all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

23 June, 2012

A Song from Julia

It’s Cash for You*

It’s cash for you, folks, so you will vote for us.
There’s no need to make a fuss;
bribes are hardly new: it’s cash for you!

(It’s what we do!)

It’s great for you, folks, don’t lie awake all night;
don’t put a shining light on shit we threw—
that’s what we do: ever lie to you.

Cash for you, for skies must fall, and polar bears are few,
without this tax we’d be nowhere at all; put a price on C-O-2!

(It’s cash for you!)

It’s cash for you, so there can be a spring,
so you can hear the pollies sing who wouldn’t have a clue.
So it’s cash for you! It’s cash for you
from incompetents who will ever lie to you,
so it may not ring true from this rotten crew,
’cause we’re deep in poo, from all we do,
but there’s cash for you…

*  with apologies to Bob Dylan.

UPDATE I (27 June):  a mix of the song is added. 

UPDATE II (27 June):  a harder mix of the song—with more drums and more steel guitar—is added. 

UPDATE III (2 July):  I dashed off these lines in response to a comment on Tim Blair’s ’blog:

The dear beloved leader speaks for all
in tones which make the skin of pedants crawl;
but method lies beneath her gruesome speech:
to give, according to his needs, to each;
to bring about an earthly paradise,
and all by following the best advice
in Capital and other works from them
who ever theorize by apothegm.
It can’t be accidental, you will find,
that leaders want the people to be blind
to all the wicked, rotten things they do
but meekly take their bribes: ”It’s Cash for You!”

22 June, 2012

Winter Returns

Lucretius prophesied the coming of the Al. Gore-effect over two thousand years ago:
tandem Bruma nives adfert pigrumque rigorem;

reddit Hiemps; sequitur crepitans hanc dentibus Algor.
[At last the Hibernal Solstice brings snows and benumbing cold;

Winter returns; Chill follows her with chattering teeth.
  (De Rerum Natura, V. 746-47)]
Thus snows come and all the ground is frore;
e’en Queensland shivers because of Al Gore.

“Tell a Man What He May Not Sing”

In her novel, The Praise Singer (1978), Mary Renault has the poet Simonides, her narrator, talk of free speech:
Tell a man what he may not sing, and he is still half free; even all free, if he never wanted to sing it.  But tell him what he must sing, take up his time with it so that his true voice cannot sound even in secret—there, I have seen, is slavery.

The PM’s Distress

Our Nocuous Leader’s Bell 

“The ocean can be
a beautiful place but a
parlous place as well.”* 

Thus Gillard orates
whilst deeply distressed; her
policies impel

“asylum seekers”
to frightful deaths; she consigns
those people to hell

but she’ll not revise
her lethal stance; she’ll ignore
each desolate knell:

“The ocean can be
a beautiful place but a
parlous place as well,

sometimes!”  Would that she
heard every cry and each
agonising yell,

peradventure she’d
see her part therein for the
evils that befell;

her obstinacy
lures people to their doom, as
any fool can tell:

“The ocean can be
a beautiful place but a
parlous place as well.”

*  see, in The Daily Telegraph, Gillard distressed by asylum boat tragedy”, wherein Australian Prime Minister, Hon. Julia Gillard said, “The ocean can be a beautiful place but sometimes a dangerous place as well.”  Having expressed dismay, of course, she needs to do no more now to prevent such calamities reoccurring.
†  not that the PM actually stated that she herself was distressed; she said, “This is a very distressing and tragic incident.”

See also “Tragedies and Accidents Just Happen”.

19 June, 2012

The Fairfax Media Charter of Editorial Independence

Journalists of Fairfax newspapers—The Age, Sunday Age, Sydney Morning Herald, and Australian Financial Review, &c.—would, because of their selfless devotion to sound principles of fair-minded journalism, insist that any new member of the Fairfax Media board subscribe to The Fairfax Media Charter of Editorial Independence, which includes such clauses as:
1. That the proprietor(s) publicly declare a commitment to the fundamental and longstanding principle of editorial independence.
2. That the proprietor(s) acknowledge that journalists, artists and photographers must record the affairs of the city, state, nation and the world fairly, fully and regardless of any commercial, political or personal interests, including those of any proprietors, shareholders or board members.
Cynical readers of the various Fairfax newspapers might well ask, “when did the journalists ever ‘record the affairs of the city, state, nation and the world fairly’?”  Nonetheless, the present clauses have been deemed insufficient, I hear, in light of the likelihood that the rather wealthy Mrs. Gina Rinehart, who now owns a few shares of Fairfax Media, and reckons that she is somehow entitled to protect her investment prudently, might seek representation on the said board; accordingly, journalists have added several new clauses to the charter, including the following:
Any new board-member, and particularly one who might own mining corporations in addition to Fairfax Media shares, must hereby agree to ‘uphold values’ without questioning too deeply what those values might be.
Any new board-member, and particularly one who might own mining corporations in addition to Fairfax Media shares, must hereby approve of journalists’ standard assumption, to be regularly expressed in columns and articles, that—apart from some of the ever dwindling number of enlightened readers of Fairfax newspapers—ordinary Australian citizens are ignorant, racialist, sexist, misophilomophylist bigots.
Any new board-member, and particularly one who might own mining corporations in addition to Fairfax Media shares, must hereby agree to allow vicious attacks in Fairfax newspapers on the Republic of Israel, and its citizens and supporters, whilst condoning related acts of terror and praising all those who are committed to destroying Israel and its citizens and supporters.
Any new board-member, and particularly one who might own mining corporations in addition to Fairfax Media shares, must hereby agree to allow the continuing demonisation of mining corporations and their owners and their profitable ventures in Fairfax newspapers.
Any new board-member, and particularly one who might own mining corporations in addition to Fairfax Media shares, must hereby agree to continue the funding of “Earth Hour” and other propaganda for “climate change action”.
Any new board-member, and particularly one who might own mining corporations in addition to Fairfax Media shares, must hereby agree to ensure only unstinting praise of any Labor government or ALP policy in Fairfax newspapers, except when The Greens and other “progressive” parties have already opposed a particular government or policy.
UPDATE:  I learn from reliable sources—all right, from Twitter—that journalists have several cogent reasons to oppose Mrs. Rinehart’s ownership of Fairfax:

European Examples

Stasis or Stasis*

Democracy often leads to
ochlocracy. (Sad, but it’s true.)
   See, down the ages,
   similar stages
as ancient philosophers knew.

The loans which the banks must extend
to those who can’t not overspend
   will never be paid
   and thus strife is laid:
the Euro is certain to end.

Soon Italy, Portugal, Spain
and Eire’ll go right down the drain;
   though Greece be the first
   she’s not yet the worst,
so riots are fated again.

Prophecies sometimes may seem
outlandish, far-fetched and extreme;
   let’s hope for the best:
   uncivil unrest
were only a noumenal dream.

Thankfully, however, the European leaders must be grateful for the helpful advice offered by the Australian Prime Minister.  Yesterday, before the latest G20 Summit began in Los Cabos, Mexico, Hon. Julia Gillard kindly and laboriously explained that other countries bedeviled by recession, huge debts, and failed œconomic policies—often exacerbated by the monstrous profligacy of overly generous subsidies to expensive but ineffective “green energy solutions”, predicated on the widespread, credulous acceptance of the pseudo-scientific conjecture of CAGW—ought to follow her government’s egregious example, the “Australian Way”.  Various elected and non-elected officials must be kicking themselves:  “How on Earth did we not think of that,” they must be asking themselves; “We had but to inherit a huge surplus, and rely on mining corporations’ exporting massive amounts of mineral resources to China, and then we too could be contemplating a minuscule surplus next year!”

*  in ancient Greek, στάσις could mean both stability and, contrariwise, civil strife.
†  I originally posted some of this on Twitter.

UPDATE (a year later):  “contemplating a minuscule surplus” but, of course, not delivering one.

07 June, 2012

People Are Too Fat, So Let’s Ban Cheap Food & Drinks!

By way of Fat Head; see also the trailer for “Fat Head”:

UPDATE (20 June):  see Frank Furedi, “The moralistic, Malthusian war against fat people”:
[A] professor from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, holding forth on the danger that human beings’ weight gain presents to the survival of the planet.  ‘Having a heavy body is like driving a Range Rover’, he argues, with passion and conviction.  Before you can even catch your breath, he is warning of the catastrophic things that will occur when ‘we are all as fat’ as people in America.  After lecturing listeners about the need to factor people’s ‘body mass’ into all debates about the environment, he pauses and then reminds us again that fatness is an ‘ecological not just a health concern’.  […]
This degraded depiction of human beings is really about morally indicting people for the original sins of eating and breeding.  These days we are told that eating too much is as bad as having too many children.  So the professor’s report on global gluttony claims that increasing levels of fatness around the world have the same impact on global resources as an extra billion people would.  […]
Sadly, it isn’t only small groups of scaremongers who have a tendency to present people’s eating and breeding habits as the cause of catastrophes to come.  The current targeting of people’s allegedly immoral body mass coincides with the Rio+20 conference, the latest UN gathering to discuss sustainability, where the key argument doing the rounds is that human salvation will require a significant restraint of the breeding and consumption behaviour of human beings.  This is a very fashionable prejudice these days. Indeed, on the eve of the Rio+20 conference, 105 science academies issued a statement warning that a failure to tackle population growth and overconsumption would have ‘potentially catastrophic implications for human wellbeing’.

05 June, 2012

A Song for Julia

She’s a Liar

Have we an obligation to listen to our leaders with respect?
Are honour and integrity virtues we may rightfully expect?
Listen to the PM; there is never any honour to detect:
    she’s a liar.

That woman must equivocate, ever fabricating through each day,
she’s misrepresenting and deceitfully inventing all the way;
misleading, misinforming, the truth is something she will never say:
    she’s a liar.

It aint so complicated that she’s prevaricated to us all;
perfidious, mendacious, duplicitous in matters great and small,
simply put she tells untruth, accordingly we have to make this call:
    she’s a liar.

See also “The PM Lied” and “Unfit to Lead”.

04 June, 2012

The Forbidden History of Unpopular People: Free Speech

Please go to The Forbidden History.

DISCLOSURE:  I contributed to the funding of this film.