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Monday Message Board

March 18th, 2014

A day late but it’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. Paul Norton
    March 18th, 2014 at 10:24 | #1

    Here are some interesting recent articles on the Israeli-Palestinian imbroglio.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/israelpalestine-one-state_b_2568422.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ziad-j-asali-md/one-state-solution-israel_b_1638550.html

    http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/115269/peter-hains-one-state-solution-a-sobering-vision

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carlo-strenger/requiem-to-the-two-state-_b_1851731.html

    My own view is that I continue to think a two-state solution should be striven for, not because I am currently optimistic about its prospects nor because I’m unaware of the imperfections of such a solution, but because I believe – as I have done since 1983 – that in practice the alternative to a two-state solution will not be a good one-state solution but a situation in which, as the last linked article suggests, millions of Israeli Jews and Palestinians alike become so many numbered balls tossed around in the Lotto barrel of history, with as much hope as in ordinary Lotto of sharing the Division One prize.

  2. sunshine
    March 18th, 2014 at 10:25 | #2

    Wendy Harmer made a good (obvious) point on QandA – The Commission of Audit is deciding what kind of country Australia will be but the only ones with input are bean counters .Whats worse is that these bean counters are not somehow ideologically neutral as they would have us believe. It was good to see Billy Bragg say he is a Socialist ,odd to hear that said in public now that any kind of Socialism is so widely seen as tyranny .

    Looks like Alex Downer and the Howard admin and our spooks are finally going to be exposed over the Timor gap theft. Like everything else, it wont matter much as conservatives still have the balance of power to determine public opinion via old media . I feel we may have to wait for them to die off and for one more generation of young to come before real change happens -(providing nothing goes too badly wrong with the real world before then). Young people feel so ripped off .

  3. Ikonoclast
    March 18th, 2014 at 14:27 | #3

    I am amazed that Malaysian Flight MH370 could disappear without a trace (so far) given modern technology. Twenty or even maybe ten years ago I could have accepted this as a fair possibility, but not now. Given all the technologies available and the clear knowledge that flight crew, either voluntarily or under duress, could turn off tracking technology, then further technology and protocols should have been in place.

    In particular, airliners should have a stand-alone, non-stop, auxillary tracking beacon which cannot be turned off or jettisoned by flight crew. This would be in a part of the aircraft inaccesible to all on board during flight. (IE only accessible to accredited ground crew.) A further protocol could be in place (codes from ground control) to turn this off only in extreme circumtances e.g. having strayed into the restricted airspace of an inimical state.

  4. Tim Macknay
    March 18th, 2014 at 15:23 | #4

    @Ikonoclast
    I imagine that this occurrence may well lead to the introduction of the kind of arrangements you describe.

  5. TerjeP
    March 18th, 2014 at 16:06 | #5

    After the ABC had issued an apology to Andrew Bolt, John Quiggin on Facebook asked the following question:-

    “Anyone want to defend free speech from Andrew Bolt? He can dish it out, but not take it, so it seems.”

    My response on Facebook was as follows:-

    “Some context. On 2GB after the Q&A saga a number of people called in to Andrew Bolt on the Steve Price show to support Bolt and recommend that he sue the ABC. He insisted, publicly on air, that he had no intention of taking legal action against the ABC. What he did do was ask Marcia Langton on to a subsequent 2GB show with him and Steve where they discussed what she said on Q&A, squabbled a lot, but reached some level of concensus that she had gone beyond what was reasonable and accurate in some of her remarks. He then wrote to the ABC pointing out that during the Q&A show Tony Jones had refered to Langtons remarks, now withdrawn, as “facts”. The ABC chose to apologise for the broadcast but not for that assertion of fact. Given that context I think he could still sue the ABC but I don’t personally support defamation law and Andrew Bolt said publicly, even before the apology, that he is not going to sue the ABC over this. Now what was the question about free speech? Because it seems to me that whilst this altercation has been robust it has been conducted consistent with principles of free speech. Squabbling included.”

  6. TerjeP
    March 18th, 2014 at 16:11 | #6

    p.s. Chris Kenny did decide to sue the ABC over their graphic depicting him having sex with a dog. Andrew Bolt has been very critical of the ABC for producing and broadcasting that offensive graphic and for not apologising to Chris Kenny. But Andrew Bolt has also said on 2GB that in spite of these sympathies he thought Kenny should not have resorted to legal action even though he has an extremely strong case.

    p.p.s. Free speech does not mean the ABC should be free to ignore its charter.

  7. TerjeP
    March 18th, 2014 at 17:03 | #7

    Citation. To hear Bolt say he isn’t going to sue the ABC listen from the 19 minute mark on this broadcast from the evening of Tuesday 11th March 2014.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/webstore.2gb.com/audio/nights-with-steve-price/201403/11-steve-price-and-andrew-bolt-11th.mp3

  8. March 18th, 2014 at 22:35 | #8

    Brisbane and Qld locals will be astonished to learn that the previously not-bad brisbanetimes.com.au has definitely waterskied over the shark-pool with the arrival of Murdoch’s Madonna King to shower Rupert’s worldview upon people who obviously don’t want to be so showered.

    Maybe the Rachel Nolan (ALP) union-bashing column last week was to soften us up?

    When Fairfax started that site about 9 years ago they flooded Brisbane with street advertising. The slogan was something like “think” and at the launch Beattie said it was great to be bringing an end to Murdoch’s mono-media stranglehold on Qld.

    Brisbane Times has become a joke and is now just like the ABC, an arm of News Ltd funded by other people.

  9. March 18th, 2014 at 23:31 | #9

    @Ikonoclast

    It seems strange that no mobile phone calls were made from MH370. There were calls from the 9/11 planes. If anyone on the flight realised something was wrong, they might have turned their phone on. I was under the impression that if a phone is on it will attempt to contact the nearest tower, whether its making a call or not. I imagine these contacts are logged, and could provide information on the location of the plane.

    Of course, I’m just surmising. Anyone with any actual mobile phone expertise out there?

  10. March 18th, 2014 at 23:37 | #10

    I love the internet!

    The unattributed PR puff-piece on brisbanetimes.com.au excitedly announcing the arrival of Rupert’s Madonna King has 42 comments at present – 4 of which could be taken as supportive of this appointment.

    The PR piece crows about how “adored” she is and what a great addition she is to the team (Jessica Rudd, Bill O’Chee [protect], Christine Jackman etc..) tellifying things to the BT ‘audience’.

  11. paul walter
    March 18th, 2014 at 23:38 | #11

    I’m curious at Paul Norton’s motives for raising Israel/ Palestine.
    What’s to report, when nothing has changed.

    Unless THAT’S the report.

    Not that I’m upset, the articles were worth a check and god knows this is one of dozens of issues current MSM refuses to cover very much and then not especially accurately.

    I remain offended that people buy the line that the Palestinians should have to pay for the West’s guilt over WW2 and the previous Euro pogroms. The West was happy to see Hitler in power; it was complicit therefore in what happened during that war.

    It was the West that needed to make amends, most of all the big bankers, industrialists and politicians that created the condition s for depression and then global war. Yet costs were dumped onto the Palestinians and since that occurred we have exclusively witnessed insult added to injury for this unfortunate People.

    But yes, I also thought a two state solution would have been the next best thing but who sabotaged this, from a position of strength?

    As we villify and persecute that small component of Third World misery that reaches here in boats; refugees who dare cross the moat, Israel humiliates its victims and America detains Mexicans in their tens of thousands in detention centres, while Europe has racial problems because of botched people-movement policy. In all locations, right-populists have exploited racial fear for the most base and selfish of reasons.

    Is it right? No. But any solution that involves public acceptance has been kneecapped by vested interests in all locations: the global system remains unkind to those outside the charmed circle.
    @Paul Norton

  12. March 19th, 2014 at 01:26 | #12

    In the true spirit of ‘fearless’ and forthright opinionating – Brisbane Times has now shoved the Madonna King blurt down the memory hole. It has disappeared from the front page but for the moment can still be found here (with the “Ws” in front):

    .brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/madonna-king-joins-brisbane-times-as-columnist-20140318-34zha.html

    The comments say it all: “Boo! Get this pointless Murdoch columnater off!”

  13. Ron E Joggles
    March 19th, 2014 at 07:33 | #13

    @TerjeP What this brouhaha demonstrates is that Bolt is consistently hypocritical. He has made an art out of carefully skirting around the imprecise definitions of racism, but reacts with exaggeratedly-injured feelings when called out. Of course, this only matters because his sanctimonious faux-liberal views are so widely promoted by his keepers, as though he were an objective, fair-minded, trustworthy commentator.

  14. Paul Norton
    March 19th, 2014 at 07:35 | #14

    Paul Walter @11:

    But yes, I also thought a two state solution would have been the next best thing but who sabotaged this, from a position of strength?

    Well, that’s the thing. Time is running out for a two-state solution and at the present time the policy of the current right-wing Israeli government (especially on settlements) is the main (although not the sole) contributing factor. However the situation is net helped by people who believe they are friends of the Palestinians treating this as an opportunity to revisit supposedly superior one-state options rather than as a catastrophe in the making. My heart resists the conclusion that Carlo Wenger has come to in the last linked article; my head finds it increasingly difficult to.

  15. John Quiggin
    March 19th, 2014 at 08:36 | #15

    Terje, my personal experience of Bolt is that he’s an expert in making threats in a plausibly deniable way. I endorse Richard Ackland’s comment here

  16. Fran Barlow
    March 19th, 2014 at 08:36 | #16

    @Paul Norton

    My heart resists the conclusion that Carlo Wenger {Strenger} has come to in the last linked article; my head finds it increasingly difficult to.

    Caution … The Huffpost site tends to crash browsers as it is very script-heavy. Don’t visit if you don’t have a very recent browser and a fair bit of RAM on your machine.

    Subjectively, I’d much prefer the “one-state solution” if far better circumstances obtained, but I don’t see this as practicable as things stand. Accordingly, I see a two-state solution allowing contiguous territory for a Palestinian state on the lands seized by Israel (apart from the Golan Heights which ought to be returned to Syria as soon as that state’s internal conflict is resolved) with East Jerusalem granted as a capital, the evacuation of the illegal settlements and right-of-return as the best basis for normalising relations. If Israel wants a wall, let them build it entirely on their own territory.

    Given that the bloodshed has extended over more than two generations, it’s hard to see an early easing of tensions, but OTOH, everyone loses if no progress is made.

    Interestingly, there was, about a week ago on RN’s Big Ideas, a quite interesting piece by Dr Jeff Halper, Coordinator of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions on the drivers of international support for Israel. It stepped outside the usual rationales, and adopted a more Wallersteinian framework. I’m not sure I found it entirely persuasive but it did raise some interesting points about the role of Israel in supplying repression to large parts of the world outside of its borders.

    http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/israel-as-a-military-power/5201538

  17. JamesH
    March 19th, 2014 at 08:50 | #17

    Hopefully this won’t get sin-binned as an idee fixe, because it is a new development; the Bank of England has put out a couple of papers endorsing the post-Keynesian (and MMT) interpretation of money as endogenously created, and a number of explanatory videos as well (filmed in their gold vaults!), in the process (apparently) of trying to explain to the UK public what they are doing with Quantitative Easing.
    Since the incorrect standard story of money multiplier creation is about the only thing that Niall Fergusson and Paul Krugman have ever agreed on, I am hoping for some interesting reactions from various sides of the economics debate. Steve Keen has already got a (somewhat vindictive) shot in.

  18. Julie Thomas
    March 19th, 2014 at 09:00 | #18

    Terje Dorothy Parker at the Loonpond blog asks a great question.

    “What earthly use is the Bolter? How does his contribution to climate science advance the world or an understanding of climate science? How does his tedious, repetitive blather about “race” and “racial” matters and his bizarre and preposterous use of “” in talking of such matters advance the community?”

    And since everyone is talking about people taking responsibility for themselves how about this question,

    “The Bolter routinely acts like a loudmouth and a bully. That’s how he exercises his rights.

    Now how does News Corp exercise its responsibilities?

    Why by routinely finding large amounts of space for loudmouths and bullies who want to be outside and above a law which attempts to provide some modest disincentive to their loud-mouthed bullying.

    If News Corp wanted to exercise its responsibilities, it would simply cut the Bolter’s blog free from its masthead.

    Let it slip into the wide world of the full to overflowing intertubes where the Bolter could join hundreds of other ranters.”

  19. paul walter
    March 19th, 2014 at 09:29 | #19

    Yes , enough of Bolts nonsenses and shame on Terje for trying to whitewash the psychopath.

  20. rog
    March 19th, 2014 at 10:23 | #20

    Productivity Commission draft report Vol 1 on public infrastructure throws up some interesting points;

    *private financing is not a ‘magic pudding’, ultimately users and/or taxpayers must foot the bill

    *governments will have to at least partly fund some infrastructure projects and address equity issues

    *because government debt is fungible it is technically equivalent to the government using the privatisation proceeds to reduce government debt and financing the new infrastructure project through debt issuance.

    *A government wishing to borrow to raise finance for an infrastructure project can do so through general purpose government borrowing, or issuing specific purpose infrastructure bonds.

    *Many stakeholders have a perception that costs are high

    *The purchase costs of land have also been identified by others as a significant driver of infrastructure construction costs

    *For comparable countries, it is not evident that Australia is more costly

    *There is no conclusive evidence that Australian levels of productivity in construction are higher or lower than comparable countries

  21. Will
    March 19th, 2014 at 11:18 | #21

    Let’s get the Bolt case straight.

    - Bolt says something that could easily be construed as being racist

    - Langton calls him out

    - Bolt takes offence at being called out, demands apology

    - Langton and the ABC both concede that they might have been too hasty to pass judgement and retract their statements

    - Bolt still not happy after the retraction as things aren’t 100% to his semantic satisfaction

    The worst part is the usual nutbars who reflexively lash out in defence of their mouthpieces. Being that personal responsibility and insight is inimical to the right-wing they do the only thing they know and go on the offensive. “Now we see what the tolerance of the left is really like LOL!” “Let’s charge Langton with a racial abuse crime under s18C LOL!” Give it a freaking rest.

  22. Ivor
    March 19th, 2014 at 13:24 | #22

    The ABC should have stood firm. If we had the previous government maybe there would have been no cringeing apology.

    It was not Langton who introduced the issue of Bolts racism but a pre-organised audience member’s contribution.

    ANNA EGERTON: Senator Brandis, the Abbott Government has plans to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which they claim is a form of censorship of free speech. Do you really think that overtly racist remarks, such as those of Andrew Bolt regarding light-skinned Aborigines, are not only socially acceptable but necessary to political discourse in the 21st Century.

  23. TerjeP
    March 19th, 2014 at 13:28 | #23

    JQ,

    Thanks for the link to the Richard Ackland article. I have now read it. It repeats the assertion that Bolt is of a mind to sue or is using the law to suppress free expression of opinion. Specifically the article says:-

    It would not be surprising if the ABC applied for a judge-alone trial or a jury of 12 in the Kenny case.

    But back to fair-skinned Bolt. He is unhappy with Jones’ apology on behalf of the ABC. He wants it to extend to things for which Langton hadn’t apologised. It’s all too precious for words.
    For journalists to be demanding apologies and suing for defamation is undignified and embarrassing. The licence to dish it out has the associated responsibility of being able to take it.

    But this is completely contrary to Andrew Bolts on air words at 2GB. Prior to the Langton and then ABC apology he said he would not be taking legal action.

    After the ABC apology in a later show Bolt was asked by Steve Price what he thought of the apology. Bolt went through the ways in which he thought the apology was inadequate. He said that given it was the ABC (in a disparaging tone) the apology was about as much as he could probably expect and he wasn’t going to pursue it further. And he dismissed any suggestion that he was going to pursue the matter through law.

    However he did mention that post apology he had been invited on QandA to talk about his legal case and said he would do so if Mark Scott (ABC chairman) would indemnify him against any costs arising from legal action taken against him in association with discussing on the ABC his unlawful views. He also indicated he had invited Mark Scott to be interviewed on his own show.

    So it seems to me that any suggestion that Andrew Bolt is wielding the law to silence others is simply wrong. That laws such as defamation can by their very existence have a chilling effect on vigorous and open public debate is a separate matter. Perhaps it is the law and that effect you should take issue with. Does the existence of defamation law have more costs than benefits?

  24. TerjeP
    March 19th, 2014 at 13:36 | #24

    Ivor – Langton did not introduce the topic. But she was responsible for what she subsequently said. As was Tony Jones for what he said. Langton made several false claims and carried on like a pork chop. She has done this before. She wrote a few years ago that Andrew Bolt believes in a master race and NAZI style racial purification. A view she later revoked and apologised for privately to Andrew Bolt and then again publicly in the last week. Add this to her rant on QandA and a pattern arises of somebody who knows who they are against but really can’t coherently articulate the issues. If she wants to speak out against Andrew Bolts views and actions she ought to be a bit more logical in her attack and tone down the strawman stuff. To date she has sounded more like one of Jerry Springers emotionally charged guests than a professor.

  25. Tim Macknay
    March 19th, 2014 at 14:24 | #25

    If she wants to speak out against Andrew Bolts views and actions she ought to be a bit more logical in her attack and tone down the strawman stuff. To date she has sounded more like one of Jerry Springers emotionally charged guests than a professor.

    You seem to be applying a much more exacting standard to Langton than you do to Bolt, Terje. Why the double standard?

  26. Julie Thomas
    March 19th, 2014 at 14:54 | #26

    Tim I’m hypothesising that it is ‘motivated cognition’ that drives Terje to continue to argue that Bolt is a good bloke who is acting with decency and integrity and good character.

    Terje has backed Bolt and admired him for his ‘challenging’ ideas for a long time. I remember asking Terje why he admired Bolt a couple of years ago and he said it was because he found his ideas ‘challenging’. I’m still pretty sure that Terje was mistaking what he really felt which was ‘comforted’ and ‘confirmed’ as ‘challenging’.

    Or maybe what he meant was that he liked Bolt because people on the left find his ideas ‘challenging’.

    This bit is interesting as Terje is revealing the way he ‘sees’ the world when he describes Langton in this way;

    “Add this to her rant on QandA and a pattern arises of somebody who knows who they are against but really can’t coherently articulate the issues. If she wants to speak out against Andrew Bolts views and actions she ought to be a bit more logical in her attack and tone down the strawman stuff. To date she has sounded more like one of Jerry Springers emotionally charged guests than a professor.”

    This describes just what Bolt does.

    Terje is motivated by his ‘tribal’ identification to understand and identify with Bolt’s rants and therefore they are not rants but understandable responses to the problems that Bolt and Terje see in the world. Terje is willing to excuse Bolt for his incoherence and irrationality and emotionally charged behaviour but cannot see that Langton has even more reasons to be emotional and incoherent about the issue.

  27. paul walter
    March 19th, 2014 at 14:55 | #27

    What a pearler!@John Quiggin

  28. paul walter
    March 19th, 2014 at 14:57 | #28

    Thanks Julie. I must admit Ive been baffled by his weird comments for years.@Julie Thomas

  29. Fran Barlow
    March 19th, 2014 at 15:03 | #29

    @Tim Macknay

    You seem to be applying a much more exacting standard to Langton than you do to Bolt, Terje.

    That seems fair as Bolt has no intellectual standards of any substance, and doesn’t pretend that he has. He’s not a Professor but merely a clickbait opinionator.

    That said, I’m no fan of Langton, I’m not persuaded that what Langton said on QANDA merited an apology, and certainly the ABC didn’t need to offer Bolt one. They are not responsible for offences given by guests in live broadcasts and if they are going to be held to that standard, then everything is going to have to be vetted before going to air — which would be a standard notionally at odds with the bluster of Bolt on free speech.

  30. John Quiggin
    March 19th, 2014 at 15:10 | #30

    Certainly, Terje, you seem to have been much more favorable to Bolt on the numerous occasions when I’ve pointed out his lies about all manner of people, including me.

    More relevantly on this occasion, he was found in the famous racial vilification case to have lied about various activists whom he falsely claimed to be non-Aboriginal. Even if you think he should not have faced legal sanctions for these lies, that doesn’t exempt him from moral judgement. And, that applies to all those who continue to defend and justify him, as opposed to arguing that, however repellent his views, he should be allowed to publish them.

  31. JamesH
    March 19th, 2014 at 15:36 | #31

    @TerjeP
    The Blot’s obsession with skin colour, racial ancestry, often expressed beliefs that crime reports should highlight the race of suspects, largely fact free rants about crimes committed by Africans, etc would probably make him a liberal moderate in Nazi Germany, but certainly wouldn’t be out of place in Apartheid South Africa.

    I sometimes wonder if Bolt is a refugee from a parallel universe in which his ancestors migrated to SA with the rest of the Boers. If so, I’d advise him to go back where he came from.

  32. TerjeP
    March 19th, 2014 at 15:58 | #32

    JQ – I don’t think he lied in those articles. But he did make mistakes. And they were indicative of sloppy work. And he should have corrected the record and apologised for those mistakes. And as I understand things he did. Although I’m not entirely clear on the timing. Happy to be corrected is somebody has a clear picture of the timeline.

  33. TerjeP
    March 19th, 2014 at 16:06 | #33

    Julie – I’m not entirely sure what I said to you a few years ago. However it is true to say that part of what I like about Bolt is that he challenges the left on aspects of it’s false morality. He is clearly a partisan player and something of an activist but his arguments have a coherence and logic that I find insightful. Even though I disagree with him on conclusions when it comes to issues like drug prohibition, same sex marriage, immigration etc, I find his dissenting arguments well put. I like the questions he raises and the way he raises them.

    I don’t say this to persuade you all to like Bolt. But perhaps it is useful for those on the left to try and understand his popularity on the right. And I find it useful to try and articulate the logic behind my sympathies.

  34. Julie Thomas
    March 19th, 2014 at 16:29 | #34

    Terje, it is not dislike that I feel for Bolt. I think it is disgust. And I don’t think this disgust comes from my ‘leftie’ values. I think it is because Bolt behaves ‘badly’ by the rules of behaviour that I was raised to admire and aspire to.

    He is not a man of his word, he does not apologise or admit to faults, he is a ‘snob’ and a ‘social-climber’ and a ‘money-grubber’ and so many other things that once were evidence of bad character and are so old-fashioned or found only in the ‘working class’ and these attitudes are now stumbling blocks and reasons why some people fail to climb those ladders.

    I don’t think that you understand ‘what’ you like about him – but understanding people is perhaps a variety of intelligence that we don’t all have in equal amounts – and you never will understand yourself if you continue to think that you or any of us can be understand ourselves using logic alone; you need some understanding of how the brain works or an understanding of philosophy, the original psychology and probably someone to argue with you.

    Logic also won’t give you the insight that would allow you to understand why I don’t like him, but you have no interest in that?

  35. TerjeP
    March 19th, 2014 at 17:14 | #35

    Julie – you don’t have to like him. Although the reasons you give, whilst for the most part good reasons to dislike a person, don’t align with my view of him. For instance in private correspondence with him I recall an occasion where he passionately disagreed with a view that I put. Sometime later he wrote and said he was wrong. I’ve also seen him retreat publicly when he has been wrong. Likewise I’ve also seen him dig in when he is wrong but that is not the same as refusing to admit a mistake but a failure to see the mistake. Most people do that from time to time. And as per my comment about Langton above Bolt can sometimes be a pork cop and make strawman arguments. Just not as glaringly as Langton.

    In any case I’m not expecting to change your view. As you indicated human psychology can be complex. People don’t readily relinquish strongly held beliefs about others.

  36. Julie Thomas
    March 19th, 2014 at 18:01 | #36

    Well good for you and your loyalty to a team mate. He might need it soon as I do believe that he is losing a lot of the support from his typical listeners like the man up the road who gets his knickers in a knot every so often – when he reads Bolt – and writes incoherent angry letters to the editor furious because halal meat is being sold in the local Aldi or something like that.

    I had a chat to him the other day and he’s not that impressed any more with Mr Bolt’s attitude toward the Aborigines – still unfortunately happy that the boat people are being stopped. But now we have something in common, we both think Bolt is mean and unfair to Aborigines.

  37. Royce Arriso
    March 19th, 2014 at 18:08 | #37

    Thanks, Julie! That was perceptive, credible and neatly presented. Cheers, RA

  38. Ivor
    March 19th, 2014 at 19:02 | #38

    So is the Bolt+terje line is really against Marcia Langton?

    If Bolt was really concerned abt. defamatioin etc, why did it not scream in agony over Anna Egerton’s comments?

    So Bolt and terje are looking for another theatre for the Culture wars.

  39. Ron E Joggles
    March 19th, 2014 at 19:15 | #39

    Julie Thomas :
    ‘snob’ and a ‘social-climber’ and a ‘money-grubber’ and so many other things that once were evidence of bad character

    and still are… and one might add “toady”, “schmuck” and “organ-grinder’s monkey”.

  40. Collin Street
    March 19th, 2014 at 19:34 | #40

    JQ – I don’t think he lied in those articles

    The courts, of course, disagreed.

    Why do you think the judge — who has no dog in the fight — decided that your position was demonstrably incorrect?

  41. Megan
    March 19th, 2014 at 20:07 | #41

    @TerjeP

    Deja Vu:

    …inflammatory…selective misrepresentation…distorting the truth…cynical…intimidatory…not acting in objective good faith…being gratuitous…derisive…grossly careless…dishonest…factual errors…misleading…lacking care…

    All terms used by Courts to describe Bolt in various judgments (as usual, h/t Micallef – I linked to the youtube in the “Abbott Fact-Checked & FOI’d” comments thread from June last year).

    We’ve done this several times before, but I don’t mind doing it again. JQ says Bolt tells “lies”. You deny that and say Bolt “made mistakes”. It is quite true that the words “lie”, “lies”, “liar”, “lying” and “lied” do not feature in the above selection.

    But by any definition Bolt has been found by courts to have lied.

  42. Megan
    March 19th, 2014 at 21:20 | #42

    Only minutes ago, the ‘Hacking Trial’ in the UK heard evidence that Murdoch’s Andy Coulson told Murdoch’s hacker Clive Goodmane that if he stayed ‘silent’ and took the rap for his hacking he would have a job for life at Murdoch’s News of The World.

    Lying is institutionalised in the Murdoch empire.

    And lying about the lying is also institutionalised.

    It beggars belief that anyone who draws an income from Murdoch is not a habitual liar.

  43. alfred venison
    March 19th, 2014 at 21:26 | #43

    the problem with andrew bolt is australian defamation law which is used by the powerful to stifle robust candid discourse about power & influence in this country. they control the boundaries of “acceptable” knowledge for discourse & criticism in good part by threat of writ. who now from within australia will venture to essay the subject of andrew bolt’s “racism” fearlessly? -a.v.

  44. March 19th, 2014 at 21:59 | #44

    @alfred venison

    For the time being it is still a double-edged sword (doubtlessly soon to be rectified) because of Howard’s ‘News Ltd’ changes to defamation law.

    In most cases, in the olden days you could publish something defamatory of someone and only claim as a defence “truth AND public benefit”, but Howard changed that to simply “truth”.

    Therefore I can call Bolt a “Liar” and, thanks to Howard and Murdoch, have a pretty unassailable defence.

    I’m guessing that Murdoch’s LNP is going to fix this error while they’re ‘fixing’ the Racial Discrimination laws.

  45. TerjeP
    March 19th, 2014 at 22:00 | #45

    Alfred – as I said earlier defamation law like all laws that impinge on free speech have a chilling effect on robust public discourse. If people think Bolt is a racist I would much prefer that they can articulate their argument free from any concern that he might litigate. We should repeal the likes of 18C as well as defamation law. Let the people speak. Let public discourse be robust. Let social convention and personal credibility define the limits on what people have to say about each other.

  46. Nathan
    March 19th, 2014 at 22:18 | #46

    @TerjeP
    Your opinion on Bolt is baffling. It’s as if there is a whole series of Andrew Bolt articles that no-one except you gets to read. “Logical” and “coherent” arguments?

    Let me put it this way: Can you name a single other Australian journalist or commentator who has been caught out in illogical arguments or bare faced lies with the same frequency as Andrew Bolt?

  47. March 19th, 2014 at 22:18 | #47

    @TerjeP

    You really advocate the freedom of powerful, well-resourced people with a big podium and megaphone to lie about other people with impunity?

  48. paul walter
    March 19th, 2014 at 22:22 | #48

    Of course he does..

  49. March 19th, 2014 at 22:26 | #49

    I thought that one of the fundamental beliefs of libertarians was “freedom” to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm or damage others.

    I would think advocating freedom to defame runs up against that belief.

    I want redress if someone lies about me and thereby destroys my ‘good fame’ and trashes my character. And I especially want them to personally suffer to make good my economic damages from that defamation.

  50. TerjeP
    March 20th, 2014 at 03:45 | #50

    It’s as if there is a whole series of Andrew Bolt articles that no-one except you gets to read.

    I suspect most people here read very few of his articles. So in a sense you’re probably right.

  51. Fran Barlow
    March 20th, 2014 at 05:12 | #51

    I’m actually sympathetic to the idea of greatly narrowing the scope for resort to defamation law. There probably are some cases in which someone has defamed another out of malice and really done them some serious harm. But unless someone can show that the defamation was reckless and caused serious measurable harm to the legitimate interests of the person or persons in question I don’t believe that monetary damages should be awarded.

    The persons defaming might have to undertake extensive personal efforts to purge the lies they told amongst the cohort they published them and bear the legal costs but that would be it, except in exceptional circumstances.

    Defamation is a tort against property that most people don’t have, and which most of those who do have it got at best, by doubtful means.

  52. Fran Barlow
    March 20th, 2014 at 05:14 | #52

    I’m actually sympathetic to the idea of greatly narrowing the scope for resort to defamation law. There probably are some cases in which someone has defamed another out of m$lice and really done them some serious harm. But unless someone can show that the defamation was reckless and caused serious measurable harm to the legitimate interests of the person or persons in question I don’t believe that monetary damages should be awarded.

    The persons defaming might have to undertake extensive personal efforts to purge the lies they told amongst the cohort they published them and bear the legal costs but that would be it, except in exceptional circumstances.

    Defamation is a tort against property that most people don’t have, and which most of those who do have it got at best, by doubtful means.

  53. rog
    March 20th, 2014 at 05:49 | #53

    @TerjeP Your personal experience with Bolt seems to be at odds with the public’s experience of Bolt, the one who is a convicted liar.

    The facts in question have not been proven to be true. To the contrary, in relation to most of the individuals concerned, the facts asserted in the Newspaper Articles that the people dealt with chose to identify as Aboriginal have been substantially proven to be untrue.

    What gets me about Bolt is that even after being found to be liar he has not apoligised to those that he misrepresented and to those that he hurt. By offering their apologies Langton and the ABC show Bolt up for his denial and lack of remorse.

  54. John Quiggin
    March 20th, 2014 at 07:28 | #54

    Terje, a little while ago, I pointed out a string of lies and reckless falsehoods from Bolt. I got those just by looking through my own posts, which were mainly about climate change. He’s also been found guilty of defamation (to which truth is an absolute defence in relation to political comment) on multiple occasions, particularly in relation to race issues. And he lied continuously about the Iraq war over a period of years. To my knowledge, he has never made a public apology for any of this. Don’t you think you’re in the wrong tribe?

  55. Paul Norton
    March 20th, 2014 at 08:10 | #55

    I’ve just realised that by linking to an Israeli academic (Carlo Strenger) I have breached the academic boycott of Israel. For that matter, anyone who subscribes to the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz as a research resource (as the Free Palestine newspaper, which I wrote for and helped distribute in 1979-83 did) is in breach of the BDS. Something to think about.

  56. Collin Street
    March 20th, 2014 at 08:11 | #56

    Don’t you think you’re in the wrong tribe?

    No, look. “I enjoy bolt because what he says makes left-wingers uncomfortable” is, essentially, low-grade sadism. I think Terje’s sorted himself pretty correctly: ultimately your political choices derive from your personality and thus reflect your nature. Sophie Mirabella would never have signed up to the Greens because the platform the Greens articulate isn’t attractive to the sort of person whose response to having a person collapse unconscious next to them is to recoil in horror and push him away: she signed up to the liberal party because she felt comfortable there.

  57. Fran Barlow
    March 20th, 2014 at 09:32 | #57

    @Paul Norton

    I’ve just realised that by linking to an Israeli academic (Carlo Strenger) I have breached the academic boycott of Israel. For that matter, anyone who subscribes to the liberal Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz as a research resource (as the Free Palestine newspaper, which I wrote for and helped distribute in 1979-83 did) is in breach of the BDS. Something to think about.

    I’m not sure that is so. Most proponents of the boycott focus on Academic Institutions and their representatives that are rendering support to the IDF in the Occupied Territories or are otherwise supportive of the measures taken to harrass the Palestinian population. It’s worth noting that the boycott arose out of a desire to prevent EU funding of the occupation.

    I’m not sure where Strenger fits in that. As for Ha’aretz, again, I’m not aware of its role (if any) in supporting the occupation or attempting to prevent reconciliation.

  58. TerjeP
    March 20th, 2014 at 10:06 | #58

    Don’t you think you’re in the wrong tribe?

    I don’t typically think of myself as in a tribe. Although I do subscribe to the label “libertarian” and would not go out of my way to reject the label of “right wing” even though I’m not terrible enthusiastic about it. Bolt calls himself a “conservative” and that certainly isn’t me. Rather than think of tribes I prefer to think in terms of shared ideological interests. I have shared ground with people here on issues like same sex marriage and the Iraq war. I have shared interests with the authors at Catallaxy on smaller government. I have a shared interest with the Australian tea party crowd on low taxes. I have a shared interest with the HEMP party guys in ending cannabis prohibition. But in each of those groupings I also have major areas of disagreement. With you it is on the size and role of government. With Steve Kate’s at Catallaxy it is on drug prohibition. With some of the HEMP guys it would be an array of other things. The Australian tea party is for the most part anti abortion and anti Muslim which is an outlook I simply don’t share and often find obnoxious. But I still talk to them. The idea that we should break off into tribes and that if you’re not with us you’re against us is not one I generally subscribe to. Although there is merit in making pacts within certain groups for certain causes.

    In terms of suggestions that Bolt has lied I can’t claim to have reviewed all your evidence in detail. And he certainly isn’t some perfect human being. But the bits of your suggestions that he has lied that I have looked at don’t strike me as much better than the bits of Bolts suggestions that you have lied. Mostly I think the two of you just talk past each other and see the world very differently. I think much of your whole outlook about the efficacy of the state could be characterised as a lie but if you think it’s true I wouldn’t actually call it a lie. Likewise I think Bolt believes the things that you would call lies.

    Anyway I didn’t initiate this Bolt discussion to resolve these differences of opinion. My point was simply to say you were wrong to claim Bolt was using defamation law to silence others. I don’t think you were telling lies but a less generous person might say otherwise.

  59. paul walter
    March 20th, 2014 at 11:28 | #59

    Wouldn’t a little discretionary intelligence be expected of someone at your level? To abide by the spirit, if involving technical infraction of the mere letter…?@Collin Street

  60. paul walter
    March 20th, 2014 at 11:30 | #60

    Sorry.. Above a query involving #Dr. Paul Norton#.

  61. March 20th, 2014 at 15:40 | #61

    JQ,

    Economics is not my strong suit (at all), but there is a report from the Bank of England:

    Monetary Analysis Directorate published in the Quarterly Bulletin 2014 Q1 a document entitled Money Creation in the Modern Economy, and introductory document, Money in the Modern Economy: An Introduction.

    Which seems to have people like Steve Keen quite excited.

    Any broad comment about it?

  62. John Quiggin
    March 20th, 2014 at 16:32 | #62

    @Megan

    I’m not really that interested in monetary issues, so my take may well be just as unreliable as yours. That said, I read the BoE piece, and I couldn’t really see what the excitement was about. On my interpretation, BoE was saying that rather than controlling base money (as was attempted under monetarism in the late 1970s) and thereby broader measures of money supply, central banks these days mostly set short-term interest rates, so that the equilibrium money stock is determined by the demand for money (which is a function of interest rates). In the first case, the notion of a “money multiplier” is often used to describe what is going on.

    Keen and MMT fans don’t like money multipliers so they are reading this piece as a big concession from BoE. I don’t see that, but I haven’t followed the debate at all closely.

  63. John Quiggin
    March 20th, 2014 at 16:37 | #63

    Terje, for the record, I accept that Bolt said on radio that he did not intend to sue the ABC.

    But, given his past track record (including personal interactions), I don’t take that as convincing evidence that he hasn’t threatened the ABC either with litigation or with more direct retribution from the government. He has in the past made threats which have been interpreted by the recipeints as including legal action, only to say afterwards that he never threatened defamation

  64. TerjeP
    March 20th, 2014 at 17:26 | #64

    which have been interpreted by the recipeints as including legal action

    I suppose that if you really don’t like somebody any robust criticism you receive from them can seem to be a veiled threat. This is part of why I don’t like defamation law or 18C. It can intimidate people even when the other party has no intention of resorting to legal remedies. If you made a remark about me that I didn’t like and I referred to it as defamatory then you might think I was threatening legal action. But I could just as easily mean that the remark is untrue and damaging. Even if I used some word other than “defamatory” you could still claim there was a veiled threat. The law is the problem. IMHO.

  65. rog
    March 20th, 2014 at 18:10 | #65

    @TerjeP You seem to be unable to accept the fact that Bolt is a convicted liar and while he had the opportunity and resources to challenge that judgement he has not formally disputed that judgement.

    Chat about 18C, the law etc is just that, chat.

  66. alfred venison
    March 20th, 2014 at 18:47 | #66

    i’m not sure that TerjeP & i are outraged at the same thing. to be clear, i am not outraged that because of the law you can’t say anything you want, i am outraged that because of the law public interest is not a defence. -a.v.

  67. March 20th, 2014 at 19:05 | #67

    @alfred venison

    But in defamation “truth” is a defence. I’m not sure that I would agree generally that something untrue said about someone could also be in the public interest.

    Bolt’s problem under 18c was not the things he wrote but that he went outside the protections contained in 18d:

    RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 – SECT 18D
    Exemptions
    Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:
    (a) in the performance, exhibition or distribution of an artistic work; or

    (b) in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or

    (c) in making or publishing:

    (i) a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or

    (ii) a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.

    The judgment was quite clear that if what he had written was done in ‘good faith’ (among other requirements) he would have been OK.

    The “Bolt Amendments” are actually the “I can act in Bad Faith Amendments”.

  68. Megan
    March 20th, 2014 at 20:28 | #68

    @John Quiggin

    Thanks. I don’t have a view one way or the other on the technicalities (eg: MMT), it’s all gibberish to me.

    It seemed as though the idea was “Aha! When the people find out the whole system is bogus there will be a revolution!”, but if there hasn’t been a revolution yet over far more obvious problems I can’t see it happening over a technical point about “money”.

  69. Paul Norton
    March 21st, 2014 at 07:59 | #69

    Farn @57 and Paul W @59/60, here’s Carlo Strenger on the issue:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carlo-strenger/boycotting-israels-universities_b_4954323.html

  70. sunshine
    March 21st, 2014 at 08:18 | #70

    David Marr s Quarterly Essay(Ithink thats where it was) on Bolt said that after he lost the court case he wanted to retire from public life but Tony Abbott had dinner with him and convinced him not to .Given the governments determination to change the law in question ,even in the face of opposition from bodies they would normally listen to , I suspect a deal was done on this between Bolt and Abbott.

  71. Fran Barlow
    March 21st, 2014 at 08:21 | #71

    @Paul Norton

    Thanks for the link Paul

    Like Strenger, I too have a lot of respect for Butler’s work and advocacy (as opaque as it sometimes is). I don’t agree with Butler’s reasoning however, for much the same reason I don’t accept the claims on the right here that artists wanting to boycott the Biennale here while Transfield was sponsoring it ought also to reject Australia Council grants or cease being public servants or claiming social security or health benefits.

    That Israeli academics received emoluments from the Israeli state is inevitable. This is not to my mind, a matter of discretion and they are not bound in my view, to advocate on its behalf. Providing they do disclosure, and when asked, declare unambiguously that they are not in support of the Israeli state’s policies in supporting the occupation, or rendering aid and comfort to the IDF, then I see no reason to boycott them.

    This action is about symbolism. It’s a way of saying clearly what is socially and politically acceptable to people who take ethics and intellectual discourse seriously. The problematisation of Israel is something important in pressing for a just resolution. Israeli academics who declare for the right of Palestinians to form a state on the territory taken from them in 1967, and for the right of return, and for the removal of illegal settlements ought to be welcomed by others, IMO.

    I accept that there is some dispute on the purview of the boycott. Academics, almost by definition, will have a range of opinions on this and I see nothing wrong with this itself being a matter of debate, because, after all, the more the issue of scope is debated, the more people’s minds are focused on the substantive question of the occupation and how to resolve it.

  72. patrickb
    March 21st, 2014 at 10:40 | #72

    @TerjeP
    This self-identification as this or that is all very well however a reasonable person would say, based on your posts that you are a fan of Bolt, that your enjoy the way he intimidates people not of your tribe and that you agree with his views on a wide range of topics. Like most right-wingers you expend a lot of words attempting to filter yourself out of the political spectrum whilst labeling the rest of us as ‘left’ or … well that’s it really, there’s Terje and everything is the ‘left’ which he dislikes. I mean ‘libertarian’ can mean just about anything, it’s fairly obvious that your views are hard line conservative.

  73. rog
    March 21st, 2014 at 13:53 | #73

    The financial dealings of Arthur Sinodinos seems to indicate a total lack of business acumen – is this indicative of the rest of the Libs?

    I know Hockey is quietly paying back money to AWH. Hartcher and 2 others are trying to be invisible.

    This ICAC enquiry has all the potential to be as bad for the Libs as it has been for the ALP

  74. zoot
    March 21st, 2014 at 15:20 | #74
  75. Ron E Joggles
    March 21st, 2014 at 19:40 | #75

    rog :
    a total lack of business acumen

    I think he did quite nicely out of it! A total lack of ethical acumen, perhaps?

    The vast majority of Abbott voters won’t even know about the ICAC inquiry if it isn’t run in the Murdoch press and on commercial TV.

  76. TerjeP
    March 22nd, 2014 at 18:23 | #76

    PatrickB,

    Yes I’m a fan of Bolt.
    Yes I like the way he skewers certain members of the left for false morality and hypocrisy.
    I agree with Bolt on lots of things.
    I would not go out of my way to reject the label of “right wing” even though I’m not terrible enthusiastic about it.

    But I would not describe myself as a conservative because:-

    I opposed the war in Iraq.
    I support same sex marriage.
    I think euthanasia should be legal.
    I think abortion should be also (with minor caveats).
    I think cannabis should be less regulated than tobacco currently is.
    I’m an atheist who thinks Christianity was one of the downfalls of western civilisation.

  77. TerjeP
    March 22nd, 2014 at 18:27 | #77

    You seem to be unable to accept the fact that Bolt is a convicted liar

    “convicted” implies he committed a criminal offence. It was a civil matter.

  78. rog
    March 22nd, 2014 at 23:05 | #78

    @TerjeP Fair enough, the court found Bolt’s statements to be unlawful. And untrue.

  79. March 23rd, 2014 at 00:46 | #79

    Is that really all that matters? Whether he was technically “convicted” (which he wasn’t) as opposed to just being found to have breached the law?

    That distinction defines one as “tribal”.

  80. Fran Barlow
    March 23rd, 2014 at 09:24 | #80

    This is interesting on Bolt’s high dudgeon over QANDA:

    https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/56104

    Speaking of the Langton comments and the objective rationale for calling Bolt a racist, Carlo Sands notes:

    Or possibly she just clicked on a random Bolt blog post — such as the one filled with such violent hatred of asylum seekers it celebrates the savage attacks on detainees on Manus Island in February that left 23-year-old Reza Berati dead.

    Headlined “Detainees met a PNG police force that hits back”, the February 21 post featured a letter from “Reader Herb”, a “PNG resident of some time”, who gleefully told a story of witnessing PNG’s Police Boi Riot Squad carry out brutal assaults, before concluding: “If the refugees fronted a Poice [sic] Boi riot squad anywhere near as disciplined … they would for sure clobber those thin middle eastern skulls.”

    The comments published underneath the post ranged all the way from “couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch” to “can they come and train our coppers please”.

    Bolt censors stuff he doesn’t like, unlike QANDA, but some things require neither censorship nor apology, apparently.

  81. Ivor
    March 23rd, 2014 at 11:54 | #81

    @Megan

    V. Good reference here.

    It’s a pity Keynesians take the line:

    I’m not really that interested in monetary issues,

    This is just zombie economics.

    The amount of money you have determines your share of all the goods and services we have in an economy.

    Finance is a bigger problem than money.

  82. Sancho
    March 24th, 2014 at 09:30 | #82

    Give Terje some credit for duking it out at a left-leaning blog. He could just as easily lurk around the conservative parts of the internet and wallow in atavism and epistemic closure. He does a good job of responding to critics without rancour or histrionics, despite being frequently mobbed by the locals.

    Terje’s arguments are often riddled with inconsistencies and ideological tics that, like most conservatives, he’s internalised to the point that they’re expressed as simple axioms, but god knows the internet could do with more contributors that don’t dial the outrage up to eleven in every post.

  83. TerjeP
    March 24th, 2014 at 10:29 | #83

    Sancho – you manage to compliment and insult me in the same breath. That must be what they call “balance”.

    To repeat what I said above I would not describe myself as a conservative because:-

    I opposed the war in Iraq.
    I support same sex marriage.
    I think euthanasia should be legal.
    I think abortion should be also (with minor caveats).
    I think cannabis should be less regulated than tobacco currently is.
    I’m an atheist who thinks Christianity was one of the downfalls of western civilisation.

    If you want to give me a label then please call me libertarian.

  84. Paul Norton
    March 24th, 2014 at 11:03 | #84

    I would not describe myself as a conservative because:-
    I opposed the war in Iraq.

    Well, that reminds us that quite a few conservatives did oppose the war in Iraq, for sound conservative reasons, while quite a few leftists supported if for what seemed to them at the time like sound left-wing reasons.

  85. Fran Barlow
    March 24th, 2014 at 11:57 | #85

    @TerjeP

    I support same sex marriage.

    Like David Cameron who says he favours gay marriage because he’s a conservative. New Zealand’s conservative government supported it too.

    FWIW, I agree you’re not a conservative, but they are your bloc partners and your party managed a whole bunch of conservative votes by confusing yourselves with the Liberals, who are conservative.

    The shenanigans with the Outdoor Recreation Party guggest a level of duplicity that calls into question your party’s integrity.

    http://t.co/d82KcdHAXB

  86. Fran Barlow
    March 24th, 2014 at 11:58 | #86

    oops … “suggest”

  87. TerjeP
    March 24th, 2014 at 20:54 | #87

    The shenanigans with the Outdoor Recreation Party guggest a level of duplicity that calls into question your party’s integrity.

    What shenanigans?

Comments are closed.