Sunday, December 30, 2012

Dusky Dolls

IT SEEMS THE problem with the world is that there are just too many black and brown babies in it:

If some think tank on the right had funded that ad, the howls of "racism" would be deafening.

Family Values II

ONE PARTICULARLY interesting and timely present, a gift of happenstance via the secondhand bookshelf at a Colac op shop, was a copy of esteemed foreign correspondent Paul McGeough’s Kill Khalid. The book is what you would expect from the man an impoverished Fairfax has not yet found the courage to send on his way, unlike all the other reporters, editors and gender equity officers it has let go for want of profits. It is, give him this, well written and nicely paced, although the pretence of even-handedness does not survive scrutiny for long. Israel spies may indeed be a bunch of inept, poison-squirting Keystone Koshers, but being reminded so often of the author’s perspective on their ham-fisted machinations does tend to create a very strong suspicion of authorial bias. Hamas fares somewhat better, aided in no small measure by McGeough’s habit of not making too much of a ratbag cult’s habit of sending bomb-laden adolescents into pizza parlours, bar mitzvah parties and the like.

It is not, however, McGeough’s blind eye that makes the book worthwhile. No, that would be the acknowledgements, in which the following passage appears:

"This writing business is unforgiving terrain, so a forgiving wife is a godsend. Pam Williams was patient, caring, and inspiring, even in the face of truculence. She generously does her own informal PhD on whatever the current assignment is. Kill Khalid could not have seen the light of day without her multi-skilling – dear wife, loyal friend, incisive colleague, and sound editor."

The “dear wife and loyal friend”, the AFR’s Pam Williams, did not last long after Kill Khalid came out, soon replaced by Palestinian activist Nadia Itraish, and in the most romantic circumstances.

Now it is not this blog’s purpose to adjudicate on the amorous affairs of others. Life is long, the heart fickle and many have left a spouse or two along the way, not to mention the odd web pioneer after a particularly festive post-budget lock-up party in swinging Canberra. That said, the informed reader cannot help thinking that Ms Itraish and the correspondent’s new father-in-law, scarred by the Zionist jackboot in Ramallah,  might colour his perceptions just a little bit.

Indeed, McGeough’s latest contribution to Fairfax’s mostimpecunious publication, the ever-shrinking Sun-Herald, rather suggests the need for a little biographical line at its conclusion. Something like this would do nicely, just to let readers know they are enjoying the handiwork of a partisan.

“Paul McGeough has married into the Palestinian cause. We continue to publish his dispatches because, quite frankly, there are no standards of fairness or disclosure Fairfax has not violated.”

Yes, a few lines of type would involve a typesetting expense Fairfax can ill afford at the moment.
But Gina and Singo will fix that – and, if they have any sense, a few other things besides.

UPDATE:  In July, the latest Mrs McGeough had the following letter published in the Washington Post:

Story about Iranian help is buried 
On Jan. 7, you carried a Page One article to announce the U.S. Navy’s rescue of an Iranian fishing boat in distress in the Persian Gulf [" U.S. rescues Iranian ship from pirates "]. On May 24, you buried a story about the Iranian navy rescuing a U.S. -flagged cargo ship in the Persian Gulf as a brief in the foreign news digest section ["Iranian navy assists American ship in pirate attack"]. The double standard is breathtaking.  Nadia Itraish , McLean

Clean up the ABC

WE ALL know the ABC is a cesspit of bias, and now some public-spirited folks are doing something about it.

Family Values

WHEN Christmas comes around one naturally thinks of families, more particularly what to buy them and how to put up with them. It’s a mug’s game, as every ounce of inspiration put toward the perfect gift will sure as eggs be answered with a present you did not want but over which you will feel obliged to emit squeals of delight. Socks and underpants are at least useful on formal occasions; the Collected Works of Noam Chomsky never. But one must smile all the same, because this is Christmas, hand over the keys to the cellar and feign delight as people who cannot tell if a vintage has turned to vinegar chuck down the good stuff and eat you out of house and home.

Ah, how sad it is! If only the Professor was a good leftist – like The Global Mail’s millionaire supremo Graeme Wood, for example – things would be so much more simple.

When the festive season began, the Wotif entrepreneur solved all his Yule dilemmas and Christmas catering quandaries by handing out lots and lots of discharge notices – think pink slips, not medical diagnoses -- to his staffers, those quality journalists who have made his site everything that it is and the $15 million in start-up cash so much smaller.

But family values were not forgotten. Amongst the few not pushed out the door was South American correspondent Nick Olle.

No doubt it is no more than a coincidence, but young Mr Olle is Graeme Wood’s stepson.

No doubt it is no more than a coincidence, but young Mr Olle is Graeme Wood’s stepson.


IT WAS very rude to slip away without bidding one and all a merry Christmas, but there are times when the blog essence runs dry and this was one of them. Back now -- although there will be a few interruptions to the flow over the next few months. It is summer, after all, and some pleasures take precedence over the joy of fulmination. Not many, mind you, but a few.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ssssshhh! Better That We Don't Know

FOR some reason the judge in this case has suppressed the names of the parents charged with the genital mutilation of their daughter.

What a silly judge!

Everyone knows the father's name will be Mohamad or some variant thereof, and the wife's does not matter. Other than holding down a young girl and forcing upon her the sentence of life in a mobile tent, she will have been raised to see herself as being of no greater use to the world than a kitchen utensil and welfare-cheque incubator.

Multiculturalism's gorgeous mosaic, those red tiles are sometimes women's blood.

UPDATE: Several commenters note that the parents' names have most likely been suppressed in order to protect the child. Bit late for that, isn't it?

Snap Crotch

WHAT they get up to in Northcote when the sun goes down.

(h/t Tony the Teacher)

Thank a Teacher

NEWS THAT Australian children cannot read will undoubtedly lead to teachers union officials insisting that only larger salaries and fewer hours can lift those literacy scores. That will be one explanation.

Another and more obvious one would be that the wrong people have been ceded unfettered control of our schools.

Hammer Attacked By PSO's Head

LAST NIGHT in Melbourne, a fellow we can assume to be deranged fought with a Protective Services Officer outside Parliament House, struck him on the head with a hammer, took his gun and made off through the Fitzroy Gardens, where he brought an active night to its conclusion by turning the stolen weapon on himself.

Details of the attack are still sketchy and the uniformed victim's condition was not known as of the wee hours, so it would be a foolish observer who attempted to draw an immediate lesson. Here is The Age's reaction, reported under the headline "Death Comes to Spring Street" (which it didn't; the fugitive topped himself near the MCG)  

THE role of Protective Services Officers is likely to come under further scrutiny after a confrontation on Tuesday night left an officer at Parliament House seriously injured in hospital and another man dead while MPs sat metres away inside the house.
Why should PSOs "come under further scrutiny"? Because The Age's sympathies will always be with Melbourne's lunatics and public nuisances, as it made clear only last week.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Oh, My God, But You're So Incredibly Wonderful!

A QUALITY journalist has a beleaguered, scandal-beset Prime Minister all to herself in a closed room, so what questions does she put?

Do you get a sense when you leave Canberra and the parliamentary sphere of that support and admiration from women around Australia ....

You had been subjected to a lot of sexist abuse for at least a year and a half ....

Are you able to compartmentalise [criticism] or does any of it get to you?

Your toughness and steeliness is often noted. Is that something that you think is innate in your personality...

Another corrupt and decaying institution, the Ottoman court, was well known for its obsequious eunuchs. The Ottoman Empire vanished and the eunuchs with it.

Hubbies Left Safely at Home

ONE of those "mummy bloggers" reports on yesterday's knitting circle at Kirribilli House:

I didn't hear anybody bring up the Prime Minister's resignation from Slater & Gordon, nor the Craig Thomson or Peter Slipper affairs – although that could have occurred while I was out of earshot. However, I heard women use the opportunity to talk about other issues that matter to them: sexism at work, getting ahead in their career, childcare, and how having a female prime minister has changed the perspective among some young girls about what opportunities and careers they can pursue...

...Following the event I was asked by some people, including a radio journalist, if I felt part of the 'strategy', and, cynically, if anyone had discussed policy during the drinks. That struck me as odd – particularly in a year like this when political journos and those in the press gallery appear to have spent more time discussing everything other than policies.

Know the sad thing about all this? If the Homewrecker had invited, ahem, quality journalists instead of over-hyped kitchen-table keyboard ticklers, they would not have asked about those scandals either.

UPDATE: In comments The Irish Lion observes:

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, last night hosted a gathering of well-known men for Christmas drinks at the Lodge. The select all-male group comprised mainly Rugby players, conservative bloggers and Christian lobbyists and included Alan Jones, Larry Pickering and Andrew Bolt.
After a hearty meal of barbequed endangered species, Tony and the boys retired to the snooker room to quaff port, smoke cigars and ponder the thorny social issues of our time, including “how to get more men on company boards” and “why are we wasting so much money on the Arts”.

Doesn’t read well, does it? 


Also, a Pinata Party Can Be Helpful

FANCY a nice job in charge of an ABC opinion site, followed by a sweet little gig on Radio National? The first thing to do, after earning the respect of mates who can give your career a leg-up, is to establish your bona fides as a potential and worthy ABC recruit -- you know, someone who will fit right in.

Here is one small step on what proved to be an ABC star's ladder to the taxpayer-funded stars:

Apology to Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor
On 17 April, we published a feature article which falsely suggested that Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor had leaked Liberal party polling in August 2007. This allegation was not checked with either Lynton Crosby or Mark Textor. They have strenuously denied this and we accept their denial. The false allegation has caused them serious embarrassment, and we regret repeating it.

On 18 April, we followed up with a report that there were serious but unspecified allegations against Crosby Textor which had yet to be brought before any Court. We accept that we knew of no specific matter which could support this claim when we made it, and that to publish in those circumstances was both very damaging and a serious breach of journalist’s ethics.

Finally we alleged that Crosby Textor engaged in racism and thuggery. We acknowledge that this is not the case. We deeply regret having made this suggestion.

We sincerely apologise to Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor for the hurt and damage caused to them by our reports. We acknowledge that had we reported fairly, the compensation we have paid to them would not have been necessary.
Then, once inside the ABC shop, do not hesitate to lecture others about virulent curiosity and deplorable journalism.

"Normal Ethical Flexibility"

FROM today's AFR:

While Mr Thomson may have been in technical breach of some of the union rules, it is expected he will argue he was acting within the normal ethical flexibility given to officials, and that the same practices occurred in every other union.
OK, grant the Brothel Creeper a little slack and accept for the sake of argument that billing your members for a ready supply of mattress testers is no worse than a "technical breach" and where does that leave us? Still with ample grounds for a Royal Commission to examine that "normal ethical flexibility" which prevails in "every other union".

Nits Knows What's Best

IT WILL never hang there, but it is still nice to imagine how this Charles Blackman would look over the mantelpiece.

Not so nice to consider are the potential complications posed by restrictions on tobacco advertising should this painting ever come onto the market. It would be a stretch, but there does seem room for an officious bureaucrat to invoke what the Health Depart summarises thus:
An individual may publish a tobacco advertisement if it is not in the course of the manufacture, distribution or sale of tobacco products. The individual must have published on his or her own initiative and received no benefit in doing so – s.20. This exemption only applies to individuals and not corporations.
So, if you were to put that picture up for auction and turn a profit in the process, would your gain be safe from Big Nanny's grasping hand? She is serious, you know. While the sanction above has been in force since 2007, Nits Roxon has muscled-up the campaign to further limit free speech and property rights. From the legislation of which she is so proud:
                   In executing a warrant, an authorised officer, or a person assisting an authorised officer, may use such force against things as is necessary and reasonable in the circumstances.
And why might government agents be turning your shop upside down? Well it could be for something as trivial as selling, say, a packet of imported Silk Cut or Luckies without having re-packaged them in an officially approved Roxon box. Bad luck if your nicotine weakness favours one of those exotic brands.

You will just have to switch before Nits sends the heavies around.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Phew! That's a Relief

WE ALL KNOW that greenhouse gases will destroy all life on the planet (with the exception of coral reefs, apparently, which are poised to do quite nicely), but do you realise just how quickly the march of doom is progressing? According to the national broadcaster's Sarah Clarke, yet another quality journalist, the surge in atmospheric greenhouse gases is witnessing hikes that are approaching the exponential.

"With global greenhouse gases now 58 per cent higher than two decades ago," Clarke told viewers of last night's 7 o'clock news, "scientists warn there is no time for complacency." (The claim comes at about the clip's  2 minute mark).

As Clarke's commentary followed hot on the heels of an animated Indian gentleman's announcement that we are poisoning the future for all the world's little children, this news dropped into the Billabong with a most unsettling splash. Truth be told, global warming has always struck The Professor as nothing less than poetic justice. Young Master Bunyip was a dreadful, noisy, annoying and expensive child in his formative years, forever being dragged to hospital or police station, depending on whether or not his latest virus was more toxic than its host. Given the cost, concern and legal costs he inflicted on his poor parents, an adult existence spent diving for scraps in the flooded ruins of our major cities has long seemed no less than he deserved. The Professor would be long gone by that stage,  having drifted off to the Great Beyond on an air-conditioned cloud of profligate energy consumption, so why give a toss?

Could that grand timetable be in jeopardy? If Clarke's claim of a 58 per cent hike over 20 years was accurate then things must be heating up far too quickly, despite the fact that it remains too cold in Melbourne for the kikuyu grass to flourish at the golf course. There might not even be time to empty the cellar before soaring temperatures turn all the reds to vinegar!

It was with some relief, therefore, that a moment's googling turned up a ledger recording atmospheric CO2 all the way back to 1958, when the killer gas is said to have been running at 314.62 parts per million. Today's number is put at 391.57 ppm, which would indicate a jump of roughly 30 per cent over 53 years. As for Clarke's specified, two-decade time span, CO2 levels stood at a recorded 356.38 ppm in 1992, which is some 35 ppm less than today and quite easy to calculate, even by someone with nothing more useful than a media degree.

As a quality journalist, Clarke wouldn't just make this stuff up, no matter how keen her warmist sympathies. Nor would she simply parrot the propaganda fed to her by activists, as that would be stenography rather than journalism and entirely unworthy of a reporter whose labours are underwritten by the public purse.

So where did that figure of 58 per cent come? In the unlikely event that the ABC's in-house complaints department deems this mystery worthy of investigation, Clarke's explanation will be well worth hearing.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Talk in Luvvieland

AS Leunig has no doubt explained at some length to a duck, there are indeed such things as parallel universes. In a different world, in a different place another Leunig exists, a cartoonist who can draw and seeks more attention for his work than its author. In our world a single Leunig is probably quite enough, although some inhabitants do give the impression of longing for their little man to be cloned, washed and installed as a fixture beside the lavatory, there to amuse in person as they labor. Read the exchange below from the bottom up:

If good journalism costs money, as the Silly's current news director tells the former readers' editor, why aren't Fairfax's coffers full to overflowing? There is no time to ponder that riddle because here comes another former Silly sort, one who seems quite sharp.

It seems there will be no need to spawn any Leunig clones, as the one we have will be quite enough to satisfy Judy, Darren and what appears to be a limp market.

Tomorrow, when the markets open, expect stock analysts to discount FXJ's hopes of a duck-led resurgence.

Leunig for Luvvies

THE WORLD slides a little further down the road to hell every single day, the latest milepost passed just yesterday when Fairfax brought joy to luvvies by releasing the latest Leunig calendar -- only to break their little hearts by demanding $2 per copy. In the past, Leunig's annual extrusions were provided free with the Saturday Age, Fairfax evidently seeing itself as much like the missionaries of old, who distributed uplifting tracts to benighted natives in the hope of changing their sinful ways.

There is no evidence this policy materially changed behaviours in Melbourne or Sydney, except at Fairfax itself, where the company took the cartoonist's advice and entrusted its affairs to a succession of wood ducks, hence FXJ's stock price, dire prospects and, most shocking of all, the need to charge $2 for something sensible people understand to have no worth whatsoever.

But luvvies don't think that way, not at all all. They know to their very bones that good stuff should always be paid for by someone else. So, to calm the panic, here is the free version of the Leunig calendar with all the standards elements, from a nice teapot to the laddered moon and, need it be said?, superb draftsmanship. And of course there is the essential Leunig message, fit to grace any pedal-powered refrigerator in what demographers know as the Fairfax Triangle -- the area bounded by Kensington, Collingwood and St Kilda where common sense and corporate profits vanish without a trace.


Just run off 12 copies, staple them and stick the wad to your Kelvinator. Nobody will ever tell the difference.

ADVISORY: Off to the golf club. No comments posted nor further posts until later in the day.

Advisory update:  Postponed twice, then cancelled for good.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

New Australians of the Modern Kind

THE AUSTRALIAN's weekend magazine today details a mystery, although there are really two of them. The first concerns the disappearance from a family home near Liverpool in Sydney of a little girl, what appears to have been an inept police investigation and the belated focus of official suspicions on the father. That is the first riddle.

The other is why the family concerned, which consists of 13 surviving members, has never had a full-time breadwinner under the same roof -- although the father did find the money to acquire and sustain a very serious drug habit and do some gun collecting as well. As a little extra inducement to wonder how the world works these days, the article mentions in passing that the clan will soon be leaving the current Housing Commission digs for larger premises better suited to their ever-swelling numbers. This also will be paid for by the public purse.
Members of Hosayn's family lease small farms on the outskirts of Sydney to grow produce and work in the fruit and vegetable trade. Hosayn would sometimes work at his brother's fruit shop in Liverpool and on weekends he ran a small fruit stall at Flemington Markets. But mostly he and his family survived on social security benefits.
Oh, and one other thing: Despite decades in Australia, mum and dad still required a translator to speak with the The Australian's Greg Bearup.

The toddler's disappearance is all very interesting and makes for a compelling whodunnit, but Australia's immigration policies and what their architects think they are achieving represents an equally fascinating topic for inquiry. After the next election perhaps we can all consider it.

Did the Blackbirders Get the Wrong Address?

IN Anne "Sane! Factual! Relevant!" Summers' new and groundbreaking magazine -- published in state-of-the-art .pdf, no less -- the celebrated editrix fulfills her promise to present a new kind of journalism by exposing the anguish of the Stolen Generation, a theme no writer or magazine has  taken up before, not ever. One of those case studies -- "they'd go to church on Sunday and rape you on Monday" -- is such a shocker that editrix Summers must have been so upset and distracted she  overlooked an even bigger and far more interesting story. Or perhaps Young Chip was under the sink and playing with the saucepans again.

Either way, quoted victim of racism Debra Hocking was taken from her loving parents in 1961 and placed in state care for the crime of being black. Well, here she is today:

When Summers gains the extra funding she hints to the ABC could soon be on its way, she will have had time to calm down and realise her publication needs to include a section on the medical phenomena of racial transmogrification, which appears to have become an epidemic.

Actually, there is a distinct possibility Summers overlooked another potential story. Could it be that welfare bureaucrats messed up, went to an incorrect address, snatched the wrong child and thus sentenced their prize to a life of tormented and unwarranted otherness? Don't scoff, it has happened to others:

UPDATE: Shame, Australia, shame! The poor woman's life and career have been stymied at every turn by exclusionary racism and opportunities denied.

AND MORE THRILLING NEWS: In that ABC interview, Ms Summers announces that ASSFR will be moving to a horizontal format when the money to pay for daring innovations begins to roll in. This could be huge. With Monica Attard now resting between engagements, the chance to recruit the world's leading exponent of sideways editing should not be passed up.

So listen to that ABC link once again, but this time pay particular attention to the oft' mentioned details of where ASSFR's supporters can send their money. The ABC is very helpful in this regard and provides at least three opportunities for listeners to take down the address. With Nurse Margo stirring but unlikely to make a full return, ASSFR could fill Web Diary's niche. We can all use a dependable laugh.

Friday, December 7, 2012

"The BBC Wet Itself"

Had Her Hair Done Special

DOWN in the mouth this Christmas season? A little glum and out of sorts with the world? Lost an important file? Tired and listless because Ex-Boyfriend Bill keeps calling at 2 am to talk about old times?

Well cheer up! There is always someone far worse off than you.

UPDATE:The rumoured challenger for Labor preselection in Gellibrand is also sending out Christmas Solstice cards....

.... but only Penny Wong really captures the Christmas spirit

 Actually, that's not Ms Wong at all. For more fine family snaps, go here -- and don't miss the main course.

(h/t Catallaxy, with special thanks to Papa Chango)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Inherit the Wind

FASCINATING  creatures that they are, women often tax male comprehension. A drive in the country, wondered the Grass Parrot? Why certainly! To a cold chook and a colder bottle add blanket, binoculars and book, find a quiet spot with a commanding view and there you will have all the elements of a pleasant afternoon in the sun. Pleasant to some, it became clear as just such an itinerary was detailed, but not to all. In the Professor’s experience, and the weekend’s jaunt did not break the mould, the feminine definition of a Sunday drive means pointing the car at one of those twee townships where an arts grant is achievement’s apogee and every second shop sells little lace dilly bags of dried petals that all the girls like to tuck away in their drawers. There is a lot to be said for scented camisoles, but a dose of hot water and Palmolive before bed can achieve much the same result while allowing time earlier in the day to observe the odd bird and, if the Great Bunyip smiles, perhaps to cast a line or two.

Alas, the case for sylvan solitude fell on deaf ears and the day’s destination was declared to be Daylesford, where everything is natural and pure and a withered hippie can collect $34 for two servings of scones, not enough jam, some un-clotted cream and an insipid cuppa. After that, as a hand-thrown tea pot clinked expensively in the back seat and a Daylesford potter laughed his head off, it was on to nearby Hepburn in a car reeking of lilac sachets. Be warned, gentlemen: There is even less in Hepburn to satisfy manly interests, something that becomes clear once you have spotted your eighth set of Tibetan prayer flags. The gurus of meditation urge that the mind be made blank. In Hepburn that instruction has been taken as an irrevocable command.

The proof of rampant mindlessness is to be found 10 kms from town, where two wind generators stand on an otherwise attractive mound known locally as Leonards Hill, one mast somewhat further up the slope than the other. Why these units speak of cultish madness is explained by the site’s official name, The Hepburn Community Windfarm. You may have heard of the little town – population 2,300 – and its green crusade to reject Big Power and sustain a sustainably self-sustaining sustained source of clean, cheap energy. If you have not heard of the undertaking it is a wonder because the project has been feted with all sorts of glowing publicity and favourable news reports. Well, most of them favourable.

Cultists summon the wind gods to Hepburn in mid-2011, when the rotors began to turn

All up, those twin towers have cost the locals – and, indirectly, the rest of us – some $13 million dollars. Now the cynic may see that as a staggering sum, but any number of Hepburnians will tell the visitor that the installation is worth every penny. While the Grass Parrot fossicked for curios and yet more items of the fussy, feminine impedimentia that have made a booby trap and minefield of her bathroom countertop, a curious Bunyip sought to be persuaded that Hepburn does not deserve to be declared a country annexe of the Kew Cottages asylum. Several people, pleasant sorts in their organic way, put the case for the defence, and it must be said their patter was seductively persuasive in the context of time and place.

The community owns the generators, they noted, so it will pay no entity but itself for the power they produce. Moreover, because stinky volts from the LaTrobe Valley are no longer needed, all that unused grid power can be converted into carbon certificates and flogged off for a handsome profit. Damage to wildlife? The rotors vitamise only the odd bird and bat – as certified by a contracted and professional carcass counter – so that objection was dismissed as yet another of Big Carbon’s many lies about bright and shiny people who just want to make a difference. A blight on the landscape? No, man, they’re beautiful, just beautiful.

Back in Melbourne, with the teapot’s pieces consigned to the recycling bin, it seemed worth the effort of a little look to see what sort of value Hepburn is getting for its $13 million, which is rather a large piece of change when you think about it. Readers better versed in electrical engineering and accounting will doubtless get more from the available figures, but even to a specialist in Etruscan semiotics it seems that Hepburn has diddled itself in quite a spectacular fashion.

(Expect Part 2 of this post to go up during the course of the day)