Monday, March 16, 2015

In which the pond indulges in art, horsewomen of the apocalypse, Salome, a blackmailing poodle, tyrannoboltersaurus, and sundry other reptiles ...

(Above: thanks to Viktor Vasnetsov for this, so the pond can relax knowing biblical mythology always produces bad art, but none so bad or as feeble or pathetic as Exodus: Gods and Kings).

The pond was relieved to learn today the actual "biblical incident" referred to in the latest flurry of leaks about Peta Credlin ...

Thanks to the ABC pumping up the volume for tonight's Four Corners, we learn:

Senior Liberal sources told Four Corners they believed the dispute was bound up in the crisis that rocked the Prime Minister's leadership earlier this year. 
In the text message, Mr Higginson told the senior Liberal figure: "I'm refusing to sign the 2013/14 accounts ... it has brought ... the Horsewoman of the Apocalypse out of her den as you can image [sic]. Black robes flowing. Stay tuned for the hatchet job on me ... it's hurting me just mainly watching the party suicide." (ABC here).

And there's more leaked messages promised, with the usual senior Liberal figures involved.

Well Higginson might know his numbers, but really if he's going to riff on the bible, he might have chosen a more apt symbol:

Look, there's Higginson's head being presented to Tony Abbott, there's Credlin, and at least one of her robes is a little dark, almost a black flowing robe, and clearly a hatchet job was involved, and it's all thanks to Carlo Dolci, paving the way for Ridley Scott ...

Enough already.

The always innocent and optimistic pond woke up this morning expecting an end to all the troubles and what was there, splashed at the top of the wicked Fairfaxians' digital page?

So that's what counts for an EXCLUSIVE these days?

A statement of the bleeding obvious.

It's EXCLUSIVE news that some voters think "lifestyle choices" Abbott is an embarrassment?

That's what it says, once you do the click bait trolling thing and get to the forced video:

Well they say you learn something new every day, but clearly some days you don't ... because the good folk at Fairfax got their click baiting muddled.

That headline "what western Sydney voters really think about the PM ... ten things you didn't know" should have been the splash, and then you clicked through for the astonishing news that some considered him up there with the dodo ...

Meanwhile, since the pond is attending art classes this morning, what a fine illustration was provided for the ideological zealotry of Paul "magic water" Sheehan this morning, who dares to discuss honesty, but never really did come clean about that magic water thingie ...

Well you know how to google, but what the pond would like Mike Baird to do is propose a ten lane motorway carving through the very best residences of the eastern suburbs ...

It'll never happen of course, but the pond can only dream ... and then we'd see how the magic water man managed to blather about honesty as the motorway tore though his ten dollar sourdough bread bakery ...

Meanwhile, the Bolter is back in love, with a love so fierce and proud that Greg Sheridan must be riven with jealousy.

There's nothing the Bolter loves better than the smell of a little black bashing in the morning:

He da man? Is that why the pond watched CHAPPiE yesterday? To don the the bling and learn the tyrannoboltersaurus argot?

There's a wonderfully perverse logic in what the Bolter scribbles. The humourless egotist always manages to put himself at the centre of the debate:

...any conservatives believe legally dividing us by “race” is immoral — a kind of apartheid. 
We would be treating each other not as individuals but representatives of a race, each fighting for advantage. That never ends well. That’s what many conservatives, like me, fear. 
So if Aborigines really want these changes, they badly need a conservative leader to back them, too, to win over the doubters and make the push bipartisan. 
A conservative like Abbott. 
And Abbott does say he’s “prepared to sweat blood” to get the Constitution changed. He even gave $5 million to Recognise. 
No one can doubt his commitment to Aboriginal Australia. He has worked for months as a volunteer aide in Aboriginal communities, particularly in the Cape York Initiative overseen by Noel Pearson. So Aborigines could not get anyone better to deliver conservative support, yet last week, some of their “leaders” once more treated him as their enemy.

So the uppity difficult blacks need Tony Abbott, so Tony can change the tyrannoboltersaurus's mind, except that the mind is not for changing, because after all, changing a few symbolic words would be an immoral kind of apartheid.

There's a lot more of course, condescending black bashing of the kind long perfected by the Bolter, explaining how the blacks don't have a clue about anything, and so they need a white massa to sort it all out for them ...

Meanwhile, the important business of dismantling "lifestyle choices" and packing blacks into town camps and disadvantaged shanty towns can continue apace, and be celebrated by the likes of the Bolter, reminding the pond once more of how that useful fool George Augustus Robinson fancied himself as the protector of Aboriginals and in the process did as much as he could to produce a Tasmanian Aboriginal genocide ...

The Bolter's also on hand to denounce a favourite target:

That's just an excuse for another repeat of a standard lie:

...there’s been no global warming for some 17 years, suggesting that claims we’re heating the world to hell have been exaggerated. Second, the world has been growing more food, not less, in this “warmer” world.

Such a bold, brave, bald-faced liar ... and as always the pond recommends a dose of alternative thinking after imbibing a bald-faced statement by the Bolter, as here at Skeptical Science.

But the pond is relieved to know that, thanks to rampant US government subsidies, the production of high fructose corn syrup continues apace, so that if climate change doesn't get you, then a US diet certainly will ...

Somewhere along the way, in his usual way, the Bolter forgets his inverted commas and his logic:

What exactly is the crisis here? 
Has the warming we’ve seen over the past 50 years been good for us? 
There’s actually been more rain over Australia. Add more warmth and our extra carbon dioxide — plant food — and plants should thrive. 
So why these stupid alarms?

So it has been warming after all, and maybe if it keeps warming, things might get a little tricky?

Over at Fairfax another alarm was being raised, and it wasn't about the flavour of the food:

More of Matt Wade's piece here, which concludes:

Australia contributes about 60 per cent of all the aid given in the Pacific Islands and is best equipped to lead major humanitarian operations in the region. With the humanitarian system under strain across the globe, it is likely Australia will be called upon more often to provide assistance after extreme weather events in the Pacific.

Oh dear, and just after the pond explained carefully yesterday, putting the frights into a cyclone-challenged reader by channeling Tony Abbott, that living in danger zones was a lifestyle choice, and deserved no rewards at all ...

What to say, except apologise, and note that the real horseman of the apocalypse is that stupid man, the tyrannoboltersaurus, and yet so alarmingly influential with Tony "climate change is crap, lifestyle choices" Abbott and his ilk ...

Enough already, because the pond's duty above all is reptile watch, so what's top of the page at the lizard Oz?

Well it's yet another case of spinning the back flip, treasuring the thongie flip flop thingie as some kind of Roman triumph, and who better to compete with the Bolter for the lifestyle choices man's affections than the bestest bromancer of all:

Yes, never mind that it's a pathetic imitation of the British - as you might expect from a colonial cringer and fawner, even more British to his bootstraps than 'love her 'till I die' Ming the Merciless - a story which you could find three days ago in The Graudian in US anger at Britain joining Chinese-led investment bank AIIB.

It takes some cheek to turn a craven follow the leader backflip into a celebration of the US getting a punch in the nose in Asia, but the Oz manages it, along with other triumphalism about the poodle:

There you go, the pompous one blathering about taking a stand, and a grim determination in the face of reality, and not a single splash about the childish, or more accurately adolescent foot stamping and blackmailing tactics of the poodle Pyne.

Well let them take their reforms to the next election - since they didn't do it at the last one, and actively lied about what they intended to do - and meanwhile let it be entered into the record that Christopher Pyne accused of trying to 'blackmail' crossbenchers to secure support for university deregulation bill.

How appalling and childish and irresponsible is the poodle Pyne?

"There are consequences for not voting for this reform and that's very important for the crossbenchers to understand," Mr Pyne said. 
"The consequences are that potentially 1,700 researchers will lose their jobs."

No wonder those crossbenchers responded with calls of blackmail and cries of outrage, and now it seems like the poodle has shot himself and his bill in the paw.

It doesn't get much lower than that in politics, gut wrenching for the people being held hostage by the blackmailer, and gut wrenching to watch the new collegial, consultative, caring government going about its business in the usual sordid, despicable way ...

But there was one bright spot this morning, and that's the way big Mal has lobbed a grenade on to the PM's desk, by way of a proposal to reform the Keating-era ownership restrictions. Just a sample of the woes:

The rest at Fairfax here.

What a delicious dilemma big Mal has presented to Abbott. Will he fold? Have you seen how a pack of cards behaves in a high wind?

The problem is that of all the entrants in the field, Foxtel is the one most threatened by intertubes entrants, and the one most in need of an artificial government-approved and allowed monopoly, especially in the area of sports broadcasting, though rabid targeting of piracy is also seen (foolishly) as a help, as opposed to timely programming ... yet if Abbott sends even more sporting events behind the paywall, it's about the only area there'd be a riot amongst tabloid newspaper readers who only read the drivel in the sports pages about the latest road pursuit or drugs and sex scandal ...

And finally, the pond was inordinately pleased to have cracked a mention at the Graudian, even if it was in the comments section:

Thanks AuldBrixtonian, you can slip your slippers under the pond's bed anytime, but the pond has to be a little churlish here.

You see, the pond needs the reptiles, in a perverse, 49 shades, love-hate, sado-masochistic kind of way.

Without the reptiles, there would be no pond.

Where would we be without the magic water man, without the bromancer, without Prattling Polonius, without the tyrannoboltersaurus, without the bouffant one, without the Monckton-worshipping Dame Slap, and so many more?

Nowheresville ... squaresville ... dullsville ...

Oh sure, it would be a happier world, more contented, less combative, less prone to foolish, stupid argumentation, but sad to say, the cartoonists would also suffer ...

So let's hear it for the reptiles, if only so we can hear it from the cartoonists ... like Cathy Wilcox, with an oldie but a goodie ...

(Below: and more Wilcox here).


  1. It is rumoured that in the Bolter's bathroom, there are two small, hand painted signs, one by the face towel, that says; "for face"...the other is above the roll of toilet paper, and it says ; "for arse"....I have noticed that Bolt's comprehension of the English language is sometimes confused and inverted.

  2. " Where would we be without the magic water man, without the bromancer, without Prattling Polonius, without the tyrannoboltersaurus, without the bouffant one, without the Monckton-worshipping Dame Slap, and so many more?"

    Shades of, but not the symptoms of ; "Droitgate Spa" ?

    1. For those who came in late, like the pond, and missed the reference:

      There is a terrible lot of snobbery, I am sorry to say, in all English health resorts. Visitors with merely a touch of arthritis are terribly snubbed by the swells with ailments which get written up in special numbers of 'The Lancet'.

      Romance at Droitgate Spa ...

  3. For a perfect model of the insane apocalyptic rant, DP, look no further than Ted Cruz. He could show a thing or two to our mumblers, in terms of eloquence. I had to endure the moaning drivel of Julie Bishop on the radio, earlier today. For Goodness Sake, Julie, get out of the anti-Labor rut before you end up bogged to the axles.

    1. Okay UC, the pond will see your barking mad Ted Cruz, and raise you the barking mad Tom Cotton, and there's another 46 Senate Republicans in the pot ...

  4. Speaking of lifestyle choices, remember "The Drovers Wife" by Lawson and the wonderful Drysdale painting of same.

    And here's a rather good academic paper discussing this at length.

    1. I remember a witty skit by many years ago (I think by Philip Adams) riffing on The Drover's Wife, in which his real wife turned out to be a sheep.

  5. On my mittens! DP...I would hardly like to entertain the thought that the esteemed folk who frequent "Loon Pond" know not of the erstwhile ; P.G.Wodehouse!!...perish the thought and clear the mind of such blasphemy...for, like that other invaluable tome of absurdian reference; "Catch 22", can there be a more worthy contender for the lay-person to rely upon to give sanity to this insane world?

    1. Maybe, but Wodehouse was accused of being a Nazi collaborator by the rather odd combination of Churchill, Sean O'Casey and A.A. Milne; he did broadcasts from Germany during WW2 and was never welcome back in Britain.

    2. Gosh!...What a marvelous segue!...almost worthy of " the man " himself !

    3. Yes, especially since PGW was found not guilty by MI5 and later awarded his KBE in 1975. The worst you could say about him was that he'd temporarily become one of his main characters (hooray for Bertie Wooster).

  6. No need to apologise Dot, I'm just jumpy

    And Abbott is equally scary.

  7. Is Andrew Bolting from reality,or being deceitful?
    !3 of the 14 hottest years on record have been in this century.

    1. Deceitful, and deliberately so. His other good points are that he is a lying hypocritical racist dickhead, and somewhat intellectually challenged, is suspected of having Asberger's syndrome, and dropped out of Uni in his first year.

      Altogether he makes the perfect reptile.

    2. Meant Asperger's

      "Asperger's, is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction and nonverbal communication, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development. Although not required for diagnosis, physical clumsiness and atypical (peculiar or odd) use of language are frequently reported."

      You can GHunt it.

    3. No, Aspergers usually have one extraordinary talent. Blot is just a dickheaded Dutchman from Darwin.

    4. I think you're thinking of savants. See my other posts below.

  8. "..Basic plugging of the nose seemingly makes it very difficult to differentiate between apples, potatoes and onions."

    Apples from oranges? Abbott from competent.

  9. Do you know that there is a rather delightful Italian white wine called Suave?

    I'm reminded of this every time I hear Malcolm Turnbuill speak.

    I'll come clean. Actually it's called Soave, but it could have been made for NBN Mal.

    "While most Soave is dry, still wine within the DOC zone a sparkling spumante style is permitted as are late harvest recioto and liquoroso styles."

    Expect some fiizz.

  10. My pleasure, DP, you deserve the kudos. I shall be nominating you for the AC, for services to herpetology.

    As an Aspie myself, though, I have to take exception to some of the comments made above regards my fellows.

    Fundamentally, it is highly inappropriate to speculate on whether someone is an Aspie as though it is a marker of idiocy or inadequate intelligence.

    Being an Aspie normally predisposes one towards rationalism and gives one a near-pathological distaste for deceit. It is certainly not an intellectual disability when well understood and treated with dignity.

    The average Aspie would recoil from the Bolter's nonsensical, illogical and deceitful rubbish with the full force of an antigravity belt on Jupiter. If he is one of us, he's doing a very good job of hiding it.

    1. A good point AuldBrixtonian. We should always differentiate between barking mad people like the Bolter, given to howling at the climate science moon and yowling at pretty much everything else, like a cat on the rooftop, and the ordinary differences of people. The pond is reminded of the long ago fuss over Annie's Coming Out, as if having cerebral palsy was a sufficient marker to judge everyone who had it as dumb.
      As for the AC, surely we can just make it a matehood, provided it doesn't involve any mating with Tony Abbott.

    2. AuldBrixtonian I also identify as aspie - I was diagnosed a few years ago - but the psychiatrists who make up the DSM have backed away from calling us 'disordered' and 'pathological' and now it is called being 'on the spectrum'.

      There is some evidence that the gormless chinless libertarians like the deluded little boys at the IPA are actually aspies who don't know they are not neuro-typical, and that is why they cannot understand the arguments that render their philosophy so meaningless to other people and to aspies who have had a wider experience of life that taught us something about how other people work.

      Johnathan Haidt, a psychologist who writes about conservatives and liberals and how they think and value things differently, did a survey of self-identifying libertarians to see how they fit into this division we see in our culture and his survey showed that libertarians do seem to have a lot of aspie traits.

      I think from my own experience that the aspies who are raised in mono-cultural families, especially those privileged families who privilege their children and who teach them to look down on the other 'lesser' people, are the aspies who grow up to be so incredibly selfish and at the same time unable to understanding that they are this way.

      I'm not sure about the Blotter being aspie, it's more likely that he's just a money grubbing asshat who likes attention and who likes to make other people feel bad about themselves so he looks good. He says he is a conservative and they are more likely to have a personality disorder that involves some sort of narcissism,

      And with conservatives, raised in often abusive private schools with often abusive religious guidance and in secretive societies and familes where all manner of ugly things are hidden and never spoken about, strange belief systems can develop and probably many of these people do suffer from a lack of self-esteem - I hear poor Jamie Packer had such a hard life with his father not approving of him.

      It's a hard life in some conservative families; apparently Gina Rhinehart says two of her children just don't have the genes to be intelligent enough to run the business. Wow.

      It seems that fear is the defining characteristic of conservatives like Blotter who as he says, fears that "We would be treating each other not as individuals but representatives of a race, each fighting for advantage. That never ends well."

      The main strike against him being aspie is that apparently we aspies are not able to tell lies unless we actually believe we are telling it like it is. But Blotter can't possibly believe the outrageous lies he tells; it must be for money and self-aggrandisement.

    3. Anon - I see your points and can accept your conclusions regards the libertarian conservative framework, but I would tend to assign the weight of causation on that framework rather than on Aspiedom itself.

      Plenty of neurotypical people also grow up warped under that kind of pressure, it's endemic to having those values controlling your development. What might have occurred, had parents had the appropriate attitudes and skills...

      The lies part of the Tyrannoboltersaur is where I also most easily can locate him as likely to be outside the spectrum - I can lie, but I need an strong ethical reason to do so, and pushing a conservative agenda just wouldn't cut it. He'd really really need to believe it was for the best. Better course of action is perhaps not to speculate on such matters.

      Dorothy, I have a relative who's got cerebral palsy, which manifest as no more than a twisting of the calf muscles. With Botox injections in the leg muscles, he was eventually able to realise his dream of playing for the school XVIII. We are different, and our differences are different too.

  11. I can follow Higginson's reasoning in referring to Credlin as the Horsewoman of the Apocalypse for it complements Abbott the Headless Horseman.

    1. A Tim Burton lover? Sleepy Hollow your favourite film? Never mind Anon, the point stands.

  12. Many thanks to AuldBrixtonian, DP and various correspondents for the interesting discussion on Aspergers. In an earlier life as an Employment Counsellor, I had responsibility for disability clients. It included a few (and their families) with autism and Aspergers there was not a lot of differentiation between them then. The difficulty in developing social skills was a major problem them and their families, and that was even before they encountered the outside world.

    AuldBrixtonian is right that with Aspergers especially there is an extraordinary reliance on logic to the point where alienation can occur simply because others around them aren't governed by logical reasoning. One parent I dealt with had an extremely difficult time nurturing her son through early childhood, childhood, and adolescence. It was an enormous strain on her son's siblings, and the stresses ended the marriage. By adolescence he had developed an interest in music. Success in that had helped him to cope with high school.

    When I was told the story he had passed 39 yers and was a member of the symphony orchestra. He led a "normal" life as a professional musician. Music seemed to work because of that commitment to logic and mathematical reasoning. I also have an untested theory that mathematicians as diverse as Lewis Carroll and Tom Lehrer could succeed in the arts through applying the antithesis: illogic and absurdity.

    I often wondered about my own childhood and early adulthood. I had no difficulty getting on with others, thanks to a loving and protective large family. I'd felt that I was 'odd' or different. I didn't understand lies, kidding or teasing, so that I was perceived to be naive. Luckily, a high intellect had allowed me to cope easily in classes. A bit carried into adulthood. When I was in my thirties and a manager I believed those higher than me would be governed by objective reason. Of course, ego and power come into it, but it took me a long time to learn that.

    I have seen similar in my second daughter. It's probably more a slower developmental phase for both of us. The main difference is that my daughter is totally uncompetitive and this has led to some setbacks.

    1. The pond is proudly different, and has been so for life, but it made things pretty sticky for awhile in that centre of the universe known as Tamworth, but yes, it's been very informative, and thank the long absent lord far removed from the idle abuse to be found at sites like the tyrannoboltersaurus ...

  13. Hi GD from the aspie anon above. I suspect that there are many more aspie girls and women than is thought and things are different for us in some ways than for boys, not because of the aspieness but because of the social structures that AuldBrixtonian refers to and the social dynamics that mean girls are not expected to be like that.

    Tony Attwood is an Australian psychologist who is interested in aspies. This article might be interesting for you and your daughter.

    1. Thanks for the Tony Attwood link, Anon. I will show to my daughter when we next meet. There seems enough there to conclude that she has/had a version of it. She has not had an easy path to adulthood because of a dominant/controlling mother whose aim seemed to be to shield her from the world at the very time when she wanted to find her own way.

      She does put the pursuit of knowledge ahead of personal feelings and would not be offended by my raising this issue with her.

  14. Well there's something wrong with Bolt. Maybe Narcissistic Personality Disorder is more appropriate. Symptoms include -

    Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

    Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

    Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

    Requires excessive admiration

    Has a very strong sense of entitlement, e.g., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

    Is exploitative of others, e.g., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

    Lacks empathy, e.g., is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

    Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

    Regularly shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    take-narcissistic-quiz-nowBecause personality disorders describe long-standing and enduring patterns of behavior, they are most often diagnosed in adulthood. It is uncommon for them to be diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, because a child or teen is under constant development, personality changes and maturation. However, if it is diagnosed in a child or teen, the features must have been present for at least 1 year.

    Narcissistic personality disorder is more prevalent in males than females, and is thought to occur in up to 6.2 percent of the general population.

    Like most personality disorders, narcissistic personality disorder typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in the 40s or 50s.

    Learn more about the symptoms and characteristics of someone with narcissitic personality disorder.
    How is Narcissistic Personality Disorder Diagnosed?

    Personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorder are typically diagnosed by a trained mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Family physicians and general practitioners are generally not trained or well-equipped to make this type of psychological diagnosis. So while you can initially consult a family physician about this problem, they should refer you to a mental health professional for diagnosis and treatment. There are no laboratory, blood or genetic tests that are used to diagnose personality disorder.

  15. Maybe things are changing. The Tele today has an opinion piece by Dr Gabrielle McMullin, getting stuck into Devine.

    1. Sadly Anon, it's more likely a typical Terror click bait strategy, with the next piece, the Devine turning on Gabrielle McMullin, in the follow up piece when women turn on women turning on women ...


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