catsidhe: (Default)
Someone left the asylum door unlocked again.

It's difficult to tell what John Roskam is burbling about here, but I think I can summarise what passes for an argument:
  • The Liberals were going to lose no matter how hard they had fought the ‘Culture Wars’.
  • Some have argued that they should stop fighting, but they are wrong, because:
  • The Left (in a sampling representative of the entirety) is calling for Stalinist purges: a ‘de-Ba'athification’ of Australian Society, if you will.
  • There are two reasons why a conservative government should intervene in cultural issues.”: (That is to say; for conservative read ‘Liberals’ (which arguably they aren't in any meaningful way), but that non-conservative (read: Labor) governments should not intervene in any way whatsoever, what do they think, they have a mandate or something?)
    • The public (read: the people who go to the same barbecues as Roskam) care. (That they might care about the other side from Roskam is not to be countenanced.) And
    • It's not actually a Culture War, because it's not about Culture. It's about Money. Money which should be carefully spent only on the right (indeed, the Right) culture. Remember, kiddies, it sounds like grown-ups talking if you talk about careful use of money, rather than the real agenda: making sure that Lefties don't get a goddamned cent, the filthy commies.
  • Curricula are a legitimate political subject, because whether a Leftist black-arm-band propagandist or a Rightist clean-cut rational superman gets to write the syllabus is more important than making it meaningful and accurate.
    (actually, in the Real World, neither is true, because the syllabus is the result of dozens, hundreds of people working towards the teaching of a subject leading to understanding of the issues involved as well as the bare facts — as facts are sterile without meaning to support them, but obviously Roskam couldn't see the Real World with the Hubble Telescope.)
    How sad that many of the prime fighters on Roskam's side in that field have been so keen on coming up with a theory and then going on a search for evidence that fits. Then turning around and accusing the entire rest of academia of that exact practice. Windschuttle, I'm looking at you.
  • The ABC is a legitimate battleground, because it is paid for by the government, and therefore has a responsibility to leave half or more of the population without representation on TV screens. That the commercial channels all subscribe to the Right and broadcast its propaganda almost continually is not sufficient argument for even token balancing by the ABC. Andrew Bolt doesn't get enough airtime, in other words, and Phillip Adams gets too much.
    It is not “purely a creature of civil society”, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean, and therefore it is entirely right and proper that it be headed entirely be Howard sycophants and cheerleaders of Roskam's ilk. If the filthy Left were to get its hands on it again, then the ABC might be used to push a social agenda, and that would be outrageous! ... if it were the Left doing it, of course. Actually, I'll come back to this.
  • It is entirely right and proper that the Right should vet every exhibit in the National Museum, because mentioning the ridiculous slander that Harold Holt was taken by a Chinese submarine (and how, precisely, does this theory help Labor?) was more Leftist propaganda, warping the minds of the populace, and not documentation of the sort of paranoid conspiracy theory put about by the anti-Labor opposition at the time.
  • University Professors are all, of course, lazy Stalinists with sinecures (actually, where do these sinecures exist, exactly? None of the academics I work with display any tendency to sit back and rely on their Howard-Hatred to get them through: they're too busy desperately applying for the next grant and writing papers to keep their publication count up, without which they will be fired.) Government ministers passing research proposals off to such fair-minded people as Paddy McGuinness, on the recommendation of such rational observers as Andrew Bolt, who then proceed to turn the thumb on research proposals that they could not possibly understand, overriding recommendations of committees staffed by people who do, based on ideologically based misunderstandings of the titles clever use of time by only reading as far as necessary, is merely sensible reining in of an out-of-control academic industry, and not any sort of ideological censorship of research they simply don't like the sound of. I mean it's not like there needs to be any right of appeal, or even to tell the applicant why they were rejected, after all.
  • Further, the universities weren't hit hard enough, because whatever Howard did, there were still University professors who publicly disagreed with him. I mean, how dare they? Right-wing thinktanks whose existence is to shout down anyone who disagrees with Howard and his ilk? Perfectly alright. Why should anyone else be allowed a say? If you're paid from the public purse, then you have a beholden duty to side with the Right. And if you are paid from a private purse, then you have the bought-and-paid-for duty to side with your employer. Who will most likely be of the Right. Or you can join the Australia Institute, haha.
  • Invariably his opponents came from one of three sources: the ALP, the ACTU or the universities.” It's amazing how such a simple sentence neatly implies that there was not, is not, nor could possibly be, any independent rational opposition to Howard and his great rational plans for Australia remade in his image. The Greens do not exist in Roskam's world. Nor, it seems, do those millions of people who are not members of the Labor party, yet voted for them anyway.
  • Anyone who verges even slightly from the accepted wisdom of university staffrooms ... is unlikely to gain preferment.” And Roskam's sample size is what, again? None? When was the last time he actually spoke to an academic who wasn't actively frothing about how he was robbed, robbed, in his last performance review, they all hate him, they're all Marxists, you know, and Stalinists, and Masons, it's all a conspiracy to keep people like him out of his rightful place as Dean, a conspiracy!!!.
    Whereas, back in the real world for a second, academics' preferment is based on two things: how much money they bring in to the department/faculty/school, and how many papers they and their team churn out (for which the government bases part of the federal grant to the university, and thus reduces again to money). When you start talking committees and positions like HoD and Dean, then of course politics starts playing a heavy part, but you have to have a power base on the money side, and from then on it's how well you play politics... what personal views you might have become subsumed in that. No, it couldn't possibly be a result of any normal healthy process. If there is a preponderance of Lefties in any organisation, then it must be pathological. If the Right weren't so preternaturally rational, you might call it an article of Faith.
  • Right-wingers must be supremely good to get advancement over a Left winger. There is no other explanation, it is all a conspiracy to keep the Right out of power. This is why the ABC board is so heavily stacked with Howard sycophants. This is why ARC grants have to be vetted by P.P. McGuinness. It's so unfair to Rightists that Leftists had to be systematically replaced with the Ideologically Correct. Any attempt to remove any Rightist is the result of an Ideological Cleansing, completely different from the process which put them there in the first place.
  • And besides, it's all just healthy debate, right? No hard feelings? It's not like we tried to expunge the Left from any positions of power wherever we could or anything, it's all the healthy free exchange of views. Why should we have less of a say, just because we spent so much time and effort cheerleading for someone so thoroughly rejected? We tried to change sides when the result couldn't be ignored any more, that's gotta count for something, right? Are you still there? Anyone?

    Please?


And the thread running through all of this is the thought that the Right has the right, the duty, to fight for what they want, and to deny the anyone of the Left any say whatsoever. And then, in a massive display of chutzpah, they turn around and start screaming blue murder that they are being viciously repressed. Why, a couple of people have suggested that they might prefer that Albrechtson and Windschuttle weren't on the ABC board, the horror! Jackboots on the streets! Stalinist thoughtcontrol!
Wait, did someone mention Ramona Koval? Why should eleven years of systematically attempting to exclude anyone not of sufficient Rightness from strategic positions of power have anything to do with it? And anyone who tries to point out that obviously it wasn't a successful attempt gets a slap across the back of the head for completely missing the point.

It's been a couple of weeks, and some people have said that after eleven years of the blatant stacking of public positions with cronies and sycophants, they might prefer to see some of those formerly useful idiots go back to their day jobs. And how do they react? By completely losing the plot and summoning the spectre of death squads and thought control.

I don't want John Roskam to lose his dayjob. I don't want Andrew Bolt to either, or Albrechtson, or Windschuttle, or McGuiness. I even, despite what they keep saying I'm saying, want to keep seeing them publish commentary. If nothing else, it is now possible again to be amused at their frothing, rather than appalled and terrified. (When the Communist party are out of power, they're funny, like a kitten attacking a rottweiler. When they're in power, they're horrifying; the lunacy which once amused now potentially has power over your life.) What I don't want is Paddy McGuiness having a veto over what will be researched in this country. What I don't want is Windschuttle and Albrechtson having power over my last televisual refuge of sanity. What I don't want is for my daughters' syllabi to be determined on politics, rather than pedagogy and accuracy.

Roskam is arguing furiously against the situation he eulogises: one ideology only having an ear in government. That is precisely what the problem was with Howard, where half the population, more, was dismissed as irrelevant idiots. And now Roskam, and Bolt, and the others, are all terrified that now they are in that discarded half, and are desperately pleading to still be relevant.

Despite their rantings, they will still be allowed to write, and publish. And their writings still have a greater distribution network than those of the Left. And they still get to talk on the Left bastions as well.

The Right haven't been excluded from public debate. They're merely being asked to keep to their share of it. For once.
catsidhe: (unhappy)
Boltwatch informs me of Andrew Bolt's addition to the discussion about the tragic killings in Finland yesterday.
We don’t know what is behind the killing. I’m interested in Auvinen’s contempt for humanity, which is not just a feature of the neo-Nazism he spouts, but of the more extreme global warming advocates who demand we reduce the number of dirty, earth-raping humans.

...

I’d better be clear for the jumpers-to-conclusions. No, I’m not accusing Auvinen of being a green, and greens of being murderers - or Nazis.


Pay no attention to what he says, instead listen to what he tells you he said.

Because he is NOT saying that Greens are Nazis. He is just saying that they are like Nazis. And murderers. No, wait, ‘like murderers’.

And that makes it alright.


And the comments, just the first few, proceed to blame the murders (and presumably the Nazis and Greens) on Avant-guarde artists and Scandinavian Socialism. Dog whistle, much? Actually, I take that back. It's not a dog whistle if everyone can hear it.
catsidhe: (Default)
Andrew Bolt quotes all the usual suspects in his latest froth about how The Great Global Warming Swindle is Right And True And Good, All Other (Mis)information Is Alarmist Propaganda Spread By The Biased Leftist Stalinist Stronghold the ABC.

Ooh, ooh, let's have a look at his examples, eh?

> Prof John Christy, IPCC lead author and head of Alabama’s Earth System Science Centre
Well, actually he has also said that there is definitely Global Warming — as he should know, as he is one of the people who measured it — and has also said that there cannot but be an anthropogenic cause, but his theory is that it is not through Greenhouse Effect.

So he has said that Global Warming is real, but isn't why most people think it is.

Oh, and he's a Southern Baptist with a degree in Divinity. That means nothing in itself, but kep reading.

> Prof Charles Wax, Mississippi state climatologist
Hrm. That almost seems like a legitimate example. A professional Climatologist who doesn't belong to a paid-up Denier Association, saying “There isn’t a consensus among scientists.” Seems straightforward enough. Only... ‘consensus’ about what? What were the circumstances? Well, the quote was to a Rotary Meeting, those noted left-wing provocateurs. And his message was, again, the Climate is changing, we just don't know why.

Apropos of nothing, “He serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Starkville First United Methodist Church”. Means nothing, of course. That is, of itself, completely irrelevent.

> Dr Roy Spencer, formerly NASA’s senior climate scientist
Well, he also believes in Intelligent Design... No, no, he is a Reputable Scientist, and that other stuff is irrelevent. He was, after all, awarded a prize for measuring that very warming. He, again, says that the current effect is real, but counters that it is less relevent over an extended period, ie., that the measurements cannot be relied on more than 400 years ago.

He also “is listed as a member of the Heartland Institute and a contributor to the George C. Marshall Institute.” Those are only two right-wing Climate-Change-Denying organisations, one funded by car companies, the other by ExxonMobil [pdf]. But don't let that get in the way of the Science! And even then, the second isn't denying Climate Change, they're just saying that it isn't oil's humanity's fault.

> Prof emeritus Joel Kauffman, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Well, apart from his being a organic chemist, and a noted contrarian (he has a bee in his bonnet about pretty all of accepted medical practice, which is what he is really known for), why should having no background whatsoever in a field necessarily disqualify you from being an expert in it?

> Prof Yuri Izrael, IPCC vice-chairman
Finally, a credible counter-argument. Which is to say, ‘Climate Change is real, but the effects won't be as bad as is being claimed.’ We'll put this one on the unquestionably credible pile. For a total of... well, one, so far.

> Dr Vincent Gray, IPCC reviewer
One of the designated experts at the Heartland Institute of Climate Change Denial. But don't put that against him, look at the science!

> Dr Christopher Landsea, former IPCC author and hurricane expert
Who resigned from the IPCC, citing concerns over politicisation. He also says that there is an anthropocentric Global Warming effect, but questions the effects on hurricane formation (which is, after all, his speciality).

That makes two credibles. Out of seven so far. Still looking.

... you know what? Fuck it. Unlike Bolt, I have a real job.

Of all the arguments from all of the people Bolt has trotted out &mdash many of them straight from the Heartland Institute — the only common argument is that “Everyone else is wrong”. If only, if only any of them agreed with any of the others.

As far as his beloved Fair and Balanced documentary goes, I'll just point you at a couple of counter-counter arguments. Namely, that The Documentary is simply wrong, and the documentary maker is full of shit.
catsidhe: (Default)
Triple J's Hack did a thing about Climate Change Deniers. [mp3]

There was a little feedback, so they did a followup about those complainants. [mp3]

The gist of these people is

  1. There are thousands of Climate Scientists who disagree with the Consensus -- but no-one knows who they are.
  2. Ray Evans says that there's a CONSPIRACY!!!
  3. Climate Change is, like, real, but most Scientists, like, reckon that it's totally natural, and, like, stuff.
  4. Didn't you see that Documentary in England about the Climate Change Con? (Reply; yes but what about the person who came out and complained about how badly he had been misrepresented? Response; Yeah, but he said stuff out of context, which totally confirms my biases. I mean, yeah, they misrepresented him, but he still said stuff, which could be twisted by scientifically ignorant oil propagandists to sound like "Climate Change Suxx0rz")


OK, I'm exaggerating. Well, except for Ray Evans.

And then tonight they finally played the full interview with Andrew Bolt, which was interrupted by technical faults last night. It's not up yet, but probably will be soon.

Good gods, that man is an arrogant son-of-a-bitch. He spent the entire time attacking the reporter for not interviewing people like him more often, and for being rude about it when he does.

I would say more, and more cogent thing, but I have to wait for the white-hot fires in my head to cool down first.
catsidhe: (Default)
At the urging of people whose opinions I trust, I have written an almost publishable version of this rant. It follows below. If I get more positive feedback than negative, then it will be sent in to the editors at The Age, the Herald-Sun, the Australian and AB himself. Criticism will be listened to, and may be included. No feedback at all will be taken as 'don't do it.'

EDIT: It's sent, as of about 2:30pm Sat 12 Nov. The following text was sent to
bolta@heraldsun.com.au
hseditor@heraldsun.com.au
hsletters@heraldsun.com.au
newsdesk@theage.com.au
letters@theage.com.au
feedback@theaustralian.com.au

Now we see what happens.

Here goes: It's long. Is it worth it? )

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