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08 September 2009 @ 07:04 pm
Oh Senator Fielding ...  
Senator Stephen Fielding, the Family First Senator in the Australian Federal Senate (Upper House) (and, you'll note, not my family, and not many other people's, either), is a man who -- due to an insanity of Australian voting politics that should be understandable to those familiar with the terms gerrymander and Electoral College --  is sometimes left holding the balance of power in the Senate, despite having been voted for by only 55,000-odd Australians*.

I think he's an idiot. Mostly because of his voting record, but also because he keeps opening his mouth and saying idiotic things. A little while ago he went to a conference on Global Warning in the US and came back convinced that Global Warming was all a hoax. When challenged on his position and the science behind it, he responded that he had heard very convincing arguments at the conference. The conference was run by the Heartland Institute, a radical fundamentalist anti-science group who have diversified from their pro-tobacco lobbying position ('it's perfectly safe!') to a stance on global warming that ranges from 'It doesn't exist' to 'Who wouldn't like things a bit warmer?' (Victorians, who are likely to be on fire again this summer, for a start.) I'm sure the handful of scientists who appeared at that conference did sound convincing, after all, they were paid handsomely for it.

Today he has been at it again. When doorstopped outside Parliament House, he complained about the government's level of spending.

'The physical and monetary policies need to be working in concert with one another!' he declared.

He later corrected himself. 'Fiscal. I'll make it quite clear: F-I-S-K-A-L.'

He's just declared that he has a severe learning disorder. Which apparently only extends to him spelling things differently to the rest of the world, not to him arguing bogus climate science against the entire CSIRO (Australia's premier science organisation), and all other major scientific bodies.

On the other hand, APPLAUSE for Senator Judith Troeth who crossed the floor in Parliament today to vote in favour of a bill that ends the policy of charging refugees held in refugee camps for their detention. Brave and humane, well done, madam!

In other exciting news of the day, Samoa switched from driving on the right to driving on the left today. One nation by one, the way of righteousness is spread ;-)

*There are over 20 million people here, 5 million in Victoria, the state he was voted in from, so that's 1.9% of the vote of 1/4 of the country. With enough warning to campaign, I think even I could do better.
It's a Deensedeensey on September 8th, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
You should run for the senate, obvsly.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
God no, I would kill people!
(no subject) - deensey on September 10th, 2009 12:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
Meredyth: Oh Shitmeredyth_13 on September 8th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
In a world of the truly absurd, Fielding would run for something with Sarah Palin. See, that campaign I would like to see, just for the sheer 'train wreck' potential.

blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
Nah, some loonie would vote for them. It would make good television, though!
tinofbeanstinofbeans on September 8th, 2009 10:51 am (UTC)
Learning Disorder
I agree with Fielding, he does have a severe learning disorder. As far as I am concerned that has been blatantly obvious from the day he first opened his mouth in Parliament. He does not seem to be able to learn. For example is inability to actually come up with amendments to anything- just witness the whole mess he made of the alco pops legislation. He is a total farce as a parliamentary member.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Learning Disorder
He does not seem to be able to learn

YES! That sums him up perfectly.

And you're quite right, his constant whining without any usefulness is simply ridiculous.

On a happier note, you free for tea and cake anytime soonish? Do you ever get to Rhodes?
Re: Learning Disorder - tinofbeans on September 9th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Learning Disorder - blamebrampton on September 11th, 2009 02:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Learning Disorder - tinofbeans on September 13th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Learning Disorder - blamebrampton on September 13th, 2009 10:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Learning Disorder - tinofbeans on September 13th, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Brissygirlbrissygirl on September 8th, 2009 11:04 am (UTC)
LMAO What an F'ing idiot!

The federal election is next year you've got plenty of time to campaign Brammers. I double triple dare you to run for Parliament. You'd have them all in hysterics everyday and we wouldn't have to listen to them spout bullshit all the time.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
I used to go out with an ALP figure when I first moved to Sydney. At the end of that relationship, I was so horrified by what I had learned that I swore of running for anything, ever. Though I have a BRILLIANT stash of Paul Keating stories.
nahimanaemerald_dragon8 on September 8th, 2009 11:13 am (UTC)
Good lord that man gets stupider by the day. Honestly.

And I would totally vote for you, just so you know.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
You say this now, but you'd regret it once I enacted my Other People Come Round To Do My Housework policy ;-)
Welcome to Ant Country: House brainant_queen on September 8th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC)
Fielding makes me want to slam his head into a desk repeatedly (rather than mine since it would obviously have no noticeable affect on his intelligence whereas I'm rather attached to my brain cells).

And it is his limited intellect that leads him to belief a handful of scientists with questionable motives and to fundamentally fail to grasp the wise words of good scientists. Fielding actually purports to belief that climate change is real, just not that it has anything to do with the actions of human beings. Apparently because scientists have indicated that there are in fact a range of variables in the climate chagne equation then clearly carbon emissions aren't the only cause, so it could be lots of other things and on that basis we shouldn't do anything about carbon emissions.

It's a bit like a smoker saying "well some smokers never get cancer and some people who don't smoke get cancer, so I'll keep smoking because I could get cancer anyway". It ignores the whole issue that where there are multiple variables and some of them you can do something about, doing something about them seriously lowers your risk.

In fact, I would be willing to lay good money on there being a distinct correlation between climate change sceptics and smokers nad/or people who can't do basic mathematics.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC)
Apparently it's the sun! Despite the oodles of empirical proof that it's not!

And yes, your smoking analogy is an excellent one. I think I would not bet against you!
bare_memabonwitch on September 8th, 2009 07:29 pm (UTC)
You know, this brings me to a question that I suspect you have an answer for. Where might I find some decent science news online? I can and will google, but my suspicion is that I'll be led to news sources with a piddling science sidebar, not to sources with science as the main/only feature. If you happen to know a few, I would greatly appreciate it!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC)
There are a lot of science magazines that have excellent online sites. My fave standby is New Scientist: http://www.newscientist.com/ , though a few stories are subscriber only. It has an excellent round-up of research news across a great many disciplines and is edited by people with science degrees. It's easy to navigate and has a brilliant archive.

My friend edits a slightly kookier one: http://www.scitechdaily.com/ which does good short magazine coverage of stories from a lot of journals and other publications. Most of the stories link to the original stories off site, and the nagivation is not as easy, but there are some good and interesting things covered there, often ones you won't find talked about much elsewhere (in the sense of obscure science, not crazy science).

For science and tech research, it's worth checking out MIT News occasionally: http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/ The stories are written on campus, but for a general audience, though still containing details and contacts for specialised readers. There is also a Twitter feed for the page's updates.

The venerable Nature also has a very good news site: http://www.nature.com/news/index.html Its stories are often a bit longer and more complex than those on the New Scientist site, but certainly understandable by the lay reader, though its interface is not as easy to navigate as the NS one. It also has a Twitter feed.
Bubba: Mourningabsynthedrinker on September 8th, 2009 08:34 pm (UTC)
Heseltine, Quayle, and Fielding. The 3 Stooges! There's one in every government during every administration. Thanks for the giggle.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 03:30 pm (UTC)
At least Heseltine and Quayle had magnificent hair ...

You are very welcome.
(no subject) - absynthedrinker on September 9th, 2009 03:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Anwynanthraxia on September 8th, 2009 11:37 pm (UTC)
re Samoa
The way of lefteousness, dearheart. :)

Hurray for Samoa for joining the correct thinking nations who know that left is right and right is wrong!
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 03:34 pm (UTC)
Re: re Samoa
Ha! Good point!

I loved the politician who declared it was all done without stress because Samoans have superior intelligence. The very few cars was obviously not a factor ;-) But they did manage the whole thing very well.
Hollyhollyxu on September 9th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
You know how people should get tested before being allowed to raise children?

There should probably be another version for politicians.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
I'm fine with thick people having kids as long as they know they're thick. We need thick people in the world. Just not in parliament. Although I suppose thickies should have representation, too ... just not holding the balance of power, then!

But yes, there should definitely be a test for pollies on their ability to think past their own prejudices. The evil that failing to do that brings is half what's wrong with the world.
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on September 9th, 2009 09:02 am (UTC)
Completely off topic, for which I'm terribly sorry:
Thank you for my present! It was waiting for me when I returned home from my trip to Hobart. Yay! I thought you just meant sample sachets, not the real deal *squees in undignified manner*, and thank you for the eyeshadow (the coppery one will probably end up adorning the small girl, but I love the other shades).
blamebramptonblamebrampton on September 9th, 2009 02:40 pm (UTC)
Yay! I am glad that it arrived safely! do you wear blues and greens? I might send you down another couple of eyeshadows and get you to send the copper back, as apparently green does not work on me as I thought it did ;-)

We have beauty sales at work, where things cost just a couple of dollars, and I grabbed them because I had a vague memory you liked them. Hurrah for vague memories!
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on September 10th, 2009 09:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on September 10th, 2009 09:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - treacle_tartlet on September 10th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - blamebrampton on September 10th, 2009 09:48 am (UTC) (Expand)