Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to cover the enviro beat

Four Fairfax warmists sitting around tweeting:

She still beats Slipper, Thomson and a nasty rash

Q: WHY has Julia Gillard been hanging with Kyle Sandilands of late?

A: Because he is more trusted than she.

But not by much.

(H/T: Bruce at the cat)

This has everything, folks

EVEN as this is typed stationwagons loaded with ABC and Fairfax journalists must be speeding to Adelaide to interview the Indigenous woman "touched inappropriately" by Tony Abbott.

It's all here in some species of pdf or somesuch, and very annoyingly it jumps around the screen as you try to read it.  But read it you should, just to get a glimpse of what the next three months will bring. Notice that this slime-fest is being promoted by NSW Labor MP Linda Burney.

Will anyone believe Ali Cobby Eckerman (below)? And if they do, will they take the alleged touch of fingertip to forearm as a form of assault?

Probably the same people who see a proud, defiant Aboriginal woman in that picture.

Another day at their ALPBC

On Radio National this morning, Canberra correspondent Alison Carabine briefed hostess Fran Kelly about the latest turns in the ongoing conspiracy to bring down Julia Gillard. The Abbott forces, she explained, yesterday put a question to the Prime Minister concerning her view of predecessor Kevin Rudd's decision to close Nauru and throw open the borders to an influx of future ALP voters:
"The Opposition, aided and abetted by some sections of the media this morning, [pointed] out how many boats have arrived since Kevin Rudd took that decision to dismantle John Howard's Pacific Solution."
Those rascally "some sections of the media" do not include the ABC, which these days seldom if ever reports the near-daily consignments of illegal aliens arriving on our shores.

When your favourite party is going down for the count like a boatload of Afghans, why give aid and comfort to the enemy?

The Age of rubber sheets

THE GREAT BUNYIP is a merciful fellow, inflicting no sufferings that are not in some way mitigated by His mercy. Take last-stage incontinence as an example. The body is withered, the heart beats weakly and then, as the end draws nigh, bladder and bowels let loose their floods. Ah, but the indignity of expiring in pools of one’s own filth matters not because, by that final stage, the mind has also gone. No longer is there a compulsion to blush and apologise or blame an overdose of the morning’s prunes because the last remnants of shame and self-awareness have been wiped clean.

Those who still doubt the existence of a Supreme Being should glance at this morning’s Melbourne’s Age, where they will find a classic example of the Divine compassion that manifests itself in the gift of timely oblivion.  “Twisted ideas about sex and power still rule” reads the headline above a column brimming with the thoughts of the University of New South Wales’ Dr Lindy Edwards, who has been inspired, as you might say, by some extraordinary misconceptions about men and what men get up to when women are not about to hector and police them. It probably does not need to be said that Dr Edwards was summoned to her keyboard by our Prime Minister’s attempts last week to re-ignite her unilateral gender war.

“…buried deep in our culture is a belief that sex is an act of male domination and female violation and submission,” Dr Edwards writes early on in her essay, following up with quite remarkable assertions. Here are some:

“There is a long tradition of firing up fighting men by invoking their shared ability to sexually degrade women. They tap into an ideal of male sexual power to create a cocktail of ego, aggression and sexual energy that they channel into battle.”

This is good to know, as it highlights the need to edit Shakespeare more thoroughly. For years, Henry V’s speech before Harfleur has included the line “dishonour not your mothers”. Clearly, “not” is a typo and needs to be expunged.

“We see exactly the same phenomenon at work among our footballers. They also pump themselves up as powerful men by emphasising their ability to sexually degrade women. It bonds them as a group, fuelling a sense of superiority and power to be able to treat women this way.”

This last insight must come as news to the sensitive and caring Bob Murphy, the Western Bulldog and Age columnist who is always mooning about his dog, the meaning of life, his toenails and, every so often, his club’s lack of success on the field. Clearly, if coach Brendan McCartney seeks to lift performance, he must forget about stressing skills and strategy and organise a gangshow of abuse and mockery at the next training session. As Julia Gillard is Footscray’s Number One ticketholder and, according to Dr Edwards, the catalyst for the current eruption of misogynist loathing, he will need to lead his players no further than the boardroom in order to find the most appropriate victim and, presumably, lay the foundation for a premiership season. But that is most likely not what Dr Edwards has in mind, if indeed there is room between her ears for anything more than the rag bag of the clich├ęs one finds entangled in the leg hair at any halfway decent Women’s Studies department.

Once again, let us praise the Great Bunyip for his mercy. As Dr Edwards splurts, farts and dribbles all the way down the page to her conclusion, Age editors are so far gone they can no longer comprehend just how silly she is. The final proof comes with her stated intention to defeat gender oppression by means of curious hand gestures.

“Waving a pinkie finger is a traditional way of signalling men trying to pump themselves up to hide weakness,” she writes, alluding to what must be the feminist version of a Masonic handshake, as the Professor has never seen such peculiar behaviour or, indeed,  even heard of it. “It is something I plan on doing every time I see a man behaving this way from now on, and I invite you and the Prime Minister to join me.”

In all kindness let us urge the women of Australia to spurn that advice, especially those who write for The Age and/or still read it. When the patient is terminal and crusted with its own excrement, as is Melbourne's shrunken broadsheet, it is very difficult with digits waving like the fronds of a sea anemone to slip on the latex gloves in preparation for administering a blanket bath.

A FOOTNOTE: Along with incontinence, dementia and is another sign of  imminent death, and The Age displays this symptom as well. In the fog of its final hours, the newspaper forgot to mention, as Dr Edwards’ UNSW biography states, that she “has been a senior policy adviser to an Australian political party leader.”

No prizes for guessing which party.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Baksheesh, anyone?

There is something peculiar about the case of Sayed Abdel Latif, or Sayed Ahmed Abdellatif as he is known to Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor and the Silly, very peculiar indeed. Given all the uterine distractions of the past week, some may have forgotten the illegal Egyptian migrant who was kept behind that “tennis court fence” in the Adelaide Hills, despite an Interpol alert listing him as a weird beard terrorist, murderer, explosives monger, forger and master of many other skills that admirers of the seventh century put to such frequent use.

Do not stand near this man if your hear him ticking

Then, all of sudden and just as his case began to generate much heat in Australia, the Interpol “red notice” was amended and the Gillardians were pointing fingers across the chamber and accusing their opponents of intolerance for otherness. Now O’Connor has taken it a step further. According to the Silly, theMinister for Sinkers and Floaters,

…has contradicted the Australian Federal Police over the reliability of Interpol red notices after the embarrassing collapse of terrorism claims against asylum seeker Sayed Ahmed Abdellatif.

Speaking to Fairfax Media's Breaking Politics program on Monday, Mr O'Connor said Interpol red notices were often wrong - an effective swipe at the AFP, which had cited a red notice in declaring that Mr Abdellatif had been convicted of serious terrorism charges including murder and explosives possession.

Mr O'Connor said Labor had been warning all along against "rushing to judgment" about Mr Abdellatif, an Egyptian asylum seeker who sparked a political storm last month after it emerged he had been kept in low-security detention despite the Interpol red notice.

"There are many, many states that are signed up to Interpol and they've made many errors in the past," he said.
"The Australian Federal Police takes them very seriously but knows it must examine the veracity or otherwise of those claims because quite often claims, even against Australian citizens who've had red notices out against them, have been found to be wrong."

Politicians, please note: If you are going to lie, do so to a Fairfax reporter (allowing that an ABC jotter is not handy) because they simply repeat whatever you tell them, no matter how transparently ridiculous. The minister says the Latif affair was a misunderstanding and the charges all wrong.

Well, not really. Interpol explains what happened in this statement, the key part of which is this:

….a Red Notice for Mr Abdel Latif was issued by INTERPOL's General Secretariat on 1 October 2001 for a variety of offences, including premeditated murder.

As required by INTERPOL’s rules on maintaining information in its databases, on 29 January 2007 and again on 24 October 2011, INTERPOL’s NCB Cairo requested that the Red Notice for Mr Abdel Latif remain valid and active for the same charges as originally requested.

Therefore, any law enforcement authority consulting INTERPOL'S databases between 1 October 2001 and 13 June 2013 would have read and believed that Mr Abdel  Latif was wanted for arrest by Egyptian authorities for a variety of terrorist-related offences, including premeditated murder.

O’Connor can hardly blame the AFP for observing protocol. More curious is why, after twice endorsing Latif’s presence on the red-alert list, the Egyptians just happened to decide he was a less nasty chap than originally thought. How fortunate that they reached this conclusion at the precise moment his presence in Australia was causing the government a good deal of distress and embarrassment.

It would be interesting to see O’Connor called to the dispatch box to answer this question:

Did the Australian government approach the Egyptian government and quietly ask that the alert requesting Latif’s apprehension be amended and charges dropped?

As a supplementary, this query might also be put:

Even allowing that Latif is not a bomb-building murderer, is the Minister happy to have in the country a man Interpol still names as a forger working for a terrorist group?

Fairfax could have put these same questions but neglected to do so. Somebody certainly needs to.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

From Puberty Blues to Menopausal Moolah

ANDREW BOLT links to the audio of a BBC interview with, as he puts it, "professional Australian Kathy Lette", and that description is correct in more ways than he can probably have imagined.

A professional, remember, is someone who accepts payment for their work, and that category certainly includes Ms Lette. From the Australia Council's register of relatively recent payments:

Click the image to see how much Australians pay the wife of an extraordinarily wealthy QC to libel their native land

UPDATE: To her credit, and unlike another recipient of Australia Council largesse, Lette is not known to masturbate with a skinned rabbit.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


IN A FEW HOURS’ TIME, Australia’s soccer team will play the first of two games vital to its hopes of making the World Cup finals list. We can imagine the players’ excitement as they loosen up for the contest ahead. Even now the coach must surely be leading a last-minute refresher in the theatrical arts of thrashing, writhing and moaning, vital skills and FIFA-endorsed responses for those moments when an opposition player casts a mean glance, says something rude or refuses to venture an opinion on whether pastels are this year’s hot colours for soft furnishings.  A bit of sobbing and, often as not, there will be penalties and a goal. If a score fails to eventuate, the crowd will tear up the seating and blind each other with flares, the deficit of manly fortitude on the pitch neatly balanced by brute thuggishness in the stands.

The rise of soccer in this country is often hailed as a signifier of maturity, proof that we are now full-fledged members of the world sporting community. Take that with a grain of salt or, more appropriately, with a barf bag. Soccer is to sport what Julia Gillard is to decency, and if there is an ounce of moral resolve in Canberra it would have been banned for the societal cancer that it is.

Soccer encourages sooking in boys and young men.

Soccer has all the visual appeal of Craig Emerson vocalising in his crusty underpants.

Soccer is endorsed by Julia Gillard, who squandered $50 million attempting to bring the World Cup to our shores. Thank the Great Bunyip that everything she touches dissolves in failure.

Soccer is mostly followed by hollow-chested Poms and the hairier strands of woggery. Once upon a time followers would set about each other with knives at half-time, but this once cheerful feature of the game has now been re-directed into acts of pre- and post-game vandalism and mayhem on the streets surrounding the stadiums in which it is played.

Soccer leads to discord and war, from El Salvador’s biff with some other benighted nation too insignificant to recall to the recent conflicts in the Balkans, where all those fob-pocket backwaters undoubtedly tapped reserves of spleen that had been building through decades of countless 0-0 draws.

Let it be noted here that Australian Rules has never prompted an international incident, except with the Irish, who also play soccer and cannot therefore be considered rational or responsive to reason.

Tonight, when Australia’s team takes the field against Jordan, turn off your TV for the sake of our nation’s future and pray for defeat.

And remember, Gillard supports soccer, so there cannot be a single thing to be said in its favour.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Stolen, or just having a lend?

IT CANNOT often be that a member of the ousted NSW Labor government is taken at a glance to be anyone’s moral superior, so former cabineteer and high-flier-in-a-holding-pattern Linda Burney must have enjoyed Monday’s Q&A  more than most, which would not be that difficult come to think of it. On matters Indigenous, she was the panel’s go-to gal, her every instruction on the deference that paler Australians must pay to peculiar aspects of Aboriginal life a tutorial in the fine art of not being branded a “casual racist”. This is a new and somewhat vague label, going by Ms Burney’s definition, apparently hinging not on the intent of the speaker but on his or her interlocutor’s ambient capacity for indignation. By the time that blonde American singer was moaning and sighing at the programme’s end, possibly from the discomfort of borrowing a much smaller woman’s dress,  the Professor had pretty much decided to limit any future conversations with dusky fellow citizens to observations about the uplifting time one can have by marching across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the beat of a thousand Sorry! Sorry! Sorries! This seems a safe bet, as strolling the byways of shame is now the officially recognised remedy for the violence, drunkenness, child abuse, truancy, disease and welfare dependence of the racist cesspit into which John Howard so wickedly consigned Aboriginal Australia. As to that nagging issue – does the Rainbow Serpent prey on Rainbow Numbats? – ignorance must stay that question for fear of giving offence.  Thus does multiculturalism bring Australians so much closer.

Of all the night’s topics, Aboriginal mourning practices were the most interesting and, worringly, the greatest challenge to pallid comprehension. It seems that when an Aborigine passes away, tradition demands his friends and family utter not his name nor view his image. That second traditional prohibition, while not explained, must surely have become the standard when the northern tribes adopted the Box Brownie as a totem, but let us leave the topic of pre-European portraiture for another day and a fresh set of ARC grants.

More important, in order not to be confirmed as one of those casual racists Ms Burney is so capable of spotting, it seems your paler Australians must likewise follow Indigenous custom, which does seem a bit peculiar. After all, when a Jew dies, the attending rabbi will be quite happy if it is only his faith’s adherents who observe the custom of their creed and sit shiva with the departed. Not even Elvis Presley’s most ardent admirers expect universal outbreaks of sackcloth and ashes every August 16.

But Aborigines must be treated differently, as a solicitous Tony Jones demonstrated with this gentle request for guidance:

JONES: Linda, should it be more deeply explained? I mean, is there a sort of spiritual element to this of the spirit of the person being called back by hearing their name or something of that nature?BURNEY: It is a deeply important part of the cultural practice and respect and mourning of the people of this great Australian's nation and I think, given the conversation that we're having tonight, that certainly big news outfits should respect that and work out a way to do the honouring without insulting his family.

Clear on that? Well you need to be, unless you are one of those “casual racists” who might callously have remarked upon hearing the news, “Geez, that Mandawuy Yunupingu was a good bloke, and what a pity he died so young.” That would have been the ugly face of racism, no doubt about it.

Ms Burney needs to be heeded on this matter because she too has suffered all the way to very near the top of the NSW ALP, not to mention five-star UN parleys on Indigenous rights and rites. According to the biographical information Q&A provides, presumably vetted by the guest herself,
she …

… grew up in Whitton, a small farming community near Leeton. One of the 'Stolen Generation' of Aboriginal children, she first met her father when she was 28 years old. She has two children, son Binni and daughter Willuri.

As this information appears on a website run by the ABC, which has its own oracular fact-checking unit these days, Burney’s thumbnail biography is presented as gospel. Trouble is, to those who have knocked around the Riverina and know a little of the district’s past, the idea that racist officials were borrowing the dog catcher’s van to snatch small black children just doesn’t sit well. In Barellan, for example, white townsfolk passed the hat to pay for a young Evonne Goolagong’s training trips to Sydney and beyond. Her family was well known and respected, her dad, Kenny, being not only a gun shearer but the local golf champion, and Goolagong has said she could not have been raised in a happier place. “We never grew up with racism or anything like that,” she once informed the New York Times. As Goolagong is five or six years older than Burney, whose Whitton home was not too far from Barellan, the privations Q&A’s darkest guest now recalls suffering as a child are a genuine curiosity, one enhanced by the fact that Burney’s father was brother to Goolagong’s mum, Melinda. How could one branch of the clan be so content and the other so oppressed? As the “stolen” Burney put it on Monday:

…….you look at Australia, we are a shining example of multiculturalism but when it comes to Aboriginal people, I think, you know, you've got the whole history to deal with and one of the most ugly parts of that was when we were scientific curiosities and there are many body parts, whole Aboriginal people, probably my relatives, that lie in the vaults of museums in Europe and around this country….

Well that would be most unfair: One branch of the family is raised and esteemed by its neighbours, but the other’s elders, from just down the road, are flensed for exhibition in glass cases.

This is where, once again, a little local knowledge comes in very handy, especially when enhanced by the wonder that is Google. You see, while Burney is apparently quite happy to have the ABC describe her as stolen, her own account of those early years is rather different. There was prejudice in her family line, no doubt about it, but racism seems not to have been the keystone offence. The proof of that is her late mother, a white woman who succumbed in her unmarried youth to the romantic charms of a black man, Laurence “Noni” Ingram, whom Burney hailed in her maiden speech before the NSW Parliament:

Growing up as an Aboriginal child looking into the mirror of our country was difficult and alienating. Your reflection in the mirror was at best ugly and distorted, and at worst nonexistent. I did not grow up knowing my Aboriginal family. I met my father, Noddy (sic) Ingram, in 1984. His first words to me were, "I hope I don't disappoint you." I have now met 10 brothers and sisters. We grew up 40 minutes apart. That was the power of racism and denial in the Fifties that was so overbearing.

That same claim of having been stolen is repeated here, so that is one way of looking at her early life. Another might be to recall that pregnant and unmarried youngsters, regardless of the father’s melanin content, were considered in those unenlightened days to be objects of shame. Indeed, for all the victimology on Monday, Burney has also stressed that she was not stolen, not unless you consider being raised by a loving great-aunt and –uncle as an example of modern blackbirding.

Since identity is important and the facts that underscore it moreso, it is to be hoped that Burney will alert the ABC to the need to change that reference to her having been stolen. And the ABC had better do it quick-smart, before the fact-checking unit is on the case.