May 30, 2012

No, no she won't

Telling colleagues their job would not be over until the election was won, Mr Abbott observed: "Gillard won't lie down and die, and where there's life, there's fight."
Thanks for the update Tone, for those who weren't paying attention. 

Problem is, it's those quotes that make you sound like a small time thug.  Not prime-ministerial.  Can't you leave it to others?  Like us, the plebeians?  

Problem is, it shouldn't be this way at all, should it Tone?  Gillard should be the easiest person to fight.  She should be your un-losable election, hey?  Remember the un-losable election Tone?  Of course you do. 

Gillard won't lie down and die says Abbott 

Coal country to the barricades!

"You cannot wave the white flag and let the environmentalists and regulators declare victory here in the heart of coal country."
Rocky Adkins, a state representative from Kentucky, in response to a plan for one of the state's largest power plants to switch from coal to natural gas.

No sireeee!   

Even in coal country, the fight for an industry

Wednesday Wisdom

Nearly everything you do is of no importance, but it is important that you do it.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

May 27, 2012

Women and children pushed aside

Another myth bites the dust.  Sorry guys.

A hundred years after the Titanic sank, two Swedish researchers say with sinking ships, chivalry is ''a myth'' and more men survive such disasters than women and children.

Economists Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon of Uppsala University also show in an 82-page study that captains and their crew are 18.7 percentage points more likely to survive a shipwreck than their passengers.

''Our findings show that behaviour in a life-and-death situation is best captured by the expression 'every man for himself','' the authors write.
Yes, more women and children did survive the Titanic, but it seems this was because the men were threatened with immediate death via bullet if they insisted on trying to take a seat on one of the too few life rafts. A gun is, evidently, one way to enforce chivalry.

Study sinks women and children first myth

May 26, 2012

Curious life styles

Main expenses per week:

Food $1000
Entertainment $1000
Household supplies $500
Clothing and shoes $500
Hairdressing and toiletries $500
Medical, dental and optical $351
Children's activities $346
Gardening $299
Car maintenance $245
Cleaning $227
Household repairs $220
Holidays $216
Telephone $165
Chemist $73
Dry-cleaning $7
Books and magazines $36
Petrol $41
Fares/carparking $15
Gifts $14
Other $250

That's the weekly laundry list of expenses of an ex-wife, recently awarded $6000 a week to keep herself and one child in good stead.

Notice anything odd?

Clothing and shoes is $500 a week, yet a paltry $7 a week is spent on dry cleaning, which isn't enough to pay for one business shirt to be cleaned and pressed. 

The other stand out:  gifts at a miserly $14 a week.  Even "other", being miscellaneous crap, outstrips the gift-giving bill by many multiples.

From the evidence at hand we have to deduce that the woman is smelly and has no friends (albeit, the $1000 a week entertainment bill becomes inexplicable).  On the upside she has excellent teeth, impeccable hair, a cabinet full of licit drugs, and an enormous appetite for astonishingly expensive food.

Wife must scrap by on $6000 a week

Corby vs Terrorism

I never believed the wild and whacky boogy board stories, so I've no great sympathy for Schapelle Corby, nor her rabidly bogan relatives, beyond the sympathy that one has for someone punished in a barbaric manner, for an extreme length of time, over a matter that should likely be decriminalized globally.  In other words, I have some sympathy, but I was over the whole Corby histrionics about 20 minutes after the story hit the headlines eight years ago.

Odd then, to find myself with a urge to go and haul Corby out of jail with my own two hands.

A dreadfully important judge in Indonesia offered, upon hearing of Corby's clemency success, that drug crimes are worse than terrorism. 

Sure buddy.  Sure.

Top judge hits out at Schapelle Corby's clemency 

May 23, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

May 21, 2012

Dogma dressed up as reality

When French scientist and politician Claude Allegre came out with the book, The Climate Deception (L'imposture Climatique), 400 French scientists signed a petition asking the government to denounce the book.
Freedom of thought.  Freedom of scientific inquiry.  Being killed off in the twenty first century.  Who'd have thought. 
Television features documentaries like one on Belgian TV that exposes so-called "climate criminals," including experts like Allegre who don't believe in global warming.

And if a climate expert makes it on TV in most European nations, they're likely to be attacked by their interviewer.

Some people have compared France's news media to North Korea's. That's admittedly a stretch, but there are only a few news channels and they are all spouting similar coverage. There is definitely a party line when it comes to climate change.

Czech President Vaclav Klaus wrote a book critical of climate change. Klaus was also one of the rotating presidents of the European Union. But when Nicolas Lecaussin tried to get it published in France, no major publisher would touch it. 

"It's a scientific book. He says climate change, global warming, doesn't exist," Lecaussin said. "We took it to a number of editors. Nobody wanted to publish it. Nobody."
"It is very difficult in France to fight the pieties of climate change, let's put it like that," Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Paris columnist for the London Telegraph, added.

Moutet termed the belief in climate change, "a catechism:"

"Yes, it's a piety that they repeat over and over," she said.

French philosopher Pascal Bruckner called the belief in climate change "a pagan religion." 
But it always was.  Do we require a French philosopher to tell us the obvious?  Apparently so.  Not that anyone is listening. 

Climate change alarmism a religious belief

May 20, 2012

The glory days

Glad I knew, at the time, they were the best of years.  Glad I lived through them, otherwise I would never have believed that politics could be a force for social good, or visionary and exciting.

We who were there, still weep over what we've lost.
Like an old black-and-white movie they're back -- the greying yet fiery icons of a spirit now fading. Turning on the radio or going online became a hazard this week with 82-year-old Bob Hawke singing Solidarity Forever, former union chief Bill Kelty invoking "romantic warriors" as his theme, and Paul Keating spreading love and compassion throughout the great trade union dinner.
The moral of the week is that it's best to keep them locked up. Out of sight. On the loose, they're a box-office smash, compelling and capable of provoking a nostalgia deadly to any current Labor politician or union official.

Keating praised Kelty as the anti-narcissist with a national vision; Kelty explained the brilliance of the old Labor-union model with its high growth, increased productivity and falling unemployment; Hawke, rarely in the same room with Keating these days, "agreed with everything Paul said" about Bill before breaking into the most tribal of union songs.

It was a "back to the future" moment. A sweet dream before waking to the 2012 daylight nightmare. Hawke, Kelty and Keating are legends that only burn brighter with the years. It is fitting to celebrate their times and, even among those who watched them for so long, always compelling to see them again.
 The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. 

Labor and unions in uneasy embrace

Aww, so cute: youngest billionaire marries

Mark Zuckerberg and his long time girlfriend, Pricilla Chan, have married in a nice little ceremony in their backyard. 

The bride looked lovely, in a pretty and modest frock, while the groom looked slightly disheveled, as befits the stresses of being the world's youngest billionaire.

You'll have to click the link to flick through the pics.  Very cute. 

(And isn't it nice to know that Zuckerberg now has his own live-in doctor?)

We assume the pre-nup is water tight, given Zuckerberg's vast experiences in court.

Meanwhile, we wish them a glorious future.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg marries

Cognitive Disjuncture

Whether left, right, middling or green, Australian politicians, are collectively divorced from the real preoccupations of their constituents, they are utterly removed from politics, oddly enough.

Jobs, ability to pay the bills, fulfill personal aspirations, these are the daily concerns of Australians.

They are not, contrary to the beliefs of our almighty leaders, grim-faced over the environment, carbon dioxide, business taxes, resource booms, class wars or Peter Slipper's taxi habits.

The wars between political left and right are wars amongst a tiny group of elites living in a bubble.

Job blues put our minds to work

Quid pro quo: organ donation slippery slope

Health and medicine has always been a minefield of moral measurement; too often physical and mental health are used as a moral judgement of the individual.  Not so in the realm of failed organs though.  A failing kidney or heart failure is deemed an unfortunate, and possibly prematurely life ending event, unless medicine can intervene with dialysis or a stent, or at the extreme, someone else's kidney or heart. 

The means by which medicine has sought to increase the number of organs available for harvesting and transplanting to other humans is dodgy and self-serving, yet remarkably unchallenged.

Israel recently sat down on the slippery slope of medicine as a moral domain, of reward and punishment, and pushed off with a big whoosh.
Touched by the unfairness of the deal, Dr Lavee performed the transplant, then set about revolutionising the way Israel manages its organ donation program.

Last month, [Israel] became the first country in the world to give transplant priority to patients who have agreed to donate their organs over those who have not - that is, allowing something other than medical need to be considered.

For Dr Lavee, the director of the Heart Transplantation Unit at Sheba Medical Centre, it has been a long process to fix what he believed was an inbuilt unfairness in the health system.

''If you do not donate something for the greater good of society, how can you then expect to get something back from that society?'' he said.
Which is bizarre, and morally corrupt. There is, after all, no greater good to society stemming from a person being given a new heart, kidney, lungs or face.  The benefit, which for some is dubious, accrues to the individual and, arguably, their nearest and dearest.  And there is a cost, a huge cost, to society's limited medical budget.

Dr Lavee and the medical profession in Israel have offered up a scurrilously simple and manipulative argument, and unfortunately, gotten away with it.  We have to hope that other countries don't succumb to such empty, non-medical emotive claptrap. 

What, other than money to pay the price of medical services, should people have to do in order to have a broken bone fixed, a brain tumor removed, a baby vaccinated?  Is there some "extra" service that should be offered up, some penance for being fixed?  Something more that one must do, for the greater good, to appease the gods for having broken a bone or developing a tumor?  If not, then how can such an argument be extended to human organs?  How has such an argument gained legitimacy in the modern era?

Of all the things any of us have, or believe we have, in our short time on Earth, surely the one thing - the only thing - to which we can claim possession, ultimate integrity, is our own bodies.  Take that away, and we are less than human.  No one has the right to another person's body, another person's organs.  That's a generosity and personal philosophy that must be given freely.

Bedside chat that changed Israel's rules for organ transplants

Even Kev

Latest figures (I haven't seen them), suggest that even Kev Rudd would lose his seat at the next federal election:  the ALP will not retain any seats in Queensland. 

Gillard worried? 


Anyone in the ALP getting the point?

May 16, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Aristotle maintained that women have fewer teeth than men; although he was twice married, it never occurred to him to verify this statement by examining his wives' mouths.

Bertrand Russell

May 14, 2012

Mayan calendar doesn't exactly end any time soon

Knock yourselves out:  best reading of the Mayan calendar wins a gold star
This undated image made available by National Geographic shows four long numbers on the north wall of a ruined house related to the Maya calendar and computations about the moon, sun and possibly Venus and Mars; the dates stretch some 7,000 years into the future. Archaeologists have found the small room where royal scribes apparently used walls like a blackboard to keep track of astronomical records and the society's intricate calendar some 1,200 years ago. Anthony Aveni of Colgate University, along with William Saturno of Boston University and others, are reporting the discovery in the Friday, May 11, 2012 issue of the journal Science. (AP Photo/National Geographic, Tyrone Turner)

Have to take their word for that.  

Not really.  

(They're just making stuff up.)

Ancient Mayan workshop for astronomers found

May 12, 2012


Dear Julia and Wayne - austerity measures aren't working for Europe, so, arrh, good luck with that. 


Dear Craig - when the women requested payment, did you not figure out they were sex workers?  And you continued to not figure this out each time you were "set up" with prostitutes by malevolent union persons?


Dear Julia - other than the people living on the north shores of Sydney, exceptionally few people care about the lifestyles of those living on the north shores of Sydney, they are greatly more preoccupied with maintaining and improving their own standard of living, which has gone quite pear-shaped under your government - and all we can look forward to is paying even more for everything after 1 July, when your fab new over-priced carbon tax starts hitting home and voters.  No one is buying the billionaires versus battlers crap; even you don't believe it.  Faux class war won't save you.


Reminder to Julia:  don't talk crap, can't be that hard.
 Kroger and Costello are having some weird girly-spat.  Relevance deprivation, much?


The government legally forces all of us to save for retirement, so we're not a drain on the public purse in our dotage, but continues to dick-around with superannuation rules so that people are penalised if they can afford to put sufficient funds into their super so as to have enough to be self sufficient in their old age.  Not that it especially matters:  trillions of dollars in forced savings, a cash cow for the finance industry, which invests our savings so badly that they'll be precious little left come retirement. 


John Travolta's penchant for masseurs is tawdry, but not criminal; none of the complainants have ever visited a police station to lodge a complaint.  The large tips weren't enough.


 Not satisfied with exploiting and abusing desperate Asians to make their products, Apple welcome new staff with a letter urging them to "swim in the deep end" and "give up weekends" for the benefit of the company. 


A US group is offering illicit drug addicts $300 to be sterilized, with the sales pitch:  "Don't let a pregnancy ruin your drug habit".  Thousands of women have taken up the offer.  Vasectomies are also available, but only 72 men have stepped forward for the cash.


Americans are in more pain than any other peoples of the world.  They consume 80 per cent of the world's painkillers each year.  If distributed evenly, it amounts to 64 pills for every American.  In only 10 years, abuse of licit drugs has increased 600 per cent. Americans now consume 100 tonnes of pure opiates annually, resulting in nearly 15 thousand deaths per year. So much for the war against drugs.  Wrong target.


 The secret to a long marriage is to keep breathing:  "you just don't die, dear". (Wife of a couple who recently celebrated their 60th anniversary.)


Dinosaurs farted themselves to extinction.  Sheesh.  This rewriting of science and the history of Earth to support twenty-first century ideologies and dogmas is really beginning to piss me off.


Tame tigers mauled a tourist at a private game park.  Everyone was shocked and busily mulling over how this could possibly have happened.  Tame + tigers:  oxymoron? 


In the never-ending series "my year of ...", some guy is giving up the interwebs for a year, and no doubt has a handsome book deal up his arse sleeve.  Seriously?  Dude, billions of people are already living off the grid, every year, it's not interesting enough for any of them to get a book deal.  They manage to live on this Earth without a computer or the internet.  You know, like really old fashioned people who never bought a colour telly.


Recently spotted having a night out in Beijing:  Kevin Rudd and his son Marcus, son-in-law Albert, and Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull with their son Alex.  That's nice.


May 11, 2012

May 9, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Vanity working on a weak mind, produces every sort of mischief.

Jane Austen

May 5, 2012

Portrait of Julia in her prime

The Australian - Peter Nicholson

Bob's replacement

New Green guy in the senate will be Peter Whish-Wilson.

Currently an economics academic at the University of Tasmania, and a viticulturist; previously an investment banker.

Whish-Wilson ... now that's a name warranting the occasional headline and cartoon, purely for the fun of it.

Christine Milne believes Whish-Wilson will bolster the Green's economic credentials.  And drinking games.

May 4, 2012

Ooops, world ending sooner than planned

Ok, so here's the deal:  we were all busy making our End of the World plans for December this year, now - and don't you hate it when this happens - turns out the End of the World has been bought forward ... it's right around the corner, 30 June!

On the upside (and there's gotta be an upside to the End of the World), at the conclusion of the End of the World, followers of Growing in Grace International will be given superpowers. 

Naturally, the followers will survive the End of the World, otherwise their newly acquired superpowers would be disappointingly useless. 

Of course, if the super-powered people are still here, the world will not have ended.

Back to the December plan.

Samantha Brick mines rich seam of ugliness

Samantha Brick - you remember her: the British journalist who sincerely believes she's too darned pretty - has found her niche:  dissing women, reducing them to nothing more than appearance, and generally ranking and rating them based on the presence or absence of frou frou.

Unlike Brick, Mary Beard is a beyond-learned professor who has her own television show, is much admired, and thought of with great fondness.  Samantha Brick believes the all natural 57 year old professor is too ugly to be on television.

All of the really ugly old guys on television (who, we assume, swoon at the image of Brick) are lovely on the inside, and should be seen everywhere and all over the place.

Mary Beard won't lose sleep over Samantha Brick

Duck Friday

Cute duckies provided by Jacob

May 3, 2012

Not rocket engineering

Wayne Swan said at the time of the ballot that colleagues were "sick of Kevin Rudd driving the vote down" by "sabotaging" the party. But since then, the government has lurched from one self-imposed crisis to another, and Rudd has not been anywhere near the scene.
A caucus member in contact with Rudd said that in the February ballot Labor had said "f--- you to Rudd and f--- you to the country". Now, it appears, based on these indirect remarks, Rudd is reciprocating the sentiment.
Gillard, Swan, et al. - no one left to blame you fuckers

Party in hell may find there is no Kevin

May 2, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Remember, I’m going to mark you, it’s my great pleasure to reward real effort, it’s my great pleasure to punish stupidity, laziness and insincerity.

Paul Thek (from his Teaching Notes)