Saturday, June 14, 2014

So much verdigris on the copper and tarnish on the silver ware, and so little time ...

(Above: and lordy have the home fires been burning and more Rowe here).

On a distant ABC program, not so far away:

TONY JONES: ... we know that Australia does have a history of joining the United States in most of its wars, particularly regional conflicts. What does the ANZUS alliance say exactly, because I presume you would have looked at it very closely as Defence Minister, if the United States gets into any conflict with China? 
DAVID JOHNSTON: Well it doesn't say that; it's about threats to the security of both nations. Now, you know, as I've said, Tony, we will look at the circumstances. We're not going to speculate about matters that are a very long way away from Australia, but we want to commend the parties for resolving matters pursuant to international law and that is very, very important. 
TONY JONES: So just to complete that answer, does the ANZUS alliance commit Australia or not if the United States is in a conflict in our region? 
DAVID JOHNSTON: I don't believe it does. (Lateline, here)

So there you go. While Obama blathers on about dinkum Aussies down foxholes with the Yanks, that prime doofus David Johnston tells the Yanks to go take a walk if they ever get into a conflict in the Pacific region ...

Well the pond is only dutifully paying attention because Tom Switzer said attention should be paid to the doofus, and now attention has been paid - most days the pond would prefer to watch paint dry than listen to Johnston blunder around like an amateur Alexander Downer ...

And it seems that everybody else is like the pond. Nobody could bear listening for the length of time it took to establish that Johnston unilaterally tore up the ANZUS alliance.

How the man stays in the job ... but then you might just as well ask why the poodle Pyne is paid so handsomely to ravage higher education ... why Kevin Andrews is ruining welfare ... and why Abbott persists with a PPL that makes a nonsense of everything jolly Joe Hockey says ...

Inter alia, Switzer also said this:

TOM SWITZER: I think the lesson is that democracy is not an export commodity, particularly when you're dealing with arbitrarily created states and ethnically and tribally divided societies. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. I mean here's the irony the Americans, the British and let's face it - we went into Iraq and we took out a cigar smoking, 'Sound of Music' loving, secular, brutal tyrant and now the legacy is that we have a bunch of terrorists who are creating a safe haven for a new generation of jihadists. (Lateline, here)

And so the editor of The Spectator down under comes belatedly to curse an entire generation of dumb cluck conservative members of the commentariat and the infinite war mongering folly of the politicians they blindly supported ...

Meanwhile, with the cat away, the mice will play, and as expected, the enormous stupidity of George Brandis has come into play, as a result of doing a Johnston. Yes, that disputed v occupied wording continues to resonate:

...insiders say the Prime Minister was given little choice because to contradict his senior minister and top law officer would have been deeply embarrassing. 

Never mind the ongoing embarrassment. Think of the current embarrassment!

But while the government is hunkering down, arguing no material damage could come from a simple terminology change, the issue is proving incendiary with representatives of embassies from Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia and Iran all attending a meeting with the Department of foreign Affairs and Trade in the aftermath of the announcement. And it is not just Arab states that have a major problem. 
Farmers in Australia are worried about export contracts of wheat to the Middle East and other parts of the Islamic world, and that has the Nationals concerned.  (here)

The best that can be said about the bookcase man is the way it reduced Barners to admitting he was a prime doofus himself:

Mr Joyce says he is happy to speak to people wanting to discuss the issue but it is not an area that is his "field of endeavour".  

"As the Minister for Agriculture I just want to make sure that I concentrate on agriculture," he said. "I will leave all that wondrous stuff on foreign affairs to people on a vastly better pay scale and smarter than I am.  (here)

It's not often you have a minister explaining that he's a dumb cluck on a low pay grade, as a form of defence, but that's Barners for you ...

But then the cat himself says completely ridiculous things while abroad:

You can read the story here if you like (forced video at end of link), along with that attached story Big fall in emissions, but truth to tell, all it reveals is that while abroad Abbott has acted like a serial panderer willing to say anything to please a host.

Yet at the heart of the matter, he's also a liar and a fraud, like most politicians, and his dissembling and crawling to Obama can't disguise where his heart and mind belongs ... off in the oil sands with Stephen Harper.

It's got so bizarre at the northern Quail got so distracted from Campbell Newman doing over the judiciary that Steven Scott felt moved to scribble Tony Abbott's overseas diplomacy a world away from home truths. (forced video at end of link).

Scott felt compelled to note that the great dissembler and pretender said one thing abroad and another to his home audience, including this sort of jolly jape amongst chums:

“We in government, we’re very keen to get tax, aren’t we,” Abbott joked as he chatted to school students. 
It was a curious attempt at humour and one of several moments on Abbott’s longest overseas trip as Prime Minister where there has been a disconnect between his message to domestic and international audiences.

But let's be fair, let's quote the man in full:

(Sound of cameras snapping) 

TONY ABBOTT: You take tax out, we in government, we're very keen to get tax, aren't we? We want lots of tax... (here)

And so it went, with Abbott, hand over heart, revealing himself to be a taxation lover and a devoted greenie conservationist. The pond is reliably informed that the big bad wolf liked to don grannie's clothes and Bugs Bunny was a devoted cross dresser ...

And then there was jolly Joe, stepping out while the cat was away, and getting everyone agitated, including Jacqueline Maley in Joe Hockey did not get away with mentioning the war.

Though Cathy Wilcox put it a little more succinctly:

And sure enough the memes began to flow:

It's got so silly the pond has found it hard to head off to the reptiles at the lizard Oz, for fear of developing sympathy for them.

It's so hard being a hagiographer and a knob polisher in these troubled times, so much verdigris on the copper, so much tarnish on the silver wear ...

Some faint-hearted wimps and wusses have given up on the job:

But that's when the tough get going and step into the kitchen and stare down the fire and the flames:

Oh well played stout hearted lads.

The gatling's jammed, the square is broken and runs red with blood, wot wot, but it's all an astonishing progress around the world for the brave heart PM, and never mind what he calls the head of that bunch of losers off somewhere in Europe ... everyone knows that wogs have funny names and play the wrong sort of football ...

But what's this?

Yes mention of that devoted drinker of the kool aid provides yet another opportunity to link to How I Learnt to Love Tony Abbott A bromance for the ages ...

But truth to tell that bromance could do with a little updating. Let's see what can be found in New vim in Pacific posture (behind the paywall because endless supplies of kool aid is a real burden on the reptile budget) ...

If you watched closely, you could see the tectonic plates of Pacific power shifting ever so slightly this week. The Abbott government made two big international plays. 
First, Tony Abbott concluded with Barack Obama a force posture agreement that will allow the two nations to expand on the arrangement which sees US Marines rotating through Darwin. 
The Marines are not based in Darwin. There are no US bases on Australian soil. If that does happen one day, it will be a further substantial development. But this week’s move was big enough. 
Both Australian and American politicians and officials can claim some credit for the enhanced US military involvement with Australia. 
But from Abbott’s point of view, this represents deep strategic continuity with all that has gone before in Australia’s security policy.

Say what?

TONY JONES: So just to complete that answer, does the ANZUS alliance commit Australia or not if the United States is in a conflict in our region? 
DAVID JOHNSTON: I don't believe it does.

You have to laugh. There's that prime doofus and kool aid drinker carrying on like a pork chop:

... Abbott has also made two other points which the Chinese don’t like so much. Australia wants the US to continue and extend its military, economic and diplomatic presence in Asia, and the US-Australia military alliance is central to that.

And there's Johnston off in denialist la la land without the cock having crowed even twice ...

And then came this Sheridan capper:

The Australian, and Greg Sheridan in particular, who happily ignore stories which don’t fit their ideological bias, didn't feast at all on this bizarre contradiction, and Sheridan in particular celebrated the clunky Johnston as a diplomatic giant off to Tokyo ...

Oh dear, sorry, the NZ subs have got it wrong yet again. That should have read ...

The worst piece of misreporting was a splash on the front page of The Age alleging that Abbott was going to build an international coalition to counter Obama. This is completely untrue. This is not a matter of interpretation. Either Abbott is building a bloc to counter Obama or he is not doing so. Of course, as he and his office confirm, he is not doing so. You will never hear of such a bloc again because no such bloc exists.
The ABC, which happily ignores stories which don’t fit its ideological bias, feasted for a day on this misinformation, reporting it as fact and then getting all the usual suspects to denounce the Abbott government on the basis of factually wrong information. 
That the ABC made no effort to verify this preposterous report ­reflects poorly on its professionalism. The reason for going on about this at some length is that for several days this week, the audience of the ABC and the Fairfax press were denied basic factual information about Australian foreign policy and about what the Prime Minister was actually doing overseas. 
 That’s a pity, because the real story was compelling.

Yes, the real story was compelling. That was the one where everybody from British conservatives to NZ conservatives told Tony Abbott to fuck off, and a disbelieving world refused to accept that Tony Abbott was a conservationist up there with Obama ...

And the more Sheridan squeals about the Fairfaxians and the ABC, the more painfully obvious it becomes that the knob polishers and hagiographers are finding the job really hard ....

BSut you won't read any of that as the kool aid drinkers go about the tedious, never ending job of getting rid of the verdigris and the tarnish ...


  1. Wait a minute - "The Marines are not based in Darwin. There are no US bases on Australian soil."

    But I've seen the yanks in Darwin, and The Oz says there are...

    Not to mention Pine Gap and Exmouth.

    1. Not that i've anything against the yanks. The blokes in Darwin were thoroughly nice people (probably just taken a course in how to be nice to the locals). One even asked my wife for her autograph, thinking she was a genuine Aborigine (she's from PNG, but we felt it would be churlish to disabuse him).

    2. Got to love them individually even if as a tribe they're really gun toting weird

  2. "Cometh the Hour, cometh the Man". ~ Tim Carmody, Chief Horologist, 13 June 2013

    1. "But most of all we need a leader, to lead the entire legal system for the next decade and beyond." ~ Campbell Newman, The Spirit of the Lores.

    2. That clock tested the Turnbull broadband, and it naturally failed, but what a clock.

      Oh and say hello to Joh for the pond. Glad to hear the peanut crop is still up to scratch.



      National calls for Qld A-G Bleijie to resign over over breaches of confidentiality (and next, the promotion by him of his wife from a JR position to Magistrate just prior to his own nepotistic promotion... and on it goes... )

  3. Why do SBS commentators repeatedly refer to Chile as Chilay? We don't call Germany Deutschland or Spain España, or Sweden Sverige, or Switzerland Helvetica.

  4. Queensland has long been a joke on the concept of the separation of powers. Beattie did not help matters by arranging a state funeral for Joh, the Hillbilly Dictator.

    But we would have hoped for better after the Fitxgerald Enquiry. Alas, it is now at least as bad as Joh, and arguably worse in relation to public accountability

  5. Bolt appears a little confused.

    "Just a little something to think about for all the libertarians who demanded detainees go free."

    "ISIS leader was a US detainee"

    According to Wikipedia, Libertarianism (Latin: liber, free) is a classification of political philosophies that uphold liberty as their principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgement."

    Isn't Bolt himself a self-proclaimed 'libertarian' along classic tea party lines?

    Maybe his failure to complete a University education is paying dividends.

    1. You want the Bolter to be intelligent and coherent and use words sensibly ... as well as being the world's leading climate scientist? Now there's ambition, though some might think it a wonderful form of optimism.

  6. Dorothy - just for you, a bit of cannibal and vampirism for this holy day.

    1. Love this song. If not the pond's not mistaken, it was featured in Ellis's The Nostradamus Kid, but let's not fret, even a broken clock and Ellis gets things right a couple of times a day.


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