Sport vs academia

What’s with the anti-sports
obsession, the sanctimonious moaning of the sports challenged are just
a little boring and really does anyone believe that excess government
sports funding would be diverted to hospitals or welfare.  Only
those nitwits still waiting for the fuel excise to provide the best
roads in the world would believe that.

A story on David Hookes
or the Australian Open provides far better copy than a story on
Alexandra Smith’s Walkley award (like who cares besides other
journalists) this year for her stories about the Newcastle Uni
plagiarism allegations. I mean everyone already knows that Australian
Academia is a government funded tax gravy train of rorts and
revisionist history.  The difference is sport actually provides
some entertainment along the way.

So for all those who were picked last for sports at school, get over it!

Buddhism and trading
 
“The
comments by renegade NAB trader David Bullen do raise some
interesting questions. If he has been dedicated to Buddhism for the
last two years, to the point where he became estranged from his family,
why did he continue to work for the bank? The mantra of a ruthless
options dealer is about as far away from the non-materialistic ideals
of Buddhism as you can get.”

I worked at a futures trader, a
firm of ‘locals’ for some years and let me tell you there were plenty
of Buddhists around there — one of the directors was one. Buddhism
preaches (as I understand it) detachment from worldly goods and the
maxim of trading is, the more you want to make money the less you will,
it of course being all psychology. So perhaps there is a good fit there
somewhere!

Anyway the futures business didn’t seem to effect anyone on the SFE floor or elsewhere in the futures industry.

The Hindu

Another veteran hack on Danish Royalty

A couple of points in relation to Greg Barns’ last spray and the “veteran hack” on Danish royalty.
Firstly,
Greg Barns is quite wrong when he says that the media aren’t interested
in westerners who marry into third world monarchies.  In fact
Queen Noor is an American who married into the Jordanian Royal Family
and is often portrayed in the media particularly women magazines. 
There are countless other examples including some of India’s unofficial
royalty.

Secondly, the veteran hack has now extrapolated Greg
Barn’s comments and says we should now be interested in Westerners who
marry third world Presidents.  These Republicans just don’t get
it.  The public is mildly impressed by people such as Kirsty Sword
consummate with the media’s profiles as outlined by the correspondent
(Australian Story etc.) but at the end of the day it’s a Republic and a
President.  It’s just not the same and knowing most Republics
there is usually a new President every week
anyway.    

Matthew

Are the media lost in Space?

I’ve
always been perplexed by the media’s predilection for turning simple
matters into faux discussions that seem to carry on interminably.

Take
George Bush the Lesser’s grand plan for conquering space as an example,
for example. This seemed pretty straight-forward to me, barely causing
a minor brain spasm. The man is desperate for re-election, as any
megalomaniac should be. Far be it from me to criticise a man for his
religious beliefs. His strategy team has a duty of care to search for a
popular theme that will bedazzle the constituency – and SPACE is a
bobby-dazzler, by George!

But the media don’t appear to see it
in my feeble-minded way.  In the past week, column-meters of space
have been devoted to a worthy analysis of this glorious goal. Then, I
suddenly realised something that even a simpleton – such as I – can
contend with. The media has no choice. It’s their job to make the
mundane, exciting; the transparent, inaccessible; and the simple,
complex.  How would it be if they all turned out an edition that
ran the simple line: “George, you’ve got your hand on it again!”

It
just wouldn’t do … stifles debate … leaves nothing for idle
chit-chat around the coffee machine … ruins moronic discussion in
thousands of internet forums.

So, now that I have it ‘sussed,
there’s only one thing I can say for sure:  “George, you may look
like a chimpanzee with a gland problem, but you’re a dead-set goose
with ears!”

The Contrary Professor

Where the hell is the MEAA?

In response to your item about Fairfax hiring experienced
journalists as trainees, what are the in-house Bolsheviks doing about
it? And this from FAIRFAX. One can only imagine what’s going on at the
Murdoch Gulag.  Part of the problem is that the universities are
churning out media graduates at a tremendous rate and few of them have
any hope of getting full time work. That’s a massive oversupply of
labour for little demand.

Maybe we should take a leaf out of the
doctors’ book and limit the number of journalism students per
year.  The weekly suburban that I work at takes students and
graduates for up to 2 weeks unpaid for work experience. Some of them
have offered to stay as long as we want them, but we’ve said no
(despite grumbles from the bean counters), as it clearly becomes
exploitation rather than experience.

As it is, we’ve got
students 40 to 44 weeks of the year, sometimes 2 to 3 a week. That’s a
lot of unpaid hours and if it’s being replicated across the industry
that’s a lot of entry-level jobs not being filled because the free
labour’s there to do it. I know that even the West Australian is taking
students in for extended periods unpaid.

I can’t believe the
MEAA has been so weak on this issue. I despair at the poor level of
advocacy meted out to the troops, especially the suburban and regional
hacks. The upper level metros and subs seem to be doing very nicely
with ridiculously high pay and not much hard work to show for it, but
the suburban and regional hacks are worked to the bone for peanuts.

Meanwhile,
the universities are doing the profession a disservice not only with
the number of kids they’re shoving through, but the quality of the
coursework. We’ve had some very ordinary graduates who wouldn’t know
three out of six premiers, or be able to name the federal treasurer
(though we’ve had a few gems too, which offers hope).

Robbie Ranter
WA
 
 
The Oz: a unique view of the world

Just
can’t help but agree with the sentiments expressed by Anon about the
Oz.  In the last few years it has become a propagandising rag for
the far right.  Just look at the crap it espoused about Iraq, the
danger that Saddam was to the species with his myriad weapons of mass
destruction.  We still can read from the Oz statements regarding
the ‘success’ of that bunch of bible bashing cowboys in ‘pacifying’
Iraq. 

Just go to any other web site to read about that
country and you get a completely different picture.  Makes me
wonder if the AJA shouldn’t rescind their membership as these people
are certainly not journalists but are instead propagandists of the
first order.

We are being diminished by this crap from Murdoch
and the morally diminished one (aka Rodent) and his merry bunch of
fools will not do a thing about this as they are the main beneficiaries.

A Really Pissed Off ex reader.

 
Cricket and Dan McNutt

I
am sure Steve Waugh is a good bloke, and we know he is a fine
cricketer, but Dan McNutt surely speaks for many in his criticism of
the media’s ridiculous reporting of Waugh’s retirement. The constant
use of the term hero to describe sportspeople devalues the word and its
real meaning. A nomination for his suggested The Stevie award for the
most grovelling piece about a sporting “hero”, must be sports
scribbler, Bronwyn Hurrell, writing in The Advertiser.

Bronwyn
thought Steve Waugh was the “sort of man you would want next to you in
the trenches – whistling Waltzing Matilda”. Such fatuous fawning is
presumptuous and insults those who have been in the trenches. Anyway,
wasn’t Captain Waugh the chap who threatened to lead his men from an
English battlefield a couple of years ago, because he feared life and
limb from wayward beer cans thrown by a few Pommy spectators? Shouldn’t
he have held his ground and whistled something?

Ironically,
those heroes stopped en route to England on that tour, to cavort on
Galipolli, donning un-earned slouch hats for a photo opportunity.

Paul Clancy

CRIKEY: Dan McNutt here Sin City – is it safe to come out yet?


Haliburton in Australia 

While
the dignitaries sent the first goods train to Darwin, a penny
dropped.  Haliburton?  That’s Dick Cheney’s company, isn’t
it?  These are the blokes who are going to rebuild Iraq, aren’t
they? Why are they building railroads across Australia?  What’s in
it for them? Does it have anything to do with the rising dollar? Or the
Free Trade agreement? Will cheap products made by cheap labour and
railroaded into Adelaide improve our economy? I hope your head hurts as
much as mine.

Richard Tonkin
Brompton SA

 

Halliburton explained 

I just read the latest Your Say update and I can provide some answers to
Richard Tonkin’s questions about Halliburton. I used to work for them in
the ’90s. That was when they were just a humble Australian firm called
Kinhill. The firm was working on the Adelaide-Darwin rail in the early
’90s (well before they sold out to Halliburton).

Why did they sell out? Remember the recession we had to have. They sold
the firm simply to access the deeper pockets needed to win big projects and
keep the team in jobs. No ulterior motives. Nothing to do with the Aussie
or the FTA.

Richard, rest your conspiracy confused mind.

Craig

Tas forestry response

I think the perennial fence sitter, Greg Barns has missed the point.
There are many shades of green, but unfortunately, anyone who expresses
dismay at Tasmania’s current forestry practices seem to be bundled into
the “dark” green category. I think you will find that most fair minded
“green” thinking persons are only “mid to light” green, and are only
asking for an end to CLEARFELLING only our OLD-GROWTH forests.

This always seems to be twisted around by Kate Carnell and her mob to
mean you’re totally anti-forestry, and won’t tolerate having a single
tree limb being sacrificed. Fact: we all use toilet paper, most read
newspapers, yes, we do need woodpulp. But surely there are enough areas
already logged and regenerated in both pine and eucalypt for our needs
– why be so greedy? Kate says “40% of the total Tasmanian land mass is
in reserves and National Parks”. Looking at a map of Tasmania, it
appears that 50% of this are actually “reserves” for the forest
industry’s clearfell rotations (NE, NW, Southern and Wielangta State
Forests.

Some folks are up in arms about farmland being given over to tree
farming, but there is a simple solution to that too, if we can overcome
the paranoia about hemp farming. No THC (non-drug) varieties which are
fast growing, good for the soil and have long fibres perfect for paper
making. We could have been a world leader in this field thanks to Patsy
Harmsen, but once again, we’ve missed the boat because of outdated
paradigms. How is clearfelling old-growth forests sustainable? Once the
old-growth is gone, it’s diversity is gone forever, even if it’s
replaced my monoculture tree farms. T. Bacon (no relation to Jim)
Hobart. A Bacon – Graphic Services Associated Publications – Treasure
Island – Tasmanian Country – – Gazette – Business Reporter Mercury
Newspaper – Hobart Tasmania Australia

CRIKEY: Read more on Barns and the Tassie forests here.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW