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).


  1. Well if 'the Left' is into ANZAC-hatred, then 'the Right' must be into ANZAC-love. Now that might be OK for Julie Bishop, but I worry for the likes of our Tones.

  2. What? The Coalition has a next life?

  3. Oh and England never signed the Treaty of Westphalia. In fact Julie, they weren't involved at all.

  4. Hi Dorothy,

    For Bishop to suggest IS is a greater threat to the world than the very real possibility of thermonuclear combat that persisted throughout the Cold War is preposterous.

    She may get away with frightening the pensioners, who crowd into the Henderson's front room every Monday but this sort of hyperbole is frankly ridiculous.

    As for destroying the rule of nation states, encouraging disaffected youths to commit atrocities with a knife and a mobile phone is hardly comparable to this little beasty;



    1. Wow. Some little beasty! Toys will be toys I guess. One man's Euclid is another man's TNW.

    2. Yair, well, the Cold War wasn't really all that much of a threat, DW, because MAD. But IS/Da'es/ISIL doesn't have any nukes, hence it can't be nuked 'in return", so it can be as 'mad' as it likes. Which, at least in some small theatres of conflict, can be a lot worse that a Cold War Mexican standoff.

      Except in those places where the great powers were/are playing the fine game of Proxy War, of course. Or were carpet bombing Vietnam and Cambodia in those Cold war days.

    3. Hi GrueBleen,

      IS are undoubtedly mad, bad and dangerous to know and have become very slick in propagandising their victories and their massacres (aided and abetted by the Western press who happily replay their execution porn for the sake of ratings). The West are at the moment unsure what military option to use against them, after the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan but this still doesn't make them invincible or give them the capability to take over any other countries. Bishop is just beating this "threat" up for purely domestic purposes.

      As for MAD, it was the accepted doctrine for the US military but officially it was at odds with that of the USSR, which believed some survival was possible through extensive civil defence planning. After the fall of the Iron Curtain a team of American Soviet specialists interviewed former Soviet high ranking military officers to gain insights into the USSR's nuclear deterrence thinking. It's interesting as what the US strategists thought they were signalling to the Rooskies regarding deterrence wasn't always interpreted as such and sometimes was seen as aggression.


      The Soviets believed the US would go nuclear first in a conventional war in Western Europe, as they were hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned by the Russian battle tanks. The best estimates in the eighties of how long the NATO forces could hold out was just three days. To stop the tanks would therefore require tactical battlefield nukes. After that the chance of nuclear escalation increased exponentially.

      To me that's terror.

      Peace on Earth. Purity of Essence.


    4. Oh and there was this poultry extra too.



    5. DW, re the USSR and "... extensive civil defence planning", I offer you this Russian joke of the time (ie the Kruschev era):

      "Comrades, I offer you this instruction from the Civil Defence manual: in case of nuclear attack, don white sheets and walk slowly to the nearest cemetery."
      "But comrade, why should we walk slowly "
      "Why, comrade, so as to avoid causing panic."

      I also offer you this famous Kruschev jest:
      Kruschev was travelling around Russia after he took over on the death of Stalin (and of Beria) telling the Russian people in their local halls just how bad and evil Stalin had been. At one particular gathering in Siberia, Kruschev had just finished lambasting Stalin when there was a voice from the audience:

      "Well, Comrade Kruschev, what were you doing while all this was going on ?"
      "Who said that ? Who said that ?" shouted Kruschev.
      There was total silence and downcast eyes in the audience.
      "Ah," said Kruschev, "now you know what I was doing".

      The thing that made MAD operable was that Stalin died, and Kruschev, who was remarkably sane given his history, took over.

      So it goes.

  5. Paul Barry has confessed to voting for the Liars, so can hardly be impartial.

  6. If only Cater had been a war correspondent.Who knows what he could of stepped on.
    I've worked with the odd brown nose,but working with both a brown nose and a brown shirt must require a mind like a steel trap.
    At least he lives by the brown shirt Maxims of "Terror must be broken by terror" and "All opposition must be stamped into the ground" He really is an odious little man.
    The penny is in the post DP. Cheers.

  7. Truly despicable: a Scott McIntyre skeptic, or a $4 million conservative denialist? https://ethicalmartini.wordpress.com/2015/04/26/the-day-free-speech-died-to-protect-colonel-blimp/

  8. "In society, we have lots of ways we regulate each other's conduct, from informal codes where we understand that we can use some language at the pub, but not in front of grandparents, all the way to formal codes in sporting clubs that set the terms of socially acceptable conduct. Social media protocols, and the like, sit in a grey space. They seek to regulate people's conduct by holding them accountable, but they don't send anyone to jail for breaking them. These codes don't censor. They establish terms and conditions of participation. You voluntarily sign up to them. If you want to participate, you have to show respect for others. If you don't, then they can use their human right of freedom of association to distance themselves from you and your conduct. Social media protocols act in the same way. They're part of your terms and conditions of your employment when you sign up."

  9. Hypocrisy over the death penalty.

    John Howard said he “couldn’t find it in his heart to publicly ask the Indonesian Government to save the lives of the people who murdered 88 Australians”.



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