Thursday, July 24, 2014

Meanwhile, at climate denial central headquarters ...



Uh huh. You can gratify the reptiles at climate denialist central with a click, if you head off to Press Council adjudication, but if you don't feel so inclined, here it is, as the reptiles cop a spanking with a warm lettuce leaf, months after it mattered, and months after they've maintained their denialist ways:

The following adjudication has been issued by the Australian Press Council. 
The Press Council has considered a complaint about a number of items published in The Australian in September 2013, a week before the release of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 
The first article, We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC, was on pages 1 and 6 on 16 September. It began: 
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest assessment reportedly admits its computer drastically overestimated rising temperatures, and over the past 60 years the world has in fact been warming at half the rate claimed in the previous IPCC report in 2007. More importantly, according to reports in British and US media, the draft report appears to suggest global temperatures were less sensitive to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide than was previously thought. The 2007 assessment report said the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade, but according to Britain’s The Daily Mail the draft update report says the true figure since 1951 has been 0.12C”. 
An editorial headed The warm hard facts — Climate change should always be about the science was published on the following day. Amongst other things, it said: “Exaggerated, imprecise and even oxymoronic language pollutes the climate change debate”, and it emphasised the need to have regard to the facts of climate science, not simply “beliefs”. It accused specific people and organisations of inaccurate and unbalanced contributions which had generated undue alarm about climate change. It reiterated the key assertion in the previous article, saying: “Later this month, the next iteration of the IPCC’s climate assessment will revise downwards (by close to 50 per cent) warming trends”. 
The same issue included a letter to the editor from David Karoly, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Melbourne and a contributor to the IPCC report, which pointed out: 
“The observed rate of global average warming of surface air temperature over the past 60 years of 0.12C per decade is almost identical to the value reported in the IPCC report in 2007 of 0.13C per decade for the period 1956-2005”. 
The letter was placed fifth amongst six letters published on that day under the general heading Climate sceptics sense a modicum of vindication. The writers of the first four letters were highly critical of the IPCC, clearly having assumed that the newspaper’s original article was correct. 
Four days after the original article appeared, the online headline was changed to read Doubts over IPCC’s global warming rates. A brief “Clarification” was added, noting the article’s reference to a rate of 0.2C and stating: “In fact, the new rate of 0.12C every decade is almost the same as the IPCC’s 2007 figure of 0.13C every decade over the 50 years to 2005.” It also said: “The report was based on a British media article that has since been corrected”. It also acknowledged the original article erred in saying the IPCC conducted its own computer modelling, explaining: “That error was made in the production process”. 
Five days after the original article, a single paragraph headed “Correction” was published in the lower half of page 2 of the print version of The Weekend Australian. It provided the same information as the online “clarification”. 
Cameron Byers and others complained to the Council about the inaccuracy to which Prof Karoly had referred. They also said the original article was unfair and unbalanced because it included little comment from the IPCC and implied error and concealment by the IPCC (for example: “the IPCC was forced to deny it was locked in crisis talks”). 
Mr Byers said Prof Karoly’s letter should have been given more prominence and should have alerted the publication to the need to check carefully whether the claim in its original report was accurate before publishing an editorial which repeated the claim. He also said the online “clarification” should have been headed “Correction”, both it and the print correction should have been published much earlier, and the print correction should have been more prominent. 
The publication subsequently acknowledged to the Press Council that the headline and first sentence of the original article were incorrect, but it said that in all other respects the article was fair and balanced. It said the IPCC had been asked to comment but had declined to respond as the assertions were based on the alleged contents of a draft report which had not been completed or published. 
The publication said there was no reason for it to have suspected errors in the articles in The Mail on Sunday and noted that The Wall Street Journal had also published an article containing the same error. It also noted that on the day after the original article it reported that Australian climate scientists believed the alleged IPCC revision was consistent with its 2007 report. 
The publication acknowledged to the Council that Prof Karoly’s letter should have prompted it to investigate the matter and then publish the correction in the newspaper more promptly. It also acknowledged that the online “clarification” should perhaps have been called a “correction”, but it said the print correction on page 2 was adequate because that is where it traditionally places corrections. 
The Council has considered the complaint by reference to the following parts of its General Principles: “Publications should take reasonable steps to ensure reports are accurate, fair and balanced”; “relevant facts should not be misrepresented or suppressed”; and “Where it is established that a serious inaccuracy has been published, a publication should promptly correct the error, giving the correction due prominence”. 
The Council has concluded that the erroneous claim about the revised warming rate was very serious, given the importance of the issue and of the need for accuracy (both of which were emphasised in the editorial that repeated the claim without qualification). Although based on another publication’s report, the claim was unequivocally asserted in The Australian headline, We got it wrong on warming, says IPCC, which also implied the IPCC had acknowledged the alleged error. The impression that the claim was correct was reinforced by The Australian saying the IPCC had been “forced to deny” that it was in crisis talks. 
The Council considers that rigorous steps should have been taken before giving such forceful and prominent credence to The Mail on Sunday’s claim. Accordingly, the complaint on that ground is upheld. 
Given Professor Karoly’s expertise and the importance of the issue, his letter should have triggered a prompt and thorough investigation by the publication. Instead, the error was repeated in an editorial on the page opposite his letter. Moreover, his letter was published below other letters which assumed the original article was true and under a collective heading which reflected their views, rather than his correction. 
The Council considers that the gravity of the erroneous claim, and its repetition without qualification in the editorial, required a correction which was more substantial, and much more prominent, than a single paragraph in the lower half of page 2. The heading should also have given a brief indication of the subject matter, in order to help attract the attention of readers of the original article (and editorial) and thereby meet the Council’s long-standing requirement that a correction “has the effect, as far as possible, of neutralising any damage arising from” the original article. 
Accordingly, the complaints about the correction are upheld. 
The Council welcomes the acknowledgements of error and expressions of regret which the publication eventually made to it. But they should have been made very much earlier, and made directly to the publication’s readers in a frank and specific manner. It is a matter of considerable concern that this approach was not adopted. 
The Council emphasises that, of course, this adjudication neither endorses nor rejects any particular theories or predictions about global warming and related issues.

Uh huh.

And where was this on the digital page? Down in the middle. There was certainly no breast beating from the editorialist ...


It's just another day at denialist central ...

So where do the reptiles get their expert scientific advice?

Well of course in the Bolter they have one of the world's greatest climate scientists, when he has time to spare from bashing minorities that offend him.

And best of all, their owner, and keeper of the reptiles in the style they've become accustomed to, is also a top notch climate scientist, a repository of astonishing scientific wisdom and insights:




The apple and the knob polishers do the hagiographic hard yards this day, and by golly is jolly Joe a pile of work ...



It's busy days for the hagiographers and knob polishers, and the bouffant one is back to berate jolly Joe Hockey for his shocking ways ...

You see, a terrible question arises. Which knob to polish, which hagiography to write? Should it be the wise, stern Treasurer, who just wants to deliver a tough budget, one suited for these troubled times, and worshipped as a grand job well delivered, right up to recent times.

A brave tough man, loved by the markets and by the hard heads, but sadly opposed at every turn bya soft touch PM, the goose with not an economic bone in his addled brain ...

Or should the commentariat turn on jolly Joe and tear him limb from limb, and demand his sacking, or at least leave him howling in the wind, tearing at his sackcloth and ashes.

Better to throw out a useless bit of furniture than the jewel in the crown, the soft touch PM with not an economic bone in his addled brain.

Is it time for a book burning?



Heck, why not? Come on down bouffant one, and sock it to us with  Colleagues throw book at Hockey (behind the paywall, because book throwing, like book burning, doesn't come cheap).

The leitmotiv of Joe Hockey’s first months as Treasurer has ­become that of an aloof plutocrat puffing on a cigar, well-off, politic­ally distant from everyday life, ­indulgent and indulged. 
And that is just the view of some of his senior colleagues. 
His launch this morning of the authorised biography — Hockey: Not Your Average Joe — only confirms colleagues’ concerns and prejudices, reinforces the impression he is not concentrating on selling his first budget and gifts Labor more material to beat an already beaten government. 
That Hockey wanted an even tougher budget with even more pain not only hurts him and the “team” in the eyes of his cabinet colleagues, it is a clear inference that Tony Abbott was not up to the task. 
That Hockey will never again trust Malcolm Turnbull, in the words of his wife, Melissa Babbage, feeds division and rancour. 
And that Hockey has refused to resile or apologise for any of the revelations and ramifications so far damages Abbott’s authority and drags the PM’s targeted chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin, who says the Treasurer has his head above every other contender, further into a scarifying spotlight. 
The revelations in the book, by journalist Madonna King, are not in themselves career-ending or of the same quantum of revelations about Peter Costello’s views about John Howard and the leadership that sapped the Howard-Costello government for years and ended in tears. 
But, coming after a flawed political selling of a budget that had much to economically recommend it, some of Hockey’s cabinet colleagues see the Treasurer’s ratification of the book’s conclusions as a final act of self-indulgence and what must be the last act of indulgence from Abbott. 
That the budget has soured the Coalition’s public standing is an understatement, and that Hockey’s lack of preparation for the “end of the age of entitlement’’ was part of that souring is ­self-evident. What’s worse, with the revelations in a biography he authorised and is endorsing, Hockey is damaging Abbott’s authority just as it is recovering and seems not to fear having his chain yanked. 
In the smoking ruins of the budget sales job, not the budget ­itself, Hockey has made life more difficult for Abbott, drawn Credlin further into dangerous cabinet infighting and created sympathy for Turnbull, who is seen as being ostracised for lesser crimes. 
Hockey can’t help being well off nor should he be punished for it — after all, Kevin Rudd and Turnbull faced each other as ­millionaires — but tempting fate by smoking a fat cigar while inflicting budget pain on unemployed youth or talking about his 200ha cattle property while discussing drought relief are not the acts of a wise and empathetic character. 
Yesterday, despite the undercurrents among his colleagues and a growing scrutiny Hockey, in New Zealand and fresh back from a holiday in Fiji, did nothing to dampen the growing angst. 
Labor’s Chris Bowen didn’t miss the chance. 
Just as the government in general, and Abbott in particular, are preparing to take advantage of the passage of the carbon tax repeal bill and rest the budget debate, Hockey has opened unnecessary wounds and made much of the debate about him.

It has to be said that the pond just loves the smell of napalm and squabbling Tories in the morning.

Sadly, the pond has to agree with Dennis Shanahan - now there's a first - and Joe Hockey's book-throwing colleagues.

The time has come to sack Joe Hockey forthwith, and send him to the back bench at once. And since Hockey didn't act alone, but smoked his indulgent cigar with Mathias Cormann, the Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator must also be immediately benched.

But let's not stop there. Someone appointed these clowns to the two most important economic positions in the federal political landscape, and whoever that was should also be immediately retired from active duty, and a cabinet reshuffle promptly organised.

The pond has many solutions to hand. Bronnie Bishop should be dragooned from her speaker's job - which she's handled with tremendous skill and astonishing impartiality - and forthwith made PM, just to prove the Liberals can empower women.

And who better than the poodle Pyne as Treasurer? After all, he appointed a strap and cane lover to enquire into education, and how better to bring the economy into good shape than six of the best on each hand, and the sweet smell of leather and fear as the cracking strap caresses the firm bottoms of young boys?

Oops, the pond got a little carried away there. Is there incipient Toryism in the pond?

But wait there's more treats. You see, if you happened to look up the bouffant one, here's what you got:


Strange, but thank you Google, for this splendid juxtaposition.

You see, if you clicked on the demonic, glowering shape of Rupert Murdoch - and who could resist? - you were immediately transported, courtesy the magic carpet of links, to Laura Tingle's piece for the AFR, Tony Abbott brief Rupert Murdoch on paid parental leave.

And suddenly it becomes painfully clear why the hagiographers and knob polishers were upset with jolly Joe Hockey:

Tony Abbott gave media proprietor Rupert Murdoch a detailed briefing on his controversial $5.5 billion paid parental leave scheme before he announced it without consulting his shadow cabinet or MPs. 
The revelation about the scheme – which continues to be a contentious issue within the Coalition and between the government and the business community – is in a new biography of Treasurer Joe Hockey. In the book, Mr Hockey claims Mr Abbott only made a vague reference to the plan to him before it was announced in opposition. 
Madonna King, the author of Hockey: Not Your Average Joe, writes neither the Coalition party room nor the businesses who would pay a levy to fund the expensive scheme were consulted before it was announced in 2010. But Mr Abbott “conferred with one leading business figure, the media proprietor Rupert Murdoch, who had been in Australia the month before”. 
The book says Mr Abbott, a former Murdoch employee and then the new leader of the Liberal Party, “like many before him, had dinner with Murdoch, where he gave the media mogul a full rundown on the scheme – ­supplying enough detail for Murdoch to later have his Australian-based editors briefed on Abbott’s plan, which [Murdoch] considered a visionary approach to dealing with a real problem in his workforce”. 
“They were encouraged to support it, notwithstanding that it represented a tax impost and was skewed to be of most benefit to parents outside their middle-Australian readership,” the book says. 
“This fact was unknown to members in the party room, who condemned Abbott’s solo policymaking on such a fundamental issue.”

Throw the book at him! Burn the book!  Form a circle and chant! Kill the best! Cut his throat! Spill his blood!

Oh dear too much time amongst the Tories or perhaps spent reading Golding's Lord of the Flies, a splendid guide to Tory politics.

Tingle has more, about the irked and offended Hockey, and the roughshod riding Abbott and agitated big business, and isolated Joe Hockey, and un-costed proposals and a government seething with tension and in total policy disarray, but you can read the rest at your leisure and your pleasure.

But it helps why the Abbott knob polishers are so agitated and will continue to be agitated.

The reptiles at the lizard Oz did the best they could, and set two of their best, most hagiographic knob polishers to work:



Oh sure, the image of Abbott as a kind of robot with a strategic map implanted in his head conjured up some wonderful images:




But it was all too little too late.

The pond still felt a curious tingle running up the leg ...

The book discusses two contentious policy issues – the Green Army and the paid parental leave scheme – which it asserts involved Mr Abbott making significant policy announcements without discussing them at all, or at least in any detail, with his shadow treasurer.

Uh huh.



Sheesh, despite the very best endeavours of the knob polishers, it's all falling apart as the knobs send missives to each other, and books out into the world et cetera, et cetera...

(Below: as always, David Rowe has a brilliant abridgement of the book, which has saved the pond the trouble of reading it, and more brilliant Rowe here, the best reason for the AFR to continue to exist, even allowing for the tingle Laura Tingle can produce)


How is this columnist still a columnist and this thing still a thing?


Once again Paul "magic water man" Sheehan demonstrates himself to be a thoroughly stupid man, incapable of holding together a coherent approach over more than a couple of days.

Was it only on Monday that he was scribbling Time for Ukraine to divide?

Yes, it was, and here was Sheehan's epic conclusion:

The deeper reality is that Ukraine is now two nations in everything but law. It can be split via plebiscite. On the western side is a de facto sovereign state, Ukraine, which is aligned with the European Community and could quickly be invited to membership. On the eastern side is the autonomous region of Donetsk, which could become sovereign or be absorbed into Russia as an autonomous department. Ukraine’s river system even provides natural borders. 
As for the detail of where a new border between Ukraine and Donetsk would run, that should be decided by the people, by plebiscite. Better a formal division than more blood, blackmail and disaster.

The deeper reality of this bout of Neville Chamberlain fever was that it was already a deal done:

The people have already spoken. The splintering of Ukraine began to take a formal shape in the presidential election of 2010 when Viktor Yanukovych, a Russian-speaking former governor of the Donetsk Oblast province, defeated Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. She is a Ukraine nationalist who became internationally famous for her distinctive golden braids and for her advocacy of Ukraine joining the European Community and ending Russia’s control over the country. 
The 2010 vote divided almost perfectly along ethnic lines. The greatest support for Yanukovych came from the regions in the east with Russian-speaking majorities, and the greatest support for Tymoshenko came from the Ukrainian-speaking west.

Uh huh. So let's do a fast forward to yesterday's epic follow-up, MH17: Vladimir Putin will lose Ukraine through stupidity.

It turns out that the plebiscite was just a cunning ploy, a calling of the bluff, a high stakes poker game with Putin the certain loser:

On Monday I suggested Ukraine should hold a plebiscite on separation, to allow the country to shed Russian influence by allowing any region contiguous with Russia to vote to return to Russia if it wished. A plebiscite would be an aggressive form of democracy. It would call Putin’s bluff. 
Based on the events of the past week, Russia would be fortunate to harvest a small rump of Ukraine. The rest of the country, most of it, would reject Russia. And Putin would have lost Ukraine.

No need now to talk of a sovereign autonomous region of Donetsk. Thanks to Sheehan's cleverness, all Putin would score was a rump steak.

There are any number of things to be said about this peculiar form of stupidity, but the first should surely be a sigh of relief that Sheehan is simply a hapless member of the commentariat, and has absolutely no capacity to implement a plebiscite or influence others in this direction.

Having thrown up his hands in quisling/Chamberlain despair on Monday, suddenly on a Wednesday he's triumphant and imagining all sorts of defeats for Putin:

The mind-boggling stupidity of the armed masked men at the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines plane, and their blatantly lying superiors, has changed the equation in Ukraine and Europe. The murder of 298 civilians by Russian-backed criminals is creating positives out of a disastrous negative. 
Those positives can prove significant. So significant that, after the criminal investigation of the destruction of flight MH17 is completed, Russia can lose its right to host the 2018 football World Cup. Not all sanctions involve trade. Shunning has its place. During the World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro, Russian President Vladimir Putin sat next to the President of Brazil and the president of FIFA. If Russia is found to have sponsored terrorism, then sought to cover up a mass murder, many nations will not want to see Russia and Putin rewarded with the world’s most-watched sporting event. 
The imperial meddling of Putin will be tainted for years to come by this incident. Ukrainians have been galvanised. They have witnessed the murder of innocents, the appalling conduct of separatists at the crash scene and the implausible denials by Russian puppets, notably Alexander Borodai, the self-styled prime minister of the Donetsk people's republic. Faced with overwhelming evidence of self-incrimination, Borodai said: “It is very simple to disprove it. All of the information that comes through the internet is practically all lies.” 
This tactic of brazen blanket denial actually works in Russia, where the state media has been whitewashing reality and shunting blame onto the Ukrainian government. Putin remains popular as a Russian nationalist standing up to the West.

Yes, and he was so successful in Sheehan's eyes that on the Monday the benighted one was prepared to hand over a large slab of the Ukraine, using rivers as borders and whatever other fiddle faddle was necessary to determine the two new states.

There was no talk then of rumps. Now the arising rump is presumably so small it would have to be swallowed back into Russia since it wouldn't have sufficient size to warrant a separate existence.

This is the sort of mindless divvying up of countries that the British once indulged in when they held the reins of empire, and lordy, lordy, didn't they fuck up huge rumps of the world in the process. Want to sort out India and Pakistan? Would you like squillions of murders with that?

The end result? After reeling away from these two efforts, the impression is that Sheehan re-read his first column and started back, saying 'Holy shit, did I write that gibberish?' and so felt the need to write new gibberish to set the first one right.

There seems to be only one final question.

No, it's not why does Sheehan exist, since he's perfectly entitled to go on wasting oxygen as he pleases.

More to the point, why does he bother to produce two columns in such quick succession which show him to be inordinately stupid? And perhaps there are a couple of minor sub-set questions that flow from that one.

Why does Fairfax continue to publish him? And even more mysterious, why do readers bother to read him?

Aha you say, but the pond read him. What's the answer then?

Well the pond has a simple explanation. Reading Sheehan has all the charm and fascination of watching an intellectual train wreck done in slow motion, with elaborate CGIs and handsome special effects and useless words that flow to the sea like heavy metals and mercury.

Like many movies, the verbal action is completely unrelated to the real world or to practical solutions, and therefore has all the magical qualities of a Disney fairy tale ...

When the pond wants a serious discussion of Ukraine, Europe, the EU and the whole damn thing, there are a thousand intelligent and informed commentators out there to help.

When the pond wants to meet a toffee apple having a discussion with some fairy floss about the nature of waffles and waffling, whey then Sheehan is the Man ...

And now the pond realises that the pond has completely failed to acknowledge a hugely important event unfolding in Scotland.

What that country needs is a plebiscite, organised by Paul Sheehan, so it needn't experience the odium of belonging to the Commonwealth.

And so suffer John Oliver poking fun at the thistle and the long suffering Queen and the medal count and other things, as he does on YouTube here.

The pond was shattered to discover that cricket had declined to be a part of the next earth shattering event, thereby allowing a sport the pond doesn't watch to join in a sporting spectacle the pond doesn't watch.

But at least the spectacle provides another conundrum, up there with why a columnist like Paul Sheehan is a columnist and that is, why is this thing still a thing:







Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Meanwhile, over at denialist central, the UN and shearing the sheep is all the go ...


Oh yes, the good old days at the lizard Oz. Back on the 20th October 2012 there was a page given over to Letters: On the world stage, with bonus cartoon and dismissive remarks of this kind:


Yes, the reptiles always edit their letters page to make sure the political agenda of the paper is maintained. Not much point carrying on a crusade if you give too much space to dissidents. Onwards crusading readers ...

So how's it going in denialist central? How are the reptiles travelling?

Into the time machine. Fast forward.

Hey, the reptiles are all over that statesman Tony Abbott, and Julie Bishop as she struts her stuff in New York.

How lucky we are to have a seat on the UN Security Council. What an opportunity to put Russia and Putin in their place.

Remember this?

Mr Abbott said Australia's pursuit of the temporary seat was a waste of money and had distorted the nation's foreign policy priorities. 
 “All other things being equal, yes, better we are on the Security Council than off it. “But it was never worth the $40 million-plus that this government has spent just to win a bronze medal at the United Nations. 
 “And the problem with this whole Security Council bid is that it has cost money; worse it has distorted our priorities over so many years as so much time and effort goes into this, and not into managing the relationships which are absolutely vital to our future.” (denialist central here on 24th September 24 2012, behind the paywall because you have to pay to remember the past)

On and on he wabbotted:

The Opposition Leader today accused Ms Gillard of “swanning around New York”, pursuing a seat on the UN Security Council, when she should be closer to home dealing with the critical issue of unauthorised boat arrivals. 
 “She should be in Jakarta, not in New York, because that is where Australia's national interest is most at stake right now,” Mr Abbott told Sydney radio station 2GB. 
 “Rather than talking to African countries trying to drum up the numbers to get us a temporary seat on the UN Security Council, she should be in Jakarta talking to President Yudhoyono about how we can cooperate better with the Indonesians to stop this flow which is putting our border protection hopelessly under the pump.”


And now Abbott and Bishop strut about making the most of the Security Council position.

Oh there's rich ironies in politics no doubt about it, and so much room for hypocrisy.

Michael Gawenda, more polite than the pond, tried to point this out in a genteel way in Searching for the 'real' Tony Abbott  in the Business Spectator (may be paywall limited, can be googled):

It may be unseemly to point out that the Coalition was opposed to the efforts of Kevin Rudd and his government to win a place for Australia on the Security Council because, they argued, a place on the Security Council would not give Australia any greater influence in international affairs. The whole exercise, it was argued, was a distraction and a waste of time.  
The fact is though, that had Australia not had a seat on the Security Council, Tony Abbott and Julie Bishop could not have played the decisive role they have played in this terrible tragedy and its aftermath. 
 It is with some reluctance that I point this out. But the question no doubt in the minds of most political journalists and commentators, not to mention politicians of all parties, is this: when is the right time to make calculations about the impact in terms of domestic politics of Tony Abbott’s performance, given that the sorrow and anger of so many lives lost is still so fresh and raw? 
Some in the media have already started to make these calculations, at least in terms of what lessons Tony Abbott should learn from the way he has handled this difficult time. Some of his supporters in the media have argued that what Tony Abbott should learn from the last few difficult days is that he has been too controlled, too wary of being himself, too wooden, too contrived, during this first period of his prime ministership. 
 “Fearing the stereotypical criticism of being aggressive and out of control, Abbott started as prime minister too cautiously and appeared anodyne and weak,” wrote one Denis Shanahan in The Australian on Tuesday. 
 “While the MH17 incident has been an unwelcome test, it has displayed the best aspects of Abbott’s strength of character as a leader, a human and a parent.” In other words, Tony Abbott has not been the ‘real’ Tony Abbott until the last few days, though according to Shanahan, the real Tony Abbott was starting to emerge last week when, for instance, Abbott spent extra hours on a plane with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instead of ‘grandstanding’ in Canberra during the carbon tax debate in the Senate. 
Now, we have heard this before, have we not, about another prime minister? Who can forget the seemingly endless talk, about who was the ‘real’ Julia Gillard and why it was that the real Julia Gillard -- who was supposedly passionate, warm, funny and feisty -- couldn’t free herself from her self-imposed wooden and boring prime ministerial persona? 

And so on. With a cruel punchline:

It is too early to begin to know whether these past few days will one day be seen, as some commentators and supporters of Tony Abbott hope, as the time when the ‘real’ Tony Abbott emerged. Chances are, however, that the search for the ‘real’ Tony Abbott will be as unproductive as was the search for the ‘real’ Julia Gillard.

Indeed. And now the pond looks forward to Abbott shaking the paw of Vlad Putin in Brisbane, as jolly Joe Hockey wants ...

Meanwhile, there's one other bit of business arising from reading denialist central today.

Yes, it's a long standing, exceedingly boring bit of business, which sees the reptiles recycle and put a fickle gold bar on the Lomborgian rhetoric splashed in the rotating digital splash of doom:


Yes, the reptiles want you to fork over a gold bar, to pay to access the usual Lomborg climate denialism, routinely ignored by other publications, but reliably recycled by climate denialist central.

You can get a whiff of the usual Lomborgian chaff if you reward the reptiles with a click:


But as always, you can find Lomborg at his own Lomborg denialist headquarters.

Yes, there it is, the very same piece, published back on the 16th July, and belatedly recycled down under seven days later on the 23rd, stale and with a price tag attached.

No need to provide a link to the Oz. You can find the the Lomborg piece, for free, no gold bar attached, under the header Winds of Vanity.

And as a bonus - if you can consider it a bonus - Lomborg's denialist site manages to rustle up an image of Lomborg, which is more than the reptiles can be bothered doing, not when """ will serve:

Why do the reptiles do it?

Well it's denialist central, and every so often they feel the need to dogwhistle and feed the denialist flock of sheep, and if they can get the bleating mugs to pay for what is offered for free elsewhere, so much the better.

It seems you can still make an indecent living shearing the sheep, while sending the planet down the drain. Talk about a Murdochian win win ...

(Below: more Wilcox here)




Jolly Joe, more flubber than steel?


The Fin was all over jolly Joe this morning, as he plays the man of steel.

Clearly jolly Joe is suffering from relevancy deprivation syndrome.

So he set another hare loose. courtesy a word in Sky's mike:


Naturally everyone picked it up and ran with it. From the Graudian to SBS, via the Daily Terror and others (click below to enlarge if interested, though many will find that thought inexplicable). 

But here's the nub of it, courtesy the Graudian account:

"The Russians have said they will cooperate with all this – let's find out if they are fair dinkum or not," Hockey told Sky News while on an official visit to New Zealand. 
He said he hoped Russia would still attend G20 meetings, culminating with the expected visit of the president, Vladimir Putin, in November. "Rarely are great things achieved by excluding people from the conversation," he said. Ultimately, the decision about Russia's attendance rested with G20 members, not just Australia, he said. 
Hockey later clarified his remarks, saying they should not be taken as support for Russia's attendance at the Brisbane summit. His position was consistent with that of prime minister, Tony Abbott, a spokeswoman for the treasurer told AAP. 
On Tuesday Abbott said it was too early for any decision to be made about denying Russia a place at the G20 event.

Uh huh. Fair dinkum.

So jolly Joe hoped that Russia would attend the G20, but that shouldn't be taken as hoping Russia will attend the G20 in Brisbane. 

And while Tony Abbott says it's too early to talk about denying Russia a place in Brisbane, Joe Hockey thinks it isn't too early to talk about how he's hoping Vlad 'the impaler' Putin will attend, unless he doesn't, because perhaps jolly Joe isn't really hoping they'll attend the Brisbane summit, but maybe just G20s somewhere, sometime in the somehow future.

In any case, this is entirely consistent with Tony Abbott, because as everyone knows, Tony Abbott is notoriously inconsistent.

Uh huh. The pond is glad that one's cleared up ...

A man of steel? A tough, hard man of the kind needed right now?

Or an attention deprived, gibbering, cigar-puffing, contradictory idiot who does his best to help Abbott look and sound like a statesman?

Okay, there you go, there below is how the faithful flocked to reproduce jolly Joe's wise words, about as clear as the Delphic Oracle advising that one way or another, a great empire will fall. 

If you ask the pond, the economy might stand a better chance if we all started ferreting through the chicken entrails and aimed for a giblet-led recovery ...







How to strike a sour note, or Boris Johnson bangs an odious gong ...


(Above: gong banger Boris)


So someone had to go there and it had to be Boris Johnson.

There's Boris in Passengers die as Putin fans flames of conflict  indulging in some cheap point scoring and odious comparisons, by celebrating the behaviour of the glorious American democracy in the matter of Iran Air Flight 655, and contrasting it with Russia's current behaviour.

So what could the Ruskis take from the glorious democratic lessons?

Well you can fire surface to air missiles and kill 290 innocent civilians on board, including 66 children. You can do it by entering Iranian territorial waters.

You can make assorted errors, such as the minor one of mistaking the Iranian Airbus A300 for an attacking F-14A Tomcat fighter, though the Iranian F-14s had been supplied by Grumman in an air-to-air configuration only, with no known anti-ship capabilities.

You could dissemble regarding your responsibility even through your own Aegis Combat System recorded the flight plan as climbing rather than descending in an attack run, and a nearby fellow captain could wonder what you're on when you imagine a climbing plane as somehow in descending attack mode.

You could claim you tried to contact the plane on emergency frequencies, but fail to have your ship equipped with equipment used in civil aviation, and anyhoo it must be the fault of the civilian pilots for not paying attention when it mattered.

You could cite the wrong air speed to the pilots of the civilian plane.

And then having shot the civilian airliner out of the sky you could refuse to apologise, though in due course you might get around to expressing deep regret.

In the meantime, you could say it was a wartime situation and the crew of the Vincennes had acted appropriately, and you could trot out a psychological condition explanation called "scenario fulfilment".

Make sure you have someone like the vice president, a kind of George H. W. Bush figure, ready to say "I will never apologize for the United States (insert Russia/Ukraine rebels here) - I don't care what the facts are … I'm not an apologize-for-America (insert Russia/Ukraine rebels here) kind of guy".

 Repeat the message while mounting a presidential campaign. Make sure any successor - like a Clinton - also refuses to apologise.

Eventually get around to having a few people acknowledge that the Captain of the ship was unduly aggressive and inclined to go hunting for action and picking a fight. Some fight. A climbing civilian aircraft.

Then eight years later get around to settling a court case - that's right - eight years, full of the usual legal delays and obfuscations and a clear intent to reduce the size of the settlement - and then when it's all done and dusted, hand out medals to the entire ship's crew, with a Navy Commendation medal for the air-warfare coordinator.

Make sure you hand out a Legion of Merit to the commanding officer for "exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service". Like teaching those bloody civilians a lesson for looking so threatening … but sssh don't mention the downed plane in the citation (and then appoint William C Rogers III to a teaching job at Point Loma to teach others how to do it in combat situations).

 Oh yes, there's plenty of take home lessons for anyone wanting to check on the glorious behaviour of the glorious democracy, as you can confirm by Greg Hunting the wiki on the matter here.

The reality is that the United States behaved in an appalling manner, as did the Russians in the matter of Korean Air Lines Flight 902, though the Soviets only managed to kill two passengers, here.

The Russians weren't so lucky when they shot down another Korea Air Flight 007, killing all 269 passengers and crew - Greg Hunt that here.

The only upside to that disaster was that the classified GNSS turned into the freely available GPS. But the behaviour of the Russians was appalling.

Oh go on you know you want to do a Greg Hunt on all these matters by heading off to the wikipedia list of airliner shootdown incidents here.

There's a particularly gripping Air Crash Investigations episode about the attempted DHL shootdown which saw the pilots use differential engine thrust to fly a plane with a missile-damaged wing back to Baghdad and land it safely (SO3E02 Attack over Baghdad).

Meanwhile, Boris should just shut up the blather.

He even shoots himself in the foot:

I will not pretend that the Americans were perfect in their handling of the Airbus tragedy. They never made a formal apology to Iran, and for some (incredible) reason the captain of the USS Vincennes was later awarded the Legion of Merit.

Not pretend?

Incredible?

It fitted with the modus operandi. The Americans were seriously irritated that the Iranians got in their way and made them look bad, and no matter that a bunch of innocents were involved and killed,.

And having done the dirty deed, through a multitude of errors, thereafter the United States' response was recalcitrant and offensive.

About as offensive as Boris's cheap point-scoring…

Not now, not at this time.

Not when it looks like the Russians are currently following their own and the American playbook.

Of all the things to be written about the current matter, this was the least needed, the least necessary, and the least useful. Inevitably the comments section attached to Boris's effort showed that he produced a reaction precisely contrary to the black and white, goodies and baddies point he was ham-fistedly trying to make.

Every so often Boris attempts to avoid sounding like a fop. But this was a mega foppish effort, and a reminder of behaviour best left to history ...




Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sorry, the pond isn't sorry for Campbell Newman or the wretched reptiles and Caterists ... not when there's real sorrow in the world ...


The pond couldn't resist this juxtaposition of stories in The Graudian yesterday.

The pond is sorry for the state of the reef - read Great Barrier Reef 'in worst state since records began' and weep - but isn't so sorry for Campbell Newman, who is sorry for a nakedly and blatantly personal reason:

"We recognise that there are things we have done that have annoyed or upset Queenslanders," the premier said after a Cabinet meeting on Monday. 
"I'm sorry today, if I've done things that have upset people."
 He said he wanted to repair relations with members of Queensland's legal fraternity. "I want to repair those relationships," he said. "People want those arguments to cease and desist."  (here)

Uh huh. The pond was taught that loathing meant you never had to say you're sorry.

Or was that love? Whatever, why is the strutting gauleiter with the recently bloodied nose sorry he's upset people? And why should people cease and desist when Newman ploughed ahead on some kind of personal blitzkrieg?

Griffith University political analyst Paul Williams now predicts a 10 to 12% swing against the LNP at the next election. He believes the LNP will manage to hold onto power, but Newman is almost certain to lose his seat at the next state election and the LNP should already be looking for a new leader. "Given we've seen double-digit swings ... in the greater Brisbane area, the arithmetic just doesn't add up for someone to hold a seat that's on less than six per cent," Dr Williams said on Monday. 
"They [the LNP] will have to have a leadership succession plan in place now, and not have a public bloodbath in March or April."

Well there's a simple solution.

Sack Newman now before he lines up to get sacked. He's been an epic fail and it's not just the reef that's suffering. The pond promises to start the bidding on the memorial Campbell Newman feather duster, made up of the bantam's plucked feathers ...

Why is the pond so agitated? Cast your mind back to stories like 'We're in the coal business': Campbell Newman slams UNESCO Great Barrier Reef warning. and remember the bunkum and the lies about spoil and development designed to service the coal business ...

The pond can't wait to get into the used bantam Campbell Newman chook feather business ...

And speaking of past lies, isn't it handy to catch up on Media Watch online, sans antenna, and watch the reptiles get a serve for their naked peddling of big tobacco and IPA distortions and untruths.

You can watch the story here, and you can read the buried Oz story Heavy smokers take a breather here, provided you evade the paywall with a bit of heavy breathing - because buried it was, no front page treatment offered for this alternative view of the world:


Gasp! Credit to plain packaging?

The pond loves it when the reptiles are tanned and dried and displayed, and Mathieson's 264 word explanation as to why the story was buried on page 7 with 167 words was a ripper: a number of more significant stories that demanded our attention (and more prominent placement).

Yes, that'd be the barking mad commentariat, and the lies and distortions of climate science that routinely fill the rag's pages.

You know like the Caterists on promenade today:


Say what? The barking mad Nick Cater wants a carbon tax?

Oh you didn't fall for that classic bit of click-bait trolling did you?

It's been the reptiles' desperate form of late.

Everyone who specialises in the loons that daily promenade on the rotating digital finger of doom in the online lizard Oz edition know Cater - who has even less connection to science and scientists than the pond, and let's not underestimate what that means - is one of the standard, off the peg, ill-fitting denialists that routinely swamp the Oz's pages, and so prevent any space being provided for data that upsets big tobacco.

Once you click on the link, you see the click-bait trolling in action:


Before you rush off to reward the trollers, you should also be made aware that the column itself is also a classic bait and switch piece.

It purports to be about a carbon tax, but soon enough the Caterists are blathering on about compassion and socialism and welfare dependency and the nanny state.

Here's how it's done, and incidentally here's your text for googling if you decide you need to lose a few IQ points just to get the gloomy day off to a better start:

At first glance, a promise to bring back the carbon tax looks like a career-ending move that will condemn Labor to certain defeat in 2016 and consign Shorten to the dustbin of failed Labor leaders. Shorten, however, has been around long enough to appreciate the risks of picking a fight on this divisive political issue. He would understand the gulf between the planet-saving passion of the bien pensant and the indifference bordering on hostility it evokes in the population at large. 
His decision to stick with a policy that he could have quietly let slip is confirmation that the educated middle classes now form the nucleus of Labor’s core constituency. Yet the cold, hard numbers mean Shorten must also appeal to a broader, more conservative constituency. Placing a price on carbon, however small that price may be, is not a cause behind which the workers and the intellectuals are likely to unite. 
Labor is making ground, however, as the party of compassion, the defenders of those we used to call “the poor” but who we now know as “the vulnerable”, since poverty these days is so much harder to define.

Yes, bien pensant to you too, you useless mauvaise pensée ponce.

Poverty is so much harder to define these days?

Sleeping rough on the streets? Why in the pond's day we slept under cardboard boxes in middle of road and thought nowt of a car giving the box a right old clip. Eating cat food for dinner? Why in the pond's day that was considered sheer luxury. A bowl of Campbell Newman-approved coal was enough for a hearty dinner meal! Reliant on church charity and forced to listen to the bible bashers and god botherers as they dole out the supplies? Why in the pond's day, the sooner you dropped dead, the sooner you'd be eating pie in the sky and not so long in the sweet bye and bye ...

The Caterist doesn't even bother to roll out his denialist credentials and instead relies on some fear, loathing and paranoia:

Pick just about anything from the national reform agenda and the same dynamics apply. Whether it is tax reform, federalism, university deregulation or defence procurement boon­doggling, the Coalition risks ­becoming caught in the uncompassionate trap.

Dearie me, it's hard to see how.

Poverty is so much harder to define these days, except, as the judge said about pornography, you know it when you see it, unless of course you can't see it, because it's just a lot of welfare bludgers living like millionaires on Mayfair or perhaps Woollahra or Toorak in nanny state bliss ...

Oh wait, the PPL scheme will take care of them ...

About the only thing that can be said about Cater these days is that his mindless tosh always reminds the pond of Guy Rundle's priceless smack down for Crikey back in May 2013, here, may be paywall affected. 

A couple of samples:

Over in Anti-News Unlimited land, the vaguely North Korean festival of journalist Nick Cater continues. His book The Lucky Culture is being variously launched and spruiked by former PM John Howard and, of course, academic Geoffrey Blainey in various places round the joint. This paean to a meritocratic non-nepotistic culture has been praised to the skies by anti-News columnist Miranda Devine, the daughter of the late Frank Devine, an anti-News lifer. She’s the girl who went to Take Your Daughter To Work Day and stayed. She thinks Cater’s paean to individualism should be “taught in every school”. She would not actually see any contradiction in this...

... When you see Cater, Devine and Albrechtsen in action, you get an insight into the totalitarian mindset in all its glory. There are journalists there is no need to bribe, Dostoyevsky noted in The Gambler, because they are sycophantic by nature. Anti-News Limited isn’t killing people in large numbers — except when they’re spruiking foreign wars — but the enthusiasm to be salespeople of an agreed-upon line is the essence of the totalitarian style. They’d all feel as at home in Ceausescu’s publicity department as they do in Surry Hills.

Indeed. A poverty of imagination, minds, data and science isn't so hard to define these days, not when the reptiles at the lizard Oz daily show it's done.

But here's a tip for them. Please stop doing the click baiting trolling routine that suggests Nick Cater or Albrechtsen or any of the other toilers in Ceausescu's publicity department have seen the light about climate science, or compassion or any other issue that might come to mind.

They haven't and anyone with half a clue knows that the group think, the collective bee hive mind set is strong at News Corp and everything from cigarette data to climate science will be routinely ground to a pulp by the individualists, who think just saying "nanny state" solves everything ...

So putting up a splash that posits that Cater has 'turned' isn't clever click bait trolling. It's stupid and irritating and will only amaze and astonish those not in the know.

Finally, some time ago the pond made clear its complete disdain for Jonah from Tonga.

Now the show is about to get a release on HBO - on August 8th - in the United States and already the flak is heavy.

Now the pond doesn't mind that it's racist brownface, so much as that this lowest and vilest form of comedy isn't especially funny. After all, the pond will watch Leni Reifenstahl's Triumph of the Will for the skill of the film-making.

But what's the point of watching an offensive comedy which incidentally contains no laughs? Can someone at the ABC please explain?

Chris Lilley and his team are about to cop a pasting, at least if you read Cleo Paskal in Huffington Post, with Will HBO Give Platform to Racist Australian Brownface 'Mockumentary'?

Or the gentler questioning by Soraya Nadia McDonald in The Washington Post with Is brownface acceptable in new HBO show 'Jonah from Tonga'?

Even Salt Lake magazine in Utah territory - let's face it Utah wasn't the best place to visit in the days of the Mountain Meadows massacre - weren't amused, as you can discover in HBO makes a bad choice:

There's only two reasons a show like Jonah from Tonga could show up on HBO. 1. We have entered a very unfunny post-Borat entertainment landscape, and 2. HBO execs have never met a Tongan and possibly think they are a fictional people, like Swift's Yahoos.

Indeed. And so the momentum continues to gather. Even The Graudian joined in, though the show had previously aired in the UK without too much fuss, with the header purporting an even-handed discussion, Jonah from Tonga faces more 'brownface' criticism - is it fair?

Lilley, who has also played black and Japanese characters such as S.mouse, Ricky Wong and Jen Okazaki, told Esquire that he didn't think there "should be any rules" and that his humour is designed to be "confronting" and "challenging". But Jonah from Tonga feels less like a witty satire confronting racist stereotypes, and more like a coded way of reinforcing them. 

You can get away with transgressive or abusive humour, if it's funny or witty. Lenny Bruce was a pace setter in the art form, but setting up Tongans is about as clever as making a sheep joke about New Zealanders ...

And now back to the gloom ...

(Below: the cartoonists have been giving Vlad 'the impaler' Putin a pounding. Here's Rowe today, and more Rowe here, and Pope and more Pope here)



The Rowe features a wrinkle deployed by others, links to the sources of the cartoons here.




The pond has been startled to discover how many old fashioned Stalinists out there who think Russia Today actually offers truth in reporting, as if somehow they were different to chairman Rupert's minions while working for Vlad the impaler.

The Graudian's comments section in its coverage turned into a cesspit of rabid, heavily politicised comments, and already the most bizarre conspiracy theories were gaining an airing - though credit where credit's due, with RT setting the pace by suggesting the plane was shot down because Ukraine had confused the airliner with Putin's plane.

It's remarkable how the death of innocents and the death of innocence can turn into a rabid political argument. Which is why the pond sometimes prefers the obvious truths of cartoonists like Steve Bell, as alternative plane loads of the dead mount up on other killing fields. More Bell here, and below that, more First Dog here.








Monday, July 21, 2014

Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt implicated in fraud and hypocrisy ...




(Above: the lie, Rowe in 2010 with other cartoonists here, and Pope calling it in 2012, and more Pope here).


Watch out for this. It's a live one:


There's no point in linking to the AFR, which doesn't want to be part of the intertubes conversation, and prefers lurking behind its paywall, but the header is clear enough.

Does the pond regret its own header? Fraudsters and hypocrites?

Well no. Apart from developing a Huff Post/Daily Mail taste for outrageous trolling headers, if trading in international carbon permits comes to pass thanks to Hunt and Abbott - junk carbon so to speak - then:

(a) all the blather and carry on by Abbott and Hunt about trading schemes will have been shown to hypocritical hot air of the first water:

(b) all the blather and bluster about how the direct action plan will easily deliver the five per cent target will have been shown to a fraudulent lie.

Is it any wonder that the AFR also featured this story?



This story about dealing in carbon permits has been lurking for awhile - a couple of weeks ago the Fairfaxians ran with Buying carbon permits would be cheaper than Direct Action policy, Tony Abbott told. (forced video at end of link)

The report urges the government to reduce costs to the taxpayer and be more competitive by using a combination of domestic emissions reduction policies and the purchase of international credits. 
It finds the government could spend a fifth of what it plans to spend on its $2.5 billion Direct Action policy and buy enough international permits to reach an emissions reduction target of 19 per cent by 2020.

Yes, spend 20% of the risible direct action budget on offshore junk carbon.

And why would this be a problem?

Well there was Tony "climate change is crap" Abbott shooting off his mouth again:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has been a key opponent of the purchase of international credits, which he described in 2011 as ''money that shouldn't be going offshore into dodgy carbon farms in Equatorial Guinea and Kazakhstan''.  

So if Abbott and Hunt go ahead with the proposal, they won't be just implicated in fraud and hypocrisy, they'll be guilty as hell outrageous deception of the first water.

But but but billy goat, you say, how rich and redolent is the level of fraud and hypocrisy. What does first water actually mean?

Please allow the pond to climb into its time machine and head back to the AFR in August 2013, Coalition may buy overseas carbon permits:

The Coalition has indicated it is prepared to consider raising the 5 per cent target but not until at least 2015. Many climate change experts believe the Coalition will need to buy international permits to meet the 5 per cent target. 
On Sunday, Coalition environment spokesman Greg Hunt denied the Coalition would use international permits to meet the 5 per cent target.

Denialism. The line then being that the direct action plan was in hand, and it would work.

And this:

The Direct Action policy states the Coalition “will ensure that all action taken to achieve our 5 per cent CO2 emissions reduction target also delivers environmental improvements here in Australia, not overseas”. 
In 2011, Mr Abbott said money spent by companies buying overseas carbon credits didn’t actually reduce emissions and was just “a massive transfer of wealth from this country to carbon traders overseas”. 
“It’s money that shouldn’t be going offshore into dodgy carbon farms in Equatorial Guinea and Kazakhstan,” he told 2GB. 
“That’s no way to improve the environment here in Australia.” 
 And on another occasion, he said: “We all know the potential for fraud, the potential for scamming. I mean, even the European emissions trading scheme has been riddled with scamming and that’s in a culture where administrative probity is held in wide respect, let alone some of the other countries where carbon credits will no doubt be available.” 
Under Direct Action, the Coalition has claimed it will purchase abatement from Australian companies from as little as $8.50 per tonne of carbon. 
But even if this is possible, it is still considerably higher than international carbon permits: the European carbon price is around $6.40 and the United Nations “Kyoto” permits are 85¢.

And that explains why Tony Abbott has a trust and competence deficit.

When it comes to climate science,  he's a proven liar, hypocrite and fraud, and if Greg Hunt gets his way on this one, Abbott will also have been shown to be a fool ...

But wait, there's more. Here's the cheap joke that Abbott led with, in his interview with Alan Jones, a transcript of which is thoughtfully provided by WA Liberals here, little realising it would hang around in the digital ether like a fart joke:

The thing that struck me yesterday though was that the Government, even on its own figures, even after all the time and trouble of this great big new tax, our emissions are still going increase. I mean we are going to put in place this massive tax that’s going to leave 3 million households worse off even on the Government’s own figures and that’s before the price just goes up and up and up and even with all of this we’re going to have significant increase in our emissions and the only way we can meet our emissions reduction targets is to spend about $3 billion buying carbon credits from overseas and that’s money that really should be invested in Australia. It’s money that shouldn’t be going offshore into dodgy carbon farms in Equatorial Guinea and Kazakhstan and all the other places that Kevin Rudd visits.

Ah that joke needs a new punchline.

Dodgy permits in Equatorial Guinea and Kazakhstan and all the other dodgy schemes that Greg Hunt and Tony Abbott routinely visit ...

There was a lot more in that interview - it now reads like a precious time capsule of nattering negativity - with Whyalla - it'll be wiped off the map - getting a mention, and this:

ALAN JONES: You made reference recently to the 2009 Copenhagen Consensus Panel which includes a trade economist, Jagdish Bhagwati, and three Nobel peace prize winning economists. Now that panel has ranked investment in technology, and this is what just some of the people on my staff were saying this morning, and versions of what you are calling the direct action plan are way above carbon pricing as the best way to tackle climate change even if you believed in climate change. TONY ABBOTT: That’s right, Alan. Carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes were ranked bottom of the list by these three Nobel laureate economists and we also have a whole lot of very distinguished European economists come out the other day in criticising the European Emissions Trading Scheme which they say hasn’t reduced emissions but has been widely scammed and it’s been, they say, an economic own goal because it’s driven industry offshore without reducing emissions and there’s been all this opportunity for fraud. So, this is, alas, the world that the Prime Minister is begging to enter.


So this is alas, possibly the world that Greg Hunt and by extension the Prime Minister Tony Abbott are now begging to enter because all the bluster and blather about direct action was a reprehensible nonsense ...

The pond has absolutely no idea how the Bolter and the reptiles would handle Abbott and Hunt joining the international trade in carbon permits. And the pond doesn't care. Who cares what fraudulent hypocrites think about fraudulent hypocrites?

Meanwhile, is there any other news? Well yes, Paul Sheehan does a spectacular imitation of Neville Chamberlain in Time for Ukraine to divide.

How to appease the dictator Putin? Why give him a huge chunk of Ukraine ...

Of all the tone deaf times to scribble such a tone deaf piece. Only Sheehan, only the Fairfaxians ...

It was such a bit of Chamberlain in Munich waving a sheet of paper performance that it left the pond speechless ....

Meanwhile, the tone deaf Netanyahu, already with a plane load of dead women, children and the elderly in tow, and that's before the other innocent civilians are added to the total, has claimed the world is on his side ...

What a joke. Israel itself is riven, as shown by the sacking of rabid right wing deputy defence minister Danon, who came out with this:

In the Ynet interview, Danon said "the prime minister is responsible for good or bad. If the result of the operation is negative, the responsibility for the failure is with the prime minister. There is no need to sugarcoat. Hamas decided when we started, when we will finish, and has set the score." 
The rightwing politician emphasized his disagreement with Netanyahu: "That is why I, as a senior member of Likud, say that this operation has been run like Zehava Gal-On is the prime minister. This is Meretz policy." 
"I saw the compliments Netanyahu received from Gal-On and Yachimovich, everyone is clapping for the prime minister because of the feeble policy which is the policy of the left, of Meretz, and I am sorry because we promised somebody different." 
The Netanyahu statement said Danon's remarks were grossly irresponsible, particularly given his present position: "They are used by the terrorist organization Hamas to taunt the Israel government, as can be seen by the organization's media outlets." (ynet here)

So the hard liner is being outflanked by the hard liners.

Cue Haaretz:

At the beginning of Tuesday night’s security cabinet meeting, after the cease-fire imploded like a badly made soufflé, Livni said, “I understand Hamas announced its surrender.” Netanyahu, who was poring through papers, looked up. “What??” he asked. “Yes,” Livni said. “They heard that you just fired Danny Danon and they’re totally discombobulated.” 

The exultation at Netanyahu’s dismissal of Danon – the deputy defense minister and a member of the prime minister’s faction, who really did not deserve to remain in his post a minute longer after his remarks – was apparent across the political spectrum. In Likud, where Danon has no allies, no one shed a tear, to say the least. 
It was interesting to hear what his colleague in the right-wing branch of Likud, Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely, had to say this week. His pool of votes is also her pool, though she espouses a totally different approach. “I don’t hold with the militant thrust of some of my friends in the party,” she said. 
 “What they’re doing is populism. It’s terrible what’s happening these days in Likud. The prime minister is isolated in his own party; it’s hurting us badly as the ruling party. Instead of uniting over issues,” added Hotovely, who plans to hold a conference in the Knesset next week on the subject of “economic disengagement” from Gaza, “we are using militant language, attacking the prime minister internally, and being dragged into dealing with the emotions of the public. No one is talking about strategic goals. It’s all personal.” 
Danon’s dismissal touched off a wave of jokes in the political corridors. Example: “Who says there have been no targeted assassinations of senior figures in this operation?” (It was the target himself who bandied that jest about.) Netanyahu absorbed everything, seethed and fumed, and warned Danon personally not to overstep his bounds in an angry phone conversation on the second day of the Gaza operation. But on Tuesday, after the cease-fire decision, when the premier was informed that aggressive, mocking comments made about him by Danon were being quoted in the Hamas media – he’d had enough. He instructed the cabinet secretary to draw up a dismissal letter and pass it around to the ministers. One minister who got home in the evening and found the letter thought at first glance that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman was being fired: The reasons cited in the Danon letter fit him to a T. (behind the paywall here but can be googled)

The world's behind Netanyahu? Why he's finding it hard to rustle up a friend in his own party...

Anything else?

Well yes. It turns out that, after all,  Can do can't do:


Yep, Newman holds Ashgrove by 5.7%.

If you read Campbell Newman will today retreat from some of the Government's most controversial decisions, you'll get a sense of what Napoleon must have felt on the way back from Russia ...

Sheehan as Chamberlain ready to reward the Stalinist dictator Putin, Campbell "can't do" Newman ready to head off to Saint Helena, or maybe Fraser Island, and Abbot and Hunt doing a sterling performance of Vichy France and Marshal Pétain, or perhaps a couple of Quislings in the mater of carbon permits ...

That's too much history for a Monday ...

(Below: a grim David Rowe and more Rowe here).