Attila the Pun
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Kids off limits....unless useful

Rememeber when the old Mark Latham came to the surface when questioned about his kid's schooling? Critics pointed out at the time that he was only too happy to have his kids with him after he won the leadership, or when he invited the media to his house.

He obviously still hasn't made up his mind.

"While speaking in Brisbane after a sweep across northern Australia, Mr Latham toyed with a stuffed Nemo he'd bought earlier in the day for his son Oliver. "

Purely by accident I am sure. Puh-lease.

Thursday, September 16, 2004
Headline writers "complete morons"

How dumb are some people? Jon Anderson, in response to people pointing out that his "watermelon" joke was as old as the hills, today updated it to avocados:

"Hard green casing on the outside, soft and mushy on the inside with a great big brown nut in the middle."

An amusing throwaway line. So how is it headlined?

Brown 'like an avocado seed'

Thats their quotation marks by the way. Did they not read it, or not get the joke? Imagine if Anderson had actually suggested Brown was "like an avocado seed"

"Hard green casing on the outside, soft and mushy on the inside with a great big brown seed in the middle."

Apart from not making any sense, I actually feel kind of dirty writing it...

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Moldovians for Bush

AAP may have got away with this bullshit, if they had presented it as a lighthearted puff piece. As it stands currently, it is pretty disgraceful.

They report on the results of a poll here, which shows that 88% of Australians who voted on the poll clicked their mouse in support of John Kerry.

A look at the website shows that you can declare your nationality in any country you choose - hence Antartica is pulling slightly towards Kerry, the Holy See is up for grabs, and the Faroe Islands are strong Bush country.

If AAP had have mentioned these kind of results, then hey presto - throwaway filler piece. But no, they suggest we should take it seriously. They even quote an 'expert' on it.

Paul Allatson, a senior lecturer in Spanish and US-Latino studies at Sydney's University of Technology, said Mr Bush's poor performance was the result of a backlash against his foreign policy.

Either he commented on the poll, knowing it was a joke, in which case he has no right being a senior lecturer anywhere, or the reporter only gave him limited information (i.e. the results rather than the source), in which case I think he would be pretty annoyed. Then again, if he was dumb enough to comment on such a shonky basis, he deserves everything he gets.

While the website poll looks good for Senator Kerry, it would be cold comfort for the Massachusetts senator.

Because its a joke?

Mr Bush is six to 10 points ahead in the latest US polls ahead of the November 2 election, following a month of intense attacks on Senator Kerry's war record.


Just to top off this train wreck of an article, it finishes with:

But the Democrats are fighting back, producing records allegedly showing that Mr Bush used family connections to avoid going to Vietnam, although the White House claims the documents are forgeries.

As does the Washington Post, and anybody else with the power of sight. Even if they documents were real, I doubt they would dent Bush's support in the British Indian Ocean Territory though.

Thursday, September 09, 2004
Is there a grassy knoll in Jakarta

As many as six people may have been killed in a bomb attack against the Australian embassy in Jarkarta.

I wonder how long it will take for people to murmur that this tragedy was either a) organised by Howard or more likely b) that he will be happy it happened this close to the election.

Previously I would have said that any such suggestions would have only occured on the extreme fringe. With the increased Mooreification of the media though, I am no longer sure.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Helping out a comrade

James Norman rushes to the defence of Bob Brown, whose biography he has written. Well, I should say he rushes to the attempted defence of Brown, but it is such an unconvincing attempt that the Greens may wish he hadn't.

He attempts to refute the major attacks on the Green's policies, catalogued mostly in the Herald-Sun. His explanations are less than covincing however.

The incendiary claims circulating include assertions that the Greens support illegal drugs, have an open-door policy to all asylum-seekers, aim to strip farmers of their land, plan to force the public to eat less meat and support unemployment benefits without having to seek work.

The most accurate statement in this article, this is actually a fair approximation of what the Hun said about the Greens.

It reflects the utmost contempt for the 1 million plus Australians predicted to vote for the Greens at this election, to suppose the thinking public would be hoodwinked by such blatant fearmongering when even a cursory glance at the Greens' policy documents reveal the claims to be utter hogwash and spin.

We knew it couldnt last. Actually, as previously noted, I have given the Greens' policy documents a cursory glance, and the claims are certainly not 'utter hogwash and spin'. Norman's article is blatant spin, and attempts to defend the Greens' entire platform through the actions of its pinup boy Brown.

Start with illegal drugs. Brown has made it clear on many occasions that he does not support banned drugs being made freely available to young people but he does subscribe to the "harm minimisation" view that medically controlled access to drugs reduces the damage of these drugs to the user and wider society.

To be honest, some drug liberalisation may not be a bad thing. This defence mischaracterises the Greens' policy however, and does not mention the key phrase of allowing drugs like ecstasy to be available in 'controlled environments'. The Greens' won't say what this means - 'safe' eccy rooms at raves? The best way to combat 'scaremongering' about your policies is to provide detail. For too long the Greens have been able to avoid doing this.

Another common charge is that the Greens would offer "unemployment benefits without having to seek work". Bear in mind that Brown has never been on the dole, even throughout his years in the Franklin campaign when he gave up his doctor's wages to lead the campaign to save the Franklin river. The Greens are advocates of personal self-determination, with the guaranteed safety net of government support to those in real need.

This paragraph sums up the approach of the article. The accusation is that the Greens will give the dole without needing to look for work. Norman's defence? That Bob Brown was never on the dole. So what - answer the question. "advocates of personal self-determination, with the guaranteed safety net" So basically that is an admission that the accusation is true.

It is a humane approach to the global refugee crisis, similar to the view of the UN, and does not equate to an open-door policy for all asylum-seekers.

He mentions the 'overhaul' of the system, but avoids the parts that would set off electoral alarm bells - like the maximum 14 day detention period.

The claim that the Greens would seek to drive farmers off their land is blatant fearmongering. Brown grew up in the bush in central NSW and the Greens will work with the farming community towards implementing more sustainable farming practices across the board.

Brown was born in the bush, therefore the Greens like farmers - get it? If not - "And just for the record, Brown is a meat eater. "

It finishes with more Brown love:

Never mind that it is the same Bob Brown that this newspaper named Australian of the Year in 1983 while he sat in a prison cell among other Franklin Dam protesters at Risdon Goal. And it is the same politician The Sunday Age named Australian of the Decade in 1990.

Did hemention that Brown grew up in the Bush and is a meat eater? It is also the same Brown that railed against Hawke after the first Gulf War, demanding to know why Saddam was not removed from power. Apparently he softened towards the old murderer over the years.

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