Sunday, April 12, 2015

After running on empty, the pond discovers it's born to run with prattling Polonius and twittering twit George ...

(Above: Steve Bell in the Graudian here).

The pond was running on empty yesterday, and even worse that, on occasions began to sound like an ancient Jackson Browne song.

But the pond was inspired by a correspondent's mention of the multi-nationals now routinely rewarded by government, who then proceed to fuck up and demonstrate how the private sector, routinely worshipped by the crazed commentariat, can be just as slack and useless as any government body.

Serco's the one in the news at the moment, in that wacky zany spendthrift state which follows the golden rule of not saving for tomorrow, not when you can piss your royalties against the wall today, and talk of secession tomorrow ...

There it is in the ABC, Serco fights to retain full responsibility for sterilisation of hospital medical equipment, and there it is in the groper press,  Doctors call for FSH Serco Probe.

It's no biggie just a little harmless harmless stray blood and tissue, and not a patch on what privatised gulags can do for anxious politicians and bureaucrats, but it reminded the pond of a not so long ago featured story in The New Yorker, Eric Schlosser's Break-in at Y-12, happily outside the paywall right at this minute.

The thrust of the story is about kind of "Shaker" Catholics, if that doesn't sound too odd, breaking into nuclear facilities to protest nuclear weaponry.

The pond doesn't have any problem with the campaign, though it could never conjure up the sort of fundamental faith and piety required, and it does have a problem with the logic. After all, if humanity blows up the planet, courtesy nukes, why surely that's god's will and we'll all join Her in heaven right after the fireworks. So where's the harm? Surely that's the point of having the escape clause of eternal bliss?

Never mind, along the way in the story, a company named after George Wackenhut - which even his friends must have found a slightly odd name - turns up, and there's an aside about the shape-shifting private sector bodies to which fundamental matters of security are now routinely entrusted:

During the summer of 2012, when the break-in occurred at Y-12, Wackenhut Services, Inc., was responsible for the security officers at the site. The company had been founded in the early nineteen-fifties by George Wackenhut, a former F.B.I. agent who pioneered the private security industry, gaining contracts from corporations and federal agencies, establishing close ties with the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. But in 2012 Wackenhut Services was no longer an American company. It had been acquired by Group 4 Falck, once a Danish company, now a British one, known as G4S. In addition to protecting the weapons-grade uranium at Y-12 through a subsidiary, G4S provided security at rock concerts and banks and malls, operated private prisons, employed armed guards to defend embassies in Afghanistan and Iraq. The company operated in more than a hundred and twenty-five countries. Through mergers and acquisitions, it had rapidly become the third-largest private employer in the world, after Walmart and Foxconn. Most people had never heard of G4S until a few weeks before the Y-12 intrusion, when the company mishandled the security arrangements for the London Olympic Games. G4S trainees were allegedly caught cheating on bomb-detection tests. (The company says that training was conducted according to industry standards.) G4S failed to hire the number of security guards it had promised, and the British military had to send thirty-five hundred troops to the Olympics at the last minute.

Wackenhut’s performance at Y-12 was not much better. A 2004 report by the Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General found that security officers at Y-12 had been cheating on performance tests for years. Before responding to mock attacks, Wackenhut officers were told in advance which building at Y-12 would be targeted, which wall of the building would be attacked, and whether their adversaries would use diversionary tactics. In at least one case, the information allowed officers to prepare an effective response weeks in advance. And, before the tests, members of the security force allegedly disabled their Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System gear—removing the batteries, inserting the batteries backward, covering the laser sensors with tape or Vaseline—so that during a simulated gunfight they could not be “shot.” Failing a performance test might reduce Wackenhut’s fee from the government. Wackenhut employees not only cheated on the tests; they came up with the tests. (The company disputed the Inspector General’s report.)

And so on - the rest is a bizarrely enjoyable read.

Well, the pond got with the spirit of the activist priests and nuns, and so had the strength to tackle Akker Dakker in today's Terror, and what do you know?

Yes, it's the cracked record,  stuck in the old groove of fear and loathing and demonisation, the sort of exercise on view in the extreme right press. And they wonder where the street protestors get their inspiration from, as if a daily diet of the likes of Akker Dakker and the Bolter wouldn't be enough to bring anyone out on the tar for a brawl ...

Indeed it's also easy enough to see why any Islamic, subjected to the daily abuse of a preening, portly fat owl of the remove fop would be inclined to feel both persecuted and indignant. Just look at the ostentatious oaf.

If there was a ripe, rich luscious custard pie to hand, who would have the strength to stay the hand as the smirking, smarmy, arms-folded monstrosity hovered into view?

It's just more of the loathsome same, but it gets particularly rich when Akker Dakker pretends he gives a flying fig about gays and women:

Successive Australian governments have pandered to the Muslim migrant community and, through fostering the disastrous policy of multiculturalism which has led to segregation and bitterly ­rejected assimilation, have created the ghettos in which the most poisonous imams have spread their virulent anti-Western poison. The leftist “progressives”, even as they glorify feminism and equality, have ignored the routine debasement of women, the persecution of homosexuals, the regular denigration of Christians, Jews and non-­Muslims in general. 
Should a cartoonist depict Mohammed, a slew of hand-wringing progressives come forward to proclaim their support for freedom of speech — up to the point it offends ­Muslims — even as members of the Islamic community demand a fatwa on the artist. 
When an artist displays a Christian crucifix in urine, or a portrait of the Madonna created out of animal dung, the progressives marvel at the artistic ingenuity displayed.

And so on. Next week it'll be back to explaining why gay marriage is wrong and women shouldn't get too uppity, especially if they're fucking useless feminists ...

Akker Dakker actually exemplifies that peculiar phenomenon, whereby the Taliban and the extreme right manage to sound as one (get off my lawn with that loud gay disco Jackson Browne rap beat you bearded hipster), but as soon as the similarity of attitudes is noted, suddenly the rightwing ratbag is all in favour of secularism, gay and women's rights ... well at least until gay marriage rears its ugly head ...

The evidence is abundant those most likely to be wooed by the calls of the internet-­active Islamists are those who already show psychopathic tendencies, or those who have succumbed to conversion to the ugliest face of Islam. Kids from broken homes, those in jail, girls and boys who feel they are misunderstood. Living in ghettos is not a great start in life either. 
Youngsters trapped in an Islamic island surrounded by Westerners enjoying a vastly different culture will naturally feel isolated. Their so-called leaders should be encouraging them to engage with non-Muslim Australians, not indoctrinating them with the patent falsehoods that pass for commentary in the feudal history of the Middle East.

Yes, and remind them how to forget how European powers fucked over the middle east in two world wars, and in the aid of western guilt, condoned and encouraged the stealing of Palestine ... despite token resistance to forces routinely dubbed as terrorists ... and remember, snorting cocaine can lead to a great public profile later in life ...

Does it get any funnier? Well yes, there's the golden days routine too ...

The flood of migrants who came here post-WWII had no doubts about their destination or their hope that they and their children would one day be Australians.

Ah yes, you old wogs are okay, it's the new wogs that are the problem ...

So what's the point of dropping in on a local version of Johnny Speight's Alf Garnett? They've always been around, they always will be around. Bigotry dressed up in pompous poses always has a job to do in tabloid journalism ... scare mongering and demonisation, it's a a never-ending job ...

But it helps explain why there's another important job in the broadsheet media, and that's the downplaying of righteous excess.

Yes, we need an apologist who can blame everyone else, and deflect attention from the busy Bolter and the tireless Akker Dakker.

Come on down prattling Polonius. Never mind if your copy is already a day old, and already dull and rusting in its scabbard:

Now take a deep breath, because this is going to be a long, tedious and bumpy ride, the sort of snide scribbling your average apologist finds bracing:

You see how it works? You can't believe anything anyone says to you. If they say they're a coalition voter, and they're at the ABC, they're lying. They come from Newtown, guaranteed fact, to listen to guaranteed leftists on your leftist ABC.

Paranoid, moi?

How long ago did Henderson become the stereotype he wanted to become? And so to the downplaying and to the minimisation:

And clearly Henderson wants to downplay the raving rightwing ratbags, who routinely parade at lizard Oz central.

But what's interesting here is his note about how Mosley actually started off on the left, before ending up on the rabid right.

Like all fundamentalists, it doesn't matter so much what they're being fundamental about, so long as they can be fundamental ...

What's also interesting about Mosley is the way that he married Diana Mitford, Greg Hunt her here, Greg Hunt him here, and the pair became neighbours and close friends with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Far from being fringe dwellers, the pair were in the thick of the upper crust action.

And in turn, the Duke and his ambitious wife were just as cosy with Hitler as Diana was ...

You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist or even a regular reader of the Daily Mail to enjoy Unmasked, Edward the Nazi King of England.

But that was an old story, dressed up in new rags.

Here it is in the Independent back in December 1996, this time shifting the blame to the wife in Britain's would-be Nazi Queen:

Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom Edward VIII abdicated, conducted secret negotiations with the Nazis in order to have herself installed as Queen of England "at any price", according to secret government papers released yesterday. The Public Record Office documents confirm for the first time what historians have long suspected - that Edward, the Duke of Windsor, was a firm Nazi sympathiser and his American wife was a malign influence. 
A memorandum released by the Foreign Office, 60 years after the abdication, provides the most startling evidence yet of the Windsors' willingness to collaborate with Hitler. The couple had left Britain for neutral Portugal, but there were government concerns throughout the summer of 1940 that the Nazis might take Edward - by force or persuasion - with the intention of installing him as a puppet king in the event of an invasion. 
The latest evidence suggests that force, at least on the part of the duchess, might not have been necessary. Dated 7 July 1940, it comes in the form of a memorandum from an informant inside occupied Czechoslovakia to Sir Alexander Cadogan, permanent secretary at the Foreign Office. It says: "A new source in close touch with Von Neurath's [the German protector of Bohemia's] entourage in Prague has reported that the Germans expect assistance from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the latter desiring at any price to become Queen. The Germans have been negotiating with her since June 27.

And so on, and so Mosley and his wife were running with a royal rat pack which caused the British government a headache at its highest levels.

So naturally an apologist has to overlook such trivia, and having muttered about the hoi polloi of Newtown - remember, everything's the fault of hipsters - get on with the important business of a smokescreen:

And there you can see the problem with Badham breaking Godwin's Law, because it allows the apologist to claim that there's never been a significant neo-Nazi or fascist movement in Australia, and to pretend that Islamists are the only extremist element doing the rounds in Australia ...

Thanks to that smokescreen with mirrors, you'd have a hard time realising that there is in fact a significant extremist, fundamentalist hard right at work in Australia, and that they call Murdoch la la land and the IPA and similar places their home ...

What's interesting about Inky Stephenson - ADB him here - is how he too started off on the left, before gravitating to the right.

The central puzzle of Stephensen's life was his sudden shift of sympathy from the left to the far right. If his need to rely on the patronage of Miles was one reason, another was his frustration at his own business failures. The widely-publicized Moscow trials of 1936-38 convinced him that communism was no longer a solution. Disillusioned with democracy, he now looked to extreme nationalism, although he idolized Gandhi rather than Hitler. Like conservative Australian politicians, Stephensen showed admiration for Japan.

Ah yes, that's the "far right", and a pig Iron Bob, Ming the Merciless fellow traveller. Which is why you'll find Hasluck howling about infringements of personal liberty.

The hard far right look after their own ...

But you won't find any of them yabbering about Australia running its very own gulags, because deep down they have a sneaking sympathy for the need to run a country with a firm hand and a stout cane ... just like Stalin did ...

It's easy enough to dismiss the likes of De Groot as relatively harmless eccentrics (he served in Tamworth at the same time as the pond's father), but of course the point of the apologist's work is to pretend, with a sneer and a snigger, that the Reclaim Australia protestors wouldn't have got significant attention without benefit of middle-aged radicals ...

When in fact they're represented in Australia in the Liberal party by the likes of George Christensen and Cory Bernardi...

Ah George, you twittering tweeting twit, what tweets have you got for us today?

That'll do George, that'll do, and that's who, in the end, prattling Polonius is defending with his dissembling pontificating...

You don't have to look far for the extreme right ... they run institutes, they're in parliament, and they routinely parade in Murdochian newspapers, encouraging extremist views ...

Which means it's about time for a bit of Alf Garnett, which is more than a bit like reading the comments section in the Bolter's blog but which fits this meditative Sunday:


  1. Does Google have a sense of humour? Do an image search for Sam Dastyari and Google offers pics of Mr Bean.

  2. DP, I was in a depressed mood after having to listen to Miranda on Jonathan Green's Sunday Extra defending "free speech" by attacking the nameless hordes of dreadful socialists. Like a light-bulb moment, it occurred to me that, Yes, I have complete freedom to talk to the wall or the dog, but it's those with access to megaphones who have it over the rest of us. It's money, after all, and the power to buy mouthpieces.
    Anyway, then came the most wonderful bit of news. Richie Benaud's family declines Prime Minister Tony Abbott's offer of state funeral. Fancy that! How dare they deprive the great & powerful another opportunity to get together, to broadcast their banalities to the world.
    I was wondering, if Abbott donates a State occasion because Benaud was, by all accounts, a wise man who cultivated a sense of quiet understatement devoid of any kind of malice, how would Abbott honour Alan Jones or any of the other dreadful shock jocks?

  3. I know DP likes the odd western, so I report that Red River is on Gem this arvo. One of the best.

  4. Eating shit for Fun and Profit.

  5. During the 'Super League' debate, Paul 'Fatty' Vautin described Ackerman (to his face) as 'a fat piece of shit'. Such eloquence, such accuracy.

    1. Remember that. But I believe he called Aker a "fat merkin." which is even better.

  6. Is that Akker's navel, or a button, on display at mid midriff?

  7. Aw people - can we spare a moment to remember the great George Carlin.


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.