A Grain of Salt 2020

A Grain of Salt. Sunday January 19th. 2020.😎


It's time, surely, those dreadful bushfires, deaths, destruction, smoke haze, heat, Morrison's late promises (after a shaky initial assessment), the drama, the anger, the difference between Murdoch media and the ABC coverage, to take a breath or two, awaiting the haze to subside, in the air and from the mouths. Hot, hot air. Until parliament sits again. Parliament? Have you forgotten? They sit you know, up there, in Canberra, to run our country. All about power, not necessarily money. Do they run it, or are they the representatives of the real runners? The bushfires at $2 billion and counting. Let's not get too excited. Of necessity, to shut us up? This mob gave $444 million to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, (Who?) only one of a dozen others, including coal company upgrades. Double bungers, triple! Too big for mere me. I see the Coal influence waiting for the smoke to dissipate; come another few months, regaining total control. Corruption? Who knows? Australia Day soon. A barbie, a lamb chop. Starting to realise (with a smile) the true meaning of insignificance. 



Let's hear it for the bees, in a lot of trouble due to the bushfires. A need to stock up on honey before the price hike; in my coffee the past 40 years. My love of bees, honey, started as a boy. Mason lived three houses up, would consistently thrash me at marbles (allies) and strut after each victory. In a street full of kids (fathers invisible or at the war) come Christmas Day I got the good stuff (Mum would buy on tick and pay it off for most of the next year, whereas Mason would get socks, or a singlet, breeding resentment. Why me?). Revenge by Mason, on my exquisite marbles collection. Lost around half till I called halt. More bad stuff via Mason; name calling, chicken etc. One day he had a bad eye, stung by a bee. Sad stuff Muzza. The following day another bee sting, the good eye. Mason (Muzza) the Chinaman? Commiserations Muzza mate, insincerely. Redemption? Maybe one for the psychologists?



Speaking of my favourite subject (psychology), an online psychology degree for seniors? "Psychologists in their process of study have learned not only to understand the conscious and unconscious thoughts of other people and how they affect their behaviour, but also their thoughts and behaviours, predict future patterns, and learn how to manipulate them for the greater good, including the privilege of understanding yourself, how to deal with people at your workplace and society. This knowledge will help you choose work environments that are accommodative to your traits, help interact frictionless with others". OMG! No prizes for guessing my thinking on this nonsense. 



So there I was, the RSL, having a quiet pot. Enter another, and after a perfunctory greeting mentioned the bushfires. "It's the Greens and Labor" he said, an obvious increase in his blood pressure, adrenaline, emotion. "Why Labor?" I replied, calmly. Then followed quite the diatribe as to deep reasoning underlying his argument. Being averse to violence I eventually (quietly) asked "What television news do you watch, 7, 9 or the ABC?" "There's only one" he replied "All those others tell you lies." Then emphatic, Fu##ing Lies! Fair enough, a pause, so...which one? "Fox" he said. "Fox news. You want the truth? Watch Fox News!" ["No amount of evidence will ever persuade an idiot" - Mark Twain]. Strange as it may seem, although the world is never short of idiots, people rarely take into account the high percentage among said idiots, who are far away from being fools.   



Skite, as in ego, an overflowing concept of self. I've never had much to skite about, not that it caused me grief, although I have noticed (on rare occasions) falling for this trap. I'd generally pull my head in and give myself a stern inner lecture via that inner voice in my head (who refuses to speak only when spoken too). "Silly old fool." In and around my restricted social circle it appears to have become a natural obsession, so I'm putting it out there - Stop Skiting! Nobody is listening, and if they appear to be interested, they are being less than honest. Then the like minded skites; waiting for you're particular skiting story to finish so they can tell their own inimitable life story, mostly males. Particularly the tough ones. The false pride in the look, the walk (strut) the rooster stance? Tattoos? We do not care if you're tough fella, if indeed you are. Pull your head in, ever heard of a razor, go have a shave, go for a birds beak, go see a psychologist. Unless of course you're a wharfie, or a butcher. Men are partial and passionate, merciless, covetous, corrupt, subject to love, hate, fear and favour, and who chooses virtue for its own sake? Get the message? Take it back a peg, sometimes two pegs.



Mumbo Jumbo? The Americans, the government anyway, always defending right-wing dictatorships, leaving the weaker one's cherry ripe for Russia and China. I'll say this for the Yanks, they don't jail their writers. A form of culture is still there, hopefully, standing against injustice, apart from Julian Assange. On the other hand let's not forget McCarthyism 1950's and the ruined careers of artists, hailed as outcasts. Right here now, our PM, the attempt to end those who oppose climate change by protesting in the streets. The downgrading of the arts. Solidarity before individualism? Didn't Lenin once say "There must be a priority given to the general interest of humanity, even above that of the proletariat". If he didn't he should have. We all live in a rainbow world, sterile idealogical combat. The closer you get to it the clearer it becomes, your  ideals, the rainbow, vaporised. The more you learn the more the problems, Vietnam a good example. How did they return to pride, standing tall, after that one? The truth is (my truth obviously) the political world is beyond anyone's control, even though we abide with it, and simply need a new leader at times when matters threaten. The culture of toleration and wealth. Survival, join the crowd? The quicksand of unreality. No? So tell me where I'm wrong? Not keen on referring to overseas politics, enough trouble here, but this one time, confused. How can Donald Trump order a murder of another leader when not at war and (seemingly) come out trumps? I'm not a Trump man but this other bloke (Iran's Ayatollah) looks a bit suso for sure. They all do. Still, best I button my lips. 



John Hewson, on basic questions: Why are we building inferior French-designed subs instead of leasing from the US; why we have made ourselves more of a target for terrorists and the likes of Iran by having joined wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now the US armada in the Straits of Hormuz; why would we contemplate an additional “national guard” to handle disasters? Always worth reading is Hewson. Good questions.



Channel 9 (no surprise) with a story on Woolworths checkout free supermarkets, coming soon, including interviews with two people who "can't wait"? As a news item, or advertising for a  rich client? And we the public? Lambs to the slaughter, not in my time but eventually. Didn't watch channel 7, likely one on Coles, same thing. Woolworths put their prices up last Monday, surreptitiously as always. Not every item, just here and there, cigarettes obviously, more cunning than our PM?



In 1996 I considered my last year as a Rat, the 12 year cycle over 60 years. Not so. Next Saturday 2020 is yet again the Year of the Rat, my eighth, according to Chinese zodiac, the Metal Rat, starting from January 25, lasting to 2021 Lunar New Year's Eve, Feb. 11. Cool cookies! Powerball? If you don't hear from me you'll know.



With all the news outlets taken over by the bushfires let us not forget the family of 4 on Christmas Island, Julian Assange, and the thousand or more refugees on Nauru. Indeed, all as a result of our present government....From The Age "Mr Hockey concludes his eventful four-year stint as Australia’s envoy to the US next week." Eventual, or sucking up?...Meghan Markle; the sadness, the harshness, of the female mafia. Be strong sweety...Apparently a syphillis epidemic. Relax, I'm fine...By the time I need to use the grandpa mugs those kids gave me years ago, they'll be grandpa's themselves...Morrison is "Evolving our policy". He thinks we are fools. Maybe he's right?...I tried Monty Python's 'The Meaning of Life' last night; none  the wiser? Fortunately taped 'Young and Beautiful' 2013, France, overnight. A tale of sexual awakening. Positivity?...Message for Elly Varrenti, ABC radio. Try slowing down on the use of the word 'incredible'?....Dividend imputations? "For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together" [St Matthew]...Hey, credit where it's due, a whole column with hardly a whisper on our Prime Minister and nothing on Peter Dutton. Peter who? Hooroo...www.ello8.com




A Grain of Salt. Sunday January 12th. 2020.😎

It appears to be all about power, this feeling of being better, superior, richer. I watched Jack  Nicholson in "A Few Good Men", a good drama but waylaid by seeing Jack as a Peter Dutton lookalike. In the sense of power, superiority anyway. Two others - "Ocean's Eleven" and "Casino". Better still "The Night Manager" with Richard Roper (Hugh Laurie) who is so rich he has his own private army, bodyguards and females on call. I prefer a kitchen sink drama, or a good murder, but lately I've honed in on these shows. I buy the 10 week powerball, a  few entries. A gigantic prize in the millions, but what to do with it if I win? True, the real chance in excess of once every hundred thousand years but forever a possibility however minuscule. Thus, a study of where these cardboard characters get their pleasures with all their benefits. True, they go out at night, gambling venues, parties, visually stunning food, ladies, people giving them compliments, dressed to the nines. All that hurdy gurdy stuff is a no go. I lock the front door at 7pm and if I want a meal I can call for a pizza or lasagna, ice cream and a banana for sweets. What's left; daytime pleasures? An afternoon nap 1-3 pm. The RSL for a pot or 3 after 5pm. I suppose I could get someone to do my Woolworths shopping, maybe drive me to the airport, but who wants to dress, pack and sit on a plane for 10-20 hours, albeit first class? To  where? A Greek island? Nice, but too many hills. And  even there I'd do the same as here; nap, a few beers. And who needs a bloody bodyguard? Women, you ask? Nah, plenty at the RSL, not as glamorous, but then again I'm no oil painting. You get my point? As for the important one, that superior feeling, that's a mirage. I've watched it all my life, never been impressed. No  qualms. If they want to feel that way, may they swagger forever. True, at one time or another we all get a form of need to feel better, maybe even superior like Sir Peter, or clever, as a salesman, like Scotty, but by and large, as in politics, they all wake up, unless of course you're a one-off, like little Johnny Howard. Conclusions, IF I win? None the wiser. Shouldn't I be a teeny bit jealous? It's their lifestyle; they're welcome to it.      



The Guardian: "The impacts of the climate crisis are now clearly manifesting in ways beyond rising temperatures. In Australia, the conditions for severe bushfires are occurring far more regularly (hot days, dry land and high winds). And the country is now suffering its most intense bushfire season ever. The quantity of land burnt, the smoke pollution impacts, the temperatures and number of homes lost are all breaking historical records. At the same time, Australia is pioneering the denial of climate disaster?" On a local level the fascination of those ensconced with like (denialism) opinions; RSL and surrounds. Emphatic, a sense of anger. Wondering if they are attempting to convince me, or themselves? 



ABC sports presenter Georgie Tunny on Nick Kyrgios bouquets for his $200 per ace, motivating others, listing them adding "nothing from Rafael Nadal as yet but likely something during the Australian Open" By what right?



Victoria Police officers have conducted unauthorised record checks on unsuspecting members of the public, handed sensitive information to politicians, and disclosed details about confidential cases to family, friends and journalists. And in another growing trend identified by Victoria’s anticorruption watchdog, some police members are also being deliberately “groomed” by people who want access to intelligence for criminal or financial benefit. The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission has raised concerns about a broader problem of unauthorised access and disclosure of information across the force after several cases involving high-profile officers 



Publicity Gold? Findraisers/bushfires. Way over the top. The government gave $1 billion bickies. Maybe two. Why so many other contributors? Comedians and television, Bushfire relief comedy gala? Exposure? Excuse my cynicism. Followed by - calling on others to provide free services, all income to the fund, or costs ‘as low as possible’? And so it goes. I checked the newspapers; my name and the $20 not a  mention?



Sam Phillips, sports reporter, The Sydney Morning Herald. "Nick Kyrgios implodes at Australia's ATP Cup." Some things are worth repeating; John Steinbeck on critics: "This morning I looked at the Saturday Review, read a few notices of recent books, not mine, and came up with the usual sense of horror. One should be a reviewer or better a critic, these curious sucker fish who live with joyous vicariousness on other men’s work and discipline with dreary words the tiling which feeds them. I don’t say that writers should not be disciplined, but I could wish that the people who appoint themselves to do it were not quite so much of a pattern both physically and mentally. I’ve always tried out my material on my dogs first. You know, with Angel, he sits there and listens and I get the feeling he understands every tiling. But with Charley, I always felt he was just waiting to get a word in edgewise. Years ago, when my red setter chewed up the manuscript of Of Mice and Men, I said the dog must have been an excellent literary critic. Time is the only critic without ambition. Give a critic an inch, he’ll write a play." 



From Anson Cameron,  The Age : "I haven’t physically assaulted anyone since I left school. But daily, in reverie, in a queue, I commit imaginary violence on those who stand before me. I give the bloke in the jokey Hawaiian shirt a kidney punch in the atoll. Thumb-jam the wireless earbuds of the next man deep into his canals and watch him stagger away suddenly beset by an inner voice that sounds horribly like Neil Mitchell. Then a roundhouse kick to the stutterer at the head of the queue romancing the barmaid so slowly, and I am there, barside. The only person not despised by anyone in a queue is the unnoticed soul at the very rear. And she is quietly imagining a drone strike that engulfs all, after which she will pick her way along the smouldering trail of shoes to the bar and order something complicated". Good stuff. Too true.



A panther in the Blue Mountains or a feral cat; not again?...The Sunday Herald Sun may well be up there as the most useless newspaper ever, but to be fair, it only beats the Sunday Age by a whisker...ABC News, Why ‘coming up’ when it’s coming up anyway?...To those people telephoning offering electric light globes free replacement, for the umpteenth time; NO...Fascinating, the Ivanhoe residents letter writers, seemingly all Liberal voters?... Please note - all you people who came in hard against our Nick Kyrgios; I wasn't one of them...So many of these climate deniers voted against Billy Shorten. Understandable in the circumstances. It's human nature not to own up to being a dickhead....Treasurer Josh, always 'Going forward'?...Prince Harry (6th in line) and Meghan - Either 1/ A joint decision (at best) 2/ Under the thumb (at worst) or 3/ A lifestyle change in favour of the lady's happiness (common sense)...Those amazing Yanks. They lost almost 60,000 young lives in Vietnam and many more thousands injured for a lifetime. Still the appetite for wars. Sadly, the soldiers have no say, including ours..."If I'd had listened to the critics I'd have died drunk in the gutter" [Chekov]...To re-quote myself "In my personal experience I always let the wife decide, unless of course I disagreed...Hooroo...www.ello8.com




A Grain of Salt. Tuesday 7th January, 2020.🙂

Initially a holiday in Hawaii followed by a coal-related trip to India. It could have been worse. The bushfires could have happened mid way through his India excursion. As for alt-right neo-Nazis and sadist trolls; a narcissists picnic, or (to use Waleed Aly's words) "an egotist's paradise and a public hell". With it all the scammers, fake charities, website scams. Never forgetting our 'better late than never' Prime Minister, re-named 'Luau' Morrison - "Those confronting the terrifyingly destructive and deadly fires will be ‘‘inspired by the great feats of our cricketers from both sides of the Tasman’’. Surely Luau, aka ScoMo, got it arse about? Our annual day of rampant nationalism (Australia Day) looms large, and with it a fascination of how it will be seen due to the recent (and current) tragedies in NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Kangaroo Island. 



October, 2019. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (at the Queensland Resources Council, an organisation representing peak mining interests) railed against environmental protesters in a lunchtime speech, warning of a “new breed of radical activism” that was “apocalyptic in tone” and pledging to outlaw boycott campaigns that he argued could hurt the country’s mining industry. Morrison: "His government was looking at “serious mechanisms that can successfully outlaw these indulgent and selfish practices that threaten the livelihoods of fellow Australians.” He argued the “right to protest does not mean there is an unlimited license to disrupt people’s lives and disrespect your fellow Australians.” December 2019, into January 2020. Chalk and cheese, vive la difference - Scott Morrison - Danny Andrews.  SchMo - far too late with his 'be calm' press conference, a top shelf tragedy, initially vague on ADF assistance, at the least those affected starved for information, motivation; a plan, what of a plan B (?). A "do nothing' PM with a platitudes plan. Can, could have, done much more. As for our funding starved ABC, cheers for a first class job; surely the need, the urgency, for increased funding? In the face of this disaster we can expect our Prime Minister to change his former coal (vote winning?) strategies, but is it enough? Loved the way Scotty initially said the states have to ask us. Along comes Danny doing just that, including a positive plan of action. Scotty announces "We are not waiting to be asked?" Then a promotional video on how Scotty is getting on with it. A national disaster, and as those Yanks say - the buck stops with him. More to the point, is he sincere? Whatever - time to "leave the building". 



Jessica Friedmann is a writer and editor living in Australia" "Like the early colonists, our Prime Minister turns to the destroying angel; fate. Funding cuts and poor land management has brought these fires to a pass – rapturous fate. My anger is so ferocious it has died down into exhaustion. This is a man who once brought a lump of coal into Parliament and cradled it like a baby; who could ever expect him to acknowledge the link to climate change?" Another nail in ScoMo's foot? On the other hand let's not get too excited. If Scotty steps aside we might get Peter Dutton? 



The announcement by the government some 135 Australian Federal Police would carry assault rifles at Australian airports from early December. Prime  Minister “A further step to keep Australians safe”. Why this dramatic development was necessary and what risk or threat it sought to prevent wasn’t something Prime Minister Scott Morrison was keen to make explicit at a press conference with Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton and AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw. Seriously, this mob, leaving aside their coal grubbing money making bugger the poor activities, can't wait to have CCTV to every room in every  home, not (obviously) in theirs. Shudder.



Kevin Rudd: "The uncomfortable truth is the government’s response just doesn’t pass the pub test. It’s been evasive, tepid, tone-deaf and, above all, too late. It’s been conducted as an exercise in “issue management”, rather than a substantive response to one of the worst natural disasters in our history, with every shoulder to the wheel. And the Australian public can spot a fraud at a thousand paces". The Abbott denialist cult has taken over the entire Coalition. It continues under Morrison and, when they oust him soon, it will continue under Peter Dutton. It’s become the battle cry of the far right which now runs the entire conservative show in Canberra. And yes, before the Murdoch media leap to Abbott’s defence, I know he is a firefighter. Good on him. The problem is most of the fire chiefs just don’t agree with him on the impact of climate change. Nor does the CSIRO. Nor does any credible climate scientist in the world. The Liberals won’t change on climate. Denial is now their DNA. They may start pretending to care. Scotty from marketing is good at that. But we all know it will be paper thin. That’s why this lot have to go. Before it’s too late for us all."



History, sadly: "A Shorten Labor Government will stop the Federal Government’s reduction in funding for our firefighting capabilities by returning to a 50-50 funding split between the states and territories and the Commonwealth. Labor’s investment will ease the burden on state and territory governments, develop new national programs including a national risk management model, and national research and development programs including trials of new aircraft and night firefighting activities. Labor can pay for new firefighting aircraft the smokejumper units because we are making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes for the top end of town". 



Extract from the blame game, Danielle Celermajer; Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney, [ABC Religion and Ethics]: We can identify the political representatives who refused to meet with fire chiefs who had been seeking to warn of, and act to mitigate, the impending disaster. The same political representatives who approved and continue to approve new coalmines in the face of scientific consensus on the effect that continuing to burn fossil fuels will have on climate in general, and drought and temperatures in particular. The same political representatives who approve water being diverted to support resource extraction, when living beings are dying for want of water and drying to the point of conflagration. We can identify the media owners who sponsor mass denial of the scientific evidence of the effects of a fossil fuel addicted economy on the climate. The same media owners who deploy the tools of mass manipulation to stoke fear, seed confusion, breed ignorance and create and then fuel hostile divisions within communities. We can identify the financial institutions that continue to invest in, and thereby prop up toxic industries, and who support the abovementioned media owners so as to protect themselves from accumulating stranded assets. We can identify the investors who use their financial and social capital to support politicians who will protect their financial interests. We can identify a corporate culture and a legal system, populated by lawyers, management consultants and financial analysts, that incentivise or even require companies to maximise short term shareholder profit and externalise costs to the future and the planet. And then we can identify parties closer to home. Business owners and investors whose profits depend on systems of extraction and resource exploitation. Consumers addicted to lifestyles based on resource extraction and the exploitation of the natural world. Citizens who prioritise narrow short-term interests over the sustainability of the planet. Citizens who lack the courage or fortitude to take ourselves through the social and economic transformations required to give our children and the more-than-human-world a future. Citizens who do not bother to take the time or make the effort to develop well-informed opinions, but would rather run to the comfort of the truisms of their tribe. We can also identify the humans and human cultures that have told ourselves that we are superior to, and thus have the right to dominate and exploit, other animals and the natural world. That we are the ones who get to flourish, and that everything else that is here, is here for our use. That other beings are not life but resource.



In this type of disaster the shonky comes to life. A general sense of taking due care with all new data bases set up for this type of emergency. I'll settle for the Bendigo bank...More importantly the ABC budget cut 2020 at $14.6 million. It's "our" ABC. Your coalition government at work?..."The fires have nothing to do with politics" said our PM. Fair call apparently, to many, certainly not I. Was he talking to us, or to himself?...“If all major Australian media played the climate issue straight, a denialist government couldn’t survive...At this time of land disaster, we pause with the knowledge we all live on this one earth. A need to treasure it, not dig dig dig in the cause of cash cash cash. Desist...Check out Tom Gleason, Gala awards for a  laugh...,"In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act." [George Orwell]...Sticks and stones will break my bones, so go easy, hooroo...www.ello8.com



Thursday 2nd January, 2020.😎

"Freedom of speech is much more palatable when the opinions of others align closely with one's own". [Ed Rogers]. If Margaret Court chooses to preach to the converted let her be. The act of taping her preaching and playing an edited version on television is unnecessarily stirring the waters. The ratbags of the world have enough ammunition without encouraging them, and I'm not referring to Margaret Court. One can surely make a case for similar preachers the world over. ScoMo's Hillsong? No way, protected by the Murdoch media. January (Janus) returns, bracing ourselves for the onslaught after the mild schoolies entree. Two faces looking to the future and the past. Croats, Latvians, Italians, Greeks, Moslems, Asians, people "of African appearance" the Rye carnival and ski jets. Time to visit the 'Donate Life' Website? Nah. My organs are, ever so nicely, close to being stuffed. And visitors, this time of year? I thought they'd never leave. If people are nice enough to dewdrop in one must abide by the social niceties, but please, limit these occurrences to under 60 minutes, once annually. I live alone, the master (temporarily) of my domain. Call first! Allow me to prepare? I could be in the middle of something important? I might even answer the eau de cologne? Twice already, a walk along the footpath, shops, Point Nepean Road, many different accents, surprisingly, the odd Australian; joke Joyce. Happy New Year? May you continue on, by way of 'approved puritan behaviour'. Another year to maintain the rage, or settle back and smell the red roses. Well, 50/50. As always a day at a time, thankful for the internet, the iPhone and Carlton draught beer, from the tap.



How long has this government ruled the roost, 6 years, 7 years? Still the theme song "the mess Labor left us in", the so called 'mess' now doubled, tripled? I ask myself how anyone  with the slightest social conscience can believe this government handles our economy better than Labor. As for the voters, who voted against Bill Shorten on a whim (rather than a vote for Scott Morrison) we can settle the explanation in two words - Greed and apathy? I'll leave it to two others (Rudd and Flanagan) to intellectualise it all for you...   



The Guardian. Kevin Rudd: "The time has come for a full royal commission into the ownership and operation of the media in this country. Murdoch has too much power. The rest of the print media is now heading to the right. The ABC, under systemic editorial and budgetary attack, its board re-politicised by the government in defiance of the ABC Reform Act (2012), is now frightened of its own shadow. And social media offers no credible alternative as a common, neutral platform for any form of national political conversation. Taken together with Clive Palmer’s $60m paid campaign against Labor leading up to the last election (the likes of which we have never seen before in our politics), the growing swagger of the conservative’s general assault on the independence of the public service and other national institutions like the ABC, together with the new intellectual respectability now being accorded the authoritarian right both in this country and across the west, we can no longer simply assume, in the absence of fundamental reform, that the Australian democratic project as we have known it for the last 100 years will necessarily remain the permanent condition of our politics for the future." Too true, ever so sadly. What to do? We await, with a sliver of hope, for a new hero, to rise...from the ashes? Richard Flanagan: "In Tasmania, the Liberal government intends to legislate for environmental protest, legislation that has flourished under Morrison. As Australia burns, what we are witnessing nationally is no more or less than the criminalisation of democracy in defence of the coal and gas industries, a war between the voice of coal and the voice of the people. And that war is in Australia being won hands down by the fossil fuel industry. Morrison’s Pentecostal religion places great emphasis on the idea of the Rapture. When the Rapture arrives, the Chosen – that is, those Pentecostalists with whom the prime minister worships and their controversial pastor – will ascend to Heaven while the rest of us are condemned to the Tribulation – a world of fires, famine and floods in which we all are to suffer and the majority of us to die wretchedly, while waiting for the Second Coming and Scott and co wait it out in the Chairman’s Lounge above. Could it be that the prime minister in his heart is – unlike the overwhelming majority of Australians – not concerned with the prospect of a coming catastrophe when his own salvation is assured?" [Confused? Simply greed and apathy? Maybe add in power corrupts? Or the standard response - "Our emissions, at less than two percent of global totals, will not be decisive in the fight. Therefore, it follows, we can change nothing. So let’s sprout new coal mines all over Queensland, and leave the issue to someone else."?] 



The federal government, which funds Aged care assessment teams (ACAT), has announced a network of private assessment organisations (now consisting of state-employed nurses, geriatricians and social workers, work at public hospitals to assess the level of care required by individual elderly Australians), will deliver privatisation from April 2021, with a tender to be held next year. WHY?



Turn on the television, read the newspaper or look out the window. See what is increasingly obvious to many – for Australia, dangerous climate change is already here. It’s simply a matter of how much worse we’re willing to allow it to get. Here's a story grab from The Age Thursday. "Corryong to Tallangatta. At the pub, the locals seemed unperturbed. They explained that, due to the topography of the local hills, fire would never reach Corryong. They encouraged the women to relax on their hotel’s balcony and enjoy nature’s show. “There’s plenty of beer”, they assured them. Climate deniers extraordinaire? However, newlyweds Clio Gates-Foale and Jessica Window decided to join the 85 kms convoy to Tallangatta." Good for them. Safe.



I have a blue jeans coloured wool cardigan I feel comfortable in. Holes in the elbows, both sleeves. People point this out, even the lovely packing ladies at Woolworths. Perhaps they think I'm not aware of it? Fascinating. 



No comment required: "Hospitality and retail workers will miss out on close to $50 million in wages over Christmas and New Year because of reductions in penalty rates. Economist Jim Stanford from the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work said hospitality and retail workers would be $16.3 million worse off for each of the three statutory public holidays including Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. ‘‘You are looking at $48.9 million combined.’’ 



RSL. Dedicated Smoking Area: Met a couple who travelled to Melbourne to watch the excitement of fireworks? From Rye? Suggested they look up the advantages of a Wellness Centre. They were none the wiser (as anticipated) so I gave them Greg Hunt's telephone number. 



The commonality: Politicians, conmen, everyday liars, actors: "To forget everything except the ground you stand on and the face you speak from - at that moment."...The horror of those bushfires, and somehow our man SchMo will talk his way out of it, helped along with the aid of apathetic voters...Electricity and gas prices up from Jan 1st, cheers for privatisation...I'm with John Thaw, Colin Dexter's 'Morse'; "Drinking makes me think". Add in smoking..."In a world in which duty and self-discipline have lost out to hedonism and self-satisfaction, there is nothing like closing your eyes and going with the flow. At least in a fantasy, it all ends happily ever after." [Edwina Currie]... Hooroo...ello8