Saturday, September 23, 2017

In which the pond double dates with Dame Slap and Bret Stephens ...


Whenever climate denialists gather together for a gaggle and a giggle, the pond likes to begin proceedings with a reading from the holy works of Dame Slap ...

...Emails started arriving telling me about a speech given by Christopher Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, at Bethel University in St Paul, Minnesota, on October 14. Monckton talked about something that no one has talked about in the lead-up to Copenhagen: the text of the draft Copenhagen treaty. Even after Monckton’s speech, most of the media has duly ignored the substance of what he said. You don’t need me to find his St Paul address on YouTube. 
Interviewed on Monday morning by Alan Jones on Sydney radio station 2GB, Monckton warned that the aim of the Copenhagen draft treaty was to set up a transnational government on a scale the world has never before seen. 
Listening to the interview, my teenage daughters asked me whether this was true. So I read the draft treaty. The word government appears on page 18. Monckton says: “This is the first time I’ve ever seen any transnational treaty referring to a new body to be set up under that treaty as a government. But it’s the powers that are going to be given to this entirely unelected government that are so frightening.” ... Monckton became aware of the extraordinary powers to be vested in this new world government only when a friend of his found an obscure UN website and hacked his way through several layers of complications before coming across a document that isn’t even called the draft treaty. It’s called a “note by the secretariat”. 
The moment he saw it, he went public and said: “Look, this is an outrage ... they have kept the sheer scope of this treaty quiet.” Monckton says the aim of this new government is to have power to directly intervene in the financial, economic, tax and environmental affairs of all the nations that sign the Copenhagen treaty.

The pond's not sure why lawyers and paranoia fit so well together, but for those who like to Greg Hunt, here's Dame Slap's qualifications as a climate scientist ...


The daughter of Danish immigrants to Australia, Albrechtsen was born in Adelaide and attended Seacombe High School. She subsequently studied at University of Adelaide, graduating with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours. She subsequently attained a Doctor of Juridical Science from the University of Sydney. Her thesis was titled: 'The regulation of the fundraising process in Australia: searching for an optimal mix between legislative prescriptions and market forces'.

And while we're at it, here's what Bret Stephens did for an education, and training for his later work as an expert in climate science:

In his adolescence, he attended boarding school at Middlesex School in Massachusetts. Stephens received an undergraduate degree in political philosophy from the University of Chicago before earning a master's degree in comparative politics at the London School of Economics. 

Now before we get proceedings under way, why on earth should the pond, or anyone else care what either of them think about climate science, or worse, pay for their pleasure in writing climate denialist tosh and conspiracy theories about the UN using climate science to establish world government?



Sadly that still doesn't answer the pond's problem. 

Stephens is welcome to have an opinion on climate science. But he has even fewer qualifications in science than the pond. If the pond wants insights or even an informed opinion, including dissenting opinions, it'll head off to read someone who knows what they're talking about, not someone who thinks it's all about moral superiority and winning converts, as if it's some kind of religion that's being talked about ...

And if the NY Times wants to broaden its base by stealing a refugee from Chairman Rupert's la la land, the pond doesn't have a problem with that ... after all, there are all sorts of refugees in desperate circumstances. 

It's just that it means if thinking about a subscription, why not think about Scientific American, which at least reports the thinking and doing of actual scientists, or if that's too broad a scientific church, why not other scientific publications?

You see, it's not about flaying heretics, because it's not about the religious speak of heresy, faith, and converts ...

It's about having the first fucking clue what you're scribbling about, and writing about climate science isn't a matter of trolling ideological virgins ...

And if it's about the dying art of disagreement, then the first thing needed is actual observations and insights, as opposed to paranoid trolling ...

Now in that spirit of trolling science, Stephens did the usual with his first trolling column, which led to the usual ... and then to the odd comment on the odd science therein (here for the hot links).


But then Stephens, with his "modest", is actually just positioning himself at around stages three and four of climate denialism - deny it's a problem, and with any luck, why then we deny we can solve it, or even attempt to solve it...

This is the sort of dog whistling which helps explain why the paranoid Dame Slap was so eager to meet up with a like mind ...



Did Dame Slap confess to her new beau her own willingness to do the strip and go the MAGA?


Did she confess to Stephens?

Did Stephens have the first clue he was talking to a MAGA-cap wearing, barking mad, paranoid Donald lover about their shared belief that climate science had identified a modest, irrelevant issue, perhaps only of use in establishing a world government by Xmas?

Truth to tell, for all his trash talk of the Donald, Stephens isn't that far from the Donald when it comes to dismissing climate science, and it seems that Dame Slap is congenial company, which puts him not so far from Monckton howling at the UN moon.

As for the Donald, did Dame Slap don her MAGA cap and point out just how silly Stephens was sounding in relation to the Donald? Did the controversialists have a controversy about their differing points of view. Dream on, judging by the final gobbet, the pond assumes that Dame Slap kept her MAGA cap out of sight for the rest of the conversation ...



With respect, Stephens should shut up and listen, or at least learn something about Dame Slap ...

He really is a clueless twit, and NY Times' readers are welcome to him ...just as they're welcome to David Brooks, who has descended into some kind of bizarre new age speak, as exemplified by a meandering, mournful recent column, When Life Asks for Everything ...

It's funny, in a tragic kind of way, to see Republican minds and the GOP broken by the logical outcome of all they've written and done these past few decades ...

It's even funnier to see Stephens being snide about corporate lawyers and Clinton's unearned feminism, given that Dame Slap started her working life as a commercial solicitor at Freehills ...

The rich comedy put the pond in the mood for a papal pronouncement, and as usual, the Pope delivered, with more papal insights here ...

 

That .com address down in the bottom right corner is here ... and the actual Cory tweet produced a spectacular, wondrous display of Cory trolling. 

No wonder professional comedians constantly feel threatened by these expert amateurs dishing out their comedy stylings ...




In which the pond hits a few private casinos in the Cross in company with prattling Polonius and cock Robin ...


Say what?

It's all go in the Surry Hills bunker and the reptiles are leaping off their hot rocks with excitement.

The pastie Hastie is top of the digital page, and who knows, a stern defence of a young earth and creationism might be on the cards, as the onion muncher gazes in awe at someone even more devout and barking mad than he is ...


Meanwhile, there were japes and wheezes, dressed up as stern warnings ...


Too rich, too rich.

"I say, old thing, you really have gone a bit too far, wot wot, tone it down a bit, eh old chum, wot wot ... now let's put the warm lettuce leaf aside and practise saying 'no'" ...

Across the Pacific, there was much agitation and excitement at the way that one crazed psycho armed with nukes had out-Englished a tweeting psycho armed with nukes, by delivering the ultimate verbal weapon of "dotard" ...yes WaPo felt the need to go wild with "A short history of the word 'dotard,' which North Korea called Trump" ...

Back home some refuse from the land of Trump and the world of chairman Rupert washed up on our shores, and Dame Slap found a soul mate ...


And speaking of climate denialists, Lloydie was out and about in his usual way, spreading his usual FUD ...


And lo, over there was the dog botherer, getting agitated about having said 'yes' ...


Such a tortured soul, but in all this fuss and excitement and hullabaloo, was it really truly true that the pond's favourite, prattling Polonius, used rocket stick in the mud, and pedant cranked up to tedious 11, was scribbling about Robin Askin, one of the most corrupt of NSW premiers?

Okay, Robin might not have been Joh, but give him an A+ for trying, and for helping produce one of the most corrupt police forces the country had seen ...

Please, say it ain't so, because that would be an extreme test of loyalty, even for a pond who has followed Polonius down the most arcane alleyways ...

 

Phew that's a relief ... it's a chance to have a go at Lionel ... order and sanity is restored to the world ...

Now the pond is still out on the subject of Murphy ... and sadly for the salivating conservative commentariat reptiles, the recent release of Murphy-related papers proved something of a dud, with much of it rumour and gossip. That's why most of the caravan moved on, but then Polonius is one of the more stubborn and slow-moving camels ...

Still, Polonius does his best with the cards he's been dealt ... helped along by a snap of his hero trading off by association with royalty ...


Yes, yes, but what a pity that in all that, Polonius has to revert not to the recent bunch of papers but to a book published last year ...

And the pond's still waiting for the main game. What about Robin the Queen's man, who hated to be called Robin, perhaps because of taunts that he was something of a seed sowing cock, this Robin?

Hasten slowly, this is Polonius after all, the hansom cab of scribblers and we will get there in the end ...


Speaking of Askin's corpse, the pond's favourite bit in the ADB's short, circumspect biography of this corrupt politician comes right at the end ...

Askin died on 9 September 1981 at Darlinghurst and was cremated. Anticipating that questions might be asked about his estate, valued at $1.958 million, he had explained to his former press secretary, Geoffrey Reading, that for years he had been `the highest paid public officer in the State’, that `his lifestyle was frugal’, that he had `taken out a series of maturing endowment policies’, that `he was a very successful punter’, that he had benefited from the will of his brother, and that he was skilled in financial affairs and a most successful stock market investor. Though the Department of Taxation made no finding of criminality, it determined that a substantial part of Askin’s estate was generated through undisclosed income from sources other than shares or punting and taxed it accordingly. Lady Askin, childless, and a devoted wife who almost certainly had no idea that he conducted a number of extramarital affairs, survived him and inherited most of his estate. Her estate was valued at $3.725 million; a substantial part of it, too, was taxed. A portrait (1968) of Askin by Judy Cassab hangs in the New South Wales Parliament.

And if you believe that's how cock Robin and his wife got so rich the pond trusts you enjoy the Opera House and harbour bridge the pond has arranged for Santa to slip into your stocking this year ...

The pond ran that collective total through the Reserve Bank's handy inflation calculator, and that basket of $5,683,000 in 1981 comes out at a tidy $21.481 million in 2016 ...

By golly, Barry O'Farrell must be feeling a tad under-done at copping the shaft for a 3k bottle of Grange ... talk about small beer.

Of course Askin was discreet about his corruption, but sometimes it's not what you do, but what you don't do, as noted by an ADB reluctant to dob him in ...

At the height of Askin’s popularity, candidates had to be restrained from dropping 'Liberal' from their publicity material and substituting 'Askin'. But towards the end of his career, an opinion poll reported that, of all the premiers, Askin was `the most unpopular’. Elected in place of a Labor regime seen as 'worm-eaten' by 'graft, corruption, nepotism and general chicanery', the coalition was responsible for a police force widely seen as even more corrupt. According to David Hickie, while campaigning for office Askin had seen 'both the potential votes and finance available to him through the SP network'. Certainly Askin, who attended assiduously to inequities in police pensions, did little to encourage the enforcement of the laws on gambling, other than to call for police reports; he rejected demands for a racing control board; and rather than bet off-course through the Totalisator Agency Board, established in 1964, he maintained an account with one of the biggest SP firms in town. He 'almost entirely' ignored the recommendations of Justice Athol Moffitt’s royal commission on allegations of organised crime in clubs.

Now the pond had family in the SP game, and for a time worked in the Cross in the golden era of private casinos, drugs, R and R, and hookers, and the cops were so brazenly corrupt you could see the brown paper bags handed over in public ...

Askin was at the heart of it, yet rather like Joh, a craven and timid press never laid a glove on him, and only tried it on after he was dead.

But Sydney is a town that doesn't like dobbers, and crims aren't big on paperwork or blabber, and besides just because cock Robin was gone didn't mean the game had to go away ... and so it was on to an even more golden era of police corruption ...it wasn't until 1986 that the plods said enough was enough to Roger Rogerson ...

Now the pond doesn't mind. Where would NSW feature films and television series be without the series of colourful Sydney identities that have produced the likes of Blue Murder?



Now here's the funny thing, even funnier, for a man who wrote about people believing what they want to believe, and mentioning only Perce Galea as a source ....

A nanosecond's googling would have led poor old Polonius to Kate McClymont back in July 2008, here ...

No doubt there's some big-noting in the yarn, but trust the pond, in good old Sydney town, both sides of the political fence have been profoundly corrupt in their day, with each side doing the dance with villains and property developers, and it's been that way since the days of rum and the lash ...


There's a lot more and it's a fun read, and by good luck, Trove has three excerpts from David Hickie's book The Prince and the Premier, in The Canberra Times, starting here ... (and McClymont has a tasty story on Ian Macdonald here showing how the game has continued to this day).

And there's a lot more, like this celebration of corruption at Sydney's crime museum here concerning one baccarat operator, Richard Gabriel Reilly, who also helps balance the books in terms of political corruption...

...Widely known in the underworld for his close political contacts with the State Labor Party, Reilly emerged by the early 1960s as the most powerful criminal in Sydney. Although a bankrupt radio technician in 1952, a decade later he wore $200 suits, drove a $17,000 Maserati, owned a $100,000 home in Castle Cove and maintained an expensive mistress. His exceptional income came from ownership of two baccarat schools in Kings Cross, the Kellet Club and the Spade Room Club, and a neatly kept little notebook containing figures and some three hundred names and telephone numbers — including a senior police officer, some abortionists, several massage parlour operators, the former N.S.W. Minister of Justice Mr M. N. Mannix, and the Labor MLA, A.R. Sloss. Reilly was assassinated in the 1967-8 gang wars and the discovery of his famous black book caused an enormous controversy. Mannix explained that he had known Reilly for twenty years, exchanged Christmas cards with him for ten years and had found employment for released prisoners upon his recommendation. ‘I knew he was a criminal’, said Mr Mannix, ‘but I saw nothing wrong in having him for a friend while I was Minister of Justice’. Somewhat less expansive in his explanations, Sloss said his relations with Sydney’s leading criminal were of ‘a normal parliamentary nature’.

Ah the good old days - you've got to love good old Sydney town and the taste of rum and the lash - but enough is enough, it's time for some intentional comedy, and who better for it than the immortal Rowe, with more Rowe here ...




Friday, September 22, 2017

In which the pond is confused by the cawing Crowe and the parroting Ando ...


The reptiles, and so the pond, always try to stay on the light side, but sometimes the comedy is too rich for even the best reptile correspondent, and it's best to go with dry understatement ...

The lawyer for One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has said his client's credibility may have been affected by evidence given during a lengthy cross-examination at the High Court on Thursday. (ABC here).

The mighty Roberts had credibility? Who knew?

When he asked the High Court to consider his citizenship status, Senator Roberts further confused matters by repeatedly refusing to say when he filled in the form renouncing his British citizenship and paid the associated fee.

Never mind, the comedy is rich, and speaking of confusion, the reptiles, the cawing Crowe and so the pond were mightily confused this day ...

At first it seemed clear-cut, with the cawing Crowe at the top of the opinion page making a bold, brave statement:


That seemed might clear, but suddenly later in the day, the bold statement became a question ...


Perhaps because it was completely befuddled by a statement turning into a question, the pond ended up with John Anderson ...


Sure, the lawyers getting agitated, and the meretricious Merritt attending to their homophobia was tempting, but Ando is such a twit, who could resist?

Now it's true these days there aren't many who can remember Anderson, and perhaps some even confuse him with a philosopher of the same name, but perhaps that's because Ando's  only political accomplishment came late in his career ...

In September 2004, independent federal MP Tony Windsor claimed that he had been approached by a figure associated with the National Party with the offer of a diplomatic position in exchange for retiring from his seat of New England, which he won from the National Party in 2001, at the 2004 election. In November speaking under parliamentary privilege, Windsor said that it was Anderson, and National Party Senator Sandy Macdonald, who had made the offer, through an intermediary, Tamworth businessman Greg McGuire. Anderson, McDonald and McGuire all denied the claims. (Greg Hunt it here).

Unlike the philosopher, this Anderson was and is a bear of very limited brain, and in his rustic way, was inclined to sound like a parrot or a braying donkey, which is why in this outing for the reptiles, he endlessly mimics little Johnny ...

Now for those who can remember as long ago as this morning, the pond celebrated the way that in talking of SSM the Terrorist editorialist turned the subject to cricket.

Anderson, in a bold brave bid to prove he's a much more stupid man, resorts to towns in the way of a flood ...


Fourth, is it possible that such a stupid man could manage to make the pond grateful for having a kiwi as deputy PM?

Why yes, indeedy do ...the comedy's better for a start ...




But back to Anderson, still parroting away, as koala bears of limited brain are wont to do ...


Now the pond anticipates, should SSM come to pass, that it will still be able to call John Anderson a dingbat dropkick fuckwit of the first water, and John Howard a war criminal ...while the Devine will still call the pond a secular satanist destined to spend an eternity in hellfire ...

And everybody can enjoy the way that Anderson is now a forlorn fuckwit sounding a foghorn from the misty past, while we all have a great new deputy PM ...


And so back to the cawing Crowe, with the google splash seeming to clarify matters, with the question asked and answered in the one go ...


The cawing Crowe does his very best to predict that the onion muncher will be a loser and Malware a winner ...


The pond knew before even getting into the listicle that it needed some reassurance that the country was in the best of hands ...


That's better, now it's on with the listicle ...



Yes, but we already know that all the onion muncher's got to offer is nattering negativity of a neigh-saying kind ...


... which means that if they lose the battle - no guaranteed thing - the onion muncher's troops will re-group in parliament and try to make a mess of things.

And the cawing Crowe's best advice to Malware is to do a Pontius Pilate and let parliament and comrade Bill do the hard yards as a way of avoiding the sting of the viper in their midst ...

We've been there before, a long time ago ...


It takes a peculiar kind of optimism to imagine that Malware is going anywhere but down.

If Crowe is to be believed, a "no" vote will suit Malware fine, and a "yes" vote will suit him fine, provided everybody else does the hard yards, and somehow mystically, whatever arises from the vote will work in his favour and see the viper in his midst done down ...


No wonder Turnbull says this will be parliament at its best?

Isn't this the very same man that said copper and HFC and multi-nodal nonsense would be broadband at its best?

Isn't this the very same man that said climate science was a bit of a worry and then concluded that more coal was the solution?



Ah, so that's what the cawing Crowe is wearing this week ...

Meanwhile, on another planet, Rowe celebrates the deeds of the best comedian in a generation of astute climate scientists, with more Rowe here ...




In which the pond honours an expert fund-raiser and salutes the Terror editorialist's silly points ...


First, some good news, with the pond able to vote crushingly cute Cory the fundraiser of the day, and possibly the year. 

Can his elevation back to the pond's banner be far away?

Please, celebrate his good work and his good deeds ...


At the ABC here, but what a power of oomph ... from nine hundred bucks to over $140k, and all for playing dress-ups of a kind that didn't raise an eyebrow in Tamworth in the 1950s ...

The man's a marketing genius, a legend ... what next to outrage the senses? Women gallivanting, traipsing, and flitting around in men's jeans?


Egad, sir, that wouldn't have done for good Queen Vic. That must be worth 140k to some school charity ...

And now for the bad news ...

Usually on a Friday at some point the pond would spend quality time with Sharri ... who also loves a dress-up ...


But this day stern Sharri is in crusader mode ...


Fortunately the Terror editorialist stepped up to the plate, or perhaps bestrode the turf, to deliver a peculiarly offensive editorial ...



Now the pond has spoken before to the reptiles about showing the onion muncher's drinking habit. In fact the pond's immortal montage of the onion muncher in booze mode continues to attract hits ...

Apparently he's been out and about, and far from home, and a long way from Warringah, mingling with lowlifes and bar-room brawlers, and then doing his best to make hay out of an assault which should be treated as a police matter ...

But luckily, the turf the Oz editorialist was on was particularly sacred ...


Life's a game of cricket? Is it possible to ask for a box of chocolates?

Oh the reptiles mean no harm, the stupidity is deeply embedded. They think a playful nip that takes off a finger is good fun, and in much the same way they think talking of a bent arm is awfully clever as a metaphor for bent people.

To show they mean no harm, they show the onion muncher in happier days ...


They see no malice? Doesn't the Terrorist editorialist read the stories in their close-kissing cousin, the lizard Oz?


Obfuscate and instil fear? 

Now as a prime fear-mongerer in chief, no doubt the Terror editorialist sees nothing wrong with being called a fear mongerer, but sadly things then descended into a twitter war, which is rarely a sign of a sensible debate, and much more like a twit talking of bent arms in cricket ...



Now at this point the Terror editorialist came up with a master stroke, a drive to backward silly leg, and a cutting glance at social media ...


Well perhaps some grace should be extended to some, but should all homophobes be offered grace, especially the ones who've said they find homosexuality threatening and so generated an immortal meme?


Respect where respect is due ... and be honest in your homophobia, and take the lumps as they fall ...

And here we come to the Terrorists' real dilemma. You see, while it's all very well to parade the Labor hall of shame ...


Eek... is that an Islamic?

Yep, it turns out that Miranda the Devine, the onion muncher and the rest of the Terrorist tribe - let's not forget Akker Dakker and the Bolter - are in bed with the likes of Keysar Trad, which for your average Terrorist is worse than fornicating with Satan while stroking the red cherry in the covers ...

Somehow it's dawned on the Terror editorialist that there's not much difference between your average Catholic and Islamic fundamentalist ...and so perforce the editorialist had to work out the most condescending way possible to get out of this jail ...


Like extracting teeth, really, gouging that 'yes' out with a fierce grinding noise, and with such a condescending contemptible conclusion about another person's sexuality, comparing it to that tedious boring cricket played by useless Australian losers who routinely get thrashed on the sub-continent ...

For some reason, the pond felt a sudden urge to commit some kind of act of violence ... you know, wipe grease on a cricket ball and bowl it under-arm down Holt street in Surry Hills ...

But then the usual conservative middle class suburban habits of the pond kicked in.

After all, why not leave the violence to the professionals in theatrical entertainment, the ones who know what they're doing ... with more exemplary studies in violence by the Pope here ...