Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Romney Concession Speech 2012

" ... our principles endure ... "

They gave it their all in what was a hard fought campaign. In the end, there could only be one winner, in this case the incumbent, congratulations President Barack Obama.

Mitt Romney's somber yet class speech surprised many.

The transcript can be found here



Update: For those that asked, the popular vote figures:

Obama's total votes: 57,798,515 or 50%

Romney's total votes: 55,921,454 or 48.4%

America Decides

From The Wall Street Journal, Obama and Romney Battle Down to Wire

After more than one million television ads, countless appearances and three contentious debates, the 2012 presidential election remained on a knife's edge with both candidates seeking to shore up support in states crucial to their chances Tuesday.

President Barack Obama cheered on backers in Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa on Monday, evidence that his campaign aimed to build a firewall in the Midwest to try to block his Republican rival. He plans to await the election returns at his base in Chicago.

Mitt Romney swooped through four battleground states—Virginia, Florida, Ohio and New Hampshire—where the Republican needs to do well to secure a win. His campaign organized two additional stops on Election Day, at campaign offices in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. Mr. Romney is hedging his bets with a last-minute push in Pennsylvania before he returns to Boston to monitor the returns.

National polls are essentially tied while polls in some battleground states showed Mr. Obama with narrow leads. Both campaigns said their internal data show their candidate would win.

Voters are set to determine whether $6 billion in advertising and other campaign spending would bring a new era to Washington—with a Republican White House and administration—or extend the status quo of a Democratic White House and split Congress.

The result will answer some questions that have lingered since Mr. Obama's historic 2008 victory. The president was sent to the White House by a coalition comprising segments of the electorate—African-Americans, Hispanics and young voters—as well as women. The president's aides spent much of the past four years working to keep that group together, one that if it remains viable could be a lasting strength for Democrats.

With the margin of victory for the winner expected to be narrow, a likely outcome is a political system as split as the country. It isn't clear either party would be positioned to emerge Wednesday with a clear mandate for tackling some the nation's biggest problems—including the looming tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff.

The tightness of the race sparked speculation about the possibility of unusual outcomes, such as an Electoral College tie or the winner failing to capture a majority of the popular vote. Continue reading 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Why did Gillard cry in Washington though not at the Bali memorial?



Part of the reason is because, just like the party and Government she leads, she perpetually redefines herself according to focus group research and short term agendas. Who are you Julia Gillard?

Further reading:

Querying Julia Gillards Political Identity

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

We need an election now as Gillard Gov't adopts Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals"...

The Australian Taxpayers Alliance Director Tim Andrews vents on the state of political play in Canberra.

I had a strange dream last night.

I dreamt that I was in bizzaro-world watching a tragi-comedy soap opera. An absolute farce where we had a government clinging to power with the vote of a man Thompson who was so brazen in his misuse of union funds, he didn’t just use them to pay for his re-election campaign - his union credit card was used to pay for brothels! Where the government installed a speaker (with full press gallery support) who is before the courts for sexually harassing a young staffer, who is under police investigation for fraud against the commonwealth, and who repeatedly sent abusive, sexist, and grossly offensive misogynist texts.

In this dream, the Prime Minister, who in the past secretly aided her former-boyfriend to set up what she admitted was a “slush fund” and to then buy property with stolen union funds, defended the disgraced Speaker, and her defence was simply to say that everyone opposed to her was a misogynist: a government that with a straight face defended misogyny by accusing misogyny.

Phillipa Martyr summed up this bizzaro-world:

"- The twice-married Peter Slipper repeatedly sexts a young and good-looking gay man who works for him ... Peter Slipper expresses in these sexts a marked dislike for lady bits ... Peter Slipper tells the court that he loves his wife (despite her having the same unpleasant lady bits) ... Peter Slipper is therefore Husband of the Year and an innocent victim of Liberal Party machinations ..."
 
"Tony Abbott shows no signs of being fazed by strong women, having been married to one for years ... Tony Abbott turns his back on Nicola Roxon in parliament ... Tony Abbott calls for the resignation of lady-bits-insulter and office masher Peter Slipper as Speaker of the House of Representatives ... Tony Abbott is a misogynist sexist pig."

In my dream, the government complained of the "Americanisation" of Australian politics, while itself basing it's attack template on US Marxist activist Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" (eg: Rule 12: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it."

So bizzare is this world that everyone in the media simply lapped this cognative madness up and reported the government line verbatim praising the Prime Minister's speech.

To say this dream described a total farce is an understatement. It is a comedy which puts Yes Minister to shame. It is absolutely totally unbelievable that such a thing could ever occur in reality.

Our political and media class would NEVER stoop so low.

Except, … as you are well aware, this was not a dream. This insanity is exactly what is occurring.

How can anyone possibly justify this excuse of a government? Anyone observing from the outside can only conclude that it is a total, absolute, and utter joke. Yet so insulated is our media, so removed from reality is our Canberra Press Gallery, that they blindly regurgitate the government line.

Julia Gillard’s rambling defence of the indefensible yesterday – her gall in baselessly attacking her opponents while she supported the utter disgrace of Peter Slipper (who since resigned as speaker), her shameless audacity is mind-boggling. And yet our fawning media faithfully reprinted the government line. And praised her speech.

I would laugh at these antics, if it were not for the fact that they have real consequences, in the real world.

As this farce continues, our budget deficit skyrockets, waste and overspending is occurring left right and centre, the “Infrastructure Government” hasn’t built a single thing, the carbon tax is hitting every Australian family, our defence force becomes dilapidated and our borders unsecure.

Families are hurting, and all the government can do is obsess about name-calling Tony Abbott.

This is beyond a joke.

We need an election now.
Yes indeed, we need an election NOW.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

World Premier Atlas Shrugged Part II

Via: American Power


See also: Objectivism Reference Centre

The Space Shuttle – A Stunning and Spectacular Tribute to American Ingenuity

In a little over a month, NASA will make its final delivery of a space shuttle for museum purposes. To be precise, on Nov. 2, Atlantis will be transported from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral to the nearby visitor center. We can look forward to the opening of the Atlantis exhibit in 2013, in a display that will highlight the shuttles history.

Now let’s enjoy this great retro footage to the music of Ulrich Schnauss and through it, celebrate American ingenuity. WATCH IT ALL IT'S MUST SEE WHICH CULMINATES IN AN EMOTIONALLY CHARGED LAUNCH.



Best viewed in full screen ...

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Nuclear Iran - How much time ...

Via ISIS - The Institute for Science and International Security

A useful article detailing exactly how much time it would take for Iran to go from being not merely nuclear but weapons capable ...

ISIS has learned in researching and discussing the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran that important differences exist from the 2007 NIE on Iran’s capability to make a nuclear weapon. The 2007 declassified NIE specifically noted that it did not take into account Iran’s “declared civil work related to uranium conversion and enrichment” when assessing the status of its nuclear weapons program. The new NIE does not distinguish between declared and undeclared enrichment activities when considering Iran’s nuclear weapons capability. In doing so, the new NIE more accurately values the impact that Iran’s advancements in its gas centrifuge uranium enrichment program, declared or otherwise, have on its capability to decide to make highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon. This acknowledges that Iran’s capability to make highly enriched uranium, as represented by the declared elements of its uranium enrichment program, influences any political decision to make nuclear weapons.

The new NIE includes that Iran could be furthering its development of components for nuclear weapons while reportedly assessing that not enough activity has occurred on weaponization to justify a determination that Iran has made a decision to restart its nuclear weaponization program or build a bomb. 1 Both NIEs judge that Iran had a nuclear weaponization program prior to 2004. Missing in ISIS’s information about the new NIE is the confidence level that the intelligence community has in its ability to detect a restart and the level of detected activity necessary to determine that a restart has occurred. The 2007 NIE judged with moderate confidence that restart had not happened as of mid-2007. It should be noted that this assessment about restart was rejected by key European allies and Israel, which all assessed that Iran was likely continuing to develop its nuclear weaponization capabilities and that its nuclear weapons program likely existed after 2003.
Continue reading here

See also Nuclear Iran: Diplomatic endgame fast approaching ...

Visit my American Interests blog and click on Iran label for further reading ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On ideological divides that separate us …

I received a leaflet in the mail recently, nothing extraordinary just another flyer featuring an aspiring candidate seeking support for local council elections. One of the paragraphs within reads:

“As a long-standing member of the ALP, I appreciate the important role Council plays in delivering quality services to the community”.
There is something about this innocuous sentence; it implies that only ALP members can appreciate services that local council provide. I guess that ALP both as a term and as an establishment has always been synonymous with local council. In this case, the aspirants chosen words, circuitously infer, that members of other parties e.g. LNP would not have the same appreciation.

Moving on, the same paragraph continues:
“I also appreciate the cost of living pressures residents are facing”.
Are you laughing yet, ALP advocates and devotees appreciating cost of living pressures? After massive hikes in living costs these past few years under Labor State and Federal how can we take them seriously. However, this had me thinking, perhaps they do actually have an understanding of sorts on the basis that the policies they seek to legislate, are for the greater good of the “community” and broadly, society. They may actually believe this passionately, as both conservatives and progressives act on well-rooted passions with the same vigour and conviction of righteousness, with both camps driven by similar moral foundations. Moreover, our differences ensure that a lack of understanding will endure. Ask a progressive and he/she will happily assert that conservatives are “bad”, driven mostly by greed and/or personal objectives. Conversely, conservatives have a better though not complete understanding of how progressives or those of the left think. I am not suggesting that this makes conservatives better just dissimilar. Both camps have entrenched differences in moral philosophy that causes each to view the world differently. However, what of the legitimacy of each, who is right, who is wrong?


It is not surprising that Jonathan Haidt’s book, The Righteous Mind: Why good people are divided by politics and religion is generating interest. His argument that conservatives appreciate the arguments of progressives far better than progressives the beliefs of the conservative is compelling because Haidt is an academic (Professor of Psychology), a Democrat in the U.S. and, a proud member of the left. He draws this conclusion from a large volume of evidence and formulates “six passions” from which all of us construct our various political suppositions. As one reviewer put it:
“Jonathan Haidt is a world leader in the new discipline of cultural psychology, which combines the psychologist’s understanding of what goes on inside our heads with the anthropologist’s interest in the social meanings that surround us. Cultural psychology applies the principles of Darwinian natural selection to problems about morality, consciousness and human existence, and Haidt believes that it offers definitive evidence"-based solutions to the problems that have been baffling philosophers since the dawn of civilisation.”
One of the moral foundations or passions Haidt formulates is care/harm for which he means the drive to compassion for others. This foundation is typically where members of the left claim a far higher moral resolve than those of the right. There are six foundations cited in all, but the author notes that progressives and conservatives share only three. The ideologies differ because the latter have a further three foundations that progressives do not share. The care/harm foundation is shared as is fairness/cheating and liberty/oppression. The remaining unshared conservative foundations are loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion and sanctity/degradation.

I recommend this text as a resource for those seeking a better understanding of what partitions us politically however as I indicated earlier, questions relating to validity, who is right, who is wrong, remain unanswered. The last chapter is particularly compelling as Haidt asserts that we need the insights of all that is liberals, conservatives, and libertarians to flourish as a nation. Though I hasten to add, it may not be as compelling for a progressive.

Back to our wannabe local councillor, I cannot understand why he mentions the ALP in his communications; surely someone ought have advised him to avoid it.

 Video: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

Postscript:

Incidentally, it is no surprise too, that we see the term “community” appearing and in just about all centre left – left political advertising. A common idiom that gets under my skin for it correlates to socialist ideals that contravene pursuits of excellence by, heaven forbid; individual actions unconstrained by bureaucracy and collectivist forces. I am not sure whom to blame for initiating the term and its persistent use by leftist politicians though Joan Kirner comes to mind.

Friday, August 31, 2012

"Now is the time to restore the promise of America" Romney



Mitt Romney reintroduced himself to the country Thursday night in Tampa, delivering a deeply personal nomination acceptance address that balanced pledges to fix the economy and critiques of President Obama with stories about his own life and where he comes from.


Source: Fox News

There is little doubt that Obama brought a powerful promise of hope, albeit of superficial nature back in '08 but his Presidency has not lived up to the hype - a point brought home by Mitt Romney in Tampa.

An excellent speech, exuding plenty of confidence and warmth. He opened up about his faith and spoke about his family. But for mine the highlight was his eagerness to restore within the foundation of political discourse and culture qualities of individualism and self-reliance. Something I'm hoping the conservative side of politics will also restore in Australia post Rudd/Gillard.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Tony Abbott's 23 Point Action Plan

The recent High Court rejection of the tobacco's constitutional challenge to the Federal Government's plain packaging laws got me thinking about this Governments assault on individual liberty, big Government political culture in Australia and what Tony Abbott must - not ought do - to counter it and thus create a lasting legacy for his term/s of office.

  1. Repeal plain packaging for cigarettes
  2. Kill protectionist measures designed to shield local manufacturers in Government tendering
  3. Means test student tertiary loan schemes
  4. Reduce top public servant salaries
  5. Reduce company tax rates
  6. Repeal the Alcopops tax
  7. Allow the states to rule on approvals for major environmental projects
  8. Repeal the mining tax
  9. Repeal the fair work act
  10. Permit individuals to directly negotiate terms of employment with employers
  11. Offload SBS Television
  12. Reduce the baby bonus to $1,500 down from $5,437 and remove any income tests associated with it
  13. Kill all Government funded nanny state ads
  14. Kill the first home owners grant
  15. Put a cap on Government spending based on a percentage of Gross Domestic Product
  16. Privatise the CSIRO
  17. Kill off all subsidies to the local car industry
  18. End the Commonwealth grants commission
  19. Repeal the carbon tax and the renewable energy target, do away with the clean energy fund,  close down the Department of Climate Change and withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol
  20. Repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act
  21. Kill all Family Tax Benefits
  22. Forsake any plans for paid parental schemes
  23. Repeal the National Curriculum
  24. Restore ADF budget to around 3% of GDP
Anyone have any others ideas? Please advise ...

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Tony Abbott on Free Speech with the IPA



It pleases me to share video here ... It's Tony on freedom of speech and media regulation with the message being, more freedom and less regulation. I don't have a problem with this. To the detractors I say, he implies freedom of speech for all, left to right and right to left. No, I definitely don't have any qualms about that ...

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Age Run Melbourne - a win win for all

The crowd huge, the music cool (and lot's of it throughout Fed Sq and the course), and weather kind, who could ask for more ...

I arrived at Federation Square to witness thousands just like me ready to run; the vibe and feel of the event added to an almost surreal atmosphere charged with a positive can do energy that surrounded everyone at the event. At 10:35, the race began ending for me with a personal best time of 22:48 over the 5KM's. Be sure to buy this Tuesdays Age (17/7) to check final results for all including by age categories. I would be interested to note how my time compares with other over 50's. Based on 2011 results, my time of 22:48 (official) would have certainly placed me in the Top 5%.

We can be proud of the fundraising arm of the event as to date, we collectively raised over $1,800,000 for charity.

I feel compelled to rebuke my employer Metro Trains Melbourne not merely for overlooking the need to run extra trains in light of the tens of thousands who made the journey, but also for failing to sponsor me after a written request - a request that was not even acknowledged despite the best efforts to drum up interest by an immediate manager. It's the latter which is most disappointing.

Finally, I wish to extend sincere felicitations to the organising committee and members, event managers and army of volunteers for their tireless work. Their reward and ours (Melbourne’s) was an event of international standing and repute. Congratulations!

The Age Run Melbourne event will be held again on July 21, 2013.

Click here to visit my RunMelbourne fundraising page

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Postmodernism and Critical Theory Resource

In response to my piece, "From radical to liberal Islam – Is intrinsic change possible?" which has been reproduced on this site and, my American Interests Blog, I have received notice of a valuable link that serves as a useful resource for those wishing to engage in further exploration of both Postmodernism and Critical Theory. For those that recall it, I attempted to critically analyse whether "change" was possible amongst immigrants in western societies e.g. Britain, Australia and the U.S. Specifically, those who may "harbour radical elements of their faith", and questioning whether too, they would be likely to abandon "such beliefs as they commune within their new society, moving away from considerations of the extreme or moderately fanatical elements of Islamic thought - moving therefore, from radical to forms of liberal Islam?"

I suggest that in the first instance one reads my piece again to understand the how concepts of self in terms of both modernism and postmodernism, work there way into the arguement before exporing the resource.

I have taken the liberty of reproducing the first paragraph from the resource which you will find below, and invite readers to visit the actual resource page, Contemporary Philosophy – Postmodernism and Critical Theory for further reading.

Broadly and variously defined, postmodernism refers to a specific period of time that began in the 1940s, a style of literature, architecture, art philosophy, or the plight of Western society in post-capitalist age. This movement encompasses a set of critical and rhetorical practices employing concepts such as difference, repetition, and hyperreality to break apart or deconstruct other the structural elements achieved through modernism, including temporality, presence, identity, historical progress, epistemic certainty, and meaning achieved through unity. The term “postmodernism” first entered the philosophical lexicon in 1979, with the publication of The Postmodern Condition, by Jean-François Lyotard, in which Lyotard utilizes Ludwig Wittgenstein’s model of language games and concepts taken from speech act theory to account for “a transformation of the game rules” for science, art, and literature. For Lyotard, postmodern thought can best be summed up as “incredulity towards meta narratives.” According to Lyotard, postmodernists eschew “grand narratives” that attempt to account for, explain, and compartmentalize human life and history; there is no clearly defined, collective meaning and for the postmodern world, there is no mourning of the loss of meaning because the outcome of one’s own experience and condition will necessarily be fallible and relative, rather than exact and universal.
More here

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Best Conservative Rock Song 1

“Won’t Get Fooled Again,” The Who



The conservative movement is full of disillusioned revolutionaries; this could be their theme song, an oath that swears off naïve idealism once and for all. “There’s nothing in the streets / Looks any different to me / And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye. . . . Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss.” The instantly recognizable synthesizer intro, Pete Townshend’s ringing guitar, Keith Moon’s pounding drums, and Roger Daltrey’s wailing vocals make this one of the most explosive rock anthems ever recorded — the best number by a big band, and a classic for conservatives.  

The best part was the end paragraph and the last sentence.

Now that's the truth. Roger's scream transformed that song into the anthem of all anthems in my little world.

So of course it is a conservative song. it's a libertarian song too. One thing we can definitely say is that both literally and metaphorically the song is NOT modern-ly liberal or socialist.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Who is Australia's Deputy Prime Minister?


Wayne Swan of course, is that what you thought? Or did think, hmmm as in the sound made when one is attempting to sound reassuring yet non-commital.

Today I conducted my own little nondescript experiment by asking a dozen company colleagues that very question: Who is our Deputy Prime Minister? The results were startling as only two answered correctly of the twelve asked. This says a great deal more about Wayne Swan than about those I asked. He just does not cut it with the electorate. This is astonishing given that he is second in command in Government. Perhaps Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest, founder of Fortescue Metals Group was on to something when he suggested that "a 'three-legged-dog' could beat Wayne Swan".

Wayne Swan is about as effective a deputy PM as Joe Biden is a Vice President bar one thing, most Americans can correctly name their VP. I can assure you that comparing Swan to Biden is no endorsement of our Deputy PM. I mean really, you know your image management has taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way when, as vice president of the United States, you’re not even considered worth killing by al Qaeda.

Monday, April 23, 2012

It applies to Australia as well ...



The script:

If I wanted America to fail … To follow, not lead; to suffer, not prosper; to despair, not dream. I would start with energy. I’d cut off America’s supply of cheap, abundant energy. I couldn’t take it by force. So, I’d make Americans feel guilty for using the energy that heats their homes, fuels their cars, runs their businesses, and powers their economy. I’d make cheap energy expensive, so that expensive energy would seem cheap. I would empower unelected bureaucrats to all-but-outlaw America’s most abundant sources of energy. And after banning its use in America, I’d make it illegal for American companies to ship it overseas. If I wanted America to fail … I’d use our schools to teach one generation of Americans that our factories and our cars will cause a new Ice Age, and I’d muster a straight face so I could teach the next generation that they’re causing Global Warming. And when it’s cold out, I’d call it Climate Change instead. I’d imply that America’s cities and factories could run on wind power and wishes. I’d teach children how to ignore the hypocrisy of condemning logging, mining and farming — while having roofs over their heads, heat in their homes and food on their tables. I would never teach children that the free market is the only force in human history to uplift the poor, establish the middle class and create lasting prosperity. Instead, I’d demonize prosperity itself, so that they will not miss what they will never have. If I wanted America to fail … I would create countless new regulations and seldom cancel old ones. They would be so complicated that only bureaucrats, lawyers and lobbyists could understand them. That way small businesses with big ideas wouldn’t stand a chance – and I would never have to worry about another Thomas Edison, Henry Ford or Steve Jobs. I would ridicule as “Flat Earthers” those who urge us to lower energy costs by increasing supply. And when the evangelists of commonsense try to remind people about the law of supply and demand, I’d enlist a sympathetic media to drown them out. If I wanted America to fail … I would empower unaccountable bureaucracies seated in a distant capitol to bully Americans out of their dreams and their property rights. I’d send federal agents to raid guitar factories for using the wrong kind of wood; I’d force homeowners to tear down the homes they built on their own land. I’d make it almost impossible for farmers to farm, miners to mine, loggers to log, and builders to build. And because I don’t believe in free markets, I’d invent false ones. I’d devise fictitious products—like carbon credits—and trade them in imaginary markets. I’d convince people that this would create jobs and be good for the economy. If I wanted America to fail … For every concern, I’d invent a crisis; and for every crisis, I’d invent the cause; Like shutting down entire industries and killing tens of thousands of jobs in the name of saving spotted owls. And when everyone learned the stunning irony that the owls were victims of their larger cousins—and not people—it would already be decades too late. If I wanted America to fail … I’d make it easier to stop commerce than start it – easier to kill jobs than create them – more fashionable to resent success than to seek it. When industries seek to create jobs, I’d file lawsuits to stop them. And then I’d make taxpayers pay for my lawyers. If I wanted America to fail … I would transform the environmental agenda from a document of conservation to an economic suicide pact. I would concede entire industries to our economic rivals by imposing regulations that cost trillions. I would celebrate those who preach environmental austerity in public while indulging a lavish lifestyle in private. I’d convince Americans that Europe has it right, and America has it wrong. If I wanted America to fail … I would prey on the goodness and decency of ordinary Americans. I would only need to convince them … that all of this is for the greater good. If I wanted America to fail, I suppose I wouldn’t change a thing.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

If the 2013 Australian federal election is framed as, “Are you better off under six (6) years of Labor then Julia Gillard is going to lose in no uncertain terms ….

A forthcoming post though let's be candid, how easy is it going to be to explain as in, rationalize ...

Now I'm thinking of John Howard's prophetic claim that, "Australian families have never been better off" and concluded that he was indeed right, though I knew it at the time, contrary to Rudd's claim that the former Prime Minister was "out of touch".

Pity mainstream media and public alike accepted the notion.

In the interim, check out this 2011 post and to think, for Australian working families things have got far worse since. To make matters worse, it's all pre Carbon tax ...

Yes ladies and gentleman, this post will be easy.

Now let's all watch this again and laugh, (though I'm dismayed) and SPREAD THE WORD ...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Well is Mad Men Televisions Greatest Luxury Good?


Check out Willa Paskin's view over at Salon

What is it about Mad Men’s allure; does it attract a certain type? Is it merely about forms of escapism, a longing to be back in a society where one could, “drink all day”, smoke day and night, without being made to feel guilty, an era where you could be, “casually racist, misogynist, and homophobic with no consequences.” I always thought it had more to do with one’s very own stylized interpretation, but that is just another opinion about a show of multitudes that, in spite if its small net audience continues to intrigue.

Season Five of Mad Men begins in Australia in April.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Radical to forms of liberal Islam – Is intrinsic change possible in a new country?


"... it is my belief that we can never discount the possibility that radical Muslims or simply those susceptible to elements of such will remain a threat to our way of life, not merely those from aboard but unfortunately and most alarmingly, the home grown variety ..."

Recent mumblings about the failure of multiculturalism coming out of Europe, in addition to the ongoing spats about race and immigration issues here in Australia have left me wondering whether our fears stem from issues associated with integration, pure racism or actual terrorist threats. Let us be honest, we have problems associated with race or otherwise, anti-Muslim sentiments as demonstrated by recent findings that show, 1 in 10 Australians have “very problematic views on diversity and on ethnic difference". In a recent discussion with friends they seemed to justify their concern in terms of possible terror threats posed by those arriving on our shores illegally.

Is this concern valid? This is a question I posed several years ago when writing a short piece whilst at University where the topic was ‘change’. Specifically,  can those illegals who harbour radical elements of their faith change by abandoning such beliefs as they commune within their new society, moving away from considerations of the extreme or moderately fanatical elements of Islamic thought - moving therefore, from radical to forms of liberal Islam.

Upon reading it once again, I got thinking about how it might apply to personal change in relation to religious doctrine and beliefs, not just adaptation but rather, deep seated and cultural transformation among Muslims living for example, in the United States, Great Britain and Australia.

I refer to the tens of thousands of Muslims that form part of our communities and in particular, what proportion of them may harbour radical elements of their faith. Unfortunatley, studies reveal that a small but significant segment not only sympathise with their radical colleagues but have a propensity to consider and carry out violent acts against westerners in spite of an entire lifetime living amongst and appearing to outwardly enjoy the benefits of the societies in which they reside. How could this be? I should add that the percentage of Islamists who pose a danger to their communities within for example, the United States would be very, very small, perhaps minuscule, but as we noted with the London bombings and the 9/11 attacks it does not take many to inflict harm on a massive scale.

It poses more questions, does ones external environment and the behavioural modifications and modes of personal conduct associated with such, lead to permanent change. I guess we need to consider the question of change as it relates to the common oxford definition, one that refers to a person 'making or becoming different', because of environmental factors. This obliges me to consider that age-old concept of modernism, in particular, the modernist concept of a 'true (constant) self'.

I am of the opinion that participation within our way of life does indeed involve being changed and changing oneself however, I do not feel that the change is intrinsic, and accordingly, the modernism concept of a 'true self' is compelling.

I do not wish to delve into comprehensive considerations about “concepts of self”, as one could write a thesis in this area alone; it is easier then, to restrict the discussion to the more discernible elements of Muslims within our social order.

All societies have unique characteristics that provoke different thoughts and subsequent actions amongst it participants. They also all have there own grand and historical elements that present a multifaceted culture both as a whole and within its parts. Even as there are various consistencies and diffusion amongst different groups, disciplines, and sub-cultures, a person (in this case Muslim) may at least, be influenced by a society’s ‘different norms and values’ … ‘patterns of power and authority’ … ‘different standards’ … [and] ‘modes of expression’ (Kolb, David, 1981 p.233). The influence of a society is exacted circuitously upon individuals through the processes and norms of its institutions and this represents but one way that a culture, exacts change (the accepted social order) upon partakers. Whether this influence inhibits or promotes real change toward westernisation, depends on the person’s disposition and worldview (the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world), and we know how much this can vary between different cultures and religions. At another level, the extent of change, obligatory or otherwise, will contrast amongst individuals again depending on their worldview, (which also includes their deep seated beliefs), but also made subjective by their education, specifically the disciplines one may study. Incidentally, education of even the highest standards does not; in itself guarantee to purge ones deep-seated and fundamental beliefs.

Of course one can also mount a plausible contrasting argument on the belief that any modifications of behaviour as a result of environmental factors are in fact indicative of real and lasting change, arguing that humans are ‘fragmented’, ‘fluid’ and ‘constructed’; that ones experiences lend to the construction of self – classic post modernism, (this is in contrast to modernism views expressed and defined with terms such as, 'fixed' and having a 'true', 'unified', and essential self). Uncertainties in relation to which concept of self applies arise when one acknowledges the difference in human modes of conduct, in differing life roles. We may be one self as a mother, sister, or brother, a different self as an employee and different again depending on our roles. The different contexts create a problem, thus we mistakenly confuse behavioural changes and environmentally induced responses with concepts of self, believing that they are more representative of Post Modernism thinking. Here I cannot agree, imagine if you will moving to a strictly Muslim nation, behaviorally you may present differently but can you really expect to discard all that you have been, all that has been indoctrinated into your being through socialisation and guardians over time within your home culture? Will your fundamental worldview shift at all, let alone profoundly?

Like all humans, Muslims aspire to certain universal attributes of character and whilst these may differ amongst them, the majority (like all of us) seek to be content, happy, and good as based around an established worldview (and self) that minimally takes into account race, gender, class, geography and present and past cultures that they, may have experienced. There is a lot to take into account hence, this needs to be considered as part of our attempt to understand the inner beliefs and ruminations of the radical Islamist and the depth of hatred toward anyone whose beliefs run contrary.

The process of being changed and changing as a person lends to the exploration of feelings of, and about life goals and purpose. Thus membership and participation in our, or indeed any society/culture facilitates and contributes to a process whereby, 'the meaning of … personal directions' is explored thus guiding the person toward that which is the essential, already constructed self, so as to move toward, ' … that self which one already is' (Rogers, Carl R. 1967). Therefore, it goes that in spite of all life experiences and the resulting outward change exhibited by Islamists, age-old questions linger. It is as if there is inherent within, a quest to move toward the 'true self'; that self which has always been. As Carl Roger's states, an ‘individual moves toward being, knowingly and acceptingly, the process which he inwardly and actually is … listening to the deepest recesses of his … being'. As an example, I vividly recall a conversation with a group of young (twenty something) Bosnian Serbs as we discussed news reports about Bosnian Serb soldiers systematically executing as many as 2,000 Muslim prisoners after taking the UN ''safe area'' of Srebrenica. To my disbelief, the young Australian born Serbs completely condoned the actions of their compatriots overseas. Probing for explanations one of them simply said, “I don’t know, I just feel it here,” pointing to the centre of his chest, added another, “It’s in the blood”.

Accordingly, it is my belief that we can never discount the possibility that radical Muslims or simply those susceptible to elements of such will remain a threat to our way of life, not merely those from aboard but unfortunately and most alarmingly, the home grown variety.

We humans have a central 'true self' that remains intact throughout our lives in spite of society’s dominant contemporary and historical permanence, its institutional processes, values, ideology, culture and sub-cultures.

If I am right, even partially so, what is the most constructive way to deal with our local Muslim populations? Wouldn't any attempt to indoctrinate them in terms of western values be an exercise in futility? Is acceptance and tolerance the answer? Perhaps as a way of teaching them the values of mutual respect for all cultures and race.

What do you think?

References:

Rogers, Carl R. 1967, 'To be that self which one truly is': A therapist's view of personal goals', On Becoming a Person: A therapist's view of psychotherapy, Constable, London, pp. 163-182.

Kolb, David A. 1981, 'Learning styles and disciplinary differences' in Chickerine, Arthur W. & Associates, The Modern American College, Jossey Bass, San Francisco, pp. 232 - 235 and 251 - 252.


Copyright ©  2006 - 2012 Otto Marasco

Useful resource: Contemporary Philosophy – Postmodernism and Critical Theory

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The individual

The individual asserts his her own, thus separating oneself even if only briefly, from the collective, be it an interest, issue or concern of the day… Good or bad?

One being, striving to change the course; check an established assemblage of thought, sheer stupidity, or genius?

Towing party or company lines is fine; even a noble pursuit as long as the body never discounts the value of expressed individual scrutiny. Sometimes there is common ground discovered, sometimes not, but let us not simply by design, tolerate that the absolutist views of collectives stifle or worse still, suppress the creativity and progress initiated by the one.

The individual, viewed as a significant and indispensible entity within the whole. We must applaud the one who has the courage and conviction to question, who occasionally veers against the grain, who separates oneself from populist views, who disconnects from the deep-rooted standpoint of consensus majoritarianism mechanisms when necessary for the betterment of the very establishment opposing the view, the whole.

The best collectives therefore, the best parties and companies honor and reward the individual who stands tall among the many when called for…

Copyright © 1998 Otto Marasco

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Querying Julia Gillard’s Political Identity


Well over a year on from the election that saw Julia Gillard installed as Prime Minister some remain puzzled about her political identity, her policy substances, her true ideological convictions, values and beliefs. Many elected leaders across the world subvert effective policy creation to opportunism and pragmatism, but the degree to which our Julia has done so both during her rise and, as Prime Minister defies logic and lends itself to questions of a paradoxical nature. We distinctively knew what Hawke, Keating and Howard stood for by the time they became leaders and mostly this was reflected in their policymaking during their tenure as Prime Minister. Conversely, Julia Gillard presents as a fluid, unconstructed persona, driven only by political opportunism, pragmatism and a misleading appeal to romantic sentimentalities.

Looking back, Julia Gillard was an active member, leader and editorial representative of the socialist forum. As a notable contributor, she espoused calls for totalitarian control via environmental activism, calls for re-regulating the exchange rate, a return to tariffs, reducing imports and duties on luxury goods and energy imports. Such social and economic prescriptions may appear ridiculous when appraised from a capitalist viewpoint but to the socialist who believes that the production and distribution of goods be substantially controlled by Government’s, and that private wealth generation and individual profit are dirty deeds, they are entirely proper.

Fast forward to 2012 and Julia is Prime Minister of one of the world’s top 10 capitalist economies alongside the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore. I am willing to bet that at a sub-conscious level Julia Gillard is troubled about her political identity within a very capitalist market based economy, one defined by business, trade, monetary, fiscal, investment, financial and labour freedoms – common criteria deemed as principles of capitalism.

The PM’s uneasiness may partly explain her rhetorical genuflecting of the past few years. When for example, she addressed the U.S. Congress in early March 2011 she suddenly sounded like a Capitol Hill Hawk, a term ascribed to those who have a political stance toward aggression, by diplomatic and ultimately military means, against others to improve the standing of their own government, country, or organization. Whereas just a few years earlier she was akin to a peacenik dove which alludes to the more peaceful dove or Pacifism.

“You have an ally in Australia … An ally for war, peace, our values are shared, and our people are friends …” she told Congress.

While recalling her opposition to John Howard when he chose to support the U.S. in its response to 9/11 and, the war on terror, consider if you will, a few more lines from her address.

Your darkest days since Pearl Harbour were 10 years ago in Washington and New York.

And we were with you.

My predecessor John Howard was quite literally with you and he came to this Capitol when you met on September 12 to show you that Australians would be with you again.

And after 50 years, under a new prime minister and a new president, the ANZUS Treaty was invoked.

Within Australia's democracy, John Howard and I had our differences. But he was and is an Australian patriot and an American friend, a man who was moved by what he saw here in that terrible September.

When John Howard addressed you in 2002 we were already with you in Afghanistan.

And we are there with you today.

I want you to know what I have told Australia's Parliament in Canberra - what I told General Petraeus in Kabul - what I told President Obama in the Oval Office this week.

Australia will stand firm with our ally the United States.

Did I mention that Ms Gillard as a paid member of the Socialist Forum also played a role in drafting its constitution and amongst the proposals was a suggestion that the ANZUS treaty be scrapped.

During her address to Congress, the PM added that America – champion of capitalism – was indispensable to maintaining world order now and in future. As impressive and true as this is, how does it measure up with her socialist past?

Other inconsistencies leave us shaking our heads, like the moment she painted herself as a social conservative who defended the Bible even though she remains atheist. When interviewed on Sky News earlier in the year she baffled some by referring to herself as a “cultural traditionalist” who respects family values and, like Tony Abbott sees a place for the bible and its teachings within the national curriculum. This is interesting because during her time as Education Minister in the Rudd Government, the ALP influenced History and English curriculum fails to mention the bible. Once again, we ponder about whether she is being honest with the electorate about her views.

We continue to muse at her evolving self because our culturally traditional PM also described herself as a “socialist and feminist” in 1985.

It gets even more perplexing when we consider the PM’s address to the Sydney Institute in 2003. During her speech, she attacked John Howard in no uncertain terms, portraying him as a neoconservative whose social opinions were fuelled by “bile and venom”. Then a few short years later John Howard was again vilified for promoting social norms that were, according to Gillard premised on “unfairness, division and exclusion”. Here she was referring to his stance on gay marriage and euthanasia but forward to 2011 and she too, argues that marriage must be between a man and woman and that euthanasia is wrong. Thus when it suits, she embraces the very same views she attacked her Liberal Party predecessor for.

Julia Gillard can only blame herself for any electoral confusion about the “real Julia” Think about it, she came to the fore from the hard left and then exceeded Menzies, Hawke and Howard in her praise of America before the U.S. House of Representatives as only one of four Australian Prime Ministers to address the Congress. Moreover, how we chuckled when during that address she heaped praise on John Howard.

One wonders how an experienced HR recruiter would view a curriculum vitae that indicated a general disposition for American exceptionalism and all that this stands for in “war and peace”, the virtues of capitalism and elements of conservatism coupled with an active and professional history of embracing Socialism and Progressive values. Such unconcealed inconsistencies cannot and should not, go unnoticed.

For the Prime Minister, the window of opportunity has firmly closed. Julia Gillard remains an unknown quantity with Australian voters, and political pundits alike however, and as I alluded to earlier, I remain convinced she is one of the left at core. Therefore, she was in the least, insincere to the U.S. Congress and our voting public. More significantly and sadly, she appears to continue publically betraying herself.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Australian Politics 2012: A Sad State of Affairs

Newspoll, Neilson, Galaxy, Essential and the Morgan Gallop polls keep humming and each will show further erosion of the ALP vote until such time that Rudd is roused, indeed called upon …


Image courtesy of http://www.theage.com.au/

I was at the local shops this afternoon and overheard a couple of older women discussing Rudd and Gillard and, what they referred to as, “the sad state of Australian politics”. They said much, however it was two lines in particular that caught my attention, “Australian politics has never been here” and “even if Julia wins tomorrow Kevin will not leave her at peace”.

They hit the nail on the head as contrary to anything defenders within the Labor camp might say about the Peacock/Howard rivalries of the eighties and before them, Gorton / McMahon in the seventies nothing compares to the slinging match being played out in Canberra this week.

Australian politics is in new territory with the behaviour, antics of many of the most senior members of the federal Labor caucus having all but ratified the sick state of affairs permeating the party, and not a thing will change when Julia Gillard wins the caucus ballot on Monday.

Moreover, on the question of peace post the ballot, it is not going to happen. Julia will win and Rudd will go to the backbench and the issues will keep bubbling along. Newspoll, Neilson, Galaxy, Essential and the Morgan Gallop polls keep humming and each will show further erosion of the ALP vote until such time that Rudd is roused, indeed called upon, to challenge again and so the soap opera within Labor continues.

A sad state of affairs for what once was a progressive political force in this country even though it is far removed from my own ideals.

My concern is that it leads to vanity and other unhealthy forms of arrogance amongst Liberal party ranks thus, I say to members of the Party of which I am a proud member and especially Tony Abbott and his senior team beware the hubris bug. Labor is imploding but the Australian electorate is fickle and polls can do a 180-degree turn in the blink of an eye.

On tomorrow’s Labor caucus my prediction is: 

Rudd 37, Gillard 66

Worst case for Rudd: 27 – 76
Best case for Rudd: 45 – 58

Either result he loses or does he?

Update

Rudd strategist doesn't rule out another challenge down the track   

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thoughts on Progressives and Conservatives … Socialism and Capitalism …

... the virtue of capitalism awaits its new advocates ...

A Progressive or those who champion collectivism the see a loafer, bum, panhandler or simply an incompetent family or individual leading a dissolute life and says/thinks:

“This is not your fault, society has done this to you, let me take you to the shelter and get you clothing, feed you, try to get you detoxed from whatever chemical dependency you may have. Afterwards, we’ll visit the local Centrelink office to ensure your getting all that you are entitled to and I will extending a hand for there is no limit to my compassion and caring" ....

Progressives really live this; they have a natural propensity to give bread and fish instead of teaching one how to fish for themselves, they value a socialistic ethos of living and will never see nor understand the conservative way of responding.

A Conservative or those that champion individualism sees same and says/thinks:

“There is not doubt life has given you a bad cast of luck right now. Well, I am going to help you help yourself. I am not going to coddle you and feel sorry for you rather, I am going to impel you through tough love and show you how to get some self-esteem so that you can become a wealth earner and a resource to society instead of being a wealth-waster and a consumer of society's resources. I am going to give you this gut string and show you how to fish, cook the fish and never have to depend on anybody again for as long as you live".....

Conservatives are wired to be independent, isolationists, and fend for themselves. They value a capitalistic ethos and accordingly will never see nor understand the progressive way of responding. There are winners and losers in capitalism. If you want to win, you are likely to be honest, industrious, thoughtful, prudent, frugal, responsible, disciplined, efficient and a value a conservative ethos. Losers are lazy, imprudent, ignorant, extravagant, negligent, impractical, inefficient, and almost certainly value a socialist ethos.

Capitalism is the social system that rewards virtue and punishes vice; something that applies across all sectors and occupations whether it be doctors, business executives, or plumbers.

In the twentieth-century, collectivism has been thrust upon us in various guises: socialism, Fascism, Nazism, and Communism to name a few. The only social system corresponding with individualism is laissez-faire capitalism.

The great advances of the past 150 years in addition to, the astonishing level of material prosperity realized owes itself to the capitalist system. In view of this, I find it perplexing that our educational institutions, professors, many politicians, and those in journalism deride the principles of free enterprise while holding the moral high ground arguing that it is exploitative, dehumanizing, alienating, and ultimately enchaining. The manner in which elements of John Howard’s years in office have been criticized illustrate that it’s almost fashionable to adopt the collectivist method, the intellectuals’ argument suggests that socialism is the morally superior system. That even though their records of failure suggest otherwise, capitalism is a morally bankrupt system regardless of the prosperity it continues to create, thus capitalism can only be defended on matter of fact grounds.

We must revive and teach our young the virtues associated with being free and independent citizens and notwithstanding the intellectuals’ foolish hatred of capitalism, it is the moral and just social system. The system that unleashes the potential of the entrepreneur, the very individuals that gave us penicillin, the internal combustion engine, the airplane, radio, the incandescent light globe, air conditioning, computers, and medical vaccines. What the capitalist values most, is individual freedom, minimal government intervention, taxation and regulation. To great a reliance on welfare, and tariffs, and collective based IR conditions are immoral because they are coercive, inhibit individual pursuits, and contradict our right to exist as, not merely autonomous moral agents, but as a self-contained individual enterprises.

As we enter the twenty-first century, the virtue of capitalism awaits its new advocates - those prepared to endorse the principle of individual rights as the basis for a free society.

See also: IR's Rearward Drive and At Core Rudd is No Conservative

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

But one reflection on Tony Abbott's Press Club Speech

Tax cuts by the end of a first term, dental care within the Medicare safety net and closer government ties with the aboriginal community were just some of the highlights of Tony Abbott’s speech to the Canberra press gallery today.

Not surprisingly, Government frontbencher Bill Shorten labelled the speech a “diatribe of negativity” and “This is like groundhog day for Dr No”. But while it’s all too easy to suggest that Abbott is obstructionist and/or negative we need to understand that the job of the opposition and it’s leader is to hold the government of the day to account. I also feel compelled to address the hordes that suggest the speech lacked the required minutiae to warrant serious deliberation. Recall, Abbott and his senior staff have repeatedly said that they do NOT intend to reveal the full Coalition policy package and associated cost accounting ahead of the next federal election. Now if this hasn't sunk yet, read the last sentence again.

Central to his economic vision is getting government spending under control, lifting productivity to moderate borrowing and take indirect pressure off rates resulting in a reduced tax burden.

Also noteworthy was Tony Abbott's commitment to a National Disability Insurance Scheme. Here Shadow Minister for Disabilites, Carers and the Voluntary Sector, Senator Mitch Fifield has a few words to add.

Today Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott delivered a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, in which he reiterated that a National Disability Insurance Scheme will be a priority for a Coalition Government.

I have attached his speech for your information, with the relevant section highlighted. He said in his speech:

“After all, the measure of a decent society is how it looks after its most vulnerable members".

Once the budget is strongly back in surplus, our aim is to provide the additional services that Australians yearn for but know can’t be built on debt. To be sustainable they have to be the social dividend of a strong economy.

The coalition strongly supports the Productivity Commission’s recommendation for a disability insurance scheme but, with an estimated price tag of $6 billion a year (roughly equal to the Commonwealth’s current interest bill) this important and necessary reform can’t fully be implemented until the budget returns to strong surplus.

It’s one of the reasons why it’s so important to return to surplus quickly. And it’s not the only important social initiative that would become deliverable once the budget is back in the black.”

Tony also responded to a question from a journalist regarding the NDIS, saying:

“There is a process which the current government has announced, and which the Coalition supports. There’s a scoping study currently underway. There are various studies and work being undertaken by the Council of Australian Governments, because this does have to involve both the states and the commonwealth, and let’s wait and see what comes out of that process. I think this is an important and necessary reform. I think it really is a test of our quality as a society - what we can do more and better for people with disabilities. But we do have to accept that in the end, everything has got to be paid for, and it would be so much easier to pay for important and necessary reforms like disability insurance if we didn’t have the waste and extravagance which we’ve seen almost every day from the current government.”

It should be noted that the current Government have not allocated a single new dollar to an NDIS over the forward estimates.

Regards

Senator Mitch Fifield

SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISABILITIES, CARERS AND THE VOLUNTARY SECTOR
MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS IN THE SENATE
Senator for Victoria
Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Tel 02 6277 3666 Fax 02 6277 5758
42 Florence Street Mentone VIC 3194 Tel 03 9584 2455 Fax 03 9584 8347
www.mitchfifield.com| www.youtube.com/senatorfifield
Once again, today’s speech was designed only to communicate a broad vision, this was no secret.

As a final point it was no surprise that Channel 7's Mark Reilly put the hard question to Abbott:
Mark Riley, Seven Network. Mr Abbott, thanks very much for your address. I just want to take to your part of it… take you to a part of it where you talk about the Medicare-funded dentistry at $4 billion a year being an aspiration and not a commitment. People, I think, at the moment are finding it hard to believe government commitments. How can they believe in aspiration of $4 billion a year? It doesn’t just mean it’s unaffordable or is this a new way of ensuring that you can’t be held accountable for breaking a promise, you just don’t make it in the first place? But one promise that you have held there is the paid parental leave scheme in saying that you’re going to lower taxes and that business is doing it so tough. Why is it the right time for business to be hit with a $2.7 billion new tax?
Let's compare this to his question to Julia at her last Press Club address:
I think a few of us have been reflecting on this in the last few weeks and certainly in the last couple of days, very sharply, on our responsibilities. When we see a gentleman in Gladstone trying to encourage people to take up arms against the government, a woman in Melbourne being shoved out of a public meeting and harassed down the street to tears, you confronted in a shopping centre by people screaming and Liberal Party members calling you liar and then a radio station coming here and broadcasting all day on the first day back of Parliament to whip climate change opposers into a frenzy. How do you see our responsibility and the way that we should be reporting this matter?
It's clear it wasn't so much a question as an attempt by a Canberra journalist to prop up Gillard.

Pleasing it was to see Abbott's response to Reilly draw some laughter today.

Tony Abbott:

Thank you Mark for that question and it is good to see that the tough questions are being asked here at the Press Club, particularly by you ...

Unlike some 12 months ago, when Reilly literally ambushed the Opposition leader this time around Abbott did not come close to punching a journo in the gob. Recall my views on Seven's shame and Mark Reilly here ...

For those wishing to read Tony Abbotts entire speech to the press gallery click here.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Thank you Fairfax, ALP Spinners, The ABC, & wider mainstream for brilliantly elevating Tony Abbotts profile …

Via its overzealous media cohorts they – ALP spinsters – did quite nearly, pull it off by blaming it all on Tony Abbott … How perfectly shameful … Bolt sums it well in his Sunday post: 

And Labor nearly got away with it      

Here it is, Bolt’s post in its entirety, I feel certain Andrew would mind it’s reproduction here.

And Julia Gillard’s spinners nearly got away with painting Tony Abbott as the racist responsible for the riot they themselves had helped to create.

Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne:

We know that the Prime Minister’s press group were in the gallery on Thursday afternoon, telling journalists that Tony Abbott had been responsible for this riot.

No shame at all.

Professor Bunyip knows how close Labor came to setting the willing media dogs onto Abbott:


Lies being her stock in trade, Gillard’s non-explanation explanation at her Saturday afternoon press conference was suspect from the very instant that spigot of falsehood beneath the Pinocchio nose began to drip. Several hours later, Kim Sattler, directly contradicted the woman on behalf of whose office she sped to Humpytown with word of Tony Abbott’s incendiary racism.


That mad dash is what reporters should be seeking to have explained today. It is the only question, the hinge on which the door to the race riot’s disgrace swung open and the genesis of Team Gillard’s confident whispers in the immediate aftermath of her evactuation that ultimate blame could be pinned on none but Abbott.

That wasn’t true and Gillard’s paid liars knew it. Had it not been for Ray Hadley baring the truth on talkback radio—is it any wonder luvvies hate the medium so?—the strategy would by now be proceeding apace. Today’s papers would be larded with reflections on the Opposition leader’s divisive personality, his contempt for reconciliation, the intemperance of his rhetoric and, inevitably, how the riot was the predictable second chapter in the chronicle of incitement first opened at the carbon tax protests.

By Tuesday, tertiary slurs would have been slathered over news pages and opinion columns. Not just Aborigines, but women, refugees, trees and enlightened rationality itself would be presented as the targets in Abbott’s alleged crosshairs. Now the toadies are scrambling, frantic to find a narrative which re-channels the flow of commentary and reporting onto safer ground.

How depressingly, frighteningly true.

Indeed, see how many media outlets ran Labor’s “Abbott to blame” line, some even after it was clear that Abbott had been verballed and that if any political figures were to blame for inciting the riot, they were Gillard’s own staff.

The ABC yesterday:

Aboriginal Tent Embassy activists had rushed to a restaurant in Canberra after one of the protesters told them Mr Abbott was inside. They were enraged by remarks Mr Abbott had made earlier that day.

Sky News:

A PROTEST by indigenous people who were unhappy about calls by Tony Abbott to close down the Aboriginal tent embassy . . .

Yahoo! 7 News:

TIME for tent embassy to fold: Abbott.

The Advertiser:

They were incensed by comments by Mr Abbott that it was time the makeshift embassy was wound up.

Crikey:

Australia Day turned ugly in Canberra yesterday after comments by Tony Abbott incited Aboriginal Tent Embassy activists to protest ...

Ten news:

The protest was launched by Aborigines from the nearby Aboriginal Tent Embassy, sparked by Tony Abbott who said the embassy now in its 40th year, should be shut down.

The protesters:

Protest spokesman Mark McMurtrie this morning blamed Mr Abbott for inciting the crowd...

And among the most shameful, Alan Moir of the Sydney Morning Herald:

If Tony Hodges’ role in the riot had not been revelaed, he would have succeeded in making Abbott seem divisive, anti-Aboriginal and a danger to community harmony. Or so much of the media would have said.

Hodges would be a hero to his troops. A PR genius.

Yet now that the truth is out, he’s sacked and disowned. Just working on his own, we’re told

And the media? Not a sorry said to Abbott. And from the ABC and the Fairfax media, a profound uninterest in blaming guilty Labor for a race riot which they were so keen to pin on the innocent Abbott.

As Bunhyip so fittingly advocates: We most certainly need an election now
I found the following words from Bob Carr most appropriate:

I agree with Tony Abbott and think his remarks entirely sensible. The tent embassy in Canberra says nothing to anyone and should have been quietly packed up years ago. The “activists” who run it would be better off investing time in youth programs in indigenous communities. Every government in Australia is aware of its responsibilities to Aboriginal Australians. The debate is how you narrow the gap not whether you should and the debate is as serious within the Aboriginal community as between it and the white.

Anyway here we have again the bankruptcy of the old Leftist approach: throw a demo. Every time some respectable body does this – the ACTU or Unions NSW or a pro-refugee group – the same thing happens: on the street the extremists take over. The Trots love a blue, “the worse things are the better they are” and by radicalizing everyone and breaking heads it all hastens the World October, onto revolution, comrades.

Don’t look for logic.

Read the rest here

To gain a better understanding of my perspective try these quick links:

The Mistake of the PM’s Staffer: The Myth of the “Demo”

Journalism by numbers

It all makes for the grubbiest of politics but in this instance, to Tony Abbotts advantage ...Thanks again Trotskyists, Anarchists, Marxists and more generally, leftist simpletons ...