Monday, April 27, 2015

In which film buffs argue about whether Greg Hunt Ascending or Murdoch Reptiles Ascending might be the worst movie of all time ...

Surely future generations of hardened screen veterans will fight for many long hours about Jupiter Ascending. 

The battles will be bitter, vorpal blades will snicker, brave warriors will drop like flies, and yet the question will remain in dispute, an ontological mystery deeper than transubstantiation.

Is this the worst film of all time? What about Showgirls, what about that scientological marvel Battlefield Earth? Is it too easy to lead with an Ed Woods' film like Plan 9 from Outer Space, when surely the capacity to turn $176 million into visual fairy floss should count for something?

Is it wrong to mock Graham Burke and Roadshow? Is this what protecting IP via a TPP will mean?Should the stocks return to the village green for corporate vandals? Should Roadshow be made to reimburse even pirates for their inhuman suffering and possibly permanent eyeball damage? Who can Mila Kounis and Charming Potato sue? How did Kick Gurry score himself a role in the folly?

While others were distracted by mere matters of life and death, peace and war, these were the questions the pond wrestled with on the weekend, and came no nearer to solving, though by the end of it, the pond was leaning towards the notion that Jupiter Ascending was so bad, it really wasn't so bad at all ...

On the other hand, the pond also took in La isla mínima, aka Marshland, a Spanish policier set back in time in the immediate aftermath of Franco's fascist regime, with an amiable Spanish cop who's corrupt and tainted by the past, working with an uptight, cleanskin but grumpy cop to solve sex crimes.

In other words, the story is no big deal, but the stench of the dying hand of fascism was a nice touch. The film also had the virtue of good direction, good performances and excellent visuals, and in these Jupiter descending times that was enough for the pond. Besides, it had some lovingly atmospheric shots of the Guadalquivir Marshes:

But why has the pond reverted to film review mode?

Well, the pond could have kept on brooding about the NBN, and the way the company has decided to spend 700k to get a couple of letters out of its name, and spent further time dwelling on the manifest evidence of the failure of conception and failure of roll out that now bedevils the Co. and should, if there was justice in the world, see Malcolm Turnbull tarnished forever.

How irritating can it get?

On Monday the NBN is launching the new positioning of “NBN: bring it on”, with a new branding which aims to create a sense of optimism and inspiration while it also aims to encourage people to harness their potential. 
“At NBN we have been wrestling with the whole idea of do we need a prominent brand knowing we’re a wholesale organisation, or really can we continue as a project as we are at the moment,” NBN executive general manager of brand and insights Kent Heffernan told Mumbrella. 
“We believe that new brand positioning, visual identity and new brand strategy can really optimise and make all of our communications moving forward more efficient.” (here).

Bring it on? Yes, that's really bloody irritating ...

To cut costs the existing brands and logos will remain on trucks and stationery until they are used or expire, after which they will be replaced with the new branding. NBN Co described its logo scheme, which will largely comprise of multicoloured dots, as being better aligned to the "Australian spirit of optimism." 

Mr Heffernan said the program had taken 6 months of hard work with meetings and interviews with 400 staff, adding that this was the standard timeframe for a rebranding of this size. (here)

Oh FFS, it's a bloody wholesaler selling slow to install dud goods, and it takes six months and 400 staff to change a logo and come up with a new, lying slogan?

At least it explains why the pond will never experience genuine broadband in its lifetime ...

Better for the pond to turn to yet another reliable topic, the many failings of Greg Hunt.

The intrepid fraud has been out and about defending Bjorn Lomborg, and attracting the ire of leftists, as you can read in New Matilda's A Simple Guide to Understanding Greg Hunt's 'Nonsense' Carbon Con:

“The most important thing to get straight in terms of misinformation and misleading comments there yesterday was Minister Hunt’s assertion that the carbon price was $1,300 per tonne,” Professor Frank Jotzo said. 
“That’s about as wrong as you can possibly get it,” he said. 
The real price was in the 20-odd dollar range, and if the carbon tax had been allowed to develop into an emissions trading scheme, which it would’ve by now, the price would be linked to the European system which is trading at around the $10 mark.

But you expect this sort of stuff from your small independent publishers. It's easy enough to discuss the emperor's new clothes when you get a man so devoted to walking about nude of ideas in public.

You might even expect a raised eyebrow in the Fairfax press, as in the AFR publishing Greg Hunt's claims about reducing carbon tax emissions are not credible. 

In that piece, lawyer Marcus Priest gave Hunt a good paddling, and not just for the fraudulence of the $1,300 figure, but for other Hunt remarks that were breathtakingly audacious or bogus, or both.

And in its own way that somehow brings the pond back to the film industry:

It is also important to note that a large number of the successful bidders in the ERF auction were land sector and forestry schemes that were already operating under the existing Carbon Farming Initiative set up by the previous government – ie, they have just been transferred into the ERF. As a result, there is a question about how much of the 47 million tonnes of abatement that will be delivered under the ERF would not have occurred without the scheme's operation.

Yes, there's fraud in operation there at a couple of levels - borrowing old ideas and dressing them up as new, and at the same time, making them the centrepiece of your own initiatives.

Now your genuine film buff will remember the tax-rorting heyday of the Australian film industry, when boondoggles were all the go. The 10BA era was something to see and David Stratton even wrote a book about it called The Avocado Plantation, drawing attention to the way film was being funded in the same way that avocado plantations, olive groves, pine tree stands and assorted other land sector and forestry schemes were put together, courtesy the government offering the private sector wild-eyed tax breaks.

Like the routinely ignored Australian films that were financed this way - take a special bow Tony Ginnane - the press was full of stories of failed olive schemes, pine plantations that had gone to ruin, and other scams and failings that usually arise when you get a government tax rort being looted by entrepreneurs.

Naturally these sorts of managed investment schemes/tax break speculative agribusiness boondoggles made a big come back in the Howard years (Tax breaks for city farmers under fire).

Of course the fall out usually comes years after the schemes were set in motion, and Hunt's assorted borrowed schemes are still in their infancy, but the signs aren't good.

Meanwhile, the emperor's clothes are looking pretty threadbare.

How does the pond know that?

Well you have to look past the indies and ABC and Fairfax, and note the level of discontent at reptile HQ.

Ah the reptiles:

Have a look at this reptile editorial, published this very day.

Note the header - a good start, but direct action is not sustainable! - and note the reference to sleight of hand:

Now you have to read between the lines - this, after all, is the reptilian Oz, and they are routinely as fraudulent as Hunt.

But it's clear enough that the reptiles know that Hunt's scheme is a dud, which will become too expensive over time, and  which rewards the wrong people, the polluters, and when it comes to the crunch will flame out ... which is why there's such fear and loathing about what might happen at the Paris talks.

All that's left for the reptiles is the familiar mantra of blaming Fairfax and the ABC and the greenies.

Yes, you can't make up this sort of reptile clap trap:

Roll that one around on the tongue. No, not the jibber jabber of the radical decoupling of humans from nature, whatever that might mean, though it seems involve dumping huge amounts of nuclear waste into the landscape so it can sit there festering away for thousands of years.

No, not that glib throwaway line about how nuclear fusion will sort everything out, though you might have just been reading Don't get too excited, no one has cracked nuclear fusion yet.

No, roll this one around:

If and when most of the industrialised world moved to carbon pricing, Australia could not remain aloof from the efficiencies of a market-based system indefinitely.

If and when ... can't remain aloof ... Greg Hunt in la la land ...

Oh yes, it's a doozy.

And yet the reptiles, courtesy the likes of Graham Lloyd, and their resolute support for the confusionista Bjorn Lomborg, have done more than most to instil a climate of fear and hysteria about market-based solutions to a genuine problem.

The result is Greg Hunt setting in place a system he has used bodgied statistics and false claims to sustain, yet even the reptiles know, if this editorial is any guide, deep in their hearts, that Hunt in the last week has been producing all kinds of dissembling tosh, misrepresentations and falsehoods, ...

And all they've got left to blame is the ABC, Fairfax and the greenies...

There's been an epic failure, no doubt about it, but it's not of the ABC or Fairfax's doing ...

Stand up, take a bow, reptiles of the Murdoch press ... the confusionistas have won ...

And now, thanks to its weekend viewing, the pond knows where that leads ... and the Charming Potato's nowhere in sight to help ...

Yes,  life with the reptiles and the Greg Hunt is worse than spending time with a contender for the worst movie of all time.

What a gloomy way to start a Monday ...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

In which the pond manages somehow to link Bjorn Lomborg, Balmoral, Krishnamurti, David Pocock, and that hate-mongering troller Miranda the Devine in a Sunday meditation ...

So many loons, so little time, but the pond is indebted to its correspondents.

Inspired by one, the pond headed off to Miranda the Devine's grotesque twitter account, which you can also do here.

Oh sure if you look at the front page, it presents as just a standard sort of page view. But click on a tweet and you get the messages framed by that hysterical, jumbled montage of newspaper banners.

It's about as subtle as a haddock in the face, and perhaps more like a bottom-feeding flathead, the Devine happily splashed about in the sewer vent.

And then there was the news another correspondent brought on the Lomborg front.

A vegetarian with theosophical origins?

Yes it's all here.

Now Madame Blavatsky is too well known to dwell on at length here (you do know she was an early supporter of Isis, don't you?), but it reminds the pond of one of its favourite Sydney anecdotes, featuring the sage Krishnamurti:

That's the Sydney Mail on 3rd March 1937. The rumour was that Krishnamurti was going to walk across the waters of Sydney harbour, in a manner befitting the new Christ, but with infinite wisdom, the sage realised that this might be a bit tricky, and disavowed the Theosophists, amphitheatre buildings and institutions in general. 

Of course there are some spoil sports and pedants who suggest that the proposal to walk between the Sydney heads was a bit of mythologising, but it was certainly built for theosophical purposes:

The Star Amphitheatre was a Grecian Doric style structure built between1923 and 1924 above Edwards Beach, at the northern end of Balmoral. It was a site described as having ‘the best view from Balmoral Beach of theNorth Head of Sydney Harbour’. (Roe 1980, p104).
The amphitheatre was designed by architects, J.E. Justelius and Son, and built by John Jamieson at a cost of 16,000 pounds. The architectural drawings showing the beach elevation indicate that it was three stories high, with the stage towering 21 metres (70 feet) above the beach. Underneath, at beach level, was a library, meeting halls, meditation and tearooms. The Star Amphitheatre could seat 2000 people and had standing room for another 1000. The building was partly cut into the sandstone rock and partly constructed of concrete. (Souter, 1994, p167). At the time the Mosman Daily described it at the time as a ‘remarkable building of massive beauty’.
There are many myths surrounding the purpose of the Star Amphitheatre, the most sensational, which is still made by some media today, was to witness the second coming of the messiah—walking on water through Sydney Heads! 
It was built by The Order of the Star in the East, an offshoot of the international Theosophical Society, which had been formed in 1913 by Mrs Annie Besant and Charles Webster Leadbeater. In 1914 Leadbeater left the headquarters in Adyar, India to establish a Sydney community. The Order of the Star in the East had been established to prepare the way for a new “world teacher” who would use the amphitheatre to address his audience. This teacher, Jiddu Krishnamurti had been found by Leadbeater as a young boy. He subsequently rejected this role as a messiah and only spoke there on one occasion.
Mary Rocke, a retired doctor, member of the Theosophical Society, secretary and physician to Leadbeater, purchased three adjacent blocks of land sloping from Wyargine Street, Balmoral to the beach. With a loan of 4,000 pounds and the rest of the cost raised by selling subscription seats, the Star Amphitheatre was built on this site. The amphitheatre was described in the Theosophical publication The Star as ‘a symbol in stone of that which our daily lives should be …simple,pure, clean, dignified’. (Roe, 1980 p102). (in pdf format, google for the source).

All long gone now, but what is true is that Krishnamurti was due in Sydney in 1929 for the big Messiah event, and the amphitheatre was to feature in a big way ... but sadly that was the very year he pulled the plug on the whole box and dice of the Star of the East, and his 'no guru, no leader, no teacher, no religion, no sect' path became his standard line ... which the pond copped back in 1970 in the Sydney town hall ... oh so long ago.

Krishnamurti had started presenting "the new messiah" as "an ordinary fellow" before the proposed 1929 Sydney junket, as you can read in the Adelaide Register on 31st July 1926 at Trove, starting top left here, and the fall out in Theosophical circles caused by his departure was immense for Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, as remembered in the Sydney Morning Herald, 18th May 1954. at Trove here.

Which brings us back to Lomborg, and it suddenly became clear to the pond why it finds him so unnerving.

Now it's wrong to play the man rather than the ball, until you discover that the background to the man is so revealing and suggests something about the origins of his ball-handling skills.

Just as it can be said that the pond's understanding of life, the world and science has been deeply warped by Catholicism (whither limbo? where in the bible purgatory? why all this fleshly guilt and self-loathing? why did nuns delight in torturing small children?), so it can be said that Theosophy must surely leave a mark.

Never mind, it's all a bit of a quest and a learning experience, and so to return to the Devine.

It is truly remarkable that a woman that puts out such bile and snark should then wonder why she gets it back in spades.

As the correspondent noted, there was another encounter, to be found on Twitter here:

Now the pond will confess to having vaguely heard of David Pocock, who seems to upset conservatives for some reason, but that response was just too polite.

You see, when someone calls you a tosser, they should do it for a good reason. They shouldn't be able to call you a tosser and then say, oh sorry got that wrong, without at least owning up to the fact that that sort of behaviour makes them a tosser supreme, or if you will, a tosser compleat.

The point is that the Devine had already sat in judgment on Pocock because of his alleged political or social attitudes. That he made some arcane gestures with hands only confirmed in the Devine's eyes that he was a tosser. When it comes to looking at people, the Devine's the hanging judge kind ... all prejudice and bile, and let's not go all soft and lovey-dovey and dewy-eyed and touchy-feely huggy-wuggy ...

The pond routinely thinks of Miranda the Devine as a tosser, but only because there's so much evidence, and not just in the matter of Pocock.

Which is why the bemused response of the Devine was so bemusing:

Translation: I'm an offensive insulting git, and I didn't realise and I didn't think, but let's make anything out of me being a twit, let's just move on.

Which is why if the pond had been Pocock, it would have been asking, What is wrong with u Devine? Why did u toss off a gratuitous insult about someone being a tosser without having the first clue what u were talking about?

Admit you're a tosser and a wanker and a trolling fuckwit for good measure, and then we'll move on ...

Here's the rub.

Apparently Pocock is a Christian of the forgiving kind, while the Devine is a Catholic of the elephantine, blundering, hate-mongering kind ... which is to say not much of a Christian, so much as, pace Krishnamurti, a wretch trapped in an institution and badly in need of an alternative way of looking at the world.

Yes, you need to be an ex-Catholic tosser to spot a Catholic tosser ... QED, that's where idle, superstitious chatter about limbo and purgatory and transubstantive cannibalism will get you ... snapping at pink condoms and people reputed to take an interest in gay rights ...

Ah well, it passes for a Sunday meditation, but you can't expect much depth, not when the subject's the Devine, and you could drown in a couple of centimetres of water ...

In which the pond makes a scientific breakthrough to astonish the ages and then turns to brooding about genocide and tradition ...

(Above: the very spot where the pond's amazing scientific insight struck. And while the fallen apple might appear to be invisible, rest assured it's there).

Yesterday the pond managed to disprove the entirety of climate science thanks to a single event.

Where's your global warming now Mr Flannery and how soon before you apologise to the pond and the world?

By sheer chance, around the same time, the pond managed to refute Pythagoras (or perhaps Parmenides or Hesiod). We happened to be at a high point in Sydney's noble real estate, and when gazing off into the ether,  we happened to notice first the flatness of Sydney airport, and then even more remarkably, the flatness of the horizon line. So much for the world being round.

Oh Ikea, it's thanks to you flattening vast swathes of Sydney that great scientific advances can occur ...

Now credit where credit is due. Primarily these earth-shattering discoveries are due to the pond's Sherlockian capacity for astute scientific observation, but due tribute must be paid to the reptiles of Oz, an ongoing source of inspiration and sage scientific discussion.

Who can forget Chris Kenny's recent insight into a rain event?

Yes, the pond had to sacrifice many chilis and herbs and a computer key board, thanks to the study being flooded, to come to this remarkable conclusion - but at the very moment, as we type on a borrowed keyboard, the results are off to Nature Climate Change, before the pond heads off to the Vatican to join others in warming the socialist Marxist communist pinko pervert pope to stick to his original religion ...

None of it would have been possible without the Chairman ...

Global warming indeed! Thugy leaguers terrified and forced to leave the field, the city in chaos and confusion, and people blathering about extreme weather events, while children romp and play in the hail ...

Meanwhile, this being a meditative Sunday, how pitiful was it the way jolly Joe folded on a matter dear to his heart:

Jolly Joe knows what happened:

“In the dead of night on 24 April 1915, 250 Armenian political, religious, educational and intellectual leaders in Istanbul were arrested, deported to the interior of the country and murdered. On that same day, 5000 of the poorest Armenians in the city were rounded up and slaughtered on the streets and in their homes. This is now recognised as the beginning of an official attempt by the Turkish government to exterminate its Armenian population,” Mr Hockey, then in opposition, told parliament. 
“Over the next three years, the Turkish government ordered the deportation of the remaining Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire to concentration camps in the desert between Jerablus and Deir ez-Zor. 
“They were marched through the country on foot in a hard and cruel journey. Women and children were forced to walk over mountains and through deserts. These people were frequently stripped naked and abused. They were given insufficient food and water, and hundreds of thousands of Armenian people died along the way. 
“Around 1½ million Armenians were murdered during the Armenian genocide out of an estimated total Armenian population of just 2½ million people. 
“My own grandfather was himself a survivor of the genocide. He never knew the fate of his siblings and his friends as they were presumably led to their deaths. 
“Australian people deplore this sort of racism and barbarity. This country has prospered though the immigration of people from countless nations, including Armenia. I urge this parliament to recognise the Armenian genocide for what it was — not alleged, not supposed and not so-called. 
“It was the intentional attempted obliteration of an entire people. To refuse to acknowledge this genocide is to ensure that future Hitlers can capitalise on the world’s reticence in taking a stand.”

Australian people deplore ...?

Can we just rewind that, and get an official example of the Australian people deploring?

Last June, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop wrote a letter to the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance, reassuring them that: 

The Australian Government acknowledges the devastating effects which the tragic events at the end of the Ottoman Empire have had on later generations and on their identity, heritage and culture. We do not, however, recognise these events as ‘genocide’.  (100 years on, Australia's still out of step on the Armenian genocide).

Uh huh. What to say to that "insight"?

The foreign minister is wrong on two counts: the Armenian genocide doesn’t warrant quotation marks, and what happened is no more of a debate than the realities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. 

But Bishop is right on two points. First, Australia has misconceived the Turkish reaction as merely “sensitive”, when in fact their ferocious denial is a vital lie, one that goes to the very essence of the modern Turkish Republic.

Thanks Colin Tatz, but how easy it is to distort history, perhaps because the government has long learned the art of distorting science.

Fine words in 2008 from jolly Joe, silence in 2015 in a craven capitulation to the desire to bung on a do at Gallipoli and stay in good with the Turks, and no doubt future Hitlers will be able to capitalise on Australia's reticence to take a stand ...

Of course Australia has its own genocide, most successful in Tasmania, thanks in no small part to that useful fool George Augustus Robinson.

How say you Colin Tatz?

Australians have a strong proclivity not to remember, or to refuse to remember, the dark side of history, as with the eras of physical killings of Aborigines and, later, the forcible removal of their children. 

Indeed, but then Tatz places his hopes in Joe Hockey and in Gladys Berejeklian, also of Armenian descent, and in the case of jolly Joe,  look how that's turned out.

Let nothing like a genocide and historical truth get in the way of Australians celebrating a useless losing campaign of mass slaughter, designed and run by a bunch of inept Pommie generals ...

Speaking of which, the pond has just got the time to note that it seems that it's the tradition these days, by sports commentators on television networks, to speak of football on Anzac day as a tradition.

Which reminds the pond of how traditions are lost, or changed or subverted over time.

In no particular order, and let's not think just three clippings show how the argument once waxed and waned over the years, this in the Sydney Morning Herald, 24th April 1942, The Age 19th July 1954 and The Age 13th January 1976:

It seems it's the tradition to forget traditions, and the fierce arguments that once devolved around sport and other frivolous activities being held on Anzac Day, and now the tradition that emerged in recent years is the only tradition that matters ... and so it's on to events like Camp Gallipoli ...

Yet once upon a time traditional Australians would have deplored holding a sporting event on Anzac day and deplored the time that such a heresy would have become a tradition.

So it goes, but never mind, it's at times like these that the pond likes to remember that genocide is also biblical and traditional, and the long absent lord Herself can take credit for a most successful genocide, though it seems that She overlooked a couple of details:

But back to the science, and these sorts of outrageous slurs still doing the rounds:

Dammit, Peter Doherty, it cost the pond a keyboard to achieve its scientific breakthrough, and now you're saying we're out of synch and out of touch globally with what's happening, and so on and so forth here?

Well now the pond has to return the borrowed keyboard, and it's off to the Apple shop to feed the maw of the beast and its Singapore profits - providing a genuine genius can be found early on a Sunday - and where's the fairness in that, though we just have time to put up this little cartoon, found here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

In which the pond narrowly avoids humbug alley ...

(Above: by golly that's some rabbit, and more Pope here).

Truth to tell, the pond thought twice about getting out of bed today.

Look at this humbug alley, this gasoline alley row of blather and hypocrisy:

Thank the long absent lord, there was Nikki Gemmell carrying on the sacred crusade with a bit of murderous creed bashing.

No wonder the pond, inspired by Popish jokery, resorted to reliable old tune for a bit of light comedy.

You see, in amongst their many patriotic duties, the reptiles felt the rousing call to arms and stepped up to defend Bjorn Lomborg against the cruel slings and arrows of outrageous fortune:

 Oh indeed, indeed, it's just so unfair. Do go on:

In short and fundamentally what to do with taxpayers wanting to know who decided to stump up the taxpayer cash and give it to me consensually so we could have a little consensus fun ....?

Well they can kiss my ass ...

As for Paul Johnson, the second refuge of the scoundrel is academic freedom:

A deep believer in climate science? Suddenly science has become a matter of deep belief?

Oh roll the jaffas down the aisle...

He's saying we can reduce emissions?

 Like this?

I helped organise something called the Copenhagen Consensus on Climate where we have got some of the top climate economists to look at what is the smartest ways to tackle global warming. And they basically say, don’t try to cut carbon emissions. Even if you do it effectively it’s going to cost a lot. And it’s probably not going to happen and even if it does it won’t do very much. But if you spend money on research and development into green energy. Essentially make sure it becomes cheaper than fossil fuels over the next 20 to 40 years. We’ve solved global warming. If we could make solar panels cheaper than fossil fuels by say 2030/40 we’d have done, we’d be done. Everyone would buy them not just rich well meaning westerners but also the Chinese and the Indians. (here in pdf).

Courtesy of the reptiles, the pond has had a long introduction to the fuzzy thinking and dissembling of the Lomborg, which much suits the reptiles since it's at least a degree warmer than Screaming Lord Monckton.

Yes, on any day of the week, you can find Lomborg saying that there's no need to reduce emissions. Of course on any other day of the week, he might be saying something entirely different, provided it suits the coal industry and his funding patrons ...

Others have written about the climate confusionista's unique capacity to tell the emperor what he wants to hear about his brand new set of clothes - back in December 2014 for example in Is Bjørn Lomborg writing Australia’s climate and energy policies?

The joys of fracking, the blessings of coal, the need for research on solar rather than actual expenditure on solar or other useless RE, and so on and so forth ...

Lomborg the professional confusionista, smoke screener and paid humbug is your man ...

More to the point, Lomborg is also the Bolter's man.

Now on the surface it might seem odd that a profound climate denialist should be at one with a "deep believer" in climate science, but that's the cleverness of Lomborg's confusionista strategies.

So it almost goes without saying that the Bolter is outraged, outraged the pond tells ya, at the treatment dished out to his deeply believing hero ...

But it does produce some great comedy stylings ...

This is disgraceful - a real indictment of Australian academia - and shame on the journalists encouraging this intellectual McCarthyism.

Now if ever anyone had wanted the pond to nominate the best top notch intellectual McCarthyist doing the rounds in Australia at the moment, it would have been the Bolter, as rabid a populist demagogue as has done the rounds since the grand old days of Father Coughlin.  Closely followed by the reptiles of Oz, who can only be considered and counted as a pack because of the baleful influence of the hive mind ... (Of course on the world stage they'd be considered small beer against the best of the Faux Noise Murdochians).

The entire point of the confusionista exercise is to dissemble and to delay, to fudge and to conflate, to confuse and produce inertia, and that's why the Bolter and the Lomborg can be as one, and the Bolter knows just who to quote:

Eco-realists contend that for the bulk of the world’s population, energy poverty is the immediate concern that must be resolved before climate change action can hope to deliver the desired results.The question remains whether ambitious early action will foster long-term change or squander the opportunity for a more considered solution.

Eco-realists? Oh the endless stream of jargon and cant, it's too much ...

So let's just kick the can down the road.

But if that's the solution, why does Lomborg need four million dollars of Australian taxpayer money to line up the can?

That's the thing that gets the pond. There's the Bolter out defending the government lavishing cash like a drunken sailor on a man who can't raise two bob in his home country, and there's Johnson talking about academic freedom when he's really defending the right of blow-ins to raise a bit of government cash, so he can do a little scavenging and temple-building on the sidelines:

And that's at the heart of this story:

And so on, in Australian taxpayers funding climate contrarian's methods with $4m Bjørn Lomborg centre.

And that surely is the nub of it. At a time when the federal government has slashed and burned the CSIRO, sundry other scientific research activities, and bodies dealing with climate science matters, pleading desperate, dire poverty, and a budget emergency of the first water, does anyone think that blather about academic freedom and McCarthyism can hide the giant double dose of political hypocrisy ... as a monorail spruiker, abandoned in his own country, rides into town to take the rubes for a ride?

Dr Eric Feinblatt, an honorary research fellow with the department of engineering, said as he left the meeting the centre “would not happen anywhere but Australia”. 
 “The only reason it’s happening in Australia is because the policy of the Abbott government makes it a favourable environment,” he said. 
“This is just a proxy for the Abbott government. And for the administration of the university not to admit that, to deny that, is ridiculous.” (here).

But where would the pond be without the ridiculous?

Down humbug alley with the scoundrels ...

(Below: and more Wilcox here)

And here's a bonus for Lebowski lovers, and more cartoons here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

From poodle lovers to fish killers, there's all the fun of a luna park today in the pond ...

(Above: so over it and still a day to go, but clearly Pope's having the same thought, and more Pope here. Thank the long absent lord for that radical, revolutionary ship-jumping, law-breaking trade wobbly commie socialist pinko pervert unionist offering some comfort with his donkey).

Paw up, poodle lovers. Harden the paw up.

Did you really think that leaking to Fairfax that it was all the fault of master Tony and mistress Peta would get the poodle off the hook?

Fairfax Media has confirmed with multiple sources that the idea was conceived in the Prime Minister's Office, with Mr Abbott and chief of staff Peta Credlin personally driving the decision to fund the centre. 
Mr Abbott referred to and praised Dr Lomborg in his 2009 book Battlelines. 
One insider said Mr Pyne had "nothing to do with the idea", while another said the Education Minister had been "crucified" for the decisions of others. (here).

Come on poodle lovers, all that means is the poodle's some kind of sap, some kind of sucker, some kind of fall guy, some kind of dummy in a film noir or a crime novel ...

You know, the dummy that carries out the crime for love and then gets lumbered with the caper. Just to imagine the poodle as William Hurt and Peta as Kathleen Turner in Poodle Heat makes the pond's head reel ...

If the poodle hated the idea so much, why did he run around the house boasting about the droppings he left under the aspidistra on the what not in the lounge room?

Are you saying he's a blithering idiot that would yap and bark on command, without the first clue what he's yapping about, so long as it pleases the mistress and the master?

Well that may be, but he's still a naughty poodle. Waiter, that rolled up copy of the lizard Oz please ...

Yes, on it merrily rolls, with WA academics in uproar at Fairfax here, but even the reptiles had to run the story, albeit in terse form, and what do you know, one line even acknowledges that climate targets might be part of the game:

But thankfully there was one reptile ready to stand firm and to stand solid, and wouldn't you know it, it was the van oscillating man himself:

Uh huh. What's the bet that the prolix prof waxes for a really long time about the joys of being Bjorn?

That's it? That's as good as it gets?

It's clear and consistent?

Well there you go, is there any better evidence of the state of reasoning and logic in Western Australian academic circles?

Meanwhile, punters who visit certain papers might get to read this sort of stuff:

...the deputy chief executive of the Climate Institute, Erwin Jackson, said a quarter of the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund had been spent to secure just 15% of the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions needed for Australia to meet its target of a 5% cut by 2020, based on 2000 levels. 

“Things might get better in future auctions but they’ve already spent a quarter of the money and all the analysis suggests that these prices won’t get significant emissions reductions,” he said. “There is no confidence that we can even meet our woefully inadequate targets with this. 
“The broader issue is why are taxpayers footing the bill rather than the big polluters doing any of the heavy lifting? The public is bearing the cost here rather than the big polluters.” (here at the Graudian).

So let's see how the hard-hitting reptiles give the Greg Hunt claims a thorough going over, a severe examination:

The bromancer does foreign affairs and climate science and all from a supine, boot-licking position? Why the man's a chenius, a bloody chenius ...

The same, unfortunately, can't be said for Leigh Sales. Her performance last night interviewing Greg Hunt was a tragedy in search of a snark.

It didn't begin well:

Now don't switch off; I know it sounds a bit dry and complicated, but I will explain.

And with that imitation of a kindergarten teacher out of the way, she went on, with the help of Hunt, to give the pond the distinct impression of being back with Alice and Humpty Dumpty:

LEIGH SALES: Minister, if you can address my point, at $13.95 per tonne, the amount set today, given that you have $2.55 billion to spend, you will fall short of Australia's targets by about 57 million tonnes. 
GREG HUNT: No, that's false. 
LEIGH SALES: OK, so how are you going to reach the targets? 
GREG HUNT: Well, what are you assuming is the target? 
LEIGH SALES: I'm assuming that the target is five per cent by 2020. 
GREG HUNT: Correct. We'll achieve it. 
LEIGH SALES: So are you going to reach that? 
GREG HUNT: Yes, we will. 
LEIGH SALES: OK, so today...

Okay, so it went on from there, with Hunt smirking and making claims, and Sales flailing and failing to land a single question ...

So what happened when we reached a contentious lie?

GREG HUNT: ... it (the carbon tax) wasn't achieving emissions reduction, which is the whole purpose here. 

LEIGH SALES: Minister, I'm sorry, we're out of time, unfortunately. There's so much more that we could discuss. Thank you very much for coming in. (here, if you must).

It was as dismal a performance as the pond has seen in some time, and a reminder of why watching the 7.30 show is largely a waste of time, generating much heat and carbon, but very little light ...

There was more fun to be had at the 7.30 hashtag than by watching the actual performance. There were graphs:

And there were comedy items:

Oh the comedy, the comedy:

But wait, the pond is appreciative that its first duty each day is to serve up a hearty portion of lizard and it would be remiss of the pond not to feature in the in-depth thinking of Greg "the bromancer" Sheridan.

But wait, there's always someone hanking for a free set of steak knives, so first let's ask a question.

Were there any punters out there who plunged bravely and boldly on the notion that the bromancer would at some point in his piece, berate the ABC, Fairfax and the climate change industry?

If so, congratulations. You can now retire to a life of leisure though perhaps in view of the recent battering NSW copped from wave action, you might be better off risking bushfires in an idyllic rural retreat than settling down by the sea:

That's it you ask? That's the whole box and dice, and such a bold set of assertions without so much as the slightest bit of proof?

Everything's for the very best in the very best of all reptile worlds?

Well yes, and the pond has noticed that the reptiles of late are getting increasingly short and lazy in their propaganda efforts.

That's what happens when they get pampered and bloated and well-fed.

Never mind, it's the weekend, and thanks to the all of the above, there's no need to go into the darker parts of the Australian psyche, with that job left to David Rowe, and more Rowe here:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

In which the pond marvels at the way a poodle can be a Pinocchio with a very pointed nose ...


That's not a newspaper, that's a comic strip ...

Why did they feel the need to keep the banner visible? Because the punters know it's just a gigantic comic strip full of commentariat nonsense?

Well it is full of comedians. Today's there this immortal effort from Niki S.:

The pond immediately began to savour other headlines. Better a BLT or bacon and eggs than being Jewish, or a Beef curry way better than Hindu cow worship.

Is it being offensive or stupid that Islamics give up their no alcohol rule and that will, in due course, help them avoid terror grooming? Who knows, and who knows what she wrote, because the pond silently tiptoed by ...

And there was the bromancer beavering away ...

It embodies our nature? You mean, dumb fuck lemmings incompetently charging at rows of machine guns and rifles at the Nek, and being mown down in an abattoir of death?

And there's nothing we can do about it, like do some decent planning, make sure the plan runs smoothly, get the big guns and the men in some kind of synch, and avoid massive casualties, because that sort of thinking is alien to our nature? Our nature is to be complete dummies?

Who knows what the doofus actually wrote, because the pond felt the need to walk on by ...

And then there was the Bolter in the Terror ...

Uh huh, because that idiot George Bush did such a wonderful job, V for Victory and all that, and thank the long absent lord, the mess in Iraq is a testament to his vision.

Who knows what the idiot wrote, because the pond was deterred from reading it just by contemplating that smug, smirking visage for a nanosecond.

And yesterday, let's not forget the dog consorter's latest bout of climate science:

Yes, yes, without bothering to read it, since the pond doesn't usually get its science from idiots, the pond added the header to other great moments in climate science:

By golly, he's an inspiration to the troops. Someone should put him in charge of planning for the Nek:

Who'd have thought he was such a big proponent of Netflix? And let's not forget this:

That compendium of twittering twittish tweets is, of course, just an excuse for the pond to run the latest devilish Popery, and more essential Pope here:

Of course the always prescient Pope is just drawing attention to the news that the poodle's imitation of Pinocchio has some basis in fact, because either the poodle or Paul Johnson, VC of UWA, is lying.

How naked and blatant was the lying?

Well anyone who watched Lateline last night would have marvelled at the depth of the lies, and the consummate skill of the lying:

A senior academic from the University of Western Australia (UWA) has confirmed the Abbott Government originally approached the university to set up a policy centre directed by controversial figure Bjorn Lomborg. 
Dr Lomborg is a controversial figure in the scientific world, having attracted controversy in the past for suggesting the dangers of climate change are overstated and that alleviating poverty is a greater priority. 
"The Federal Government approached the university," Paul Johnson Vice Chancellor of UWA said. "It (the Government) said: 'Would the university be interested in considering setting up a centre to study long-term development goals both global and Australia?'" 
A spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne earlier told Fairfax that "the Government is contributing around a third of the total cost of the centre based on a proposal put forward by the University of Western Australia and Dr Lomborg's organisation". (more at the ABC here).

And what do you know, but today someone has taken the trouble to leak to Fairfax some university talking points:

Since the centre was announced, there has been speculation, including among university staff members, about how the centre was conceived and how it came to be funded. 

Last week a spokesman for Education Minister Christopher Pyne said: "The government is contributing around a third of the total cost of the centre based on a proposal put forward by the University of Western Australia and Dr Lomborg's organisation." 
But in talking points circulated to UWA staff members, David Harrison, UWA' s head of corporate and government affairs, provides a suggested answer to any students or colleagues to the question: "How did the Australia Consensus Centre come to UWA?" 
"UWA was approached by the federal government," the talking points state. 
"We saw it as a good opportunity, not only for the university's reputation as a global leader in higher education, but also as a way we could make a positive difference in addressing some of the biggest challenges facing the world today." 
The university would not respond to questions on Wednesday, but Mr Harrison did not back away from the statements contained in the email, including that the establishment of the centre was a suggestion from the government. 
"We stand by the points raised in the talking points," Mr Harrison told Fairfax Media. 
Fairfax Media understands that government ministers, following discussions with Dr Lomborg, had the idea of bringing his methodology to Australia and approached UWA about hosting the centre. The university then submitted a proposal to the government that was accepted. (here).

Of course this doesn't help the university explain why it was so desperate for dollars that it thought it was a good idea to sup with the devil, though it does add something to the Four Corners' story on how pathetic universities have become in relation to academic standards when a might dollar or two hoves into view ...

Degrees of deception? Yes and degrees of stupidity, as if blaming the poodle for coming up with the bright idea of a Consensus Centre, and lying about it, somehow gets the Uni of WA off the Consensus Hook ...

LINTON BESSER: Universities are now stuck in an arms race. Students and standards are merely collateral damage. 
BARMAK NASSIRIAN: At the end of the day, Australian universities are governed by Australians. And they really need to make a decision whether they're willing to undermine the credibility - international credibility - of credentials they manufacture in the name of more business. 
 ZENA O'CONNOR: Education is not an industry. And this is the mistake that the universities are making. Education is not an industry. 
KERRY O'BRIEN: Of course, these same academics, these same universities, these same courses are processing Australian students as well. Are they somehow untouched by the kinds of activities and concerns revealed tonight? Given what's at stake, it's unfortunate the vice-chancellors of the three universities featured in our story - Sydney, Western Sydney and the Australian Catholic University - couldn't front up in person and face the obvious questions.

Indeed, but the Vice Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University could turn up in print at the lizard Oz berating upper house politicians as pygmies in need of an education.

Well played Peter Craven ...

Never mind, the pond got a little distracted there for a moment, when really we should be admiring the efforts of Fairfax in tracking down all the sorts of Lomborg love that can be found in the coalition.

And then there was Lomborg quoted in Tony Abbott's Battlelines and Lomborg mingling with Bishop:

But this is hardly surprising. After all the reptiles have been in the grip of the mad infatuation known as Lomborg love for years, faithfully republishing his pieces, and naturally charging for them, even as the desperate propagandist left them hanging around on the intertubes for free ...

And we already know that the Pinocchio Poodle is a shameless liar, always willing to fetch and carry for his masters.

But if Paul Johnson thinks he can just blame it all on the federal government, surely he's mistaken?

It must have all seemed like sweetness and light and a good deal when the University's publicity machine early in April churned out New economic prioritisation research centre at UWA:

The University of Western Australia and the Copenhagen Consensus Center today announced the establishment of a new policy research centre at the UWA Business School. 
The new centre will focus on applying an economic lens to proposals to achieve good for Australia, the region and the world, prioritising those initiatives which produce the most social value per dollar spent.
The new Australia Consensus Centre will be based at UWA but have global reach. It will help frame the debate on aid, agriculture and regional issues and focus on smart, long-term priorities.

And so on:

The cooperation between UWA and the Copenhagen Consensus Center will also mean that the President of Copenhagen Consensus, Dr Bjorn Lomborg, will spend time in Perth and across Australia to encourage a conversation on priorities for aid and development and the future prosperity of Australia. 

UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said: "The Australia Consensus Centre will become the go-to place for useful economic research to inform the national and international debate, building on UWA's many academic strengths."
Dr Lomborg said: "The Australia Consensus Centre is an amazing opportunity to showcase the power of economic research to help inform the national and international conversation on setting the most effective priorities."

Yes, it was as if Lomborg and climate had never rubbed their noses together.

Which suggests that, if you want to sell your snake oil, first find the quisling who will hang your shingle on the tent ...

And that way you'll get a scandal that will keep on giving through the years ...

(More Matt Golding here).

Which just leaves time to pay attention to First Dog, at the Graudian here, noting the joy of Tony Abbott indulging in yet another "Billy goat but" routine ...

You know, some of my best friends are gay, but ... or some of my best friends are Jewish, but ... and some Islamics are okay, but they don't drink beer, and some climate scientists seem genuine, but so do most Satanists, and so on and on, for as many Billy goat butts as you can manage ...

Ah yes. And no doubt at some point we'll be reading the Bolter denouncing Leopold II of Belgium ... and the behaviour of the Dutch in their colonial rule ... and at that point, perhaps you should have a beer, because the bacon clearly provokes quirky dreams ...