Saturday, October 25, 2014

In which the pond goes searching for a companion turtle and ends up with big Mal's Norwegian Blue ...

(Above: now there's an image to conjure with. See link below)

The pond was moved to tears by this letter.

To Whom It May Concern: 
RE: Patricia Marx 
Ms. Marx has been evaluated for and diagnosed with a mental health disorder as defined in the DSM-5. Her psychological condition affects daily life activities, ability to cope, and maintenance of psychological stability. It also can influence her physical status. 
Ms. Marx has a turtle that provides significant emotional support, and ameliorates the severity of symptoms that affect her daily ability to fulfill her responsibilities and goals. Without the companionship, support, and care-taking activities of her turtle, her mental health and daily living activities are compromised. In my opinion, it is a necessary component of treatment to foster improved psychological adjustment, support functional living activities, her well being, productivity in work and home responsibilities, and amelioration of the severity of psychological issues she experiences in some specific situations to have an Emotional Support Animal (ESA). 
She has registered her pet with the Emotional Support Animal Registration of America. This letter further supports her pet as an ESA, which entitles her to the rights and benefits legitimized by the Fair Housing Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. It allows exceptions to housing, and transportation services that otherwise would limit her from being able to be accompanied by her emotional support animal.

But to work out why the pond was in tears of laughter, you'll have read Pets Allowed, by Patricia Marx, currently outside The New Yorker paywall.

Suffice to say that the pond likes the dialectical Marxian style of this Marx ...

Besides, it's Saturday and a diet consisting strictly of ratbags is unhealthy to mind and body, to the point where the pond might need a companion turtle.

You know how sick and silly it is when the Oz gets so desperate it calls on Brendan O'Neill to provide a character reference:

McCarthyite, Brendan """?

Now there's a stupid man, with a stupid wilful disregard for useful historical comparisons, but at least it avoids that other cliche, "Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, Orwellian hounding ..." or "Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, Stasi hounding ..."or "Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, Stalinist hounding ..." or "Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, Hitler Youth hounding ..." or "Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, Red Guard hounding ..." or even "Spurr-bashing is an old-fashioned, Murdochian News of the World hounding ..."

Meanwhile, over at McCarthyist central - what with New Matilda being armed with the full force and powers of the federal government-backed Senate Committee on Government, and its handy Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations - the McCarthyists were boasting of a Walkley nomination for a cartoonist, here:

Shocking. Now there's someone that's definitely not Australian, is quite possibly un-Australian, and perhaps shouldn't earn a place in Team Australia in its next fixture with Team Tasmania.

Meanwhile, thanks to Fairfax's loss and the Graudian's gain, you can always read Richard Ackland's Barry Spurr v New Matilda: the facts, the law and the porridge.

And student rag Honi Soit provided this tidy tidbit, here:

Honi understands that academics at the University are aware of the fact that ICT policy permits third parties, such as university administrators, to access emails sent from their university accounts. The policy also requires that users “not write anything in an email that they would not sign off in a memorandum”.

Did anyone as dumb as Spurr and as dumb as defenders like O'Neill and the reptiles of the lizard Oz front McCarthy? Possibly, but it'd be a close run thing ...

Meanwhile, the pond must credit Peter Hartcher for lightening the pond's weekend load, in a way Ms Marx herself would envy.

It was classic click-bait trolling of the old school, in two space-devouring guises. Got to keep that digital front page looking busy:

The trouble of course was, if - like the exceptionally dumb pond - you bothered to reward the click baiting troller by clicking on Could Turnbull be next Treasurer? while avoiding the attached forced video.

It turns out it was the sort of question all women dread, as dire and as useful as "did you come darling"?

And the answer came quickly enough, like a man shooting through like a Bondi tram:

"It'd be a game changer," one minister summarised. No one disagreed with the soundness of the idea. None of the ministers, incidentally, could be described as being members of the Turnbull fan club. 
On the minus? The ministers acknowledged that it will not happen.

It will not happen!

In the old days, this used to be known as straw man twaddle. Let the hare run loose, give it a sound beating, and then serve up a lavish dose of hare pie ...

So where does Hartcher end up with his twaddle?

Why it seems everything that's going on is a master plan orchestrated by a master politician:

Abbott doesn't mind the jockeying of his ministers. 
"He loves it," said a cabinet minister, "it helps keep everyone in line. 
"Do you think John Howard lost any sleep over the tensions between Peter Costello and Peter Reith? If there weren't any, Howard would create some. If they're squabbling over each other's jobs, they're not squabbling over the leader's job." 
Rapprochement on one hand and creative tension on the other, all part of the delicate business of a prime minister who intends remaining prime minister.

So in Hartcher's world, Tony Abbott is already up there with John Howard, a master schemer, an adept politician, manipulating his friends and his enemies, and possibly the entire world, bending and warping it and them to his overpowering intellect and masterful will ...

And this is the sort of tosh the Fairfaxians are supposed to pay to read with their Saturday breakfast?

Is it any wonder that the pond retreats to Fairfax cartoonists for genuine political insight and commentary?

Like David Rowe, and more Rowe here.

And David Pope, and more Pope here.

But back to Hartcher and Turnbull.

What's remarkable about that delusional Hartcher story is that somehow it presumes Turnbull is considered a success, presumably on the basis that polling shows he's less loathed than Tony Abbott, which is a bit like referencing a poll showing Abbott is preferred by punters to Hitler (sorry Brendan, that just slipped out, can't work out why, perhaps a phantom Joe McCarthy was sitting on the pond's shoulder).

But this is the man right here, right now, in the business of destroying community television; and the man busy maiming and scarring and reducing the ABC to the runt of the litter and so realising the fondest dreams of all the ratbag rightwing loons, from Crikey through the IPA to Sharri Markson and the reptiles at the lizard Oz; and this is the man busy reducing the NBN to a copper fiasco ...

And yet somehow the pond was expected to swallow the story that this is right man to replace jolly Joe Hockey as the national Treasurer?

Presumably on the basis that having fucked community television, the ABC and the NBN, he was now qualified to fuck the nation.

Well the pond has got a great routine for that one:

That's a clear enough metaphor. John Cleese plays big Mal and the Norwegian Blue are his policy outings ...

The fatuous eastern suburbs fop is now a routine jibe around the pond household.

Yesterday when Optus managed to reduce broadband speeds to a crawl - both download and upload - the pond does a fair amount of uploading of data on certain days - there were raised eyebrows, and many a smirk and a sigh.

You simply had to mention the name "Malcolm's Norwegian Blue" to get a hearty, cynical horse laugh.

The self-regarding fop, who has an ego to match the levels of delusion around him, is a constant wonder.

Take this little outburst a few weeks ago when the AFR made the obvious point that consumers want a faster internet.

If you've ever sat grimacing at the computer as data uploads to the cloud at a crawl (yes Virginia there's more to life than watching the whirling wheel of doom on a streaming application), you'll treasure this sort of guff:

The Financial Review got three things wrong: 
Firstly, this was not a ‘Government report’, it was a report written for the government not by the government – the study the paper is referring to was conducted by an independent expert panel, who themselves commissioned three supplementary studies as part of their work. 
Secondly, the report did not state that “Australians don’t need more than 15mbps". In fact, the study made a distinction between a bottom-up use case for bandwidth demand (as outlined in this study) and a market view of what speeds Australians will be willing to pay for. So it’s not contradictory for there to be a difference between what people will actually pay for and what speeds will be of utility to them in the sense of being necessary for them to be able to use the applications they need and value. 

Now there's a man spinning with self-regard on a hamster wheel.

Quintessential gobbledegook, and gratuitously silly to boot. What on earth does that last sentence say and mean?

But do go on:

Thirdly, as pointed out in numerous places (including on my blog), the report didn’t say that 15mbps will be enough to satisfy the use case of all Australians. It stated that 15mbps was the line speed required by the median user for the purpose of the applications and services they required. And so clearly many users will clearly want and be prepared to pay for higher speeds and the ABS figures themselves show that the median user is accessing 8mbps-24mbps speeds (one of the curious findings in the data is that there was a slight decline in the number of premises accessing speeds of 24mbps – no doubt a statistical glitch which goes against the long-term trend). And as the study itself notes (on p.6), you would not configure your network to suit the needs of the median user: 
“Note that in offering figures for median demand, we are not suggesting that access network capacity should be based on this metric – by definition, such a network would (to some extent) disappoint 50% of households. Rather, access capacity should be driven by higher end users. Whether this means the top 1% or the top 5% (or some other figure) is a matter of judgement.” (here)

Turnbull is busy supervising the roll out of a system which will be expensive to upgrade, and which, where copper is deployed, or where HFC is relied upon, is already wildly out of date.

This is known, and yet in that blather, at no point does Turnbull bother to explain how the horse's arse he's building will service future demands and needs.

Which is why the pond now deeply regrets rewarding Hartcher with a click.

Turnbull for Treasurer? Oh why not, let's fuck the nation even more ...

But hey, at least it allows the pond to drag a few useful memes out of the bottom drawer:


  1. 'Private thoughts?'
    I would have thought satire and whimsy require an audience.
    You can't have private thoughts if you post them on a public email network. It is like expressing 'private thoughts' on a party line in Tamworth with Beryl Saunders clicking her purl and plain at the exchange with one ear trained keenly.

    Miss Pitty Pat

  2. And you have made me laugh until sobbing left me spiral-eyed with your Hartcher harangue.

    Do you think Pete sees the funny side? Maybe he is engaging in whimsy?

    The funniest bit for me was when one of the unnamed sources (do you think Hartcher has imaginary friends?) informed him that Turnbull had come to terms with not ever becoming PM. What is he sticking around for? All those cabinet meetings, visits to aged care establishments like the one where he was photographed looking as mournful as the Dormouse at the Mad Hatter's Tea Party. How that pic makes me laugh Dorothy. I am sure you could lay your mittens on it. Can you delight me again?
    These commentators are great. So agile. Their argument begins with three paras loaded with click-bait. Then it argues with itself and rounds off with statements which negate the original assertion. Is it called Shooting Oneself in the Foot?

    Miss Pitty Pat (amused)

  3. Turnbull destroying the NBN for the benefit of Murdoch is one thing but what really sticks in your craw is now Telstra is back in the equation big time.
    Telstra is the least worst option in my rural locale and I so looked forward to telling David Thodey he could stick his dreadful Telstra where the sun don't shine.
    A curse on you Turnbull and all the other LNP swine, Ebola is too good you.

  4. To quote the (then newly appointed) editor of the SMH, Darren Goodsir, in 2013: "Hold the front page! Hartcher Has Spoken!"

    When olitical savant and genius commentator Peter Hartcher opines profoundly about the Abbott Budget, the nation sits up and listens. So what was Pete's Delphic pronouncement on The Budget?

    "It’s too early to abandon hope."

    You DO have to laugh, don’t you?

    He then goes on to discuss, po-faced, one of the main reasons why Tony Abbott would not promote Turnbull to the office of Treasurer.

    Abbott’s jealous.

    So let's let Misery-Guts Joe stay in charge of it. There's years of trash-talking in him yet: how bad debt is, how they're going to strip away benefits, lifter, leaners and, of course, "It's all Labor's fault!" THAT'll get the punters back into the empty aircraft hangers they used to call "Harvey Norman" (been to one lately?)... all this with the added benefit that Joe has been absorbing king-hits from Abbott since Tony first decked him on the rugby playing fields of Sydney Uni.

    Hartcher today is back to his old tricks: writing-up restaurant gossip about leadershit. He even admits it was the drink talking. A group of Ministers, in their cups, drinking Scotch, reckon Joe Hockey should go, in favour of Turnbull. And here's the kicker: It's not gunna happen.

    The Abbott government is already doing so brilliantly on Foreign Affairs and international diplomacy (says Perspicacious Pete), now all they need is Turnbull in as Treash to fix up the economy and they’ll surge ahead in the polls. The Nation will breathe a sigh of relief. Consumer confidence will soar.

    He doesn't tell us who'll take over Communications after Mal's bumped upstairs. That's a shuddering thought if ever there was one. Bronnie, come on down!

    Yes, it's deep, deep, deep analysis from the International & Political Editor of the august Sydney Morning Herald. Youse can see why they pay him the Big Bucks.

    What next? Maybe he'll whip around to the back alley and go through the skip? Then he can tell us what the Anonymous Senior Liberal Power Broker was doodling on his paper napkin. Maybe he can even suss what the fortune cookie said?

    Thank God we have the likes of Hartcher to guide our thinking. Mr Goodsir was right: whatever Big H writes, Goodsir will print and say, "More please, sir". There's plent of it, too. Goodsir's grandly titled Editor Of Many Things writes everything that everyone tells him. Oh, the insight! Celebrate the context!

    The poor man has a desperate need to be relevant. To show that he’s still connected and gets the good goss. Forever an insider etc., etc. And to prove it, he peddles plutocratic piss talk from out the back door of the Greasy Spoon. "I am a camera," say Peter.

    Pity for Pete, he supported Rudd. That means he’s shut out now by the Libs. Maybe he thought they'd thank him for the regular Ruddstoration Routine? Sadly, all the advice he’s offered Abbot on how to deal with everything from travel rorts to Oriental potentates has been ignored. Cassidy doesn’t even invite him onto the show anymore (has he ever been on it? Even when he was there?).

    Look what his Rudd Love did for him and the country. Abso-bloody-lutely nothing. Rudd’s “triumph in the polls” lasted all of, oh, about a fortnight, and now Pete’s relegated to passing on Chinese whispers and leftover noodles from a Liberal doggy-bag.

    It's a shame that nobody – either in politics, or on the receiving end of it – takes any notice of him.

    Then again... thank God they don't.

    1. "Olitical" - seems to describe Hartcher rather well BB :-)

  5. Oiltical is even better

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