(Above: speaking of straws, or should that be snouts in trough. And more Moir here).
So it begins again, the relentless pushing of the reptile commentariat rock up the hill, or is a better metaphor the Augean stable, full of never-ending supplies of it?
First, thanks to Crikey, the pond caught up with the news that snouts are now firmly in trough, and Dame Slap's snout might well be amongst them:
And what a fine portrait they deployed too.
Well you can read Albrechtsen poised to score a powerful gig at ABC/SBS? if you're Crikey paywall friendly, and follow it up with Crikey says: don't re-politicise the ABC, SBS boards, but it seems a win-win situation for the pond.
You see, sure enough, this very morning came the confirmation, Janet Albrechtsen appointed to ABC and SBS appointments panel.
Dr Albrechtsen, a columnist for The Australian and former lawyer, has previously derided the ABC as a "Soviet-style workers collective".
And now they have a member of the Stasi riding guard on appointments.
The stench of hypocrisy, like the smell of napalm in the morning, is always a joy, and the sight of Dame Slap being so nakedly hypocritical would be a wondrous sight.
How many years has she and all the other Oz reptiles banged on about the politicisation of the ABC? And now the solution is to appoint a barking mad far right member of the reptile commentariat to an influential position? Why that's right up there in terms of the age, and the culture, of entitlement ...
Tim Wilson, Gerard Henderson, Janet Albrechtsen ... it's getting harder and harder to pick the pigs and the farmers apart on Animal Farm ...
And to be fair to big Mal, it's the work of the PM's office wot done it ...
How high do the ironies go? Well readers of The Graudian will cherish this quote from Conroy, here:
The appointments to the nomination panel are made not by the communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, but by the prime minister’s office.
The relatively new selection process was ushered in by the then Labor communications minister Stephen Conroy in 2008 in an attempt to end political appointments to the boards of the ABC and SBS. The nomination panel conducts a merit-based selection process for board members and was originally supposed to exclude political employees and former politicians.
"For too long the process of appointing directors to the ABC and SBS boards has been open to political interference," Conroy said at the time.
"It's time to restore the independence. The new appointment process will ensure that all future appointments to the ABC and SBS boards are conducted in a manner that fosters independence, transparency, accountability and public confidence."
Does anyone expect a sense of shame or propriety or modesty to intervene?
Tell 'em they're dreaming ...
The pigs just can't help themselves ...
Meanwhile, Crikey contained other news of commentariat comings and goings:
Following the Australian’s anti-plain-packaging propaganda extravaganza, readers might wonder if there is any piece of right-wing pseudo-science that News Ltd won’t run. Nick Cater has the answer. The former executive editor, now being put out to grass at the Menzies Research Centre, has a piece in Spiked, attacking the calumny heaped on … plastic bags! Despite a vast body of work showing the effects of waste plastic on complex ecosystems, Nick has an alternative source:
“The Productivity Commission, the Australian government’s independent policy research body, considered the case for regulating plastic bags in 2006 and concluded: “The case for proceeding with the phase out of plastic bags appears particularly weak.”
Yes, noted scientific body the Productivity Commission, whose bias is registered in the title. It’s the only source for the effects of plastic bags cited in the article. Has Cater found the holy grail — an article so shonky even The Oz won’t publish it? Is that why it was exiled to a site run by the UK Revolutionary Communist Party? (Crikey's Media Briefs)
What's that bit about filthy pervert commies?
Yes, it's one of the greater peculiarities, mysteries and curiosities that Spiked arose from the bankruptcy of Living Marxism (go on, do a Greg Hunt on it here). And LM was the spawn of the British Revolutionary Communist Party, a bunch of barking mad Trots turned barking mad libertarian.
It reminds the pond of a favourite pond thesis, which is that when you put the far right up against the far left, much is interchangeable, and it's very hard to tell the furious scribblers and rabid zealots apart, no doubt just as it was sometimes hard to sort out the pigs and the farmers on Animal Farm ...
And a special plaudit to Crikey for also noting that pompous blowhard Paul Kelly imitating the ancient mariner waiting outside the wedding to harass innocent bystanders:
Meanwhile in the Oz proper, resident eeyore Paul Kelly gets himself in a tizz over Australia’s political decline. “Any nation that has lost the art of self-improvement has stepped on the escalator of decline.” Oh no, not the Escalator of Decline! As the name suggests, escalators are all about going up (yes, they go down too, but only back to somewhere they’ve already gone up from). It gets worse: “Australia is on that escalator. Its politics are so noisy, destructive etc, it does not know where the escalator is going”. That silly is. How not know where escalator go? It right there in front of you. It go to menswear. Poor old Paul. The only marxist he sounds like is Groucho.
The only complaint the pond had is that Crikey didn't bother with a link, presumably arguing as a defence that it wanted to avoid a class action from readers claiming, with lawyers at ten paces, that they had innocently clicked on the link, and suffered permanent mental damage.
It reminded the pond of another pond thesis. The only response to the inanity of a portentous ass like Kelly is humour, though Crikey really should have provided a link to Kelly's alarmist inanities:
There probably comes a point in every aged hack's life when all they can write is "get off my bloody lawn", and Kelly seemed to reach that point in Politics in crisis and a nation in denial. (Go on, ruin your mind, see if the pond cares, but first you'll have to evade the paywall, which means you held the loaded gun to your temple all on your own).
It's a perfect replica of the way Abbott tried to establish during Gillard's reign that the nation was in in a constant state of crisis.
What it establishes is just how prone Chris Mitchell's commentariat is inclined to fainting fits, hysteria, foot-stomping and sulking, like a bunch of terrible twos.
Is there any irony beyond the escalators? Of course there is. There's Kelly complaining about the culture of complaint:
There are many manifestations: a culture of complaint, the decline of self-reliance, the belief that virtually any hardship is the fault of government and a political system that bids for votes by promising that government will solve even more problems.
Is it possible to imagine a bigger culture of complaint than the reptiles in the lizard Oz who whine, whinge, moan and complain about this, that and the other on daily basis?
Now you don't have to be a Freudian to work out the source of the complaint. It's the way the new digital age has introduced The Australian to the reality of being a loss-making machine, and once its protector, Chairman Rupert passes on - as he inevitably will, and sooner rather than later - the reptiles will be exposed to the market forces they purport to cherish. Which is why Kelly's hysteria is such a 'get off my analogue lawn' lament:
The fragmentation of the media marketplace fits into this process. Technology and campaign techniques mean disaffected voters from any government or opposition policy can be targeted and won.
Creating losers is more high risk than before. The decline of mass media and rise of social media weakens the ability of leaders to carry opinion and shifts media power downwards.
During the reform age, roughly 1983 to 2003, the media was pivotal in backing national interest policies but that age is passing. It is replaced by new media values that mirror the fashionable narcissism and find national interest debates as quaint and irrelevant.
Australia’s prosperity is living on borrowed time, courtesy of past reforms and the China boom. There is a silly, contested debate about whether Australia faces an economic crisis. There is no doubt, however, that Australia is undergoing a crisis of its political system.
Sad really. We'll all be ruined said Hanrahan Kelly. It reminded the pond of that old Woody Allan joke.
Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort reading the lizard Oz, and one of 'em says, 'Boy, the articles in this rag are really terrible.' The other says, "yeah, I know, and they serve them up in such large portions.
Or some such thing. Maybe the pond misremembered the joke.
Meanwhile, it seems no one's told all the other reptiles that they should be donning sackcloth and ashes and moaning about the crisis.
Why this very morning fresh out of the gate, comes a new plea for the age of entitlement to continue, and from no less an hysterical hand than Dame Groan herself:
Indeed. The pond has in the past argued for the introduction of indentured slavery sponsored by the state, so that Australians can appreciate and emulate the idyllic conditions in the antebellum years of the United States ...
But failing that, what better way to proceed than to imitate oil rich middle eastern states, and Singapore and such like territories in their attitude to Filipinos and such like dross? Let's get a nanny industry really cranked up with government subsidy and soon enough we'll be back to an upstairs downstairs culture, and we'll be exporting TV soaps to the BBC. How about Sloanton Abbey as a title?
But enough of such visions and dreams, because the pond was also startled today to see just how interchangeable, just how robotic, the reptiles and their opinions had become, as shown by the rotating digital hall of doom.
The challenge? Spot the difference:
No, the pond didn't photoshop it!
You can imagine the poor harassed sub. Another day of idiots banging on about nothing, just shove them up on the rotating digital hall of doom and move on to something else.
What's worse the error lingered for hours.
For anyone remotely interested, Sheridan was in fact banging on about an ETS:
Actually you'd have to be an idiot or at least barking mad crazy to read Sheridan, or anyone who could start off a piece the way Sheridan does:
Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 15 countries that were EU members before 2004 ('EU-15') committed to reducing their collective emissions to 8% below 1990 levels by the years 2008-2012. The latest emissions monitoring and projections show that the EU-15 is on track to over-achieve this target. Most Member States that have joined the EU since 2004 also have Kyoto reduction targets of 6% or 8% (5% in Croatia's case) which they are also on course to achieve. For 2020, the EU has committed to cutting its emissions to 20% below 1990 levels. This commitment is one of the headline targets of the Europe 2020 growth strategy and is being implemented through a package of binding legislation. The EU has offered to increase its emissions reduction to 30% by 2020 if other major emitting countries in the developed and developing worlds commit to undertake their fair share of a global emissions reduction effort. (and the rest of the guff here).
There's an even deeper irony here. Chris Mitchell was on the Dame Slap approved ABC radio this morning spruiking how the reptiles were in favour of a market based mechanism, such as an ETS, to deal with matters arising from climate science ...
Assuming the carbon tax is repealed, there is a good chance Greg Hunt will become the Scott Morrison of climate change and deliver almost all he promised. Yet day after day the rag publishes senior writers like Sheridan railing at an ETS, based on errors, omissions, lies and distortions, and flogging as hard as they can the government's direct action strategy with risible lines like this:
Assuming the carbon tax is repealed, there is a good chance Greg Hunt will become the Scott Morrison of climate change and deliver almost all he promised.
Is that like handing the persecuted back to their persecutors?
How much more mendacious can Sheridan get?
Well he even does this old dog whistle ...
As Tony Abbott once said, an ETS involves a fictional trade in a weightless product. The trade is not even in carbon, it is in the entirely notional product of carbon emissions forgone.
And there you have a measure of Sheridan's forelock tugging stupidity ...
Carbon or carbon dioxide is weightless?
What a stupid man.
Carbon has an atomic wt of 12, oxygen in diatomic form (O2) of 32 and CO2 of 44. This means that the mass of 6x1023 atoms of CARBON has a mass of 6 kilograms, the mass of 6x1023 diatomic oxygen molecules is 32 kg, and for CO2 its 44kg, so carbon is the lightest and CO2 the heaviest. (or so it says here thanks to the University of California).
Well, there was never any doubt that Sheridan was a mindless hagiographer and knob polisher, but what bemuses the pond is the way Chris Mitchell can lie straight in bed at night, and then on any given day, get up and cheerfully peddle tripe on the ABC.
And it seems the ABC's Media Report will be having a generous dose of Mitchell tripe this afternoon ... in which no doubt he will remind us that the stout-hearted lizard Oz is all for a market-based response to the findings of climate science.
You'd have to be crazy to listen to or believe him.
The pond would rather look at a David Pope about that appalling speaker in tongues and ostensible Christian Scott Morrison, and more Pope cartoons here.
Or as Paul Bongiorno put it:
Deeds that cannot stand the light of day are at best dubious and at worst nefarious.