Friday, September 30, 2005
MAY AS WELL BUY A COMMON OWL
Pay $75 for a penguin and you don’t even get to take it home. Or cook it.
I hate kids. Hate them all without exception. Even yours. Especially yours. Especially if it’s a boy and you named it Jake. And if you’ve ever written a chummy diary article about Jake for a Sunday supplement, I wish nothing short of death upon you.
British satire. It’s so subtle.
UPDATE. Take a satire lesson from Pierre Pétain, Charlie:
As I sit here in café Internet de Paris dans 5ème Arrondissements and I read your words, I am nodding my head in sign of agreement. In Europe we have a fondamental importance on the community. Whether it be the humble artisan, the unassuming mime of the street, the café Internet, the cheese farmer or the future Webdiary de la France (much joie!!), our government is giving much finance and moral support to ensure that the séparation and disaffectation caused by the ogre de capitalisme in the US do not arrive in our glorieuse République démocratique.
We in all Europe heard crimes of Australien government against humanités. We heard how the innocent citizens are locked up in the public dumps of radioactive wastes and how protest is crushed by the complex industrialist-militaires Halliburton. The tentacles of warmongers capitaliste, the monks and globalising néo-fasciste totalitarians stretch in the government, mass-média and everywhere in the so-called système capitaliste.
That is why I admire Margo and the courage of the compatriote on Webdiary and your will to be heard in such a répression and frightening climat. I hope the tentacles of the néo-fasciste do not stretch in online democracy which is Webdiary and silent your protest. Bravo!
DRIVER RESEARCH QUESTIONED
Thursday, September 29, 2005
More than 700 Queenslanders have been fined for smoking in bars since January.
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
MADE FOR EACH OTHER
Mark Latham submits to the ordeal of a Margo Kingston interview, made easier by the fact Margo hasn’t bothered to read his book:
One of the things that I found most interesting in the Introduction, and Mark that’s all I’ve read because I’ve been running around on my own thing but I’m definitely intending to read the whole thing ...
The rest of the interview is notable mainly for highlights such as “End of Side 1 of Tape”. Until near the conclusion, when Mark and Margo launch into Sydney Morning Herald staff:
Mark: I’m after that bloody Debra Snow/Damien Murphy mob, all their bloody pretence about ethics and moralising about journalistic standards. I just think it’s all bunkum!
Margo: Well Mark, as I said, I haven’t read your actual diaries yet, but my memory is that it was The Sydney Morning Herald who first reported as fact that buck’s night thing.
Mark: Yeah, Louise Dobson.
Margo: Well, you know! That doesn’t make sense. Did she report that as fact without confirmation and without sourcing?
Mark: Yep, yep. Absolutely.
In fact, the Latham video rumour was first announced by Margo’s friends at Crikey.com.au, where Margo is these days running ads for her doomed site. (Note to Margo’s staff: Debra Snow is Deborah Snow. You’re running a quality online newspaper, for Christ’s sake; check names!) Meanwhile, Latham—who complains endlessly about intrusions on his private life—continues his campaign of bitter hypocrisy during a speech in Melbourne:
Two Saturdays ago in [The Australian], Matt Price wrote that, “Perhaps I move in the wrong circles but not once did I hear any scuttlebutt about Latham’s personal life from colleagues, opponents or anyone else”.
Have no doubt, one of the circles Matt Price has moved in for many years is Annabel Crabb’s - in fact, few journalists in Canberra are closer friends.
Oh, nice. And check this incredible Latham paranoia:
I want to thank the political and media establishment for the way in which they have received The Latham Diaries. When John Howard, the Australian Labor Party, the Canberra Press Gallery, and the Packer and Murdoch empires combine, as they have over the past fortnight, to tell people not to read this book, it sends a powerful message: the Canberra Club has a lot to worry about and a lot to hide.
What the hell is he talking about? The book’s been promoted like crazy. News Ltd paid $100,000 for extract rights; at The Bulletin, no end of positive publicity has been delivered. It’s the least we in the media establishment can do to help out a struggling stay-at-home dad. Not that Mark seems very grateful; here’s Tuesday night’s Lateline:
TONY JONES: Now, exposing public hypocrisy, political hypocrisy, and sending a sort of withering gale through public life, that’s one thing, but it seems you’ve actually engaged in casual destructiveness here. Let’s go on. You named one press gallery reporter as being a regular dope smoker, you’ve accused another prominent journalist of actually supplying drugs to the rest of the gallery. I mean, these are very serious allegations for professional people to have to deal with.
MARK LATHAM: Oh, Tony, I mean, this is on Triple J, joking around with comedians who appear on this network —the ‘Chaser Program’—you need to, you know, perhaps understand the context, but also what am I supposed to say about Tony, right? He turns up at my function in Lismore in early 2004 telling me that he’s stoned off his face, he’s been down to Nimbin and been on the hoochy coochy all day. What do you want me to say, Tony? What do you want me to say?
Latham didn’t say, as the transcript has it: “Tony, right?” He said “Tony Wright”, who is a friend and colleague at The Bulletin, and one of the finest reporters working in Australia. Latham can’t criticise him over inaccuracy or unfairness, so instead slurs him as a dope fiend.
Interestingly, Margo doesn’t appear in Latham’s book at all.
THRILLER IN SURRY HILLER
Bank teller James Waterton recently tackled highly-trained former online cadet Antony Loewenstein over the latter’s claim that “anti-war protests shook America and Britain”. And won. How might Antony fare in tonight’s big debate with James Morrow? Could be worth paying $8 to find out. Ranting commences 9pm at the Knott Gallery, Level 1, 342 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills (near Central Station). Beer, wine, amphetamines etc will be available from 8pm or so. Debate topic: Why Hate America?
INDPENDENT'S ANTI-FSIK CONSIPRACY
An internal University of Melbourne email advises:
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Robert Fisk Lecture scheduled for Thursday 29 September at 6.00pm has been postponed.
No other details are offered. Perhaps Robert has been beaten up by children again. The lecture had earlier been promoted in confusing terms:
The celebrated Middle East correspondent, Robert Fisk, will address a capacity public audience of 500 at Asialink at The University of Melbourne on Thursday, September 29. The free public event, staged in one of the largest auditoriums on campus, has been a sell-out since Monday, 10 days ahead of the event.
How can a free event be a sell-out? What was being sold? And when will Robert’s Perfect Wisdom ever be heard? Leftoid site Axis of Logic condemns Fisk’s corporate fascist overlords:
We have always had the highest respect for Robert Fisk and his wonderful analyses and hard-hitting reports on the Middle East. We noted that The Independent (UK) stopped publishing the work of Robert Fisk at no cost a couple of years ago. From that time on, his wonderful analyses and reports were made available only by paid subscription. We viewed this move on the part of The Indpendent as a method of corporate censorship. Subsequently, Axis of Logic purchased a subscription from the Independent and continued to publish reprints of his reports in a dedicated column. After a few months of these publications, the Independent canceled our subscription without refund and never replied to our letters asking the reason for cancellation. I met Mr. Fisk for the first time at a conference at M.I.T. in Cambridge, MA where he spoke last year to a receptive audience. We regret that the government and it’s corporate media censors have barred him from entering the U.S. - but this move on their part should not come as a surprise to anyone. Their fear of him and the Truth reinforces our view that the enemy is on the defensive. It tells us that their invincibility is an illusion of their creation and only serves to empower us - “the people”.
Evil Indpendent. “The people” must hear the Truth.
"TEACH FRANCE" CAMPAIGN BEGINS
France’s massive commitment to the war in Iraq has made it enemy No. 1 of radical Islamists:
An Algerian Islamist organisation, the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), has issued a call for action against France, which it describes as “enemy No 1”, intelligence officials said on Tuesday.
"The only way to teach France to behave is jihad and the Islamic martyr,” said the group’s leader, Abu Mossab Abdelwadoud, also known as Abdelmalek Dourkdal, in an internet message earlier this month.
He was quoted as saying: “France is our enemy No 1, the enemy of our religion, the enemy of our community."
If only France had not become involved in Hurricane W. Hitlerburton’s terrible racist war. It might also have saved them from all those bombings in 1995. Actually, it turns out that French fighters are in Iraq—just on the wrong side:
About a dozen French youth are currently in Iraq preparing to become suicide bombers in the country’s insurgency, French interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Monday.
"At this very moment, we know that there are a dozen French youth who are in Iraq, ready to become suicide bombers,” Sarkozy told France 3 television.
According to French intelligence services, seven French nationals have died in Iraq, in combat or in suicide attacks, and three are prisoners of the US-led multinational coalition forces.
In other shocking Euro news, Germans are depressed:
Young Germans talk of emigrating, and middle-aged architects plan to move to the countryside to raise children, breed chickens and escape the sense of decline. The economy, which was supposed to splutter into life next year after a long recession, now looks likely to grow by less than 2 per cent.
High time, then, to mount a E30 million ($47 million) campaign to restore the nation’s damaged pride, an undertaking reminiscent of the I’m Backing Britain project designed to offset Britain’s economic gloom in 1968. Dubbed You are Germany, the aim is to present Germans with successful role models and encourage them to do something positive for the country.
The Spanish national holiday, October 12, commemorating Columbus’s discovery of America, will see all the Latin American countries, including Cuba and Venezuela, participate in the traditional military parade. The holiday is two days before the Ibero-American summit, to be held in Salamanca. The armies of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro and Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez will march through the streets of Madrid. In 2003, at the very same parade, then opposition leader Zapatero refused to stand up as the United States flag passed by as a protest against the Iraq war.
You’ll see him raising, that’s for sure.
FORGET NEW ORLEANS; DONATE TO WEALTHY IDIOTS
In what is described as an “unusual move for commercial radio”, Air America is begging listeners for money. For $250, you get your name read out. For $1000, Al Franken might sever a body part. Another $500, Janeane Garofalo will eat it.
Michelle Malkin has terabytes of background on this debacle.
SCANT ATTENTION PAID
Coverage of Hurricane Katrina was marred by ludicrous exaggeration of bad news, much of it (“sharks swimming in the business district! Fats Domino cannibalised! Sean Penn scooping out human brains with a red plastic cup!”) now discredited. Good news barely emerged at all:
[Maj. Ed] Bush, of the National Guard, said that reports of corpses at the Superdome filtered back to the facility via AM radio, undermining his struggle to keep morale up and maintain order.
"We had to convince people this was still the best place to be,” Bush said. “What I saw in the Superdome was just tremendous amounts of people helping people."
But, Bush said, those stories received scant attention in newspapers or on television.
New Orleans is only a few hours from US media hubs in New York and Los Angeles. Consider how bad news might become exaggerated when it’s being delivered from, say, Iraq.
UPDATE. More good news:
House Republicans on Wednesday will launch a rapid-fire assault against environmental protections on the pretext of helping the U.S. oil and gas industry recover from hurricane damage, environmental groups charge ...
The resources panel, led by Richard Pombo of California, wants to lift a ban on Florida offshore drilling, promote oil shale and sell a dozen national parks for energy development.
BAD PARENTING CONDEMNED
Alan Alda—whose father worked in vaudeville—describes a charming (and envy-making) childhood moment:
He even recalls some intimate dressing room scenes with the dancing girls. “They’d say okay, Allie, we’re going to, we’re going to change our clothes now, turn your back. You know, and I’d turn my back, and I’d stand with my face in—right in the silk costumes that they had worn. And I could smell the perfume and the sweat and I can hear them changing their clothes behind me. And I’m 2-and-a-half, 3-years-old. And you might think this doesn’t make an impression on a kid that age. It does. It does. It doesn’t go over your head,” he said.
Alda’s 20/20 interview was just aired on Australian TV. The interviewer’s instant, unsmiling response to this anecdote: “Do you think that was an appropriate place to leave a young child?”
COUNT ALL THE VOTES
Dogs not disenfranchised in New Zealand:
There are now calls for an inquiry into the election from New Zealand First MP Ron Mark who is concerned about cases like the Queenstown Jack Russell, Toby, whose owner managed to enrol him to vote.
Surprisingly officials weren’t tipped off to his true identity despite Toby’s paw print signature.
Hey, we’ve all made that mistake. Meanwhile, calls continue for New Zealand to withdraw from the stupid Kyoto Protocol, which, according to a forestry group claim, has already “ripped more than 8,000 jobs and more than $200 million of annual investment from provincial towns and cities throughout New Zealand.”
* Let us all seek out the Dome of Conscience.
* Andrew Bolt presents some facts to Gaia guy Tim Flannery.
* US reader Kim Livingston asks: “Is it possible to get a DVD of Saturday’s AFL Grand Final formatted for NTSC?” If you can help, leave a note in comments. Speaking of AFL ...
* Melbourne reader and soccer fan Santa writes:
I was saddened to read the very strongly held opinion of Prof. Bunyip re soccer and its followers. There was a lot of spleen being expunged at the billabong.
I can understand up to a point and agree totally with the Prof. re the dreadful and mercenary attitude of the South Melb. Soccer Club asking for $$ to allow the Swans to use their original ground to celebrate after the final.
But the Prof. misses the crucial point. They (Sth.Melb) are GREEKS. Anyone else, be they Poles, Croatians, Italians or other I’m sure would have been very happy to share in the glory of the Swans.
* The ABC cites “progressive” loser group GetUp! as an authority on constitutional law.
* Citizen journalist “Crash” continues his remorseless ABC-monitoring vigil. Follow him in comments.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
NOT THE FIRST BEAT UP HE'S BEEN INVOLVED IN
Who was the mystery Australian journalist mentioned in yesterday’s New York Daily News? None other than Paul McGeough, according to impeccable sources. Brawlin’ Paul seems intent on beginning a civil war with his fellow Aussies.
(Also, the incident took place some months ago, McGeough isn’t a News Corp journalist, and the photograph showed Ken Chandler instead of Colin Myler. Apart from that, great work, Daily News!)