Monday, August 31, 2015

So many messes, so little time or kitty litter ...

Indeed, indeed.

As a one-time adept, if short-lived writer of fawning ministerials - dear honourable exalted minister, majestic poobah of humbug, might the pond obsequiously and humbly advise - the pond knew the rule that all bureaucrats knew, and fastidiously observed. 

Keep the minister's office in the loop, or just go somewhere quiet and die. And the office read the notes. That was what they were paid to do, and how they loved to scrutinise ... nothing was considered routine, especially the routine business of berating bureaucrats if an error was spotted.

But we all know Dutton's an incompetent, now currently in the middle of his Cambodian folly - one of the most despicable foreign adventures in recent times for any federal government - so why carry on?

Speaking of incompetence, sundry other matters keep springing up, and the pond was pleased to catch up on a piece which slipped by accident a few days ago into the propaganda machine known as reptile central - you can google the full piece if you like, since the pond doesn't link to the reptiles of Oz. 

It's by Mark Gregory, a senior lecturer in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at RMIT University, and it reads mighty fine to the pond:

The Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has insisted that Labor’s NBN would cost about $30bn more than the Coalition’s NBN and he’s not about to change that line. However, it’s important to note that the issues highlighted by Turnbull and NBN Co boss Bill Morrow on Monday were all flagged by industry and academic experts.

The methodology of the multi-technology NBN meant that the workforce needed to be retrained, new deals with Telstra and Optus had to be struck, and once you take the unknown state of the copper and the HFC networks the cost of building the Coalition’s NBN was always going to nudge close to Labor’s alternative. It will however, be a far inferior network to the one Labor had promised.

There's more, but this will do, flying toasters, this will do:

No one forced the Coalition to adopt a second-rate solution for the NBN that exponentially increased risk. It’s time for Turnbull to take responsibility for the mess that has occurred during his time as the communications minister. Turnbull cannot continue to blame Labor for mistakes that that government has made. Efforts by the telecommunications industry and leading telecommunications academics to convince Turnbull and the government that the multi-technology approach was going to be more difficult to implement than they believed were dismissed out of hand. 

NBN Co has now pushed back projections of any real progress until well after the next election in an effort to ensure that further bad news doesn’t cause a hiccup come polling day. 

By setting the bar so low Turnbull has been assured by Morrow that NBN Co will be able to achieve its projected targets in the lead-up to the 2016 election but the damage has already been done. The attempt to deflect the blame for what is happening onto Labor has run out of steam. It’s time for Turnbull to take responsibility for a mess this government has created.

Indeed, indeed, if only they would, but this is a mob that routinely refuses to take responsibility, so there's no chance Turnbull will admit he's the new Stephen Conroy. So many messes, so little time or kitty litter to soak up the messes.

And now to the ugliness at the heart of the reptile empire, and it doesn't get much uglier than this:

Of course that splash is just a chance for Cuneen to play dress-ups in the style of Peter Slipper, while the Terrorists go down the old tabloid routine of boosting hits with tawdry sensationalism. It reminded the pond that the telemovie that was supposed to have been made about Cuneen's triumph was all about Cuneen, and not so much about the victims, but then it was never made, and a good thing too. Of course back in the day the Terror was outraged at the notion the telemovie might be made - fancy exploiting rape for tawdry purposes! (Do you think this movie should be made?)

Never mind, the real heart of darkness came with the associated puffery:

Put it another way: Look, look it's me, look at me, look at me. I'm a bigot and I'm proud. Look, look at me.

What a wretched, appalling and deeply unhappy, bitter, sour and hate-filled sight Miranda the Devine makes as she goes about the business of stirring up even more hate.

Firstly she drags a very old and smelly set of crimes out of the cupboard and dusts them off for her own deeply unhappy, resolutely ideological purposes, and then she smears an entirety of leftists with a slander of the basest kind.

Why does she do it? Well attention must be paid, and the "look at me, look at me, aren't I vile?" factor should never be overlooked, especially in a tabloid that specialises in matters of rape, and pages of advertisements for escorts and brothels.

How absurd does it get?

... a sinister pall hung over the case. A stifling political correctness sought to suppress the truth of those gang rapes, pretending they were just like any other crime, with no religious or racial motivations, and that racists were lying to create a “moral panic”. 

Yes, it's a nameless slur in the name of stifling political correctness, the usual sort of claptrap.

But here's where the Devine to jump the shark:

It was the beginning of an Orwellian push by the social engineers of the Left to demean and damage anyone who spoke honestly about the cultural and religious faultlines that would soon lead to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and endless social disruption since.

It takes a really stupid, perverse, and deeply sick mind to leap frog from crimes committed by Lebanese Muslims in Sydney to the bringing down of the Twin Towers ...

Actually, it's beyond the deeply sick, it's well into the deeply weird.

Now it just so happens that the pond knows the case well, and was given much information about it, some of it off the record, and is well aware of what happened.

But here's the thing. None of it justified making the leap from hate crimes in Sydney to the bringing down of the Twin Towers.

At that point, you have to reach for another explanation, thoughtfully provided by the Devine herself:

NSW Anti-Discrimination Board president Chris Puplick published a 123-page pamphlet wrongly claiming the media was infected with institutionalised “anti-Arab, anti-Muslim” bigotry which created “moral panic” in the community.

Yep, and speaking of that institutionalised bigotry, the Devine this day has just proven his point, going deep down in the gutter to help keep the moral panic alive and well.

The Devine's concluding par says it all:

To its eternal shame, the leftist establishment has never acknowledged that young Muslim men singled out non-Muslim women to rape on the basis that they were “Aussie pigs” and “sluts” who asked for it. A PC stance on multiculturalism is more important than the safety of women.

Who or what is this leftist establishment?

And whose eternal shame is it that the Devine should so shamelessly disinter this story, and spin it in such a vile way?

Which feminist recently said a PC stance on multiculturalism is more important than the safety of women?

Nameless, stupid generalisations and slurs, trolling of the most wretched kind. If it turned up on Twitter, the reptiles would be howling with indignation.

Naturally the stupid responded to the trolling in the way expected:

For the "progressive" lefties only white Anglo Saxons are racist, so accusing anyone else of committing racial crimes apart from Anglo Saxons does not fit in their narrative.

Yep, it was fuckwits on parade, and there was lots of name-calling and abuse, and a few objections:

To link anyone to this abhorrent crime is a line that should (and I would never ) NEVER be crossed .... Pity Miranda doesn't agree .... The politicisation of these crimes is unforgivable

... which led to more abuse, and so it became just another in the daily Terror's regular fuckwits on parade show.

For anyone interested in an alternative perspective on the original crime, they might care to look at Sarah Crichton's and Andrew Stevenson's When race and rape collide, published back in September 2002 in Fairfax ...

Not every journalist has to be a cretin of the Devine kind, but she certainly wins the pond's gutter grub of the month award ...

The pond apologises to anyone who feels soiled by having this eau d'cologne splashed on them, we should have read the label:

Time to put out some rum-sodden Chrissie cake in good time for the early arrival of Santa ...

(Above: and more Rowe here).

Yes, Virginia, today finally, at last, after many delays, Santa proves he's real. But what an anti-climax. If the old present stays, it's sure to be doomed, battered around on the playground and discarded; if it goes, talk about irrelevant. The only interest will be in the new present, and what class of forelock tugging servile servant can be found to serve the cause. Better have a tough hide, but at least the pay's exceptionally good.

Meanwhile, the reptiles of Oz have faithfully led with the drums of war as a sound, responsible distraction from other sordid affairs, along with a little editorial hand-wringing of the hypocritical kind:

What? Time to send more refugees to Cambodia? Didn't that work out well? Plan to resettle refugees in Cambodia collapses ...

What a disgrace. Don't go on with your pathetic pusillanimous handwringing about refugees right at the moment please reptiles, show some common decency.

Meanwhile, other operational matters are proceeding at a splendid pace, as per the Graudian's Border force announcement went to Peter Dutton's office twice before release.

But you won't find any of this in the lizard Oz. Instead the stenographer has written a spiffing report about yet another act of childish, petulant spite.

Who cares? Who gives a stuff what an illiterate awards to his chums, courtesy of his jury of chums?

Oh and there's low comedy too:

Hmm, could the pond see a Bramston, and raise it by a Katauskas?

(found here, but you can also see Ms Katauskas here).

One thing's certain. History will remember Troy Bramston as a particularly silly reptile ...

But enough of serious operational matters, because the pond is, rather like movies of the Mondo Cane kind, dedicated to reptile bizarre, and these days the dog botherer's obsession with the ABC has gone well beyond the unhinged and the deranged into the borderline hysterical.

Oh and let's not leave Twitter out of it ... or all the other standard reptile behemoths.

Yes, the dog botherer is trolling once again for Media Watch to pay attention:

Remarkable stuff. Frantic, paranoid, desperate, hysterical. And apparently the dog botherer didn't catch up on Freedom Boy's thoughts on the matter of that policing strategy.

...our responsibilities don't end there. We have an ongoing obligation to hold the arms of government to account. We periodically have debates about the merits or otherwise of laws to protect rights and freedoms. But freedom doesn't solely live in laws. 
It sits in the hearts and minds of the body politic. On Friday, it didn't matter where you were on the political spectrum. Every Melburnian understood in a free and pluralist society it was their responsibility to defend freedoms and basic decency for all.

What a silly man, clearly loitering with his twitter account at a cafe or a university bar. Doesn't he realise that it matters, really matters, where you are on the political spectrum if you're a rabid fundamentalist ideological reptile zealot of the dog bothering kind.

Perhaps that's why the pond can now smell the fear. Clearly that can that was kicked down the road to Canning now seems to contain a lot of worms, and lordy, lordy are the reptiles seriously worried ...

But don't let the pond get in the way of a dog botherer rant going over old ground, because, after all, where's the harm in molesting corpses in a time of war:

Ah Canning, Canning, what a difficult can you are ... speaking of which, the Fairfaxians are at it again:

Oh dear, not jolly Joe. But why, oh why?

Yes, the cabinet ministers are leaking and speaking out of shop once again, as you can read here:

One cabinet minister familiar with the talks said a swing against the Coalition of more than six per cent - which would still see the Liberal Party's candidate Andrew Hastie win the seat -€“ would be bad news for the prime minister and more than 10 per cent would be "dire". 
"They are considering dumping Hockey post-Canning and believe that will get them to Christmas," the minister said, with any move dependent on the result. 
A second cabinet minister said Mr Abbott was under "œenormous pressure" and it was possible Mr Hockey would be "thrown to the wolves"€ to protect the prime minister's leadership.

Damn you twitterati, damn you to hell. Look what damage you've wrought with your jejune chants and your university bars and inner city cafe lifestyle ...

No wonder the dog botherer is agitated. What's wrong with a fascist lifestyle anyway? The uniforms would give a portly, middle aged, balding, angry, white man quite a lift in looks ... black really does offset that bright lobster red face, a condition caused by too much shouting ...

Well the pond luckily has arrived at a solution, albeit thanks to Twitter:

Oh, it's going to be a good week. Thanks Santa, you've arrived way too early, but you'll possibly get the pond to Xmas, so we'll make sure to put out a glass of port and a nicely rum-saturated Chrissie cake ...

Sunday, August 30, 2015

And so to a dose of the same old same old from Angela Shanahan ...

Of course it's not just celibate men who marry Christ, or the church, or some such other obscure mystical entity - as opposed to getting down and sharing precious bodily fluids and spawning children - who know all about the joys and virtues or marriage, and it would be remiss of the pond not to present this meditative Sunday a Shanahan rant from the sepulchre of the reptiles of Oz.

There's very little to say about the rant itself, so predictable and repetitive is it, except to note the appalling digital layout of the poem by right wing, Vietnam-war supporting, fundamentalist Catholic loving, Congress of Cultural freedom enthusiast, B. A. Santamaria devotee, one James McCauley.

There's more here on that strange, unhappy poet, including this lasting epitaph:

A significant and often controversial figure in the Australian post-War literary landscape, McAuley’s achievement as a poet has in recent years often been overshadowed by debates over his role as a right-wing intellectual. While unquestionably seen as a major Australian poet in his own time, it is a lasting irony that critical interest in McAuley’s work since his death has been largely eclipsed by the interest in his short-lived creation ‘Ern Malley.’

Indeed, indeed, but the Catholics hold on to their own, except when they stray from the flock a little, like James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, them and their offensive modernism.

‘In time, perhaps there will be a gradual reawakening of the Irish conscience, and perhaps four or five centuries after the Diet of Worms, we will see an Irish monk throw away his frock, run off with some nun, and proclaim in a loud voice the end of the coherent absurdity that was Catholicism and the beginning of the incoherent absurdity that is Protestantism.’ (Some more nice Joycean quotes here).

Or perhaps there might be an Irish referendum sooner than you think, James. What say you Sam?

“The earth makes a sound as of sighs and the last drops fall from the emptied cloudless sky. A small boy, stretching out his hands and looking up at the blue sky, asked his mother how such a thing was possible. Fuck off, she said.”

Oh dear, we don't seem to have started the Shanahan rant yet. But is that a delaying tactic or cheap titillation that will make the happy ending that much more fulfilling?

Hey ho, on we go:

Well there's very little to note here, except to repeat that remark about the barbarism of the layout. It is possible to find the poem properly laid out, here, in the site noted above.

It takes a fine act of hypocrisy to bemoan social media sludge and intimidatory elites and at the same time feel free to act like a literary barbarian.

Does it matter that Religio Laici was italicised, as was Hind and Panther?

Of course it does. Where would the amazing grace of Emily Dickinson be without the dash?

The barbarism, the maltreatment, is poignant in the context of Shanahan's unseemly rant about education, and the need for it to be about reality or, long absent lord forbid, knowledge. 

It would seem her idea of reality and knowledge is a godforsaken, truly ugly addiction to fucking over a poem.

You will note that the pond has skipped over all the usual bits about Orwellian thought police and thought fines and thought crimes and all the other usual blather about issues du jour and rubrics, while she guffaws into her bile and fear and loathing, as Catholics have been wont to do these past few thousand years.

As a correspondent noted in another context, recently, Corporal Jones covered all that with the general comment that, after having dished it out for so long, they don't like it up 'em, and they certainly don't.

The pond wasn't even tempted to bite on that generalist remark, the decision to scrap "religion, the hallmark of the old verities", despite the assumptions implicit in the remark.

Are we talking of a hallmark of the old verities, that old verity that Protestants are going to hell for their heresies, or are we talking of the younger verity that the Catholics are going to hell for their corrupt membership of the whore of Babylon? 

Are we talking of the verities of Islamics, Hindus, Christian Scientists, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Exclusive Brethrens, or Scientologists, all classified for some reason or another as religions, presumably with verities of certain ages, much like vintage ports, and that's before we get on to all the other Calathumpians ...

Around this time, when the matter of Christianity rears its ugly head, at some point in the proceedings the pond always reverts to Mark Twain, who said it in much wittier form so long ago ...

Religion had its share in the changes of civilization and national character, of course. What share? The lion's. In the history of the human race this has always been the case, will always be the case, to the end of time, no doubt; or at least until man by the slow processes of evolution shall develop into something really fine and high -- some billions of years hence, say.
The Christian Bible is a drug store. Its contents remain the same; but the medical practice changes. For eighteen hundred years these changes were slight -- scarcely noticeable. The practice was allopathic -- allopathic in its rudest and crudest form. The dull and ignorant physician day and night, and all the days and all the nights, drenched his patient with vast and hideous doses of the most repulsive drugs to be found in the store's stock; he bled him, cupped him, purged him, puked him, salivated him, never gave his system a chance to rally, nor nature a chance to help. He kept him religion sick for eighteen centuries, and allowed him not a well day during all that time. The stock in the store was made up of about equal portions of baleful and debilitating poisons, and healing and comforting medicines; but the practice of the time confined the physician to the use of the former; by consequence, he could only damage his patient, and that is what he did...
...During many ages there were witches. The Bible said so. The Bible commanded that they should not be allowed to live. Therefore the Church, after doing its duty in but a lazy and indolent way for eight hundred years, gathered up its halters, thumbscrews, and firebrands, and set about its holy work in earnest. She worked hard at it night and day during nine centuries and imprisoned, tortured, hanged, and burned whole hordes and armies of witches, and washed the Christian world clean with their foul blood. 
Then it was discovered that there was no such thing as witches, and never had been. One does not know whether to laugh or to cry. Who discovered that there was no such thing as a witch -- the priest, the parson? No, these never discover anything. At Salem, the parson clung pathetically to his witch text after the laity had abandoned it in remorse and tears for the crimes and cruelties it has persuaded them to do. The parson wanted more blood, more shame, more brutalities; it was the unconsecrated laity that stayed his hand. In Scotland the parson killed the witch after the magistrate had pronounced her innocent; and when the merciful legislature proposed to sweep the hideous laws against witches from the statute book, it was the parson who came imploring, with tears and imprecations, that they be suffered to stand. 
There are no witches. The witch text remains; only the practice has changed. Hell fire is gone, but the text remains. Infant damnation is gone, but the text remains. More than two hundred death penalties are gone from the law books, but the texts that authorized them remain. (He does the same for slavery, and more here).

Again the pond must apologise for being so easily distracted from the unreconstructed banalities of the conservative Catholic mind, still diligently pursuing homophobia as diligently as they once pursued witches and slavery.

But the point of the Sunday meditation is to marvel, so let us continue to be amazed and astonished, especially as there's now a Twainish skew to the perspective:

Stop right there. Love your neighbourhood witch as much as you love Julia Gillard?

Or some such thing.

Is that why she had to mention "religion" as a general concept, seeing as how many competing religions had many different understandings of human rights, but the most compelling articulation of rights, in a western context, came from the pagan, multiple-god worshipping early cultures of Greece and Rome... without the benefit of Judaic or Christian superstition ... Yes, they don't like the goddess of love up 'em do they Corporal Jones?

But it's always the way, when Catholics get to talking about such matters, that the Romans and their laws are swept from view, or the Greeks, with their alternative views on homosexuality, and all the other pagans are removed from sight, and at that point, it's easy to understand why actual history, and the teaching of it, rarely matters to those who can sense a chance to indoctrinate their children slipping from their hands.

But there, the pond said it wouldn't bite, and was bitten, so let's conclude the rant, and what's the bet there'll be a mention of "ordinary verities", by which we might conclude a confection involving pie in the sky bye and bye for those about to die preserving the wealth of the rich:

Well if sensible people can reach the same conclusions as Shanahan from that bald, distorted pile of statistical gibberish, it's no wonder that bloggers, feminist libertarians (whoever they might be) and academics bemoan the contribution of conservative Catholics to the understanding of the world of sexual and domestic violence, or indeed, to the plague of violence against children that ran rampant, uncontrolled and unchecked through the Catholic church itself ...

And as for that final lacerating thrust of petulant paranoid nonsense at the end, the tragedy is that some gays actually want to be part of the conservative, domestic, conventional, notion of a family ... one albeit without homophobia or misogyny at its heart. 

The long absent lord alone knows why, but then the pond is so addicted to marriage, it's tried it several times, a reality in this de facto age that seems to escape Shanahan, not to mention the celibate priests who avoid the activity altogether, preferring to cluster together in a homoerotic boys' club chanting to their long absent lord as a way of overcoming their fear of death with the hope of an eternity of time spent on the golf course and educational travel around the universe.

Enough of all that, it's time for a few cartoons from around the world, showing it's same old same old wherever it bobs up ...

Talking of the Bolter, fake scandals, Freedom Boy and off to Syria for the by-election, as you do on a meditative Sunday ...

And so to the Bolter this meditative Sunday:

Isn't he wonderful?

So many fake scandals to explode - the Border Force one ...

And that's how forelock tugging, servile fellow travellers serve their masters ...

No, the pond won't be watching/didn't watch, not with that sort of pitch, but look, Freedom Boy himself was on the march, and saw it as a scandal in Border Force: Freedom doesn't sit with governments:

The increasing paramilitarisation of wandering bureaucrats was always going to lead to overreach that united everyone in favour of defending civil liberties. 
On Friday, the government's rebranded immigration enforcement agency, Border Force, was supposed to have its first outing working with Victoria Police. In the clear light of day, Operation Fortitude was relatively routine. Victoria Police was going to do its job and provide a visible police presence to enforce the law. Officers were also to work with other agencies to promote inter-agency co-operation. It has been done before. 
But that wasn't how Border Force presented it. In a chilling statement the force said "ABF officers will be positioned at various locations around the CBD speaking with any individual we cross paths with". I read this in news reports and thought ABF had been selectively quoted. Instead the original press release was accurate. Such statements are antithetical in a liberal democracy. 
Logic said Border Force could only match its actions with its words by stopping people when they had no reasonable grounds of suspicion, or engage in racial profiling. Neither are acceptable. It is also absurd that any of us walk around with our passport, or that we should be expected to do so. 
Horrified in response I called the minister's office seeking an explanation. 
Later, the agency issued a clarifying statement that "the ABF does not and will not stop people at random in the streets and does not target on the basis of race, religion or ethnicity". 
By that stage the damage was done. 
Regardless of Border Force's intentions, it raises serious questions about the culture of an agency where anyone thought such statements could be publicly released. It also raises questions about the increasing paramilitarisation of bureaucrats. 
No one has an issue with the law being enforced. We expect it. It's necessary. But it's the job of the police to enforce the law. Increasingly governments are giving more powers to bureaucrats to actively seek out compliance with laws and regulations, rather than simply processing paperwork. That only leads to those unskilled and untrained to overstep the mark and risk infringing our civil liberties... 

And so on. Freedom Boy vs. the Bolter.

Well now we know that at least one can pick the difference between a fake scandal and a genuine one ... and see past the humbug of "it was a mistake", "it was just a press release", "it doesn't have any more implications than a typo or a grammatical error" ...

He mentions agency culture, the increasing paramilitarisation of bureaucrats ... and we all know how that started, and who oversaw the uniforms and the funding ... as Lenore Taylor noted on The Insiders (yes, the pond did watch that one), without any coherent definition of their responsibilities, duties and powers in a domestic context.

Anyone with half an eye would have long ago noticed the militarisation of American policing, with left over military gear and a gung ho shoot first attitude.

But apparently not the Bolter.

Which helps explain why Freedom Boy gets one thing badly wrong, as he worries about where freedom dwells and whether it solely lives in the law:

It sits in the hearts and minds of the body politic. On Friday, it didn't matter where you were on the political spectrum. Every Melburnian understood in a free and pluralist society it was their responsibility to defend freedoms and basic decency for all.

A responsibility?

Wrong Freedom Boy. Not every Melburnian understood. It did matter where you were on the political spectrum.

It particularly mattered if you were of the extremist hard right, who possibly fancy themselves in decent black leather.

Most notably the dark hearted Melburnian Bolter, ready to try out for the role of Scarpia yet again, didn't understand and preferred to blather about fake scandals ...

As for Abbott taking any sort of responsibility for what he set in motion, remember this?

Sorry, lickspittle lackey who compiled the press release, the buck stops with you, as senior management and the pollies run a mile.

We should be a little ashamed of ourselves?


There's a rogue with absolutely no sense of responsibility, shame or adult government.

It's not the press release, you doofus, it's the paramilitary pomp proposing to go on parade in the streets...

What next? Well here's what sent the Bolter into a foaming frenzy:

Shame, Mr Windsor, it's certain to be the fault of a clumsily worded press release.

And while on the subject of national security, why not drop in on Syria strikes: Top expert questions Tony Abbott's motivations for air strikes in Syria (with forced video):

The Lowy Institute's Rodger Shanahan, a former army officer turned Middle East expert, has questioned the wisdom of the expansion. 

"It's not going to have any real operational impact given the weight of sorties that we will be able to bring to bear," Dr Shanahan said. "So if it's not operationally significant the question is why do it? "Therefore there must be a political reason for doing it, best known only to the government." 
Still trailing in the polls, the government has in recent weeks sought to shift the agenda to national security. 
There have also been claims that the National Security Committee of Cabinet asked for a list of weekly security-related announcements it can make between now and the next election. 
Mr Abbott has denied that claim but it has cast a cloud over the government's motivations for suddenly focusing on Syria.

And so on and on, but at least there was a cartoon to relieve the gloom. Or provoke more gloom, depending how you feel about the way the country's heading:

And there's just time for a Kudelka cartoon, and more Kudelka here:

It being a meditative Sunday, there's karma karma karma coming to the chameleons...

(Above: and the rest of that First Dog here).

Self indulgently heading off to the sick bed for the afternoon, the pond came across an episode of Midsomer Murders, a rarely watched show, though it saturates the airwaves, ABC and multichannels, like a Sydney cockroach.

Having been rigorously trained in the detective aisle of the Tamworth municipal library, the pond picked the villain early. You see, there was a religious fundamentalist going around being nice to people, a history and French teacher allegedly with a fiancee in South Africa.

It turned out - spoiler alert - that he was a barking mad serial killer, offing people for daring to have sex out of wedlock, unloved by his fiancee and wreaking havoc in the charming little village of eccentrics.

Well there's not many other useful roles for barking mad psychopathic religious fundamentalists to play these days, unless it's keeping children in Nauru in a clap happy way or organising a tinpot group into a band of uniformed thugs happy to strut the streets harassing innocent bystanders ...

And that's how Midsomer Murders made the pond end up thinking yet again about that other mundane TV show, Border Farce.

In the ordinary way, the person who wrote the press release would have been gone, the person quoted in the press release would have gone, for being quoted and not reading it, or worse, being quoted accurately and then attempting to implausibly deny it, and the person who hired the senior official would have gone for hiring such incompetents and doing nothing about it, and even better, the politicians responsible for the entire farce would have fallen on their swords or been asked to ...

Dutton has always struck the pond as being a copper short of a baton, not the the kinky one that went off with the hooker in that Midsomer Murders episode, but more the assistant who makes life hard for Barnaby with his inept enthusiasm ... and anyway, it's really Morrison and Abbott who set this mess of uniforms rolling with their re-badging into a paramilitary, quasifascist parade.

 If you give an organisation heaps of money, and a generous dose of paranoia and fear-mongering, any border begins to look like any street anywhere in the country ...

So instead of any action, what do we cop?

Actually the mistake began earlier than the press release,  obviously Abbott is the mistake, and it's hard to pretend your office didn't have any knowledge of that:

Of course the Murdochians were on hand to trot out another excuse, of the dog didn't read its homework kind:

It always sticks in the craw for the pond to agree at any time with the Billistas - what a pity Albo didn't score the guernsey - but the reptiles for some strange reason decided to give him a splash:

Well yes, if you set up a paramilitary organisation with nice uniforms - still not quite up there with the decent blacks and leather of the good old days - and guns and oodles of money, and an ill-defined brief of paranoia and fear, and keep security hysteria ticking over in the run up to Canning, you should pay attention to what they might get up to, including the risible notion of announcing that they're going to be prowling a certain area at a certain time looking for malfeasants, presumably on the basis that malfeasants share the skills of Peter Dutton's office, and won't bother to read where the plods will be plodding ...

But that's enough of Midsomer Murders and fundamentalist barking mad true believers and plodding plods, because the HUNsters had other fish to fry this Sunday:

A sixteen page souvenir?!

The pond was swept back to the 1950s in an instant.

Take that, jolly Joe!

But look below, why there's jolly Joe doing his impersonation of Santa Claus.

Never mind Joe, the HUNsters clearly loves ya.

But wait, what's this HUNsters?

So much for Santa Claus, and aren't the reptiles in a state of abject confusion?

Of course there's just one flaw in Maiden's thinking. If treasurer-cide gets a guernsey, the one thing you can learn from Midsomer Murders is that one killing leads to another, and PM-cide would be likely to follow, and pretty quickly, probably as a sign the second act is starting ...

And then we'd have a clap happy speaker in tongues as our fearless leader ...

So what's the pitch?

Tony Abbott should sack Joe Hockey as Treasurer for Christmas. 
Trouble is, nobody thinks he has the savagery to do it and use a looming reshuffle to install Scott Morrison in the job. Or Malcolm Turnbull, the only Liberal who would deliver instant economic credibility to the job. 
It is what’s known in politics as the turkeys voting for Christmas. 

The trouble is, of course, that ScoMo doesn't seem that much interested in being treasurer anymore. He's interested in being head honcho, and being treasurer is just a way station that's rapidly becoming pointless in relation to the grander plan, what with the election looming and the time needed to settle in. And then Maiden begins to sound really desperate:

The refusal to come to terms with the fact that Hockey is a lame duck is a real shame because the last treasurer with any authority was Peter Costello, who exited the stage in 2007.  
If Abbott wins the next election, it will be 10 years since there was a treasurer who could cut it in Question Time. 
Oh, what a time to be alive.

If Abbott wins the next election ... talk about an optimist.

And so begins another bout of leadership speculation, albeit in the guise of treasurer job speculation ...

And so the leadership speculation at last comes out into the open.

Which leads the desperate Maiden into an even grander folly, the notion of a Morrison/Turnbull alliance:

Actually Ms Maiden, the karma bus is coming for Tony Abbott, if  we still follow the principle that the man in charge of his underlings should wear the responsibility for the nincompoops in his charge ...

Perhaps not. That's why there's always a number of murders in Midsomer before the dumb coppers finally work out there's a crazy on the loose, and a woman in peril, but whatever you do, don't put her in protective custody, because we need her for the third act, and a boring replay of all the killings.

Only this time it's the entire country waiting on the third act...

Either way, the pond doesn't mind how it plays out. The reptiles don't know what to do, and that's why jolly Joe can be featured on the front page as Santa, and then roundly denounced as a bumbling idiot who can't count, on other pages, and ever so slowly it's dawning on the reptiles that some kind of karma bus is coming for someone, and possibly before Xmas ...

And it might well be a speaking in tongues fundamentalist clap happy crazy. What an excellent change from a Catholic fundamentalist ...

Oh it's a good time to be alive ...

Meanwhile, on another planet, the good old Chairman is also in the wars. Someone let him out from his day job of tending the flowers at the garage ...

Oh dear indeed, and you can see why the Brendan O'Neills of the world hate the twitterati, because it's such an easy way of pointing out the blindingly obvious, and being twitterers, the tweeters did:

Such a stupid man, at least in areas where cleverness counts. Making billions, easy peasy; having the first clue, terribly hard ...

And so for those who missed the second part of that most excellent First Dog cartoon, which celebrates the way the pond has lived both in north Fitzroy and on the strip in St Kilda!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Passing the microphone to all the ABC haters ...

And so to the Bolter and his astonishing, searing coverage, smeared with outrage and indignation, at the Border Farce that unfolded yesterday:

Oh dear,  should we have another go?

Oh wait, finally, apparently it's all the fault of the Labor party and the Fairfax press:

He almost makes it sound like a generous concession to the sheep.

Yep, it was just a badly worded press release, and at least acting like fascists is taking our border laws seriously. Like, um, Adolf did ... he too stood firm against the dilution of precious bodily fluids. And, after tales of how the Labor party and the unions wuz busy doing it too (you know, sending paramilitaries out into the streets to randomly check for visas), so to the inevitable punchline:

The ABC and Fairfax are again operating as an echo chamber for the far Left.

Well as someone who routinely operates as an echo chamber for the far Right, and the loony tea party rascists, the Bolter should know ...

 Never mind, what's on the show?

Yes, there's the march to a police state top of the dial, front and centre, with the quisling Bruce Hawker as the attempt to garner respectability and balance. Some respectability and balance.

But the Bolter did also indirectly mention the affair in another context:

Yes, Windsor gave Abbott a hearty serve for the Border farce and he also had a thing or two to say about Abbott's willingness to get involved in a civil war.

So let's flip the Bolter's attack.

Who does the Bolter represent? He represents no one. Except his rabid self and the forces who have promoted him to such unregulated, unanswerable prominence. His opinions are incoherent, extreme, and seemingly driven in part by a long-standing malice against anyone disturbed at the signs of a police state growing around them. Why is the Bolter given so much space? Why does he have a television show? Why is not a single one of his wild statements questioned within the reptile empire? Simple - it's because the Bolter turns a blind eye to the Border farce and says exactly what his reptile masters want to be said - that the Border farce is a good law and order issue to take to Canning, and that bombing the shit out of Syria and jumping into a civil way is an even better way to wear khaki on the way to Canning.

The Bolter is openly campaigning for the Abbott government. He and the Murdoch Empire are out of control.

Or some such thing. It passes for political commentary in some quarters, but it's close enough to hagiographic drivel where the pond comes from. Tamworth country ...

But that ongoing obsession with the ABC and the sight of prattling Polonius turning up on the Bolter's show reminded the pond that today is prattling Polonius day at the lizard Oz.

The poor old screecher is a much diminished figure and rarely turns up on the front digital page of the Oz these days.

But he does keep that obsession with the ABC alive this day. It goes without saying that an obsession with the ABC is notorious amongst reptiles as a sign they belong to a band of brothers, a kind of Masonic handshake ...

Indeed, indeed. Because censorship is the liberal way, and the rule amongst Oz reptiles is that censorship should be first amongst equals ... how else would the Bolter get to be so expert at self-censoring when it came to mentioning Border Farce?

It was around this time that the pond began to marvel at prattling Polonius all over again - deploring abuse and then dismissing a joke as absolute tosh (it was a joke, though whether of a trolling kind, or a partisan kind, who knows).

And that reminded the pond that when it came to facilitating abuse, Polonius himself is something of a past master.

It sent the pond into a tizz, wondering what was the best metaphor for the schizophrenic Polonius.

Was it Oscar Wilde?

Well if he was Dorian Gray, that painting on the wall must be even stranger looking now, given the sneering visage left in the real world.

But there really wasn't any doubt as to the best comparison:

You see, if you want to wander through a sewer of abuse, you can do no better than sample the delights of Polonius imitating a dog and urinating on lots of lamp posts and people. It's a land where payback and verbal revenge is king.

For some reason, the reptiles seek to charge for it, but such is the hopeless vanity and self-regard of the author, you can find it at the Sydney Institute without any gold bar at all.

That's where the Mr Hyde character emerges from the chattering Jeykll. Here's some substantial argument and vigorous public debate, Polonius style:

Absolute tripe...
What a load of absolute tosh... 
Mr Negus threw the switch to ignorance...  
George Negus’ attack on the Prime Minister is just his latest bout of anti-Catholic sectarianism...  
George Negus does not know what he is talking about. [Perhaps that’s why he gets invited on to “Drive with Richard Glover” – Ed]. 
Did anyone read the Sydney Morning Herald’s (sanctimonious) editorial last Saturday ...
What a load of absolute tosh...   
...just bunk... 
Under Andrew Holden’s editorship, The Age is busy channelling Green Left Weekly. The problem is that Green Left Weekly appeals to its inner-city leftist constituency. Whereas The Age attacks members of its constituency who buy and/or advertise in the newspaper and who happen to be believers and/or send their children to non-government schools and/or run big, medium or small businesses and/or believe in national security and so on. They are all a target for the Green/Left ideologues who seem to control The Age at the moment.

And so on and on, an endless stream of invective and common abuse, with the keyboard worn down from the splenetic pounding it cops daily.

Naturally, at some point, it had to get personal:

Gerard Henderson was not surprised when The Age’s literary editor Jason Steger commissioned Ray Cassin to review Santamaria: A Most Unusual Man last Saturday. You see, Mr Cassin is one of Hendo’s (many) critics. Moreover, he happens to support Fr Bruce Duncan’s pro-Cardinal Gilroy (and anti-Archbishop Daniel Mannix) position in his book Crusade or Conspiracy? Ray Cassin regards Dr Duncan’s book (for a doctor he is) as “magisterial” whereas Hendo reckons that it’s useful but too much a case of barracking for the Sydney Hierarchy. 
You see, Duncan believes that the Sydney bishops were correct in instructing Catholics to stay in the ALP at the time of the Labor Split in the mid-1950s. Duncan is also a vehement opponent of Archbishop Mannix, who gave broad support to the Democratic Labor Party which broke away from the ALP at the time. In other words, Fr Duncan (for a father he also is) is a supporter of the NSW ALP right in the 1950s and 1960s. 
Mr Cassin is a former Age journalist. [I’m not surprised – Ed] who used to write for the leftist Eureka Street which lost lotsa money for the Jesuit order before it became an online hand-me-out. It’s not clear that Mr Cassin has ever written a book. Which may (or may not) explain why, on two occasions, your man Cassin remarked that Hendo’s journalism is different in style from his writing as a historian. Fancy that. The scholarly Cassin does not seem to know that there is a distinction between writing for newspapers and blogs and writing history books.

He probably doesn't understand that there's a distinction between abuse and Polonius-approved abuse, either ...

Now the pond could go on with this tedious schismatic war and splitter v splitter, but that's best left to the valiant, courageous reader.

Suffice to say that there's a pay-off when the pedant gets found out in a couple of typos, and Cassin tries to excuse the pedant by noting proof-reading used to be a job for publishers, and all Polonius can do is come up with his standard rebuttal, "What a load of tosh", and point out that The Age also has typos ... as if the scholarly Polonius doesn't seem to know that there is a distinction between publishing a carefully proofed history book and writing for newspapers and blogs ...

There's more of course, much more  - Polonius is always prolix - but alas that would leave no room for Polonius's concluding thoughts on the ABC, a story to be resumed on a daily basis by dozens of reptiles worried at why no one is reading them or bothering to pay for a subscription ... as if paying for ratbag feral reptile raging should be the order of the day for charitable, considerate consumers.

We resume play with poor Polonius suffering outrageous harassment and enduring enormous purgatorial torment:

Well, there's one upside for a few lucky ABC 774 listeners in Melbourne. He won't be returning.

Would that he would do the same for all ABC shows, especially given the way he sees it as such a deplorable organisation. Pace Groucho, I wouldn't want to be seen on any broadcaster that would accept me as a guest on their broadcasts.

And yes, Katauskas should be ashamed of saying "gobsmacking moronic". Please, learn the difference between abuse and argument.

Henceforth, Ms Katauskas, please confine your remarks to "absolute tosh", though when in doubt inner-city leftist, anti-Catholic sectarian, sandal-wearer and and absolute tripe may be flung around as required ...

And so below to actor Richard Mansfield and his impression of Polonius doing an impression of Jekyll: