Wednesday, March 04, 2015

If it's all to do with the strength of Dame Slap and Murdochian ideas, then we're stuffed ... but at least we can do business with a Saudi Arabian shareholder ...

It's a busy celebratory day here at the pond, so let's get right on with the celebrations, thanks to Steve Bell, as we celebrate an eerie kind of animism:

Thanks Steve, and follow the link to Belltoons or the Graudian, and fun with Frankenstein can be yours.

Alternatively you can help the evil empire by giving money to the reptiles of Oz ...

But let's not think that cartoonists down under can't do a grotesque image or two.

Cop a squizz at the carbuncles on this Rowe:

Oh dear, and before breakfast too ...  and who is that man giving the dib dob salute? (and more Rowe here).

And then Pope offered up a hint of togs and tie fetishism:

Ah yes, the busy business of working towards ending bulk billing and making the poor pay through the nose for basic medical services is never ending ... (and more Pope here).

But at least the pond now feels heartened to deal with the follies of the day.

First up came that foolish fop, prattling away last night about how every single person in the party room supported Tony Abbott, meaning apparently some 39 must have resigned in the past few weeks.

So what's a gutless wonder say, if the pond dare deploy a Tamworthism, when asked if the pedal is ready to hit the metal and the rubber is ready to hit the road?

What a fop. He's only got the ticker to ruin the NBN ...

But speaking of Tamworth, what a heartbreak town it is:

Of course with coal, the world might be fucked, but never you mind about that. Thanks to the Northern Tamworth gets Daily Weirder, we can always rely on reports of Barners saying stupid things. Thanks Tamworth ...

Moving right along, it's time to turn our attention to the reptiles, and what a fine flurry of floozies there is this morning.

First up it seems that the bouffant one has a touch of the nervous nellies:

Yes, we've been training the Iraqi army since the long absent lord knows when, and hasn't that turned out well, and frankly even if it is a death cult, the next time that the pond hears Abbott chant his two word slogan 'death cult', it's an incitement to violence. 

Out of the way cat, the pond can't be held responsible if it's whacking season ...

How bizarre is it getting? 

Well there's the pond agreeing with Tom Switzer, writing for the Graudian of all places, and making sense with It pains me to say it, but Abbott has learned nothing about Iraq. He's taken the Islamic State's bait ...

At first glance, the new mission – to help train the Iraqi army to recapture the Sunni strongholds, such as Mosul, from Sunni insurgents – sounds like a noble cause. It is part of a US-led coalition effort to defeat the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists, who every sane person recognises as brutal barbarians. But the mission hardly serves the national interest of Australia or New Zealand, or for that matter the US; and it is bound to make a bad situation worse. 
This is decidedly a minority view among Australians, not least conservatives. Let me explain. 
For one thing, we’ve been there, done that. From 2003 to 2008, Australia helped the US government create and train an Iraqi army to the cost of US$25bn. This was, remember, the very same Iraqi army that disintegrated as soon as it faced Isis in north-west Iraq last June. The reason for that debacle had less to do with the might of the Sunni jihadists and more to do with the simmering sectarianism that has afflicted this arbitrarily created state for more than a decade. 
The Iraqi army, you see, is predominantly Shia and loyal to the Iranian-backed Shia-run regime in Iraq and to the southern parts of the country where the majority of Shia live. The Sunnis, on the other hand, reside primarily in the north-west regions of Iraq. In towns such as Mosul and Fallujah, the local Sunnis tolerate the Islamic State and other Sunni jihadists for an obvious reason: they are more afraid of the Shia militia aligned with Baghdad and Tehran. 
In other words, what is unfolding across Iraq, and indeed potentially the broader region, is a Shia-Sunni dispute. By intervening (again), we are taking sides with Shia Muslims against Sunni Muslims in a sectarian conflict.

And so on.

You have to hand it to the emperor down under. Anyone who can manage to put the pond in a minority with Tom Switzer is a miracle worker ...

But wait there's much more. Here's jolly Joe doing his Wayne Swan impression:

Uh huh. And the desperate, hapless, wretched, pathetic reptiles had to label this an EXCLUSIVE.

Well there's only a few more sleeps until the next budget, and the deficit, and the howling and the gnashing of teeth ...

And look, there's the man who traduces the good name of dog men everywhere maintaining the rage about Gillian Triggs:

What use is that? Well the pond never got the chance to run that greenies' twitter put down:

Indeed. And since the pond prefers real journalists to rabid ideologues of the feral doggy kind, let's move on to the next story of the day.

In which, sadly, the pond must reveal that it tends to take a biblical view of the private sector.

Yes, unlike the Caterists, and the rabid Kennys of the world, the pond always thinks of one word when looking at the way the private sector interacts with government.


Oh sure there are variations, greed is good, greed is great, greed greases the wheels, greed is the word, but in the end, it comes back to greed.

A kind of concupiscence, but not for sex, so much as money ...

What brought this on?

Well it's another story where the private sector media have run silent, run deep, gone doggo ...

Only the ABC has been focussing on what's going down in the jobs and training game, and the rorting that's going on, with the latest Evocca College under investigation by the Skills Quality Authority after reports of low graduation rates:

The figures show out of 38,213 students who signed up to its diploma courses in the past four years, only 2,058 were handed diplomas by October 2014. 
There were 16,567 students who officially cancelled and 3,897 who timed out of the course...

There's plenty of links in that story, and there's plenty more stories, such as Students' being deceived' by private training colleges, education brokers.

It's what happens when you fling public money at the private sector, and provide a useless regulator to offer some token supervision. Some folks are going to make out like bandits, and all the ideologues in the IPA are going to do is applaud it as an Ayn Rand sort of thing ...

Education and employment and government funding are now a kind of Ponzi scheme for the private sector, and yet you won't hear a bleat out of the Murdochians ... or anything approaching investigative reporting ...

But wait, there's more, because you always need a little potato to go with the meat, and what better potatoes than these two?

Well we can knock off van Onselen knocking off Fairfax because in reality it's just more of the same, which is to say, the reptiles at war with their rivals.

Who does van Onselen turn to for a fair minded assessment?

Mark Textor ...

Monty Python?

No, approaching Mark Textor is the Monty Python bit ...

It is of course all part of the reptile campaign that insists Abbott is on the mend, the polls have swung, the re-boot has worked, and all is for the best in the best of possible worlds ...

Now the pond has to admit a polling bias. The pond would rather swing a feather in the wind than trust Newspoll, but at the same time, we have to admire van Onselen's comedy stylings:

The increase in the Coalition’s primary and two-party vote may have simply been a consequence of margin of error movement. The three-point shift was within the stated margin of error for the Ipsos poll.

And, having criticised the poller for speculation about the polling, and the reasons the numbers might have swung, van Onselen closes by speculating in exactly the same way, and without any data to support the speculation:

It may well be that the surge in support for the Coalition came about because voters have started to factor in a change in leadership. Who knows? But it is equally if not more likely that any number of other factors impacted on the shift. A focus on national security, 
Shorten’s defence of David Hicks, Abbott’s attacks on the Human Rights Commission President, a backlash at the internal undermining of the Prime Minister by some of his colleagues, or just a general concern among voters with the opposition’s performance as the alternative government.

Well yes.

It may well be that van Onselen is a gherkin. Who knows? He might in fact be an ocelot. Who knows?

It could well be that he's a rabbit accustomed to rabbiting on in a speculative way ...

But wait, don't forget your steak knives, essential for dealing with potatoes:
 Uh huh.

Actually the pond happens to think its values are also better than George Pell's luxury frocks, apartment renovations and expensive kitchen sink. It happens to think its values are more to the point than those of women and gay bashing angry Sydney Anglicans. And it also happens to think that Scientology and fundamentalist religions of any kind constitute ratbag cults (but please just lay off that two word slogan. The pond can feel its IQ dropping by the minute).

So why just pick on the barking mad Islamic fundamentalists?

Well because it's easy, because it's simple to bash up one set of ratbags and ignore the others.

It's easy to denounce the looting and destruction of one museum, while overlooking the destruction of the museum in Baghdad under the watch of the forces tackling the axis of weevils. It's easy to denounce decapitation in the streets, and yet ignore the brutal butchery that goes on under the supervision of the wahhabists of Saudi Arabia.

It's easy to blather on about the rights of women and gays, and then turn a blind eye to the fundamentalism spread by that faithful set of allies of the Bush family and Rupert Murdoch (how about joining forces with a kindly Saudia Arabian shareholder?)

It takes what the pond suggests is a lavish dose of hypocrisy, along with said blind eye, and it has always been thus and so. Don't expect a considered view of the fire bombings of Dresden or Tokyo from the rabid ideologue. Just expect, they started it, so we'll finish it ...

And the result? Well it plays, as Tom Switzer noted, right into the hands of Daesh, who love the volume and the threat and the hysteria pumped up high.

In her own way, Dame Slap is acting as a publicist for the Daesh cause ...

She helps the cause with ineffable stupidity, and by courting notions that Judaism and Christianity have undergone a miraculous reform and cure:

Unlike so many Western leaders who flinch at difficult debates, Phillips does not: “There is a problem in the religion … it has not been reformed to enable it to coexist with Western notions of human rights.” 
That problem is compounded by the fact Islam has no tradition of introspection or self-criticism, she said. Contrasting her own ­religion, Judaism, which is introspective and self-critical, sub­jecting itself and God to critical interrogation, Phillips said: “On the contrary … anyone who comes along and says there is a problem with Islam, that has to be vigorously denied.” 
Phillips said in medieval times, Christianity perpetrated similar violence — beheadings, disembowelling, burning people alive — in the name of religion. But Christianity reformed itself. 
“It came to an accommodation in the Reformation with secular authority. It divided church and state. Islam has not had that kind of reformation,” she told Switzer.

Uh huh. This in a country where the PM has a fear of teh gays, and a fear of gay marriage, and a fear of having too many women in cabinet, and is an enthusiastic supporter of the financing of chaplains in state schools, and a devoted advocate of the funding of private schools dedicated to all sorts of religious fundamentalisms ... and hasn't that been a revelation in the recent inquiries into the behaviour of private schools towards the persecution of children ...

All this in a country where the dividing line between church and state is routinely blurred ...

And yet, compared to the religious fanaticism that suffuses the United States, what we manage is spit on the griddle of religious fundamentalism ...

How stupid does Dame Slap manage to sound?

Rather than Islamic State being a “thrill-kill group” that has hijacked Islam for its own cynical, pathological and secular ends, Wood’s investigation found the opposite: “ISIS had hijacked secular sources of power and grievance, and was using them for religious ends — ends that are, at least among some supporters, sincere and carefully thought through.” 

This from a country which, led by a born again president, embarked on an entirely useless and counter-productive crusade in Iraq, the consequences of which are still flowing down the years ...

Just as we have ignored Hizb ut-Tahrir as a genuine follower of Islam, we have failed to take at their word Islamic State and the Islamic terrorists who kill innocent people from Toulouse to Sydney. 
As Wood writes, there is “a Western bias that if religious ideology doesn’t matter much in Washington or Berlin, surely it must be equally irrelevant in Raqqa or Mosul. (But) when a masked executioner says Allahu akbar while beheading an apostate, sometimes he’s doing so for religious reasons”. 

Uh huh. But religious ideology does matter in Washington. The day that an atheist gets into the White House will probably the day the rapture arrives ...

And sometimes when an American sniper lurking high on a building takes out an unbelieving infidel two thousand yards away, perhaps we should accept he's doing it - at least so far as he himself consciously believes - for religious reasons ... unless he's carrying a bible as a handy form of body armour ..

 Unless we identify the source of this evil, whether it’s perpetrated in Syria or Iraq, or in the US, France, Canada, Australia, Belgium or Copenhagen, we cannot hope to confront and defeat it. And in an ideological battle, our best weapon is the strength of our own ideas.

And that's why Dame Slap and all the reptiles routinely fail the one eyed test ...

Right now a devoted Catholic Prime Minister, who sounds like a fundamentalist when it comes to gays and women, is sending more troops to the battlefield to do try, yet again, something that has already profoundly failed, and to get Australia engaged in a schismatic theological war between Shia and Sunni ...

It's a great pity Dame Slap didn't read Tom Switzer ...

There might have been less blather, and some actual ideas ... but fundamentalists need other fundamentalists so that they can thrive on the shouting, the hysteria, the conflict, and the killing fields ..

Yes, it's a long and winding and very circular road, Mr. Moir, and we've been there before, and we've already got there again, which means the strength of our own ideas is about one ply tissue quality (and more Moir here).


  1. Our values? Who is this *our* and *us* that Dame Slap refers to? Not me or anyone I know.

    And really what sad lack of faith in their western civilization they exhibit when they get all shouty and nasty about a few *extremists* being such a threat to *us* and *our* values.

    Pffft what sort of values are they if a few extremists can destroy them so easily?

  2. Now why is it whenever I see that schoolmarmish pic of Janet staring accusingly over the top of her glasses, I instinctively imagine her hand reaching toward the riding-crop on her desk!

  3. Clarke Jones in The Age has Abbott as the perennial lifeguard.

    As we know, the Prime Minister is a lifesaver himself and, speaking metaphorically, he has the potential to save people headed towards the dangerous waters of terrorism.

    This model has a lot going for it. Suppose every beach has a squad of lifeguards, and there is a lifeguards union, and a government department devoted to the business of lifeguarding. It's a booming business, until the mug public decide it's better to invest in water safety and swimming lessons, than being slugged fees for lifeguarding. Then the fun stuff of economic rationalism, or free-market liberalism, kicks in. Oh, how the constituents of the lifeguarding industry do bitch and moan!
    But, while there is cachet to be gleaned while promoting lifeguarding, you'd be a mug to discourage people from jumping into the surf. In fact, the more mugs with poor skills at the beach, the better.
    I leave the analogy there, except to note the Cobra effect.
    I am almost convinced Switzer is correct, that Abbott is hard-baked neocon. But, he could be just a rank opportunist, a weathervane, and that's why Turnbull has tipped his hat in admiration.

  4. Mustafa Kemal AtatürkMar 4, 2015, 10:35:00 AM

    'But Christianity reformed itself. 'It came to an accommodation in the Reformation with secular authority. It divided church and state. Islam has not had that kind of reformation'..."


    1. It didn't REALLY divide church and infiltrated !

  5. Carrot-and-stick, ambit-and-claim, pea-and-thimble, agenda-and-setting, value-and-signal, grinch-and-christmas.

  6. A very complex problem is being leveraged by a very simple man.

    If Tom Switzer is on to it, is there a very clear and present danger that other conservatives might get with the programme? We don't want to see DP's workload reduced by a dawning of common sense, and a willingness to think the bigger picture out now do we?

    I wonder if Tom could write a piece on the bumbling into Iraq in 2003 as well?


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