Thursday, April 30, 2015

Or how to drive a dead cert business into the burial grounds ...

Now there's a brand.

So how's the brand doing?

Oh dear, never mind, so how's the network doing?

More of that story here, and of course there's no connection between the Bolter's show and the network's fortunes, but what a pleasure to report Ten's progress.

In which the pond deplores the politics of envy and, inspired by Julie Bishop, tries to work out the most dire threat to civilisation at this time ...

(And more New Yorker cartoons here).

Once again the dastardly Fairfaxians are out and about preaching the politics of envy. Sometimes the pond thinks they're as bad as the Labor party:

Shocking, outrageous stuff.

No, not the hapless millionaires, who after all just want to run wild and free, in a benign world free of onerous tax, just like those tax-free bandits making out like lords on 18k a year ...

Look how they struggle and suffer:

There's more here if you like, but the pond is outraged that this sort of politics of envy should stalk the land, when the Bolter, courtesy of Peter Costello, has explained that there's not enough rich people to make a difference:

Yes, high income earners aren't the problem. Who cares if a few millionaires run wild and free, and what's wrong with envying them and their splendid accounting advice anyway?

Let them and the multinationals be, let them peacefully go about their business. And let the bulk of the population suffer instead ... It's called the dinkum Aussie idea of a fair go, because dinkums never envy, except in an aspirational way ...

And so to the problem of having a long and useless memory.

It seems only a day or so ago in the pond's mind that we were being warned about Iran and the axis of weevils, and before you know it, there was Julie Bishop heading off to have high level chats with the highest weevils.

It wasn't so long ago that North Korea, armed and posturing with nukes, was deemed a high risk. Why even the possibility of Pakistan's nukes falling into the hands of rabid ratbags was reckoned to be a real risk ...

But as Julie Bishop noted, there's no point in holding on to old, out-dated fears, when fresh newly minted fears are always turning up over the horizon, and so Islamic fundamentalists are now all the go.

Sure, those preaching the politics of this kind of fear can usually be found preaching against the politics of climate alarmism ...because you only need so many fears to do the rounds at any one time, and anyway, the pond has it on good advice that Bjorn Lomborg is going to sort that climate panic, and so cheaply too ...

So it's fallen to a couple of hundred thousand to pose a threat to the 7,3 billion or so on the planet (world population clock it here), so gangrenous, corrupt and festering are the masses that they're ripe for picking, and being turned into Islamic fundies and signed up to a world caliphate.

Now the pond has taken the top figure of 200k for the Daesh desperadoes, as per The Independent here, just to add gravity to the world's plight.

The pond has already noted Julie Bishop's astute fear-mongering on the desperation situation, which was naturally taken up by little Sir Echo:

Who knows how North Korean might respond, in a fit of pique at being so slighted?

So having already taken a shot at Ms Bishop's fear-mongering, you can imagine the pond's alarm at discovering that the reptiles of Oz have dared to publish a piece that dares to suggest that Julie Bishop might have been exaggerating just a tad.

This is the sort of heresy that verges on the treasonous:

How outrageous to note the conventional thinking of Daesh, which is to build a caliphate, which is to say a government, which is to say to build a state. Now sure the ambition might be to build a single one-world theocratic government to last a thousand years, but isn't that the aim of any decent "-ism"?

And there's an irony in Dibb mentioning a nuclear winter, seeing 

Shocking stuff. But what luck, thanks to a humble four mill to Bjorn Lomorg, that climate change doesn't constitute a palpable threat to world order.

Seeing how it's raining in Sydney right at the moment, is there a dumb one in the house?

Which reminds the pond of the real, dire and deepest threat to civilisation. The House of Murdoch ...

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

In which we are all nanny staters now ...

(Above: and more Pope here).

Is it only the pond that finds the news of nannies deeply and richly ironic?

For years now, the favourite term of abuse for anyone interested in good government has been to accuse them of being nanny staters in a nanny state, with a nanny state state of mind.

Dear sweet absent lord, if you head off to the IPA - though who could explain why anyone would bother with a site that trumpets itself as Freedom Watch - you'll even find that they have a tag called the Nanny State Files. (Careful, they like to check all visitors with ASIO before allowing entry).

But it isn't just the IPA. You'd have to be a rare commentariat beast not to have used the 'nanny state' abuse at some time in some column somewhere. The Caterists love the notion and are always railing against nanny staters; Janet Albrechtsen has regularly deplored the big government nannies who trample on her freedom. One of her classic entries in the field was Our kids are covered in bubble wrap ...

In fact the pond might be so bold as to issue a pond challenge. Google any commentariat name and the pond guarantees you'll come away with a nanny state mention and a link, or your money back.

Example, Andrew Bolt ... Too easy. Big Nanny pushes us off our bike in which the Bolter deplores the Victorian nanny state.

And that's just the first google link at the head of the queue.

Now the concept of a nanny state has never been quite clear to the pond. After all, it's only the rich who could afford nannies and the notion that Centrelink is a caring nanny suggests that not enough people have experienced the joys of bureaucratic indifference.

Indeed, in a rich and varied life, one of the pond's most treasured memories is sitting in an eastern suburbs kitchen having the nanny state denounced by a wealthy person, who at the time counted a general factotum, a cook, a gardener and a nanny in their employ - though to be fair the gardener was part time, because the rich ponces took on the onerous task of cutting and arranging the flowers themselves.

Still, the pond learned to curse and reflexively spit at the notion of Mary Poppins and nannies in general, and above all, nannies in the employ of the state.

So what will happen now that the Abbott government has introduced the first genuine, true to label, bona fide example of the nanny state?

There's more here, but what joy the program is targeting families on struggle street earning less than $250k a year.

The reptiles also brought the good news:

The rest is paywalled, so no point offering a link, but what a cute, winsome bub they selected to go with the story.

Though nannies — who must be aged 18 or over — will need the usual Working with Children Check and first aid qualifications they will not be forced to gain minimum early childhood qualifications. 
Further, the program will sit outside the National Quality Framework already in place for childcare centres which mandates minimum staff to children ratios and training standards, among other things. “The Productivity Commission Report into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning recommended nannies be an eligible service for government assistance to families,” Mr Morrison said. 
“The Commission found that for some parents, particularly those undertaking shift work such as nurses, police and emergency service personnel, nannies are used because working arrangements do not fit within standard operating hours of long or family day care. This is also the case for families in regional and rural Australia. 
“This has been reinforced to the government through our targeted consultation process as part of the development of our families’ package. Increasingly nannies are being used by families to make sure they can meet their workforce commitments. 
“Parents doing shift work or working irregular hours need the reassurance that their children are safe and happy in their home while they work to support their family, as do those families in rural or remote locations or those with other accessibility.

Yes, and remember it's heavily means tested. No one earning over $250k can have a state nanny, they must buy their own!

So what will the reptiles do now for a term of abuse?

Will they turn to camera and say as one "we are all nannies now"?

Meanwhile, the reptiles have produced some fascinating reading for the day, far too extensive for the pond's puny resources.

Look at this rich juxtaposition:

But surely it's obvious Mr Wiltshire. If the poodle vacates school education, why it might develop into one of the best in the world ...

And then there was this bit of house-keeping:

Uh huh. Well if a twit like freedom watching IPA's Jennifer Oriel is wheeled out to defend Lomborg, it's likely that there's some fire as well as smoke, and it must be political and ideological, since with Oriel present, it could hardly be scientific ...

But when push comes to shove, the pond will always go with Dame Slap, who is in top notch form this day:

Ah yes, there's nothing like the tortured convolutions involved in saying some freedom of speech is good, and some bad, and it's all the fault of the lefties. But do go on:

Ah yes, dangerous elites. Worse, lovers of the nanny state!

But let us do our duty, let us make a timely call, for we are all nanny state lovers now ...

Finally, speaking of free speech, the pond was bemused to see the reptiles try to lather up some indignation about a creationist film:

Akerman? Now there's an unfortunate name, but do go on:

Yes, indeed, and that's where, with due respect, Danny Jarman clearly didn't have a clue.

The idea of the tax scheme is to prevent editorialising. That way the likes of Graham Burke's Roadshow can loot and pillage the Australian tax system to make all sorts of tosh and fairy floss for the US, and no one will say boo to a goose about it ...

But should the Australian tax system support ignorance and folly and silly creationist fundamentalists?

Ah, but we are all nanny staters now ...

And if you've managed to reach this point, give yourself a treat, and you could probably also do with a cartoon, and more First Dog here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

In which the pond celebrates the nation state and a couple of world wars, thanks to Julie Bishop, with bonus Caterist outing and free Lomborgian treat ...

You can imagine the pond's state of alarm.

Everywhere all kinds of unpatriotic leftie pinko pervert commie swine, full of hate and loathing, in Fairfax and the ABC, and who knows where else, and all determined to subvert and undermine the essence of bodily fluids that has made this country great.

What's that you say?

There are bigger fish to fry, even bigger threats, an even more dire reason to be alarmed?

By golly that sounds serious. The pond wants to know more, tell me more:

Well you can get more gems at Fairfax here, but the pond couldn't manage to get past that line:

In a speech to the Sydney Institute on Monday night, Ms Bishop said the so-called Islamic State and the ideology behind it tore up the rules of nation-states that had helped moderate international conflicts for centuries.

Moderate international conflicts for centuries!

Two days on, it seems Bishop completely forgot what Anzac day was celebrating, which just so happened to be Australia's participation in an actual humungous world war, shortly to be followed by an even bigger world war.

So that's where moderating international conflicts for centuries will get you ... a couple of really moderate world wars, with the odd skirmish in between.

Oh there was this too ...

As such, it was a threat to the Westphalian system of nation-states, which was created nearly 400 years ago in Europe at the end of the Thirty Years' War and established the principle that each country had sovereignty over its territory and affairs. 
This international system had been the "foundation of humanity's efforts to build peaceful, safe and prosperous societies", Ms Bishop said.

Yes, yes, the way the British empire gave sovereignty over their territories and affairs to all their nation states, and so early in the empire's days too ... just look at India and Pakistan and all the other countries that enjoyed that sovereignty ... just like the French, the Germans, the Dutch, the Spanish, the Belgians in the Congo ...

Now how's Godwin's Law going?

Ms Bishop suggested the ideology of the Islamic State – also known as ISIL and Da'esh – was the worst the world had seen since the Nazis. She said the virulent new form of international terrorism that the group represented posed a "real threat to the … system of the nation-state".

But, but, billy goat, the Nazis embodied the system of the nation state, and wanted to turn their nation state into a decent empire like every other European power had managed, since surprisingly after the first world war, the British didn't actually get around to dismantling their empire, and handing sovereignty back to component nation states.

Conclusion? Bishop really shouldn't be let out to give speeches of an hysterical, alarmist kind at Hendo's Sydney Institute.

Never mind, her attempt to downgrade the threats of commie leftists are as water off a duck's back to the real visionaries, and so, it being Tuesday, the pond proudly presents the Caterist view of the world, which it has to be said isn't full of banks making stupid, dangerous loans, but rather, evil wicked leftists exploiting the humble bankers' weakness for a deal:

Yes only a stumble bum sitting in a Canberra think tank can be fully alert to the politics of envy, a shocking form of politics which sees the serfs resenting the rich eating cake. 

The peasants are revolting, and of course it's all the fault of those dangerous leftists that Bishop wrongly sought to diminish:

Dear sweet long absent lord, Britain and Australia in ruins, and all this jibber jabber about compassion, and where will it end?

Why in some kind of austerity aversion, whereas everyone should be wearing the patented Nick Cater hair shirt!

Detail of an initial 'N'(isi) of the Virgin Mary giving St Thomas a hair shirt to wear; the rubric above reads 'nr dame vest un here a sceint tomas' ('Our Lady puts a hair shirt on St Thomas'); from the De Brailes Hours, England (Oxford), c. 1240 - see here for more). 

Sorry, where were we? The pond often gets to feeling a little faint, and giddy and light-headed on Caterist day.

Were we talking about naughty leftists and wonderful bankers and the need for aversion to austerity aversion?

What's the bet that damned leftists are mounting challenges of the most shocking kind in every damn country on the planet!

Where's your nation states now Ms Bishop? Totally stuffed, it seems ...

And there you have it, as meanwhile the noble Coalition goes about the thankless task of shovelling the moola into the pockets of the rich end of town, and what thanks do they get?

Nada, zip. It's so unfair. What better way to fix up the budget than by shovelling a couple of hundred thousand or so down the throat of the Menzies Research Centre ...  and the odd million into Lomborg's consensual centre .... and where's the gratitude, apart from a constant pandering to the coalition by the Caterists, and an assurance by the Lomborgians that there's a lot more to think about than climate science ...

Finally, since somehow the Lomborgians got into the mix, there's a bonus this day, and the pond owes it all to Media Watch. 

No doubt Paul Barry thought he was making an incisive point in the matter of Bjorn Lomborg and making a masterful display of his objectivity when he said this, here:

...Lomborg is not a contrarian for nothing. And after years of championing fossil fuels, this is what he wrote in Canada’s Globe and Mail just ten days ago. 
It’s time to stop subsidizing fossil fuels.  The billions of dollars that governments could save from phasing out fossil fuel subsidies could be spent on providing better health, education and nutrition, which could benefit hundreds of millions of people. — The Globe and Mail, 17th April, 2015 
Getting rid of fossil fuel subsidies in Australia would save at least $9 billion a year ... and cut carbon emissions. 
And one Australian political party thinks it would be a terrific idea. So would that be the Liberals, the Nationals, or Labor? Actually, none of the above, it is the Greens.

Actually Lomborg has for years said it's time to stop subsidising fossil fuels ... provided that, at the same time, the subsidising of green and renewable energy is also stopped.

It's just another part of the contrarian confusionista's tricks, and Lomborgian ruses on subsidies had already been done to death long before Barry caught up with them - for example, Lomborg's piece in the WSJ in 2013, which can be found linked to and with a commentary on it here.

The pond has no idea why Barry chose to throw his glib, superficial hat into the ring, though the pond understands that too much time spent in company of reptiles can lead to a condition that's known as "parietal eye", which allows for a proper reptilian view of the world.

The pond has been wondering how long before the reptiles would break from cover, and give their favourite son a kind word, and it happened today.

And what do you know, it's those damned greenie lefties again, and lordy lordy did Julie Bishop get it wrong:

So what's the evidence that there will be blather about evidence-based research, yet when all's said and done, evidence of such evidence-based research is pretty scant, whereas contrarian obfuscation is pretty rampant?

Well here's the evidence, and yes, the Fairfaxians and the ABC are the villains yet again. Someone failed to tell them that Paul Barry joined the Lomborg party, and what's the bet that guff about fossil fuel subsidies will get another run?

Uh huh. It's that old saw, teach the controversy, debate the debates, talk up the reason, and all while emanating a fog of confusion and contrarianism for well over a decade, thereby ensuring that saucy doubts and fears see will sapped and nothing done ...

And if you happen to point it out you're being hysterical and anti-democratic and a fascist stomping on impure thinking and harmless discussion, because using value-laden language like that is the reasonable way to conduct a well-reasoned debate ...

Well played Mr Barry ... did you think that they'd notice your attempt at Lomborg love? And even if they had, don't you understand you're still a part of that axis of weevils, the ABC, Fairfax and the twitterati? Foolish fellow traveller ...

(Below: and more cartoons for rabbits and pigeons at the New Yorker here).

Monday, April 27, 2015

In which film buffs argue about whether Greg Hunt Ascending or Murdoch Reptiles Ascending might be the worst movie of all time ...

Surely future generations of hardened screen veterans will fight for many long hours about Jupiter Ascending. 

The battles will be bitter, vorpal blades will snicker, brave warriors will drop like flies, and yet the question will remain in dispute, an ontological mystery deeper than transubstantiation.

Is this the worst film of all time? What about Showgirls, what about that scientological marvel Battlefield Earth? Is it too easy to lead with an Ed Woods' film like Plan 9 from Outer Space, when surely the capacity to turn $176 million into visual fairy floss should count for something?

Is it wrong to mock Graham Burke and Roadshow? Is this what protecting IP via a TPP will mean?Should the stocks return to the village green for corporate vandals? Should Roadshow be made to reimburse even pirates for their inhuman suffering and possibly permanent eyeball damage? Who can Mila Kounis and Charming Potato sue? How did Kick Gurry score himself a role in the folly?

While others were distracted by mere matters of life and death, peace and war, these were the questions the pond wrestled with on the weekend, and came no nearer to solving, though by the end of it, the pond was leaning towards the notion that Jupiter Ascending was so bad, it really wasn't so bad at all ...

On the other hand, the pond also took in La isla mínima, aka Marshland, a Spanish policier set back in time in the immediate aftermath of Franco's fascist regime, with an amiable Spanish cop who's corrupt and tainted by the past, working with an uptight, cleanskin but grumpy cop to solve sex crimes.

In other words, the story is no big deal, but the stench of the dying hand of fascism was a nice touch. The film also had the virtue of good direction, good performances and excellent visuals, and in these Jupiter descending times that was enough for the pond. Besides, it had some lovingly atmospheric shots of the Guadalquivir Marshes:

But why has the pond reverted to film review mode?

Well, the pond could have kept on brooding about the NBN, and the way the company has decided to spend 700k to get a couple of letters out of its name, and spent further time dwelling on the manifest evidence of the failure of conception and failure of roll out that now bedevils the Co. and should, if there was justice in the world, see Malcolm Turnbull tarnished forever.

How irritating can it get?

On Monday the NBN is launching the new positioning of “NBN: bring it on”, with a new branding which aims to create a sense of optimism and inspiration while it also aims to encourage people to harness their potential. 
“At NBN we have been wrestling with the whole idea of do we need a prominent brand knowing we’re a wholesale organisation, or really can we continue as a project as we are at the moment,” NBN executive general manager of brand and insights Kent Heffernan told Mumbrella. 
“We believe that new brand positioning, visual identity and new brand strategy can really optimise and make all of our communications moving forward more efficient.” (here).

Bring it on? Yes, that's really bloody irritating ...

To cut costs the existing brands and logos will remain on trucks and stationery until they are used or expire, after which they will be replaced with the new branding. NBN Co described its logo scheme, which will largely comprise of multicoloured dots, as being better aligned to the "Australian spirit of optimism." 

Mr Heffernan said the program had taken 6 months of hard work with meetings and interviews with 400 staff, adding that this was the standard timeframe for a rebranding of this size. (here)

Oh FFS, it's a bloody wholesaler selling slow to install dud goods, and it takes six months and 400 staff to change a logo and come up with a new, lying slogan?

At least it explains why the pond will never experience genuine broadband in its lifetime ...

Better for the pond to turn to yet another reliable topic, the many failings of Greg Hunt.

The intrepid fraud has been out and about defending Bjorn Lomborg, and attracting the ire of leftists, as you can read in New Matilda's A Simple Guide to Understanding Greg Hunt's 'Nonsense' Carbon Con:

“The most important thing to get straight in terms of misinformation and misleading comments there yesterday was Minister Hunt’s assertion that the carbon price was $1,300 per tonne,” Professor Frank Jotzo said. 
“That’s about as wrong as you can possibly get it,” he said. 
The real price was in the 20-odd dollar range, and if the carbon tax had been allowed to develop into an emissions trading scheme, which it would’ve by now, the price would be linked to the European system which is trading at around the $10 mark.

But you expect this sort of stuff from your small independent publishers. It's easy enough to discuss the emperor's new clothes when you get a man so devoted to walking about nude of ideas in public.

You might even expect a raised eyebrow in the Fairfax press, as in the AFR publishing Greg Hunt's claims about reducing carbon tax emissions are not credible. 

In that piece, lawyer Marcus Priest gave Hunt a good paddling, and not just for the fraudulence of the $1,300 figure, but for other Hunt remarks that were breathtakingly audacious or bogus, or both.

And in its own way that somehow brings the pond back to the film industry:

It is also important to note that a large number of the successful bidders in the ERF auction were land sector and forestry schemes that were already operating under the existing Carbon Farming Initiative set up by the previous government – ie, they have just been transferred into the ERF. As a result, there is a question about how much of the 47 million tonnes of abatement that will be delivered under the ERF would not have occurred without the scheme's operation.

Yes, there's fraud in operation there at a couple of levels - borrowing old ideas and dressing them up as new, and at the same time, making them the centrepiece of your own initiatives.

Now your genuine film buff will remember the tax-rorting heyday of the Australian film industry, when boondoggles were all the go. The 10BA era was something to see and David Stratton even wrote a book about it called The Avocado Plantation, drawing attention to the way film was being funded in the same way that avocado plantations, olive groves, pine tree stands and assorted other land sector and forestry schemes were put together, courtesy the government offering the private sector wild-eyed tax breaks.

Like the routinely ignored Australian films that were financed this way - take a special bow Tony Ginnane - the press was full of stories of failed olive schemes, pine plantations that had gone to ruin, and other scams and failings that usually arise when you get a government tax rort being looted by entrepreneurs.

Naturally these sorts of managed investment schemes/tax break speculative agribusiness boondoggles made a big come back in the Howard years (Tax breaks for city farmers under fire).

Of course the fall out usually comes years after the schemes were set in motion, and Hunt's assorted borrowed schemes are still in their infancy, but the signs aren't good.

Meanwhile, the emperor's clothes are looking pretty threadbare.

How does the pond know that?

Well you have to look past the indies and ABC and Fairfax, and note the level of discontent at reptile HQ.

Ah the reptiles:

Have a look at this reptile editorial, published this very day.

Note the header - a good start, but direct action is not sustainable! - and note the reference to sleight of hand:

Now you have to read between the lines - this, after all, is the reptilian Oz, and they are routinely as fraudulent as Hunt.

But it's clear enough that the reptiles know that Hunt's scheme is a dud, which will become too expensive over time, and  which rewards the wrong people, the polluters, and when it comes to the crunch will flame out ... which is why there's such fear and loathing about what might happen at the Paris talks.

All that's left for the reptiles is the familiar mantra of blaming Fairfax and the ABC and the greenies.

Yes, you can't make up this sort of reptile clap trap:

Roll that one around on the tongue. No, not the jibber jabber of the radical decoupling of humans from nature, whatever that might mean, though it seems involve dumping huge amounts of nuclear waste into the landscape so it can sit there festering away for thousands of years.

No, not that glib throwaway line about how nuclear fusion will sort everything out, though you might have just been reading Don't get too excited, no one has cracked nuclear fusion yet.

No, roll this one around:

If and when most of the industrialised world moved to carbon pricing, Australia could not remain aloof from the efficiencies of a market-based system indefinitely.

If and when ... can't remain aloof ... Greg Hunt in la la land ...

Oh yes, it's a doozy.

And yet the reptiles, courtesy the likes of Graham Lloyd, and their resolute support for the confusionista Bjorn Lomborg, have done more than most to instil a climate of fear and hysteria about market-based solutions to a genuine problem.

The result is Greg Hunt setting in place a system he has used bodgied statistics and false claims to sustain, yet even the reptiles know, if this editorial is any guide, deep in their hearts, that Hunt in the last week has been producing all kinds of dissembling tosh, misrepresentations and falsehoods, ...

And all they've got left to blame is the ABC, Fairfax and the greenies...

There's been an epic failure, no doubt about it, but it's not of the ABC or Fairfax's doing ...

Stand up, take a bow, reptiles of the Murdoch press ... the confusionistas have won ...

And now, thanks to its weekend viewing, the pond knows where that leads ... and the Charming Potato's nowhere in sight to help ...

Yes,  life with the reptiles and the Greg Hunt is worse than spending time with a contender for the worst movie of all time.

What a gloomy way to start a Monday ...

Sunday, April 26, 2015

In which the pond manages somehow to link Bjorn Lomborg, Balmoral, Krishnamurti, David Pocock, and that hate-mongering troller Miranda the Devine in a Sunday meditation ...

So many loons, so little time, but the pond is indebted to its correspondents.

Inspired by one, the pond headed off to Miranda the Devine's grotesque twitter account, which you can also do here.

Oh sure if you look at the front page, it presents as just a standard sort of page view. But click on a tweet and you get the messages framed by that hysterical, jumbled montage of newspaper banners.

It's about as subtle as a haddock in the face, and perhaps more like a bottom-feeding flathead, the Devine happily splashed about in the sewer vent.

And then there was the news another correspondent brought on the Lomborg front.

A vegetarian with theosophical origins?

Yes it's all here.

Now Madame Blavatsky is too well known to dwell on at length here (you do know she was an early supporter of Isis, don't you?), but it reminds the pond of one of its favourite Sydney anecdotes, featuring the sage Krishnamurti:

That's the Sydney Mail on 3rd March 1937. The rumour was that Krishnamurti was going to walk across the waters of Sydney harbour, in a manner befitting the new Christ, but with infinite wisdom, the sage realised that this might be a bit tricky, and disavowed the Theosophists, amphitheatre buildings and institutions in general. 

Of course there are some spoil sports and pedants who suggest that the proposal to walk between the Sydney heads was a bit of mythologising, but it was certainly built for theosophical purposes:

The Star Amphitheatre was a Grecian Doric style structure built between1923 and 1924 above Edwards Beach, at the northern end of Balmoral. It was a site described as having ‘the best view from Balmoral Beach of theNorth Head of Sydney Harbour’. (Roe 1980, p104).
The amphitheatre was designed by architects, J.E. Justelius and Son, and built by John Jamieson at a cost of 16,000 pounds. The architectural drawings showing the beach elevation indicate that it was three stories high, with the stage towering 21 metres (70 feet) above the beach. Underneath, at beach level, was a library, meeting halls, meditation and tearooms. The Star Amphitheatre could seat 2000 people and had standing room for another 1000. The building was partly cut into the sandstone rock and partly constructed of concrete. (Souter, 1994, p167). At the time the Mosman Daily described it at the time as a ‘remarkable building of massive beauty’.
There are many myths surrounding the purpose of the Star Amphitheatre, the most sensational, which is still made by some media today, was to witness the second coming of the messiah—walking on water through Sydney Heads! 
It was built by The Order of the Star in the East, an offshoot of the international Theosophical Society, which had been formed in 1913 by Mrs Annie Besant and Charles Webster Leadbeater. In 1914 Leadbeater left the headquarters in Adyar, India to establish a Sydney community. The Order of the Star in the East had been established to prepare the way for a new “world teacher” who would use the amphitheatre to address his audience. This teacher, Jiddu Krishnamurti had been found by Leadbeater as a young boy. He subsequently rejected this role as a messiah and only spoke there on one occasion.
Mary Rocke, a retired doctor, member of the Theosophical Society, secretary and physician to Leadbeater, purchased three adjacent blocks of land sloping from Wyargine Street, Balmoral to the beach. With a loan of 4,000 pounds and the rest of the cost raised by selling subscription seats, the Star Amphitheatre was built on this site. The amphitheatre was described in the Theosophical publication The Star as ‘a symbol in stone of that which our daily lives should be …simple,pure, clean, dignified’. (Roe, 1980 p102). (in pdf format, google for the source).

All long gone now, but what is true is that Krishnamurti was due in Sydney in 1929 for the big Messiah event, and the amphitheatre was to feature in a big way ... but sadly that was the very year he pulled the plug on the whole box and dice of the Star of the East, and his 'no guru, no leader, no teacher, no religion, no sect' path became his standard line ... which the pond copped back in 1970 in the Sydney town hall ... oh so long ago.

Krishnamurti had started presenting "the new messiah" as "an ordinary fellow" before the proposed 1929 Sydney junket, as you can read in the Adelaide Register on 31st July 1926 at Trove, starting top left here, and the fall out in Theosophical circles caused by his departure was immense for Annie Besant and Charles Leadbeater, as remembered in the Sydney Morning Herald, 18th May 1954. at Trove here.

Which brings us back to Lomborg, and it suddenly became clear to the pond why it finds him so unnerving.

Now it's wrong to play the man rather than the ball, until you discover that the background to the man is so revealing and suggests something about the origins of his ball-handling skills.

Just as it can be said that the pond's understanding of life, the world and science has been deeply warped by Catholicism (whither limbo? where in the bible purgatory? why all this fleshly guilt and self-loathing? why did nuns delight in torturing small children?), so it can be said that Theosophy must surely leave a mark.

Never mind, it's all a bit of a quest and a learning experience, and so to return to the Devine.

It is truly remarkable that a woman that puts out such bile and snark should then wonder why she gets it back in spades.

As the correspondent noted, there was another encounter, to be found on Twitter here:

Now the pond will confess to having vaguely heard of David Pocock, who seems to upset conservatives for some reason, but that response was just too polite.

You see, when someone calls you a tosser, they should do it for a good reason. They shouldn't be able to call you a tosser and then say, oh sorry got that wrong, without at least owning up to the fact that that sort of behaviour makes them a tosser supreme, or if you will, a tosser compleat.

The point is that the Devine had already sat in judgment on Pocock because of his alleged political or social attitudes. That he made some arcane gestures with hands only confirmed in the Devine's eyes that he was a tosser. When it comes to looking at people, the Devine's the hanging judge kind ... all prejudice and bile, and let's not go all soft and lovey-dovey and dewy-eyed and touchy-feely huggy-wuggy ...

The pond routinely thinks of Miranda the Devine as a tosser, but only because there's so much evidence, and not just in the matter of Pocock.

Which is why the bemused response of the Devine was so bemusing:

Translation: I'm an offensive insulting git, and I didn't realise and I didn't think, but let's make anything out of me being a twit, let's just move on.

Which is why if the pond had been Pocock, it would have been asking, What is wrong with u Devine? Why did u toss off a gratuitous insult about someone being a tosser without having the first clue what u were talking about?

Admit you're a tosser and a wanker and a trolling fuckwit for good measure, and then we'll move on ...

Here's the rub.

Apparently Pocock is a Christian of the forgiving kind, while the Devine is a Catholic of the elephantine, blundering, hate-mongering kind ... which is to say not much of a Christian, so much as, pace Krishnamurti, a wretch trapped in an institution and badly in need of an alternative way of looking at the world.

Yes, you need to be an ex-Catholic tosser to spot a Catholic tosser ... QED, that's where idle, superstitious chatter about limbo and purgatory and transubstantive cannibalism will get you ... snapping at pink condoms and people reputed to take an interest in gay rights ...

Ah well, it passes for a Sunday meditation, but you can't expect much depth, not when the subject's the Devine, and you could drown in a couple of centimetres of water ...

In which the pond makes a scientific breakthrough to astonish the ages and then turns to brooding about genocide and tradition ...

(Above: the very spot where the pond's amazing scientific insight struck. And while the fallen apple might appear to be invisible, rest assured it's there).

Yesterday the pond managed to disprove the entirety of climate science thanks to a single event.

Where's your global warming now Mr Flannery and how soon before you apologise to the pond and the world?

By sheer chance, around the same time, the pond managed to refute Pythagoras (or perhaps Parmenides or Hesiod). We happened to be at a high point in Sydney's noble real estate, and when gazing off into the ether,  we happened to notice first the flatness of Sydney airport, and then even more remarkably, the flatness of the horizon line. So much for the world being round.

Oh Ikea, it's thanks to you flattening vast swathes of Sydney that great scientific advances can occur ...

Now credit where credit is due. Primarily these earth-shattering discoveries are due to the pond's Sherlockian capacity for astute scientific observation, but due tribute must be paid to the reptiles of Oz, an ongoing source of inspiration and sage scientific discussion.

Who can forget Chris Kenny's recent insight into a rain event?

Yes, the pond had to sacrifice many chilis and herbs and a computer key board, thanks to the study being flooded, to come to this remarkable conclusion - but at the very moment, as we type on a borrowed keyboard, the results are off to Nature Climate Change, before the pond heads off to the Vatican to join others in warming the socialist Marxist communist pinko pervert pope to stick to his original religion ...

None of it would have been possible without the Chairman ...

Global warming indeed! Thugy leaguers terrified and forced to leave the field, the city in chaos and confusion, and people blathering about extreme weather events, while children romp and play in the hail ...

Meanwhile, this being a meditative Sunday, how pitiful was it the way jolly Joe folded on a matter dear to his heart:

Jolly Joe knows what happened:

“In the dead of night on 24 April 1915, 250 Armenian political, religious, educational and intellectual leaders in Istanbul were arrested, deported to the interior of the country and murdered. On that same day, 5000 of the poorest Armenians in the city were rounded up and slaughtered on the streets and in their homes. This is now recognised as the beginning of an official attempt by the Turkish government to exterminate its Armenian population,” Mr Hockey, then in opposition, told parliament. 
“Over the next three years, the Turkish government ordered the deportation of the remaining Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire to concentration camps in the desert between Jerablus and Deir ez-Zor. 
“They were marched through the country on foot in a hard and cruel journey. Women and children were forced to walk over mountains and through deserts. These people were frequently stripped naked and abused. They were given insufficient food and water, and hundreds of thousands of Armenian people died along the way. 
“Around 1½ million Armenians were murdered during the Armenian genocide out of an estimated total Armenian population of just 2½ million people. 
“My own grandfather was himself a survivor of the genocide. He never knew the fate of his siblings and his friends as they were presumably led to their deaths. 
“Australian people deplore this sort of racism and barbarity. This country has prospered though the immigration of people from countless nations, including Armenia. I urge this parliament to recognise the Armenian genocide for what it was — not alleged, not supposed and not so-called. 
“It was the intentional attempted obliteration of an entire people. To refuse to acknowledge this genocide is to ensure that future Hitlers can capitalise on the world’s reticence in taking a stand.”

Australian people deplore ...?

Can we just rewind that, and get an official example of the Australian people deploring?

Last June, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop wrote a letter to the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance, reassuring them that: 

The Australian Government acknowledges the devastating effects which the tragic events at the end of the Ottoman Empire have had on later generations and on their identity, heritage and culture. We do not, however, recognise these events as ‘genocide’.  (100 years on, Australia's still out of step on the Armenian genocide).

Uh huh. What to say to that "insight"?

The foreign minister is wrong on two counts: the Armenian genocide doesn’t warrant quotation marks, and what happened is no more of a debate than the realities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. 

But Bishop is right on two points. First, Australia has misconceived the Turkish reaction as merely “sensitive”, when in fact their ferocious denial is a vital lie, one that goes to the very essence of the modern Turkish Republic.

Thanks Colin Tatz, but how easy it is to distort history, perhaps because the government has long learned the art of distorting science.

Fine words in 2008 from jolly Joe, silence in 2015 in a craven capitulation to the desire to bung on a do at Gallipoli and stay in good with the Turks, and no doubt future Hitlers will be able to capitalise on Australia's reticence to take a stand ...

Of course Australia has its own genocide, most successful in Tasmania, thanks in no small part to that useful fool George Augustus Robinson.

How say you Colin Tatz?

Australians have a strong proclivity not to remember, or to refuse to remember, the dark side of history, as with the eras of physical killings of Aborigines and, later, the forcible removal of their children. 

Indeed, but then Tatz places his hopes in Joe Hockey and in Gladys Berejeklian, also of Armenian descent, and in the case of jolly Joe,  look how that's turned out.

Let nothing like a genocide and historical truth get in the way of Australians celebrating a useless losing campaign of mass slaughter, designed and run by a bunch of inept Pommie generals ...

Speaking of which, the pond has just got the time to note that it seems that it's the tradition these days, by sports commentators on television networks, to speak of football on Anzac day as a tradition.

Which reminds the pond of how traditions are lost, or changed or subverted over time.

In no particular order, and let's not think just three clippings show how the argument once waxed and waned over the years, this in the Sydney Morning Herald, 24th April 1942, The Age 19th July 1954 and The Age 13th January 1976:

It seems it's the tradition to forget traditions, and the fierce arguments that once devolved around sport and other frivolous activities being held on Anzac Day, and now the tradition that emerged in recent years is the only tradition that matters ... and so it's on to events like Camp Gallipoli ...

Yet once upon a time traditional Australians would have deplored holding a sporting event on Anzac day and deplored the time that such a heresy would have become a tradition.

So it goes, but never mind, it's at times like these that the pond likes to remember that genocide is also biblical and traditional, and the long absent lord Herself can take credit for a most successful genocide, though it seems that She overlooked a couple of details:

But back to the science, and these sorts of outrageous slurs still doing the rounds:

Dammit, Peter Doherty, it cost the pond a keyboard to achieve its scientific breakthrough, and now you're saying we're out of synch and out of touch globally with what's happening, and so on and so forth here?

Well now the pond has to return the borrowed keyboard, and it's off to the Apple shop to feed the maw of the beast and its Singapore profits - providing a genuine genius can be found early on a Sunday - and where's the fairness in that, though we just have time to put up this little cartoon, found here.