RatS 22: Taibbi – PayPal’s IndyMedia Wipeout

Matt Taibbi has another in his infinite series of posts on powerful and sanctimonious thugs, this one free to the public. This time it’s PayPal doing the thugging, and thieving, and not for the first time, or second time, all the while preening as the defender of Truth, Justice and the American Way. A nice touch is that this time the thugging seems to be in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League. Proving, as if it were needed, that the Old Jews can be just as much assholes as the New Jews.

Read Taibbi’s post, and then scream.

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RatS 21: Taibbi – Twitter’s Chickens Come Home to Roost

(29/04/22 Update below) We had thought about posting on this one but, given the paywall, we had decided against. Now we’ve decided for it. With Elon Musk having arranged to buy Twitter, and given our post yesterday on Twitter Fun, it seems worthwhile.

People are going nuts at the prospect of Musk controlling Twitter. They’ve been going nuts since it became clear a couple weeks ago that Musk was eyeing the company. It is appalling. One doesn’t have be a fan of Musk to be disgusted by the manipulative, hypocritical and, most importantly and nauseatingly, censorious twaddle that would-be-respectable journalists are currently spewing.

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RatS 20: Michael Lind – The End of Progressive Intellectual Life

Following on from Laura Kipnis, we had also never previously heard of Michael Lind. Unlike Kipnis, who seems consistently great, Lind is a mixed bag. He has a superior tone, which doesn’t sit well with some of his less-than-superior judgments; anybody who writes a book titled Vietnam: The Necessary War is on the thinnest of ice. Nonetheless, Lind is smart and thoughtful and, critically, he is willing to write what he thinks, is willing to annoy anybody.

Last week, Lind had an excellent essay published in Tablet. Titled The End of Progressive Intellectual Life, it begins,

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RatS 19: Laura Kipnis – Why Are Scholars Such Snitches?

Last week, Matt Taibbi published a book review/interview with Laura Kipnis (paywalled, but a decent chunk is freely available). We hadn’t previously heard of Kipnis, but she seems great: smart and literate and brave and funny. Taibbi’s piece was prompted by a great essay Kipnis had published last month in The Chronicle of Higher Education, titled Academe is a Hotbed of Craven Snitches. It can naturally be read together with two of Kipnis’s earlier essays, Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe and My Title XI Inquisition.

But of course we in Australia don’t have to worry. This is all just an American thing, isn’t it?

Read Kipnis’s essays, and then scream.

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RatS 18: Taibbi – Putin the Apostate

Putin is a psychopath and, once upon a time, he was our psychopath.

Matt Taibbi, who is regularly painted as a Putin-apologist because he didn’t buy the Russiagate garbage, was in Russia as a young, gonzo reporter when Putin’s rise began. Taibbi has written a great, depressing history of this time. It is paywalled, but anyone who is gagging on Western sanctimony and hypocrisy should read it. It begins, Continue reading “RatS 18: Taibbi – Putin the Apostate”

RatS 17: Taibbi – Loudoun County: A Culture War in Four Acts

This one is a bit old now, and it’s more an American thing. It’s such a crazy story, however, it is still compelling reading. Aspects of this nonsense also appear to be taking hold in Australia, so one should not be too quick to dismiss it as one-of-those-crazy-American-things.

Last November, the Democrats screwed up, throwing away the Governorship of Virginia. In ways this was just a typical Democratic screw-up, just like their screw-ups over many decades. In other ways, however, the screw-up demonstrated how things are getting way, way screwier. The political battle was largely played on the fields of education and race, and in both respects the Democrats were the Bad Guys. (Well, the Worse Guys.) That takes some heavy-duty doing. Continue reading “RatS 17: Taibbi – Loudoun County: A Culture War in Four Acts”

RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange

It is astonishing the extent to which Australians don’t give a shit about what happens to Julian Assange. He can be kept in a Kafka prison, undergo a Kafka trial at the behest of a country who openly want to torture him, and probably kill him. But no one except a very few good guys, like George Christensen, says a word. Nothing from the Poster Child for Principle, Penny Wong. Nothing from Albanese. Of course nothing from ScoMoFo or the invisible Payne-in-the-ass. Nothing from our oh-so-wonderful stately journalists, from Michelle Grattan or Laura Tingle or Katherine Murphy, and of course nothing from the stable of Murdoch toads. Nothing from Paul Barry and of course nothing from Michael “Gold Star” Rowland. Nothing from any of them. Deutsche Welle and Le Monde and Aljazeera can publish opinion pieces on the lunatic sadism of the persecution of an Australian. Cédric Villani, while taking time off from winning Fields medals, can lead a French political call for Assange’s asylum. But from Australians? A screaming nothing. Continue reading “RatS 16: The Sacrificing of Julian Assange”

RatS 15: Taibbi – Afghanistan: We Never Learn

Matt Taibbi has written the obvious but excellent article on American incompetence and mendacity in regard to Afghanistan:

Every image coming out of Afghanistan this past weekend was an advertisement for the incompetence, arrogance, and double-dealing nature of American foreign policy leaders. Scenes of military dogs being evacuated while our troops fire weapons in the air to disperse humans desperate for a seat out of the country will force every theoretical future ally to think twice about partnering with us …

The pattern is always the same. We go to places we’re not welcome, tell the public a confounding political problem can be solved militarily, and lie about our motives in occupying the country to boot. Then we pick a local civilian political authority to back that inevitably proves to be corrupt and repressive, increasing local antagonism toward the American presence.

Read the whole thing. And then scream.

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RatS 14: Jen Deyzel on The Great Decline

Jen Deyzel is a retired primary school teacher, a “septuagenarian” (now octogenarian) with decades of experience. She came up in conversation with a parent, whose children are tutored by Jen. In 2017, Jen wrote an essay on the decline of Australia’s educational standards. Jen has kindly permitted us to reproduce her essay, below (and in PDF form here).

The Great Decline:

Why Australia’s Education Standards are Plummeting Fast

Jen Deyzel

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