Thursday, February 06, 2014

In which Paul Howes jostles with big Mal and Colbert for attention...

(Above: what more to say? More most excellent David Rowe here)

Sometimes it's a relief that the pond covers the neocon commentariat night beat for the daily.

Imagine having to contemplate a prime, preening goose like Paul Howes on a regular basis ...

Presumably Howes thinks he's helping by decrying wages and conditions, but in reality he's clearly suffering from what might be called the "look at me, look at me" syndrome, along with 'grand compact' delusions of grandeur. Channeling Bob Hawke? Why they have mediums that do that sort of stuff.

The last time Howes came to the pond's attention, he was deep in a feud with assorted factions over who would get to replace Bob Carr in the Senate (NSW Right forced Paul Howes out of Senate contest). When he bowed out,  he even dragged his fiancee, Qantas executive Olivia Wirth, along to the press conference.

Howes is of course well known as being a devotee of the tents and the champers and the wild life of the Melbourne Cup celebrity circuit, meaning as always it's getting harder and harder to tell the pigs apart from the farmers.

With this timely intervention, he's managed to pay back Bill Shorten and remind Queensland voters that a vote for Bill Glasson is a vote for a man who will do something about the wicked unions and the extravagant pay and conditions enjoyed by dinkum workers. Right at the moment you can read Penalty rates should be balanced against softening market, says Coalition.

So Howes thinks he's going to get to be head honcho of the Labor party and the country by playing patticakes with Tony Abbott? Why not vote for Abbott straight than Howes doing an ersatz Abbott lite?

Oh heck, let's just run a David Pope cartoon, and more of the most excellent Popery here:

And now, waiter, I'd prefer the shotgun to the pistol if I'm going to shoot myself in the foot ...

Now let's get back to the ruling elite, supported by the elite Murdochians, and this latest bout of comedy from a man quickly moving to establish himself as a first class eastern suburbs toff and prat:

Amazingly big Mal dropped this EXCLUSIVE thought bubble on the bouffant one, Dennis Shanahan, at the lizard Oz, with the hope that the bubble would fly.

All it proves is that Turnbull really doesn't have much of a clue about the intertubes and how they work - and fail to work.

While the pond is currently enjoying world radio, it's just sound without pictures, and you're lucky to score a 128 kbps stream.

Big Mal's proposal made the pond think it was back in bizarro world. Here's the man busy degutting the NBN proposing broadband as a solution to the Australian Network service?

If you want, you can google around the paywall to read Axe Asia network, stream ABC24, says Malcolm Turnbull, but here's the nub of it:

He (Turnbull) said from a business and efficiency point of view, it seemed insufficient consideration was given by the Labor government to whether broadcasting was outdated, more costly and inefficient when compared with internet streaming. 
Mr Turnbull has suggested, if the Australia Network is dumped, but Australian news is still to be sent to Asia, lifting the transmission block on ABC News to allow access on screens through Asia. 
At the moment a geoblock prevents the transmission of ABC News via computers because of copyright. 
"My concerns are issues of value for money and efficiency," Mr Turnbull said. "When travelling you can read every Australian newspaper and listen to ABC radio through the internet but you are blocked from ABC television news."

Say what? The problem is for travellers? They can't get access while lugging their Vuitton luggage?

And News 24, a haven of leftist thinking, at least if you read the raving and the ranting neo cons, is going to be the new emblem of soft power in the region? Over the full to overflowing intertubes?

As for the copyright issues, why that's just fudge and nonsense, or so big Mal seems to be saying. Enough of this sort of ABC bleating:

The ABC has content distribution rights to use video from an array of international news agencies and broadcasters. This video is used throughout each news bulletin we produce. We are entitled to use this content within the Australian market only as each of these providers distributes their content to other broadcasters in other markets. The cost of the ABC obtaining full international distribution rights for any non-ABC content would be prohibitive and not a good investment in the funds we're granted to provide a news service to Australia. In some cases, international rights are not available at any cost. 
I understand expatriates and some non-Australians might be interested in viewing the ABC News live coverage of Australian events and so we are exploring options to make these available - as we did on Saturday night for the election coverage. It's a difficult technical scenario to manage as, at present, it requires the manual re-setting of the geo-block each time and we would need a regime that would guarantee we wouldn't be streaming any third-party content - but we are exploring ways to manage this and offer more live events. 
ABC News does make most individual news videos that it has produced available internationally through the website so between access to these stories, the full text service on ABC News Online, and streams of the ABC's radio coverage Australians overseas can access a comprehensive news service from the ABC. In addition, ABC News also provides television news bulletins to an international audience through the Australia Network television channel and Radio Australia broadcasts - both often provide live coverage of big Australian events. (here, back in 2010)

Talk about mealy mouthed hand wringing!

Tell 'em big Mal! To hell with copyright! Piracy rulez.

Now let's have the BBC news service stream to the ABC news service, so the ABC can stream the BBC to the Asian region, and that'll teach those Pommies a lesson in soft diplomacy. And the same goes for Al Jazeera!

Why all of a sudden, just like the pond, the Asians will become expert in, and indignant about David Cameron's badger cull ...

But wait, there's an even better joke for the day, as you can read in ABC hires vocal critic from Murdoch press to be media manager:

Mark Scott, the managing director of the ABC, has hired one of the public broadcaster’s most vocal critics in the Murdoch press to be his media manager. 
The ABC has confirmed that Nick Leys, media editor of the Australian, has been hired to craft its corporate messages and answer media inquiries. 
The Australian last week called on Scott to resign his post of managing director and the newspaper has campaigned vociferously against the ABC’s management, its editorial direction, its scope and its funding. 
Leys, as a journalist specialising in the media at the Australian, has been a vocal critic of the ABC. “I can’t see the staff welcoming him with open arms,” one ABC source said.
As for the rest of the foaming, ranting neocon commentariat, it seems it's a steady as she goes sort of day.

It's hiring the poacher to be the gamekeeper all over again!

Meanwhile, it's a quiet working day on the pond, with the hive mind going about its hagiographic business in the usual way. As well as big Mal, the bouffant one is busy channeling Tony Abbott:

Or is he channeling the Bolter? So hard to pick 'em apart in the hive mind:

Has anyone done a word count summing up the amount of time, space, and energy the reptiles in Murdoch land spend on bashing the ABC, summoning up the best of their bile, resentment and negativity? 

But wait, the pond has a solution. The ABC should do a Nick Leys, and make an offer to the bouffant one and the Bolter.

What's that you say? The ABC couldn't afford the Bolter, and he so desperately needs his trips to Europe and Tasmania, and the Grange dropped behind the couch for a tipple, and some deep-throated opera? 

Couldn't they just stream him, and ignore any rights issues?

Thank the lord for the ABC, and the way it helps the commentariat ignore any other issues of the day that might require some detailed consideration.

Uh huh. No need to read that one. We know where it's heading and it's not to this photo thoughtfully supplied by a correspondent:

Eek, a MAMIL billboard.

Never mind, we all need distractions from the tireless work of Greg "Mr Wiki" Hunt, and his valiant efforts: Great Barrier Reef not in danger, says government report to United Nations. Oh sure there are naysayers:

Australian Coral Reef Society president, Professor Peter Mumby, said many argued convincingly that the reef was in the worst shape since monitoring began. He said the progress report played down industrial development threats. Development already on the table, he said, would add 14 million tonnes a year of damaging sediment to reef waters. 
''We have real concerns over development that have not been addressed,'' he said. 
University of Queensland coral reef ecologist, Dr Selina Ward, said the Abbot Point decision was dangerous because the best modelling showed dumped sediment would drift to outer areas, hurting coral and seagrass.

But what would they know? Have they read a wiki lately?

Finally, for a closer, the pond trusts that everyone has got on board with big Mal and worked out how to circumvent geo-blocking and so can maintain their regular intake of Colbert and Stewart.

Colbert did a beauty on the Coca Cola/America the Beautiful controversy:

They were singing America the Beautiful in foreign talk! I mean come on! Only English can give that song its certain je ne sais quoi. And folks, and the last thing I want to be is a prima donna here, but I am full of schadenfreude over this! 
And I'm not the only one that's outraged. Ex-Congressman and former employable person Allen West, anger blogged, “It started rather patriotically with the words of 'America the Beautiful.' Then the words went from English to languages I didn’t recognize.” 
This man once represented Florida and then served in Iraq. How is he supposed to recognize Spanish and Arabic? And, the web site, the's Michael Leahy, truly captured why we're so angry, saying that “The company used such an iconic song, one often sung in churches on the 4th of July that represents the old 'E Pluribus Unum' view of how American society is integrated, to push multiculturalism down our throats.” 
Yes, the old E Pluribus Unum. That's Latin for speaka the English. And Leahy points out it's not enough that they sang “a deeply Christian patriotic anthem whose theme is unity – in several foreign languages... the ad also prominently features a gay couple.” 
For Pete's sake, since when are gays allowed to gay up America the beautiful? I mean, if the woman who wrote the song, Katharine Lee Bates saw this ad, she would be disgusted, and so would have life partner Katharine Coman, with whom she lived for 25 years, in then what was referred to as “a Boston Marriage.”

Say what?  Yep, Greg Hunt checked the wiki:

Bates lived in Wellesley with Katharine Coman, who was a history and political economy teacher and founder of the Wellesley College school Economics department. The pair lived together for twenty-five years until Coman's death in 1915. In 1922, Bates published Yellow Clover: A Book of Remembrance, a collection of poems written "to or about my Friend" Katharine Coman, some of which had been published in Coman's lifetime.
Some describe the couple as intimate lesbian partners, citing as an example Bates' 1891 letter to Coman: "It was never very possible to leave Wellesley [for good], because so many love-anchors held me there, and it seemed least of all possible when I had just found the long-desired way to your dearest heart...Of course I want to come to you, very much as I want to come to Heaven." Others contest the use of the term lesbian to describe such a "Boston marriage", typical of many professional women of their time. Writes one: "We cannot say with certainty what sexual connotations these relationships conveyed. We do know that these relationships were deeply intellectual; they fostered verbal and physical expressions of love." (here, for the footnotes)

Why that's as shocking as learning that the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist!

From its inception, in 1892, the Pledge has been a slavish ritual of devotion to the state, wholly inappropriate for a free people. It was written by Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist pushed out of his post as a Baptist minister for delivering pulpit-pounding sermons on such topics as “Jesus the Socialist.” Bellamy was devoted to the ideas of his more-famous cousin Edward Bellamy, author of the 1888 utopian novel Looking Backward. Looking Backward describes the future United States as a regimented worker’s paradise where everyone has equal incomes, and men are drafted into the country’s “industrial army” at the age of 21, serving in the jobs assigned them by the state. Bellamy’s novel was extremely popular, selling more copies than other any 19th century American novel except Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Bellamy’s book inspired a movement of “Nationalist Clubs,” whose members campaigned for a government takeover of the economy. A few years before he wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy became a founding member of Boston’s first Nationalist Club. (if it's at the Cato Institute here, Greg Hunt knows it's true)

Why next thing you know someone will be questioning the sexuality of the man who wrote I Still Call Australia Home ...

Oh there's dangers everywhere for the innocent, unsuspecting conservative. Quick, check under the bed ...

Okay, okay, if you can't get Colbert directly, you can watch the segment here, Colbert Taunts Right Wing Over Super Bowl Coke Ad Freakout, without geo-blocking.

But why not join big Mal and the pond in denouncing all this geo-blocking?

Remember, information just wants to be free, and soon we'll be streaming the ABC to Asia while the folks back home watch the whirling circle of doom as they struggle to watch a high quality image on their brand new NBN, made of string, tin cans and sealing wax ...

(Below: Colbert in pictures, because the pond loves big Mal and his Repuglican equivalents)


  1. I installed a Chrome extension ( which turns pics it can identify as our PM into kittens. A much more pleasant internet experience - even at the Pond!!

    1. Truly joyous if a little strange Amanda

  2. "Opposition Leader Bill Shorten accused the prime minister of being out of touch with ordinary Australians.

    '(He) has no idea about how millions of people earn their pay,' he said.

    Mr Abbott disagreed: 'If you're a low-paid worker one of the things you often love to do is work late nights, weekends, because it does substantially increase your income.' "

    If working late nights and weekends is done for “love” by low-paid workers, according to Abbott, then he must consider slave labour to be wonderful.

  3. Facebook's 'March in March 2014' site had a photo of Tony with that comment and lots of comments in response that are worth reading.

    I hope this link gets you there.


    1. Yep, it got the pond there, thanks Fred

  4. Dorothy Paul Howes is another bloody Martin Ferguson they speak with a fork tongue and are not true unionists they are there to promote themselves.
    Are there any true loyal union leaders left where they work solely for the benefit of their members.
    I believe in unionism but and in my working life paid my membership but I would hate to be in the workforce now because to many reps are not there to benefit the average worker only to see how far they can weasel themselves to political glory.
    I recall union delegates who would gather food parcels for the under privileged or sick and injured workers to help keep families functioning are they still doing this necessary work I doubt Paul Howes is.

    1. Like you Anon, the pond can remember the days when unions weren't about corruption and betrayal. Sad that memory fades. And then there were the institutes, like the Australian Postal Institute, which the pond now remembers as the home for cracker night.

  5. Someone from the treacherous sell-out AWU offering to deliver their members on a plate to bosses. How is this news?

  6. I weep as I type to you Dearest Dorothy. For just a moment I was convinced that I had misjudged Paul Howes,but it would appear that I was,indeed correct. For he is a devious bastard who has only one mission, to destroy the Labor Party.
    In their own interests(which they rarely recognise), they should shunt this moron into oblivion.He has already caused far more damage than his limited abilities entitle him to.

    1. Just remember Anon that there's always an upside. You can always go swimming in the pool of tears with a dear mouse, and you might even meet a duck, a dodo, a lory and an eaglet and several other curious creatures, and not one a self-seeking bastard. And you will be pleased that Howes laid a damp squib. Most ignored him, and the few that paid attention laughed at him.

  7. Smartie pants Tony, must be an election somewhere. Anyone would think Tony the Cadbury Kid personally signed the cheque for sixteen mill himself. I do hope those Tassie voters show their appreciation in an entirely appropriate and democratic way.

    And the answer to union decline would have to be Industry Super wouldn't it. Isn't that where they all hang now? it is worth quite a wee bit of dosh and we wouldn't want those nasty construction workers doing anything naughty to Super investments now would we.


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