And what a compelling lack of imagination as the squirrels go about their business as the PR department for the Royals. By appointment, lickspittle Murdochians ...
Now on to today's business. Note-taking and list-making.
The pond has always had a golden rule - never take notes.
Think about it. If you say something in the company of the pond, an acknowledgment, an admission, a confession, a shopping list, a laundry list, the pond won't takes notes, and within twenty-four hours, the pond won't remember a single thing, and there'll be no need for any action about anything. Especially the laundry.
This comes from a Catholic education and the nuns explaining how a soul soon became black as soot, charred and dark like coal, because of assorted sins of omission and commission. But if you told the priest in the confessional everything, he'd be guaranteed not to make a list, and your soul would be Persil-white. Or Rinso. Or whatever you like to use in your laundry.
And this glorious tradition has continued ever since in the Catholic church, to judge by Brian Lucas's explanation that he never wrote a single thing down, as revealed in Senior church figure advised clergy not to take notes of interviews with accused priests (careful, it'll cost you a Fairfax hit, and is reading about the depravities of Catholicism worth a hit?)
The pond can remember the days when Lucas was a go to media man for the Catholic hierarchy way back in the day. But what about this?
He said his main priority was to remove priests from situations where they had access to children, and taking formal notes could be "unproductive" and stop them from speaking to him. "The particularities in dealing with these priests were that one had to, in a sense, seduce them into agreeing to resign," he said.
Seduce? Oh dear sweet absent lord, why this word?
"Is the real position as to why you didn't want to take any note that you didn't want it to have to be exposed in any subsequent legal process?" asked counsel assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan, SC.
"I think that would be a reasonable comment," he replied.
A reasonable comment? Try telling a priest in the confessional in the old days that you wanted to evade exposure, and avoid the keen eye of the lord ...
She asked whether he had published views for the benefit of other clergy to the effect that it was a good idea not to take notes "so that a subsequent legal process that would compel production of them cannot be successful?"
“In some instances that would be accurate” Father Lucas responded.
But what was even more astonishing? Well Lucas righteously dressed this up as the church thinking only of the victims and showing enormous care and consideration. Because you see if a victim didn't want to go to the police, and so didn't dob in a priest, it certainly wasn't the business of the church to dob in the priest ... just nab them and shuffle them off to somewhere else where they could keep on doing what they like to do ...
And even after that, there was no sign that Lucas understood the enormity of his behaviour.
Never mind, let's move on to list-making.
Here's one for the opposition and Tony Abbott.
Alienate PNG? Tick, done.
Alienate Indonesia? Oh that's a big job, let's save it for next week.
And now let's see how the thoughts of the PNG PM were reported by the reptiles at the lizard Oz:
PNG PM Peter O'Neill warns Coalition to stop misrepresenting foreign aid deal
Oh that O'Neill.
Well it simply wouldn't do to feature a man sordidly accusing Tony "General MacArthur" Abbott and Julie Bishop of lying. Was anything written down? Were notes taken? Of course not, and that's the end of the matter.
And now the pond offers its daily choice in the matter of splenetic bilious bile, no list required.
There's an obvious choice, there usually is on a Thursday, and there might be those willing to sacrifice a Fairfax hit to indulge in an acid bath with Paul Sheehan, furiously scribbling Another backflip for Rudd, another win for Labor's whatever-it-takes ethos, which is of course completely different to Abbott's whatever-it-takes ethos, including lying and misrepresenting hapless O'Neill, who finds himself in the deep end of the pool with Australia's political sharks.
In a way that ensures Fairfax will never receive pond patronage, bizarrely Sheehan's outburst is labelled "Editor's Pick", but the pond would rather pick its nose ...
It is, in the usual offensive way, an attack that purports to be from the caring side:
A backflip with pike. What makes the cruelty of this policy even more outrageous is that it is so transparently cynical, so clearly an election ploy, so self-evidently flimsy.
Naturally there's not a word about the cruelty of Nauru or the Pacific solution, nor this risible "news" which has flooded News Corp like cockroachs in the sewer running in the back lane, General to run Coalition's asylum boats strategy. (yes it's a Daily Terror news+ Emma Jones "exclusive" being aired to the world by the lizard Oz, and at Perth now here if you want the true tabloid experience at the click of a non-exclusive mouse. Can we put it on the list? Must get paywall shit together)
A top-ranking general and the might of 11 agencies would wage war on people smugglers - that's part of Tony Abbott's plan for a likely August 31 election.
Yes, we're at war, and who better to run the navy than a four star general? Get lost admirals ...
Oh that's right, it was on the list. Alienate the navy ...
And how much will the general have to spend on his war? Ten million smackeroos. That's a pitiful, tragic, pathetic ten million bucks to you ...
But while all this is jolly good stomach-turning fun for chums, today the pond recommends Greg Sheridan as doofus of the day, and if you have a lead-lined stomach, his hand-wringing in PNG plan is a dangerous game of bluff (behind the paywall for google risk-takers) is revealing for the game being played by the commentariat.
If you read the digital splash of doom, you might think he's inordinately sympathetic to subtlety and nuance:
When you get into the actual read, it turns out to be incredibly simple:
Yep, there's your immensely complex question involving a thousand shades of grey sorted in a nano second.
As for the rest, Sheridan berates the PNG "solution", yet manages to give Abbott a free kick:
... Abbott is not entitled to criticise PNG itself, to demonise the idea of sending asylum-seekers there, or to demonise even resettlement in PNG. Up to now, I would say the opposition has not crossed the line, but it's come close.
Oh never mind that O'Neill called Abbott and Bishop dissemblers and liars. That's not crossing the line. By the way, who's O'Neill?
As for Sheridan's gee whiz, whiz bang alternative to PNG?
Why to adopt it and do it all over the place. Wherever:
... Canberra would hope it has a chance of getting either the Philippines, Thailand or Indonesia, or some combination of them, to set up processing centres financed by Australia. This would be difficult, but not impossible. But none of those nations would accept the idea of permanent resettlement.
The only nations that could conceivably accept that are South Pacific nations. Australia could make the balance of such deals so attractive that South Pacific governments might accept them. But imagine what the South Pacific would be like in five or six years' time if there were 50,000 resettled refugees in PNG, and perhaps 10,000 in Vanuatu, 5000 in Solomon Islands and a few thousands elsewhere in the Pacific.
Uh huh. We're worried about the impact on the small island countries?
Of course not silly, remember it's all about Australia:
... if the program is implemented for more than a short time it's going to create an entirely new security problem for us.
That will be the creation of a disgruntled, new Muslim population in the South Pacific.These refugees would be Iranians, Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Palestinians, perhaps some Sudanese and Somalis, and most of them getting some Australian financial support.
This population would constitute a recipe for social instability and a significant security problem for the region, and for us.
Oh no, surrounded by deviant Islamic hordes, fencing us in, and ruining everything.
Oh there's a lot more, but the pond can only take so much paranoia and hostility, especially as Australia's done such a sterling job this past decade helping turn Afghanistan into a paradise of peaceful living that no one would want to flee, a deputy sheriff Howard government bit of war-mongering aided and abetted by the commentariat reptiles at the lizard Oz ...
But Sheridan does give a further clue as to how Abbott will proceed should he win. Assault the Refugee convention and blame the entire mess on the UN, and appoint a four star general to sort it all out ...
For us ....
It's just as well the pond never makes notes. If we did, they'd run into thousands of pages detailing the stench of hypocrisy and the stupidity of analysis provided by Australian politicians and the lizard Oz commentariat ...
Ostensibly for us ...
As Sam Goldwyn said, include the pond out ...
(Below: found here at Shane Maloney's thoughts on Thomas Blamey and General MacArthur)