Monday, June 30, 2014

It's a bright and bushy Monday, and thanks to the Murdochians, the pond is ready to nuke the bludgers ...

It used to be the Sturmabtelung that would roam about in the streets, bashing heads and paving the way for maltreatment of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable ...

These days it's the Sydney Terror paving the way for the likes of head kickers of the Kevin Andrews kind ...

Oh okay, the pond just wanted to get the week underway with a bright and bushy tailed flourish in the direction of the Godwin's Law swear jar ... it's been running low, yet every day it deserves a top up, though it seems the sterling work of some has its own reward:

It's not EXCLUSIVE of course, there it is in the Curried Snail, here, and that paywall breaker, news corpse, also has it here.

Of course, back with the Sydney Terror, scourge of cane toads, it might have been just as relevant to note that the Terror exists mainly to celebrate rugby league ... and the pathology of that mysterious sport is beyond any coherent human analysis ... much like the newspaper itself ...

Here's the rag's natural home and subject matter ...

That's when it's not stiff arming, head butting, eye gouging or coat hangering the vulnerable and the weak ...

Weird, or what, with talk of Gandhi and Bear Grylls all the go ... and so the Sturmabtelung  go about their daily business ... at least until there's a day or night of the long knives ...

Moving right along, the pond was startled to see this bizarre sight in the lizard Oz:

Forget the digital murkiness and the """ ...

Say what? The planet and the children are at stake?

Did the reptiles stop drinking the kool aid over the weekend?

And the opening lines were equally disturbing:

The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes for sobering reading. The consensus of hundreds of the world’s leading scientists is that continued global emissions of massive quantities of CO2 will likely result in intolerable climate changes if the average surface temperature increases and exceeds about 2C. 
We have less than 20 years to reduce emissions to near zero, or face catastrophic impacts on critically important ecosystems such as rainforests and coral reefs including our Great Barrier Reef.

Oh dear.

Luckily the pond has the batphone handy and put in a call to the world's leading climate scientist, beavering away humbly, modestly and inconspicuously at a blog at the HUN, and this very day he's scribbled Just another day on the globe we're told is warming to hell, helped along by reader Rocky.

Yes, it's just another link to Watts up with that?

Bizarrely, if you read the people who prepare the State of the Cryosphere referenced by the world's greatest climates scientist, courtesy of a denialist site referenced by reader Rocky - sheesh, how many more respectable academic citations will you pedants demand? - you cop this, here:

Most of Antarctica has yet to see dramatic warming. However, the Antarctic Peninsula, which juts out into warmer waters north of Antarctica, has warmed 2.5 degrees Celsius (4.5 degrees Fahrenheit) since 1950. A large area of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is also losing mass, probably because of warmer water deep in the ocean near the Antarctic coast. In East Antarctica, no clear trend has emerged, although some stations appear to be cooling slightly. Overall, scientists believe that Antarctica is starting to lose ice, but so far the process has not become as quick or as widespread as in Greenland...

And there's plenty of other reports, like this one, A better year for the cryosphere, but please don't expect the world's greatest climate scientist to bother with petty details, ambivalences, equivocations or actual observations, not when there's laboratory assistant reader Rocky and a denialist site to hand ...

Never mind, while the Bolter, as self-effacing as Clark Kent or luxury billionaire Bruce Wayne, goes about his business, the pond returned to the reptiles at the lizard Oz.

And that's when the pond twigged - you see the story in question is headed Let's go nuclear, for the reef's sake (inside the paywall, for the sake of the reptiles and chairman Rupert), and it has a splendid portrait of all the things in peril, courtesy of Eric Lobbecke, and never mind that the Bolter is on hand to tell you this is all hysteria:

Oh look at the cute creatures. How dare the Bolter lurk in his bat cave pounding his Clark Kent signature key board.

And yes, it's a vision splendid:

By becoming the world’s premier producer and re-processor of nuclear fuel Australia would be leading the world towards reducing carbon emissions and saving our Great Barrier Reef. We would secure long-term, high-quality jobs for Australians and promote the development of the finest advanced manufacturing technology. While the mining and coal booms turn to bust, Australia has the opportunity to establish nuclear industrial parks in geologically and environmentally safe regions that can drive our long-term economic growth. 
Australia had significant capacity for undertaking nuclear research and development in the 1970s that we can revitalise and expand. We have outstanding universities where nuclear science and technology education and innovation can be promoted. We have alliances with nations not yet willing to lead but that will strongly support and welcome an Australian-led initiative. We will need leaders with the vision to see where we must be in the coming decades to save our natural treasures and guarantee Australia’s leadership role in the future knowledge-based energy economy. Only with such a vision and committed leaders can we support the enormous investment such an undertaking will require. 
Business as usual and continued global reliance on fossil fuels will guarantee future generations a hotter planet, with likely devastating environmental and economic consequences for us. 
This country has the potential to become the next energy superpower and lead the world to a carbon-free future where prosperity made possible by abundant, low cost, power is enabled by Australian industry. 
We believe Australians have the wisdom and ambition to do the right thing for the sake of our planet and our children.

Yes, don't you worry about Chernobyl or Fukushima Daiichi or the reptiles only a few hours ago publishing Inpex bullish on LNG as Japan's nuke restart stalls (inside the paywall because LNG news doesn't come cheap), while Forbes published this piece by a renewable energy proponent, How Opposite Energy Policies Turned The Fukushima Disaster Into A Loss For Japan And A Win for Germany.

Bloody renewable energy shill ...

Meanwhile, the pond wanted to know the fine minds that could, in a single line and a wave of the hands, solve all the problems that have been bedevilling a world bedevilled by the odd natural event and by the San Andreas fault line ...

While the mining and coal booms turn to bust, Australia has the opportunity to establish nuclear industrial parks in geologically and environmentally safe regions that can drive our long-term economic growth. 

Oh yes, no doubt that'd be Muckaty Station ...

What's that you say? Only this month NLC and Feds drop plan for nuclear waste dump at Muckaty Station, and Victory for traditional owners over Muckaty Station nuclear waste dump.

And now drum roll please, for those canny academics who realised that the only way you could get the reptiles to take climate change seriously is if it involved nuking renewable energy:

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is director, Global Change Institute, and Eric McFarland is director, Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation, both of which are based at the University of Queensland.

Well look, the pond doesn't like to send anyone away empty handed, so here's a suggestion. Is it possible to imagine a better, more geologically and environmentally safe area for a full scale nuke industry than the reef itself?

Just saying, and the pond will accept a modest ten per cent in royalties for coming up with the plan. Abundant sheltered sea water available, and just the odd harmless cyclone ...

What's that you say, it was originally headed as Let's go nuclear, for reef's sake. Somebody left out the "the" ...? Sounded too much like the pond's kid, Let's go nuclear, for fuck's sake, and fuck the reef ...

Why wasn't it titled Let's not mention renewable energy, for fuck's sake ...

Ah well, it seems that the reptiles are having a bad hair day.

You see, some whimsical sub originally titled Deborah Cobb-Clark's piece as Abbott delivers a 'kick in the pants'.

Someone at the lizard factory must have worked out that this sounded a little too general, seeing as how Abbott has been delivering a kick to the guts, a kick to the head, a kick to the crotch, and all the other body parts, so some reptile was hastily assigned to change the header to read Abbott delivers a 'kick in the pants' to our youth. (behind the paywall because you need a kick to your wallet or purse).

There, so much better.

Who could argue with kicking a youff, as scribbled by a complacent soul working away as director of the Melbourne Institute at the University of Melbourne?

There's not much point actually reading the piece, not when it concludes with this form of monstrous rhetorical stupidity:

This is the conversation we should be having. We owe it to the next generation to ensure that they also have the opportunity and the means to do anything they want.

Anything? Anything at all?

Well they're in line for the reliable disappointment called life.

And inter alia, you cop this sort of risible routine:

In a way it’s hard to see what the fuss is about. While the unemployment rate for youth aged 15 to 24 has climbed since the global financial crisis and now stands at 12.5 per cent — more than double the overall rate of unemployment — it is nowhere near the peaks reached in the recessions of the early 1980s and 90s. And youth unemployment in Australia is low by OECD standards.

Yes, indeed, and the pond looks forward to Deborah Cobb-Clark spending the next six months without any income, or without any recourse to welfare relief. Here's hoping her parents are still around to give her a helping hand ... and then we'll see if she can see what the fuss might be about ...

But wait, this is where the day started, marvelling at the splendid way the Murdoch press could kick the heads of alleged rorters and cheats, all the while with their business plan sustained by an army, a veritable legion of boofheads ...

Which just leaves time for a cartoon, and who else but David Rowe, and more Rowe here ...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

In which an encounter with Qantas and the AFR leads to a most unhealthy Sunday meditation on all manner of religious matters ...

(Above: thanks to the AFR. Dead things sell!)

The pond has been gathering ongoing reports on the roll out of iPads on Qantas 767s with the same fascination as watching a train wreck unfold.

According to the latest report in the pond's hand - last Friday - there's still no fix for the sound and innocents still pluck the tablets from the seat pocket, and discover that unless they've got their own iPad friendly earbuds, or similar, they might occasionally be able to see (currently the odds are about 2 in 3 of that happening), but they certainly won't be able to hear ...

And so a mighty airline is laid to waste and ruin by a management who fail to understand how such simple irritations can be profoundly irritating. Better not to offer a bonus, than offer a bonus that's fucked.

But it did lead the pond on to a discussion of MH370 and the hapless Warren Truss and his most recent announcements in relation to the flight, and the discovery that the theories that were ruled out are now back in, along with these sorts of astonishing insights:

“It’s generally expected that if the autopilot is operational that’s a result of it being made operational,” he said. (here, with forced video)

In the meantime, devoted followers of Air Crash Investigations (May Day to some) will remember the eerie tale of Helios Airways Flight 522 (Greg Hunt it here), and understand nothing should be ruled in or ruled out, and much of what has been said to date about MH370 is idle, meaningless speculation, most notably by that grand speculator and speaker of drivel and misinformation, Tony Abbott, who back in April announced he was 'very confident' signals are from MH370 black boxes (forced video at end of link) ...

The pond can assert with an even greater level of confidence that Abbott is a very silly grand-standing man ... though he might have been angling for a post-politics career running Qantas ...

As a bonus, the pond was treated to a sampling of rags from the Qantas lounge - yes the reptiles still paper the lounge wall to wall with copies of the lizard Oz, because, while you might confront a paywall online, in various real world locations, the tree killer edition continues to be splashed around like toilet paper at a Tamworth street party ...

Which at last brings us to the point of this Sunday meditation, because the pond skipped over the AFR's celebration of wealth - what a tragically sad and light weight and skimpy thing the BRW Rich 200 liftout was. It turns out the AFR can't even do wealth porn in style any more, though this image caught the eye:

The pond will leave stray readers to guess the brand that peddled this image, but it was as one with the rest of the wealth porn that littered the glossy throwaway...

Because there's nothing so sexy as an anonymous women with her open legs stuck in the air, perhaps with her mouth over the gear stick ...

So throw it away the pond did, and moved on to reading Friday's The Age, and Paul Monk's There's no bigotry in challenging Islamic extremism, which might be taken by some as a retort to the monstrous folly of Valerie Wangnet's Honour killing talk: we should be allowed to hear it. (As if you can't hear extremist, fundamentalist chit chat any day of the week).

There had been other sensible responses to the nonsense that St James and Simon Longstaff had perpetrated, including this one by Matthew Beard in Honour killings: Crossing the line with a dangerous idea:

The desire to market Mr Badar's talk in the manner they did demonstrates a triumph of style over substance. Rather than a title that accurately represented the intellectual content of the talk, a title that was likely to set headlines, score retweets, and ultimately sell tickets was chosen. Then, when the tide of public opinion turned, instead of renaming the talk, adding a respondent or moderator to guarantee a balanced presentation, the talk was pulled altogether. Popularity motivated the ill-considered title to begin with, and popularity prompted the premature cancellation of the talk this morning. 
Ideas worth discussing are often difficult to market. Reducing a complex thought to a sexy, six-word title is difficult. It's also necessary if those worthwhile discussions are going to compete in the marketplace of ideas. However, substance cannot be allowed to give way to style. If Mr Badar was never intending on defending honour killings, he should not have been advertised to be doing so. It behoves institutions to respect the ideas they stand for enough to preserve them, even in the face of marketing imperatives or dwindling Twitter followers.

Indeed, but the pond liked the cut of Monk's jib even better:

It’s high time we got this Islamophobia thing sorted out. 
Islam is a religion with a long history, riddled with contradictions and conflicts. In recent decades some of its more wild-eyed proponents have been on the war path, determined to establish whole new caliphates. But even among those who are not jihadists in this sense, there are practices that are, to say the least, controversial. 
Neither of those two statements is itself controversial and neither is Islamophobic. But there is a fundamental point at issue that goes beyond them. Islam, merely because it is a religion, can no more claim immunity from criticism or rejection than any other religion, be it Catholicism, Orthodox Judaism, Mormonism or Jainism. It is, however, in our time, more violently resistant than most to both criticism and rejection. 
If I state that I am not a Muslim and that there is no possibility of my ever becoming one, that is not Islamophobia. It has exactly the same status as declaring it is unthinkable to me that I could ever become a Biblical literalist or a flat earther. If I am a Muslim already, however, and come out with the statement that I am renouncing Islam, I can find myself in deep doo-doo. 

Monk went on to recount a personal experience:

In between, there is the terrain on which non-Muslims or liberal Muslims criticise old practices and bigotry or violent jihad. These criticisms are too glibly dismissed as Islamophobia by the "politically correct" and can lead to threats of violence by Islamists. 
Some years ago I was asked by academics at the University of Melbourne to help draw up a list of speakers for a conference on Islam, Christianity and tolerance. 
I urged that Ibn Warraq be invited. He is a former Muslim who, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, has written courageously of the extraordinary threats that confront apostates from Islam. His books Why I am not a Muslim (1995), What the Koran Really Says (2002) and the edited volume of testimonies Leaving Islam (2003) are landmark studies in the debate over the nature and future of Islam in a multicultural world. 
What was the response? A staff member, who happened to be from an Islamic background, exclaimed heatedly: “Inviting him would be a disaster! That man is a fanatic!” 
I was stunned at the time and still remain incredulous. I would have thought that such a voice was indispensable to building a society in which people can freely choose whether or not Islam holds any appeal for them – under a secular law that constrains Islamic fervour in the same way and for the same reasons it has constrained Christian fervour. 

And so to Monk's final point:

Let Mr Badar speak, by all means, on behalf of Hizb ut-Tahrir. We would be all ears, I’m sure. 
No sensible person wants to inflame phobias; but no self-respecting citizen of a free society should bow to intimidation by self-styled "militants" or affect a craven piety in the face of unrepentant sectarian bigotry of the Hizb ut-Tahrir variety. 

Now some of this is personal. The pond has little doubt that in a fundamentalist Islamic state, pond and partner would be in prison, and might well attract the death penalty. This isn't personal melodrama, just an observation of what happens in fundamentalist Islamic and Christian countries in Africa (with the Christian countries egged on by fundamentalists of the pentecostal and angry Anglican kind).

And some of what Monk had to say is just common sense for your average secularist.

So what to do with a Michael Smith, who has once again attracted headlines by copping yet another sacking?

The trouble of course is that Smith just had to go with Monk's notions, and then double down on it:

He (Smith) compared the festival's invitation to Uthman Badar to asking the leader of the Ku Klux Klan to speak. 
Smith said the founder of Islam was "a man who promoted the idea that it was OK to marry a six-year-old and consummate the marriage when the little girl was nine." 
The broadcaster had been due to fill in for afternoons presenter, Chris Smith, from Monday for three weeks. 
On Saturday he wrote on his website that 2GB program director David Kidd had called and cancelled the booking, telling him he could not "call a deity a paedophile". 
Smith pointed out that he had made similar comments on 2UE in 2011, and had been acquitted of a complaint of inciting hatred and of factual inaccuracy by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). 
Mr Smith said on his website he stood by his comments. (Radio presenter Michael Smith dumped after comments about the Prophet Mohammed)

Smith's right of course, on a factual level - you can Greg Hunt Aisha here -  but he's also trolling.

It makes as much sense to talk about paedophilia in the way Smith does - in an historical context - as to talk about Shakespeare as a slavering slobbering paedophiliac writer because he wrote about Juliet - she hath not seen the change of fourteen years - wanting to get hitched (no one knows Romeo's age, but the Elizabethans wouldn't have had a problem with the young man having a bit of an age and a power imbalance).

They did things differently at different times in different ages, and all the more so when the average age might well not have exceeded 45.

It's much more fun to look at some of the other absurdities in the Quran, which are timeless, and the Skeptic's Bible provides lots of them, as in its list of Women in the Quran, and Sex and Homosexuality. So that's where the AFR's fashionistas got their ideas about women ...

But all the same Islamics have to learn to tolerate cheap Smith shots, just as anyone can have a laugh at David Kidd for saying it was wrong to call a deity a paedophile.

What are we to make of the matter of Mary then?

Let us take as our source the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

When she was fourteen, the high priest wished to send her home for marriage. Mary reminded him of her vow of virginity, and in his embarrassment the high priest consulted the Lord. Then he called all the young men of the family of David, and promised Mary in marriage to him whose rod should sprout and become the resting place of the Holy Ghost in form of a dove. It was Joseph who was privileged in this extraordinary way....

....Jewish maidens were considered marriageable at the age of twelve years and six months, though the actual age of the bride varied with circumstances. The marriage was preceded by the betrothal, after which the bride legally belonged to the bridegroom, though she did not live with him till about a year later, when the marriage used to be celebrated. All this agrees well with the language of the Evangelists. St. Luke (1:27) calls Mary "a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph"; St. Matthew (1:18) says, "when as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost". (and plenty more here)

So it turns out that the Christian god was indeed, likely enough, a paedophile mystically porking a young woman, and no doubt an inspiration for the many Catholic priests who followed in Her footsteps by doing an Uncle Ernie on their hapless victims...

You won't find the likes of Michael Smith banging on about this, which is the trouble with certain rabid forms of one-eyed shock jocks.

After all, they did things differently at different times in different ages, and all the more so when the average age might well not have exceeded 45, and deities dropped out of the sky to have sex with the mortals (well they'd been doing it long before the days of Greek mythology or Leda getting it on with a swan, and no one carried on about how doing it with a human would naturally led to swan-fucking).

Still, the bottom, Monkian line, is that Islamics have to tolerate cheap shots, just like Christians have to learn to accept a Piss Christ (actually the pond has a soft spot for that image, finding it quite beautiful, and evocative of time spent with Dominican nuns).

Just as the angry Sydney Anglicans, who do real harm with their demonising of gays and their mockery of women's rights, have to in return accept mockery with whatever grace they can muster.

Because they earn it, and they deserve it. Why there's the fatuous Phillip Jensen fatuously scribbling on Identity this week, and coming up with a hot contender for non sequitur of the year:

So I am fully a part of the humanity, made in God’s image to share in ruling and caring for God’s world. This is not accidental to me but essential to who I am. I am also part of the human family that rebelled against God and so became sinners living under the sentence of death. So, it is appropriate to say “I am a sinner”. For my sins come from my sinfulness, as Satan’s lies come from his deceitful nature (John 8:44). Similarly it’s appropriate for Christians to say “I am a Christian”, for to become a Christian requires rebirth by the Spirit of the risen Lord Jesus. Such a rebirth then reorients all of life and sets my personal identity in a completely new direction. (Colossians 3:1-4). 
So the Christian alcoholic says: “Hello, my name is Bill and I’m a Christian who has an addiction to Alcohol.”

As best the pond can work it out, this means god wasn't just a transgressive female who took on ghostly male form to give Mary a good paedophiliac fuck, but She was also a rampant alcoholic, perhaps because of Her guilt about her strange ways ...

So it goes in this vale of tears on this meditative Sunday ...

(Below: and now for some more dead animal porn, because that's the AFR way)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

So it's a Saturday for grand ideas, but warning, you might get Tonied, Kellied and Kennied in the process, to add to the indignity of being Clived ...

(Above: and more Wilcox here)

So here's  a grand idea.

Bung on a royal commission, spare no expense, what's money when it comes to truth and justice, and inter alia, make sure it includes a witch hunt into matters more than two decades old, no doubt reprehensible but small bees wax in the scale of fraud routinely perpetrated by the big end of town.

Now when asked to bung on a royal commission into the misdeeds of the big end of town, don sackcloth and ashes, weep and wail and gnash teeth about the cost of it all, and the need to save money.

And there you have it. That's how irony is done.

Oh wait, there's a coda. Make sure you remove some of the regulations instituted to prevent some of the rorting and misdeeds and fraudulent misbehaviour already on rampant, thieving show.

Explain that there's simply too much red tape which gets in the way of the big end of town as they go about the never ending business of fleecing the sheep. Oh pity the poor banks, oh shed tears for financial advisors ...

Well sad to say, if you voted for the big end of town, please don't come moaning and mewling and moping to the pond.

As the reptiles at the lizard Oz so convincingly demonstrate each day, paranoia is the only sensible state for survival.

Trust the big banks and financial advisers and all the other leeches and assorted blood suckers? Why I think you should check the cabbage patch, that new born babe might have just arrived.

As for the government for and by the big end of town? The lickspittle servants of the rich, anxious to score their own pile before heading back to their gated communities, removed from the desperate poor?

Why these politicians look to the United States for inspiration, in health and education, and how soon will they turn incarceration into a fine private industry down under?

Have a read of Sarah Stillman's Get Out of Jail, Inc. if you can get behind The New Yorker paywall ...

When contemplating this sorry state of affairs, the pond was immensely tickled by Jack the Insider's piece Australia you've been Clived.

Not the sentiments, which are fairly predictable, pointing out that everyone had been Clived by the flim flam man.

No, it was more the use of the first name to describe an act of chicanery.

It swept the pond back to the days when Australia had a censorious chief censor, one R. J. Prowse, and each time an Australian feature had all the naughty bits hacked out, it was said to have been Prowsed.

Well, victims of the financial sector, you've been Tonied ...

Meanwhile, please allow the pond to pause for some good news, of the "when did you stop hitting your head with a hammer?" kind.

Once upon a time, Gerard "the man who made prattling Polonius seem like an incisive wit" once stalked the pages of the pond like a demonic inner city elitist, as he came out to stalk and the terrify the city from his Sydney Institute bunker.

Then he headed off to join the reptiles at the lizard Oz, and all but disappeared.

Oh he's still there - this very Saturday he's furiously scribbling about dangerous ideas, and seizing the moment to drag us back into the mire of his obsession with Lebanese folk: Dangerous ideas - Fraser's Lebanon concession, for example - should be handled with care (inside the paywall because you have to pay for nonsense in lizard la la land).

But he never ever seems to make it to the front digital page, or the revolving digital splash of doom highlighting the compelling features buried in the belly of the Murdochian beast.

The pond, being deeply shallow - choke the pond in the shallow waters if it ever gets too deep - accordingly pays no attention to Hendo, because he's been delisted, demoted, sent to the back pages.

Why is that, the pond sometimes wonders, before shrugging, nodding and walking on by ... a

According to his wiki - Greg Hunt it here, Hendo was born in September 1945, and that puts him in the harmless old eccentric phase of the angry old white male trajectory he's followed like Oscar Wilde's rocket ... all he's useful for now is the occasional damp fizz on the ABC, a network he purports to hate, while routinely disporting himself in its studio lights ...

Instead the pole position at the lizard Oz today (yes it's a motoring metaphor designed to appeal to little Timmie Bleagh, yes, if you're little Timmie you might also think of a woman wrapped around a pole in a night club), right at the moment, goes to another doddering dodo:

The meandering Kelly seems to realise that an intelligent response to what climate science is revealing has not just been Clived, it's been Tonied ...

Surely the most outrageous bit in a piece that would be generally construed as outrageous, were it not so tedious, solemn, ponderous and portentous, in a way only Kelly can manage - yes the English language is routinely Kellied - is this line, as fine a card in the blame game as the pond has seen:

The deeper historical lesson from this week is the failure of progressive politics over the past six years to secure and solidify an ETS. Labor and the Greens had a golden opportunity to achieve this — and they blew it. The almost certain repeal of the Gillard government’s ETS will become an abject humiliation for both Labor and the Greens.

It's all the fault of the Laborites and the greenies? They blew it?

It had nothing to do with an ETS being fucked over, and being Tonied and Murdocked?

Here's the real abject humiliation.

The Australian has routinely claimed as its default position an acceptance of what climate scientists are saying, and a market based mechanism, such as an ETS, as the best first response for dealing with it.

Of course it's a complete lie and a nonsense, and for years the reptiles showcased Abbott in a pitiless campaign of nattering negativity. Just as they became denialist central, parading the likes of Maurice Newman, fake lordships, and other eccentrics and nutters, while their own commentariat roamed freely in the valley of denialist delusionalism.

The real humiliation is that the reptiles have at last got what they really wanted, and the fig leaf of their posturing hypocrisy - exemplified by the sanctimonious Kelly - has been stripped bare, and what's revealed is not a pretty sight.

You see, Kelly even gets so bold as to suggest that more "direct action" money should be uselessly pissed against the wall as a kind of revived fig leaf window-dressing:

Once the ETS is abolished Abbott will be in a stronger position to argue the merit of direct action. 

On what earthly basis? On the basis that five year planning worked for Mao and Stalin?

Funding of the $2.5bn Emissions Reduction Fund, the heart of his policy, has been approved as part of the budget. If the direct action proposal is defeated in the Senate — as seems likely — Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt, will adopt plan B, one of several alternative funding mechanisms under review. 
They have no option but to get something in place. The entire intent of their opponents is not mainly to stop direct action but to prove to the nation that Abbott has no working policy.

Roll that around on the tongue:

They have no option but to get something in place.

Why? For years the reptiles at the lizard Oz have been telling anyone who listens that climate science is a fraud and a conspiracy by fat cat scientists, and might even involve a plan by the United Nations to install a world government (yes Janet Albrechtsen really did go there, in company with Monckton).

Actually Abbott's opponents don't have to prove he lacks a working policy.

He's never had a working policy, he's only had nattering negativity and a fig leaf, and The Australian and its parade of kool-aid drinking hacks was the first of the first when it came to praising the quality of the Emperor's 1000 thread count sateen stripe clothes ...

Australia has been Tonied, and so has the world, and now the reptiles have the cheek to blame Labor and the greenies?

What monstrous hypocrites they are, and the most shameless of them all, at least for this week, is the man who Kellied the truth of the matter ...

Should it be left to David Pope to say in one image what Kelly can't manage to say in his ponderous, monstrous ramblings?

Well that was a rhetorical question. You know the answer (and more Pope here):

Look on your work reptiles and despair. But at least Kelly can also say that in the Saturday rag with his piece, Emission Accomplished ...

Onan would be in awe ...

What else?

Well there's Chris Kenny harping away on the same theme:

But all that monkey jibber jabber does is allow the pond to say that the planet has been Kellied, Tonied and Kennied ... a roundabout way of saying fucked ...

So what does Kenny offer in T-Rex and Bambi show highlights big flaws in our debate (behind the paywall because you're obliged to pay for nonsense unless you're willing to google).

Direct action is the swing in the tail of this week’s walk with Palmer­saurus. When the green Left applauded the Palmer-Gore intervention, they were applauding a plan that rejects direct action. Yet once the carbon tax is repealed the political pressure will flip from Abbott to the Greens and Labor. 
The funding for direct action has already been passed by the Senate. Having lost a price on carbon, would Labor and the Greens really combine with Palmer to leave that money unspent and scotch Abbott’s plan to purchase domestic carbon abatement?

Yes, Kenny's suddenly in favour of direct action, a bit of socialist intervention as likely to be as effective as window dressing, but handy when in search of a fig leaf ...

Everybody and his passing dog, with the slightest interest in climate science, will assure you that the sort of pissant spend on direct action that's been proposed, is just mealy mouthed window dressing, a desire to feel good and pretend to be doing something ... but which will be as effective as pissing into the wind, or farting in the general direction of methane gas ...

And who has cheered us on through hill and dale? The denialists, wolves adopting sheep's clothing so they can get their hands on the time clock and get amongst the sheep.

If you read Liam Kenny's excellent In Defence Of The Chaser's False Depiction Of My Dad Having Sex With Dog, you will cop a link to this little outburst by Kenny, I'm sick of the scare tactics in climate debate, in his native habitat of Adelaide - oh Adelaide, Adelaide, do the maiden aunts still sit on the verandah?

People are scorned as "deniers" simply for pointing out the scientifically agreed fact that Earth has not warmed for a decade. 
It is also a fact to say that the climate is always changing. And that no one has yet proved a link between human activities and/or carbon emissions and climate change. Sure, there are theories and models, some of which are widely respected. But there is no proven science.

There's plenty more of the usual kind: 

The weather bureau struggles to tell us what the weather is doing 24 hours in advance but the Federal Government says it can cool our climate. And the Liberals meekly agree.

And there's the irony in all this.

Now denialist central is telling us we should embrace direct action as a way of settling our nerves and doing something about the climate. Don't worry if it's going to be useful or effective, it'll just quieten things down so the big end of town can get back to shearing and fleecing the sheep ...

How did Moir put it? In a way a little more succinct than a world that's being Kennied as we speak?

Yep, that'd be the Kellied, Kennied and Tonied track ... (and more Moir here).

Oh what the heck, here's another Moir, and if you like to imagine Tony Abbott as a partner of this smoke stack - and the blowhards Kelly and Kenny standing behind them swigging the kool aid and emitting emissions - feel perfectly free ... the hypocrisy's just the same ...

Friday, June 27, 2014

Are you ready for some big bang disruption, or maybe some Clive-ish devastating innovation?

(Above: tin cars for tin men)

Standing beside global warming pin-up boy and former US vice-president Al Gore, Mr Palmer revealed the three incoming PUP senators who in effect hold the balance of power would vote to scrap the carbon tax, due to rise to $25.40 next week. 
Crucially, PUP will only do so if it is replaced with a dormant emissions trading scheme with the carbon price set at zero – as the Herald has suggested – until Australia’s trading partners implement a similar scheme. (here, under the appalling header Clive Palmer's carbon plan makes sense, without subsequent amendment or apology).

Crucially, the Fairfax editorialist is off in la la land, away with the pixies, is delusional, or if you prefer a politer, more subtle, genteel and nuanced assessment, is fucked in the head.

This in an editorial by a newspaper that once fancied itself as a paper of record and a keeper of Sydney proprieties.

Well that was long ago, and besides the witch is dead, and so on we wearily trudge, knowing that the flim flam man can now sell aluminium sidings in the eastern suburbs.

Crucially, of course, PUP hasn't placed a condition on the scrapping of the carbon tax requiring it be replaced with a dormant emissions trading scheme.

Sadly it allowed the likes of Akker Dakker a quiet gloat:

Trying to find a pony in the heap of horse manure Palmer and Gore were feeding the media, the global warmists’ handbook, The Sydney Morning Herald, even tried to take some credit for what it understood the duo’s garbled message to be — that repeal of the carbon tax was to be contingent on some future emissions trading scheme. 
In its infantile and misleading editorial, it wrote of the Palmer United Party’s position: 
“Crucially, PUP will only do so if it is replaced with a dormant emissions trading scheme (ETS) with the carbon price set at zero — as the Herald has suggested — until Australia’s trading partners implement a similar scheme.” 
Without wishing the Herald’s senior editors to collapse into their usual hysterical state, they should note that the PUPpies repeal of the carbon tax is only contingent on the obvious savings being passed on to consumers. Nothing else, despite the flaky hopey-wishey Fairfax views. 
The Herald serially misinformed its readers in its leader. Not only did it erroneously claim that the ETS was part of the trade-off, it also said the PUPs would “demand the present 20 per cent renewable energy target — which some in the Coalition are urging the government to scrap — remains in place and that the government ensures that all of the savings from lower energy costs are passed on to households”. (here)

That's what happens when you swallow the flim flam man's kool aid, you end up making Akker Dakker sound like a rocket scientist, well in between the abuse and the ignorance, and that's about as hard a job as the turtle holding up the world (yes, it does, it does, Greg Hunt it here, and Akker Dakker's a top notch climate scientist too, though if he brings out a straw and a credit card, get ready to scarper...)

The pond isn't sure where Akker Dakker dug up that last par about the RET, but it just goes to show that when the flim flam man gets going, no one can be certain of anything ... until the votes are in ...

This morning Mark Kenny felt the need to resort to ancient George Lucas mythology in Who are the winners from Clive Palmer's green conversion?

Yes, the dummy was still presenting the recent activities of Palmer as a green conversion, but the splash had a better phrasing:

A Jedi mind trick! So that's why the Fairfax editorialist was bamboozled.

Kenny's own Jedi trick is to hail the retaining of the RET and the CEFC as major victories, blessed by a conspiracy involving big Mal and Martin Parkinson, and never mind the end of the carbon tax and an ETS being a chimera and a dream, and the farcical direct action being abolished and Abbott not having the heart or the interest to push it ahead via regulation, especially as any such measures might then be disallowed by a vote in the Senate.

Which leaves Australia's actual target where? And its credibility in world forums aiming to take action on matters arising from climate science how high?

The gloating's already begun, and dummies like Kenny are too dumb to understand it:

Here's a jedi mind trick for you, Kenny and the rest of the Fairfaxians:

Oh yes, the future's in coal, coal, coal.

Well if you want an alternative view to that of the Fairfaxians, sans reptile gloating, you'll have to head off behind the Crikey paywall to read Bernard Keane's The politics: Palmer delivers a big win for climate denialists.

This is the man who announced he would challenge the carbon price in the High Court and never bothered to do it. The man who declared he was closing mines in the Pilbara in response to the mining tax and then admitted he’d “exaggerated”. The man who set up an alternative soccer governing body in Australia to replace the Football Federation Australia that was never heard from again. The man who claimed the CIA was working with the Greens and then admitted he’d just made it up. Clive “Wendi Deng is a Chinese spy” Palmer. 
Now he declares he’s a convert on climate science, but in fact will vote to dump the current carbon pricing regime, provided the government legislates a fig leaf to guarantee power prices will fall. There’s some ironic justice in this, given the Coalition has been inventing nonsense about the impact of the carbon price on consumers for years. Now Palmer has insisted they live up to their own rhetoric in statutory form. 
The rest is irrelevant detail. Palmer’s emissions trading scheme — to, erm, replace the emissions trading scheme that will commence on July 1 next year under the legislation he will vote to repeal, and apparently using text of the current legislation in his own bill — will never commence, remaining zero-rated forever, given one of the conditions for it operating is the United States embrace an emissions trading scheme. As Palmer well knows, much of the Republican Party that currently holds the House in the US don’t even believe in climate change, let alone an ETS to address it. So pointless is Palmer’s proposed ETS, it’s possible the Coalition might even back it as a replacement figleaf for Direct Inaction.

And so on. Modesty and a reluctance to do a Daily Mail or a Murdoch on the rest of the text leaves it behind the paywall, more's the pity because it's all worth quoting ...

By the time the pond got around to noting another editorial by the Fairfaxians, ABC reforms worth debating with safeguards, the pond was so over Fairfax that all the pond could think was The Fairfax The, which perhaps should be translated by Sideshow Bob into German so they'll understand it ...

The pathetic self-interest, the pathetic Fairfax TV and its pathetic failure, the whole pathetic state of Fairfax surged to the fore with this astonishing line:

In an internet age with myriad competitors, it is difficult to justify taxpayers subsidising one player over others.
What is more, the ABC has expanded into non-core functions – many of them online.

Uh huh, because you know, the full to overflowing intertubes is just so yesterday when it comes to communicating content to customers.

You'd have to be running Fairfax TV to think that ...

So what else in this vale of tears? Well today in the lizard Oz, there's Nick Xenophon trying to pump air back into the lungs of the corpse at one time known as "direct action".

Ah Nick:

But enough of Gorgeous George Nick, you're out of your depth up against the flim flam man, and a PM who really doesn't accept the current findings of climate science, and do you find it passing strange that you, along with that dodo Greg Hunt, are the only two politicians who seem to be taking direct action seriously?

So what else? Well even as Gorgeous Clive tears through Australian politics, there this very day is Hedley Thomas, still beavering away:

Hedley, Hedley, he's on the side of the lizards now ... he's Bolter approved.

Poor Hedley. If you read A hint for dupes: follow the money (inside the paywall because you need money to follow the money), it opens with a wondrous line:

In All The President’s Men, the film that dramatised the journalism responsible for piecing together Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal, the informant known as Deep Throat told The Washington Post’s reporters to “follow the money”. 

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein still had to do all the hard yards. There were few short-cuts. Not much in the way of evidence came easily in their pursuit of a US president who would be accused of corruption and run out of office.

Hedley, Hedley, it's Clive you're chasing, not the President of the United States.

You're not going to be played by Ryan Gosling or Channing Tatum or any other Hollywood hunk you can name, and John Adams isn't going to write an opera titled Clive in China ...

The pond feels deeply sorry for Hedley. It would be great if he could nail the flim flam man, but he spends as much time in his piece attempting to nail the ABC, Tony Jones, Lateline (like some late night current affairs show is a flagship), and everybody else for failing to pay attention, but alas he ends up sounding like the ancient mariner and pointing a frail finger at passing wedding guests:

The lesson for journalists, many of whom are being made to look like inept fools by Palmer, is simple. Do your homework. Forget his media conferences and the PR stunts unless you have researched the detail and can maintain a line of questioning. When his track record shows he makes stuff up on a regular basis, it is journalistic irresponsibility to fail to question him with rigour. 
Many years ago on the Nine Network’s Sunday Business program, finance journalist Michael Pascoe did his homework, and questioned Palmer without fear or favour. Pascoe remained calm while Palmer deflected, dissembled and, finally, ranted. 
While Palmer orchestrates a media circus and dodges the ­scrutiny that would be (and should be) applying to any other politician holding Australia’s balance of power, the hard evidence mounts up.

Indeed Hedders, indeed. The hard evidence is certainly mounting up.

Why don't you take it up with Tony Abbott?

Tell him to do a Michael Pascoe.

You see, Abbott's the man clambering into bed with Clive. He's the one making use of the politician holding the balance of power, and in the process Abbott's cynically fucking up Australia's response to the dire warnings emanating from climate scientists around the world ...

Yes, it's Abbott who's fallen into line with a man who routinely makes stuff up.

Oh wait, you're scribbling for the reptiles at the lizard Oz. You want Tony Abbott to be able to do all that without any need to join Clive's circus ... he's good enough to make up stuff all on his own.

Speaking of Abbott, the pond pauses to commend an unnerving insight into the young Abbott and his seminary days, in Seminary similarity, which inter alia included this prescient, eerie assessment by one Father Bill Wright:

“Tony is inclined to score points, to skate over or hold back any reservations he might have about his case.”

Read the rest and your blood will run cold. It's right up there with Edgar Allan Poe ...

And finally, just to prove there's life outside the parish pump world of Clive and Hedley and the gang, please allow the pond to draw your attention to a couple of amusing reads. A couple are smackdowns of the hapless Marc Andreessen - as in Marc Andreessen and the Inevitability of Catastrophic Ideas, and Deep Thoughts with Marc Andreessen: The Poor Have it Pretty Good!

And the other is a smackdown by Jill Lapore of Clayton M. Chirstensen and all the other speakers of gobbledegook, like 'disruptive innovation' and 'creative destruction', and other abuses of the English language. It's at The New Yorker under the header The Disruption Machine, and right at the moment it's outside the paywall.

A taster:

Ever since “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” everyone is either disrupting or being disrupted. There are disruption consultants, disruption conferences, and disruption seminars. This fall, the University of Southern California is opening a new program: “The degree is in disruption,” the university announced. “Disrupt or be disrupted,” the venture capitalist Josh Linkner warns in a new book, “The Road to Reinvention,” in which he argues that “fickle consumer trends, friction-free markets, and political unrest,” along with “dizzying speed, exponential complexity, and mind-numbing technology advances,” mean that the time has come to panic as you’ve never panicked before. Larry Downes and Paul Nunes, who blog for Forbes, insist that we have entered a new and even scarier stage: “big bang disruption.” “This isn’t disruptive innovation,” they warn. “It’s devastating innovation.”

The long absent lord alone knows what Lepore would make of Clive Palmer, the Fairfaxians and the reptilian Murdochians ... but it would surely be devastating and fuck the innovation ...

(Below: so what exactly is Clive? Who knows, but he's certainly god's gift to cartoonists. She knows that David Pope will point out the elephant in the room, and more Pope here, while David Rowe is in smokestack heaven, and more Rowe here)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

After the ring master has left a right royal mess, how about a Lord Voldemort joke?

(Above: more twittering from the master of twittery here)

So where, in sum and in short, are we?

The farcical direct action schemes of Abbott and Hunt in tatters; the carbon tax gone; and a meaningless zero rated ETS scheme in its place.

There is of course a deep mystery as to what Greg Hunt will do for the next couple of years, except fiddle with his thumbs and go hunting for facts on wiki.

And meanwhile Tony Abbott is unmasked and laid bare, just like a clown in a circus which has a buffoon as a ringmaster and an unlikely blow-in guest starring as the man in the cannon flying through the air with no need of a safety net.

You'd think the reptiles would be happy, but the lizard Oz also wants to get rid of the RET:

Why Al Gore bothered to fly around the world to support Clive Palmer’s confirmation yesterday that he would vote to abolish Australia’s carbon tax is a mystery. For all the theatrics, the biggest change in Mr Palmer’s position — acknowledging that Australia should move to an ETS when the rest of the world also does so — is a longstanding position of this newspaper. An ETS is the most efficient way to abate carbon, unlike Labor’s clunky Renewable Energy Target. Mr Palmer’s determination to rule out any changes to the RET by contrast, which forces households to subsidise costly wind farms though their power bills, was disappointing. (Costs are blowing in the wind)

But here's the thing. Because of the stupidity and the folly of the reptiles, and their blind allegiance to the luddite Abbott, if you happen to take seriously the climate science, then Abbott has led Australia down a dry gulch of despair, and has now been bushwhacked by Clive.

Okay, that's enough of the mixed metaphors, what's wondrous is the way the likes of the Bolter allowed their knee jerk reaction to Al Gore to blind them to the reality.

It slowly dawned on the Bolter that Australia will now do diddly squat about climate change:

Palmer’s plan isn’t good, but could be worse. 
The very bad news is that Palmer (the coal miner) will vote to keep the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which lends our money for dodgy green schemes, and the Renewable Energy Target, which forces us to waste money on green power and drives up power bills. 
But Palmer’s trading scheme has a useful get-out, although it sets up a dangerous machinery - especially if Labor is returned. 
He says he will move an amendment to a bill to abolish the Climate Change Authority that a zero-rated emissions trading scheme be set up, to be operative only when China, the US, the European Union, Japan and Korea have the same. The price, he suggests, will be set at the world price. 
At this stage, though, there is no sign the US, Korea and Japan will have any such scheme, and the Chinese plan is for a scheme where permits are likewise free. 
Clever Clive. With luck, this scheme will never happen. But Palmer says the carbon tax will go. And that is the main game. (here)

What else?

Well the Fairfaxians produced a laughable editorial, showing that the flim flam man could dazzle the Fairfaxians, as they scribbled Clive Palmer's carbon plan makes sense.

At last welcome signs of a positive approach to climate change, given the reality that the carbon tax was rejected by the people.

A positive approach? It makes sense?

In what alternative world?

The proposal is to degut direct action, to implement an ETS which has zero implications for the next few years, until or if the world agrees on a course of action, and then the locals can be made to agree, throw in a few bureaucratic baubles - a CEFC here, a climate authority there, an ongoing RET for the reptiles to moan about - as a little razzle dazzle and sparklers.

Meanwhile, Australia was always on course to fail at its risible, modest plan to reach its target by 2020. Now that seems guaranteed.

So what's the upshot? Well the wedge on Abbott and Hunt is a fine one. The consequence of their ideological zealotry is that three fifths of fuck all will now be done as a response to climate science, unless significant negotiations, back-tracking and adjustments are made.

Is Abbott up to it? Palmer has delivered him a kind of wet dream of inertia ...

Will Hunt make a stand? You expect a fop with the strength of tissue paper to do anything but soak up the spittle?

There Hunt is, running around saying it's unambiguously good news, but it's only good news up until the headless chook realises he's got absolutely nothing to do for the next few years as his direct action plan collapses in tatters around him ...

There's a profound irony in the story the reptiles were forced to run:

There you go, Palmer kills carbon action, nation left without an abatement strategy ...

And so the fig leaf is stripped bare.

But that's what they wanted. Palmer has delivered the hard right their wet dream, and now they've discovered their hands are a sticky mess ...

So what sort of penetrating insight could readers expect from the Daily Terror?

In a side note, long-time observers have noted the frequency of cold weather events that occur wherever Gore is speaking. It was evident again yesterday in Canberra. The ex-VP truly brings the bad weather with him. (here)

Yep, little Timmy Bleagh sets the tone for the paper ... except that's the editorialist ...

Poor fella, my country ...

As usual, the pond has to turn to the cartoonists for an incisive insight. Here's David Pope (and more Pope here):

The temptation, in relation to this circus, is to blame Palmer but the reality is that Abbott and Hunt provided the fertile ground in which this misdirectionist might flourish. All those years of nattering negativity about the carbon tax, and nary a thought for a market based response.

They could have adopted a market based strategy, instead of concocting the folly of direct action. They could have shown they were taking climate science seriously.

Now the magician and his blow in dummy have blown away the fig leaf ...

What will Abbott do? Will he pretend, in the nauseating way he did to Obama, that he accepts climate science and something more must be done? Well even the farce of the price hike on petrol as a form of carbon pricing has gone west ...

And now to a few lighter moments.

Guy Rundle first, in response to the London farce: the hours after, she garnered hero tweets from Jeremy Clarkson, Piers Morgan and Louise Mensch, nee Bagshawe. Can Tony Blair be far behind? My god, what an awful bunch of people. Even the crowd in the bar seemed to think that, and most of them were organ traffickers. (more at Crikey here, paywall affected)

That's as tasty a smack down as the pond has read in recent times, and better still, it can be applied to almost anyone or anything.

Go on, give it a test drive. Tony Abbott's government and his climate policies? Even the crowd in the bar seemed to think they were hopeless, and most of them were organ traffickers ...

And then there was the tragic Elizabeth Farrelly scribbling Feminist frightbat campaign just the Blair Witch project.

You see, some of the women involved in little Timmy Bleagh's attention seeking contest actually rewarded him by playing his game - the class clown was apparently excited when he got noticed by the satanists at the ABC.

It struck the pond as pathetic that some of the named women would play along with the self-seeking publicist, and help him play out his public form of onanism.

But at the end of Farrelly's piece, one commenter made it worth the pond reading to the bitter end:

Tim Blair is a kind of Bolta lite. He's like those tedious classmates in high school who went on and on about loud, fast cars and who loved being politically incorrect - e.g. leaving the lights on during Earth Hour. Ooh, wicked! Alas, he's also middle aged.

Yes, exactly so, and organ traffickers don't have much time for him either ...

And so the day will unfold and let's see how Abbott flaps in the breeze like a wayward dunny door. He's already shown remarkable skills:

And is this the story that gets run when the dog steals your exercise book?

Finally, the pond would like to acknowledge the immense, enormous stupidity of Valerie Wangnet, as outlined at great length in Honour killing talk: we should be allowed to hear it:

When Uthman Badar's talk, provocatively titled ‘'Honour killings are morally justified’', was pulled from this year's Festival of Dangerous Ideas event in Sydney, I couldn't help but feel disappointment. Because even if the sole purpose of Badar's talk was to advocate for the oppression, victimisation and ruthless violence against women, and even if his intentions were in fact to unleash a radical ideology fuelled by prejudice onto unsuspecting Australians, it should not have been cancelled.

Indeed, indeed. The pond is just as supportive of the need to advocate gas chambers for the Jews in these difficult times ...

...even if the sole purpose of Hitler's talk was to advocate for the oppression, victimisation and ruthless violence against Jews, and even if his intentions were in fact to unleash a radical ideology fuelled by prejudice onto unsuspecting Australians, it should not have been cancelled.

Yes, it's time for Stormfront to storm the Sydney Opera House ...

No doubt there are some mindless do gooders who close their ears and eyes to this sort of useful discussion too ... and what a disappointment that is ... the pond had hoped to be titillated and challenged and provoked by Stormfront's ideas, much as it's provoked by the news that ruthless violence against women is a most engaging and challenging notion for a stimulating discussion ...

Remarkably, Wangnet goes on to talk about moral hysteria, when in reality it's Uthman Badar and his ilk who lather up a moral hysteria about the terminal decline and decadence of the west.

Bizarrely, the piece ended up this way:

Let's continue to challenge one another, open our eyes to the things we don't want to, and ultimately encourage a moral stance that is fierce and not passive, clear and not short-sighted. There is no such thing as a dangerous idea if we know how to react to it in the right way. In this case we didn't. 
Valerie Wangnet is the founder and director of ThinkKind, a humane education initiative to encourage kindness and compassion in students through critical thinking and moral reasoning.

In which case, may the long absent lord take pity on the students.

There's diddly squat benefit to be had in engaging in polite arguments with fundamentalists, whether of the barking mad Uthman Badar kind, or the Bolt lite Tim Blair kind.

Uthman Badar might grow out of his fundamentalism as he gets a little older or he might not.

Sadly - have we mentioned it? - Tim Blair is middle aged ...

It's impossible for the pond to summon up a sufficient amount of contempt for Wangnet's position, so how about a cartoon instead ...

Yes it's Pat Campbell, more Campbell here, and whenever the pond is stressed by the day's events, in need of a kidney-ruining Bex and a good lie down, it recommends a Lord Voldemort joke instead:

And how about the Rowe which the AFR shockingly delayed unveiling to the world today?

Voldemort issues guys? Never mind, more Rowe here, when the AFR site is working:

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In which the pond is distracted by secular liberals copping the blame for Caliphate-toting Islamics ...

(Above: Dennis Pryor on japes, and diddled, dished and done in The Age, 1st June 1981, just another pond moment from the archives. Click to enlarge to read).

So here's a jolly jape amongst chums.

Wait, before we go on, should the pond mention that "jape" has a sexual connotation?

More of that in the clipping above. But at least we've set the mood for dangerous ideas, by referencing Billy Bunter and Frank Richards.

Hey ho, hey nonnie no, on we go.

How about, in the quest for bold, dangerous and disturbing ideas, we invite a Catholic priest or a Salvation Army military man to speak on "Paedophilia for priests is morally justified"?

Or what about "Clitoridectomies for lustful, shameful women are morally justified"?

And so on and so forth.

Uthman Badar and the organisers of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas didn't even have the wit to add a question mark, as in Honour killings are morally justified?

Instead in a bit of exemplary trolling, they just ran with the statement Honour killings are morally justified, and then tried on a little bit of disingenuous tripe:

In a statement the Opera House appeared to blame the talk's title for giving the "wrong impression", while announcing that it had decided not to proceed with the session. 
"The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is intended to be a provocation to thought and discussion, rather than simply a provocation," the Opera House wrote on Facebook. 
"It is always a matter of balance and judgement, and in this case a line has been crossed." 
"It is clear from the public reaction that the title has given the wrong impression of what Mr Badar intended to discuss. 
Neither Mr Badar, the St James Ethics Centre, nor Sydney Opera House in any way advocates honour killings or condones any form of violence against women." (Festival of Dangerous Ideas: 'Honour killings' talk cancelled.

Uh huh. So why the trolling of the title?

Is the Festival of Dangerous Ideas just a way of saying that it's a forum for religious bears with very little brain? That's if a title doesn't mean what it says ...

As for Badar himself, the defence offered is risible:

Mr Badar told Fairfax Media on Tuesday that the session's cancellation is revealing of the extent and influence of Islamophobia in Australia. 

Actually at this moment in time, it would seem that the Islamophobia is directed at idle trolling provocateurs who think Honour killings are morally justified - sans question mark or other caveat - is a catchy title.

He blamed "baseless hysteria" for gagging the expression of ideas. 
"It also highlights, once more, that freedom of speech is a tool of power and nothing more," he said. 

Sadly freedom of speech doesn't offer carte blanche the freedom to be stupid ...

The pond has a vague idea of what Uthman Badar might have wanted to bang on about. Moral equivalence. You know, the United States does over Iraq, so it's fair game for Putin to fuck over the Ukraine, the west is full of hypocrites, so it's fair game for fundie Islamics to fuck over the west, and so forth and etc.

This sort of thing:

For most of recorded history parents have reluctantly sacrificed their children—sending them to kill or be killed for the honour of their nation, their flag, their king, their religion. But what about killing for the honour of one’s family? Overwhelmingly, those who condemn ‘honour killings’ are based in the liberal democracies of the West. The accuser and moral judge is the secular (white) westerner and the accused is the oriental other; the powerful condemn the powerless. By taking a particular cultural view of honour, some killings are condemned whilst others are celebrated. In turn, the act becomes a symbol of everything that is allegedly wrong with the other culture.

No, actually, it's a simple and very short speech. Sensible folk anywhere and everywhere think the notion of honour killing is fucked in the head. Period. End of speech.

Call them secular, white and western if you like, say its the powerful condemning the powerless, but that doesn't let off the patriarchy fucking over women.

The screed is now gone from the festival website, but the ever reliable Google still had it in cache (click to enlarge):

Here's what you cop now, as it's clear that the festival of dangerous ideas doesn't run to the festival of google caching:

What's worse, in the Google cache, the links were still active, and led to Hisb ut-Tahrir Australia, and to Badar's self-pitying facebook page here, and his twitter account here.

And so to the speaker:

Uthman Badar is spokesman for Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia. Hizb ut-Tahrir is a global advocacy group working for positive change in the Muslim world via the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate. He is a well-known speaker, writer and activist in the Muslim community in Sydney.

The re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate? Is that the worldwide caliphate where we all live under a single theocratic one-world Islamic government? Or is it just your average sectarian caliphate dispute? (Greg Hunt the caliphate here).

Whatever, now there's a truly fucked idea. Right up there with the twin towers conspiracists and scientological thinking.

The pond has a short answer. No. Just no. Apply it how and where you will. No ...

Freedom of speech doesn't mean I should have the right to be a provocateur and a troller and a twitterer:

So now it's liberals denying fundamentalists convenient platforms at the Opera House?

When Opera Australia just sacked a singer for publishing outrageous nonsense a year ago, and attempting to blame it on her husband?

That's the thing that really gets the pond's goat.

You see, while Uthman Badar is busy berating liberals, Miranda the Devine is blaming Trendy lefties giving voice to barbaric crime.

You see, Uthman Badar? You just handed a free kick to the rabid right wing fundamentalist conservative Catholic Miranda the Devine, at a time when the church is still reeling from the outrageous behaviour of its minions and servants, and even Barry "has someone got my bottle of Grange?" O'Farrell thought it was all a bit rich, and thought that Australian bishops conference general secretary Brian Lucas should do the decent thing and resign for "criminal inaction" (O'Farrell hits out at Catholic leaders).

You see, Uthman Badar? There's your moral equivalence at work.

If you can wade through the tedium of the Devine piece, How jihad became the latest fashion in Sydney, you come to this closing line:

...what hope is there when Sydney’s fashionable left-wing establishment fetes extremism, as if it is just another dinner party conversation starter.

Sure, at time of writing, she'd only scored eight truly rabid comments. And of course that closing line should have read:

...what hope is there, when Sydney’s rabid right wing establishment conservative fundamentalist Catholic nutters dine out on the extremism of a fundamentalist Islamic nutter, as if it is just another cheap point scoring conversation starter.

But at least you can see, Uthman Badar where you've left sensible secular liberals. A pox on both your houses ...

What's more, you've distracted then pond when there are serious matters afoot.

Dame Slap is busy today scribbling Security monitor or not, we are aware of jihadis (inside the paywall), and sure enough, down in the comments section came the calumny that jihadists had landed in Australia as boat people, who aren't genuine refugees but instead are wild eyed jihadi anarchists, and it's all the fault of the greenies ...

And Sharri Markson was wildly excited, always a disturbing, unpleasant sight at the best of times:

Yes, because not only should taxpayers pay for the ABC with their taxes, they should pay for content all over again.

Get them coming, get them going, get them coming and going and to'ing and fro'ing...

But hang on, what does that say? The ABC and SBS could for the first time charge viewers to watch content ...?

Well there's a reason not to read any further or to bother with a link.

What a prime doofus Markson is. Why does she label the piece EXCLUSIVE? Is that code for EXCLUSIVELY stupid?

The pond still has VHS tapes produced by the ABC - and really expensive they were!

$29.95 for a bloody opera, as distributed by Roadshow, and now it's just a magnetic particle morass, a testament to how the very hazy system didn't handle the years.

And right at this minute you can head off to the ABC shop and pay a modest fortune for taxpayer funded content (usually by Screen Australia or a state government body though it might also be Opera Australia) being screened on the taxpayer funded ABC and then sold through taxpayer funded ABC shops with the taxpayers being charged through the nose just to get the content in digital form on disc ... unless you happen to have a PVR and are happy with that bloody bug in the corner.

So it's absolutely not the first time the ABC or SBS has charged viewers to watch content.

The question is how and when they should charge for content, and good luck with the idea that iView is going to be the new business model.

Truth to tell, the Murdochians don't care about the taxpayers or the ABC recovering some costs.

They just want the ABC to join the charge, fleece the sheep, so that the unholy behaviour of Foxtel can go on unchallenged. Has anything changed since Bruce Guthrie wrote The pay TV cesspool last year?

Will the pond ever see an EXCLUSIVE in the Murdoch rags headed Competition watchdog should break up Foxtel monopoly: Ludlam?

Intervention by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to break up Foxtel's stranglehold on popular TV shows such as Game of Thrones would help reduce the number of Australians turning to piracy, according to Greens communications spokesperson Scott Ludlam.

Yes! Even international guests who turn up to digital conferences are astonished to learn that there's just one cable combine, charging like a wounded bull, and fucking over customers.

How about Foxtel is becoming a content monopolist?

And here's another headline: iiNet calls on consumer fight back to piracy plans...

And then there's many other matters, in Egypt and locally, what with the news that the peanut farmer is Baaaaacck in Queensland - and with the Abbott government frustrated in its desire to chop down trees - how bungled was that? - along with the Abbott government frustrated in its attempt to pose as a tree hugging carbon taxer, only to run on empty.

How weird is that?

So you see Uthman Badar, spending this morning listening to James Carleton and Simon Longstaff chew over your little muck up was just a painful waste of radio air time ...

But at least, as we often do, we always have more David Pope here, and more David Rowe here.