Saturday, March 07, 2015
It's fundamentalist Saturday, and so the pond enters the Aladdin's cave of the crazed reptilian commentariat columnists ...
(Above: and more Pope here).
Discussion starter: has David Pope captured the rich psychopathology and the manic glee routinely on view in the poodle? Or would Frankenstein's monster be more to the point? Was there a role for King Kong?
Is the mystery of the cat in the box actually a too intelligent conundrum for a blackmailing, extorting sociopath?
Never mind, if you want another example of a scientist pondering the ineffable mystery of the poodle, there's always Les Field's Research infrastructure cuts harm science, the economy and the nation.
There (is) absolutely no real reason to couple NCRIS funding to higher education reforms. While the government might well be angered and frustrated that a hostile senate is blocking its higher education bills, it makes no sense to take this out on good science.
Sorry Les, the pond doesn't do sound policy or sound government, the pond only does sociopathic poodles and low comedy routines with pratfalls and cats in boxes.
Which is why the pond was vastly amused to read this Laurie Oakes' piece:
Yes it's a journalist talking about the leak fixers, courtesy of leakers leaking about the leakers and the leaking.
And the illustration is a ripper, featuring a solemn, stern fearless leader:
Sadly, Laurie Oakes uses the occasion of Stop the leaks to clear the air to deliver some outrageous slanders:
A week earlier, new Treasury head John Fraser had delivered a speech — complete with an eye-opening graph — showing how John Howard and Peter Costello contributed to the Budget damage that Hockey says we must now address.
The graph, Fraser told a business audience, showed that “the Government received positive revenue surprises at successive budget updates from around 2002-03 to 2007-08, primarily due to the terms of trade persistently exceeding Treasury’s forecasts”.
It also showed that “these positive revenue surprises were largely handed back through personal income tax cuts or spent”.
Much of the spending, including on “so-called middle-class welfare”, was done “without sufficient regard to the future prospects for servicing those ongoing transfers”.
Fraser added: “Generous income testing arrangements for Family Tax Benefits in the early 2000s and access to million dollar contributions to tax-preferred superannuation through 2006-07 were notable examples of middle or higher income welfare that contributed to the problem.”
Sorry Mr Oakes, the pond doesn't do sound policies, or offer a bipartisan approach, it only does hypocrisy and enormous stupidity, bedevilled by a generous serving of nattering negativity.
What's that you say?
The intergenerational report is, in affect, an admission of past incompetence and deception.
It also sits uneasily with apparent assurances from a chastened prime minister that this year’s Budget will not contain the kind of tough measures that alienated voters last time around.
If Hockey goes soft on the Budget repair task in May, his own intergenerational report will be there as a stark reprimand.
Why it's funny you should say that, because today is the day the pond loves best of all, the krazed kommentariat of the weekend reptile warriors doing their thing for the lizard Oz, and what a feast there is today, starting at the top of the digital page with the news that Abbott has already gone soft:
Ah the sweet softness, essential for tissues and toilet paper and the big issues of the day ...
By the way, that story Ready for a big future tracks, below the big softening, features a family reported on when the first intergenerational theft report came to pass, and offers up some sublime graphs - we must have graphs, there should always be graphs - such as this:
Sure, it's completely meaningless, but it looks very serious, perhaps because it uses Custom HTML again ...
I mean, projections assume the trend economic growth continuing for more than thirty years, and never mind the climate science ...
But let's cut to the chase. Look at the rich offerings this day:
What a kornukopia of krazed kommentariat kolumnists doing it for the lizard Oz...
And how reassuring it is. Perhaps the most touching outing came from Dennis "the bouffant one" Shanahan gently murmuring in our ears that all was now well:
But what's this? That solemn, tedious Paul Kelly has the arduous job of explaining how Abbott has gone soft, but still all might be well if he turns tough:
Oh dear, consider the bizarre contradictions at work:
Consider the bizarre contradictions at work. The Abbott government dumped its Medicare co-payment, the most rotten of the barnacles, and in a concession to the backbench lifted its defence force pay increase, only to produce an Intergenerational Report at week’s end that was an argument for tough fiscal savings of the type it was ditching...
...Abbott’s strategy is based on an unresolved contradiction that he makes no effort to disguise. He told parliament the IGR shows “that our country’s best days are ahead of us”, yet declared in the same breath this was “provided government can live within its means”.
Abbott and Joe Hockey are selling optimism about the future. That’s essential to lift their public standing. But the theme of the IGR is the need for savings equivalent to the unpopular May 2014 budget to ensure the future demands of an ageing population can be financed.
And so on. It should go without saying - but the pond loves to say it - that Kelly no more manages to resolve the contradictions than has Abbott and jolly Joe, but the pond enjoyed watching him writhing on the spit of soft v. tough ...
You see, the reptiles want Abbott to stay in, and act tough, but in order to stay in, he must at least pretend to be soft and go about the business of planning to be tough in a covert way, least he startle the leakers and they get to leaking more to Laurie Oakes than talk of the leakers being rounded up...
Well devotees of the krazed kommentariat would have noted that prattling Polonius scored a rare splash in the rotating reptile splash of doom:
Indeed, indeed. Only 3 or 6 but better than the usual Nowheresville.
These days the sublimely irrelevant Hendo, clearly heading towards doddering senility, reminds the pond of a kitten as much as Polonius. All you need is a ball of wool, perhaps with signs reading "ABC" and "Mark Scott" and the kitten will pounce on the ball and savage it furiously.
It occurred to the pond that no mention had been made, in the extensive reporting of the Knox Grammar school matter, of the way Mr Peter Roach is the school chair, Mrs Sue Conde its secretary, Mrs Fiona Balfour its treasurer, or the way the likes of Richard Alcock and Dr Simon Longstaff serve as council members (the school council is here).
But when you get a paranoid obsessive, and possibly delusional kitten having a go at a ball of wool, you have to expect a little fuzziness ...
It's such a bizarre and defensive, and naturally pro-Pellist and confused piece, that the pond would like to offer it to the world in all its faux outrage:
Yes, there's your crime right there, being a high-profile Australian.
But do go on, because, having defended the shameful behaviour of the Pellists, we need to get on with persecuting the allegedly shameful business of Scott and the ABC, as if somehow they're directly equivalent:
It's about this time in the laborious read - well Polonius always was a tedious old fart in Hamlet - that a couple of tendencies can be noted.
Firstly the way Hendo lives deep in the past, this time back in July 1975, and secondly the way he uses correspondence to harass people, as if they haven't got anything better to do than cater to his obsessional interests. And so it turns out again:
Dear sweet long absent lord, is that weird or what?
The pond looks forward to the Catholic church finally offering an explanation for its attitude to homosexuality, and an apology for its refusal to acknowledge the behaviour of Cardinal Newman and his sublimated homosexuality in the nineteenth century, when it was thought that men could love men, at least in a spiritual 'share my lodgings' way ...
That said, the pond can think of nothing polite to say about Hendo's column, or its logic, but what a sublime joy to realise this is what the reptiles at the lizard Oz feature as intelligent reading at the top of their digital page.
But wait, you left without your steak knives, and in reality there's more, much more, because the canine consorter is also out and about this day:
The canine consorter, it should go without saying, is a fierce armchair general, ready to bang the drums of war, and to smote mightily doubters and nay sayers:
When the Howard government joined the Iraq War in 2003, the ships remained while the army and air force were also deployed. That controversial war colours all debate about the current strife.
A strong theme of public and political debate is that we should not be too eager to get into another Iraq conflict. The grim reality is that our interests there are likely to be long term. Besides, the latest mutation of the conflict has reached out to our shores.
The source of the current bloodshed is not so much that the US and its allies have been too hawkish, but that we were too eager to withdraw from Iraq.
Much Iraq sentiment, perhaps understandably, is caught up in simplistic “war-based-on-a-lie” rhetoric laced with a post-Vietnam hankering for isolationism. Green-left elements and large swaths of mainstream opinion characterises the Bush-Blair-Howard action from 2003 as the genesis of today’s Islamic State horrors. This has a powerful effect on the current debate, encouraging politicians to limit deployments and fudge their goals. The reality is that a rush to retreat from Iraq created the incubator for Islamic State.
The reality is that the rush into Iraq on the basis of lies about WMDs and hysterical paranoia about the dangers Iraq posed to the world is what created the incubator for Daesh and other forms of terrorism, but you can't tell that to stupid war mongers as they contemplate the fall out from their first effort ...
In the process you have to re-write history in favour of Bush and Blair:
No doubt this experience, along with the changed dynamic after 9/11, informed George Bush Jr in the 2003 war triggered by Iraq’s non-compliance with UN resolutions on weapons of mass destruction, threats to regional stability, continued support for anti-Israeli terrorism and human rights abuses of its own citizens.
It was actually triggered by lies, and not just ordinary lies, but knowing lies and sexed-up documents...
Now the same routine is going down ...
Now we have a weak Shia-dominated government in Baghdad relying on Iranian support, Kurdish self-reliance and an international coalition to combat Sunni militants in the north of the country. This is a fracturing along the Sunni-Shia divide that so many worried about a decade ago, and it is worse than expected. By claiming territory and establishing their version of a caliphate, Islamic State has become an inspiration for jihadists worldwide.
The strategic consequences in the Middle East are amplified as it inspires murderous acts from Ottawa and Paris to Sydney and Melbourne and it offers itself as a nihilist base for those looking to plot further horror.
Sydney? As further evidence emerges today that the barking mad Monis was barking mad a long time ago, with a bizarre fixation on Channel 7 and its 'current affairs' show? (The pond uses the term 'current affairs' loosely, when 'current foot in door' would be more to the point).(Martin Place gunman Man Monis believed Sunrise 'insulted' Mulsims and 'instructed terrorists').
The pond has always believed that fundamentalists need fundamentalists to keep the flames of fanaticism burning.
And so it turns out with the dog consorter:
Back in 2003, Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard argued that Hussein’s Iraq could once again become a threat to its neighbours and the West. But now its northern regions have morphed into a more sophisticated version of the Afghanistan badlands that harboured al-Qa’ida, Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 plotters.
There is an informed view, best articulated in Australia by Tom Switzer, that this is not our battle; that the Sunni and Shia should be left to resolve their own schism. Yet the evolving lessons of Islamist extremism and failed states must surely be that there is no place to hide.
The evolving lesson? The dog consorter's tribe of armchair generals has managed to create many more places for extremism to lurk in failed states. That's the evolving lesson ...
The US and its Western allies have considered it worthwhile to make long-term military and diplomatic investments to guarantee security in eastern Europe, the Pacific and the Korean Peninsula. This situation is not analogous and caution is warranted, but we deserve an honest discussion about long-term investments in Iraq to stabilise the Sunni-Shia fault line.
So now the US and its western allies are going to sort out the Sunni-Shia fault line - running since the death of the prophet - by suddenly fighting alongside Iran while still keeping the fundamentalist Wahhabists in Saudi Arabia as allies ...
Leaving it to fester in a movable feast of Baathist nationalism, Syrian dysfunction, Iranian influence, Saudi sponsorship and Wahabist extremism is unlikely to be a safe — or humane — option.
And just as Australians have served in Sinai, Cyprus and Timor, our limited commitment in Iraq might need to last a very long time.
So there you go. A very long time. War without end, and fundamentalists given endless excuses to stand up agains the western crusaders ...
In short, when you're tired of dog fucking, why not keep on fucking the middle east, or as it's known here at the pond, the middle west, for a very long time ...
Oh Saturday, Saturday, what a heartbreak day you are, and every Saturday the pond reels away, chastened by reptilian madness.
But at least there's a Cathy Wilcox cartoon to hand, and more Wilcox here.
Posted by dorothy parker at 3/07/2015 08:17:00 AM