Saturday, June 13, 2015

In which the pond hears a loud whining and much talk about cash in the paw and the rule of law ...

(Above: Is Kudelka the only sane human bean at the lizard Oz? Did he snatch out the IV feeding the saline drip of kool aid?)

The pond is in a tizz, is in turmoil, is facing an existential crisis.

Oh, okay, thanks to the federal government, and the immortal TA (please no crude jokes), it happens every day ... but still, the pace seems to be accelerating, the world seems to be out of control ...

The news of the Rottnest farce arrived a little late in the day for the pond, but belatedly let's note the news Tony Abbott's complaint about Rottnest wind turbine is the island's first ever ... (with forced video attached).

Sock it to us, sandgropers:

About 200 people live on Rottnest Island, and another 550,000 visit each year. The nearest home to the turbine is a mere 395 metres away, the nearest road 175 metres away and still no complaints.

On and on Emma Young went, with a fine sense of comedy timing:

...the 600 kW turbine was installed in 2004, more than half-way funded with a $2.1 million grant from the former Howard government, with the remaining $1.75 million coming from the state government, Minister Hames' office said. 
The turbine now provides 35 per cent of the island's power needs, complementing low-load and standard diesel generators. 
It saves about $350,000 worth of fossil fuel per year – more than $3.5 million across its lifetime so far – and reduces greenhouse gases by about 1100 tons per year. 
As intended, it also fully powers the desalination plant that provides 80 per cent of the 112kL of drinking water the island requires each year, with the rest being made up by rainwater. 
This means the island is entirely self-sufficient and makes no demands on the state's Water Corporation.

What say you, only sane person at the lizard Oz?

But what's the response of the chattering Fairfax class to this endless supply of comedy and jokes?

Why, there's the dour, humourless Peter Hartcher scribbling Tony Abbott at odds with the world on renewable energy and climate change.

That's news? Next he'll be telling us the Pope's a Catholic, and where's the laughs in that?

Um, will someone tell Peter Hartcher that climate science's crap, a devious scheme by the United Nations to introduce world government ... or so the chair says ... (as for the table, it has the wood on the chair).

But then came the capper to the circus of follies:

The Graudian version is as good as any: Tony Abbott refuses to rule out paying people smugglers to turn back boats.

Tony Abbott has refused to rule out Australian officials paying people smugglers to turn back asylum-seeker vessels, saying the government was determined to “stop the boats by hook or by crook”. 
In comments likely to alarm the Indonesian government, the Australian prime minister said his government would do “whatever we need to do” to stop such boats and that border protection officials had been “incredibly creative” in coming up with strategies.

And so on. What happened to the "nope, nope, nope" man?

After all, Dutton, the sheep still looking for a home in the top paddock, and Julie Bishop, still too craven to make a tilt, both managed a short "no".

Who cares if it was a lie? Mum's the word, and if everyone stays tight, it'll all just dissolve into recycled rumour and allegations, and plausible deniability.

Then someone let the PM out of his cage, and put him in front of a camera.

Why would Abbott stir the pot?

Does he really think that paying people smugglers is an incredibly creative and clever strategy?

Are Indonesians with boats so silly they wouldn't grasp a prime business opportunity by loading up a boat and heading off to sea to collect a nice cash payout from the Australian government, and, according to reports, a couple of more usable boats which could be used to expand the business ...

As usual, there was indignation:

The prominent refugee lawyer Julian Burnside said: “If he has been making payments to people he regards as the scum of the earth then he is a hypocrite.”

This is news?

He's also a liar, a cheat and a fraud, a dissembling ratbag ready to say and do anything to get into and then stay in power, but the allegation he's a hypocrite is about as fresh as a "ditch the witch" sign.

Sadly, it's also not news that Abbott is incredibly stupid, and each sound bite confirms it:

At a subsequent media conference in Melbourne, Abbott again refused to rule out the practice occurring and defended his unwillingness to answer direct questions. 
“I’m perfectly aware of the import of your question, and what we have done, very firmly for all sorts of good reasons, since September 2013, is not comment on operational matters because every time we comment on operational matters we give information to our enemies,” he said. 
“We are not in the business of giving information to people smugglers because if we talk about our tactics, they’ll change their tactics.”

Because Indonesians don't talk to each other, and no one in Indonesia is connected to the Internet, and no one has heard that the federal government is ready and willing to participate in shake down and blackmail schemes because it's an incredibly creative way to do business ... and the PM of the country refuses to deny it is thus and so ... for reasons so obtuse that the pond was forced to throw jaffas down the aisle at the folly of it all ...

And then the chattering classes began to speculate: Why George Brandis could be the first man overboard.

Why poor old pompous, preening, poetical gorgeous George?

Oh sure, Kenny went on to speculate about jolly Joe, but if jolly Joe goes, then the Captain is on very shaky ground.

And there's such a smorgasbord of incompetents, such a feast of follies, that reading a book of poetry, and fancying yourself as a patron of the y'artz, a man of impeccable political taste, seems a modest crime. Where's the harm in being delusional about being a Medici - go, conservative artists go - when your fearless leader gets startled by an entirely useful, practical and complaint-free, sans fearless leader, wind turbine?

How could you split up the Stooges? Is Curly any less important than Moe. What's that you say?There was Larry but there was also Shemp? Oh just play some fucking Stooges ...

Clearly it's going to be a rough run to Xmas, and the pond is nervous. Could it all be coming to an end? Could the daily bout of folly be reaching a terminal point?

What would the pond do to fill up the blog?

In case of a severe anxiety attack, on days like these, the pond breaks the glass and reaches for a glyceryl trinitrate tablet, and if one's not to hand, why, take a dose of reptile madness and slip one under the tongue.

Thank the long absent lord for prattling Polonius. Surely he's the best argument for evolution doing the rounds. You couldn't make him up, he must be the accidental result of a recessive gene ...

And bless their Marxist socks, others were on hand to provide great comedy:

The pond is pleased that Brendan O'Neill, classic British ponce, is on hand to remind us what can be learned, as a takeaway item, from a reading of the Magna Carta.

English barons can be tricky and dirty, and if you're a king, you've got to be careful what you say and what you sign. You should never give the filthy bludgers an inch, especially if they come at you with fine flowery words, spouting cheap guff about the rule of law.

If you can pay, them off, and send them about their business. Cash in the paw. It always works a treat.

Oh and give them a couple of boats to distract them, and while they're not looking, get down and dirty and kick the rule of law in the shins. Maybe poke it in the eye like Moe used to do. Slap it across the chops with a bundle of notes ...

Thank the long absent lord that we have a fearless leader on hand, ready to teach those shifty useless barons and idle serfs a thing or two about silly chat about individual liberty.

But wait, other reptiles are restless and uncertain:

You see, Mr. O'Neill. It's not some guff about individual liberty and all that clap trap. It's just about tricky politics and the trickster tripping up on his enormous stupidity.

And why did the pompous Kelly - a man who doesn't seem to understand that he's Polonius in waiting, a babbler hiding behind the arras - sound agitated? Could it be anything to do with today's reptilian front page?

Oh dear, details please. What's the EXCLUSIVE?
You know how to get the rest - just google Terrorist blueprint based on 'mistake'.

But please, allow the pond to save your fingers the vexatious work, because there's just one bit of comedy left, and it came this way:

While changes had been made, he said it was a difficult area and the changes had been “less than thoroughgoing”. 
He believed the fact that his call to expand the court-based system had not been taken up “suggests they might not have taken it seriously at the time. Now they are taking it seriously”. 
Federal cabinet has also been considering revoking the citizenship of those who hold only Australian citizenship if they are eligible to become citizens of ­another country. However Mr Walker’s report shows that senior government officials told him last year that the revocation of citizenship would need to be limited to those who have more than one ­nationality. 
Cabinet leaks have revealed Mr Dutton was among those who believed he, as minister, should be given the discretion to revoke the citizenship of those who have no other nationality. However, Mr Dutton’s department was among those that told Mr Walker last year the plan would need to be confined to those who have more than one citizenship. 
The Department of Foreign ­Affairs, the Attorney-General’s Department and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection made a joint submission to Mr Walker that says: “To comply with constitutional requirements and to be consistent with Australia’s international obligations ­regarding the prevention of statelessness, the deprivation of citizenship for terrorism or security-related activity would need to be limited to those who have more than one citizenship,” the submission says.

It doesn't get funnier than that.

No wonder Paul Kelly, Polonius of the Arras, is wringing his hands and clucking. No wonder the genuine, certified prattling Polonius is right at this moment penning a missive confirming that the Departments of Foreign Affairs, the Attorney-General's Department and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection are just fronts for the Green Weekly, full of leftists scribbling ranting submissions to the rag ...

And now there's idle talk that all this might be snatched away from the pond?

Petulant stamping of foot, and deep sighing to follow ...

Meanwhile, since the pond's favourite cartoonists seem to have taken a break at this critical time, the pond would like to honour its memory of the Ballarat Railway Station Refreshment Room, and thank a correspondent for advising the pond that it shares an interest in train spotting with Ayn Rand! Yes, and we share an interest in government pensions with Rand too!

Oh and thanks also to the correspondent who drew attention to Catherine Murphy, Katharine Murphy, allegedly a Tamworth gal, no doubt as stout-hearted as all Tamworth gals are. Well, it's having to deal with Tamworth men from an early age that makes it so ...

No doubt correspondents will this day again scoop the pond. Who knows what fresh joys and laughs the dawn will bring this winter weekend?

And now, let's drift back once more, with the fearless leader, to the age of steam and the age of coal ... when fearless kings got diddled by robber barons ... and the only decent tea kept the spoon upright in the cup ... and there were bizarre notions of a society wherein politicians and the public service did useful things for the public, when really they should have been demonising and fear-mongering about the Red Menace, and the weevils in our midst and the need to strip them out root and branch and abandon all need to pay attention to the rule of law...

And they say that history doesn't repeat ...

(Below: more here. Railway accommodation for 3s6d! Now that's service).


  1. I'm glad you continued with a little railway nostalgia. I had intended to write to your yesterday's post, but what with Friday shopping the opportunity passed. So I'll try now.

    When I first moved to Sydney in 1965, I boarded with friends of my parents for the first few months at Berala in the Western Suburbs. The train service to Wynyard was a dreary all-stations affair introducing me to various unlikely suburbs, even Rookwood, and seeming never to get there. I quickly learned to jump a 'fast train' to Strathfield or Libcombe before changing over for Berala. Occasionally I'd walk home from Lidcombe, which was not that far.

    Waiting at Lidcombe Station I'd see the other trains with their herds of schoolchildren and work commuters. I was fascinated that the Campbelltown service still had a steam express train. Steam had disappeared from the SA Railways almost a decade earlier. Victorian Railways had banished steam at least 5 years before. It seemed quaint to still have a service in peak hours, even if Campbelltown was the only destination I can remember.

    Perhaps NSW Railways had a bigger investment in engines and it took longer to phase them out. In the late 1970s they were still being used for shunting passenger trains into position at Central. The posters and framed pictures in the country and interstate passenger services were something to behold and would now be collectors items.

    My other memory, not so pleasant, was from taking the Spirit of Progress (with a sitting up, not sleeper) from Melbourne to Sydney. It was uncomfortable trying to sleep, and the various jerky train shunting didn't help. Finally after getting to sleep I was awakened by a loudspeaker and what seemed a shouting male voice. At the risk of Godwin's Law my thoughts turned to what it must have been like for Jewish interns being transported to concentrations camps. It was pitch black outside.

    Eventually I recovered my senses enough to understand that all that was being shouted was that refreshments were available. I got out of the carriage to get a coffee. It was a big mistake. The carriage was air-conditioned. Outside, however, the temperature at Junee at 530am was probably below zero. I was so furious about these shocks to the senses that I don't know if I actually got anything.

    Still, I learned to love the NSW Railways, some years later taken the Glen Innes Mail to Armidale when I started my off-campus degree at UNE. It was a pleasant journey in those days, mixing with fellow external students.

    1. Ah, GD, UNE brings back memories of Armidale in the late 60s. No railways for me on the treck back and forward from Sydney.
      The trip highlight was to ensure the drive back to Tamworth took 60mins or less. Other highlights include the women from Smith House.
      And Ms Pond, my grandmother told me stories of her childhood and of hiding Thunderbolt (who was apparently a "nice bloke") from the rozzers. She was a Tamworth girl (or close enough to qualify.
      Ah, the effects of a cold winter's day in Melbourne and a bottle of Rutherglen Muscat, clear the brain of reptilian nonsense and brings on the nostalgia

    2. Great flashback GD. The pond too caught the Glen Innes Mail to Armidale when doing an on-campus degree at UNE, and watched as others hopped off the train and ran alongside it on the way up the steeper gradients. As for the chemical foot warmers ...
      And sldr360, you sound like the pond's kissing cousin, as the pond's grandma also helped out Thunderbolt and the family went on the hunt for Governors (well it wasn't a PC family). And Rutherglen muscat! The resemblances are unnerving ... but careful what you say about the women of Smith House, and even more careful what you say about Duval college ...

  2. Yes the pace of the bizarre is getting to be quite a cracker DP. I think the funniest response I read yesterday went a bit like this.

    CiF: That's it! These idiots have broken my fucking brain.!
    Reply. Don't worry mate, you can buy superglue at nearly any $2 shop.
    Reply 2: Better still,just remove your broken brain and you are the Prime Minister of Australia. Congratulations!!
    Summed it up for me.Cheers


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