Tomfoolery and Gerrymandering

This post was prompted by a recent US Supreme Court decision, but it also brought back some memories.

For 111 years, Burkard Polster and I wrote the weekly Maths Masters column for Melbourne’s Age newspaper, writing a total of 11111111 columns. (The title wasn’t of our choosing.) Our column began in print, as part of VCE Express in Monday’s education lift-out, which soon moved online. While in print, we were instructed to write “about 350 words”, just enough to say hello to a topic and then good bye. Once the column went online, however, we were granted a lot of license and took more: we would routinely submit well over a thousand words, illustrated with a number of Burkard’s beautiful graphics. It was also standard practice to be emailing drafts back and forth at midnight before the morning deadline. (Burkard: “Here’s the graphic I spent an hour on.” Marty: “It doesn’t work.” Burkard: “… Back in an hour.”) The payment for each column remained amusingly low; it was reminiscent of Calvin Trillin’s story of the Nation‘s editor offering to pay him in “the high two figures”. But of course we did the column as best we could as an end in itself. It was great fun to do, until it wasn’t, and it was exhausting. Continue reading “Tomfoolery and Gerrymandering”

A Couple Quick Words on the Palestinian Protests

(1) Of course the protests are antisemitic.

(2) People are allowed to be antisemitic assholes.

Regarding (1), non-Jews should be aware of what the overwhelming majority of Jews are seeing. Regarding (2), Jews should accept that they have to tolerate assholeness, just like everyone else. Continue reading “A Couple Quick Words on the Palestinian Protests”

Peter Dutton’s Broken Home

As soon as Potato Pete and his fellow “No” thugs started whining about the Voice Referendum being “divisive“, we were reminded of a great joke. We had figured the joke was a standard, but seemingly it is not: it took some tracking down. The joke is below, as it appeared on TV. It captures perfectly the hypocrisy and unmitigated gall of these wreckers.

Continue reading “Peter Dutton’s Broken Home”

The Guardian Objects to the University of Sydney’s Considered Voice

We will vote Yes on the Voice Referendum. Twice, if we think we can get away with it.

We did not begin that strongly in favour, but the sleaziness, vacuousness, blatant dishonesty and outright nastiness of the prominent No campaigners has convinced us as nothing else could. That toxic newt John Howard calling for people to “maintain the rage” is as revolting, and as idiotic, a command from an ex-PM as has ever been made. And they are all revolting. They are all lying. None of them believes a single nasty word they’re uttering. Except for Lidia Thorpe who is, instead, a dim-witted, narcissistic separatist. The entire No campaign has been disgusting, without a single ounce of rational thought or human decency. And so we have chosen to attack The Guardian.

Continue reading “The Guardian Objects to the University of Sydney’s Considered Voice”

UNSW Yells Bright and Not So Bright for the Voice

UNSW proudly claims to have been the first of the Go8 universities to declare support for the Voice to Parliament, and they’re now supporting the Voice with all lights blazing. This is a mistake, professionally and ethically. And, most importantly and least importantly, it is a strategic mistake. As a supporter of the Voice, it is sad and frustrating to see these guys stuffing up.

Continue reading “UNSW Yells Bright and Not So Bright for the Voice”

The Two Missing Words on Robodebt

Yeah, “I’m sorry” would have been kinda nice. But those aren’t the missing words.

It was always too much to expect even a façade of contrition from Morrison or Tudge or Miller or Benson, or at least a dozen other down-punching sociopathic thugs. So, although the words of regret are blaring in their absence, the words were not to be expected, they’re not missing as such. The missing words are:

Well, duh. Continue reading “The Two Missing Words on Robodebt”

Should Universities be Supporting the Voice to Parliament?

The answer is, it seems to me, that they should not.

I support the Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Voice to Parliament. Not strongly, not from having thought much about it, and not without a couple of niggles. But I support it. Why? The short answer is, Noel Pearson. Continue reading “Should Universities be Supporting the Voice to Parliament?”