Saturday, February 11, 2012

And so to a Saturday rising, and a premature deflation ...

(Above: lo, he is risen, alzheimer healed, operations cancelled, epileptic seizures ceased here! Website layout makeovers may take a week longer).

For the most tired and irrelevant banging of a drum, surely Philip Dorling takes the cake.

Even the header is a ripper: News: Silence.

Oh okay here's what it really said:

You can read all about it in Australia silent on legality of bin Laden killing, but really it would only have been news if Dorling had caught a whiff that Australian bureaucrats thought the killing might have been illegal.

As it is, some bits of declassified documents released under an FOI have been redacted on the basis of damage to the Commonwealth and international relations, and with an emphasis in the behind the scenes briefings to avoid discussing key elements of international law.

Indeed. Who'd have thought topping a citizen in another country might constitute a crime under international law. And who'd have thought the United States gave tuppence or a brass razoo for international law in this particular circumstance. And who could imagine an Australian government of any stripe coming out and denouncing it as illegal. And who could imagine anyone caring about the thoughts of Geoffrey Robertson ...

And in other news, the pond's ongoing assertion that the Nuremberg trials were a hastily constructed illegal kangaroo court operating without proper international remit continues to be confronted by media silence and a vast international conspiracy of denialists ...

But it seems the story from Dorling might be part of a new wave of combined coverage from the entire Fairfax brood, including The Canberra Times, with fingers on the pulse and an exciting line up of blogs and columns, and ...

Frankly the pond almost expired from the sense of pulsating excitement generated by news of the new National Times. Which strangely seemed to include a flock of Fairfax regulars ...

Amazingly, in the new format, political news leads the way, and the pond was furious to read Barney Zwartz's at the top of the pack with Pastor's new party, with spiffing graphic:

If you clicked through, you got a short four par piece about "controversial Christian pastor Danny Nalliah" registering a new political party Rise Up Australia.

And yet Barney didn't provide even one Henry Fielding-style joke about Australian men on the rise, or the way they rised up at the right occasion, or how they had risen when the need arose.

Only a bible basher of the first water could have missed the complications in marketing a Rise Up party, thinking that everybody rose up, rose up for Jesus.

And yet not a word in the new National Times of the pond's plan to form the Loony party down under! And it calls itself a fit and proper organ of all that's right to print.

Well after a quick read of Mike Carlton - shuffled down the internal pecking order - the pond was out of there licketty split, and never mind the newness or the coat of paint.

Oh for the good old days, when the bloated inanities of a Christopher Pearson column could fill the pond full to overflowing:
But still the fickle gold bar finger of fatuous fate blocks the way. How is The Australian going these days? Second thoughts, who cares ...

Ah well, time to punch on, because Saturday is when The Punch goes vaguely liberal, and you can find the likes of Laurie Oakes pointing out that jolly Joe Hockey is an economics emperor inclined to skimp on his clothing budget (Hockey is pucking around with dollars and sense). At least they had the decency to put a pucking good joke in the header ...

And then a more solemn note was struck by Senthorun Raj's piece Homophobia is the hate that dares speak its name, and recent moves in Uganda to crank up its anti-homosexuality bill.

This is a hate crime that flies under the radar under Australia, but it reminded the pond that fear and loathing in Uganda owes a lot to western evangelical Christians doing their thing in Africa.

And where are the evangelical Sydney Anglicans in all this?

Well you can see how they cut their jib in Robert Tong's 2009 report on A grubby little incident:

In a naked display of political power, the American Episcopal Church leadership stopped the Rev Philip Ashey, the clergy representative of the Province of Uganda, from taking his place at the 14th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council held in Jamaica, because he has been among the strongest critics of their pro-homosexual policies.

That's right, Sydney Anglicans were supposed to be outraged because American Episcopals had dared to ban a bishop because of his anti-homosexual policies. And how was this dressed up?

At ACC Jamaica, a Ugandan-appointed delegate was refused admission to the conference on the first day and biblical interests were silenced on the fifth day. In both, the rule of law was ignored or abused and naked political pragmatics trumped principle.

And never mind the implications of the rule of law in Uganda which might happen to include an anti-homosexuality bill. Talk about grubby incidents and grubby values ... arise Sydney Anglicans.

Meanwhile Anglican Aid is beavering away in Uganda with theological scholarships, and the Anglican Mainstream - as it calls itself - has always been supportive of brave attempts to denounce black helicopters and United Nations activism:

In 2010 Archbishop Nicholas Okoh of Nigeria reacted to activism by United Nations bodies on behalf of homosexual rights by noting that this activism went beyond the issue of rights and appeared to support the advancement of homosexual lifestyles in Africa. He said that if the United Nations Organisation was now an organ for advancing homosexual lifestyle, it was time Nigeria pulled out of that organization to protect the moral health of Nigeria.

Indeed. And if you read on, perhaps expecting a note that suggested this was more than a little bizarre, instead you got this, baldly and boldly stated:

The Church must resist any attempt to establish local or international platforms to foist societal vices e.g. homosexual behaviour, prostitution, etc as rights on others. These are redeemable conditions, by the power of the Gospel.

Yep, it's the old societal vice routine, this time lumping homosexuality in with hookers ... (and if you want a case study in moral confusion, why not take a look at Elliot Spitzer, the man who persecuted vice while indulging in vice, and the documentary about his downfall Client 9 - though the documentary has its own moral confusions).

It all got too depressing for the pond, so where to look to find the brighter side of life.

Come on down United States Republicans, come on down righteous raving Iowa ratbag Steve King, and golly gee, goody gumdrops, the photo they selected for the Huffington Post piece Steve King CPAC Speech is worth the price of entry alone:

Hit us with a rant Rep King:

King referred to the House office building janitors during Pelosi's time as speaker as her "Stasi troops" -- referring to oppressive secret police in East Germany until 1990 -- saying they unscrewed the lightbulbs in his office to replace them with energy-efficient "curly-Q" bulbs.

"I would screw them out and send the interns out to get me some of those good Edison lightbulbs," he said, the crowd cheering. "And those interns would come back sometimes empty-handed in tears, because they couldn't come up with a regular Edison light-bulb."

He said he finally decided it was "cruel and inhumane" to send the interns on that task, so he went to find "black-market" lightbulbs himself. He then was faced with a decision: buy a recyclable bag, which he at first said no to, or pay more.

"Whenever I need to put a lightbulb in the lamp, I reach into this green back and I screw it in there and I smile," he said. "A little bit of my liberty back, a little bit of my freedom back."

And in this short revelatory anecdote, King explains, without knowing it, why American conservatives are fucked in the head luddites, and why America as an innovative country is in free featherless flight towards the dumpster.

Next week King explains why he prefers to use his 512K Mac as a way of maintaining his freedom, and how the 78 record represents a defiant stand against the Stasi ... Efficiency? Modernity? Aren't they code words for totalitarianism?

Now for a dash of Doonesbury - with more Doonsebury here. The Doona has been on a roll of late with his privatised business myFacts, privatising the truth since 2003. It's a marvel how he keeps doing it after this many years ...

Happily the Republicans and the Sydney Anglicans haven't yet worked out a way to mount an anti-laughter bill, but no doubt Danny Nalliah is hard at work making it part of his new party's platform. Rise up Pastor Danny ...


  1. Sometimes I wonder if Sydney Anglicans suffer from short sightedness... or maybe they are just plain stupid. Out of interest, I attended the 2008 Sydney Anglican Synod, where they decided to align themselves with homophobic Africans, out of indignation of Gene Robinson, a openly gay man being ordained a bishop. Not one member in that synod spoke out about the problems that arise when diversity of thought is replaced with bigotry. The Synod walls were covered with enormous images of 2 bishops pushing homophobic rhetoric. It was nothing short of facism. I was bewildered and left believing that within those synod walls lay some very dangerous people. What developed in Uganda was the 'Kill the Gay' bill and the Sydney Anglican diocese' silence about the persecution of gay Ugandans to date, is reprehensible. As for Anglican Mainstream...well what can one say?

  2. You know of course that you can go straight to Christopher Pearson at

    What's interesting though is the ticker-tape of stories running on the page. (Chris' ruminations made my eyes glaze over.) Here are the stories:

    1. Our porky friend Chris with a second story "There are good reasons why Labor might decide to drop Gillard...
    2. Mike Steketee on hospitals. He's got a beard so I reckon he's the token leftie.
    3. Peter vanOnselen "Gillards loss of credibility is so serious that..."
    4. Ross Fitzgerald "This leaves two questions: when to remove Gillard and..."
    5. George Mega "This isn't a defence of Gillard but..."
    6. Sarah Martin on the SA elections.

    Four out of six are about a non-story. Jeezus...

    What must it be like to work there? I reckon it must be like joining a cult. They cut away any links with reality and tell you what to think. We can only hope the red cordial isn't far away.

  3. Thanks anon, yes of course everybody can breach the porous paywall, but we love to make fun of it, because it's more fun than actually reading Christopher Pearson. As a recovering member of AA (Australian abstainer), a mere dash of Pearson's golden amber of lunacy might send us spiralling off into the deep ...

    But thanks for going over the top into the machine gun fire and reporting back on the doings of the cult. And remember you can colour your hair with Kool Aid!


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