Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The pond achieves Caterist enlightenment, and celebrates the news it's coal, coal, coal for Australia ...


The pond was bemused to be reminded by Crikey, in Courier-Mail v Tony Fitzgerald, (paywall affected) of the ongoing antics of the Currish Flail.

It leads to an even deeper question.

Has the availability of Photoshop, resulting in cheap, pitifully weak front pages, destroyed the hopes of the few remaining souls who clutch at straws and think of the Murdoch tabloids as newspapers reporting the news?

They are in fact crusading ideologically rabid zealots.

Fitzgerald's thought crime was to dare to turn up in a rival rag, in Tony Fitzgerald slams Newman's 'politically motivated' apology, which reprinted Fitzgerald's critique of the Newman government and its behaviour in certain legal matters.

It's unexceptional stuff, and it's unexceptional that Fitzgerald, a citizen of Queensland - now there's a matter for pity and sympathy - but Fitzgerald had committed a thought crime with a statement back on 28th June 2014, here:

Presently, Queensland is effectively a single-party State. The LNP has a huge parliamentary majority which it uses to dominate parliament and, outside parliament, News Corporation publications, which dominate the local print media, consistently publish biased reports which favour the government.

Indeed, and who could argue with that either, but cue the Currish Flail's front page abuse of Fitzgerald, and this sort of peculiar critique in the Snail here (may be paywall affected):

On the back of yesterday’s expanded attack, senior Government sources told The Courier-Mail it was clear Mr Fitzgerald was positioning himself as the Opposition and had abandoned his apolitical stance. 

He's the Opposition? With a capital O? And he should be apolitical because of long ago ...?

Meanwhile the flailing snail stuck the story of the Mackay region mega mine down in business, Australia's largest coalmine approved for Mackay region, but the hapless reptiles were forced to mention Adani's record and mutter about strict environmental conditions.

Cue Fitzgerald:

In an attempt at political damage control, the government proposes to reverse some, but by no means all, of its errors. It refuses to acknowledge some of its most egregious mistakes and instead seeks to distract attention from them. Dishonest members of parliament, nepotism, preferential treatment of supporters, removal of limits on political donations, large-scale public service sackings, a major down-grade of hospital staff conditions, shutting down health and juvenile rehabilitation programs, reduced protection of the environment and support for commercial activities posing a risk of major damage to natural assets including the Great Barrier Reef and Stradbroke Island, termination of the office of Climate Change and approval of activities involving large-scale emissions, limiting union rights, ill-informed and sometimes invalid criminal laws, changes to electoral laws - an unfortunate reminder of the gerrymanders which gave the National and Liberal Parties an unfair advantage inpre-reform Queensland - and proposed public asset sales provide the background to the government's blitzkrieg on the institutions which protect citizens and inhibit government excess. In its brief period in office, the government has sacked, stacked and otherwise reduced the effectiveness of parliamentary committees, subverted and weakened the State's anti-corruption Commission and made unprecedented attacks on the judiciary and judicial independence.

Now the pond has no dog in the Queensland fight.

Perversely there might be some satisfaction in seeing the Newman government bang the last nails into the coffin once called the Great Barrier Reef.

You know, just for the pleasure of saying Queensland and Queenslanders ... perfect one day and perfectly fucked the next ...

Meanwhile, over at reptile central, reptile denialist headquarters, the Caterists are out and about and in full cry:



Sadly the Caterists have now been reduced to the lowly status of "columnist", as you can discover if you can be bothered to get around the paywall to read Hostages to a renewable ruse:


It turns out it's unexceptional stuff.

Just another outing for the rabid zealots, you know, two legs renewable energy very baaad, coal and four legs coal and Greg Hunt and the Murdochians noble and good ...

It's distinguished by what passes for reptile wit - you know, phrases like "rent-seekers".

Why is that amusing? Well it was back in September last year that we could all read Nick Cater bids farewell to The Australian and cop this bonus picture:


And what do you know, shortly thereafter, where should the Caterists land, but at the CIS.

Now the CIS - go on, do the Greg Hunt thing here - purports to be independent, but it is in fact a classic bunch of rent-seekers, peddling libertarian tosh, having sought to get the rent paid by supplication to individuals, companies and charitable trusts.

You get more than a whiff of the nature of these rent-seekers by reading the self-serving history and noting that Maurice Newman was on the first board, and observing that the history concludes with a rousing quotation:

"Unless we can make the philosophic foundations of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark. But if we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its best, the battle is not lost." F.A. Hayek, 'The Intellectuals and Socialism' (1949).

Well at least it's not Ayn Rand. Look at the lavishly large and exclusive board of directors, here, and you would find it hard to imagine a more impressive gaggle of rent seekers, of a certain stripe.

How funny does it get? Well one of their research fellows sees nothing incongruous in boasting of expertise in the "Nanny State". Yes she does:



Expertise, Nanny State.

Why that must mean the pond has an Ph.D. in herpetology, sub-genus reptilian Murdochus.

And now they have the Caterists on board:


The Enlightenment Project?

Why that sounds positively hippie. Like Hayek mating with Rand and producing Ken Kesey and the merry pranksters on a quest for enlightenment:


Of course Ken got it all wrong, all that guff about becoming the waves.

He should have realised it's all about becoming the coal ...

Now there's no need to tarry with the Caterists too long.

It's all the usual restrained rhetoric, with the hapless windmill mafia beguiled and led astray by crafty merchant bankers, indulging in financial ruses (whither CIS there, oh wither) and naturally it's all the fault of deviant greenies and the vile perverted ABC:

To speak up in opposition to this social injustice is to find oneself condemned as a climate change denier, right-wing ideologue, apologist for the coal industry or, worse still, to be ignored altogether, as the ABC’s Four Corners managed to do in its renewable energy special last month. 
The corporation flew reporter Stephen Long to California to tell us how wonderful the renewable energy bonanza is going to be and how foolish Tony Abbott’s government is to even question the proposition that too many windmills are barely enough. 

Indeed because the Caterists only fly everywhere by tricycle:

 “This government has an ideological agenda,” insisted John Grimes, chief executive of the Australian Solar Council. “They want to carve out the impact of renewable energy on the network and they want to stop renewals in their tracks.” 
Jeremy Rifkin, author of a book called The Third Industrial Revolution, told Long: “Australia’s the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy. There’s so much sun; there’s so much wind off the coast, and so it makes absolutely no sense when you have an abundance of renewable energy, why would you rely on a depleting supply of fossil fuels with all of the attendant ­consequences to society and the planet?” Fatuous arguments of this kind are rarely challenged on the ABC, nor are the purveyors of renewable energy subjected to the degree of scepticism that others with corporate vested interests can expect. Instead they find themselves in the company of a cheer squad. 

Yes indeed, talk about fatuous arguments of that kind. What we need, what the planet needs, are deep philosophical arguments of the Glaswegian kind, "It's coal, coal, coal for Australia ..."

 “The new developments with renewable energy and storage seem to have passed the Prime Minister by,” Long editorialised halfway through his dispiriting ­report.

Yes, it's appalling and wicked to point out that Tony "climate change is crap" Abbott is stuck somewhere back in a medieval church mind set when it comes to broadband, climate science, and renewable energy.

Finally, however, as Long was about to run out of time and throw back to Kerry O’Brien, he let slip the awkward truth he had managed so far to avoid. 
 “Yes, it costs money to create the infrastructure for renewable energy,” he says. “A lot of money.” Indeed it does ...

And indeed, fixing the reef will be bloody cheap by comparison, as will fixing the planet. It's coal, coal, coal for Australia ...

But by now you've worked out the main aim of the Caterists, which is to get rid of the RET:

... and if the arbitrary, inefficient and regressive mechanism of the RET is all that is left to overcome that hurdle, we may as well give up. 
It is through this complicated method that the consumers are forced to pay a subsidy to wind farms without the need for a ­carbon tax.

Yes, the very last thing we need to do is look toward renewable energy or the implications of climate science, that well known fraud perpetrated by fat cat scientists in league with the world government plans of the UN.

Which brings us back to Queensland and Campbell Newman and the whole damn thing, and that fine saying, Queensland and Queenslanders ... perfect one day and perfectly fucked the next ...

Sadly the pond forgot to add that the next line includes Australia and the world, perfectly fucked one day and uniquely fucked in the Queensland way the next ...

(Below: and wouldn't you know it, the excellent David Rowe offered his thought for the day, and more Rowe here)






Monday, July 28, 2014

In which all sorts of solutions are discussed ...


(Above: and more Rowe here)

There's a truly classic headless chook routine performed by Paul "magic water man" or should that be "chicken little" Sheehan in After the worst of Bush, Obama comes to a screaming halt.

It seems Obama's hopeless and useless because inter alia he's failed to sort out Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Libya, and Benghazi, and job insecurity arising from the Affordable Care Act (no, it's not the economy stupid) and deficits and ...

Well indeed, it's an entirely inadequate list. Obama has also failed to sort out  Egypt, Ukraine, the reason big aeroplanes crash violence at soccer matches in South America, the Mexican drug wars, the United States drug consumption that creates the drug wars, violence and plagues in Africa, the feud between India and Pakistan, the behaviour of China in the south China sea, Vladimir Putin, the execrable programs Russia Today puts to air, Islamic fundamentalism and the refusal of Saudi Arabia to allow women to drive cars ...

In fact, if there's a problem in the world, it's likely enough that the Obama administration is to blame.

Each day the pond bitterly regrets that Sarah Palin failed to become vice president of the United States. She has been in exceptional form of late - witness Sarah Palin's Oddball Speech In Denver.

But back to Sheehan.

Inter alia, he makes this heartfelt plea regarding theocratic states in the middle east:

These talks have been dragging on for eight years, since June, 2006. Eight years. That says a lot about Iran’s intentions. Last Monday’s deadline was pushed back to November 25. This gives the Iranian theocracy another five months to jaw-bone the issue while it works towards acquiring nuclear capacity, a goal from which it has never deviated. 
The idea of nuclear weapons leaking into the growing blood-letting and religious war-making in this region is horrifying.

Indeed, indeed, it's one of the great blessings that there are no nuclear weapons in the middle east at the moment, and certainly none of them are in the hands of a theocracy.

And then comes this:

A wider context is that the six years of Obama’s presidency has shown that, in the wake of Bush, the US no longer has the stomach to be the world’s policeman, for better or worse. We can only hope that Islamic fundamentalists do not acquire nuclear weapons as a result of Obama’s caution.

Which is a wonderful springboard for the pond and its final solution for Gaza.

Now please, no correspondence about that wording. It is what it is.

My Outline for a Solution in Gaza 

Clear and concise, the steps towards achieving quiet in Gaza. 
Ultimatum – One warning from the Prime Minister of Israel to the enemy population, in which he announces that Israel is about to attack military targets in their area and urges those who are not involved and do not wish to be harmed to leave immediately. Sinai is not far from Gaza and they can leave. This will be the limit of Israel’s humanitarian efforts. Hamas may unconditionally surrender and prevent the attack. 
Attack – Attack the entire ‘target bank’ throughout Gaza with the IDF’s maximum force (and not a tiny fraction of it) with all the conventional means at its disposal. All the military and infrastructural targets will be attacked with no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. It is enough that we are hitting exact targets and that we gave them advance warning. 
Siege – Parallel to the above, a total siege on Gaza. Nothing will enter the area. Israel, however, will allow exit from Gaza. (Civilians may go to Sinai, fighters may surrender to IDF forces). 
Defense – Any place from which Israel or Israel’s forces were attacked will be immediately attacked with full force and no consideration for ‘human shields’ or ‘environmental damage’. 
Conquer – After the IDF completes the "softening" of the targets with its fire-power, the IDF will conquer the entire Gaza, using all the means necessary to minimize any harm to our soldiers, with no other considerations. 
Elimination- The GSS and IDF will thoroughly eliminate all armed enemies from Gaza. The enemy population that is innocent of wrong-doing and separated itself from the armed terrorists will be treated in accordance with international law and will be allowed to leave. Israel will generously aid those who wish to leave.
Sovereignty – Gaza is part of our Land and we will remain there forever. Liberation of parts of our land forever is the only thing that justifies endangering our soldiers in battle to capture land. Subsequent to the elimination of terror from Gaza, it will become part of sovereign Israel and will be populated by Jews. This will also serve to ease the housing crisis in Israel. The coastal train line will be extended, as soon as possible, to reach the entire length of Gaza. 
According to polls, most of the Arabs in Gaza wish to leave. Those who were not involved in anti-Israel activity will be offered a generous international emigration package. Those who choose to remain will receive permanent resident status. After a number of years of living in Israel and becoming accustomed to it, contingent on appropriate legislation in the Knesset and the authorization of the Minister of Interior, those who personally accept upon themselves Israel’s rule, substance and way of life of the Jewish State in its Land, will be offered Israeli citizenship.

Now there's a splendid vision, a final solution up there with the very best final solution.

But please, while the pond would like to accept your applause, we simply can't. This brilliant vision is the work of Moshe Zalman Feiglin, deputy speaker of the Knesset and head of the Jewish Leadership faction of the ruling Likud party.

Yes, here he is, here it is.



Meanwhile, here's that pariah, Hannah Arendt, writing back in 1948:

...even if the Jews were to win the war, its end would find the unique possibilities and the unique achievements of Zionism in Palestine destroyed. The land that would come into being would be something quite other than the dream of world Jewry, Zionist and non-Zionist. The ‘victorious’ Jews would live surrounded by an entirely hostile Arab population, secluded into ever-threatened borders, absorbed with physical self-defense to a degree that would submerge all other interests and acitvities. The growth of a Jewish culture would cease to be the concern of the whole people; social experiments would have to be discarded as impractical luxuries; political thought would center around military strategy…. And all this would be the fate of a nation that — no matter how many immigrants it could still absorb and how far it extended its boundaries (the whole of Palestine and Transjordan is the insane Revisionist demand)–would still remain a very small people greatly outnumbered by hostile neighbors. Under such circumstances… the Palestinian Jews would degenerate into one of those small warrior tribes about whose possibilities and importance history has amply informed us since the days of Sparta. (more here)

But you won't read any of this sort of stuff when you read Paul Sheehan, who lives in a world where some forms of theocracy are good, and some forms of religious fundamentalism, while  other fundamentalists and theocrats are bad and routinely need to be demonised, just like Obama needs to be routinely demonised...

And along with the demonisation, what you cop with Sheehan is disingenuous dissembling word games, of the kind that runs Lest anyone think I am being partisan about Obama ...

Oh hush now, why wash out the pond's mouth with soap, why would anyone think a right wing ratbag member of the commentariat like Sheehan is ever being partisan about Obama ...

Sheehan thinks he can get away with peddling this tripe because he also called George W. Bush the worst president in a hundred years, a fatuous assertion which only reminds readers that he specialises in chicken little sensationalism at every turn of the magic water bottle ...

Sheehan was peddling exactly the same sort of magic water chicken little doom and gloom about Obama back in November 2010 in Obama feels the heat as voters desert in droves. Back then it was debt, Obamacare, the Mexican border, and so on and so forth and etc.

Well the pond sometimes likes to go even further back with Sheehan, back to a piece he wrote in 1995 which still turns up on white nationalist sites all over the place:

"THE RACE WAR OF BLACK AGAINST WHITE" 
 by Paul Sheehan. Saturday, 20 May 1995 The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) T
The longest war America has ever fought is the Dirty War, and it is not over. It has lasted 30 years so far and claimed more than 25 million victims. It has cost almost as many lives as the Vietnam War. It determined the result of last year's congressional election. 
Yet the American news media do not want to talk about the Dirty War, which remains between the lines and unreported. In fact, to even suggest that the war exists is to be discredited. So let's start suggesting, immediately. 
No matter how crime figures are massaged by those who want to acknowledge or dispute the existence of a Dirty War, there is nothing ambiguous about what the official statistics portray: for the past 30 years a large segment of black America has waged a war of violent retribution against white America. (here)

And so on. If you google that, you will find it reprinted in all sorts of places, usually sordid and racist and coupled with offensive racism.

Of course it's now impossible to wend a way back to the original, but here it is being cited in a book about press bias and politics:


It's impossible to assess the incalculable damage that a few words so widely circulated have done in the world.

But it reminds the pond that whenever dissembling disingenuous folk talk about how they're not partisan, always check for the forked tongue. You might be being sold a pup, a carry on about theocracies and nuclear weapons, or a never ending thirty year war, the worst president in a hundred years (and never mind Nixon resigning), or Obama being a complete failure ... or on a bad hair day, a final solution ...

When a man routinely scribbles as an hysteric, everything takes on the form of hysteria ...

Meanwhile, speaking of psychological conditions in another country it seems paranoia is a growth stock, thanks to bigots living in Brandistan, and thanks to Pope and more Pope here:




Search and work for mindless schemes and useless distractions ...


It's cheeky enough that the reptiles should have this at the top of the digital page, but to then claim it's an EXCLUSIVE ...

The pond dealt with this back in June, thanks to Mike Bolan in The Tasmanian Times, and A miracle of job creation? It's genius!

Take it away Mr Bolan, but allow the pond to fix a typo:

According to Joe Hockey, unemployed youth will have to apply for 40 jobs per month ( SMH ) while other unemployed must apply for 20 or so positions per month. Currently there are some 720,000 unemployed in Australia ( ABS ) competing for about 140,000 vacancies ( ABS ). 
These rather ordinary sounding numbers turn out to represent thrilling opportunities, creating the potential for an administration-led recovery that could power Australia’s future. 
Because the application requirement is created by fiat, there is no need to be tied down by market forces or be inconvenienced by changes in demand. It’s recession proof! 
Some simple maths cracks open the veil on the panoply of opportunities thus created. 
100,000 youth producing 40 applications per month means 4 million applications per month. The remaining 620,000 unemployed (20 applications per month) would deliver a further 12.4 million applications each month, giving a grand total of around 16 million applications per month. 
With those kinds of numbers each month, the private sector and government will urgently need more staff to process, sort and respond to those applications, as well as keep records in case of Centrelink checking on the individual unemployed. It’s a veritable miracle of job creation.
We can expect the vacancy rate to increase markedly as these requirements hit the private and public sectors. Furthermore if all applications (or even most) were required to be sent by mail, Australia Post and the pulp & paper industry could be saved overnight! If electronic lodgement was used then that would represent a huge business boost for the NBN. By a stroke of Kevin Andrew’s pen. 
To review, 16 million applications per month is 192 million applications per year (remember the actual number of vacancies doesn’t matter, what’s important is that there are plenty of unemployed to send applications). If we allow that one person could reasonably review 50 applications per day (less if replies had to be written) or 12,500 per year, that would result in a need for over 15,000 people just to process the applications!!! Each of them would need supervision, management, training, quality assurance, safety and human resources leading to total employment of around 25,000! 
If those activities were conducted by the federal government (business might not have the time available) then 25,000 new public service jobs would be created! That’s nearly an 18% increase in vacancies created by the stroke of a pen. It would only take 40 more initiatives of that scope to achieve Tony Abbott’s 1 million new jobs. Add the 100,000 training places needed to support “Earn or learn” and we see a rosy future indeed.

Satire aside, here's what will happen. Genuine young employment seekers will send out a blizzard, a snow storm of job applications.

Most of the time they won't even get the courtesy of a reply, let alone a rejection letter, let alone any kind of interest. They will learn that the machine is cruel and indifferent, and they will become alienated, perhaps more alienated than they've already become.

Employers won't mind. They'll just bin the applications.

And then what will happen? Well this cycle will be repeated endlessly, profoundly alienating, and disheartening as it is, and soon enough the youff of today will be taking to the streets and resorting to violence, as long ago foreshadowed:




It reminds the pond of that Australian classic in which a certain Thatcher runs a a reformist camp, a classic example of government and action:

 Thatcher: Some of the jobs you will be asked to do may seem pointless and unproductive. However you must learn to do them willingly because the program has been devised for your own good. Your re-education depends on your unquestioning acceptance of any and every order given by the state. You must learn to walk before you can run, and only when you can respond automatically to discipline will you be fit to take your places again in our great society. Never forget freedom is obedience, obedience is work, work is life … 

And then?

Thatcher: You will remember our motto 'Freedom is obedience, obedience is work, work is life'. Well, now understand, once and for all, that the reverse is also true: disobedience is treason, treason is a crime, crime will be punished. Over to you Mr Ritter …

Sorry, that's not quite correct: Over to you Mr Andrews ...


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Oh FFS, it's another day with Optus and big Mal ...


The pond was immensely moved and gratified to read in Politicians' 'age of entitlement':

Senator Brandis was outdone by Queensland Liberal National MP Bert van Manen, who claimed $5220 in publications entitlements last year - mostly on children's, craft, sporting and cooking books. Mr van Manen's purchases included 101 Great Rugby League Players, The Encyclopaedia of Woodworking Techniques, The Complete Book of Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit and children's books such as Lola the Lollipop Fairy, Edwina the Emu and 38 copies of Incy Wincy Spider. 
A spokeswoman for Mr van Manen said: ''The books in question are entirely within the publications entitlements.'' 
Under broad guidelines, politicians are allowed to bill the taxpayer for publications related to ''parliamentary, electorate or official business''. 

32 copies of Incy Wincy, though the version isn't clear from the report - so many Incy Wincys, so little time!

But the pond isn't bitter. No, MPs can never have enough copies of an heroic free market spider struggling against insidious rain, the work of deviant anarchist commie pinko socialist greenie perverts.

Some of these pretend an interest in the heroic spider's willingness to tackle the spout of life, but only if the hapless spider conforms to their demeaning collectivist lifestyle and the fraudulent, fat cat international climate science conspiracy which alleges there isn't that much rain coming down the spout in the future.

Why shouldn't Bert be allowed to paper pre-schoolers with a book celebrating the right Liberal stuff?

Meanwhile, the pond is taking the day off, but not before sending a cheerio and a fuck you to Malcolm Turnbull, Optus and anyone else inclined to argue that Australia is blessed with a wondrous broadband.

And commiserations and consolations to anyone else forced to use what passes for broadband in this fucked up country, with useless north shore and eastern suburbs prats and ponces in charge ...



Amongst the many bits of bullshit window dressing that big Mal and his woeful department has trotted out, perhaps the most insulting and useless is one dubbed MyBroadband.

No, it's not my broadband, you twits, it's my slow narrow completely useless band.

First of all if you access the site you're confronted by a set of disclaimers that indicate the information you're about to obtain is completely useless and inclined to be hopelessly skewed and unrelated to reality:


Now none of this is news.

Back in February TechAu published a note under the header Turnbull's MyBroadband website is the wrong approach, which inter alia made the point:

Turnbull says they will be adding a speedtest to the site (I guess he hasn’t heard about Speedtest.net). On a more important note.. they may want to have another shot at the data as the results are wildly inaccurate from reality. Usually some data is better than none, but if that data isn’t accurate, it’s useless. Users have begun posting comparisons from speedtest to the results from the site (which is experiencing load issues) and the variations are dramatic.

Uh huh. Remember how big Mal's party used to mock the Labor party for mounting completely useless and disingenuous websites designed as a bit of faux window dressing.

Well here's the pond's current results, thanks to big Mal's Notbybloodybroadband site which inter alia allows you to ask "what is your broadband experience?"  Well here it is:



Of course you'll note that in the corner there is a reference to Ookla, and if you head off to speedtest.net, you will indeed find your results vary wildly (and of course if you own a Mac, you can do all these tests by yourself without all the bullshit attempts to sell you My Broadband or sell you a chance to improve your slow Mac performance - just go to your network utility and ping away).

Never mind, right at the moment, the pond knows the feeling of watching the paint dry, or the experience of that poor bloody Incy Wincy as he struggles against the lies of politicians around the land ...

It will in due course get better and back to some sort of base level, still extremely irritating and incompetent working order, but hey welcome to the fraudulent world of big Mal.

Meanwhile, on this meditative Sunday, all the pond can do is summon up enough strength to shout fuck you to Optus, and while we're at it, fuck you to Malcolm Turnbull and to your fucking fancy, window dressing, useless, reprehensible site, which makes spending ill gained loot on Incy Wincy look like advanced statesmanship ...

And now, as loading these images is slower than watching the paint dry, the pond is off to join Incy Wincy up that spout ...





Saturday, July 26, 2014

For the Abbott was a boojum, you see ...



It will long be remembered, the hunt for the real Julia Gillard, up there with an agony in eight fits, which is to say the hunting of the snark:

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope;
They threatened its life with a railway-share;
They charmed it with smiles and soap. 
The real Julia they hoped to ensare (assorted fits, and a nice digital version of that poem here guaranteed to arouse fits of mirth)

Inevitably that pompous blowhard Paul Kelly, rambling bore at large, thought he'd captured the snark, or at least the real Julia.


Of late, there's been a hunt for a new snark, but since the title "the real" has been assigned to snarky assessments of Gillard's attempt at branding, all sorts of dissembling convolutions and substitutes have had to be deployed.

The pond was recently delighted by Niki Savva discovering a stripped down Tony Abbott, as if we hadn't already seen him stripped down to his budgie smugglers, pounding hard on the wall of a political opponent:



It's remarkable really that Savva could think that Abbott could undergo a complete character re-assessment on the basis of one matter, or that politicians can ever be stripped of politics. That's not how politics or politicians work.

But that's the business of knob polishers and kool aid drinkers, so it was inevitable that pompous blowhard Paul Kelly would join in the game today.


Kelly also couldn't discover the "real Tony Abbott", so he had to discover "the authentic Tony Abbott".

This is as stupid and as meaningless a quest as the hunt for the real Julia Gillard, or the snark (spoiler alert, for the Snark was a Boojum, you see).

But okay, the pond will bite. What's the "authentic Tony Abbott", since it seems he can't be "real"?

It turns out it's just pure hagiography of an undiluted kind:


The pond was startled at the Freudian elements in Kelly's effort  (behind the paywall because you have to pay for class fawning) - the virginal note of "purer view" jostling with the masculine affirming tone that Abbott had been "active, not passive" yet "working with others".

Now it might seem that the pond is being frivolous in the face of an ongoing tragedy, but the pond only ever takes its cues from the commentariat, and frankly Kelly's attempt to use an ongoing tragedy to recast Abbott is cosmically vulgar and unseemly.

Early on, it actually achieves a kind of Sir Lancelot epic tone poem quality, with the shimmering hero rising above the muck:

Now Abbott holds centre stage. The parliamentary shouting is lost, for the moment. In this crisis, Labor has no role but to say yes. The Greens are near mute. Clive Palmer is not grandstanding. The Senate is not required. Abbott is being Abbott. The crisis, as usual, offers a purer view of prime ministerial character.

And so on and so forth. Naturally as the hero galumphs through the forests, there are traps and pitfalls:

The more Abbott pushes, the more risks he takes, the more things can go wrong. There is always the possibility this situation could backfire on Abbott. There are many unpredictable elements.

Watch out Sir Lancelot. Or should that be Sir Galahad, illegitimate son of Lancelot, renowned for his gallantry and purity?

Yes, it's an analysis that's as childish and as shallow as those lost books of Empire, the Boy's Own Adventure stories that still flooded into the colonies in the 1950s in the time of Ming the merciless. Or perhaps a dash of Conan Doyle:



Somewhere down the track Kelly realises he's been caught in hagiographic excess, carrying on like Thomas Carlyle about heroes and the heroic in history. And so he attempts a strategic retreat:

It is tempting but superficial to say this event will change public perceptions of Abbott. The truth, rather, is that it gives Abbott an opportunity to improve his standing with the public— providing he can maintain projection of the qualities now on display. Because they are the authentic Abbott, that may be possible.

Talk about a pompous, blowhard meaningless fudge. The matter won't change public perceptions of Abbott, but the matter will allow Abbott to change public perceptions of Abbott, because the authentic Abbott, whomever or whatever that might be, is now on display, and any memories of budget, wall punching, refugees abused on sea and land, and climate change is crap and so on and endlessly on, will be swept from view and forgotten.

And all in service of a chimera, "the authentic Abbott".

What's most astonishing is that the very same commentariat who mocked "the real Julia" at every turn should now think they can indulge in this sort of revisionism.

Kelly goes on and on, but at the end, it reaches truly pitiful dimensions:

Abbott has not been in office 12 months, yet his foreign policy and personal diplomacy is having a far-reaching impact, a combination of planning and reacting to events. A feature of the current situation has been Australian-Dutch co-operation. This demands sensitivity from Australia since the Dutch, the people who suffered most, have a special place as lead agent. 

The Dutch?

Now don't get the pond wrong, the pond loves the Dutch (and the Scots too, och aye, how they fought side by side in the thirty years war).

Oh the peppermints and the hot chocolate and Amsterdam and its pickled fish and bicycles and the whole damn thing, except perhaps for Dutch sitcoms.

But dragging the Dutch into this as a far-reaching example of foreign policy and personal diplomacy is just a fawning too far. It's that troublesome remnant of Dutch empire, Indonesia, that will test Abbott's mettle and soon enough, when the new president is to hand, and let's hope he handles it better than the mess he made in his dealings with the last president.

In the end Kelly runs out of puff:

Abbott, like Julia Gillard, has been defined largely by caricature. It is a feature of adversary politics. Both sides try to distort and ruin the image of their opponent. Too often the picture the public has of its leader is too removed from the real person. Another side of ­Abbott has been on display this week — it is an opportunity he needs to build on.

But soon enough, Abbott will have to return to selling an unsellable budget, and dealing with Clive and a difficult upper house, and sorting out jolly Joe Hockey ....


And pretending Scott "speaker in tongues" Morrison is a total success and never mind the humanity ...



(And as always more Pope here).

And pretending he gives a fig about that crap about climate change while he dismantles any attempt to deal with it, and so on and so endlessly forth, and that will require an entirely different level of diplomatic and political skill than that trotted out by Kelly in his simple-minded caricature ... a feature of adversary politics in the Murdoch commentariat, where the kow-towing hagiographers and knob polishers spend an unseemly amount of energy and Brasso giving an unhealthy glow to their heroes ...

Meanwhile, life goes on for the living, and they can read Tamil asylum seekers will come to Australia, immigration minister admits, and wonder how it came to this for the speaker in tongues ...

But will it avoid a showdown in the High Court? Will allowing the 157 more than three hours of daylight a day at sea get Morrison out of the legal action? Is India a signatory?

And where's the authentic, humane, caring, far reaching, personally diplomatic Tony Abbott, dreamed up by Paul Kelly, in all this? Will he suddenly drop his tough guy pose and restrain his speaker in tongues and act with a semblance of humanity befitting his claim to believe in transubstantiation?

In your dreams ...

And what about the image of the climate change is crap man when it comes to other matters? As noted in The inconvenient truth in the push to scrap the renewable energy target (where you can also find the links for the text below):

Inconveniently, the idea that the RET is significantly pushing up prices has now been challenged by several sets of modelling. ACIL Allen modelling done for Abbott’s own review shows the current target will increase the average household bill by an average of $54 a year between now and 2020, but will reduce bills by a similar annual amount over the following decade compared with what they would be if the RET were repealed. That modelling used assumptions highly unfavourable to renewable energy, including that coal and gas prices would remain almost unchanged until 2040.

Separate modelling for the Clean Energy Council by Roam Consulting – with different assumptions about gas prices – found that bills would be $50 a year lower by 2020 if the RET were retained.

And this:

Opposition to the RET within the Coalition is driven by a potent mix of a deep hostility to wind turbines, as evidenced by treasurer Joe Hockey’s comment to the (anti-wind) Alan Jones that he found them “utterly offensive”, a barely disguised climate scepticism (as evidenced by agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce, Ian Macdonald and Craig Kelly all suggesting that the fact the carbon tax repeal occurred on a cold winter’s day proved it had been unnecessary), and a belief that indefinite fossil fuel use is not a threat to the planet, but rather is crucial to human advancement.

So what's the purer authentic Tony Abbott going to do about all that?

The pond has a different image in mind in the hunt for the real, authentic, punch the wall and kick the head Abbott, and strangely it involved Doré dreaming of Joe Hockey tilting at windmills:


And then? And then in the quest for the "authentic Tony Abbott" and the "real Julia Gillard" and the snark, what came next?

And then, silence ...





Friday, July 25, 2014

Oh FFS, just bloody well shut up ...




The fun continues at denialist headquarters.

The latest riff is the slap-down Dame Groan has delivered to jolly Joe.

Oh just shut up Joe.

This could become the pond gold standard response to any minister in the Abbott government who dares to speak about issues related to their portfolio.

"I'm turning the NBN into a bloody marvel of mixed technologies and useless connections".

Oh just shut up big Mal...

And so on and so forth.

"Look at me, I'm being a statesman".

Oh just shut up, lean Tony.

The problem of course is that the reptiles wasted a lot of energy and a lot of heat celebrating Joe's budget and explaining how it was just and right and proper and so and thus.

Remember the good old days? (click to slightly enlarge). Oh the reptiles were right at the head of the charge:






And the ersatz reptiles at Fairfax, the reptiles you have when you don't have a Murdoch reptile to hand, were also onside:



Now Dame Groan's telling us the budget was dodgy, a dog, full of highly suspect measures and not worth a cheroot to a slumming cigar smoker in need of a puff?

Why she's gone plumb crazy, or even worse, she's gone plumb Fairfax:



Oh it's great to see the Tories go at each other, and the reason for Dame Groan's revisionist tendencies is easy enough to understand.

It's actually got very little to do with the budget, wretched shambolic exercise in flim flam by the snake oil seller that it was, no, it's all to do with the events highlighted in Damien Murphy's Joe Hockey biography heats Canberra's winter hibernation (forced video at end of link)

In the latest account of the bio fallout - up there with the bio fallout in Contagion - Peter Credlin speaks above her pay grade as a king maker and PM caller, jolly Joe listens to Tony when he should have heeded his wife, big Mal is untrustworthy - who'd have guessed -  and jolly Joe fancies himself as Dirk Diggler:

King received the biggest laugh when noting that her book recorded Mr Hockey’s desire to enter hospital for stomach surgery under the pseudonym Dirk Diggler (the name of Mark Wahlberg’s porn star character in the 1997 film Boogie Nights). 
The doctors knew best, and he was admitted as Joe Little. 
‘‘And that’s unlikely to help negotiations with Jacqui Lambie,’’ Ms King said.

Oh dear. No wonder Dame Groan isn't amused. Somehow jolly Joe's managed to get himself compared to Mark Wahlberg ... and Jacqui Lambie:


Talk about a heavy hung penis fixation.

And now jolly Joe's going to leave his desire to become PM to destiny.

Just as well he's not leaving it to Dame Groan.

She's not happy, and it's not just the bulge in the underpants that's got her going:

The government, including Hockey in the important role as Treasurer, can be criticised for failing to make the public case for cutting government spending and altering the features of many entitle­ment programs. 
Perhaps Abbott and his colleagues were caught out by the re-run of the West Australian Senate election and the delay in releasing the National Commission of Audit report. 
In reality, there was an eerie ­silence from the government when it was first elected, when a compelling case for repairing the budget should have been made. 
My sense is that the public will wear a degree of short-term pain if the budgetary position is well explain­ed and the alternative is outlined (harsher adjustments down the track, an inability to respond to an economic downturn). 
The trouble is that the government has not really provided this exposition. 
We know (sic) learn from his newly released, authorised biography that Hockey suggested that the income tax levy on higher-­income earners should have been extended to a greater proportion of taxpayers. 
This is a little more than passing strange. 
Australia now has one of the highest marginal income tax rates among advanced countries and we know that high marginal income tax rates reduce work effort and labour-force participation. 
For all the carry-on about the impact of the (unaffordable and unjustifiable) paid parental leave scheme on women’s labour-force participation, why would Hockey support a policy that will drive down labour-force participation, as well as being antithetical (supposedly) to what the Liberal Party stands for? Sometimes it’s better simply to shut up.

Income tax? Et tu jolly Joe? The Tea Partiers now roam the jungle at night sniffing for your blood ...

Okay, the pond knows it's childish to chortle at these squabbling children, but the pond loves the sounds of playground feuds as a way of ushering in a new day.

It gives every hope that the country will move forward with all the sense of style and functionality this sign displayed when it did the Twitter rounds:


Another EXCLUSIVE day at climate denialist headquarters ...


It should be remembered that it was Graham Lloyd that earned yesterday's Press Council rebuke to the lizard Oz, a rebuke which naturally sent the Bolter into a frenzy:

In a September 16 article, since changed online but archived here on the Media Watch website (in pdf form), The Australian environment editor Graham Lloyd rehashed a British story published a week before the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC was released that claimed the report update would say the true figure of warming since 1951 had been 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade, and not the 0.2 degrees Celsius claimed in previous reports. 
 The Oz’s piece continued: “Last week, the IPCC was forced to deny it was locked in crisis talks as reports intensified that scientists were preparing to revise down the speed at which climate change is happening and its likely impact. 
 “It is believed the IPCC draft report will still conclude there is now greater confidence that climate change is real, humans are having a major impact and that the world will continue to warm catastrophically unless drastic action is taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts would include big rises in the sea level, floods, droughts and the disappearance of the Arctic icecap. 
 “But claimed contradictions in the report have led to calls for the IPCC report process to be scrapped.” 
 These reports were wrong. The Daily Mail got its numbers wrong, and The Australian repeated the error, as Media Watch and The Guardian pointed out last year. The long-term trend in the IPCC report is 0.13 degrees of global warming a decade, and has been for some time — there was no retreat from higher figures.

That reminder courtesy of Crikey and 'Considerable concern': Oz in hot water over climate denial errors, though comically enough, in writing it, the Crikey scribbler committed a couple of basic howlers, confusing years with decades.

Still, Crikey provided a handy link to climate denialist central, and the offending Lloyd piece, which now appears in this form:


And so on. The pond reprinted that adjudication yesterday, but you can find it at the Press Council here.

Frankly, after that sort of smack down, the pond doesn't know how Lloyd manages to get out of bed and keep scribbling, or look at himself in the mirror.

The pond would be inclined to go hide in a room and stare at the ceiling, but hey, the force of the kool aid is strong in this one.

And so to today's effort, yet another attempt by Lloyd to evoke puzzles, concerns, pauses, mysteries, confusions, obfuscations and a failed science which can't account for a "pause" in global warming.

So what's the first bit of cheekiness?


Yep, there it is, it's lit up in bright red, with the claim that Lloyd, in writing Puzzle of deep ocean cooling (behind the paywall because you have to pay to read a failed environment editor), is somehow writing an EXCLUSIVE.

It is, in fact, just a beat up of a scientific paper, and climate denialist sites have already been over it like a rash.

There it was two days ago at the impressively titled The Global Warming Policy Foundation, "Restoring balance and trust to the climate debate", under the header Deep Oceans are Cooling Amidst A Sea of Modeling Uncertainty.

The take home message there?

So it remains unclear if and how Trenberth’s “missing heat” has sunk to the deep ocean. The depiction of a dramatic rise in deep ocean heat is highly questionable, even though alarmists have flaunted it as proof of CO2’s power. As Dr. Wunsch had warned earlier, “Convenient assumptions should not be turned prematurely into ‘facts,’ nor uncertainties and ambiguities suppressed.” … “Anyone can write a model: the challenge is to demonstrate its accuracy and precision… Otherwise, the scientific debate is controlled by the most articulate, colorful, or adamant players.” 
 To reiterate, “the uncertainties remain too large to rationalize e.g., the apparent “pause” in warming.”

It's the use of "alarmist" that gives the "balance and trust" game away. The takeaway message is pure denialist, and it's the routine use of "alarmist" which permits the pond to fling around cheerfully the word "denialist".

And Judith Curry was all over it three days ago, though the more canny Curry was more circumspect and questioning, in Are the deep oceans cooling?, ending with a slightly different bottom line:

All in all, I don’t see a very convincing case for deep ocean sequestration of heat.

But at least Curry provided a link to the original paper, available in pdf form and may be slow to load here, and readers will be amused to discover that the actual bottom line of the paper is a plea for more funding and more observations and more expenditure ... well amusing if you remember that the denialists routinely suggest that fat cat scientists are only after lavish grants designed to ensure they have a lifestyle up there with Bill Gates.

Never mind, the important thing to remember is that it isn't in any sense of the word an EXCLUSIVE.

Why that internationally renowned scientist, the Bolter, was also all over it three days ago, taking precious time away from bashing blacks and other pesky minorities, to scribble a definitive No, not enough ocean heat to explain that warming pause.

The world's leading climate scientist knows where to get his second hand science, and that's Jim Steele at Watts Up With That. (yes that was published back on July 21st, but hey exclusive is as exclusive does).

Well you can't expect the world's leading climate scientist to bother doing actual science, or even actual analysis, not when it's environmentally sensitive and thoughtful to recycle the thoughts of others ...

Now the scientists can argue amongst themselves - the pond doesn't pretend to be a player in that game - and the denialists can cheerfully jump to all the conclusions that they like - when confronted with unshakeable faith, that's like debating transubstantiation with a fundamentalist Mel Gibson - but the point about Lloyd is that what he's doing is worse than blogging.

Here's how it works. There is an amplifying circuit out in the ether which seizes on any scientific paper and immediately concludes that it's further evidence that global warming is a hoax, a conspiracy, a fraud, possibly involving the UN and its puppets, and possibly even a way to lead the planet by the nose to a world government ...

Lloyd routinely dips into this fuzzy, ideological amplification, and every so often surfaces with an EXCLUSIVE that's not, and it leads to the sort of simplifications and errors that the Press Council chivvied him for last time.

And because he's amplifying the denialists, it turns the allegedly mainstream media he's fronting into denialist central, home of rumours, uncertainties and confusions.

It's precisely the same strategy that was deployed by big tobacco for decades - you know Restoring balance and trust to the cigarette and tobacco debate - and it's symptomatic of the decline of the lizard Oz as a newspaper that in recent times it has taken to running faux statistics and alarmist nonsense from big tobacco, along with its cheerful propaganda for the big fossil fuel players.

Towards the end of his superficial coverage, Lloyd does try to cover himself from further PC complaints and adjudications:

Andy Hogg from ANU said while there was uncertainty about temperatures in the deep ocean, shallower regions were well understood, and the findings of the Wunsch paper were “consistent” with warming oceans. He said cooling of the deep ocean was not necessarily significant. “Most parts of the abyssal ocean take a very long time (centuries to millennia) to come into equilibrium with surface forcing,” he said. “So if cooling has occurred over large parts of the abyssal ocean, it is unrelated to global warming of the atmosphere over the last century.” 
He said there were key parts of the abyss, which had a closer connection with the surface. “The paper indicates that these regions have indeed been consistent with the expected heat uptake of the ocean in a warmer world,” Dr Hogg said.

But what Lloyd is really doing is "publishing the controversy", in which he explains that there are two contending balanced forces at play and in dispute, and each to be taken seriously as they debate such topics as global temperatures, "a key area of dispute between climate scientists and sceptics".

You might just as well end a story about god by noting that the creation of the earth is "a key area of dispute between Darwinists and creationists".

Never mind, devoted followers of the circus will remember that one of the scientists involved in the paper, Carl Wunsch of MIT, not so long ago, well at least in dinosaur terms, but back in 2007 featured in a scandal which erupted around his appearance in The Great Global Warming Swindle (for all those Greg Hunts who love to wiki).

Wunsch complained he was mislead and deceived about the nature of the show, and after his complaints his material was deleted from the international and DVD versions. Back then, Wunsch found himself writing climate change is:

... climate change is "real, a major threat, and almost surely has a major human-induced component. But I have tried to stay out of the `climate wars' because all nuance tends to be lost, and the distinction between what we know firmly, as scientists, and what we suspect is happening, is so difficult to maintain in the presence of rhetorical excess." He further cautiously states that "The science of climate change remains incomplete. Some elements are so firmly based on well-understood principles, or for which the observational record is so clear, that most scientists would agree that they are almost surely true (adding CO2 to the atmosphere is dangerous; sea level will continue to rise, ...). Other elements remain more uncertain, but we as scientists in our roles as informed citizens believe society should be deeply concerned about their possibility: failure of US midwestern (sic) precipitation in 100 years in a mega-drought; melting of a large part of the Greenland ice sheet, among many other examples.

As for Patrick Heimbach? Well he's just as bad, publishing papers that take a look at Greenland and what might happen in future years, and yes, suggesting more funding is needed for more observations for a problem that will impact future generations (A look back and ahead at Greenland's changing climate).

But if you read Lloyd, all you get is a take home message is confusion and chaos, unanswered, perhaps unanswerable questions, hypotheses that need confirmation or refutation, negligible implications that might turn out to be massive, and a high stakes game being played with blank cards:

Professor Wunsch and Dr Heimbach say trends showed a warming in the upper ocean and a net cooling below 2000m. Below 3600m, the cooling is about 0.01C over 19 years. 
“As with many climate-­related records, the unanswerable question here is whether these changes are truly secular, and/or a response to anthropogenic forcing, or whether they are fragments of a general red noise behaviour,’’ the paper says. 
Some climate scientists claim the deep oceans are not significant because of the long time­frames over which temperature changes occur. 
Professor Wunsch and Dr Heimbach say shifts in deep ocean properties “may indeed be so slight that their neglect in discussions of heat uptake and sea level change is justified”. 
“The history of exploration suggests, however, that blank places on the map have either been assumed to be without any interesting features and dropped from further discussion, or at the other extreme filled with ‘dragons’ invoked to explain strange reports,” they say. 
The paper says that, given the combination of the high stakes for society in the accurate ­estimation of global heating rates and sea level rise, and the fundamental science questions of understanding of oceanic variability, direct confirmation or refutation of the existing hypothesis was essential.

Scientists full of saucy doubts, confusions and fears.

What to do, what to do?

Why read the Bolter, the world's greatest climate scientist, he'll sort things out ...

Just another day at the EXCLUSIVE headquarters of climate denialist central ...

(Below: and now for another great moment in science. You can find the story at Followup on the WSJ climate denial OpEd, and you can find the cartoon here, along with this:

Add caption


And so to the cartoon:


Oh okay you probably read Neutrino researchers admit Einstein was right, but here's a couple of XKCDs arising from the subject matter, and more of XKCD's cartoons here: