Thursday, July 10, 2014

Loon heaven, from Brandon to Cory to Greg Sheridan to Greg Craven to a gathering of Kevins in Melbourne ...

(Above: YouTube Brandon here)

The pond hopes that no thinking or caring Australian would like to see children in prison.

But Tony Abbott apparently does. Not much thinking, and even less caring, from a man who presumably likes to think of himself as a compassionate Christian.

Some compassion, some Christian.

But enough, please allow the pond to pivot and welcome a man who has, as a result of the depth and breadth of his thinking, been given the key to the pond, and a nice floating rubber duckie.

Now everyone knows Americans of the right wing kind can be barking mad, and the pond could spend all its time admiring these loons, but every so often, you just have to pay attention and salute. Sure it's gone viral, sure it's everywhere, but what's the point of social media if you can't act as an amplifier?

Come on down GOP Kentucky state senator and Senate majority whip Brandon Smith, do it for Brandons everywhere, and sock it to us:

"As you [Energy and Environment Cabinet official] sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I won’t get into the debate about climate change but I’ll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There’s no factories on Mars that I’m aware of". 
According to NASA, the average temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Fahrenheit -- 138 degrees above Mars' average of -81 degrees. (here)

Actually it seems most folks in academia think that the good senator is a prize goose, as well as a certifiable loon, but it's that sort of chatter that makes the pond's day.

But the pond feels inadequate, in need of a hero. Can't a politician down under make an equally bizarre, and perhaps also offensive remark, just to show those dang Americans we know how to play the game?

Come on down Cory:

The Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has invoked abortion in a parliamentary debate about budget measures, arguing his political opponents recognised “the dignity of the baby dolphin” but not “the dignity of the unborn child”. (here)

Ah, the dolphin feint. All class and dignity, but not quite there. If only Cory had led with the way scientists can drink Coca Cola on Mars, and the carbon dioxide does nothing to affect such a big planet.

And far be it for the pond to question the coercive sexual practices of dolphins, but wouldn't the spectre of a lesbian atheist Soviet-leaning baby beached whale have made a better metaphor. That disgusting lefties could care about such creatures ...

It's a nice try by Cory, but a tad parochial, and it seems he still has much to learn to become the compleat barking mad Tea Partier ...

Speaking of leftists, the pond was disturbed to read a classic leftist gotcha moment in Jonathan Holmes' Conservative appointments put our ABC in danger: the absence of any other explanation, we are entitled to draw the conclusion that Dr Watt is either profoundly stupid, or pusillanimous. 
If he really thinks that these two are the most suitable people in Australia to ensure that appointments to the ABC and SBS boards are, and are seen to be, merit-based and non-partisan, he is profoundly stupid. 
If, on the other hand, he has made the appointments at the unacknowledged insistence of Tony Abbott, he is pusillanimous.

This is an outrageously false dichotomy.

It is perfectly clear that Dr Watt has an infinite capacity to be both profoundly stupid and pusillanimous. He also can probably pick his nose and rub his tummy at the same time.

The real test will be the result of his profoundly stupid and pusillanimous appointments.

If a candidate is appointed to the ABC board who believes (a) it should be sold off forthwith, and (b) the whole Soviet collectivist workforce should be placed in Manus Island or some other gulag to be devised, then he will have been tremendously successful.

If on the other hand, his appointees fail in this simple task, and provide a blander list of nominees, they will be revealed as braggart blow hards prone to the usual paranoid conspiracy theories that infest the far right, but impotent when it comes to the task of taking rabid, ratbag hard yard decisions.

Either way, it seems like a win for the pond because they will have stoked the culture wars even more and put big Mal in the position of once more playing the role of Albert Speer to his master. (Well at least Speer would have done a better job with the NBN).

Okay, Godwin's law breach out of the way, now we can turn with equanimity to contemplate the crisis du jour, and wouldn't you know it, the reptiles are in an absolute tizz. They put it on the front page, and they also put it at the top of the digital page as an EXCLUSIVE:

The reptiles' notion of what constitutes an EXCLUSIVE gets more barking mad by the day, as if no one else in the country is aware of recent carry-ons in the Senate and its implication for the budget. 

Even the Fairfaxians made note of it in Budget receives more blows in Senate's chaotic day, with the only real argument being about the number - the Fairfaxians plump for a hit of some $10 billion to proposed savings...

What's $3 billion between chumps? What price minority government?

What else? 

Well the rampantly uxorial and delusional Greg Sheridan keeps the Bromance alive, with this effort, for which the headline is sufficient:

This at the very time another digital rag in the stable splashed with:

Now if you head off here - careful of the forced ad - you'll read, amongst other things:

If Prime Minister Tony Abbott thought his summit with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe would pass unnoticed in Beijing then he had better think again. 
The Xinhua news agency, the state-run press agency of the People’s Republic of China, has launched a scathing attack on Mr Abbott accusing him of crossing the “moral bottom line” with his overtures to Mr Abe. 
It described Mr Abbott as “appalling and insensible” for showing such admiration for Japan’s wartime aggression. 
More than 20 million Chinese perished at the hands of Japanese troops in the lead up to and during the war. Xinhua’s Canberra correspondent quoted Mr Abbott’s speech to a special joint sitting of Parliament. 
“We admired the skill and the sense of honour that they brought to their task although we disagreed with what they did. Perhaps we grasped, even then, that with a change of heart the fiercest of opponents could be the best of friends,” the prime minister said. 
The correspondent said that Mr Abbott “probably wasn’t aware that the Japanese troops possessed other “skills”, skills to loot, to rape, to torture and to kill”.

Now some have mocked the Chinese rag for its use of the word "insensible" but to be fair, Tony Abbott has always struck the pond as routinely insensible in opposition and government:

2. a. Having lost consciousness, especially temporarily; unconscious: rode the bicycle until he was in a state of endomorphic insensibility;
b. Not invested with sensation; inanimate: insensible clay. 
c. Devoid of physical sensation or the power to react, as to pain or cold; numb, as to refugees and the plight of people
3. a. Unaware; unmindful: I am not insensible of your concern, but I am insensible enough not to give a flying fuck about it. 
b. Not emotionally responsive; indifferent: insensible to criticism. 
4. Lacking meaning; unintelligible. (okay, the real dictionary here)

What's so great about Sheridan these days is that he has to work so hard at his hagiographic forelock tugging knob polishing, but even the one line splash reveals him as an unreadable blithering idiot.

What else?

Well on the very day that the Fairfaxians can produce this headline ...

... and people read the story here, and everywhere there are stories everywhere about swimming coaches and swimmers and the Royal Commission - as on the ABC here and here - Greg Craven decides this very day to lead with this:

No doubt because the abuse inquiry's approach should be quick, shoddy and cheap, with the Catholic church having established many precedents for this happy way to move forward. Craven somehow manages to think this sort of mea culpa will get him out of jail:

There are some articles you do not want to write. You know the reaction before you touch the keyboard. 
So as a Catholic, employed by a Catholic university and involved in the Catholic church’s response to child sexual abuse, I know any criticism of the current royal commission is tantamount to treason.

Actually there are so many articles that Craven shouldn't bother to write that the pond could spend all day just listing them but if you want to read A tribunal would deliver swifter justice to abuse victims, please assure the pond you'll only do it by evading the paywall ...

If you do get to the very end, you'll find this classic bit of denialist double speak, which amounts to yet another recycling of that old song lyric, "It isn't fair":

One more thing. From the beginning of the commission, we have been told that children are at risk from institutions. The vulnerability of the child within the enfolding structure is now a palpable and frightening concept to all. 
We also were told all institutions — church, private and government — would be investigated. Yet so far, as the commission notes, the overwhelming number of cases has concerned churches, despite the number of children in the care of government agencies having been prodigious. 
There are two possibilities here. Either that churches are indeed the uniquely flawed organisations their critics paint them to be. Or this commission has not been able, for whatever reason, to uncover public institutional abuse. Many who have worked in the public sector must wonder.

Right after swimming coaches, yadda yadda.

It's quite possible that Catholic apologists like Greg Craven, wringing their hands and talking about justice for victims and shedding crocodile tears have absolutely no idea how they continue to damage the Catholic church ... but they do, and Craven, in this piece, has paraded a classic example of confused, paranoid thinking, leading to a tragic example of self-harm.

Speaking of loons, the pond was immensely pleased to receive advice from a pond agent currently in Melbourne that there was soon to be a major gathering of loons in that city.

You can, the pond believes, judge people by the company they keep. Feel free to judge Kevin Andrews:

Oh yes, now there's a gathering fit for Greg Craven.

Enough already. Time for a cartoon, and as usual David Pope caught a whiff of the madness that is the Tony Abbott government, cheered on by the crazed reptiles at the Oz.

Imagine having Eric Abetz offered to you as your Senate buddy ... (and as always more Pope here)


  1. Putting condoms to one side, DP, I'd be pleased to learn that any of our new friends of calibre have relatives who are baptised members of any denomination, LDS included. We would not, even, draw the line at Scientology.
    However, I do have a concern about Tamils. There they are, being shaped up as the new Muslims. Why don't they get into social media and improve their prospects? There's a pretty good article at Foreign Policy, that's likely to be paywalled, so I've clipped a bit at Evernote.

    1. Hi Dirk, thanks for that, and on a totally unrelated, even if tech, matter, have you read Nathan Heller in The New Yorker on California Screaming, the tech industry made the Bay Area rich. Why do so many residents hate it?

      Outside the paywall at the moment

      So many hoots, so little time.

  2. Wall-to-wall abuse and excoriation for Palmer and Muir in the News megaphones this morning. As Cpr Jones used to say, they don't like it up 'em.

    1. Yes, it's the only language they understand, but they still don't like it up 'em


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