Friday, August 29, 2014

Gone with the wind indeed, with Tony Abbott belching lies and broken promises, and Greg Hunt as methane-affected as your average moo cow ...

(Above: the scrunched up letter tendered in evidence, sensitive details deleted)

The pond was forced to retrieve the above letter from the waste bin, where to it had been flung by the pond's partner, scrunched up and pulverised, and accompanied by a flurry of vile oaths about the liar Tony Abbott ...

By way of contrast, the pond had greeted the letter with a calm Zen wisdom, which on reflection might have been profoundly irritating to anyone who thinks politicians should say what they mean and mean what they say, rather than lie their way into power, and then live a life of lies ...

Suffice to say that for those who can't be bothered getting past the scrunched up nature of the document, it says that there will be an "estimated savings for an average New South Wales customer of $158 for electricity and $35 for gas over this 12 month period", with an * that explains this is an estimated difference between the old and new average residential tariffs, being a weighted average calculated across all tariff zones and average usage.

No matter the technicalities, it's a peculiar document, especially when put up against the documented lies of Tony Abbott, as at the ABC here quite recently on 7.30 (yes, yes, it's blighted by Chris Uhlmann and is currently unwatchable but we're talking June), in relation to the repeal of the carbon tax:

The Government has promised the move will save the average family $550 a year, but it's a hotly contested claim. So just how much can you expect to save? Political correspondent Sabra Lane has been crunching the numbers. 
TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER (Aug '13): We will scrap the carbon tax so that your family will be $550 a year better off. 
TONY ABBOTT (last week): It's a $550-a-year hit on the average household's costs. 
TONY ABBOTT (Saturday): It's costing the average Australian families $550 a year. So it must go. SABRA LANE, REPORTER: It was the twin-sloganeering riff that partnered the promise to scrap the carbon tax: that average families could expect to save hundreds of dollars each year, up to $3,000 over six years when the tax was abolished.

Now the pond has always been poor at maths, but buggered if it can make $193 a year, on average, amount to $550.

Now the canniness in Abbott's pricing was that it included vague, unspecified amounts, not just for electricity and gas, but for other items such as food, but even at the time when the $550 figure was led by the consummate liar and breaker of promises to the Rooty Hill mob at a forum back in August 2013, it was fact-checked and judged to be "outdated", a polite ABC word for a politically convenient lie. (Tony Abbott's claim households will be $550 a year better off without the carbon tax is outdated).

In the meantime, the pond wonders how many will receive this letter and judge Abbott a liar and a picker of pockets?

That seemed to be behind Crikey publishing an SA letter from Energy Australia assuring average South Australian customers that they'd be receiving an average saving of $136 over the twelve month period (Tips and Rumours, here, paywall affected).



That leaves $414 still to go from the $550 that Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised we’d save when the tax was repealed. Is Energy Australia scrimping on passing on the full savings, or did Abbott overestimate the amount of cash we might save?

Did Abbott tell a porky, or is that a flying toaster?


Does any of it matter? Were there mugs who really believed Abbott?

Are there mugs who believe notorious climate sceptic Dick Warburton's report on the RET is an honest and balanced accounting of issues confronting the sector?

It was, of course, long ago that Sir Humphrey set up two key rules of government: never look into anything you don't have to, and never set up an inquiry unless you know in advance what its findings will be (and Jonathan Lynn has other quotes from the series here).

It reminded the pond of a wonderful moment when Warburton showed Jesuits and angels how to dance on the head of a pin:

NAOMI WOODLEY: In 2011 you told Lateline Business that you were a climate change sceptic, not a denier, but you did believe the science isn't settled, and that was why Australia shouldn't be pursuing a carbon tax. Do you still believe that the science isn't settled, and will that have an influence on the way that you conduct this review? 
DICK WARBURTON: Yes, let's qualify the terms. I am not a denier, nor a sceptic actually, of climate change per se. What I am sceptical is the claims that man-made carbon dioxide is the major cause of global warming. I'm not a denier of that, but I am sceptical of that claim. (here)

Uh huh. I'm not a climate denier or a sceptic, I'm just a climate science denying sceptic.

In the old days in Tamworth tricky Dick would have been called a bullshit artist, which is to say a dissembler, too dishonest to say what he actually means and thinks because of his perception of the political fall out that would surround plain speaking ... but no doubt a perfect candidate for Sir Humphrey's world on reports and inquiries, and now it seems he has now produced the perfect Sir Humphrey report ...

Naturally the pond turned to the Murdoch press for an insight and accurate analysis of the devilish work of the denialist and his misleading aggregation of statistics - yes, in the manner of his master, Warburton has reduced his report to just one figure, reported over and over again, ad nauseam, $22 billion, $22 billion, like a sulphur-crested cockatoo, and never mind subtlety or nuance.

So what say you Daily Terror?



Sob, so that's the way the world ends, not with a bang but a foo whimper ... hmm, how's that business plan working out for them?

You had to go elsewhere to get a heading which explained how the country had been Warburtoned, a sub-genre of Abbotted, a polite way of saying fucked:


Of course the bottom line to all this is that the RET is useless and expensive, direct action is a useless and inexpensive Soviet-style boondoggle, and the carbon tax or any sort of price on carbon is an outrage, and now we're shod of it, the price of electricity will plummet, except it won't, and we're taking climate science terribly seriously, and doing everything we can to help the planet, except what was that problem again?

And what's behind this farrago which in the good old days meant either a student rage or Latin for mixed cattle fodder? 

What's the inspiration? Well you just have to tip the hat and wink the nod to Tony "climate change is crap" Abbott ... 

But life is going to get ugly for the government because more promises will be broken, as shown by the feud that has erupted around the quisling Greg Hunt:

"Before the election he [Mr Abbott] was committed to renewable energy, he was committed to the RET, he was committed to a million solar roofs," Mr Grimes said.
"After the election, promise after promise broken, million solar roofs gone, the RET he wants abolished - he and Joe Hockey are working hard for that outcome. 
 "Moderate voices like [Environment Minister] Greg Hunt have been sidelined in the Cabinet. 
 "This is just not what the people were voting for, and certainly not what they want."

Greg Hunt a moderate, as opposed to a seat warmer, a time server and a forelock tugger and a facilitator for denialists and reef wreckers?

Kind words indeed.

But as the feud proceeds, seats are being targeted, and things will get ugly, and hey, after the stoush Grimes v Hunt reported in Australian Solar Council attacks Prime Minister's 'broken promises' on renewable energy support Hunt wasn't sounding like such a moderate voice, but more like an angry, dissembling fop:

"Mr Grimes should be utterly ashamed of himself today - he is somebody who says one thing in private and another thing in public.
"We are committed to the long-term future of renewable energy in Australia."

Which left Grimes with an obvious retort, which the pond feels obliged to provide for him:

"Mr Hunt should be utterly ashamed of himself today - he is somebody who says one thing in public and another thing in public.

And never mind the lies, the broken promises, the hypocrisy and the inconsistencies involved ...

Meanwhile, even the reptiles, always busy scribbling hagiographies and knob polishing, could see trouble ahead, as noted by that quintessential reptile environmentalist Graham Lloyd in Bad news for renewable power (behind the paywall because if you really think Lloyd contributes to an understanding of climate science, you really should be made to pay for your silliness):

Big wind and solar projects will find little comfort in a scheme that extends new permits on a year-by-year basis depending on ­increases in electricity demand. 
As a result, the $15 billion pipeline claimed by industry for big new wind and solar projects will remain blocked. 

Yep and Jolly Joe won't have to be offended by the sight of more wind mills being built on the road to Canberra. Now there's a real plus for the planet.

But do go on:

The review did not buy the ­argument of sunrise industry ­employment. It said renewable energy jobs cost jobs elsewhere. This will be a hot-button issue for vocal lobby groups. 
But the more dangerous retail politics is likely to come from the army of rooftop solar users being assembled into a vocal grassroots campaign force. 
Recent meetings in marginal electorates has shown people are prepared to speak out for the green energy revolution that is transforming suburbia. The RET review has effectively told the Abbott government to close up shop on subsidising rooftop solar and solar water heaters through small-scale renewable ­energy certificates.

Uh huh. And right now people are getting letters explaining they've been sold a dud (it's hard to say sold a pup these days, given all the PUPs doing the rounds) about electricity price savings and the carbon tax, and any chance of making genuine savings by embracing solar energy will be dudded by the Abbott government, acting on the advice of a climate sceptic too afraid to admit he's a denialist ...

Oh it's wonderful times, great days indeed.

Who could imagine a government so incompetent and inept that it followed Yes Minister's advice and got the answer to the enquiry that they expected, only to discover that the answer was guaranteed to get them into solar hot water and an ongoing feud with a substantial section of the community? With more charges of broken promises and lies and hypocrisies, and not even a fig leaf for a cover when it comes to a response to climate science, except overt and explicit denialism ...

You couldn't make stuff like this up, except that by living in the Abbott era, we now see what happens to people who make stuff up all the time, along with promises destined to be broken...

As usual, the pond has to turn to David Pope for insight (and more Pope here).


Eek, Dave, what have you done?

Tony Abbott as Rhett Butler? Tony Abbott as Clark Gable? That seared the pond's eyeballs like a savage splash of citric acid. Quick, waiter,  bring help and a soothing image ...



That's better, but please, Dave, no more eyeball terrorism. There's only so much the pond can take.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Let the official season for weekend mockery, mirth and ridicule be declared open a few days early ...

(Above: and more First Dog here).

And so the mockery and the mirth begins.

What a pretty pass it's come to when even news.com.au runs a story 'Please don't go to the bigot conference' (or when you get to the actual story, a more staid header reading World Congress of Families: Kevin Andrews urged to cancel, and beware the forced video - the site first had a go at this story with World Congress of Families conference firebrand figures).

So who is Kevin Andrews keeping company with?

Where to begin, but there's as fine an assortment of fruit loops, fruit cakes, salted nuts and cashews -don't forget the dried muscatel grapes and almonds the pond used to love - as could be imagined, including but not limited to Danny Nalliah, the man who can raise people from the dead and who shares Kevin Donnelly's fondness for corporal punishment,  the Evangelical Salt Shakers, the Memucan Institute (which called the push for women's equality a jihad),  Cory Bernardi, Robert Clark, Fred Nile and Bernie Finn. Oh and Eric 'cancer man' Abetz ...

The SOP in such matters is always to bemoan the way liberals, do gooders, cardigan wearers, most likely Fairfax readers and ABC listeners and viewers and clickers, always target Xian fundamentalists fighting the good fight and ignore barking mad Islamic fundamentalists.

The problem of course is that barking mad Islamic fundamentalists are a very small minority in this country, while Kevin Andrews is ostensibly and allegedly the Minister for Families in the federal government, and some of the other names mentioned above are also a conspicuous part of the political elite governing the country ...

Which reminds the pond of that wondrous award Kevin Andrews named 'Natural Family Man of the Year' by Christian Group.

Natural?

Are we all singing along with Lou Rawls?

So when ya see me cyclin', won't ya notice that proud look in my eyes 
My feet are on the ground and my soul is searchin' for the sky 
 'Cause I want to be happy and free 
Livin' and lovin' for me I want to be happy and free 
Livin' and lovin' for me 
Just like a natural man (just like a natural man) 
A natural man (just like a natural man) 

Not really. 'Natural' is of course a dog whistle of the basest kind, and by way of contrast, everybody else is 'unnatural'.

Now the pond is inclined to bristle when called 'unnatural' ...

Does Andrews ever wonder or have even the slightest awareness of what a destructive bunch of bigots he cavorts with?

Well it seems his spokeswoman might have had some doubts:

A spokeswoman for Andrews initially denied the minister had won such a “prize”, but subsequently confirmed the minister had received the accolade. Organisers said it was likely it would be officially presented at an international conference on a date to be announced.

Ah denialism, the natural state of the Abbott government ...

Now some have tut tutted about Andrews attending - such as Claire Moore with Families Minister should govern for all families.

But the pond sees an upside. It's good that all the fundamentalists, the bigots, the vile prejudiced jihadists should gather together in a forum of hate so that they can be observed and analysed in detail.

It's good to learn that Andrews uses his power to facilitate fundamentalist bigots, as you can read in Kevin Andrews books out parliament room for anti-gay marriage conference.

When was the last time an boofhead Islamic fundamentalist had the chance to strut his stuff in the corridors of power?

And the even deeper irony? Why barking mad Islamic fundamentalists would share many of the philosophical points of view and outlooks of the barking mad Christian fundamentalists intent on their jihad against the 'other' and the 'different' and the 'unnatural'.

And make no mistake these are hate mongers and bigots of the first water, as you can read in New HRC Report Exposes The World Congress of Families (slow to load), active around the world at hot gay hate spots, but also with a deep political agenda at work in the Abbott government.

And what evidence do we have that the jihadists are at work in Australia? Well they certainly fear, loathe and persecute secularists:


And so on. With Abbott driving the agenda.

More of that story here, which does Julia Gillard and the Labor party no good, because they too facilitated the jihadists.

But the pond was beguiled by the photo attached to the photo - the cold glint in the eye, the gleaming bespectacled image of ideological and theological fanaticism which lurks right on the surface of the Abbott government ...

And that's the problem with your average right wing ratbag member of the commentariat.

They will, like little Timmeh head off to Lakemba to give Islamics a hard time, because of a few fundamentalists roaming in the wild and in a bookstore (and never mind Stormfront online), but they never seem to worry about the barking mad fundamentalists deeply embedded right at the top of the tree in federal and state governments.

Yes, you can cop this form of hysteria in the Murdoch tabloids:


But in fact the jihadists and the natural terrorists are already within the halls of power, and conducting their jihad of prejudice and bigotry quite freely ...

Which is why the congress of the jihadists on the weekend is going to do a tremendous amount of good for middle of the roaders and cardigan wearers  - or, to put it another way, a tremendous amount of harm for a government of fundamentalists already adept at shooting itself in the foot ...

How adept?

Well the headlines just keep coming:


That travel record was helped along by Abbott's gratuitous flight to escape the budget heat and visit the Dutch, for no real purpose than the magician's art of distraction.

And then there was that other story that's just kept bubbling along, the Melbourne junket, with its latest manifestation Abbott snubbed his senators for Melbourne fundraiser.

That snubbing is in addition to the snout in the trough angle, which saw Abbott being supported by the chief PUP, who sees nothing wrong with a little rorting ... and with friends like that ...

How deep does the malaise run?

Well even the kool aid gulping reptiles at the lizard Oz are having a hard time swallowing the soda, as shown by Niki Savva in Loose lips try to sink Abbott's leaky ship (behind the paywall because you have to pay to board the leaky ship). 

With this handy illustration by Sturt Krygsman:


And some gloomy Savva text, including this:

For some it was the media’s fault, namely Fairfax and the ABC. There was criticism of the Prime Minister’s own department. Others admitted there had been a few own goals, with loose language. With refreshing frankness, ­Attorney-General George Brandis admitted he could have expressed himself better. 
Indeed. As could the Prime Minister. Whatever possessed Abbott to say what he said served only to revive memories of the old Abbott, especially when he ­arrived late at the National Press Club debate during the 2007 election, then swore at Labor’s health spokeswoman Nicola Roxon. 
If voters hate anything more than smelling even the faintest whiff of misuse of entitlements — and the only person to have ­hinted at that is the Prime Minister — it is when they smell it as they are being asked to cough up more for visits to the doctors or cop less in family benefits. 
Many politicians, including those on the Labor side, do what Abbott did and tack on a legitimate function to cover what could be seen as a questionable one; however, few of them blurt it out in a brain snap in front of a roomful of people, not all of whom are well disposed towards them. 
Interestingly, Paul Kelly’s book on the Labor years, Triumph and Demise, has not only revived memories of Labor’s dysfunction but prompted thinking within senior echelons of the Abbott government about parallels with its own operations, and where all that may end up. The main one that they volunteered had sprung to mind was the centralisation of power. Strictly speaking, what happened with Abbott was not dysfunction. It was a moment of madness brought on by poor planning, extreme tiredness and provocation. His colleagues could only watch, despondent and defensive, as they claimed defective hearing or simply blamed Macdonald. 
Labor didn’t have to say or do much. The story ran all day before being challenged for prominence by news of expanded counter-terrorism measures at airports, plus the US seeking Australian support for military action in Syria. 
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten focused on the other most damaging aspect to the disclosure, which was that it was made by Abbott’s own MPs. Anyway, their ramping up the issue of entitlements could invite scrutiny of their own behaviour. 
Last night Abbott’s office hosted drinks in the government party room to welcome back staff after the winter break. They would have needed a few stiff ones.

Brain snap? Moment of madness?

And so to the weekend, when the crazed jihadists and fundamentalists in the Abbott government will come out to play.

By golly, no wonder David Rowe, like the pond, seems to be a fan of Air Crash Investigations. So many crashes for El Tonio 747, so many investigations, and so many more Rowe cartoons here.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A potpourri of feudal lizards, Sharri Markson, jolly Joe, Kim Williams and a medieval reptile approach to broadband ...


(Above: a bus sign apparently modified in Brisbane and doing the Facebook/Twitter rounds, and that's the last publicity that film will get at the pond. The pond is so over neo realism).

How to begin? How about this?

On Wednesday, as NSW residents took stock of the news of Mike Baird preparing to visit north west NSW farmers caught in the grip of the worst drought since records began  ... (The Land, here)

No, no, that won't do, that makes the pond sound as silly as a climate denialist like Nick Cater scribbling about weather events as a way of justifying a love of coal and the ongoing destruction of the Great Barrier Reef by the Campbell Newman government, and we already know how much on average outburst of climate denialism costs the reptiles at the lizard Oz. Squillions in salaries ...

Speaking of squillions and epic silliness however, the pond by chance came across an offering from Sharri Markson for the reptiles, regarding an attempt to lure gossip monger Joe Aston away from the AFR:

Text messages sighted by Diary show The Australian was only prepared to offer Aston a 25 per cent pay rise, taking his salary to $225,000 cash plus superannuation etc. (here)

They what? How much? Only? Say again? Only ....

Talk about making ridiculous offers for the deck chairs on the Titanic.

But the real joke is that Markson, a writer so stupid she makes doofuses sound like bright sparks, took this as some kind of epic victory for the reptiles:

Aston had made it clear he was more than happy to leave Fairfax. But he wanted $400,000, which was rejected out-of-hand. 
While there were informal text exchanges, no formal offer was ever made to Aston. The discussion stopped with his absurd request for a salary of $400,000.

Stop right there. The absurdity was putting in print that the reptiles had offered Aston a 25% pay rise, and a handsome salary. The rest is mere frippery.

Memo to Markson. When discussing absurdities, please wash underclothes in private and hang them in the bathroom out of sight ...

What else?

Well the pond rarely goes near the Middle East, but this was astonishing, and followed on from some 300 Holocaust survivors placing an advertisement in the New York Times condemning the massacre in Gaza.

The writer had to preface it with a note that it wasn't from The Onion, because it was a record of Facebook responses to the ad translated from the Hebrew:

Meir Dahan: No wonder Hitler murdered 6 million Jews because of people like you you’re not even Jews you’re disgusting people a disgrace to humanity and so are your offspring you are trash. 
Asher Solomon: It’s a shame Hitler didn’t finish the job. 
Katy Morali: Holocaust survivors who think like this are invited to go die in the gas chambers.

And so on, here, with a screen cap of the postings, and yet there might be a few who still wonder why the pond thinks the purpose and meaning of Israel has become grotesque and deformed under Netanyahu's government.

Throw in Wallace Shawn translating an ADL ad justifying Israeli child murder, here, and you can see why the pond steers clear of middle East politics.

No, it's much simpler and much more joyous simply to celebrate the news in The Graudian that Joe Hockey is Australia's least popular recent treasurer, poll suggests ...

What's even crueller for jolly Joe is that Peter Costello came out on top by a goodly margin over Paul Keating, suggesting that the respondents weren't afraid of Liberals generally - they just despised Jolly Joe in particular. Michael Heath at Bloomberg even felt the need to collect a 'greatest gaffes' hit list in Gaffes Worsen Abbott's Woes as $37 Billion in Cuts Stranded.

Can it get any worse? Well yes, it seems Joe's goose is cooked, because the tabloid Terror has taken a turn for the worse, and whipped out the photoshop and turned Jolly Joe into a grinch or a scrooge:


But at least the pond can feel safe that the bottle of red bet on Jolly Joe never making it to PM is looking safer by the day.

Instead he can look forward to scribbling for fast fading newspaper brands, like Peter Costello, perhaps with the byline "known and loved as Australia's worst treasurer".

It's at this point that the tougher luddite reptiles get going, and only the reptiles could have presented big Mal's self-serving "independent" report this way:


Fast browsing? Super-fast net little use to business?

Yep, that's how they filled in the front page, like the useless, backward looking luddites they are:



This in response to a mate's rates report that soft soaps the useless big Mal scheme, which is ineptly and expensively rolling out, at a speed and in a way that makes the original NBN look like a bit of technological wizardry.

Is the pond bitter because it's consigned to Optus? You betcha ...

Is the pond enraged because the reptiles still think broadband is only about fast TV and web browsing?

You cannot begin to understand how pissed ...

But there is an upside, because you see, oh tragic reptiles, it's already fast enough to fuck your tree killing hard copy ancient feudal business plan, and your business strategies and your bottom line, so you can just go take a flying fuck while the pond dances on your still warm grave ... knowing it will get colder as the years pass ...

And it's coincidentally fast enough to help fuck Foxtel, and soon enough Netflix will come to town, and the stalled business model of a pay TV monopoly in this country will see even more cable cutting, and price cutting, and where will your fast TV be then?

While others will begin to explore the educational and health opportunities of broadband, the surface of which has yet been barely scratched in this Murdoch dominated luddite country ...

Oh wait. You just love the NBN because it's all about fast TV, isn't it. Heed the lying, duplicitous, deceitful voice of your doubling down master ...


A nonsense of course. Foxtel was as much behind the digital curve as the tree killers ...

A quarter of a million so the pond could slow browse the thoughts and insights of Joe Aston?

Talk about a fucked business model ...

And you can browse those remarks as fast as the fucked technologies offered by big Mal permit ....

At this point, it would be remiss of the pond not to mention Kim Williams out and about and having fun flogging his book and generating headlines like the one in The Graudian, Rupert Murdoch runs News Corp along 'feudal' lines, Kim William says.

That story opened this way:


News Corp Australia is a company run along feudal lines which is “vaingloriously ignoring the facts” about the digital future of news, says the man who used to run the company, Kim Williams. 
When asked to elaborate on his comments on Rupert Murdoch in his new book, Rules of Engagement, the former CEO Williams told the ABC: “Look, one can only describe the organisational framework and general approach on the part of News as being pretty feudal.” 
“I think it’s a simple descriptive statement of the obvious for anyone who has worked there.”

Well yes, and you only have to look at the ongoing lizard war dance about the NBN to see the rampant feudalism in action ...

But it doesn't matter, because by hook or by crook, and though more slowly than necessary, faster speeds will come, and the feudalists with their addiction to their tree-killing ways will look ever more quaint and antiquated.

In all the recent fuss about the Crikey leaks about the blue book, the thing that most astonished the pond was the way that News Corp was still hanging its hat on print (as noted by Media Watch here).

Now the pond has a coloured view of Kim Williams, but it was possible to summon up some sympathy for a man forced to deal with a flock of luddites:

One commentary piece, by the Australian’s media business media writer Darren Davidson, in particular infuriated Williams with its claim he was “too eager to get ahead of the digital curve” and that was his “fatal mistake”. 

 “Look I stopped reading that piece because I thought it was so ill informed; so clearly indifferent to actually doing a piece of proper journalistic discovery that it didn’t warrant reading,” William said. “Ahead of the digital curve is such a fascinating concept. If ever a set of companies were behind the digital curve, were behind the whole tsunami of change that consumers have wrought upon on the world in response to technology enablement it is print journalism media companies. I mean really? Let’s all grow up; let’s all become serious adults. Please!”

Grow up? Become serious adults?

Sorry Kim, a bunch of kids are in charge of the federal government, doing a dance with Pups, and the adults are nowhere to be found.

Meanwhile, Chris Mitchell's crazy gang of kids is still running the lizard Oz, letting the likes of Sharri Markson loose on the world, while the Murdoch tabloids are off in simple-minded photoshop limbo land, which pleases blogs in search of a simple-minded illustration, but does bugger all to elevate the debate for the readership.


Have they not the slightest sense of how they demean themselves as much as their target?

Of course as the Graudian noted, back in the day Williams himself supped of the feudal kool aid and sounded bullish about print still being all the go in 2020.

And the reptiles can be relied upon to brood about Williams' religion and spirit encounters with his mum, as a way of deflecting attention from his digital insights, but  no amount of smokescreen can hide the immense harm that Murdoch and his lackeys have done in supporting Team Luddite Abbott and thereby helping impede Australia being brought up to speed.

Here we were in January 2013:


40!

Which helps explain how iiNet could begin a campaign in June 2014 - with an ethnic tinge - based around the news that Romania and Slovakia have faster internet than Australia:


(here, with links to the spots on YouTube).

Damn you reptiles, damn you to hell, and enjoy your ride on your specially purchased, handsomely salaried Titanic deck chairs.

And now it's about time to wrap up this potpourri, but not before thanking Pope for this insight into the man who helped open the gates of hell.

Better to leave it at a cartoon, for fear of a pond meltdown, and as always more Pope here.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Futility, where is thy sting? Is it a bouffant one, Dame Groan, the Caterists or little Timmeh's witch project?


(Above: it's a time of war, a time of crisis, a time of dire emergency, quick wheel out the Islamic fundies and terrorists for a good beating, and head off for more David Rowe here).

There are many, many definitions of futility, but surely reading the reptiles in search of enlightenment in these troubled economic times is the most definitive definition to hand, as the Abbott government valiantly battles the fiscal apocalypse.

Oh okay, on every page and in every way, reading the reptiles at the lizard Oz must make anyone contemplate in a morbid way the meaning of life and the point of it all.

Every day the pond contemplates the reptiles and wonders if anything is worth the energy of getting around the paywall.

Should one lift a finger to read the latest outing of the bouffant one as he goes about his hagiographic knob polishing?


No, not really. Already the pond can feel the vital bodily fluids seeping into the ether. Perhaps only another viewing of Dr. Strangelove, or the news that Israel takes the same view of fluoride will restore the sacred fluids and essences.

And then there's Dame Groan carrying on in the usual way.


The Groaner is still banging on about fixing the economy?

It's at this point that the pond remembers that last night Media Watch here offered a few simple economics-orientated graphs




Oh dear. Wouldn't Dame Groan be better off scribbling "why am I part of such a loss-making, proven market failure product" and "how can we simplify the dross and produce a saleable rag'?

Well the pond is pleased Dame Groan asked the question because surely the first to go would be the Caterists.

There are many, many definitions of futility, but surely reading the Caterists in search of enlightenment on climate science is the most definitive definition to hand in these troubled times.

What on earth is the point of running yet another Caterist beat up of this kind?


There's not even the frisson to be gained as in days of yore when confronted with the babbling of a bubble headed booby.

There's absolutely nothing new in Blaming coal is reefer madness (behind the paywall in a bid not to save the planet but to save the Murdochians) that hasn't already done to death doing the denialist rounds for years ... as foreshadowed when the opening line is actually about the weather:

On Sunday, as NSW residents took stock of a week of torrential rain ...

It's gibberish.

You might as well start off a piece saying As Porterville California residents took stock of the deep and dire California drought ...

PORTERVILLE (AP) - Government officials and community groups say hundreds of rural San Joaquin Valley residents no longer can get drinking water from their home faucets because California's extreme drought has dried up their individual wells. 
The Porterville Recorder says the situation has become so dire that the Tulare County Office of Emergency Services had 12-gallon-per person rations of bottled water delivered on Friday in the community of East Porterville, where at least 182 of the 1,400 households reported having no or not enough water. 
The office's manager, Andrew Lockman, says the supplies cost the county $30,000 and were designed to last about three weeks, but are only a temporary fix. 
To get future deliveries, officials are asking low-income residents to apply for aid and for bottled water donations like the one a local casino made a few weeks ago.

Yes, yes, but where does discussing the weather actually get anyone?

Not very far, though it has to be said the current drought has produced some curious headlines, not least The Drought Is So Bad California's Mountains Grew Half An Inch, and California drought: Water witches in demand as wells run dry.

Oops, there you go, stark evidence that googling and cruising the full to overflowing intertubes is vastly more entertaining than spending time with the Caterists ... though it's not just California and California's vanishing lakes: Before-and-after photos reveal the shocking shriveling effect of state's most devastating drought in decades.

Sure you can read The Elevation of Western US Is Rising Due to Drought, but then you might miss out on the news from China to be found in Liaoning sweats in most severe drought in decades.

Northeast China's Liaoning Province is in the midst of the most severe drought since 1951, suffering huge damage to crops and threatening the local people's livelihood. 
The province received only 102mm of rain from July 1 to Aug. 17, 60 percent less than normal. It's the smallest amount of precipitation in the region for the past 63 years, making Liaoning the worst hit by drought this summer. The weather is expected to continue through August.


Uh huh. Which brings the pond back to the sheer stupidity of the Caterists scribbling about the current NSW weather, as that means anything in the ultimate scheme of things, and their consequent failure to open their piece, On Sunday as Californian and Liaoning residents took stock of culminating August days of an excruciating drought ...

See? The pond hasn't got past the first line and already thinks Nick Cater writes with all the insight and sense of a cretin, and then the pond, being ever so PC, has to apologise to cretins.

As for the rest, it's the usual nonsense, that coal is good, no scrub that, coal is great, and evil greenies and their propaganda arm at the ABC pose a dire threat to the coal industry, and the Great Barrier Reef is doing stunningly well, and only last week it was announced that the reef had been saved, and then you get this sort of drivel:

The reef’s recent deterioration is almost entirely due to the crown of thorns starfish and to storms, but Greenpeace is intent on convincing us that coal is to blame. 
It is trying its level best to turn the expansion of the port facilities at Abbot Point to export coal from the Galilee Basin into the next Franklin Dam, despite the paucity of evidence it has to work with. 
Dredging three million tonnes of clean sand and depositing it on more sand does not really cut it, particularly since the dumping site is farther from the coral reef than Calais is from Dover.

Yes, because sea-born rubbish can't travel more than a mile, which makes the Great Pacific garbage patch, or trash vortex a complete mystery to the pond ... and as for the North Atlantic garbage patch, that forces the pond to confront an even greater mystery.

How is it that English crap routinely washes up on Australian shores?

As for the rest?

This is, however, a purely symbolic campaign. The battle for the reef, as the ABC’s Four Corners pitched it last week, is a battle of good and evil between coral and coal. 
The recent breakthrough in the eradication of the coral-eating starfish barely rated a mention. 
Teams of divers funded by the government have administered needles to hundreds of thousands of these noxious invertebrates. Farmers are being paid to keep rivers free of nutrients in which the starfish blossom. 
Rays of hope such as this, however, cannot be allowed to dilute the apocalyptic narrative that is mandatory in ABC documentaries on the environment. 
“How much do we really care about our most iconic national treasure?” Kerry O’Brien asked rhetorically. On reflection, that’s not a bad question.

On reflection?

Caterists don't reflect, they just astro-turf for the coal lobby, with the reptiles complaisant, acquiescent, amenable, accommodating facilitators ...

Luckily, for anyone interested in the issues confronting the reef, there are some decent sources available on the intertubes.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority put together a 311 page outlook report for 2014, here in useless reader format, and then provided a little summary for bears and Caterists of limited understanding:


Yep there's a range of threats, and you'd have to think that the Caterists are up there with the crown of thorns starfish.

But that's the way of anyone inclined to the simplistic and the simple-minded, and simple rabid ideological responses of the "four legged coal industry is wonderful, two legged greenies and ABC cardigan-wearers is bad" kind to be found in the lizard Oz ...

So remind the pond yet again how this simplistic reductionist approach to news and information is playing out in the market place?

Of all the details in Crikey's release of News Corp Australia's 2013 internal operating accounts last week, the revelation that the average salary at The Australian clocked in at $174,000 was the most juicy. Who knew climate denialists were so expensive?

Who knew indeed, with Nathan Bell being waggish for the Fairfaxians in News Corp investors readilng between the headlines  ... though perhaps in this case the real cost is hiring the team that packages the drivel into something designed to look attractive enough to lure denialist readers behind the paywall ...

There might be only one solution, as a kindly reader suggested.

If witches are afoot in California battling the drought, can witches be made to work locally?

Cue little Timmeh ... (and The Roast, made on a dime, is here)


Barners oh Barners, chicken little for the ages ...

(Above: oh the poor dog, who whipped the beast so cruelly? Why is there such suffering in the world?)

Senator Joyce said the $23 a tonne tax was imposed on businesses that emitted more than the threshold of 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent or more each year. ''Seeing that there's a 25,000 tonne limit, and then you pay the $23-a-tonne carbon tax, you actually do have, in abattoirs around this nation, a time where they don't pay the carbon tax, when they take that next beast to actually switch over to the 25,000 tonne carbon emission limit,'' he told Channel Ten. ''That next beast costs them 23,000 by $23 which - what's that - $575,000 for a beast, so it's costing you vastly more than a $100 roast, that one.'' (all this and more back in November 2012 in Joyce's $100 roast prediction rubbished)

Oh no, we're all going to starve, we're all going to die. A hundred bucks for a lamb roast, and then vastly more for the next one.

Hang on a 'mo. Are things so bad?



Well there might be a nice bottle of red and a snack for a few, for the chosen, but not for the rest, the illiterate, innumerate herd of sheep lining up to be roasted:

We either accept that we've got a debt problem and we've got to turn it around or we basically say 'no, this is only a small melanoma on our arm, and if we just wait long enough it will go away. No, as a financial melanoma, it will kill you ...

Oh no, we're all going to die.

Hang on a second, we are all going to die.

In due course, and with some possibly worn down by listening to Barners rabbit on and unable to stand it any more...

But wait, we won't have a navy, and we'll be closing down hospitals and the ABC will be certain to go, and if we can't have a navy, the air force will have to go, and so will the army, and if hospitals are too dear, why schools and universities will have to shut, and don't you worry about that, the poodle Pyne will see to that, and while he's at it, why not load students up with debt for thirty years or more, because we must care for the children, and the sky will fall down, and we won't even be able to afford a decent zoo to accommodate all the Chicken Littles falling out of the clouds ...

Oh Tamworth, Tamworth, what have you done?

Put it another way, Joyce's tough talk on the budget could be amusing after 15 beers in the public bar of Maguire's pub, but they're very, very dangerous if you want to say them in front of a remotely sane person ...

Well there's the light relief for the day, perhaps the year. The pond can keep going back to this bore for saline water for a long, long time ...



Monday, August 25, 2014

So how's that business plan going, thanks to little Timmeh?


(Above: when in Melbourne, the pond always visits the Australian Galleries, and loves the work of Graeme Drendel. If the pond had the money, this one would be in the lounge room right now. As it is, all it can do is set the mood for the pond taking another trip into Murdoch la la land. By golly that snake looks just like little Timmeh Bleagh).


So what's the news this Monday on the commentariat front, up there with the bleakness of the western front, as we head towards springtime for musicals and other follies ...

Well it's relatively quiet, or at least predictable.

Over at the Fairfaxians, Paul "magic water man" Sheehan does his routine bit of union bashing in The inquiry, unions and ghost majorities, but the Fairfaxians thought so little of it that, at time of writing, you had to click through to find it.

Well someone's got to maintain the Abbott government faith in loaded inquiries and commissions, and no doubt the Fairfaxians will elevate Sheehan to the front of the digital page at some point during the day, but you have to ask yourself, is it worth a click, is it worth wasting five minutes of a day that could be bursting with the energy of impending spring?

Perhaps only if you want to enjoy bile and bitterness and assorted other Macbeth witch ingredients.

Meanwhile over at the lizard Oz things continue to continue in an entirely predictable fashion.

Paul Kelly keeps on writing about Paul Kelly writing about former Chairman Rudd, and just to liven things up, Troy Bramston writes about Paul Kelly writing about former Chairman Rudd, and for variation, there's desiccated Henry Ergas writing about former Chairman Rudd, and that's what lights the wick of Chris Mitchell  it seems ...

No, the pond started to feel jaded. No doubt about it. How many times can you make the old Simpsons' joke, The Optus The, or for variation, The big Mal NBN The?

So what else?

Well on the Islamophobia front, little Timmeh is at it again, trolling with click bait for attention.

Here's how it works:


Little Timmeh is capable of being sincere?

What's more he's making a sincere apology to all his Muslim friends?

He has Muslim friends and so can use "all" in that sentence?

It's a nonsense of course. Bleagh is routinely insincere. He couldn't lie straight in bed, let alone pen a sincere apology. When it comes to sincerity, Bleagh is disingenuous, evasive, hypocritical, mendacious, perfidious, hollow, double-dealing, duplicitous, shifty, phony slick, two-faced, snide and sly.

And that's only half of the thesaurus.

Oh come on you say, that's being a bit savage, but if you think that, you clearly don't understand how gutter click bait trolling tabloid journalism works in the days of the full to overflowing intertubes.

You see, you put up a false header which invites the click, and then you thumb your nose at the reader. Ha, you didn't really think Bleagh had any intention of apologising?

So please allow the pond to do a spoiler.

Here's Bleagh's idea of an apology:

Anyhow, enough of this evidence-based malarky. Time to get this apology out of the way. 
To any readers who actually followed those instructions at the top of the column and converted to Islam, I neglected to include an important warning. Although converting to Islam is extremely easy, converting from Islam — particularly in the Middle East — may cause beatings, head loss and death by stoning. Looks like you’re stuck with it. Sorry about that.

What an offensive fuckwit, and yes the pond thought of using offensive language, but instead decided a charming Australianism would do the job ...

As for the rest, what can be said for it?

Well it's just Blair doubling down on his original valiant trip into Lakemba, to be shocked by the Islamics ...

In the new piece, Blair discovers Islam is a religion, not a race, refusing to comprehend that while this is true on a pedantic level worthy of the academics Bleagh routinely despises, much of Blair's approach is riddled with racism, in much the same way that anti-semitic abuse conflates the Jewish religion with old fashioned anti-semitic stereotypes.

That aside "particularly in the Middle East" gives that game away.

In the good old days, the notion that Irish Catholics were potato eating Papists involved in an international conspiracy designed to do down the British empire was a common stereotype, and the Irish men always looked like New York cops fresh out of Hell's Kitchen and Tammany Hall, and the women resembled dumplings. Ah Tamworth, Tamworth ...

But then we're not looking for subtlety or nuance when it comes to Bleagh.

Instead, he doubles down on his original piece, smiting mightily his enemies with righteous prose, which inter alia, includes but is not limited to shouty Fairfaxian lawyer Chris Murphy (Bleagh himself being so quiet you could hear a sparrow fart while in his company), charming Twitter identity Melinda, and Labor member Lakemba Robert Furolo who simply doesn't measure up to little Timmeh's rigorous feminist credentials.

You see, little Timmeh is appalled that there's a book store selling sexist (and anti-Semitic) texts in Sydney's southwest, and if there's one thing little Timmeh can't stand, it's vile sexism:

Last time I checked, nearly every suburb in Sydney has bookstores, yet we don’t define the residents of those suburbs by what the authors of those books say or think,” wrote Labor’s member for Lakemba Robert Furolo. 
“That would be just absurd.” 
Really, Bob? In almost every other Sydney suburb, a shop selling outright hate literature would face protests and closure.

Really little Timmeh? What if the book ran an extended poll and joke about women being fright bats?

Just good old-fashioned harmless fun, and if any of you hoes, bitches and sluts have got a problem with that, where's your sensa huma?

Indeed. You might also wonder where Bleagh's understanding of his innate, profound stupidity and hypocrisy gets him when it comes to having a go at Islamics for being sexist.

But that's what happens when you're dealing with an old-fashioned trolling fuckwit eager to keep the hits rolling.

Along the way, Blair also slags off John Birmingham, Jonathan Green, and then takes on, head on, all those whining, moaning PC feminists, led by that dreadful fright bat Wendy Bacon:

A few weeks ago, for example, Sydney journalism academic Wendy Bacon led an attempted advertiser boycott of The Daily Telegraph after I ran an online poll making fun of feminist “frightbats”. Apparently it’s just fine, though, to sell books that claim women are worth only half the value of a man. And they are going to hell.

Yes, because Islamics making fun of women is wicked and evil, but little Timmeh Bleagh making fun of feminist frightbat fruitbats is just a jolly jape amongst chums, and where's your sensa huma?

Sssh, don't mention angry Sydney Anglicans determined to run a complementarian Adam and Eve line, or the Pellist trucking company, run exclusively by men ...

Somehow the pond seems to have forgotten to link to little Timmeh's piece, for fear it might somehow reward him with a single click, but before you head off there, if you must, why not re-read Jeff Sparrow in Crikey doing a smackdown of Blair's original piece, Tim Blair journeys to western Sydney, finds Muslims, freaks out (paywall affected).

Strangely, Bleah doesn't mention Sparrow, perhaps because it cut a little too close to the bone, and it's a lot easier to slag off Birmingham for living in Brisbane. Talk about a Campbell Newman heart of darkness ...

Sparrow had great fun comparing Blair's expedition to others that went into the heart of darkness - Blair somehow seemed to think of himself as Stanley heading into darkest Africa in search of Livingstone or perhaps ivory trader Kurtz risking madness in the Congo (or Vietnam if you happen to prefer Coppola):

As expeditions go, it was a doozy. 
 “We’re for Sydney,” boasts the Tele (and it is all for a “Fair Go For The West”) — but its sometime opinion editor seems to have never previously encountered a suburb just 30 minutes from the CBD. When he makes the hazardous trek to (as the headline put it) “take a look inside Sydney’s Muslim Land”, our correspondent installs himself in the Lakemba Hotel, where unnamed locals and the pub staff voice the usual barroom complaints about Muslims, who — get this! — don’t drink enough to keep the place running. 
Earlier this year, the Tele was hyperventilating about alcohol-fuelled violence. In Lakemba, however, the absence of boozers signifies an Attack on Our Way of Life. Across the road from the pub, Blair finds an Islamic bookshop (possibly visible from the bar window), where he’s shocked — shocked! — to uncover some prejudiced and sexist religious tracts. “The problem for conservative populists is that the racial and ethnic divisions on which they depend are fading in comparison to the yawning gulf between political insiders and everyone else.” 
Maybe for another scoop, he could check out the Bible — say, Deuteronomy 25:11-12, where the foundation text of Western culture explains: “When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand.” 
 Christianity, you so crazy!

Well indeed. That's perhaps the funniest bit of Blair's attempt to double down. His outrage at books demeaning women who are off to hell ...

No doubt the long absent lord will take a view when She gets around to watching her servant at work calling women frightbats and laughing at them and mocking them (who knows, perhaps even thinking they'd look better with a crown of thorns and a glass of  vinegar to purify their harpy, harping lips).

Never mind, Sparrow ended his smack down this way:

In the culture war skirmishes from which he makes his bread and butter, Blair can pose as Joe Sixpack, channeling the outrage of plain-speaking Aussies about political correctness gone mad. But in the real world, where no one cares about that stuff, he’s just another wealthy white columnist amazed at a suburb in which ordinary people are living out their lives.

And sadly that's the real killer remark. Of all the members of the culture wars commentariat doing the rounds, little motorhead Timmeh is the dumbest, the Joe the plumber of the tribe, occasionally reaching up to Sarah Palin heights, but rarely ...

That's what happens when you abuse Islamic fundies for being sexist one day of the week, and spend the other six days being sexist yourself ...

Of course Bleagh's not the only one beating the Islamic drum. After all, if we believe Tony Abbott, the first Islamic beheading in Australia is just around the corner:


Yes because hoping for the first Islamic beheading in Australia isn't extremist politics at all, nor is it fear-mongering. It's just joyous optimism. By golly, that first beheading will get everyone to vote Liberal and to heil the Bolter as a prophet ...

But don't despair at the Bolter being distracted from his job as the world's top climate scientist by the wicked Islamic fundies.

It turns out that little Timmeh is also a top notch climate scientist.


So how's this business plan working out for the Murdochians?

Remind the pond.

Truth to tell the pond can't get enough of it, and seems to have been re-printing Crikey all week, because it's a reminder of just how predictable the results are that comes from this kind of mind-numbing predictability:


Oh okay, just for fun and just for a little variation, the pond got that graph from the AFR's News Corp's worst story gets out. (may be paywall affected).

Seems like it might be News Corp that's going to hell. Business and circulation hell that is, the pond will leave the fictional hell to Islamic fundie and angry Sydney Anglican silly billies ... and to twits like little Timmeh who seems to think the threat of hell carries some weight ...

And now on with the main business of the week, of increasing taxes and punishing everyone for daring to point out that the Abbott budget wore no clothes and that the emperor and his minions also seemed to be a little short on glad rags, and as always more Rowe here

Every day getting funnier in every way:



Sunday, August 24, 2014

By Grabthar's hammer, the pond will shake its addiction to the angry Sydney Anglicans, just not this weekend ...


The pond swore that today was the Sunday it would give up its addiction to the Sydney Anglicans site, helped along by the way that, once again, the full to overflowing intertubes are as slow as a wet wick, thanks be unto Optus and big Mal and sealing wax fibre to string connected to the tin can ...

Oh how hooking up to the totally useless verdigris copper outside the pond's home is going to fix things.

But then the 'cuffs came out. Yes, once again, the angry Sydney Anglicans do little to hide their addiction to bondage and sexual imagery of the kinky kind ...

Oh they just love their kinks, they do, and the pond is all in favour of it.

Remember that great story, Joyce McKinney and the Manacled Mormon, which managed to mix religion and kink in Errol Morris's Tabloid?

The tabloids have dined out on it for years:


Steady, steady, heel, get around behind Bluey, the pond doesn't want to be trampled by a flock of wildly excited Anglicans.

Happily reading Phillip Jensen's actual piece, Who's the Addict? What's the Addiction? was like taking a very cold shower standing on the snow amongst penguins in Antarctica ...

... though the pond couldn't help noticing that the Anglican graphics artist was still so wildly excited that he got out the 'cuffs again at the top of the page:


It was all the more appropriate because the Jensenists were lathering themselves into a hot sweaty glow about enslaving others, and truth to tell, you can never get enough 'cuffing.

As for the rest, it was just another typical Calvinist exercise, guilt, addict, addiction, guilt, sin, sinners, addict, denial, guilt, vice, corruption, fear and loathing, guilt, repeat wash cycle until completely dirty ...

All the more the pity then that the angry Anglicans gave up on Catholic devices:



Get around behind Bluey, watch out for the stampeding herd of intoxicated, infatuated Anglicans ...

The good old cilice. You can Greg Hunt it here.

Yes, the Catholics didn't bother sublimating tendencies with shots of 'cuffs or headless kneeling women or women in 1950s kitchens even Norman Rockwell would find quaint.

But back to the Jensenists. The only line that caught the pond's eye was this one:

Unfortunately the chief guardian of our society—the government—has been corrupted.

The government is the chief guardian of society?

Put it another way. Tony Abbott is the chief guardian of the pond?

What about this then?

And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? They say unto him, Caesar's. 

Then saith he unto them, Render unto God the things that are God's,  and unto Tony as little as bloody well possible as you bloody well can ... 
When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

The pond has heard that biblical saying shortened even further by the Packers, into giving Tony sweet fuck all.

Never mind, the pond has the perfect gift in mind for the angry Sydney Anglicans, currently available courtesy Faster Pussycat stores in Sydney and Melbourne:



What a nice cushion. Just what an Anglican man needs.

As for the rest, whenever the pond reads the Jensenists, the pond is always reminded of a favourite film, wherein Elmer Gantry railed at every vice, while proving singularly adept and interested in same, including the demon drink and the lustful siren song of the flesh.

Sinclair Lewis's 1927 book is available at Project Gutenberg here, but the pond has a particular soft spot for Richard Brooks' 1960 film starring Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons and Shirley Jones, and judging by recent correspondence, others share the taste. It's especially relevant to those who still think the Garden of Eden and the story of Adam and Eve is literally true, and Darwin's a load of nonsense.

So instead of wasting more time on the angry Sydney Anglicans and the lure of the 'cuff, here's a few stills from the show, suggesting how we all have our addictions, monkeys on our backs, not least the pond's shameful addiction to the work of the Sydney Anglicans' graphic artist.

And then by Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Worvan, the pond will give up its addiction, and possibly even be avenged and live to tell the tale, at least if Galaxy Quest is a guide to the real world, but just not this weekend. Not when there's fun to be had: