Monday, January 28, 2013

Same as it ever was ...

(Above: cranes over Sydney)

"We need to get this city moving again" - Tony Abbott
"Can we take a rain check on the cranes, and get the city moving again by locating the second airport in Woop Woop?" - Barry "dazzling bazza" O'Farrell.

Yep, it's just another day in good old Sydney town, home of the rum rebellion, and rum federal Liberals forgetting we have a dynamic state Liberal government.

So Sydney gets to host a policy launch singularly lacking in policies designed to get the town on the move again, or the country. Unless all that's involved is a lurch to the raging ratbag right.

The main headline arising from Tony Abbott's policy launch? Well if you believe The Australian it must be to replace the ineffective, flailing, failing state Liberal governments that rule the roost in the east and west:

Cranes over cities!

And you have to pay to read the sublime thoughts of possible Chairman Abbott!

But, but, but Sydney is already full of the Australian white ibis.

Oh sure we could get into a technical argument as to whether the long-billed bird should be called a crane, but enough already.

And anyway, thanks to the Daily Terror, we learn that dazzling Bazza is already promising us cranes over Sydney:

Oh yes, there'll be cranes where it counts, over parliament, as Bazza redecorates his nest. Does he know how to teach those ibises a thing or two!

Meanwhile, will Campbell Newman's mob come to regret politicising dams and floods and rain?

Who knows, but while checking out the Courier-Mail for news on Brisbane, the pond stumbled on this remarkable piece:

At first glance, it seemed fair enough. After all the NBN roll-out has been passing slow, and the pond's own situation in the ruined copper suburb of Camperdown in terms of speed is dire, as is the nation's, what with a recent report that suggested Australia has slipped to fortieth on the world chart.

The story even provided a handy chart to prove it. (Australian internet speeds fall to 40th place globally)

Yes, it's shocking and shameful, especially when you read that Switzerland is fourth (8.7), Latvia is fifth (8.7), the Netherlands clocks in sixth (8.5), the damned Czech republic scores seventh (7.6), the Hamletian Danes manage 7.2 for eighth, Finland gets tenth with 6.8 and even the wretched United States, which was once well down the charts, now sits at ninth with a respectable 7.2!

Some might suggest speed doesn't count, in the way that size isn't everything, but what was even more shocking and outrageous was when the pond clicked on that local Brisbane story about the petition to fast track business broadband.

When you click on Petition launched to fast-track broadband rollout for businesses in Strathpine and Brendale, what do you find?

The mischief makers, the monkeys at play, are none other than the Member for Dickson, Peter Dutton, shadow member for Health and Ageing, and the local Liberal Member for Pine Rivers, Mr Seath Holswich.

Liberals petitioning for the NBN and broadband to benefit business!

The absolutely bloody, filthy, perverted cheek of the pair.

For years Tony 'cranes over the city' Abbott has been carrying on about how useless the NBN is, and how he'd scrap it the moment he got into power, and here's a couple of his primest geese organising a squawking fest about how they haven't been able to get into the garbage like a decent ibis.

Which is why this sudden adulatory talk of Abbott as Dr. Positive - which frequently reduces Michelle Grattan to genteel fainting fits - sends the pond into a frenzy.

If he'd shown an ounce of vision, an ounce of common sense, an ounce of glass, an ounce of understanding of where the digital world was heading - or even a gram of willingness to accept that the metric system had arrived - there'd be talk of fibre to the home as a kind of giant digital crane over the city.

Right now the pond thinks he can take his bloody cranes and watch them topple into a Sydney street and block traffic for a couple of weeks ...

Broadband denialism is a legacy the Liberal party will never live down, no matter how many petitions, they now muster, and what's worse, they've managed to make Stephen Conroy sound like a visionary, which is a bit like managing to make Opus Dei sound like the progressive liberal arm of the Catholic church.

But what's this talk of cranes, and geese and Abbott and broadband petitions?

Well by now you've probably guessed that generally grumpy Paul Sheehan has this Monday wandered down la la lane into a cul de sac, by scribbling Peris must rise about kneecapping.

It will only amuse people deeply into dire perversity, and those who love headers which absolutely mislead the reader as regards the content of the column.

After celebrating Nova Peris-Kneebone's "delightful name" (yes Mr. Sheen knows how to be condescending and insulting in one), Sheehan goes on to celebrate another "lovely name", in Nova Peris-Batman.

And then, Sheehan spends the rest of the column providing great examples of the kneecappings Peris must rise above.

He regales the world by re-telling common gossip about Peris-Kneebone, in the style of a common scold, attributes the appointment to Gillard desiring to avoid losing a seat in the NT, and spends the last part of the column berating ATSIC, Peris-Kneebone's work as a "treaty ambassador", and the indigenous industry of which she was a part.

It's a classic example not so much of kneecapping as vicious headkicking and a gut-thumping and a back-stabbing, all dressed up in the guise of support for Peris-Kneebone, whose sole positive attribute, it would seem, is her lovely, delightful, arcane names.

After reading it, you'll likely reel away, thinking of Caesar:

Friends, indigenous folk with quaint delightful names, 
and members of the indigenous industry,
lend me your quaint ears
I come to bury Nova Peris-Kneebone, 
no matter how delightful her funny name is,
The evil that the indigenous industry, and Kneebone has done
(Did we mention all the scandals that have surfaced?)
Lives after them,
The good is completely unmentionable in this column of dreary bones,
So let it be with Nova Peris-Kneebone ...

And so on and so forth, proving once again how cloth-eared and insulting Sheehan can be, even when he's ostensibly trying to encourage someone to rise above a kneecapping.

Anyhoo, that just leaves time to note that this Australia Day holyday (well it's holy if you worship beer and bangers), that the lizard Oz is at it again in relation to climate change, publishing yet another piece by Michael Asten under the header Today's global warming is well within historic range (behind the paywall so you have to pay to become even more confused and ignorant).

It's a typically evasive piece, spreading red herrings and Boris Johnson - expert, hugely qualified climate scientist - around like Vegemite on a dinki di bit of Aussie oi oi oi invasion birthday toast.

In an antipodean antithesis of current political comment in Australia, London Mayor Boris Johnson mused in Britain's The Telegraph last week on the run of five cold snowy winters in London, contemplated the theories of solar cycles as drivers of climate advanced by maverick astrophysicist Piers Corbyn, and said he "wonders whether it might be time for government to start taking seriously the possibility, however remote, that Corbyn is right".

Asten  then cherry picks a few papers and a few notions in support of Johnson  - fag and King's Scholar at Eton, Classics at Oxford graduating from Balliol with a 2.1 - which suggests a major development in the climate science world.

Lord Monckton is no longer the go to person, and Boris is now the flavour of the city. Yes folks, the denialists have a new ibis.

In the end, Asten can only manage a fudge, as he maintains his chosen task of spreading FUD about climate science, and after berating Obama for deploying rhetoric, manages to produce a few sodden cliches of his own:

The devastating impacts of extreme climate events of which Obama speaks have always been with us, and we have to expect that the human tragedies they bring will be exacerbated by growth in global population. 

Scientifically, this can be summarised succinctly:

Letting the climate go by, let the climate hold me down 
Letting the climate go by, climate flowing above ground 
Into the blue again, after the money's gone 
Once in a lifetime, climate flowing above ground 
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, 
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was 
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was, 
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

Yes, climate's always been with us, and human beans have nothing to do with anything, except for locating New York on a swamp next to the sea.

Cycles in climate change imply our efforts should be targeted at mitigation of effects, not changing the climate.
It is my hope that scientists advising our politicians will include the rich literature represented here in their briefings to politicians - or alternatively, that politicians will demand it. 
And may there be a quorum of politicians who will say as does Boris Johnson while contemplating the exceptional snow and icicles in Trafalgar Square: "I have an open mind."

Open mind?

This is of course code for a closed mind, since Asten has repeatedly written for The Australian from a fixed position, as rigid as the Samurai code, such that he became a regular feature in Deltoid's column on The Australian's War on Science 55: Michael Asten, which prompted an Asten response which only further served to expand the notion that he was a kind of Boris Johnson Ibis. (John Quiggin also had a go here).

It's good to see that Deltoid has returned to the fray - for a time it seemed he'd been worn down by the relentless stupidity routinely on view in The Australian.

Even now, it's impossible to imagine how he could keep up with the Johnson-ian drivel The Australian publishes like a relentless climate denying machine.

He recently reached no. 81 in The Australian's War on Science with Matt Ridley's 20 year old wrong prediction,

And he ended last year swinging with The Australian's War on Science 80: The Australian says its OK to lie about the science.

With a bit of luck, Deltoid might get around to considering the deeper thoughts of Boris Johnson on climate science, as refracted through the opaque mind of Michael Asten, but if so, perhaps he should arm himself with a copy of Ovid's The Metamorphoses, and perhaps Caesar's Gallic Wars, in the original Latin of course.

(Below: and now, since the pond mangled Talking Heads, here in remorse is Talking Heads).

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