Friday, May 31, 2013

Time for a Friday plainsong ...

(Above: and if you can't get enough of Dr. Johnson, his dictionary here)

It being Friday, how about a little plainsong, or perhaps a Gregorian chant:

Good old Eddie, mate maaate,
Naughty thirteen year old girl, shocker, shocker,
Good old Eddie, mate maaate,
Solid as a rock, no need to go, mate maaaate,
Thirteen year old girl? Shame, shame, shocker
Good old Eddie,  no need to go, mate maaaaate,
Dinky di Eddie, true blue, mate maaaate
Keeps on bringing in the bucks, great public face
Thirteen year old girl? Shocker, shameful face ...
Remember, we're all apes, now let's go play some footy
Oh yes, we're all apes, now let's go play some footy
Maate maaaaaaaate ...
And have a little flutter ...
Mate maaaaaaate ...

A title for the ditty? How about the ballad of AFL hypocrisy?

Now about that flutter ... here we go, here we go.

You see Tom Waterhouse has got the message and is ever so sorry, and what's more he tells the Daily Terror so in an amazing, astonishing exclusive to be found under the header I'm sorry and I've listened to your message, says bookie Tom Waterhouse (outside the paywall for the moment, but who knows, because it's the paywall that comes and goes like a thief in the night)

Just like Tony Abbott, the sweet dear ... he's listened and he's sorry.

Now Tom in his story plays the Australian card, and lordy, does he lay it on thick, with a gold-plated trowel.

"Australia" gets a mention six times, and it turns out Tom is in a valiant fight against nameless, faceless god-damned, filthy, vile furriners:

My online business is still young and striving to grow and so I have needed to advertise heavily. This is the reality of being a privately owned, proudly Australian company - employing around 100 Australian workers - trying to take on some very big foreign players in an intensively competitive market. 
Because I stand up as the bookmaker, and do not present as a faceless corporation, I also have, somehow, become the public face of the entire Australian gambling industry.

There you go, three Australians dropped in a couple of pars.

Now Samuel Johnson once said that patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, but as with many other things, (Scots and oats), Johnson got it wrong, it's the first refuge of the scoundrel, and so Tom joins the likes of Dick Smith in using cheap blather about dinkum Aussies to try to obtain a commercial advantage ...

And just who are these vile competitors, these dirty rotten scoundrels?

My competitors include offshore giants such as (owned by Paddy Power, UK) and (owned by William Hill, UK) as well as local giants such as the TAB, who enjoy a retail monopoly on racing and sports betting. 
I am taking on the big boys!

Oh brave valiant little Tom, oh filthy, vile perverted pommy bastards ...

And you too TAB, you wretched faceless Aussie bastards ...

It's bad enough that gormless punters, completely unaware of the condition of horses, would drop their loot, but to drop it into the hands of furriners ...

Oh what have we done, what valiant enterprise have we wrecked?

However the public has spoken and you will see less of me on TV. 
I have listened.

Just like sweet Mr. Abbott and never mind that signature on the page. What's a written promise when it comes to listening and being sorry for being caught out?

Well as they used to say in Tamworth, after trying out the batwing doors at the old Nundle pub, left after a Japanese western was shot in the district, don't let the doors hit you in the arse on your way out ...

Now if only it were possible to get rid of other noisy crows cawing away from their chairman Rupert sponsored perch:

Yep, he's at it again. Now how to persuade Gra Gra to do a sulky Tom and go away and sit in silence in the corner? Perhaps he could count the balance in his Swiss bank accounts by just moving his lips?

Meanwhile, here's an exercise in relative news values. 

Here's today's Guardian down under's top digital stories. You know, the ones flung together by perverted filthy fellow travellers with those bloody invading pommy bastards:

Now here's the digital leads prepared by the reptiles for the lizard Oz, which happens to be run by an American bastard:

Now setting aside the meal the lizard Oz is making of the NBN for the activities of Telstra sub-contractors, the most interesting thing here is the treatment of Abbott breaking his pledge. 

Note that it's framed within the context of the coalition pushing for an early poll, and that this story is an EXCLUSIVE.

When in reality truth to tell, the story about Abbott calling a no-confidence motion was given a hearty airing several days ago in Fairfax, as you can read in Abbott too 'frightened' to call no confidence in government. (forced video at end of link).

Back then, Abbott was pinged for doing what he's done since he got to be the opposition leader, which was to get whatever negative routine of the day into print, and never you mind about consequences or follow-up:

Before Parliament broke in late March, the Coalition promised to put a motion of no confidence in the government into the parliamentary schedule for budget week in May, saying it expected the motion would be debated in budget week. 
The Coalition reaffirmed that pledge on May 13, the day before Wayne Swan handed down the budget, as Labor accused him of ''crab walking'' away from repeated threats to move the motion on budget day. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said then that the motion would be introduced in the next sitting fortnight: ''We said we will move a motion of no confidence. We will move a motion of no confidence in this government.'' 
The time frame gives the opposition until June 6, according to the parliamentary sitting schedule, to move its motion. 

It was a nonsense, an idle threat, the negative natter for the day, the ongoing rhetoric to induce a sense of crisis, a bit like the budget emergency that didn't stop both parties from tickling the till.

And in that Fairfax story, Tony Windsor correctly dismissed the gambit for what it was, a rhetorical furphy.

Now, in a bid to give Abbott some credibility in the matter, Poodle Pyne has written to the independents, asking them if they'll support a no-confidence motion.

And so his faithful lap dogs, the lizards of Oz, have trotted out the story as some kind of exclusive angle (Another exclusive? The reptiles piss on the same post as poodle Pyne).

The logic of the poodle is truly wondrous:

He argues supporting a no-confidence motion would be "an unequivocal way for crossbench members of parliament to demonstrate that previous support for the Gillard government had not fundamentally compromised their independence", Mr Pyne said. 

Uh huh. After years being berated by the Poodle and the rest of the Liberal pack for being lickspittle lackeys of the Gillard government, suddenly the independents would leap forth into the world, fundamentally cleansed and fundamentally uncompromised.

No wonder the Poodle's voters believe Father Christams's off-duty job is to play the Easter bunny:

"Independents could support a no-confidence motion on the basis that the government and the Prime Minister have not shown consistent good faith in its dealings with MPs and others," he writes. 
 "Should a no-confidence motion be successful, the Prime Minister would be duty-bound to advise the Governor-General that she no longer has the confidence of the House of Representatives and advise an election at the earliest convenient date."

It's a rich fantasy, but there it is, all faithfully regurgitated and set down in the lizard Oz, and labelled an exclusive to boot.

When the truth is a lot simpler. You can't abuse people all the time, and then deliver this sort of backflip, at least if you're not Tony Abbott caught with his paw in the very same till being tickled in secret with the equally furtive and secretive Labor party ...

Abbott is congenitally negative and incapable of lying in bed straight, and the talk of a no-confidence motion was just more of the same, and to see the lizards at the Oz dress all this up says all you need to know about the bias in the way they go about their business ...

And now it's come to the pond's attention that we have inadvertently vilified pommy bastards, bastards in general - there's nothing wrong with that in this day and age - lizards, and reptiles in general, and it was also perhaps a mistake to abuse crows by comparing them to Gra Gra.

The pond attempted to defend a few of the terms ... after all, the pommy bastards in this piece do much better than the lizards at the Oz, and it has been suggested that the term is in fact affectionate, as in Eddie, maaaate, you old bastard, what about that deviant thirteen year old girl, shocking eh, a real shocker ...

But it didn't wash, and now the pond is off for counselling, leaving deep questions open ... should it be spelled pommy or pommie and did the harmless pomegranate play a role?

pom·my or pom·mie  n. pl. pom·mies Australian andNew Zealand 
Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a British person, especially a recent immigrant. [Shortening and alteration of pomegranate, Pummy Grant, alterations of Jimmy Grant, probably rhyming alteration of immigrant.]
pommy n pl -mies (sometimes capital) 
Slang a mildly offensive word used by Australians and New Zealanders for an English person Sometimes shortened to pom [of uncertain origin. Among a number of explanations are: (1) based on a blend of immigrant and pomegranate (alluding to the red cheeks of English immigrants); (2) from the abbreviation POME, Prisoner of Mother England (referring to convicts)
pommy or pommie  also pom, n., pl. pommies also poms.
Usage: This term is usually used with disparaging intent, but sometimes it is merely a term of affectionate abuse. The context will usually show the intent, because the word may be used with various adjectives or in set phrases. —n. (often cap.) Usually Disparaging. (a term used in Australia and New Zealand to refer to a Briton, esp. one who is a recent immigrant.) [1910–15; orig. obscure] (here)

Never mind, the intent is clear, the pond is warming to The Guardian, while the lizard oz will have to entirely rethink what it's about after the September election.

As for the pond, after the counselling, we're off to vote in the early federal election, due August 6th, thanks to Poodle Pyne.

What's that? The pond is as delusional as Pyne? And we have to apologise to poodles as well, because they have much better style and brains than Pyne? 

Okay, let's put it another way. Let's talk of  the cynical backdown currently being peddled by the T-Rex mates of Pyne at the dinosaur Oz ... 

Oh come on, show the pond where there's an extant T-Rex with hurt feelings?

Now forget all this talk of boat people ... let's get that leg-spinner on to the team ... and remember if you cultivate the right sort of skills, the land of Oz is a land of opportunity ...

( Below: the pond goes into a time warp)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Too many bites and all you get is liquorice all sorts ...

(Above: more David Pope here).

Okay, the pond will bite.

If Eddie Maguire isn't a racist, then dialectical analysis allows only one other result. He's a dickhead. But sadly this vilifies dicks and heads, so let's just agree he's a Collingwood supporter.

Okay, the pond will bite.

Is there anything more weird, off-putting, and slightly nauseating than the sight of Tony Abbott shedding crocodile tears over the departure of Martin Ferguson?

Well now you mention it, yes there is. Here's the digital edition of the lizard Oz, and its tree killer version:

Labor lion? A union hack turns into a Labor lion? Are we talking The Wizard of Oz here?

A man of absolutely no distinction, and with the cheek to line up in his farewell speech and blather on about class war rhetoric one more time?

Now you might, being kindly and considerate, call that merely an example of Stockholm syndrome.

As for the pond, the day that a Labor politician leaves the stage deploring the actual class warfare being actually conducted by the likes of American Chairman Rupert, and Gina "two dollars a day is enough for any African" Rinehart will be the time the pond has a fainting fit ...

Okay, the pond will bite.

Was it only on May 16th that Tony Abbott announced that there was a "budget emergency"? And then a couple of weeks later he conspires with the Labor government to tickle the till for the major parties? Lord knows, the Labor government emerges tainted and reeling yet again, but will anyone bother to land a blow on the stench of hypocrisy emanating from Abbott?

Here he is looking sanctimonious, grave and righteous while announcing the emergency (found here):

So what is it? An emergency, or tickle the till time? How the pond looks forward to the day when headlines read Liberal lion leaves the stage ... and yes, we're talking Wizard of Oz ...

It's the Labor party that will wear the pain - way to botch a deal which could have been presented as a reform - but then they didn't think there was a budget emergency, just enough for a little blatant till tickling ...

Okay, the pond will bite.

If there's a budget emergency, why is Tony Abbott prepared to embark on a direct action campaign involving the federal government in a heavy bout of direct expenditure?

Yes Jackie Woods' piece Direct action set to be a Coalition climate headache set the pond to wondering all over again at the responsibility the Murdoch press will bear should the country be confronted by the Abbott follies.

Since Malcolm Turnbull was rolled as leader, the Coalition has worked hard to undermine political and community consensus on climate change and how we deal with it. If they win the election, the consequences of that become their problem.
Creating fear and uncertainty about a toxic tax has worked a treat, but the Coalition may find establishing a credible climate policy alternative is a different ball game. 
Especially if your side can't agree global warming is even happening.

Why did the pond bite? Why didn't someone say that inside the chocolate was some liquorice?

Okay, the pond will bite, but the joke is wearing very thin.

Is there any greater indication of a mind in serious, irreversible decline than Paul "generally grumpy" Sheehan scribbling Presenter gets a roasting as baking turns to bonking, and leaves a bad taste in the mouths of his fans.

The pond doesn't know what to say, and most likely wouldn't say it if it did. It's that damned sourdough bread fixation again, right up there with magic water. Just avert the eyes, and walk on by ...

We'd like to shed a tear about a great and noble mind o'erthrown, but how did that work with the Scarecrow? Or Eddie Maguire ...

Okay, the pond will bite, but this is the last bloody time.

What do you mean, we should all read Elizabeth Farrelly scribbling Wheels turn to what women really want?

She starts off exuding concern about the local heavily subsidised car industry, and decides she might end up buying a VW Tiguan? A hideous CUV manufactured in Germany?

Stop it, there's no way the pond is going to bite again. Even Sideshow Bob reached the end of the rakes in the face routine.

What's that you say? For the sake of symmetry and rounding off, and closure, we should go back to where we started and take in the thoughts of the Bolter?

What's that?

It isn't Eddie's fault, it isn't the hapless 13 year old girl's fault, it's all the fault of the uppity blacks for daring to celebrate in an Indigenous Round of football?

Once again the uppity blacks have ruined the country? It's all the fault of the new racism?

What's that? It's outside the HUN paywall, and free to read, so you too can read this sort of drivel in End this disgrace and get on with the game of footy:

Enough. We are all humans and all apes. We should start seeing each other as individuals, rather than representatives of some "race".

Yes, it's easy enough for that dolt Bolter to say, but sorry, the comedy of seeing him do a Spartacus routine - we are all Spartacus after all - doesn't overcome the sorry sight the man blaming indigenous folk for what happened or for there being an indigenous round.

It seems we must all be white bread of the approved Bolter style. Is there any irony in the Bolter in his previous opinion piece going about the business yet again of demonising boat people? (Labor's great policy disaster revealed to the world). This time it's Africans coming - no, not the white Africans that have filled Perth to the brim, the other Africans - and the usual talk of Sri Lankan killers and Afghan rapists ...

Oh yes, you can take all that mealy mouthed mush about seeing people as individuals, and instead start seeing them as representatives of an invading horde which is about to swamp Australia.

Is there a sorrier sight? Well yes, how about the sight of a self-confessed ape being a leading columnist for the HUN ...

Get the gone, ape, the pond will bite no more ...

(Below: you ought to be ashamed of yourself).

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Foggy days, foggy minds ... the sequel

The great thing about a Sydney fog is that it calms the traffic and teaches the planes a lesson, and for a moment - until the third runway surges back to life - there's a hint of peace.

If only there was a natural fog available for the commentariat, especially the screeching emanating daily from the News Ltd parrots ...

What on earth is the pond to make of this epically banal splash by one Greg Melleuish?

Having children is a fact of nature? Who'd have guessed?

Why Melleuish is right up there with the thoughts of Mao:

Protect the interests of the youth, women and children - provide assistance to young students who cannot afford to continue their studies, help the youth and women to organize in order to participate on an equal footing in all work useful to the war effort and to social progress, ensure freedom of marriage and equality as between men and women, and give young people and children a useful education.... (here)

Though Mao, being inclined to the psychotic, was inclined to change his mind later in life:

Chairman Mao Zedong: Do you want our Chinese women? We can give you ten million. 

U.S. National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: The chairman is improving his offer. 
Mao: We can let them flood your country with disaster and therefore impair your interests. In our country we have too many women, and they have a way of doing things. They give birth to children, and our children are too many.” (here, taken from Harpers)

Never mind, the pond quite lost the Melleuish plot there for a moment, the real point is the way that some conservatives berate government - all aspects of government activity - and then as soon as it comes to women and pregnancy, suddenly there's socialist chit chat about the importance of having children and continuing the line and the benefits of baby bonuses which aren't really middle class welfare and so on and on ...

Yes, it's all there in Children a private and public good (behind the paywall so you need never know).

Oh won't someone think of the mothers and the children, and what do you know, it turns out that these days people can only have children ... with the help of government ... as Melleuish explains in a dispassionate way how distraught he is that the baby bonus has been dismissed as middle class welfare. Why there are even dark Greens - muttering darkly in dark corners as women come and go talking of goo goo - who dare to suggest that having children should be discouraged:

For any dispassionate observer there seems to be an element of madness in all of this. Surely, given that human beings are mortal creatures and will cease to exist as a species if they do not have progeny, one of the primary functions of any government is to ensure that the future generation comes into being and that its mothers are provided with such assistance as they require. If, as Edmund Burke put it, there is a contract existing between the dead, the living and the yet-to-be-born, it is in all our interests to ensure that the "yet-to-be" are actually born.

Uh huh. The very survival of the species is at stake. Sex drive and the nesting drive is no longer enough. Governments must act!

Yep, now it's a primary function of government to ensure breeding takes place. Is it wrong of the pond to propose high intensity breeding farms, heavily subsidised by government? Not quite factory, ersatz free range will do ...

Way back when, of course, Melleuish was one of the prim small government brigade:

From our history, one can discern those liberal principles that should guide Australia in the twenty first century. These include individualism, limited government based on a sound constitutionalism and a positive internationalism that encourages Australians to engage with the world. (here)

Who'd have thunk sound constitutionalism involved splashing the cash because people can't manage a pregnancy without the help of government ...

While we're on the subject of sound constitutionalism, Melleuish offers up this doozy, bemoaning Gonski, and celebrating motherhood:

These priorities reflect in a vivid fashion how politics operates in 21st-century Australia. Children count only when they are linked to a powerful lobby group. Mothers, especially those who do not work, count for very little. Sometimes I tell people that perhaps every Australian should be given the vote at birth, and that the mother should exercise it on behalf of her child until that child turns 18. Many are horrified; this would mean giving extra votes to the wrong sort of person.

Uh huh. This chimes with the pond's notion that it should be given the votes of the mentally impaired.

Enough of this nonsense about one person one vote one value for the vote. The pond will take care of Greg Melleuish's vote, and put it to good use, until he promises to stop this sort of idle blathering as a way of promoting his new book.

Let's face it, he hasn't been blessed in the way Nick Cater was blessed by the parrots squawking in the fog-bound trees ...

Meanwhile Janet "Dame Slap" Albrechtsen also recants regarding the role of government this morning in Zealots forget the epidemics (behind the paywall for public health reasons).

For once the pond agrees with the slapping Albrechtsen dishes out, having seen first hand the damage a polio epidemic can do ...

And what joy it is to see a member of the commentariat affirm a key role for government, and talk of public health, without once mentioning how a baby bonus is vital to secure the future of the species.

Why it turns out there's a public and lordy, lordy, there might even be a society:

Indeed, let's go further still. We have rules that cover just about every facet of our daily lives, from the minimum distance between a sink and a power outlet to 40kmh speed limits around our schools. Yet modern society is too supine to make a clear moral judgment, to say unapologetically that public health requires that parents vaccinate their children. Well, that time has come too.

Indeed. Society ... public health ...

Sorry Ms Thatcher, it seems Albrechtsen is for turning, when it suits ...

Now let's go further still, and let Albrechtsen write a fervent column about the ratbaggery that has since hysteria whipped up around wind farms, which has seen both sides of politics display an unseemly amount of gutlessness in the face of a few spectacularly ill-informed and ill-advised lobbyists doing their worst ...

Meanwhile, the pond awards a special prize to the lizard Oz for maintaining the rage about the NBN and finding yet another angle for fear and loathing and never mind the amount of asbestos to be sighted throughout the inner west and always ready to be disturbed by a tradie treading on the roof or grubbing in the ground:

Why that's front page material surely:

Oh yes, well played.

And now a couple of brief asides.

Things are heating up in Tamworth, and by golly it's fun as Tony Windsor applies the blowtorch to Barnaby "Barners" Joyce by proposing a Gina Rinehart connection, as you can read in the Northern Daily Bleeder, Joyce denies Rhinehart donation. And there are still some sceptics who fail to understand Tamworth is the centre of the universe ...

What fun this sideshow will be in the run up to the election.

And in another universe, the Christian Brothers, having spent more than a million bucks defending an alleged paedophile, have suddenly discovered $1.1 million or so they can spend in private settlements for his victims.

Whatever else it's done, the Victorian inquiry has helped the church to realise the errors of its past ways, as you can read in Church victims win $1m.

Why isn't this on the front page of the lizard Oz, as it is on The Age?

Why because the lizard Oz has NBN axes to grind, and amazingly they manage to drag pink batts into the routine ...

The company's startling admission of sloppy work practices prompted comparisons between the NBN rollout and the Rudd government's disastrous pink-batts scheme, which was beset by botched installations and linked to four deaths and almost 200 house fires before it was dumped.

What's startling is the nakedness of the lizard Oz's obsessions ...

It's one thing to be in favour of safe work practices and the treating of the risks of asbestos with caution (yes the pond had relatives who worked in an asbestos mine near Attunga).

It's one thing to demand safety in a roll out, and then not to complain about delays in the roll out if safety is a concern and a consideration. But it's completely another thing to compare the NBN to pink bloody batts ...

Does the rag really think issues involving asbestos will be avoided by the roll out of Tony Abbott's and big Mal's cheap-arsed version of the NBN? Or that it isn't already an issue in Telstra maintaining its aged asbestos-lined and copper saturated facilities?

Time to retreat to The Guardian and David Marr reporting on Cardinal Pell at that Victorian inquiry, George Pell: everything except his testimony spoke of power.

The down under version is still bedding down - the video accompanying Marr's story is feeble, and it's strange to read an alleged Australian-orientated edition which looks like an identikit of the British format, but at least the pond senses a chance to avoid being sent into a frenzy by the lizard Oz's relentless crusading ...

(Below: sssh, don't mention copper, mention pink batts instead)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Foggy days, foggy minds ...

(Above: at long last The Guardian revealed in Australia).

The grey fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes, 
The grey smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the morning,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap, 
And seeing that it was a soft May morn,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep. (apologies to T. S. Eliot, the original here).

Foggy days, foggy minds, all's well on the pond.

But oh dear sweet absent lord, did The Guardian have to be so parochial, so Victorian ... so gloating about its huge surge in online traffic ... for the launch of its Australian edition ...

Oh wait ... the inner urban elite were looking for the British Guardian, carrying that hideous uk domain extension here.

Oh dear, under the old colonial thumb again.

And worse, what's that weird form of football at the top of the sports pages, sending Victorians into convulsions of fury ... what is this strange idle chatter of Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund? Did someone hire SBS to do the sporting coverage?

Never mind ,.. is that any worse than being fleeced by a hideous multinational media organisation owned by an American and his family?

Poor old Campbell Reid, he of the perpetual trophy, tried to propose that the down-under Guardian was just like an Australian Playboy.

Uh huh, but there is one significant difference, trophy fish man. The tits and arse are free, which is more than can be said for the commentariat T and A on News Ltd ...

Yep, never let it be forgotten that Chairman Rupert stopped being an Australian for a pot of gold. Now the pond might do the same, if only someone cared to part with a reasonable pot of gold ... but still it seems idle to get agitated about the British when a truly weird American tweeter is in charge of a substantial amount of the Australian print media.

By golly, has he been off with the pixies lately in a fine flurry of floozies:

Crazy talk. Deepak Chopra? I mean, come on, re-tweeting Deepak Chopra? That's off the planet, and yet there it is, along with David Cameron and Islamic bashing, and Ray Kelly worshipping? Mad as a march hare, or at least as a meat axe, and yet still with incredible influence ...

Never mind, the pond for the moment remains loyal. Nostalgic, looking backwards to a quickly fading past, because, you see, today is Gerard Henderson day, and that says all you need to know about the essential dullness and tedium of the Fairfax brand.

These days Hendo makes Polonius seem like a livewire activist, and wouldn't you know it, he's just like chairman Rupe, in a foam and froth-flecked frenzy of fear in Civil libertarians not to convincing after murder in London.
Now don't panic folks, all we need is a decent police state, and Mr. Henderson is just the person to arrange it.

Even if the communications data legislation is a snooper's charter, it will not lead to the death of anyone nor will it undermine social harmony in British society. Since some terrorists have effectively declared war on Britain, it stands to reason that the democratically elected government will resort to war-time security. 

Yes, we're at war with Islam, it's a crusade, and we must adopt a war-footing at once. Why who knows even hounds mauling a passing jogger might be Islamic hounds. Put die Hunde under electronic surveillance at once ...

And remember to lock them up and throw away the key ... because they're here, it's happening now ...

Both Walker and Whealy recommend narrowing the definition of terrorism and advocate the repeal of preventative detention without charge for a designated crime. Walker also advocated the cessation of control orders concerning individuals suspected of being likely to commit a terrorist act. 

How could they? Are they completely unaware that the sky is falling, dragged down by a couple of simple-minded nutters? What, oh, what to do ...

So I ran, I ran ... I ran as little Jimmy had run the other day. My only hope was to get away from the Sydney Institute, to get to the highway, to warn the others of what was happening. Wait! (Let him go! They'll never believe him). Help! Help! Wait! Stop! Stop and listen to me! Listen to me! Those people that are coming after me! They're not human! Listen to me! We're in danger! Get out of here! You're in danger! Please! Get out of here! Get moving! They're after all of us! All of us! Listen to me! There isn't a human being left in the Sydney Institute! Stop! Pull over! I need your help! Something terrible's happened! You fools! You're in danger! They're after all of us! Our wives, our children, everyone! They're here already. You're next ... you're next ...

Now normally at this point, the pond would leave our prattling Polonius trapped in the nightmare metaphor of pods from outer space as the red commie pinko pervert menace/strike that/islamic hordes of inhuman fury surround him, fading to the end title as Hendo collapses in a heap of paranoia ...

But what's interesting is that as the prattling Polonius froths and foams, he doesn't just target the usual suspects:

Opposition to the national security legislation - which is supported by Labor and the Coalition, but not the Greens - also has a bipartisan base, of sorts. The civil liberties left have described the existing legislation as, variously, ''ridiculous'' (Rob Stary), ''a knee-jerk reaction'' (Stephen Blanks) and ''a product of hysteria'' (Jessie Blackbourn and Nicola McGarrity). 

Oh the weak-kneed sops. But what's more interesting is that Hendo takes aim at the IPA as well:

Then there is the libertarian right, as embodied in the position adopted by some staff at the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs. For example, Christopher Berg wrote on the ABC's The Drum website on August 14, 2012, that the national security legislation passed by the Howard, Rudd and Gillard governments ''has damaged our legal system''. 
The position of the civil liberties left and the libertarian right invariably looks less plausible after each terrorist attack. 

Yes, the war between the Sydney Institute and the IPA and in particular the Bergians is bubbling along quite nicely.

What do we want? A police state! When do we want it now! Hendo for J. Edgar Hoover's job, and make sure there are plenty of frocks in the wardrobe ...

Meanwhile, was it only coincidence that last night Media Watch discussed the difference between the way the current hysteria has helped promote propaganda rather than public interest, here, followed by a piece on the way the plethora of think and special interest and lobbying tanks refuse to disclose their sources of funding ... while parroting the tunes of likely bird seed providers ... (here).

So is there an upside to the current crop of squawking?

Well Paul 'generally grumpy' Sheehan by also rabbiting on about Islam yesterday, today flushed out Mohamed Abdall, politely pointing out his cherry-picking in Critical opinion of Islam ignores the fundamental truths ...

The piece makes some obvious points, even if the pond reserves the right to call all religions fundamentally silly, but perhaps the most fundamental point is the way that fundamentalists need each other ... whether to demonise others or to cloak themselves in the trappings of surveillance and a police state ...

Everybody's in this game, including Four Corners, which last night devoted a program to cyber warfare, with appropriately sinister doom-laden music, as if spying was a novelty, and as if "cyber" somehow transformed the idea of spying into a whole new digital domain ...

And sadly after each of these exercises, the position of Hendo and the ABC as exponents of democracy invariably look less plausible after each outburst of Chicken Little fear-mongering ...

Fear is the aim of terrorists - has been since the poor old Duke of Sarajevo got knocked off, and long before that - and do the likes of Hendo oblige with ladle-loads of fear ...

(Below: a couple of Tom Tomorrows to gladden the heart of Hendo and sock it to those faint-heated weak-kneed lily-livered clowns blathering on when what Australia needs is drones. Bring on the drones, there ought to be drones).

Monday, May 27, 2013

The pond drones on a little, like an inner urban elitist News Ltd reptile ...

(Above: ye-haw and a shout out to Terry Southern ... if only he were around today).

It's not as if the pond didn't give the Daily Terror's editor fair warning.

Deprived of Miranda the Devine ranting about Islamics and the terror within, the pond immediately raced off to the Devine's blog, and sure enough there was a whiff of the Devine, essence of the Devine so to speak, but this time in the persona of a common gossip and scold, berating Bob Hawke and praising Hazel Hawke in such a way in Hazel Hawke held her dignity to the end that for the first time in many a decade the pond felt a whiff of sympathy for Hawke.

And here's the truly alarming thing, at least for the bean counters at the Terror. We didn't have to learn more, or offer up an email address, or pay a dime. It's like wandering around the ground floor at Myer, getting a whiff of a perfume here, the sweet smell of success and a body lotion there.

And it gets worse. This morning's Daily Terror offering features Tim Blair combining two favourite objects of spleen, the ABC, and Islamics, but if you head off to the Bleagh's blog, you can get all the classic talk of classic lefty blathertalk and climate change denialism and the vile ABC and the general filthiness of Islamics you like. For free.

Shut down the blogs, for the love of the long absent lord, shut down the blogs ... they're ruing your business plan by offering too many free samples.

Because, you see, it gets even worse. For some reason right at this moment the editors of the HUN have decided to make free to the world the Bolter's agitated portrait of Dandenong as a degenerate zone of rioting Islamic ratbags, in Towers of silence instead of honesty.

For free, and just a click away, and revealing it's all the fault of the ABC, SBS and Dreyfus. Islamic terror in Dandenong, all the fault of their ABC!

Oh ABC, that you should be responsible for everything wrong in the world, while the valiant minions of Murdoch, pushing shit up hill, as is their Augean/Sisyphean lot, trying to repair the damage, but losing, losing, and we all cartwheel into anarchy and chaos ...

The truth, for free!

What hope a Daily Terror paywall when the truth resounds throughout the land, a mere free click away?

But wait, because you see, it gets even worse. Right at the moment, while it's still free, Fairfax is offering a free anti-Islamic rant from Paul 'generally grumpy' Sheehan, in Twisting Islam to justify cruelty (yes, you have to endure a forced video for the pleasure)

Now generally grumpy Sheehan is cunning. He knows that if he indulges in just a straight bit of Islamic bashing, he'll get into trouble.

So he tosses in a few caveats, like:

... hundreds of families, mostly Muslim, are also in mourning because of the actions of psychopaths using Islam to justify their bloodlust. 


Most Muslims are peaceful, like most non-Muslims ...

But he can't help himself, cherry picking quotes from the Qu'an urging violence, and going on a rant worthy of any News Ltd hack:

... the Koran groans under the weight of its own contradictions, with entreaties to kindness co-existing with exhortations to merciless war. If the Koran were only a text of peace and mercy, tens of thousands of Muslims could not invoke its verses to engage in violence. Those who gravitate to the wrathful messages of the Koran bring their own pathologies with them, which they then cloak in zealous piety. Apologists argue that those who use the Koran to justify violence are not Islamic. And in the West there is fearfulness to trigger the belligerent victimology that extreme Muslims use to cloak intransigence, separatism and special-pleading.

Now the pond routinely indulges in attacks on fundamentalism, but here's the thing.

It shows grace and consideration to be inclusive. The fundamentalists now in control of Israel for example are doing grave harm to that state, and Christian fundamentalist should always be mentioned in the same breath as Islamic fundamentalism. And where would we be without angry Sydney Anglicans and the Pellists? And lickspittle fellow travellers like Pearson and the Devine?

Naturally Sheehan doesn't even begin to consider such a balanced approach, a most generous pox on all their houses:

The most disturbing aspect of the record of violence of Muslims invoking the name of Islam in violence is that the public record understates, not overstates, the problem. Not included in the log of violent crimes are the outbreaks of civil violence such as the riots that have rocked Stockholm over the past week, where an urban underclass of predominantly Muslim immigrants, refugees and asylum-seekers and their children has erupted in violence, vandalism and attacks on police. You will not find the word ''Muslim'' in media reports.

Indeed. And what you won't find in Australian media reports, especially those emanating from hysterical right wing rat bags, is a debate that has at last got going in the United States, concerning the use of drones.

This to puts the pond in strange company, since it's generally been a flock of Pauls that have taken Obama and the drone campaign to task, as you can read in Rand Paul Responds to Obama's Drone Speech.

Now the pond has a particular dislike of drones, and talk of impersonal surgical technically skilled strikes (or even worse, the monumentally stupid John Kerry saying that the United States only uses drones when kids aren't around as targets, here).

Now if you look at the statistics, as presented in this analysis of the kills in recent years in Pakistan, which proposes that less than 2% since 2004 of the three thousand odd killed are high profile targets, but over 300 kids have somehow strayed into the killing zone (you complete doofus, John Kerry). Here, with links.

In the process, you can read a simple summary explaining why the pond finds the use of drones so disturbing:

"These are people that we're dropping bombs on, and if you really think about putting yourself in their shoes, there's invisible flying robots over their heads, that they can't see, that are dropping missiles around them, that changes their entire society," Grubbs said.

Invisible death from the sky, and what this ongoing use of drones does is legitimise them, such that, when terrorists acquire drones, as they surely will, they will have many examples to justify their use, and few compunctions about using them.

And then as drone terror rains down on the Bolter and perhaps even on Paul Sheehan, who once might have thought he was as safe as a bug in a snug eastern suburbs rug, what a wailing there will be ...

And then we might just borrow Sheehan's words, and only tweak them a little:

... the Bible groans under the weight of its own contradictions, with entreaties to kindness co-existing with exhortations to merciless war on unbelievers ... (Don't believe it? Don't get the pond started).

The most disturbing aspect of the record of violence of Christians, and even socialists born in Kenya invoking the name of  western civilisation and democracy in violence is that the public record understates, not overstates, the problem. Not included in the log of violent crimes are the outbreaks of civil violence such as the routine drone killings that have been conducted in a number of countries over the past year where an urban underclass of predominantly Muslim people suffer impersonal, detached cold-blooded death from the sky. You will not find the words "Christian democratic western civilisation" terrorists in media reports.

Ah well, as the pond's old mate Kurt Vonnegut used to say all the time, so it goes.

When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but that the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is "so it goes.”

Which might make it okay if you're a Tralfamadorian on Tralfamadore ...

Balance, it seems, is only useful when it involves scales measuring the hysteria of local reptiles hacking out their bile ...

(Below: as usual, Tom Tomorrow is in the money).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Not a chance the pond will ever learn more ...

The pond would like to celebrate rather than meditate in this Sunday piece.

First up, has anyone else noticed how the exploding invitation to subscribe to the Daily Terror offers a chance to "learn more"?

It immediately reminded the pond of that great fascist movie - or perhaps to be fair, that great satire on fascism - Starship Troopers, and its invitation to mug punters to know more:

(And if you want to know more about that movie, naturally there's a trailer on YouTube here)

Now the pond is always keen to learn more, so it took a squiz at the Sunday Terror headline pieces.

Truly they were a puzzle:

Tony Abbott has an amazing array of talent, like Poodle Pyne, Bronwyn Bishop, Eric Abetz, Sophie Mirabella, Julie Bishop, Warren Truss, Scott Morrison, Kevin Andrews, George Brandis, Greg Hunt and Barnaby Joyce (oops, where are you Barners?). 

Yet, ecstatic at the talent around him, his office is drunk on power?

No, the pond didn't need to know more ...

And there was Miranda the Devine, front and centre as usual:

Just your average hothead? 

If that's average, where does it leave your average crazed in the street axe or machete murderer? But yes, average it is:

Did the pond feel the need to pay more to know more or to read more?


Reading any average burst of right wing fundamentalist Catholic nonsense is as common as bugs on the intertubes ...

The result? Why it's likely the pond will never learn anything any more.

Well at least until The Guardian starts up, with the news that they're rented premises at 35 Reservoir Street in Surry Hills with room enough for up to 40 journalists, and irony of irony, just around the corner from the inner urban elitists who run the death star known as News Ltd. (The Guardian shacks up in Surry Hills).

But you know it led to a sudden sense of release, almost of ecstatic freedom, and a memory of Woodsworth, far removed from bugs, starship troopers, the death star of News Ltd, the bemuseing world of van Onselen, or the averagely crazy one of the Devine.

Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song! 
 And let the young Lambs bound 
 As to the tabor's sound! 
 We in thought will join your throng, 
 Ye that pipe and ye that play, 
 Ye that through your hearts to-day 
 Feel the gladness of the May! 
 What though the radiance which was once so bright 
 Be now for ever taken from my sight, 
 Though nothing can bring back the hour 
 Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; 
 We will grieve not, rather find 
 Strength in what remains behind; 
 In the primal sympathy 
 Which having been must ever be; 
 In the soothing thoughts that spring 
 Out of human suffering; 
 In the faith that looks through death, 
 In years that bring the philosophic mind. (the rest here)

Why you could use that as a movie title or for a mug. Oh wait ...

About time for another Sunday meditation ...

The pond thought long and hard as to whether it might be a breach of confidence to note that it had access to a recent test screening of Richard Curtis's latest film, About Time.

After all, why would Universal and Working Title be doing a test screening down under, in the antipodes, amongst the gum trees and the koalas, if they didn't think this work in progress had some issues?

Sad to say, it does. There's nothing wrong with the work of the key players - Bill Nighy, Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson all do their best, and it's not McAdams' fault that for the last half of the movie she's required by the plot to keep popping out babies to keep things turning over.

Meanwhile Nighy and Gleeson indulge themselves in a celebration of father-son love which seems a tad out of place in a romcom. And what's worse it's man love of the repressed British kind, so when Gleeson and Nighy build to a kiss, it's a quick hug and an embarrassed peck on the cheek.

Nor is it the cast's fault that the basic premise - the men in the family can time travel back into the past, but not the future, and only as far as the birth of their children, or otherwise things can go horribly wrong - is entirely silly.

It's a Narnia-like premise that sees Gleeson pop out of a wardrobe or some other black spot, after clenching his fists, and he's thereby able to head back to change things around.

It means there's never much tension in the drama - after all a dash to the wardrobe will fix things.

It's a bit like the sight of Spock in trouble in the heart of a volcano ... Spock die, and ruin the franchise? You'd have to be a mug to swallow it ... or the sight of Kirk looking like he's a goner in the magnetic ionic positronic photonic sphere fluctuation orientation device. Or whatever. But by golly it does make you think fondly of Galaxy Quest (Or remind Iron Man in his ever so perfect suit, so invulnerable that the script has to contrive ways to keep him out of it and vulnerable, since krypton belongs to another plot).

Never mind, as a plot McGuffin, the wardrobe and clenched fist routine is so featherweight and illogical, you can be driven mad on the spot just thinking about all the flaws it introduces into the storyline ... and all the easy solutions to tricky bits in the drama that it offers and Curtis too eagerly seizes.

Like what to say about the hero preaching honesty, then not telling his wife about this fundamental male heirloom and using it for manipulative and conniving tricks, all in the aid of getting his selfish way ...

Nor is it the cast's fault that Curtis is inclined, via them, to preach - a couple of times - in the dire third act, about how we should just always look on the bright side of life, and enjoy each day as it comes, and turn our backs on time travel as a solution to the little things that ail us on a daily basis ...

Nor should we brood too much about the way the cast is all so smug and well-off in a terribly naice British way, since all sitcoms rely on that kind of routine, the woman a reader for a terribly interesting and engaging publisher, and the man a lawyer, because, well lawyers are funny but they can be naice and even hug their clients if all has gone well (though he still did look like a bit of a fraudster if you ask the pond).

The family live in a splendid English mansion by the sea in Cornwall, but sssh, not a word about any servants needed to keep the joint running.

At least for balance there's some nice byplay featuring a caustic playwright who's not too caustic but drinks red wine and says 'fuck' every so often, and Richard Cordery doing a forgetful Dickensian uncle - Dickens stands in for W. H. Auden in this version - though the character is so limited, he's mainly there for a few jokes and a mournful final speech.

No, the real problem for this particular romcom is that it isn't very funny, not much com hooked up to the rom, and unfortunately the real problem strikes the hardest in the third act, which isn't very romantic or funny, what with a funeral being involved (and if a viewer, seeking obvious parallels, does a head count, they'll notice only one wedding, done several different ways, with bonus gale, and one funeral, done in quirky style).

To add to the syrupy soggy preachy tone, the music is inclined to the banal and the sentimental (what a pity they didn't use the song deployed in the trailer to introduce a bit of energy).

Now the pond doesn't have a problem with Curtis - after all anyone born in New Zealand has to be celebrated - and has enjoyed several of his past shows, which is why we turned up for the outing. But by end of tale it seemed a bit of a pity that in this case he'd been allowed to direct his own material, and no second pair of hands hadn't been called on to weigh how more might be extracted from the material by way of laughs, and by way of romance, and what to do about the third act, which doesn't have anywhere much to go in terms of romcom.

That's the problem the production house now most likely faces, but the problems are deeply embedded in the script.

There is for example a "meeting cute" inside a totally dark restaurant - the fashionable conceit of eating in "noir" - which probably read well on the page and sounded good in the pitch as a variation on old and tired ways of doing "meetings cute", but in the realisation - pitch black with a clock on the screen to record time lapses - is about as engaging as ... being in a black hole.

When you strip actors of their faces be sure about what you're doing ...

And yet there's nothing that can be done about it now, because well, because you have to have the meeting cute, and any adjustments could only involve fiddling at the edges, not a re-shoot.

The test audience seemed to laugh and enjoy themselves, but the laughs seemed to tail off in the third act, and that's because the show lost its way, and became a weird mix of dad and domcom (that'll be domestic comedy to all those well off middle class types who've moved past romcom).

There are the usual rom montages and some nice jokes, but not enough for the pond ...

Wisely the trailer culls its material from the first third of the show, which offers traditional romcom routines.

Who knows if it will work - that's not the pond's business, nothing to do with the pond - and good luck to all those involved with it.

Nighy as always is reliable and engaging, and Gleeson is clearly and upcoming talent, and already the diligent studio is hard at work building it up, and you can read about the pitch here in Time for Richard Curtis to get back to rom-com roots, and you can see the trailer that's just been released here.

Here not much evolution, not much evolution here ...

(Above: an oldie but a goodie, reminding us all of the hell of high school).

Whenever the pond feels at a loss, it is the United States of America, and not the long absent lord, that provides ...

Come on down, school board of Springboro, Ohio, and take a bow in Springboro, Ohio, District Considers Teaching Creationism in Schools.

In particular, a special tip of the hat to one Jim Rigano for framing the issue the right way:

On Wednesday, Rigano said he sees the revision as “an attempt to ensure we’re not indoctrinating one point of view or another.” 

Yep, science is usually a matter of fanatical indoctrination, and it's really important not to indulge in fanatical indoctrination. Teach the controversy, the pond says, and all will be well.

 “What we’ve done is begin a list,” Rigano added. “We’re pointing out evolution is a controversial issue.” (Creationism debate back in Springboro)

Indeed. Well it might be to assorted mad mullahs and the good folk on the school board of Springboro, Ohio, but amazingly there are other parts of the world that have moved on from the Scopes trial.

Except in the good old USA.

What's amazing is that this snippet came with the main story:

In January, a study of 900 biology teachers done at the University of Minnesota and published in the journal Science found only 28 percent of biology teachers focused entirely on evolution, as recommended by the National Research Council, while 13 percent advocated for creationism and devoted classtime to its study.

And people wonder why the USA is having trouble maintaining a cutting edge in science and technology.

But it does provide an excellent segue, or 'throw' to the Sydney Anglicans, still lurking behind the tragic black front page of their website, and more particularly Michael Jensen, who it seems has decided to leave Moore College to battle the demons on the frontline in Sydney ... as rector of St Mark's Darling Point (and for those who don't know Sydney, rest assured that Darling Point is a viper's nest of materialism and greed, and far more dangerous than anything you've heard about Auburn or Blacktown).

But once again the pond has got off the track - it's so easy to do with the Sydney Anglicans - and the real point of the discussion is Jensen's piece, in which the header points to the very obvious answer, Have evangelicals lost their minds?

Did they have any to lose? Tish boom.

Jensen is agitated - perhaps a little offput by the good folk of Springboro:

Lately, I have noticed a barely concealed hostility towards the intellect creeping into evangelical discourse. 

Uh huh. Jensen immediately proves his point by displaying a barely concealed hostility towards the intellect:

Now of course, intellectual pride is one of the worst forms of pride there is. And in 1 Corinthians 1-3, Paul makes a vigorous attack on the kind of worldly wisdom that fails to see the true gospel as anything but foolishness. It is in that very foolishness that God demonstrates his wisdom; by confounding the wisdom of the world, with its pride in its own insights, and with its self-congratulatory ‘holiness’. 
You don’t have to tell me about this kind of self-preening academic pride: I’ve seen plenty of it first hand, and it is pretty revolting to observe. Especially this is so when it comes to theology in the academy. It is one thing for a historian or a physicist to be intellectually proud, but for a theologian to be marked by such a vice is truly perverse. For one thing, it proves him or her to be an extremely poor theologian, since they understand nothing of the very subject they are trying to study.

Now it takes a special sort of pride to be able to dismiss so much self-preening academic pride, amongst historians and physicists and theologians, and no doubt biologists too ...

And the pride keeps rolling on out:

...what we know from simple observation is that the gospel encounters several plausibility problems in the minds of many Sydney-siders. Sydney-siders are a well-educated and skeptical lot, and they don’t have a lot to gain (they think) from belief in God. People now reaching adulthood are the first generation of post-Sunday School kids. Their unbelief is not even Christian unbelief. It is just unbelief. They simply do not comprehend us when we talk about sin or atonement (for example). Martin Luther’s question ‘where can I find a righteous God?’ is still a vital and basic question for human beings: it is just that our contemporaries couldn’t articulate it if they tried. So it doesn’t make a very effective basis for evangelism, humanly speaking. We just don’t always have the traction we used to have – at least with Anglo-Saxon Aussies.

Oh woe, what's left but for a righteous man to sit in judgment on these wretched, uncomprehending, unbelieving Sydney siders.

But the best bit came with a wag, who asked the obvious question, unanswered at the bottom of the page:

At the risk of seeming anti-intellectual or just plain stupid, can you explain to me what Luther's comment means. I honestly do not understand what he means by ‘where can I find a righteous God?’.

Indeed. What's more, if you google this question and attribute it to Martin Luther, poor old google takes you to only one source (omitted results included for your pleasure):

No, capitalising the "G" in the search doesn't make any difference, but it just goes to show that while you can find plenty of blather by Luther about righteousness and a righteous god, damned if the pond or google can answer the question ...

But no doubt the good folk of Darling Point will soon be wiser about it if they can only forget their atheist, materialistic inclinations ...

But thinking of these wretched prideful sinners does provide a good segue to the Pellists, ignored by the pond these past few weeks, and the week-old thoughts of Cardinal Pell blathering away in the Sunday Terror, this time under the header God Among Us.

Straight up, Pell shows us a flash of intellectual pride:

Is God with us? Was He ever? Or should we say "She" or "It"? Why bother to look for God? 

Now Pell doesn't answer the question, perhaps because She might take a view of prideful men with an inclination to wear frocks:

(Above: holy ferraiolo, Batman).

Instead he's keen to toss around statistics and data like a Greek salad:

More than one fifth of Australians today say they have no religion. A goodly percentage of these irreligious recognize God, the Supreme Being, in some form. 

How does he know this about the irreligious? Well because Pellists are gifted with ESP, the only sure way to decode the meaning of statistics and belief.

Obviously many define themselves explicitly and accurately as atheists, who do not believe in God. Some however are only denying mistaken concepts. God the Father is not human in any sense and certainly not an old man with broad shoulders, large eyebrows and a long beard. God is invisible Spirit, a bit like love, beyond our imagining. As the New Testament says "no one has seen God". (John 1:18) 

Indeed. Could someone please tell the icon and image-loving Catholic church about Luther and we could organise a right royal righteous riot of Iconoclasm.

But this is where it really gets tricky:

In the ancient Roman Empire Christians were sometimes called atheists, because they denied the existence of the numerous pagan gods. There is only one supreme Creator God. 

Which is a great throw, a segue to that old, old routine, most recently run up the flag by Ricky Gervais:

There are possibly 3,000 so-called deities. If we're talking about monotheistic gods, I believe in one less god that you. When they say, "Why don't you believe in God?", I often say, "Which one?"

But do go on:

Jews, Christians and Muslims are monotheists, believers who are described as having faith, which involves making a personal decision to believe. It is not like recognizing that 2 + 2 = 4, but a decision involving both heart and head. 
Any faith which tells us the truth about this life and the next is precious beyond all our reckoning.

Oh dear, not the right time, not the right time at all.

In the intervening week since Pell wrote that inclusive monotheistic line, the fundie Islamics have been sent to the doghouse once again, and with good reason. If their behaviour tells us anything about the truth in this life, it's beyond the ken of the pond.

Naturally it doesn't take long for Pell to get back to incredibly simple-minded imagery of God as Father. She didn't last long, did She?

The Christian response to Divine truth is a decision to accept the one true God as Trinitarian; Father, Son and Holy Spirit; the same God as accepted by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who is explained somewhat differently as the Father of Jesus Christ. 

No doubt with bonus beard and long hair. And yes, it's the same old judgmental clap-trap:

The ancient pagans did not believe their gods were interested in the moral behavior of humans, but the Jewish-Christian God requires us to follow human nature and love God and love one another within the framework of the Ten Commandments. More than this, God will evaluate our performance at the end of our life. 
Some fiercely reject the notion of a Supreme God who will judge human behaviour, rewarding the good and punishing the evil. They don't like facing up to the consequences of their sins. 

Indeed. Which leaves the pond just a little time to note that apart from the disgraceful, appalling behaviour of a couple of alleged Islamics this week, spurred on no doubt by alleged fundie Islamic preachers, locally we also have the sight of humans being forced to judge human behaviour, and it isn't a pleasant sight.

First there's the Anglicans, as in Archbishop's intervention led to the fall of Bishop (may be paywall affected or slow to load), and the same refusal to evaluate performance and care for victims on display in the Catholic church, as shown in Melbourne Catholic Archbishop admits 'awful blight on church'.

Perhaps it's about time for assorted churches to stop talking the talk, and getting with the walk, but in a world where creationism still rears its ugly deluded head, what chance of that ...

(Below: the Chicago Defender 13th June 1975)