Saturday salon 2/5

1. Nepal earthquake
Recovery is chaotic, with no direction or authority says ABC journalist Siobhan Heanue. She said law and order and the general morale in Kathmandu was stable purely because of the compassion and attitude of the Nepalese people.

    “Chaos is beginning to envelope the city, and Nepal is known for its ineffective government at the best of times.

    “It’s one of the most impoverished nations in Asia and there seems to be a complete lack of direction and authority.”

    She said there is no strategic direction for the recovery effort and most are still without power.

That report was four days after the event.

Food, drinking water, communications, power, temporary shelters were all in short supply. In some places people struggled to find wood to cremate the dead.

nepal earthquake 2_550

35 districts out of 75 were effected. Some remote areas don’t have access roads. The single airport in Katmandu is struggling to cope. So far the death toll is over 6000, but 8 million people are in need of aid. There are said to be 1500 aid agencies active in the area, so coordination is an issue. If you want to donate, the ABC provides links to 33 different appeals.

Here are some before and after photos. This satellite image shows the difference in land height, calibrated in inches:


On the TV tonight there did seem to be some order coming into rescue efforts, with the army to the fore.

2. Nearly 300 women rescued in Nigeria

    “Nigeria’s military says it has rescued 200 girls and 93 women from a notorious Boko Haram stronghold, but an army spokesman says the hostages were not those kidnapped from Chibok a year ago.”
    “Nigerian forces backed by warplanes invaded the vast Sambisa Forest late last week as part of a push to win back territory from Boko Haram.

    The group, notorious for violence against civilians, controlled an area roughly the size of Belgium at the start of the year but has since been beaten back by Nigerian troops, backed by Chad, Niger and Cameroon.”

I heard on the BBC that some of the women had been ‘brainwashed’ to the point where they had guns and shot at their rescuers. Many were also malnourished.

3. Poll stuff

Both Morgan and Essential have Labor ahead federally at 53-47 TPP, not sure what Newspoll is doing. Morgan has some interesting stuff on leaders.

Abbott is preferred LNP leader by only 12% of the electorate, a record low for him, compared to Malcolm Turnbull at 38% and Julie Bishop at 27%.

The big news, though, is that things are not going so well for Shorto:

  • Deputy ALP Leader Tanya Plibersek 23% (up 5%) of electors is now the preferred Labor Leader ahead of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten 21% (down 4%) with both well ahead of Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese 13% (up 3%) and former Treasurer Wayne Swan 10% (unchanged).
  • Tanya Plibersek 30% (up 9%) is now also preferred amongst ALP supporters ahead of Bill Shorten 26% (down 9%) for the first time and also Wayne Swan 9% (down 3%) and Anthony Albanese 11% (up 3%).

4. A new space for left thinking?

Mark has posted on his blog a statement by Mark Bahnisch, Eva Cox and John Quiggin registering their dissatisfaction with the Centre for Policy Development. They no longer believe that CPD is proposing progressive and innovative policy initiatives. Regrettably:

    “Current policy making is shaped largely by limited influences and insider advice that fails to read public opinion or evidence. Business-funded lobbyists and think tanks dominate public debate, crowding out the very limited alternatives to current ‘verities’.”

They feel that the need for progressive voices is greater than ever.

    “Accordingly, we are working together to create a network to facilitate discussions and policy development around the core value of the public good.

    More detail will be available shortly.

    In the interim, if you would like to support these efforts, please email”

5. Baltimore riots

Something happened in Baltimore that seemed to go beyond a protest over the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Cars and buildings were torched and there was looting. Here’s the ABC report which includes president Obama’s comments and reflections. What can he do?

Reports from The Atlantic and Mother Jones suggest the police could have handled things better and may have even set up the conditions for the riots to happen.

Introduction to Saturday salon

Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.


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.

The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:

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

12 thoughts on “Saturday salon 2/5”

  1. It has stopped raining now, but SEQ had a bit of a deluge in the past 36 hours. Three died at Caboolture as they had 277 mm within three hours. The official Brisbane gauge got 181 mm which was a single day record for Brisbane.

  2. Jumpy, thank you for sharing.
    Are you making a point or do you just like pretty animations?

  3. Wild weather predicted for New England didn’t eventuate, thank goodness. was not looking forward to power outages.

  4. zoot
    No probs, no and yes.

    ( see, answering questions isn’t difficult. Give it a try sometime, )

  5. To explain … answering one either/or query does not establish your credentials.

  6. Thanks Jumpy. Now I can see why they call them the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties.

    G’day Paul. Was wondering how you were going.

    Brian. Like your new format. + +

  7. Graham, on the new format, I think its pretty much how things fell into place after tigtog grabbed the most robust WordPress theme she could find. At a minimum I’d like to see the heading go back up on the banner header and numbered comments.

    Jumpy, liked the animation, thanks.

  8. Looks like the greens have purged the last of the old school environmentalists.

  9. After 25 yrs of public life someone as logical as Christine may have realised that the party was in a good position for her to leave without weakening the party. However, you are right to see Christine as someone who joined before climate action and social justice became much more important.

  10. Jumpy and John D. Although I disagreed with many of her stands, Christine Milne’s departure will be a loss to democracy (such as it is) in Australia.

Comments are closed.