Do it for Ronny Clegg   30/9/2006

Thanks to all for kind wishes concerning my partially blinded state. Recovery seems to be proceeding well and I should be back to near normal vision in a fortnight. For today, GO BLOODS!!!!!
Phew! Waddagame. The Weegles up by 1 point in a grinding, thrill-packed full-houser.

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Equipped to barrack for Collingwood   27/9/2006

Bloody hell! I awoke this morning with a familiar impediment to clear sight in my right eye: the black crescent on the edge of vision that signifies a detaching retina.
I’m booked in for corrective surgery at 8 tonight and recovery means blogging will be minimal for the next week or so.
See you soon. I hope.

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Common enemy   26/9/2006

Strange bedfellows, indeed. The dinkum marxists over at the Langers’ place have declared war on the “pseudo left”. This quote indicates their position:

Anti-Americanism is the key to understanding the pseudo-Left, which is more akin to a subculture than a political movement: a mish-mash of Third World romanticism, pacifism, environmentalism and suspicion of progress and modernity. In this jumble of prejudices, the anti-war movement gained support from circles that would never have countenanced supporting the Left position during the Vietnam protest period.

I think they mean dumb hippies and lesbian god-botherers.
Anyway, it seems Albie and the ex are saying that if setting the hounds of rationalism on to the crazy hating classes means aligning themselves with RWDBs on some issues, well comrades, lie back and think of the Yalta pact.

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On a cross road   

Civilization? That’s where faith embraces good humour.



Thanks to Wallace Craig

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Left is right for once   25/9/2006

Not all lefties are so dumb they can’t recognise the real enemy. Nevertheless, I appeal to anyone on the left who disagrees with this linked article to drop right in and refute it. Come on hate-driven lefties, you know who you are.
It’s by the ex of legendary Melbourne marxist Albert Langer. They operate from this site.
For the same reason that I opposed the US in Vietnam I supported its overthrow of the fascist regime in Iraq. The genuine Left has always hated fascism and supported the spread of progress, democracy and modernity.
There is a deep misunderstanding of the radical strategic change spearheaded by Bush. This is the result of consistent attempts by the Bush administration to describe the new policy in misleading, lowest common denominator terms as a war on terror. But capturing or killing Osama bin Laden and individual terrorists was never what this war was about. The reality is that in order to eliminate terrorism, the US has no choice but to attack the underlying forces of reaction and oppression that create it.

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Hit with the ugly stick   24/9/2006

Is Jack Marx writing about Margo?

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Get out the woollies   

According to scientists quoted in of all places, the Guardian, we’re about to enter a period of global cooling.
An international group of scientists believes a period of reduced solar activity could soon bring desperately needed cooling to our sweltering world.
Hmmm, I’ll reserve my judgement until scientists can tell me accurately what the weather will be like in my region a week from
now. And that’s why the average Joe doesn’t buy any of this global warming-cooling-dimming scare-mongering.

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Reports of his passing . . .   

Has he wheely bin deaded?
A French regional newspaper, L’Est Republicain, overnight published a report based on a French foreign intelligence service document, which alleged that Saudi intelligence service had concluded the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States had succumbed to typhoid fever – sometime between August 23 and September 4 – while hiding in Pakistan.
Well, no, according to his countrymen.
THE Saudi government late on Saturday pulled the rug from under a French newspaper report about the alleged death of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, saying in a statement that it “has no evidence to support” the contention.
Fatal illness is too good for him.
Slow, anesthetic-free amputation with rusty hacksaws dipped in pig’s fat would be much more suitable.
Any advances?

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Safe at home   

Some irrelevant has-beens and never-weres are taking a stand.
Singers Pete Murray and The Whitlams’ Tim Freedman are among artists who have refused requests to play for Diggers because they do not support the Iraq war.
“I was asked and decided not to go,” Freedman said.

No risk of getting shot at either. Glenn Richards, singer with Augie March, said there was “not a chance” of the group going.
“I understand Australian troops are there for peacekeeping, but you’d be mad to risk lives by going to Iraq.”
Col Joye, for gawdzakes. As if diggers in their 20s would have the remotest interest in a pushing-70 codger who could never stay in tune, anyway.
It would be nice for News Ltd to tell us who is willing to entertain the troops.

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Goat nonsense   23/9/2006

Much chuckling at the coalface last night when this little treasure was read out:
“It was around midnight when Tombe came to do his nonsense on my goat, and I was already in bed inside my house.”

It happened in the Sudan. Isn’t that the place where Jonesy used to say “they don’t like it up ‘em”?

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Natural justice denied   

That deafening silence? It emanates from the quarters of civil libertarians and litigating parasites who whined like Humber diffs about the “control orders” and “lack of due process” apportioned to terrorist groupie Jihad Jack Thomas.
But the same complaining class have had nothing to say about the star chamber proceedings initiated by VicPlod’s ludicrously named Office of Police Integrity against members of the former Armed Offenders Squad.
These cops have been publicly accused of breaking the law, but have not benefited from even a hint of a fair trial or presumption of innocence, a situation that would have the whiners wetting their panties had it applied to criminals or terrorists.
Yet again, it is an issue that should seriously embarrass the state government. But yet again, Red Ted Ballieu and the pathetic state Libs are as reticent as the civil libertarians.

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A master’s voice   

Veteran US newsman Thomas Edsall is by his own definition left-leaning. He’s the senior political journalist at the Washington Post where he has worked for 25 years. You’d reckon Edsall would know his beans when it comes to bias in the media.
Here’s what he’s got to say in an interview with Hugh Hewitt:

HH: But given that number of reporters out there, is it ten to one Democrat to Republican? Twenty to one Democrat to Republican?

TE: It’s probably in the range of 15-25:1 Democrat.

HH: Can the mainstream media ever be fair as a result?

TE: Well, you know, you’re asking, I think, a wrong question. I think the problem is that there is a real difficulty on the part of the mainstream media being sympathetic, or empathetic, whatever the word would be, to the kind of thinking that goes into conservative approaches to issues.

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All his fault   21/9/2006

About the only thing Howard hasn’t been blamed for is Collingwood’s terminal slump. Although I think some SMH-reading tosser may have blamed him for Eddie. He’s been blamed for the drought, the Cronulla blue, plebs actually wanting to live in houses and Greer’s post-menopausal madness.
But Tracee (is there a more kitsch affectation than sheilas ending their names with “i” or “ee”?) Hutchison has gone full stretch. She blames Howard for the regurgitation of mullet-headed sequined pop.
The Countdown Spectacular, and what it represents, might be a long way from the corridors of power in Canberra but the love affair with nostalgia we are having in Australia is symptomatic of the broader modern malaise that is stifling us culturally, socially and politically.
Instead of the bold, brave and hopeful nation we looked like becoming, we are a nation looking backwards, terrified of anything or anyone who threatens the status quo. John Howard famously said he wanted to create an Australia that was relaxed and comfortable. From where I see it, it’s something more akin to uncomfortably numb.

It’s a good thing Traceeeeeee’s a girl. Imagine what a wanker it’d be with a dick.
Via Tim Blair.

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Strike me lucky   

Jon Faine wasn’t on 774 this morning because he chose to join a general ABC strike. Instead, a replacement announcer brought the public a most unFaine-like morning program. I don’t recall his name because, like a breath of fresh air, he didn’t talk about himself. Seems he also has this weird idea that people are interested in matters outside the inner suburbs or what some tosser at Fairfax thinks is riveting. Guests included the South Australian anti-pokies politician who presented some scarey facts about how much the socialist state governments rip off the gambling-addicted proletariat. Discussion than turned to the drought and possible solutions to the worrying national water shortage. Only one beanhead called to whine about “manmade global warming” but he was countered by an old Queenslander who recalled every major drought since the turn of the century, which he said were just as bad before cars started filling the atmosphere with their exhausts.
Like all wise men of the land he was an optimist, signing off with “a good drought will always be broken”.
Look, the ABC staffers must have a strong case to take such action. Perhaps they could stay on strike indefinitely. I’d support that.
My mind keeps turning to Sir Henry Bolte when a mob of Victorian teachers went on strike and marched on Parliament House. The old bullfrog opined that the chalkies could “march up and down until they were bloody well footsore”, they weren’t going to change his attitude.
The difference now is that the ABC workers haven’t anyone like Sir Henry to react to (for?) them. I haven’t heard anyone comment, pro or anti.
Is there any industrial action that hurts more than a strike that no one gives a stuff about?

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Long live the King   

Next time someone royal in Tonga dies they’d be best advised to get in Steve Irwin’s funeral producers. Here’s how my brother Pete — whose spouse serves there in a diplomatic role — occupied himself at the K of T’s recent planting.
Well on the 19th Kirsten having been summoned by royal command to the Mala’ekula for the burial rights of the late king Taufa’ahau Tupou IV, led our little family off (minus BB). We’d donned our finest black and headed up the street and around the corner. Its great how just about everything on small island countries is up the street and around the corner.
Anyway after about 45 minutes of waiting for the body to arrive, Mahdi needed to go to the loo and being Tonga there wasn’t a loo within cooee, so Kirsten took her back home leaving me at the back of the diplomatic tent between some very quite Americans and Bill & Adrian the local ADF contingent. In front were the local Samoan contingent whom for some reason had a dandruff ridden Korean sitting in their midst. Which isn’t so bad really, because after 3 hours of sitting there without being able to see much I was forced to amuse myself watching the Samoans falling asleep on each other and the Korean and then after 4 & ½ hours I was further able to amuse myself counting the dandruff on the Korean guy’s back. (75 specs) The other item of note were the holes in the World Health Organisation rep’s sox (4) and the ever occasional glance (17) I caught of the back of Helen Clark’s head. Goodness she is the greyest person I’ve seen in a while. Meanwhile Mahdi and Kirsten made it home in time to watch the whole affair on TV with the housekeeper

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Take it as fact   20/9/2006

What I griped about yesterday — journalistic presentation of contentious facts without accompanying attribution — seems to have become house style at The Australian.
A report today on terrorism readiness begins:
AUSTRALIAN cities lack the staying power of Leningrad – most would run out of food and other necessities within four days if transport systems were disrupted.
The inhabitants of Australian and US cities are no longer self-reliant, unlike the Soviet citizens of Leningrad, which was encircled by the Nazis for 29 months from September 8, 1941.

You get to the third par before there is an attribution, and a non-specific one, at that.
Further down the par the source is identified, along with an assumptive opinion that encouraged the journalist to draw the conclusion offered as fact in the intro:
“The average city in the United States, which I’m sure is like yours, has about four days’ food on the shelves in the supermarkets,” said Dr McIntyre, head of the Centre for Homeland Security at Texas A&M University.

Has Dr McIntyre ever been to an Australian city? Did he know he was being interviewed for publication in Australia’s national broadsheet?

While this style of intro might be sensational and attention-grabbing, it assumes you will get the truth of the piece by reading further.
And to “assume” something, as a crusty old editor once told me, makes an ass out of u and me.

Oh no! Literacy’s equivalent of the blowfly — the greengrocer’s apostrophe — has infested The Oz’s editorial.
As the fallout from the Pope’s speech on violence, religion and reason reverberate’s around the world, the ripples of a mini academic jihad sparked by Queensland academic Merv Bendle continue to spread.

Charles Murton would agree that Mr Murdoch needs the editorial equivalent of Sister Mary Philamyanga and her hardwood persuader at his flagship.

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Brats brawl   19/9/2006

Spirited little poo fight between net commentators Andrew Landeryou and Stephen Mayne.
Landeryou strips for the Labor Right and Mayne for the Liberal Left so they both occupy principle-free zones.
As Landeryou is wont to declare: Game On!

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Don’t get me wrong, I believe The Australian is a great newspaper, possibly one of the world’s best.
But occasionally it slips. With the worst possible result; ie it has you thinking for a second you’re reading Fairfax.
Have a gander at this intro for an important news story out of my state.

SUSPECTS have been subjected to torture in custody – bashed, threatened with guns and interrogated with plastic bags over their heads – by detectives from one of Victoria’s elite crime squads.

How did this come about, the reader asks. By the tone of the report it happened in the past, so there must have been a cover-up of some proportion. Whatever, the reader can’t help but believe such incidents certainly happened; they’re reported in hard cold facts.
Hang on. Read the next par and watch out for that little word “told”.
To cover up the assaults, a police corruption hearing was told yesterday, officers from the armed offenders squad would push suspects down stairs.
Yes, it’s all allegation. And hardly robust allegation at that, given that no one has been charged.
Yet there is not a shred of attribution in the intro. Incompetence, or sub-editor’s agenda? Hmmm, give me a foul-up over a conspiracy any day. Whatever, the intro could easily have led readers to believe something that wasn’t true. That is woeful journalism.

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Scandinavian jellyfish   18/9/2006

I wonder how long before one of our enlightened commentators parrots Sweden’s Democracy Minister Jens Orback, who said during a radio debate: “We must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.”

I thought Quisling came from another Scandinavian country.
Looks like the fortunate generation of young fellas just got luckier. Imagine all those lovely Swedish refugees who’ll be thronging here when Orback’s prediction comes off.
Hat tip to Stephen Williams.

Hopefully, this will put a different complexion on matters:
Sweden’s centre-right opposition bloc has defeated the ruling Social Democrat party in the country’s closest-fought general election for decades.

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PM knows a beat-up   

Yet again, John Howard shows he is far more in touch with mainstream sensibilities than newsmakers, which should be one hell of a worry for media proprietors. This much-ado-about-nothing “scandal” exposes little more than an Aussie media inferiority complex as they try to beat up our own Abu Ghraib (with digital images) atrocity yarn.
The hysterics from the ADF head should be warning enough to never again put a fly-boy in charge of defence. Even under torture, a real warrior wouldn’t utter that ninny’s word, “appropriate”.
And further proof that military madness is afoot is when the RSL chief, for gawdsakes, can declare without a hint of embarrassment the words “cultural sensitivity”.
Bruce Ruxton. Apoplectic.

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