Tuesday, June 11, 2024

In which there's a nuking, a groaning and a vulgar youff spanking ...


Just two days to go before the pond disappears south and John Hanscombe in The Echnida (The Canberra Times' daily newsletter) set the tone this day by invoking memories of the movie Groundhog Day, and giving the mutton Dutton a new name ...

...If it felt like we'd been here before, we had.
The mayor of Shoalhaven just south of the Illawarra took to the airwaves to plead for action on climate change. Her local government area had been pummelled by 15 natural disasters since the 2019 Black Summer fires, all caused by catastrophic rain events. Events now so frequent, one wonders if they're events at all or simply the new normal.
The clouds parted on the weekend and the sun came out but it was still Groundhog Day. Punxsutawney Pete made sure of that.
We awoke on Saturday morning to the feeling we were back in 2009, when the climate wars were raging. If climate change wasn't "absolute crap", as Tony Abbott said that year, the 2030 emissions reduction targets Australia had committed to with the Paris Agreement were, according to the opposition leader.
The nation groaned like Bill Murray waking to 'I Got You Babe' for the umpteenth time when Punxsutawney Pete rewound the climate change clock. Here we go again, another grinding climate election.

Standard cartoon rates applied ...

Meanwhile, Hanscombe was still groaning and shuddering ...

We shuddered as we remembered Dutton in 2015, the last of his hair on his featureless head in full retreat as he joked beneath a hot mic about Pacific islanders being late. "Time doesn't mean anything when you're about to have water lapping at your door," he chortled. It was the same year Tony Abbott signed the country up to the Paris Agreement.
Punxsutawney Pete has a strange relationship with time himself. By his own admission his distant and costly nuclear dream is at least 15 - more likely 20 - years away when action is needed now. He's said he'd reveal the details of that policy before the May budget. That time has come and gone, as Labor loves pointing out day after laborious day.

If it felt like we'd been here before, we had. Time to nuke the country to save the planet, yet again, perhaps to the sounds of Sonny and Cher ...

There was one difference ... that use of "we's". Actually the pond likes the use of "we's". How much better it would have sounded if it had been "we's never had it so good", and who could argue about "we's needs to nuke the country to save the planet"?

So it went ...

The SMR dream is alive and well and only ten years away. Done and dusted, sold to Punxsutawney Pete (the pond admits to liking that name).

On the upside, this venture into fifty shades of nuking grey was admirably short, it being a mere doddle to nuke the country ...

With that out of the way, and plucky little Estonia celebrated, the pond could turn to its usual survey of the reptile news...

Nothing much to report there, though the pond does note the reptile EXCLUSIVE, Libs tell Dutton to embrace austerity, reproducing Lord Dave's feats down under, because it worked out so well for little England ...

On the plus side, it seems that the smirking Petey boy was something of a one day wonder ...and is quickly disappearing from view ... though given a send-off in Media Watch and a Wilcox ...

Down below there were the usual suspects ...

There's never been a far right movement the bromancer hasn't loved, and the best that can be said about it comes by way of an immortal Rowe cartoon ...

It's always in the detail, and the moustache ...

Speaking of Adolf, there was a fun moment in the UK campaign, noted in The Graudian yarn ...Reform UK defends candidate over Hitler neutrality comments, Party’s spokesperson says Ian Gribbin’s comments that Britain should have accepted Nazi offer ‘probably true’

Reform UK has defended one of its candidates who said Britain should have “taken Hitler up on his offer of neutrality”, saying the comments were “probably true”.
The row prompted the Conservatives to directly criticise Ian Gribbin, the party’s candidate in Bexhill and Battle, who was reported to have written on a website’s comment section: “Britain’s warped mindset values weird notions of international morality rather than looking after its own people.”
The BBC said Gribbin had written that Britain needed to “exorcise the cult of Churchill and recognise that in both policy and military strategy, he was abysmal”. He is also reported to have said that women were the “sponging gender” and should be “deprived of health care”.
Reform’s spokesperson told the BBC the views on Hitler’s offer were not endorsements but were “shared by the vast majority of the British establishment including the BBC of its day, and is probably true”.
He said they were written with “an eye to inconvenient perspectives and truths. That doesn’t make them endorsements, just arguing points in long-distance debates.”
The spokesperson also told the Jewish Chronicle the party would not sack the candidate and he had “done nothing wrong.”
The BBC later said Gribbin had apologised for the “old comments and withdraw them unreservedly and the upset that they have caused”.

What a pity he withdrew, and what a pity Nige blamed the fuss on a lack of time to select candidates, when really it was the perfect argument for Vlad the sociopath appeasers and lickspittle fellow travellers.

And that's the end of the fun, because it's time for the Tuesday groaning ...

The pond already knows all the steps, and where Dame Groan is heading, and almost wishes it was there now, but first there's another gobbet to endure ...

Indeed, indeed, but now to the real source of the problem... those bloody furriners, flooding the country, and giving Dame Groan weekly nightmares which always end up with her waking in fright groaning ...

If it felt like we'd been here before, we had.

Bloody migrants, and too late the pond realised it could have just saved the need to endure the entire groaning by subbing in a First Dog cartoon ...

And so to a bonus, because Mein Gott, the pond likes nothing better than to blame everything on vulgar youff ...

The pond recognised the problem immediately. One reason for falling productivity and efficiency (strangely in just the last two years) is now being unveiled... the tragedy of the reptile graphics department, routinely reduced to using iStock photos ...

It's hard to come back from that sort of start, but Mein Gott did it in style ...

Vulgar youff? Completely hopeless, and Mein Gott how could they ever expect to offer the sagacity, wisdom and insight of a Mein Gott working the room and arriving at a dinkum statistical analysis?

At this point the reptiles began their visual distractions...

... but Mein Gott and the pond aren't easily distracted ...

Mein Gott ... did you see that? Which unpaid intern allowed "task,s" to slip through the net? 

Incredibly important skills are slipping through the net, and the only way forward is to replace vulgar youff with bots ... or perhaps persuade vulgar youff that bots are the solution ... and that's probably going to be easy, given that they're such a hopeless mob ...

Say what? Mein Gott can't help? Is there a doctor in the house who can?


  1. I was happy to scan, and discard, ‘Contributing Economics Editor’ Dame Groan’s recycling of her rehashed leftovers on housing and furriners. Not sure quite what job ‘Contributing Economics Editor’ actually defines. Given that ‘contributor’ Tony Grey now cites the Dame’s confusion of accounting with traditional economics as a valid criticism of the GenCost report (well, it saves having to read the actual report, and do some sums on back of the nearest envelope) even as he tries to resuscitate the idea of SMRs - perhaps that new title signals that other contributors who try to invoke even their own, partisan, perspective on economics for their presentation, have to show that their perspective accords with that of the Dame. But I am open to other interpretations.

    The more wondrous contribution of the day came under ‘Commentary’ - with no further title - of Mein Gott. As befits a Gott, our commenter includes the entire world in his scope, or, at least, ‘countries like Australia.’

    Seems he was set off by lunch at the Mining Club, where the head of what claims to be the world’s biggest gold miner groaned about some inequality in what they could sell gold for, and what it cost them to grind it out of large quantities of rock.

    Around 1984, gold was selling at around US$400 an ounce. Today, expect to have to pay over US$2000 for an ounce. A 1984 greenback is worth a tad over $3 now, so, adjust for inflation - someone digging gold out of the ground now, can look for a return around 1.7 times, to twice, the real value, if he had done that in 1984.

    The form of the graph of long-run gold price does not hint at any relationship between cost of production and selling price - the price reflects the vagaries of other parts of world economics, and military adventurism. While it has some practical uses, but is readily substituted, its main ‘value’ is for final protection against some unspecified cataclysm.

    Now, in that time, the things that have changed directly for miners include having to pay more attention to their environmental performance, even in third-world countries. The ‘Wiki’ on Newmont lists the usual toxic outcomes of its pursuit of the yellow metal. To remedy existing insult, and avoid more, is now a cost to the company, rather than to the adjoining peasants/tribals Their business model - expansion, expansion and don’t ask why - means that they have to look at prospects with lower likely yield per tonne of rock that has to be pulverised.

    Our Gott does concede that the Newmont man did not link his company’s higher costs to ‘management promotion gap’. Oh - it seems that Mein Gott has thought-up that term all by himself; there are many references to ‘gender promotion gap’ in management literature, but I suspect the Mining Club does not seat a lot of genders around its lunch tables, other than blokes.

    Whatever Newmont man might have been trying to say, apparently ‘discussions around the room’ warmed to the idea that the poor performance of members of the Oz Mining Club could be put down to lack of vision of those who had come before them. At least, that is the best interpretation I can offer. It works a treat for each new CEO of our ‘Big 4’ banks, so is readily transferable.

    One other is that the Mining Club offers a good class of wine with its lunches, and Mein Gott drifted into some sort of reverie as Mr Newmont droned on about the joys of mining in Ghana, Argentina, Peru or Suriname.

    1. It seems that instead of having a gold standard to back the monetary system, we might need something to back the gold standard. Not uranium - there's too much of it around and it decomposes steadily over time ('lead standard' anybody ?).

      No, I'm thinking a 'rare earth' kind of thing - a 'lithium standard' perhaps ?

  2. Oh - and the Rowe - wonderful.

    1. Oh be kind to the Groany, Chad, she's just trying to do her civic duty.

      Dame Groan: "It is estimated [by whom ? where ?] that 60 per cent of high-rise apartment buildings constructed in the past decade in Victoria have major structural issues, including foundation cracking, insufficient ventilation causing mould, unsafe cladding and dangerous balconies." Is that true ? And was it ever thus ?

      For those who can remember, recall the ICIANZ (now ICI Australia) building near the top end of Bourke Street: Melbourne's first 'skyscraper' after the old building height limits were raised. It was so well designed and made that its windows kept falling out and it was just very fortunate that nobody wandering along Spring street was ever decapitated by one. They had to construct a footpath roof over that section of the eastern side of Spring St to stop a falling window from landing on pedestrians.

      And that was how many years ago ? Hint, think of its 60th anniversary in 2018.

  3. Mein Gott often makes interesting use of the English language. He refers to younger managers - “including males and females”. Does this mean that News employs at least one supporter of intersex rights? Better be careful there, Gottster…… Also, what’s with these hip, modern terms like “whiz kids” and “far out”? Better cool it, daddy-o!

    The article’s highlight was the way in which. Mein Gott casually pulls out AI as the likely source of future developments in management. Zero evidence or sources cited, of course. I get the feeling that “AI” has become the fallback answer for article writers who (1) know nothing about the field other than the term, and (2) have no idea how things may actually develop in the future, but figure that citing Artificial Intelligence might convince credulous readers that they’re visionaries - or perhaps even “whiz kids”.

  4. https://www.cleanenergycouncil.org.au/news/new-independent-research-nuclear-six-times-the-cost-of-renewables

    1. But for those who live in places not favoured by any equivalent of most of Australia's sunshine (with its daily spread across several time zones) and strong regular wind (eg the East Coast of Gippsland) it may just be a price they have to pay.

  5. Mutt the Dutt: "...no sense signing up to targets you don't have any "prospect of achieving."

    However: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a Heaven for?"

    Any volunteers to answer Browning ? What a dull, boring old achievement-less mutton is the Dutton.

  6. Re Tony Grey: does a bundle of little, valueless lies add up to a "big lie" and this becomes a universal, unquestionable truth ?

    1. Anonymous - yes they can, when it is 'marketing', which is the exercise Tony Grey is involved in here.

    2. There we go, and I thought it was just the daily preaching to the converted (though I've never been sure about converted from what).

  7. DP - looking at the crescendo of vituperation from the usual suspects in response to Daniel Andrews' AC, by time you cross the border into the southland, collective 'two minutes hates' should be on daily schedule. As I recall, the set hour was 11, so order your Victory coffee well before then, so it doesn't go cold because of the "hate'.

  8. Two comments.
    The shortage of affordable housing is a world-wide problem - the US, UK, Canada and most/all European countries.
    The image featured in the Rowe cartoon has its pedigree in the (subversive) painting by Manet titled A Bar at the Folis-Bergere

    1. Bit by bit the shortage of affordable Planet Terra is becoming a world-wide problem, NN.

  9. Seriously why do we give honours to politicians. They are already recorded in the various annals of history, wikipedia, popular media, and so forth. They hardly need an award for doing their job, which by the way, many do not. We should give honours to those who do good for the community and might otherwise not be recognised - so that rules out most of our great sportspeople as well - I'm not saying they are not talented and have not earnt their victories, but they have their recognition, and often, significant monetary reward, sometimes just for wearing their gear. And let's face it, there are so many of the undeserving that have received a gong (petulant Peta comes to mind) that perhaps, as it currently stands, it is more a blessing not to be named. I understand that Paul Keating refused to accept one - that must have left the lizards a bit short for criticism, but at least they can keep howling at the moon about Comrade Dan and Mark McGowan, pointless as it is. I need hardly mention that far from awards, we have our own genuine form of criticism down south - UNVICTORIAN (thanks to Jeff Kennett) - so watch how you go DP. AG.

    1. Well it's really not "we" who give them honours, Anony; they set things up to give honours to themselves. As well as payrises, expense repayments, free travel and transport and the opportunity to make investments in rental houses - which was indeed a device used by many of the 'better' employed in the Great Depression to advance their state of fortune, so I guess it's really traditional, isn't it.


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