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John Hardy didn't vote for Abbott has been at 1 events

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John Blossom126,211End of the Mayan calendar got you down? Celebrate the destruction of the universe on this On-Air Hangout! What are your predictions for the end of time? What will you do with all that spare time? Come join us - if we're all still here...Celebrate the Apocalypse on 12-21-12!2012-12-21 18:30:0010  

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Most comments: 46

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2015-08-27 08:06:11 (46 comments, 1 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Most reshares: 6

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2015-08-20 11:21:09 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

#politics

Most plusones: 43

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2015-08-20 11:21:09 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

#politics

Latest 50 posts

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2015-09-01 08:02:22 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 2 +1s)Open 

Victoria to ban protesters from harassing women at abortion clinics

The awesome. 

Victoria to ban protesters from harassing women at abortion clinics

The awesome. ___

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2015-09-01 07:58:27 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 1 +1s)Open 

Liberated from a private share.

I'm going to do this

Liberated from a private share.

I'm going to do this___

2015-09-01 03:41:34 (3 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Q&A: So what was it that attracted you to right-wing student politics in the 1970s?

Q&A: So what was it that attracted you to right-wing student politics in the 1970s?___

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2015-09-01 01:59:45 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Sad little fascist.

It hasn't occurred to him that his government's greatest adversary and the one doing the most to promote the regime change agenda is the government itself. They stumble from one farce to the next and yet manage to keep their precious bubble of self-delusion in tact and impervious to the reality around them.

Never before has such a paranoid and emotionally unsuited group of people been given the reigns of power in this country. They really need to go.

Sad little fascist.

It hasn't occurred to him that his government's greatest adversary and the one doing the most to promote the regime change agenda is the government itself. They stumble from one farce to the next and yet manage to keep their precious bubble of self-delusion in tact and impervious to the reality around them.

Never before has such a paranoid and emotionally unsuited group of people been given the reigns of power in this country. They really need to go.___

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2015-08-31 23:11:31 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

A bit disturbing. 

A bit disturbing. ___

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2015-08-31 20:45:29 (0 comments, 2 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Beyond parody, this buffoonish government has become a genuine threat to our democracy. They really must go.

It is a truth wearily demonstrated by history that acts of tyranny condoned against some will finally become a tyranny visited on all. And in our acceptance of the antidemocratic, frequently illegal, often inhumane and occasionally criminal practices perpetuated against asylum seekers that have seen fellow human beings variously beaten, raped, molested, humiliated and murdered at Australian taxpayers’ expense, we have cleared a road for our own governments to begin treating us similarly.

"We consider the border not to be a purely physical barrier separating nation states, but a complex continuum stretching offshore and onshore, including the overseas, maritime, physical border and domestic dimensions of the border.

Treating the border as a continuum allows an integrated, layered approach to provide border management in depth – working ahead of and behind the border, as well as at the border, to manage threats and take advantage of opportunities.”___Beyond parody, this buffoonish government has become a genuine threat to our democracy. They really must go.

It is a truth wearily demonstrated by history that acts of tyranny condoned against some will finally become a tyranny visited on all. And in our acceptance of the antidemocratic, frequently illegal, often inhumane and occasionally criminal practices perpetuated against asylum seekers that have seen fellow human beings variously beaten, raped, molested, humiliated and murdered at Australian taxpayers’ expense, we have cleared a road for our own governments to begin treating us similarly.

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2015-08-31 14:38:58 (4 comments, 3 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

A First World nation with Third World ambitions. 

I think this is pretty important. America is culturally myopic when it comes to it's own failings as a nation. 

What Hurricane Katrina, the floodwall and levee collapses, and the aftermath taught me is that America, and its institutions, simply don’t work — and that people like it that way. Perhaps this is a boilerplate observation, so obvious in light of what happened there, and all our other disasters and chronic problems — the Iraq war, political gridlock, gun violence, and a thousand other things. But I believe this is an under-appreciated point.___A First World nation with Third World ambitions. 

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2015-08-31 01:19:56 (1 comments, 1 reshares, 18 +1s)Open 

We normally only ever get to see the splotchy bit. The Moon Rabbit.

Today is Moon Day.___We normally only ever get to see the splotchy bit. The Moon Rabbit.

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2015-08-30 23:31:23 (3 comments, 2 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Ken Roth of +Human Rights Watch shared this extraordinarily detailed map of who currently controls what chunks of land in Syria and Iraq, as of this week.

When reading this map, pay close attention to the white cross-hatching that covers most ISIS and Iraqi territory: that indicates "sparsely populated area," i.e. open desert which is exceptionally difficult to cross individually, much less in force, and so claims of "control" over these areas are more theoretical than practical.

Also note the maps of ethnic and linguistic groups on the left; while tribal affiliation (the basic axis of alliance in this region) is more complicated than that, these lines indicate the coarsest first-order boundaries. The relative homogeneity of Iraq (having separate Sunni and Shi'ite areas) is an aftereffect of the Iraq War, and of the ethnic cleansing and mass violence which... more »

Ken Roth of +Human Rights Watch shared this extraordinarily detailed map of who currently controls what chunks of land in Syria and Iraq, as of this week.

When reading this map, pay close attention to the white cross-hatching that covers most ISIS and Iraqi territory: that indicates "sparsely populated area," i.e. open desert which is exceptionally difficult to cross individually, much less in force, and so claims of "control" over these areas are more theoretical than practical.

Also note the maps of ethnic and linguistic groups on the left; while tribal affiliation (the basic axis of alliance in this region) is more complicated than that, these lines indicate the coarsest first-order boundaries. The relative homogeneity of Iraq (having separate Sunni and Shi'ite areas) is an aftereffect of the Iraq War, and of the ethnic cleansing and mass violence which followed: prior to the war, Iraq was highly intermixed. When you hear commentators ascribe the end of this violence to the 2007 "Surge," be aware that there's a certain amount of hubris involved in that: the violence happened to stop right around the time that there were almost no remaining areas where Sunnis and Shi'ites lived together anymore, everyone having fled or been killed.

You can contrast this with Lebanon and some of the immediately adjacent parts of Syria, which remain ethnically highly mixed. This is part of what made the Syrian civil war so explosive: the existence of a stable government was what assured the safety of minority groups (since stable governments tend to frown on mass slaughter), and so everyone in those groups was highly aware that if the government fell, they would become targets of genocide, thus giving all of those groups an extremely strong incentive to fight for al-Assad. 

And in fact, the Syrian map is now significantly less mixed than the Lebanese map, even in the far southwest of the country which borders on it. A few years ago, you would have seen an extremely significant Druze population, especially near the Israeli border. (There is a significant Druze population in Syria, Lebanon, and Israel, and they frequently move across the borders; that's in fact one of the biggest sources of on-the-ground communication between the three countries. The Druze in Israel are a particularly interesting case, as they're significantly more integrated into Israeli society than the Arabs, and feelings remain generally warm on all sides there.) The replacement of that population with Sunni dominance, and likewise the end of cross-border ties between Syrian Druze and everyone else, is a consequence of the rebels taking over that area.

Of course, you shouldn't take the broad swathes of Sunnis and Shi'ites to indicate profound unity among them; that's where tribal structures start to come into play. While "hey, we're both Sunnis, let's go beat up those Shi'ites" may be a perfectly reasonable overture in a negotiation between tribes, it's no more than an overture; it's not uncommon for the response to be "screw you, Tikriti" (or any other geographical, tribal, or familial distinction which happens to be more salient to the people in that particular area) Only the Kurds have something resembling a broad alliance among themselves, born of a very different history.

If you've noticed a pattern here, it's probably that alliances are fairly complicated, and people tend to make alliances with other tribes primarily for protection against third tribes, or to beat up some third tribe. This tends to clash harshly with the profound cultural need of Americans for there to be a clear "good guy" to root for and a "bad guy" to root against. Bashar al-Assad is a bloodthirsty, violent dictator, who is also the guarantor of the safety of all the ethnoreligious minorities of Syria against genocide. The Shi'ites of Iraq were profoundly oppressed for years by the Sunnis; until they got into power, at which point they started killing people left and right.

Some outsiders respond to this by picking one group or another to paint as their "good guys" of choice, whether it be the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Kurds, or the Syrian rebels who aren't allied with ISIS. Unfortunately, this tends to run hard against the rocks of reality fairly quickly, so it only works well in the long term for those willing to stay far away from practicalities and simply produce speeches or Internet memes about the goodness of their preferred side and how horribly they're being treated. Things get far worse when outsiders try to go in and get involved more directly, whether it be by joining protest organizations or by invading with large armies: the lesson in "wait, these guys aren't particularly good at all!" tends to take a while to learn, and a lot of bodies pile up in the meantime.

But nor is this an indication that outsiders should simply stay out; isolationism doesn't work for either the Middle East or for the rest of the world. Even the suggestion that the West's only interests in the Middle East are tied to oil is flawed; if you look at a map, you'll spot that the Middle East also contains critical seaports and routes, and borders all along the soft underbelly of Asia, up until it links to China. Try as you might, if you're going to be involved in the politics of the world, the Middle East will be as important today as it was 1,000 years ago, when it was a major trade axis for the planet.

What's the solution, then? You have to learn to deal with complexity: to understand that nobody is going to wear a convenient white or black hat, that loyalties are complex and shifting, and that the simple transplant of Western ideas like "democracy" doesn't work when the thousands of years of cultural underpinnings for those are completely different; you need to translate the purpose of ideas, not their particular implementations, if you want them to have local resonance.

Welcome to the Middle East: amateur hour is now over. ___

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2015-08-30 10:00:14 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 3 +1s)Open 

Unlike what Malaysian restaurants outside Malaysia suggest, there is no real common laksa template. Five different types in this video and there are many more that haven't been covered.

Hungry now....

Unlike what Malaysian restaurants outside Malaysia suggest, there is no real common laksa template. Five different types in this video and there are many more that haven't been covered.

Hungry now....___

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2015-08-29 15:41:27 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

"Former independent MP Tony Windsor has hit out at a bungled operation that would have seen people stopped for passport checks on the streets of Melbourne, telling ABC radio he had no doubt that some in the Abbott government 'hopes that something goes wrong domestically'. Speaking on ABC radio national current affairs program AM, Mr Windsor said the Border Force operation was no mistake, but a 'deliberate agenda to create fear in the community'."
- Sydney Morning Herald
29 August 2015 

Source:
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/former-mp-tony-windsor-border-force-patrol-was-a-deliberate-act-to-create-fear-20150828-gjaj8a.html

#australia   #auspol   #tonyabbott   #tonywindsor   #borderforce   #borderfarce  

"Former independent MP Tony Windsor has hit out at a bungled operation that would have seen people stopped for passport checks on the streets of Melbourne, telling ABC radio he had no doubt that some in the Abbott government 'hopes that something goes wrong domestically'. Speaking on ABC radio national current affairs program AM, Mr Windsor said the Border Force operation was no mistake, but a 'deliberate agenda to create fear in the community'."
- Sydney Morning Herald
29 August 2015 

Source:
http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/former-mp-tony-windsor-border-force-patrol-was-a-deliberate-act-to-create-fear-20150828-gjaj8a.html

#australia   #auspol   #tonyabbott   #tonywindsor   #borderforce   #borderfarce  ___

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2015-08-29 15:35:32 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Drone shot of #Bersih4 in KL earlier today

Check out the sea of Yellow!

#Malaysia

Drone shot of #Bersih4 in KL earlier today

Check out the sea of Yellow!

#Malaysia___

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2015-08-29 11:37:54 (1 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-29 11:34:36 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Great stuff and good luck, Malaysia. Merdeka!

Great stuff and good luck, Malaysia. Merdeka!___

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2015-08-28 12:15:04 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

Vere are your papers! Show me your papers!

http://m.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australian-border-force-to-patrol-melbourne-cbd-as-part-of-antisocial-behaviour-operation-20150828-gj9qtd.html

Vere are your papers! Show me your papers!

http://m.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australian-border-force-to-patrol-melbourne-cbd-as-part-of-antisocial-behaviour-operation-20150828-gj9qtd.html___

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2015-08-27 23:16:22 (5 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

If your guiding principle is to always follow your own rational self-interest then naturally your loyalties are always negotiable.

My advice to the K Bros if they want to stay competitive is to double their last offer and then double it again.

___If your guiding principle is to always follow your own rational self-interest then naturally your loyalties are always negotiable.

My advice to the K Bros if they want to stay competitive is to double their last offer and then double it again.

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2015-08-27 22:41:40 (14 comments, 0 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

The political climate is warming along with that record El Niño pattern over the Pacific.

Rednecks are torn between serving the fossil end of town and investing in a bit of solar Survivalism for themselves.

The End Times are going to be weird.

Via +Lee Grupsmith-Pedersen​​​​​​​​​

The political climate is warming along with that record El Niño pattern over the Pacific.

Rednecks are torn between serving the fossil end of town and investing in a bit of solar Survivalism for themselves.

The End Times are going to be weird.

Via +Lee Grupsmith-Pedersen​​​​​​​​​___

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2015-08-27 22:13:40 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 24 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-27 08:42:57 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

I may give this a go.

I may give this a go.___

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2015-08-27 08:06:11 (46 comments, 1 reshares, 21 +1s)Open 

Please put your self justifying, cherry picking excuses and diversionary arguments in the comments section provided.
Remember guns don't kill people —but they sure help.

___Please put your self justifying, cherry picking excuses and diversionary arguments in the comments section provided.
Remember guns don't kill people —but they sure help.

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2015-08-25 22:46:02 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 4 +1s)Open 

Good introduction to Angular 2.0

Converting my existing Angular 1.0 projects does not look like it's going to be easy, however.

The syntax looks a bit like Polymer.

Good introduction to Angular 2.0

Converting my existing Angular 1.0 projects does not look like it's going to be easy, however.

The syntax looks a bit like Polymer.___

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2015-08-25 09:59:17 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

"Casy looked up quickly, "Million acres? What in the worl' can he do with a million acres?"

"I dunno. He jus' got it. Runs a few cattle. Got guards ever'place to keep folks out. Rides aroun' in a bullet-proof car. I seen pitchers of him. Fat, sof' fella with little mean eyes an' a mouth like a ass-hole. Scairt he's gonna die. Got a million acres an' scairt of dyin'."

— John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

Via +Holland Rhodes​

http://trumphole.tumblr.com/

"Casy looked up quickly, "Million acres? What in the worl' can he do with a million acres?"

"I dunno. He jus' got it. Runs a few cattle. Got guards ever'place to keep folks out. Rides aroun' in a bullet-proof car. I seen pitchers of him. Fat, sof' fella with little mean eyes an' a mouth like a ass-hole. Scairt he's gonna die. Got a million acres an' scairt of dyin'."

— John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

Via +Holland Rhodes​

http://trumphole.tumblr.com/___

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2015-08-24 23:35:00 (5 comments, 1 reshares, 26 +1s)Open 

Gee, that's a toughy.

Yeah, they pretty much answered their own inane question. One makes me think of brie on a Ritz. The other makes me think of owning humans and treating them like animals.___Gee, that's a toughy.

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2015-08-24 23:24:46 (10 comments, 2 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Must read for iOS users. 

Must read for iOS users. ___

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2015-08-24 23:02:31 (20 comments, 0 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

While reading +David Megginson​​​​​​​​​​​​'s updated Wikipedia entry for the famous (and famously undrinkable) Caffe Americano, I noticed there's an effort afoot by some New Zealanders to claim that the Australian Flat White was actually invented over there.

Bitches, **please! That kind of cultural appropriation might have worked for you when you stole the Chinese gooseberry and renamed it the Kiwifruit however you are not getting away with it this time. The Flat White originated in the immigrant Italian cafes of Melbourne and Sydney in an era when most New Zealanders (and indeed most Australians) were still drinking tea and filter coffee.

Truth be told, the Flat White is scarcely worthy of its own name. It's really just a cafe latte served in a cup with a bit too much froth and yet not quite enough to call it acappuccino. It's ba... more »

While reading +David Megginson​​​​​​​​​​​​'s updated Wikipedia entry for the famous (and famously undrinkable) Caffe Americano, I noticed there's an effort afoot by some New Zealanders to claim that the Australian Flat White was actually invented over there.

Bitches, **please! That kind of cultural appropriation might have worked for you when you stole the Chinese gooseberry and renamed it the Kiwifruit however you are not getting away with it this time. The Flat White originated in the immigrant Italian cafes of Melbourne and Sydney in an era when most New Zealanders (and indeed most Australians) were still drinking tea and filter coffee.

Truth be told, the Flat White is scarcely worthy of its own name. It's really just a cafe latte served in a cup with a bit too much froth and yet not quite enough to call it a cappuccino. It's basically a cappuccino that didn't quite turn out right.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_white
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiwifruit
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caff%C3%A8_Americano#Origin___

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2015-08-24 10:17:49 (12 comments, 3 reshares, 11 +1s)Open 

A monkey choosing stocks by throwing fruit would perform better.

Trump isn't even a competent investor:

"Trump’s net worth has grown about 300% to an estimated $4 billion since 1987, according to a report by the Associated Press. But the real estate mogul would have made even more money if he had just invested in index funds. The AP says that, if Trump had invested in an index fund in 1988, his net worth would be as much as $13 billion. [...] Other billionaires’ net worths have beaten the stock market’s growth in that time. Bill Gates, for example, saw his grow increase 7,173% since 1988 to $80 billion. Warren Buffet’s wealth grew 2,612% in the same time period, to $67.8 billion."___A monkey choosing stocks by throwing fruit would perform better.

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2015-08-23 23:14:46 (1 comments, 2 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Style

This guy drives around Tehran in a red high heeled shoe shaped car. You can call him & he comes and waxes your shoes.
https://t.co/Zoy99w8ZrM___Style

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2015-08-23 23:06:33 (10 comments, 4 reshares, 14 +1s)Open 

Australia was mostly settled after this period so our decidedly non-upper class accent was not rhotic. Despite having a large (and largely involuntary) Irish immigration I think the main influence on our accent comes from 19th century London. I remember when people, especially older Australians used to routinely drop the letter "h" from the start of words in the Cockney manner. That doesn't happen much any more.

Anyway, to an Australian ear, many American accents sounds a bit www.talklikeapirate.com

Why Do Americans and Brits Have Different Accents? ... something new to me, SO we Americans actually speak the Queen's English while you Brits speak differently, eh? ... " In 1776, whether you were declaring America independent from the crown or swearing your loyalty to King George III, your pronunciation would have been much the same. At that time, American and British accents hadn't yet diverged. What's surprising, though, is that Hollywood costume dramas get it all wrong: The Patriots and the Redcoats spoke with accents that were much closer to the contemporary American accent than to the Queen's English.

It is the standard British accent that has drastically changed in the past two centuries, while the typical American accent has changed only subtly.

Traditional English, whether spoken in the British Isles or the American colonies, was largely "rhotic." Rhotic speakers pronounce the "R" sound in such words as "hard" and "winter," while non-rhotic speakers do not. Today, however, non-rhotic speech is common throughout most of Britain. For example, most modern Brits would tell you it's been a "hahd wintuh."

It was around the time of the American Revolution that non-rhotic speech came into use among the upper class in southern England, in and around London. According to John Algeo in "The Cambridge History of the English Language" (Cambridge University Press, 2001), this shift occurred because people of low birth rank who had become wealthy during the Industrial Revolution were seeking ways to distinguish themselves from other commoners; they cultivated the prestigious non-rhotic pronunciation in order to demonstrate their new upper-class status.

"London pronunciation became the prerogative of a new breed of specialists — orthoepists and teachers of elocution. The orthoepists decided upon correct pronunciations, compiled pronouncing dictionaries and, in private and expensive tutoring sessions, drilled enterprising citizens in fashionable articulation," Algeo wrote.

The lofty manner of speech developed by these specialists gradually became standardized — it is officially called "Received Pronunciation" — and it spread across Britain. However, people in the north of England, Scotland and Ireland have largely maintained their traditional rhotic accents.

Most American accents have also remained rhotic, with some exceptions: New York and Boston accents have become non-rhotic. According to Algeo, after the Revolutionary War, these cities were "under the strongest influence by the British elite." ..."

http://www.livescience.com/33652-americans-brits-accents.html___Australia was mostly settled after this period so our decidedly non-upper class accent was not rhotic. Despite having a large (and largely involuntary) Irish immigration I think the main influence on our accent comes from 19th century London. I remember when people, especially older Australians used to routinely drop the letter "h" from the start of words in the Cockney manner. That doesn't happen much any more.

Anyway, to an Australian ear, many American accents sounds a bit www.talklikeapirate.com

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2015-08-23 14:42:33 (0 comments, 3 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-23 09:52:01 (8 comments, 4 reshares, 35 +1s)Open 

No secret is safe.

___No secret is safe.

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2015-08-23 09:42:24 (7 comments, 3 reshares, 27 +1s)Open 

Via +Dan Demonic​

#auspol___Via +Dan Demonic​

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2015-08-23 04:24:51 (0 comments, 5 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

This clapped out copper wire system is already costing slightly more than the original fibre system. Cost blowouts keep pushing this price up and up. The Coalition original proposed that it's hybrid cock up would cost half as much as a proper network. Meanwhile the FCC in the US has redefined "broadband" to mean speeds above anything our NBN will ever be able to provide.

This clapped out copper wire system is already costing slightly more than the original fibre system. Cost blowouts keep pushing this price up and up. The Coalition original proposed that it's hybrid cock up would cost half as much as a proper network. Meanwhile the FCC in the US has redefined "broadband" to mean speeds above anything our NBN will ever be able to provide.___

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2015-08-23 02:27:06 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 13 +1s)Open 

And here I was thinking that global warming had stopped in 1995. Maybe I was misinformed?
July 2015 Global Climate Report
The combined globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for July 2015 was the highest for any month since record keeping began in 1880. The first seven months of the year (January–July) were also record warm for the globe.
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/july-2015-global-climate-report

And here I was thinking that global warming had stopped in 1995. Maybe I was misinformed?
July 2015 Global Climate Report
The combined globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for July 2015 was the highest for any month since record keeping began in 1880. The first seven months of the year (January–July) were also record warm for the globe.
https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/july-2015-global-climate-report___

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2015-08-23 01:34:26 (6 comments, 1 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

Fascist demagogues are often portrayed as buffoons and even after they get into power. The mass graves usually take some of the fun out of it though.

This article interests me most for what it misses. 

The body of this article -- which is well-written and worth reading, if you care about the subject -- is about how it's suddenly become evident that Trump's loudly touted and not particularly covert brand of racism, isolationism, and xenophobia isn't just harmless and funny, after two of his followers beat a homeless man into the hospital for being Latino and then praised Trump's speeches while they were being arrested. 

But the interesting thing they miss is hidden in plain sight, right in the headline. For Trump to have stopped being funny, he had to have been funny in the first place. And that joke only ever worked for people with a certain kind of privilege.

Donald Trump has never been subtle about his views. While his hair and his general egomania may be clownish, he was always showing these things off while preaching about how we need to crack down on Latinos, Blacks, immigrants, the Chinese, whoever he's on about on any particular day. He was doing this while calling for mass deportations of tens of millions of people, closing borders, engaging in ludicrously heavy-handed "negotiations" with other countries, and so on. And this has been working: Trump's popularity is because there are people who wonder, "well, why not?" and there is someone out there advocating solutions which sound (a) simple, (b) brutal, and (c) based on beating up people whom they don't see as part of their own society, from whom they can simply "take back" their power. (Although, as these other groups never actually had any such power, what's really meant here is "take")

It is only possible to see that as a joke if you have never had a reason to fear ethnic violence. But the US has just as long and bloody a history of ethnic violence as it has a history. Nothing Trump is suggesting is new; you could have heard it 150 years ago from the Know-Nothing Party, or 100 years ago from the more political branches of the Klan, or 50 years ago from the John Birch Society, each with their own variants.

Nor is it a coincidence that Trump is having these successes in the midst of Black Lives Matter, or in the aftermath of GamerGate; there are powerful movements afoot in our society where groups that were previously excluded are demanding their fair share of the floor, and powerful counter-movements of people who suddenly feel that the one thing they had of their own -- complete dominance of some spaces -- is suddenly being taken away. Trump is a natural mouthpiece for these groups, and he's quite good at it.

(There's some question about whether Trump came out openly in support of GamerGate a few weeks ago, or whether this was just a rogue autoresponder that he let stand, but I would by no means be surprised if he were to say something about it at some point; the complaints of GamerGate align surprisingly well with his rhetoric)

And anyone who watches these issues knows that there is profound violence immediately on deck in all of them. GamerGate was awash in death threats, and a few actual attempts. Black Lives Matter was born in the wake of shootings, and the rate of violence by whites (and especially police) against black youth in this country has hardly decreased. 

You can see another version of this in the part of the Republican press which is highly anti-Trump, not least because Trump is completely disconnected from the party's main political organs. Consider this article by Ben Domenech from The Federalist, which is quite far to the right but unconnected with Trump: http://thefederalist.com/2015/08/21/are-republicans-for-freedom-or-white-identity-politics/ The essential meat of the article is that the party has underestimated Trump's appeal, and in order to curb his lunatic candidacy, the Republican Party should find a better way to express his ideas and so pull his followers back into the mainstream.

And what are these ideas? "White identity politics." Note that the article does not fear that these become part of the Republican platform; it fears that they will become such a large part that they overwhelm the rest of the platform, and so these need to be addressed in a careful way. But there's nothing wrong with pulling them in, Domenech says: "'Identity politics for white people' is not the same thing as 'racism,' nor are the people who advocate for it necessarily racist."

Pro tip: "identity politics based on racial categories" is actually the dictionary definition of racism, and "identity politics for white people" is the prototype example of the category. Domenech's article isn't about rejecting Trump's racism: it's about finding more socially acceptable ways to express it, so that it can be folded into the party mainstream without taking it over.

For those wondering about Trump from the outside, I can give a simple explanation of his politics: Trump is a classical European far-right party leader. This is why he seems a bit exotic by recent American standards: especially since the 1980's, the American far right has been dominated by the "theological" far right, a very distinctly American political movement which focuses on making the country explicitly into a Fundamentalist Christian country. Trump, although he speaks to a similar (and overlapping) group of people, isn't talking about religion at all; instead, you'll find his politics very similar to that of European far-right politicians, of the sort who like to put "National" in their party names.

On the European spectrum, Trump falls somewhat to the right of Jean-Marie le Pen, perhaps a shade left of the Golden Dawn, and somewhat more populist than Jobbik. If we were running in a parliamentary, rather than presidential, system, he would currently be at the head of a far-right party that was polling in the high teens, and press coverage would be worried about how many seats he would get and whether he would be able to force a coalition to join him. In the US system, he's instead at the head of a far-right wing of a party, and the question is whether he will be able to force the party to adopt his policies wholesale to avoid electoral defeat next year.

So that's the secret thing which this headline hides: Trump was only ever funny if you had never had a reason to be aware of, or to fear, ethnic or sexual violence tacitly supported by the state. 

If you've ever had to be aware of that before, Trump was never a joke.

h/t to +Lauren Weinstein for pointing out the Federalist article.___Fascist demagogues are often portrayed as buffoons and even after they get into power. The mass graves usually take some of the fun out of it though.

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2015-08-23 01:05:01 (0 comments, 1 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Maybe we should ask the government of Syria first. They might have an opinion about this.

___Maybe we should ask the government of Syria first. They might have an opinion about this.

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2015-08-22 12:04:12 (17 comments, 1 reshares, 7 +1s)Open 

Just reading this transcript makes me think the hackers are Russian. You'll notice a tendency for the interviewee to drop definite and indefinite article words such as "the" and "a".

Just reading this transcript makes me think the hackers are Russian. You'll notice a tendency for the interviewee to drop definite and indefinite article words such as "the" and "a".___

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2015-08-22 07:11:28 (4 comments, 0 reshares, 6 +1s)Open 

Worst Government Ever.

Worst Government Ever.___

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2015-08-21 08:28:21 (13 comments, 2 reshares, 10 +1s)Open 

More from your +Emlyn O'Regan​​​​​​ feed (of course you should have already circled him yourself by now).

Entrepreneurship is on the rise. That sounds good until you think about it as a natural consequence of rising inequality, low social mobility and wealth inheritance. As Mitt Romney says, an entrepreneur needs access to cheap finance. The best source of which is having rich parents:

Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.

___More from your +Emlyn O'Regan​​​​​​ feed (of course you should have already circled him yourself by now).

Entrepreneurship is on the rise. That sounds good until you think about it as a natural consequence of rising inequality, low social mobility and wealth inheritance. As Mitt Romney says, an entrepreneur needs access to cheap finance. The best source of which is having rich parents:

Take a shot, go for it, take a risk, get the education, borrow money if you have to from your parents, start a business.

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2015-08-21 08:18:34 (9 comments, 1 reshares, 9 +1s)Open 

As for the technology’s emissions-cutting potential, the researchers are optimistic. They calculate that given an area less than 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert, the method could remove enough carbon dioxide to make global atmospheric levels return to preindustrial levels within 10 years, even if we keep emitting the greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.

___As for the technology’s emissions-cutting potential, the researchers are optimistic. They calculate that given an area less than 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert, the method could remove enough carbon dioxide to make global atmospheric levels return to preindustrial levels within 10 years, even if we keep emitting the greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.

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2015-08-21 04:32:06 (3 comments, 5 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

___

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2015-08-20 11:21:09 (1 comments, 6 reshares, 43 +1s)Open 

Via +Emlyn O'Regan​

#politics___Via +Emlyn O'Regan​

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2015-08-19 23:36:17 (2 comments, 5 reshares, 29 +1s)Open 

Yes, it took a lot of work to make the cards and pieces, but it's worth it--the players are way more thorough than the tax prep people ever were.
http://xkcd.com/1566/

Yes, it took a lot of work to make the cards and pieces, but it's worth it--the players are way more thorough than the tax prep people ever were.
http://xkcd.com/1566/___

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2015-08-19 22:18:04 (7 comments, 1 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

You shouldna oughta have signed up.

Ladies and gentlemen, the excrement is impacting the bladed ventilation unit...___You shouldna oughta have signed up.

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2015-08-19 22:13:47 (7 comments, 2 reshares, 12 +1s)Open 

Onion being spooky again.

___Onion being spooky again.

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2015-08-19 22:13:33 (0 comments, 0 reshares, 5 +1s)Open 

Onion being spooky again.

___Onion being spooky again.

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2015-08-19 13:27:21 (36 comments, 4 reshares, 19 +1s)Open 

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Well, it was fun while it lasted.___

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2015-08-18 04:21:21 (2 comments, 0 reshares, 8 +1s)Open 

Don't eat it!!!

Sending other browser teams cake when they ship is one of the nicest tradition in the business.___Don't eat it!!!

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