glorious Iraqi allies. The chances of this being raised with John ‘Human Shredding Machine’ Howard in tomorrow night’s Q&A love in? Slim.

  20. Zorronsky

    Paul I know the old electric frypan’s a bit of a relic these days but I used to put together a dish that might appeal.
    Slow cooking so if you forget it for a bit it wont matter.
    Sort of like the start of a pasta sauce in that you splash in a little olive oil to help brown some chopped onion garlic and your preferred mince. I like a fatty one to help with the browning. I’m a bit of a hot head so chili in whatever form can be added.
    Then I empty out the vegetable crisper and start slicing into oval discs the potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and capsicum and layer those over the top. Added to that is sliced cabbage, pour over that some water [not too much as the ingredients supply some too] cover with cheese and tomato slices, pop on the lid and [still slow cooking]check in an hour or three. Works for me but then I’m easily pleased.
    Finally I cut wedges to suit my appetite and save what’s left for whenever.

  21. Fiona Reynolds

    Zorronsky, one should never keep potatoes in the fridge – unless you are in the tropics.

    Buy them covered in dirt, and keep ’em in the dark until you wash just before use.

  22. Zorronsky

    Fiona who said my crisper’s in the fridge?

  23. Fiona Reynolds

    Piqued, repiqued, and capoted, Zorronsky (and where are those little yellowy things when you need them?).

  24. Pavlov's Cat

    Some locals might be able to bring me up to speed on this. My impression from distant Victoria was that it was stirred up by the local media -specifically The Advertiser and Bob Francis

    Dunno about Bob Francis (note to eastern-staters: Bob Francis is the best we can manage in the way of a shock jock) but the worst the Advertiser’s done, though frankly I think that’s quite bad enough, is report the protests more than the positive responses, presumably to sell papers because protests are more newsworthy than peace and reason — but not beat them up or rabble rouse editorially, though.

    There’s been a lot of Facebook chat about this between the SA locals among my FB friends, and my favourite comment was from a bloke who works in a bottle shop at a pub in the Hills (though not Woodside itself) who says he’s been asking punters what they think and the overwhelming majority are either neutral or positive. There were positive responses from the mayor and one of the school principals (especially the latter) right from the beginning. It’s only the wilfully ignorant who are carrying on — the people who don’t want to listen to the information about extra funding, designated health workers and so on, because what they’re really saying is ‘We hate and fear strangers’ and they’re using all this stuff about resources as an excuse.

  25. Fine

    I have a confession. I’ve fallen in love. My girl crush is with a big, black stallion with a handsome head, coat so shiny you could use it as mirror and bearing so noble it makes us humans look like lowly ants. His name? So You Think. Won the Cox Plate today.

    Oh, and Might and Power nibbled my ear. That was pretty good too.

  26. Fascinated

    My late husband loved the horses – we often went to the track particularly pre-child. I know there are detractors of racing but my heavens these are magnificent creatures and very much loved (at least by the owners, trainers and staff I knew).

    Its not just about the betting and the long-odds of a decent income – there’s a whole industry and workforce (yes, very often low paid and overworked esp. if they work for a bad boss), who most often do what they do because they just love the horses – its a way of life.

    Weird what some people will do for little but love isn’t it?

  27. Fine

    Fiona, the strappers’ award still only gives them one day off per fortnight. I’m sure it’s the only industry with those sorts of working days. Yes they do it for love.

  28. Fine

    Sorry – I meant to say Fascinated. See, he’s fried my brain.

  29. Don Wigan

    Thanks for that update, Jacques and PC. It restores my faith a bit. Mind you, I should perhaps have been less alarmed than I was about the story dominating an edition of AM.

    The ABC, as Adrian and others have noted, has been less than enlightened in the depth it gives to these events. News and current affairs are no longer its strength.

    As to Bob Francis, somebody describes him as a wannabe Alan Jones, who in turn is a wannabe Rush Limbaugh, thankfully neither really succeeding. When I left SA in the 60s, he was an enthusiastic Young Liberal DJ whose main claim to fame was a successful public campaign to get the Beatles to Adelaide. If he’s still doing the Liberal talking points he must be about due for retirement.

  30. Zorronsky

    Fiona heh. should have left the grog in the fridge tho’.

  31. Paul Burns

    Thanksa for that cooking tip. I have an electric fry pan here. was in the cupboard when I arrived but I don’t know if it works. So I might drag it out.

  32. Peter Kemp

    Re Hal9000’s mention of Wikileaks @ 19

    “The problem we have with WikiLeaks, it goes beyond just taking out names of people,” Col. David Lapan, a top Pentagon spokesman said Friday before WikiLeaks released the documents. “There are lots of other types of information that we’ve described that could be damaging that go beyond names and they wouldn’t have the expertise to know what those are.”

    Shorter Pentagon: We shall decide who has the expertise to analyse our clusterf**k and the manner in which another 15000 Iraqis are not reported to be dead.

  33. Ken Lovell

    There’s a sobering graphic in the weekend ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ which unfortunately doesn’t seem to be online. Citing the UN as the source, it shows the top 20 countries of origin for refugees as of last year. ‘Afghan and Iraqi refugees accounted for almost half of all refugees’ – surely an unanswerable, objective refutation of all the complacent claims that the occupations of those two countries are somehow in the interests of their citizens and likely to result in vibrant new bastions of liberty and human rights some time in the forseeable future.

  34. rumrebellious

    Vin mariani and coffee. A meal fit for a pope.

    Interesting article on medical marijuana. The quotes on page three left me speechless. It reminded me of that brilliant documentary aired by the ABC a couple of weeks ago, Requiem for Detroit.

  35. Chris

    I think the Gillard government should be congratulated on its change in approach to the the treatment of refugees. However perhaps in the future they need to prepare ahead of time an FAQ for the communities that will be affected. It was pretty obvious from the early tv and radio interviews that local leaders such as local government members and the school principal had absolutely no idea what was happening – eg how was a school that was already almost full going to cope with more students etc. It’s that sort of vacuum of information which provides fertile ground for a racist backlash.

  36. rumrebellious

    Whoops. Sorry. Link here.

  37. paul walter

    Don, he’s am old bloke getting around in a golf buggy, maybe to Jeremy Cordeaux’s radio station, up the street. Have seen him about on my passage thru that poverty-raddled example of socio-urban blight and testament to the indifference of humanity to humanity; North Adelaide.
    This whilst traversing from elite Bowden, to that intellectual hub of the civilised universe, Romeo’s North
    Adelaide Foodland.

  38. Don Wigan

    Elite Bowden, eh Paul? How about that? In my only sojourn in Adelaide since the 60s, I lived in Ridleyton for a few years in the mid-80s. Must’ve been practically neighbours.

    I even had some work in North Adelaide for a while (shopped at Foodland by the way). I had a similar unedifying experience of occasionally seeing KG Cunningham at lunch or coffee. I think he was then at 5DN or NWS9. Sometimes it was hard not to know people in Adelaide.

  39. Jacques de Molay

    Chris @ 35,

    Supposedly not only was Gillard in SA near the Woodside area the day before without dropping any hints but the following day when it was announced premier Mike Rann was only given one hour’s notice. Could’ve been handled better.

    Unfortunately that has to date been the MO of Rudd/Gillard Labor.