Monday, June 23, 2014

Spit out that bubble gum, it's time to kick some ass ...

(Above: and more First Dog here)

Yep, the pond is here to kick ass and chew bubble gum, and it's all out of bubble gum. (know your meme)

So there you go, and here we are:

The Commonwealth Treasury has entered the debate over cigarette sales, publishing previously secret information that shows sales falling since the introduction of graphic health warnings and plain packaging. 
The Treasury collects data on sales per stick in order to levy tobacco excise, but has until now withheld it from publication to protect commercially sensitive information. 
Added to the Health Department's website quietly last week amid debate over the effectiveness of plain packaging, the Treasury data shows 3.4 per cent fewer cigarettes were sold in 2013 than 2012. Plain packaging became mandatory on December 1, 2012. 
The Treasury data is consistent with national accounts data that shows a decline of 0.9 per cent in the amount of tobacco and cigarettes sold between 2012 and 2013. The national accounts show a further slide of 7.6 per cent in the three months to March after the first of a number of big increases in tobacco excise announced late last year. 
The Bureau of Statistics bases the national accounts measure on a survey of households, whereas the Treasury collects information on every stick and pouch of tobacco sold. 
The Treasury data suggests that, adjusted for population growth of 1.7 per cent, the number of sticks sold per person slid about 5 per cent between 2012 and 2013. 
The ABS data has consumption of tobacco the lowest ever recorded. Both measures conflict with industry claims that tobacco sales climbed by 59 million sticks or roll-your-own equivalents in 2013. The claimed 0.3 per cent increase is said to be sourced from data analysis firm InfoView, although the data behind it has not been released.

Thanks Peter Martin and Fairfax, for Plain packaging pushes cigarette sales down and thanks also for this surreal coda:

British American Tobacco spokesman Scott McIntyre said: "Smoking rates have been declining in Australia for a very very long time but since plain packaging the rate of decline has halved. That's what we are arguing." he said.

And what a peculiar argument it is, since it seems to suggest that the death industry is dissatisfied with the reduction in smoking rates. Well there's a simple solution. Give up spreading killer, addictive poison, and perhaps go into something more useful to society, like asbestos or arsenic manufacturing ...

Martin is clearly a kindly soul, because he doesn't name and shame the elephants in the room: the shameless lies, misrepresentations, distortions and untruths published in recent times by the reptiles at the lizard Oz.

And they didn't make their statistical disinformation, errors, lies, distortions and misrepresentations front page news once, they did it a number of times (click to enlarge only if you want to look at their headlines of shame):

It reminds the pond one more time of the complete impotence and uselessness of any attempt to make rags like the reptile Oz conform to truth in their publications.

A follow up to Martin's piece, along with an apology, should feature on tomorrow's front page of the Oz, in the same size and prominence as their previous stories, but don't hold your breath. And in particular don't inhale the toxic smoke emanating from the reptiles. This is as much as you're going to see:

But at least the pond was primed for more craziness, more reptile insouciance and denialism, and sure enough, guess who's first on the rotating splash of digital doom today?

Yes, there's the crazed religious fundamentalist, Maurice "" Newman, peddling the same old same old, all the more piquant when you go to more balanced publications like The Graudian, and read stories like Abbott 'scaremongering' on climate.

Actually that's John Hewson pointing out the bleeding obvious:

On Sunday, Hewson said there should be a comprehensive process of Senate review to ensure the incoming crossbench fully understood the consequences of dismantling policies, implemented in the last parliament, to reduce carbon emissions. 
The science indicated the world’s climate was “pretty close to a tipping point”, he said, and therefore substantial policy action had to be taken, and now, to avoid the dangerous effects of climate change.

And then there was another story, Australians unhappy over Coalition's response to climate change:

The Australian public is deeply unhappy over the government’s response to the challenge of climate change, amid a revival in support for climate science and a strengthening belief that Australia is already feeling the impact of a warming planet, according to new polling. 
The Climate of the Nation poll, conducted by JWS Research among 1,145 adult Australians on behalf of the Climate Institute, found that 70% accepted the mainstream scientific position that climate change is occurring. This is a 10% increase compared to when the same question was asked in the poll in 2012, suggesting a rebounding public belief in the findings of the overwhelming majority of climate scientists. A further 89% said the effects of climate change were already beginning to bite in Australia. 
But while more than half of respondents felt the federal government was the primary body which should address climate change, there was a negative rating of -18 when people were asked to rank the government’s performance.

And so on and so forth. In quite a handy assembly of stories, The Graudian also produced Australians want renewable energy target retained by big margin (yes, that's 72%), and Australians' concern over global warming rebounds.

So here's the deepest irony of all. The reptiles at the lizard Oz have almost daily denounced Clive Palmer as a buffoon and a dummy, a man with not the faintest clue about anything except self-interest.

So what will they scribble when the buffoon and his team joins with the luddite to fuck Australia's response to climate change?

Does the luddite and his kool aid drinking sycophants, hagiographers and forelock tuggers think no one will notice the surreal absurdity?

Do they think trotting out Maurice Newman ad nauseam will settle the punters?

Well you can get around the paywall if you like, to read Australia in danger of being left out in cold over global warming - surely no sensible person would actually pay for the incoherent pleasure - but it is astonishing, if only for its simple-minded cheerleading:

The wheels are starting to fall off the anthropogenic global warming bandwagon. That’s not news, but the public opposition to calls for stronger action on climate change as expressed by Tony Abbott and his counterpart Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is. 
Predictably, it prompted consternation and panic among global warmists. And, no doubt, behind-the-scenes pressure on other world leaders who might follow suit. 
At home, Labor and the Greens went into overdrive, along with the ABC, Fairfax publications and other sympathisers, calling on every source they could (including Al Gore) to depict the two prime ministers as outliers, dinosaurs and “behind-the-scenes laggards”. 
But the world is wearying of catastrophism and is noticing the mounting contrary evidence. Not least, it has observed there has been no global warming since September 1996. 
The world is also suspicious of the constant politicisation of science and the attacks meted out to anyone who dares to question the official line. It is asking how personal abuse and the resort to authority and slogans can substitute for reasoned scientific debate.

Actually the world might be wearying of stupid blinkered businessmen who make stupid blinkered assertions like "there has been no global warming since September 1996".

They might also be wearying of a writer blathering on about suspicions about the constant politicisation of science, while the very same person suspiciously and furiously scribbles a piece which is only notable for the way it indulges in a constant politicisation of science.

It goes without saying that Newman's opinion piece is a science free zone.

It's full of blithe fundamentalism, and a reprehensible distortions and pieces of misinformation, along with the usual hints of manipulated data and conspiracy theories, and Newman rounds it out with this piece of thoroughly silly rhetoric:

Global temperatures have stopped rising. Their future direction is unknown. 
Yet our policymakers proceed as though they do know, disregarding the economic reality forcing country after country to retreat from emission abatement policies less costly than ours. 
Warming or not, Australia is in danger of being left out in the cold.

Warming or not? What a stupid rhetorical flourish.

The future direction is unknown? Can't Newman read himself? What he's saying is that they won't change, it's all a nonsense and a conspiracy.

When your own rhetoric can't catch up with your fundamentalism, you're deep in bubblegum for the mind land.

The bigger question is why the reptiles at the lizard Oz consistently give Newman a platform for his hysterical jeremiads, which repeat the same well-worn tunes over and over again, and then in this case conclude with this disclaimer:

Maurice Newman is chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council. The views expressed here are his own.

You see for all the smokescreens flung up by the hapless Greg "wiki it here" Hunt, Newman represents the real face of the Abbott government when it comes to climate science.

In much the same way as Christian Kerr reflected the real face of the reptiles when it came to running IPA propaganda for big tobacco.

It leaves the pond contemplating an obvious truth.

The Australian is standing on the sidelines denouncing plain paper packaging and celebrating statistics provided by big tobacco. Yet it remains true that if you smoke, you fuck yourself and perhaps those close enough to you to inhale consistently your second hand smoke.

And if you're not content with fucking yourself, if you follow the Newman line, facilitated and celebrated by the reptiles, you're likely to help fuck the planet.

Now let's not talk about Sophie's choice ... just remember, pay money for the Oz, fuck yourself, fuck the planet. Better to stop chewing gum and kick some arse?

Meanwhile, for a change of pace, and a celebration of circus follies, the pond was pleased to hear this line:

"George Brandis couldn't sell lollies to children," he said.
Another said: "Poor old George wouldn't know a live animal if he fell on it."

Oh dear. Lollies? What, not even bubble gum ...?

And there's more here, as Brandis's peers and colleagues contemplate his lack of linguistic dexterity with his idle chatter about occupation:

This has upset some of Senator Brandis's Liberal colleagues, with one MP saying it could have created a debacle of similar proportions to Labor's 2011 decision to ban live cattle exports to Indonesia. 

The MP accused Senator Brandis of "intellectual arrogance", saying he does not spend enough time with normal people and instead operates in a Senate vacuum.

Which brings us full circle. A vacuum packed George "the book case man" Brandis?

He should have his ass kicked for not knowing how to chew or sell bubble gum ...

And so to a Petty cartoon, and more Petty here:


  1. Note that Brandis has refused to release ANY of the thousands of submissions made concerning proposed changes to the RDA even though the Departments own web site said they would be, given permission from the submitters.

    What's he scared of? The amount of backlash against the changes? Or the embarrassment of revealing that some his strongest support comes from the likes of holocaust deniers (Tobin), the anti-vaccine crowd and other assorted conspiracy nuts.

  2. Your topics choice and analogies are singularly appropriate. LBJ once said of Gerry Ford that he couldn't chew gum and scratch his ass at the same time. 'Scratching one's own' is not the same as 'kicking others' but you can see the similarities. Especially when George Brandis gets another feature, because surely he runs a very close parallel to Ford in such matters of dexterity.

    And on the Feisty reptile rag's editor, I came across an interesting parallel while scrolling through old youtubes. I became fascinated by the Bargearse series in the old ABC Late show (which featured another Martin, Tony, doing the voice-overs). There is a scene where Bargearse captures Christopher Skase after a shoot out, apparently motivated by Skase stealing Bargearse's pizza. He burst into speech at the arrest,
    "Listen Skase, you might get away with cheating taxpayers of millions, and of robbing investors. But NOBODY gets away with stealing Bargearse's pizza!"

    I thought the outlook rather similar to Chris Mitchell's, minus a commitment to public good.

  3. What do you make of the face-off between Julie Bishop and Kim Jong-un, DP? Is it a simple case of jealousy over hair-dos? Could we next see a serious competition with footwear? If Julie concedes defeat, will she accept a position as stand-in for Marg Pomerantz?

  4. Dirk - this is obviously the clip for you (even though I know it's his Dad). Maybe it should be remade as a duet with Julie?

  5. Morrison.

  6. A Bolt headline yesterday -

    "On 2GB tonight - explosive revelations I haven’t thought of yet"

    Says is all really.

    1. The pond thought you were taking the piss, pulling a leg, having a joke in the usual dinki di way, but he really did use it to head an entry in his blog. And the funny thing is he probably thought he was being funny or ironic ...

      Beyond the valley of the bizarre ...

    2. Yep, that is the sort of childish showiness that impresses the freedom loving glibertarians who, I have been told by one of them, go to his site to read "challenging" stuff.


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