November 29, 2013

November 24, 2013

Not funny

“It’s real,” he said. “I’m quite excited about it. I hope it makes us a lot of money. I hope to be able to pay off my mortgage!”

So says one of the surviving Python's about their threatened reunion. 

John Cleese has already done this, to unfunny effect - a one man performance, taken around the world, for which, I gather from reviews, Cleese did nothing more than stand on a stage to complain at length about having to do the show so as to pay alimony to one of his numerous ex-wives.  For this, real people paid real money. 

It does beg the question why any of them would still have a mortgage to pay off and why the public should now suffer these old men - flaunting the deserving rich syndrome is never a good look.

Bring out your dead - Monty Python reunite to pay off their mortgages

November 22, 2013

November 15, 2013

November 13, 2013

Green fantasies break everyone

And Germans are discovering that their warm embrace of green policies is leaving the most vulnerable citizens out in the cold - quite literally. Charities call it "energy poverty". Rising electricity bills, in large part due to Germany's renewable energy surcharges, have seen power cut off to more than 300,000 households a year because of unpaid bills.

As Stefan Becker from Catholic charity Caritas in Berlin told Der Spiegel, "People here have to decide between spending money on an expensive energy-saving bulb or a hot meal."

In other words, the fine-sounding push towards renewable energy - through subsidies to an expensive and haphazard renewable industry - redistributes money from a poor family living in a tiny apartment to a well-to-do family living in a house with roof-mounted solar panels.

And as Der Spiegel points out, the left-wing parties are most responsible for hurting the poor. The Social Democrats, "which sees itself as the party of the working class, long ignored this regressive aspect of the system. The Greens, the party of higher earners, continue to do so."

Former German environment minister Jurgen Tritten of the Green Party once said that Germany's switch to renewable energy would cost each German no more than the cost of a scoop of ice cream. In fact, rising electricity prices mean that the poor can barely pay for dinner, let alone dessert.

The same crunch is happening in Britain where Prime Minister David Cameron once declared his government would be the "greenest government ever". Cameron now admits that green levies for renewable energy are causing "energy poverty" for 2.4 million British households.
Green dreams 

Wednesday Wisdom

November 12, 2013

More stuff that politicians can't do

Ten thousand dead, current estimates, and millions homeless and without clean drinking water and food. 

Over at the UN, the Philippine's representative implores politicians to end the 'climate madness'. 

Alas, neither politicians nor the rest of us ordinary humans are much good at changing the weather let alone the climate. It has been this way for five billion years. 

It's like suggesting we equip ourselves with dinner forks to push back ocean waves or use tennis rackets to reduce wind.

The real madness, which has persisted since recorded time, is the inability of humans to predict the future.  Humans have an especially poor strike rate with predicting Armageddons, and yet so many persist, ever hopeful that one or other Armageddon will arrive - to prove them right. 

Jarring juxtaposition

Paul Keating on the ABC, being interviewed by Kerry.

Clive Palmer giving a speech at the National Press Club - following his first few minutes sitting in his brand new seat in federal parliament - channeling JFK, and lauding Marx.

*Head exploding*

November 9, 2013

Why do Americans need so many bathrooms?

Located half an hour out of Chicago, the nine-bedroom, 15-bathroom mansion sprawls over three hectares and boasts five fireplaces, a wine cellar with room for 500 bottles, a home theatre, card room and cigar room.
Yes, it's a $29M house, but all the same, who the hell needs 15 bathrooms to a ratio of nine bedrooms?  Plus there's a three bedroom guesthouse, no doubt with a goodly surfeit of its own bathrooms.

Much smaller residences in the US have the same thing going on - not uncommon to see houses listed with a few bedrooms and a squillion bathrooms; no mere powder room is ever enough for the occasional visitor. 

Do Americans have bladder issues? 

Do they have collective obsessive compulsive disorder about the cleanliness of their person? 

Or is this a job creation scheme for bathroom cleaners? 

Michael Jordan's gigantic Chicago mansion goes to auction

November 3, 2013

Honesty in politics

In startling news, buried deep inside the Sunday paper, Tony Abbott recently kept his word by visiting a Queensland mother of six, who has concerns about coal seam gas. 

Mrs Orr's local member gave her a call, seeking morning tea one Saturday.  MP Bruce Scott took the PM with him, and a pleasant time was had by all.

Mrs Orr lives 250km outside of Brisbane.

Abbott continues to be a decent person who goes out of his way to do the right thing.  

He visited, he listened, just as he said he would.

Abbott honours a promise 

November 2, 2013

Why the Greens and the ALP too often make me want to puke

Adam Bandt was a bit quiet after linking Tony Abbott's climate change policies to the NSW bushfires.

But Bandt later got support from Labor MP David Feeney, who suggested that the PM was himself politicising the fires. "The Liberals are appalled that anyone would politicise the NSW bushfires" he tweeted, with a picture of Abbott in his RFS gear.

Yes, the fires are well over, as is this political anecdote, but it still makes me furious that when a moral high ground is within sight, the Greens and the ALP usually opt for the other road. 
Abbott sets an example by firefighting, lifesaving and raising money for charities, most particularly for women.

It's pathetic and boorish to deride his life long contribution to the community in which he lives.

What has Adam Brant or David Feeney done for others lately, or over the course of the last couple of decades?

Not much of anything, I'd hazard a guess.  So much time on their hands and so little decency.