January 14, 2004


Emma Tom in The Australian explains the elections of Arnie and George W. Bush:

A couple of years back, American voters accidentally elected a man who believed police officers deserved to be killed and who supported wife abuse.

When asked how he'd made it to the New Hampshire House of Representatives without his extremist views becoming known, the Honorable Tom Alciere said: "Nobody asked."

Perhaps this explains how Arnold Schwarzenegger ended up at the helm of the Californian economy and why the US itself is now led by a man who has gone on the record complaining that "down in Washington they're playing with social security like it's some kind of government program".

Talk about your sophisticated political analysis.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 14, 2004 10:14 AM

So if that is how we get elected officials, how do we get political correspondants, again??

Posted by: Todd at January 14, 2004 at 10:28 AM

As Bugs Bunny would say, "What a maroon (moron)."

Not to mention the Queen of Generalization.

Posted by: joe at January 14, 2004 at 10:31 AM

It's a bit like that former party leader in Australia who thought women got maternity leave under the Taliban. Who'd vote for her? Probably someone like Emma Tom.

Posted by: Mike Hunt at January 14, 2004 at 10:34 AM

Hell, Mike, we got us a Senator from Washington state who thinks that Osama was loved in the Middle East because he built day care centers. And the US hasn't given any money at all to those poor people, which is why they hate us.

You gotta admit the Social Security thing was dumb. (Unless it was a joke. Sometimes the Prez has a weird sense of humor.)

Posted by: Angie Schultz at January 14, 2004 at 10:45 AM

"Democracy. When will people learn... it doesn't work!" - Homer Simpson, anticipating Emma Tom.

Posted by: Tim Shell at January 14, 2004 at 10:48 AM

I thought that was Kent Brockman (formerly Kenny Brocklstein)

Posted by: Amos at January 14, 2004 at 10:53 AM

Comment test.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 14, 2004 at 11:17 AM

Gee Emma, so social security isn't a government program ?

Posted by: Pencil at January 14, 2004 at 11:18 AM

Hey, that's above and beyond the call of duty . . . reading Emma Tom all the way through. Bravo!

Posted by: slatts at January 14, 2004 at 11:28 AM

Text of email to Emma Tom.
Your column in The Australian of 14 January reads just like a blog rant. Probably not dissimilar to some of the invective I sometimes put onto people whom I believe deserve it. There is one minor difference. I don't have an editor or get paid for my drivel, whereas, you apparently do. Would it be too much to ask to have a grown-up look over your scribble before getting it into print, hmmm?
Now, I accept that you clearly don't like Australia or the US, or more specifically, the way they are run. That's fine. Exactly who would you have as a credible alternative to running this "feisty satellite state?"

"Democracy was invented in ancient Athens and the expression comes from the Greek words demos meaning people, and krakos meaning power, as well as last minute allegations of sexual impropriety - a cornerstone of all great elections."

What the hell does the last part mean? A cornerstone of all great elections. I thought the principles of freedom of speech, a lack of political oppression of the opposition, and the willingness of the populace to be heard were....go figure....perhaps ALL the western democracies are wrong and YOU are right, although I highly doubt it.In conclusion (see, I finally get to a point, unlike yourself) I believe that your column was ill-written, replete with factual errors (satellite state claim) and made for boring reading. You should be sacked.

Yours, Chief Bastard.

I can only hope for a reply. Will post it if I do.

Posted by: Chief Bastard at January 14, 2004 at 11:48 AM

"the Honorable Tom Alciere".

Is that like "Defense Minister Rumsfeld"?

Maybe we don't vet our public servants' thought records as thoroughly as you'd like, Ms. Tom, but we don't treat them as peerage either.

Posted by: Brian Tiemann at January 14, 2004 at 11:53 AM

Judging by her ouvre, Emma is not a woman who believes that "Nobody asked" is any reason for one not to tell, at length, in intimate detail. I sincerely wish it were otherwise.

Posted by: Andrew D. at January 14, 2004 at 11:55 AM

Sure Taliban-era Afghanistan had maternity leave. Did you ever see a pregnant woman leave home for work?

Posted by: Andjam at January 14, 2004 at 11:59 AM

According to the latest figures, only 26.5 per cent of Australian federal politicians are women, with that 0.5 of a chick doing things especially tough.

Was she just cutting and pasting, and thought it said 26.5 federal politicians?

Clearly the most effective democratic model to import to rogue states is one in which elections are incorporated into some sort of lifestyle program, preferably hosted by a large breasted.

Despite the large media coverage she got, she failed to get a significant proportion of the vote. Heck, I think she got fewer votes than Larry Flint, who at least could be regarded as having an interest in consitutional rights.

Its enough to drive modern-day Socrates to hemlock.

Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the alternatives (something like this was attributed to Churchill).

Posted by: Andjam at January 14, 2004 at 12:09 PM

Why do these foreign insta-experts on American politics like to flaunt their ignorance of our political process so brazenly? New Hampshire does not have a "House of Representatives," it has a State Assembly. House of Representatives is what we call the lower house of our federal Congress.


Posted by: Susan at January 14, 2004 at 12:21 PM

Wow. That really takes the biscuit. Who is this woman?

Posted by: Pixy Misa at January 14, 2004 at 12:26 PM

A summary of the Alciere incident and his shenanigans. Includes contact info (no idea if current).

(channeling Monty Python) *I* didn't vote for him !

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at January 14, 2004 at 12:32 PM

...oh, and, as a confirmed N.H. ("The Granite State!") chauvinist, I am pleased that our Nefarious Plan to foist recognition of our wee little state on the world at large is proceeding apace...

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at January 14, 2004 at 12:37 PM

As H L Mnecken said, democracy is the theory that the people know what they want and deserve it good and hard. Of-course the Taliban is the ultimate democracy. The men all agreed to oppress the women. That's democracy in action!

People believed the USSR when it said it was socialist. But the USSR also said it was democratic. And it was! Despite the laughing of Soviet Texas. Just look at what is happening now - the russians are democratically and fairly going to give Putin 90% of the vote. Russians think alike. Who's fault is that?

Anyay, stab all commies!

And read my blog!

Bad Commie

Posted by: Bad Commie at January 14, 2004 at 12:54 PM

Emma Tom should have run into Doctor Harold Shipman a few years ago.

Posted by: Habib at January 14, 2004 at 01:11 PM

Proof that no level of ignorance or idiocy disqualifies a person from holding an opinion. God I love liberty.

Thanks to free markets and technology I can read this dross without having to pay for it.
God I love the internet.

Mind you, if this crap appeared on the ABC (as so much does, so often) I would be quite pissed off.

Posted by: Fidens at January 14, 2004 at 01:32 PM

I was going to say that Emma Tom is a cunt but then I remembered that Emma Tom is not useful

Posted by: Michael Casey at January 14, 2004 at 02:07 PM

I would'nt worry so much if the gimlet eye of the left was trained more frequently on other bete noirs. How often do we have to read about Bush/Howard?insert name here day after day of inane, generalised, poor journalism that reflects the authors' own biases?

Either journo's should give it a rest or be more even in thier targets.

Posted by: nic at January 14, 2004 at 02:44 PM

lol mike casey!

Posted by: roscoe. at January 14, 2004 at 03:27 PM

SS isn't a government program, it's a ponzi scheme and the pols' personal slush fund. And since my husband pays both sides....

Posted by: Sandy P. at January 14, 2004 at 04:04 PM

Oh, let's admit it. We've been found out. We're crazy mad! (Pulling out a toothbrush) I've got a gun, it shoots, don't make me use this! Wallets, purses, jewelry, kick 'em over to the right side of the blog. Okay. Right. Now (snigger) off with the clothes. Yeah, pile 'em up over on the left side of the blog. Oil! It's all about oil!
Okay, go on and git! And if you tell, don't forget we're mad crazy and will come back and get you!

Posted by: Timothy L at January 14, 2004 at 04:27 PM

Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is an armed sheep.

Not germane, I know. I just like that saying.

Posted by: Dave S. at January 14, 2004 at 06:48 PM

Emma Tom? She used to write light entertainment pieces for one of the Sunday papers- 'guess who was seen lunching with Kym Wilson in Norton Street?', that kind of crap. What the devil's going on at The Australian, if they're appointing a lightweight like her to write commentary?

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at January 14, 2004 at 09:42 PM

She's supposed to be "wry".
I didn't realise "wry" meant "retarded".
Aptly named, though- I read the whole item, and it gave me a dose of the tom tits.

Posted by: Habib at January 14, 2004 at 09:55 PM

You're missing the point. The perfect preparation for writing commentary is close attention to public celebrity and the entertainment industry. It's all fake and puffed up, so you don't have to be serious and use, like, facts or logic or thought or . . . well, you get my point. All that stuff is *hard* and should be avioded when you can merely insert a cliche.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at January 15, 2004 at 12:44 AM

Emma Tom is a hopeless columnist.

Posted by: Don at January 15, 2004 at 01:25 AM