Before we move on to new business, is there any business arising from the minutes or from the follies of yesterday?
If it please the chair, the pond would like to acknowledge the wonderful splash by Gary Johns in the lizard Oz:
Damn you, damn you to hell Thomas Jefferson, with your fancy airs and your fancy words and your fancy lolcat attracting attention talk of equality!
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed... (and more on that debasing, pinko commie pervert phrase "all men are created equal" here if you do a Greg Hunt).
And while you're at it Benjamin Franklin, wash out your mouth.
Self-evident? Not, it would seem, to Gary Johns.
You see, men might be created equal, but then bright sparks like Gary Johns come along, and that changes everything. As we all know, some are more equal than others! And now time to chow down with the pigs ...
Is there any more business Ms Loon?
Well the pond would also like to acknowledge the splendid contribution of Dame Groan:
Say what? So the entire culture of entitlement must continue, because public servants are already entitled, and now everyone must get their snouts in the troughs, and we can all be fat cats who lean rather than lift and ...
Sorry, the pond just had to celebrate an alleged free market heavy lifter using public service awards and conditions as a justification for berating the naysayers. Does it get any more surreal or topsy turvy?
Order, the meeting must come to order. If the pond spends all its time looking back at the melancholy detritus of the barking mad reptiles furiously scribbling for the lizard Oz, there will simply be no time for new business. Bring on some new business at once please.
Thank you chair, but the pond would respectfully like to point out on the very day that polling showed that Tony Abbott and his government were down the gurgler, both in terms of preferred prime minister and voting intentions, Peter "send in the hounds and let's deny reality while we're at it" Reith, scribbled a story headed Good policy wins while stunts run out of steam, and the Fairfaxians loved it so much they gave it a splendid graphic:
The pond spent hours trying to decode the fun activities children might have with Reith.
Poke out his eyes, stomp on his toes? Or does Reith scribble to prove Johns' point, that some men are dumber than others?
Order, there's simply no point in pointing out how the Fairfaxians continue to ruin their brand by printing toadying remarks from Peter Reith. We must have some new business, because Reith sounds as stale as a month old doughnut not twenty minutes after his thoughts are exposed to the air ...
But if it please the chair, that bit of Reithian arse licking, knob polishing and hagiography was undercut by a splendid David Rowe cartoon this very day:
So all we have is a new cartoon?
Order, we expect that level of brilliance from Rowe, merging a remark by Tony Windsor about the arse-seller, and more Rowe here, and everybody having a non-Reithian field day remembering Abbott's absurd, fraudulent, specious nonsense:
...there's a commitment that I want to give you – there will not be a minority government led by me. There will not be deals done with independents and minor parties under any political movement that I lead. (and he said a lot more, all tidily ordered and presented here)
Order. It's very old news to observe that Tony Abbott is a breaker of promises and a bald-faced liar. Perhaps if he sold his arse, he might simultaneously become more humble and human. He might even get over his fear of homosexuals.
Can we have some fresh news please!
Well if it please the chair, the pond was struck by the story in the AFR, Tobacco companies' $2.2b payday:
Despite warnings by tobacco executives of the threat that plain packaging, graphic health warnings and rising excise duties posed to their earnings, The Australian Financial Review has found profits for the big three Australian tobacco companies more than doubled over the last five years to $2.2 billion.
While on the surface prospects looked grim for the industry because the number of smokers is falling sharply, tobacco companies have increased their net revenue by $1.2 billion since 2008, almost all of which has flowed through to produce a $1.17 billion lift in pre-tax profit.
So all that moaning and whining about brands being damaged, and pirates making out like bandits, and the activities of illegal traders ruining big tobacco, the manufacturers and pedlars of a product that has done way more damage than Zyklon B are still making out like bandits ...
Uh huh. The chair would be inclined to rule that offensive metaphor out of order ... except for the statistic that suggests at least 100 million people died of tobacco-related causes during the twentieth century (or so WHO is quoted as saying here).
Have the reptiles splashed this appalling news on the front page - they being such enthusiastic supporters of Zyklon B manufacturers?
Not that we could see, Monsieur le Chair, but we are pleased to report a variation on Won't someone think of the children, penned by the wondrous Maurice Newman, though in a subtle variation, he titled the piece For the sake of our kids, this budget must pass (behind the paywall because at least the subs were thinking of gouging the children for access to Maurice's thoughts).
In his opening lines, Maurice directly takes up the burden faced by future generations in relation to climate science:
For all the public outcry over the lack of fairness and equity in the budget, scarcely a word is uttered in defence of future generations. It seems today’s parents and grandparents care little for George Washington’s advice: “We should avoid ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burden that we ourselves should bear.”
Indeed. And it's not just that lickspittle companion of Jefferson that gets wheeled out to warn about what we're dumping on future generations, Edmund Burke is also deployed to warn the world about what climate science is telling us:
In his Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke wrote that the real social contract is the partnership between the generations, “not only between those who are living but between those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be born”.
Monsieur le chair, at this point the pond owes everyone an apology, but it was only intended as a jolly jape amongst chums.
Naturally comrade Newman doesn't mention climate science, because if it isn't a fraud, then it's certainly a conspiracy, by fat cat public servants eager to live a life of luxury, and enjoy all the grants along with their lavish PPL funded lifestyles (sound of groaning from Dame Groan from stage right).
No point in worrying about future generations and climate science, not when what's needed right here, right now, is a bit of forelock-tugging alarmism, designed to explain yet again how the poor should shoulder the burden, because let's face it, poor people simply aren't equal.
Now is there anything else before we close the meeting, and go down to the beach to hold back the tides?
Well monsieur le chair, the pond must really insist on drawing readers attention to yesterday's news, and in particular, Mathias Cormann's appearance on 7.30, still available for viewing here. The Cormann hose down came immediately after a report on the very same show, headed Growing calls for a royal commission into the Commonwealth Bank scandal.
Now the pond has already established that it's absolutely fine to piss money against the wall on an inquiry into union matters a couple of decades old, because as shown by Salem the world just loves its witch hunts, but it's absolutely wrong to inquire into a fresh, right here, right now scandal involving thousands hurt and millions purloined. We must be gentle with the big end of town, while roasting the union acorns.
You see monsieur le chair, unless you see Cormann in full denialist flower, the resonance of David Pope's splendid cartoon will be lost (and more Pope here):
Order. We've seen enough. A terminator meets sharknado joke!
Will someone please forward some quotes from Starship Troopers?
Jean Rasczak: You. Why are only citizens allowed to vote?
Student: It's a reward. Something the federation gives you for doing federal service.
Jean Rasczak: No. Something given has no basis in value. When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived.
The meeting will now unanimously carry the motion "we're all fucked, except perhaps Nick Kyrgios and the notion that multiculturalism might have just had a moment on the world stage", and then we will all steal off silently into the unequal night ...
But monsieur le chair, shouldn't we warn people that they're being ruled of the sharks, by the sharks, for the sharks?
Shouldn't we mention Lincoln, like Maurice banging on about Washington and Burke?
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal ... (and) government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. (the yadda yadda rest can be Greg Hunted here)
Sorry pond, if they haven't worked it out by now, they never will.
This meeting is adjourned at least until tomorrow, and the next cataloguing of thought crimes and commentariat columns ...