Saturday salon 21/6


An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.

For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.

The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.

Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.

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The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.

16 thoughts on “Saturday salon 21/6”

  1. A bit more on my sister’s stay.

    We had some excellent eating experiences. First at The Plum, Kenmore Plaza, Brisbane, the best beer chips ever.

    Secondly, excellent seafood at Fishmonger’s, Byron Bay.

    The third was another cafe in Byron Bay off the main street, forgotten the name, where we had the best tiramasu ever.

    I can also recommend the Byron Springs Guesthouse, nice setting, clean, quiet, not far from town, and the friendliest hosts you’d ever hope for. Excellent breakfast supplied, kitchen access if you want to cook.

    Wifi but only a communal TV, if that’s important.

  2. I have to acknowledge here the NSW state of origin win, and congratulate them.

    Quite often these matches are very close and many times we have won the close ones. We didn’t help ourselves this time with a 9/5 penalty count against us and 12 errors to their 10. The game was almost won when Thaiday had the ball dislodged by Hayne in the process of scoring a try. Towards the end NSW had 5 consecutive sets leading up to the try. Very few teams can hold out under those circumstances, especially since we were down to 15 players.

    Now the focus is on a possible series whitewash. They are rare but they happen.

  3. On other matters, the global refugee figure has passed 50m for first time since second world war. There are three categories:

    Refugees – 16.7 million people worldwide. Apart from 5 million Palestinians, the biggest refugee populations by source country are Afghans, Syrians and Somalis, which together account for half the total. The main host countries were Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Eighty-six per cent of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries – up from 70% a decade ago.

    • Asylum seekers – close to 1.2 million people submitted asylum claims, mostly in developed countries. In terms of country of origin, the highest number was from Syria (64,300), followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo (60,400) and Burma (57,400). Germany was the largest recipient.

    • Internally displaced people – a record 33.3 million were forced to flee their homes but remained within their country’s borders.

    In the face of this our bipartisan policy is to suit ourselves as to who we take and from where, then to be as beastly as we can get away with to anyone who comes our way uninvited.

  4. Now reading Richard J. Evans’s The Third Reich in Power.If its possible its better than The Coming of the Third Reich, which I thought was excellent.
    The Baghdad book was a little disappointing; a bit scrappy or something.

  5. Brian
    Half the refugees are children according to your link.
    An adoption regulations overhaul could alleviate this somewhat with little objection from the electorate.
    Someone in Govt raised this issue but it got no traction due to an adoption child abuse case.
    It’s a pity the majority get punished for the deeds of a tiny minority.
    Every fricken time.

  6. I have spent Thursday and Saturday helping with the OXFAM trailwalk. An amazing exercise with hundreds of teams raising money by doing either the 100 km or 55 km walks from Mt Glorious to Mt Cootha to raise money for Oxfam. (Some of the more extreme teams do the 55 km walk after finishing the 100 km walk. The trail

    passes through stunning rainforest in D’Aguilar National Park and winds along the top of Lake Manchester before reaching Lake Manchester Recreation Area, near the half way point. Lake Manchester is also the starting point on Saturday 21 June for teams undertaking the 55km option.

    Heading through ridges and creeks, the trail hugs Mt Nebo Road and then crosses to Bellbird Grove. From here it makes a final pass south across D’Aguilar National Park before joining the walking trails along the beautiful Enoggera Creek. Finally, the trail travels through Mt Coot-tha Forest Park and, following two climbs around Mt Coot-tha, finishes at JC Slaughter Falls.

    The best time this year was about 12 hrs for the 100 km walk and 7 hrs for the 55 km walk.
    This is the third year I have helped. The people I have worked with are tremendous and it is amazing how many come back each year. It is a good feeling even if I do have sore feet at the moment.

  7. John, I heard the bloke from Oxfam talk about this on the radio. He said the fast teams simply run. Also some camp but many walk through the night until the 100 km is done. He stressed the amount of training required. He said the challenge is as much mental as physical.

    At my age I think I’ll give it a miss! Sounds a bit strenuous!

  8. I note with no amazement whatever that this foul Government is now trying to distract us from its horrendous budget with a beat up about hundreds of Australian jihadists serving in Syria and Iraq returning to Australia to murder us in our beds.
    God help us!
    Laura Tingle is on to them (of course) but the rest of the media are like chooks being fed. Fran Kelly fell for it hook line and sinker on Insiders this morning.

  9. Brian: To go 100 km in 12 hrs would mean averaging about twice my average over 20km. A woman on my sweep team said it took her team 33 hrs (including breaks) for the 2013 walk. She also said that there was a lot of training involved to get that result and that she was a walking wreck by the end of the walk. (She also commented that she regretted not training for the 16 km sweep.) Never the less she said that she would have gone again this year if she had been able to put together a team.
    The whole walk becomes a lot harder if the team is not fast enough to complete before they desperately need a sleep.

  10. John, to go 100 km in 12 hrs would mean averaging 8.5 km per hour, I gather over fairly rough country. It’s got to be at a jogging pace.

    Having had a heart operation I wouldn’t risk 33 hours straight of walking, nor split over two days.

  11. Paul @ 9, I heard the Insiders replay on NewsRadio. The government are pretending the jihadi thing is a border protection issue, whereas all Australians fighting as jihadis overseas are Australians pure and simple.

  12. In March Immigration Minister Scott Morrison signed a legal instrument saying a maximum of 2773 protection visas could be granted in the year to June 30.

    That maximum having been reached, he claimed that no new protection visas could be granted.

    The High Court has now found that the section of the Migration Act under which the minister made this ruling was invalid.

  13. Paul Burns @ 5.: The Australians taking part in the Middle East conflicts as Foreign Fighters are a POTENTIAL risk for Australian domestic security …. just as they may represent POTENTIAL opportunities for the reputation of Australia by being seen as supporters of what are seen as “just causes” by some.

    Both potentialities need to be handled with great care and certainly not by reacting to the demands of the 24/7 news manufacturers. This is a complex situation that cannot be resolved by simplistic (and potentially perilous) solutions. Prudent delays in taking action as well as taking swift and effective action do depend on the widest range of intelligence sources. Rushing in with all guns blazing at anything that might be a target is a recipe for regret and for ongoing tragedies.

  14. Brian: Stats for the Brisbane Oxfam walk the day after completion

    79% of walkers completed the challenge, 535 volunteers cheered, waved and whooped and more than $930,000 has already been donated with the fundraising still rolling in.

  15. Graham: I agree, fighting in foreign wars is a complex issue that needs to handled carefully on a case by case basis. I think most of us can think of foreign wars where participation should have been applauded. (Ex: Fighting with the Greeks in WWll before Australia became involved.) In other cases it can become very complex. (Ex: Fighting with Al Qaida in Afghanistan when Al Qaida was supported by the US in the fight against Russian occupation.

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