Kathy Jackson who once posed as a whistleblower has been exposed as a liar, a thief and a hypocrite. The $1.4 million she lifted from the Health Services Union makes Craig Thompson look like a petty thief.
2. Mark Latham resigns from the Australian Financial Review
- That “trollumnist” Mark Latham, that “misogynist”, “venal”, “crazy-eyed moron” whose views should be “rejected and dismantled and kicked into the gutter where they belong” has resigned from the Australian Financial Review.
I could quote further of the many public character assessments of the former Labor leader, but you get the gist.
Alcorn regrets his going.
- Latham is angry, outrageous, insulting – with a lifelong chip on his shoulder – as well as astute, brave and far more readable than most.
The Guardian reports AFR editor Michael Stutchberry saying Latham wasn’t pushed.
Latham resigned within days of a BuzzFeed report linking Latham to the abusive @RealMarkLatham Twitter account.
Stutchbury says Latham gave no explanation, but thinks it had more to do with transgender military officer Catherine McGregor, who he labelled “increasingly erratic’.
I have to admit, we dodged a bullet when we nearly made him PM.
3. Greece goes pear-shaped
First of all Alexis Tsipras feels he has to call an election to gain a mandate for the austerity package he signed up to.
Now the party has split:
- Angry at what they see as a betrayal of Syriza’s anti-austerity principles, the 25 MPs announced their intention to form a new party in a letter to parliament the day after Tsipras resigned to pave the way for snap elections next month.
Led by the former energy minister, Panagiotis Lafazanis, the new movement will be the third-largest group in the Greek parliament and could conceivably receive a mandate to try to form a new government.
4. Amen to religious instruction
The Victorian Government will scrap Special Religious Instruction (SRI) in schools in favour of a curriculum that aims to develop respectful relationships, and will include the study of world religions, cultures, faiths and ethics.
Education Minister James Merlino said:
- “This new content helps all school students, regardless of their background or faith, to understand the world around them and the ideas and values that shape that world.”
Respect for women will also be taught as a counter to domestic violence.
According to the ABC report Victoria offered religious instruction on an ‘opt-in’ basis. Only 20% took up the offer. The other 80% were not allowed to engage in any curriculum work that would disadvantage the 20%. I imagine this caused considerable difficulty for schools.
The China Earthquake Networks Centre said the initial explosion, in a city with a population of around 15 million, had a power equivalent to three tonnes of TNT detonating, while the second was the equivalent of 21 tonnes.
It killed over 100 people.
In terms of explosive power it was nevertheless a minnow compared to the the explosion at Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917 which killed about 2000 people and injured a further 9000.
- The blast was the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons, releasing the equivalent energy of roughly 2.9 kilotons of TNT.
The explosion occurred shortly after the SS Mont-Blanc, a French cargo ship fully loaded with wartime explosives, collided with an empty Norwegian vessel off Halifax, Nova Scotia. While the damage to Mont Blanc was not severe, some drums of benzol on the deck were broken open, flooding the deck with benzol which then flowed into the hold. A fire started which could not be controlled, so the crew abandoned the ship.
- Every building within a 2.6-kilometre (1.6 mi) radius, over 12,000 in total, was destroyed or badly damaged. Hundreds of people who had been watching the fire from their homes were blinded when the blast wave shattered the windows in front of them.
The shank of the ship’s anchor, weighing half a ton, landed 3.2 kilometres away.
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.