Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Momma said there'd be days like these on the long trip to Planet Janet and the Moon Cater ...

(Above: which is why the pond needs a rocket every day to travel to Planet Janet and the Moon Cater. More Leunig here)

What a cornucopia of riches the pond confronts every day ...

There's Andrew Wilkie calling for the Senate to block supply, because you can never have enough constitutional crises, and there's hapless Denis Napthine (what did happen to that other 'n'?) going through his own little melt-down, thanks to a fundie zealot who did naughty things and now wants every Victorian to suffer with him ...

Meanwhile, Campbell Newman is selling off the farm, and expecting the toads to be ever so grateful.

And then there was poor old Ken Cowley. When the pond caught up on Ken Cowley retreats on News criticism (inside the paywall, or fish and chip wrapping, your choice), thanks to being given a paper thrown away in the Qantas lounge - oh the paper the lounge in a something shocking way to keep up the numbers - it learned that John Hartigan thought the words used by the hapless, financially troubled Ken showed a "corporate revisionist" at work.

Indeed. And perhaps also a lickspittle lackey and running lap dog ...

What a hoot that Marxist notions of revisionism should now be turned to corporate use (and there's more from the Fairfaxians on the Blundstone Avengers going the boot here).

The pressure on the pond to keep is now so great that we barely have time to announce some of the greater insights of our time, like Nick Cater's splendid effort yesterday, Abbott haters put rage before reason (behind the paywall because lizard Oz readers must put money before Murdoch).

Ugly slogans were sometimes used to attack Gillard, but the worst of them could be printed in a family newspaper without being masked by asterisks. 

Because calling a woman someone Bob Brown's bitch, or a deviant witch is just common or garden conversational chit chat in a Caterist household.

Phone camera footage from a May 22 event at Sydney University shows conservative students trying to hold back the doors as a mob tries to force its way in, chanting “Tory scum, here we come”. It is not just the students who find it difficult to state their case without resorting to profanities.

Whereas "Tory scum" is such a profanity, so shocking, so disgusting, that the only thing worse is the protestors suggestion that they have a rich sex life - "here we come" - while slyly hinting that "Tory scum" don't know how to get their rocks off ...

Animosity towards Abbott is a cultural and political paradox that demands an explanation, but you won’t get one from his detractors. They loathe him absolutely, but they have apparently forgotten why. It takes a prime ministerial wink to jog their memories. Julia Gillard too was unpopular and attracted unsavoury protests, but it is hard to remember the word “hate” — one of the bluntest expressions of emotion in the English language — being thrown around so casually.

Indeed, because proposing that a woman be put in a chaff bag and taken far out to sea isn't a sign of "hate". It's just what you need to do when confronted by too many kittens or by evil witches ruining the world.

The pond can't get enough of the Caterists, as the splendid Cater bizarrely spends most of his time seemingly obsessed with the activities of Socialist Alternative students, a socialist rabble that threatens the very fabric of society, in much the same way that bitch witches once did ...

But it's also a handy way of conflating popular opinion - a surge of dislike for Tony Abbott's government and Abbott himself, if the polls are any guide - with a few student activists carrying on in exactly the same way as jolly Joe,  Abbott and others once did (and yes, surely the jury is in on the notion that Abbott was a boofhead student politician of a classic thuggee kind).

Never mind, here's how it's done, as the hapless Caterist keeps worrying about that wink:

Mobilising he masses is easy these days. All it takes is a couple of dozen nut-jobs, a semblance of firm policing, the presence of a television camera and you have what The Sydney Morning Herald likes to call “a wave of popular unrest.” 

Yes, because the polls that show the Abbott government as being deeply unpopular are the work of a couple of dozen nut-jobs ...

“Waves of popular unrest” were once confined to the foreign pages. 

You know, fuzzy wuzzies, though we can't mention fuzzy wuzzies in quite the same way as we once did in England, though the pond is never quite certain how this tragedy came about. Was Dad's Army so bad?

The Abbott regime is now so despised, apparently, that ripples of rebellion are lapping our shores.

Yes there are fuzzy wuzzies in our midst. You can see them on the street, though you'll rarely see them writing opinion pieces for the reptiles at the lizard Oz. Just remember it's got nothing to do with the polls, keep those fuzzy wuzzies front and centre.

 “Senior government ministers are signalling a willingness to compromise on key budget reforms after a wave of popular unrest,” read the Herald’s splash 10 days ago. 
 “A willingness to compromise” is what we used to call negotiating with the Senate, but for the gallery it is just another sign that Tony Abbott is desperate. 

Yes, completely unlike the Gillard government, which in its desire to compromise with all sorts of odd bods, was desperate every day of the week, and really desperate on a Murdoch tabloid Sunday.

This commentary dressed up as news echoes the inkblot test used by psychologist Hermann Rorschach to determine personality. Like those who see dark monsters in a random symmetrical pattern, commentators are predisposed to read into Abbott’s actions whatever they want to see. Once you make up your mind that the current prime minister is morally irredeemable, an insignificant wink is replete with meaning, a post hoc justification for a judgment already formed.

Pitiful, you might be thinking by now, pitiful that the Caterists should be dressed up as commentators, and paraded - with a demand for money - by the reptiles, but wait, you forgot your set of steak knives, because today there's more, and it comes courtesy of Dame Slap with Paternalism a public-free zone (behind the paywall because there's no free lunch or free column to hand at the lizard Oz).

Dame Slap is also obsessed with the Socialist Alternative, and she rises to enormous Edmund Burke-ian (Greg Hunt him here) heights of indignation, because, confronted by Tony Abbott's government, where better to retreat than the eighteenth century, with the voracious peasants howling at women who humbly proposed they eat cake ...

Devotees might recall that Dame Slap was once right on side with Screaming Lord Monckton's suggestion that climate change was just a covert way to introduce the world to a black helicopter UN conspiracy to govern the world.

These days it seems there's a new conspiracy afoot, thanks to Dame Slap seemingly having discovered Ayn Rand all over again:

While Australia is not about to be overrun by a socialist system of government, there is a 21st-century form of tyranny emerging. It is, as David Gadiel from the Centre for Independent Studies said, the tyranny of paternalism. From health and education to human rights, large swaths of social policy are being delegated by parliament to unelected bureaucrats at the expense of democracy. From regulations about swimming pool fences to diktats about the number of pain relief tablets you can buy at a supermarket, here is rule by the anti-democrats. And as the power of bureaucracies expands, our power as citizens shrinks.
This rising paternalism is the antithesis of Edmund Burke’s notion of civil society. Instead of Burke’s little platoons of family and community, woven together by the collective wisdom of people, of experience, of tradition and custom, the new paternalism is a form of mob rule by the claimed wisdom of the political class over the rest of society. 

Eeek, the tyranny of the paternalists and the bureaucrats (now where's that welfare for Rand in her dotage).

Is there any irony in Dame Slap dragooning a politician from the eighteenth century into service against the paternalists, while blathering on about democracy?

As Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said in the aftermath of the EU political earthquake, “Brussels has got too big, too bossy, too interfering.” 
 Cameron is right that the EU must change. But, like those young socialists at the conference in Melbourne, the EU supremos seem fixated on a misconceived mission rather than rediscovering the empowering ideas of Western civilisation, those of liberty and democracy.

But hang on, hang on, if you did do that Greg Hunt, you'd have read this:

Burke was a leading sceptic with respect to democracy. While admitting that theoretically in some cases it might be desirable, he insisted a democratic government in Britain in his day would not only be inept but also oppressive. He opposed democracy for three basic reasons. First, government required a degree of intelligence and breadth of knowledge of the sort that was very uncommon among the common people. Second, he thought that common people had dangerous and angry passions that could be easily aroused by demagogues if they had the vote; he feared the authoritarian impulses that could be empowered by these passions would undermine cherished traditions and established religion, leading to violence and confiscation of property. Third, Burke warned that democracy would tyrannise unpopular minorities who needed the protection of the upper classes.

Indeed, and Burke had reason to fear democracy, as he explained in a speech, thanks to the filthy atheistic perfidious French:

Since the House had been prorogued in the summer much work was done in France. The French had shewn themselves the ablest architects of ruin that had hitherto existed in the world. In that very short space of time they had completely pulled down to the ground, their monarchy; their church; their nobility; their law; their revenue; their army; their navy; their commerce; their arts; and their manufactures...[there was a danger of] an imitation of the excesses of an irrational, unprincipled, proscribing, confiscating, plundering, ferocious, bloody and tyrannical democracy...[in religion] the danger of their example is no longer from intolerance, but from Atheism; a foul, unnatural vice, foe to all the dignity and consolation of mankind; which seems in France, for a long time, to have been embodied into a faction, accredited, and almost avowed.

So what does it mean, that Dame Slap should abuse Socialist Alliance students for being wilfully ignorant of Western civilisation (remember that capital "w") while so traducing what motivated Burke in his own world, in his own time?

Well it's just another flourish of that "golden age" mentality, which invariably on closer inspection, sees that golden age contemplating another golden age - though it has to be said that Burke himself, along with Berkeley, thought this nostalgia a waste of time (as you can discover by reading the Stanford Encyclopedia here).

Other ironies abound - Dame Slap specialises in irony. Once again she takes the long iron to Europe and a "creeping democratic deficit", while also noting that as a result of democratic voting, there has been a voter backlash ...

The trouble of course is that this leads to a remarkable set of convolutions:

Notice how group-think is derided when it reflects thinking at odds with group-thinkers who revere the anti-democratic EU?

Which is right up there with the group-think of the group-thinkers who deride the anti-democratic EU, even when the democratic voting process produces a result which upsets and agitates some in the EU...

The deeper problem is that when you're in power, or one of the coat-tailing elite, like Dame Slap, you really aren't interested in protest of any kind. Suddenly anyone who protests is just part of a rabid alliance of weird student socialists (possibly atheist) ... and anti-Burke-ian to boot ... except Burke didn't think much of populist protests in the French manner and all this jibber jabber about democracy ...

Or some such thing. You have to be part of the aristocratic ruling elite to make any sense of Planet Janet ...

But as usual, the pond has wasted way too much time in Caterist and Dame Slap la la land - feel free to spend as much time there as you like, but remember when stuck in the belly of the beast, the acid can be something fierce.

You see, there are serious moves afoot in the real world, which suggests that the Murdoch propaganda machine is failing in its most important endeavour:

The Lowy Institute and The Climate Institute have both tracked the public’s attitude since it peaked in 2006, after 13 years of drought. This high point was followed by the “world’s first climate change election” in 2007, the global financial crisis, the breaking of the drought, the shattering of bipartisan support for laws that price and limit carbon pollution, and the disappointments of the Copenhagen climate conference.
 Through all of these developments public support for Australian leadership on climate continued to fall. It hit rock bottom during the toxic political battles, debate about “lies” and scare campaigns about price impacts that shrouded the introduction of carbon pricing laws in 2012. Lowy Institute’s poll of February this year continues a rise detected in 2013. Agreement with the fact that global warming is a serious and pressing problem, and that we should be taking steps even if it involves significant costs, has rebounded. For the first time in years climate is a major story coming out of Lowy’s poll of public attitudes to international affairs. 
Almost two thirds of Australians think the federal government should take a leadership role, while only 28 per cent believe we should wait for international consensus – often a proxy for inaction. Just seven per cent think Australia should do nothing. (Concern over climate change heats up)

And the Lowy press release is here.

Oh dear. The Murdochians employ the world's leading climate scientist - and occasional blogger - to explain how all is well, not to mention such leading, top notch expert scientists as Tim Bleagh and Dame Slap, always working hand in glove with top notch experts like Lord Monckton, and where's the gratitude? More idle alarmist chit chat ...

Perhaps they need to spend some quality time with Ian the Potato and brush up on their climate science.

And finally the Murdochians are alarmed and indignant at the capers of the buffoon. No, not at the buffoon, so much as the desire to use the buffoon as a handy club to smite everyone else:

Oh dear,  why surely the buffoon's remarks are exactly the sort that any family newspaper could print.

Or perhaps those dreadful lefties in the sisterhood have found the same club that the commentariat snuck away to in those dreadful bitchy witch years ...

Never mind, that witch is still be given a good drubbing at the Royal Commission. Let's see how we go then with that "still and telling silence" ...

What to do? What to do? Should we all flee the country?

No, no,  let's get back to doing what must be done.

Explaining to the peasants how they've never had it so good, and there's far too much cake on hand for everyone, thanks to evil bureaucrats (and more Wilcox here):


  1. Noooo! Not Ayn Rand again. Surely even the Dame Slap(per) can be serious about the idea that helping people disempowers them. Oh Lordy and Jesus Wept. How the fck can they seriously reconcile their Jesus with the demented ideas of Ms Rand?

    1. Whenever Rand is mentioned, the pond feels obliged to mention how rorting welfare is only exercising correct self-interest:,_but_grabbed_social_security_and_medicare_when_she_needed_them

  2. Peta Credlin is a victim? How much taxpayer money is she receiving to get pregnant. Is it efficient for us to spend so much money helping her have a child.

  3. Bolt gets stuck into Palmer and calls him a disgraceful abusive buffoon. Pot/kettle?

    And Cater is married to Rebecca Weisser, who edits the Oz's cut and paste. Lot's of cosy relationships amongst the loons. Not to mention Credlin/Loughnane.

    I suppose correct breeding is important to maintain pedigree stock.

    1. It goes further. Dame Slap is hooked up with Michael Kroger.

    2. I could refer to my first shocking observation of AI (artificial insemination) on the dairy herd in my youth, but I better not. The Jersey's kept giving high buttermilk and the bull calves - half Angus - were useful for beef. And we didn't have the bother of the bulls bellowing all night long.

      (I suspect there's something metaphorical in there).

    3. Oh dear, but for those who might doubt it, as birds of a feather flock together while the dairy herd gets culled:

  4. So if paternalism is out, why are we having a royal commission into the roof insulation scheme? Can't the "little platoons of family and community, woven together by the collective wisdom of people, of experience, of tradition and custom" look after the sparkies?

  5. I recall the day in question time when an LNP stooge sitting in the Public Gallery screamed at PM Gillard that she was ,
    ' A MOLL '. The smirking silence from Abbott and the entire
    Opposition benches was deafening . Is this the sort of silence
    Dame Slap is referring to ???

  6. Ken Cowley, who ran Murdoch's Australian operations for 27 years, now thinks "The Australian now is pathetic"

  7. Ah, the Socialist Alternative. I'll believe that the ABC isn't biased when they appear as often as the IPA.

  8. To celebrate Brandis' new found interest in IPA ballet, here's the Eurotalent Dance Academy.

  9. I think the French and Saunders Dance Academy is more suited to George's body shape.

  10. So the Slap reckons "there is a 21st-century form of tyranny emerging"? Tyranny tropes are such a preoccupation for those of the randian persuasion, as is quoting Adam Smith out of context. Well, let 'em try this one:

    "All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind." [Smith 2000, p. 444]

    Greed is good climate mapped

    1. Ooops. [Smith quote, and a bloody good read]

    2. Interesting link which saw the pond waste far too much time exploring Persuade Me

  11. The Dolt Report

    1. For stray readers, we should note that's the Roast doing the Dolt and Malcolm Turncoat and the demented and a homage to the loon

  12. Honest women of calibre still make and bear children silently. While men talk righteous policy. Don't they? Juliar G? Gloria X? *wink* Julie B? Peta C? L Ron?


    1. Excellent link. There is more to life than the Dolt, isn't there ... It reminded the pond of the time it paid homage to the master in Ireland, with the exhibition still available online:

  14. Sometimes the tabloids have fun.

    Seems that while Thailand was rocked by a military coup, the Crown Prince Maha and his fun-loving wife Princess Srirasmi were enjoying a lavish topless birthday party - for the beloved pet poodle, Foo Foo.

    Foo Foo had been honoured by the title of Air Chief Marshal. "a former US ambassador in Bangkok told how Princess Srirasmi confided in him during a state dinner that Foo Foo ‘holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal’."

    One difference between Australia and Thailand is that in our country a poodle can only aspire to the rank of Education Minister.

    1. The thought of a topless poodle as Education Minister set the pond aquivering like a jelly in a jelly wrestling contest


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