Saturday, January 03, 2015

There's already a rumble in the jungle ... and it's not just a lycra-clad Phantom and his unicorn Pyne ...

Here we go, here we go.

Only three days into the new year and the barking mad reptiles suddenly seem to have noticed that some people have discovered that they're barking mad.

Here then is their apologia in full, in all its dissembling and rhetorical nonsense: 

Uh huh.

We've been here before of course:

What's interesting about the reptiles is the way they genuinely think they're providing a stimulating newspaper, as opposed to a haven for the barking mad.

Take the excuse for printing Gary Johns' piece:

Others tweeted about our “peak hateful idiocy’’ for running an article by Gary Johns, who argued contraception should be compulsory for those wholly dependent on taxpayers. We do not necessarily agree with Johns. But the response from our readers and elsewhere showed the column had sparked an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate.

Yes, there it is, the nonsense about provoking an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate.

This is the sort of logical position that would have justified a German newspaper during the Weimar republic days publishing a piece by Herr Hitler on the problem of the Jews as a way of sparking an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate.

But what's really remarkable is the way that weasel word "necessarily" crept into that line We do not necessarily agree with Johns. 

It should be simple enough to say.

Did they agree with Johns, or didn't they? There's nothing "necessarily" about it ...

Weasel words from weasel thinkers ...

As for the rest, it's the standard excuses of the dog whistlers, and the hounds running with useful fools. Like this:

This may come as a surprise to @JohnQuiggin but we love a contest of ideas. And we’d love to see the same ethos alive at other media outlets. We’d take great delight if controversial, unorthodox views were to be found on a regular basis on, say, Fairfax websites or the ABC. Sadly, with few exceptions, the editorial policy appears to be more about co-opting readers into groupthink, the enemy of rigorous, informative and productive public debate. Memo to the ABC’s Mark Scott and Greg Hywood at Fairfax Media: Journalism is not sociology.

This from the most ideologically rabid rag in the country, the home of Dame Slap, "Prattling Polonius" Henderson, a whole host of climate deniers, and assorted other ratbags, forelock tuggers and supine servers of tosh ...

And what's the point if the contest of ideas involves a lot of uninformed hogwash from ideological zealots? Merely holding a controversial, unorthodox view is enough to get you published in ratbag weasel land?

Can we look forward to many pieces explaining how Wilhelm Reich was right about orgonomy, with plans so folks at home can build their very own orgone accumulator?

Note how the weasel words keep rolling out, as if to the manner born:

We’re not climate deniers because we publish a couple of contributors who dare to scrutinise the scientific consensus. (For two decades we have accepted the probability of man-made climate change.) 

A couple of contributors? That's how they rate an ongoing stream of pieces by absolutely unqualified climate denialists of the Maurice Newman kind, who contribute nothing to the science and absolutely nothing to the debate?

A couple of bloody contributors? More like a torrent of Lomborg gushings ...

And then the weasel words "we have accepted the probability" ...

Then why is the rag and its contributors singularly incapable of writing an informed commentary? Why the relentless, non-stop focus on as many improbabilities as can be drummed up, with Graham Lloyd doing the drumming on an almost daily basis?

No doubt the weasels thought they were being canny in trotting out "accepted", but then out popped the hoppy toad of "belief":

We’re not creationists because we run a writer making the case for a higher power. (Do we really have to defend this? Must we declare our belief in evolution?)

No, you don't have to declare a belief in evolution. Evolution isn't a religion. And you don't have to prove your stupidity by recycling stupid pieces from the WSJ.

As usual, it's the few token fellow travellers that get trotted out on this kind of occasion, proving that the Swiss bank accounts man is worth his weight in unmarked currency:

And we’re not campaigning against the Coalition government because Graham Richardson uses his regular position in our pages to criticise an unfair and badly sold budget (his words). Surely even Quiggin would accept that.

Bugger the pond dead. Richo trotted out as an indication of balance again ... in much the same way that Johns is presented as a former Labor MP (their words).

The 'whatever it takes' man used as an excuse for a rag going about the business of 'whatever it takes' ...

But above all there's the quaint fear of the new media, and the rag's dawning realisation that it now only provides fodder for the amusement of vast swathes of former readers. With this sort of tripe:

A few even mistakenly assumed the views of Johns — a former Labor MP — were official Abbott government policy. For goodness sake. Then again, mistaking columnists’ opinions for those of the newspaper is perhaps an easy error for those who only want their own views reinforced rather than challenged. If that’s what you expect from your journalism, you’ve come to the wrong place. Perhaps it’s better you stay in the dark Twitter echo chamber. 

The dark Twitter echo chamber? You mean the echo chamber infested by Chairman Rupert blathering about everything under the sun?

But then that's all to be expected of a rag that campaigned so strongly against an NBN, and full of paranoia, fear and loathing about the present and the future.

Those who misinterpreted both articles as The Australian’s position seem to have forgotten that a serious newspaper should present a variety of opinions. Of course, as is the way in the social media universe, some had not even read the pieces but simply wanted to amplify the faux outrage. Their apparent dictum: I share therefore I am. 

If ever you wanted an indication that the reptiles of Oz consisted of a bunch of angry old white men, you could start by dissecting their hostility to those who make use of social media.

And yet the position that the paper mocks -  I share therefore I am - is just the reptiles' position in drag: We share lots of interesting, confronting and challenging pieces of raving rightwing ratbaggery, therefore we are ... (oh and please subscribe so we can charge like wounded bulls for the pleasure).

And then there's that concluding twaddle:

Professor, if you ever want to know what the paper thinks or where it stands on any issue, there is only one place you’ll find out. Right here in these two columns.

Actually any reader can know what a paper thinks, editorially, and where it stands on any issue editorially, by the contributors and the columns it choses to publish, both its regulars and its irregulars ...

And at that point, from the tragic case of the fallen Bill Leak to the Shanahans - Angela Shanahan is the Shanahan out and about in today's weekend issue - it's clear enough that the rag is a right wing talk fest of the rabid kind.

The fact that the rag could have run Johns piece, rather than spiking it, says all that needs to be said.

As for the other piece that Quiggins and others mocked on Twitter?

Well actually 140 characters was more than enough to tell the full story:

Yes, they really did smuggle a piece of rationalising nonsense about god, or gods, into a section allegedly dedicated to a review of business.

As for the arguments Metaxas presented, it was just more of the usual theist sophistry, and it ended up this feeble way:

Multiply that single parameter by all the other necessary conditions, and the odds against the universe existing are so heart-stoppingly astronomical that the notion that it all “just happened” defies common sense. It would be like tossing a coin and having it come up heads 10 quintillion times in a row. Really? 
Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang,” said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments. He later wrote that “a commonsense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super-intellect has monkeyed with the physics, as well as with chemistry and biology ... The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question.” 
Theoretical physicist Paul Davies has said that “the appearance of design is overwhelming” and Oxford professor Dr. John Lennox has said “the more we get to know about our universe, the more the hypothesis that there is a Creator ... gains in credibility as the best explanation of why we are here.” 
The greatest miracle of all time, without any close seconds, is the universe. It is the miracle of all miracles, one that ineluctably points with the combined brightness of every star to something — or Someone — beyond itself.

Something or Someone? And the reptiles recycled this blather from the WSJ?

Why that says more than anyone needs to know about what the editor thinks and how he goes about his wretched job ...

But what fun that John Quiggin has tweaked the snout of the reptiles. These creatures can be dangerous as they thrash about with their tails and snap their savage teeth.

It turns out that Quiggin, who runs a Twitter page here, is also a contributor to an epic Twitter account, #Ozfail, which can be viewed here, and which shows a great sensa huma:

It's moments like this that the pond realises that there are many people out there vastly amused by the dinosaurs as they go about their business ... berating Fairfax and the ABC, and watching their business model fall apart in the new world of the intertubes ...

Oh it's going to be a great year for reptile watching. Here you go, here's your choice of entertainment today:

But please, do remember it's better to google than to subscribe. It's better not to encourage the reptiles, or you never know what might happen ...

Oh and we almost left out an excellent piece of paranoia and fear-mongering from the Murdoch school of Islamic hysteria (well the Terror can't do it alone, though the Terror is at it again today):

So the west has capitulated to Islamist ideology?

Much like the way the reptiles have capitulated to half-baked delusions of "Something" or "Somebody"?

Ah dear, the angry old white man's burden of onerous duties never ends, but curiously, talk of the burden brings the pond to the latest cartoonist running in lieu of David Pope in The Canberra Times, and more Pope here.

First, for those who came in late to the story:

Oh and don't forget the horse:

Now read on:

Christopher Pyne as faithful unicorn companion Hero to a lycra-clad Phantom with big ears!

Oh it's going to be a good year ...

And reading the reptile editorials is going to be a big part of the fun. Why the pond is almost starting to believe in Santa Claus, in much the same way as others believe in creationism, "Somebody or Something" and Maurice Newman and Cardinal Pell as world's cutting edge climate scientists worth publication ... hmm, must get busy on Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy ... The Real Story, because there are always two sides to the story for the gullible and the zealots and the rabidly ideological ... that should spark an uncomfortable but worthwhile debate ...


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  2. Mark CannonJan 3, 2015, 8:35:00 AM
    All the best for 2015, Dorothy - looking forward to your comments.

    As you may well be aware, "The Phantom" has been about the only thing that has made the Tamworth "Northern Daily Leader" readable for several decades. I believe it's a Rupert Rag these days - no surprise there. Come to think of it, perhaps he recruits some of his journos, editors and opinionistas from the letters pages of some of his regional papers?

    1. Hi Mark, yes, the pond regularly read The Phantom because there wasn't much else in the Leader and yes it's now a Murdoch rag, and yet the pond still drops in occasionally to read about the latest country music festival controversy (rip off motels would you believe).

      The Leader was always a follower, but it's not as shameful as Doonesbury still allowing himself to be syndicated to the reptiles at the Oz ...

      Actually the Leader journalists the pond knew were cheerful raging alcoholics and it's a pity they aren't around to bring the reptiles back to some kind of rustic reality.


  3. Perhaps I was..we all were mistaken, and that metaphorical "pie-in-the-face" aimed at Rupert, missed him and hit home at his publications!...A truly marvelous mea-culpa from the altar-boys of absurdity!
    To ( spitefully) misquote Laurie Oakes..: "The MSM. is dissolving faster than an asprin ! "

  4. Larfed my head off, as usual.

    Groupthink at the ABC? They all begin every sentence with the word "So", or more correctly "So.......,".

    Post-Ironic is very tiresome.

    1. So you don't like people who begin sentences with "So"? So, can I ask why is that? Is there some Freudian - or other - reason behind your assumption that it signals 'group think'?

    2. Chris, the word that leads every sentence these days is 'look'. Abbott uses it all the time. Every sentence begins: 'Look err ....

      I am not as conscious of 'so' because of my obsession with 'look' and 'basically'.

      I get really fired up about prepositions. Sometimes I feel I am reading something poorly translated from Norwegian.

      It seems too that you have to be adenoidal to get a radio gig and it helps if you drop the 'g' in 'ing'. Some of those broadcasters must think they are Regency blades when it was fashionable to go 'huntin'.

      So Chris, I am with you.

      Miss Pitty Pat

    3. I love the preposition "let me be perfectly clear", as if the potential for perspicacity in his phraseology was being denied by anyone but himself.

    4. The well known trickster and critic of Richard Nixon, Dick Tuck, once said of him that when he begins a sentence, "Let me make one thing perfectly clear..." he is immediately going to lapse into obfuscation. The one thing impossible is clarity or understanding.

      Tuck, apart from being very funny, observed Nixon's style of attack as "accuse what cannot be denied, and deny what isn't accused." John Howard managed to absorb a similar tactic. Abbott is of similar bent but of course is so overblown with rhetoric as to be unbelievable.

  5. That Pope will be doing the rounds, but Heaven help anyone in PMO caught larfin'. I have heard that all new appointments will be eunuchs.

  6. What stupid loons they are.

    Professor Quiggan has a blog in which he and a number of regular commenters discuss many sides of any issues that are raised. Surely it is true that there are more than two sides to every story? That is what I was told by my parents. What sort of upbringing did these 'common' and ignorant people in the LNP have and can we hold their parents responsible or did these people choose to be what they are?

    So if the lizards want more than a tweet from Professor Quiggan, they could go to the blog and explain how he gets it wrong? He is very generous with his responses for someone who has such a respected international public profile and until recently there used to be some Catallaxy commenters who came to the blog but they really didn't make much sense and their 'rationality' is easily shown to be quite irrational.

    So what has happened to the Catallaxy blog? It used to claim to be *the* right wing Libertarian blog? What happened to the quote of the day? Back in the day when these adolescent men strutted and postured on the early blogs and the intertubes, the quote of the day was often from the poor damaged and desperate Ayn Rand's sexual fantasies about material wealth and the type of men who can make it wealth that is. In my experience wealthy men are very poor lovers and if they were poor they wouldn't get much.

    Oops sorry about that, but today today the awesome quote is from an anonymous blogger! Oh dear, how the mighty are fallen.

    And the prime masked loon who lords it over the really really stupid loons who comment there, pretends to be a Professor of Economic on a par with Quiggan, But just check out his publication/track record! Hohohoho what a hoot that he has such a thick hide and so little shame.

    And that mask - well, it might have been a bit interesting and 'cool' for a few months many years ago but the sad little 'economics professor' seems stuck in a poser punk mode. I wonder if his kids are embarrassed by him?

    And about the pie, I read that Rupe was extremely pissed off at Wendy for doing that. Apparently it made him look weak.

  7. Non-Imperial HonoursJan 3, 2015, 10:32:00 AM

    Dorothy: your efforts leading the mockery are the stuff of legend. You have done your nation such a service, a fair world would grant you the AC.

  8. I like that accusation ; "140 characters not the full story"...when the Oz. has about a dozen characters working their butts off telling us all who, how, and why we should obey!...Goodbye lizard.

  9. Hi Dorothy,

    “Fred Hoyle, the astronomer who coined the term “big bang”, said that his atheism was “greatly shaken” at these developments.

    Hang on! Fred Hoyle hated the idea of the universe having a beginning calling it pseudoscience, resembling arguments for a creator, “for it’s an irrational process, and can’t be described in scientific terms”

    He came up with the term “big bang” in order to denigrate its proponents, whilst promoting his own “steady state theory”.

    In one BBC interview he said “The reason why scientists like the “big bang” is because they are overshadowed by the Book of Genesis. It is deep within the psyche of most scientists to believe in the first page of Genesis”.

    Hoyle would be spinning in his grave if he knew he was being used as an example of science requiring the existence of a deity. Mendacious and quoting out of context, no wonder this piece of crap found its way onto the pages of The Oz.


    1. The “big bang” theory eventually gained ascendency over Hoyle’s “steady state” theory due to the unlikely observations of two radio astronomers in 1964, who were working with a horn antenna at Bell Laboratories research station near Holmdel, New Jersey.

      Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were plagued by a faint radio noise coming, it appeared, from all directions in space. At first they were convinced this was due to interference from their own receiver but after thoroughly checking their equipment, removing some pigeons nesting in the antenna and cleaning out the accumulated droppings the noise persisted.

      Meanwhile down the road at Princeton University a team working under Jim Peebles was building a radio telescope specifically to search for the predicted cosmic microwave background radiation that would have been left over from the hot radiation filling the Universe at the time of the “big bang”.

      When news came to Princeton of what the Bell researchers had found, Peebles was quickly able to explain what was going on. The discovery published in 1965 marked the moment when most astronomers started to take the “big bang” model seriously.

      Penzias and Wilson shared the Nobel Prize in 1978 for their unlikely discovery. Hoyle died in 2001 but being a Yorkshireman, refused to accept the “big bang” theory.


    2. DW, you show alarming signs of showing an interest in actual science and scientists, and if you keep going that way, who knows where the madness might end? Why can't you just cling to the somebody or the something or the Sasquatch?

      It's the pond's opinion that Hoyle also wrote only average, second rate science fiction. Robert Sheckley lives!

  10. The following quote is attributed to Mark Twain:

    "Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story, unless you can't think of anything better."

    And so we come to Gerard Henderson, who in today’s Oz, informs us of his mid-December sojourn from Jerusalem to Ramallah after which he became an expert on all Middle-Eastern history and upon his return was surprised “when ABC News Breakfast presenter Beverley O’Connor introduced a segment on the Middle East on Thursday with a reference to what she termed the “Israeli-Palestinian war”. His surprise stems from his deep found knowledge “there is no war between Israel and Palestine. Nor has such an entity as Palestine ever existed”.

    Perhaps, Henderson could explain why in 1947, the United Nations (U.N.) proposed a Partition Plan for Palestine titled “United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine.”

    Oops, Gerard, oops bloody oops!!

    1. Or as the pond would put it, in robust Tamworth form, what a tedious, error-prone, error-laden old prattling Polonius fart he is ...

  11. Amazing how maniacally the reptiles defend themselves any time they are attacked. I thought snakes were supposed to be thick-skinned. Time they sucked it up and acted like true journalists. The "not necessarily" shows just how dishonest and useless they are. It's no wonder that, everywhere I go in this broad and sunny land, I see huge piles of free Australians available. Would love to find out how they are accounted for in their circulation figures.

    1. The pond noted over Xmas that they littered airports like confetti while Fairfax seems to have cut back on that pathetic, nakedly defeatist strategy. At some point the tree killers will have to face a reckoning, all the more poignant in that as they go down fighting like a Black Knight they persistently and consistently face backwards ...
      They know when Rupert goes, and go he will, sooner or later, they're facing a hard, hard future ... some might even want to turn up at the ABC ...

  12. Ahh, the old "there must be an intelligent creator: look how our noses are placed in the perfect position for wearing glasses" argument


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