No doubt there were serious and problematic elements involved in the saga of Jetstar passengers taking the airplane's crew hostage after the flight was diverted from Beijing to Shanghai because of bad weather (Jetstar Passengers Take Crew Hostage).
But the takeaway, take home point for the pond was the importance and handiness of knowing an Asian language in order to deal with and optimise the benefits of an Asian century:
The cabin manager on the Jetstar flight spoke fluent Mandarin and was able to communicate with the Chinese passengers. The ground staff for Jetstar at Shanghai were also fluent in Mandarin.
But it is understood the passengers did not trust the promises of the crew and refused to let the captain and crew leave.
Oh dear. It sounds just like former Chairman Rudd setting the Chinese straight on their foreign and domestic policies ... in Mandarin. Those were the days ...
This being a headlines sort of day, the pond was naturally intrigued to see how the Bolter would deal with the fallout from the current mega superstorm. Yesterday we were offered this:
Yes, more chatter about "warmists", a term as clever as calling people communists, socialists or fascists. It's as childish as running a blog dedicated to loons, but without the reflexivity.
Then this morning the world was offered this:
Two great scientific minds - the Bolter and shock jock Steve Price - getting together to sort out the science? Now there's an invitation the pond can refuse.
But since it seems all you need to do is link to yourself and your navel yabbering on about things, the pond choses to link to Watching Sandy, ignoring Climate Change, in The New Yorker.
No doubt the Bolter knows much more than the very practical assessors at Munich Re, but the pond will stick with the assessors and their statistics.
Meanwhile, the pond is always on the look out for outrageous caricatures and splendid stereotypes - this is after all an unashamedly elitist site as any peanut with class knows - and Tony Maher of the CFMEU offers some splendid nostrums as part of his thoughts on re-building the Labor party, in Unlikely bedfellows are lovers no more.
Is there anything the Labor party might learn from "progressive" - how the pond hates that word - environmentally aware policies? Probably not, if you live:
In Australia’s outer-suburban and regional heartlands, the Greens are electoral poison. Labor’s plunge in the polls over the carbon pricing scheme is largely due to its birth in a deal between Labor and the Greens.
The heartlands! Anywhere but the city thank you!
Naturally the CFMEU has its offices in the west in Lidcombe (there's a sub-office in Pitt Street too), which is a stone's throw away from Strathfield, which is a stone's throw away from Five Dock, which is a stone's throw away from Leichhardt and vegetarian butchers, but at least it explains why the pond would rather cheerfully stuff a vegetarian sausage up Maher's nostril than join the Labor party.
There's slumming with boofheads who want to sound like Gerard Henderson, and then there's dealing with policies without stereotypes, and then there's this conclusion:
That’s not just Labor’s future, it’s the future of mainstream progressive politics. After all, what’s the value in a progressive vision that ignores everyone outside a 10 kilometre radius of our capital cities. There are no shortcuts to rebuilding Labor, it’s a difficult process and it’s fair enough that ideas are raised and tossed around.
Uh huh. Well you could always relocate your city office Mr. Maher, perhaps to Tamworth, where bulldust is appreciated as fertiliser, and where sounding just like Gerard Henderson and the notion that anyone within a 10k zone (how handy that Lidcombe is 14ks) from the city centre is somehow up themselves.
Fair enough that ideas are raised and tossed around? Can you say that in Mandarin please?
Yep, it's a bits and pieces sort of day, so can we have another bit, perhaps Miranda the Devine leading off Gillard sexism card has failed to trump Abbott with a truly astonishing and special feminist insight:
There are two types of females in this world: the "woman's woman" and the "man's woman".
Actually it's the pond's belief that there are two types of women in the world: the dumb ones like Miranda Devine, and intelligent ones like the real Dorothy Parker, but do go on, let the abundant stereotypes flow, show Tony Maher how it's done:
The latter adores men and is an incorrigible flirt. At a party she will prefer their company. She will never observe the "BBQ rules" that frequently divide Australian social gatherings down gender lines. She regards attention from men as more important than the regard of women.
A woman's woman loves men just as much but for the most part she abides by a loyalty code to her own sex, which holds that the best way to ruin a good friendship is to compete for the attention of men. Most women are somewhere along the continuum between the two extremes, and women can move in and out of each camp as they grow older, and depending on circumstances.
And so on and on, simply so in the end the Devine can pronounce Tony Abbott a woman's man. It's as nauseating a spectacle and read as the pond could imagine outside the pages of Woman's Day, and naturally the Devine couldn't have done it by herself. She needed a man:
That is what a forensic examination of Newspoll tells us, and I am indebted to Dennis Shanahan of The Australian for his analysis.
Dennis Shanahan! Just what a bubble headed booby needs to make sense of the world.
When you next hear chit chat about echo chambers and the hive mind, just remember the Devine up Shanahan, amd a woman's man, one who adores women, no matter if they're madonnas or whores.
One thing's certain. The Gillard speech has really put the commentariat in a flap, along with the recent slide in the polls, and never has there been such a diligent, energetic burst of plaster-work, and mud brick building, and straw man assertions, and image make-overs, and did poor sweet hapless Margie Abbott fail so badly that now Mr. Abbott must now rely on the man love Miranda the Devine exudes for him ... (not that there's anything wrong with a fling, but must it be put into a public column?)
Never mind, in another bit of plaster-work, perhaps even a total makeover, Greg Craven settles for the most befuddled, confusing logic known to humanity in Parliamentary morality play is no substitute for politics - inside the paywall to save your mind.
Craven runs a pox on both their houses routine, which slags off Maxine McKew, as well as slagging off people for slagging off Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott.
One of the interesting things about the moral show trials of Gillard and Abbott is that they are based on evidence so thin, it would not put a sewer rat in the dock. Gillard's alleged legal travails are so trivial, so old, so confused and so pedestrian that God himself has forgotten exactly what happened. As for her supposed lies, if every politician who backflips is a liar, then every coffee-drinking athlete is a drug cheat.
The moral case against Abbott is even sillier. There is no evidence that Abbott dislikes, despises or has a morbid fear of women, girls or female guinea pigs.
Yep, it's an epic, resounding outburst of moral equivalence, and to hell with everyone, and it concludes thusly:
Both sides clearly are quietly pleased with their progress to date. "Juliar" is now established as one of Australia's less plausible public outlaws, alongside the Carlton Football Club and fluoridisation. Doubtless, other equally gullible voters think Abbott eats uppity women for breakfast.
But most Australians have a better nose for feigned outrage than for sin, and an electoral memory to match.
An electoral memory to match? What the fuck? What on earth is he saying?
Does that mean we should vote for fluoridisation? Or a tasty breakfast? Or can we vote for both, on the basis we should vote early and often?
Do we vote for the Carlton Football club, or female guinea pigs?
Does Abbott get the vote because the moral case against him is even sillier? Or because his taste in swimwear is defiantly dubious?
To misquote Women are deserting the Abbott they know:
Where was Craven when Abbott tried to control women's access to abortions, or attempted to take IVF off the list of Medicare-funded services? Where was he when Abbott was publicly undermining the anti-cervical cancer drug Gardasil?
What's truly amazing is that Craven is the Vice Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, but the pond would have failed his piece if offered it as first year paper (oh the joys of being a tutor).
It would have been held up and ridiculed in class - ridicule is such an effective teaching technique - as an example of fuzzy logic and juvenilia, and as an example of an emotional outburst deeply in need of intellectual fibre and a consideration of actual track records and policies, and as a way of explaining that you can't have an each way bet with your electoral memory ...
Ah well time to eat that vegetarian sausage.
No bugger it, waiter, set the pond up with a nice beef sausage, perhaps with garlic, you know, gourmet style, apologies to any stray Hindi-speaking reader, and heck throw in some handsome middle rashers of bacon, may as well offend any stray Jews and the Muslims in the audience while we're at it ...
If only the pond could speak Mandarin, to help explain the regular stupefaction the world can deliver to the delighted observer safely away from storms ...
Now what's a suitable symbol for sausages that deserve a forking?
Hang on, hang on, that mob are out Hornsby and Brookvale way, here. And they do gluten free gourmet sausages!
Why that's 25 and 16 kilometres away from the CBD respectively!
Way beyond the 10k zone!
Is there no truth or justice left in the world? Only people in the outer suburbs heartland going gourmet and perhaps even riding bikes ...