Monday, August 04, 2014

In the midst of carnage, thank the long absent lord for Greg "wiki" Hunt and Tony "no broken promises" Abbott and Barners ...

(Above: more Rowe here, and remind the pond again, who built that wall?)

March in the street in support of Netanyahu and his government? No thanks. March in the street in support of Hamas? No thanks. March together in support of peace? No thanks.

And there's the problem in a nutshell.

Except for one thing. Is there anything more tedious, after the carnage and the killing, than to hear Israeli government spokespeople explaining how it was Hamas that made them do it, Hamas that aimed the guns and the bombs, and Hamas that pulled the trigger, and hapless helpless Israel had no agency or responsibility in the matter?

Actually, Israeli government, you and your designated agents, pointed the guns, you dropped the bombs, you pulled the triggers.

The bombing of Dresden and the firebombing of Tokyo were undoubtedly war crimes. Get over it.

Winners get to write the rules but that doesn't obscure the truth.

At the moment the Israeli government is shooting fish in a barrel, the disparity between the military and the Black Knights is remarkable, the devastation and destruction appalling, the way forward set back for decades, and the Israeli government is randomly killing civilians it doesn't care, because it doesn't value or care about that particular form of civilian life ...

When even the United States calls your latest attack disgraceful, you've got a giant PR problem. Not to mention blood on your hands ...

Which is why the pond isn't going to spend too long with the apologist Paul Sheehan who shows how to demonise Arabs and Muslims in his concluding pars, here:

Such is the nature of the Israel-Palestinian debate that many people regard all this as Israel reaping what it sows. Even as Israel strikes against a war machine, it is blamed for creating the conditions which created the threat. The result of this logic trap – and the differing standard applied to killings by Jews and killing by Muslims – is that more media coverage and outrage has been directed at Israel for the unintended deaths of children in Gaza than has been directed at the butchery of Muslims by Muslims, on a massive scale, in Iraq and elsewhere. In Syria alone, three years of war have seen between 120,000 and 170,000 people killed, including more than 11,000 children. This violence has spilled into Iraq, with atavistic massacres of prisoners by jihadis from Islamic State. 
The deep animosities which are the ultimate source of this bloody absolutism could even be heard on the streets of Sydney last week, in the chants of demonstrators, some waving the black flag of the Islamic State: ‘‘Palestine is Muslim land ... Jew and Christian will not stand ... From Lakemba to Gaza ... You can never stop Islam.’

So now the Israeli government can take comfort from the killings in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere, in the butchery of Muslims by Muslims?

So where does that leave the killings by the United States and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere? Can the Israelis take comfort in the butchery of Muslims by invading western post-colonialists?

What a disgraceful fuckwit Sheehan is, what a dissembling, appalling piece of moral equivocation, as if killing justifies the killing of innocents and innocence:

A robin redbreast in a cage 
Puts all heaven in a rage ...
A horse misused upon the road 
Calls to heaven for human blood (and other auguries of innocence here)

But talking of such matters just gets the pond angry, and we need to find a lighter side as a Monday heralds the start of the drudgery, the unremitting contemplation of the commentariat which forms the weekly work.

What real catastrophe confronts Australia this shocking and disturbing morning, as carnage still litters the combat zone?

Oh come on, you don't expect the pond to link to this sort of tosh?

This is what the Fairfaxians offer as the top of the digital page this morning? A medal slump? A medal crisis? A medal catastrophe? There must be a review? More government money must be expended on the pursuit of trinkets?

Sheesh, that's not comedy, that's just downright embarrassing, but what you expect of the Fairfaxians these days ... (and if they're going to apologise for a cartoon, when are they going to get around to an apology each day they publish Paul Sheehan?)

No, the pond hungers for real comedy, and handily the Bolter has provided the screenplay, which turns out to be the transcript for a Bolt Report interview with Greg Hunt.

(Above: and the full First Dog cartoon here, and more Cathy Wilcox here)

Clearly the Bolter's desperately trying to drum up business for his flailing show, providing links to the videos, which interalia, also feature that She-Bolt, Miranda the Devine, and motormouth Tim Wilson.

Why he should have made Hunt his prime transcript victim here must remain a mystery, but what a fine feast it is.

At first Hunt must have thought he was on easy street. Cheap easy shots at the ABC, and Hunt being pretty zen about the ABC and yes, it's coal, coal, coal for Australia, which is good news after there not being enough gold, gold, gold in Glasgow ...

By the pond's count, Hunt managed to get in some nine references to the "hard left" and the "extreme left", which made him sound like a blithering fundamentalist idiot, before readers came to this epic exchange:

ANDREW BOLT: The green groups’ real beef is that more coal means more carbon dioxide, which means more global warming. You’re a warmist, doesn’t that worry you too? Won’t this giant mine, with all this coal, make hot days hotter? 

Uh huh. Hunt didn't even have the sense to chivvy the Bolter about the offensive and abusive use of the word "warmist" or chide Bolter for being a denialist, or even suggest there wasn't much point having a conversation with such a rabid denialist.

But he'd been lulled into a comfort zone, with all the zen free kicks about the ABC and the hard left and the extreme left:

 GREG HUNT: Look, at the end of the day, what it will do is, it will mean that 100 million people have electricity -
 ANDREW BOLT: I got that, but I’m just asking specifically the question. You’re the warmist, I’m not. Won’t this, by your own calculations, mean hot days get hotter? 
GREG HUNT: No, because what it’s about is… the world and you and I obviously disagree on the, on the principle under this, but - 

Yes the futtock fumbled and folded and faded and melted like butter in the warm winter sun (bushfires in the north, how strange, sssh, don't mention climate science, it only gets the Bolter, the world's leading climate scientist, agitated)

ANDREW BOLT: I’m hoping you’re just maintaining a public facade.
GREG HUNT: I’m thinking the same about you. But, the real point here is, at the end of the day, there’s an amount of work that the world has the do, and no one country can do it alone, and part of this is, we have to bring people out of poverty. And I’m not – 

Oh but you are, you are, you're sounding ever so much like a prat and a futtock:

ANDREW BOLT: Yeah, I accept that, Greg, you’re absolutely right – 
 GREG HUNT: I’m not opposed to that. 
ANDREW BOLT: No, nor am I. And this is a left project, bring people out of poverty, give them electricity. But, the point is, you either believe in global warming, man-made global warming, catastrophic or not, and more coal means more emissions, means hotter days, does it not? 
GREG HUNT: No, you can have a balance here, and that’s the, that’s the real answer. It’s not extreme left or right -

So all that blather about the extreme left and the hard left was just so much idle blather? And climate science is now a matter of balance? It's a matter for centrists?

Uh huh. Even the reptiles couldn't help reprinting the obvious, here, behind the paywall, because Hunt needs to learn to pay rather than to wiki:

...Greenpeace program director Ben Pearson Despite said the IESC report contained serious warnings about the mine's impact on the water table. 
He said the burning of coal from the Carmichael mine alone would produce four times New Zealand’s fossil fuel emissions annually. 
“Carmichael Mine is set to be one of the largest coal mines in the world and its environmental and climate footprint is equally immense,” Mr Pearson said.

There was another irony in that report. No, not this one:

Indian coal giant Adani will develop the project, which has faced opposition from environmental groups concerned about the impact further coal exports will have on the Great Barrier Reef as well as the region's water table, with the project set to extract 12 billion litres annually from local rivers and aquifers and forecast to produce 60 million tonnes of thermal coal a year for export. 
The application, which comes two months after the state government approved the project, clears the way for Adani to clear over 20,000ha of bushland to build the mine, and is set to bolster the case for the expansion of the Abbot Point coal export terminal. 

No, it's already known that Queensland is fucked one day, perfectly fucked the next. No irony there. But how about this?

Mr Hunt said the project would deliver $2.97 billion to the Queensland economy annually for the next 60 years. However Tim Buckley, an energy industry analyst from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), commented that, "Ironically, if this project proceeds, it will actually accelerate the longer term destruction of Australia’s coal export industry”. 
According to Buckley, “Global coal prices are already depressed due to excess supply. If the Carmichael project proceeds, it will potentially open up access to another nine mine proposals with a combined thermal coal capacity of up to 300 million tonnes per annum. Our analysis forecasts that this would drive down thermal coal export prices a further 10-20%, thereby squeezing coal sector profit margins which are already down to zero". 
As evidence of the difficulties confronting thermal coal miners he pointed out that Peabody Energy suffered a net loss of US$122m for the first half of 2014 and its Australian coal division’s earnings were down 93% year-on-year to just US$14m.

In due course, the dig it up and ship it out mentality, as opposed to the box clever mentality, is going to come a cropper.

But will at that point Abbott and his puppet Hunt hie themselves off to a seminary to repent of their sins and crimes?

Unbloody likely, but what else to expect when you have a great pretender, a dissembler, a faux warmist, a man who spends paragraphs abusing extreme and hard leftists, who suddenly turns to jibber jabber about balance, when confronted by a question about the bleeding obvious.

Hunt has just let loose four New Zealands on the world, and what a fearsome prospect that is (oh okay, even the pond noticed the ecstasy of 'Tah rugger buggers bum sniffing their way to heaven).

So this is the man in charge of the Australian environment. Go wiki for a reason, and if you find one, make sure to let the pond know ...

There was one other matter in the interview:

ANDREW BOLT: ... One last thing very quickly, before we go, the story today, parental leave proposal by the Government might be postponed, certainly beyond this year. Too many battles. Will it be? 
GREG HUNT: Look, there’s no change in our position on this. As to the timing for the legislation, it’s not due to come into force until 1 July 2015. But no change in our position.

What a useless gherkin, but hang on, there is one bonus, because it gives the pond a cue to look at David Rowe's cartoon for the day, and as always, more Rowe here:

Which reminded the pond of the best joke of all on the weekend, as reported by Fairfax here:

When challenged, Mr Abbott refused to back down on the scheme, saying he did not break his promises and his critics would be the first to attack him for going back on his word if he heeded their calls.

He did not break his promises!!?

Abbott's broken promises reach 50 as the ABC joins the party.

He's broken so many promises he's like a drunk with a set of plates at a Greek wedding ...

But Rowe's portrait of Barners with peg on nose and straw of wheat in mouth does offer the pond a chance to recycle an image which has gone viral this morning:

Oh Tamworth, Tamworth. What have you done?

And so the week begins ...


  1. Replies
    1. Nicely done Dirk but I thought I saw the toad trying to sell the Harbour bridge to tourists ...

  2. Who'd have thought anything useful could emerge from a Bolt Report TV show interview? Where did you find the courage to scan it? Against all odds, it seems that Bolt's interview with Minister Against the Environment Hunt has achieved a scoop of sorts. Hunt tip-toed around the warmist-denialist cues from the Bolta, but then got trapped by his own lying rhetoric of how wonderful a benefit to Australia and the world the Carmichael mine will be.

    Unless, of course, Hunt has a Baldrick-like cunning plan. As outlined by your other links, it will likely lead to a major oversupply of coal, thence leading to a crash in already falling coal prices causing a major investment panic. The aftermath will lead to a stampede of investment in cheaper clean energy and coal will just stay in the ground for want of a buyer. The risk is the the Queensland water table will be stuffed and the barrier reef lost, but according to the cunning plan, it is a small price to pay ffor shifting the world away from fossil fuels.

    And Bolt, the world's greatest detective as well as the greatest climate scientist, was onto him and nearly sprung him. The Cunning Plan theory certainly makes more sense than the benefits-flow waffle Hunt tried to expound at the interview. And it is no more hare-brained than the Morrison magical Turn-Back-The-Boats strategies.

  3. Dorothy, Is there a format problem around here:

    GREG HUNT: No, because what it’s about is… the world and you and I obviously disagree on the, on the principle under this, but -

    Greenpeace program director Ben Pearson Despite... (which is repeated a para or two further down)

    1. Thanks there was, hopefully fixed. The intertubes were painfully slow here yesterday, dial up speed thanks to Optus, and so cuts and pastes had to be repeated. No excuse, but hey, fuck you Optus ...

  4. I saw Barnes on sky news with Kelly and other murdockians busily trying to deflect their budget problems on the senate, alp, the greens, the man walking his dog, coffee drinkers etc.
    All singing in unison, how they can convince others they have a mandate or such to do what they have been elected to do. Not one comment about lying to public

  5. Mandate. Isn't that the word for Abbott's evening with Rupert in New York?

  6. Interesting site, the Climate Investigations Centre, a US site that tracks climate denying and misinformation campaigns and who is behind then.


Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.