The ‘Shocking’ Newspoll

There are four and a half million Australians who want Malcolm as Prime Minister but are voting for Bill; discuss.

Can you name ten of these people? Can you name one?

Murdoch’s desperation is growing. Labor and Liberal politicians are no longer allowed to talk to each other on Skynews Agenda (lest Ed Husic, say, win the round) but are interviewed by a perspiring Kieren Gilbert successively. And the Newspolls are growing bizarre.

Deciphered, this one shows Labor on 52.5 percent. One arrives at this figure in the following way.

Labor is allegedly on 47 percent, two party preferred. Labor gains 1.5 percent by redistributing the ‘Others’ preferences as they are now, not as they were in 2013 when it was thought that Abbott was telling the truth. Labor gains 1.2 percent more by redistributing Greens preferences not as they were in 2013, that is, 82 percent Labor’s way, but as they are now, 92 percent Labor’s way; 92 percent of 11 percent, not 82 percent of 8.2 percent.

Labor gets 1.8 percent more by ringing mobile phones, and the under-30s who use mobile phones exclusively, and massively favour Labor.

This brings Labor to 52.5, and a majority of 18 or 20 seats, a result inherent in these tweaked figures — though the 5 percent ‘uncommitted’ may add another 1 percent to Labor after an anti-GST anti-global tax avoidance campaign. This would give Labor a majority of 30 or 32 seats.

The Preferred Prime Minister figures, however, Turnbull 64, Shorten 15, Uncommitted 21 (two and a half million people uncertain as to who should be Prime Minister? really?), are a dimwitted, criminal fabrication. It is possible one million Labor voters would quite like Turnbull as Prime Minister, but 4.5 million is really, really ludicrous, really, really, truly silly. Why have they not changed their vote? 4.5 million of them? Changed their vote to Liberal? Why not?

I ask Newspoll to name a hundred of these hybrid people who face both ways, or admit that they, Newspoll, are lying. And I ask the Andrews, Palaszczuk and Weatherill governments to co-fund a Royal Commission into corrupted fraudulence in the polls.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Andrews Of Mesopotamia

Kevin Andrews’ call for us to join a thousand year war on the Shi-ite side and bind ourselves with hoops of steel to Assad and Putin shows what an idiot he is. It also shows what heinous dumb-clucks many Liberals are and how little, mentally, Turnbull resembles them. The current government is like a shotgun marriage of Nick Clegg and Sarah Palin, and after the coming swing in North Sydney of six or eight percent away from the Liberals, it is likely, somewhat likely, to fall apart.

Turnbull should have been braver. He should have brought on a gay marriage conscience vote immediately, sacked Dutton, made Frydenberg Treasurer and ordered the expulsion from Parliament of the pirate, child abuser and friend of murderers Morrison.

But he felt he could waffle his way through it, praising Big Coal, Direct Action and Caribbean tax avoidance and letting Abbott recommend terrorism on the high seas when he should have been expelled for it, deselected, execrated and laughed out of town.

Turnbull, a longtime Whitlam admirer and business partner, does not share the Liberals’ fanatic innumeracy. He can add; and he understands that the current Mesopotamian War, now in its twenty-fifth year, will continue, if we join it, for another fifty years, and we will have to get out of it sometime, and maybe we shouldn’t be in it in the first place.

He also understands that Abbott is barking mad and, if not deselected, buried and cremated, will wreck his chances at the next election as Rudd did Gillard’s in 2010.

Andrews’ daft piece shouild be meanwhile studied closely. It recommends the kind of defeat we suffered at Gallipoli as a proud Australian tradition of pointless bloodbath tgat stiffens character, a tradition we should obsessively, masochistically repeat.

He should be taken away, held down, sedated, and put in a padded cell. For his own safety’s sake.

Lies, Big Lies And Newspoll

There are six million Australians, apparently, who are keen to see their brothers and sons waging war in Syria,, fighting DAESH for forty or fifty years.

Do you know any of these people? You should know ten or twenty. Can you name one?

This is a measure, lately, of the lies Newspoll tells. It does not mention when this survey was taken, because it never was. It alleges 1573 voters were spoken to, on landlines, in all states and territories, but it supplies no gender or age breakdown or dates, because it never happened.

It says 42 percent of Labor voters — about three million Labor voters, that is — favour another ANZAC deployment in the Middle East, open-ended for decades to come. Do you know one of these people? Can you tell me his name?

There are apparently four hundred thousand Greens who favour boots on the ground in Syria. Do you know one of these people? Can you tell me his name?

Newspoll’s figures are now as credible as the 98 percent that Saddam Hussein used to get, in his ‘free and open elections’.

It is Murdoch’s view that figures such as these will be momentarily believed. And he might be right. There are no figures, however, nor will there ever be, on how many of us favour a 15 percent GST on everything, since the actual figure, 10 or 12 percent, is vividly apparent to everyone. And the question will therefore never be asked.

The other figures in the survey — 27 percent saying the twelve thousand Syrians we are taking in is ‘about right’ and 22 percent saying we should take more — may be near the mark; 65 percent saying moderate Muslims should be ‘doing more’ to discourage teenage terrorists; 47 percent saying a full-on Paris-size event in Australia is ‘very likely’ or ‘inevitable’. These figures are quite plausible. But the survey wasn’t ever actually taken. It never occurred. There would have been a date, or dates, on it if it had been taken, and a breakdown of men and women, of youth and age, of states and territories, of city and country, voting in different ways.

What is to be done about Murdoch’s big lies, and Ipsos’s idiot methodology? Each will show, over Christmas, the Coalition’s vote reaching 60 percent, since most Labor-leaning respondents will be out of the house, away from the landlines, out of the country or out of town. And more and more of the Skynews bullies will tout these polls as evidence, firm evidence, that Labor is going under. And some of the voters out there will believe them, the way they do.

There’ll be a swing, however, against the Coalition of 6 or 8 percent in North Sydney on December 6, and a swing to the Greens of 28 or 30 percent. And it would be smart at that point for Labor to say that all polling of late is useless, as it was in the UK, in Queensland, in South Australia, and all Murdoch polling especially is useless, since it predicted a Romney win as late as midnight on election night in 2012. A Romney win.

And at that point it might be worthwhile to call for a Royal Commission into polling, and whether it, or some of it, is corrupt.

Or perhaps you disagree.

War And Rumours Of War

The words we use are pretty important in this, a time of war and rumours of war and siege and propaganda. ‘Racism’ is I think no longer a useful word. Another is needed, ‘ethno-heathenism’ perhaps, to describe what has followed much of the response to the events in Paris, Brussells, Mali and the Sinai, in the speeches and writings and interviews of those who fan anti-Muslim feelings in Europe and Australia.

For it is not skin colour that governs the prejudice that assails, world wide, a billion adherents of a particular faith, it is ethnicity and religion. There have been for instance three hundred Australians murdered by Christians in the past year and only two by Muslims, in Parramatta and the Lindt Cafe. Yet we hear no politicians condemning Archbishops and Cardinals for not having more vehemently condemned those murderers of wives and children, nor those Christian beasts who have, over decades, buggered in secret choirboys and little girls or covered up, like Archbishop Hollingworth, these iniquities, nor felt up schoolboys in the dormitories of Knox and Kings like…but my lips are sealed. Condemnation of these evil Christians by other, eminent Christians has been singularly lacking, but no condemnation of this lack by Bolt and Kenny and Henderson.

Ethno-heathenism anyway isn’t working very well anywhere. Paris and Brussells are besieged and locked down. Tourism to Egypt has collapsed. The heinous dictator Putin has been embraced by America, and Assad forgiven for killing more people than died on both sides at Gallipoli.

And Islamic State is winning. It controls and administers most of Mesopotamia. It’s paralyzed the night life of Hemingway’s favourite city, and locked the borders of Europe against a million starving and freezing refugees. It’s done this with about thirty, no more, trained suicide bombers waving kalshnikovs and shouting ‘Allah Akhbar!’ It’s terrorised the world.

And we’re told by the ethno-heathenists we can beat them easily, wipe them out, exterminate them, extinguish them, bomb them back to the Stone Age, without any boots on the ground or civilian casualties or any negotiated settlement with ‘extremists’ like them at the table. We can sort it all out, we really can, by embracing and taming, somehow, Assad and cuddling up to the Ayatollahs and asking Shi-ites and Sunnis after a thousand years to kiss and make up and forgive one another for slaugtering their respective relatives in millions over the centuries.

How crazed and prejudiced is this. How etho-heathenist. How dumb.

And we will see what we shall see.

Those In Peril On The Sea

A boat with refugees on it got within a few hundred yards of Christmas Island yesterday. It was then, we are told, ‘turned back’ into dangerous waters they could drown in.

This leads us to ask a couple of questions. One is how it got so close, and if other boats have got, undetected like this one, to the mainland, and how many of their charges made it to the shore.

The other is whether this breach of the rules of the United Nations by our sailors will be punished, and if Dutton, Bishop and Turnbull will be admonished at the highest levels of that world body.

The whole reason for our border policy, we are told, is to stop people drowning. In this case we have sent them back into waters in which they might drown.

And what, now, is their destination? Surely not Indonesia, with whom we are negotiating a better deal for refugees, on a prison island off Aceh. Surely not Sri Lanka, where Tamils are still being killed and persecuted by the victors of a civil war. Surely not Myanmar, or Afghanistan, or Syria, or Vietnam. Where are they going?

The difference between Turnbull the moderate and Abbott the maniac is not, as it turns out, as large as we might once have thought. Abyan continues pregnant, frantic and fucked over and her rapist unpunished. Ali Rahimi is still dead, his family uncompensated though he did no wrong, other than worry himself to death over how they were doing, back in Iran without money. Reza Barati’s murderers still walk free. And the Morrison catch-cry, ‘We do not comment on operational matters’, continues in Turnbull’s mouth, as righteous as before.

And still we see no photos of the women and children on board this boat we have have launched into stormy seas. And still no interviews on 7.30 with the anguished sailors who at gunpoint turned them round.

The police state tendencies of Abbott/Dutton/Morrison/Brandis/Vanstone/Ruddock/Howard continue.

And we will see what we shall see.

Turnbull Of Mesopotamia

How strange is Malcolm’s view that Assad, who has killed two hundred thousand Syrians, should be at the conference table and part of the ‘political solution’ to Syria, but Islamic State, who have killed one tenth that number, should not be at the table, they don’t deserve to be.

We spoke to the Nazis in 1945, the Japanese in 1945, the Vietnamese in 1968 and 69, after the killing of tens of millions of people in those wars, but we won’t speak to Islamic State, they are off the map, they are horrible people, more horrible than the beheaders of Sandakan or the medical experimenters of Bergen-Belsen.

In similar vein Bush and Cheney refused to negotiate with Saddam Hussein. They chose instead to gaol him, charge him, shoot his lawyers, prevent him calling witnesses who would have shown that Cheney was once his friend, and hang him for crimes in which America was implicated. In the same vein, Obama and Clinton preferred to assassinate Bin Laden when he could easily have been tear-gassed, captured and brought to trial in New York.

Giving one’s enemy a voice in his defence was no longer the democratic way.

Turnbull’s current mantra, ‘relax, it’s not really happening,’ is again affirmed by this no-barbarian-at-the-table smirk of his, a thought-bubble, some might call it. Though Islamic State commands the majority of Mesopotamia they should never, ever be consulted over what happens to it, just bombed back to the Stone Age along with its precious antiquities.

In the same way, you may well recall, America denied for twenty-three years that Red China existed. Only Taiwan existed, they swore, and had a table at the United Nations, and a billion mainland Chinese could be safely ignored and went unrepresented.

Why not talk to Islamic State? A deal could be negotiated, perhaps, which gave them certain territories, and the ‘moderates’ other territories, and the people free transit from one territory to another. What would be wrong with that?

When did Putin, a murderous dictator who shoots journalists, become worth talking to, and Islamic State not?

Is it fair that they should yield Iraq to the Shi-ites, who, backed by the Americans, waged war on them? Is it fair that the numbers, half a million dead and three million driven into exile, should not come to light? Islamic State’s atrocities seem few and small in comparison.

When the next IS event occurs in three nightclubs in New York it will be clear to Malcolm how big a mistake he is making. When an IS drone takes out the Opera House he may realise how wrong his call was not to respond to, not to talk to, the enemy.

I ask him to reconsider.

Will he do this? Of course not.

He lives in a world of his own.

If You Were Assad

It’s likely, I think, that historians reviewing this yeat in Syria, and what the West is planning to do there, will find us even stupider than Jerry Bremer when he sacked the entire Iraqi civil service and cancelled their pensions and sacked the entire Iraqi army and let them keep their weapons.

What the West is currently planning is a total war on ISIS and a ‘political solution’ to Assad, some sort of arrangement by which he shuffles, over time, out of power.

The total war on ISIS will involve the killing of hundreds of thousands of young Sunnis who will not, under our ‘training’, fight for the Shi-ites in Iraq and Syria and Iran and Lebanon, the selfsame Shi-ites who have killed half a million of them and sent three million of them into exile. The political solution to Assad will involve persuading him to surrender power to the ‘moderate opposition’ of whom, with gas, bullets, torture and air bombing, he has latedly killed two hundred thousand men, women and children. We must persuade him to leave the country, taking billions in wealth with him, and live in Russia where he will be perfectly safe.

He will trust us, we are sure, to guarantee his safety in a dacha (or a palace) in Putin’s Russia. Though twenty million Syrians want him dead, he will trust us to guarantee his perfect safety for the next, oh, forty years.

If you were Assad, would you agree to this?

Curiously, the alternative plan, of killing Assad with a drone, and doing a deal with one of his army chiefs, has not occurred to anybody in the West (apart from the writers of Homeland), though they daily go after the ISIS leadership with drones and fighter bombers and every month proclaim they have scored a direct hit, a ‘decapitation’ of the Great Beast of Revelation, or whatever nickname he currently groans under.

Why do they not do this to Assad? Why does he have license to kill, in hundreds of thousands, his own people, and no-one else in the region, in the world?

It is likely he has killed ten times as many Syrians as ISIS. It is certain he has displaced eleven million of them. These numbers outscore, in five years, twenty years of Saddam Hussein. Why should he not be punished for this?

It seems we have a reverence for dynastic power. The Sauds, the Aassads, the Ghandis, the Ghelph-Battenbergs, the Bhuttos, the Bushes, the Kennedys we accord forgiveness that we do not give the rabble who rise against them. Hitler’s lieutenants we executed. Kaiser Wilhelm we awarded a prosperous retirement.

Why is Assad immune from punishment? The usual punishment we impose on a mass murderer? Mliosevic wasn’t. Pol Pot wasn’t. Is it because his power is dynastic we are going easy on him, and on the Sauds, who, in any week, behead more innocents than ISIS in a month?

Just asking.

Historians, at any rate, will think us demented, for the delusionary way we are planning our ‘strategy’ now, after the emptying of Syria into Europe and the alliance of Putin, the Ayatollahs and Assad.

And we will see what we shall see.

Some Figures

Four people may have died in bushfires in Western Australia last night. It’s possible firebugs ignited the fatal blaze.

This means that four times as many Australians have been killed in the last week by firebugs as by ‘terrorists’ in Australia in a hundred years. Two Australians were killed by terrorists in the Battle of Broken Hill on January 1, 1915, and one more in Parramatta in 2015, a hundred years later.

In that hundred years two hundred Australians, probably, were killed by firebugs, seven thousand by domestic violence, a hundred thousand in road accidents, one million six hundred and forty-nine thousand by the manufacturers of cigarettes: preventable causes which the authorities have not been troubled by too much. Not as much, at any rate, as they’ve been troubled by ‘terrorism’ lately.

The figures are pretty eloquent. They speak for themselves.

A hundred times as many of us have died in back yard pool drownings as by terrorist action on Australian soil in a hundred years. Two hundred times as many by spider-bite. Twenty times as many on the cricket field.

Yet we hear this nonsense from Abbott and Lambie, that we must re-invade (like Anzacs) Turkey and Syria and not let any Syrians come here lest there be among the twelve million currently on the move a terrorist or two.

But this is the kind of risk that comes with immigration. Abe Saffron, a Hungarian Jew, proved to be a murderous arsonist, whoremonger and racketeer. Tony Abbott, a Catholic Pom, a staunch defender of the friend of paedophiles Hollingworth and the paedophile Nestor. Joe Hockey, a Maronite Palestinian, an incendiary destroyer of the auto industry and a quarter of a million tributary jobs.

Immigration is risky.

The first English immigrants here killed half a million Aborigines. Immigration is a risk; it’s always a risk. And murder, now and then, is its middle name.

Are Syrians any more likely than any other group to kill Australians? Well, none have so far — though the Welsh have, the Scots, the Irish. One Irish immigrant shot the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Alfred, on the first royal tour, in Clontarf in 1868.

Is it worthwhile getting all worked up over immigrants like this? Native-born Australians kill a lot more people in any year. They beat Aborigines to death in gaol. They run over children while pursuing car thieves. They taser innocents to death in Sydney and Bowral. One shot a fat mad girl who was waving a bread-knife outside a Hungry Jack’s.

And terrorists have killed, in Australia, one Australian in a hundred years.

Why all the fuss? Why all the fuss? Why all the expense?

And propaganda?

Just asking.

Abbott’s Jihad

Abbott’s cry for an immediate Armageddon of the Christian states against the infidel Islamist beheaders of children would not be out of place in twelfth century Europe and leaves one to give thanks that he is no longer in charge of anything.

‘As long as some people fiercely believe,’ he writes in The Australian today, ‘that it’s morally right to to kill any and all who don’t share their warped view of Islam, the scale and spread of the carnage will be limited only by their access to weapons and their ability to deploy them.’ He then goes on to urge the killing of any or all who don’t share his warped view of Islam and his clamorous desire for boots on the ground in Turkey — where Anzacs haven’t been for a while — killing whom in their thousands will stop them killing us, Paris-fashion, here.

What ullage and piffle he is talking. It’s like saying we must kill more Palestinians to stop them killing Israelis in busstops with knives. What killing does is make them vengeful, as you would be if your brother was killed by an RAAF bombing of Prince Alfred Hospital. Killing begins blood feuds that can last a millennium.

We must ‘accept military casualties abroad,’ he says of his proposed new Anzac invasion, lest there be ‘more civilian casualties at home.’ But history shows that killing civilians, as France just did, in Raqqa, bestirs our enemies to bomb our civilians in return. France has just made sure the next explosive attack will be on the Louvre.

‘Islamic State cannot be contained, it must be destroyed,’ Abbott says, invoking the Hiroshima Option as few have in seventy years. How can you destroy a movement of mi!lions of Sunnis who each beget seven children willing, at twelve, to strap on bombs for the Cause? How do you do that? Nuking? Genocide? What?

It seems to me Abbott is in breach of our law against inciting terrorism and should be locked up for seven or fifteen years. He calls them ‘vigorous measures’ but what what he is currently, wild-heartedly advocating is obliterative bombings of cities and the turning back to their torturers of people in boats fleeing, rightly, the same child soldiers of Islamic State and its African affiliates who crave child brides, holy martyrdom and an End Time battle with the Great Satan, Christianity.

What a medieval figure Abbott is. What a bloodthirsty, raving fool.

He once told me, ‘I have to jog an hour every morning or I get really, really angry.’

He should make it two hours, I think. He is now, every day, at this rate, becoming more and more insane.

Today’s Ipsos

Ipsos’s methodology predicted Rudd, Swan, Clare, Burke, Bowen and Dreyfus would lose their seats and was wrong by around 7 percent in 2013. It now says the Coalition has picked up 1.6 million votes since Abbott was rolled, after machines rang 1,402 people at home on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It does not say how many of these were octogenarians or how many — 70,000? 80,000? — refused to take the call and instead watched the cricket or the dire news from Paris.

No mobiles were rung. The swing to the Coalition — 3 percent since the last election, giving it the highest vote of any party or coalition since Federation — belies the swing AWAY from the Coalition in all three byelections since Turnbull arrived on the scene. This swing will occur as well in North Sydney and be 6 or 7 percent.

Ipsos figures in the afr, moreover, show barefaced lies being told. The margin of error is supposed to be, overall, 2.6 percent. Yet the margin of error in NSW is 4.6 percent, in Victoria 5.3 percent, in Queensland 5.9, in South Australia and the Northern Territory 8.0 and in WA 8.2.

Worse, the margin of error among 18-24 year olds is 7.8 percent, among 25-39 year olds 5.4 percent, among 40-54 year olds 5.0 percent, and among the over 55s, 4.3.

How then can the overall margin of error be 2.6 percent? How is this figure not a lie?

Assuming the real margin of error — among responses on 1,402 landlines out of 80,000 to a garrulousa machine — is around 6 percent, the actual vote may be 50-50, or 62-38 the Coalition’s way. This means Labor will either win narrowly or lose 98 percent of its seats. How is this finding of use to anybody?

What is happening here is absurd. A methodology that is always wrong (it predicted Labor would lose in South Australia and Queensland) and whose internal figures contradict each other is being quoted by Fairfax as accurate and harvesting last weekend a higher vote for one side than any in federal history.

I ask the CEO to explain these lunacies in a reply to this post, or confess his crime to the authorities and undergo trial and imprisonment for fraud.

Or perhaps you disagree.

A Disproportionate New Crusade

It’s remarkable how crazed the response to three Paris incidents has been. As many deaths as occur in the average Indian train wreck have become, in France, a cause for a War of Civilisations and, for many commentators, an excuse for not letting two million Syrians into Europe.

It’s like declaring that since a thousand of us die in car crashes in a year no Australian should ever again be given a driver’s license; or because drunken brawls kill ten of us in a year no alcoholic drink shall be sold in this country ever again.

This is madness. It well may be that ten or twelve Syrians who enter Europe are suicide bombers, or even twenty. But fifteen thousand Christian Americans shoot, with lethal weapons, their neighbours, wives and schoolfellows every year. We are right to outlaw and imprison these murderous nutters. But we are wrong to collectively punish whole nations, whole religions, just as we would be wrong to nuke Illinois because of the shoot-out in Columbine High, or to firebomb the Sistine Chapel in reprisal for a thousand years of Catholic pederasty.

More and more it is clear how mad our Syrian policy is. We bomb to bits Jihadi John, a Muslim English enthusiast for beheading, as the Saudis do, the Christian infidel. But we let the genocidal Assad continue slaughtering his own people, in hundreds of thousands, with chemical weapons and fighter bombers and do not, for some reason, bomb him. We let Putin blast into flying chunks of meat the ‘goodies’, the Orwells and Guevaras and Dubceks and Koestlers of democracy-starved Damascus, Aleppo, Samara. We try to train the Iraqi Sunnis, murdered in their hundreds of thousands by the monstrous tyrannical ruling Shi-ites, to fight not the Shi-ites but other Sunnis and wonder why they’re not that keen to do this.

The racism, or some would call it the ethno-cultural heathenism, at the root of all this bellowing madness is plainer by the day. We would never bomb Salt Lake City for its abhorrence of coffee and alcohol and its pockets of enforced polygamy. But we will cheerfully bomb Mosul for its similar teetotalling oppression of girls and women. We would never send back a white Rhodesian fleeing Mugabe. We would send back a black West Irian fleeing slavery, every time.

Is it likely we will change our ways while the Crusaders mindset, a thousand years old now, persists in our dealings with the Middle East? Don’t think so.

And hour by hour we are deeper and deeper immersed in a war without end.


Epic America: Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts: An Intimate History

Ken Burns’s Tolstoyan epic The Roosevelts: An Intimate History outscores in its breadth and tenderness The War and The Civil War in part because of its concentrated, rainbow-wrestling dramatis personae. Not just the two head-tossing big-toothed romantic blusterers whose legends dominated the first half of the American Century but their various overlapping hareems of secretary-mistresses, kissing cousins, cousin-rivals, yes-men, spin-men, authoritarian matriarchs, cuckolding lesbian house-guests and great white hunters who upheld and coddled and bullied them through their several Sophoclean plotlines and withering diseases inform this greatest of documentaries and sear it into our tribal memory like, I suspect, no other.

Teddy watching his wife and mother die in the same house on the same night, astonished; Franklin burying his three-week-old son, Franklin Junior, and losing his religion; Teddy crippled with fever up the steamy Amazon and preparing to kill himself with opium but Kermit his harried son not letting him, and lugging him back, over weeks, to civilisation while cannibals watch and native bearers die around them; Teddy’s four sons commanded by their dad into frontline service in World War One ‘before it’s over’, one fatally; Eleanor finding love letters to FDR from her secretary Lucy Mercer and offering, shattered, her lusty sly spouse a meek divorce, and her mother-in-law Sara forbidding it, successfully; Franklin attempting a water-cure for polio in a town he builds, Warm Springs, and by splashing among his fellow-sufferers lifting their spirits while losing all his money; Eleanor campaigning for Prohibition while her Franklin drinks rum cocktails with joshing shipmates, illegally, on his yacht; two mad assassins commanded by dark dreams to kill two Roosevelts and both failing, though Teddy, shot in the chest, continues to speak for an hour to a horrified audience while copiously bleeding; Hitler denouncing Franklin, wittily, to a roaring stadium; Churchill, craven, drunk and cuddly, wooing him into the War; Teddy, on the verge of becoming President again, dying suddenly at sixty, struck down by the death of his favourite son, on his instructions, in a glamorous dogfight in a wothless war: these are but parts of a family chronicle that overwhelmed and shaped a century.

Most moving, probably, is Eleanor’s Tale. Tall, plain, shy and fumbling, derided by her beautiful mother and intermittently loved by her mostly absent, alcoholic father, whom she adored in vain from afar; orphaned at ten, boarding-schooled in England by a famous lesbian suffragette, denied university by a cold marry-her-off-quick grandmother, wed at twenty to a gorgeous unsuitable fifth cousin, Franklin, mother at thirty of six children wet-nursed and raised by servants she felt remote from, a campaigner, soon, for women’s rights, for birth control, impoverished workers, a basic wage and a six-day week in unpolluted factories, the nurse of a suddenly paralysed husband, administering his catheters and snatching rare minutes of sleep on a couch in the hall; a late-flowering lesbian architect and carpenter, a much-photographed First Lady and daily columnist (‘My Day’), incessantly touring the country and bossily assisting the poor while her husband, paralysed below the waist, had a form of sex with his plain sweet cousin Daisy and planned a post-Presidency life with her, or he said he did; for thirty years harassed and burdened by a rich, possessive mother-in-law; helpless observer of her wayward children’s wrecked marriages; then Truman’s ambassador to the United Nations in her long, inspiring widowhood and the most famed woman in the world: her life a vast reflection of a century she helped change, pretty much, for the better, a tale told well and swiftly by the master chronicler, Burns, his writer Geofrey C. Ward, his voice-actors Giamatti, Herrmann, Streep, Lithgow, Clarkson and Thornton, his contributing historians Goodwin, McCulloch and George Will, his lithe narrator Peter Coyote, and a copious archive of cartoons, photos and home movies — even up the Amazon — unimaginable from any other dynasty. We watch Franklin pretending to walk, pretending to stand, falling into his car, and see his sad, withered legs and big, denying, toothy, head-tossing smile and assess what each mendacious moment of happy-warrior bluster cost him, and the sacrificing pain he gave his vulgar nation as minute by minute he saved it, almost, from its capitalist barbarity; or did for a time; save America from itself.

We are blest by Burns in the same way as we are blest by David Attenborough, two blackboard teachers much, much better than we deserve, who leave nothing out and tell us with charm and vigour and sadness the awful things we must know.

A magnificent series, and it must, must, must be seen.

Paris, Friday 13th: An Exchange

This will not end well.

It may not end at all. By seeing the Iraqis as split by religion, Paul Bremer managed the create the division and then support one side. He was a poor choice for work he was supposed to do. But given that the whole idea of invading Iraq was pretty stupid, the appointment of Bremer was just the next in a long line of poor actions.

Such bad outcomes from the American decisions, it’s hard to imagine they were not deliberately intended.

It’s even harder to imagine they were, geo.

Don’t you think it’s possible that the outcomes of these decisions, albeit unimagined and unconsidered at the time of their arising due to the blindsightedness of the neocon and PNAC thinking behind the decisions to invade here, bomb there, drone a few over yonder, illegally render and imprison for years without habeus corpus or other due legal process, support the unsupportable and the, you know, guys with guns or oil or gas and so on… the traditional list of shady third-world relationships based on realpolity, commercial interests and short-term usefulness rather than genuine commitment to something truly democratic and fairly based, blinded by their ideological blinkers and unable to see beyond their projections of an American-managed utopian (for the Americans) future, were inevitable?

As they have sewn, so shall they reap, or something to that effect.

Bob’s comments on the Bremer legacy are spot on. If any western country ‘deserves’ to be tested by domestic terrorism, it makes sense to nominate the USA before European countries, but then, given geography and locale and the interpenetration of things political, and cooperation in the black arts of malfeasance between most western governments, it’s a sad observation that many will be targeted.

It’s what happens when you lie down with the devil, I suppose.

Canguro, hi.

I think the Bremer legacy only has meaning when Westerners are killed.

When it’s Muslim on Muslim that legacy has no meaning that I can possibly fathom.

Certainly not one that I’ve ever read or heard from anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Glow Worm

A keystone argument Glow.

Unfortunately wasted.


Doug Quixote
Vive La France!
Fuck these Islamists. May they all blow up before leaving their rat-holes.

We may have to consider nuking Daesh.

Any reasonable person still in their territory is dead anyway.

I feel the same. But I don’t think the same.

Doug Quixote
It isn’t compulsory to think like me.

How fucked in the head is Senator Leyjonhelm!! He says every citizen should go armed. Every citizen at a rock concert armed? Drunk, high on drugs, high on testosterone and armed with an AK47 each. Yes, that would work.

What a let down. Had it been compulsory I could have been a courageous protester taking a principled stand. As it is I’m just a boring person with a bit of common sense.

Leyjonhelm is an effing genius. The scumbags wouldn’t even need to hide their weapons in transit.

Travelling North
Who is at fault and who knows what is of as much consequence to the orbit of our world now,

as a wildflower lately blooming in a desert.

A Middle East euchred of the pulse beat of its own ritual most assuredly,

will be reconciled.

Our sterile West can but watch, in frames of plasma,

As the moveable beast gives birth to the twenty first century.

I know a bit about France. I was born in Marseille and grew up there. Every few years I return to Marseille and depart saddened by its inexorable decline as more and more districts in a once great city become no-go zones where the windows of the police stations are sheeted with steel reinforcing mesh and the rule of law has been trashed, where innocent visitors straying a few metres from the ever reducing recommended path are fixed with the grim black-eyed glare of the new rapidly reproducing inhabitants who can turn an ancient and exquisite piece of architecture into a piece of trash in the space of one year and happily defecate on the sidewalk if the need arises.

France has welcomed Muslims, done the right thing for decades and these days France is the home of the largest Muslim population in Europe. On last count there were five million self identified subscribers to Allah in France. So much for a once a secular and enlightened country. Yet friendly France is attacked in the name of Allah.

Over time I have seen the ignorant Muslim street swaggers of Marseille spread to Lyon and Paris. In Paris last year I saw a darkening. The Marais district, once a vibrant and gentle Jewish and Gay stronghold is being invaded by the marauding middle eastern hordes who after dark, swarm through Porte Saint-Denis and accost females.

Be warned, Paris (and France) is fucked and it will only get worse as time goes by. The problem has nothing to do with Jerry Bremer. The problem is caused by critical mass.

Well said Edgar. You are a fine writer. Accurate too.

chris hunter
The French have a long and cruel Colonial past – they were proper bastards – read Camus just for starters.

So the children of the cheese eating surrender monkeys should be killed. I can see what you are saying but it seems somewhat harsh.

chris hunter

I believe some of the French ‘agents’ who sunk the Rainbow Warrior have developed a telling remorse – looking back they are shocked by what their government expected of them – what they actually did.

In Vietnam lie the relics of French habitation – stark reminders of a dark Colonial past.

Who knows the damage done to the French psyche as a result of the Rainbow Warrior incident, or nuclear testing, well away from France.

Do they hide this recent past from themselves? Sure NZ has forgiven them, well sort of.

Perhaps they should introduce more of this history in their classrooms – year 10/11 – like a reality check.

I don’t sanction any sort of killing Edgar – you know that.

chris hunter
And I forgot to add, did France not manufacture the hideous chemicals Saddam dropped on the Kurds?

France is hardly an innocent bystander.

How is that relevant?

chris hunter
Countries develop traits, personalities over time, some more friendly than others.

The Arab psyche v the Western psyche – Camus made a career out of this – how deep the divisions are – old vendettas…

The French Foreign Legion were hardly welcoming. They are no doubt well remembered.

How will the French react, how will the West react, that is the question?

Who is without guilt?

Chris, you bang on and on about Camus in a name dropping sort of way but provide no meaningful context and then seque into the French Foreign Legion and follow that with a question that could only be asked a hair shirt wearer.

chris hunter
Dear oh dear. The French are historic invaders, they are currently bombing out of control – as John Stewart the US commentator said – BLOWBACK!
For Christ sake Edgar – whoever heard of a war where you don’t get it back? – Abbott is right – we’ll get it back too – I thought that was understood when we joined the bombing fraternity – that we got it back – that’s what some of the silly posters (posers) here signed up for when they supported the bombing – you ALWAYS get it back – the name of the game – get it this time Edgar, fuck.

Now, is the oil worth it?

On the odds there would be a likelihood that the nature of the indiscriminate killing will mean that a few French Muslims apart from the attackers themselves have probably been murdered as well.

Nearly ten percent based on statistics. It’s crazy isn’t it?

Edgar It will not surprise me that in this day and age the perpetrators see themselves as non-discriminatory murderers, and that in a good way.

Well said Edgar.
I too have seen a little of that ugly boundary you document so succinctly.

That percentage is staggering and will now test, perhaps for the first time in a generation, the ability of incongruous peoples to co-exist.
I say that Southern Europe wil fail that test.

Great post.

Glow Worm
My abiding memory of Marseilles is the mirror roof on the harbour, a beautiful reflection of us, and our world:

Mark Ferrari
Tony Abbott on 3aw Melbourne right now talking about the death cult…its for everyone. Abbots words. WTF.

Mark Ferrari
It’s coming for everyone…

susy johnson
Exactly, Bob. I have reminded everyone I have spoken with today, who seem to believe Isis has somehow dropped from the sky to upset peace loving westerners, about our illegal war on Iraq and its subsequent disintegration, also brought about by Bremer and co. not having any plan when it wasn’t the ‘cakewalk’ advised by, I think, George Tennant. (Spelling?)

Apart from leaving the military with their guns, the amount of weaponry left about the place by the ‘coalition of the willing’ has added to the situation.

The tragedy is that the meddling in the middle east, most recently and directly GWB and Australia among others, is now reaping payback in the form of atrocious attacks on innocents.

susy johnson
Oh dear- I should have checked first as it is George Tenet – also it appears he was the one who said it would be a ‘slum dunk’ and someone else said cakewalk.

All things considered, I should have got that sorted before I posted.

Can’t wait to see The Sewer’s front page for the next 2 weeks along with The Herald Sun and The Oz….

Turnbull will go early on Terror!

Abbott, Dutton, the Libs, Murdoch, Jones, Bolt, Laws will turn on the Terror tap now like U have never seen it before!

These fuckwitz will go into a full on frenzy scare mode….frothing at the mouth, barking mad. You name it. Abbott will he all over the news with his daesh, death cult “I told you” trying to get his job back.


The simple fact is, we are targetted because we are invaders…we were warned but we keep invading…the result?

Australia is a less safe place to live in because of Liberal Wars and involving ourselves in disputes that have NOTHING TO DO WITH US


I have never been a fan of Mick Keelty and Peter Cosgrove but they were right. They both said that involvement in America’s wars makes our country less safe and more exposed to terror acts. Howard went berserk and made them publicly withdraw what any sane person would see as logically correct. Nothing though was allowed to interfere with a Liberal scare plan to win an election.


Get ready for the ride of your life! The Looters have been praying for something like this just close to an election. Criticise me as you may but anyone who says “The more boats that come together the better for us” (Liberals in unison in the party room and in the USA, reported by reliable sources) would cheer just as loudly for this…I am sure!

chris hunter
sad, true…

Paul H
Uncharted waters now.

Abbott is banging his fist on a marble table top, cursing that he’s no longer PM, so that he could stand posing like a cycling dictator lost in a sea of ‘stray an flags… ” they’re coming to get us all”.

Le Pen, and the nasties across Europe, will be emboldened, and exploit it for every last ounce.

Posters here have alluded to, and emphasised, a particular historical aspect in the mix. None are ruled out, and all play their role. But this is real spin of the barrel, the end result we’ll only see over coming weeks and months.

Meanwhile, Russia has not been happy about the new tilt against them. See November 13 blog entry.

As the blog principal says: “You decide”.

Moon of Alabama
And how bizarre that the super torpedo/bomb was a brainchild of Sakharov.

I don’t understand why “all this” is happening, and I strongly doubt that any of us on the receiving end of it have even begun to understand.

It seems fairly clear though that the dozen or so agents on Friday 13th, their scores of assistants, their hundreds of agents in waiting, and their thousands of warriors, all understand why they are making it happen, and why they must continue and die in the cause.

And they have found their reasons their motives and their methods in history, ancient, medieval and colonial, but also much more recent, as Bob alludes to.

I bet these people talk of the twelfth century Hasan i Sabbah and his hashashin in the mountains at Alamut, about the glorious moorish civilisation at war with christendom, of the bloody crusades, the cruel french colonial empire beginning in the 17th and lasting till the 20th, including all of north and most of west Africa, at its peak ruling some 9% of the planet’s land mass, and 110 million inhabitants.

I bet there are hundreds of villages, hamlets and towns who’ve had Friday 13ths with 100 massacred, in Morocco, Algeria, Guyana, Tunisia, Libya Egypt. Don’t mention Indochine.

In this asymmetric warfare, I doubt that more guns and bombs and drones is going to swing much peace back to our lives.

Other ‘civilisations’ have come and gone; Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Moors. (perhaps to re-emerge in the coming decades) Why is the west immune? Especially if, like Mister Jones we know something is happening but we dont know what it is. And ‘they’ do.

Perhaps we need armies of historians philosophers and thinkers. Think tanks not bang tanks. Perhaps guided missiles, weapons of mass instruction.
Or we could all get used to living behind barbed wire like Heston in The Omega Man.

“I bet these people talk of the twelfth century Hasan i Sabbah and his hashashin . . .”

I bet they talk of suicide vests and a world where they are not expected to marry their cousins.

I bet they talk of how tough and important they are.

Glow Worm
Other ‘civilisations’ have certainly come and gone … and while the French and Dutch, Spanish and Portugese were no slouches in the atrocity department, let’s not overlook the immaculate heritage of Great Britain.

Here’s a shortish list of their atrocities:

And if that’s a bit harsh, George Monbiot’s piece in ‘The Guardian’ from a few years ago (24 April 2012) might be of interest.

I doubt there’s a corner of this weary planet without the dark and deadly stain of man’s inhumanity to man.

chris hunter
Yes, I agree, that is the basis of peace – seeing the whole picture – how we are all playing into it – like Switzerland in WW2 as the bagman. Who is stain free?

Geoff G
Well, Libya was an Italian colony. Egypt, a British Protectorate.

Let’s mention Indochine.

Despite France’s grossly criminal behaviour, and the untold suffering it caused, the Vietnamese are not murdering the French decades later. Nor are the 16 nations that Germany invaded (or ‘just’ bombed the shit out of) between 1939 and 1945 seeking homicidal revenge today.

Are Asian nation nationals murdering Japanese citizens for that country’s many horrific crimes during 1930’s and 40’s? Nope.

Aboriginals in Australia and Canada, who still suffer the bitter consequences of colonisation? Are they loading up with guns and homemade bombs? Nope.
South American nationals hell bent on revenge against the U.S.A for systematically destroying their economies and backing illegal dictatorships? Nope.

The main driver of these terror attacks in France is not social and historical injustice. Those who have been the main victims of it in the Middle East are just the patties who are being re-victimised by radicalisation for the purpose of fighting a proxy war. It is the oil rich gulf states who are sponsoring and fermenting terrorism. States like Saudi Arabia, who are not oppressed, want for nothing and continually use their Muslim brothers as bomb fodder.

Also, the Ottoman Turks were despised for their cruelty by subject populations throughout the Middle East and North Africa, certainly more than the European Christian overlords who supplanted them. The Saudis particularly hated the Ottomans with a passion.

Libya – yes you’re right, but between 1943 and 1951 the French military ruled the southern half, Fezzan-Ghadames, and made several attempts to annex it to their empire in Africa.

Egypt – yes you’re right.

In any case you miss my point – I wasn’t singling France out as the only colonial villain, I was suggesting that those setting out to poison the minds of young muslims have a wealth of history with which to mythologise their jihad. They might have to twist it but not much.

Geoff G
Your point is moot. History is by its very nature is an infinite seam that can be mined by any group and sifted for a grievance to fit.

The point you avoid yet coyly allude to, is who are “those setting out to poison the minds of young muslims” and why.

Well, my opening sentence was “I don’t understand why “all this” is happening, ”

Who? Don’t have all their names, but the ones recruiting the bright young middle=class A-students in London, yes and in Leeds, as they sit among their stuffed toys and Simpsons posters, dreamy eyed at the magic window glowing in their bedrooms, and falling in love for the first time with some unseen spirit in the ether, who understands, O my god he can see into my soul, full real, and wants to save me from this fake life I’m stuck in.

Geoff G
Another dodge- almost Thatcheresque, well done.

You’re a smart bloke. Make an educated guess.

So the poor are radicalised by oppression and the well off radicalised by affluence.

Seems like a zero sum game.

Is there a common denominator here? Dare you reverently whisper its name?

“So the poor are radicalised by oppression and the well off radicalised by affluence.
Seems like a zero sum game.”

– That’s the second time today I’ve had cause to applaud your discernment and polemic Geoff.

A pleasure to read.


chris hunter
Why do Westerners always try and rationalise the Arab mind, like they think like us – they don’t.

And as long as we stay logical about our constant invasion of their territory we finish up with it all over us.

Just remember that the US trusts in God – written on their banknotes – OK – who is God?

Now who were the nutters again?

Geoff G
Ah, those irrational Arabs. There is no “Arab mind” as Edward Said and others have clearly articulated. Orientalism in both its liberal and conservative forms is still a form of ‘Othering’- used to either make excuses or to condemn.

Persians, the sponsors of Hezbollah and other Shiite instigated terrorism are not Arabs.

Kurds are not Arabs. They have a completely different way of thought processing from their neighbours and countrymen, I suppose.
You have pointed out one common truth, however. The rise of religious radicalism since the 1950’s in both the Arab world and the USA. “In God We Trust” and the addition of “God” in the pledge of allegiance occurred in the early 1950’s.

chris hunter
Replace mind with culture. Istanbul is a place I would like to visit – it seems to have room for both. Bucket list stuff.

I suppose you would agree that there is a mediterranean temperament, as opposed to a German logic?

I presume this is why Sartre and Camus came to physical blows, one the cold logician, the other with the sea in his heart, spontaneous, but no fool never-the-less (The Rebel).

Glow Worm
Yes, Geoff G – the ‘Arab mind’ was a fabrication of European fantasists who were caught in their own, somewhat romantic hide.

It might be more useful to study why Islam has morphed from an enlightened, scholarly creed that once saved Europe from itself, to what it has become today.

chris hunter
Same for Christianity?

Chemical Christians – or as NZ poet James K Baxter wrote – “put some napalm on your forehead and watch your face run down your chest”.
Your philosophy is wearing thin – sooner or later you’ll bury the hatchet, or be buried with it.

Glow Worm
My philosophy?

What, in the post to which you have responded so unpleasantly, would you construe as ‘my philosophy’?

chris hunter
Your philosophy of bombing – what else? I may be simple but I have a memory.

What you find unpleasant in me is my unrelenting pacifism – you openly hate it – along with your buddies. :smile:

Glow Worm
Give it a rest, chris – having a discussion with you is like having one with an elastic band: Twang!

Geoff G, it’s an excellent argument you make; cutting to ribbons the preposterous notion of reductionist Fools: ‘if we stop bombing them, they’ll stop bombing us’, or its useless corollary, ‘it’s all the fault of Big Oil’.

I lay blame for such lunacy at the feet of the soft Left and their disgraceful hypocrisy.

Great posts, keep writing.

chris hunter
Troll talk.

Now rant like a fool.

Troll talk?

That’s me writing as politely as possible.


And relieve you of your purpose?

20 odd posts from you and nary a syllable of value, insight, or direct response.
You’re out of your league in discussions requiring wide reading, rigorous consideration, and focused application.

That much is clear.

The West dropped this suicide pill several decades ago and I hold the soft Leftism of your ilk responsible.

The West, post Enlightenment, has never been able to resolve the conflict between its
moral core, Humanism, and that which sought its erasure – whether it be the animal in the human, the ideologies of Power, or the idealism of Faith.

And at its core – the paradox of multiculturalism.

So when I read your ‘stopping the bombing will stop the attacks’, I wonder what it is about this blog, this one in particular, that draws within its orbit, such simple mindedness, such finger nails on blackboard platitudes, such obstinate reductionism,
such banal idiocy as yours.
Chris, we go back a while, I actually remember you coming in, so I say this to you openly:

I read recently the lunacy of the past year; Claire’s arguments with George, Syriza, you, Dali, Islam, Mal, the Plagiarism Affair, all of it.
Every word.

It’s still quite fresh in my mind and if I need clarification, I simply
flip through the posts, neatly sourced, catalogued, and referenced by name, subject and date.

Claire’s a stickler for such detail.

Bless her.

Anyway, I saw my name referenced and mocked.

I saw people here, that when language, argument, common sense, and decency, failed them resort to a shameful, cowardly and dishonourable mockery.
You were of that party.

And as such you will receive little reprieve from my contempt.

From this point on I will attack both substance and man as I see fit,

not for the sake of Deuteronomic retribution,

or as servant to vile fallacy,

but because you deserve little else.

I’m sure you’re a lovely guy in person – but here I find your simplicity an affront, your ceaseless equivocation deeply frustrating, and finally, your demonstrated cowardice, fucking shameful.

Rant as much as you like but don’t sit under my posts and affect some sort of challenge only to default, inevitably, to your idiocy.

There are plenty of others here who don’t appear to mind your crayon coloured spittle flecks.

Give them a spray.

chris hunter
I’m a bit busy with the soft Labor left revegetating the salt encrusted and dying planet we live on.

Can I use some of your endless words as mulch?

You are a pedantic disgrace Fedallah.

Carry on.

Doug Quixote

It’s gone far beyond that, if it ever was about that.

chris hunter
Australia has the highest rate of flora/fauna extinction in the world – let’s talk about that then.

It’s way to complex to stop the bombing.

Oh it’s only about people is it?

Doug Quixote
The highest rate because the rest of the world has already done its extinctions, over the last 2000 years or so. But we are catching up.
(DQ sighs)

But never fear, there’ll be plenty of black face sheep for you.

chris hunter
My wife yelled stop the car and sure enough there it was – a very rare native plant (daisy) thought to be, well, virtually extinct.

Now noted, it had a ton of seed and will be reported to the Natural Resources Management Board.

Call it a win.

Richelieu II
It would be good to wipe these stinking slaves of Allah off the face of the Earth forever and their Salafist religio-fascist ideology that’s killed millions of Muslims, secularists, atheists, Christians, Buddhist and Jews. Nothing less than their total annihilation and eradication forever.

Glow Worm
chris – this just keeps getting more circuitous, but for the record:

1: The Bush/Blair/Howard invasion of Iraq was an abomination, and I have said so many times.

2: My much earlier post about confronting ISIS was based on my hope that the West’s blundering into Iraq would not paralyse us from dealing with the real evil that these fanatical religious murderers were wreaking – not just on the West’s soft underbelly, but on hapless people – women in particular – in their path.

3: You responded to my post about Burj al-Barajneh by saying you knew nothing about Arabia. I replied that Burj al-Barajneh is in Lebanon – and is a predominantly Shia neighbourhood in Beirut. My point – heaven help us all – is that in the same week that Paris was bombed, Sunni suicide bombers killed 43 innocent Muslims. Nothing to do with Israel, Bush, Blair, Howard, oil, the US, Coca-Cola or the West’s corporate, crypto-fascist/capitalist hegemony. And I asked if you had a view on this. I still don’t know what such a view might be.

4: To point three above, and your last point – I very much doubt that the unilateral withdrawal of all western nations would make the slightest difference to the deeply rooted animosities of this part of the world. You may have a different view. I’d be glad to hear it.

Malta has more of its fair share of nuns, so it’s odd to hear this joke from one:

A soldier in uniform runs up to a nun and makes a heartfelt plea to hide under her robes. He’s under there before she can say no. A Military Police jeep screeches to a halt in front of her “Sister ma’am, have you seen a GI go past here?” She says, without lying “No-one’s gone past here”

A very grateful soldier emerges, and hugs her “O thank you thankyou. I don’t want to go back to Iraq! O and by the way, if I’m not offending you, apart from being a bit hairy, you’ve got a fine pair of legs, Sister.”

“Well” says the nun, “if you’d looked a little bit higher, you’d see I don’t want to go back to Iraq either.”

A great post Glow.

Unfortunately wasted.

Doug Quixote
Not at all wasted.

There are those of us who observe such things.

Well said.

I hope so Doug, I really do…’cause all I’m hearing is the screeching.

chris hunter
How many times have I quoted TE Lawrence on this site – basically you fuck with the Arabs at your own peril.

You may disagree, I’m not one for stirring up a bees nest to get at their honey.

These attacks are utterly predictable, blind Freddy can see them coming.

Obfuscate as much as you like about Muslim ethics or lack of.

OIL – get it!

paul walter
Wasn’t ISAL (like Al Quaeda and various Mujahadeen)something suported by the West, backing conservative religious against leftists who threatened Western interests?

You can identify Arabist financiers and the rest, but inevitably you must get back to the West itself and its shabby greed, games and cynicism.

By a stupendous irony it is both ISAL and its backers who were originally financed and protected by the West.

Geoff G
Oh for fuck’s sake, France was against the invasion of Iraq. Not in the “Coalition of the Willing”, antagonistic to George W and his criminal plan- but that won’t stop you from jamming one and two together to come up with anything to excuse these Saudi backed Wahhabi fuckers.

“Stern”! Oh, fuck off.

France was attacked because it is a fiercely secular state. Get it? The Republic is based on secular humanist principles. The nation of France is emblematic of the world’s perception of European culture at its pinnacle and in its decadence. It also has the largest Muslim population in Europe. The country is being strategically targeted in a brazen attempt to wedge the domestic population by humiliating and enraging the ethnic French and further alienating, stigmatising and marginalising the Muslim French. The goal is to provoke radicalisation across the domestic divide. It’s the second attempt this year to light a powder keg.

Hollande is right. It is an act of war. Committed by the proxies of Saudi Arabia- seething, filthy rich done nothing nobodies who have projected all their misplaced anger into fuelling a repressed and retarded version of Islam.

Glow Worm

Tout ce que vous dites a l’anneau de la vérité, Monsieur Geoff G. Salut.

Paul H
C’est vrais .. c’est vrais.

Welcome back to the land of plenty GW.

Is there an emoticon for sheepishly circling the dirt with one foot and blushing?

Even though some publishing dolt translated Nancy Pickard’s novel Ring of Truth as L’Anneau de Vérité, it’s not a phrase used by the french. According to Bastien, ‘usban’ of mah neece, ees not zat kahn of ring.

Anneau goes on your finger. Ring of truth is from coinage.

“In the past coins were actually made of gold, silver or other metals. Their value depended on the amount of gold or silver they contained. Some people would make counterfeit coins by mixing gold or silver with a cheaper metal. However you could check if a coin was genuine by dropping it. If it was made of the proper metal it would ‘ring true’ of have the ‘ring of truth’.”

Welcome back

Glow Worm
Yeah, I knew it was the wrong translation when I pressed the ‘YeeHaa!’ button … although idiomatically speaking, it might still work!

I blame jetlag.

I know, I know – using up earth’s resources and piling up more money for the Saudi oil sheiks to fund their favourite chapter of ‘Terrorism Inc.’ but I can no longer walk or bicycle everywhere, and I want fresh water to come out of the tap when I turn it on, and light to illuminate my room when I flick a switch … hairshirts never looked good on me:

they say the battle is all over
and the wars have all been won Lord
call him Rama, Allah or Jehovah
one is one when it’s all been said and done
It’s got the ring of truth about it.

Mark Gillespie, once my neighbour, a great man and songwriter.

chris hunter
Does that translate as Rainbow Warrior or Pacific nuclear testing – years since I studied French?

Geoff G – my thoughts to the letter.

That wedge has every chance of success if the Left’s mind and spine go missing……again.

chris hunter

It was a Dutch citizen (photographer) who was killed by French agents during the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior.

You are such a goose.

Geoff G November
François Hollande.

Little, irrelevant nation syndrome?

Honk, honk,honk.

chris hunter
Say that to his family and the two headed fish in the South Pacific.

Geoff G
I’m sure the family of the victim of the Rainbow Warrior bombing, and indeed all the peoples of the Pacific will be pleased to have ISIS take up their grievances against France in such a manner.

Because these terrorist acts against France are sure not in retaliation for invading Iraq or not condemning Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.

susy johnson
Geoff G – it is being reported that killers cried out ‘this is for Syria’as well as ‘God is great’.

Now meetings being quickly cobbled together about how Syria can be resolved diplomatically- meetings including US, Russia, Iran etc -no matter how fierce Hollande is in speech.

Such a terrible tragedy that the masters of war bring payback to the innocents in all their societies.

Glow Worm
Geoff G – it was Christopher Hitchens who also said that at its heart, this was about the struggle for the control of Islam itself:

Hitchens was, to my mind, and to the dismay and disgust of the Left, quite right.

chris hunter
As much as I love French culture, art, philosophy, I am not going to let this interfere with my understanding of them as international bullies.

Doctors without borders (MSF) were hit by allied jets – they wanted to know who was flying them but nobody is talking about this – why?

You see, even the French themselves have a varying view of the justice being meted out in the ME.


Hi Bob, that is a good narrative but it is not explanation enough for the rapid rise.

Bob Ellis
It’s not rapid. It took twelve years.

As long as Napoleoon after the storming of the Bastille.

mint slice
Looks like the National Front will be running France soon enough.

Bit of a mistake that colonialism business. 7 percent of the population submiting to 6th century fairy tales and a dangerous minority of them believe in blow jobs in paradise and women getting round with bags over their heads.

France has a demographic problem with culturally induced mental illness. Not sure how they put the brakes on that.

As Chris Hitchens used to say:

“Lets not get too liberal”.

Geez …. love the ‘Bit of a mistake’ paragraph …

Very hard to get one’s head around the rationale for fairy tales, paradise and headwear.

The collective mental illness of the world is a worry.

And didn’t they hate him for it?


The New World arrived with 9/11 and the consequent invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. It was always going to have chaotic consequences and all means of deception and destruction have been used in its prosecution.

chris hunter
I was an exhibitor in an iconic NY art exhibition (now in the collection of Washington State Library). The gallery was initially covered in debris, my message to NY was to turn the other cheek but instead they set the world on fire – well smouldering into eternity.

paul walter
I never cease to be amazed at Bob Ellis and his ability to render that which appears complicated into comprehensible form.

susy johnson
PW – yes, it is a great gift.

paul walter
John, they never learnt from Vietnam. I dont think many have wanted to learn.

They are like us in that respect.. she’ll be right.

“On the case of the Syrian passport found at the scene of the terrorist attack, we announce that the passport holder had passed from Leros on October 3 where he was identified based on EU rules.”

(Reported this morning – BBC)

And confirmation that the European Right, damn their black hearts, have just pulled an ace from the pack.

The Passport.

Was he aiming to escape and get back out?

Was it the piece of information he meant to leave behind, the magic beans, the fuck you?

The slow burning fuse, the diverter of resources to a senseless search, the great eater of money that would normally be used to fund Western civilization given over to the “you can never have enough security” spook Mandarins?

What surprises me a little, is that there is no left/right divide among ISIS, or doesn’t seem to be. if you take a facet of chris hunter’s argument in regards to the Corporates, I would think there would be a like argument within ISIS eager to kidnap Corporate CEO’s, or attack Corporate assets, hit revenue streams.

Yesterday was soft, soft targets, rock concerts full of young people, soccer crowds, restaurant sitters. The young Parisians might have been more sympathetic to the cause of ISIS, or at least more weary of the ruling generation’s handling of it. But whoever did this said, fuck it, we don’t need your understanding.

No charming Baader is going to emerge from this movement, nor an intellectual Meinhof to offer justification.

I can’t remember the name of that American educated Egyptian pan-Arabian nationalist who may just have started all this way back when in the days of Truman and Eisenhower. Natty suit, bow tie, high waisted pants. Harvard or Yale or some such.

The arrogance of an idea is enough to kill off..well just about everything given the right circumstances.

chris hunter
Ah well, chemical weapons are being manufactured as we speak – they are being made for someone – no?

No doubt, no doubt.

Ask Howard he has now reaped what he sowed, but I bet his pension does not allow his pea brain any remorse or apology for his crimes.

Who started all this.GW,TB and the willing desiccated coconut.

Glow Worm
Jeeez, you guys … can you use GWB as the moniker for George Dubbya?

My heart stops every time I see GW …

“Yesterday was soft, soft targets, rock concerts full of young people, soccer crowds, restaurant sitters.”

– The Perfect Target.

One could not construct a more absolute or consummate space, or ply more impeccable figures in which to play out this current battle.

It is a master-stroke.

And it will not be the last.

You single word of yesterday rings constantly in my mind – watershed.

chris hunter
Perhaps the perfect target was the MSF doctors and patients at Kunduz hospital, but nobody has really owned up yet – gutless – any ideas Fedallah?
Or is it all too simplistic for you – it’s all about Paris?

Tell the French doctors that – they are outraged at this war crime of war crimes.

Tried to turn this off the TV yesterday, channel 7 were making a real meal of it. Quite similar to the week before cept it was then it was the gee gees, talking endlessly about nothing. Some Numbskull supposedly a terrorism expert conflated asylum seekers and the Paris outrage suggested that europe would have to look at that pretty seriously, though he was in a suit coat not a tweed jacket with leather elbows I thought that was innovative. This stuff never fails to surprise me, strong and intelligent people I respect turn to water before my very eyes, all rational thought flies out the window and I must listen to peaceloving folks talking about doing evil too, it’s a fucking ugly business..

paul walter
Yeah, don’t bother with the telly for a couple of days, it will be hopeessly clogged with stuff telling five minutes of story over spans of hour after hour.

chris hunter
A feeding frenzy.

chris hunter
We live in The Society of the Spectacle – news 24/7 – and don’t they thrive on it!

Peter X
We won’t get rid of Turnbull now, he will ride the wave of terror with eloquent but obvious rhetoric and the punters here will love him all the more.

I thought the rhetoric weary,flat and stale and lacked any defiance, and dragged from the bottom of drawers and spoken with less gusto than the countless times before each time something like this happens.

A thought that I have had, is that over the years Governments have talked down their case as to being an effective body for offering services of any kind. Governments have outsourced all types of responsibilities because the private sector are supposedly more efficient, more economical, more effective, better, faster, cleaner, cheaper blah blah blah.

They have undermined their own authority in the process. Why should we believe that Government can handle this kind of stuff, when they can’t fund a health system or an education system, look after the aged, or provide child care?

And now in urgent times, they come once again with the rhetoric of let’s stand together, we will not be beaten etc etc. When on every other front they say we are unable to maintain what we have?

chris hunter
allthumbs, there is always plenty of money for war. I regularly see the arse end of it on my visits to Ward 17.

The really angry ones now are the Iraq and Afghanistan vets – utterly cynical about our involvement over there – and being seriously fucked over by the DVA as well – unless it’s ANZAC day when the troops are well – automatically lauded. :roll:

chris hunter
Yep, and if Labor had opposed going back into the ME we would have a real contest of ideology at the next election.

Yeah like the Insiders and yesterday’s news, Turnbull doing a “fig leaf talk” hands down and covering the exposed genitalia then today sombre, concerned and unsmiling , but trying to still convey his “i have a dream” but not doing a Tony, who it seems is still in a puglistica mood.

Mark ferrari
Imagine if the French people started to flee France to escape terrorist attacks and the world demonised the victims and turned them back?
200,000 plus dead , millions flee and are demonised. Oh…I forgot western lives are more valuable.

chris hunter
The iconic “blowback” episode by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show said it all.

The hide of America to think that they could wage war all over the planet and not get something back – 9/11.

And Hillary Clinton in full orgasm (Philip Adams) when GW announced the new wild west policy for squaring the ledger.
Yeah, right, where is the bottom of the ledger?

Clinton is a goose, God help us if she gets the gig.

mint slice
There is no way we would ever do this to whitey.

A more likely scenario might involve Vlad rolling into a Baltic State.

Can you imagine Australia turning away a bunch of blondes who chartered a boat to start a new life out here?

Of course not. The ink wouldnt be dry on the creation of a new “whitey in trouble” visa class to accomodatd then before they reached the exclusion zone.

Weve seen that counterfactual when Howard (rightly) offfered sanctuary to any white Zimbabwe farmers getting persecuted by Mugabe.

The conversation changes very quickly if whitey is in trouble.

chris hunter
Whitey can get real nasty with Whitey. MSF doctors were outraged at the deliberate coalition targeting of Kunduz hospital. Just because they refuse to take sides when treating the wounded? No explanation from the coalition as yet? Hell no.

And what about the town they flattened the other day trying to get at Jihad John. Did they get him?

Precision bombing – that’s what we were promised.

Abbott crossed his heart on this. Yeah right.

Mark Ferrari
200,000 plus Syrians dead.

Something is going on in Syria that we don’t understand.

The US, Australia, France and others have been supposedly bombing ISIS there and in Iraq to no effect.

When Russia got involved things started to change.

Is it possible that we are actually enabling ISIS in an attempt to destroy Assad, as happened to Gaddafi in Libya?

Is it possible that these attacks in France were not by ISIS but by Syrians attempting to motivate the West into destroying ISIS instead of using it as a proxy?

Doug Quixote
That could well be right. The West wanted to destroy the Assad regime, and if Daesh did that for them well and good.

But with the usual flair for fucking things up, the West has allowed a greater evil to prosper.

Daesh is the enemy of humanity, and the West is now seeing the truth for itself.

When compared to America, it may not be the relatively low numbers killed or injured in Paris which unnerves us. It may be the realisation that suicide bombers have nothing to fear as they are assured of everlasting life.

And it may be the anticipation of such a group acquiring a small nuclear weapon placed in the back of a van or in a container and driven to the centre of a city such as Paris where it would certainly be detonated.

As we have seen in Palmyra the destruction of monuments is inconsequential, and people equally.

Hey Francis, listen, we need you to do us a solid, we need you to come clean with the eternity thing.

We’ve been doing some back channel communications and they are willing to let go of it if you will, the eternity concept I mean.

Well, just say he’s not all powerful, pretty powerful but not all out balls to wall powerful and that we have made some progress over the last couple of millennia and we’re a little closer to sitting at the table.

But we can talk about that later, let’s just knock the eternity thing on the head, because frankly you and I know it, no harm done, people are living longer now, long enough for them to start complaining about how long they have to live.

Whattya say? It’d help us out of a bit of a jam?

Glow Worm
Laugh out loud funny!

Nice one, allthumbs.

Geoff G
Nah, can’t do it. Slave morality needs an eternity for, well, eternity.

Oh, and I just got word down the pipeline -that Freddie Nietzsche aint fond of barbies.

Can’t blame the kids for going mad, we have truly stuffed up the world for them, and us too.

Perhaps it is their only chance. Become a terrorist, travel and see the world, kill people and destroy countries. Pretty gross from all angles.

If one terrorist was a Syrian, by his passport, then you just have to go look at the devastation war has done to his country, to understand where he was coming from. It’s the madness of men and wars.

And now we have our arch madman Abbott pipe up, as the big warrior man, who brawled with his mate at his ousting party, broke a marble table and left the guy in a wheelchair. Geez! they are now looking to idolize him. It’s pretty obvious we have a problem with brutes parading around under the guise of leaders.

Mark Ferrari
I think TA should be promoted to the rank of platoon leader and be shipped to Syria next week. I believe an excellent role for him would be as Death Cult Canon fodder.

Quo Vadis Merkel’s EU, Just Asking

Albrechtsen’s grave screech, ‘This will change Europe forever!’ on The Bolt Report this morning may forebode indeed an end, alas, to the EU adventure for all the abashed and shellshocked signatories. A million Africans and Syrians crossing borders and seeking work or the dole in France, Britain, Ireland and Scandinavia will bestir the Le Pens and Farages to byelection victory upon byelection victory till one by one the component big powers shrug off the Euro and the Union, lock up their gates and put their toes in their ears.

It’s hard to see a foreboding, now, of anything else. As more and more millions claw at the portcullis then drown in the moat, there will be no other choice.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Abbott’s Winston-Wilderness Manoeuvre

Abbott on the Bolt Report is recommending a Holy War on ISIS and cursing, mildly, Malcolm Turnbull for sneering, off the record, at his turn-them-back-from-Lampedusa war-cries to the gulping Thatcherites at Guildhall. Some might think he’s playing a lion-growling Churchill to Malcolm’s meek and blithering Chamberlain prematurely, disloyally and eftsoons though others will think his intervention well-timed, brave-hearted and spot-on.

Asked if he would stay on as Member for Warringah he smirked that his future wasn’t all surf-boarding and bike-riding and to some it seemed, at that moment, that the twice-told tales of Churchill, Menzies, Howard, Kennett, Napthine and (yes) Turnbull would shape his future manoeuvres of simmer, carp, collude, connive, confound and (shazam!) return to power.

How dumb and crazed these dreams may be, we are yet to discover.

In the meantime fasten your seat-belts, as Bette might say, it’s going to be bumpy ride.

The Last Time I Saw Paris

10.59 am

The various night attacks in Paris (an exact duplication of a major sequence in the new Bond film Spectre) are a demonstration of how effective a few stern people who don’t mind dying can be. Terrifying to think the next target could be the Louvre, or, in London, the National Portrait Gallery, or the Vatican, or the Opera House. The destruction by DAESH of the biblical antiquities of Syria is a measure of how terrifying terrorism can be.

It’s worth reminding ourselves, I guess, of where this vile new world began. It was when Jerry Bremer sacked the entire Iraqi civil service and cancelled their pensions, and the entire Iraqi military and let them keep their guns, and thus impelled a couple of million well-trained Sunnis with mortgages and big families to form secret armies one of which, within two years, became Islamic State and recruited tens of thousands of furious crucifying teenagers who eventually conquered an area of ground as big as the United Kingdom and began a hundred year war on the Bremer-backed Shi-ites and their allies the Iranians and Iran’s allies the Europeans, Americans and Australians.

And here we are.

7.03 pm
Curious how these numbers are so shocking. 140 presently, they may grow to 160. But 28,000 or 30,000 die by gunfire in America in any year. Half of these are admittedly suicides. But the other 14,000 — or 16,000 — are ten times as many — in a single year — as are violently killed in France in a decade.

And it seems indeed that every six months or so one sees an American massacre — in a cinema, a school, a college — by some deranged young white Christian whose religion is barely mentioned in any press analysis of the atrocity. If he’s not a Muslim, his creed matters little. If he’s a heathen, it’s the whole story.

11.50 am Sunday 15th

The kamikaze factor in the Brave New Caliphate strategy — a young man self-blown-up cannot be hunted, surrounded, captured, perp-walked, headlined and publicly tried for mass murder — makes it harder to maintain the rage, detect and handcuff the co-conspirators since punishment has occurred already, some call it martyrdom, and a cold chill in the heart that hints there’s more and more such martyrs born every minute in an ever-expanding fanatic faith now daily recruiting teenage beheaders and crucifiers and child bride rapists in twenty or thirty countries. To such hot young fellows martyrdom is the truly glamorous game in town and there’ll be more and more of it in the next hundred years till the diffident secular West grows tired of it.

And so it will go.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Suicide Mission

Malcolm’s usual propaganda method, of saying with a grin, ‘Relax, it’s not hàppening,’ will be sorely tested by the nuclear waste dump Frydenberg is digging somewhere, he hopes, on mainland Australia.

He’ll face communities who remember Fukushima vividly, having watched it on television around the clock, and do not as a consequence want their pasturelands poisoned by spent nuclear tools any more than they want them poisoned by coal seam gas. He will face a vast nationwide hypochondria that, since Three Mile Island and Chernobyl, has been common among humankind. He can say all he likes that it’s hypochondria, it’s illogical, and experts reject it. But it wàs experts that thought Mara!inga harmless, and Bikini harmless, a year after the explosions there. They were experts too who thought Hiroshima habitable a week after it was immolated, and Gound Zero, New York, no harm to the lungs of the volunteers digging through it for survivors.

It’s a measure of how poor at politics the Liberals are. They do not understand that just one image of the Hindenburg on fire in mid-air was enough to end the airship industry forever. They do not understand how one image of a little running naked scalded girl meant the Vietnam War could not thereafter be won by our side. And they do not see what the enflamed rods of Fukushima did to the uranium/nuclear lobby for the next hundred years.

It’s a measure also that they chose the mainland for the buria! of their radioactive arsenal of glimmering death. Refugees must stay offshore, it seems, and nuclear danger come here.

It would not be too big a thought to have this nuclear waste dump on Christmas Island, or Lord Howe Island, or Thursday Island, or King Island, or Kangaroo Island, or Rottnest Island, or Norfolk Island, or the Cocos, or any one of the 8,222 islands we administrate, and so distance it by a measure of sea water from threatening harm to our farmers or country town people or the sacred sites of our original people.

But no, it cannot be on any of them. It has to be near the underground water of a continent, endangering life forms for three thousand miles in any direction.

There is not much need for the unranium industries any more. Solar batteries will power most houses and cars, wind farms many industries. Awful people who think Fukushima a risk worth taking, and the Hiroshima bomb and its descendants a weapon worth using are pervertedly fond of uranium’s dark matter and its promised profits but it is clearly as doomed historically as fossil fuels in a future when wind, and waves, and descending water, and upspurting Icelandic geysers and harvested sunlight will power everything, and these greedy bootleggers of the old ways of doing things will be, very soon, the war criminals of the future and should be treated accordingly today.

Simply The Worst

(First published by Independent Australia)

Dutton’s actions this week make him the worst Minister since Federation, and – not that it matters – a greater criminal than most of those he is punishing.

He does not care, it seems, by what process Fazel Chegeni was killed, and is conducting no investigation. He is sending back to England a 51-year-old man, Ian Wightman, who has lived for fifty years in Australia. He is sending back to New Zealand a war hero, Ko Rutene, thrice decorated in Afghanistan, who has a family here, and has put him in solitary confinement. He has asked that nobody from Serco be arrested for committing, or permitting, ten million dollars’ worth of damage burning down his facility and ruining the island’s tourist industry. He has asked that no inmate be arrested for this either, and made to spend eight or ten years in gaol.

He has caused the New Zealand Interior Minister, Peter Dunne, to compare Christmas Island with Guantanamo. He has been called by a United Nations committee, one Julie Bishop wants us on, a people smuggler. He has ordered the kidnapping of people on their way to New Zealand, and their dumping on a reef off Indonesia.

Like many Queensland policemen of the Moonlight State era, he has no strong sense of what is law and what is lawlessness. He does not think the rape of Abyan is worth investigating, or her known assailant worth punishing. He thinks Transfield, which assists, or does not mind much, the rape of children, should be paid a billion dollars for their coming services to humanity. He calls Sarah Hanson Young a liar and orders his minions to spy on her in her motel room – and in, presumably, the shower.

The number of crimes he is guilty of is legion. He has damaged Australia’s reputation world wide like no other. What he has done to the innocent, rivals the misdeeds of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. He has traumatised children and ruined their lives. He is sending back to their countries of origin people who have spent a lifetime here, had families here, and want to stay with them and care for them as they grow up.

He is as horrible a man as many a past Caribbean dictator. And he is ruining Malcolm Turnbull’s chances of staying in office with every day he remains unpunished.

He should be committed to a mental institution and there watched closely, pending a Senate inquiry into his misdeeds, and extradition to The Hague.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Dutton’s Renditions

Dutton’s changes to the laws to that govern humanity continue. He’s banned from this country a war hero with medals from Afghanistan who guarded for a time the New Zealand Prime Minister. He’s ‘rendered’ various New Zealand insurgent arsonists on Christmas Island to Western Australia, Curtin, the Kimberlys, to stop them telling local police why they burnt and smashed the place up and how Fazel Chegeni died, and what weapons were used to subdue them. He’s refused himself to enquire into Chegeni’s death, though the word ‘escaped’ suggests he was murdered, or to say why he, a genuine refugee accepted by Australia, was imprisoned, ‘rendered’ to Christmas Island, untreated after suicide attempts and why he was not let simply settle here, as a Kurd persecuted and threatened by ISIS, whom we are currently bombing.

The law seems lately something Dutton shapes like plasticine, along lines of his bizarre nocturnal desire. If these Kiwi prisoners committed arson, they should be tried for it locally, not moved three thousand miles from the scene of the crime uncharged. If Chegeni died while fleeing Serco hoons, falling over a cliff, or if they pushed him, or if he suicided, we should hear of it. ‘No suspicious circumstances’ (who says there were none?) does not, as a statement, cover it. It’s suspicious he, an accepted refugee, was locked up in the first place. It’s suspicious he, a serial suicide attempter, was not psychiatrically treated.

And apparently the war hero was deemed an unsuitable tourist because he visited a friend, who was a bikie, in gaol. Would English friends who visited Alan Bond in gaol be so treated? Or New Zealand friends who visited Lindy Chamberlain?

It is reasonably clear from this, and his ‘road to Damascus’ utterance, and his profession of sympathy for needy Syrian children, that Dutton is cracking up, and needs, himself, psychiatric assessment, prior to his arraignment in The Hague for piracy, kidnap, child abuse, people smuggling and rest of it.

He is not well in his mind.

Talking The Talk On The GST

Turnbull’s continuing charge that Labor won’t ‘engage’ in ‘any discussion of tax reform’ is contradicted at every Question Time by his own answers.

When Labor asks him if he knows what a raised GST, or a GST on fresh food, will cost the average family, he loftily asserts that the question presupposes that he’s decided to alter the GST and he isn’t prepared to discuss that possibility. It’s he, not Labor, that won’t discuss a GST.

Nor will he discuss a tax on superannuation interest income over 75,000 a year. It’s a looking-glass world in which Labor raises policy options all the time and the Coalition refuses to talk about them, calling this refusal a ‘conversation with the Australian people’ and Labor’s engagement a refusal.

Clearly the Liberals are getting bad news about a raised or widened GST from their polling. They first said some Labor premiers and ex-premiers want a raised GST (and why wouldn’t they?), and they then said it wasn’t their policy. It can only mean that 52 or 54 percent won’t vote for them if they bring it in.

Shadowing this move in the electorate is Turnbull’s wealth. If he avoids tax in the Caymans, why should their tax make up the deficit? If he’s made ten, or fifteen, million dollars in this way, is he a really serious person? What does he spend his money on? Is it worthy causes, or Bill Henson pictures?

He won’t be at Question Time today, and the yabbering maniac Morrison will.

And we will see what we shall see.

The Weakest Link

It is worth noting that the yapping attack dog Morrison is the worst Treasury spokesman since, I think, Federation, certainly in my lifetime, which began in 1942.

Birmingham, Frydenberg, Ciobo, Brough, Robb or Porter would have been fine, displaying, as one so placed must do, a calm voice and reassuring future fiscal plans in Question Time.

What this hyperbolical pious boofhead does instead is shout and curse and harry and bully and rail, as if it were half time in a League match his side was losing. He is as dumb a politician as was, on his unmedicated weekends, Mark Latham.

And he loses votes every parliamentary day.

On Ellis Gold

I am putting up slowly on Ellis Gold my writings on November 11, 1975. I will add to this further Cumberbatch Meditations as they come to me. One more such chapter I will add below, then transfer the lot across, in the next few days, to Ellis Gold.

This Yabbering, Simian Oaf

Dutton’s hectic Orwellian obfuscations continue. We are dismantling the people smugglers’ business model, he says, by giving them money. We scorn the criticism of a hundred nations (Germany, Sweden, Turkey) who think us cruel to innocent refugees, they are ‘obsessed’ with the issue, like Barrie Cassidy, and it is none of their business, or his. We take in more refugees per capita, he asserts uncontradicted, though Germany’s current proposed intake of 800,000 this year shows this to be a Big Lie. The rioters on Christmas Island were all rapists and murderers, he grumbles, and were only lightly injured by tear gas and rubber bullets though Fazel Chegeni, who had committed no crime, was rather more unkindly treated and ended up dead at the bottom of a cliff.

This yabbering simian oaf is killing and torturing and denying prescribed medication to, in my belief, an unacceptable number of innocent people. And, worse than that, or almost worse than that, he is lying about his own major crimes with a rehearsed and blithering glibness that would bring a blush to the cheeks of Josef Goebbels. Anyone who criticises our border-protection triumphs is a hardened criminal, he says, or, worse, Barrie Cassidy.

He continues to cover up the murder of Reza Barati, the blossoming pregnancy of Abyan, the rape of children on Nauru, the trade in blow-jobs on that island, and the suicide or murder of Fazel Chegeni and he is obstructing thus the course of justice and should be in gaol.

Prove that I lie.

Turnbull Coming Unstuck (2)

Turnbull in his first week picked up a lot of Greens and women’s preferences but he is losing them now. Violence on Christmas Island, murderers free on Manus and child rapists on Nauru he has neither addressed nor reproved. Tax in millions or tens of millions he dodged in the Caymans he called evidence that he was ‘lucky’. A fifty percent rise in the GST he claims will be compensated for. His amused insouciance is beginning to dismay some voters. And his policy — do nothing, talk about everything — has lost him his majority already.

Is he, in his current incarnation, a ‘smooth-talking wuss’ and little more? I’ve known him since he was nineteen, and he was, then as now, ambitious, unfocussed, amused, uncaring. He slept with older women, some of whom we shared. He had no siblings and, effectively, no mother and brandished the kind of selfishness, spiced with insecurity, that characterises that semi-orphan condition and his attitude today. He was not a bad young fellow, but he seemed to me to lack that last five percent of practical intelligence that signifies commonsense. A Gore Vidal phrase, ‘that bright fool’, sadly, suits him.

He should have done in his first days more than he did. He might have brought on a conscience vote on gay marriage and have been by now attending gay weddings, and being toasted by by his witty Woollahra constituents. He might have upped to 31 or 32 percent our emissions target. He might have delayed or cancelled Transfield’s permission to persecute innocents on Nauru.

And now he has a full-fledged rebellion on his plate. There will be deaths as his Commonwealth Police invade and subdue Christmas Island. The Senate will find Dutton gulty of crimes against humanity. Abyan will give birth here, and beg to stay. And what will he do then?

Sixteen years ago he gave us a preview of his present bumptuous lack of commonsense. He proposed a Clayton’s Republic, in which the Governor-General is renamed ‘President’ and appointed by Parliament, not elected. Other alternatives — direct election, five candidates proposed by Parliament who ran then for election — he pooh-poohed aggressively. He was violent in his arguments with his collaborators Keneally, Vizard, Stott-Despoja, O’Donoghue, Rann and Gallop. He got his way but, because his model was so insubstantial — so meaningless — lost narrowly, and in tears that night complained that John Howard had ‘broken the nation’s heart’.

What moved him to this petulant plaint is that it was his model, his wellbeloved teddy-bear, which the wizened wizard of Wollstonecraft had torn from his arms. He hung on to his Precious too long and so lost the encounter. And then, as he does, be had a tantrum.

Has he never grown up? There’s evidence, I think, that he froze, a rabbit in the headlights, when his mother abandoned her marriage, and left him behind when he was eight and his father packed him off to a boarding school not far from his home and he was bullied there, and miserable, small and fat. That eight-year-old is with us still, in denial, frightened and blustering.

What will he do with Christmas Island? Pretend it isn’t happening, I’d guess, his usual default position, and speak amusedly of other things. He will smirk and wisecrack, and hope it goes away.

But it will not. And he is hoist on it. And it may, just may, destroy him.

Today’s Newspoll

Newspoll figures grow sillier as Murdoch, the boss, grows older and this week showed notable contradictions.

Shorten’s performance numbers have gone up, Labor’s down. Shorten’s figures as preferred Prime Minister are up, and Labor’s down. The Greens, which in other polls are around 15, are in this one on 10. The 6 percent ‘uncommitted’ have been both excluded and included. PUP, KAP and DLP are not mentioned, but herded under ‘others’, which unaccountably got 300,000 less votes this time than in 2013.

And…as usual…the preferences are allotted not as they are but as they were in 2013, when 20 percent of Greens and 70 percents of ‘Windsor Independents’ preferred Abbott, who in those days was thought not to be lying. No mobile phones were rung, nor anyone out of the house on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, that is, everyone under forty.

The figures, adjusted — probably — would be Labor 37, Greens 13, ‘others’ 11, Liberals 31, Nationals 9, and the upshot, two party preferred, Coalition 46, Labor 54, a winning figure larger than any since 1977.

Prove that I lie.

The North Sydney by-election will show a swing to the Greens of 20 percent, and away from the Liberals of 6 percent.

Prove that I lie.

Polls that ring no mobiles are getting more and more useless and Newspoll, of course, is crooked, as the other Murdoch polls in 2012 in America showed, where Romney was always ahead or competitive; in the Murdoch polls alone. Fraud continues to be practised by his affiliates and the CEO should go to gaol.

Or perhaps you disagree.

Four Predictions

There will be no Newspoll on an increased or widened GST.

There will be no Newspoll on Syrians on Nauru coming here.

There will be no Newspoll on banishing New Zealanders who have lived most of their lives here, and had families here, back to New Zealand.

There will be no Newspoll on Turnbull avoiding taxes, in tens oif millions, in the Caymans and whether he is a bad man for doing this.

The results I predict would have been: 78 percent of respondents against an altered GST; 58 percent in favour of Syrians coming here from Nauru; 88 percent against sending New Zealanders home; and 83 percent against the Prime Minister dodging taxes.

Prove that I lie.

The Sweet Sad Ballad Of PVO

One the privileges of my illness is the time it has allowed me to watch, day after day, and night after night, the moral immolation of Peter Van Onselen.

A rural Jehovah’s Witness who fought his way out of that blood-refusing madness into university and intellectual respectability and a much-praised history of the Liberal Party; and then a whole lot of money in a Faustian bond with Murdoch, he has now, head in hands, called on Dyson Heydon to resign or be sacked, and will echo soon his own pleas, in February, for Abbott to go away, go anywhere, but please, please go away.

Van Onselen (whom I have nicknamed The Choirboy) is the worst of men, brilliant but wedded by greed and ambition to the Sean Hannity-Karl Rove-Tea Party agenda, and personally charming enough to dine out with Crabb and Muldoon and Richo.

In the next weeks, as his handsome features alter into the picture of Dorian Gray, and then a homeless person, and then an Ice addict, it will be interesting to see who still talks to him.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses will, of course, and at some point he may go home, and become a preacher for them, and wonder if, indeed, all this was a dream.

Abbott Dwindling: The Final Days (1)

Morrison in a press conference this morning said gay marriage was a peripheral issue and the Coalition would concentrate on the things the people judged important: jobs, domestic violence, Ice, and stimulating the economy.

He made no mention of the new war on DAESH in Syria, the war on those agents of DAESH who were perverting Muslim teenagers, the war on Zaky Mallah, or those ABC executives who were not on ‘Team Australia’.

He seemed to have abolished National Security as an issue, though a billion more dollars were to be spent on it, and embraced domestic violence, though money had been cut from it.

There is a truly significant alteration of emphasis in government policy and shows a rejection, with Abbott, of the Abbott paranoid agenda, which is not, clearly, getting through to the suburbs where boat people and Ice score big among the ignorant punters.

Today’s Ipsos

The Ipsos actually shows Labor on 56 and Abbott needing to win back a million votes to survive wth a 2 majority. This is the worst result for any party since Federation, and would lose Abbott his own seat.

As with Newspoll, the Ipsos headline is a cheat. 46 is what the Coalition would get if those who vote Independent dispersed their preferences as they did in 2013 when they thought Abbott was telling the truth on his policies. Asked how they would disperse them now they gave him 44. Why the 2013 figure is used by anyone is a good question. The only answer is ‘to have a headline better for Abbott’.

Morgan has Labor on 57.5 and is in agreement, pretty much, with Ipsos. It is a result that would lose Abbott 50 or 55 seats, including his own.

Will he be overthrown this week? Well, it’s possible. Robb or Smith may replace him, or maybe Turnbull’s hour has come.

The Heydon Upshot

The unfairness of Dyson Heydon is best shown by the transcript of the Shorten interrogation by himself and his dutiful researcher. Bill answered 902 questions in about five thousand words, and was cool and crisp in his responses and sometimes very funny. Heydon’s own long winded intervention, unprecedented in our legal history, in which he, the investigator, asserted that the witness appeared to him to no longer have any credibility, was an improper impertinence he should go to gaol for.

I am putting up the transcript of about five hundred of these questions and answers on Ellis Gold this afternoon. They are well worth the dollar they will cost you to read them..

My Fellow Patient Alan Bugden, R.I.P

After my seventeen hours covered in my own blood from a nosebleed and the staff refusing to wash me, I can imagine Alan Bugden, a few doors down, dying unregarded in a Royal North Shore toilet for twenty hours.

It is an awful place and it killed, this week, more Australians here than have died from ‘terrorism’ in the last hundred years.

Kyrgios’s Complaint

A twenty-year old man called Kyrgios has been fined fifteen thousand dollars for saying something rude to a teammate.

Similar things happened in the 1960s and 70s. The entire cast of the travelling productions of Rooted and Don’s Party were arrested for swearing on stage. Portnoy’s Complaint was banned here because it dealt with masturbation; Ulysses (eventually read aloud on Bloomsday by me and Bob Carr and Whitlam) because it was full of impure thoughts and bad language; the film Night Of The Hunter because it showed a Christian preacher as a murderer, thief and kidnapper.

In that era too Gore Vidal’s The City And The Pillar was banned because it portrayed homosexual activity; and, in most nations, Nabokov’s Lolita because it was told from the point of view of a pederast; and Peter Ryan’s Spycatcher banned because it revealed an MI5 plot to overthrow Harold Wilson and replace him with Lord Mountbatten. Malcolm Turnbull, happily, was there to fight for its publication, and, after two cases, allow it to go through the presses as a bestseller.

Are we back in that repressed, repressive era? It seems we are. Zaky Mallah can’t ask a simple, reasonable question.The ABC is threatened with extinction if they broadcast it, or broadcast it more than once. A sporting commentator can’t compare a sporting star’s looks to those of King Kong. Abusive dialogue common in The Thick Of It and Veep and The Trip — and the monologues of Robin Williams an Steve Coogan and Billy Connolly.

Where does this wave of wowserism come from? Why is Donald Trump being asked to resign his career and a race in which he is way ahead for calling an awful mendacious Fox woman an awful mendacious Fox woman? How much malice is involved in it, and how much right-wing religiosity?

Just asking.

New Dutton War Crimes On Nauru

After the murder of Reza Berati, and the twelve men who got away with it, and after the blowjobs-for showers trade on Nauru, and the little girl who mimicked being buggered at age five, and after the pregnant women who were encouraged by Morrison to have abortions because they would never, never, nearer live in Australai’, it should have been easy enough to accept the criminality of the Immigration Department and Dutton and Morrison and Wilson Security.

But the waterboarding, reported last night, was a bit of a shock.

It means Dutton can be arrested by the Commonwealth Police and tried at The Hague for crimes against humanity. It means our Cabinet Ministers are now on a level with Rumsfeld and. Cheney and their deeds comparable with those committed in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo..

But what has happened to the story? It was there overnight, denied as ‘implausible’ by Sutton, insisted it was true by a Wilson guard, and we do not hear it any more.

No doubt it will be back, along with photos of Sarah Hanson Young, in the toilet, in the shower, and meeting proscribed refugees , and agents of Gillian Trig gs, and another cover-up, and another revelation.

And we will see what we shall see.

On Ellis Gold

My famous long chapter on John Clayton dying will be up on Ellis Gold this afternoon. Worth subscribing for. More on Monday.m

Next Cab Off The Rank

The time has come to speak of who will be Prime Minister by September 1st.

Abbott will defend Dyson Heydon as he did Bronwyn Bishop for the next week, and lose office.

Turnbull does not have the numbers — and, to judge by what he said on Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon will never have them — and Julie Bishop, aka princess Mesothelioma’, is widely thought mad for her unceasing war upon Putin, who seems to have had nothing to do with the shooting down of MH 15, and her bizarre determination to spend 150 million looking for MH 370, although it has already been found.

This leaves us with the only senior candidate still credible, Andrew Robb and some younger men: Frydenberg, Ciobo, Tudge, and…Tony Smith.

Tony Smith, I think.

He was extremely popular in the lead-up to the Speaker vote, and has shown himself very able since.

A new face, untainted.

Smith for me.

Recommended Viewing

Tony Burke’s speech yesterday is one of the great opportunistic tactical orations of our day.

The Loneliness Of The Long-Distance Prime Minister

Matthew Guy saying this is not the Liberal Party I joined, and Turnbull’s warning that gay marriage will dominate the next year if it is not dealt with soon, plus Abbott’s wild successive ‘captain’s picks’ throughout the day — he went from the Parliament should decide to the party room should decide to the joint party room should decide’ went from Parliament ‘ to the party room should decide ‘ to the joint party room should decide –spelt another leadership crisis, another ‘near-death experience, in the coming days.

Morgan showed him losing fifty or fifty-five seats before this, his Longest Day, and his two Question Times thus far were debacles. It seems now improbable the Entsch-Butler motion will.not be considered by the House. It seems likely, indeed, the new Speaker will insist it be tabled.

What we are seeing is an equivalent of what happened to Campbell Newman: a crazy man out of touch with voters doing more and more crack-pated things on a twice-weekly basis to the amazement nd disgust of the media and commentariat. He

He’s abolished one ‘Ghan out of two a week. He has abolished a hundred and fifty remote ‘lifestyle’ Aboriginal settlements. He has canceled the comfort-calls to suicidal teenage Aborigines in gaol. He’s not given given money to the bashed and beaten wives that might have saved Luke Batty. And he’s spent 120 million looking for MH370 and wants to spend fifty million n more. He has to find out what happened, it seems. Why does that outweigh the good society he is cancelling to pay for it.? A pilot may have gone mad, some do. Why is this so important?

We are looking at a fully-fledged nutter here, and his wild changes of tactic and policy yesterday showed it. He,s spending a billion dollars rooting out terrorists in Australia, though no terrorists have killed an Australian here in a hundred years, and he’s abolished wind farms and called renewable energy the last thing we want if it clobbers the economy. He seems to think his abolition of the carbon tax saved each family five hundred dollars a year, though his his cancellation of the Schoolkids’ Money and other things has cost them five thousand dollars.

This is crazy stuff, hourly panicked and wild-hearted and almost everyone sees this in him now.

H may have days in the job, or a month or two. But he will not be there this time nest year.

Abbott’s Gethsemane

Waiting for the end of the joint party meeting for six hours last night, and then watching Abbott’s late-night press conference, with unbelief and amazement, the country got some sense of how bad a tactical player, a tactical politician, the present Prime. Minister is.

The fifteen days he defended Bronwyn Bishop was, oh, thirteen too many, and his party lost all credibility on all issues while those days went by. And every hour after the first hour last night was even worse. It was an unplanned, unexpected meeting., and it seemed after the first hour that Abbott was being overthrown.

It was I suppose like the election of the Pope — black smoke, black smoke, white smoke — and the infinite patience of the cardinals.

There are a good few things to say here, about captains , picks, and Pyne’s fury, and Abbott’s receding sanity. We must also look at the Morgan figures, always accurate, that show Labor on 57 and the Coalition on 43 two party preferred, a larger majority for a winning party than any since Federation.

These figures were published before the six-hour meeting. And Abbott seems not realise how serious this is.. He could lose his seat, and Hockey his, and Barnaby Joyce It is gets worse and worse, and he does not see it.