A Grain of Salt. 22nd September.
Spring, and a small sample of the hot weather, thankfully no early sightings of arachnids. The Ensuring Integrity
Bill registration, a nonsense, specifically Morrison's efforts to stick it up the Unions. Our PM is surely wetting himself with the efforts of Jacqui Lambie against John Setka, helped along with additional (similar) generalisations from Rosie Batty and (now
AFL football expert) Jon Faine, also the evermore Jenna Price (The Age) and other Unions in-fighting. Scott Morrison, our PM (and expert on managing a Seinfeld government, about nothing) looks us in the face and lies "I never
said Shanghai Sam", despite saying it 17 times. [George Constanza (Seinfeld) "It’s not a lie if you believe it"]. Maybe Morrison missed his calling; as an actor? Looking at two episodes of Seachange (Channel9) it's not too far from the reality. Jacqui
Lambie "calls it out for what it is" or perhaps what Jacqui thinks it is? Never forgetting the Pauline Hanson led inquiry into family law. (Women tell lies?) said our Princess, peppered with her personal anecdotes. That should do the trick? Glory be.
Nice to see our leaders doing their best for Australians in trouble overseas, held in Iran. The Prime Minister said Australia’s decision
to contribute to a US-led mission in the Strait of Hormuz (frigate, surveillance aircraft) aimed at protecting freedom of navigation in the Gulf region, demonstrating that Australia is “always prepared to do the heavy lifting when it comes to our alliance
partnerships”. Considering the possibility it's payback because we sent the ship overseas? Then we have Julian Assange. A UK judge has deemed WikiLeak’s editor Julian ‘‘a flight risk’’ so he is to be kept locked up in jail
after his term ends. English justice or politics? Both. We should talk? We feel for Julian. A triptych - J.Assange, J.Setka, the Biloela Tamil family.
Compulsory drug tests, cashless welfare cards, Robodebt and Newstart, which forms our Prime Minister's stated belief in "compassionate conservatism." Tony Blair: "The only difference between compassionate conservatism and conservatism is that under
compassionate conservatism they tell you they're not going to help you but they're really sorry about it." And what of our budget surplus? A joke, a figures juggling act. $4 billion owing to the NDIS (they can wait?), thousands more jobs (apparently, if they
work for one or more hours it's counted as a job?) with no increase in retail spending, and (believe it or not) under employment went UP? Fantasy of course, the budget that is, and far far away from real economic management. The good news? Our PM, according
to Donald Trump, is a man of titanium? A feel good Aussie government, titanium and (Peter Dutton) sensitivity.
And Collingwood? A sad
loss and a deserved GWS win. Why Ben Reid and not Travis Varcoe? It's one thing to be beaten by 4 points, another altogether to listen to the after the game summary from the joyful trio of Garry Lyon, Jonathan Brown and Paul Roos, in particular the last two,
going on and on in allowing Josh Thomas a goal for Collingwood after it appeared touched, no mention of Scott Pendlebury's disallowed goal or Chris Mayne's or Jeremy Finlayson's in the third quarter when he pushed Brodie Grundy in the back. How they claim
to be unbiased is beyond me. They should be ashamed to take the money. Out-coached anyway. That said, we move on. At least Melbourne Storm won.
Well well well, 83 and a half, today. "How good is that?" After passing 80 one counts birthdays in half years. Who won World War 2? As a kid I thought it was 'us' the Aussie (take no nonsense) soldiers. Indoctrinated or brainwashed, take your pick.
Dad came home after 4 years on the frontline thankful for the Yanks, which sat with me for years. Later still, maybe the Russians, Hitler's mistake, attacking them before taking down England? Now, likely the Russians, specifically Russian women. My point?
None really, or perhaps those mind changes occurring over the decades. Back in 1955, National Service 5 months, I teamed up with another chap from Tasmania, Billy. We became close. He was under considerable stress because he was missing his home. Weird stuff,
in those times usually put down to being a baby, ignored, but Billy was different. He became a mate. I was chatting with my son recently and voicing what many had said of our past in terms of mental health, along the lines of "none of these pressures happened
in our day". My son said I was wrong; it was always thus. So what does that make me? "Naive" he said, charming? Along comes AFL premiership player Tom Boyd, speaking at length for the first time about his mental health struggles and reasons for quitting the
game, including homesickness. My mind wandered back to my Tassie mate. I could not understand why anyone could be homesick, but nevertheless spent many times trying to comfort Billy's depression, only succeeding up to a point late in the 5 months stint. I've
never felt homesick while away (5 months National Service, touring plays, away interstate with friends). So be it, but doing my best for Billy, fascinated how anyone could be (what I always thought) was a form of sooking, despite our mate status? True, home
had its uses, like Mum doing all my washing and so on. Naive? Fair cop. I was wrong, again?
Bullies. I was bullied at central school and
high school. People will tell you "sooner or later you have to stand up, fight back". What if you can't? There's always a mongrel lurking. So if that particular mongrel is certain to bash the daylights out of you what to do, cop it? Being of the male variety
I didn't have the option of yelling Mum, who more than likely would have taken action and embarrassed me. At central school I had a type of bodyguard who took the mongrel out for me. At high school I copped it, about 3 times a week year 11, playing dumb, ever
smiling, bored him eventually. By the time National Service came around I had learnt a successful remedy. Get yourself in with the right people. Never suck up. Friendly, neutral, never judgemental. Should I have taken boxing lessons? Possibly, but likely useless
without a violence strain. Anyway, I prided myself on my two beautiful hands. Maybe I attracted bullies? In life after school the same type of thing. My group of friends were all of sporting prowess, particularly football and cricket, whereas I had none, though
much to say on matters of football, horse racing and politics. Perhaps I had too much to say, in the light of my ordinary-ness in the sporting field, and outspoken in all subjects without those important (at that time) sporting qualifications, and a deep suspicion
from others that I couldn't fight my way out of a paper bag? Belted up only twice. Easy. Go to ground and stay there. No kicking in my day.
Nicola Gobbo unlikely to front the royal commission public inquiry to give evidence, diagnosed with severe stress disorder and had chronic head pain. Her mental anguish was exacerbated by ‘‘security issues’’ and it meant she
could not take the stand. Another Cathy Jackson? How do they do it? Pinch a bar of chocolate from a 7-11 and it's goodnight Irene. Know the right people and you're home free?
Barnaby Joyce now into his second year as Drought Envoy?...The ever increasing vive la difference? Housing prices, static wages...It’s still illegal to have an abortion in NSW. A Liberal government in name only....Israel
elections, Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption charges; whatever the result, pity the Palestinians?...I’m told painters (Archibald portrait prize) must ‘look into their soul’?...Totalitarianism and the Victorian push for facial recognition?
Isn't that my mush on my driver licence?...What's more dangerous, the atom bomb, or drones?...Personal budget: Quarterly electricity bill, an increase of $5 a week. Adjustment; no RSL visit on Sundays, surplus maintained?...Bushwalkers, who can understand
them?...Climate change (Harrison Ford) "Those least responsible will bear the greatest cost"...Finally, from Scott Morrison "I called the royal commission because I wanted to shine a light on the aged-care industry"...Hooroo...ello8
A Grain of Salt. Spring. 15th September.
Another week, marked by the return of walkabout politicians to Canberra
and a re-launch of the 'blame Labor' game. Morrison "I like to set tests for the Labor Party" IE: Wedging. [John Hewson: "Wedging will get Morrison a standing ovation at a Liberal Party state executive meeting – but it won't deliver good government.]
True. The reality, however, is to expect nothing from either party before (say?) next March. Morrison will continue to play his silly baiting games, Dutton will do likewise with his totalitarian policies, (Manus, Nauru, Christmas Island, in our name?)
and Albanese will be too busy searching for policies. A form of marking time before yet another (the Christmas) break. It would appear any new policies this government do bring to our attention are policies specifically designed to annoy the Labor party, so
the government can continue on their merry way with the bottom line of their real intention, being a form of government in opposition, intimidation obviously the key word; Robodebt, Newstart. Drug testings in particular, surely hot air doomed to failure in
the positive sense, and a clear indication of government disrespect, transferred (in many cases) to the general public feeling for less fortunate fellow Australians, particularly the many thousands who believe what they read from the likes of Rupert's media
et al. What is it, 7 years in government? The economy? And still it's Labor's fault? More importantly - despite all the screaming, no climate policy? In a logical world one would think letting the Newstart drug testing go through would do more damage to the
Liberal party? No way. Sadly, the media (and Scotty) would blame Labor, despite the cause (Scotty) staring them in the face. It is what it is, for now. [Dole recipients who are selected to take part in the Coalition’s welfare drug test trial but refuse
to take a drug test will have their payments cancelled, so says the Morrison government. An extension of Robodebt, lambs to the slaughter?] And so on and so forth.
Vale Danny. Danny Frawley left us last Monday, champion footballer, Richmond coach, regular co-host on Foxtel's 'Bounce' and generally a true believer in helping others. Obviously much loved in the AFL's 'who's who' world. Impossible
to dislike the man despite his annoying tendency to be a leader in the verbal tsunami area. I've had a go at him a few times, mainly his antics on 'Bounce', a show I've watched half a dozen times coming off the late Sunday AFL match, each time deleting after
10 minutes as rubbish television, no offence intended, supposedly funny, decidedly unfunny, apparently popular with football followers generally, who is to know? A tragic end to a gentleman, too young. ‘Always look on the bright side of life.’
Sadly, not always. All players, umpires and AFL officials wearing black armbands in the two semi-finals, a shade over the top for mine, enough a brief silence before the national anthem? On the other hand the connection with mental illness. At times the AFL
is to be congratulated. Sometimes however, I see an imbalance between the good, as in a celebration of a fine man and athlete, and the Australian public (other than a minority and the Biloela residents) ignoring the dreadful behaviour of our Prime Minister
and his instructor (Peter Dutton) whisking away the Tamil family to a virtual prison on Christmas Island before being kicked out of Australia. Somewhere along the line we've lost the thread?
Alternatively. The media. Fox sport, Herald Sun, Channel 7. A perfect example of 'the more they get the more they want'. Calling the tune right left and centre is one thing, carrying on like pork chops
if the AFL Executive doesn't agree with them is another. They get on their blowers and appeal to the public, and in the reliable public come, like flies, bias, bias, and more bias. They (the media) suck up to coaches, certain favourite players, favourite teams,
for allowing them access, more access, always striving for more. Interviewing a captain on his way to tossing the coin? How much more? Surely not the lavatory, the showers, but don't bet on it? The players, if not already, turning into robots. Supreme athletes,
running into each other with gay abandon, bodies on the line. Toby Greene, particularly his future, damned forever, but AFL forgiven after a moment of extreme stress, a melee, hands and legs flying every which way. Supporters of 15 other clubs, in like Flynn,
or more aptly, vultures. Is he worse than the now much loved Dermott Brereton, or Andrew Gaff, or Steven Baker? Sheep incorporated. Why is it when the AFL finals arrive the umpires lose their whistles and it becomes a slugfest, survival of the most brutish?
Is good football now reduced to blood and guts, the colosseum sort of thing? OK. So I'm no different, bias wise. Collingwood face GWS Saturday. Would have preferred Brisbane, less likely to belt us up? Either way, Richmond looking good. A trip to the phone
after Collingwood lose, cancelling Fox Sport, a saving of $29 a month, or 25 cigarettes.
Former working class Tasmanian representative,
now Miss Bourgeois, Jacqui Lambie, as in 'tickets on herself' of late into her form of verbal tsunami. Slogans on almost every of her particular issues - "It's as simple as that. It's un-Australian". Pandering to gimmickry in argument and no shortage of colourful
language. The calls for politicians to be subjected to drug and alcohol testing misses the point. Her demand for her support for the proposed bill to randomly drug test welfare recipients, politicians should also be drug and alcohol tested, so illogical it’s
farcical. And obviously her John Setka nonsense, ignoring the wishes of his Union. Be hilarious to see ASADA enter into Question Time on one of those rare sitting days to drug test Jacqui and Scotty. Welfare is punitive and victim blaming, as Morrison is well
aware, Jacqui's preparedness to take down thousands of working Australians to defeat John Setka? Heading towards a Liberal Party aperitif similar to Greens voters. Pipe down lady.
They've thrown the baby out but lets not drain the bath. Good policies leading to the last election (negative gearing and capital gains tax) remain so and should be re-focussed come the 2022 election. The cruncher was of course franking credits,
the real welfare recipients. Too much too soon possibly, but let's not forget Labor muddied the waters with other insignificant policies, the media complicit in bad mouthing Bill Shorten and the big fellow's (Clive Palmer) millions anti-Labor investment. Last
I heard Morrison's government had a two seat majority, and one of them was the Speaker?
Champagne cricket writer Greg Baum: "Bowling to Smith in 2019 is like giving advice
to Donald Trump, or a warning to Xi Jinping, or a comb to Boris Johnson. I've got a line for Scott Morrison, too, but I have to get back into the country."
If Scotty's lot strive for a surplus his followers do likewise, banking their tax bill savings, thus, no trickle down, as expected?...Racism, Mister Morrison, is also known as condescending superiority. [Let's be honest, with deputy PM Michael McCormack (the
brain machine) it's not as if he's protecting his back, or his farmers.]....What is a genre? Why some films and not others? Watching Graeme Blundell introduce films on Fox Classics some receive his 'genre' stamp, not others? [And then there's 'noir'?].....Casualization,
the death nell to Unions, and workers generally...Whatever happened to Kathy Jackson, obviously a lady who knows the right people?...Chris Ullmann, political editor for Nine News and PM Scott (Seldom Seen) Morrison's man?..."Drug testing is about compassion,
not hatred." [Greg Morton, Assistant minister to the Prime Minister] Nonsense Greg....Boris Johnson, a fruitcake, overloaded with arrogance, entitlement...I was never a fan of Wayne Swan but to deny Kevin Rudd and Wayne saved us from the last GFC is accept
your 'duffer' status...Chadstone is history for many, all roads leading to opportunity shops, via Foodbank Australia....The last episode of Shaun Micallef's Mad as Hell next Wednesday. A jewel in an ocean of nothingness. Great stuff. Be there...“Basically,
when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.” [Buffett]... Hooroo...Ello8.
A Grain of Salt. Spring. 8th September.
Collingwood won. Abba dabba. Another week without
the need for a 2ml valium? Healthy choices and a healthy body. "If we can all start looking for things that motivate us to be healthy that have nothing to do with appearance, learn to look critically at the multitudes of programs selling us beauty, and find
a way for our society to empower us to make healthy choices, it will lead us closer to true health than the pursuit of a summer body ever can." [Dr Nikki Stamp]. Nikki got good money (from The Age) to write this nonsense?
So nice to start the week off with love. Alternatively, a healthy body without a healthy mind can be a problem in the matter of choices? Beauty lies within, in my case well within, but sometimes a haircut can help? Confused, no doubt, emphasis on the conundrum
of a heathy mind. A society based on respect and peace, rather than power, greed and good looks. Maybe put my teeth in? Moving on...
promised tax cuts windfall, the much needed boost to the retail sector: Shoppers closed their wallets in July, pocketing cash or paying off debt with more than $3 billion in tax cuts that had been deposited into bank accounts, leaving retailers watching on
as sales fell across the country. You have to hand it to our Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, looking us straight into our starry eyes as he competently handles the economic policies of our government. Not to worry says Josh (doubtful at best) looking forward to
the September figures.
Oligarchy? One wonders why all the screaming out on behalf of the persecuted Tamil family in detention on Christmas
Island? The responses from Morrison and Dutton are consistent, albeit hypocritical, including the release of news (coincidence?) of a boat full of refugees. Australians concerned? Sadly, not nearly concerned enough. Scotty: ‘‘The welfare of others,
to fight for a fair go for every one to fulfil their human potential and to remove whatever unjust obstacles stand in there way, be generous in spirit to share our good fortune with others out of compassion and a desire of justice.’’ A tsunami
of more nonsense. Peter, on the other hand, is rightly worried about the mental health of our sailers after spotting body parts out there at sea. Did our Peter spot them or perhaps word of mouth from a naval captain? And along trots another darling, our Amanda
(Vanstone) in a second The Age piece in a week, championing her two heroes. Amanda should know; did a similar thing to a family years ago in her Immigration portfolio. God almighty. [On election night last May, Morrison gave
thanks to the ‘‘quiet Australians’’. They had ‘‘won a great victory’’. As to the others, well, they’re losers. And so a family is chucked out, their pleas falling on deaf, callous ears...Warwick McFadyen].
What is the point of these Australian Federal Police raids? Whistleblowers begone, or to warn all of us to keep our thoughts to ourselves?
Is it really a security threat or more a case of flexing their muscles to like it or lump it? Ever so sadly, we are at the mercy of the majority of Australian voters, those flying flags on Australia Day, as in the Morrison/Dutton attitude to like them and
so on. Mind you, with all that power (Peter Dutton) he runs the risk his army (for want of a better name) could phase into the Manilla situation and Rodrigo Duterte's soldiers? Or America's CIA? No? The AFP are human beings and we all know the percentages
(of dickheads) among human beings. And sadly, not only the dickheads. I think back, way way back, marriage, a job, kids and Collingwood. Indoctrinated, a way of life, through Mum, Dad, products of the Depression, leading my way with nary a second thought.
Followed by nationalism, protectionism, anti-communism. Along came books, along came George Orwell, the fantasy of 1984, or was it, a cell full of rats. Fairytales no more?
my first football book Saturday, "Dane Swan", down from $45 to $13. Got to about 50 pages, maybe to return after I've got through all of Shakespeare's sonnets, poems. Got me thinking on life's influences as a kid. Didn't know the old man until around 10 (away
at WW2). He'd take me outside and go through all those stars, the milky way the solar system. Lost me. Still, we all seem to be products of those early years without knowing it at the time, in fact, as I now see it, resulting in a form of product resulting
in our own particular uniqueness. He succeeded in gardening, giving us problems, maths and logic (sisters and brothers I have none etc). True, a bit late in life to realise this, but even at 83, nice to look at, good or bad, to sort of gain a deeper understanding
of how our personalities evolved. Mum of course gave us Collingwood, the 1930's depression, the snobbery of class distinction. No intention here to bore the reader, merely mentioning, a result of a pleasant Sunday morning after another Collingwood victory.
Mandatory drug testing for people on government benefits. Big brother is stalking! Offset the drug users applying
for Newstart and (as always) generally bad mouthing those of us on benefits? Add in our wonderful (inspirational?) Prime Minister "We are absolutely committed to press freedom and we are absolutely committed to every Australian being subject to the rule of
law." 774 ABC, Sundays. Macca. “This is a wonderful country Macca full of wonderful people”. Many of Macca's callers living in that mysterious world of Lah Lah land; good for them. Not everyone. The Sri Lankan family, Christmas Island. Whistle
blowers, witness K, Collaery. Right wing manipulated racial anxiety. Christians? Freedom of information blockages? Opposition gone walkabout. Barrie Cassidy gone, Jon Faine to follow. Check under your blanket peoples. A police state looms.
Not fascist enough? Sarah Henderson’s attempt for a senate seat to replace Mitch [high art] Fifield, copping expected abuse from social (religious?) conservatives
for supporting same sex marriage in the Turnbull years. Reminded of Tim Fischer passing away with the finest of farewell's from both sides of politics. Well done Tim. And then, I was never a fan of Tim, his stance on native policy and homosexuals not my cup
A Thursday escape: Powerball at $100 million. Whenever it gets to the century I take time out for a 15 minute fantasy,
normally pausing Midsomer Murders around 8pm. Chances of winning 99.99% zero, but what to do if I win, being 83 years old and realistically not up to anything exciting late in life? Obviously the first order of business is to ensure no-one knows, unregistered
ticket. Quiet, unnoticeable security upgrades, in my two bedroom unit, opposite the RSL. A Pride Sportsrider Mobility Scooter for easy across the road and Woolworths travel? Concrete the back garden, attach a portable arrangement (mini house) at the back door
for added useable space and female visitors? A separate area in the emergency room at Rosebud hospital with a real kingsize single bed and a locked drawer for my serepax and 2ml valiums, in return for the cost and a fixed
monthly direct debit? New shoes?
What exactly is Australia's China policy? Haha. That's easy. Answer: Whatever Donald Trump, via
Rupert Murdoch decides it is...Cigarette prices up at $1.35 per smoko. Patiently awaiting a Woolworths 'special' on Spam...A budget surplus is a book figure, and a lie, or if it suits a fallible mind, think along the lines of paying Peter and Paul...An appeal
to non smokers. Vaping is risky. Kindly do not practice this in the dedicated smoking areas...The Drum ABC, last week. Two great shows hosted by Ellen Fanning. Viva la difference...Leigh Sales (ABC 7.30) comes out against a male kissing her in public without
authorisation. Good girl. Much more interesting than the bland stuff being served up of late on her show...My favourite question for RSL liberal voters: "What are your party's policies?"...High-viz vests for WE old folks? No problem. Send me one, free, 2xxl...If
Adam Goodes and Stan Grant came out with their opinions of the Morrison government's attitude to race relations I'd be more likely to listen to them...I liked this one from The Age. "Claytons Christianity abounds"...When
I was a kid the smart kids (ex the year 8 central school) went to Northcote high school. The not so smart kids went to Collingwood technical school. Turned out the not so smart were the smartest?...“If someone incites violence, with the intention that
violence should occur, how can they justify that under free speech?” [Peter Wertheim]. Couldn't agree more... "Boris is good, everyone's great. It's a great country...get on with it" [Shane Plato Warne]..."Never think about any one thing for too long.
A Grain of Salt. Spring.
The good news? Winter
is over. The bad? Quarterly electricity bill, rates due. Maybe chop out 5 cigarettes a day equals $40 a week; piece of cake, a financial genius. What? (Sorry, I beg your pardon?) Stop smoking? Brilliant idea, forgetting the nervous breakdown certainty. I'll
take the odds, 4 years over the average age for males, shooting for another 7 @ 90 years. Additional health (longer life) tips - vegan, organic, gluten free, automatically avoided. Surely by then we will have seen the backside of our current Prime Minister,
renamed Seldom-Seen. Spends so much time overseas maybe he should stay there? Maybe go walkabout in the New Guinea jungle? But wait! Then we would have to stomach our deputy PM - Michael McCormack, the brain (brainless?) machine, or Peter Dutton, or Greg Hunt?
ScoMo to the rescue. A warship to the Gulf to de-esculate, shouldn't it be escalate? Royal commissions; into banks, child abuse, aged care, the Murray-Darling Basin, mental health. Locally revelations associated with Crown casino, the recycling crisis, franchise
cheats, wage theft, education scams and defective (Federation Square) buildings. Despite the overwhelming evidence to abolish robodebt, the government refuses to do so. A flawed scheme contrary to basic legal principles, (guilty before innocence). As Northcote
cricketer Bill Lawry would say: "It's all happening". So, what of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese. Who? Clive Palmer has a lot to answer for. Talking of cricket, 2nd test, a last day disaster. I sort of suspected it halfway through that day, signs of
the approaching Collywobbles. Hoping (but not confident) those magpies can give it to Geelong next Friday, despite the inclusion of Darcy Moore, likely to exit injured with one bump from Geelong's Tom Hawkins. So be it. If we (they) lose we should beat
the winner of West Coast/Essendon. I don't mind so much if Geelong wins, at least a second chance. It's their coach I find hard to take, with strong memories of he (and his brother) playing for Brisbane and their on field hoodlum tactics. Whatever, we look
forward to Spring, sunshine, miniskirts.
Anthony Albanese’s pathetic stance against John Setka, supposedly as a domestic violence
issue, is a nonsense. All done and dusted by a magistrate. I'm not for or against Setka, but if Albanese has a case (expelled from the Labor Party) give us some facts rather than adopting a Scott Morrison style.
Shannon Pufahl - Paris Review, edited...The strategies used by casinos and gaming machines are some of the same used by social media sites and other algorithm-based economies
that rely on advertising revenue and personal disclosure. The psychological and technical systems originally built for casinos have found great admirers in Silicon Valley, where slots are seen for what they are: loud, lighted Skinner boxes. The goal of the
casino is virtually the same as that of dating apps, Twitter, and iPhone games: to trap the user in a ludic loop of loss and pleasure, approval and refusal. The long, daily boredom of life interrupted, suspended by improbability, yet filled with obstacles
and choices of real consequence. But every quarter or dollar chip, every spin or deal, is a single door opening into the future, a future emptied of everything but that one outcome, win or lose. How many people are walking the earth this very moment hoping
for that feeling? As Jia Tolentino put it in the April 29 issue of The New Yorker, such platforms “encourage compulsive use by offering forms of social approval […] as though you’re playing a slot machine that tells you whether or not people
love you.” Always a pleasure to read the intellectual stuff, makes me feel a part of the pattern, a second cousin, sort of. Indeed. Love, as always, is the answer. So I'm told.
Well done GWS's Stephen Coniglio.
I wonder about our highly paid AFL footballers and “keeping their options open” comments. The more they get the more loyalty flies out the window. I don’t buy the “we’re only at our best for a few years; get what’s on offer”
reasons. We’re talking many thousands of dollars, paying for next to nothing, treated like royalty but not enough apparently for a mansion in Brighton and a ferrari motor vehicle, or perhaps they have that already and are simply angling for a holiday
shack at Portsea? They earn more in one year than most of us earn in a decade or three. I’m a big fan of the one club career footballers, the rewards obvious; apparently not to the commentators. You can’t beat lifestyle. Money doesn’t necessarily
equate with better.
Is it me, a casualty of the ageing process? Began at 12; 71 years fighting those low lifers, one way or another. Time to opt out? Peter Dutton rules the waves, another (Christian Porter) inferring fear of the
LGBTQUIA community (Religious Discrimination Act?), the rise of facism, racism; across those waves, Rodrigo Duterte, a hero (?) with his gestapo police licensed to kill, and ScoMo lording it in East Timor and those whistleblowers. Then there's Boris and Donald.
Bring on the football finals, breathe easily, from the diaphragm. [Alternatively, thinking back to McCarthyism, 1950's, and all those FBI agents spending their days taking note of the thousands of critical letters to the editor writers across the USA, upgraded
to China today, ASIO Australia here, noting Joe McCarthy died in 1957, we live in hope?] Having said that, the old "hope springs eternal" is fast becoming a mirage.
Don't you love it when they say "A wide range of
discussions on the (fantasy?) table on a whole range of issues"...Those SUV drivers. So confident, safe, superior, way way up there, above the ceiling, of my Toyota Corolla...I passed my Intermediate, year 8 and Leaving certificate, year 11, without the intrusion
of teachers...The 3 Stooges: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and Scott Morrison?...China insists Australia should respect China’s sovereignty and stop interfering. Ditto U S of A and ditto Australia, East Timor...Vaping? Currently RSL members are using the
dedicated smoking area to practice their hazing habit. They should be banned, the as yet unknown damage to our health, not to mention peace of mind?...The designer of those All-Australian jackets (AFL football) should be sacked. Today (Sunday 1st September)
I am watching all Collingwood's appearances in last years finals, except the Grand Final. Salt and vinegar potato chips, a stubby or two....Hooroo...Ello8.
The each way conundrum, old age: One can wonder if the psychological inconvenience of guilt is at a higher level without the consolation of absolution? Guilt is a matter of degrees, surely, with the
certain knowledge we all have our share. Does this bar me from the opportunity to go gentle into the night? [OK. OK. I've been watching The Crusades SBS on the self righteousness of those Christians and the justified killings
of moslems way back in the 11th century. The obvious brainwashing effect from day 1 of civilisation, till the present and our antics in Canberra, Tuvalu, et al]. How about cultural snobbery? We're all trained (in one way or another, unsuspected) and
without realising it throw off images of the past in favour of our preoccupation with the present? Perhaps, at another level, how can one look on a Carlton supporter as someone with a brain?
Why the guilt thing, absolution? Winter - almost over. Now, at least, with my 4 hours sleep (recommended 7-8 hours nightly) I can ponder rather than freezing. A final message to those do gooders/advisers "Button your lips". Everything's genetic,
whatever that means. Born 1936, average age 67, now 79 (men) so I’m 4 years in front. To the op-shop, buy up on books. Stay with Facebook, The Age, The Guardian Fox Footy (until we lose) online, sport mainly, the odd comment.
From my blog 2007: Mount Martha north beach boxes? "What happens if the channel dredging project stuffs up the whole works, as I’m told it could by the local fishermen and divers?
Who shall we blame? The nameless suits on a nameless committee, or...Sheikh Hilali? They keep telling me the project will be good for Victoria. I haven’t got the time to read the 15,500 page environmental effects statement, so perhaps somebody could
explain to me how it will be good for Rye?"
Was Cardinal George guilty? I didn't see it that way from what I read, but of course I wasn't there, in the courtroom. What is obvious
is George knowingly switching known pedophile catholic priests to different diocese to protect his church at the expense of lifelong damage to those children. A type of manslaughter?
Whinge, whinge whinge and so on. Wind farms, their precious views, railway crossings, skyrail, traders profits. Hey, I live in Rye, no rail line, no wind farm, minimum view of fences front and back. No problems. Precious pissants?
Van Basham: “The IPA/Liberal “argument” is - stop me if you’ve heard this one before - that lowering wages will just magically create more jobs! Remember they used this line to argue
to cut penalty rates? And how many jobs were created when that happened? Two years later, we found that it was... none. Zero. Nought. Money was taken out of the economy, life become harder for working people and NOT A SINGLE JOB was created.”
The mighty magpies. Mightier still if they trade Darcy Moore…Why complain against Alan Jones? He lives in Sydney, surely par for the course. We have our own problem; Neil Mitchell...Jeff
Thomson and Jofra Archer; bastard bowling, should be banned..Frank Sinatra's Mt Way is apparently a favourite at funerals. Men's or wonen's? I'm a Stones man "You Can't always get what you want"....Hooroo.
A Grain of Salt. 19th August. 2019
The current political situation? Can it go any lower? "No policy. Designed to wedge the opposition"
[Barrie Cassidy, spot on as always]. GetUp a no go says Scotty. Yeah, and the IPA? Scott Morrison and his government are an embarrassment. The Pacific Islands Conference a farce. Deputy PM Michael McCormack to keep up the insults with his astonishing comment
that Pacific island nations affected by the climate crisis would continue to survive ‘‘because many of their workers come here to pick our fruit’’? ABC offices and the home of a News Corp journalist were raided - for stories that had
nothing to do with national security? A government who also loathes each other? The Labor Party, in particular, now needs to show more spine. With this mob calling the shots (and presently in the process of demanding our public service do likewise or be sub-contracted
out, along the lines of "You're either with us or against us", and adding in the departure of Barrie and soon Jon Faine a lot is resting on the shoulders of Patricia Karvelas. The only certainty is the appearance of Collingwood in two more matches season 2019.
"And so it goes" said Mark Twain, or was it Kurt Vonnegut? No matter. Both wonderful writers up there with John le Carré's two books appropriate to our current leaders, The Perfect Spy and The Tailor of Panama. [An Australian, who lives in Guangdong,
China, complaining about Hong Kong protesters (to CNN) because his flight is delayed - "They should learn their place".] Enough said. And for good measure - United States Studies Centre has warned, arguing Australia must move towards a shared reliance on a
network of allies, in particular Asian militaries such as Japan, for its security? Moving on, ignoring the monkeys in charge, though slightly stressed, ever onwards...
A third viewing and staying with the ABC's Les Norton despite its Sydney origins. Over the top characters, a type of farce, an underlying truth of Kings Cross way back when, if not now, a small step down (or up?) from
Richard Roxburgh's Rake. True, caricatures, and sometimes the dialogue is mumbled, but once you let it flow it doesn't seem to matter, up to a point. Should go well, particularly considering Coles Radio now tops the list of Australian digital radio
listeners? What confuses is why those who watch and love The Handmaid's Tale turn their noses up at Les Norton? Mind you The Hunting SBS is better, (again with Roxburgh, a cool performer) albeit the need for 100 pauses an episode
to read the text messages. The good news? Both Aussie shows are better than 9's Seachange and SBS free to air movie channel replayed the outstanding Leon: The professional with the wonderful Jean Reno, also Gary Oldman, and Natalie
Portman. So? After dark, at 83, homebound, the search for entertainment, other than Collingwood replayed victories.
ABC former newsreader
Ian Henderson turned 66 last week and was talking on radio of the benefits of living to an old age, food, exercises, the usual story. Presented as a sort ambition? Surely ambition has more to it? From an area of expertise, at a mere 66? Nice fellow, basically,
proving nothing. We live in a time of age-based discrimination. An ABC fill-in. The bottom line, selfishly (?) Health, aged-care and pensions? Maybe for fairness, wasting time on the study of (possible) harm for toddlers with excessive screen time?
It would seem that if you are rich and famous and have been shown to have taken what was not rightfully yours, then a few grovelling apologies,
an ‘‘I am sorry’’, a contrition payment and a large advertisement in a Saturday paper can be used to seek forgiveness. Will the same be available to all others who have taken what is not rightfully theirs and have been convicted? Even
when that theft is because of a gambling or drug addiction, because they got it wrong, or even just because they could. [From The Age, letters]. A reminder of the theory of (genuine) remorse? Often judges considering this feature of the sad person in the dock.
A nonsense. Remorse, 99 from 100, is for self, no less. Also brings to mind detectives in those drama series "He was lying". Without evidence, who can tell if a person is lying?
Theatre Works has been unsuccessful in moving to round 2 of the Australia Council 2021-23 funding process. "In expressing our own disappointment, we want also to highlight our deep concern and regret for other organisations
and groups that will not have the opportunity to be funded. At this time of very tight arts funding it is more important than ever that the arts community work together to support each other and share resources and knowledge." Sad stuff indeed. A federal government
without feeling/appreciation for the benefits of our performing arts. [Ditto our state government's millions into the Regent theatre and Luhrmann's production of Moulin Rouge].
Anthony Hudson calling the Hawthorn Gold Coast Suns game at Marvel stadium. Queried a free kick to the Suns "The crowd agrees" Hey, 99.9% of the crowd were Hawthorn supporters, there for Roughy's last game. And Gary Lyon's comment,
when Richmond hit the front against West Coast. "Thoroughly deserved"? Wankers.
I can convince myself to ignore the greed of bank
shareholders by way of housing mortgages, credit cards and bank fees. I can ignore the impossibility of renters ever affording a deposit for a first home, and the ever widening wealth gap. I can convince myself corruption is an overseas thing, all superannuation
funds are safe, the real crooks in Greece, Thailand, Burma, in fact anywhere other than in Australia. I convince myself capitalism is all about democracy and a fair go. Who am I? No idea, but if you agree with these words I'd be concerned for you.
Happiness: A daily diet of radio 3AW, Café Latte locally, a weekly look at Channel 9's Seachange. Up in East Malvern last
week, 3 cafes, busy busy busy. Outside tables despite the cold, warmed by female's voices chattering away. Swish males in and out, to one assumes, high level decision making? Perhaps the table chatterers pondering on those odd serious times as to why sex is
so simple yet love is so complicated? On the other hand if you happen to be a Short Macchiato type, an even deeper thinker, maybe post on twitter why you voted for Schomo?
An emboldened China? Yes, same as an emboldened USA? An emboldened Israel?...COMEDY? Mount Martha beach box owners asking for government help to preserve the beach; a mini-me version of Tuvalu and the Pacific Islands Forum?...It’s
one thing to think outside the box, another altogether to locate the mythical box...Kind hearts and coronets. Half a billion dollars for Pacific Islands management. Extracted from Scotty's aids budget. A book figure, like the budget...Took a fall recently
putting my pants on, no fractures. I put the question: Why do we men always stand up to put our pants on?...Federation Square surely heads the list of the world's most boring subjects?...Those who celebrate a budget surplus celebrate stupidity...Has anything
trickled down to you yet?...If a totalitarian super power, China, eventually takes control and I'm still here will I be allowed to continue on Facebook?...I ask myself yet another question: How deep is an in-depth interview?....The late great Polly Farmer.
Number 1. Thanks for the memories....Hooroo...www.ello8.com
A Grain of Salt. 12th August. 2019
Three days as an eskimo, confined to igloo. Would not venture out the backdoor, the possibility of a sinkhole? Snow at a football match? Surely the coldest spell in my memory. Heavily into self pity, primarily connected with
the difficulty of access to the RSL smoking area. Watched the ever reliable ABC News and the sadness of the 18 people killed, others missing, villages evacuated after Typhoon Lekima triggered a landslide in eastern China. A sense of balance returned,
a dose of guilt.
"It's not just a loss for me, it's a loss for all of us, and I'm very very very sorry." [Michaela Banerji,
after tweeting criticisms of the government.] Public servants have pleaded for their right to free speech on Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. During my 20 years (1953-73) I was under the impression (despite no social media) it was not allowed, as in
signing a privacy clause. Were there dirty deeds back then? Always. Part of the furniture re. Sales tax office, Tax office, ANZ bank, Caltex Oil, the last three in shady deals with bigger bankruptcies, the sales tax office looking after the big bigwigs.
Corruption discovered, send the file to Canberra; file disappears, forever. Spoken of within, never with the idea of disclosure. Not restricted to the public service areas either. The racing industry? Corruption thrived, as it does today, everyday. I ignored
it. Can't get blood out of a stone, shrines in fact. Work around it, do your best for the everyday sucker, as in most of us. A few beers at the pub, lunchtime, after 5pm. Would I have said my piece if Facebook existed? No! On the other hand, respect for the
courage of whistleblowers.
Bruce Pascoe: "A million fish died in our rivers last summer because billionaires dammed the upper reaches
of several major Australian rivers so they could grow cotton. “What about the fish?” we should have asked our government. “What about the trees? What about the downstream farmers? What about Adelaide?” Government again. Nothing more
to add for now. Maybe wait for a wind change, either by way of Morrison or (what's his name?) Albanese. The Crown Casino business, crooks from both sides of politics worse than white ants. Staying away until something positive happens, if ever? China, Hong
Kong, NDIS, Julian Assange, Nauru/Manus prisoners and Donald Trump. Lost in a Canberra quagmire. People appear to get away with themselves more and more these days, as in an unfounded belief in their own infallibility. Who’s to blame? The infallible
few of course. What does it all mean to us? We are flooded with more infallible experts in opposite directions, with confusion the main conclusion. Will my bank pay me my money on demand, and will Centrelink pay my pension? Yes? Good. Thus, I ignore them.
My excuse? I'm 83.
AFL commentators: Matty Richardson leads the pack for fatuous comments (no offence), a seemingly nice man nevertheless,
closely followed by Tim Watson, also nice enough personality wise. Nick Riewoldt talks sense, the problem being he talks too much, and Paul Roos leans too heavily towards Sydney and Melbourne coupled with his long time bias against Collingwood. The less said
about Dermott Brererton the better; he says enough about himself anyway. [Matthew Richardson is unbeaten for useless comments but Tim Watson threw up a challenge in asking Gold Coast Suns chief Mark Evans: “Can you sum up your season in one word?”].
Finally, we can surely do without Gary Lyon calling a Melbourne Collingwood game? Biassed? No doubt. Nathan Buckley says our season is tracking (?) like 2018. He's dreaming. One finals appearance only, for mine.
Bullies (and schools) are in the news, indeed will always be in the news. Human nature. How to cope with bullies, clearly identifiable at Fawkner Street Central, Northcote High School
and Navy National Service. Stay out of their way, be a part of your own group (the nicer group?) and button your lips. Worked for me. Only challenged the once. A member of our nice group (a gentle young giant) stepped in and made a mess of him. Not to say
I didn't cop a hiding (or two) outside of the group situation - Glaciarium ice skating - fortunately only a few bruises, no kicking back then. Navy national service, group showering, watch the nuggeting, never interfere. The real bullies however, the
one's one couldn't escape from, were the teachers. Grade 3 was Miss Stewart, biggish, tough. Gave me a few whacks on my thigh (short trousers). Mum saw the welt marks at home, marched to the school, no more whacks. [I sort of felt sorry for Miss Stewart. True,
a dreadful bully, but she wasn't to know my mother would give Roberta Williams a run for her money]. Mr Blackie, grade 4, gave me a decent slap across my face in front of the class; saw stars, didn't tell Mum. Mr Rennie, grade 5, would call certain girls (not
the tough ones) to his table, examine their work, touch them up. I had front row viewing; poor Dorothy feinted. Mr Baker, form 2 regularly gave out 8 straps with his leather strap. Mr Potter, form 3, knocked Jack Clues from standing next to his double desk
right into the next row. Mr Stevens wasn't too bad. He simply made me stand in the hallway outside of the closed classroom door for the whole period. History, British. What's to miss? The prefects were to be avoided, obviously. Strolling the grounds with apples
up their backsides. Avoid eye contact. My crimes, generally? A loud voice.
Do we oldies choose to live this way or is it simply
circumstance? In Japan attitudes have changed and remarriage is on the up. It’s one thing to say “I’m set in my ways” but is there a better way? We live longer now. What of companionship, cuddles, kisses, and a more mature vision there
is still a future beyond the past? Change on a personal level is a slow process but it can be for our benefit. I see those older people who attend Thursday night forays at the Rye RSL, old time dancing the night away to those wonderful old tunes. Surely they’re
not all married. Likely some have simply embraced companionship. Should I seek a partner? If a yes, a few of my requests: She must do the cooking and cleaning (I would food shop and wash the dishes). She must agree to my choice of TV shows Fridays through
Sundays (Her choice the rest). She cannot eat apples in my presence and for balance I'll agree only to smoke in my study. Must have more money than me. Must never use my computer.
Jon Faine, mostly classy, occasionally arrogant, has added a touch of comedy as the sun is setting on his radio career. Never a drama (or football) expert but excused because of his obvious other talents, his pearler with Debi
Enker discussing Seachange “Brooke Satchwell stole every scene” went unchallenged? Alongside Kerry Armstrong and Katrina Milosevic? Come on buddy!....I'm not an Amanda Vanstone lover but couldn't help a smile at Greg Hardy's piece in support of
Amanda "Fun at frothing readers" (The Age 6/8) and his honing in on the particular "frothers" from Northcote , Brunswick and Castlemaine. The self righteous ones. Spot on.
Last night I watched the ABC's Sydney farce Les Norton followed by a first look at the upper crust British 1992 classic Howards End. Fascinating, the sameness...Intellectuals I can handle.
No problem. Know your limitations. Directors (stage and screen) not so much, an enigma, almost universally in another world. Intellectual or fairy floss? Words like 'genius, insight, mentor, brilliant' lose me. Apparently it worked for Marilyn Monroe, Strasburg.
Not for me...The country that first domesticated the cat was Egypt. Mickey Mouse’s first words on film were “Hot Dogs”. Shakespeare’s comedies are not really funny, but at least everyone lives happily ever after, or, despite what the
Labour Party thinks “compassion” does not belong just to them...Let's hear it for Steve Smith and Nick Kyrgios...Socialism? "To level and confound the different orders of mankind, is far from producing an equality among them; it is, in truth, the
most unequal thing imaginable." [Pliny]...Hooroo...www.ello8.com
A Grain of Salt. 5th August. 2019
Another 5 week break for parliament. A Winter break? Characters this lot. Would not work in an iron lung? The Ensuring Integrity
Bill, a misuse of integrity surely. Getting rid of John Setka and other union officials who may oppose coalition views? Basically to weaken the power base of all unions, already weakened by (mainly) ignorant young workers being underpaid and not realising
the significance of union membership. I'm surprised they don't apply it to the ABC? Workers rights? Not from this government. "Everyone deserves a workplace free of harassment and bullying" says Frydenburg, tongue in cheek, on another matter. I include
Josh's words because of the rarity of truth. Added to this Integrity Bill we have the real fascination, as to WHY? If they have a John Setka problem (as has Albanese) why not go after the CFMMEU rather than ALL unions, most of which work for the benefit of
their members and in the scheme of things political, harmless, save the odd train strike? Strange indeed. [Literary Award winner Melissa Lacashenko "It fills you with rage to be poor in a rich country and I think that's perfectly legitimate. We need a revolution."].
Not to worry. We have the cricket to calm our nerves. I only barrack for Australia when they play England, only because England (believe it or not) are even more arrogant than the Australians. And Collingwood? Still up there, top 8. Little fish are sweet.
Are you a snob? Of course you're a snob. You can't help being a snob. Everyone's a snob. Far more prevalent than racism. I (and no doubt you,
if you think about it) can smell it, everywhere I go. Kindly do not tell me how good you are, allow me to discover your talents, even if, (being a female) hidden? You just have to temper it. Indeed, you temper it a dozen times a week assuming you spend a reasonable
time in company. Being a regular RSL visitor I place them, a hidden list. A list, B, C list. I permanently ignore the A's, reasonably nice with the B's, depending, and by and large enjoy the company of the C's. Football is almost always a safe bet for conversation.
Politics, religion, the weather. Historical can be enlightening, but careful not to get carried away with past (so called?) achievements. The person you're talking to could well be an ASIO spy? Food obviously, and powerball. You see my point? A plethora of
subjects worthy of discussion and assuming we all make a note of it we can chat away for evermore without the need for you to tell me how bloody clever you are? Am I overstating it? Probably. I put this down to all those years listening to bloody actors. Sometimes
a swear word is a required addition. One further comment; actors: The type who ask you how they went, theatre, film, television. I put a stop to that one years ago. Simple. Tell the truth. Well, you're truth at least.
Pondering? The Australian Taxation Office’s take on beer will rise again today, up 21 cents a litre on draught and 30 cents a litre for stubbies, cans and longnecks. Australians
are paying a greater proportion of their income in beer taxes than any other developed nation. And not only beer re cigarettes, the highest the world over. The percentages of people over 65 living in relative poverty in Australia also leading the world (OECD
countries) at 35%, USA 21% and the UK 13.4%, down to France at 3.8%. Ruled by politicians calling on "concern for our heath" as a reason, rather than crooks feathering their own nests with protective superannuation schemes, pay and allowances increases, way
beyond our norms. For the fourth consecutive quarter, retail volumes per capita fell and are now 1.4 per cent lower than a year ago suggesting only population growth is keeping the broader retail sector afloat. At last count (2014/2015) one in seven (14%)
Australians aged 15 years and over smoked daily, with an additional 2% smoking irregularly. This represents 2.5 million Australians who smoke daily, with more than 200,000 smoking irregularly. Even if there's been a drop it's safe to say some 2 million Australians
love a cigarette. At $1.25 a smoke. No wonder people are spending less on food, moire included. The single most important political achievement over the past 40 years has been convincing ‘‘Howard’s Battlers’’ that they themselves
are the ‘‘aspirational voters’’ who will benefit from policies that are clearly aimed at upper-income earners and, in doing so, convincing these people to vote against their own interests. An anyway decent policy on climate change (either
party) would be a whiff of fresh air. We can only hope.
The cost of rebuilding the once wonderful Regent theatre and the (hidden)
cost of staging Baz Luhrmann's production of Moulin Rouge? Tourism for businesses, forgetting those millions for jobs, creativity in Arts across the board. Yes, I'm aware of Daniel Andrew's arguments for investing our money. I'm also aware of the alternate
view of investing this money in Arts companies across Victoria. A wasted opportunity for the common people in favour of the elitists? Possibly overstating it, by a small margin?
Peter Dutton: Oversight - the Australian Border Force, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, the Australian Transaction Reports and
Analysis Centre and the Office of Transport Security. Senator Keneally claimed the department had wasted taxpayer money by spending over $450,000 on corporate hospitality, $100,000 on executive office upgrades, $132,000 on motivational speakers and $9 million
on a contract with Toll Holdings for accommodation on Manus Island even though the project was abandoned. Senator Keneally also cited an audit office finding in January this year that concluded the department’s Biometric Identification Services Project
was “deficient in almost every respect” despite a cost of $34 million. Good old Peter. Hoping he enjoys his Winter break.
MP Ged Kearney, a former nurse and ACTU president, is seeking a meeting with Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie to plead for her to block the government’s Ensuring Integrity Bill, which will make it easier to disqualify union officials and deregister unions.‘‘No
matter what your view is of an individual in the movement, the union movement is greater than one person,’’ Ms Kearney said. ‘‘I don’t think you should sacrifice the whole union movement.’’ The government only needs
Ms Lambie’s vote to get the bill through the Senate, after using its majority in the House of Representatives to pass it there on Wednesday. Which way will Jacqui ("I've had a gutful") vote? Depends on her gut. The danger of Jacqui enjoying her own publicity?
Super elitist Mitch Fifield? Documents released under freedom of information legislation show that in February 2017, the government rejected
singer, writer and director Robyn Archer, former managing director of SBS Shaun Brown, and Sandra Levy, former chief executive of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School. They were on a list of eight names recommended by an independent nomination
panel after an extensive application and vetting process. The then communications minister, Mitch Fifield, instead appointed the chair of the Minerals Council of Australia, Vanessa Guthrie. Guthrie had no media experience. May he enjoy his role as Australia's
Ambassador to the United Nations.
Donald (trousers) Trump: He reduced taxes for the wealthy, he appointed conservatives to the Supreme
Court, he’s boosted military spending, he pulled out of the Paris climate accord and the Iran nuclear treaty, and he moved the United States embassy to Jerusalem...Not to worry boys and girls. We have the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
(ACLEI) to keep tabs (on our behalf/safety) on the performance of the federal police, customs officials and other federal law enforcement bodies, but NOT ministers or politicians...A joint parliamentary committee recommends an increase in Newstart. “Not
interested in ‘Unfunded empathy’” says Scotty. Read it and weep....Dreamland - An independent, broad-based, federal anti-corruption watchdog?....Police overseeing police on corruption? They're kidding?...Interviewed by Leigh Sales, a far
cry from Kerry O'Brien - George Calombaris "It wasn't deliberate, it wasn't intentional". Sounds like a Peter Dutton kind of truth? Okay for employers to make an honest (?) blue, more important to hang John Setka, who attacks wage theft?...It seems every
time I turn the television on somebody's saying It is what it is? What happened to Such is life?...Barnaby Joyce, tough going on 200 G's per annum, voted against penalty rates?...Questioning the number of injuries at magpieland. On and on.
Other than the luck factor it's the game dingbats, the Physicality. Similarly, questioning coaches (wins and losses) who haven't the players anyway?...Liberal proposal to scale back low income workers superannuation, more income, more tax payable?...Swimmer
Sharna Jack can't believe how the positive B sample got there, as in her system. Fair enough, she's an Aussie..."How good is the nexus between gambling, crime, foreign interference and Australian politics?" [Peter Hartcher]....Smile! It's near enough to certain
you're on candid camera. hooroo...www.ello8.com
🙂A Grain of Salt. 29th July. 2019
From that famous ABC independent film Man and Boy written and directed by the talented (late) John Clarke "God it's cold.
Are you cold? I've never been so cold in all me bloody life!" I put on The Rolling Stones, warm up the blood, assuming I still have some; blood that is. You can’t
always get what you want. Sex, money? A high roller at Crown Casino and they come together, apparently; Asian sex workers have been flown into Australia on private jets. Nah. Too much like hard work. I'd be spent after the limousine trip from Rye. Maybe
better health?The cold cold weather, arriving unannounced Monday June 2nd and has not let up since. Better weather can't arrive quick enough. The human enigma, as in coping, another month. And a day at a time. Brrr.
"Without taking into account all the recommendations from the joint parliamentary security committee, including there be some judicial oversight". 18 recommendations. The government
on national security. Dutton’s personal attack on Labor’s Mark Dreyfus. ‘Our’ security says Peter, the meaning of ‘our’? Everything Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton has proposed the past 6 years has been about increasing
HIS power. Nothing to do with democracy, the greater good, likely meaning his own Liberal Party good, pity the poor in the process. One extremely dangerous politician. Can Peter be challenged? Doubtful at best, particularly with the dickhead non-aligned voters
at such a high level, many devotees of 3AW, Herald Sun, others, subject to brainwashing, ready to accept a banana is an orange - if Peter Dutton says so. Cartoonists of late having a ball with the suggestion of our PM under the thumb of Sir Peter. Better late
than never? The psychology of power, being the leader of a somewhat exclusive group for those 6 long years, a self belief in lying (or in saying naught) for the safety (security) of his country. It could be a good thing if we were given an insight to the reasons,
but to tell us nothing implies a form of corruption. Everyone spies on everyone (countries) but we the people are left in the dark. We even enter into the idea of selling arms to other countries? For a while there with Gorbachev things were looking better,
peace, humanity sort of thing, sadly not for long. Terrorism to the fore, an upgrading of the nuclear weapons threat, China's emergence, the Israelis, amounting to the increased reality of stupidity, and the possibility (faint, hopefully) of another war involvement.
Nostradamus, (George Orwell) was on the money. The Australian Signals Directorate and access to Australian companies, (and us?). The push
for new powers from Home Affairs via Mike Pezzullo, via minister Peter Dutton, serious criminal activity and cyber attacks (and us?). The possibility (certainty?) of a frightening level of surveillance. Strict protection from personal data, strenuous accountability,
openness, all guaranteed? Nonsense of course, but nothing we can do about it. Get used to it. [Orsom Welles, one of my few heroes, apparently met Hitler once. Said he had no personality, invisible in fact, sort of anyway, early days one assumes]. [ACT Policing
has admitted unlawfully accessing citizens’ metadata 3,365 times, not 116 as previously admitted.]. And so it goes. Moving on...
reality: I turn the heating off at lights out, around midnight, a light beanie covering baldness. Around 4.50am I awake, a warm beautiful slumber, dreamland, beanie temporarily mislaid. I consider my options. Search in the dark, extruded right hand, no beanie?
If I can quickly get up, turn the heating on (18) a glass of water, another 2 hours sleep. Reach for the phone, turn on the wonderful invention (the phone torch) locate said beanie. Alas, this decision has taken 20 minutes. A strong message from my brain,
a need to pee, now. Bugger. The chance of a return to the comfort zone severely reduced. One in ten at best. Ho hum, 6am, up and at 'em, Read The Age, online, once a great newspaper, now a rag. Turn on Triple R 102.7FM. Sleep, catch up early afternoon,
the nap. Old age.
Gambling, for the most part, all forms, can best be described as excessive. Whether they win or lose (for now)
those winnings are not fortune’s gift, they are baits, often a pathway to poverty, beggary, stripped penniless, and in want. Many, on a winning run, generous to a fault. Alas, a losing streak and subject to (often) severe mood changes, and the blame
game, rarely themselves, the bathroom mirror ignored. No judgement call, merely a comment. They row their own boats. A bit of fun they tell me. A mere $20, a day? Every day or most days? Maybe one day, a week? The big one, the impossible one, beckons, ever
a dream - powerball? Awaiting the lucky run, around that invisible corner. We all ever count our own desires as right?
quiet here on our once fabulous cold Mornington Peninsula. Our Prime Minister (bless him) has apparently instructed his followers to button their lips, obviously not including Peter Dutton. Small shovels of earth to mark the start of the new Rosebud Aquatic
Centre, destined to bloom after my demise. We excitedly await news from our own Greg Hunt, including a study of the ageing process at Monash University's existing campus at Frankston. Wow! Those pre-election promises. Stupidly sent his colour brochures to
the WPB, assuming a Labor victory. Now I cannot recall his glorious set of promises. Old age.
Credit where it's due, even
from The Greens? Larissa Waters “We have three million Australians that are living in poverty, below the poverty line, on Newstart. You want economic stimulus? Even if you don’t
care about the human face of these people — and it’s pretty clear you haven’t so far — you want economic stimulus? Lift Newstart. These people are desperate to spend that money because they don’t actually have enough money to
meet their basic needs. This is real people that we’re talking about. I am very embarrassed by the agenda of this government. I think it brings the entire institution into disrepute when we see massive tax cuts handed out to wealthy people, massive corporate
tax cuts, favours done for big donors, and ordinary Australians and the environment on which we all rely utterly neglected, and derided, and degraded. The cheek of you. Have some dignity, have some compassion, and please reflect on what your role is in this
place.” Spot on sweet Larissa.
Kids are very good at inventing themselves. In some (many?) ways it can grow into an occupation.
If nobody invents you for yourself, nothing is left but to invent yourself for others, as we do. Hopefully. Communism, an ideology of power at the expense of some 95% of the rest. A con, the one plus (seemingly) a form of artistic enthusiasm, restricted writers
nevertheless. Hitler's fascism similar, with little choice (underground at best) on the rest; either you're with us or against us. I skipped the Adam Goodes documentary. Fair enough the man has had his say, a few times, (assuming it is his say and not further
encouragement from the documentary maker and the media), but I see it as hardening racism in some, and encouraging others to think of themselves as educated people, suddenly? The famous "Do Gooders" increase their numbers. I wonder if they're non smokers?
Time to move on?
Privatise Medicare? Go jump in a shallow lake...ABC's Mad as Hell, Four Corners. Beacons in a starving landscape
of truth, re ABC cuts...A cap on franking credit refunds to double the old age pension? Save millions?...Aussie swimmer Mack Horton's refusal to stand on the podium. Silly boy; surely better ways to express your views. Obviously Mack doesn't follow Australia
in the cricket...And the once mighty magpies? A slight slump, hopefully, albeit no Jordan De Goey next week, but the good news; assured of at least one finals appearance. Better than a kick up the backside..."A true artist should put a generous deceit on the
spectators, and effect the noblest designs by easy methods" [Burke]...Two pullovers, hooroo...www.ello8.com
🤪A Grain of Salt. 22nd July. 2019
"The cart is shaken all to pieces,
and the rugged road is very near its end." [Dickens]. True enough on yet another Monday, particularly today being World Brain Day. Indeed my brain is leading in the selfish cause of my future. I gather it's connected with migraine headaches, sort of appropriate
in the woes of my Collingwood football team, yet again "bashed up" on the weekend. More pain certain to follow compliments of Richmond, premiers 2017 and hot premiership favourites almost all of 2018 until beaten by Collingwood in last year's 1st preliminary
final. Revenge is sweet, Richmond sweating on a Collingwood loss. The (mysterious) Helpmann Awards have been run and won, a confusing voting system at best, a type of upmarket Logies, with Kev Carmody (who wrote 'From Little Things big things Grow")
copping the JC Williamson Award for lifetime achievement. No doubt Kev is a champion bloke like his mate Paul Kelly but (with no sarcasm intended) I know little of either of them, my musical appreciation sort of dropping out around the time of the release
of Peter Dutton's theme song by The Police - "Every breath you Take". Showing my age no doubt, obvious enough. I'm a Tuba Skinny man, traditional jazz, from New Orleans.
I generally wake up Monday mornings wondering (the warmth of the cot, to get out of bed or not, the why) eventually deciding on my raison d'etre, my reason for being. To "say a few words" no matter what. This blog. It's also
national pain week, reading something the other day, manifestations of mental illness, can't recall where, likely some psychologist. All feeding into the everlasting intricacies of the blame game, including the 'sitting in judgement' game. According to Jon
Faine, to disappear from our airwaves come October. Maybe change my morning listening to 1116 SEN? No chance. Owned by Craig Hutchison, a pain at best. Thankfully not on Footy Classified lately but unthankfully replaced by another weirdo in Damian
Barrett. Still, Faine can likewise be a pain, but a degree of class. Virginia trioli? Einstein: "The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of
eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day." Fair enough Albert. Saw The Dish Saturday night, Working Dog crowd, classy, replacing the football replay
against GWS. Beautiful film. Better than valium. This week in Canberra, where it's not a case of who cannot be trusted in our coalition cabinet, more a case of who can, maybe consider whether or not Christopher Pyne and/or Julie Bishop breached parliamentary
standards; no chance, no standards anyway. An increase in Newstart, already indexed twice a year, like the cost of cigarettes? Again no chance, sprouting no doubt on the coalition policies of creating more than 1.3 million jobs the past year. Where?
When? Peter Dutton's showdown over temporary exclusion orders, which would enable him to prevent Australian foreign fighters from returning home for up to two years. Surely our responsibility. Labor to consider (?) as well as the future drought fund bill,
$3.9 billion, dangerously perhaps to become a “slush fund”. Morrison, as always, to turn it into a political anti-Labor issue. Whatever, also no chance of Scotty contradicting Peerless Peter. Scotty plain scared of Peter's intellectual prowess?
And yet again I'm a monkey's uncle. Albo (you remember Albo?) will back “any number” the government saw fit to attach to drought funding – as long as it could guarantee the money would not be taken from other funding pools. Sounds good, but
an unlikely super loose guarantee. Industry Minister Karen Andrews on the cladding disaster "The commonwealth is not an ATM for the states" [Not counting the drought fund, high income earners, self funded retirees, the mining giants and obviously the French
submarine manufacturers?] On the other hand the Newstart allowance at $275 a week is not enough to live on, pure and simple. Sadly however, it encourages hundreds of younger people to sit on their backsides looking for nothing less than a job which suits them;
a form of bludging. A need to harden up this welfare system where those who really need it (people in their 40's 50's etc sacked and unable to find work) can have a respectable amount (at least an increase in the vicinity of $100 extra) to tide them over.
A system to weed out the backside sitters and using the saved monies to pay for the real needed increase? Again no chance in the short term. One wonders (again) if those voters who voted against Billy Shorten knew what they were voting for.
Euthanasia, in Victoria. Laws so restricted with the certainty of severe pain and death within 12 months and supported by at least two
medicos. Fair enough, a start at least, if little else, but not accounting for those (of us?) in late 80's, 90's unable to perform almost all tasks, eyesight and others ills, many with an active brain but little else, no lifelong friends, all gone to God,
sort of being there, waiting for Godot, or God knows who. One suspects in such cases the opportunity to make their farewells in style, albeit a lesser form of style, with family if any to say goodbye, a fantasy of being present at one's own wake. No, not me,
yet. While the sun is shining outside (apparently) and I can walk, slowly, 800 steps, happiness prevails. Let's be realistic. Collingwood play The Gold Coast Suns at the MCG in a fortnight. A certain win. That's 12, enough for one finals appearance.
I'll tape it as a positive victory, to watch in the interim, to the beginning of season 2020? Ever onwards?
More action (rumblings?)
on LGBTI rather than the necessity of climate change?...The last time an Australian Prime Minister (Mister Howard) was invited to dinner at the White House many Australians lost their lives...Pauline Hanson on the all white Channel 9 panel to discuss the Uluru
climbing ban. For the life of me, I cannot understand why people get some satisfaction with knowing they walked to the top of Uluru?...One has to feel for the Hong Kong protesters. In the long run, they have no chance...A lifetime as a social democrat voting
Labor, is it time to support The Greens? Stick with Albanese?...Pasteur "Chance favours only the prepared mind". My mind is presently prepared - for lunch, hooroo...www.ello8.com
🤪A Grain of Salt. 15th July. 2019
"Monday Monday, so good to me". At least it stopped raining, likely temporarily. Sunshine even, albeit 11 bloody degrees. A weekend locked in by constant rain, biting antarctic
winds and an effective temperature around 6 degrees. Saved from total gloom by Collingwood's one point victory over West Coast Friday evening. Watched the replay 3 times. Jordan De Goey! Had to budget my cigarettes to wait for an opportunity to drive the long
road (2 kilometres) to Woolworths. It gets harder after you pass 80. Everything takes longer. I once walked, now I shuffle, slowly. Various minor (hopefully) problems with the territory, likely more to come. There was a time when I could write 1200 words (a
blog) in 2 hours. Now it can take 3 or more days. The thoughts remain but not so the effort. They're all crooks anyway. Well, almost all; politicians that is. A shower, shave and washing and other than lunch the day almost done. Time for a pot, or two? Watched
almost all of the world cup cricket, why waste time sleeping? Strange rules. Both scored the same runs, England all out, New Zealand 8 wickets down, yet they lost? And so it goes. Complaining, no. Who would listen? Ever onwards yes, but ever slowly, very.
I'd keep at it (now). I bought a pack of 50. Holiday gold @ $59.95. Hang the expense? Alas, time for my nap - and so on..
of Kathy Brier ('There'll be some changes Made') from the outstanding television series Boardwalk Empire or Matt Berninger ('I'll see you in my Dreams') from the same show. We need something to happen. The Canberra crooks sat for a mere 4 days,
now off again for a fortnight. Doing what? Watching the ABC's Insiders? Annabel Crabb? No. Pleasant enough, like a book club hostess, but a far cry from Barrie Cassidy. We are left with our very own Billy Graham, otherwise known as Scott Morrison,
or as I like to call him SS, as in Seldom Seen, or is it the German SS? Sadly the Liberal Party now fully realise what I've been saying for years. The majority of voters are dickheads. Honest? Yes, up to a point, and well meaning, but dickheads nevertheless,
and as a consequence - open slather. On Unions obviously, (The Integrity Bill to Parliament to toughen penalties against registered organisations and officials who regularly break the law, but also to signal a wider look at industrial law?), security half
way to big brother status, relentless corruption (Murray-darling etc). in our faces the continuous stream of lies (Frydenburgh, Cormann, Dutton - neoliberalism personified), the small matter (?) of who will suffer because of the tax cuts. Answer: most of us.
Time to listen to Kathy again, soothe the brain, but first, introducing Brad Chilcott..
The Guardian, Brad Chilcott: "The relentless attacks on human rights commissioners
Gillian Triggs and Tim Soutphommasane for telling inconvenient truths; the introduction of laws to limit unions’ ability to advocate for better wages and more secure jobs; raids on journalists; cuts to environmental research funding; political pressure
exerted on the ABC accompanied by debilitating cuts; attempts to destroy and demonise GetUp, the noisy Australians’ advocacy group of choice; attacking whistleblowers such as Save the Children; the consistent attempts to further pressure charities into
political silence – none of these happen in isolation. The pattern is clear – no one in Australia should suggest that a better future is possible, and that it may be achieved through a democratic process informed by truth-telling and measurable
facts. Our government do love quiet Australians – and they’ll go to any lengths to keep us that way." Good stuff. I do not intend to keep quiet, but in all honesty, nobody listens to people over 80. More to the point (I suppose) I'm more than willing
to listen to the solid reasons those non rusted on voters went for the coalition because they didn't trust Billy Shorten?
The deeming (3.25%) rate does not apply to (ever so humble)
moire, indeed to the vast majority of we pensioners; only applies to pensioners (single) with investments over $52,000, married $85,000, and only to those amounts over the $52,000 or $85,000. For amounts under those levels, 1.75%. As against, shopping
around at (say) 2.4%. Small potatoes, no big deal. Cost them $600 million (peanuts?) and with it the grand generosity announcement via the commercial channels and Murdoch's newspaper prostitutes. Newstart? No chance, like the prisoners on Nauru, Manus, to
Why pick on the St Kilda coach? We all know they haven't got enough good players, no matter who coaches them. The Gold Coast Suns and to a lesser extent Greater
Western Sydney do not have the tradition, never will have until one of them wins a premiership. The idea of putting a team in la la land (the Gold Coast) was, still is, ridiculous. What supporter base? Liberal party voting retirees? Pumping either side
up with draft picks etc does not make a soul. Had they included Tasmania 10 years ago they would have been a real team by now, soul included. Yes I know, it's all about money. Just saying. [The vagaries of AFL tipping. The previous 2 weeks against North and
Hawthorn I tipped against Collingwood after every Age tipster went for Collingwood. This week they all tipped West Coast apart from Bob Murphy who tipped Collingwood by 1 point. I went with Bob.] Got 7 from 9. Now coming around the 2000th mark from some 6,500
Trickle down economics began with Ronald Reagan (Kings Row). The rich hoarded and the promised trickle became a slight dribble. Never worked, never will, ditto the certainty
of the coalition claims...Serena Williams abused an umpire. Ahh, but that's different?...Gerard Whateley and Kevin Bartlett? Never mind Kevvy, Gerard rules, but a great innings...Skyrail theft, Murray-Darling theft, not to worry, our PM is praying....A new
book out "Turned On" about science sex and robots; it's all happening, never too late?...Barely a thousand words. Running out of puff. "Thou has laid his hand, Upon my heart, gently, not smiting it, But as a harper lays his open palm, Upon his harp, to deaden
its vibrations" [ Longfellow]...Hooroo...www.ello8.com
of Salt. JULY. 2019
Getting more and more difficult to write a blog. Old age, numbskulls? Is there a point? Haha. Very funny. There's never a point, that's the point. All about keeping busy. I once spent time reading
The Age. Alas, mostly lookalike Sir Rupert's lot. I listened to a Clinical psychologist and Mindfulness expert on the wireless, ABC 774. It occurred to me the general use of the word 'clinical' (in a tsunami of occupations) giving it a sense of oomph;
the quality of being exciting, energetic, or sexually attractive. Why not simply psychologist? Too easy? As for 'Mindfulness expert' I give up. He said I need a context for myself? [The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea,
and in terms of which it can be fully understood.] Maybe I'll get some cards printed? Cheap. $8. Still got about 100 from the last 200 I got 15 years ago where I had my name, address etc and the wording "Man about Town". Change to Cliff Ellen - "Mindfulness
expert". Or Mindfulness Clinical Expert? Has a ring to it. If nothing else it gives me a sense of balance. In a world of nonsense coming our way via our Treasurer and religious Prime Minister we realise they are not alone. Numbskulls Clinically United? Then
there's (yet again) the new proposed Rosebud Aquatic Centre, to include a Wellness Centre (or as I like to call it Gamblers' Anonymous) hopefully up and running before I reach the century. Not sure how long before I get the final call but hoping to see either
the pool or those new submarines before departure?..Mindfulness, Clinical, Wellness, Collingwood. My head is spinning. Onwards?
glaring problem with these generous tax cuts, which Labor waved through, particularly stage 3 (if it ever comes to pass, 2024-25) is whether or not this silver lining affects the meat and vegetables of our day to day life, namely health, social welfare and
education? According to the Grattan Institute cuts in the vicinity of $40 billion a year will be required to finance this 3rd stage necessity, or more simply the rich getting richer.
During those weeks leading to election 2019 our PM and Peter Dutton harped on about the danger of Bill Shorten as Prime Minister. No mention of the real danger of these two loose with the truth types running
the country, in the name of God almighty (hidden supposedly, but easily discernible if one looks closer). More grants to the commercial television channels more cuts to the ABC, Union bashing. Up against Anthony Albanese; Albo who? I was a Bill Shorten man.
Not the perfect choice by any means but best of an ordinary lot from Labor and sensible policies (capital gains, negative gearing ) albeit too many others. I prefer (search for?) the individualist, along Whitlam, Hawke and Keating lines. Bunnies falling in
line is not what inspires me, the new tax package a perfect example. Well and good to rule by compromise but always leading is the key to inspiration, and courage, sadly lacking to date. Lah de Dah.
Splitting stage 3 of the tax pack opens up 3 years of criticism from the coalition, blamed for preventing about 10 million workers receiving a tax offset as soon as possible, simply because it objected to
one part rather than the entirety of the policy. Stage 3, a flat tax, represents economic vandalism, but we expect that from Morrison's lot, assuming we get to the stage in 2024-25, after the next election. Be nicer still if SchoMo told us where he would cut
costs to finance it; no chance. Whatever, it has to be paid for, and at this stage a case of waiting and hoping we are not the bunnies, again. Inequality and financial instability are increasing every day, and likely to maintain this path for the next 3 years.
Waleed Aly "Labor’s shortcoming has been one of narrative; of a clear summary of what its purpose is. It got somewhere in the last term with its emphasis on “fairness”, but the sheer preponderance of big-ticket items made this convoluted.
Throughout the campaign Labor moved from topic to topic, rather than hammering a single message in the way Morrison did. If Labor’s suddenly for increasing the relative burden on the less wealthy (Stage 3 tax cuts) and relieving it on the top 20 per
cent, exactly what story is it trying to tell us now?" Exactly. Waleed's a star. I saw Albo's vote for the complete tax package as gutless despite his seemingly sensible approach. Either way they attack. That's how they operate. Far better to maintain your
principles, but that's just me. The Greens as expected voted against it. Well done. Albanese says John Setka must go. If he doesn't get his way they open up more criticism. Again, Morrison is taking it further, as a lever against all Unions. Far from a promising
beginning for Albo as opposition leader. All very depressing at this early stage. Best to wait and see, a calmness approach, a hope for some blood in Labor's veins, before it's too late.
The Logies have been run and won. Fortunately I caught Kerry O'Brien's Hall of Fame speech (recorded; fast forward) which saved the day, or the long long night, adding a touch of real class against
a list of other awards, most of which I'd never heard of. Tom Gleeson of course (Hard Quiz) and Micallef's Mad as Hell. Tom's acceptance speech for the gold a nice balance between honesty and appreciation, albeit a shade unpopular with the
(yuk!) true believers; starlets, fame chasers? On a winner by appealing to all who cannot stand The Logies, myself included. The 'most popular' awards has had its day: Luke McGregor, Mystery Road, Gogglebox Australia, Have You Been Paying Attention??? The
real awards, as always with a mysterious voting system. Acting Scott Ryan, Jenna Coleman; who? Till next year? As for Tom's new found fame. Where to from here?
As I see it the answer is staring us in the face. Any football going through the goalposts by foot (as in kicking) is a goal, regardless of the football touching the goalpost, as in soccer. If the ball is touched off the boot
and interpreted that way by either the field umpire or goal umpire it's a point. No reviews. If unsure, it's a goal.
this include actions in Iran on behalf of President Trump?...So many people I know use Uber, near enough to a fashion statement. Used them twice myself (when others paid) but somehow I don't trust them. If necessary, taxis for me, always..Mathias Cormann tells
us religious freedom is 'a pressing issue' putting himself right up there on an equal footing with the other master of fairy tales in Canberra; Peter Dutton, I've yet to meet anyone who takes Mathias Cormann at his word...I prefer watching a Nick Kyrgios
match before an Ash Barty match, no offence intended....I was heavily criticised for questioning the transfer of Dayne Beams for two first round draft picks; all gone quiet now...To be sympathetic towards what we see happening to Palestinians by Israelis is
not to be assumed as anti-semitic...Lots of reasons why Collingwood lost; no mention of Nathan being outcoached?...."Every breath you take, every move you make" The Police. Peter Dutton's theme song..."What millions died that Caesar might be great" [Campbell]...Hooroo...www.ello8.com
💔A Grain of Salt. July 1st. 2019
Israel Folau, no doubt a champion sportsperson, one of many who make the connection as to their ability
in one area giving them a right to let us know their thinking in an unconnected area. It rarely works, though on rare occasions it works for the odd football commentator. Good luck to the boy, but really, so what? "Hell and damnation for homosexuals, atheists,
thieves and adulterers" suggesting heaven will in fact be a ghost (no pun intended) city? By what right does Israel think, as is implied, he is better than a practicing homosexual person? Heterosexual types by and large think this makes them better, superior
even. Why? What's their secret? Yassmin Abdel-Magied - Eric Abetz, defending Israel Folau and demanding new religious protection laws, brought to mind another "free speech/employment contract" controversy in which Abetz played a leading role. When Yassmin
posted on her personal facebook page the innocuous comment, "Lest We Forget the Refugees," it was Abetz who bayed the loudest for her to be sacked from the ABC, eventually hounded out of the country by a chorus of vented spleen from the right wing radio shock
jocks and Murdoch Media spruikers, the same ones who are so ardently supporting Israel Folau. Hypocrites. On a personal basis Israel can let fly, just another case of a champion sportsperson assuming his status connects with the status of his brain. If there
be such a place as hell and damnation say hello to me when you get there.
There's a house up the road, seemingly unoccupied for months,
with two guard dogs in the backyard. Every time I walk by (well, shuffle really) they bark, in a ferocious manner, bashing the side gate, seemingly to attack, moire? One of a few other houses, also unoccupied, eventually remodelled into expensive affairs by
private builders from Melbourne. Drug money, rich investors, who knows? As I shuffle by, and pray they don't escape, I can't help drawing the connection with these guard dogs and our friendly coalition government, the difference (obviously) is we, as in "us"
opened our gate, in a sense the same gate, on the 18th of May, 2019, another three long years. [No need to name the human dogs. PS: It suddenly occurs to me; who feeds the dogs?].
AND SO ON...Mr Morrison will declare that Australia will not be a ‘‘passive bystander’’ if China and the US cannot resolve their dispute in peace. Mr Morrison has previously said renewed sanctions against
Iran remain on the table if it continues to destabilise its region. Good man, but check with Donald Trump before doing anything drastic...Prince Peter Dutton ‘‘He offered me the deputy leader position. I said to him that this wasn’t credible.
And it wasn’t his to gift, either.’’ Turnbull says there was no such offer. After the outright lies Peter Dutton expressed on the prostitutes etc (medevac) I know who I believe....."Scott Morrison has backed Donald Trump’s harder line
against Iran in an escalating dispute over its nuclear program, and he did not rule out military assistance from Australia". In leaving aside his announced problems (via his best mate Peter Dutton) re: African gangs and medevac transfers, one wonders,
if a war escalates, does Scotty intend to send himself?
Letters, 24/6. "I am not the only person living in rural/regional Australia who
depends on Foxtel to receive ABC and its quality news and entertainment. ‘‘Live’’, free-to-air TV on all channels is badly pixelated here. iView, and streaming on a seriously overloaded wireless NBN, is a joke." Cough up the $400 million
ABC. We Foxtel oldies rely on it, particularly the remote control, to tape, and fast forward the chemist warehouse commercials.
not going anywhere" said the young lady (they're all young in my eyes) alongside me in the dedicated smoking area of the Rye RSL. "Yes, I feel the same" said her attractive friend. Amazing. Two healthy young ladies, middle 30's 40's sitting there
crying in their shiraz, the (apparent?) need to meet a nice man for dinner and a dance. I was tempted to comment "You won't find them here darlings" but I bit what's left of my shrivelled lips.
The Age letters: "The plight of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. They now feel completely without hope, with the cruelty of the Coalition government given full rein. They have suffered enough;
rather, they have suffered far too much. We, Australians, have broken many of these refugees in the name of deterrence. They are our responsibility. We are condemned by UNHCR for our actions. Refugees must be given justice, received with compassion." Ditto.
Can you spot the difference between The Age newspaper since Channel 9 moved into the partnership? Should I bother here to explain
the subtle moves to the right? No, waste of time. Brainwashed. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
"All alone am I ever since
your goodbye. All alone with just a beat of my heart". How good is the fantasy life? No doubt connected with age (and realistically an impossibility) but it sneaks into my current lifestyle sometimes, particularly if watching a decent drama. Maybe I'm unhappy
with the character's interpretation. I imagine how I'd play it. Maybe say the line out loud. Perhaps spend 10 minutes (or more?) imagining myself playing the character? Playing it better? I can always wind the show back to where I lost the thread. True, it's
far from the real box and dice, but in my circumstances better than a rag doll. Almost (but not quite) a necessity to blot out the tragedy of another Collingwood bad year, evidenced by a thrashing, courtesy of the North Melbourne football team, and likely
more to come. Maybe switch my allegiance to Geelong? Fantasy sex? No, certain things have their limits.
John Setka was fined $1000
and must attend a behavioural change course. Better to have doubled the fine @ $2000 and forget the behavioural change comedy course nonsense...Take your pick? If they don't lock them up they all scream 'fowl'. If they do, they worry about the increased numbers
in the corrections system?...Apparently thousands of people love The Logies. Strange indeed. For the past umpteen years I've regarded them as rubbish; IE embarrassing...Why the Unions (thugs?) and not the banks?...Should I set up a GoFundMe page to finance
my cigarettes addiction?...If I repeat this life, as suggested by Nietzsche, here's hoping I stock up on cigarettes before Kevin Rudd is elected...If you're interested in my opinions on the next British Prime Minister, or royalty in general, or the truth of
announcements by Donald Trump, or basketball, or woman rights, do not bother me. I have none...Bomber Thompson, great coach, so insightful, so very sad..."He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. One by one, they all left the temple"...
Another year of football misery. Epiphany! World Cup cricket?...Hooroo...www.ello8.com
🤪A Grain of Salt. LATE JUNE. 2019
The Liberal party fascination with the so called left wing ideology? The liberals sprout this nonsenses as a reason, paper thin logic hiding their dream of
abolishing our ABC, or at the very least transforming it into 'their' ABC. The nightmare of the ABC as a Sky News offset, allowing for the expectation of our Prime Minister's attack on the IR reform (Unions), a further three years of the slow death of our
refugees, and our Home Affairs minister's never-ending headbutt with lies presented as truths. Intriguing. I don’t see (hear, this ideology?) on 774, or the ABC’s The Drum, Q&A, 7.30 or Insiders. I see straight down the line fairness by commentators and a balance of guests between both sides (and sometimes left field others) of the political spectrum. When I read The Australian or the Herald-Sun, or listen to 3AW, or watch Sky News I see and hear a right wing ideology, often far right, often off the planet ratbag rights, so indoctrinated by the constance of
their right wing views, anything delivered with a sense of balance is seen, wrongly I respectively submit, as the mirage of this left wing ideology bias. They hear footsteps. Why? God knows, they've got all our money, and more ABC cuts via Morrison, also the
dickhead voter content who believe an apple is an orange, unless it's to do with some sort of power play to clear the decks forever, in their favour, albeit against the wishes of we the unwashed? I'm buggered if I know. They rave on about a mandate, knowing
almost half of the voting public voted against them, and half of the other half don't have a clue what 'mandate' means, more likely voting against Shorten as a primary reason. I wonder if they read? Kurt Vonnegut? The old philosophy at play; the more you get
the more you want? I have never run across them in real life. Well, I have, up to a point, but other than shoving the usual brainwashed points of view in my face (including how they clever they have risen to a sense of importance in their eyes) they rarely
give me a chance to present an alternative. True, I give it a go, but the bottom line seems to rear its ugly head. A brick wall is a brick wall? Such is life?
present another fascination. A majority of dickheads, or easily led, dating back to Joh Bjelke Peterson? Maybe the weather, not unlike similar voters in the Northern Territory. Then again WA voters? We were lucky here in Victoria, consistently cleansed of
many of our dickhead content. When they get into their 60’s they traipse off to Queensland to retire among like minded types, or retire to their holiday houses on the Mornington Peninsula, occasionally haunting me at the Rye RSL. According to (my)
research Qld at 66%, NT at 65%, WA at 60%, Adelaide around 50% and NSW, who knows? Maybe Albanese will make a difference, maybe not. Vic at 45%, often down to as low as 40% during Winter, compliments of the Bali exodus.
Perhaps the mind becomes separated from their bodies. One vote, allowing them to think these thoughts, without the reality of said thoughts, without the truth, without what's behind their thoughts? They don't believe in
climate change, and they go along with lower (effective) wages? Mind you it's only a vote. One vote. Also a conscience cleansing exercise for most Labor voters. If disgusted with our treatment of refugees subjected to mental torture (rotting in hell, a form
of slow death) on Manus and Nauru, a vote for Labor and you've done your bit, right? What good can I (one person) do here, along with many thousands of others? In fact we've done nothing. Don't get me wrong. I'm not big on 'causes' preferring to ignore everything
(and there's lots of them via Facebook) but I have the right to choose. In the meantime, what? Let others decide? Post a message, an angry emoji on yet another 'loose with the truth' announcement from Peter Dutton? Sadly, likely one in every thousand doing
something positive, the remainder do the same, the same meaning bugger all. Sincere apologies if I'm depressing you, the reader, hopefully.
"Nothing matters"? At best, wise
words on your deathbed. Everything matters. Triptych, from the Greek adjective three-fold, in my case pain and suffering over two days, albeit in the scheme of things, insignificant. Where to advertise one's angst, to cry pain, than in the letters pages of
our healthy local newspaper? Collingwood's Jaidyn Stephenson's unfair suspension via the AFL's (Fort Knox?) anti-gambling hypocrites; our Home Affairs minster suggesting women using rape and abortion as a ploy to get to Australia; the current suggestion to
watch AFL football (or any football apparently) with buttoned-up lips. There, and I haven't even mentioned Adam Goodes, Rosie Batty or John Setka. I feel better now. [There are pluses along the road to old age. True, one loses the bum, and the lips slowly
(almost) disappear, but in its place we gain a larger tummy and a form of male bigger breasts. As a philosophical answer one eventually gets to the refrain of "nothing matters" but then one moves to the conclusion, if nothing matters, what is left?]. The boredom
of living alone, on a pension, can become obscure, some form of variety is needed, almost daily. Positivity and try (must?) become the two key words. A Collingwood victory helps, for a day or two.
“Some people are trying it on,” said Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton. “Let’s be serious about this. There are people who have claimed that they’ve been raped and came to Australia to seek an abortion because they
couldn’t get an abortion on Nauru. They arrived in Australia and then decided they were not going to have an abortion. They have the baby here and the moment they step off the plane their lawyers lodge papers in the federal court, which injuncts us from
sending them back.” [The medivac legislation and our coalition being bad losers. Didn't our Pete say it would open the floodgates? And they call John Setka a 'thug'?]
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union Victorian branch declared it “strongly condemns any external interference in union matters. Unions are for members, by members, and are not to be used as pawns for political clout. "John Setka should remain
in his position until such a time as the members of the CFMMEU decide otherwise.” I'll go along with that.
"Bet responsibly" they tell us, while bombarding us with the betting
odds, betting sponsorship around the clock, and come in hard on a 20 year old kid who wagered $36; fined $20,000 and a 10 week suspension. Who can claim to common sense as a 20 year old?...Tax cuts at $100 billion, (for working middle class Australians?) no
special deals, no horse trading? What cuts do the government make to finance them - foreign aid, legal aid, pensions?...June is busting out allover? A song wasn't it, Carousel? Not in Rye buddy. If I survive till 2020 I might give June a miss. It's
too cold; stating the bloody obvious...I am retired. I am to be met with in trim gardens. I am already come to be known by my vacant face and careless gesture, perambulating at no fixed pace nor with any settled purpose. I walk about, not to and from. [Charles
Lamb, Last Essay of Elia]....Movie man Bill Collins has gone to God at 84. At 83, I'm getting nervous. Well done Bill...Hooroo...www.ello8.com
🙂A Grain of Salt. EARLY JUNE. 2019
When we are gifted with a
beautiful sunny June day here on the Mornington Peninsula, 18 degrees, no wind, 4 lazy hours, one can almost forget the presence of our Prime Minister. Not the honourable Peter Dutton sadly, but as I live by Little fish are sweet
we count our blessings, and as always, the more you get the more you want, meaning we dream of a 2019 Collingwood premiership as a blanket, covering our political pain. Alternatively we watch Killing Eve on our underfunded
ABC for masochism, or play the movie Get Shorty with John Travolta for escapism.
Three years is not a lifetime, unless of course you cark
it. If you break it down to months it's a mere 36. Already one month has slipped on by. It's going to be interesting. I've been on Shorten's side the past 6 years, despite his benevolence in promises during the lead-up to the election. Now we have Anthony
Albanese, clearly not my first choice. Indeed, not second or third. The best I can muster is he's marginally better than Morrison. Two of my billy lids went to a Greek Island for a spell. Good thinking if time and money don't intrude, leaving moire to face
another Winter (and the evil Liberal party) all alone. Yes, I have the time, but not for some 22 hours in (and on) an aeroplane. And the loss of soaking up a Collingwood victory, or two. Presently, Australia is a haunted house, clearly, specifically, designed
to intimidate, and the name of the ghost is Security! To say we need a Bill of Rights is the understatement of the past 6 years. Well, since John Howard's Tampa in fact. Theoretically a chance
for our Prime Minister to go down in history. Terrorists behind every corner, albeit we have more murders in a month in Melbourne, more than terrorist activities the past 5 years in the whole country? Intended to scare whistleblowers and obviously to keep
the work of the AFP and other security agencies secret, including where any referrals come from; unless it's the coalition government? Power exploited, plain and simple. And worse, the changes to the criminal code, cleared by Labor for fear of political implications/backlashes,
(cast as opposition to national security?) biting all of us on the bum. Politicians are whistleblowers, but in their cases it's termed leaks? Why do I bother? I don't really, not for self. At 83 it's too late for me to worry. I'm more into hallucinations than
reality; friends long gone. Writing fills in the time. I suppose I could exercise, as advised by my doctor. Alas I hear the words of G.K.Chesterton "The trouble about always trying to preserve the health of the body is that it is so difficult to do without
destroying the health of the mind".
The bigger picture? Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, a former whistleblower, urged the Coalition to “back off” and let the press
do its job, calling for a full investigation into the police raids on the ABC and News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst as well as a warning to 2GB radio host Ben Fordham, also criticising Labor for agreeing to laws that silence the media.
[NOTE: Martin Niemoller’s observation about trying to live in 1930s Germany: ‘‘First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist. ‘‘Then they came for the trade unionists, and I
did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist. ‘‘Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew. ‘‘Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.”]
Courtesy of edited copies from The Saturday Paper June 15-21, 2019. SECURITY 1: Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo “It would be mortally dangerous to our system of
government for the public service to come to possess an aggrandised conception of its role in the proper processes of government – as the ultimate guardian of ‘the public interest’, located outside of the political process. There is no legitimate
basis for contending that unelected officials have any purportedly ‘supranational’ responsibility as custodians of the ‘public interest’, somehow separately identified from the domain that is termed too often to be that of ‘politics’.”
A public servant, in response “All things being equal, he’s right. Public servants shouldn’t think that they’re players. We shouldn’t be crusading. That’s really fundamental stuff. We’re not elected. Public servants
aren’t elected. We can’t be agitating in the public service as some kind of shadow opposition if we don’t like the government. “But all things aren’t equal. The government leaks when it suits them. It distorts intelligence briefings
when it suits them, knowing it’s unlikely the [intelligence] community will publicly correct them. Department advice is weaker and weaker in terms of frank and fearless advice. The whole work of departments can be distorted by political schemes, rather
than problem-solving. So, I agree that public servants shouldn’t be above the social contract. We’re servants, and maybe a part of that is putting up with the bullshit of our political masters. If you can’t hack it, leave. Fair enough. But
don’t give me this high-minded bullshit when we know the score.” Andrew Wilke, independent member for Clark “Our whistleblower laws are not sufficient. The centrepiece is the Public Interest Disclosure Act, and while it was good that we finally
got that legislation, what we did get was quite deficient. The obvious gap in it is that it simply doesn’t apply to security officials [it does, but minimally]. There’s no whistleblower protection for intelligence insiders. As far as I understand
it, it wouldn’t apply to Defence personnel. Interestingly, it doesn’t apply to members of parliament’s staff. Now, when this gets to parliament, the opposition wave it through. If it’s the Coalition, well, they’re hawkish on security
reforms, while Labor are scared stiff of being seen to be weak on national security. So, it sails through parliament, barely contested. In December last year, when the federal parliament passed controversial encryption laws that require tech companies to grant
intelligence agencies and law enforcement access to encrypted communications, Labor was publicly critical of the bill and drafted amendments that the party said would improve it. But on the year’s last parliamentary sitting day, then opposition leader
Bill Shorten surprised some in his own party by dropping the amendments. The law passed, unchanged and lightly examined."
SECURITY 2: 1980, High Court Justice Anthony Mason wrote:
“It can scarcely be a relevant detriment to the government that publication of material concerning its actions will merely expose it to public discussion and criticism. It is unacceptable in our democratic society that there should be a restraint on
the publication of information relating to government when the only vice of that information is that it enables the public to discuss, review and criticise government action.”
3: Maxine Beneba Clarke. The Saturday Paper’s poet laureate...
first, the Ministry of Truth doctored language
words weaponry, loaded and aimed:
asylum seekers became illegals
they said detention centres, not jails
then the Ministry of Peace
tweaked the laws from the nuremberg trials:
said the free
in free speech meant hate
they tabled fascist slogans in the parliament;
and burnt the universal declaration
it turned out their robust economy
was just smoke and mirrors for the election win:
that the Ministry of Plenty’d worked overtime
to spin doubleplus fake-news
they brought in the Ministry of Home Affairs
it border control laid their brute-force too bare)
the people baulked,
but six months down the track
word-nationalism became normal
meanwhile, in perth,
scanned every passing face
and they said there’s nothing to fear
nothing to hide
(from the thought-crime database)
the people, terrified, whispered
just like that book – like 1984
room 101 was guantánamo
and false weapons
caused decade-long wars
last, they sent men in dark tailored suits,
with signed warrants,
to the homes of the tellers of truth:
day raids, brazen
like we’d never seen
when the Ministry of Truth doctored language,
in the year 2019.
One wonders as to the old football supporters refrain "Have a go ya mug" or plain simple mongrel!? Apparently some supporters, particularly
the AFL and some umpires, may take offence; result, thrown out of the ground? I'm advised, after checking with senior members of the Cotton Wool Society something to the order of "Fair go umpire" passes muster, by a whisker. Hard to believe such
nonsense exists. PC gone wild.
Joke of the month, or the year? Morrison: "I expect the ABC board to do better, and if they don't, they can expect a bit more attention from
me."...Fremantle/Port Adelaide free kicks 32/15. Strange, those two Perth clubs, complaining about the hard ground surface, never mention the free kicks?...Lifelong sports follower; cricket, football women's tennis, but never ever, basketball...John Setka,
a hatchet job, no thanks to Albanese. Can we count on Albo for Julian Assange, Nauru/Manus prisoners, or simply a desire for admiration, attention, status, and hopefully fame?...The Bob Hawke memorial, Bob and his granddaughter 1989, the catastrophe of climate
change...Peter Reith, Member of the Order of Australia. Queens birthday 2019?... A good double, Adam Goodes and Rosie Batty...The Age newspaper, Murdoch undercover?...Yesterday was nice, the good bits anyway, if you were lucky, but really, what really counts,
no matter what happened yesterday, is today, and tomorrow..."A mountain range of rubbish, like an old volcano, and its geological foundation was dust. Coal dust, vegetable dust, bone dust, crockery dust, rough dust, and sifted dust - all manner of Dust in
the accumulated Rubbish." [Dickens, Our Mutual Friend)...Hooroo...www.ello8.com
🤪Today we mourn the passing of Common Sense, who will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge). His/her health began to deteriorate rapidly when overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of
a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his/her condition. Common Sense lost more ground when
parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could
not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't
defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realise a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded
a huge settlement for damages. Common Sense was preceded in death, by his/her parents, Truth and Trust, by his/her wife/husband. Discretion, by his/her daughter, Responsibility, by his/her son, and Reason. He/she is survived by his/her 4 stepbrothers; namely
I Know My Rights, I Want It Now, Someone Else Is To Blame and I'm A Victim.