Caroline Glick, in her latest column, “Calling things by their proper names”, provides this incisive conclusion:
There is a price to be paid for calling an enemy an enemy. But there is an even greater price to be paid for failing to do so.UPDATE:
There is a price to be paid for calling an enemy an enemy. But there is an even greater price to be paid for failing to do so.UPDATE:
A clairvoyant who failed to foresee a conviction for benefit fraud has been ordered to pay back every penny of £33,000 she illegally claimed.Self-styled Tarot reader and fortune-teller Dawn Pearson, 50, was uncovered as a benefits cheat after investigators realised she was being paid to carry out psychic consultations over the phone, a court heard.The telephone charges were costing a fortune for her customers at £1.53 per minute, while Pearson was claiming benefits for being too ill to work.
King Tantalus, an ancestor of Agamemnon and Menelaus, was punished, you may recall, for serving his dismembered and boiled son at a banquet for the gods. In the underworld, he was condemned to stand, famished and parched, perpetually in a pool of cool, clear water beneath a fecund fruit tree of many low branches laden with ripe, succulent fruit; whenever he reached for the inviting food, however, the branches moved teasingly just beyond his grasp, and whenever he bent down to cup some refreshing water, it too would recede frustratingly beyond his reach. From the punishment of Tantalus, we derive the verb tantalise—to torment someone with the sight or promise of something desirable but unobtainable.In an advertisement on commercial television, you announce that Hog’s Breath Cafes feature “tantalising desserts”. Now, I have never dined at one of your establishments, but the advertisements do not entice me to try my luck, because I don’t fancy having a trolley of appealing, tempting desserts wheeled before me only to be frustrated by my not being allowed to have one. Your advertisements suggest a scene such as this:Diner: I’d like a nice slice now of Mississippi Mud Cake, please.Waiter: I’m sorry, but we’ve run out.Diner: But I can see a whole cake over there!Waiter: Ah, that’s off, I’m afraid.Diner: Oh, all right, I’ll have some of your creamy, calorific Strawberry & Chocolate Fondue, then.Waiter: It’s rather runny.Diner: I like it runny.Waiter: Sorry, the cat’s got into it.Diner: Some Pav?Waiter: We’ll have some on Tuesday. ...What is your practice? Do you wave delicious desserts under the noses of diners and then tell them that they can’t have any? Perhaps, if you do provide real desserts, you could use a more appropriate adjective, such as enticing, appealing, tempting or even irresistible—but not tantalising.
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“Slumkey for ever!” roared the honest and independent.
“Slumkey for ever!” echoed Mr. Pickwick, taking off his hat.
“No Fizkin!” roared the crowd.
“Certainly not!” shouted Mr. Pickwick.
“Hurrah!” And then there was another roaring, like that of a whole menagerie when the elephant has rung the bell for the cold meat.
“Who is Slumkey?” whispered Mr. Tupman.
“I don’t know,” replied Mr. Pickwick, in the same tone. “Hush, don’t ask any questions. It’s always best on these occasions to do what the mob do.”
“But suppose there are two mobs?” suggested Mr. Snodgrass.
“Shout with the loudest,” replied Mr. Pickwick.
It’s hard to remember the dark days before 2008. It was a time of hatred, racism, violence, obese children, war, untaxed rich people, and incandescent light bulbs—perhaps the worst days we had ever seen. And at the heart of it all was a thuggish, thoughtless man, George W. Bush, who lashed out angrily at whatever he didn’t understand—and he understood so very little. Then there was that laugh of his—that horrible snicker that mocked everything intelligent and nuanced. Also, he looked like a chimp.
It seemed like the end for the United States of America. We would crumble in the hands of vicious, superstitious dimwits determined to hunt “ter’ists” or other figments of Bush’s rotten mind. There was nothing left to do but head to Whole Foods to prepare our organic, sustainable, fair-trade last meal as the country ended around us. Despair had overtaken us, and we wondered aloud whether we could ever feel hope again.
And then a man emerged who firmly answered, “Yes we can!”
Oh, but Barack Obama was no mere man. He was a paragon of intelligence and civilized society. A saviour to the world’s depressed. A lightbringer. A genius thinking thoughts the common man could never hope to comprehend. And his words—his beautiful words read from crystal panes—reached down to our souls and told us all would be well. With the simple act of casting a ballot for Barack Obama, we could make the world an immeasurably better place—a world of peace, of love, of understanding, of unicorns, of rainbows, of expanded entitlements. This was his promise. And now, having had him as president for more than two years, we can say without reservation that he has delivered all his promises and more and is the best president this country—or any country—has ever had or could even imagine to have.
Roebuck was a far better writer than most journalists—but that’s not saying much. He did write fluently and expressively, with perceptive judgements, but he also had stylistic faults (in the columns I’ve read, at least). For example, he put too little effort into choosing his conjunctions: he used “and” too often to express a contrast or consequence, say, when “yet” or “so” would be more appropriate choices, and he would even use “and” as a subordinating conjunction. He was also ill-served by his sub-editors: in the last paragraph of his last column, for instance, “ironically” and “however” need to be followed by commas (and “ironically” is used in a journalistic, catachrestic sense):“Ironically Johnson, a bowler, is the most likely player to be dropped. However the team for the first Test against New Zealand has become harder to predict. Mind you, a lot can happen in a week. It just did.”The liberal praise of Roebuck as an awesome writer of sublime genius may indicate how poorly read his contemporaries are.
Her Excellency has asked me to reply to you on her behalf.
I have taken note of your views. However, in a parliamentary democracy, these are matters for the Parliament to resolve and it would be inappropriate for the Governor-General to intervene.
You may wish to bring your views to the attention of your elected representatives.
1. The legislative power of the Commonwealth shall be vested in a Federal Parliament, which shall consist of the Queen, a Senate, and a House of Representatives, and which is herein-after called “The Parliament,” or “The Parliament of the Commonwealth.”
2. A Governor-General appointed by the Queen shall be Her Majesty’s representative in the Commonwealth, and shall have and may exercise in the Commonwealth during the Queen’s pleasure, but subject to this Constitution, such powers and functions of the Queen as Her Majesty may be pleased to assign to him.
58. When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen’s name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen’s pleasure.
The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.
61. The executive power of the Commonwealth is vested in the Queen and is exercisable by the Governor-General as the Queen’s representative, and extends to the execution and maintenance of this Constitution, and of the laws of the Commonwealth.
When I was a boy [...] all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.
So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.
|Our Dear Leader ponders the meaning of words.|
In Sydney, Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced that she would put a joint submission on equal pay with the Australian Services Union to Fair Work Australia.
Ms Gillard said the move was an important step to closing the long-standing pay gap between men and women and delivering fairness in the workplace.
The 150,000 workers affected includes 120,000 women working in sectors such as disability carers, family counselling, running homeless shelters and working with victims of domestic violence or sexual assault.
"Workers in this sector have been underpaid for too long because their work was viewed as women’s work. They work in incredibly challenging jobs," Ms Gillard said.
Today, one in 12 Australian kids aren’t meeting minimum standards in reading, writing and maths.That should be “One in twelve isn’t meeting minimum standards”, of course; one is singular.
Today, four of the top five schooling systems in the world are in our region and we aren’t one of them.We aren’t a schooling system? Oh, no!
I shall endeavour to speak Latin, except in using such words—philosophy, say, or rhetoric or physics or dialectic—which are now, like many others, customarily used as though they were Latin. I have therefore given the name qualities to the things that Greeks call ποιότητας—though, even among Greeks, as in many cases, it is a word of philosophers and far from common. Truly, the words of dialecticians are not widespread, they use their own jargon; and, indeed, almost all the sciences share this feature: for either new names are to be coined for new things or terms must be transferred from other things.†
So send us your suggestions, feedback, corrections and criticisms. We’re always willing to listen.
In “Cardinal Pell’s plea for scientific evidence” you refer to Christopher Monckton, third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, and an undoubted peer, as ‘“Lord” Cristopher Monckton’. Why the scare quotes around Lord? Do you doubt that he is the third Viscount and therefore entitled (so to speak) to be called Lord?
Why do you believe in the unproven pseudo-scientific conjecture of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming?
Apart from his Christianity, why does Cardinal Pell’s call for a rational, scientific discussion offend you?
Thank you for your submission! We will contact you as soon as possible.No-one from the Power Index, so far, has responded.
In questioning Crikey publisher Eric Beecher, [Chairman of the media enquiry, Ray] Finkelstein said he had thought of an alternative to government funding of the Australian Press Council, which had been proposed by Beecher. “I see no alternative,” said Beecher.See no alternative? How about no funding at all? How about demanding funds only from those rich fools who want to expand the powers of censors? How about a lottery to fund the press council based on readers’ accurately guessing how often Beecher’s own publications make egregious errors, such as misspelling his name, each week? How about making the press council an unpaid committee of the journalists’ union? How about asking such sterling citizens as Marc Hendrickx of ABC News Watch to undertake the work for much less than the current cost of one stupid media inquiry? How about insisting that the ignorant but overpaid layabouts of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency actually do some real, useful work for once? How about some considered reflection for a change, Beecher, instead of your standard politically correct emesis?
I got the chance to interview him for [the Herald-Sun], the only stipulation being no mention was to be made of [Muhammad] Ali’s name.I interpret “raised his nemesis” as “mentioned Ali’s name”, and not as “summoned a spirit of implacable retribution”, but Anderson, I suppose, should be congratulated for trying to add a classical allusion to an otherwise mundane obituary.
Naturally that was too hard to resist but Joe was true to his word, politely ending the chat as soon as I raised his nemesis.
Meanwhile in Melbourne, Australia’s own media inquiry got under way yesterday, with a succession of witnesses, including Robert Manne, Stephen Mayne and Dr Martin Hirst of Deakin University, who took aim [took aim?] at the political bias of Murdoch’s The Australian.If Mr. Murdoch were under no compulsion to attend this little show-trial, wherefore should he “bother” to attend? Tom Cowie also gets into the act:
But the one man who should have been there was absent. Rupert was actually in Melbourne, as part of his annual Australian visit, but he was too busy lunching with business leaders and touring his newsroom to bother attending.
And unlike the House of Commons Select Committee, former Justice Ray Finkelstein has no power to compel witnesses to appear.
The Gillard government’s controversial media inquiry was kicking off in Melbourne, with plenty of opposition to Murdoch’s control of the print media in Australia.
But the 80-year-old was nowhere to be seen, preferring to lunch with powerbrokers at the Herald & Weekly Times building.
James Murdoch utterly failed to convince British MPs last night that he is telling the truth about the News of the World phone hacking scandal. But neither did he run up the white flag, accept he'd lied to parliament or admit he’d been caught red-handed.UPDATE IX (16 November): at The Power Index, “quality journalist” Matthew Knott, whilst misrepresenting Andrew Bolt’s opinion (either deliberately and maliciously or accidentally and incompetently), says Peter Roebuck was convicted of caning four boys:
Andrew Bolt thinks that the testimonials written by Roebuck’s former colleagues should have mentioned Roebuck’s former conviction for caning four South African boys.Roebuck was guilty of assaulting three youths, all aged 19, under his care.
UPDATE XII (10 January, 2012): see “Shackle the free press? Crikey, it just doesn't bear thinking about”, by Gerard Henderson, in the SMH:The so called “quality press” are the worst offenders for churning Environment Agency press releases—whilst there were many entries from the tabloids and local papers, their cutting and pasting was less egregarious than the “quality press”.The BBC is by far and away the worst offender for simply repeating whatever the Environment Agency claimed in its press releases. Out of the 393 articles where “significant” churn had taken place, the BBC were responsible for 44%. Likewise for the forty-nine articles that had “major” churn (meaning in most cases they were almost complete cut and pastes of the press releases), the BBC was responsible for 30.6%.
In his submission to the independent media inquiry, headed by Ray Finkelstein, QC, Beecher declared that there was not enough focus on “quality journalism” in Australia, which he regards as central to “civilised society”.All well and good. Except for the fact Beecher’s Crikey newsletter is not the embodiment of quality journalism. For starters, it does not engage a fact-checker. Indeed, the online publication actually proclaims the fact it publishes undocumented “tips and rumours”. Crikey also, on occasions, publishes the home addresses of people who are targets of its occasional contributors.Last month, Crikey reported on my (alleged) poor behaviour while attending an ABC TV pre-record function in Sydney. I was in Washington DC at the time. On another occasion, Crikey published an article by Mark Latham containing my home address. Both pieces were followed by after-the-event apologies. Neither would have got through in the first instance if Crikey had proper editorial checking. Yet Beecher sees fit to call for more government regulation of the print media and to lecture-at-large about quality journalism.