Bust never sleeps

Neil Young’s plan to vote against Trump suffers setback as passport application delayed over marijuana use.

Posted in American politics | 4 Comments

PM must water-bomb firestorm of climate lies

Two hundred and fifty pound Pom Senator Jordon Steele-John outdid his famously inferno-deranged Greens Party deputy leader Adam Bandt today by describing the government as “a bunch of arsonists.” (My thanks to Kae for the Hansard link). In a Greta-like crescendo of hysterical how-dare-yous, Steele-John, 25, also compared “climate change” to Port Arthur killer Martin Bryant and coal to guns. Steele-John’s biography notes that he “studied some politics at Macquarie University by correspondence. However, his sudden unexpected appointment to the senate cut short his undergraduate studies.” When you’re tempted to feel sympathy for our heroic firemen tonight, remember that sacrifice. That he parlayed a quarter of a B.A. and, yes, a wheelchair into a six-figure salaried say in the governance of the nation proves he’s as cunning as he is nasty.

As the fires rage, our leaders don hard hats and reflector vests, stand alongside emergency services brass and do their best Winston Hepburn. If they can fake stoic command and touching empathy as well as my hybridised exemplar – and most of them can – they’re adjudged by pundits to have performed well. It’s tempting to mock them as they pretend to be knowledgeable about people and lands beyond the pale but they have to do this and be seen to do it well. In 2009, Julia Gillard’s solicitude for fire-ravaged Victorians was said by some to have been wooden – so wooden, in fact, that a wag could have claimed one of her CPP officers followed her with an extinguisher just in case. Christine Nixon’s hair-do and burger run during Black Saturday have entered into folklore. So has Gough Whitlam’s Greek holiday post-Tracy and George Bush’s fly-by post-Katrina. Anthony Albanese, meanwhile, had a bad day. Though secondary to the heartache being experienced by victims of the fires, it should still be said that Scott Morrison performs these ministrations well. What he hasn’t done well at all is combat the conflagration of lies about “climate change” whose exponents – like boys with Bics – are the true miscreants. He should say just that. They are more dangerous to us than finite flames.

Posted in Federal Politics, Politics of the Left | 10 Comments

Wasn’t he the clown on Howdy Doody?

Re Whistleblowers: Eric Ciaramella or Voldemort? I suppose we can mention his name in Australia.

Very early on in the whistleblower saga, I asked, plaintively, who the “whistleblower” knew. There’s been lots of action on the topic since then, and it looks increasingly like the answer is “everyone.”

I’ve been trying to keep up with all the traffic on this, and frankly, it makes my head hurt. But not too long after my article, Paul Sperry at Real Clear Investigations reported extensive evidence that the person I was calling “whistleblower one” (WB1) was a man named Eric Ciaramella, who:

  • Is a registered Democrat, held over from Obama
  • Worked with Biden on Ukraine
  • Worked for John Brennan when he was DCIA
  • Worked for the National Security Council
  • … until he was fired for leaking
  • … who then turned to Rep Adam Schiff for “guidance” before filing the original “whistleblower” brief
  • Cooperated with Alexandra Chalupa, who was lobbying for a Ukraine aid and who Sara A. Carter reports was part of the group coordinating with the then-prime minister of Ukraine to support Hillary Clinton’s campaign over Trump’s.

My suspicion is that the Whistleblower is such a comprehensive nobody that letting his name come out deflates the entire impeachment process. Like finally finding out what a nobody the Deep Throat of the Watergate Investigation was. Once you knew, and understood his petty motives, it really was a scandal that it had ever been a scandal.

As for Clarabell the Clown, entirely from my youth and very very North American. From the Howdy Doody show.

A bit more on Howdy Doody which I had not known before with something of an Australian connection.

Chief Thunderthud (portrayed by Bill Le Cornec): Head of the Ooragnak (kangaroo spelled backward) tribe of American Indians. Edward Kean originated Thunderthud’s greeting “Kowabonga!”—a nonsense word that eventually became part of the California surfer culture lexicon.

The whole thing is so politically incorrect I’m amazed it can still be found on the net.

Posted in American politics | 8 Comments

Inferno

Bush fire season is upon us and the blame game is in full swing.

Before the area became ­national park, Mr Layer said, he would get permits to collect firewood from the state forests. Since the national park was declared there had been no permits issued.

“It has just been building up,” he said.

A generation of locals, raised on forest protest, are being forced to confront some tough truths about forest fuel loads and management. Communities that have been on the frontline to stop logging and expand national parks are seeking refuge as fire threatens to consume their homes.

Protesters Falls near Terania Creek, the site of Australia’s first environmental blockade in ­August 1979, is surrounded by an out-of-control blaze in the Nightcap National Park. Tuntable Creek community, a free-spirited community that grew from Nimbin’s counter-culture movement of the 1970s, was one of the first settlements to be evacuated.

Some of the best analysis I’ve seen on bush fires and the poor policy choices that lead to higher intensity fires has been done by our very own areff.

Here he is in 2013.

Excessive fuel loads feed massive fires? Don’t be silly, say those who count themselves in Nature’s corner! The past week’s infernos, as symptoms of global warming, are punishment for mankind’s sins, and the only cure is taxes, inflated electricity bills, restricted air travel and an international trade in certificates signifying ownership of nothing more tangible than tranches of thin air. In distant Britain, The Guardian’s reliably bizarre George Monbiot  even managed to paint volunteer fireman Tony Abbott as an eco-arsonist.

As for reducing fuel levels with controlled, “cool” burns during spring and autumn, the cultists will always fight that tooth and nail, as they did for years in and around Nillumbik. A procession of fire experts visited the district and saw nothing but disaster in the making, but their reports and warnings were rejected by a council whose officers were busy ticketing residents for collecting fallen wood from the verges in front of their properties, amongst other offences against green goodness. 

Then on Sunday this week:

When Victoria was ravaged by the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 a royal commission set out to determine what led to 173 deaths and billions of dollars in property damage. Today more fires are raging, this time in NSW, and at least three people are known to have lost their lives, but there will be no need for an inquiry because the cause has already been established to the satisfaction of the media, various lawmakers and those public officials whose job it is to manage Australia’s pyrophytic flora.

Yes, you guessed it: there is no blame to share because the lost lives and destroyed property are a direct consequence of climatechange.  You can read all about this latest symptom of an overheated planet in just about any paper or news site, especially at the ABC.

Then Monday:

As NSW burns, an examination of those factors — the obstacles to staging prophylactic burns, the green romanticism that sees homes built amid pyres awaiting only a spark, the stripping of residents’ right to make their homes safe — would seem worth reprising.

If you want a better understanding of the policy failures that result in these horrific fires read Inferno: the Day Victoria Burned.

In the words of Roger Franklin, fire can be “a curious, wonderful thing”. On February 7, 2009, however, there was nothing wonderful about the flames that engulfed Victoria, killing 173 people and reducing several towns to dust. Franklin’s book, Inferno: the Day Victoria Burned, is the first to explore the horrors of the day that will forever be known as Black Saturday. Not only does the author explain what happened that day – individual heroism, unimaginable tragedy, tales of towns all but wiped off the map – but also why it happened.

The author examines the roles of the Victorian government, the CFA and the local councils that were so determined to protect roadside vegetation. He analyses the pros and cons of preventive burning, questions the merits of the state’s controversial stay-or-go policy, and delves into the mind of an arsonist. Through it all, there is a clear message: failure was everywhere on Black Saturday. And with bushfires a constant threat in Australian life, Franklin cites many important lessons that need to be learned if such a disaster is to be avoided in the future.

Posted in Australian Story, Hypocrisy of progressives, Oppressive government | 76 Comments

Bomb. Lame Bomb

The ‘wokest’ 007 ever: Bond gets an electric Aston Martin and a wife who refuses to take his second name.

The script has Bond marrying Dr Madeleine Swann – the psychologist played by French actress Lea Seydoux who first appeared in 2015’s Spectre. But she refuses to take her new husband’s name.

The morning after their wedding, Bond wakes sleepy-eyed and says ‘Good morning, Mrs Bond’, to which she replies: ‘Don’t you mean Ms Swann?’

A source said: ‘The phrase ‘Bond girl’ was outlawed from the set. The women in this film are all strong, brave and fiercely independent. These women are not helpless girls who jump into bed with Bond – their reactions are very different from what people might think.

‘Bond tries his usual seduction techniques but they fail miserably. It’s very funny.’

Ms Lynch, 31, said of her double-O role: ‘Everyone was really responsive to having her be what I wanted. You’re given a fresh perspective on a brand-new black woman in the Bond world.’

She was determined her character should be a ‘real’ woman ‘who has issues with her weight and maybe questions what’s going on with her boyfriend’.

She even discussed something which has never made it into a Bond film before: ‘We had one conversation about her maybe being on her period in one scene and … throwing her tampon [into the bin].’

 
Looks like this will be the first Bond movie I won’t bother seeing. The trouble with the franchise is that production times are so drawn out that it ends up ticking culture boxes already obsolete. #MeToo is over. It ended when the only men accused, arraigned or arrested were all leftists.

Posted in Cultural Issues, Politics of the Left | 60 Comments

Q&A Forum: November 11, 2019

Posted in Open Forum | 239 Comments

Lest we forget. Venezuela and the useful idiots of the progressive left

This was in the beginning. What are they saying now?

BONUS. The joy of adapting to climate change.

Posted in Hypocrisy of progressives, Rafe | 18 Comments

Remember, remember the 9th, 10th and 11th of November

See if you can see any connection.

November 9 was the day, thirty years ago, that the Berlin Wall fell.

November 9-10 was Kristallnacht in 1938.

November 11 was the day the Armistice was signed to end World War I, you know, the War to End All Wars.

And now, we have Angela Merkel, with her open-borders policy, which may end up being as destructive as any of these previous disasters.

Posted in History, International | 21 Comments

Tvlip mania

A very expensive show about nothing. Netflix has agreed to pay $500m over five years for the global rights to Seinfeld. Hulu had purchased the same licence in 2015 for just $20m per year. You only get one Netflix in a lifetime and Sony has now had theirs. Or have they? Make that two in a lifetime (and counting): Viacom bought the cable rights to Seinfeld days later. The first was just one of the huge – bordering on crazy – deals presently being done by television conglomerates to create, lock in and archive content to exploit the streaming phenomenon and carve out a sustainable market share. Challenging established names like Netflix and Amazon Prime are several new players including APPLE TV+, DISNEY+, Peacock and HBO MAX. In 2020, AT&T Inc and Comcast Corp will also launch their own channels. Incredibly, more scripted television shows were made in the United States last year – 496  – than ever before. This must be one of the most fascinating capitalist brawls of our time and the fact that it revolves around the dear old tele is surprising – or, rather, would have been prior to the unification of all screens. Nobody doubts the scramble will end in a crash.


See reports on the frenzy in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.


The WSJ reports that “Disney is making a land grab for users now and worrying about profits later on.” That struck me as a perfect metaphor. The Oklahoma Territory Land Run of 1889 was literally a race on horseback, foot and wagon wheels for alotments carved out of confiscated Indian territory. If you survived the dash, planted a flag and were registered doing so, you had a ranch. One hundred and thirty years later, TV executives are doing a modern version of the same thing. With that sort of drive comes a commensurate power to disrupt. Much to the annoyance of Australian cinema owners, Martin Scorcese’s The Irishman was financed by Netflix and subscribers won’t have to wait long to watch it at home. The old “90 day window” will become a thing of the past. This is a sequel to Uber versus taxis and it will end the same way. The disruptor wins. But do we?


“… the sheer addiction to entertainment risks sapping both commerce and citizens of ambition for worthier things.”


The fear is that the confiscated territory in this land run is the critical intelligence of populations. The “idiot box” has always had its enemies. I vaguely recall Bob Santamaria denouncing the medium – or at least a lot of the content – as an “open sewer” in your living room. That now reads as a smidgen too severe because there are wonderful and edifying gems to be found. Subscription and streaming mean people can now curate their own TV guide. Apart from so-called ‘show-verload,’ however, cultural problems persist. For one thing, the sheer addiction to entertainment risks sapping both commerce and citizens of ambition for worthier things. Even in the entertainment world, the preference for self-generating content means that one-off masterpieces may become more difficult to fund. The new war film Midway was produced by the Chinese. “It wasn’t exactly franchise material … even a critical 20th century battle doesn’t have the same kind of name recognition as Iron Man or Harry Potter,” deadpans Erich Schwartzel. That’s astonishingly dumb. I often see Great Books of the Western World (54 vols) for sale on Gumtree at a ‘take it off my hands’ price and wonder if screen-induced fog is destroying who we have always been. But choice is empowering. There’s nothing stopping us from watching what’s good and buying those books. We just have to be like Indiana Jones and choose wisely.

Posted in Cultural Issues, Media | 36 Comments

11/11: Remembering the Norman conquest (and comedy)

It’s possible a jester somewhere in history lived his calling – come what may – in a fraught situation involving a ruthlessly ousted king and a gathering of his murderously livid courtiers. But I’m not aware of an example.

Posted in Australian Story, History | 17 Comments