Tim Blair


New Criterion



Thursday, October 31, 2002

The fuzz are taking seriously the likelihood that the Islamofascist conspiracy has resources in place for the first attack on Australian soil. And so they should.

Do they have evidence? Who knows.

Should they be looking for it? You bet.

And so some citizens and residents of our broad land are being examined closely. “They’re innocent!” cry Auntie and the Henny Penny Herald in unison. “It’s a stunt!” shouts the Council for Civil Liberties.

We have little to go on, and most of that comes from the people whose homes have been raided. What can we take from that shallow stream?

Mr Basri of Sydney has already been declared a good citizen by the Herald and his neighbours. He is a keen follower of Bashir the duck, attends his lectures and reproduces his thoughts in pamphlets which he hands out at several Sydney mosques. He supports Jihad “because it’s part of my religion”. The intrepid innocents working for the Herald do not enquire about his views on regime change in Australia.

Those of you who’ve read a newspaper lately will know that Bashir’s power base, Jemaa Islamiya, preaches war against all infidels and works for the creation of Greater Islamia, a south east Asian super-state, including northern Australia, run according to sharia law. Their connections with organised terrorism are now established.

In some respects Uncle would like to be a citizen of Greater Islamia. The prospect of seeing Philip the Gastropod Adams suspended by his big toes over a bonfire fuelled by Australia’s pig population would fill me with schadenfreude, were it not for my respect for pigs.

But back to the real world of Mr Basri, the innocent fanatic. Should he be scrutinised? Time may tell, or it may stay silent.

Bear this comparison in mind. Suppose the late, unlamented V I Lenin were spruiking at Australia’s doorstep, demanding the overthrow of democratic government in favour of his form of dictatorship of the saints. As, indeed, he and his successor Joe Stalin were. Suppose that there is a group of Australians exercising their democratic rights by associating freely to support the goals of Vlad and Joe. They’ve never set a bomb in their short lives. Should they be scrutinised?

We’ve been through all this before. For decades the Australian left fought to defend the rights of the communists and their Party to avoid the oversight of our security and intelligence services. Only with the publication of a little book by Des Ball were we given the evidence against them. The war-time secretary of the Party was indeed a spy for Joe Stalin, passed on sensitive information from other spies in our government to Moscow from where it was passed to Tokio. We don’t know what impact it may have had on the lives and deaths of our military personnel. Fortunately we had broken the Japanese codes.

And the communists were not into suicide bombing, just suicidal strikes.

Wednesday, October 30, 2002
EBRAHIM SAMMAKI is an Iranian who left Iran ('escaped" is the word RN Breakfast prefers) some years ago and travelled to Indonesia as an illegal immigrant.

He appears to have found refuge there, since he was able to marry a local woman and now has two children, the older seven years and the younger now three years old.

It seems (and we get all this from his lawyer Danny Hyams) the Iranian government is quite happy to have him back, with no suggestion that he would be in jeopardy, but will not give permission for his foreign family to enter.

Last April he decided to enter Australia illegally by the usual route, via Ashmore Reef, and has been in detention in Woomera ever since.

Not even the communards can call this fellow an "asylum seeker". Instead they call him a "detainee", which, of course, locates the cause of his incarceration with the action of his Australian hosts, not with his own decision to flout Australian law deliberately. The correct term is "illegal entrant".

What brings him to Auntie's attention (apart from his lawyer and activists)? His wife was killed in the Kuta bombings, and his kids now depend on the support of their Indonesian relatives, and the money he earns in Woomera's kitchen, which would be enough to keep them in comfort in Bali.

Quite reasonably, Ebrahim wants to be re-united with his children. The Indonesians refuse to give him an entry visa. I presume the Australian government is refusing to give his kids entry visas. What's the answer.

That's right; compassion, according to our Vivian Schenker, who gets so much attention from Uncle because, as the morning mouthpiece, she has unlimited rights of serial commentary.

The government officials can not comment without breaching Ebrahim's right to confidentiality, but I am prepared to believe they are looking for a policy. Pure "legalism" according to Schenker.

The dumb listener is not supposed to guess that by just letting the kids in we are creating a licence for thousands of others to play the same game. While thousands of real refugees wait for visas in circumstances far worse than the Sammaki kids.

Any government that decided individual cases by some compassion index that the communards might approve of would be no government at all. It would be a disgrace, and the results of its irresponsibility would soon see it out of office.

Should our national broadcaster understand that? Should air-heads who haven't learnt it despite half a life in "journalism" be given a licence to comment on a national broadcaster?

Auntie gives us her answer every day of the week. It comprises two fingers raised in front of our collective faces.

The communards think that substituting compassion for policy puts them on the higher moral ground. It doesn't. It shows they have no political morality at all.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

It's not the Independent Indigenous Advisory Committee. The Administrative Appeals Tribunal determined that.

But what expertise does AAT have? Bugger-all.

So the leader of the We're-blacker-than-you faction wants the matter to go to: you're not going to believe this -

Phillip Ruddock.

Alan, you are, as we say in the trade, a liar. Good night

A fitting end to last night's Media Watch, as the crew challenge the Platinum Parrot to a contest in the defamation jousts.

Now, crew, let's broaden the range of fire a little. I can suggest a few targets.


The transcript of last night's Four Corners account of the Islamofascist conspiracy's south east Asian tentacles is available.

Not much there to suprise anyone who has been paying attention to the world beyond their own ideology. The evidence presented makes it clear that only Indonesian politics keeps Bashir the duck out of jail, and that the schools of fanaticism that he and his colleagues run are a threat to this country in the short term as well as the long.

The communards are unlikely to be deflected from their own jihad against capitalism and its Great Satan.

Pity the Islamofascists only use fellow-travellers as bomb-bait. Doesn't leave much for the left to do.

MORE MISERY was promised yesterday, and Uncle always keeps his promises.

If you think I am a little short with the morning mouthpiece on Radio National's Breakfast, Vivian Schenker, you should listen to Aung San Suu Kyi.

The minders got access to the hard-pressed Suu Kyi, where she sits in the waiting room for the Burmese Presidential Palace, as she has done for the past ten years.

She is a highly-intelligent, tough woman, and her steely contempt for Schenker, as it sharpens in the course of the 14-minute interview, is cutting. Except for Schenker, whose capacity for inanity is unaffected.

Until Suu Kyi is driven to erupt with these simple words: "I'm afraid the time is up". Schenker still demands two further dopy questions, and she can, because Suu Kyi is not going to demean herself by hanging up.

You didn't think it was the role of a "national broadcaster" to humiliate the nation that pays for it?

Listen to the audio, and think again.

Monday, October 28, 2002

George Munster was, in Uncle's view, one of Australia'a journalistic pioneers. As mentioned before, his memory is being abused by the Centre for Independent Journalism, a communard front organisation run by ex-Auntie hack Chris Nash for undergraduates at UTS.

In this way, by appearing to just "cover" someone else's event, assisted by the mis-leading labelling, the communards can distance themselves from the agenda-setting. But just ask yourself how many IPA or CIS forums you will hear "covered" in full on Auntie.

This Sunday's service raised the question: Detention Centres; were our media censored? You know the answer.

But it's worse. With few exceptions, like Margo Kingston, our journalists have been corrupted, and they're corrupting the simpletons who live in this country. It's all because of the profit motive. Some truly disgraceful so-called jouralists even ganged up on that poor unfortunate scheming liar Baktiyari, and proved that's what he was. Need we say more. Gripe and groan for a solid hour. You can wait for the transcript, but take it from me that no-one who spoke, or discussed, at this forum was further to the right than the far left of the ALP.

Don't expect balance. It's their ABC.

SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY. And Monday morning no better.

You may have noticed that Uncle retains a fondness for Auntie's good qualities. Some of you have called me a masochist, or would have if you knew the word.

But there are times when my long-suffering optimism is tested beyond breaking point. Sunday October 27th was one such day.

To tell you the truth, if a government of either political persuasion could face the political pain of acting, yesterday's performance by the communards would provide them with all the evidence they would need to convince any person of open mind that our publicly-funded flagship broadcaster has sunk to such a depth that scuttling is the only reasonable option. No-one would mourn more than Uncle the priceless sources of information that would be lost in the process, but the alternative is truly ugly.

The morning began with a respite from the Pre-schoolers who gave all their time over to Jared Diamond. Diamond is used to give catatrophism a respectable scientific pedigree, but it's not his fault that he's used that way. Even post-adolescent thinkers can benefit from listening to him.

As the clock struck ten minutes past noon, as Uncle's clock is trained to do, I prepared for my post-prandial doze with the aid of Pastor Lane's Sunday drone. Now, Lane's pathetic and auntique Marxism is made almost tolerable by the quality of some of the talent he or his minders recruit. The Pastor is prepared to listen to whole sentences from the talent, unlike the Gastropod, even if he never learns anything that might upset his faith.

Yesterday, however, the Sunday roast's steady progress down the intestines was churned by the sounds of a stroking session horrible enough to have been hosted by the Gastropod himself.

The subject of the discussion, you see, was intellectual property, and this is a form of property that our son of Marx feels confident he can expropriate without anyone noticing the difference. Unlike the other, more visible means of production, distribution and exchange, where the results of collective ownership and control have produced results that even the left finds unacceptable.

The talent, Peter Drahos, hates microsoft and favours open-source software. Good for him. We don't have to buy Microsoft, but most of us have to buy a marketed form of the open-source equivalent since we're not nerdy enough to use it without having our hands held by someone.

Pastor Lane, however, lives in such a cloud-cuckoo land of collectivist fantasy that he can not even see the difference between discovery and invention. Drahos tried to point it out, but you can't tell the Pastor; Marx got there first.

Lane believes that all new knowledge comes from the public sector, and lousy, greedy capitalists just grab it for free and charge the rest of us large sums to use it.

So there you have the dreadful truth. Someone to whom Auntie gives a peak hour each week (plus repeat on Monday) is so bone-ignorant he can not see that development of new inventions costs ten times as much as discovery, and if we expropriate the investors' revenues they may just stop investing.

There are of course many interesting issues in intellectual property law that deserve controversy, and discussion on Auntie, but there is just no prospect of that with this ignorant, fundamentalist, contemptible numbskull.

And yet Sunday was not half over. I need a break.

Saturday, October 26, 2002
THE BUNYIP is stirring his pond to try find another animal emblematic of the lugubrious Gastropod.

This followed a stirring paean to pigs from Billie of Altona. She made her point with delicious eloquence, and is welcome to cuddle up in my blog-pen anytime she likes.

The results of the hunt are disappointing. No surprise. They're all just names, and fail to enhance the awful reality which can only be described. If you have the stomach for the work.


In Victoria, there's been a whopping 227 per cent jump in complaints of stalking.

But the statistics, released today by the State Attorney-General Rob Hulls, may not reflect an increase in the number of fearful women being subjected to unwanted male pursuit.

Instead, many of the complaints are actually from people upset by much more mundane matters, such as neighbourhood or office disputes

Why would people want to do that?

Under Victorian law, the only way to obtain an intervention order against someone you're feuding with is through the stalking provisions of the Crimes Act.

It's an anomaly that's clogging up the courts and it's forced the Bracks Government to considering amending the law.

What they mean is, it's the only way to obtain an intervention order and get the rest of us to pay for it.

With 'racial vilification' the process is just starting.

DEFYING GRAVITY by the dextrous use of mere twigs of support is the characteristic talent of the arboreal primates, and Primate Peter Carnley has proved himself a worthy member of his genus.

On yesterday evening's PM news program, reporter Mark Colvin caught Carnley between trees and brought us the following fruits from the forest:

The Archbishop's not expanded on his views since the Foreign Minister Alexander Downer asked him in response whether he had evidence that hadn't been made known to the Government. Others have attacked the Archbishop for even assuming that the bombing was aimed at Australia.

I spoke to Archbishop Carnley today and asked him first about Mr Downer's demands for evidence of his assertions.

Unfortunately, Colvin found Carnley still digesting last week's over-ripe dinner, and unable to come to grips with the fruit of Alexander Downer's not-excessively-rich wit.

I don't know what he had in mind about what I was saying. I think he might have been told by a journalist that I had been critical of the Government or something like that.

MARK COLVIN: But I think Mr Downer was talking about your statement that most of us now believe that such a well planned and strategic placing of a bomb speaks clearly enough for itself, retaliation against America's allies has been verbally threatened for some months. Now, that was very clearly interpreted as meaning that the bomb was in retaliation for us being America's allies.

PETER CARNLEY: I think I've still that view. I think the fact that we are seen as allies of America means that we are a natural target, and we have to hear what the terrorists themselves are saying.

Uncle thought that the terrorists, whoever they may be, had spoken with explosive clarity. Not clear enough for our pendular Primate. What he didn't want to hear, from Colvin, was a reminder that the Capo of the Islamofascist crusaders, bin Laden, had put Australia on the murder and mayhem party guest list on account of our support for the East Timorese.

PETER CARNLEY: Yes, well, that theory has been promoted about East Timor and also the fact that Bali's very close to Australia, and it just happened to be an accident that there were a lot of Australians there. But I think in the world context, terrorists are targeting America, the allies of America and also Western culture, I think. It's clear that Western culture is hated.

Hang on that branch there a minute, Peter, were Australians targets or weren't they?

Then there is this exchange, as entertaining as watching a Primate scratch his armpits and fart at the same time:

MARK COLVIN: Well, if that is the case, if it's about hating us because we're part of Western culture, is it up to us to change ourselves because of that?

PETER CARNLEY: No, I think we've got to enter into dialogue with Islam to try and identify those parts of Western culture that are undervalued in the Islamic world. I think we have to talk about freedom of speech, and freedom of religious practice in our kind of culture and that's the kind of thing that Australian Muslims benefit from, and I think we want to hold before Islam the possibility that there should reciprocal arrangements with Christians in places where Islam persecutes. I think that's the kind of dialogue we've got to have with Islam.

MARK COLVIN: But if this is being done, as some Islamic scholars say it is, by people who are essentially Islamo-fascists, that's the phrase, then what use is telling them that we've got freedom of speech and freedom of religion?

And then Primate Pete just hopes that shaking the branches a bit more will produce a rain of reason upon his wilting argument. It doesn't:

PETER CARNLEY: Yes, it's an attempt to try and understand the motivations of terrorists generally.

MARK COLVIN: What's your argument for understanding them?

PETER CARNLEY: We have to understand them. I think, naturally when we're grieving, when we're broken and upset and grieving because of what has been inflicted on us, and see it as being inflicted on all of us, I think when we're grieving we naturally ask questions. Why could this happen? Why are people so hating of us that they will go to these lengths? I think that this question naturally arises.

Indeed it does. And it's answered in the voluminous writings of and about these critics of "decadent" Western culture. By the way, the "d" word seems to have fallen from our Primate's vocabulary. It's been replaced by "undervalued in the Muslim world". Feel better about that.

In case you thought that tree-dwelling vegetarians were pacifist, Pete assures us: I think governments must pursue the war on terrorism, there's no doubt about that, but that doesn't mean we can't try and understand what it's all about.

Keep trying Pete. Don't bother leaving the tree again until you have.

Here's a little plum to pop in your gob when you've recovered from today's purging.

Don't you think the Muslims of Indonesia, and the terrorists of that place and beyond, realise that Australia's support for East Timor would have had less influence on the Indonesian military than a monkey's piss if it weren't for the threat of US force that lay behind it? Do you really believe the Australian army frightens the Indonesians?

Fact is, Carnley and all the anti-Yank supporters of East Timorese independence are seen by the Islamists as just as much clients of Uncle Sam as John Howard and his Government. If we're paying a price in Bali it's more likely to be for their "compassionate" foreign policy than Howard's pro-American sentiments.

Friday, October 25, 2002

I mean the people who are sooooo strokable.

Phil Adams's minders must send out questionnaires. For every thousand they find at least one who can engage in a stroking session with the Gastropod without either of them having to make an effort.

Today's little discovery is William Gass. That's right.

Never heard of him? He's written a novel that drew an empassioned critical response whatever that is.

Gass has has just retired from the directorship of the International Writers Centre at Washington University, Missouri, where he was also the David May Distinguished University Professor in the Humanities – with an expertise in Greek philosophy. He is the recipient of two National Book Critics Circle Awards and the Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award.

Yes, but what does the man do?

Well, he's interested in fascism. Not the Mussolini mob, or the Hitler psychos, not even the Islamofascists, or the Marxist-fascists.

He is interested in the fascism of the American breakfast table. Don't ask me.

You know you're in the middle of a major mud-wrestle when Phil says things like: It's a miracle that the US stayed democratic during the Great Depression.

I wish I could have put some money on that "miracle".


Wbat's missing in this picture of what makes societies prosper?

There are lessons in the collapse of ancient societies.
Communities, even nations, can commit
"a self inflicted ecological suicide". But
other factors such as trade, the role of the
elites, and even the rate of infant mortality are involved too.

It's something that you wouldn't think of, if you hadn't studied some history.

Or politics.

Or looked at the ecological results of Stalinism and other dictatorships.

I suppose we all need a holiday sometimes, but with these guys it's all the time.

Thursday, October 24, 2002
YOU KNOW YOUR FRIENDS when they act in your interest before they have to.

The UK locks up Jemaa Islamiya funds following Australia's approach to the UN to declare these psychopaths undesirable international citizens.

The US has already done so.


Only 50.15% of visitors to the Taliban Online Website think that the believers will NOT defeat the unbelievers in the war for making everyone believe what some crackpots believe.

Let's take a leaf out of Saddam's book. MAKE THAT 100%.

Vote now. Vote every day.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Somehow, when David Marr and his minders are trying to be nice to their colleagues it just makes their politics all the more obvious. Of course, with the media covering almost nothing else for a week, and an audience about as ready for the usual dose of selective righteousness as they are for an op-ed piece by Bashir the duck, what else could the crew do?

Welcome to Media Watch. Tonight we look at a remarkable week of journalism and break the habits of a lifetime to praise some very fine work. But there were some low points, lower even than Sky's dud call to wage war on Indonesia.

A perfect setting for some knife work on a favourite ABC target:

A little later over in the east, the commentators were already into it. Piers Akerman could see the blast coming and knew who to blame.

And he was spot on:

Piers Akerman: ‘There is a tragic inevitability about all of this. And I think that those people, from the Greens particularly, elements of the Labor Party who have said Australia was not a terrorist target, who have been down-pedalling the threats that obviously exist.’
Insiders, ABC TV, 14 October 2002

Piers was solving the problem just 8 hours after the blasts, at a point when hardly anything was known by anyone.

"Anyone" means the communards at the ABC; the Gastropod, Pastor Lane, and no doubt the minders at Media Watch. Fact is, ten days after the blast, and ten days before it, what Akerman was stating looks and looked bleeding obvious to all except the anti-US denialists.

But that's not all folks. Another favourite target, Mike Munro of A Current Affair, also gets an equally arbitrary serve. He is shown fishing for tears from a young prospective widow. Standard media practice, especially if you listen to Life Matters, watch Australian Story, or any of a dozen ABC news reports in the past week. And the woman clearly wants us to share her struggle to stay positive.

Puff up the cheeks, David, we're all feeling virtuous and looking for someone to dump on.

That interview wasn't live. It was packaged: pre-recorded torture to turn this woman's grief into television.

A travesty of critical jouralism.

We're still waiting for reports on the Ken Davidson plagiarisms, and the Philip Adams fake-up of his phone chat with Charles Krauthammer.

Don't pay your taxes until we get them.

Later: By the way, don't bother looking for the transcript of the Akerman interview on the Insiders Website. They've never heard of it. Not even on October 13.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
SOME FANCY FOOTWORK around the fate of the ex-Maid of Maningrida on this morning's Law Report on Radio National.

Two lawyers, John Tippett QC from Darwin and a Ms McGlade (phonetic) from Murdoch University in Perth commented on the case now familiar to followers of ABCwatch.

Tippett managed to so nuance his deliberations that he avoided entirely the crucial question: does a young girl have the right of refusal of an arranged marriage, as she should under our law, or doesn't she?

The Perth feminist and Noongah woman, McGlade, further confused the issues by insisting on the fiction that under customary Aboriginal practice men do not have the right to inflict violence on their women. Violence among Aboriginal people is just an artifact of colonialism. An outright lie.

Between the equivocations of these two lawyers there was no safe ground for the victim.

The only hopeful statement came from Mr John Ah Kit, an Aboriginal MP who assists the Northern Territory's Chief Minister on Indigenous Affairs. He asserted unequivocally that the girl should have the full protection of our law. God bless him.

The NT Director of Public Prosecutions is appealing Judge Gallop's derisory sentence of 24 hours jail for Jamilmira.

Sell lawyers; buy politicians.

FEARLESSLY SEEKING ALLIES against the US, Phil Adams lights upon the French equivalent of the Friends of the British Council, La Francophonie.

This body includes any country that suffered the appalling consequences of French colonisation and wants some free tickets to the Lebanon, and any other country that could find a french-speaker with a week to spare.

The reason for meeting in Beiruit: "France is uncomfortably close to the Middle East", according to Phil, meaning Uncle supposes separated by only 25 other countries.

But they're prepared to be told they should share the Gastropod's hostility to Anglo-Saxon hegemony, ie US "unilateralism", so they just have to be taken seriously as an alternative force. And any alternative just has to be a better one, doesn't it.

France resisted the 1991 Gulf War, winning Phil's praise, and, no doubt, remunerative concessions from as many sides as could be identified.

At the Beiruit frog-fest: "He [Chirac] really went for the US" cries Phil, trusting to his briefing notes. "Well, he didn't actually mention the US by name", responds Dr Peter Brown of the Australian National University, Australia's own francophone junketeer from Beiruit.

Well, Phil can't speak French, and has no grip on international politics, but he does understand opportunism.

OF COURSE! A moose is a mouse with an electric cable up its bum. Don't know why it took me so long to work it out.

WHY INVADE IRAQ? Same reason you can't invade North Korea. One has a nuke; one is working on it.

Another nice case from Andrew Sullivan.


According to reader Reg the Macintosh has something called a talking Moose. It produced for him the following wisdom:

If everyone closed their eyes for ten minutes and visualised world
peace, imagine how serene and peaceful it would be... until the
looting starting.

If that Moose can go on doing it, Uncle can retire.

SHOCKING GERALDINE the hostess of Life Matters is not difficult.

The unanimous findings of a Parliamentary Committee have drawn attention to some findings that will not suprise anyone whose eyes have been open sometime in the last decade or so.

However, the Committee is convinced that the current Gender Equity Framework does not adequately address boys' needs and should be revised to more effectively address the needs of boys as well as girls.

Our public school system has become dysfunctional for many boys. The main reason is: the needs of boys were never on the political agenda.

Thirty years ago feminists got control of the education policy agenda and the curriculum. At that time educational outcomes for girls - like school retention rates and entry to tertiary education - were slightly worse than for boys.

By about 1980 the indicators showed boys and girls performing about the same.

Since then the outcomes for boys have got steadily worse, and are now a national disgrace.

Despite two decades of disturbing evidence, the Parliamentarians found the State education authorities, the teacher unions and their community allies in total denial. A few dogged researchers keep drawing attention to the scandal.

You think it just can't go on like this?

Try doing something about it, in any organisation you have access to. Put on your kevlar knickers.

Good luck.

(Streaming audio is first up in this morning's first hour.)


According to HILDA, a social survey project, Australians are among the happiest people in the world.

That'll make the communards thoroughly miserable.

You can hear the researcher behind it 20 minutes in to this mornings Life Matters streamed audio.

Monday, October 21, 2002
I'D LIKE TO THINK SHE'S CRAZY. Otherwise the hypocrisy of the Henny Penny (it's Monday but I haven't seen any terrorists have you?) Herald's Webdiarist Margo Kingston has dug itself to new depths.

Last week, during her mud-wrestle with Philip Adams, Margo promised us an end to "culture wars" in her poxy principality you Herald readers pay for.

Today she spells out exactly what that means. There's no war because Margo is the only one allowed to fight. Cop this you mugs:

This is our experience, and those who wish to define it for us and appropriate it to their cause can get stuffed.

An Australia split to its core, paralysed by mutual contempt, is an Australia poorly placed to withstand the terrible challenges ahead.

So, just shut your yaps out there!

Margo, in return, is going to keep her eyes and her mind firmly closed.

I think finger-pointing and blame and jumping straight into anger and visions of revenge is dangerous displacement of feeling before feeling is fully felt. It also ignores the absence of facts upon which to analyse what has happened.

It also highlights the absence of a brain behind the automatic keyboard at Webdiary.

You're not allowed to think what Margo can't, but there is something left for us kids to do:

I'd like to publish your poems and visualisations.

Somehow, I think that about 90% of the Australian population have already visualised what needs to be done. They just need someone to do it.

And it would be nice if Margo Kingston would just crawl away while we get on with it.

Later. Here's a timely poetic interpretation from Keysar Trad, via the Bunyip.

EX-PRESIDENT WAHID thinks that Bashir the duck is a terrorist. Wahid, who continues to lead the 40-million strong Nahdlatul Ulama, might know something. Apart from the obvious, that Bashir walks like a duck, talks like a duck...

And it's open season brothers and sisters.

THAT'S MORE LIKE IT. The Independent's version of John Winston Howard. Script by a True Believer. They still don't get it.


Howard Jacobsen has spent time trying to educate Australian undergraduates. Perhaps that's why he's grown tired of the Independent's addiction to making excuses for murder.

And Abel? What do we suppose was going through his mind as his brother rose up and slew him? That in some labyrinthine way it was all his fault? That he had brought his brother's violence down upon himself? That there is no doing without our calling for it to be done? ...those who blew apart the however many hundreds of kids dancing the last of their lives away in Bali. It behoves us to stay out of their motives. Utterly obscene, the narrative of guilty causation which now waits on every fresh atrocity – "What else are the dissatisfied to do but kill?" etc – as though dissatisfaction were an automatic detonator, as though Cain were the creation of Abel's will.

Here is our decadence: not the nightclubs, not the beaches and the sex and the drugs, but our incapacity to believe we have been wronged. Our lack of self-worth.

Include me out of that "our" please Howard. But I know just what you're talking about, and who.

And they published it!

SOMEONE with a better idea than most of who's behind the Bali mayhem is Rohan Gunaratnam, author of a book on bin Laden. He's also seen the product of the US interviews with high-ranking al Quaeda head-case, Farouq. Catch the audio before it's wiped. It's the item labelled "Jemmah suspect".


The communards behind the Radio National Breakfast program were really tickling their own fancies this morning by interviewing Gordon Liddy, famous in the days when the communards' parents were young for his role in the Watergate break-in. He is now an author, radio talk-back host and commentator. Just like Auntie's.

NO HE'S NOT! It seems Mr Liddy is a - shock - SHOCK-JOCK!

When Liddy demurred at this description it took our hostess Schenker way outside her comfort zone trying to find an alternative title for her guest while staying true to the Faith of the communards. You should listen for a laugh tomorrow when the audio is available.

Liddy is vastly better-informed and considered in his views than any of Auntie's commentators, but also a robust libertarian by conviction, and that makes him very shocking indeed in Auntie's company.

Saturday, October 19, 2002

Malaysia's Prime Minister today defied the Anglican Primate of Australia, Peter Carnley.

In the case of terrorist activities, you can never determine where they are going to attack next and of course Malaysia maybe subjected to the same kind of attacks as happened in Bali and in the Philippines, according to Mahathir Mahomed.

His Grace is considering the theology and protocols bearing on the excommunication of Muslims.


The head of the Anglican church in Australia, called its "Primate" for reasons that weren't clear to me until today, is channelling al Quaeda for us.

The head of the Anglican Church in Australia [Archbishop Peter Carnley], has blamed the Bali bombings on Australia's outspoken support for the United States in planning military action against Iraq.

It's not that the Government wasn't warned. We wrote to Mr Howard on the 8th of August in fact, he said. I think it was around about that time that, in fact, the Prime Minister took a more, a moderate approach to the US bombing of Iraq.

To which our Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, in a display of virtuoso sarcasm of which Uncle did not think him capable, replied: If we don't know who did it, then it's pretty hard to know what their motives were and obviously if Archbishop Carnley's Diocese has some information that can assist with the investigation then we would obviously appreciate that information.

Our prattling primate also thought we should take heed of the view he ascribes to many Muslims, that Western culture is "decadent". I know a good Website to help His Grace with his further education.

I've been there, your Worthiness, and I was not convinced.

Friday, October 18, 2002
WHAT DO YOU MEAN? You expect a refund on your FABC subscription?

The Friends of AnnaBelle Crabb have laboured mightily, and successfully, to release her from the Gastropod's clutches.

It costs you know.

How long could you listen to Philip Adams without malt whiskey reinforcement?

IT'S ALL ABOUT OIL and a right-wing conspiracy.

“The Saudis have funded schools all over the world, and the extreme right-wing of the
Saudi theological establishment has been allowed to run amok.”

And now there’s terrorism – and with the Hawks in Washington it makes for some frightening politics.

Oil, fanatics and fear.

Now there's a definition of "right wing" that doesn't fit on anyone's spectrum.

But, hell, you don't expect the pre-schoolers to call a spade by its correct name if it doesn't come from their dictionary.

Thursday, October 17, 2002
A LITTLE GOOD NEWS in an appalling week.

We Friends of AnnaBelle Crabb have had a victory. On Tuesday night young Annabelle was not called back to jump in the mud-filled bath-tub with Philip Adams. A young soul lives on, free to find her way in a naughty world.

The downside of all this is that poor old Margo Kingston has been called back to duty. Tuesday night's performance shows just how corrupted the ex-journalist has been by years and years of stroking Adams' ideological G-spots. The only solace is knowing that all hope for Margo has gone.

The audio of Tuesday's Late Night Live, listening to which Uncle could not bear without the example of what his fellow-Australians have been going through in the morgues of Kuta, was a scarifying experience.

Phil and Margo agreed that, almost four days after the explosion, it was not time to reflect on matters of responsibility and blame: it was "time to feel the pain". Margo thought that trained artists should be called in to interpret it for us.

This didn't stop Phil and Margo going through every possible candidate for the bastards who did the deed, except, of course, al Quaeda (or al Quadia, as Margo prefers) since all communards know that they are a fiction created by the CIA to support US imperial ambitions.

Phil thought it might be drug barons who wanted us to believe it was terrorists. We'll have to wait for a later program to find out why drug barons should want to kill so many potential customers and close down a prime retail outlet.

Margo declared that her Webdiary for the Terminal Herald was going to be "a culture-wars free zone" until all the victims are buried.

That means that she has about three months to reflect on

* why it's OK for her to accuse the Australian defence forces of deliberately murdering the refugees on SIEVX while questioning the existence of Islamist terrorism directed at her fellow countrymen and women.

* why she and her mate Phil should remain attached to their view that it (terrorism against liberal democratic countries) is our fault,

* why, if there is so little evidence to point to those responsible, about 300 000 of her countrymen and women could be signed up tomorrow for the duty of strangling Bashir the duck

* why she should stay in journalism, apart from the fact that the Terminal Herald continues to pay her.

Have you got the stomach for more of this? Uncle went through the entire ten minutes and needs to unburden.

Here is Margo's idea of the political spectrum of opinion on our current difficulties:

From her "enormous" email in-tray post-Bali, she deduces the extreme right among her correspondents think we should support the US in the war on Iraq. The mainstream left, on the other hand, thinks "Howard did it".

What a political spectrum the Terminal Herald has.

Truly Auntie in print!


Uncle has been inclined to take the view that the legal offence of racial vilification is a gratuitous and expensive way of helping people who are incapable of repartee or a swift right hook, as the occasion demands.

That’s why I thought it dumb to make anti-semitic grub Toben sluice down his Website.

Here are the Toben claims that led Judge Branson of the Federal Court to take action:

1. There was serious doubt that the holocaust ever took place.
2. It was unlikely that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz.
3. Jewish people who are offended by and challenge holocaust denial are of limited intelligence. And –
4. Some Jewish people, for improper purposes, including financial gain, have exaggerated the number of Jews killed during World War II.

That is, the causes of offence, amounting to vilification under the Racial Discrimination Act, were for the most part matters of historical/political interpretation, and not the kind of vile personal racism Toben no doubt practices in private. There is also no doubt the historical event in question generates strong feelings.

The obnoxious Alderman Eldridge of the Wagga Wagga Council was also tried and found guilty of offensive historical talk in various public places by the Equal Opportunities Tribunal following a complaint by the Wagga Aborigines Action Committee in 1995.

And you don’t have to be a corporate body to take action against vilification:

In October 2000 Mr and Mrs McMahon got from the Federal Magistrates Service $1 500, costs and a free punch at their neighbours the Bowmans who had uttered derogatory remarks about the McMahons’ racial background.

I bet they felt better after that.

Now consider these choice words:

The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country, and now, they only take the select choice of other societies, and the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us. And because we are not elitists, we tolerate them.

Of course we know that convicts were a small part of the migrant intake of this country, but it’s the thought that counts here. And the thought is sheer racism.

India, the Asian country which is dominated by the lowest of the low amongst racists.

I bet Indian-Australians really feel good when they read that. And then there’s this general wrap-up (via the Bunyip):

The likeness of Islam and Kuffar is like that of fresh clear spring water and water brought up from the bottom of a suburban sewer. If even a drop of the filthy water enters the clear water, the clarity diminishes. Likewise it only takes a drop of the filth of disbelief to contaminate Islam in the West.

I guess that covers the rest of us.

What these extracts have in common is their source; a publication freely available in print and on the Web in this country. The publication is Nida'ul Islam Magazine which claims a circulation of 4 000, most Australian and mostly young.

The first two extracts above were by brother Keysar Trad, the public face of the Mullah of the Lakemba Mosque. The second was by brother Amir Abdullah.

Do we have to allow these hate-mongers to afflict us, pollute the minds of our impressionable fellow citizens and encourage violence against us?

Not according to the declaration of the UN’s World Conference against Racism held in South Africa last year.

“certain media, by promoting false images and negative stereotypes of vulnerable individuals or groups of individuals, particularly of migrants and refugees, have contributed to the spread of xenophobic and racist sentiments among the public and in some cases have encouraged violence by racist individuals and groups".

Those words are taken from the Conference’s final Declaration, and they’re not far wrong. Last week you might have found the idea of “vulnerability” too limiting for your taste, but after Bali?

HREOC agrees that we just don’t have to take it any more.

“Hate speech is harmful. My paper today rests on this premise, as indeed do the other remedies I will outline in a moment. Hate speech does not have to be targeted if and only to the extent that it is seen to cause another, discrete, separate harm. Hate speech, in and of itself, is harmful” according to Dr Katharine Gelber, at a HREOC conference on racism in August this year.

And HREOC is indeed willing to punish racial vilification, defined by the Racial Discrimination Act as an “ act [that] is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

The vilification just has to be not in private.

Two neighbours shouting at each other in an otherwise empty street was judged to be not in private. How can a publication be “in private”.

There is a let-out, of course. If you act in good faith and “in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest” or your comment is “a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment”
then you can be as rude as you like.

But I don’t see that protecting brother Trad, let alone brother Amir Abdullah.

So, go for it, bomb-threatened fellow citizens. Ask HREOC to help you fight those who vilify you.

If you’re feeling lucky have a swing at them first. Not that I’m recommending that, of course.

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Senior Indonesian Ministers have repeatedly denied al-Qaeda has established roots here in Indonesia, but now, in the wake of the Bali blasts, those leaders are conceding they may well have been wrong.

Last night, the country's defence minister declared, "I'm sure the al-Qaeda network really exists. The explosion in Bali is related to al-Qaeda.

What would he know!

As the investigation into the Bali attack continues, analyst MJ Gohel, from the Asia-Pacific Foundation, says it is misleading for world leaders and the media to constantly refer to the Al Qaeda group as being linked to every terrorist incident around the globe.

He says he believes the attack in Bali was master-minded without much input at all from the remnants of the Al Qaeda group in Afghanistan

How much input do you need? By the standards if Dr Gohel [yes, we are being had on] the resistance networks run by Britain in Europe during the second world war were not really there.

Just lots of enthusiastic local pyromaniacs who happened to blow up railway tracks when the BBC broadcast "the white mouse is coming to dinner" or some such nonsense.

They just happened to have visited Britain in the recent past where they happened to have undertaken some recreational activities involving explosives and heavy blood-letting.

If "Dr Gohel" is as well-informed as he claims he should be arrested.

If he is as ignorant as I think he is, why does Auntie give him space?


This is the insouciant response from the head of Jemaa Islamiya (or "Islamaya" if you're Philip Adams), Abu Bakar Bashir to questions about his links with terrorism.

"My message to the foreign minister is to come here and bring the evidence.

"Don't just accuse verbally like a child, ask him to come here and bring the evidence and face me.

"As a Foreign Minister, don't be too emotional, don't be like a duck following America.

"He has to have his own stand, so if he accuses me of involvement in terror please come, bring the proof because the accusation needs evidence."

Bashir is one of those odious creeps who preaches hatred, teaches hatred, sponsors killers and then stands back and says "look, no hands".

It may go down with the village idiots but governments that are committed to protect their citizens just have to make it clear;

Jail this man, pull apart his networks, or we are not your friends.

You can listen to him tonight on Auntie's Foreign Correspondent, 9.30pm AET.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002


MORE ON DAVID BROCK, the communards' Prozac.

But as Frank Rich observed in a New York Times essay, "By his own account, Brock has lied so often that a reader can't take on faith some of the juicier newsbreaks from the impeachment era in his book." Actually, for anyone with first-hand knowledge of the targets, it's not just the juicier newsbreaks that are problematic in Brock's book. There is virtually nothing believable in what he has written, as I have reason personally to know.

Find the rest of David Horowitz's piece here.

GO, OLD GIRL! Auntie counter-attacks as the best means of defence.

Yes, the communards are already sick to death of all this good press for the war against terror and they're doing something about it.

David Brock is a former Right-wing reporter who was a central player and True Believer, during many of these smear operations during the Newt Gringrich Era. He wrote the book "The Real Anita Hill" but had a complete change of heart when he found himself unable to discredit the reputation of Hilary Clinton, a project he'd been paid a $1 million advance for. Instead, he wrote 'Blinded By the Right', an intriguing concept and book for this particular point in time.

Very appropriate for "this particular point in time", boys and girls. Not only is "The Right" an evil bunch of pricks, but here we have a fearless authority on the subject who's just turned down $1 mill to tell us about it.

The trouble with trying to discredit Hilary Clinton is, it's already been done. And the sleaze keeps coming (from Ombudsgod).

In January 1996, she was forced to stand before a federal criminal grand jury to answer questions about how some billing records that had been missing for several years reappeared in the offices of her law firm. For a while there was speculation that she would be indicted.

By the way, what was his advance on Blinded by the Right ?

Hell, I was just asking!

And when do you broadcast "LEFT CLUELESS". Even more appropriate for this particular point in time.

WERE AUSTRALIANS the target in Bali? Auntie's intellectual titans on the Breakfast crew asked themselves yesterday morning. Where did they go for the answer?

To Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for The Independent Newspaper of course.

Where else would you go, the south east Asian correspondent of a newspaper?

Don't be dumb.

SCHADENFREUDE. You can now listen to Scott (it's all about OIL) Burchill being shown to be the mewling infant he is.


John Quiggins' first response to the Kuta massacre was to remind us of recent road deaths in NSW. A reader took him to task for implying moral equivalence between the two ways of getting torn to shreds.

This is John's response:I had thought about including a disclaimer about moral equivalence, but decided it was unnecessary, given that the point of the post was to say that we should take some time to think about grieving families before rushing on to the issue of how to respond.

To be absolutely clear before going on, there is no moral equivalence between a car crash (usually the result of negligence or recklessness) and a terrorist murder. I fully support our government in its determination to hunt down the killers in Bali and those who armed and financed them

In important respects, fighting terrorism is very like fighting road deaths. With determination and sacrifice we can make progress, but final victory is at best a long-term aspiration.

So our response to road accidents should be to hunt down those who make and service cars?

John, you're trying to nuance us into your own functional pacifism. It's not working.

Monday, October 14, 2002
AUNTIE'S SARCASM. Tonight Australia's leading proponent of the view that Indonesian Islamist terrorism was the fabrication of a US Government driving for world domination will be conducting an enquiry into the Kuta Beach massacre.

Even if it were television you wouldn't see Philip Adams blush.

BERNARD SLATTERY WRITES I enjoy your piercing snipes at the good ship ABC and all the cultural commissars who sail in her. But I thought you might have balanced the commentary a bit with your thoughts on the splendid Mark Trevorrow production on Sinatra. I thought it was the best locally produced progam I'd seen on the ABC in years.

Uncle strives for balanced commentary.Here's what I think about Sinatra.

He makes me puke. If I had the choice of spending my wedding anniversary with Sinatra or Auntie I'd choose Auntie every time, even though only one of them's dead.

Thanks for the suggestion, but.

THE BUNYIP has a stomach strengthened by his foul diet.

Uncle would need a week to face the letters column of the Henny Penny (it's Monday good God there must be a crisis in capitalism) Herald. Bunyip has browsed there and regurgitates for our inspection the first "We deserved it" letter. Yuck!

The twisted sister behind it is a former lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney. In the communications faculty of course.

VIVIAN SCHENKER (Radio National Breakfast again) is having a hard time coming to grips with the idea that there is an Al Quaeda network.

What if it's really someone else? How can you be sure it's not other dissidents? Motormouth on overdrive.

"I don't think it's the Mormons killing people in the southern Philippines" responds the talent (Larry Johnson, former State Department terrorism expert) barely containing his exasperation.

Poor Auntie. Even she gets embarrassed sometimes.


On this morning's Radio National Breakfast Auntie's pet hard-line Marxist, Scott Burchill, was called in to repeat the lesson that -I know you've already got this by heart -

It's all about OIL!

But, this time, in what Uncle predicts will be a trend towards more cautious promulgation of communard views, he was joined around the virtual table by two others: an energy expert, and a US commentator whose introductions I missed.

The result? A total, blood-spattering, massacre.

The scene: Burchill recites the catechism; the US needs the oil for economic reasons. High prices are hurting. Bush can't afford to let the French and the Russians get control of Iraq's gigantic oil reserves. Ergo, War! Not for security reasons, because the US supported Saddam before Kuwait.

Problem 1. The US oil industry has never liked sanctions. (A problem if you think Bush a puppet of US oil). You want to cut oil prices, the cheapest way is to lift sanctions.

Problem 2. The Bush Republicans were critical of sanctions pre-September 11th. What changed on September 11th? You haven't noticed?

Problem 3. The positions of the French and Russian sanctions-busters have been guaranteed by the US.

Problem 4. The Iraq oil industry has good relations with US oil, seems to prefer dealing with them, and will need US capital and know-how to develop, on top of what the French and Russians have to offer.

The Burchill solution? Well, the US actually wants to stop oil getting too cheap, not good for oil company profits I presume, so it needs the control more than the oil.

You can see why it's better to let your pet commentators perform solo.

Sunday, October 13, 2002

THOUGHT you'd like to know that Christopher Kremmer is now using Auntie's pulpit to proclaim the Australian media to be the "handmaidens of the imperial West."

Our media are just defending an unjust and doomed status quo.

I get the feeling that this program should be framed and put on the mantelpiece. After today even Auntie's communards may think twice about promoting their ideology so openly.

Later: In case you were wondering, this program was put together for Auntie by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, which is nothing of the sort. It is the public face of the media teaching operation of the University of Technology, Sydney, with the agenda set by a combination of undergraduate leftism and the old Auntie hack Chris Nash. Thus do the communards disclaim responsibility for their control of Auntie's agenda.

RIGHT NOW you can listen to a seminar on Radio National explaining how the events of September 11 2001 have corrupted journalism.

Did September 11 dull journalists' critical faculties?they ask.

It seems the opposition to US action on Iraq is not as unanimous as the program's producers would wish.

Ahmad Shboul thinks that September 11 had nothing to do with Islam, and equates the level of President Bush's rationality with that of bin Laden.

Gregory Pemberton finds the Herald's commentary reflects the writers' views on Vietnam. He thinks the balance of views favours caution about taking on Iraq, and is surprised that the Labor Party has not taken a strong position against the US action. He compares this with Calwell's "courageous" anti-Vietnam stand in 1965.

Christopher Kremmer is continuing as I write.

No audio on demand; no transcript.


The USA will not dare to carry out the threat made by the US Ambassador for Indonesia Ralph Boyce, who plans to evacuate the embassy staff to the USA or even close the US Embassy in Indonesia, according to Salim Said, a political commentator in Jakarta yesterday.

“From a public relations point of view, Indonesia is capable of neutralizing the US plan to attack Iraq,” said Said.

Give the man a job with Auntie.

A MINUTE'S SILENCE for the Aussies, yet to be counted, killed in Bali.

Followed by a loud SHRIEK to wake the Auntiques of the Australian left who must think they are imagining it all.

Saturday, October 12, 2002

Paul Toohey of The Australian has interviewed child-bride buyer Jackie Pascoe Jamilmira, at his request, to hear his claims of entitlement to rape etc. the girl concerned. Toohey's report is available only to subscribers. It confirms the earlier report in its main points.

It also adds the information that the first wife whom Jamilmira beat to death in 1995 was a Maningrida school teacher in her mid-30s.

Next time you hear the culturally sensitive canting on about respect for other cultures, bear a few points in mind, and then drop them forcibly on top of their witless heads.

Let's assume for a nanosecond that Aboriginal culture is unchanging and unchangeable, and that Jamilmira is right in claiming that his well-being would be savagely transgressed if he were not allowed to exercise his rights under traditional law.

1. He bought his claim to the girl from her mother, against her father's opposition. A gross offence to the kind of male prerogative that Jamilmira is relying on. Both mother and rapist should expect a severe beating, at the least, for that.

2. He bought his claim by paying cash from his welfare payments to the mother. Neither welfare rights nor cash are part of traditional Aboriginal culture.

3. The relatives of his murdered first wife are also entitled to retribution, the results of which might vary from severe injuries to death for the murderer. Note that Tribal Man preferred to accept the whitefella alternative of a short prison sentence.

Ben Pascoe, the brother of the rapist, claims "if we break the law, we break the cycle" of traditional life. "The promised husband has the right to have first sex with a girl. The promised wife will always be subject to him."

Aboriginal law and custom are not unchanging, for the simple reason that Aboriginal people are not robots performing for the amusement of the ethnic romanticists, but intelligent human beings who, like the rest of us, can adapt when they wish to, or when circumstances make that the advantageous thing to do.

Toohey took the trouble to contact another community with strong links to their past, in Warburton, Western Australia, where "It's very much in the past" to force girls into such marriages. "They're quite clear they have rights".

"The world has moved on. If you have such a girl who wants to enter into such a relationship, fine. Otherwise, too bad."

Unlike the Judge, and Jamilmira's tax-payer funded lawyer, Gerard Bryant, the people of Maningrida have to live with the consequences of the doctrine of ethnic separatism.

Jackie Pascoe Jamilmira is a pathetic, vicious child rapist who is an embarrassment to his community. Unfortunately, "Pascoe's family is big and influential, whereas hers is small. By the time the rape case got to court the girl refused to speak with police or prosecution."

In the past our laws simply ignored mistreatment of Aborigines by Aborigines, even when that was made worse by introduced weapons, grog and social disruption. Now our expensive courts and lawyers have been added to the black man's burden.

Meanwhile, the raped girl is in hiding, waiting for Jamilmira and his family to make their next assault - with the full backing of Judge Gallop of the Northern Territory Court, and the lawyers of the Aboriginal legal aid service.

Poor fellow my country.

Friday, October 11, 2002
KEN BURNS is one of those rare creatures, an artist whose person is as interesting as his products.

I learnt this from Late Night Live, to which no self-respecting blogger would listen. Unless, that is, you were as struck by Burns's series on the American Civil War as I was. The kind of production that redeems television.

Almost as good as the First Contact/Joe Lahey's Neighbours/Black Harvest trilogy filmed in the PNG highlands by Bob Connally and the late Robin Anderson.

Connally and Anderson dealt with living people, for the most part, and for the time being, but Burns worked from superb still photographs and letters. He's since made many other docos, including the recent series on Jazz.

His confrontation with Adams is worth listening to just for Burns's exhibition of grand champion stroke-deflection. His high regard for both Clinton and Bush resists the Adams sneers without the least sign of discourtesy. His energetic conversation ploughed on despite the usual constant interruptions from His Superiority, who is, if you didn't know, the sperm donor for the entire modern Australian film industry.

At one point Burns manages to stay polite while barking at his host "Let me finish...". And he does.

One of the few LNLs to deserve a transcript.

IT'S DELICATE, that's all I can say about Annabelle's condition.

Don't give up.

SENTIMENT SETTLES in favour of the ex-maid of Maningrida.

The tropical Ken Parish writes to carpet old Uncle, whose glasses are often fogged over by the whiskey fumes, for failing to detect from Ken's earlier blog his firm conviction that the claim of the maid not to be raped etc. should take precedence over loathsome traditions.

I did indeed notice that Ken's comment that Many of my immediate reactions coincide with Scott [Wickstein, a blogger and alarmed by Judge Gallop's abandonment of the maid].

But when I read the next sentence: However, there are more issues involved, and they're not simple. We are reacting from the frame of reference of our own individualist western culture; Aboriginal traditional law and culture are very different I felt the maid once again slipping into the clutches of the old man, who appears to resemble Philip Adams but with a dick where Adams sports an extruding stomach.

I accept with alacrity Ken's declaration since I can see what a thoroughly decent person he is.

I just worry that Judge Gallop may not be able to read from such nuance a sense of outrage at child abuse. The man has an addled brain and probably cloth ears attached to it.

I'm also beginning to see why the yokel governments of the Northern Territory lean towards mandatory sentencing.

By the way, Auntie's one short item on the matter has already disappeared from her Website.

Anyone up there going to keep an eye out for the interests of the ex-maid of Maningrida?

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Even as I write the Friends of Annabelle Crabb are crowding into my cellar (leave corkscrews at the door please) determined that the glutinous Philip Adams shall not have his wicked way with our Annabelle.

The brochures are pouring from the copier, the lapel buttons almost done. T-shirts tomorrow.

If you've been turned away at the door here's how you can help.

Join in the email campaign! Pepper Phil with protests! Hold him accountable!

FABC knows you Blogistas are independent-minded people. Our form email let's you choose the words that truly express your views, in the most temperate of terms. Go ahead! Cut, slice and dish it out!

Your Unctuousness

I write to ask you to let Annabelle go. I know she's not perfect. She's made some mistakes. But she has her whole life before her. With time she could well become a journalist. If only you would stop stroking and stroking and stroking her when The Age makes her come and visit you. Can't you see what you are doing you vile Gastropod! Isn't it enough what you've done to that poor Margo Kingston? Have mercy!

Yours pathetically

Annabelle's Mum/Sister/Boyfriend/Landlord/Michael Gawenda

Mail! Mail! Mail!

Victory is within our grasp!

HERE'S A REAL PROBLEM. A fifteen year old girl has been raped by a middle-aged convicted wife-killer who asserts that he has bought from the girl's parents the right to go on doing it. And to beat her at his sole discretion and pimp her for profit. Do you:

A. Put him away for about 15 years with a 100 year non-parole period, to discourage the others?

B. Give him a pension and the Al Grasby Award for Preserving Foul Cultural Practices?

C. Spend another century thinking about how you can do A. and B at the same time, while whipping ourselves to a bloody lather for our Western values.?

I think Tropical Ken wants us to choose C. Judge John Gallop has already chosen B. He was "embarrassed" that the matter had come before him.

You can add this torturing choice to Uncle's self-administered tick-the-box device for divining political orientation.


You were told to. Never mind; make up for it by joining the Friends of Annabelle Crabb (FABC).

This band of brothers and sisters is dedicated to preserving the journalistic integrity of sweet Annabelle.

Together we can defeat His Lugubriousness and save a soul for decency, justice and truth.

Sign up now! You will be told the subscription later.


The occasional tragic figure gets routed to Uncle by Google. Some of them deserve it.

Take this Auntie-indicating search formulation:

images of the elderly on prime-time TV

What a dill! He should have typed:

images of elderly TV on prime blog time.


Correspondent Harper is the kind of reader Uncle does not want.

Auntie is always telling me I'm a supine beast who needs an external source of energy to get me going.

Now Harper tells me the Oracle has defined ABCwatch as:

like a normal television set, but it mimics the movements of a

Both wrong. On the other hand, the Oracle gets this just right:

philip adams is a billboard! It weighs anything you put on top of it.

...and this:

auntie is a feather duster.

AARON OAKLEY at Bizarre Science is tackling the misuse of science and statistics in politics and the media..

Aaron is the first blogger in history to put mathematics on his page.

He also provides links to some good bullshit-analysis sites, like Number Watch. If you'd checked Number Watch when the big scare about HRT and breast cancer hit the mainstream media, you or your distaff connection could have been saved the two weeks of panic while the journalists were doing the job they should have done before publishing in the first place.

Every time you hear hot news on disease, the climate and other causes of death take a Bex and a look at Bizarre Science.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002
ANNABELLE CRABB, filling Margo Kingston's airspace, is struggling in the stroke-and-be-stroked rubber jungle of Philip Adams's Late Night Live.

The oleagenous Phil is oozing all over her like a fanged amoeba. Uncle fears for her youthful integrity.

Pray for Annabelle everyone. Please!


Anyone care to tell me why Auntie is running extracts of Heinrich Harrer’s book on climbing the north face of the Eiger? It’s the 10.45 (AET) autobiographical read.

Uncle read Harrer’s Seven years in Tibet when he was a kid and enjoyed it enormously. Perhaps there’s an explanation there for Auntie’s interest.

Harrer escaped a British POW camp – sorry, Detention Centre – in India to spend the next seven years among the monks and mountains. One in the eye for the Western Alliance.

Now there’s nothing in Tibet except Chinese soldiers, and every mountainside everywhere is littered with Coke cans and corpses.

Is it the prospect of a slow frigid death at high altitudes that’s supposed to attract us?

That’s been the fate of Auntie’s commentariat.

Beats me.

THE BUNYIP surfaces from his waterhole like a fart in a bathtub, bringing us:

Can this really be plagiarism, part 2?

Answer's obvious you dopy beast.

Who would copy such boring writing. On the other hand, who would publish it?

The Bunyip is chasing a spotter's fee from Media Watch. But can they pay his price?

Tuesday, October 08, 2002
IF YOU HAVEN'T FOUND Tim Blair yet, you were probably educated by Dr John Carroll. You lucky thing!

Auntie finds him inspirational, full of perspective, a good sport, as distinguished as Robert Manne, a landmark interpreter of our "obscure" land, an eloquent undertaker for Western culture, moral philosopher, historian of World War I, analyst of the state of Grace, Prophet of re-enchantment, interpreter of psycho-analysis, economic philosopher, diviner of Roman Catholicism's future, obituarist of Humanism, advocate of sport as spirituality, and much, much more.

Tricked you!

"John Carroll" is in fact the name given to a random left-lingo word-generator by a group of very clever computer people at LaTrobe University.

"John Carroll" has now replaced the entire Faculty of Sociology. So far, the students haven't noticed.

Who said there was no substitute for Philip Adams?

MEDIA WATCH, Auntie's pale imitation of ABCwatch, found a couple of worthy targets for its selective searchlights last night.

How do you persuade the Australian electorate to love the idea of selling the rest of Telstra out of government ownership?

You find an expensive public works project with sex-appeal, buy the support of the Platinum Parrot and the Golden Tonsils, put Kerry Packer on the cheer squad (he's too rich to do it for money - isn't he?), pummel the opposition in the media (especially yours) until they retire wounded, then present it to the Government as a simple choice: take the votes we've assembled for you or take a pasting in (our) media.

Can't fail.

Just one problem. How do you find a sexy project that'll cost at least 10 billion bucks in funny money the taxpayer will never see?

Of course! Turn the Rivers Inland! Every native-born Australian knows the rest of the fairy-tale by heart.

So Platinum and Tonsils and Packer and Telstra chair Mansfield and others from the Telstra/Packer/Foxtel gang front the media (mostly theirs) conference to break the good news.

But wait, there's more!

They've put their hands in their pockets and found a spare $20 mill to hand out to hard cases in the bush. Called this spare change Farmhand. They want you to sling your money in too.

Blanket, and favourable, media coverage follows.

Roll on, Masters of the Media Universe, roll on.

But wait, there really is more!

Media Watch has used its bandwidth to download Margo Kingston playing news-magazine hostess on Fairfax WebTV. Brilliant performance. Anti-heroic. Her direct-from-the-other-side-of-the-world Herald colleague takes a 20-second break to get his coffee. Margo mumbles and picks her nose.

The future of Web video-casting for all to see.

Such as it is.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Radio National's post-prandial Sunday soporific, Pastor Terry Lane, yesterday maintained his ideological focus yesterday, despite some high-quality distraction from two excellent Australian malaria researchers.

Through all the technical talk about plant genes in mosquitoes (that's why those Anopheles are so damned evil - they're GM!), life cycles, DDT's contribution to saving millions of lives, our Tezza managed to dig out the nugget of eternal truth.

The USA is responsible for the persistence of malarial infection on the planet.

If you find that hard to believe you're not yet part of the true faith. Try listening. Take care someone is standing behind to catch you when the Spirit strikes you down.

The celestial reasoning runs something like this:

The US must take responsibility for curing all the world's medical problems from in-grown toenails to cancer.

Since malaria is not a major problem in the US they are under-investing - says Pastor Lane - in research. (Except the military, but that doesn't count).

Therefore the US is governed by a pack of heartless bastards.

Simple isn't it, once you let logic be your guide. Coupled with certifiable insanity.

This man should be blogging. At his own expense of course. Auntie is not silly enough to spend money transcribing such drivel.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Confession time. Uncle is not an Australian.

While he was dropped onto the earth within the boundaries of the continent known to the white colonialists as "Australia", Uncle is in fact an 1/8 Irish-, 1/8 English-, 1/4 Italian-, 1/8 Welsh-, 1/8 German- and 1/8 Yorkshireman-Australian. That is approximate, not least because of some black-sheeping in the past that I do not wish to talk about. Knowing the Italians, there is probably some Moorish in there too. There is a credible rumour that Grandfather Seamus's mother was of Aboriginal descent.

So does Uncle speak Welsh, Irish, German, Italian and Yorks, and six aboriginal languages in addition to his stumbling English? No. The oppressive Imperial southern english culture of this accursed land has suppressed those essential parts of my inheritance.

I have been robbed of my cultures, my stories, my identities. I look and sound just like the rest of you!

Do I clog-dance back from the bar on Fridays? I am ashamed to say I do not.

Do I wear the shamrock, whip my lederhosen-clad thighs, pummel the squeezebox while treading out the Grappa. No, no, and no!

So much lost; so much to grieve for . To think I did not know anything of this until a chance meeting with Al Grasby.

I am now determined to get my cultural heritage back. For a start, my children must be taught in all 6 - or was it 7 - ancestral languages.

The good news is, governments are always ready to help.

Auntie's transcript trashcan reveals the following good news.

Tasmania looks set to become the first Australian state to recognise some extended Aboriginal family relationships as having the same rights as married or de-facto partnerships...Not only is the government planning to change more than 120 laws that currently discriminate against same sex couples. It will also grant the same legal rights married people have to a range of non-traditional relationships.

And so they should. It is a little known custom of my Irish ancestral bog that second cousins have a claim on the estates of their great uncles once removed in the case of hardship caused by the oppressions of the English in seasons of low poteen production. Uncle has at least six recently-deceased great uncles and they were all richer than I am. The other conditions are a push-over. Just show me the way to the tribunal!

In the mountains of Sicily (remember that 1/8th?) a chap is entitled to hop into the cot with his cousin's widowed sister provided her legs are roped firmly together. Or claim compensation. I'm still working on that one.

Spiritual wholeness awaits me, my shattered self-esteem will be mended, my cultural oppressions ended.

According to Auntie's Tasmanian ferret One of the more unusual areas of Tasmania's law reform, deals with Aboriginal and ethnic families. If the culture deems a certain relationship to be significant - new law will treat it that way.

Rodney Croome, spokesman for Tasmanian homosexuals amplifies:

We're talking about areas such as division of property, access to partners in hospital, funeral, organ donation. And the government is also considering of course the more controversial area of adoption

You will be relieved to hear that Tasmanian Attorney General, Judy Jackson, rejects any suggestion the government will open a flood-gate to people claiming significant relationship, and news laws simply recognise society is changing.

JUDY JACKSON [Attorney-General]: Well I don't think it will get out of hand in the sense that it will be up to the people themselves. If they want to declare that they have a significant personal relationship then I think in the 21st century that we should as a community recognise that

Right on Sister!

But wait. What if you claim distant relationship with me and a share of my pension, custody of my children, the right to decide whether I rot or burn, after death I hope, and where? There are precedents you say.

See you in court. Perhaps we can negotiate on the children.

I would never doubt the competence of Attorney-General Jackson, but did she do all her homework?

Tasmania's own ATSIC Commissioner hadn't heard of the proposed new law until Auntie's ferret told him. He saw the point of it quickly, but.

RODNEY DILLON: Particularly [?] when they have a cultural event – you know when they go down and they catch a feed of fish and if they're good they bring on law [??? – unclear] their sister-in-law with them.

And they're all sitting there eating their feed of fish or doing that something in that order and the police or whomever comes down to arrest them. They can arrest one because that one hasn't got a licence

You fisherpersons know what Rodney is on about here. The curmudgeons among you have been known to dob in those netting all the fish off your beach, just because they look no more Aboriginal than Michael Mansell. The colonialist police and courts have been known to cop them.

No more. "It will be up to the people themselves" as Ms Jackson put it. Uncle will have no trouble with that rule. Place your orders for bream now to avoid disappointment.

One thing worries me; the bludgers who'll be trying to muscle in on the rackets before me. Take the case of the Tasmanian Aborigines, subject to Australia's most notorious failed genocide 150 years ago.

After last year's census, the ABS estimated 17,442 indigenous people lived in Tasmania.

Schemers! They're trying to get on the gravy train before me.

When applications to join this roll [for election of Tasmania's ATSIC Councillor] closed there were 1,298 potential voters according to the Henny Penny Herald on August 26th last. "I've challenged 900 of them," says Doug Maynard of La Trobe in Tasmania's north-west. "I would have challenged all of them but my fingers ran out.

Good on you Doug! Make the buggers sit the DNA test. (This is the modern version of Australia's famous Translation Test that kept so many undesirables out until the middle of last Century).

No-one has yet been disqualified from the roll, but the onus is on applicants to prove why objections should be rejected. It is a sign of the seriousness of this decision that some may be taking the path of DNA assessment. Aboriginal community figures say up to 20 DNA samples were taken by a consultant scientist in an attempt to trace lineages to colonial-era Aborigines.

The incumbent ATSIC Councillor doesn't want to play: "I want to know where the [DNA] bank came from and how they got it . I want to know whether they got the family's permission to use that material," he protests.

Just when the contestants are getting stuck into some good, honest tribal warfare, along come this egg-headed spoil-sport: But a larger ethical concern is any reliance on DNA tests to prove Aboriginality. "There are real concerns about that," [Dr Dianna] Nicol says. "There's no single test for Aboriginality. You are not talking about a genetic trait. There's a big distinction between genetics and race."

There you have it! Colonialist, hegemonic science trying to invalidate indigenous culture. Will it never stop?

Well, Uncle doesn't know where it's all going to end. Just remember this.

Uncle is on the queue. And he's fighting mad.

By the way, some unlicensed investment advice.

Sell governments. Buy lawyers..

Saturday, October 05, 2002

From Oslo to intifada, for two weeks this heartbreaker of a documentary has followed the tragic downward slope to the present misery in Israel and Palestine.

It included interviews with the leading negotiators through the times of high hopes to the failure represented by the consequences of Sharon's visit to Temple Mount just before his election as Israel's Prime Minister. Sheer tragedy.

It is hard not to judge Arafat harshly for his inability to lead the Palestinians into the form of statehood that was available at Camp David. The Israeli hard-liners are as crazy as Hamas, but, even under Sharon, they were not calling the shots.

Within thirty seconds of the ending of this gruelling experience there was a promo for John Pilger's inflammatory diatribe, The Palestinians.

Gold to shit in less than a minute.

Someone's idea of balance I guess.

It's beyond the reach of Uncle's tolerance.


Have you noticed how rampant, neo-liberal capitalism is corrupting murder? It used to be that one instance of slaughter was quite enough to base a good cop program on. Now, unless your bad guy has worked up six artfully-carved corpses he just can't get a gig.

Wire in the blood is Auntie's Friday night cops-and-robbers-with-high-production-values program.

Her detective pair are a blond female Detective Inspector and an intense male civilian profiler. Both sparkle with ambiguous sexuality and tease us witless with what they're going to do about it. Neither is the least bit interested in any crime that doesn't involve serial murder.

That's your capitalism, dripping in greed and oozing superfluity under every hedge.

There is still this problem for the authors; most murderers are boring before and after the act, and you can only do so much with the butchery itself. Serial murderers seem to be the most boring of all.

A once'll- do-me killer is probably acting out of anger or passion. You can do something with that.

Your serial killer is a plotter and planner. Think of Harold Shipman, the British world champion of over-prescription with extreme prejudice. Deadly boring. Just the standard National Health session of talk from Shipman would put you into a coma.

So it is harder to visualise these homicidal stutterers, but the directors of this program have a good try. Our male lead looks intense in a dead-pan. To boost the impression of intense thinking the directors have him spraying the white board with diagrams like Ros Kelly with fleas in her D-cups. It doesn't really work, but probably as close as you can get.

One thing you can extract from multiple homicides is a geometrical increase in opportunities to mislead the audience. False patterns, possible alternatives to the butler as perpetrator, truckloads of clues.

Last night's episode suckered us with a who dunnit suprise of exceptional quality.

Good shopping, Auntie.

There is one more episode to come. Friday night, October 11th, 8.30pm in the eastern States.

Friday, October 04, 2002

Uncle knew she must have one. A boyfriend that is. At last he's out from under the bed

In a post so tightly argued it chokes itself, fellow blogger Don Arthur diagnoses Auntie's ideological position. Her condition is, well, representative.

That is, all clever people seem by some law of nature to be ideologically southpaw: And Auntie only consorts with clever people. Like Don.

I've never made a systematic study of this but I suspect that Australia has a shortage of credible conservative sources for stories on political and social issues. With the exception of economists, most academic social scientists seem to lean to the left - especially on social and cultural issues.

I thought it was the rabid right that based its political judgements on suspicion.

And if Auntie's operatives find non-leftist sources too right for their taste? Should the communards open their eyes a little wider? Not on your nelly, says indulgent Don.

Part of the reason the ABC ignores socially and culturally conservative opinion may be because such opinions lack spokespeople the ABC's journalists find credible as sources. If this is the case then conservative critics of the ABC ought to turn their attention to improving intellectual life on the right

Yes, you did read that, and I haven't made it up. Cleanse yourselves, O children of Satan, that ye may be fit to enter the Queendom.

The Don then resorts to the two favourite defensive manoeuvres of the Friends of Doom and the retired ABC apparatchiks who staff that cheer squad.

Both sides of politics hate Auntie when their passions are aroused, so they must both be wrong. Ergo, unbiased Auntie. Pure cop-out.

He ignores one awkward little fact. The entire permanent political commentariat proudly boasts of its bias. That is the snuffling Adams, the droning Lane and - well perhaps Mc Cutcheon doesn't care what he thinks as long as its weird - declare themselves of the left. Adams also boasts his hostility to any public figure to his right, eg shrub, little johnny.

Don then deserts that tattered banner for another equally threadbare: since the commercial media are to the (i.e.Don's) right, it is only right and proper that Auntie should be reserved for retentive Whitlamites.

Here's a lesson from my Philosophy I tutor. If you're putting a couple of premises together to make an argument, it's a good idea to check that they're not going to fight each other to the death.

If you want to read how the Auntie's politics is good for you, in the best of all possible media worlds, you'll find it better expressed by the Friends of Doom.

I'll leave you find their site for yourselves.