David Thompson
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December 03, 2014

Comments

Anna

Russell Brand's latest meltdown.

David

Russell Brand’s latest meltdown.

Heh. After his “revolution,” when Mr Brand takes power, the media will presumably be much more flattering and compliant.

DH

...when Mr Brand takes power, the media will presumably be much more flattering and compliant.

It's reminiscent of the angry little gentleman who came to my door during the Scottish independence campaign. He said, amongst a lot of other worrying things, that the country's entire print and broadcast media would be overhauled and replaced with a one that serves Scotland if only I voted yes.
Much like Brand, his veneer of chumminess descended into finger jabbing, mouth frothing, shouty rage when I introduced elements of reality into the conversation.

David

Speaking of reality, here’s Stefan Molyneux on distorted media narratives and their homicidal consequences, from Rodney King to Michael Brown. It’s a 20-minute video and at times quite graphic, but worth it, I think.

Tim Newman

Idiots abroad:

Australia has urged travellers not to make frivolous requests at embassies, highlighting examples including a man who asked officials in Thailand to pay for a prostitute.

...

"Our consular staff are not there to pay for the repairs to your jet ski," she said. "They're not there to pay your hotel bill; they're not there to lend you a laptop or to provide you with office space in the embassy for you to do your work."

...

Foreign Affairs Department staff also reported one traveller asking for help looking after her dogs while she was away and one asking for help to get a polecat out of the roof.

R. Sherman

Re: Ferguson

Remember it's always and only about Racism. See, e.g. this and this.

As for the Occidental students, if they think they're upset now, wait until their parents get their credit card bills.

Rafi

distorted media narratives

The New York Times is as honest as ever, I see...

http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/393799/when-it-became-racist-call-michael-brown-big-rich-lowry

David

The New York Times is as honest as ever, I see...

Here’s Heather Mac Donald on the New York Times, its errors and distortions, and its willingness to assert as fact what it cannot prove.

Sam Duncan

DH: Yes, I had that too. They could never seem to understand that, for some of us, most of their arguments were bloody good reasons to vote “no”.

Simon

The original LA Times piece on the students ( http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-oxy-political-class-20141130-story.html ) has some choice quotes, but the best:

Or, as junior Daniel Stigall put it: "The pity party is over."

Stigall worked for Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis.

Methinks Mr. Stigall might have more from the experience than the gross-sobbers and ugly-criers...

David Gillies

To paraphrase Jack Handey re the disconsolate Occidental campaign workers: it is easy to mock these people, but we cannot mock them personally, to their faces, and this is what annoys me.

David

Here’s a thing. A student at George Mason University writes a poor taste limerick about Michael Brown. Then some “social justice” warriors show just how caring and compassionate they are.

Hal

"Our consular staff are not there to pay for the repairs to your jet ski," she said.

A couple of weeks back I was chatting with a recently retired Marine Colonel about the differences between actual administrators vs hipsters and other children. His agreeing assessment was I'm not calling general quarters because you spilled your latte.

R. Sherman

I'm not calling general quarters because you spilled your latte.

Finding a way to use that during Paternal Admonition Time (TM) this week.

Thank you.

ac1

>show just how caring and compassionate they are.

Let's be careful here. It could be as fake as the Gamergate nonsense.

RY

Re: Media distortion / dishonesty.

This is a long article - but really worthwhile.

http://thefederalist.com/2014/12/03/dear-media-this-elizabeth-lauten-nonsense-is-why-everybody-hates-you/

Hal

Re: Media distortion / dishonesty.

I've merely seen the headlines going by on the Thanksgiving turkey issue(1).
but I'd state that one rather easy observation of the overall issue(s) is: Oh, Really? Is there now also a dress code for the pardoning of a turkey(1)?

(1)Choice of identification of turkey being an exercise for whichever reader . . .

Nikw211

When former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani takes seriously the operative slogan of the Ferguson protests — “Black Lives Matter!” — and asks the obvious question — “Don’t they matter in the 93 percent of cases when the lives of black murder victims are taken violently by black criminals?” — the Left’s reflexive response is to denounce him as a racist.

Woah! Well, if that's how the Left sees Rudy Giuliani - for real - then God knows how they'll react if they ever see HBO's The Wire

… sorry, what? What do you mean "The Wire is unmissable television"? Didn't you get the memo?

RY

@Hal

I completely agree there should be no dress code for the pardoning of a turkey. The comments by the staffer were both unwarranted and not particularly pleasant. The article has the same view on that.
What is interesting in the article is how it shows the hugely disproportionate coverage given to this story - and the alarming lack of coverage of far more serious stories.
Also, the contrast between coverage given to stories which potentially show the different political parties in an unfavorable light. There's a great deal of hypocrisy involved in so much of the way the media behaves.
I think the article is good on these points.

Hal

I completely agree there should be no dress code for the pardoning of a turkey.

Ayup . . . . My Read Of the overall explosion of feathers is;

A) Right winger takes pot shot at perceived left winger and family.
B) Actual left wing spots this and as quickly as possible launches all out counter barrage.
B1) Yes, that was takes pot shot, not launches barrage.
C) Right winger(s) also launch counter barrage at actual left wing, while at the same time original and actual right winger resigns and comments.
D) Actual left wing continues barrage for lack of anything actual to do.
D1) For lack of anything actual to do is noted as the reason for the original pot shot.

E) Actual conservatives, we between the two extremes, watching all the barrages sailing back and forth past us, are left scratching heads and noting ?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!

E1)Saying thusly: Ah . . haven't you extremists heard of having a clue, or mebbe better yet, have you thought of actually getting a life????

Hal

E1)Saying thusly: Ah . . haven't you extremists heard of having a clue, or mebbe better yet, have you thought of actually getting a life????

I do not know the background of the following and won't get around to looking things up until Waaay later, mebbe tomorrow even, and the following just popped up in assorted email news discussion subject lines:

'Man dies. Fox News worried it might affect Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.'

Jeff Guinn

I'm not calling general quarters because you spilled your latte.

I can't help but think there is a word missing between "your" and "latte". A gerund, perhaps.

... the ‘progressive’ racial narrative and its dishonesties:

Ace of Spades shows the difference between what National People's Radio reported, and what needed reporting.

And then, despite being, per the NYT, racist bastard*, AoSHQ, when presented with facts, not only changed their mind about the shooting of a black 12-year old, they are now properly appalled.

Compare and contrast with the NYT.

Stuart Lord

https://twitter.com/astudentnow - David, another student possibly for the Agonies of the Left. Highlights including never being able to forgive anyone who votes for the opposite persuasion, being 'triggered' by responses in Question Time, and this, where the current government supposedly sits at an 8 on the Apocalypse scale after I asked here where it sat (where 1 is a paper cut and 10 is the end of mankind and the world).

https://twitter.com/astudentnow/status/540353892270100480

Doesn't leave much wriggle room for dictators like Kim Jong Un and Stalin etc.

Furor Teutonicus

XX the country's entire print and broadcast media would be overhauled and replaced with a one that serves Scotland if only I voted yes.

Posted by: DH XX

What is Galic for "Der Stürmer?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_St%C3%BCrmer

Hal

I'm not calling general quarters because you spilled your latte.

I can't help but think there is a word missing between "your" and "latte". A gerund, perhaps.

Nah. This was a retired career Colonel, not a staff sergeant.

David

Thomas Sowell:

Soon after the shooting death of Michael Brown, this 285-pound young man was depicted as a “gentle giant.” But, after a video was leaked, showing him bullying the owner of a store from which he had stolen some merchandise, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed displeasure that the video was leaked. In other words, to Holder the truth was offensive, but the lie it exposed was not.

David

On the question of racial bias in policing, this may be of interest:

Once again, there are two possible hypotheses here: either police are biased, or black people actually commit these crimes at higher rates than other groups. The second hypothesis has been strongly supported by crime victimisation surveys, which show that the percent of arrestees who are black matches very closely the percent of victims who say their assailant was black. This has been constant throughout thirty years of crime victimisation surveys.

It’s a long piece with lots of relevant data.

Via Free Northener.

DH

They could never seem to understand that, for some of us, most of their arguments were bloody good reasons to vote “no”.

Indeed. The gentleman in question believed that repeatedly saying look pal, I'm a socialist during our discussion would somehow nullify the insanity of what he was proposing. At one point, he tried to tell me that the only reason people live in my village is because they are poor and can't afford to live in Glasgow. This was uttered amid the noise of my neighbour building a rather fine extension to his house and the woman across the road arriving home in her new Mini Cooper.

What is Galic for "Der Stürmer?"

I believe it translates as The National.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/dec/03/sales-scotland-the-national-dip

sackcloth and ashes

'[The] country's entire print and broadcast media would be overhauled and replaced with a one that serves Scotland if only I voted yes'.

I am stunned that any sentinent being could think that would be a selling point in a political discussion in a democracy. But nothing surprises me about the Yestapo.

'Russell Brand’s latest meltdown'.

Behind his clownish antics, the man has a totalitarian soul. The fanaticism of his fan base doesn't help matters.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David, dunno if you've seen this belter in Comment is Free.

The self-righteousness, it aches:

Protest isn't just for wide-eyed optimists. David Pocock and I put it in our vows

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/04/protest-isnt-just-for-wide-eyed-optimists-david-pocock-and-i-put-it-in-our-vows

When I was growing up we watched the 7 o’clock news every night and would talk about the news of the day over the washing up. My parents wanted my sister and I to be able to think critically, as engaged citizens.

Thinking critically, eh? Good... good. How critically?

This inevitably led to fairly heated debate. My dad often jokes that “we wanted to teach the girls to think for themselves and we’ve regretted it ever since”. This grounding in my childhood home, with the understanding that “the personal is political”, led me to believe in the responsibility of citizens to shape the world around them.

Ah. The personal is political, i.e. everything is political. And by political, they mean lefty. In other words, she's been schooled in dreary left-wing conformity and told it's critical thinking.

A common mistake.

During high school, my belief in the importance of being politically engaged played out in different ways. Like many young people, I campaigned at my high school to fundraise for development projects, I set up a stall to invite people to sign petitions about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, I got involved in discussion groups on global and political issues. By the time I reached university I was working as a youth worker – I had all the wide-eyed optimism about winning hearts and minds that any lefty university student might be expected to have.

So far, so boilerplate lefty activist nonsense.

When I was 21 I met a glorious man,

An idiot who tries to disrupt coal miners from doing their jobs.

David Pocock, who seemed to care even more deeply than I did about the world around him. It wasn’t hard to admire both his passion and integrity. I learnt a lot from his thoughtfulness and dedication. I like to think I taught him something about the importance of community and the stories of powerless people.

LOL. What? She's a privileged university-educated white girl, living in one of the richest societies on the planet.

When we finally decided to get married, we had a ceremony but agreed not to sign the legal documents involved until same-sex marriage was made legal. In our vows, we committed to help each other engage with, and love, the world around us.

This would be one of the few weddings requiring sick bags for its guests, well before any alcohol was imbibed.

Being able to work on a range of issues – from food insecurity in rural Zimbabwe, to LGBTI rights,

Dafuq is LGBTI? Nevermind, I'm sure gay and lesbian and transexual and I-people sleep soundly knowing Emma is signing petitions for them, or whatever.

to climate change – alongside Dave has been a joy, but also deeply challenging and distressing. The kinds of stories we have heard from folk all over the world who struggle with these issues makes my determination to carry on all the greater, even if receiving hate mail from right-wing Christians assuring us we’re going to burn in hell becomes a little tiresome.

Darn you Emma! Darn you to Heck!

There aren’t too many things to celebrate in all this, but one great moment came a couple of years ago when Australia finally decided to introduce a range of policies designed to address climate change – not least of which was a big increase in investment in renewable energy.

Yes. Australia, a remote and sparsely populated country whose economy depends on resource extraction, decided to slit its own throat with a knife made out of greeniebollocks and wishful thinking.

Sadly, what democracy giveth, democracy can taketh away...

In the past year or so I have been particularly discouraged by the retreat of the federal government from climate change action and its simultaneous spruiking of our extractive fossil fuel industries. Despite thousands of Australians showing real moral leadership on climate change,

"Real moral leadership" = ignorant city-dwelling arts graduates demanding their iPads and air conditioning be powered by unicorn farts and good intentions.

we now have a prime minister who declares that “coal is good for humanity”

Coal is good for humanity, you silly moo. Billions of people alive today wouldn't be if it weren't for us burning coal.

and wants to double our coal extraction. It’s not just locally I’ve been disappointed; consider the countless global climate summits that have produced no comprehensive action or binding targets.

Why, it's almost as if "world leaders" who bray about "climate change" don't actually believe it's an urgent, deadly problem.

Perhaps there's a lesson in that.

This left Dave and me with a troubling question: what can we do when we are rendered powerless by normal political processes?

Again, this is not some starving peasant in North Korea writing. She's a well-off middle class Australian university graduate.

But other Australians have elected a government she disapproves of, so she's "powerless". It's just not fair that other people aren't doing as Emma says!

In many countries, the power of big business and mainstream media means that the voices of citizens are drowned out, and even their ability to make informed decisions is limited by the power of a small minority of wealthy, powerful people.

The Jews, maybe.

Our shelves at home are lined with books about people throughout history who have used civil disobedience to overcome situations of grave injustice. The actions of one my heroes, Rosa Parks, sparked a mass wave of civil disobedience across the US which ultimately led to the reform of segregation. In the face of what the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon calls “the greatest collective challenge we face as a human family”, we decided that nonviolent direct action was the best way for us to make our voices heard.

By "heard", she means "obeyed".

And so we added our voices to more than 290 others who have been arrested at Maules Creek, and to countless others across the world – from the Skouries forest in Greece, to the farming village of Pungesti in Romania, to those of Canada’s First Nations who continue to protest the Alberta tar sands project.

She decided to break the law.

On Friday afternoon we drove for eight hours from Canberra to Narrabri to join the Leard Blockade. On Sunday, we walked onto the Maules Creek mine site and were arrested with six other Canberrans and local farmer, Rick Laird. It’s a terrible situation, with so many folk whose lives will be disastrously affected sidelined by appeals to brute economic rationalism.

She has no sympathy for the lives of people destroyed by economic irrationalism though. Unemployed miners, people struggling to pay their fuel bills, and businesses that are closed down as a result of greeniebollocks don't elicit a tear from our fearless social justice warrior.

Not even if they're LGBTI.

My protest is fundamentally about my role as a citizen, about my commitment to engage with and love the world around me.

ME! ME! ME!

My hope is that the action Dave and I have taken will help create a fairer future for people like Rick Laird and his kids, and for all of us who are faced with the reality of climate change and our government’s inaction. My hope is that more Australians will begin to raise their voices and realise the power they have to stand against a government so obviously on the wrong side of history.

She went to university, but still thinks history comes with a direction arrow.

Silly Emma Poppycock.

Emma Pocock is a student based in Canberra. She has a keen interest in food sovereignty in both an academic and practical sense, undertaking a Masters in International Development whilst also rearing chickens and maintaining a productive vegetable garden. She has worked as both a non-violence educator and youth worker.

This woman would starve to death in the absence of an advanced industrial economy to let her indulge her delusions.

David

In other words, she’s been schooled in dreary left-wing conformity and told it’s critical thinking.

As so often, that seems to be the nub of it. And so our self-styled radicals are often childlike and remarkably credulous.

By “heard”, she means “obeyed”.

That too.

Nikw211

This woman would starve to death in the absence of an advanced industrial economy to let her indulge her delusions.

Heh.

Still, at least I've learned the name of another completely impractical and unworkable "solution", namely Food Sovereignty, which was a new one on me. Apparently:

    Food sovereignty is about the right of peoples to define their own food systems [ … ] rather than [be dominated by] the demands of markets and corporations

our self-styled radicals are often childlike

I hear a rumour that student protestors at Warwick University will get CS gassed when they try to rush police sent to investigate an alleged assault on a university staff member.

Imagine that.

David

Speaking of self-imagined radicals - and further to the moral idiocy of, among others, Gawker’s Matt Bruenig, who says riots are a good thing – this may be relevant. Walter Hudson reads the left’s latest intellectual publication, the New Inquiry:

Let’s take a moment to unpack this stunning statement. According to [New Inquiry’s Willie] Osterweil, distinguishing between those who loot and those who do not is a “tactic of divide-and-conquer” motivated by “white supremacist ideologies.” Police practice “racism” when sorting out the people who loot from those who do not. Looting, and we might presume arson and other forms of property destruction, is a “supposed crime” which actually stands as a legitimate form of political protest. In summary, you’re a racist if you object to theft and property destruction. This is the context in which words like “justice” are wielded, as if anyone subscribing to a worldview legitimising looting has the slightest grasp upon the notion.

We’ve been here before of course. In the Guardian, naturally. And if the New Inquiry sounds familiar, you may be thinking of this and the last two paragraphs here.

JerryC

Easy to for Matt Bruenig to approve of looting and rioting in Ferguson, MO when he would never dream of setting foot in a place as déclassé as the greater St Louis metro area. Let alone Feguson itself.

David

Mr Bruenig and Mr Osterweil have those hugely convenient non-reciprocal principles, the ones that are so fashionable among their peers. Rioting, looting, arson, mob terror… it’s all good, righteous even, provided it’s being inflicted on someone else.

The humanity and compassion, it just oozes from their pores.

R. Sherman

@Steve

My parents wanted my sister and I to be able to think critically, as engaged citizens.

It's too bad their parents didn't feel the same about English grammar: "Wanted my sister and me. . . " Direct objects are a bitch.

R. Sherman

Also @Steve

Emma Pocock is a student based in Canberra. She has a keen interest in food sovereignty in both an academic and practical sense . . .

Sorry. Unless it's trying to cook me it's not sovereign, thank you.

Nikw211

Don't think this is intended as hyperbole.

Lancastrian Oik

"Food sovereignty".

You can find that in any Burger King.

Charlie Suet

Hooper's a better player than Pocock anyway.

David

Don’t think this is intended as hyperbole.

At least he’s not “planning to destroy society” like the other chap. And frankly, you wouldn’t think Mr Cameron had it in him. I think of him as woolly, insubstantial and effete.

Nikw211

“planning to destroy society”

Genius. Almost outdone by the comment immediately following by Beryl Kingston in the same thread.

I'm not a fan of the current administration either, and on a personal level I find it hard to look at Cameron's face and not be forcibly reminded of a blancmange in a suit.

But so downright fantastical are the beliefs of people such as that red-headed lady who is, in her own words, "Politically furious." and apparently "'Like 300, but with vagina.'", that I'm really starting to think that they actually believe quite literally ideas such as the one that Cameron is trying to kill her.

Jimmy

Crying and screaming hysterically at the boy band One Direction is simply a matter of finding a necessary space to explore needs and desires

http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/opinion/325964/necessary-space-explore-needs-and-desires

Of course these girls are going to look silly if all you show is their (extreme) emotional responses without properly examining what they are responding to.

Of course, no one but Millie has yet to properly examine what it is that girls are responding to.

It only takes the smallest amount of probing to reveal that girls freak out over One Direction because, on a simplistic level, they are fulfilling needs and desires.

Which I shall completely neglect to name and explore.

Now most people don't react so passionately to having their basic needs fulfilled, but the difference here is that often teenage girls don't have many avenues available to them to fulfil their needs in their day-to-day lives.

My basic needs involve eating and pooping. And sleep. Admittedly there may have been some tears during the pooping part. It must certainly be tough being a teenage girl when one of your basic needs is to scream hysterically at somebody after you have deluded yourself into thinking they harbour everlasting love for you. Better it be One Direction than her parents copping all that noise, right?

Obviously, what teenage girls actually want and need outside of a capitalist, patriarchal society is much debated and contested...

But does this very important debate involve boy bands?

...but within the current social climate what a lot of them seem to desire is five fresh-faced boys singing about love, and I for one support that desire wholeheartedly.

It's OK Millie, you needn't go to such pretentious lengths to justify your unfulfilled desire for the cute boy in the popular band.

From a different articles of hers...

As it stands, gender issues are avoided like the plague in our education system and many people leave school thinking we live in a post-sexist society.

And, even worse, many people leave school not knowing how their behaviour can be threatening and harmful to women.

Personally, I would feel a lot safer on campus (and in general) if I knew that male students had some basic understanding of their inherent privilege.

For the most part, it seems that in spite of their tertiary education, they lack the ability to consider their societal position in relation to others because they simply haven't been told that they are operating within a society that is still incredibly biased against women.

I don't have high hopes, but maybe this term the Government will consider some positive education reform.

There are a lot of things we should be teaching young people, and in my view feminism is right up there with how to pay bills and how to fix a blown fuse.

This is New Zealand she is talking about.

Millie has a regular space in the Opinions section of the local. I feel a bit sad and annoyed for her, her being so young and naive and having already drunk so deeply from the Feminist kool-aid. A long life of self-inflicted oppression and privileged whinging await her.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

David - I'm starting to think Invasion of the Body Snatchers was prescient. All these unique and radical critical thinkers, all saying the same old stuff.

Nikw211 - Yes. It's just a tarted up version of Tom and Barbara's self-sufficiency pretensions in "The Good Life". But more preachy and obnoxious.

"the right of peoples to define their own food systems [ … ] rather than [be dominated by] the demands of markets and corporations"

What does this even mean? Are KFC forcing people to guzzle Zinger Burgers or something?

R. Sherman - how dare you impose your Western anti-anthropophagic prejudices on the noble indigenous head hunters of Papua New Guinea!

Lancastrian Oik - "You can find that in any Burger King."

Jimmy - a normal young girl would explain her love of Non-Threatening Popular Beat Combo thusly:

"OMG! THEY ARE SO BEAUTIFULLLL! XXXX <3"

But Millie goes to university, so she rationalises it with:

"OMG! SOMETHING... SOMETHING FEMINISM!"

Dreaming spires eh?

I had a little chuckle at this bit though:

"Just trust that if a teenage girl likes something, she has her reasons - as well as the capacity to work out what is going to be of value to her and her development."

Yes, teenage girls are known for their sober understanding of what's good for them. Just ask their parents.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Lancastrian Oik - "You can find that in any Burger King."

What I meant to say was that made me laugh. :)

David

feminism is right up there with how to pay bills and how to fix a blown fuse.

Oh, you laugh, but unlike Millie, who is desperately clever and wants us to know it desperately, the rest of us just can’t see how the world really is. Pretentious students. God bless ‘em.

Oh. And in other, entirely unrelated news, Laurie Penny has a message for the people of the United States.

Custard Cream

Steve2 - I have shamelessly C&P'd some of your ripe diatribe into the comments under Dear Emma's overwrought prose. I'm hoping for many, many recommends.

Steve 2: Steveageddon

Custard Cream - :) Wonder how long you lasted on CiF before the banhammer came out.

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