Saturday, August 31, 2013

The pond sees sunny days it thought would never end, sweet dreams and flying Murdochains in pieces on the ground, reluctant to talk about things to come ... ...

(Above: this is the first Moir for the pond we can remember, and you can get more Moir here)

The pond would like to announce the first mosquito and cocky (that's cockroaches to southerners free of the tribe) of the season, but actually the mossies and the cockies have been on duty all through one of the warmest winters on record ... the grape vine has gone mad, the plants are confused, the penny lizards bask in the sun, pregnant with hope and new lizards, and so it goes ...

But sssh, remember it's only weather, and whatever you do, don't mention climate change, you know how it agitates and upsets the Bolter and the reptiles at the lizard Oz.

Indeed it takes exceptional skill to report the weather and not make a passing reference to the climate, but the hacks at the Daily Terror have an astonishing, exceptional skill ...

Well done, and well played, Daniela Ongaro and Nathan Klein, for The winter of our content: Sydney enjoys its warmest cold season in 150 years. (allegedly behind the Daily Terror paywall, but thanks to the paywall busters at the Courier-Mail, with a click its yours for free. And yes, it's worth even less than you've paid for it).

It turns out that the warm weather is just spiffing news, with everyone having a jolly good time, what with the balmy conditions and the winter blues banished, and the weekend a time for smiling, and along with that comes a bonus, stout-hearted ability not to reach any conclusions:

BOM records show the top four warmest winters recorded have all occurred in the past 12 years. "There's certainly been a real clustering of warm winters in the past decade," Mr Trewin said. 
"If you look at the warmest winters in record before this year - the top four and six of the top seven - have happened in the 12 years since 2001."

Phew, for a moment there, the pond was really anxious that climate change might be mentioned, but Daniela and Nathan are made of sterner stuff.

Climate change? Climate science? In your dreams, they know how to scribble the right things, and serve their master's voice.

Oh the snow season might be over but all that means is it's time to get out the togs instead, and head off to the sunny beaches of Newcastle and have a chat with the seagulls and pelicans (especially if you live in the relentless Canberra winter).

Knuckle-ground-grazing, jaw-dropping stuff?

You betcha. But someone at didn't tell the hacks the party line, or someone forget the lines in the song sheet as you can read in Brisbane winter 2013 the warmest on record:

Sky News meteorologist Tom Saunders said Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra also recorded their warmest cold seasons on record. 
"Temperatures soared well above average for most days this winter from Cape York and the Top End, through the interior all the way to Tasmania,''' he said.
Brisbane's record was significant, given data was available back to 1887. "Sydney's overall average temperature of 14.9C was well above the old record of 14.6C from 1988 with data back to the 1850s,'' he said. 
Warm conditions were due to the dominance of high pressure over Australia and the associated reduced number of cold fronts which prevented cold polar air pushing north. Abnormally warm ocean temperatures, lingering from the hottest summer on record, also contributed. 
"The shift to higher pressure, warmer seas and higher atmospheric temperatures are all trends related to climate change,'' Mr Saunders said. 

The story even quotes Alex Sen Gupta from UNSW, and the deviant even dares to mention climate change and science again:

Experiments showed that the recent slowdown was a consequence of natural oscillation. 
"When the natural oscillation swings the other way, as it must eventually do, we are going to see a period of much faster global warming. When that might occur is the next big scientific question."

Oh just get out your togs and go for a swim on a Newcastle beach Mr Alex Sen Gupta ... embrace the warmth, in best Terror, mossie, cockie and lizard style.

Meanwhile, on another planet very far away, you can read Coalition's climate policy would cost vastly more than budgeted, study finds:

The modelling found that as the cheapest forms of carbon abatement were used, the Coalition's scheme would have to pay about $58 a tonne to achieve Australia's full target. The Coalition has said it doesn't think it will have to pay more than about $15 a tonne. 
 The Coalition has not done its own modelling of Direct Action, but dismissed the Sinclair Knight Merz/MMA, with Coalition leader Tony Abbott saying: "I simply don't accept the report."

Yes and King Canute simply didn't accept the tides ...

Oh pardon the pond, but can we just do a little detour, and contemplate what little we know of Cnut, or Canute if you will?

First he married his daughter to a Roman emperor with unutterable splendour (Tony has two), and second in going to Rome, he arranged for a reduction in tolls by half for roads through Gaul to Rome (Tony is big on roads), and ...

... third, that with the greatest vigor he commanded that his chair should be set on the shore, when the tide began to rise. And then he spoke to the rising sea saying “You are part of my dominion, and the ground that I am seated upon is mine, nor has anyone disobeyed my orders with impunity. Therefore, I order you not to rise onto my land, nor to wet the clothes or body of your Lord”. But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs. Then he moving away said: “All the inhabitants of the world should know that the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws”. Therefore King Cnut never afterwards placed the crown on his head, but above a picture of the Lord nailed to the cross, turning it forever into a means to praise God, the great king. By whose mercy may the soul of King Cnut enjoy peace. (here, with the original Latin Chronicle)

Indeed. And Tony doesn't accept reports.

What the pond found most astonishing was the line The Coalition has not done its own modelling of Direct Action ...

Remember all that idle chatter about the need for a business plan for the NBN? The acres and reams of digital ink wasted by sundry Murdochians?

Well now we've had a number of reports, featuring fairly detailed modelling, and the conclusions in relation to the 'direct action', 'pie in the sky' routine are universally problematic and negative.

Please allow the pond to borrow from Lenore Taylor's piece in the way we borrowed the Canute story:

Modelling by Reputex climate analytics, commissioned by the environment group WWF-Australia, found that the money set aside by the Coalition to buy abatement was likely to fall short by $5.9bn a year between 2015 and 2020, or between $20bn and $35bn in total. 
The Coalition insists it will provide no more than the money it has allocated to its emissions reduction fund – $2.5bn over the next four years – and, according to figures in the original 2009 policy document, almost $5bn by 2020. 
According to Reputex, if it sticks with this funding allocation Australia's emissions will rise by 16% by 2020 compared with 2000 levels, missing by a long way Australia's international commitment to reduce emissions by 5% over that timeframe ... 
Reputex found that a 25% cut could not be delivered by Direct Action under any realistic pricing scenario. The fact that a direct action scheme cannot be "scaled up" was pointed out by former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull when he explained in 2011 that continuing to use a big government taxpayer-funded scheme to reduce emissions in the long term would "become a very expensive charge on the budget in the years ahead". 
 The Reputex analysis is more damning of the Coalition's plan that recent modelling by Sinclair Knight Merz/MMA and Monash University's Centre of Policy Studies, commissioned by the Climate Institute. That modelling, which used assumptions more generous to the Coalition, found the Coalition would have to find at least another $4bn for its climate policy or else break its pledge to cut emissions by 5% by 2020 and instead allow them to increase by 9%.

Either way, Abbott and Hunt are peddling a dud, and within a week, it's likely they will begin to roll out that expensive, untested dud, and the Daily Terror will be cheerfully telling all and sundry its time to break out the togs and talk to the seagulls and the pelicans ...

Will any of them have the gumption to admit their folly and change course?

Oh look:

By golly that's a nostalgia fest for aged Mac users, but moving right along, the hapless Fairfaxians today asked:

But if you read Tom Allard's piece, The affluenza effect (the header for his piece answering Why are we whingeing?), it turns into a doom-laden whinge, with bouquet garni of Garnaut:

Australia's long period of prosperity has produced ''a new political culture that elevates private over public interests and the immediate over the longer term'', Garnaut says. 
''If we continue within the political culture … we will live in greater comfort for a short while. But sooner rather than later we will experience deep economic recession with high unemployment. We can expect bitter conflict within our society, and unhappiness about our institutions."

Yes, it's an epic whinge, but sheesh Tom you really need to learn how to do a proper full blown six track widescreen whinge, of the kind you can find in today's rotating digital splash of doom featuring the reptiles of the lizard Oz:

It's pretty amazing when you see it laid out in linear fashion, the whole tribe either whingeing, or mocking, though perhaps David Burchell's pitch is the richest, seeing as how he's scribbling as a lickspittle lackey for our very own contemporary Charles Foster Kane, though no-one is quite sure they've found the Rosebud on his lips ...

On the other hand, others might admire Chris Kenny, spruiking for an outlet which is beyond boosterism, into the shameless valley of lickspittle lackey fellow travelling and cheerleading, simply on the basis that a billionaire Charles Foster Kane is entitled to tell his lackeys and everyone else how to vote because he happens to be privately funded ... except of course when he's been given exceptional aid by caring politicians ... (sssh, don't mention Maggie).

Meanwhile, as its gesture towards covering the weather (sssh, don't mention the climate), the reptiles at the lizard Oz offered up a report from Adam Hegarty in the 'Tiser, and what a bright, sunny report it was, as you can read in Warm, sunny weather tipped across South Australia for the first week of spring.

Blyth farmer Kev Pratt is no exception. As his daughter Greta, 5, enjoys the picturesque spring addition of canola crops to the state's rural landscape, Mr Pratt is hopeful of a bumper crop. 
Despite a wet winter, South Australia could also record its warmest 12-month period since records began in 1990. 
Mr Ray said the figures would be finalised next week, but it was likely the period from September 2012 to August 2013 would be the warmest of any 12 months on record.

Records began in 1990?

Oh you pitiful, pathetic croweaters. So that's why when the pond lived in Adelaide there were absolutely no weather forecasts ...

Yes, it's an exemplary report, and well done and well played Adam Hegarty. You didn't mention climate change.

The pond would have been shocked and appalled if you did.

Now a stray reader might be depressed about this, so let the pond and the reptiles working for our modern Charles Foster Kane make amends.

Sun, surf, sand and flowers, and a climate change policy that hasn't been modelled by its proponents, and the whingers safe in their castle ignoring everything except their master's voice.

What could be more perfect?

Take it away, Mr Taylor:

Now I’m walking my mind to an easy time 
My back turned towards the sun 
Lord knows when the hot wind blows 
It’ll turn your head around 
There’s hours of time on the internet
To talk about things to come 
Sweet dreams and Murdochians ...
And climate science in pieces on the ground

Friday, August 30, 2013

Tony Abbott and a school that thinks of his sister as an abominable abomination ...

(Above: from the pond's favourite comic book, available as a pdf here, may be slow to load)

It's only a blip on the campaign radar, that will quickly disappear like a lost plane in an episode of Air Crash Investigations ...

Others are more interested in the way that current Chairman Rudd and his motley crew manage to shoot themselves in their costing foot...

But the subbie who did the header appreciated the irony: Tony Abbott talks values at a school that describes homosexuality as an abomination.

The irony compounded with the opening pars:

Tony Abbott has refused to criticise a Christian school for describing homosexuality as an abomination and a ‘‘perversion of the natural order’’.

Yes Abbott has refused to criticise a school for describing his sister as a perversion of the natural order, an abominable abomination ...

Now there's family values and loyalty at work. But do go on:

The Opposition Leader announced his education policy at the Penrith Christian School, in western Sydney, on Thursday morning, despite the school’s strong stance against homosexuality. 
''The great thing about a school like this is it's not just about getting you through your exams,'' he said. Advertisement 
 ''It's not just about making good friends who hopefully will be your friends for life, important though both of those things are. ''In a school such as this it is very important that we have the right values to live by, and I guess the best value that we can live by is that golden rule to ’do unto others as you would have them do to you’.'' 

Yes and feel free to call my sister a perversion of the natural order and an abominable abomination as you cruise through life:

The private school’s statement of faith says ''homosexuality and specific acts of homosexuality are an abomination unto God, a perversion of the natural order and not to be entered into''. 
Mr Abbott said he disagreed with that statement. But he refused to criticise the school, saying: ''Look, this is a good school and it is a school which has been supported by people like [Labor MPs] David Bradbury and Peter Garrett.

Which isn't an excuse of course.

The problem with the funding of the mushrooms of fundamentalism is one of the pet peeves of the pond and it's a bipartisan affair.

Gillard enlarged the chaplaincy program, Garrett was front and centre handing out cash to all sorts of fundies, from Islamics to Christians to the Scientology school showing off its new federal finery around the corner from the pond.

The Labor party built on the wretched legacy of the Howard government, and the Abbott team show an almost desperate desire to piss money into the pockets of the religious so they can indoctrinate their children ...

It's hardly surprising, not when you can get a bunch of angry Sydney Anglicans maintaining a war of rage against homosexuality, or the Pellists poncing around pretending that they're experts in climate science.

The revival of church-based education has seen a remarkable revival of scientific ignorance - a war on evolution, a "teach the controversy" celebration of intelligent design, creationism dressed up in fancy plumage, young earth theories held out as a possibility, and so on and so forth. It's even carved a path into the musings of the reptiles in the lizard Oz.

If you read the Penrith Christian School's Statement of Faith - still up on their site this morning and still talking of abomination - you find inter alia amongst many other absurd things, a placing on the record of a belief in the operation of the nine supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit.

What are these gifts, I hear you cry, never having come into contact with the more rabid elements of evangelism?

Well amongst them is the ability to speak in tongues:

Definition: "The Gift of Tongues is the supernatural ability to speak to others and/or to God in a language or utterance never learned by the speaker" (Dr. Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ, U.S.A.). 
 There are two approaches: 
1. That The Gift of Tongues, when coupled with The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues, is equal to The Gift of Prophecy. 
2. The second approach suggests that tongues is expressing praise to God, and therefore any interpretation is also in terms of prayer, praise or thanksgiving to God Himself. The emphasis is that true Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues are directed toward God rather than directed from God to the Church. (more bizarre guff here)

You really haven't lived until you've seen speaking in tongues up close. Or maybe you've just listened to Tony Abbott and Kevin Rudd, and truth to tell, that's close enough.

There are a lot more clues in the statement of faith that this is a school dedicated to the barking mad, as you can read in the School's view of a Christian education:

A Christian Education therefore seeks to educate the “whole” child which involves the arousal of the mind, enlivening the spirit and soul, and the development of the body. This is accomplished through the integration of the Christian World View into the curriculum, policies and practices of the school. We do not see Christian beliefs as something to add on to a secular belief system but rather the starting point from which all areas of the curriculum are developed. It is our desire to engage students in the process of asking the “big questions” and openly seeking the answers to these questions. This is accomplished through an engagement with all that is available within the context of the syllabuses delivered as a mandatory commitment to meeting the requirements of the government and allowing our students to compete with and relate with students in all other types of schools both secular and non-secular. We seek to prepare them to live successfully in the world and at the same time beyond the world, as the Scriptures encourage us “to be in the world but not part of the world.” In doing this we seek to confirm and participate in the “Great Commission” of Christ to “make disciples” of all nations. (here)

That's a Christian World View that believes literally in the bible, Adam and Eve, the Garden of Eden, the flood and Noah's Ark and so on and so forth ...

And so, in an engaged and integrated way, with a hop, skip and a jump, we come to Tony Abbott's sister being a perversion of the natural order and an abominable abomination ...

Now given that Abbott belongs to a church that has exactly the same sorts of prejudices and superstitions, it's hardly surprising he'd want to stand up for his sister, though it does help explain why he flinches a little in the company of gays (apparently without realising the number of gays in the church - greetings to the pond's friendly gay priest lurking in the extended family).

But even so the ducking and weaving was a pathetic sight:

''I respectfully disagree with lots of things that are said on that particular subject and obviously I disagree with that one.'' 
Mr Abbott refused to say whether he was offended on behalf of his gay sister Christine Forster. 

Yes around that time the cock crowed twice or was it thrice, as Abbott called for a bowl of water to wash away the guilt. Or was he just calling for nails for a good crucifixion?

As for the school? Well initially it was defiant:

Mr Abbott announced his education policy from within the school hall, which is used for services of the Imagine Nations Pentecostal church on weekends. 
School principal Bruce Neville said the school’s anti-homosexuality stance was taken directly from the Bible. ''It is in our statement of faith pure and simple.'' 
Mr Neville said the school, which has about 720 students, would not change its views, before he was led away from the media by a minder. 
''We are not considering renewing our statement of faith at the moment,'' Mr Neville said.

For the moment?

It wasn't a very long moment if you read Homosexuality is no longer an abomination, says Penrith Christian School.

The school, a prepatory to Year 12 school in Sydney's western suburbs, forces parents to sign a Statement of Faith before their kids can enrol. 
The statement lists a range of views, including that homosexuality and homosexual acts are ''abomination unto God, a perversion of the natural order and not to be entered into'' as well as statements supporting divine healing and creationism. 
The policy was now under review, according to Christian Schools Australia, which says the wording has been ''misunderstood'' and that gay and lesbian students are treated with care.

In fact, as anyone who's been following knows, such schools have the right to expel students if they are gay - Push to end expulsion of gay students - and they fought to hold on to that right, as you can read in Schools defend right to expel gays.

As for the "misunderstood" wording? Well if you go to the many alternate translations of the bible, "abomination" still scores high as the preferred word.

But let's see if we can change the tone of Leviticus 18:22.

Turns out that Tony Abbott's sister is guilty of a detestable practice, a terrible sin, a hateful sin, disgusting, detestable, God hates that, an enormous sin, abhorrent, and a detestable act.

There, so much better. But remembering that it's okay to dissemble in front of, and to deceive unbelievers (as the midwives deceived the Pharaoh in Exodus and were rewarded by the long absent lord), any changes will be cosmetic.

The fundamentalism will remain the same, intact, and with all the fundamentalist creeds still believed and practised ...

As for the statement of faith, which you have to sign up to, and which Josephine Tovey references in one of her pieces, you have the usual biblical literalism - all scripture is given by inspiration of God and is infallible, inerrantly revealing the will of God and absolutely supreme; and there's the usual superstitious chatter about the Devil, the coming rapture ... and this on the matter of Creation:

We believe that the heavens and the earth and all original life forms, including humanity, were made by the specific immediate creative acts of God as described in the account of origins presented in Genesis, and that all biological changes which have occurred since creation are limited to variation within each species.

And this is a school Abbott contends is a good school?

Out goes Darwin? Out goes geology? Out goes cosmology? And a lot of other 'ologies' when you think through the implications ...

No wonder Abbott is a dunderhead when it comes to science, technology, broadband and all the rest of it, and to their shame, he has Garrett and Gillard and the crew of both the major parties for company ...

As for other matters, like medicine, the statement is as barking mad as Mary Baker Eddy, and it helps explain why vaccines, inoculation and immunisation are out of favour in sundry parts of the community:

In accordance with the teachings of the scriptures, we trust our heavenly Father to protect and heal our bodies from sickness and disease. We believe that divine healing for the body, as with all redemptive blessings of God, has been provided for us by the atoning death and victorious resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ: it is the privilege of all believers and it is appropriated by faith in our heavenly Father’s unfailing promises: Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:3; Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:16-17; Mark 16:17-18; 1 Peter 2:24 and James 5:14-15.

Never mind getting a shot, just say a prayer and she'll be right.

And Abbott thinks this is a good school?

It routinely astonishes the pond that it has come to this, with prejudice, ignorance and superstition funded by the Australian taxpayer, and dressed up as an education, when the very things that have brought good things to the world - science, medicine - are disbelieved or denounced, and people are victimised on the basis of the tribal thinking of goat and camel herders in the middle east thousands of years ago...

And under Abbott, will it get better? No, it's certain to get worse.

His sister better get used to being called a perversion of nature, and an abominable abomination ...

Now there's family values at work ...

(Below: Tony Abbott in Penrith and believe it or not, from the same comic book. Children, beware the Great Snatch!)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Overdosing on compound chocolate of the Abbmurdochracy kind ...

(Above: Tony Abbott goes Wonka)

Certainly not. Absolutely no way ...

Watch two gherkins go around when they affect the pond worse than chalk screeching on blackboard?

The pond did catch a few gobbets, like that dunderhead assuring a sexist questioner that big business would pay for said dunderhead's unseemly largesse, without pausing to consider for a nanosecond who big business might charge to offset the cost ...

But for the rest last night was time well spent with the Gruen mob and the Chaser lads hamstering away, and there was a decent sprinkling of laughs to hand.

And so on.

As usual, however, reality outdid the comedians ...

Now the pond has in recent times been lending a sympathetic ear to the Liberal party's siren song on the folly of shovelling money down the throats of American manufacturers so they can pretend to be the redemption of the Australian manufacturing industry. Look what they did to Detroit ...

The only people who might care about using market forces to arrive at a more responsive and productive local manufacturing base are petrol heads like Tim Bleagh wondering where their next Ford v Holden V 8 showdown will come from, as they drag their knuckles off to the raceway...

The pond has seen the same sort of cargo cult at work in the film industry, with money shovelled down the throat of Disney and any other studio with a large enough scoop bag. ($50 million to subsidise the manufacture of yet another adaptation of 20,000 Leagues? Yep, house of mouse, whatever you want, and while you're at it read Garry Maddox's lickspittle apology for the shakedown, hererunning the multiplier routine like a Hollywood racketeer).

The car follies - a long running song and dance routine - were compounded by the Labor party deciding to crack down on a rort to bolster its revenue, while continuing to offer up a generous subsidy as a way of avoiding what is heading towards the inevitable, with Ford going and Holden almost certain to join them in being gone.

And then, lordy lordy, what should turn up yesterday but this?

10:25am: Mr Abbott has promised a Coalition government would contribute $16 million towards a $66 million upgrade of the Cadbury chocolate factory. This money would allow the once famous factory tours to be offered to the public once again (they were suspended in 2008) which, the Coalition's press release points out, would be good for tourism. Some of the money would also go "towards a trial to grow cocoa tress in northern Australia" as a "first step toward producing a 100 per cent Australian made chocolate bar". Chocolate production would be increased to 70,000 tonnes a year. 
Could this be the first ever chocolate policy? (down the page in Fairfax's Federal Election Live coverage)

Now the pond has a fierce chocolate addiction, but after reading this, any talk of the coalition being rigorous managers of the economy flew out the window.

A cool 16 mill so that punters could do a tour of the Cadbury chocolate factory? It'll bolster tourism?

We're going to grow cocoa in the north so we'll be cocoa secure in the event of a global meltdown and consequent crisis in the supply of chocolate?

Sheesh, it's just a boondoggle, a pork barrel, backscratching, electoral alms, logrolling, snouts in the trough, and while it's a small gesture, it's profoundly indicative of Abbott's attitude to perks ...

The only consolation? Well it sent Chris Berg into a tweeting meltdown, of the kind you get when you melt chocolate for a rich cake (don't forget the cream):

(more Bergian twitter here)

The pond still couldn't believe it, but there it was in the headlines, with headers saying Puns milked as Tony Abbott visits chocolate factory, and generally favourable coverage, along the lines that there would be a $66 million job boost for Cadbury workers.

They need a subsidy to sell chocolate?

Even worse, Abbott made a joke about having never been so close to so much chocolate and not eaten any of it (yes he did and you can read his address to Cadbury chocolate factory workers at his website here).

A double negative from the nattering master of negativity.

Naturally the pond went looking for some rage, even if it was feeble milk chocolate, or wretched compound chocolate of the manufactured Murdochian kind

It seemed an obvious front page, with a Daily Terror artist drawing out the amazing resemblance of Tony Abbott to a Wonka (sometimes you might spell and say that word slightly differently):

Instead the Daily Terror was at its predictable worst, as one-eyed as a Cyclops in a Ray Harryhausen film:

Yes, it was another epic effort from Gemma Jones, working this time in consort with Lanai Scarr - no link, the pond refuses to link to puffery of the pathetic kind, and is there anyone more pathetic than Gemma Jones?

You will remember Gemma Jones ... she featured on Media Watch on Monday ...

Now you might have heard of the banality of evil. Here's the banality of stupidity:

But you want more don't you ...

You want to head off into the land of the truly surreal, you want to go down the rabbit hole with Alice and Gemma ...

Why not spend a little time reading the reptiles at the lizard Oz lathering themselves into a righteous frenzy in Daily Tele to lodge complaints against Media Watch attack (behind the paywall but you know how to google)...

Yes, they're whinging and moaning about not being consulted about being called one-eyed Cyclops indulging in political assassination. And no sooner have they finished moaning about life and Media Watch being unfair, they unleash Gemma Jones and the hounds with an even more pathetic beat-up.

Well you know what they used to say in Tamworth. Crybabies and sissies, and they can dish it out, but they can't take it ...

At the same time, the reptiles at the lizard Oz huffed and puffed about the way British MP Tom Watson had talked to the ABC, but refused to allow himself to be defamed by the reptiles. So they did it anyway:

Mr Watson has not responded to The Australian's attempts to contact him for an interview, either in Australia or in London before travelling here. The Australian has been told several senior News journalists were invited onto the panel on QandA to debate Mr Watson, but they all declined, as did an editor who had been invited to join him with Faine. 
An ABC spokeswoman said: "Like The Australian, the ABC has sought to quiz (Mr Watson) on his views. That has included asking him about the motives behind his visit and his background. It's true we didn't ask him about his weight . . . or the age of his partner. He was, however, appropriately challenged during the interview on relevant matters. The audience can make up its own mind on the ABC's journalistic output. They seem to trust our methods better than they do The Australian's." 
Trioli refused to comment on why she had not asked Mr Watson about his career troubles, which have included well-publicised issues with British law.

Yes that's how rich and righteous and sanctimonious it gets with the lizards of Oz, huffing and puffing about Waston's issues with British law ...

... while working for a corporation which routinely and brazenly broke British law, and the only apparent regret, if we are to trust the words of its chairman, is that it got caught ...

It truly is an evil empire, relentless in its pursuit of enemies around the globe, and the sooner it comes down, the better for all, even the walking dead who currently work for it ...

But you want more, don't you, you want endless absurdities coming at ya from the land of the lizard Oz...

Well you could always read Bernard Salt, who spends an entire column, a huge piece of study and references to the census and statistics and localities, presented in an incredibly earnest and insightful way, to come to a remarkable conclusion in The digital divide is genuine but it is closing slowly ... (behind the paywall because you really don't need to read it).

Here's the take home message as summarised by the pond:

Poor people are less likely to be able to pay for access to the internet, and some poor people haven't hooked up yet.

That's about it. Call it the digital divide and mention that the NBN isn't the problem - you know it's a Roller solution when we should be talking bicycles - and you can get yourself a space amongst the reptiles ...

Waiter, the pond is feeling faint. Some 70% chocolate if you please ...

What's that, you only have heavily subsidised Cadbury shit?

How many blows can the chattering elites withstand?

(Below: the solution for politicians and News Corp hacks inclined to make a mess? As Tony Abbott drops welfarism all over the place?)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Nick Cater, Janet Albrechtsen, cultural cringes and hysteria ...

(Above: speaking of the cinemah)

It's easy to get alarmed by Caterism, which is to say the sight of Nick Cater parading his paranoia to the world.

As a reader noted yesterday, Cater's epic New cultural cringe fears the eyes of the world (behind the paywall to keep you sane) is a splendid feast which lathers up a rabid fear of many things - amongst them the usual elites, academics, and intellectuals who sidle up to cultivated Englishmen, presumably meaning that no-one bothers to sidle up to Cater because he's an uncultivated boor (or should that be boar? Or bore?)

And yet, and yet ...

What happens when you scratch a Pommy bastard? Why you find a cultivated snob of the first water:

The (UN Human Rights) committee is not a court but an eclectic bunch of lawyers and academics from 18 countries. While it would be presumptuous to pass judgment on their expertise, it may be of relevance that it is chaired by a professor from the University of Essex, ranked 31st in The Guardian's league table of British universities.

There you go, said with all the style and élan of a second rate academic sniggering and chortling into his elite caffè latte about a third rate academic trapped in a red brick university (perhaps Cater read Malcolm Bradbury's Eating People Is Wrong).

Anyhow, Cater gets his knickers in a knot about the wretched academics daring to hand over the Commonwealth of Australia to the UN or world government, in a posturing way which is either quite heroic ... or will remind readers of Don Quixote or the Lilliputians taking on the Blefuscudians ...

No doubt Cater has equally firm views on the appropriate end for egg-cutting ...

Let us admire his rhetoric at length, since it's reminiscent of the cheap carry-on you'd expect from someone at the University of Reptiles of the Order of the Lizard Oz, ranked somewhere or perhaps nowwhere in The Guardian's league table of wretched universities producing hacks to fill up bird cage lining:

The University of Sydney's John Keane offers us a glimpse of the alternative in a 2002 paper entitled Cosmocracy. It is not a world government as such but "a conglomeration of interlocking and overlapping sub-state, state and supra-state institutions and multi-dimensional process". 
A cosmocracy would be structured by "macro-governments", supranational institutions that would form the Premier League of world governance, relegating our parochial commonwealth government to the second division and state governments to the third. Keane describes it as a polymerous form of rule, comparing it to a chemical substance composed of many parts. 
It is unclear where the UN Human Rights Committee would sit in this cosmocratic dystopia, but it's a fair bet that its unelected experts would have a lot more clout, and greater powers to bring recalcitrant sovereign states such as Australia to heel. 

Oh dear, crank up the black helicopters, hide under the beds children.

Keane suggests a historical inevitability to this process, that "the passing away of the fiction of the legal sovereignty of territorial states" is only a matter of time. 
 If the good professor is right, then Tony Abbott's launch speech on Sunday shows a leader living in the past, still under the delusion that a government he might lead, elected under our flatly democratic parliamentary system, will be able to make binding decisions for and on behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia. 
Abbott mentioned Australia or Australians 19 times and country 10 times before promising that on day one he would give the directions needed to begin Operation Sovereign Borders.
Yeah? Says who?

Oh it's top notch stuff, really spiffing, no doubt about it, sock pow, take that academic cosmocratic ponce, but the pond is more interested in why people like Cater go all rabid and frothing, and the answer requires you to see the original barking mad movie by the pond's favourite barking mad director, John Milius, who gave the world the first (1984) Red Dawn. (wiki it here).

In its day it was the ultimate "Yeah? Says who? Make my day. Get off my lawn" movie, much better than the 2012 re-make, which substituted the North Koreans working deviant miracles in a way that was too preposterous even for the black helicopter mob.

Never mind that Cater had to go back to 2002 for his fix, the black helicopter virus is virulent and potent, especially in its UN world government form, and not just amongst US militia movement types, and routinely the strain breaks out amongst the reptiles at the lizard Oz, and sometimes seeps out in to the wider Murdochian stable (Akker Dakker is particularly prone to infection).

Readers of the pond with no short term memory loss will recall that Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen got on board "Lord" Monckton and the UN and climate change as a way of effecting world government. (you can pond it here).

Emails started arriving telling me about a speech given by Christopher Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, at Bethel University in St Paul, Minnesota, on October 14. Monckton talked about something that no one has talked about in the lead-up to Copenhagen: the text of the draft Copenhagen treaty. 
Even after Monckton’s speech, most of the media has duly ignored the substance of what he said. You don’t need me to find his St Paul address on YouTube. Interviewed on Monday morning by Alan Jones on Sydney radio station 2GB, Monckton warned that the aim of the Copenhagen draft treaty was to set up a transnational government on a scale the world has never before seen. Listening to the interview, my teenage daughters asked me whether this was true.
So I read the draft treaty. The word government appears on page 18. Monckton says: “This is the first time I’ve ever seen any transnational treaty referring to a new body to be set up under that treaty as a government. But it’s the powers that are going to be given to this entirely unelected government that are so frightening.” ...
Monckton became aware of the extraordinary powers to be vested in this new world government only when a friend of his found an obscure UN website and hacked his way through several layers of complications before coming across a document that isn’t even called the draft treaty. It’s called a “note by the secretariat”. The moment he saw it, he went public and said: “Look, this is an outrage ... they have kept the sheer scope of this treaty quiet.” 
Monckton says the aim of this new government is to have power to directly intervene in the financial, economic, tax and environmental affairs of all the nations that sign the Copenhagen treaty. 

And so on and on. Barking mad stuff delivered before Dame Slap slowly came to realise that Monckton was barking mad ... she's a little slow you know ...

Now the pond has to report with some disappointment that this was back in December 2009 and the progress towards the UN imposing a new world government has been painfully slow, and as a result the pond has fallen on hard times, since the plan to secure a sinecure hasn't come to pass.

Sadly Ambassador Lady Dorothy to the Universal Cosmocratic World Government, principality of Camperdown (affiliated with Hutt River) has failed to materialise...

But it does confirm the pond's conspiracy theory that they put something in the water coolers at News Corp to produce these outbreaks, which are very hard to contain, and sometimes infect vast swathes of Queensland ...

And if nothing else it's a great throw to consider yet another effort by the barking mad Dame Slap, who last week excelled herself by calling the current PM a psychopath, and who in previous weeks has shouted at innocent bystanders asking for directions, because Dame Slap knows that in reality they were planning to introduce a global village, perhaps hosted by that well-known internationalist conspiracist Silvio Rivier.

This week?

Yes already she's getting hysterical about possible future hysteria. Truth to tell, Dame Slap loves hysteria, wants hysteria, because it allows her to deliver an hysterical response.

Sadly the cold-water and reedy pond has a quibble right up the front, as Dame Slap follows the pond and takes to the movies for a metaphor in Get ready for Leftist hysteria if Abbott wins the election... 

There is a reason so many in Hollywood gravitate towards the political Left. Both groups trade in emotion rather than reason and prefer hyperbole over facts. 

This from someone who got into bed with "Lord" Monckton and nattered on about UN conspiracies? Is paranoia an emotion worth trading in? But do go on:

Hence, anyone who has seen the latest Hollywood blockbuster - Elysium - could be forgiven for thinking it was directed by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young with the screenplay by John Pilger and financed by GetUp! Adam Bandt or Scott Ludlam would surely have taken Matt Damon's place as the planet-saving protagonist for a fraction of Damon's exorbitant fee.

Exorbitant fee?

This is of course a classic greenie socialist response. Yep, Dame Slap is showing all the signs of being a pinko commie pervert, in much the same way as Cater exhibited the behaviour of a preening, third rate, bitchy academic.

Damon's fee is the purest expression of capitalism going the rounds, as simple and as pure as the system that turned Chairman Rupert into a billionaire.

He is a superior beagle, the original and some would say, a better beagle, than Ryan Gosling. Damon is one of the few actors who sells tickets, and his fee reflects his capacity to tithe the system. You don't like it, go live in North Korea, as Nick or Dame Slap might say ...

Of course the resentment, the bile, is actually a displacement, a way of having a go at Damon's politics ... and that's just a warm up for the usual dose of hysteria.

And once she hits her stride, Dame Slap embarks on an epic rant about refugees ...

Now the pond will leave that to those who love to band their head on words, but here's a taster, a trailer, to reassure you that it's full of the standard posturing ...

Hannie Rayson penned The Two Brothers, a play whose wicked main character is based on ex-immigration minister Philip Ruddock. As Keith Windschuttle recalled, in packed theatres in Sydney and Melbourne a mention on stage of Philip Adams scored a predictable cheer while a reference to Alan Jones earned a predictable groan. David Marr wrote tomes about the evil Howard era and filled ABC airwaves with claims that Australians "feared" refugees. Never mind that having a concern about people-smugglers dictating immigration policy has nothing to do with fearing refugees. Naturally, time-rich academics joined in the hatefest, writing about "xenophobic racism and class during the Howard years" where "the Howard government used racism to sustain its popularity".

Now what, I hear you ask, does Dame Slap have to say about Alan Jones and the Cronulla riots, or Gerard Henderson routinely abusing the Lebanese community, or sundry other outbursts of Hansonism amongst apparently mainstream Liberals, not least Philip Ruddock making an awesome mess of the Haneef matter ...

Why diddly-squat, zip, nada and nihil, or as we used to say in Tamworth, three fifths of fuck all ...

Anyhoo, in what surely is the most bizarre and precautionary campaign - before the election results are in - Dame Slap rants on in a way determined to defend John Howard, and never mind that once upon a time, she demanded that he step down from the leadership. Yes she did ...

Worse, at the very end comes a prediction that the left will indulge in acts of vandalism in the Abbott years and ...

Even more predictable is the left-wing hysteria and hypocrisy that will greet Abbott if he becomes prime minister.

Well the pond can't speak for everyone, but the pond is actually preparing for daily bouts of hysterical laughter.

It's the talk of hypocrisy which has already got the pond going ...

Abbott and his supporters doled out buckets of ditch the witch shit, and then Abbott had the cheek recently to diss Gillard. Yes he did, as you can read in 'Head-banging' Gillard sullied political standards, says Abbott ... (forced video at end of link).

It was all Gillard's fault that he stood under those signs, and opposed everything in sight with relentless gutter-trawling hostility and negativity.

Talk about breathless unimaginable hypocrisy.

And now he's pretending it's all peaches and cream, and now Dr. No is blathering on about restoring trust in government and civility in Parliament ... as if we've all been given a short term memory fix by the Men in Black ...

And Dame Slap talks of left-wing hypocrisy.

What do do? Why laugh in her face, and note that clearly she can believe anything, including conspiracies involving "Lord Monckton", the UN, climate change and world government ...

And laugh in Abbott's face ... for imagining he wipe from the slate and strike from the record his wretched, insulting behaviour over the three years of the minority government, which despite his best endeavours and yearning expectations, served out its term ...

Yes, every time Abbott and co fuck up - and fuck up they will and in abundance given its such a motley discordant mob, with Barners' agrarian socialism jostling up against the desiccated dries and Abbott presiding with a bizarre brand of B. A. Santamaria baby friendly catholic social welfare programs - the pond will have a field day ...

And the hapless wretches at News Corp will have to keep on drinking the kool aid and drumming up the hysteria that sustains their rage ... for what the pond has to confess, might be considered by some, exceptional and exorbitant fees ...

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

When I was a child, I read the tabloids and Gemma Jones ...

It won't surprise anybody to discover the Daily Terror wielding the egg-beater today in another Ruddster beat up ...

Like that frog and the scorpion joke, it's in their nature ...

But what was surprising, even to the pond, who follows the perversity of the Murdochian scorpions with an almost obsessive compulsive perversity, was to see all the sins neatly paraded in Media Watch last night - you can catch up on the episode here. You can even download it as an mp4 election coverage souvenir ...

Paul Barry dared to wonder out loud whether the opinions of a Brisbane make-up artist should have been front and back and middle page news, and one of the handy aspects of the website treatment of the show is that they've put up some pdfs showing off the Terror's ways, as in the Gemma Jones and Jessica Marszalek story titled Ruddbo, with its portrait of Rudd as a crazed Sly Stallone.

Sly Stallone! And they say it wasn't defamatory? Of course Steven Seagal would have been crueller and cleverer - perhaps the Ruddster as a chef in the kitchen of an aircraft carrier - but the Terror really doesn't have much idea of genre flics or genre jokes. Crudity and baseball bats is all the go and the more obvious the better ...

What was more interesting however was the way Barry was willing to finger a few of the players, most notably Gemma Jones, who had a finger in, or a byline on a number of stories:

This is hardly a surprise, nor is it a coincidence that Jones is leading the pack in the Crikey race to the bottom:

The Crikey campaign honour (or is that dishonour?) board, reported by Richard Farmer, behind the paywall here, shows signs of being soft and not being able to keep up, and it's no sure guide, because of the Terror's spreading the egg beater around - today's Chinese fake-out eggbeater, for example, belongs to Lanai Scarr and Sarah Michael.

Nevertheless, certain techniques emerge, and one of them is relentless repetition, with a front page story picked up elsewhere in the rag and then given a going over by the rabid musings of the in-house commentariat pack, which can see the foam and the frothing spread from a Miranda the Devine to a Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen in a a nano-second.

Here's how it works. You see the pond has already noted that Gemma Jones has some glorious bylines, but perhaps you didn't get the message.

So we'll say it again.

According to Tony Barry and Crikey, Gemma Jones is one of the faces of bias at the Daily Terror:

Now do you get it? Would you buy a used tissue from this woman, let alone a newspaper story?

Oh no doubt she's just doing a job, just following orders, just doing what she's told, showing initiative, but within the instructions issued within the building, and no doubt getting a pat on the back every so often for a job well done.

Hmm, where else was that line about "just following orders" trotted out?

We keed, we keed (and if you don't know about Triumph, the insult comic dog, wiki his keeding here).

In no way, in absolutely no way, is the pond proposing or suggesting that Gemma Jones is comparable to a Nazi war criminal - think of huge amount of fines the pond would have to pay into the Godwin's Law swear jar - in much the same way as it would be absolutely impossible and completely unimaginable for the Daily Terror to reduce the federal political campaign to a pathetic LCD by dressing up the Ruddster as a Nazi in an American sitcom ...

What's that you say? It was Gemma Jones herself, who in company with Simon Benson and Patrick Lion, scribbled the unseemly, pathetic follow up story, Jessica Rudd revealed her delight at Daily Telegraph's 'Thommo's Heroes' front page.

Oh so it is all just keeding. Why a comparison to Nazis just following orders to carry out a Holocaust is all just jolly good fun, a jolly jape amongst chums ...

No doubt we can all look forward to Gemma Jones and the Terror mob running a gloating headline at election's end:

Any chance that we'll see a follow up headline?

Like we lied, we distorted, we exaggerated, we fear mongered, we abused our privileged position in the media, and without regard to consequence and without holding one side in the political game, or their policies to account?

Fat chance. In your dreams.

Remember, everyone's just following orders, dancing to the sounds of their master's voice:

Oh look, really, please be assured the pond is making absolutely no connection between a cute, if somewhat dumb dog, peering into a horn to listen to a Murdochian command on a crackly 78, and Gemma Jones ... none whatsoever ...

But how rich and what fun on Media Watch to see Rupert Murdoch dream of a diverse media designed to prevent a bullying proprietor monstering a community ...

So what to do after the good humoured keeding is over?

Well the pond always admired that great scene in Elmer Gantry, where Burt Lancaster realises he's been living a lie as a hustling preacher man, and he gives it away, and as he does, he quotes Corinthians:

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Put it another way:

When I was a child, I read the tabloids and Gemma Jones, and so I spake as a child and I understood as a child and I thought as a child; but when I became an adult, I put away tabloids, Gemma Jones and other childish things. For then we saw through a tabloid, darkly, but then face to face, the pond came to understand, at least in part, that perhaps it's better to know nothing than to know a tabloid and the scribblings of Gemma Jones...

Remember, if you drop a single dime on any Murdoch product whatsoever anywhere in the world, on television or on tree killers or on digital product clogging up the full to overflowing intertubes, it only eggs them on to do even more egg-beating ...

Meanwhile, in the real world, of real policies affecting real people, Tony Abbott's team have come up with a real doozy, which is to rely on the clubs and gaming industry to develop support and counselling for problem gamblers ....

But why stop there?

The pond has in a bottom drawer a splendid plan for hotels to provide support and counselling for alcoholics, and the tobacco industry to develop withdrawal programs for tobacco addicts.

These could run in tandem ... with addicts invited to have a pony and a quick smoke in the front bar before settling down to discuss ways they might give up the habit.

This could also work with sex addicts, but only if done in a brothel which shouts a free round for the punters ...

Meanwhile, over at Fairfax, the Fairfaxians have started to sound the alarums and make noise and clamour, as you can read in Tim Colebatch's Why We Should Not Trust Tony Abbott.

And Peter Hartcher does his best to do a Chicken Little routine with a pox on both their houses in The truth is yet to bite them, and us ...

Amazingly Hartcher still seems to take himself seriously.

But then in the usual way, what's the featured item, the piece of commentary given the plum splash?

Yes you've guessed it:

It's prattling Polonius. Does Rockford Wines realise how their brand is being ruined by being splashed up against the man who makes desiccated coconut taste like coconut soup? Or is it a cunning move, since after reading Polonius, most people will be feeling like a bottle or three of a decent red?

Anyhoo, purely out of tiredness, the pond is going to do a spoiler. Yes, it's a spoiler alert, because the pond is going to save anyone who cares a huge amount of time. No need to actually read Polonius. He spends an inordinate amount of statistics and data to come to this conclusion, which is no conclusion at all, just his own personal opinion, showing his usual bias and prejudice:

On the available evidence, the true story is that Abbott never had a massive problem with women but Labor has a significant problem with older Australians. (the rest here, if you have a life to waste)

There, done and dusted, and there you go, Gemma Jones, there's your future ...

Lastly, it seems that Australia isn't the only place with a media problem. The pond commends The Onion's Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus' VMA Performance Was Our Top Story This Morning, wherein Meredith Artley, Managing Editor of, purportedly and apparently answers a key question:

Over the years, has become a news website that many people turn to for top-notch reporting. Every day it is visited by millions of people, all of whom rely on “The Worldwide Leader in News”—that’s our slogan—for the most crucial, up-to-date information on current events. So, you may ask, why was this morning’s top story, a spot usually given to the most important foreign or domestic news of the day, headlined “Miley Cyrus Did What???” and accompanied by the subhead “Twerks, stun at VMAs”?

Inter alia, the answer?

I don’t hesitate to call it stupid bullshit because we all know it’s stupid bullshit. We know it and you know it. We also know that you are probably dumb enough, or bored enough, or both, to click on the stupid bullshit anyway, and that you will continue to do so as long as we keep putting it in front of your big, idiot faces. You want to know how many more page views the Miley Cyrus thing got than our article on the wildfires ravaging Yosemite? Like 6 gazillion more. 

That’s on you, not us.

Indeed. Turns out that Meredith Artley and Gemma Jones have a lot in common.

Oh did we mention it?

Gemma Jones, according to Media Watch and Crikey, is the face of bias at the Daily Terror ....

Now here's a great tip, Gemma, free from the pond. Have you thought about doing a story with current Chairman Rudd dressed up as Miley Cyrus?

It's guaranteed to be a bloody gigantic click fest ...

Take it away Gemma ...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Ben Affleck or Paul Sheehan? The pond merely reports and you decide ...

(Above: but the pond will settle for a bankrupt News Corp and Fairfax)

Every so often, the pond wakes with a start, and realises the pond is full of nattering negativity.

That's what happens when the commentariat litters the pages like rabbit droppings, and all that's on offer is pindone.

But there's good reading out there, deserving of praise, too often ignored by the pond. Harper's was on a roll last issue, with a great take down of Algebra purists by Nicholson Baker, in Wrong Answer The case against Algebra II (sorry, paywall limited).

Now don't get the pond wrong. Like Baker, the pond loves geeks and maths, and a world which can deliver the H.265 codec, but you can lead the pond and a horse to maths, and all you'll get is hay.

Maths-intensive education hasn't done much for Russia, as it turns out. But historical counterexamples don't seem to interest the latest generation of crisis-mongers. We've once again gotten ourselves caught up in a strangely self-destructive statistical cold war with other high-achieving countries. The recruits are young teenagers, their ammunition the little bubbles on standardized tests. America's technological future hinges, say the rigorists, on whether our student population can plug-and-chug the binomial theorem better than, say, Korean or Finnish or German or Chinese students. The childishness of this hypernationalistic mentality depresses me, and I want it to end, and I am not alone.

And then Baker was followed by one William T. Vollmann, with his truly bizarre tale, Life as a Terrorist, Uncovering my FBI file, (also behind the paywall), in which he records how he became a Unabomber suspect.

Now Vollmann is more than a passing sharp, sardonic, satirical writer, and he sends the FBI, and its plodding agents up shitless, and it's a joy to read, but what he reveals is about par for the sort of stuff the Stasi indulged in when East Germany was a going concern - the only difference is that Vollmann had to spend money on lawyers to find out what was happening in his FBI file, rather than tearing down a bloody big physical wall.

At some point what was needed was for someone in authority to say this is a useless, completely pointless harassment of an American citizen, but of course, the minute you do that, who knows what might happen ... after all, he is a suspect, has been a suspect, and might well be a suspect in the future ... especially if the sense of constant surveillance succeeds in driving him bonkers ...

Vollmann invokes John Steinbeck, calls out the ratfink who dobbed him in anonymously on the basis of his fiction writing - spying as a form of literary criticism - and dubs the domestic spies Unamericans, a nice play with the idea of "Una".

After the "Una" affair, Vollmann kept on being surveilled and stopped at the border and even got caught up in the anthrax scare...

... I learned that to be suspect, it is enough to have been formerly wrongly suspected.

It's a great read, and Vollmann shows a lot more equanimity than the pond would in similar circumstances ...

And let's not leave out The New Yorker, and Sarah Stillman, who wrote Taken (hurry, outside the paywall at the moment), about civil forfeiture in the United States, and how the police rip off people to feather their own nests, whether the hapless victims are actually guilty of a crime or not.

The piece is now a couple of weeks old, but it's still resonating in the pond's head, because it turns out that Peter Weir's old horror flick The Cars That Ate Paris, foreshadowed the way American police in certain small towns run their business ... like a Mafia shakedown ...

It turns out Weir's small town, which specialised in derailing cars to run a spare parts racket, lacked vision and scope. The American police know how to do a real shakedown ...

But what's the end result of all this reading?

Well it's hard not to conclude that the United States is completely fucked, which brings us back to where we started, the world of the nattering negative naysayers ...

Oh well, at least the pond had some good reading along the way.

Which is more than can be said for any of the domestic garbage presented as reading material this Monday morning in Fairfax, the alleged independent rag ...

Here's the thing the pond doesn't get.

Paul Sheehan is Fairfax's go to head of its commentariat. They let plenty of other talented journalists go in their recent downsizings, but they've kept this embittered, angry old right wing zealot on, frothing and foaming in the usual way, delivering one-way sprays ...

Even worse, when they downsized the fleet, they called on Sheehan to front a couple of columns a week, and even went so far as to stick him in the Sunday tabloid, as if the daily tabloid wasn't enough.

This is a man who celebrated Lord Monckton, fellow travelled with climate denialists, mocked broadband, decried any form of environmental action if it had a green tinge,  routinely fulminates against lazy indulged people, like Celts and Greeks, displaying a nasty ethnic tone in his attitudes,  and then cheerfully writes up his own amazing junkets - junkets in the original and impure sense of the word - and scribbles in the eastern suburbs lord of the manor style worthy of a Colonel Blimp, as if Sir Warwick was still running the show, and so on and so forth ...

Is this what Fairfax means by independence? Rabid right wing zealotry, always given the spotlight, and a place in the sun? Like this morning in the usual way?

Now in the old days this used to be thought of as a clever newspaper strategy for engaging readers.

Get 'em reading, get 'em angry, get 'em involved, get 'em writing furious angry letters to the editor, and you had an engaged dialogue with the readership.

I'm the trouble starter, fuckin' instigator
I'm the fear addicted, danger illustrated ...
I'm the bitch you hated, filth infatuated
Yeah. I'm the pain you tasted, fell intoxicated.
I'm a firestarter, terrific firestarter.
You're the firestarter, twisted firestarter.

And so on. That sort of old-fashioned mid-90s Prodigy rag.

These days most people are likely to walk by, shaking their heads and muttering about how the old tosser is at it again, the senile silly old fart, the wanker beyond the valley of the wankers ...

It's only the pond and like-minded devotees with an interest in sado-masochism and mental torture that care ...

Of course the splash above is typically cute, designed to lure in readers, click bait so that mug punters turn up for the usual Sheehan trolling ...

At first glance, you might think Sheehan's going to spend a few kind words on the government. Silly you ...

Simon Bosch's illustration is the first clue, as subtle as a Ben Affleck Batman meme ...

And then Sheehan proceeds to wield the crayon.

What has the Labor government achieved? Union power, useless training scheme, unsubtle lies, boat people, "madness", professional performers in advertisements, and then quickly to Sheehan doing yet another re-hash of the comments on Facebook of a make-up artist, without Sheehan showing any sign of understanding that make-up is the centre of all gossip and controversy on a film shoot (oh okay, frocks are just as useless, and the art department full of thieves and let's not start on the grips and the gaffers or the way they charge for bulbs) ...

Anyhow it's all the usual stuff, predictable, splenetic, one-eyed, and consequently as dull as ditchwater to read.

If anything, it's even more fellow-travelling and lickspittle Abbott serving than anything the Murdochians could dish up. Akker Dakker would tip his hat in friendly homage, and the Bolter might well sense a rival for his keen sense of hysteria, exaggeration, and chicken little "worst government in all of history" routines ...

So this is how the "independent" Fairfaxians position their commentary in the marketplace? Why it's as different to the Murdochians as apple is to apple pie ...

And then the funniest thing of all? Let's just do a screen cap to place it in proper context, the last par and then the plea:

Pay to read shit?

How much will it cost for the pond just to hit its head with a hammer?

We can do it for free?


And so to a simple message for Fairfax, in the Bart Simpson mode:

The Fairfax The

Just remember to say it in German ...

And now back to that Batman meme, which shows the same depth as a cartoon Sheehan column with cartoon illustrations ...

Second thoughts, at least the Ben Affleck meme has a point:

(Below: meanwhile, over at News Corp)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Time for an index prohibitorum librorum, Anglicani et Pellisti et Vanstoni?

The pond is over the angry Sydney Anglicans.

The very last thing the pond needs is a bunch of Christians praying for Sydney. Don't they realise they're part of the problem, and certainly not the solution?

Sydney would be a nice women's rights and gay-friendly town if it weren't for the angries:

"We pray for our city. Just as Jeremiah encouraged the exiles to pray, we pray for this great city of Sydney and the whole Diocese beyond. We pray that eternal life might be known by people and we pray for you" Dr Davies told the congregation. (here)

Says it all really. Talk about self-image.

Jeremiah and the exiles? Yes, in Jeremiah 29, you get this:

These are the words of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the remaining elders among the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 
This was after King Jeconiah, and the queen mother, the court officials, the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem, the artisans, and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem. 
The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah son of Shaphan and Gemariah son of Hilkiah, whom King Zedekiah of Judah sent to Babylon to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It said: 
Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 
Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. 
Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (here)

Moral of the story?

Well clearly the angries see themselves as exiles and as captives and outcasts, trapped in a corrupt whore of Babylon, surrounded by philistines and heathens.

They're the real alienated outsiders, the genuine crazed loners, but instead of driving taxis, and doing a Travis Bickle, prayer is the way forward ... along with an extensive breeding program ...

Talk about a weird metaphor, talk about a weird view of Sydney and the world, but it gets the new archbishop off to a sprightly start, showing he might just have sipped some of the same strong kool aid that kept the Jensenist heresy alive for years.

Which is more than can be said for Michael Jensen's How does grace change me?

Usually the pond has a little fun with Jensen, but when he starts explaining how Christ is the way out of an addiction to tobacco or food or alcohol, the pond started nodding off.

The miracle is that it actually works as a psychological and practical level. The genius of the recovery programmes like Alcoholics Anonymous is that they trade on a kind of replica of the gospel of grace. They teach that you can’t change without realizing that you can’t change by yourself. And they ask you to commit to utter dependence on a higher power.

Was it an ironic satirical piece? Did Jensen fail to note that the United States, home to the most fervent Christians, is also home to the most fervent addictions?

Clearly Jensen doesn't have the first clue about addictions, since proposing utter dependence to an invisible presence long gone from the world doesn't seem like much of a solution to utter dependence to addictive substances.

Will Christ will save the United States from burgers, and cheesy pizzas, and soda, and cinnamon on doughnuts and anything else you eat and drink, and booze and so on?

Only in Jensen's dreams ...

But it did remind the pond of a recent story in the United States, a follow up to that old story of a bunch of fundamentalists proposing to their flock that they should avoid immunizations, peddling the notion that suchlike activity could be linked to autism.

Up until an outbreak of measles, as you can read in Vaccine-Fearing Texas Megachurch Urges Flock to Immunize After Measles Outbreak, with handy links to delusional thinking, as Terri Copeland Pearsons tried to explain the backflip:

"There are a lot of people that think the Bible -- we talk about walking by faith -- it leaves out things such as, I don't know, people just get strange," she said. "But when you read the Old Testament, you find that it is full of precautionary measures, and it is full of the law." 
 "Why did the Jewish people, why did they not die out during the plague? Because the Bible told them how to be clean, told them how to disinfect, told them there was something contagious," Pearsons continued. "And the interesting thing of it, it wasn't a medical doctor per se who took care of those things, it was the priesthood. It was the ministers, it was those who knew how to take the promises of God as well as the commandments of God to take care of things like disinfection and so forth."

Yes, even when realising they'd done a measles muck-up, and choosing science to save the day, it's the priesthood which knows better.

Well Pearsons surely knows what side her bread is buttered on - the same side as her daddy, Kenneth Copeland, one of those prosperity hot gospelling television hustlers who make out like bandits, and live in luxury ...

It's not much of a step to jump from thinking the long absent lord will cure your addictions to thinking Christ will lead you to riches, and next thing you know you're losing a fortune on a stock exchange crash ...

Oh wait, the pond promised not to talk about the angries.

Truly if the long absent lord hadn't wandered off, not to be heard from again in a few thousand years, he'd be rolling in his grave ...

Speaking of addiction, this just in:
Anglican church a 'drunk man' staggering ever closer to the edge of a cliff, Archbishop says.


Despite everything Michael Jensen proposes? Yes indeed, and you can't get a more schismatic drunken mob than the Sydney Anglicans, but the pond just loves the frock worn by the most rev Justin Welby:

Speaking of frocks, that's a natural throw to the Pellist heresy, and happily, with the week old thoughts of Cardinal Pell in the Sunday Terror in short supply, the ABC has stepped into the breach, and published the thoughts of Pell in The meaning of religious freedom and the future of human rights.

Now you might find it extraordinarily comical and hypocritical to read a Pellist blathering on about freedom and human rights, and this from a mob that right up until recent times - within the lifetime of the pond - ran an Index Librorum Prohibitorum.

And that's before we get on to the way the Church has routinely oppressed - whenever it had the chance, or the power, or the influence - to oppress victims as wide-ranging as Galileo and gays and women ...

But now the shoe is on the other foot, and secularism is let loose on the world, all the fundies - the Pellists, and the Islamics - are always yammering on about human rights and religious freedom, and asserting the right to control contraception and women's bodies and so on and so forth ...

Oh yes, it truly is a marvellous way to spend a Sunday, meditating on the way the Murdochians find space for the mendacity of the Catholic church's most high profile campaigner for the maintenance of oppression ... and so does the ABC ...

There's no need for a rebuttal, just a hint of the flavour:

1. Freedom of religion is not just freedom to go to church on Sundays or pray at home. It also means being free to act on your beliefs in the public square, to speak about them and seek to persuade others. It means not being coerced or bullied into silence by speech-control and equality laws or by accusations of "Homophobe!" "Discrimination!" "Anti-Choice!" or "I'm offended!"

Yes, it's the freedom to be an arrogant, abusive prick in the Pellist manner, carrying on about climate science, gays, same sex marriage, abortion, and contraception, and making sure that nonsense like tolerance for minorities and equality laws should be labelled as bullying and coercion ...

The pond always wondered how the Catholic church should have been able to make such a comfortable bed with the fascists during the Mussolini and Franco days, but if you read Pell's arguments, you get a very good idea ...

What else in relation to matters religious?

Well devout followers of Amanda Vanstone, another ABC personality comedian, will recall her joining with David Burchell last week to bash Richard Dawkins for a mischievous tweet about Islamics. (here)

Oh they were shocked and horrified by the angry atheist.

And yet sadly there wasn't a word about Rupert Murdoch's tweet of the week, because it broke a day too late.

But it'll still be fresh by Monday, so here's the text for Vanstone's show tomorrow.

Compare and contrast this Murdochian tweet  ...

... with Dawkins' tweets ...

The goose should get as good as the gander?

Is Vanstone up to the challenge?

In your ABC dreaming she is ...

Is Burchell, or is he too busy flogging his book?

Why do you ask?