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.

21 February, 2013

Famed Negotiating Skills

In a carpet warehouse, two customers enter and, almost immediately, one spots an expensive but attractive Persian carpet.

Dr. BandtOh, my lord Lenin, that is the most beautiful carpet I have ever seen!  I must have it
Sen. Milne:  Quiet, fool!  No mills!  They won’t give you a great deal if you look too eager.  The marked price is $1,500; let’s try to get it down to $1,450 or so.
Dr. Bandt:  Oh, but I want it, even if it might not immediately facilitate the free development of the class struggle in the rural districts.  I’ll pay anything to have it!
Mr. Wilkie:  Heriz an easy sale, Julia.  Qom, you take it:  that boy looks as if he’s in love with that rug.
Ms Gillard:  Ahar, sir, would you be interested in this lovely carpet?  What’s our price? $1,500?  I can do a bit better than that, I assure you.
Dr. Bandt:  I’ll take it, though the workers can obtain real political education only in the course of a sustained, consistent, all-out struggle of proletarian influences, aspirations and trends against bourgeois influences, aspirations and trends!  Not even Trotsky will deny that this is a lovely rug.
Ms Gillard:  How about I mark it down to, um, to … a thousand?
Dr. Bandt:  Only two thousand dollars?  I’ll take it!
Ms Gillard:  No, one thousand—by which I mean, of course, $850, Kashan hand.
Sen. Milne:   Hang on a tick, what else will you give us with this carpet?  We shan’t pay any more than $1,450.
Dr. Bandt:  I’ll take it!
Ms Gillard:  Look, I can’t go below $750, but I can throw in a few committees—
Dr. Bandt:  Yes, yes!  I’ll take it!  After all, the democratic system is a feature of bourgeois society
Sen. Milne:   No, this rug looks a little worn.  Though there are rugs all over the room, I’m sure I can see some flaw.  What else can you offer
Ms Gillard:  All right, $500, and automatic upgrades to first class on all travel within Australia and some overseas “fact-finding” excursions.
Sen. Milne:   Come, you don’t represent the people of Australia as well as the Australian Greens do, with our consistent polling of well over ten per cent.  We don’t like it all that much.
Dr. Bandt:  I do, I do like it; I love it!  Damn!
Sen. Milne:   Quiet, you!  No damns.  Look, you can go a little lower, surely.
Ms Gillard:  All right, I’ll give you ten bucks if you take it away, and I’ll throw in an inutile tax on a trace gas essential to life, predicated on a pseudo-scientific scam, and—
Sen. Milne:   Only if you provide free delivery
Ms Gillard:  Done!  

[After quickly completing some paperwork, Bandt and Milne exeunt, skipping.]
Mr. WilkieSo, make a good sale?  They seemed pretty pleased.
Ms  GillardI’m a great negotiator.*  Now, what can I give you, Andrew?
Mr. WilkieWell, Tony Abbott has already offered a thousand million dollars for this dingy, old rug-shop—
Ms GillardHow about a quarter of that, but I’ll throw in a promise not to gamble, a promise to have a surplus, somehow, and I’ll break my promise not to tax carbon dioxide?
Mr. WilkieDone.

The Prime Minister of Australia, Hon. Julia Gillard, is, according to her many sycophants and lackeys, a wonderful negotiator.  Following the last election, which resulted in a hung parliament, Ms Gillard sought support from independent members of the House of Representatives to form a minority governmentDr. Adam Bandt, the newly elected member for the seat of Melbourne, and sole member of the Australian Greens in the lower house, had already stated, on election night, that he would support only a Labor Gillard government and would never support any government led by the Opposition Leader, Hon. Tony Abbott; nonetheless, the PM entered into negotiations with the Australian Greens in order to enlist their support for her forming a government wherein, inter alia, she promised to introduce the “carbon” tax which she had earlier explicitly undertaken not to introduce.

15 February, 2013

“Love among the Roses”

An anonymous Anacreontic verse (Anacreonta, Fragment, 35):

Ἔρως ποτ’ ἐν ῥόδοισι
κοιμωμένην μέλιτταν
οὐκ εἶδεν, ἀλλ’ ἐτρώθη.
τὸν δάκτυλον παταχθείς
τᾶς χειρὸς ὠλόλυξε,
δραμὼν δὲ καὶ πετασθείς
πρὸς τὴν καλὴν Κυθήρην·
“ὄλωλα, μῆτερ,” εἶπεν,
“ὄλωλα κἀποθνήσκω· 

ὄφις μ’ ἔτυψε μικρός
πτερωτός, ὃν καλοῦσιν

μέλιτταν οἱ γεωργοί.”
ἃ δ’ εἶπεν· “εἰ τὸ κέντρον
πονεῖς τὸ τᾶς μελίττας,
πόσον δοκεῖς πονοῦσιν,
Ἔρως, ὅσους σὺ βάλλεις;”

My translation:

Once love among the roses
did not discern a bee;
and on a little finger
it stung him, painfully.

He wept and bellowed loudly,
and ran, with outspread wings,
to lovely Aphrodite.

He cried, “I’m done for, Mother;
I’m done for, woe is me!
A tiny wingèd serpent
did smite me mortally—
the farmers call it ‘bee’.”
She said,  “Reflect, my darling,
how much a bee sting smarts:
how more, then, must they suffer
whom thou hitst with thy darts?”

Thomas Moore’s translation:

Cupid once upon a bed
Of roses laid his weary head;
Luckless urchin, not to see
Within the leaves a slumbering bee!
The bee awaked—with anger wild.
The bee awaked, and stung the child.
Loud and piteous are his cries;
To Venus quick he runs, he flies;
“Oh mother!—I am wounded through—
I die with pain—what shall I do?
Stung by some little angry thing,
Some serpent on a tiny wing—
A bee it was—for once, I know,
I heard a peasant call it so.”
Thus he spoke, and she the while
Heard him with a soothing smile;
Then said: “My infant, if so much
Thou feel the little wild-bee’s touch,
How must the heart, ah, Cupid, be,
The hapless heart, that’s stung by thee?”

Robert Herrick’s translation:

Cupid as he lay among
Roses, by a Bee was stung.
Whereupon in anger flying
To his Mother, said thus crying;
Help! O help! your Boy’s a dying.
And why, my pretty Lad, said she?
Then blubbering, replyed he,
A winged Snake has bitten me,
Which Country people call a Bee.
At which she smil’d; then with her hairs
And kisses drying up his tears:
Alas! said she, my Wag! if this
Such a pernicious torment is:
Come, tell me then, how great’s the smart
Of those, thou woundest with thy Dart! 

14 February, 2013

St. Valentine’s Day

Valentine Schmalentine

Violets are violet
and roses were, originally, rose—
whence their respective names.
What passes for amorous
poetry these days, too often, is prose.
Enough of careless games.

11 February, 2013

Cui Bono

The Global Warming Scam Continues 

Hot days in summer!
Storms, and cold nights in winter!
Such strange times indeed.

yell the followers of the
global warming creed

despite the lack of
warming.  Wherefore, then, do their
rotten scams proceed? 

Cicero’s words help:
who benefits, and whither
do the profits lead?

Certainly, one thing
never changes: the sooth of
the awarmists’ greed.

UPDATE I (13 February):

“Settled Science

“It’s settled science!”
shouted awarmists (and just
a few years ago),

“nasty deniers
refuse to believe warming
must lead to less snow!”

That “settled science”
remains their shrill cry, but now
they insist that no 

warming was what they’d
predicted, and “climate change”
has led to more snow.

Their “settled science”
means that—wet, dry, cold or hot—
whenever winds blow,

or ease, they come from
evil carbon preventing
any status quo.

UPDATE II (4 April):  never willing to miss an opportunity to act hysterically, awarmists have been upset, yet again, by a newspaper column from English author James Delingpole; many people have deplored the conclusion to his piece by on-line comments such as this one:
Delingpole muses about judges issuing death sentences.
Really? He wrote this:
The climate alarmist industry has some very tough questions to answer:  preferably in the defendant’s dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap.
An industry, not any one person, he imagines in the dock.  Now, English judges wear black caps on various solemn occasions—such as in the presence of the Sovereign—but not when issuing a death sentence because there is no longer any possibility of their issuing a death sentence in Britain.  So, where does he “muse about judges issuing death sentences”?

(Graham Readfearn, by the way, the consistently wrongheaded awarmist, naturally errs in his typically overwrought reaction to Delingpole, by opining, “black caps were only worn by judges when handing out death sentences.”)
Awarmist pseudo-scientists and their propagandising fellow travellers often advocate doing all sorts of harm—including having us tattooed or imprisoned or executed—to those who are slightly sceptical or rightly dismissive of their silly conjecture of AGW, but Delingpole is treated as if he issued a lethal fatwa merely for a trope.  The murderous awarmists, meanwhile, by increasing the costs of energy beyond affordability for many people are responsible for the real and not imagined deaths of thousands of unfortunate citizens in Britain alone.

UPDATE III (7 April):  in “An English class for trolls, professional offence-takers and climate activists”, Delingpole responds to those who mischievously misinterpreted his metaphor:
The last thing I would want is for Monbiot, Mann, Flannery, Jones, Hansen and the rest of the Climate rogues’ gallery to be granted the mercy of quick release.  Publicly humiliated?  Yes please.  Having all their crappy books remaindered?  Definitely.  Dragged away from their taxpayer funded troughs and their cushy sinecures, to be replaced by people who actually know what they're talking about?  For sure.  But hanging?  Hell no.  Hanging is far too good for such ineffable toerags. 
This isn’t to say that there isn’t a strong case for the myriad dodgy scientists-on-the-make, green activists, posturing and ignorant politicians, rent-seeking corporatists, UN apparatchiks, EU technocrats and hopelessly out-of-their-depth environment correspondents who talked up the global warming scare to be brought to account for the vast damage they have done to the global economy, for the people they have caused to die in fuel poverty, for the needless regulations they have inflicted on us, for the landscapes they have ravaged with wind farms, and so on.
Indeed, it would be nice to think one day that there would be a Climate Nuremberg.  But please note, all you slower trolls beneath the bridge, that when I say Climate Nuremberg I use the phrase metaphorically […] 
How do you hang an “industry”, I wonder.  How exactly do you put a rope round a dodgy computer model?  Or a £13.7 million UEA climate research grant?  Or an article in Guardian Environment pages called something like “How do you break it to your six-year old child that global warming is killing our planet and by the time he hits 21 the world will be a boiling soup of lava and dead puppies like on the Bedtime Stories advert”?
Seems to me that it’s quite an impossibility.  But there are others who don’t, clearly, for the day after the Australian article ran I was gobsmacked to read on Twitter that a small cabal of weapons-grade pillocks  from the further extremes of the eco loon movement had chosen to interpret this phrase as some kind of demand for “climate scientists” to be executed.  […]
(That’ll be another metaphor, btw.  I havent literally been smacked in the mouth).
It should surprise no-one when maleficent alarmists, who wilfully mislead the public and misinterpret data so regularly, deliberately, mala fide, and malevolently misread their critics.

UPDATE IV (8 April):  Peter FitzSimons, who is clearly a very foolish fellow, frets on Twitter:

In his article, “Not a shout but a Chinese whisper”, FitzSimons agonises:
Just supposing the best scientific brains are all but united in the view the planet faces a crippling phenomenon that will change life as we know it.  And just supposing that in response to this, Australia pioneered a scheme aimed at countering it.  You would think confirmation the scheme was actually working might be the occasion for national breast-beating, even some dancing in the streets?
His proof that “the best scientific brains” agree that our Earth faces doom?  He just asserts it (whilst arguing from authority and being inexcusably ignorant of one of our greatest physicists, Freeman Dyson).  FitzSimons’ proof that Australia’s “carbon” tax counters this alleged problem?  He merely asserts it.

UPDATE V (8 April):  see also Tim Blair’s “Unfair Fight”.

05 February, 2013

Cabinet Leaks – a Cunning Plan

In her office in The Lodge, the Hon. Julia Gillard is distractedly eating her breakfast at her desk, casting anxious looks occasionally out the window; clearly, she is impatiently waiting for something.  On the other side of the room, a nervous private secretary awaits instructions.  Her leman rushes in with an armful of newspapers.

Ms Julia GillardAh, the papers at last, Timmy.  There’s a good boy.  Would you like a treat, Timmy?
Timmy:  Umm, yum.  Did Timmy do good?

Julia GillardYes, Timmy, you did well.  Off you go.  I mean, go, now!  No, don’t pee on the floor; leave the room!
Ms Julia Gillard:  Right.  I had a cunning plan to stop cabinet leaks—or, at least, to discover which treacherous rat is leaking—and told Combet, Macklin, Shorten, Plibersek, Crean, Swan and Wong in confidence that I’d call a leadership spill next week; but—and here’s the really clever bit, which I did not get from McNasty, mind—I secretly told each of them individually that the vote would be held on a different day!  Ha!  I said, “on a different day!”
Private Secretary:  What? Oh, sorry.  Yes, very clever, Prime Minister.

Ms Julia Gillard:  Anyway, what does The Courier Mail say? 
Private Secretary:  Rattled PM calls leadership ballot on Wednesday.

Ms Julia Gillard:  Bloody Swan!  What does The Herald Sun say? 
Private Secretary:  “Embattled PM calls leadership ballot on Tuesday.”

Ms Julia Gillard:  Bloody Crean!  He’s next.  What does The Age say?
Private Secretary:  “Surprise vote call from brave PM next week.

Ms Julia Gillard:  Well, that’s much better.  Good old Michelle.  What else does The Age say?
Private Secretary:  “Our resilient PM, in a show of strength, has called for a series of leadership ballots on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday.”