Friday, June 06, 2014

And so to a great uneasiness as big Mal tackles the bullies and much else is ignored ...

(Above: oh dear, so sad, but a snap trending on twitter, so if you're a trendy twitterati, you'll have already felt the twilight of the gods).

What a handy distraction big Mal is providing.

The demented Bolter was at it again yesterday.

No, the pond's not being insulting. The Bolter called himself demented and who's the pond to argue with a demented man revelling in his dementedness?

Yes, it's the evil big Mal being celebrated by Fairfax.

The Bolter did an update to that one to note that big Mal was appearing on the ABC's 7.30, and wondered "what on earth is his game?"

Indeed. But what on earth is the game of that vile parrot, Alan Jones, and the Bolter?

Well The Age provided one basis for speculation:

Oh don't worry about that story about a welfare catastrophe. Oh sure, it might be a catastrophe if you read Welfare groups warn changes will spark catastrophe. 

But hey that story's long gone gone from the digital splash - why it's been up five hours already, so don't you worry about that. Who cares about the troubled, the disempowered and the poor in these difficult times.

And don't you worry about whether East Jerusalem is occupied, and large parts of the west bank as well.

It's in dispute, and so it can't be occupied and a simple change of wording, Humpty Dumpty style, will see you right. Sure, George Brandis is a verbal fop of the most deviant kind, but don't you worry about that.

No, the important story, the only one that matters, is there on the right of The Age: Attacks on Malcolm Turnbull have been linked to a reshuffle of the Abbott ministry.

Wait, fuck the Palestinians, fuck the poor on welfare, the pond has received news of the latest, hottest, breaking story:

Yes, the grand statesman on his grand tour has broken his silence to defend a screeching parrot and a demented blogger: Tony Abbott stands by 'friends' Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones over stoush with Malcolm Turnbull. (forced video at end of link)

Over-excited chatter?  While the statesman meets the Queen? With 'friends' like this, who needs friends?

So can we have an angle from the reptiles at the lizard Oz?

Yes, all the leadership talk initiated by a demented blogger and then a screeching parrot.

Meanwhile, big Mal turned up on the ABC, and all the chatter for most of the tragically limp interview concerned the demented Bolter, the squawking parrot, leadership speculation, and so on and on and on, as you can read here in the transcript, until the badly briefed, chattering Sarah Ferguson finally got around to serving up a Dorothy Dixer to big Mal on the NBN, and then copped this reply:

MALCOM TURNBULL: ... It is very far advanced and it's going very well and the discussions are proceeding very well. But what is - what's really exciting is that the rollout, which has been chaotic, is now starting to stabilise. 
SARAH FERGUSON: But how much is the delay that we're seeing at the moment going to delay the customers - push back the rollout for the customers, 'cause that's what they care about? 
MALCOLM TURNBULL: No, I don't - well, I - no, I don't think it will. We've, we've, we've been - we've factored things in pretty carefully. The NBN Co's fibre-to-the-premises rollout, which is continuing of course, is already past the June 30 target under the Strategic Review, so they're doing very well. I mean, at the time of the election, 78 per cent of the premises that have been passed by fibre did not have any connection, did not have a line connecting them to the system. We've got that number down to just under 60 per cent and it's continuing to fall. So what we're doing is we're going - Labor had - Labor was really doing fibre-to-the-press release. They were running fibre around the place so they could say we've passed all these premises, but they weren't hooking any of them up.

Yes, everything's well in NBN la la land.

Did Ferguson follow up? Did she put the blow torch to the belly and ask, not about what happened under Labor, but what Turnbull was doing to roll out his brand new wonderful tin cans, string and sealing wax NBN?

Of course not, and nobody would know nuttin, unless they happened to read the Australian Financial Review, itself tainted by its relentless campaign against the notion of connectivity and a smart wired country, in NBN hits roll out targets but fails to connect services:

About 118,000 homes and businesses that should be connected to the national broadband network can’t use the service because of defective fibre connections. 
The government-owned company building the network is set to pay ­contractors tens of millions extra to fix the problems and resolve a two-year negotiation stalemate. 
Figures obtained by The Australian Financial Review reveal that more than 118,338 premises counted as covered by the NBN as of last week need millions of dollars of repairs. 
The underground pipes that connect the buildings to fibre cabling on the street are damaged or missing. The problems exist at more than one-third of all existing premises passed by the fibre optic network. Sources close to NBN Co said it would cost more than $100 million to fix the buildings already passed, including up to $40 million in extra fees to contractors. 
NBN Co will use an updated ­corporate plan, due in the middle of this year, to set out a budget and targets to reduce the number of homes which need repairs.

Yes, keep your eye on a screeching parrot and a demented blogger, while forelock tugger meets the Queen and his government goes on with the business of fucking those on welfare, the Palestinians, the NBN, and anything else they can fuck on the sly ...

Not that it matters to the pond, at least so far as the NBN is concerned. They seem to have been focussed on removing asbestos from the Telstra pits in the local area in recent months, but the pond will be long gone before there's fibre within cooee and a diminishing HFC will have to cope with the burden of connectivity.

And yet, the dream remains almost tangible. When the pond hooked up its smart TV, the first thing done was a downloading of an app to the Berlin Philharmoniker and a languorous, mannered Simon Rattle conducting.

Connectivity could change everything and not just the y'artz, but the y'artz is a good example. You could score a 12 month subscription for 149 euros, with over 40 live streams a year and access to over 250 concert recordings (yes, you can, here). And the Bolter could do the same with the Metropolitan Opera if he so desired (yes, he could, either on demand here, or live streaming).

Of course in a fully wired world, there would be ups and downs, winners and losers, brands that prospered and brands that suffered, and no matter what might be said, watching a stream is not the same as experiencing a performance live in the round, perhaps the best hope for the likes of the SSO and Australian Opera.

And this sort of chatter will be dismissed as conspicuous, indulgent consumerism, and nothing to do with productivity, a favourite arguing point for people who lack the imagination to apply a wired world to the way they could do business ... (try telling a cockie on a remote farm how being unwired is good for awareness and business).

But arguments about the NBN - a notion routinely demeaned and denigrated by the Abbott luddites - has been put to one side, as big Mal takes on the bullies.

Yes even the Graudian is on about it at the top of the page:

Of course they're bullies. Petulant, sulking, screeching bullies. How is that news? And Lenore Taylor jumped the shark and nuked the fridge:

Using that logic, it's none of Lenore Taylor's business that it's none of Alan Jones business ...

Meanwhile, what's going on in the real world?

What's that? The occupied territories are getting even more occupied? (Israel to build 1,500 more homes in settlements).

Quick where's George and his verbal wand ...

Ah the art of doublespeak, doublethink and doubletalk. Where would the world be without Brandis?

In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of the political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, "I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so." Probably, therefore, he will say something like this: 
 "While freely conceding that the Soviet regime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigors which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement." (as always, more Orwell here)

Indeed. Or these days we might say this:

"The description of East Jerusalem as 'occupied' East Jerusalem is a term freighted with pejorative implications which is neither appropriate nor useful," Brandis told a Senate estimates hearing. "It should not and will not be the practice of the Australian government to describe areas of negotiation in such judgmental language." 
Brandis sparked a heated debate the previous evening when he stated that no Australian government of either political persuasion "acknowledges or accepts" the use of the word occupied. 

There were a few that pointed out how Brandis would have been right at home in Animal Farm or 1984:

A number of senators disagreed, pointing out that Australia had voted in support of UN resolutions in 2011 and 2012 where such language was used to describe the East Jerusalem settlements. Independent senator Nick Xenophon, among other senators, suggested that dropping the term occupied would be a "massive shift" in Australia's foreign policy. Xenophon tried unsuccessfully to determine whether the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade had changed its legal advice to the government on settlements. In line with protocol, the secretary of Dfat, Peter Varghese, did not discuss the department's legal advice before the Senate committee, but did concede the word "occupied" had been used by the government in the past.

So there's the rub. All the interest is in Nero, while the country burns with lies and incompetence and Orwellian mouthings of the most grotesque kind.

What to do? What to do?

Oh, just go with the tide, and celebrate it, along with Pope, and more Pope here.

The immortal Dean Swift!

Curiously David Rowe also mixed his metaphors this morning (and more Rowe here):

Ah well, if taking a view on Eddie Obeid - Our most corrupt politician ever (forced video at end of link) - is being an American puritan conducting a Salem witch trial, then consider the pond a puritan ... at least until we remember that the Sydney Anglicans are kissing cousins to puritanism, and look where that's been getting them lately ... mired in yet another apology.

So there you go, and as Gulliver himself noted, "I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great uneasiness".

Yes, it's not just big Mal suffering ...


  1. Bolt's blog is being bombed with critical comments.

    Wonder how long before he turns off comments, blocks anything critical, or complains about all the nasty cyber-bullies?

    1. I agree Anon. Some of the comments are like shoes aimed at the Boltanoggin.

      I wonder if the Bolthuis has been infiltrated by 'lefties' so revved up by the morning macchiato that they have hurled their Italian loafers at our fearless defender of Free Speech, his own of course?

      But more intriguing is the possibility that Bolt's congregation of blue-tie disciples and blue-overalled admirers are now finding more to admire in Big Clive?

      Tell us Dot. The serpent's tail of comments is twitching. Cast your keen political analyst's gaze upon it.

    2. Mike Carlton has said all that needs to be said about the dolt. All we can do is wait for the ratings of his show on Monday. At least 22 million + Australians already do the right thing ...

  2. I think Malcolm Turnbull is a threat to Alan Jones' proxy prime ministership, which resembles fascism. Will Tony Abbott eventually place a curfew on liberals, who choose to associate with undesirables like Green, and Labor Voters? I've had a 'gutful' of Alan Jones, and his political control and influence. I've had a 'gutful' of Jones, and his cronies, using 2GB "the power (aka bully) station" to buy the votes, of those he calls from Struggle Street. Alan Jones, and his radio station are divisive to Australian psyche. It's bad enough, in Australia, putting up with extremism in religion... but it is even more dangerous in politics. As far as Bolt is concerned, he is nothing but a whining pretentious prat, who needs other bullies to stick up for him. He can't fight his own battles.
    Now if I said to Alan Jones, or Ray Hadley, that I needed a chaff bag to put them in, so I could throw them out to sea...Alan would probably say either, I had been hanging around too long with Roger Rogerson or I needed to be reported to the RSPCA for drowning kittens...and Ray Hadley would get someone to write a song aimed at denigrating me. These are grown men wanting to influence Australia's political decision making.,.please!

    1. The pond can't possibly comment because the pond has never once, despite many years of opportunity, listened to Alan Jones live on radio. There was one occasion, when an errant taxi driver exposed the pond to the possibility of infection, but a quick word - change the station to any other station - averted the risk ...

  3. What's a trifling "occupation" to the lieberals that count, as less of less is more, and more of more is more, and less of more is more or less of more or less less more of less of less of more is more... This could keep them "occupied" for quite some time, no less.. well as it's meant in part to distract us, actually less.

    So how does this gang know which Lieberal donors and lobbyists to heed most?

    Up there and rising surely are rabid zionists and Isreali arms traders. In return for lying doggo on their 18C repeal, Freedom of Speech (Repeal of S. 18C) Bill 2014, unloved by zionist don't-call-it-apartheid zealots, Brandis, after counting on fingers and toes, speaks in the Senate on behalf of Bishop and the gang to claw back further some zionist respect - and arms sales on favourable terms - and donations, don't forget the donations...

    "The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council says the Australian government's decision to no longer use the term "occupied territory" when referring to Israeli settlements is a conscrutive (sic) development and will help rather than hinder a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians" -

    AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM, follow him and the money: (see Colin Rubenstein, Melbourne, under Fellows)

  4. I think everybody is missing the obvious about the leadership speculation- it is really nothing to do with Turnbull, it could have been just as easily Pyne or Bishop getting grilled by Bolt or Jones.
    The thing is both these men have been embarrassed by Abbott's poor performance, particularly since the budget has so far proven unsaleable to their Battlers. It's not a good look to be associated so closely with a tarnished brand like this government.
    So a bit of payback is in order- talk up leadership speculation, apply the heat to Tony.
    You got to remind him that you made him, and you can break him as well. And if you can upset a Wet like Turnbull all the better.
    These are a pair of head kickers and this is to remind Tony that he is their boy.

    1. Spot on GlenH, and I think that also helps explain the comments war in the Bolter's blog noted above. The first one on his ongoing war with big Mal ran:

      Now you know how Malcom Turnbal feels.
      By your logic, going about the allegations is your attempt at keeping this story going.
      You could have just bee quite and it would have died down/sarcasm.
      Apologise to Malcom.

      Never mind the spelling. The Bolter backed Abbott, and Abbott calls him and Jones friends, and they're all stewing in the same juice, so all that's left is to blame white anters and wets for the failure. The desire to mention Mao, Stalin and Hitler and the way they dealt with internal dissidents might be resistible for those who fear Godwin's Law, but not the pond ...

  5. This is a bit old now, but gives a good run down of the incestuous web of various 'think tanks' and industry lobby groups who are setting Abbott's agenda -

    1. Great link.Very concise and informative for a single page.Thanks.
      The red par on the ABC resonated for me . The fact that these weasels were ever allowed to work their way into the ABC, where they have been pissing in the corner of the tent for years now worries me no end.

    2. Yes, Anon, excellent link. Much appreciated.

  6. I see the SMH has reopened the debate on circumcision. Sydney University professor of medicine Brian Morris claims the latest evidence shows the operation is ''equivalent to childhood vaccination'' and it is ''unethical'' not to offer the procedure to all parents as a matter of routine.

    He has written to NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner urging her to lift the ban on elective circumcisions in public hospitals, claiming the cost savings in diseases and adverse medical conditions will be ''massive''.

    What the article fails to mention AT ALL is the value of circumcision at preventing HIV/AIDS in developing countries, which is well-documented.

    WHO says - "There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%. Three randomized controlled trials have shown that male circumcision provided by well trained health professionals in properly equipped settings is safe. WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence."

    Can you make the cut?

    (Disclaimer - I am, and so are my three boys. No complaints from anyone.)

  7. I love that pic of Malcolm in the nursing home.

    It graphically illustrates that he is not hanging around in politics to make small talk.


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