Monday, October 31, 2011

Scum Like It Hot

THE post below, which touches on the warmist capcity to see things others cannot, perhaps speaks to nothing more devious than an unrestrained bias. Not all the misled may be so pure of heart, and the fellow in this video clip is one of them. He makes no bones about the importance of salesmanship and snake oil in getting the great carbon scam up and running.

How do you sell global warming to a committee of congressmen? Turn off the air conditioning.

(HT to WUWT and commenter RM)

Consistency Gets The Cold Shoulder

"IF THIS continues," writes catastropharian Stefan Rahmstorf at the Drum, "we will probably see an ice-free North Pole within the next 10 to 20 years."

The charts tell a rather different story about the state of Arctic ice -- and so did Rahmstorf in 2005, when he made a somewhat broader point to fellow warmists about the need to stick with the party line in dismissing the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), which troublesome sceptics kept bringing up, along with Viking settlements in Greenland and such
Just want to make sure you're aware of the attached paper by Goosse et al., which may be helpful in illustrating what we all know, but what here is shown in a citeable way: local climate variations are dominated by internal variability (redistribution of heat), only very large scale averages can be expected to reflect the global forcings (GHG, solar) over the past millennium.
So "local climate variations"  don't count when raised by doubters, as only "very large scale averages" are relevant. But when a warmist misreports the Arctic charts and does so on the basis of a few decades' sample, well that's OK.

And The Drum publishes it.

NOTE: The Climategate emails remain a source of wonder. They can be found at this new site, which boasts a very handy search function.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Dark Day For Australian Pride

IT CANNOT be easy being Tim Mathieson, which really is a surprise, as the First Boyfriend’s current job description does not seem too difficult. Yes, he has mastered the smaller challenges of the job, and our PM is well served by his rectitude. For example, he has not salted away ill-gotten cheques in a sly bank account his squeeze set up on his behalf, as she did for a former beau, nor has he tipped other people’s money into home renovations or wardrobes overflowing with of no-cost, size-26 frocks. But those virtues do not negate another shortcoming, which would appear to be the poor man's dreadful and crushing shyness. The picture below leaves no doubt about that.

The snapshot was taken at one of the sideshows to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where Just-a-Trim Tim hosted the visiting leaders’ spouses, most wearing colourful ethnic costumes. So what's with the suit and silver tie? Is Tim of the opinion that Australia’s national dress is best represented by the men who drive wedding party limousines? Surely not!

Now it is true that our national costume is a ticklish, prickly and unsettled business. John Howard nominated the drover’s Driza-Bone when George W. Bush and others gathered in Sydney in 2007, but that practical garment is clearly no longer an option. With his girlfriend having done all within her power to wreck the cattle export industry, and Environment Minister Tony Burke constantly likening Victoria’s alpine cattlemen to Japanese whalers, any visual reference to our bush heritage would be inappropriate in the extreme.
But there were other options he might have explored, costumes that capture the essence of the Australian experience as it being shaped by his girlfriend. For example, there is this outfit, quite fetching, which evokes the question on so many lips: “Tim, what the hell does your landlady think she’s doing?”

Or he might have reflected his partner’s political partner’s Green agenda. Bob Brown in particular would appreciate the display of a manly leg, and a costume allowing no forward vision and designed for dashing headlong toward godknowswhat would nail the Carbon Tax rather nicely
Yet none of the above really does our nation proud. The visiting First Ladies had the decency to don the garb of cultural heritage, so really, much as Tim would have made a head-turning sight in Lycra, it is incumbent upon him to look the dinki-di deal. And since the most unlikely Australians are these days reckoned to be Aborigines, as the legal system has now firmly determined, that makes it a no-brainer.

Behold! The perfect get-up for First Boyfriend Tim – indeed, for any Australian dignitary attending U.N. parleys, global warming summits or poverty symposia offering generous travel allowances and 300-count sheets of organic Egyptian cotton on the hotel bed:

As the national economy is sliding deeper into debt -- at the rate of around one billion extra dollars every week, just by the way -- the costume, first worn by a Russian figure skater, boasts the additional advantage of being available secondhand and at minimal cost. The Russian copped quite a bit of grief for getting about in what he conceived to be Aboriginal attire, but Tim will not to have to worry about snickers.

Who these days would titter at an elder of the Litijus-Mordies, other than masochists with a lot of money to waste on lawyers?

Why Are We In Afghanistan?

THREE more diggers dead, seven wounded -- and for what? This national interest both Gillard and Abbott go on about, what is it? The need to defend a corrupt government which has neither means nor intention of introducing Afghanistan to the most basic of Enlightenment values? To further destabilise Pakistan? To safeguard a kleptocracy quite happy to see a blogger sentenced to death for the heinous crime of "questioning Islam"?

This is why three more Australian lives been squandered. What a sick, stupid, obscene joke.

We were right to oust the Taliban in the days after 9/11. That was the mission and it was achieved with courage and competence. Now it is touchy-feely soldiering -- building roads and attempting by gentle, culturally sensitive means to persuade an insane, inbred smear of flyblown villagers and boy-buggerers that there might be some advantages to following the rest of the world's lead and leave the seventh century behind.

Osama is dead, finally. Now is the moment to throw up a cordon sanitaire around Afghanistan, patrol it with drones and if the place shows the slightest sign of re-establishing terrorist camps, blow them up from a safe, stand-off distance.

In the meantime, let's declare victory and go home.

Some people like to wallow in filth. Let them. Leave them to their fun before another drop of Australian blood is squandered. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A. Dill's Prescription

THERE IS a bit of thick-headedness at the Billabong this morning, a consequence of an evening that began with several Boag's lagers, moved to some whites and then a bottle of red, plunged into the champagne and tailed off in the wee hours with a little port -- well, more than a little, actually -- before drawing to an end, according to the evidence of the morning on the bedside table, with, of all things, a vodka and orange. The last item is something of a mystery, as it has not been a favoured tipple since the Fourth Form break-up party, and that was back when John Gorton occupied the Lodge. The emptiness of the adjoining pillow is another riddle. Memories are foggy, but it is a near certainty that a special someone occupied that spot when the lights went out. Very shortly it will be time to place a diplomatic phone call, one that will need to begin with a carefully weighted choice of words and the option thereafter of veering into the realm of apology.

Not to worry. If there are to be  recriminatory words about  the Professor's behaviour -- and the remains of a barbecued lamb leg used as an ashtray, also on the bedside table, suggest there will be --  then praise be to the Great Bunyip for shaping from the clippings of social workers' manuals, dried-out chardonnay corks and designer coffee grounds the wonder that is A Dill Horin. It is true that the Silly's joyless scold seldom adds to the sum of human knowledge, but this morning's column is the exception. If there was bestial behaviour last night and if some judicious grovelling will be required, the latter can now be qualified by quoting from A Dill's praise for the Nanny State and its regulations.

Intoxicated? Obstreperous? Back on the fags? Thank God for Adele, who proves that all those grave flaws of character are the fault of naysayers who would stay the state's hand from crafting fresh rules to regulate  the individual's folly. As Adele explains it,
Yes, we have reason to be thankful that governments sometimes legislate in ways that infringe on our liberties. Personal responsibility is too flimsy a bulwark against the forces of irresponsible, laissez-faire capitalism.
So very true! If only legislation had been on the books to foil the mixing of drinks and gnawing of lamb bones in bed, the Professor's head would not be throbbing, nor would this post have been interrupted twice by the demands of a fractious bowel. In this instance A Dill is putting the case for controls on punters' right to lose their money on poker machines, but her wisdom is clearly universal. After the pokies, let our governments and bureaucrats save us from fatty foods and riding bicycles in unapproved attire. Hang on, they have already attended to the latter, so Adele and her morally superior friends will be free to focus on their next campaign of legislated betterment.
Compulsory jogging, anyone? Wait a bit and Adele and her pals will tick that box as well, no doubt about it.
Now for that ticklish phone call.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Are You a Grant-Snaffling Climate Careerist?"

WHAT a good idea.


LIFE, it's baffling. At the same time The Australian is sequestering its stories and commentary behind a paywall, the Financial Review is taking tentative steps to make access easier. And what is the AFR giving away? Why, Laura Tingle!

Then again, you don't have to pay a cent for Tingle's thoughts, which does make sense, as that is precisely what they are worth. (Sample: "Tony Abbott...the hollow man", "Abbott and his shambolic frontbench", "negative, opportunistic and hollow man" etc etc etc)

The AFR has a new editor and publisher, who are supposed to be rather sharp. The proof of that will come when they recognise that readers (and former readers) of a news organ devoted to investing probably don't have much time for a howling harpy and leftoid publicist. When Tingle is shown the door, or at the very least counterbalanced, you will know Fairfax is serious about reviving what was once a fine publication.

That was, however, a very long time ago.

Invest In Braces

IT REALLY is a pity young, firm women and giddy girls are not obliged to follow the fallout of the OPI's Overland leaks investigation, as it would bore the pants off all of them in no time flat. Mind you, other sections of the community, the mature and sensible bits, also face the challenge of staying securely be-trousered, but for different reasons. There is so much that is laughable about this latest Spring Street farce that convulsive contractions of the diaphragm might easily see the Fletcher Jones hit the floor. The papers are full of it this morning, black and white and dead in the head all over.


Should Police Minister and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan resign? Who knew what and when? Lots of end-of-civilisation-as-we-know-it quotes from the Opposition’s Rob Hulls, who is going on (and on and on) about probity, standards, ethics and violations of public trust.


Very low in the coverage is any mention of the twin questions that would seem to be at the nub of this ever more florid burlesque. Indeed, the second is not being put at all:


1/ Tapping phones, especially so many phones, is serious stuff -- so serious the suspected offence is supposed to come with the potential for a multi-year prison term.


Why was the OPI so quick to infest so many phone lines with bugs – ministers, reporters, political aides, union officers, even spouses -- and to do so on the strength of Simon Overland’s boo-hoo gripe that people were saying harsh things behind his back?




2/ Why this case?


The very same Rob Hulls now presenting himself as a champion of the public’s right to know is also the former Attorney General who refused point-blank to allow his staffers to testify about the Windsor Hotel scandal. If the then-Opposition had enjoyed the same respect and affection Overland appears to command at the OPI we might now be enjoying the amusement of a voluminous chronicle of Hulls’ colleagues’ eavesdropped brainstorming about the best way to keep the Windsor facts under wraps.


So keep a close grip on your belts, sensible Melbournians. Further barrages of belly laughs are on the way – especially for those with a taste of for the petty, the self-righteous, the hypocritical and, most of all, the absurd.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cops And Dobbers, Bugs, Mugs And Grubs

SO here we are, greatly entertained in Victoria, which people from Sinny tend to believe is a bit on the dull, grey and boring side. They have never heard of the Office of Police Integrity, obviously, which only this morning released a fascinating, 80 page report on all sorts of quite scandalous matters -- and one of those, some might conclude, is the report itself.

Here is how interesting it is to be in the Garden State at the moment. If what follows sounds like a plot synopsis for several years' worth of The Young and The Restless episodes, complete with a blood-sucking rent boy and wallopers gossiping like high schools girls, accept that this is the stuff of everyday life south of the border. Here goes with the background:

Christine "Flame Broiled" Nixon was the former Labor government's police commissioner whose anticipated departure prompted quiet but intense jockeying in the upper ranks of the Force. Simon Overland, who succeeded her, had what was perceived to be a very close relationship with the OPI, which bugged the phones of potential rival Noel Ashby, then-police union chief  Paul Mullett and others, picking up in the process highly confidential information about the investigation of a murdered vampire gigolo (no, that's not a joke) learned indirectly from Overland, whom suspicious minds might be inclined to believe was baiting a trap or, as some policemen put it, "flushing the pipes." -- not that Overland would be that venal, of course.

Take a deep breath and read on....

This led to charges against Ashby, Mullet and others, but those cases went nowhere because prosecutorial incompetence stuffed the pooch. Then the Liberals took power and tolerated Overland while demonstrating no active public support and a marked degree of quiet contempt, especially after he was accused of doctoring crime statistics before the 2010 election, allegedly to make the Brumby government look good. Overland went to the OPI and asked it to investigate who was leaking against him, which involved more phone bugging of ministers, their family members, ministerial aides, reporters and, quite possibly, Gog and Magog, the 19th century automatons that strike the bell on the hour every hour in Melbourne's delightful Royal Arcade.

Still on the case? Good. Now we are getting to what is going on now ...

Meanwhile, the Ombudsman continues to feud with OPI, Overland has gone, top coppers remain anxious to claim the Commissioner's office and Bill Tilley, member for Benambra and a former walloper himself, has this morning resigned as a parliamentary secretary dealing with police matters.

But wait, that's not all.

Country Party leader and deputy premier Peter Ryan has an aide -- make that "had", he also resigned this morning -- who was still on Victoria Police's payroll. No fan of Overland, he sided with Sir Ken Jones, Overland's perceived chief rival and a Pommy import, who some months ago went back to London amid charges that he was leaking too (to Bill Tilley, who leaked again to the press). On top of all that, the Premier's chief of staff was holding sly meetings with Sir Ken, about which neither man uttered a word to Big Ted or Peter Ryan.

Well here we are, still with no top cop, old feuds raging from Spring Street to Queen Street and new ones breaking out all over town ... and ... and ... and .. the Baillieu government seemingly in no haste to clean the stable or implement its promise to launch a new, co-ordinated anti-corruption body that would shut down the OPI, get the ombudsman out of the frame and, ideally, do a lot of good for Victoria.

If Team Ted ever gets around to doing as it pledged, it should pay particular attention to a specific section of today's OPI report. Interpretations may vary according to perspective, but at the Billabong the document seems to speak of an organisation with just the hint of an agenda. Read pages 25-26 of Crossing The Line very carefully. Notice how Overland's reluctance to give the minister the liaison officer he requested is rather skated over. If you cannot spot the logical and interpretative inconsistencies in its account of how previous ministers gained their police advisers, you probably think policing in Victoria, and the overview of policing, is just peachy.

It isn't. Nor is it likely to be until Big Ted extracts the digit. We can only hope that happens soon.

Meanwhile, read the report, observe what your tax dollars buy and, above all, enjoy what passes for fun and games in Victoria.We really are a lively lot down here.

The Age's Sward Of Justice

MELBOURNE'S Occupists must be feeling most unloved these days, having been evicted from the City Square and finding themselves with no particular place to go. Treasury Gardens is mooted as one possible site on which to build a just society, albeit a small and stinky one, but the campers would be preaching only to the converted. As the original Occupists, the park's possums have long presumed the right to invade private property, keep residents awake and crap in their ceilings. As for public servants from the adjoining government offices, they need no convincing that wealth is to be left in a citizen's care only until the state can manufacture its next excuse for additional levies, taxes, fines and speed cameras.

But there is one place the Occupists are welcome  -- the patch of grass outside The Age office at the corner of Collins and Spencer streets. Best of all, the invitation to relocate is almost an official one, courtesy of senior investigative reporter Melissa Fyfe, who is all for it, as she explained to tweeting activist Perry Stalsis (who surely has the stomach for revolution):
Perry Stalsis: @melfyfe been trying to move #occupymelbourne to grass outside Age office, where we can be seen and reach commuters. Your thoughts
15 hours ago
in reply to @PerryStalsis1 ↑
Melissa Fyfe:@PerryStalsis1 a good idea, I would have thought. Do you think you can do it?11 hours ago
Blow off the Treasury Gardens, you anti-capitalist crusaders, and move to the Age's front door. As Fairfax shareholders can testify, your hosts share a no less pronounced aversion to the profit motive. And it is not as if Age journalists would be critical, not at all.With just one exception, they love you guys.

Melbournians would benefit as well. Could there be a better example of what the paper represents these days than a filthy, chaotic, noisy and incoherent mob of group-thinking public urinators taking up residence in The Age's front window?

(Thanks to tipster Spencer Collins for spotting the tweets and dashing off a very informative email)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Jessica Rabbits On

BLONDE columnist Jessica Irvine, another Silly girl, denounces rent seeking, of which she believes any industry  campaign to foil fresh and higher taxes is an example. Members of the Criminal-Australian community should now feel free to make off with Jessica's handbag. It would be nothing less than rent seeking were she to object.

More on Jessica's unique economic perspectives at Catallaxy.

The Salt Lake City Tribe

THE little-known artist Richard W. Linford is rather pale, prices his works with the brush of optimism and appears to have spent his entire life in Utah.

Therefore, he qualifies as an Aborigine, even if does not as yet understand that fact.
 Here’s the proof:
That sensitive representation of Indigenous femininity is part of Linford’s “Woggabaliri” collection.

Aborigines? Utah?

Andrew Bolt should consider himself lucky the heirs of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young did not join the case before Judge Mordy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Black Balled Sporting Breakthroughs

THIS could be the biggest and nastiest academic biffo since Stuart Macintyre had Geoffrey Blainey ejected from the Parkville Asylum.

At Newcastle University, Professor John Maynard has just published a book, The Aboriginal Soccer Tribe, which insists Aborigines played a game called Woggabaliri, which the Silly’s Craig Foster reports is “the earliest known form of ball sport played by indigenous Australians and, according to the Australian Sports Commission, the game most closely resembled association football,” That is just a bit hard to take seriously, what with Woggabaliri sounding so much like “Wogball” you might be inclined to suspect the name was made up for humourous effect. Dispel that thought immediately, ye doubters and bigots. Maynard (below) is both a proud member of the Woromi People, possibly related to the Litijus-Mordy skin group, and chief of the university’s Wollotuka School of Aboriginal Studies. He is a man to be taken very seriously indeed.
Meanwhile, Melbourne Museum’s Dr Patrick Greene leans strongly toward the view that the very same band of Aborigines invented not soccer but Australian Rules Football, a claim reported four years ago in the Phage. What puts Maynard and Greene on a collision course is that each man cites the same 19th century etching as his proof. Here it is:

The etching was executed by German artist Gustav Mutzel, who worked from the sketches little-known German explorer Johan Wilhelm Theodor Ludwig von Blandowski brought home after ten years in Australia. A prolific penciler, Blandowski’s images could well spawn an academic growth industry as researchers identify many other examples of Ab-originality. It isn’t all that difficult to eyes not blinded by an invader’s prejudice. For example, here is the first incarnation of the Etihad dome:

Then there is cricket, which Aborigines also invented, as demonstrated by the two fellows in the background spreading covers on the pitch.
And rappelling, that is another formerly unrecognised Indigenous sport:

And their greatest achievement? Inventing the New Zealand rugby team. In addition to establishing why the squad is known as the All Blacks, this Mutzel/Blandowski rendering quite clearly captures one of the very first performances of the haka. And you thought the Maoris had something to do with it!
After those preliminaries, it was time for a scrum:
Off the field, Aboriginal achievements are no less significant, transgressive sculpture and a commitment to public art being the most obvious. That passion also is captured in the Mutzel/Blandowski portfolio:

And it is also quite clear that Aborigines occupied the City Square before it was built, even to pioneering the curious hand signals which the Occupist tribe has now revived:

These fruitful areas of inquiry await the entrepreneurial academic. All that needs to be settled is the matter of just how difficult it might have been to play either soccer or Aussie Rules with the triangular ball depicted in the seminal engraving. Some might even argue that it is nothing more than an incidental rock in the background.

Solving that riddle should be worth quite a few conferences and research grants in the meantime.

Leslie Cannold, Born Leader

LESLIE CANNOLD, a remarkable woman, is "impressed by the articulateness of those occupying Zuccotti Park and the sacrifices they are making."

Well, yes, that is entirely understandable. Your Wall Street occupists not only match Cannold for coherence, they also articulate what are presumably the Fairfax columnist's concern about the unjust distribution of love tents and baby wipes, as well as the need "to pool oil, water and, er, crops".

Leslie also tells us she has "led grassroots movements". The mind boggles.

Drawn And Pale

WHEN Eric Jolliffe is remembered at all these days, it is as a minor bush artist and cartoonist for the long-gone Pix magazine, a slightly racier rival to Australasian Post, also no longer at the newsagent. Times and sensitivities have changed so much it comes as something of a shock to unearth samples of the sketcher's handiwork, like the cartoon below, which probably dates from the Fifties or Sixties. If Joliffe was thought shocking in those primmer times, it was mostly for his pert-breasted cheesecake, not his racist and chocolate cheesecake. (follow the link to see this and other full-size Jolliffe cartoons).

"I'll have to reduce or nothing I've got'll fit me!"

A minor figure in what the academy is even now making a major discipline, the depiction of Aboriginality, Jolliffe might be worth  a dissertation or two at most, and then only at LaTrobe.  There is another side to Jolliffe, however, one that came to light only with today's re-publication by Andrew Bolt of a young doctor's biographical profile. It seems Jolliffe was also something of a seer and prophet. Judging by the caption and the pair of proto-hippies coming over the rise, the below cartoon must have been sketched not long before the 1967 referendum.

 "When we get a job, a vote and are civilised -- will we have to look like that"
(Again, apologies for the cartoons' size. For some reason Blogger cannot render them large as the originals)

Well here we are, forty-plus years on, and Aborigines really can "look like that" -- right down to striking all but administrators of grants and scholarships (and Federal Court judges) as being entirely white.

"Leila was admitted to medicine as part of the indigenous program."

And Witchetty's Tribe?  It is true they now have the vote, but they're still black, still in the bush, still jobless -- and still regarded by too many patronising and civilised eyes as little more than caricatures. It is a cruel joke, one that makes the dated innocence of Jolliffe's bad taste seem as nothing at all.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Now For The Judges...

EVEN if you credit the City Square Occupists with the best of intentions, the fact remains that others might not be quite so pure of motive. The ruffled demonstrators’ coming legal actions, which the Phage previews today, stand to generate quite a bit of the folding stuff, not least for the lawyers who will be clogging the courts with pleas for justice (and damages). Sensible Melbournians who watched Friday’s efficient and relatively bloodless eviction can take heart from the comment of an unnamed walloper, who was delighted to note that Christine “A Gal Has To Eat” Nixon’s era of non-policing policing is now officially over. Assistant Commissioner Stephen Fontana, who led the operation, can also smile, as his handling of the situation confirms that he deserves to be on the shortest of short lists for the job of Victoria’s next top cop.

Now that the Square has been swept clean and the action shifts to the Ombudsman’s office and, most likely, the courts, it is time to consider what the former Bracks/Brumby government did to the judiciary and the public’s ability to have faith in it. On magistrates benches and more elevated legal perches, a legion of Labor-aligned hacks appointed over the past dozen years continues to deliver an often peculiar justice. What are the odds, do you think, that Friday’s lawyered-up malcontents will find themselves before judges imbued with the leftoids’ typically abstract concern for issues, rather than the circumstances of particular grievances and the merits of resulting claims for redress? The absurdity of some allegations against police, one fears, will be no obstacle to minds such as those.

Precedent makes that prospect even more unsettling. As the Herald Sun reported in March, 2007, 47 protesters who claimed injuries as a result of the police response to their anarchy outside the S11 gathering shared a windfall payout of $700,000. And that was on top of the $600,000 slipped to law firm Slater & Gordon, the former employer of both our PM (who was “young and naïve” back then) and the luvvies’ current toast, Andrew Bolt’s nemesis Judge Mordy. The deal was cut, and much taxpayer cash bundled out, on the pretense that it made good financial sense to end the actions before legal costs became even more outrageous.

The question, though, is why those cases were allowed to proceed so far? The S11 mob started the violence after defying orders to disperse, and nobody seriously questions that the protesters laid siege to the Crown complex with an arsenal intended to injure police and, most despicable of all, cripple mounted officers’ horses. A decent justice system, one overseen by judges who wear the public good on their sleeves, rather than party sympathies, would have sent the plaintiffs packing on Day One. Instead, all sorts of low specimens were made wealthier, and public trust in the courts suffered further erosion.

Will it be any different this time? That depends on Premier Ted Baillieu, who was scathing in denouncing the closed-door settlement negotiated by the then-government and Slater & Gordon. “The Victorian public will be rightly outraged," he said at the time. "This is yet another backroom deal and people are sick of Labor's backroom deals.” True, he cannot boot the Labor holdovers, nor would it be right to do so. Labor made a slather of bad appointments, but reversing them by executive fiat, if that were possible, would only do further harm to the legal system.

But what about a simple, no-nonsense statement from the Premier’s office?

Suppose Big Ted announced that his government would not, under any circumstance, settle the coming actions, even if that meant shouldering the additional cost of appeals, no matter how steep that might be. After that, he could vow to pursue the demonstrators and their lawyers for costs.

The business of fixing our Nixonised police force appears to be going quite well, but that gain will count for little until the courts are brought into line.

Over to you, Big Ted.

A COUPLE OF NOTES: First, Fontana’s credentials go beyond Friday’s action. On Black Saturday, when his boss rated dinner more important than Victoria’s worst disaster, Fontana stayed at his post and demonstrated that rarest of Nixon-era qualities, leadership.

And second, if, as seems likely, Slater & Gordon becomes the protesters’ counsel, how will the anti-capitalists reconcile hopes for a payout with their movement’s disdain for the stockmarket, on which shares in the law firm are traded?

No Turkish Delight

YES, yes, this multiculturalism is all very well and good, and even if some of those New Australians are a bit slow to grasp cricket, everything will be just fine if  they open a few more exotic eateries and, beyond that, make it a very definite point to behave themselves. Four years, that’s all it now takes for the new arrival to get a gum tree from the local mayor. It does not seem very much time to invest in acquiring something quite so valuable as the all-but inviolate right not to be deported, and Akin Sari, pride of Northcote, rather makes the point.

If the young fellow’s name rings a bell it is probable you remember the events of the G20 conference in November, 2006, when a group of young people decided to trash Collins street, smash a police van and do serious injury to two officers. Akin Sari was perhaps the biggest pest of the marauding lot, and he scored a 14-month sentence even after swearing that he had examined his conscience and would never again mix violence and politics. Never. Not ever, and certainly not as he was doing in the photo below.

Mind you, the magistrate had quite a list of charges to consider, and he could not have been impressed by the young man’s initial cockiness, especially when the arresting officers testified that Sari accused them of being disciples of Christine “Make Mine Flame Seared” Nixon, whom he regarded as something of a joke. Bad he might have been, but not entirely stupid – and just a little bit lucky as well. Admirers of the then-Police Commissioner? It is a marvel those cops did not have his guts for garters.

Sari’s most interesting boast was that, even though he had arrived from Turkey only five years earlier, he was a dinki-di Aussie. “You can't deport me,” he was reported to have crowed. “You can't do anything to me. Your laws are pathetic.” Back then, when Sari swore allegiance, two years’ residency was all that was required. This has now been doubled, with some other, very minor conditions added.  

All this is worth dredging up because, when Sydney’s wallopers followed the lead of their Melbourne counterparts and moved along the Martin Place Occupisants, an unreformed Sari was there to give them grief, in this instance with a metal torch that he allegedly used to wallop a copper over the head.

Once again a thoroughly nasty piece of work has been arrested for belting policemen. And once again he cannot be deported.

Would it be too much to ask that an Abbott government extend citizenship’s qualifying period to, say, six years, and perhaps add another five years of probation on top of that? Sari is about to cost the taxpayers another significant sum. He doesn’t like Australia, and Australia has no reason to like him.

It would be so much better to ship the bastard back to Istanbul and be done with him for good. Unfortunately we can’t, and that needs to be fixed.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Real Money Saver

NEITHER Phage nor Silly is worth paying for, as we all know, but it is still interesting to see what is animating their feature supplements' writers and editors. How many fresh editions from Text will be reviewed this week, for example? If it is a normal Saturday, quite a lot, as the Phage seems to have such an affection for the imprint that one hopes the leftoid publishing house's editors and authors will always remember to flush. Should they fail to do so there is every chance the Sorbent will be fished out and given a five-star rating.

Or perhaps you are curious to know what young people are up to these days -- the sort of young people, which is to say almost all,  who generally do not read newspapers. Well the feature supplement always has quite a bit for those hip, non-reading kiddies, and studying the latest hot DJ's antics will make you wrinklies seem cool, very down with the youth. Your children will be most impressed late in the afternoon, when they have slept off the XTC binge of the night before, and you greet them with plimsols laced in the latest ghetto style.

And there is Leunig, always Leunig, whose ducks and curl-topped cliches will rekindle an interest in religion, most particularly Ecclesiastes 9:11

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift,
nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise,
nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill;
but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Time and chance certainly happenth to Leunig, whose time was 40 years ago and whose chance it has been to luck into a gig at a newspaper where everyone professes to find him funny because everyone else says the same thing. Nobody really does, of course, and probably not even Leunig himself, whose biggest chuckles must come when the cheques arrive.

Anyway, all of the above can be yours without spending a cent. When you buy The Australian, simply ask the newsagent if you can take the Phage or Silly supplement as well. Not once in more than a year has the Professor's request been declined. As the newsagent said only yesterday, "Take it! It'll save me bundling it up to send back."

As the Occupists were fond of chanting -- the same Occupists hailed by Age sometime-editor Michael Short as belonging to "a valid and important movement" -- corporate greed sucks, man. So don't support it. Yo!

The Saab Of Journalism

IT IS far too nice a day to be deciphering what Guy Rundle is on about. For those with the fortitude and stamina, here is a sample:
...hollowed-out Anglosphere economies are hostages to stagnant capital. Thus, when Saab, one of Sweden's five auto manufacturers, failed after the global financial crisis, it could be allowed to do so, with no social cost. When General Motors teetered on the brink in the US, the government had to buy it, or face an implosion in the economy.
If Saab goes to the wall, the hope at the Billabong is that it does so at maximum velocity. A Saab 9000 once sat in the driveway, and then it would sit at the mechanic's, then the driveway, then the mechanic's once again. In between times it sat beside the road with the bonnet up. Other than its near-permanent immobility, it wasn't such a bad vehicle, given that the exhaust manifold was on the front of the block and the transmission-fluid cooler  inside the radiator, meaning the slightest leak stuffed the gearbox. Twice. The seats were comfortable enough, but then they had to be: all that time waiting for tow trucks and the RACV made for lots of unscheduled naps. What else? Oh, yes... interior panels shook loose on dirt roads, the dome light fell out on a suburban speed bump, plastic  fittings became brittle and cracked, the turning circle was bigger than Phillip Adams', and the fuel line was apt to develop vapour lock if attempts were made to re-start the engine when warm.
Saab, a marque so stupid it would suit Guy Rundle perfectly.
Anyway, the golf club beckons. More later.
PS: Who are the "five Swedish" auto makers? Saab, Volvo, Scania and, and, and...

The Age Meets Some Typical Readers

IN today’s Sunday Phage, reporter John Elder, who must be sorely in need of a bath, tells of his week embedded with the City Square rabble. He slept with them, he ate with them, he communed with them – and now he wants you know the image presented by the profit-driven media, a category that no longer includes Fairfax publications, was scandalously, slanderously wrong. Yes, there were dreadlocks and green hair aplenty, and “the poor skin of hardcore green and socialist-left protesters”, but the untold story was of all the normal, meek and mild Melbournians who turned out for a better world. That was the angle every other media outfit missed, and Elder feels obliged to set the record straight by quoting a representative sampling of the “many … who decided to stand against the police [and] were not part of the abusive shouting contingent that dominated the media coverage.”

Given that Elder spent the week in their company, his lack of curiosity about the upstanding citizens he quotes is, well, par for the course at The Age.

Take Nicola Paris, for example, whom Elder describes only as “a former nanny and now full-time activist”. She is a bit more than that, having shipped out three years in a row as the resident vegan cook aboard the Sea Shepherd. As for being a laid-back, no-trouble sort of gal, WA Greens Senator Rachel Siewert might tell another story, having fired Paris after her staffer was arrested for taking part in a violent scuffle with police outside the office of then-Science Minister Julie Bishop. (Memo to Elder: when even the Greens regard you as a ratbag, you’re a ratbag absolutely.)

Then there is psychologist Jane Morton, 58, who is “ ‘Just someone having a quiet professional life … part of the 99 per cent who wants a safe future for their kids’.''

The only problem with that worthy goal is Morton’s belief it can be achieved only by shutting down the LaTrobe Valley and banning the use and export of coal after 2020. She advances the cause by cluttering the entrance to local member Martin Ferguson’s office and editing voluminous position papers on the need to shut down the carboniferous economy yesterday.

After that, there is still time in Morton’s “quiet professional life” to indulge her interest in other worthy causes, which she lists on her Facebook page. There are a lot of them: Rising Tide North America, Six De6rees, The Story of Stuff Project, Beyond Zero Emissions, Friends of the Earth International, The Transition Decade 2010 - 2020, Avaaz, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, OurSay Australia, Wikileaks, friends don't let friends vote for Tony Abbott, 10:10 Western Australia, Occupy Melbourne, Join me and take online action now for Aussie forests - No Harvey No!, Stop the Machine! Create a New World, Farms Not Fossil Fuels - No New Coal Mine In Bacchus Marsh, The Global Mail, ACF: Protecting the Kimberley, Tar Sands Action, Your ABC. Worth fighting for, Climate Reality, NewsStand: Standing Up for Fair and Diverse News, Black Saturday Community Organiser Arrested by 'Baillieu\Ryan' Government for Defending the Last Remaining Green Forests in Toolangi / SAVE Sylvia Creek Toolangi / Community / MyEnvironment Inc - My Environment, urban support for rural communities fighting coal and coal seam gas development, Stop the National Schools Chaplaincy Program, Peaceful Uprising, 10,000,000 Strong for Comprehensive Climate Legislation, Democracy Now!, Huon Valley Environment Centre, Petition International Criminal Court to Investigate Sri Lanka's war crimes against Tamils., Yarra Climate Action Now, Save The Kimberley, GetUp!, The Oil Drum, 'Better Access' to Psychologists, Support decriminalisation of Homosexuality at UN!, Boycott Network 10 and their Ultra Right-wing Andrew Bolt show, Saving the Nature of the Kimberley, Footprints for Peace, Free Kids Inhalers from Coal Cares, Say Yes Australia, No Fracking Way, Virginia Rising: Stop Mountain Top Coal Removal Now, IPS Inter Press Service News Agency, Christine Milne, Save The Murray, A Climate for Change, Protect Native Forests for Climate Security, Presidential Pardon for Tim Dechristopher, Climate Summit 2011, Stop HRL - No new coal power for Victoria, Unfriend Coal, 100% Renewable, Camp for Climate Action Australia, Appalachia Rising, The Psychological Flexibility Group, Janet Rice for Footscray, PNC: Stop Funding Mountaintop Removal, HELP!!! Recognise Indigenous Australians in the Australian Constitution, Stop Native Forest Fueled Electricity in Australia, Amnesty International NYC Women Human Rights Action Team,, Union of Concerned Scientists, Perfect Connection Golf Swing, League of Conservation Voters, HANDS OFF COUNTRY - Help us to save a beautifull place of Australia!, Australian Student Environment Network, 1,000,000 Strong Against Offshore Drilling,, Coal Free Future Project, Australia Needs a Carbon Tax, Everest Women 7 Summits Eco-Action, Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, International Youth Climate Movement, Camp for Climate Action, Australian Youth Climate Coalition

Finally, the gently quoted Fran Murrell, who swears, “'I'm not a youthful radical. I'm from a nice middle-class family concerned with our food supply” – especially food grown and marketed by capitalism’s earth-raping tractor panzers. As Fran puts it, “Business extremism endangers us all. We live on a finite planet and yet have an economic system that collapses without continuous growth.”

It took about 15 minutes to Google the backgrounds of those harmless, altruistic souls. Given that Elder was on hand for a week in which his fellow campers enjoyed free and unlimited internet access courtesy of the nearby Westin Hotel, whose WiFi network the protesters hacked, you might think he would have found a moment between the singing and chanting, the assemblies and vegan curries, to do, you know, just a little research.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Loaded For Swine And Porkies

THERE was a time, not so long ago, when Saturday mornings began with a peculiar excitement, the sort a hunter knows upon spying the fresh spoor and easily followed tracks of a favourite quarry. At the Billabong that was Phillip Adams, whose columns in The Australian so often led straight to bits and pieces lifted without acknowledgement from the New Yorker or The New York Review of Books. Along the way, of course, there were his many errors of fact and, and just to confirm the trail was indeed the Philcher’s, those weekly distillations of standard-issue luvvie prejudice, like his observation just days after 9/11 that the U.S. is a thoroughly worthless place and richly deserves whatever ills befall it. Toss in those oft-repeated anecdotes of life at Kew Primary and all the bitter memories of his clergyman stepfather (who must have had a lot to put up with) and he framed himself in the crosshairs week after monotonous week.

Hunting the Philcher was fun at the time, but the appeal eventually faded, there being little challenge to a target so compelled to place itself in the crosshairs. And anyway, what did it matter? Regardless of his specific sins, the New Establishment would never, ever move against one of its own, hence the pulpit and prominence Radio National continues to provide its leading plagiarist, bigot and blowhard.

This morning, though, it was like old times when the Australian’s magazine fell open at Adams’ latest dribble:
“…only a fool would fail to see the links between the Tea Party movement and – no, not the Bostonian Tea Party, but the U.S. Civil War. Many Americans seem rather unhappy to have a Negro in the White House.”
The nostrum that many Americans dislike their President for his melanin content, rather than an arrogant and spendthrift incompetence, sits so comfortably with Adams and those who support his ego and bank account, it was inevitable the columnist would sooner or later draw that particular bow, which is a long one indeed.

If Adams genuinely believes it is racism, and racism alone, that has driven down Obama’s popularity to levels only our own PM and Moammar Gaddafi have been known to exceed, perhaps he can explain why the current Tea Party favourite is Herman Cain, who is both a good deal darker and considerably more accomplished than the testament to the folly of affirmative action which now occupies the Oval Office.

He won’t, of course. Next week -- same page, same colour magazine – Adams will have mustered another mob of clichés and errors, herded them into print and departed with one more ill-deserved cheque in his grubby little trotter.

Perhaps Rupert Murdoch, who is not quite so sharp these days, and his Australian executives, who have lost the stomach for a fight, think that keeping Adams on the payroll works to News Limited’s advantage. It may be that they see Adams’ chronic name-dropping as proof his Rolodex is still  worth plumbing – a belief that would be true only if there were favours to be curried from the ghosts of the Whitlam-era has-beens who haunt those endless trips down memory lane. Good luck with that, John Hartigan, if you think Barry Jones and Moss Cass can deflect the media inquiry ordered by co-PM Bob Brown.

It has been quite a while at the Billabong since Adams’ work was given thorough scrutiny, but it is evident that somebody has to do it. So here is a warning, Phillip, you are back under the microscope. Nothing personal, mind you, but with a Coalition government waiting in the wings it will be handy to have a ready dossier on Radio National’s star gabbler to inform whatever committee or investigation Tony Abbott orders to report on much-needed reforms at the ABC.

That way, finally, Adams might serve a useful and original purpose.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hell No, We Won't Work

CAPITALISM has the last laugh. If you go to the Occupy Melbourne livestream you now get .... an ad for McDonalds!

UPDATE (via twitter): Call 043412651 for free legal advice (but only if you are a protester being ground beneath the pro-chocolate Zionist jackboots of the running dog enforcers)

UPDATE II: Follow the twitter action at  #occupymelb.

UPDATE III: This feed is working (for what it's worth) 

UPDATE 4: Why didn't police make their move at 3am? Just asking

UPDATE 5: Sign says "Obama Is With Us. The Masonic Queen Is Not". Who knew she is into billygoats AND corgis?

UPDATE 6: Adam Bandt gets behind the Occupists. Figures

UPDATE 7: All the usual suspects. Phage luvvie Michael Short sides with public nuisances: "riot police the WRONG response to a valid and important movement".

"Valid and important, eh? Yeah, valid and important like The Phage.

If you have trouble getting home from work tonight, remember what the Phage stands for when you go to the newsagent tomorrow morning. Then buy The Australian instead.

UPDATE 8: An adult (sort of) leads a scared little girl into the heart of the protest.... ignores her terror ... and then sits the sobbing tot in the middle of the street.