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Updates October 22nd 2012
A Two Way Street
Recently, a number of female members of the ALP and of the Green's Party have sought to divert attention away from their relatively unsuccessful performance by describing any male opponent as a "misogynist".
It would be more correct to accuse you ladies of the tactic of "misandry", or perhaps you would prefer to be described as "Amazons"? It would make better press.
Updates October 19th 2012
Any person seeking asylum and residence in Australia must satisfy two criteria: (1) be genuinely a political refugee and (2) be neither a convicted criminal nor a terrorist.
If a person seeks to enter Australia and is able to produce documentation in support of a claim for refugee status, than clearance may be relatively rapid. If however, as is usually the case for illegal immigrants, the person has no proof of identity, then security clearance may take several years or be impossible. I note that recently a number of illegal immigrants requested repatriation, when they realised that it could be many years before they could be permitted entry to Australia.
While clearance checks are in progress, the illegal immigrants must be detained in a secure facility. At present, the Government prefers this to be offshore, where the detainees may have a degree of freedom of movement in the local community. If detention is within Australia, then confinement is much more restrictive.
Green's Leader Christine Milne believes that offshore processing is inhumane, and that onshore processing should be preferred. Not so, Christine!
Updates October 16th 2012
Skinning A Cat
I note that some of the claims in a civil action against Craig Thomson may be disallowed, because of the passage of time.
Remember that, in the U.S.A., Al Capone was eventually punished for tax evasion, not murder.
The Australian Taxation Department also has a very long memory.
Updates October 13th 2012
W. G. Armstrong, a talented industrialist of the Victorian-era who died in 1901, was a visionary who developed the use of hydraulic (i.e. water) power. He predicted that the mining and use of coal in the United Kingdom would cease within 200 years. He planted several thousands of trees on his North Country estate. He used the flow of water through his valley to generate power, and was one of the first persons in England to light his house with electric lamps. He designed, manufactured and installed the water-powered hydraulic rams which raise and lower London's Tower Bridge. If you would like more information of his achievements, go to Wikipedia.
If we are to make a reasonable reduction in our carbon emissions, we must stop using brown coal and black coal in our base-load power stations. The most effective and sustainable alternative is nuclear fission, using safe, non-polluting Generation IV Integrated Fast Reactors, but it will take too long to reverse the fear campaign which has been waged so successfully since 1950.
Solar power, wind power, and tidal power (if combined with energy-storage facilities) are incredibly expensive for base-load service. Renewable energy sources compete with our need for foodstuffs, and produce carbon dioxide emissions when burnt.
The only viable short-term solution for base-load power generation is the use of natural gas. While it produces carbon dioxide pollution, it has been stated that burning natural gas releases one-half of the amount of carbon dioxide, per kWh, than is released by burning coal.
At the same time, we must make every possible effort to economise in our use of energy, and maximise energy efficiency.
Temperance, Not Abstinence
"If I truly on the subject think,
There are three reasons why I drink,
To greet a friend;
Because I'm dry;
Or for any other reason why!"
Because I'm diabetic, I drink alcohol very rarely, and only in moderation. Quarterly, my GP injects me with Vitamin B12, which I am told is a common additive to beer. I am prescribed Endep, to reduce pain in my legs while in bed, and this drug has the desirable side-effect of being an effective anti-depressant. Alcohol is a depressant, which I certainly don't need. My abstemious habits, coupled with my personal defeat of tobacco addiction 25 years ago, and distaste of gambling, free me of financial worries. I'm a contented retiree.
Pregnant women are now advised to avoid any alcohol consumption, because it has been proved to compromise the mental development of the unborn child.
People who abuse alcohol are a menace to themselves and to others. The proprietors of licensed premises are required by law to refuse service to intoxicated patrons. It is an offence to be intoxicated in a public place. It is an offence to drive a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Apply the laws.
I am not a "wowser", but can see no reason to encourage the mindless over-consumption of alcohol, in so-called entertainment venues, throughout the night. No-one wishes to see the return of "6 o'clock" closing, but surely the license to serve drinks after, say, 1 a.m. should be permited only rarely and in exceptional circumstances.
Alcohol intoxication or drug abuse is a cause, not a defence, of thuggery.
It is NOT an abuse of human rights if the council of a remote community bans the supply of alcohol, or indeed of other drugs, or of petrol which contains dangerous hallucinatory carcinogenic chemical compounds. The Northern Territory legislators must not permit the overruling of such council decisions.
The Anti-Social Web
Groucho Marx was heard to say that he would not join any club which would accept him as a member.
I would not touch any of the so-called "social" sites, such as Facebook or Twitter, with a barge-pole. Their hapless members are not only exposed to harmful acts by warped-minded criminals, but their friends will be exposed to an avalanche of nasty propaganda. Joining Facebook is more hazardous than becoming a backpacker tourist in central Somalia. On Facebook, no-one will be able to help you.
These sites are not a public charity. They cover their expenses and hope to make a profit by selling your personal details to scammers, perverts, drug dealers, porn sellers, gambling sites, and on-line marketers. Unlike the Press, which is subject to standards and which must accept responsibility for content, the social web-sites do not monitor content and are unaccountable.
I host my own web-sites, and I control and am responsible for everything which I publish. I admit to being registered with Friends Reunited, which has proved to be helpful in regaining contact with childhood friends and with family tree research, but they have very well-controlled arrangements for the exchange of information and have never breached my personal security.
Get with it! If you are a student, set up a secure web-site with your friends as a school project. It will cost only $10 per month for a fixed I.P. address for the host computer, and this can be shared. You do not need to register a web-site name. Exchange messages with your friends securely. Make sure that nothing offensive or derogatory is displayed, so there will be no cyber-bullying.
(Footnote October 29th: PM Julia Gillard has announced several initiatives to develop closer links with Asia. What better way, than to develop a bi-lingual social web-site at each high school, and to have links to overseas schools . I recall my love of the French language at high school in the U.K., and the mutual benefit which I shared with a French pen-pal.)
Updates October 12th 2012
Pray That Allah Saves Malala
10 years ago, terrorists (who claimed to be fundamental Islamists) murdered 202 tourists and Muslim citizens in Bali. The principal organisers of this deplorable outrage were arrested, tried in an open court, and punished. Indonesia is now more determined than ever, to root-out this abominable terrorist organisation.
Almost 2 years ago, an American Islamist convert attempted to assassinate U.S. Congress Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her supporters at a political meeting. By the grace of God, and with Gabrielle's remarkable fortitude, she has recovered sufficiently to resume an almost normal life at home with her husband. One of her aides, who was also wounded in the shooting, was able to substitute for her in Congress earlier this year. She has confirmed her determination to return to public service, as soon as she is able. The assassin was arrested, tried in an open court and punished.
This week, as punishment for advocating the education of Muslim girls, 14-year Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and the neck by a Taliban gunman. A fellow female student was also wounded in the incident. At present, Malala's condition is critical, but doctors report that she has a 70% chance of recovery. Let us pray that, like Gabrielle Giffords, she may recover fully, be able to lead a normal life, and can achieve her ambition, to serve as a medical professional. Muslim clerics and academics, quoting from the Quran, have unanimously condemned the Taliban's opposition to the education and emancipation of women, and to the Taliban's mistreatment of children. The Taliban have said that, if she survives, they will repeat their attack upon Malala. The one positive result of this despicable outrage is that there is now no lingering support in Pakistan for Islamic extremists.
Close The Windows
Updates October 11th. 2012
Down the Gunn-Barrel
In the 70's I underwent a "sea change" and for 7 years I managed the South Australian Branch of a distributor of forest products. Since South Australia has never enjoyed the local supply of hardwoods for the joinery, furniture and building industries, my employer relied upon sources of imported timbers.
Around 1930, the C.S.I.R.O. patented the processes of kiln drying and re-conditioning of eucalypt timbers, most notably "Victorian Ash" and "Tasmanian Oak." This made these Australian timbers suitable for commercial use in the "dry" States, in areas with low relative humidity. Almost all Victorian production was consumed locally, but Tasmania developed a significant export trade to the mainland States.
By 1970, many of the Tasmanian sawmillers had dwindling supplies of the more desirable high-grade eucalypt species. Only one, Gunns, had access to considerable areas of large, high-grade saw-logs. Initially, as with other sawmillers, they disposed of waste by raising steam for power generation and kiln drying. But then, they found a more profitable market for their waste by selling wood-chips to manufacturers of Kraft paper, cardboard and hardboard.
Quality eucalypt timber must be carefully stacked and air-seasoned for 2 or 3 years, before it can be kiln dried and re-conditioned for supply to the joinery trade. Gunn's soon found that they could achieve improved cash flow and return-on-investment if they diverted an increasing volume of saw-log to the fast-turnaround wood chip market. When I became involved in the timber trade in the 70's, most millers faced dwindling supplies of low-grade timber, suitable only for floorboards and mouldings. Gunn's were diverting almost all high-grade Tasmanian timber into wood-chip production. They released only a token amount of select joinery timber. The Company was not highly regarded by the timber trade.
Since I left the industry, it appears that the paper pulp industry has developed the capability of removing the lignin from wood chips, so that eucalypt chips are suitable for paper production. Gunn's decided to increase their exports, again to the disadvantage of the heritage forest products industry. Their last step was to plan a pulp production facility, to add value to their exports. Even with the support of the Tasmanian Government, they have had difficulty in satisfying environmental approval requirements for what is essentially a toxic chemical process. Now, with the fall in the Japanese and World economy, and with a reduction in demand for printing paper, Gunn's have fallen.
I am not a Green, but I support the environment. I feel sorry for the victims of Gunn's, but I cannot regret the failure of the enterprise.
History, not myth! Pharaoh was forewarned in a dream of future disaster, and appointed Joseph (a stateless refugee) as his Vizier, to make preparations for the survival of the Nation.
Pharaoh John Howard appointed his Vizier Peter Costello to make preparations for the survival of the Nation. Over a period of 10 years, by wise and frugal government, they filled the monetary granaries and accumulated a creditable cash reserve, of $70 billions.
The new Pharaoh was in a very fortunate condition to face the economic disaster. But instead of following the example set by Egypt's Pharaoh by continuing frugal government, the new order spent the reserves unwisely, without considering the consequences.
Our economy is now greater than that of Spain. Should we expect that our future will be similar to that of Spain?
The ALP has been accused of reckless conduct, like that of a "drunken sailor." It should be noted that the sailor's capstan work shanty deals more with the punishment of the sailor than with his actions.
Pick-pockets, conjurers, confidence tricksters, and politicians all resort to diversion, in order to achieve their hidden aims. While your attention is rivetted upon their apparent actions, they are secretly taking you to the cleaners.
The repeated diversionary slandering of Tony Abbott as a "misogynist" is so ridiculous that it is laughable. It is his duty to promote Coalition policy when it opposes ALP policy. There is no evidence of sexist motives in his statements.
Stop using Question Time to publish defamatory claims under Parliamentary privilege. Stop using Question Time for mutual pleasuring through "Dorothy Dix" questions. Rather, stop televising "Question Time in Parliament" - the broadcasts foster disgraceful and wasteful misuse of the parliamentary process. The broadcasts bring Parliament into disrepute.
Rats and Mice
For 10 years, a British university research team has constructed a video record of the activities of a colony of rodents in the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa. Without exception, the researchers have studied all aspects of the life of these intriguing animals - sleeping, playing, breeding, raising the young, searching for food, and waging war with the neigbours and with predators.
The video record is shown after lunch on ABC TV as "Meerkat Manor".
ABC TV also presents "Question Time in Parliament" after lunch.
Often, when I semi-consciously awake from my after-lunch nap, I wonder which programme I am watching.
Do we really want to watch the animalian capers of our representatives?
Updates, October 6th. 2012
The Christian New Testament lists many occasions upon which Jesus' opponents attempted to trick him into breaching Mosaic Law. Most famously, when they tempted him to speak out against the public execution of an adultress, he said "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone!", with the result that the mob hung their heads in shame and walked away.
Recently some, mainly female, parliamentary representatives of the ALP and of the Greens Party have embarked upon a scurrilous gossip campaign to portray Tony Abbott as a brutal misogynist. Clearly he is not a nasty person, in fact his relationships with females appear to be benign, deferential and respectful. This is certainly the personality which is affirmed by his family and associates.
When I was active in business, I learnt that support and respect was earned by positive action. The spiteful denigration of competitors invariably produces undesired results. Be aware that your dogs my turn around to bite you!
The Australian public is heartily sick of political game plays. Get on with your duty, which should be the Responsible Government of the Nation. For starters, stop televising Question Time in Parliament.
The Horns of a Dilemma
While in the grip of a terrible drought, the South Australian government decided to provide a long-term solution to a short-term water supply problem, by building a reverse-osmosis desalination plant. This was the most expensive construction option, the most polluting option, and the most expensive water production option. Now, the public must bear the cost of an uncompetitive water supply for a contract period of 24 months, followed by the mothballing of almost $2 billion of plant.
The plant is no longer necessary for two reasons. Firstly, the development of ecologically-desirable and less expensive recycling of waste water has advanced and is being implemented. Secondly, the availability to South Australia of increased flow to the River Murray will reduce the effect of future drought.
The lesson should be evident. Logical decisions should not be abandoned in favour of short-term political benefits.
A Pondful of Toads
For several years, Telstra BigPond has been my provider for telephone and internet access. The quality and continuity of their services has been excellent. However, their recent outrageous adminstrative antics have finally caused a parting of the ways. Read Goodbye Testra for more.
For authentic and well-documented information upon climate change, visit the website of Professor Barry Brook, bravenewclimate.com. There is also a link on my own website page, Global Warming, to a very comprehensive study of alternative energy systems, which was co-authored by Barry Brook.
My Contact Details:-
Clive Pearson, B.Sc. Special Physics (Lond), C.Eng.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 8 8522 4188, address: PO Box 207, Gawler, S.A. 5118
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