Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The pond needs more speed so it can get to the lies that much faster ...

(Above: credit where credit is due, the rest of the story is at ZDNet, under the header Japan ups consumer broadband ante to 2Gbps: Report).

Read in a thick southern American accent worthy of Strother Martin in Cold Hand Luke explaining that what we have here is a failure to communicate.

Lordy, lordy, Satan been comin' round the pond with dem apples and dat temptation stuff.

Wicked snake, fifty bucks a month for 2Gbps down, 1Gbps up, and a humble A$525 installation fee, and a mere 80 - that's an eight with an O - times faster than the proposed coalition broadband plan, and rolling out in a country with a none too flash economy at the moment.

What dem hares want with all that speed? Don't dey know dat de tortoise win the race? Don't dey care there ain't no single known use for dat speed in de average household?

Quick sinners. Tell the wicked snake to begone, huddle around with the pond, and let's begin with our usual morning prayer. Repeat after me:

All hail the great luddite master. Tell us master, tell us the meaning of life!

... we are absolutely confident that 25 megs is going to be enough, more than enough, for the average household. (thanks Gizmodo, here)

Dominus ludditus vobiscum

Thank ye all,  mah fellow sinners,  we've lathered up a a right powerful storm of prayer, and all will be well.

Please retire, spiritually fortified, to enjoy your current average across Australia of 4.3 Mpgs. Hallelujah.

Now where were we? These prayerfests are a powerful distraction.

Oh no, not another powerfest of hating the Thatcher haters.

So much hate, so much emotion in the air, what sort of loony splash lead can we get out of it this week?

Yes, it's dear old Dame Slap, ranting up and down the page, in a piece full of foam flecked fury, and strangely in the process claiming that it's the left that prefer language laced with emotion rather than logic. Phew, let's pause for a Steve Bell break before plunging in:

Now let's see how the hate the haters hatefest works out in Partying Thatcher-haters merely demonstrate their irrelevance, behind the paywall to protect your sanity.

What logical, emotion-free terms can we learn to deploy?

How about intellectual pygmies barely able to touch the hem (remember lick-spittle hem-touching is completely logical), towering figure, lack of dignity, toxic, unrestrained, nasty strain, emotional drivel a daily indulgence, old style hate-fuelled class war, etc etc, and please to remember that hate-fuelled class war means picking on hapless innocent wealthy people and long-suffering merchant bankers ...

Yes if we're speaking of foaming irrational hate speech, surely the use of "class warfare" is a doozy, as Bernard Keane noted in The slippery and convenient concept of 'class warfare' (may be behind Crikey paywall).

...despite the Kevin Rudd camp embracing it in internal exile, a quick count of media commentary shows who’s doing the confecting: since the beginning of 2012, has run seven articles that discussed the government’s “class warfare” and “class war”, in addition to reporting of the use of the term by Coalition and Labor figures and other contributors to public debate. The Australian Financial Review, a reliable critic of Labor under its current management, has run 10 articles that discuss “class war”, aside from reportage, in that period. The Daily Telegraph has run 21 pieces on “class war” during that time. And The Australian has run 77.

Make that 78 Mr Keane!

So where does Mr. Keane propose that Dame Slap gets her emotional, illogical gobbledegook from?

The co-ordinated use of the term by the Coalition and some editors is a tactic borrowed from the Republicans in the US. As early as a few weeks after President Barack Obama was inaugurated, he was being targeted for “class war” policies by the Right in the US, and mainstream media outlets were reflecting its use. It’s since become a staple of both Fox News coverage and GOP talking points that Obama is engaged in “class war”, not to mention socialism, communism and a “war on wealth”.

Oh dear, not Faux news and the crazed Repuglicans. But surely it's an entirely logical term, deprived of any emotional weight, Mr. Keane?

The reason the term is so appealing to critics of the government, both those without and, like Martin Ferguson and Simon Crean, those within, is because it comes loaded with negative connotations. To accuse someone of class war is to suggest a rigid ideologue, someone motivated not by the national interest but by mere jealousy toward those more hard-working/intelligent/business-minded than party apparatchiks, even if a Gina Rinehart inherited the bulk of her wealth and then enjoyed the accident of an historical boom in Chinese demand. 
But more to the point, it delegitimises any debate about government policies when the benefits disproportionately flow to the powerful and wealthy in a way that never happens in debate about government policies that benefit the poor. There is something bracing and rigorous about the demand that welfare recipients feel the discipline of the market rather than enjoy the support of the taxpayer; in contrast, it is “sickening class warfare” to wonder why superannuation tax concessions costing billions flow to high-income earners who will never go on the age pension. 

Oh dear, that sounds far too irrational and illogical. Is there any rule of thumb we can employ?

The term thus serves a purpose. Whenever “class warfare” is invoked, you can be sure that disproportionate or unjustified benefits for high-income earners or large corporations are under threat, benefits they would prefer to keep hidden.

Thus fortified, you might return to the Dame Slap piece to discover, to your utter surprise and astonishment - emotional reader that you are - that much of the piece is spent praising not just Thatcher, but that fine logical rational chappie Tony Blair, and never mind that Blair has long been suffering from relevancy deprivation syndrome of the most pathetic and tragic kind.

Yes, here's a dash of it for your amusement and delight:

In the wake of a reinvigorated debate about Thatcher's legacy, Blair wrote in The New Statesman: "So where should progressive politics position itself?" 
 Unlike many in his party, Blair favours logic. "The guiding principle should be that we are the seekers after answers, not the repository for people's anger," he wrote. "We have to be dispassionate even when the issues arouse great passion." That means Labour should resist settling "back into its old territory of defending the status quo . . . and allying itself with the interests" that are given over to passion rather than reason. 
Blair wrote that, by contrast, the Conservatives under David Cameron have returned to their "old territory of harsh reality, tough decisions, piercing the supposed veil of idealistic fantasy that prevents the Left from governing sensibly". 
 Blair pinpoints the Left's flaw succinctly. Returning to the territory of sound reason will, he says, "inspire loathing on the Left".

The territory of sound reason?

Would that be the same territory that saw Blair trot off to the Iraq war like a faithful sheepdog behind the notorious sheriff George W. "Mission Accomplished" Bush?

No, scrub that metaphor. Blair was more like a blue heeler, out in front, nipping at the heels of the pack, urging them forward over the cliff, and not afraid of manufacturing lies, distorting the truth and yammering on about Britain being 45 minutes from destruction, even though 45-minute WMD claim 'may have come from an Iraqi taxi driver'.

But it's excellent news that Dame Slap should feel so comfortable with the logic and reason of a man who acted like a brazen war criminal ... 

Whether we are talking about toxic street displays of anti-Thatcher hatred or more covertly passionate rejections of reason, too many on the Left are unencumbered by careful, logical thought. Hence, the same people who hate Thatcher hate Blair...

Yes, it seems if you dislike blatant misrepresentation and devious lies, which led to an horrific war, you are unencumbered by careful logical thought ... the careful logical thought of a warmonger, a man who fell into line and aided and abetted the United States in its rendition and torture program, which has finally been called out as the torture it was as you can read in US torture of prisoners is 'indisputable', independent report finds.

A 580-page report published on Tuesday by the Constitution Project, a non-partisan Washington-based thinktank, concludes that the programme was unjustified and counterproductive, damaging to the country's reputation, and has placed US military personnel at risk of mistreatment if they are themselves taken prisoner.

Guess that's where logical thinking sometimes gets you. To a really dark place ...

And now since we started with figures, please allow the pond a little mathematical calculation.

Terrible bombing in Boston yesterday: 3 killed and over 170 wounded.
Terrible bomb attacks across Iraq yesterday: 50 killed, and over 300 injured (ABC News here).

Amount of time on the ABC's 7.30 program spent last night ...

Contemplating bombing in Boston and security in Australia: the full television half hour.

Contemplating bombings in Iraq: not a single minute, not a single second, not a nano moment in time.

The splendid logic and rationality of Tony Blair lives on ... and by golly Chris Uhlmann is just the man to live it ...

... though the pond was more inclined to be reminded of the irrational thoughts of Finnish satirical news blog Lehti which

...ran an article titled "A Finn Equals 4 Alligators", also giving the "official" numbers of tragedy in news. Ten thousand Africans equal 1,000 Asians or other non-whites, equal 100 non-nearby whites, equals 10 nearby whites, which equals four alligators, equals one Finnish person "if you know them". They also ran an article assuring that there were "No Finnish Casualties Among the Dead Pope". (Local angle - television tropes and idioms)

Or as Stalin was once reported to have said, a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic, or Tony Blair being reasonable and logical ...

And now in the spirit of Dame Slap, the pond feels like having a miniature Steve Bell celebrates Tony Blair festival, it being the only logical, reasonable and sensible way to proceed.

More Steve Bell, it almost goes without saying, can be found here:


  1. This morning I read about someone from Menzies House advocating "Culling The Poor" [tongue in cheek I know but still saying the poor are worthless] - I bet that's not Class Warfare, Mr Hartcher

  2. Your post is so true why we get these ratbags from the Murdocracy spilling their bile to the people of Australia is an indictment on the culture that has developed under the tutelage of the Murdoch enterprise.
    How can we alert the populace that not only is Murdoch biased but Fairfax and the ABC are just as bad. We see tonight Uhlman interviewing disgruntled ALP parliamentarians and searching out voters to bad mouth Julia Gillard I find Uhlman so biased that it must be obvious to all that he is trying to do his partners lobbying to try and unseat Julia Gillard. His wife is a Rudd supporter and we need to publicise the fact that these rats are not loyal to the party and from what I see her capacity to be an effective politician and be a minister in government she to me has about as much ability as her husband to be a journalist he is dud and would not have his job if he was not of political colour as his managing director.

  3. Now Tim you must not start the pond on culling the poor or we'll go back to running Dean Swift's A Modest Proposal

    The trouble with the Menzies House mob is that they have their noses in Ayn Rand.

    And please Anon don't start the pond on Chris Uhlman. It is astonishing and extraordinary and a fatal weakness of the ABC that he turns up in a slot on the 7.30 show. The use of organ music worthy of a horror movie in that sordid piece of work was particularly specious and egregious. The ABC isn't what it once was, and we can thank the clap happy Mark Scott for that. How those two MPs thought they might be advancing their or the ALP's cause by appearing beggars the imagination.


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