Open threads

Mar 30, 2012

Weekend talk thread March 30 – April 1

This weekend feels like it's been some time coming.

This weekend feels like it’s been some time coming.

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37 thoughts on “Weekend talk thread March 30 – April 1

  1. ShaunHC

    ….but if it wasn’t it might go over the heads of some of the right wing readers. If you and I can see the internet shock jocks are not being genuine then why do they get put on news analysis shows?

    Because they get people tuning in. That’s about it. And of course most people want validation of their world view and if that is the message these people are communicating they will be supported. I am sure there are plenty of people in America who hear Ann Coulter’s comments and go “damn straight!” I would categorize these people as utter retards, but there you have it.

  2. Matthew of Canberra

    Liz A @35

    Just assuming that the results can be trusted (I don’t know much about how polls are run, so I tend to assume that at least some are bogus, and the ones done for blatantly partisan wholesale purveyors of bullshit are automatically suspect), I am curious to see what the raw results were – like, how many australians have even HEARD of tim flannery? Of the people who said he was reliable/unreliable … I wonder how many actually know anything about him, what his background is, what he actually does?

    But in any event, that’s a very strange poll to spend good money on. Just who is that supposed to be communicating to? I mean, it’s obviously intended to convince somebody of something, but WHO? The government? Why would they bother? I would have thought that if tim “flim” flannery really was that disrespected, wouldn’t the IPA rather just leave him to it? Why interrupt the enemy when they’re making a mistake? Why risk the possibility that the gov replaces him with somebody who’s untouchable?

    And convincing the public that flannery’s a goose has no effect at all – they already know what they think of flannery (and his whole global-government totalitarian scheme to kick puppies at the UN).

    What a strange poll. It’s almost like the IPA is blowing somebody’s (presumably) hard-earned on a personal attack. Surely not! The IPA?!?

    On an unrelated note … any idea if the IPA’s received any sizable donations from any … radio personalities lately?

  3. Liz A


    Tim Flannery is “unreliable” based on an IPA funded Galaxy Poll?

    [“By regularly making predictions that have turned out to be false, Tim Flannery is doing the carbon tax and the Gillard government more harm than good,” the Institute’s James Paterson said.]

    This is ridiculous. We have repeatedly pointed out on this blog that the media (news Ltd) is misquoting Flannery. So what else to expect? Its a bloody self perpetuating myth.

  4. Brizben

    You’re right Shaun some of my comment is a bit duh but if it wasn’t it might go over the heads of some of the right wing readers 🙂 If you and I can see the internet shock jocks are not being genuine then why do they get put on news analysis shows? I think by giving right wing shock jocks equal time the media is creating an imbalance did not exist.

  5. Matthew of Canberra


    “to some, any person of colour, up to and including the man who became President, seems threatening enough to be in the cross-hairs of someone’s 2nd Amendment weapon.”

    And that’s how the nutters at stormfront have taken it (i.e. people who think that’s just where people of certain colours should be) and how the race-baiters on the right have take it, who’d like to think that black people aren’t actually discriminated against at all (i.e. it’s right white people who face the real challenges in life).

    The problem is that this presumes to know what happened. And that would be a mistake.

    I think the dog-whistle was to people who expected that the lack of any investigation was race-related, and that the case would be swept under the carpet. I suspect the level of outrage (leaving aside the nutter quotient) is due to that expectation. Obama’s statement (although it WAS in response to a question) was directed at those people.

  6. AR

    Opposition Immigration spoutperson, Scott Morrison on ABC Insiders this morning – “We aren’t be swamped by asylum seekers”.
    Why would anyone think we were?
    Who could have been promulgating or implying such a lie?

  7. ShaunHC

    I also think commentators like Anne Coulter are knowingly speaking rubbish and are just being controversial for the web hits.

    Ann Coulter is high up on the American right wing fuckwit scale. Right up there with Rush Limbaugh.

    But seriously Brizben.. I just went duh when I read that. No offence but these people aren’t doing that every time they publish or say something?

  8. Angra

    Bolt -“And this guy, is he white black or Hispanic?”

    “He looks black”

    So no time for ‘white aborigines’ here then.

    He muist be bad – “looking black”.

  9. Brizben

    I think the right wing media coverage of the Trayvon Martin shooting is just plain nauseating. In my opinion a lot of right wing commentators have destroyed their own reputation and cannot be taken seriously again. First there was the clanger in the 911 call that proved race was an issue. (Google the youtube video by The Young Turks titled “Trayvon Martin 911 Call – Did George Zimmerman Say ‘F*ng Coons’?”) Secondly the arrest video showed George Zimmerman unharmed.

    I also think commentators like Anne Coulter are knowingly speaking rubbish and are just being controversial for the web hits.

  10. Fran Barlow

    MOC said:

    [I can’t help but think there was an element of dog-whistle in that statement {about Trayvon Martin’s alleged similarity to the son Obama might have had}.]

    I disagree. While no politician makes a public statement that they don’t think will be heard positively by the intended audience (in that sense all such statements are ‘dog whistles’) it seems very clear that Obama was making a stark point — to some, any person of colour, up to and including the man who became President, seems threatening enough to be in the cross-hairs of someone’s 2nd Amendment weapon. There’s probably also something of a biblical allusion here too (Matthew 25:40) , given that he is both the President and a christian:

    [Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me]

    He’s saying sharply that being a person of colour ought not to be sufficient to make you seem threatening to others.

    I have no problem with Obama commenting on any issue in US politics. He’s the President. Not everything is about what wins you popularity with reactionaries or ignorant dimwits. Nor is race-based murder “a local issue”. In America, it was thematic for much of its European history. These gated communities are encalves of armed people who fear people of colour. They are not confined to Florida.

  11. Liz A

    Has Andrew jumped the shark?

    As a regular contributor to C&P, I have noticed the quality of blog comments becoming increasingly shrill and (in many instances) deluded since Julia Gillard was able to pull together the minority government.

    I thought at the beginning that it was just loonies + disgruntled far-right voters venting spleen. But things have gotten worse, not better and the number of “labour + greens is socialist, totalitarian, facist” comments seems to have increased rather than tapering off.

    Until now Bolt has seemed to take the position of putting just enough in his blog text to feed these delusions and has not taken a position, however his blog has become increasingly skewed toward the following 3 topics:

    1. climate change is crap
    2. Greens are bad
    3. Gillard et al don’t listen to the people (cos their under the thrall of the Greens)

    But today’s post is different. Its like he has taken the lid off. His closing comment?

    [The Greens – the party for the closet totalitarian. ]

    This is more than just baiting the crazies and letting them have at it, this is openly instructing them to believe that the Greens are a party of totalitarians!

  12. Duncan

    “With discussion of Peter Costello’s competence raging, here’s a special New Matilda quiz. Just how well do you know Australia’s amazing recent treasurers?”

  13. SHV

    By the way, I’ve asked this before: Does anyone have a list of Australian News Ltd hacks who worked at News Of The World while all this was “rife”?

    The only one I can confirm is the delightful Emma Chalmers. There were definitely more.


  14. Angra

    Is there nothing else to write about?. The Tele doesn’t like woman who are over 60 and who object to mobile phones on planes.

    Ms Freedman needs to get a life.

    Yes it is damn rude to shout into a mobile phone on a plane – which you were doing -, and no not everyone over 60 with silver hair is a geriatric moron for asserting their rigthts. Wait till I get my mobile jammer organised and you can get stuffed.

    In fact I’ll start a movement.

    Just substitute ‘black’ or ‘woman’ for ‘old’ in your article and we can all see where you come from.

    F***king b***ks stopping me from using my iPhone on a plane.

  15. SHV

    PS: As is usual for Murdoch’s ‘all piss and wind’ glass-jawed bullies, there is no threat of legal action. There wouldn’t be, because the Fin holds all the aces and News is reduced to huffing and puffing.

    They are sad.

    By the way, in one or two recent exchanges with these idiots I’ve found that the simple (factually unchallengeable) rejoinder “Shouldn’t you be hacking a dead child’s phone?” tends to send them packing.

    Anyone who works for an organisation that proudly hacked dead kid’s phones should be made to remember that every day they seek to be taken seriously.

    Some things are, literally, unforgiveable. That means they can’t ever be forgiven. Let alone when there has never been a shred of remorse or real accountability for those actions.

  16. SHV

    In today’s Fin the “sister company” to Murdoch’s News Corp, NDS, took out two full page ads.

    They were in the form of ‘letters’ to the Fin and BBC.

    A lot of sputtering and noise but nothing of substance. They ‘demanded’ retractions, abject apologies and that these be given “equal prominence”.

    Two thoughts:

    1) What happened to the ‘Jackboot of fascism pressing on the neck of the media and silencing freedom to publish’?

    2) Obviously Rupert thinks the readers of the Fin are as gormless and stupid as readers of his own trash.

    I’m beginning to think that the silly old bugger is actually losing it after all. He has always had the most tenuous of links to reality. As one previous rodent put it, those times have suited him, but he seems to be steering the bad ship Murdoch onto the rocks.

    It will be sadly hilarious to watch as some rodents effect a discreet departure from the decks while others stoically stand by the boss as he trashes the whole sorry juggernaut.

    Obviously sitshcared.


  17. Angra

    Well I know that no-one’s interested, but the giant Goodmans are f***ing fantastic. The mid range and treble are exceptional, but surprisingly you need a bit of bass boost to bring out the best sound of 32 foot organ pipes via the 12 inch woofers. I can only pump 45 watts RMS through them – I’m sure they could take double that.

    My little bookshelf Tannoys are quivering in fear in the corner. But now I can get my own back on the neighbour’s drum kit.

    Pretty impressive for a normal house, but can’t compete with the 15 inch dual-concentric Tannoys (theatre specials) I experimented with in a London theatre 30 years ago. And this was with a 15 watt EMI valve AMP!

    Blew the ears off the audience though.

  18. monkeywrench

    General Motors withdraws funding from Heartland…as well it should. But will Prof.Cherrypick of U.of E. Bumcrack make reference to it? I doubt it…..

  19. Fran Barlow

    Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any of the claims in the following link to an article in the Mail Online. In particular, I expressly reject the offensive and implicitly [email protected] claims made towards the bottom in relation to Geoerge Galloway’s win in the Bradford by-election, in which the author — Simon Heffer — claims that Galloway “can win only where he can hoodwink large numbers of Muslims.” The link to the Mail Online is posted merely to illustrate the creeping dissolution of the reactionary consensus around the Cameron-led regime. The Mail Online is a British equivalent of Sydney’s Daily Tele or The Hun in Melbourne so their criticism of the Tories is significant.

    It took Dave just ten days to REALLY toxify the Tories

    The article reads in part:

    The reason the Tories kept losing elections was because they had proved to be dishonest, incompetent and, above all, sleazy. And they only did well enough to be able to form a coalition government in 2010 because of Labour’s disastrous management of the economy and Gordon Brown’s unpopularity.

    Tory support is falling now because the party is again tainted with financial sleaze, has a cack-handed economic policy that is harming the party’s natural supporters and because its ministers are incompetent. It is, indeed, just like the old days.

    However, one new, and even more poisonous, ingredient has been added to the cocktail: class.

    A perception has grown since the Budget that we are being ruled by a disconnected social elite with no understanding of the financial struggles suffered daily by millions of ‘ordinary’ people.

  20. Matthew of Canberra

    A trap for young presidents.

    Most people don’t know about it, but a few days ago, obama said this:

    Well, I’m the head of the executive branch and the attorney general reports to me, so I’ve got to be careful about my statements to make sure that we’re not impairing any investigation that’s taking place right now.

    But, obviously, this is a tragedy. I can only imagine what these parents are going through. And when I think about this boy, I think about my own kids. And, you know, I think every parent in America should be able to understand why it is absolutely imperative that we investigate every aspect of this and that everybody pulls together — federal, state and local — to figure out exactly how this tragedy happened.

    So I’m glad that not only is the Justice Department looking into it, I understand now that the governor of the state of Florida has formed a task force to investigate what’s taking place. I think all of us have to do some soul-searching to figure out how does something like this happen. And that means that we examine the laws and the context for what happened, as well as the specifics of the incident.

    But my main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin … And, you know, I think they are right to expect that all of us, as Americans, are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and that we’re going to get to the bottom of exactly what happened.

    I don’t think there were any teleprompters around, so I figure that was pretty much the sort of thing that people who voted for obama saw in him at the time – a caring, intelligent, erudite leader.

    Except that’s not true. The ONLY thing obama said was this:

    You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.

    That’s it. That’s all he said that day. And THAT’S why andrew bolt is accusing him of “playing the race card” and quoting people who call him “a racist hatemonger” who “has fanned the flames of hatred” (of course, we know it’s not saying that HIMSELF, no. That would be obnoxious – he’s just quoting people who do say that, which is entirely different).

    I can’t help but think there was an element of dog-whistle in that statement. I think it was probably MEANT to be heard by the black people of america, telling them that he does in fact give a damn (and not just as an african american, but primarily – I would suggest obviously – as a parent). I think it was a mistake, though. Because it’s allowed the insane-o-sphere to dismiss everything but those words and turn the story into a race war. And by framing that statement as (god knows how) an attack on the suspect in the shooting, he can now be criticised for NOT commenting on everything else that happens in relation to the case. As far as the reporting goes, the right now owns him.

    Race politics in the US is bonkers. There are finely-tuned detectors on all sides trying to pick up the faintest whiff of anything that they think threatens their worldview or interests and amplifying it a million fold to be used as ammunition. Unfortunately, those same detectors have been staring so long at the scope that they’re conjuring meaning from the static and essentially creating the signal themselves. And then the tin-foil hat crowd and the political hyenas like coulter and limbaugh and sharpton and bolt get hold of it and use it to fight their own little insane ideological battles.

    Madness. And this is why it’s dangerous for presidents to comment on local issues.

  21. Fran Barlow

    [His degree from east-bumflap]

    That’s bumcrack to you MOC

  22. Angra

    Well on a happy note, I just bought a pair of speakers from a local garage sale. They are giant Goodmans – three speaker units with 12 inch woofers – for $20! Probably around 30 years old, but still pretty impressive.

    Just checking them out with some organ music from Worms cathedral, then Mahler’s eighth and a bit of Queen.

    F**king ace!

  23. Durham Red

    “get some of those jackets off her” – The totalitarian instinct, and the disregard for the individual, seems common to Abbott supporters (and Nazis).

  24. Matthew of Canberra

    Andrei’s having a moan that yet ANOTHER scientific body has recognised tim “flim” flannery, while they persistently REFUSE to recognise his own hard-earned degree from east-bumflap:

    Now, that’s the link to an ACTUAL source, whereas andrei throws a crumb to jo nova to add her own carefully-considered[1] commentary to the story.

    Yeah, just another example of how “science” has a left-wing bias. Chalk it up alongside “evolution”, “gravity”, the speed of “light” and “reality”.

    Here’s a thought … suppose that god HIMSELF came to earth and anointed tim with some sort of global-warming-appropriate stimata? Maybe a patch on his head that exudes warmth and the smell of freshly-printed 100$ notes.

    What would the seer from southbank say? This would be a truly fascinating development.

    Maybe “God letting standards slip”? Maybe “god shows recent history of left-wing bias, needs to get back to hebrew old-testament roots”? Maybe just carefully select enough quotes to claim that the age is hypocritical in its coverage?

    I mean, this is a guy who has recently shown evidence of taking an interest in one of the institutes he so strenuously defends. What would that do?

    [1] probably not true

  25. Phil Vee

    savvas jwnhs #4 above
    The sound of crickets is deafening as we await Bolt taking it to Abbott for his comment about Gillard’s physique.

    You have have to pay careful attention savvas. Here, I will spell it out for you.
    ….(unwisely)…. yes that is it. What a put down. The full sentence by Andrew Bolt if you can stand it, reads;

    “But when Tony Abbott (unwisely) endorses the criticism of the jackets…” (he cops criticism from Lefties.)

    Bolt doesn’t say “wrongly” or “stupidly” or “insensitively”. No, it is “unwise”, as if it was just a bad tactical move.

    In fact in Boltworld, having Abbott repeat what Bolt has previously condemned, is a marvellous thing, because it extends a dying story and allows Bolt to continue firing blanks at the usual targets, while his commenters load up and blast away.

  26. Matthew of Canberra

    What’s particulary funny (in the sense of “obnoxious”) is AB’s attempt to squeeze some sort of hypocrisy out of the age’s coverage of tony’s “plain speaking”.

    Pathetic. But, then, set the bar low enough and his followers will jump at it.

  27. Matthew of Canberra

    “I’m sure Mr Abbott’s gorge would rise”

    Ooo-er! Better not be wearing those speedos.

  28. returnedman

    What the hell is going on with News’ obsession with Bob Brown’s recent speech!? Talk about drawing a long bow.

    I flicked through the transcript and it looked quite entertaining.

  29. Holden Back

    MoC, Even people who live in denial of the Greenhouse Effect probably shouldn’t throw stones. Were one to descend to personalities regarding personal appearance, including heft and broadness of beam of several noted owners, sorry, supporters of the Liberal and Liberal National Parties, I’m sure Mr Abbott’s gorge would rise

  30. Deziner

    MoC: it’s true, she has copped worse, but people don’t really comment on male attire in the same way they do about female attire. Sure, people jest about Abbott in speedos, but they don’t talk about his general parliamentary wear at all, let alone criticise it. I’m not sure I’ve heard Gillard mention Abbott in such a way either.

    I don’t think it’s a huge deal, but it’s worth pointing out that it’s unseemly for the wanna-be PM to comment on the clothing and/or weight of the current PM. It wouldn’t be accepted in a normal workplace, so it shouldn’t be accepted by our MPs. If anything they should be held to higher standards than we are…

    …oh, back to reality.

  31. Matthew of Canberra

    I did also notice that MW pointed out the fact that you don’t HAVE to get your i-things from apple shops. Back when the ipad 1 first came out and was in short supply, I walked in DJ’s and bought mine without any trouble at all. No queue, nothing. I even heard tales of myer staff moseying down to mac1 in the civic mall and pointing out to the assembled mass that they could buy the same stuff at myer without having to queue.

  32. Matthew of Canberra

    I notice that media watch picked up on the PP story about apple getting lots of free advertising, and added the fact that the ABC joined in.

  33. savvas jwnhs

    The sound of crickets is deafening as we await Bolt taking it to Abbott for his comment about Gillard’s physique.

  34. Cuppa

    Cross-promotion for Pure Poison in a new post at

    The Opposition says…

  35. surlysimon

    An interesting piece with relevance to the Trayvon Martin case.

    And if you want some interesting listening over the weekend check out the “Desert Island Discs” Archive podcasts in itunes, you don’t get all the music but the interviews are often worth it alone.

  36. Matthew of Canberra

    Working hard on that “women problem”

    I don’t see what the fuss is about, though. It’s not like it was written down or anything, wasn’t party gospel or anything, so it never really happened!


    I think it would be possible to get bent out of shape over nothing. I think the PM’s copped far worse. The old “does my bum look big in this” isn’t a patch on j”u-liar spawn of satan freedom hating deliberately barren baby-eating communist”. Compared with the usual venom, it’s practically complimentary.

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