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Of Soda and Pretzels and Beer..
I'm writing this as a corollary to my thread starter of last week, lamenting an already hedonistic turning to lazy, Australian public's capacity to further engage meaningfully with reality after the Christmas excesses and now the the signal triumph of the AustralianTest Cricket team, against the now ubiquitous information and democracy deficit, previously highlighted in posts from Fiona Reynolds and Richard Tonkin,amongst others.
This appendix is provoked by the first skirmish in this year's Culture Wars, relating to Morals campaigner (and bully?) Meryl Tankard Reist's legal attempt to stifle the small, eclectic and amiable blogsite, No Place For Sheep, a newish site operated by psychologist Dr Jennifer Wilson.
Wilson is nonplussed at the moral majority /SMH types "War against P*rn" and has sort to engage- unsuccessfully- Tanky in some sort of meaningful conversation concerning the thinking behind all this Miranda Devine type paranoia that seems to emanate from the priggist, authoritarian corner of politics.
Not surprisingly in view of her recent mauling by Jane Hutcheon on the ABC on these issues, the Tank has avoided further engagement unless on strictly on her terms.
Furthermore, she has had her Wiki entry reference to her Baptist Christian fundamentalism expunged.
This has caused Wilson and and others to question why important background information that indicates the origins of the ( largely emotive )stuff from the Opus Dei-ish types, is witheld. Also, recent press releases that could be interpreted as puffing her up for a crack at parliament, perhaps as a replacement for the beaten-up Sophie Panopolis.
The result legal action instigated by rightist lawyers acting for Tanky, who prefers others to do her dirty work for her, briefly unsettled No Place for Sheep, but am impressed with Wilson's durability and think this sort of imtimidatory action will probably spur her to antagonised resistance,exactly has occured here over the years.
Apart from commenting on the unpleasant nature of this incident, I'd like to propose that it follows a now well-beaten track in this century, relating from formulaic dumbing down of media and discourse, to outright suppression.
WD contributor Marilyn Shepherd of course has often noted the wholesale suppression of relevant information re asylum seeker detention, particularly since this harsh process became overtised and brutal under Howard.
Fiona Reynolds has produced several quite detailed thread starters on the wilful information and democracy deficit in this corner of western civilisation; John Pratt and Jay Somasundaram on the skewing of ecology and poleconomic discussion by denialists.
Richard Tonkin, has identified patterns also, both concerning civil liberties issues such as the arbitrary detention and deportation of US environmentalist Scott Parkin, and quite detailed threads involving the transgressions of TNC's likeHalliburton in "capturing" shop-front entities like the SA state government, which has also learned to, "litigate or perish" as well as impose all the other apparatus of FOI and commercial-in-confidence, that the public be denied understanding of the directions in which public monies are diverted for projects likely to be of little value to the community paying for it, although useful to corporate interests.
Richard and I have had further experience of how this system operates through our membership of "Save St Clair Park", an attempt to challenge "developer rules" on just one of a number of disastrous "development" projects instigated by the corporatists. A local MP and former minister from the Right faction has embarked on a campaign of trolling, refusal of conversation in good faith, to probable disinformation, involving threats of legal harrassment to endeavour to impose silence on us.
We see the process in macro with the horrible Dr Haneef laws and Obama's recent refusal of veto to disallow outlaw arbititrary detention laws passed by the Tparty congress in the 'States; also in Britain under Blair and Cameron, as with theMurdoch disinformation campaigns also involving legal threats, against those who oppose climate denialism and the Great Heist that was the GFM of 2007.
We've seen Pilger ostracised, Bob Brown and the environmentalists suppressed in court by Gunns and Lennon and am sure others could also recall instances, such as the Henson Affair.
There seems a pattern, likely devised in rightist think tanks by mercenary ambulance chasers, applied in general, as if from a handbook.
What do other WD er's think?