Friday, December 17, 2010

Angela Shanahan, Michael Asten, and the siren song of the weekend sausage sizzle ...

(Above: a Nazi biology textbook drawing, found here, which is not related in any way to climate science, but might provide a useful analogy).

Well it wouldn't be a Friday without things turning a little sour.

There's Angela Shanahan, back in her strident, ugliest form, and with the cheek to head her piece Complexities beyond 'bad or mad' that drive mothers to murder.

Comlexities? How's this for complex and deep?

The notion that a mother could not kill her baby is demonstrably false.

Wow, that's complex.

Is it the right time to mention that god herself isn't averse to a bit of baby killing?

Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up. (Hosea 13: 16)

But I don't think I can stand to read a full lengthy piece of Catholic commentary about the Kelli Lane matter, leading as it does to one drawing an inevitable conclusion, as one does. Inevitable? Let's get down to brass knuckles, or tores, if you happen to be an enthusiast for marbles, like Stephen Colbert:

With nothing but the forlorn hope for emotional security and a terror of scaring off partners with unplanned pregnancies, women such as this often have multiple abortions. Abortion is more of a quick way out. But we know it can cause terrible long-term trauma. And Lane had already had not one but two abortions, the first when she was only in high school. Draw your own conclusions.

My own conclusion? On reading this and the rest of Shanahan's piece, it seems having an abortion turns women into baby killers. Of course she didn't dare actually say that - just plants a seed, and leaves it hovering in the air - because to actually say it would be a grotesque calumny and a woeful betrayal of the truth of this particular matter, not to mention a profound distortion of all that takes place in the world.

As a counter-balance to the kind of nauseating speculation and innuendo, all we can do is once again recommend Michael Duffy's four part tracking of the matter of Kelli Lane, the last part here under the header Steadfastly silent on Tegan's fate until the bitter end. Recommending Duffy, inspiration of the pond? Yep, anything can happen on the pond, and not just on the principle of anything but Angela Shanahan.

Who knows why The Australian keeps publishing Angela Shanahan's tripe - is it an attempt to make Dennis Shanahan on politics look good? - but one thing's for sure, the sooner they put her behind their paywall, the better.

Moving right along, and as fast as I can, because the stench is still in my nostrils, what a relief to turn to a well considered discussion of climate science, naturally featured in The Australian and penned by Michael Asten under the header Political interference will cripple climate debate.

Naturally we looked forward to a rather dull and earnest treatise.

After all, everyone deplores political influence in the matter of science. The last thing we need is scientists bleating about how they're being starved of funding while other scientists are advantaged. Such blather might well be taken as an open invitation to political interference:

I also fear that the quality of scientific advice to the government is likewise loaded so that ongoing studies on scientific parameters vital to the climate debate such as the magnitude of the CO2 and water vapour-related feedbacks in atmospheric warming, the role of solar-magnetic and cosmic influences on climate, and the geological-historical records of cyclic climate change are starved of funding in Australia relative to the munificence of grants available for Combet's regional adaptation programs, or various green energy projects.

Oh dear, it seems that not all political interference is bad, just political interference that interferes with the prejudices and preferences of the scribbler, which seems to tend to deny, or at least to decry, or perhaps to downplay the nature and impact of climate change.

Well I'm feeling what we need here is some kind of strident, resentful, flourish of metaphor:

Political interference against scientific objectivity is insidious and may ultimately deliver hideous outcomes. It is common in climate change debate for lesser intellects to label those who dare to question present climate science orthodoxy as deniers, making the implicit association between climate sceptics and Holocaust deniers.

Oh indeed, hideous outcomes, that's the sort of strong dose of verbal castor oil we need.

As for the lesser intellects, who might be wondering how to distinguish between complaints about political interference ... when confronted by a political tirade about political interference ... well that's why they're the lesser intellects.

But it's so good that the elephant, and the Holocaust, are in the room, have scored a guernsey and are now out in the open.

So we can crank it up a little more:

Such accusers probably are unaware of the savage irony in this epithet, in that German academics and scientists compliant with government policy were intimately involved in the formulation and development of Nazi racial policy, and, as historians have commented, the Nazi regime brought boom-time conditions for scientists from racial anthropologists, biologists and economists who were able to contribute to this aspect of the regime's policies. Those academics who were outspoken were removed by the Gestapo.

Yep, lesser intellects are probably - we use the 'probably' as a caveat and excuse - completely unaware of savage irony, just as they're completely unaware of the Nazi regime and its doings, and in no way do these humble lesser intellects therefore consider Michael Asten's insights condescending, arrogant or twattish.

They are indeed ever so grateful and pleased to have such a tidy history lesson. And how grand that implicit in this is the notion that if deniers are equated to Holocaust deniers, then climate scientists and their fellow travellers invite comparison to Nazi scientists and their eugenics and other scientific follies ...

Now that's a way to conduct a measured, seemly debate, free of political interference or hyped up historical metaphors.

But of course once the hare is out of the bottle, it's obligatory to stuff the hare back in:

I do not offer these thoughts as being analogous to present climate debate but by way of caution to politicians who may be unwilling to allow debate, and scientists who may be unduly influenced by funding sources.

Of course not old chap, and we too firmly believe in bringing up a completely irrelevant notion simply so it can be dismissed for its complete irrelevance as an analogy, an insight, or even a parable about the history of science.

Of course it's in no way analogous, which is why it was tremendously useful and insightful of you to present us with it, without any analogous implications whatsoever.

In much the same spirit, allow us to reference the wiki on scientific racism, here, so googlers can find out more about Ludwig Clauss and Josef Mengele, and devotees of the Nazis can read Deutsche Physik, (German or Ayran Physics if you will), which stood firmly against Jewish physics, until the Nazis discovered that they might need a dash of Einstein and Jewish physics if they were to develop nuclear fission ...

Now I'm not sure what any of this has to do with anything, but what fun to mention it all, and note that it has nothing to do with current science, or climate science, or even political interference in current climate science. Remember it's nothing but a caution to politicians, who are constantly on the verge of turning into Nazis, and greedy scientists only too willing to accept funding from politicians, who may or may not be on the verge of turning into Nazis.

Sadly it has to be acknowledged that Greg Combet - spawn of satanist unionism that he might be - can't really be compared to Dr. Bernhard Rust, fondly remembered by a very few as the Reichserziehungsminister of Nazi Germany (that's Minister of Science, Education and National Culture to you lesser intellects).

The problems of science do not present themselves in the same way to all men. The Negro or the Jew will view the same world in a different light from the German investigator, Rust once said, in much the same way as it might be said that lesser intellects do not understand climate science, in the manner of superior intellects, not that we intend in any way that this should stand as an analogy.

What can be said is that both Asten and the pond have slavishly followed the splendid advice of Hal B. Colebatch, as laid out in Don't Be Scared of Godwin's So-Called Law:

Personally, I don't intend to be intimidated by chants of "Godwin's Law" or any other infantile slogan, used to smother debate in a way reminiscent of something from George Orwell or, if you'll excuse me saying so, a Nuremberg Rally.

Ah poor George Orwell, that archetypal smotherer of debate, and no doubt a provoker of political interference to boot. (Or was Mr Colebatch just using shorthand by citing Orwell because using the term "Orwellian" is too predictable, or perhaps too long a word for readers of The American Spectator?).

Never mind, after citing a few statistics to suggest sea-level increases are a chimera, Asten rounds out his piece with a rousing plea:

Until we have confidence scientists can address such issues without censorship or denigration, we cannot have confidence that a price on carbon will be scientifically justified or wisely spent.

Could we ever so humbly - and without in any way suggesting we're suggesting analogous thoughts, erupting as they do from the mind of a lesser intellect - offer a little variation?

Until we have confidence scientists can address such issues without censorship or denigration or by dragging in for the millionth time a reference to Nazi Germany, or perhaps a reference to science under Stalin, usually the baleful, fraudulent influence of Trofim Lysenko on Soviet biology and agriculture, as a way of demeaning the work of thousands of scientists, or by moaning about political interference and then proceeding to drag the dead rat of political whingeing across the recently cleaned tile floor of the laboratory, or by publishing a populist piece stirring the pot of rancour in The Australian, a notorious haven for ratbags like Lord Monckton and his ilk, we simply cannot have confidence that their talk on a price on carbon has much to do with science, and whether the science is justified, or whether it's just another way to talk about the government needing to spend its money wisely ... perhaps on tax breaks for billionaires or superior sceptics, so the science can trickle down to the lumpenproletariat lesser intellects ...

Oh okay, it's a hammer to crack a walnut, a baseball bat to bludgeon an analogy, and I do love my Nazi memorabilia, but can someone please explain to Asten the problem of committing the very crime he complains about?

And that, as they used to say in Nazi Germany, is your lot.

Remember, because you read it in The Australian and paused to Think. Again, that abortion leads directly to maternal infanticide - once you get a taste of it, you can't stop, you don't even pass Go and collect five hundred bucks - and if you see a scientist being dragged away from the staff club for claiming that climate science is wrong, likely it's just another good deed being done by the Combet Gestapo, so relax, and return to speaking to your companions, or have a cup of coffee, or if you must, return to marking your papers, and remember to fail anyone who wilfully refuses to endorse Ayran physics or the thoughts of Lysenko ...

Just another day reading The Australian, and the siren song of the loony bin is strong, and shortly it's likely that's where the pond will go to retire and stare at blank white walls, but meanwhile, thank god it's the weekend, and we can toss idle thoughts on the barbie and have a good old sausage sizzle ... which is almost as much fun as a book burning ...

By the way, did I mention the Nazis liked to burn books, in much the same way as conservatives love to ban books and information that offends them, like WikiLeaks, except when its Climategate, and ... not that this analogy has anything to do with anything or is heading anywhere ... I just can't get enough of those Nazis ... SBS, your siren song is calling me ...

Oh dear, if this goes on, shortly the pond will become a sitcom about nothing ... or soup Nazis ...

(Below: the Nazis do eugenics charts, but remember this is a discussion of climate science, so it's important to understand this chart is presented only as a reminder of the dangers of dragging in irrelevant charts, as opposed to say producing an interesting comparative chart on rising sea levels).


  1. planting a seed and leaving it hanging in the air?recommending the duffster? dorothy you have had too much excitement for one day,i recommend a bex and a good lie down,and stay away from the oz for a couple of days.

  2. As much fun as shooting monkeys in a barrel.