Saturday, May 11, 2013

While the reptiles at the lizard oz indulge in their stupid cultural wars, other stupidities abound ...

(Above: gotta love Wilcox. Albo? Meeh)

Sorry, apologies to any stray reader, but it's time for a Saturday rant.

The pond is usually dedicated to the demented ranting of deluded members of the commentariat, but over the years reading corrosive ratbag ranters like Piers 'Akker Dakker' Akerman must have consequences.

It was Anthony Albanese that set the pond off. The Minister for Studies has delivered another study in the matter of a second Sydney airport, which will require a further study, since Wilton isn't up to it - what a surprise - and maybe we should think about the Richmond RAAF base as a stop-gap solution, except it isn't a solution, just an opportunity to piss money against the wall in the pursuit of a short-term gutless non-solution.

This is the man who poignantly contributed this gotcha to the world (thanks to Another study, another delay for second Sydney airport):

In 2000 he (Albo) mocked the Howard government's refusal to make progress on the issue. 
''Quite frankly, we've had study after study after study,'' Mr Albanese said 13 years ago. 
''What we actually need is the government to bite the bullet and get on with building a second airport for Sydney.'' 

Quite frankly, what the pond needs is for Albo to fuck off.

Of course it's not his fault alone, the Liberal party is equally gutless and dithering and afraid, but Albo's call for bipartisanship on the issue is a call for gutless inertia and more dithering.

Grasp the nettle? Only in question time, when he can display the fine boofhead art of calling others boofheads ...

The one upside? Well at least big Bazza O'Farrell has shut up about a VFT connecting Canberra airport to Sydney. Instead he's done a Pontius Pilate and washed his hands, which is a big bloody help. Gutless but oh so politically safe ...

Now the pond held off ranting about the decision to embrace a Collins class solution to a new order for submarines. After all building the Collins class subs has been an epic display of engineering at its finest (please read a tinge of foam-flecked irony verging on rage), and we must take care of the Adelaide workers, and we must do it all again because it worked out so well the first time, and the subs are first class when the subs can make it out of the dock, which is rarely, when a working crew and a working sub can be found, which is rarely, and why we absolutely must not order some proven off-the-shelf subs ... not when we can piss more money against the wall on our own epic enterprise.

(More Nicholson here)

The pond even held off ranting about the bizarre spectacle of the NSW government deciding its contribution to the Sydney rail system would be to design tunnels and tracks which won't accommodate the current fleet, thereby ensuring that NSW will once again lead the way back to the future, and the grand old days when NSW passengers had to disembark at Albury-Wodonga to take account of the change in gauge as they entered Victoria (and so on and so forth around the entire bloody country).

What is it about Australian politicians that make them so bungling, inept and cowardly when it comes to future vision? Why are we so badly served by people required, first of all, and above ideology, to make decisions for the sensible functioning of public activities - some of them private, as in servicing the airline industry, and some of them a mish-mash of failed PPS enterprises, which the NSW rail system is about to join ...

And what is it about the mainstream Murdoch media, that they spend so many long hours on ideological and cultural war matters, and as soon as someone raises engineering or managerial issues, all a politician has to do is shout "Squirrel" and they're off to the nearest park, looking up the nearest tree?

Enough already, so let's pause to note an event worth a celebratory party for the denialists. The header says it all Climate Milestone: Earth's CO2 Level Passes 400 ppm, along with the sub-header Greenhouse gas highest since the Pilocence, when sea levels were higher and the Earth was warmer.

Now the figure of 400 ppm is symbolic, but it represents another point in a process the world has most probably not seen for some 2.5-3 million years. That Nat Geo story ends ominously: 400 ppm, CO2 is much higher now, and it's still climbing fast. And even if we could stop that rise tomorrow, the planet's temperature would still climb for centuries. 
"For me personally that's the scary thing," says Raymo. "We really don't know what we've already committed ourselves to."

Never mind, let's just turn for a moment to the ongoing elevation of Nick Cater by the reptiles at the lizard Oz into a culture war saint, perhaps a way station on him being elevated to pope of the church of the feral commentariat.

What is it about Cater, who is about as deep as a headline in the Daily Terror?

There's the fawning Peter Craven, cravening away in Nick cater shows he's a working-class fan in The Lucky Culture (may be paywall affected, and if it is, and think yourself lucky).

The story even has Paul Hogan, that working class man, as its illustration, standing alongside Hawkie. Would that be the very same working class man defrauded of a cool 32 mill? (Hogan chases his financial adviser and stolen millions, say what Mr. Tax Man, what millions? Forced video at end of link).

The funny thing, of course, is that Craven, pious bleating academic, is all that Cater reviles, so he really has to do some fancy footwork, pointing out a few of the worst of Cater's idiocies before getting to the point that the book should be bought and discussed.

Along the way, Craven produces a few of his own idiocies:

When it comes down to it, our luckiness comes from Gina Rinehart and the Chinese.

Uh huh. So having the iron ore in the ground and having the luck to have a dad who found it has got nothing to do with it ...

What puzzles the pond is why such a lightweight fop as Cater - who is plainly ignorant on many aspects of history, including Manning Clark, which Craven has to point out - is being given such a push by the pack of Murdochian baying hounds.

Anyone who talks against Cater is howled down by the pack, which naturally proved too great a temptation for Mark Latham to resist, as you can read in the AFR with Abbott rallies round the lunar right, and more pointedly and at length at the Chifley centre with The Culture Wars: Legitimate Battlefield Or Just Another Sneaky Right-Wing Attack ...

That brought that Wildean fop Christopher Pearson off his sick bed to pen a short attack on Latham, in Tribal hatreds anchor Mark Latham. (behind the paywall, because Pearson should be excluded from the discussion).

Latham's crime? For having a bash at classical music, opera and the ballet, in short, conducting himself exactly like Cater having a go at the citizens of Newtown and Fitzroy, and otherwise blathering on about the 'leets.

Pearson even rounds out his piece by quoting a few lines from The Merchant of Venice, thereby no doubt confirming in Cater's eyes that he's a dangerous ponce and elitist.

(Above: the rest of Gee here)

And what does all this venting and hot air and culture warring count for?

Why three fifths of fuck all, because Cater remains a lightweight git, Latham erratic, Craven craven, and Pearson ... well let's just say he's the same old Latinate Pearson who simply can't understand anything much ... and there in the background, like a mob of Gregorian chanters, are the reptiles at the lizard Oz still singing in mindless unison, waving their little red books and acting as if Joe Stalin and the thought police had taught them all how to think as one ...

And meanwhile, hey ho, hey ho, off we go, not to build a second airport in Sydney, but instead to build a dysfunctional rail system, do the Collins sub cha cha all over again, and watch the carbon grow, while Tony 'climate science is crap' Abbott is told by his own side that his policies won't make any difference, so why bother at all ... (come on down Dr Jensen, do that coca cola routine again).

And you wonder why the pond is given to the occasional rant ...

A pox on the lot of them, maybe it's time to go to the movies ...

(Below: the pond would love to be able to bet, but will be unable to collect, on the chances of a group of engineers gathering in fifty years time to discuss the need to enlarge the tunnels built by a particularly myopic and stupid NSW Liberal government. The gauge between NSW and Victoria was standardised on the main line in 1962, Melbourne to Adelaide in 1995, and it's still going on. Wiki it hereThe Broken Hill Barrier Miner sets the scene for 22nd April 1913, click to enlarge below).


  1. Well the Collins class tech did come from Kockums.

    Wink, wink, say no more.

  2. I think the solution can be found in asking the nice people at Lockheed-Martin if they could produce an F-35D which would be the underwater version of the Joint Strike Fighter (and I'm told the use of "joint" in there is not accidental). It could cost us billions but it would be compatible with our other disasters.


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