Sunday 8th of December 2019

app-ollo and the rise of mediocrity...

pfiiiittt...

The amount of seized-up rusty minds — especially good minds — through the confines of the mediocre mass mierda media is overwhelming. 
It is as if some good thinkers are deliberately letting their wisdom fall into the clutches of mad mediocre mullet-head politicians or illuminated-pulpit zealots, for favours or curry. 
It's most likely that the Egyptian engravers had better thought patterns 4000 years ago while hieroglyphing about the goddess of reality, than our present deranged scribes and backward inch-columnists.

I could mention many people here, but speak of one of them, a one-tracked pen pusher, say a Paul Kelly, for example, a great head-journalist who has lost his political analytical objectivity in its entirety long ago... One would have to establish if he is still a journalist or not... After an encyclopedic sized-mountain of analysis with many marginal annotations of 20,000 pages in 40 volumes, this would come to the unfortunate negative conclusion — or it could take two seconds to discover he has entered the temple of stiff right-wing opinionation long ago, where burning candles to iconic turds is essential for surviving the wrath of that other ageing news goddess, Ruperta. 
Though he is entitled to his opinion, I hope that, soon, as the clever inquisitive person he is, he will experience an awakening to the god of Hiathus and pause.
And talking about wrath, why not mention those creationists who think (what am I saying) who give themselves doctorates in theosomethingerry and publish that "man, created 6000 years ago, is a sinner and always subject to god's wrath". Balls ! What is sin, shall I ask? Bad monkeys? Sure... Sinners? Salvation? Satan? Somnus? Old Sox? Stink ?
The simpletoniarity of the "scriptures as a scientific reference of factual events" is breathtakingly stupid and the ferocious refutal of evolution since Darwinism, is more than senseless deliberate ignorance in a world where genetic selection and manipulation is possible. 
The creationists' dismissal of — or the ignorance of — the existence of humans before the times of genesis is an affront to those who still survive today, way beyond the recent years of "creationism", such as the various Aboriginal nations of Australia near 60,000 years of civilisation. 
Yes we can ignore facts in war, in love, in religion and in spherical geography... Our great strength is that we can believe anything we want and dismiss reality in order to glorify our farts. But this is also our failure to accept the long complication of relative events. Most facts don't fit the simple glorious narrative we wish to weave. 
Presently, as the MEAA is fighting itself to bring out a split judgement on one of their own — a brave young journalist, who justly pissed on all the Gallipoli celebrations by doing a reality check — as whether to fight or not the Establishment of Krapdom, we need to consider the opportunity of dismissing many of our invented wafty illusions. For example, the frontier wars against Aboriginal people were real, though rarely mentioned in our history because they contradict our illusions of superiority.
Don't get me wrong, the Anzacs, the youngsters, who fought on the beach and in the trenches, had no real clue as to their master's stupid clueless strategy and crazy dreams of Empiredom  — and they should be honoured with 100 poppies each.
But beyond a discreet remembrance of the fallen, the amount of glorified garbage is essentially designed to flatter and promote the useless politicians of today, and is akin to a Hitlerian Aryan revival rally. It is beyond the pale that we Aussies "overspent" far more than greatly more aggrieved nations, in tears and cash. Of course we — I mean "they", these honchos with the official reefs in hand and the slowed goose-step to the cenotaphs — are doing the same mistakes, the same clueless capers in the name of another empire, to satisfy our collective and singular growing narcissistic psychopathy.
We obviously need to revolt against this artificial cocooning from the political suppositories in this official tartdom that commits cleverer ideas to cinders. Tartdom here is the prostitution of one mediocre view into a uniformed blancmange of low level Turdology, with no future but falling down from rotten branches into a pool of religious warmongeringly-stirred mud of wrath in which greed breeds. It stinks. 
Nothing new mind you. All empires had their ways to massage the minds of its ingredients, the chopped up constituents that made the grissled populace in the soup of glorious laurel-ed Ruledom. Hitler knew how to cook.
Christendom, the "creationists" included, did not escape the emporium process either. Emperor Constantine discovered that it was easier to rule over simpletons and sheep than to rule over intelligent people. 
The mind-space was easy to capture with words such as "the lord is my shepherd" and similar repeated conjecture. Sheep are mentioned a lot in the bible. Sheep are an easier lot to herd with a dog whistle, than bears — especially if those bears are with a sore head in search of lean salmons in a cold wild-running river. One does not dog whistle at bears without dire consequences.
To say the least, monotheism was easier to administer than the complicated rules and sexual lives of the finicky and bickering Roman gods. Looking at entrails of birds is also a bit messy.
One-god-fits-all became the motto, like an elastic petty-coat. Piece of cake. People genuflect at your kingly presence since one is of course sitting on a throne provided by divine intervention written in a self-decree. 
In this divine golden throny situation, one is not under threat from a Jupiter nor a Mars nor a Neptune nor a Juno nor any other gods and goddesses of self-assurance with revengeful lightning bolts or the stormy seas in their superior arsenal. One god becomes responsible for our deserved pain because YOU fuckers have sinned. One emperor is at the top of the tree and as god's messenger uses scribes to rewrite the religious concoction. Simplification rules.
The one-god-fits-all god has only one major crack at the whip, on judgement day for the living and the dead, whatever that is, because by then, like Pontius Pilatus, we would have washed our hands of the whole damned thing, as the little planet may have gone arse up... mostly under our humanly influence. 
So to make some contrary officially registered old bits fit the puzzle, the one-god-fits-all god was also decreed three for the price of one... That was decreed under Constantine's instructions in the fourth century. As well, to explain our failures, there is this other naughty godly powerful creature called satan, whose only purpose is to make us sin as much as possible for a laugh, including make us understand the scientific mechanics of evolution.
Rats ! 
You could wonder why I obsessively mention religion all the time. Gus is nuts. I know.
Well, in this day and age of enlightenment since the 18th century for the western world, our political systems still rely strongly on erroneous religious undertones — as if we were trapped in a flat-earth vortex despite the curvature of space. And there is little we can do but protest. Meanwhile, the scribes of the mierda media don't rock the boat with any intellectual vigour. 
Moving on, through a lot of dark centuries in which the peaceful christians fought each others in the name of the one-god-fits-all god, like demented demons, we encounter other good people such as Jonathan Swift, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Michel Foucault. 
A strange lot gleaned together here indeed.
These writers/philosophers had their idiosyncrasies and all fought a system of pre-munched ideas, with their own new sauces — though someone like Swift ended up philosophically sleeping crooked with the favoured concept of divine royalty, against democracy. Swift was a priest... 
Mind you, stoic Queen Anne still gave him turds in return, especially for publishing something called "A Tale of a Tub" (in which "tub" was the slang name for pulpit of rebellious priests). Swift is of course remembered for Gulliver's Travels and other literary works — as well as being recognised as the foremost satirist in the English language, though he was Irish.
He wrote his own epitaph as one should:

"Here is laid the Body

of Jonathan Swift, Doctor of Sacred Theology,
Dean of this Cathedral Church,

where fierce Indignation
can no longer
injure the Heart.
Go forth, Voyager,
and copy, if you can,
this vigorous (to the best of his ability)
Champion of Liberty.

He died on the 19th Day of the Month of October,
A.D. 1745, in the 78th Year of his Age.
"

As one must note Jonathan Swift contributed in a lesser degree to poetry though some of it resonates with the antiquity:
"The god of wit, to show his grudge,
Clapt asses' ears upon the judge ;
A goodly pair, erect and wide,
Which he could neither gild nor hide."

This of course is written by Swift in relation to King Midas giving the shits to Apollo.
Apollo was the best at anything and did not like mere mortals telling him that he was second rate. Midas was a SUPER-RICH shifty good-for-nothing king who turned everything he touched including his food into gold, thus starved to death, but beforehand had the temerity to award a musical contest to a second rate flute player, Pan (no less), against the best of the best, namely Apollo. 
Apollo was furious about Midas' ruling and plonked some donkey's ears on the geezer-with-the-golden-touch who had to hide them big ears under a big wig... Under the weight of impossible secrecy, Midas' hairdresser who was sworn under threat of the death penalty, eventually told a big hole he had dug to the centre of the earth that :

"King Midas wears 
(These eyes beheld them, these) such ass's ears !
Horace

The echo survived beyond immemorial times and we now know the truth about Abbott's flappies. Apollo has always been less than impressed by shifty low deceit and bad notes on the accordion.

I recant here, I did not mean to make a bad joke out of Turdy's hearing attributes, only about the low level of his poor nasty lying deceitful mind. Always thinking about making us swallow more crap.
And this is the irony here, the poorer and shiftier the mind of the turdster — instead of what should be HUGE criticism of his MANY 579 failures — the greater the support from the sharpest of minds of the press who thus write countless porkies about Turdy's fake glories and lies — and about his royal turdiness incarnate as if all this crap defined reality. My big concern HERE is that these low-life attributes actually define present reality. A real bad reality. Real bad. Bad. Frightening. 

Influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault addressed the relationship between power and knowledge, and how they are used as a form of social control through societal institutions, including punishment. 
In some ways, Foucault was the super high-grade intellectual fence-sitting analytical philosopher, the antithesis to our present prolific scribe fence-sitter and home-cooking scone-maker star, Annabel Crabb
These days of decadent decrepitude from the top echelons of politics down to the sewers of adversarial questions and answers, glorified by many leaky-ink pen pushers, have buried the elevated thoughts of greater constructs, in which we should be playing social Mecanno with ingenuity and creativity, while knowing the planet better rather than trying to burn it down. Phew.
Thus, elevated social understandings have vanished — even the gods have been replaced by various App-ollos on little glowing machines that dictate what we do... And our deeper thoughts are incanted with our dick-pics published on "social media". 
Is it because democracy relies on the most common lowest denominator or have we dropped the intellectual ball as not to raise the bar, because mediocrity is easy?

The future is narrowingly gloomier, but we may not know, because we don't look up. The rise of mediocrity would be overwhelming should we inadvertently discover the real level we swim at — and I've been swimming for a long time, in search of Mount Parnassus... or Mount Ararat for the believers.

Gus Leonisky
Your local drunken rev'ller atheistic oracle at a Bacchus sponsored venue.
-------------------
Ps
— "For instance, one morning when Xantippe [Old Sox' spouse] had given me half a drachma and one of the trumpeters tooted about some sweetmeat from Troy, I bough a little. Also one time there was so much trumpeting about a mixture of sea-salt to wash clothes without rubbing, I borrowed the money from a disciple and bough some in the hope that it would improve Xantippe's disposition."
— "And tell me, my disciple [Old Sox], hast thou bought any since?"
— "No, it did no good"... I mean Xantippe was just the same as before. However, Xantippe, believing it saved work at the washboard, has bought several time since, and I am informed she has told the wives of other philosophers who take in washing for a living."
— "See here, my disciple, Here you shall learn some vital statistics:..."
The rest is trumpeting... or in the words of some people — propaganda, advertising, religious beliefs and political spruiking designed to turn humans into sheep. Or consumers. or sheep that consume. 
"... [he] who toots expert opinions to me everyday. He'll toot out anything, facts, half-facts and fiction, all strangely intermingled, anything to bluff it through and to put it over me."

 

turdy's opposition to the opposition of the death penalty...

The Abbott government quietly scrapped an instruction to the Australian Federal Police last year requiring it to take Australia's opposition to the death penalty into account when co-operating with overseas law enforcement agencies.

In 2010, Labor's then minister for home affairs, Brendan O'Connor, included Australia's opposition to the death penalty in his official ministerial direction to the AFP. 

The 2010 ministerial direction said the minister expected the AFP to "take account of the government's long-standing opposition to the application of the death penalty, in performing its international liaison functions".

This was the first time such an instruction had been included in a ministerial direction to the AFP.

In May 2014, Justice Minister Michael Keenan issued a new ministerial direction that removed the instruction. The 2014 ministerial direction includes no reference to the death penalty.

In a letter sent to Mr Keenan on Wednesday, opposition justice spokesman David Feeney said the instruction should be included in the ministerial direction as a "matter of urgency".

The omission "raises concerns that protecting Australians from the risk of being subject to the death penalty in a foreign jurisdiction is no longer to be considered a critical priority for the AFP," Mr Feeney wrote.

"In light of the the devastating loss of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran overnight, and the national outpouring of grief which has followed, it is more important than ever that ... Australia's political leaders do all we can to protect Australians from the threat of the death penalty, and to campaign for the global abolition of this cruel punishment."

Mr Feeney asked for clarification whether the omission was deliberate or an oversight.

When Labor introduced the instruction in 2010, Philip Ruddock - who was attorney general at the time of the Bali nine arrests - said it was "very problematic" and could stop the AFP co-operating with Indonesian police to prevent potential terrorist attacks. 

read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/bali-9-executions-abbott-government-backflipped-on-afp-death-penalty-directive-20150430-1mwh1t.html

hiding some facts to spruce the legend...

Less excusable and far less innocent, even with the knowledge of hindsight, is the behaviour of the Anzacs stationed in Egypt before being shipped to Gallipoli. There the men treated the locals in an overtly racist manner.

One soldier, Victor Ault, wrote about how

“we thrash the black fellows with whips … Every nigger who is impudent to a soldier gets a hiding … I can’t say how many I’ve belted and knocked out.”

On Good Friday 1915, things got out of hand. Around 2,500 Anzacs rioted in the Wazza district of Cairo, sacking and setting fire to brothels, terrifying the locals, and clashing with military police who tried to intervene. These were no angels. Between 12 per cent and 15 per cent of the AIF had contracted venereal disease.

The battle of the Wazza, as it was dubbed, was not the only riot that took place. Others followed. Drinking and whoring, leaving bills unpaid, threatening, bullying and beating locals because they were “niggers”, and generally behaving in ways that we now condemn our sportsmen for behaving was standard fair for these boys who had money, were far away from home, and had no one to control them.

All this is well known to historians, but clearly less well known to the public. There is an obvious disconnect between what historians know and what the popular perception of our past is. It is this disconnect that has jarred with some in the public and led to McIntyre’s sacking.

read more: https://independentaustralia.net/article-display/anzacs-behaving-badly-scott-mcintyre-contested-history,7649

hiding the past to promote fake glory...

Australia's national indigenous broadcaster has lodged a formal complaint against the Australian Federal Police after a journalist claimed he was intimidated by officers while filming a scuffle between police and participants in an indigenous march. 

NITV journalist Myles Morgan was covering the Anzac Day march in Canberra where a crowd of about 200 indigenous and non-indigenous Australians were calling for recognition of indigenous people killed during the country's colonisation.

Police stopped the Frontier War parade from marching up Anzac Parade to lay a commemorative wreath.

 

read more: http://www.smh.com.au/act-news/nitv-journalist-intimidated-by-canberra-police-on-anzac-day-20150430-1mwi08.html

on the art of trumpeting...

 

Like social media, much of our politics has become a place where bellicose positioning and polarised outrage substitute for the contest of opposing, but potentially constructive, ideas.

Conflict works for a political class that wants little more than to surf public feeling while avoiding commitment to any set of potentially difficult ideas ... ideas that might necessitate the sort of considered conversation that is excluded by the modern mindset that favours counterpoint over harmony.

Paradoxically, each side flinches further from the other with every creeping loss of true belief and honest feeling. Emptied of concrete program and substantial conviction, the sides of politics turn in on themselves and away from each other, fuelled by the last remaining binding force: the blind tribalism of empty but fierce ideological conviction.

With characteristic poise, author and columnist George Megalogenis considered this moment in the most recent edition of The Monthly:

Today if one side says the nation faces a crisis, the other feels compelled to deny it. Think the Coalition on climate change and Labor on the structural hole in the budget. Everything is contested, not as a means to a policy end, but simply to annoy the other side. This politics is American in its effect - tribal and petty, fanatical and consciously dumbed down. The Australian voter has picked it for what it is, even if the two parties don't realise it yet...

Today neither side wants to concede even the smallest human error for fear of losing that minute's news cycle. They are so immersed in the game of politics that they have imported the very thing the Americans hate about their own system: its partisanship. And then they wonder why the electorate has been so volatile.


read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-30/green-weve-nothing-to-fear-but-our-sense-of-certainty/6432502

------------------------------

Gus: all wrong dissertation and already screwed analysis here... Nothing much to do with the present American partisanship...

This argumentation and polarisation of politics is not a new phenomenon. The Jacobites versus the "Anglicans", and the Whigs versus the Tory Parties of yesteryears in England had similar conflagrations. Before this, it was fight between singular kings, say Arthur versus some other pretender, as whom had the divine right to rule. The French Revolution, the Russian Revolution and many other social conflicts, including the "failed" Arab spring, were driven by thoughts and hope of better ways to live and stirred the political possum, including opportunistic extremists. Julius Caesar was knifed more than 20 times for the same reasons, not just because he was a pompous glorious conqueror who inflated the glory of Rome. 

In reality, there has been little "constructive ideas" coming from opposing sides. We make do with changes and status quo as we can, but the media — the controller and maker of "information" — is in general siding with the right, because it needs advertising which operates and survive with the peddling of illusions, exclusivity, fairy tales and expensive perfumes, to feed the wants. On the other side, sometimes called the left, there is more considerations about social needs, but not exclusively. It's always a matter of proportions.

The present spread of information has "democratised" the process of "having an opinion". As well, the debate is being led by lesser beings who are good at spruiking crap and not much else. Few of the people in parliament today would be able to hold a philosophical debate without mentioning money (or religion).

One is always trying to favour one side of society against the other from our position of wants that have been pre-massage by many factors from public opinion to "news", themselves massaged and digested by the media. The terms of reference used always frame the debate. It's often a questions of numbers as to whom controls the debate and gives better ways (or illusions) to survive with the least amount of pain. Knowing too much can be painful if not managed well...

The present right-wing government of Australia has been lying through its teeth on most fronts and is doing as much as possible to ignore or belittle the scientific information. Not only we're fighting left against right (social versus inequity) we're also engaged in many other conflagrations such as science versus religion, money (including the value of debt) versus survival, laws versus religion, religion versus money, money for religion, wants versus needs, and so forth. Nothing is clear cut and to say the least, nothing has been clear cut since the beginning of the history of humankind. We suffer our fools, our psychopaths, sociopaths and ourselves while trying to improve the jet engine.

In Germany, the present government is "social democrat" supported by Christian democrat parties. This does not mean that these parties are socialistic, but it reflects on the importance of society as a whole rather than the rich elite conservative which also benefits from this "stability" and from a traditional aura of precision engineering.

In most countries of the English hegemony, England, America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, (the Five-Eyes) we muddle between ultra-right wing and a centre of right wing (we call left) "ideals" that are no much more than the same images with different social colours as presented in opposition to us by a bias media. The "social media" (or as it should be known the "citizen media") as part of this highly framed debate is trying to break the boundaries of the debate. The Citizen Media should argue better social cases that the MMMM (mediocre mass media de mierda) refuses to tackle because "socialism" is a "bête noire" of capitalism (i. e. religion, advertising, usury...). Truth can also be a painful reality that tarnish our silver. The recent muzzling of ICAC by the high court should remind us that not everything is in the favour of better lawmaking and minimisation of corruption... The "muzzling" of ICAC was possibly underhandedly and indirectly done in order to protect "corrupt" police and protect a biased conservative justice system, by the conservative justice system itself. What do I know?... That is the impression that I got. I could be wrong.

So really, we are at the mercy of snake oil merchants, politicians and high priests who use the media with great skills. Advertising, political propaganda and religious preaching tend to push ideas that are for profit rather than promote equality in social building exercises. There is a sense that these "information" channels show some form of hypocrisy in their mediatic deployment. 

Of the three, advertising is the most regulated, yet there are still some grey areas of truth twisting. 

Religious preaching, totally unregulated but a protected species whatever its colour, the main colour of which are Christian, Muslim or Jewish, is, according to Uncle Gus, a very bad medicine — described by Karl Marx as the opium of the people. 

Political propaganda is of course full of shit, especially that coming from the right-wing presently. Tony Abbott lied, lies and will lie in order to maintain his position. And most in his party will "massage the truth" (lie or hide) in order to maintain its position. What can anyone do about this when more than 70 per cent of the media — the mediocre mass media de mierda — supports this state of affairs "and bash the left" by either placing the left in the same basket of hypocrites or by simply aggressing the left as being anti-business — meaning being against the selling of snake oil. Socialist views or even views with more egalitarian position do not get a look in the MMMM.

Scientific information is complex yet much closer to reality that anything else. There are many processes that still elude us, but with idiots like Tony Abbott decimating legitimate sciences in this country, we're in for a very rough ride in which the snake oil merchants, aka the likes of Lomborgs and devious politicians will get a field day.

I will leave here with Old Sox being lectured by Zeus-ikin on the merits of advertising using the "census", to give a perspective on how to sell olive oil (religion, politics, crap, whatever) to the populace via trumpeting (advertising):

"There are three hundred and twenty one thousand, five hundred and sixty two souls in Athens, including two hundred and eighty thousand, six hundred and one person old enough to buy things — census of B. C. 404 — there it is on the parchment in plain Greek, see — census of B. C. 404 — just three years old and as exact as all other Athenian records including the writing of Herondontus. [Gus notes: Herondotus was the "father of historical records"... Although some of his stories were fanciful and others inaccurate, he states he was reporting only what was told to him.]

"Now if thou, a poor maker of sandals and a maker of poor sandals, hast bought thrice a year because a trumpeter stirred thee up, we have three times 282,602 sales or 847,806 sales a year because of this trumpeting — now, my disciple, dost thou understand the power of trumpeting? State your opinion!"

...

The conversation continues and toys with the bright idea of selling the olive oil in smaller bottles for the same price... 

You know what I mean...

 

Note: This "conversation" comes from Old Sox on Trumpeting by E T Gundlach, published 1928.

E. T Gundlach has been considered to be the father of modern advertising techniques in the USA. Gundlach had a sense of humour about his "job", sometimes hard to decipher, though his reference to the "Athenians" talking about 404 B.C. is quite cunning. No way would the "Athenians" been able to date the times with B. C. or AD... Thus with little gems like these Gundlach takes us in the world of advertising : Bullshit. Powerful bullshit.

Of course Gundlach lamented in the 1920s, but hoped not, that his techniques could be used in political propaganda. Then Hitler came along...

the emperor's new clothes

APPENDIX 


E T Gundlach — Old Sox on Trumpeting

When my parents decided that I had reached the age of independent reading, they held a family conference, and agreed to start me on Hans Andersen's "The Emperor's New Clothes." The story made a profound impression; I read it and re-read it. I pored over it again many times for years thereafter.

When in later boyhood I dreamt of writing many famous books, I thought of re-printing "The Emperor's New Clothes" with every one of my novels, drama and volumes of essays. I never quite abandoned the idea; — in connection with every unfinished story and treatise I plotted during busy business years, I wondered how in some way I might incorporate Andersen's fairy story.

I should like to have everybody of every nations know this story as we in the Christian World know the Sermon on the Mount. For here is the simple tale of a lie boldly planned by dishonest men; then accepted by half-honest followers; finally believed, really believed by the world at large. Later comes doubt; first doubts in the mind of a few daring spirits; then of many less bold; finally a dim recognition by all that this lie, built by degrees into a huge structure, is indeed a lie; yet so firmly entrenched and reared so high that we must mold our mind and twist our tongue in order to make that lie at least quasi-truth. Then comes the voice of a child calling out the simple truth; and the seemingly beautiful structure crumbles into its native ugliness.

Thus we have our lies in religion in which we find new words and modernistic "interpretations" to avoid labelling antedeluvian nonsense as nonsense; our lies in politics with the high sounding phrases about democracy, patriotism, devotion to party and what not, all of which we know in our hearts to be cant; our lies about the "family", our lies about "love," dodging honest definitions; and lastly our lies in every branch of industry decorated with various colored plumage where self-interest is smugly garbed in verbiage about cooperation, helpfulness, loyalty.

The industry of trumpeting [advertising] is by no mean the worst among these. I dare say it is probably well above average, especially in honest price policies and efforts to render at least some sincere service. In fact, the trumpeting experts of the better type are much more scrupulous than some of their "higher class" clients who believe or profess to believe that their own trumpeting, if artistically mellifluous, should suffer no ethical restriction.
...
[Then Gundlach answers some of his critics of "Old Sox" in the third edition of the book:]

... some of whom (particularly the overworked book reviewers) glanced thru the volume hastily, while others, I suspect, deliberately misread it.

FIRST: The treatise is, of course, as one editor said, no book for the Babbitts [Gus note: narrow-minded, self-satisfied persons with an unthinking attachment to middle-class values and materialism.]. While no knowledge of Plato is required (the parody on the master's dialogue being a mere incidental), the ability to read between the lines is essential to an understanding of any philosophical treatise put in narrative or quasi-allegorical form.

...
[Gus: Then E. T. goes on to explain vernacular and some tricks of the trade — and the full story of "the Emperor's New Clothes"]

E T Gundlach, 1928

 

I'm not the only one uncovering megalogenis' wrongness...

 

From Dr Geoff Davies

...

It is jarring to encounter such a logical disconnection as Megalogenis’ claim that the neoliberal reforms saved Australia. Yet the mainstream commentariat seems almost universally to share it. Such, it seems, is the power of faith in the face of evidence.

There are plenty of other examples of unsupported interpretations in Megalogenis’ book. He seems to regard Governments’ wrestling with the instabilities unleashed by deregulation simply as heroics in a noble cause, rather than as symptoms of questionable policies.

For example, some foreign banks were licensed to operate in Australia because Paul Keating had a grudge against local banks for being allegedly too stingy with credit. He certainly succeeded in unleashing competition.

The competition resulted in banks loaning recklessly in order to retain market share (which Megalogenis seems to scold them for). So-called entrepreneurs like Alan Bond and Christopher Skase were only too pleased to take the banks’ money and gamble on their grand schemes with it. Their subsequent spectacular losses robbed Australia of a great deal of wealth.

Furthermore, the burst of private debt stoked inflation and a boom. The Reserve Bank belatedly raised interest rates to extreme levels, resulting in “the recession we had to have”, as the ever-facile Paul Keating described it.

Unemployment went over 10 per cent and remained high for many years, creating a generation of long-term unemployed, mostly older anglo men. Those dispossessed men formed a core of the support for the racist and xenophobic outbursts of Pauline Hanson. Hanson, not unreasonably, railed against neoliberalism but, as often happens, she and her supporters also sought scapegoats in immigrants who supposedly stole jobs.

Megalogenis seems oblivious to many of the social effects of the economic reforms. He is critical of Hanson, but does not seem to recognise how Howard took over Hanson’s policies when he refused the ship Tampa permission to land rescued refugees on Christmas Island. He says simply that the Tampa was “supposed” to return the refugees to Indonesia. According to whom? He minimises the role of the Tampa incident in rescuing Howard at the 2001 election, and fails even to mention role of the “children overboard” affair (except later in passing in another context).

............

That depression, like many before and since, was caused by a boom and collapse in property and debt, a thoroughly free-market phenomenon.

Megalogenis’ parents immigrated to Australia in the fifties and sixties. It’s fine to tout the qualities and contributions of immigrants, but they are not the principal authors of Australia’s economic successes, directly or indirectly. Megalogenis seems to be a pleasant fellow, and his immigrant-family story is interesting and typical of many modern Australians. Yet his views on our economic system are quite out of synch with well-known evidence, including the historical evidence he recounts. It is a lesson in the power of a myth that becomes embedded in a culture.

There is nothing here to change the assessment. Neoliberalism is an ideology built on false theories of markets and people, and adhering to it is an act of faith in the face of contradictory evidence.

Dr Geoff Davies is an author, commentator and scientist. He is a retired geophysicist at the Australian National University and the author of Sack the Economists (Nov 2013, sacktheeconomists.com). He blogs at BetterNature: betternature.wordpress.com.

Read more: https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/megalogenis-paean-to-neoliberalism--faith-versus-evidence,7652

See above comments: on the art of trumpeting...

 

of blowing trumpets...

 

Our right to preserve our own attention and to make our own decisions about how we spend it and with whom our personal information is shared must become part of the political agenda. We need a legal and policy response to the market failures of the advertising industry, and we need it soon.

As long as either our attention or our personal information is traded by third parties in markets that do not incorporate their value to us, they will tend to be underpriced and used in ways that are both against our wishes and detrimental to our well-being. That meets the definition of exploitation. Things that we find valuable and are quintessentially our own are being stripped away from us without our consent or adequate compensation.

The state of the advertising industry is a gift to critics of capitalism as a whole, like Naomi Klein or Michael Sandel. And they have a point. Our expensively university trained attention is the central productive resource of the twenty-first century. It's what all those shiny digital services and promises about the internet of things are ultimately made out of. If we don't own this resource then it belongs to no one and everyone - in other words, to whoever can grab it and marketise it first. This is the set up for a tragedy of the commons.

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/07/14/4273200.htm

See above comments: on the art of trumpeting...

and:  the emperor's new clothes

and vale Neil Lawrence...

and in novel kiwiland...

 

“There are many issues that young adults can not take to other people. They want to do their own thinking about them. There is no better, no more private medium for this than the novel.

“In this relatively safe context the teenager can navigate through issues such as race, sexual orientation, body issues, class discrimination and bullying and harassment. They can test their responses against the main characters and calibrate the differences without the need to discuss.”

“The last banned book was entitled How to Build a Bazooka. Perhaps the content of Into the River is a bazooka fired into the complacent middle class oligarchy that rules this country.”

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/new-zealand-bans-into-the-river-teenage-novel-outcry-christian-group

 

May be those outcried rabid Christian groups should teach the world about slavery and polygamy as supported by god, in the old testament... but no. The old book has been cleansed of guilt because god is the dictator dictating his will on the sinning idiots he created in his own image. Ergo sum, god is a despotic sinning idiot.

 

Read from top...

 

loosing a few wheels...

In a tribute to retiring editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell published in the Australian recently, veteran media columnist Errol Simper captured one side of the dilemma that is the Australian.

In “Young Chris Mitchell, you were simply Devine”, Simper says what a fine editor Mitchell was and how he watched him develop into “gunslinger” with “nimble instincts”. “He knew news. He was a conjurer.

He was going places … Along with Paul Kelly (admirably supported by Malcolm Schmidtke and David Armstrong), Mitchell (ably backed up by Clive Mathieson and Michelle Gunn) stands out as a giant among this journal’s editorial leaders. Mitchell has been a sturdy warrior for print media. But he has had to manage it through difficult times.

From my 11 years in the Australian’s newsroom as chief features subeditor, letters editor and section editor as well as reporter, I can say with all honesty that it was the best edited paper I’ve ever worked on, and it probably harnessed the best stable of reporters I’ve ever worked with too.

But this is just one side of the beast. The other is the unwavering, often knee-jerk conservative ideology that the Oz trumpets so readily.

read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/07/ideology-runs-rampant-at-rupert-murdochs-australian-newspaper


Read from top...

capitalism explained...

“Capitalism,” says Saviano, “needs the criminal syndicates and criminal markets… This is the most difficult thing to communicate. People – even people observing organised crime – tend to overlook this, insisting upon a separation between the black market and the legal market. It’s the mentality that leads people in Europe and the USA to think of a mafioso who goes to jail as a mobster, a gangster. But he’s not, he’s a businessman, and his business, the black market, has become the biggest market in the world.”

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/dec/26/man-who-exposed-lie-war-on-drugs-roberto-saviano-ed-vulliamy

 

Meanwhile at tax minimisation central:

The Chevron issue involves an accounting measure that is commonly used by these subsidiaries which contributes to a lack of transparency around tax paid in Australia, as well as the web of companies tied to tax havens used by its parent company.

Central to the court case was a loan between Chevron Australia Holdings Pty Ltd and Chevron Texaco Funding Corporation under which Chevron Australia received $2.5 billion worth of advances through a Credit Facility Agreement.

Importantly, the CFA did not breach the thin capitalisation rules nor any other anti-avoidance provisions of Part IVA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA). The critical issue is whether other provisions of the Act were contravened.

But the ATO argued that the CFA was not at arm’s length - where a related party transaction is made between companies and the acquisition price (in this case the interest on the CFA) exceeds a commercial amount. The ATO applied section 136AD(3)(d) of ITAA, allowing it to restate the true nature of the transaction as equal to the arm’s length amount, where a taxpayer has acquired property under an international agreement without arm’s length considerations. A penalty of 25% of the avoided amount is also allowed under the act.

http://theconversation.com/the-accounting-trick-that-helps-multinationals-avoid-paying-tax-49664

 

Read from top.

 

sexism chez the anglicans...

Students and teachers from some of Sydney's Anglican high schools say they are shocked and angered by remarks made by one of the church's most senior clerics.

Key points:
  • Archbishop Davies faced questions from male and female students about the place of women
  • Several students said they were "shocked and frustrated" by the "outdated" ideas he promoted at the service
  • Some school staff said they did not see anything "out of the ordinary" at the service

 

Before delivering a speech to year 12 prefects during the Annual Service for Anglican School Leaders on Thursday, Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies faced a series of robust questions from male and female students about the place of women.

In explaining his view that the Bible says men and women have different roles in society and that God intended men to be the "heads" of women, many present believed he was saying women should not aspire to the same career heights as men.

The Drum has heard from several students present at the service who said they were "shocked and frustrated" by the "outdated" ideas he promoted on issues like gender equality and homosexuality.

A prefect at one of Sydney's most prestigious girls' schools, who declined to be identified because the students had been advised by their school not to speak to the media, said she and her friends were "angry" and "confused" that the Church was telling them the opposite message about gender equality to that told to them by their parents, educators and society in general.

Another said: "We're trying as much as we can, and to be told that in the end we're not going to get there because of our gender? … It was disrespectful to us, as girls."

 

read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-12/prefects-anger-over-archbishops-address/7164568

 

 

 Sexism in religion? Of course... 

seen as an act of god by the majority of morons...

 

How Propaganda (Actually) Works


Political Propaganda employs the ideals of liberal democracy to undermine those very ideals, the dangers of which, not even its architects fully understand.
 
In the early years of DeSmog’s research into environmental propaganda, I thought of industry 
PR campaigns like “junk science,” “clean coal,” and “ethical oil” as misinformation strategies designed to dupe the public about the real issues.
 
Although there is obvious truth to that view, I now understand that propaganda is far more complex and problematic than lying about the facts. Certainly propaganda is designed to look like facts that are true and right, but not in a way we might think. What’s more, the consequences are far worse than most people consuming and even producing it realize.

 

 

Much of my new understanding comes from conversations with Jason Stanley, an American philosopher and professor at Yale University and author of an important new book How Propaganda Works. According to Jason Stanley, the danger for a democracy “raided by propaganda” is the possibility that the vocabulary of liberal democracy is being used to mask an undemocratic reality.

read more: http://www.desmogblog.com/2016/03/31/how-propaganda-actually-works

 

Yes James... we know. No matter how good your little groups of anti-propaganda people are, you still have to fight the leviathan. It's nearly impossible to fight against the bullshit that pours out of all the Murdoch pores: FOX "news", a multitude of newspapers, editorials and Hollywoodian simpleton heroes. It would be reasonably manageable if this was a unique source of fake or twisted "information". But the machine is also influencing other similar machines because of the way the media is constructed. The media machine is built around advertising which uses powers akin to the religious powers to entice people to buy stuff or to believe in. The mechanics are complex but we are in general easy prey. The owners of such media machine are often in bed with government in order to maintain the peace and use idiots as disseminators of "propaganda" which favours the elite in power and their little mates. 

And they have a powerful reach. They reach nearly ten times more readers and viewers per day than this site in ten years.

Exposure and means of transmitting information is slowly changing, but even on the public TV channels, the propaganda knows how to infiltrate and modify the real knowledge. And we are stuffed because the Government distribute TV licences for example and a newspaper cannot really survive without cash coming from advertisers — ninety-nine per cent of whom hate the idea of having to comply to regulations and restrictions in expenditure of carbon.

It's a slow slog. Exposure daily to the threat of global warming, repeat and repeat of the sciences as much as possible until the buggers crack. Most of them will crack, but that could be when the climatic condition jump a notch a bit too uncomfortable. We might need a rise of sea level about six feet for some of them to realise the science was right. By then, the murdochs of this world will have been replaced by younger murdochs of this world who would still push the concept that all the science about global warming is boloney...

It is their cockroach purpose. Survival against all odds and selling shit to readers who don't want to know better, because the pages are filled with horse races and waffle about the sport teams that tickle your fancy. They know how to catch the punters with multicolors. This is part of propaganda. make a smorgasbord of entertainment mixed with disinformation. 

We cannot stoop so low, can we? So we try to ring the bells of alarm when most of the people are already gone to watch a Superbowl or a rugby league final, where the advertising on billboard (or on TV) is designed for people to consume more goods that will consume fossil fuels and such. 

The propaganda is ingrained at all levels of what we do, including the religious beliefs. And religious beliefs — despite the pope encyclical letter on the environment — is also ingrained in consuming the "goods" of this planet as ordered by god. Dislodging this synergy between beliefs and propaganda is near impossible. 

Should the sea level rise by six feet, it will be considered as an act of god by the majority of morons, rather than an act of ourselves...

Gundlach, the "father" of advertising in the USA, knew the power of the "massaging messaging" techniques... Read above articles and his reasons why he wanted to use "The Emperor's New Clothes" as a background to all his work.

 

they still spy on your dick pics...

While many of the headlines accompanying these documents will send a shiver down the spine of readers, there is some good news in the WikiLeaks documents. Contrary to early reports suggesting that the CIA can “defeat” popular end-to-end encrypted messaging apps like Signal and WhatsApp, the WikiLeaks release is further evidence that encryption does work to protect people’s privacy.

The documents do purport to show is that the CIA has a host of exploits to attack the operating systems of popular mobile devices like iPhones and Androids – a deeply worrying prospect, to be sure – but to “defeat” secure messaging apps, government hackers essentially have to gain access to your phone itself before they can read your messages. 

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/07/wikileaks-says-the...

 

Read from top...

paul, the king of free-speech-for-some...

 

 

Whatever’s happened to free speech?

 

Last summer, its champions were all for clawing back section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Exposing Jews, blacks and Asian Australians to intimidation at the hands of racists was seen as an imperative of liberty

Roll on a few months and some of the same voices are demanding Canberra make special laws to protect traditional marriage Christians from the “retaliation” of their adversaries in the marriage battle.

Does contradiction mean nothing to these people?

Here we are: in the name of free speech some of the most vulnerable Australians were to lose protection from scorn and abuse. But the churches – so heavily defended already by their prestige and wealth – must be given further legal protection in the name of religious liberty.

“This is the core point,” thundered Paul Kelly in the Australian this weekend. “Will [Malcolm] Turnbull before the next election face the prospect of believers in traditional marriage being penalised or intimidated because his government refused to provide legal protections?”

Strange how many laws seem necessary to do God’s work.

Kelly gathers grim evidence from around the world of believers suffering retaliation: a spat in Canada, trouble in Tasmania, a showdown in the United Kingdom and a boycott by Coca-Cola in Georgia. In short: “Prejudicial treatment of people and institutions because they support traditional marriage.”

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/aug/14/marriage-equality...

 

Free speech in the hands of right-wing nuts has never been about free speech but about their rights to insult anyone while themselves being protected by upright "traditions" that "should not be "assaulted"...

 

Read from top and see also: http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/33527

 

free-speech, unprofessionally speaking...

 

The cancellation of Free Speech Week, which had been due to feature rightwing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and other speakers, was announced by campus spokesman Dan Mogulof.

Mogulof said in a statement that staff had been preparing for the event for eight weeks. It was, he said, “extremely unfortunate” that the cancellation “was made at the last minute, even as the university was in the process of spending significant sums of money and preparing for substantial disruption of campus life in order to provide the needed security for these events”.

Since Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election, Berkeley has become a centre of far-right demonstrations and counter-protests. Some face-offs have become violent. Mogulof said the Berkeley Patriot, the group behind Free Speech Week, had not offered a reason for the cancellation.

Other promised speakers included author David Horowitz, activist Lisa De Pasquale and Breitbart contributor Ariana Rowlands. Several announced speakers, among them Ann Coulter and former White House strategist Steve Bannon, have said they never planned to appear or had no knowledge of an invitation.

“I never planned to speak,” Coulter said in an email to the Los Angeles Times on Friday. “My speakers bureau never booked me to speak at Berkeley. No contract for me to speak existed.”

Yiannopoulos was due to hold a news conference on Saturday afternoon but that, too, seemed unlikely to proceed. A counter-demonstration, billed as “No Hate in the Bay: March Against White Supremacy”, was still scheduled to go ahead.

Lucian Wintrich, of the rightwing site Gateway Pundit and a scheduled speaker, told the Guardian organizers knew as long as a week ago the event could not proceed.

“The entire thing is a complete disaster and unfortunately makes us all look very unprofessional,” he said.

read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/23/berkeley-free-speech-week-...

Obviously, the free-Speech Week forgot to invite the real heavies of Australian Free-Speech (as long as your not coloured or destitute or gay) like Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Miranda Devine and of course Tony Turdy Abbott puppetmaster, Peta Credlin. With this lot, you would have seen real professionalism at work.

 

Read from top...

 

father paul kelly...

It was uplifting to see Father Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of The Catholic Boys Daily, beating the drum for a religious freedom bill.

Never mind that already we have too much religious freedom; Father Kelly wants more.

It was one of his traditionally wordy pieces, but he still didn’t have enough words to explain just how religious freedoms would be trampled should same-sex couples be treated equally by the law, or just what freedoms were at risk.

Possibly Mark Coleridge, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Brisbane, answered the puzzle. He said same-sex couples don’t “qualify” for marriage, just as a parent and a child don’t qualify, or a brother and a sister.

Coleridge was apparently practising the religious freedom to say any idiotic and vile thing that wanders into his head.

We’re now supposed to grapple with the invisible threat to religious freedom, even though PM Bollards Trumble has reminded us that churches are and will be free to marry or not marry anyone they want and already these institutions have wide power to dismiss or not hire anyone that doesn’t accord with their feudal view of the world.

Archbishop Denis Hartless of Melbourne already has warned that employees of the church face the sack if they enter a same-sex marriage.

It makes a nice change from not sacking priests who rape children.

read more:

https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2017/09/30/gadfly-coleridge-and-the-rime-the-ancient-marrier/

Read from top...

the night of legendary-ish journos in their own juice...

 

... The whole thing [the Australian Media Hall of Fame] is the brainchild of the Melbourne Press Club. The MPC’s Mike Smith tells Gadfly the idea is to get a historical picture of the sweep of victorious journalistic achievement going back to the 1930s.

Yet, so many great names are missing from the honour board. Where’s Maddy Devine, Janet The Planet, Little Chris Kenny, Gollum Henderson etc etc?

Maybe in decades to come someone will wake up to their brilliance and nominate them as living, or dead, legends.

read more:

https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/2017/11/11/gadfly-kirby-fully-loaded...

 

 

 

My informants on the fabulous night mentioned a few more names than the Gadfly... Apparently, Paul Kelly was inducted as a legend as well as his "opposite" and far far more informed, John Pilger. Read from top. But you can see the whole list at http://mediahalloffame.com.au/.

Bill Leak of course features amongst the best... At least they also have Stan Cross.

By the way, I get stunned when Journos tell me they don't know why Uncle Rupe supports Trump... Apart from me explaining CLEARLY WHY  on this site, one has to contemplate his troops of Maddy Devine, Janet The Planet, Little Chris Kenny, Gollum Henderson, to know why. All these and many others are fiercely against anything to do with believing in the science of global warming. So these idiots including others such as Alan Jones push denialism of science at full bore, day in day out... NON STOP. Uncle Rupe hates the idea of global warming cutting into the profit making venture of burning fossil fuels. Recently, following the purge in Saudi Arabia, one of his rich petrol mate who had invested in FOX had to sell more than 1.5 billion worth of shares in the network... That would have made a ripple, if not a tsunami at News Corps...

sam harris is driving us nuts...

Is social media driving us insane?

That's what famed American neuroscientist and bestselling author Sam Harris says in describing the post-modern platforms as a psychological experiment that none of us signed up for yet all of us are a part of.

Dr Harris, who's visiting Australia in August this year for the Day of Reckoning conference in Sydney, discussed a variety of issues with the ABC's The World program ranging from United States President Donald Trump's rewriting of reality, the illusion of free will, as well as the divisiveness of identity politics in 2018.

Here are a few excerpts from that conversation.

Social media is 'driving us all insane'

"Social media is clearly driving us all insane. This is a psychological experiment that nobody signed up for and we are all in it, and we each have to curate the contents of our own consciousness a little more carefully than we have been, and rethink our relationship to these platforms. We have to resist this slide into a false equivalency.

In America now we have people, most of them support Donald Trump, who think there is an equivalence between something like the New York Times and a website like Breitbart, and that comparison is so obscene that it really need not even be criticised. But the problem is that every time the New York Times gets something wrong it seems to lend credence to the fact that, you know, there's really no objective standard of journalism in the first place, you can just pick whatever kind of misinformation you like and the whole world becomes social media essentially. So, the burden is upon the impeccable news sources to stay impeccable and really apologise and correct their errors as soon as possible. To some degree that standard in even the best organs of journalism seems to have eroded and that's troublesome as well."

 

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-06-01/sam-harris-discusses-truth-and-lie...

 

Read from top... Er... Sam, get a life... Yes journalism has gone to the dogs... AND THIS IS NOT THE FAULT OF SOCIAL MEDIA. This has happened mainly through the war between Murdoch and Soros...

 

Read also: 

http://www.yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/31094

embedded journalists...

As soon as I made eye contact with the smiling woman in the Doctors Without Borders T-shirt on a busy Sydney street, I knew I’d be asked for money or a signature. And I knew I’d say no.

“I’m a foreign correspondent for The New York Times,” I told her. “I can’t really help because at some point, somewhere, there’s a good chance I may cover what you do.”

I always feel bad trying to explain journalistic detachment in such moments, and I often get looks of confusion in response.

Young people in particular tend to question the limits that many of us at The Times take for granted: no marching for a cause, no advocacy and no giving or accepting of travel or gifts when dealing with sources or organizations that have an interest in news coverage.

We are expected, in short, to avoid the “appearance of bias” and maintain a sense of healthy detachment from what we cover.

That might sound quaint; our ethical guidelines are sometimes seen as a relic when the average reader barely notices the distinction between an article by a newsroom reporter, who abides by these standards, and an opinion writer, who can advocate in work and in life.

But I believe in the limits. I think they make for better, more trustworthy (if still imperfect) journalism — and I’ve been thinking more about that here in Australia because I often see them challenged.

This week, a few examples come to mind:

• Checkbook Journalism

Let’s start with Barnaby Joyce, the (former) deputy prime minister.

The heat he’s taken this week for accepting $150,000 from the Seven Network for an interview alongside Vikki Campion — his partner and former staff member who is the mother of his newborn child — is just the latest example of the mess made when money and access mingle.

Watching the criticism that led him to take a leave of absence, I found myself wondering what was part of the negotiation. Would the public be getting a less candid interview if the price for access had been $50,000? Would we get more if it was $200,000? (These are Australian dollar amounts, in case you’re wondering.)

• The Lucrative Revolving Door

What about the other ways that journalists and government cozy up to each other?

The Australian scolded Laura Tingle of the ABC for accepting $15,000 for moderating a panel at a government summit meeting in March — only to have The Australian Financial Review call out Greg Sheridan, The Australian’s foreign editor, for holding a paid position with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Australia-Indonesia Council.

Neither seemed to be punished by their audiences or their bosses.

Maybe that’s just a function of a partisan media culture, where many politics reporters and editors have also acted as political advisers, or gone back and forth between both worlds. The revolving door is not unique to Australia — George Stephanopoulos worked in the Clinton White House before joining ABC News — but it’s definitely common and accepted here.

The Monthly’s former politics editor, Sean Kelly, for example, was an adviser to Prime Ministers Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, as his online biography makes clear. Osman Faruqi, now of the ABC, is a former Greens party staffer.

John Garnaut’s case is also interesting.

A former China correspondent and Asia Pacific editor for Fairfax, he wrote often as a journalist about China’s efforts to influence Australian politics. Then he became an adviser to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull while never quite giving up journalism, having written recently about China for Foreign Affairs.

There’s value, of course, in subject-specific expertise, but when there are so many blurred lines between government and journalism, it can be hard to figure out whether what we’re learning from what we read or watch includes all the relevant details, or just those that serve a particular argument, political party or paying client.

 The Junket Industry

The calls and emails no longer surprise me: At least three or four times in the past year, a well-meaning and interesting Australian organization has offered to fly me somewhere and pay for my hotel accommodation so I could witness what it does.

In every case, I’ve said no and politely explained that our ethics guidelines forbid that sort of thing except in the most extreme circumstances (military flights in war zones, for example).

I’ve also turned down a number of freelance pitches that would have been financed by those seeking coverage — again, explaining that accepting payment from an organization or cause we are covering creates a problematic expectation of positive coverage, making it harder for us to be seen as dispassionate observers.

I honestly don’t know how common it is for journalism in Australia to be financed by those with a vested interest, but anecdotally, it seems to be on the rise. In a conversation with one of the organizations offering me a trip, I asked why and was told that with Australian media outlets making cutbacks, junkets were often the only way they could cover certain issues.

I’ve seen some of the journalism that results from these kinds of trips, in the form of features about, say aid in the Pacific, or the plight of Central American children.

In the latter case, in Good Weekend, there was a note providing much-needed transparency, stating, “Tim Elliott and Kate Geraghty traveled to Guatemala and Mexico with Australia for UNHCR, an Australian charity that raises funds to support the U.N. refugee agency.”

Read more:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/31/world/australia/blurred-lines-between-journalists-and-what-we-cover.html?

One has to remember the "embedded journalists" during the war on Saddam...
Read from top...
See also:save your (and mine) ABC...

denialist journalists...

On Tuesday evening, The Washington Post announced that it has hired Mark Lasswell to be the paper’s associate op-ed editor. According to the post, Lasswell oversaw The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page from 2012 through 2016.

The Post’s hire continues the worrying trend of legitimate media bending over backwards to accommodate conservative opinions, like The New York Times’ hiring of the Journal’s climate bullshitter Bret Stephens. Or Bari Weiss, who formerly worked with Lasswell at The Wall Street Journal and now writes for The Times where she pens puff pieces for hate speechmisunderstands cultural appropriation, and criticizes the #MeToo movement.

We don’t know for sure what Lasswell will bring to The Washington Post, and we don’t know how much his former employer’s questionable ownership influenced his editorial decisions. Given the drama around Lasswell’s ousting — word is that he pushed to run op-eds criticizing Trump’s business, against his bosses’ wishes — we have faint hope that he may want to abandon all the terrible racist content The Journal’s opinion page has featured during his tenure.

But we know exactly what The Wall Street Journal opinion page’s climate content looked like under his watch, and it’s not good.

By our count (just ask if you’d like to see the list) from 2012 to 2016, The Wall Street Journal’s opinion page published at least 303 op-eds, columns, and editorials relevant to climate change.

Of those 303 pieces, three are scientifically accurate on climate, but by way of supporting natural gas. One piece is supportive of climate action by way of being pro-nuclear. One column reeks of denial, but nevertheless acknowledges that a carbon tax would be a good solution. Three are special debates that feature a decent argument for climate action, and eight are actually quite honest pieces that are climate-friendly and without any big problems.

 

Read more:

https://www.desmogblog.com/2018/05/31/washington-post-hiring-former-wsj-...

 

Could we see this as Mr Murdoch letting his crew go to spread the "Murdoch News" somewhere else? and still secretly report to the big guy in the sky: Uncle Rupe?

 

Read from top.

of myths and the dangerous cultivation of minds...

 

......

The film fails, but some wanted to put a stop to it before it was even made. Because of the now famous non-fatal 2014 Waukesha, Wisconsin, stabbing of a 12-year-old girl by her two friends, which HBO documented in Beware the Slenderman, some thought it inappropriate that Sony Pictures should profit off a story that led two young girls to such a grisly crime. A petition circulated demanding the film not be released, calling the Sony product “crass commercialism at its worst,” a “naked cash grab built on the exploitation of a deeply traumatic event and the people who lived it.” Bill Weier, the father of one of the Wisconsin girls who stabbed their friend, said, “It’s absurd they want to make a movie like this…. All we’re doing is extending the pain all three of these families have gone through.” In capitulation, the film won’t be shown in the Wisconsin counties near to where the stabbing occurred.

 

Read more:

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-confused-cynicism-o...

 

Read from top.

doing their "caca business" in the corridors of parliament...

 

It seems everyone wants a piece of the US democratic action these days. Yet little do these meddling outsiders know, the system was already ‘hacked’ many years ago by the Americans themselves.

In Hans Christian Andersen’s famous fable, The Emperor’s New Clothes, two enterprising tailors promise the emperor a new suit of clothes that they say will be invisible only to those who are stupid or incompetent. In reality, the weavers produce no clothes at all. Terrified at the thought of being betrayed as fools, not a single soul in the king’s court dared say aloud what their eyes could plainly see – until one boy merrily pointed to his highness’ exposed assets.

In the modern American version of this tale, nobody wants to admit the painful truth – that, for fear of being branded anti-American, unpatriotic and heretical to the hysteria – no foreign government on earth has the power to sway the outcome of an American election. Not one. But let’s not let the facts spoil a wonderful fairytale.

John Bolton, Trump’s National Security Advisor, warned at the weekend that the upcoming 2018 US midterm elections might be targeted by not one, but four international baddies, Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. Deferring to national security concerns, Bolton failed to provide evidence to support his claim.

 

Read more:

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/436608-election-hacking-meddling-russia/

 

Read from top and especially:

http://yourdemocracy.net.au/drupal/node/30164#comment-32624

 

Can I, Gus Leonisky of Rednedberg, be targeted by Bolton for inciting... what I am inciting for again? Vote for the democrats? Bugger that! Vote for the Republicans? You got to be kiddin'! Vote for Bernie? He's too old, though younger than Him! Vote for the Greenery? Are they in bed with the commies? Goodo...

... Hell! Here in Australia, we know politics or what? We know what to do... Ahem. The leadership of the "Liberal" (CONservative) government could not run a hermit-crab contest in Broome! Nor a betting ring about two flies on a window pane! They run a snail-bait contest like a cock-fight! No finesse! They can't even run to their own pissoirs! It seems they're doing their "caca business" in the corridors of parliament! Hell. Help!

 

Read from top... All started really when Murdoch, for fun, decided to back Tony Abbott and got his lackeys to do the job...

the fake morality of gutter politics with religious beliefs...

When it comes to religion, let me put my cards on the table: I am a Kantian Jew in the mighty tradition of Hermann Cohen, Ernst Cassirer and Hannah Arendt. One of my favourite lines from Arendt occurs in a letter she wrote to Karl Jaspers, in which she said that although she couldn’t explain it, “I feel a childish trust in God. Of course one can’t do anything with that except be glad of it.” By “do anything with that,” I take it she means: do anything politically, in the public sphere and, as I will argue, even in the moral one.

But I waver. I once wrote a book exploring all the arguments to be had against the idea of Providence, and still I have days when I see its hand. I think it would be fatal to decide in favour of one pull or the other: in the first case, fatal for hope; in the second, fatal for compassion. We need to keep both these impulses in balance without deciding definitively for one — as good Kantians should know.

But the reason I then wrote Moral Clarity, without stating my personal relationship to faith, is because it makes little sense to divide the world along religious and secular lines. Many rationalist religious thinkers have more in common with secular Social Democrats than with fellow believers; many a fundamentalist is closer to post-modern nihilism than she knows (belief in a worldview because it’s absurd makes equal sense for both).

Far less important than your belief that God exists, or that He doesn’t, is what you think your belief entails. Does it direct your behaviour by rules and commandments that are set out before you, or does it require you to think them through yourself? Does it require you to try to make sense of the world, or does it give up on sense itself?

 

Read more crap:

https://www.abc.net.au/religion/susan-neiman-why-reason-needs-reverence-...

 

I could have placed this article in another line of comments such as here. A point to make is that many moral people will find excuses to become bastards, especially in politics and in the right-wing media, but not exclusively... This is a formidable contradictions that often lead many other people to do the wrong thing with a sadistic premise — or seek revenge... Making sense of the universe through "morality" is like walking backwards inside a tunnel with a candle that flickers until the canary dies...

 

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