Wednesday, July 10, 2024

In which the pond features a competition between the contemptibly craven Craven and the contemptibly nattering "Ned" ...


The pond has noted before the way that the reptiles at the lizard Oz studiously avoid what used to be termed 'hard' news. 

You might read in the Graudian about the ongoing genocide, Israeli attack on Gaza City continues as Hamas says ceasefire efforts at risk  or amidst the sociopathic slaughter of children by Vlad the impaler you might read of reptile and PM favourite in Modi and Putin cement 'bonds of friendship' despite Ukraine tensions. (You know, Russia bombs children's hospital as missiles kill dozens across Ukraine).

Or you might head off to Al Jazeera to read ongoing tales of the UN experts blast Israeli 'starvation campaign' kind.

Balakrishnan Rajagopal, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, has said that there is “famine across the whole of Gaza. All houses destroyed, food systems destroyed and healthcare destroyed. And kids are dying. Is there any humanity left?”
He made his comments in a post on X in response to a statement by a group of independent experts, himself included, who said that the recent deaths of more Palestinian children due to hunger and malnutrition leaves no doubt that famine has spread across the entire Gaza Strip.

You might also find talk of the West Bank ...

An Israeli army general says that a “strong and functioning” Palestinian Authority was in Israel’s security interest, the New York Times reported.
The comments were made by Yehuda Fuks, the outgoing chief of Israel’s Central Command, which is responsible for the military forces in the occupied West Bank, at a departure ceremony, the Times said.
He also rebuked moves by Israel’s far-right government to seize more Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank amid a rise in settler violence. Attacks against Palestinians and their property by illegal Jewish settlers have increased in scale and intensity since October 7. (here at greater length)

If you contemplate the headlines this day, you might see via Killer Creighton that dark Brandon is in a spot of bother, but as for the rest, forget it ...

Meanwhile, the Graudian is doing some excellent work exploring the deporable Exclusive Brethren - the latest in the series being Wealthy Exclusive Brethren schools net almost $30m in disadvantage payments.

If you wanted lighter commentary, tales of Moggies, you could head off to the cracking Crace for PopCons reassemble and Jacob Rees-Mogg is the sanest person in the room.

All this is by way of explanation for the way that the best that the reptiles of the lizard Oz can offer, and so the pond, is a contest as to who is the most contemptible reptile of the day - the craven Craven or nattering "Ned".

It's a close race, but the contemptible Craven makes for a strong start ... with the sport here for these feral greyhounds being who can most demonise a Muslim woman making a point about a genocide ...

It takes some fair cheek for a fundamentalist tyke, coming from a Catholic church full of bigotry, misogyny and homophobia (not to mention all the stuff done to children in the spirit of Alice Munro's partner) to announce The truth is there is no precedent for the Payman phenomenon. She represents a new fracturing along ethno-religious lines. She is a harbinger of danger and conflict.

There's the little matter of the DLP and the rabid fundamentalism that marred the 1950s, and here the contemptible Craven excels ...

First a video clip featuring the dire demonic threat and then the snaps that litter the piece ...

It is, of course, an important part of the procedure, and the contest, to ignore the actual ongoing genocide, and the contemptible Craven does that in style ...

Then it's on to the high comedy ... defensive posturing about the DLP ...

All lies of course, but the craven Craven no doubt is secure in the knowledge that few remember the 1950s first hand, and so what the Catholic church, and the DLP, represented, including the right of women to experience back yard abortions, or have their baby snatched for Catholic adoption ... all the while offering yadda yadda about "permissiveness" and moral decay and such like ... though in later times, you could find high profile Catholic conservatives doing a reverse takeover of the Liberal Party, thanks to the likes of the onion muncher ...

The moral of the story is that people in glass houses shouldn't carry on about moral panics when their own mob produced an epic disruption of Australian politics, but the contemptible craven Craven doubles down ...

Where's misogyny and homophobia when you need it? Just call the contemptibly craven Craven and he'll supply it, and maybe a backyard abortion if that's what ails ya ...

Here, have a reminder of an alternative universe ...

While it was a strong demonising effort, with apologetics for ancient 1950s bigotries, nattering "Ned" still knows how to play an open misère hand and sound just as miserable ...

In any demonisation effort, you need to make sure people can spot the demon, and for "Ned" the reptiles managed to do this twice ... because nothing exceeds like demonic excess ...

There were a couple of other snaps, featuring that woman who escaped from a chaff bag and greenies, up there wth ways to terrify the aging male white demographic...

While the illustrations are contemptible, "Ned" really didn't need the help ...

As soon as you start throwing around words like "evil", you enter the ranks of the most rank, and return to the days of the axis of weevils rhetoric used to justify a wretched war.

Again it's notable how the actual genocide going down right now is expunged from "Ned's" piece, disappeared into the cornfields amid a bout of fear-mongering and Islamophobia ...

He's kidding, right? Here he is, sounding much like Enoch Powell or Nigel Farage, and he's suggesting we shouldn't bring conflicts from originating nations?

This helps make him a worthy contender with the craven Craven for the most contemptible reptile columnist ...

"That is improbable", and yet the entire rhetorical thrust is based on an alleged imminent danger. And then, in classic "Ned" style, having served up a bout of Islamophobic anxiety, comes a clucking and a tutting and alarums about the right wing, as if the lizard Oz was somehow centrist. 

The depth of the delusions is breath taking ... you see, he's only carrying on like a pork chop about the Islamics because he's worried that they might be victimised...done in exceptional "when did you Islamics stop beating your wives?" style ...

In the end, the pond couldn't separate the pair, each contemptible in their own way, each excelling at the task of being contemptible ... it's a fudge to say it's a draw, yet fudging is part of the experience.

Here, have news from an alternative universe ...

And so to a bonus, and the pond only includes Dame Slap because this day she's not blathering on about the Lehrmann matter. 

Instead she's found a new target for her bile ... Malware ...

The temptation for some might be to defend Malware, but the pond can't go there, not with the spate of recent NBN drop outs...

On the other hand, becoming an object of Dame Slap's bile is almost a redeeming honour, complete with an array of snaps ...

Malware's thought crime is to be a rat in the ranks, and so subject to Dame Slap's bilious berating of his bile ...

All this is well and good - former Chairman Rudd savaged along with Malware - but then Dame Slap jumps the shark and nukes the fridge by dragging in the mango Mussolini, her very own orange Jesus ...

For anyone who's forgotten, here's the short form version ...

Suddenly this euphoria now becomes a vehicle for Dame Slap abuse, with Malware having similarities to the mango Mussolini, though the latter was once much loved by Dame Slap ...

And so to the last bit of bitterness and bile, remarkable mainly for the level of festering hatred ... a Dame Slap trademark, accusing Malware of exactly what she herself exhibits in spades ... 

Here's how to celebrate a prize bullshit artist ...

He's a criminal for deploying the word "thug" about a former Queensland plod, still an old school thug, and yet he's a rat who acts and sounds like a mango Mussolini? 

Of course Dame Slap has long had a fear and loathing for Malware - way back in July 2016 she was blaming him for the election result - and she's always been agitated by the wets.

Talk about a pantomime of political and personal hatred, what a pity no one will ever be able to help Dame Slap move on ...

Meanwhile, on another planet far removed from planet Janet above the faraway tree ...

Speaking of Xians and 'word use' news, the pond would like to give a special award to Jonathan Cole for the use of the word "woke" in his Crikey piece Peter Dutton’s nuclear push makes sense in the modern Liberal Party, To conservatives and libertarians alike, the 'moderates' of the Liberal Party appear to be unprincipled shills virtually indistinguishable from the modern Labor Party (paywall):

Conservatives, with their undisguised statism, are now part of the problem, not the solution, as far as libertarians are concerned. If one looks beneath the surface to Australia’s political fringes, one will notice the growing populism of anarcho-capitalism among young libertarians of the right, evidence of the radical transformation of the staid, stuffy and, ultimately, conservative liberalism of the Menzies-era.
This just leaves the so-called “moderate” liberals of the Liberal Party. To conservatives and libertarians alike, they appear to be unprincipled shills virtually indistinguishable from the modern Labor Party, with its woke social values and neoliberal economic predilections, albeit sold with caring and empathetic rhetoric (neoliberalism in the Australian context simply means a mixed economy comprised of some deregulation and a lot of state intervention). (Pond emphasis)

The reason for the award comes in the tag at the end:

Dr Jonathan Cole is a scholar, writer, translator and lecturer specialising in political theology. He is currently associate director of research at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture at Charles Sturt University, and host of The Political Animals podcast.

For those not familiar with that august theological body, see here to read

The theological framework for the ACC&C is that it will operate:
within the broad faith parameters of the NCCA:
“The National Council of Churches in Australia gathers together in pilgrimage those Churches and Christian communities which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and commit themselves to deepen their relationship with each other in order to express more visibly the unity willed by Christ for his Church, and to work together towards the fulfilment of their mission of common witness, proclamation and service, to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit".

And so on. Somebody needs to tell Pastor Adam scribbling Jesus Is Woke. And That’s Good News: "Since God is woke, and the prophets are woke, it should come as no surprise that Jesus is woke."

Goddamit, Rev, Jesus ain't woke, he's a genocidal homicidal sociopath smiting and smoting filthy atheists and wretched wet libs, and deeply content with his unwoke Barton warriors, though the pond does with they'd get rid of that woke slogan "Wisdom for the common good." Only the bloody woke care about the common good. 

And what's this false piety "The Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present"? 

Dammit, proud, brave, unwoke Xian warriors stole the land, and were blessed in the eyes of the long absent lord for the stealing ...

If there’s one thing right-wing commentators are clear on about Fatima Payman, it’s that she represents a case of identity politics — with all the inevitable condemnation that goes with it, because “identity politics” is thrown about with about as much care as “woke”. Indeed, they may as well be synonyms for the right.

Better tell that to Jonathan, throwing "woke" around with as much care as a nattering "Ned" or a craven Craven.

In other 'word use' news, the President of the United States has denounced the "leets" for trying to do him down, it being well known that the President of the United States is just a struggling minnow against the 'leet millionaires (though he is accepting donations).

For those wondering why the pond didn't use this funny use of 'leets' as an excuse to take the Killer Creighton bait, the explanation's simple. The pond would rather be watching Jon Stewart ... on the basis that it's better to have a laugh while having a good cry...


  1. Joe Biden now relies on instruction manuals, so here’s a good one: ‘Walk to podium, smile, wave goodbye’

    The Joe Biden re-election campaign is now a situation where you want to put your hands over your eyes even when your hands are already over your eyes. Like mine, all your sets of hands may have been clamped tightly to your lids since Biden’s franchise-killing performance in the first presidential debate 12 days ago, which his press secretary incredibly handwaved away by stating: “He had a cold”. A cold what? A cold sweat? A cold day in hell? A cold dead hand he’d like you to prise the nomination out of?

    In news that launched a million grimace emojis, the answer turns out to be: all of the above. Biden is on a fightback. Yesterday he railed against “elites” in the Democratic party, proudly deploying that great Donald Trump innovation whereby the actual president is somehow not an elite. In a strongly worded letter you strongly know was worded by someone else, Biden ordered the Democrats to stop worrying and love the bomb (I lightly paraphrase). A neurologist repeatedly came to the White House last year to treat other people who work there, the White House insists, while Biden last week told a meeting of governors that he was fine, reportedly adding, “It’s just my brain”. OK! Last Friday, he gave a sit-down interview in which he was asked how he’d feel if he clung on in the race then lost to Trump. “As long as I gave it my all, and did as good of a job as I know I can do,” Biden judged, “that’s what this is about.”
    Factcheck: I’m being told that is not at all what the forthcoming US presidential election is about. And listen, before we go on, please save your embossed letterhead/well-meaning digital death threats. I already know who much the worst candidate is. Furthermore – and it’s just a personal thing – I would very, very much like to see him beaten. Huge fan of American democracy here, which is to say – huge fan of the country of America having democracy. In fact, speaking of colds, you’ve probably heard the expression “When America sneezes, the world catches a cold”. Most of us in the droplet radius have zero clinical interest in discovering what the world catches when America does … whatever this is...

    ...None of this is how healthy democracies operate. Non-democracies? Oh yes. Petro-state princes are kept alive in western hospitals long after natural causes have kicked in, with their vast dependent entourages somehow unwilling to switch off the life support machine, what with it being directly connected to the cash tap. The Russians used to joke about Brezhnev that his daily routine ran as follows: reanimation, makeup, banquet, awards ceremony, clinical death. The people couldn’t do a whole lot about it, but they knew. Everyone knew. Spitting Image portrayed his successor-but-one, Konstantin Chernenko, as something kept in the freezer and only reanimated when occasion demanded. There are currently flashes of this vein of satire in every opening monologue on the US late-night TV shows.

    As far as ways forward go, there are not exactly a whole load of tried and tested walks-to-podium. But the Democrats have surely exhausted the limits of irrational hope as a victory strategy. The gruelling presidential campaign has not even got fully under way. In the absence of a candidate who appears consistently rational, rational solutions must be found. In the meantime, we might prepare some simple briefing notes of our own for Biden’s strategists. You’re not going to defeat the world’s biggest “anti-elite” conman by railing against “elites” in the Democratic party. You’re not going to defeat the world’s biggest liar by being economical with your own actualité. And you’re not going to defeat the world’s biggest gaslighter by gaslighting people in your own way. There’s more than one way to be a hero. Sometimes the greatest legacy is knowing when to walk from the podium.

  2. Craven Craven: "The overwhelming cause of the DLP was the defeat of word communism ...". Right, and why were so many 'Catholics' so against Communist states: why, because they were enforced atheistic states which 'outlawed' Catholicism - nothing at all religious about that, was there.

    But perhaps we should remember that 'convicts' weren't only transported to Australia for more or less minor crimes such as stealing a loaf of bread so as not to starve. Many were political offenders such as the Chartists and anti-colonial offenders from Ireland.

    And why would Chartists, amongst others, arise ?
    "By the time of the American Revolution, London was overcrowded, filled with the unemployed, and flooded with cheap gin. Poverty, social injustice, child labour, harsh and dirty living conditions and long working hours were prevalent in 19th-century Britain. Dickens's novels perhaps best illustrate this; many government officials were horrified by what they saw. Only in 1833 and 1844 were the first general laws against child labour (the Factory Acts) passed in the United Kingdom."

    And isn't that a fine testimony to the joys of the wonderful Judeo-Christian Civilisation that we all admire.

  3. Noodlenuts Neddy: "...attacked not just Israel's war tactics but its discretion to defend itself ... raising doubts about whether they believe Israel has an enduring right to exist as a Jewish homeland." And what exactly is that "right" and who or what creates and confers such "rights" ? Israel exists because of some self-interested decisions made by the British and French colonialists after taking over sections of the 'middle East' from the conquered Ottoman 'Empire'. Did they create and confer this "right"?

    Ned again: "...proposition that people who come to this country should not bring the conflicts of their originating nations to their new world." Somebody should have told the transported Chartists about that.

  4. Dame Slap: "...only someone brooding about failure, would keep harping about his political enemies with such venom almost six years after he left office?" Oh, so she's really talking about Paul Keating, isn't she. Only in his case it hasn't been just 6 years, its more like 26.

    As for Mal, well "Who can remember what he did in office anymore?" Only those of us who remember the NBN and Snowy 2.0. Is that anybody ?

    And then: " ... a Dame Slap trademark, accusing Malware of exactly what she herself exhibits in spades ... " Projection, projection and yet more attribution and projection again and again. It's the only way that reptiles know (though they only 'know' it subconsciously).

  5. Goodness gracious, EVs to the rescue:

  6. GB - this day was taken up on estate business - as Sancho Panza found, governing a small island can take up a lot of some days - but I did not want your reference to the ‘wood wide web’ to go without my thanks, and some comments.

    From my acknowledged fascination with trees - arguably the most successful life forms on this planet, because they tune their environment to their needs - I have been following this concept at least since Suzanne Simard’s earliest publications in the more formal literature.

    Sophie Yeo describes herself as a journalist, qualified in literature studies, with a book to promote. ‘Guardian’ gave her space for some literary marketing, and she had the wit follow Lord Northcliffe’s dictum that newspapers were not to sell news, but to sell the controversy around that news; and the ‘Guardian’ is, at heart, a newspaper in that mould.

    Having waved a controversy before her readers, she jumps to an item in her book - just out - about another aspect of forestry. It was pure journalese for her to use one paragraph to set out the understanding of science as ‘neutral’, but start the next with the hackneyed ‘but that could not be further from the truth’.

    The nature (there is no more appropriate word) of mycorrhizal action has been under study since the 1960s, but the tools to do irrefutable experiments on nutrient transfer between seed plants through fungal hyphae were not available until the 1980s, when David Read (later knighted for his work) demonstrated that that was how plants of the genus Monotropa thrive, without producing chlorophyll.

    Read is credited with thinking up the term ‘wood wide web’, which first appeared on the cover of ‘Nature’.

    One criticism of Read’s work was that it was done in the laboratory, so Suzanne Simard set about showing exchange of nutrients from one seed plant to another, in the forest. By the late 1990s she had refined her methods to the satisfaction of reviewers and critics, and her work was accepted by highly rated journals, including ‘Nature’.

    Oh - some of her publications included Justine Karst as a co-researcher/author. Justine Karst is the lead author of the paper that Sophie Yeo refers to as setting off the controversy about the extent and reality of mycorrhizal networks. It is a fair guess there has been some earlier difference in opinion between sometime co-researchers to have set off the sharp exchanges that Sophie Yeo has, um - harvested.

    Not to go on too long - but with the tools that Suzanne Simard helped develop, other researchers are now proving up many other kinds of transfer of nutrients, plant hormones, pesticides - between plants, along fungal hyphae. Merlin Sheldrake (yes, son of Rupert, who teased us with the thought experiments of ‘morphic resonance) has published a monumental review of current understanding of how fungi interact with other organisms, in which he reminds us that every orchid that has been studied is a mycoheterotroph at some stage of its life.

    Which is not to say that every seed plant has a mycorrhizal association, or even that every specimen of species broadly known to have such associations will, but more examples, of greater variety, are being proven daily.

    I will wait to see if ‘Readings’ stock Sophie Yeo’s book in Australia - there IS a place for such books, even without specious controversy for its marketing.

    1. "So much to learn, so little time" to quote a certain Goon. Thanks for all that Chad, I now feel moderately well informed about something that yesterday I knew nothing of.


  7. Occasional paper: Fungal banking

    by DOUG MUIR on JUNE 20, 2024

    1. Anonymous - thank you for that link. I have copied Doug Muir's contribution to my notes.

      I try to keep up with 'Crooked Timber', but 'so little time'. One pleasure in going there is to see another site where adult persons discuss issues with wit, showing evidence of genuinely wider experience or reading, and, most important, respect towards others.


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