Bronwyn Bishop will have to get by on a pension of $255,000 plus 10 free domestic return flights a year if she were to take the Prime Minister’s hint and quit Parliament at the next election.
70 years ago on August 6, 1945 an atomic bomb wiped out Hiroshima, followed by another dropped on Nagasaki on August 9.
Tilman Ruff gives an account and looks at the prospects for nuclear disarmament. The bombs were the climax of a 6-month campaign:
- Between March and August 1945, 66 Japanese cities, with populations down to 30,000 inhabitants, were systematically bombed by an average of 500 bombers carrying 4000-5000 tons of bombs per city. In Tokyo on March 9-10, an estimated 120,000 civilians died in the bombing and subsequent fires.
NPR looks at the committee process that led up to the choosing of Hiroshima:
- they decided this bomb would not just kill — it would do something biblical: One bomb, from one plane, would wipe a city off the map. It would be horrible. But they wanted it to be horrible, to end the war and to try to stop the future use of nuclear bombs.
Hiroshima was about the right size and suitably compact.
They wanted to end the war, but also to warn everyone else, especially the Soviets, what they could do.
The arguments justifying the use of the bomb include a calculation of the horrendous casualties and destruction that would have occurred in an invasion of Japan.
This article suggests that it was the entry of the Soviets rather than the atomic bombs that precipitated the Japanese surrender.
Westpac will no longer finance payday lenders, a move that will force companies including Cash Converters and Money3 to obtain some of their funding elsewhere.
None of the other big banks are involved.
Most of the loans stem from an inability to meet normal living expenses on the part of low wage earners and welfare recipients. Fees and interest are at usurious rates.
Expert comment on the radio indicated that the industry is worth a billion dollars a year in Australia, and $40 billion in the USA. He thought it was evidence of the inadequacy of welfare support.
4. CSL chooses Switzerland
CSL, the old Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, has been an incredible success story since it was privatised 21 years ago. It now has a market worth of $46 billion and is the only manufacturer in Australia’s top 10 companies. However, only 2000 of its 14,000 employees work in Australia. Now it has decided to invest $600 million in a factory in Switzerland to make specialty blood clotting agents, using research and intellectual property largely developed here.
The CEO has raised again the question as to whether we should have a special tax rate of 10% for advanced manufacturing, pointing out that 10% of something is more than 30% of nothing.
Advanced manufacturing is growing, but only by 1% a year since 2008.
5. Turkey attacks ISIS, but lines up the Kurds
It’s a long article, with an alphabet soup of parties and organisations, but the bottom line seems clear – the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is using a massacre as an excuse to attack ISIS which is really a feint to bomb the Kurds in order to create a ‘zone of peace’ at the border.
The real enemy appears to be the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), which inconveniently won a 13% vote at the recent elections, crossing the 10% threshold for parliamentary representation and denying the AKP the capacity to change the constitution on their own, or indeed a working majority. It looks as though there will have to be a new poll. The suspicion is that the AKP is creating an emergency, to win or perhaps avoid an election.
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.