Saturday salon 14/10

1. Jacaranda time!

There are festivals in Grafton and in Goodna, which for the uninitiated is between Ipswich and Brisbane, but not for another two weeks! Seems a bit late to me.

Any way the jacarandas are out in Brisbane now, so the place is turning purple. This photo is near the lake in the grounds of the University of Queensland:

This site (not the best photography, but it’ll do) has some of the many places jacarandas can be seen in Brisbane, which is basically everywhere, including this jacaranda-inspired building I haven’t yet seen:

When I was young we had only annual exams at university, and jacaranda time marked the beginning of swot time. I usually waited until the flowers were falling, which happens with the early summer storms.

2. The tale of two men of God

Some were more than a little astonished when The Sydney Anglican Diocese Gave $1 Million To The “No” Campaign. That’s about same-sex marriage of course.

Then we had the response from the Anglican Dean of Brisbane, the reverend Dr Peter Catt in $1 million to oppose gay marriage: ‘Why do I persist with the Church?’

He worried about how:

    LGBTQI+ people have been objectified, latent homophobia has been emboldened, lies have been peddled and many, many people have been hurt.

He also worried about Tony Abbott who “showed himself the intellectual equal of Malcolm Roberts”.

Then we had a response from Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies in Archbishop defends $1 million Anglican church donation to ‘No’ campaign. This is his worry:

    “Overseas experience indicates that same-sex marriage leads to government funding and recognition of charitable status being increasingly tied to “equality compliance”.

    “Christian agencies overseas have been required by law to hire staff who do not support the Christian ethos of the organisation,” he said.

    “Our Anglican bodies make a real difference to Australian lives, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    “Compare that with an investment of just one million dollars to help ensure that this vital work continues in the future.”

I’d better not say anything, because if I did I’d be saying that it obviously takes a bigot to be a good ‘Christian’.

3. Helen Dale has written a new book

You may remember Helen Dale, aka Helen Demidenko, who wrote the book The Hand That Signed the Paper.

Now she’s written a new book, or rather two, as she explains in ’I’ve written a book about Jesus’: Helen Dale explains new novel. That’s the OZ, and pay-walled, but if you google the title you may get it.

She became interested in Jesus, the man who was:

    belabouring the ancient world’s equivalent of bank tellers with a whip does not look like a pacifist to me.

    Then there were his politics: socially conservative (he railed against divorce), redistributive, even socialist (he railed against the rich), egalitarian (he railed against the treatment of the poor). He wasn’t too impressed by the Great Satan of his day, the Roman empire, either. His Judaean contemporaries referred to the Roman Empire as ‘‘the kingdom of the wicked’’, whence the title of this book.

As a lawyer she is fascinated by the world the Romans built, socially, legally and everything else, and what has become of it. So she puts Jesus in modern industrial society. She says at the end:

    I am wary of attempts to distil books into a single theme, but if there is one thing that exercised my mind while writing Kingdom of the Wicked, it is the relationship of the two missionary monotheisms, Islam and Christianity, to science, technology and the Western use of a form of religious tolerance that a pagan Roman would recognise but for a long time was in abeyance in the West and elsewhere.

    Rather than attempt to say how that relationship should work in so many words, I used fiction to explore my own confusions, doubts and concerns.

Kingdom of the Wicked – Rules has just been published, and Book II – Order will come out about next March. Here’s a bit about the book and about Helen.

4. Turnbull has lost the regions

In fact the only demographic where the LNP leads Labor on primary vote is in the 50+ age category. This must be worrying the bejesus out of them, and may account for some of their policy maneuvers.

Newspoll has done its quarterly summary of polls, which you should be able to find here. This is the main summary table:

Since the last election, overall the LNP’s vote has gone from 42.1% to 36, while Labor’s has improved from 34.7% to 37. The Greens are roughly the same at 10% while One Nation has moved from 1.3% to 8, and Other from 11.7 to 9.

In the non-capital cities the LNP has gone from 44.2 to 34, while Labor has moved from 30.8 to 36. The Greens again are roughly the same at 9, while ON has moved from 2.2 to 11, and Other from 16.4 to 10.

Leadership performance and Better PM results have not moved appreciably.

Essential Report’s latest also looks ugly for the LNP, trailing Labor 46-54. One Nation has eased in the last few weeks from 9 to 7.

Of interest, Essential has done a series of polls for state elections. In terms of TPP in NSW the LNP is ahead 51-49, but in Victoria it trails 46-54, in Queensland 47-53, in SA 48-52 and WA 46-54.

The really interesting ones are SA and Qld, where we have elections coming up. In SA the primary vote is Labor 37, Liberal 30, Xenophon 18, Other/Independent 10 and The Greens 6.

In Queensland we have Labor 35, the LNP 34, One Nation 13, the Greens 10, Other/Independent 6 and Katter 2.

In both cases it will be a seat-by-seat slug fest, with SA looking hung. Labor’s Palaszczuk has a chance, simply because the LNP can’t win alone and would have to accommodate One Nation. Essential report, in working out TPP used the last election split, which is almost certainly wrong, in part because we have moved to compulsory preferential voting.

Any way, I think what I said in We deserve better remains true. Fringe groups are having a disproportionate influence.

33 thoughts on “Saturday salon 14/10”

  1. The vote for parties other than Labor and the Coalition rose from 23% at the last election to 27% now. Some of this would represent positive support for things like Green issues but there is a growing protest vote here.
    The details are interesting with the big move from the LNP to Labor occurring in the 5 non-capital cities with lesser swings.

  2. John, I suspect there is a significant drift from the LNP to ON, especially in the country. I doubt those votes will come back any time soon, but preferences will obviously vital.

  3. Brian: Both Lab and LNP capital city votes have changed very little. It is the other city vote where labor has gained and the LNP lost. The figures largely match up.
    The other interesting thing is that the ON gain is roughly the same as the loss to “others”. In other words, regionally, ON is winning the “completely pissed off with the majors” protest vote,
    The irony here is the LNP’s actions to “recover the ON vote” is helping to drive the move of regional LNP voters to Labor.
    In the mean time the Green vote is remarkably stable. This suggests that it is retaining their core supporters while failing to attract new voters. (However, the Greens are gaining in Qld while losing support in WA.)
    The Qld Greens are now getting the same support as NSW. Will this result in an increase in elected representatives?

  4. Hi BilB

    I love the Sydney Opera House, and think it’s one of the great buildings of the 20th century….. if there has to be a list…… (which there doesn’t).

    Thanks for the photos, Brian.

  5. Ambi,

    Yes, the Opera House is pretty special. Great concept, I would have preferred another site for it though. If you compare the outcome to the original sketch you will see that something essential was lost along the way. The outcome image to me is more about clam shells humping than sails on the harbour. Regardless it is a wonderful building to experience.

    I rang Bill Shorten’s office today to say that I am distressed that Abbott is let off Scott free on electricity pricing when he was the ratbag who guaranteed the outcome, but the guy who answered the phone came back with “that’s a good theory, but not true”. What I said was absolutely true. It seems that Shorten’s office is manned by LNP staffers. Very disappointing.

  6. I find the National Museum of Australia building in Canberra also remarkable.

    Why is nobody talking about the scenario post high court decision. If a black letter ruling comes about and Labor won’t pair then isn’t the Government a seat or two short? Would they not have to negotiate with the ”fringe groups”, a bit like Gillard had to after her hung election?

  7. In good news from astronomy ~

    This year’s Nobel Prize in Physics to the theoretical and practical work around LIGO, which detected gravitational waves, was well merited.

    Today’s news is special. LIGO detected a train of gravitational waves, believed to have been emitted during the final 100 seconds of the collision and merging of two neutron stars. (Tiny, massive, very dense remnants of earlier bright stars).

    An alert was sent out worldwide.
    Dozens of optical telescopes were then pointed to the spot.
    Spectrometers detected gold, platinum in the afterglow of the “kilonova” event.

    A theoretical scenario confirmed directly by observation.
    The ability of LIGO to pinpoint the direction of the source, crucial.

    Where do very heavy elements come from??
    Most models have the Universe starting off with hydrogen atoms, then a bit of helium [see, for example, The Sun].

    Maybe, to get gold and platinum, neutron stars have to be formed, then collide. What are the chances???


    Now, if I may descend to the Realm of the Goat Herders… THIS discovery is agile, nimble, internationally cooperative, a fine amalgam of engineering and finance. Makes me proud to be a humanoid biped.

    “We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”
    ~ Oscar Wilde

  8. BTW

    These observations also verify Albert Einstein’s contention that gravitational waves should travel at the speed of light.

    Take a bow, Albert.
    You little bobby dazzler!!

  9. That is really cool, Ambi, particularly the directional detection feature. It opens up all manner of new observational possibilities.

    You forgot to mention that this is applied science, by scientists and engineers.

    No doubt the denialists will call this a conspiracy to rip off taxpayers, and they will start a counter theory that the observation is connected to a solar notch effect which proves that global warming is a fake concept that can only be resolved with the copious use of coal while smoking more cigarettes and spinning a gun on a finger, or something.

  10. ….and refusing to have their kids vaccinated. Of course, vitamins don’t exist either, or if they do they cause autism.

  11. Ambi: The theories I have seen all talk about heavier elements being produced and dispersed into space during supernovae. This doesn’t mean that some heavy elements production might be produced by collisions of neutron stars.

  12. Well done BilB, the first I’ve seen on the web to diss guns and cigarettes because stars collided millions of years before the first gun or cigarette existed.

  13. I thought previous theories mentioned something like 9 supernova cycles to produce gold. But this puts another dimension to it. I was always intrigued by the human fascination of gold, think of the alchemists or Agamemnon’s mask, the Keltic torc. There is some magic in this stardust stuff and cosmic debris from a monumental and epic clash of some of the most powerful entities in the universe.

  14. Thanks John and Ootz

    Perhaps this latest observation just demonstrates another pathway to gold? Not excluding the multiple-supernova route.

    I was re-telling some online news, not assessing the likelihood that the hypothesis was valid.

    Applied science and engineering are terrific!

  15. You have “dissed” cigarettes and guns.

    I thought Bilb was “dissing” denialists (like the one who misunderstood his comment). But I’m happy to join in the condemnation of his completely gratuitous attack on guns and cigarettes. It was uncalled for and constitutes an abuse of free speech. We can’t have things like that in a country like Australia.


  16. zootus

    Yes, B was criticising those who reject scientific and medical findings. But his interlocutor misunderstood and accused him of “dissing” ciggies and coal, and moreover doing so on an inappropriate cosmic timescale.

    The comment was so confused that I supposed the best response was in turn to join in and try to jump upon B from a great height, in utter ignorance of B’s intentions.

    When absurdity occurs, what do you do?
    J. M. Keynes.

    My supply of harrumphs ran out weeks ago. Then you sacked your batman. I mean, what is one to do, in all honesty? I fear that without a very minimum level of comprehension, the club just cannot operate effectively. Extraordinary, Aloysius.

  17. No zoot he was dissing things he doesn’t like on the back of a totally unrelated event.
    It happens all the time in some circles.
    I’m not surprised you think it’s misunderstood.

    On a more disturbing topic of the entertainment industry, I find it horrendous the amount of sickos that infest the place. And the enabling that is evident.
    What’s the US version of a Royal Commission?

  18. Mr J

    It has become more apparent recently, both in US and UK.
    Cosby, Weinstein to the West; Saville (dec.) to the East.

    BBC blamed for ignoring Saville. Then there’s Harris.

    In the US, and elsewhere, the “casting couch” has been known since the 1930s. Snigger, nudge nudge, wink, ignore.

    Mr Clinton took that attitude into the White House. His wife gave him a free pass: no divorce. Mrs Weinstein did better. Let’s not forget Mr Wiener, convicted former spouse of Mrs Clinton’s aide. Lost her sense of Huma.

    I am not meaning to swing attention away from Hollywood. Harrassment and the sense of entitlement to workplace sex seems to be widespread. By no means restricted to the “entertainment industry”, though celebrity downfall is a popular news item, worldwide. All over the globe: US, UK, Australia, France….. count to 200 nations…….

    Chairman Mao was a shocker. Ditto Bung Karno in Indonesia. It really does seem that male power is a factor, whether it’s political power, seniority in a corporation, seniority in a Church, in a school…….

    or nearer to home…. literally…… seniority in a family. Misbehaving uncle, groping grandpa.

    And, yes, sometimes the culprit is a woman.

    Certainly a problem that’s worth grappling with and improving the experiences of the (potential) prey.

  19. Mr Clinton took that attitude into the White House. His wife gave him a free pass: no divorce.

    Ambi, I understand Hillary made Bill sleep on the couch for a considerable period of time, or so it was said!

  20. Brian

    I hope he didn’t turn that couch into a casting couch!

    Sorry, I have delved into that murk more than was pleasant. Mr C, it appears, was a serial philanderer and predator. Mrs C did a TV interview with Mr C when he was first running for President. As I recall it was to deflect accusations brought by Jennifer Flowers (? spelling). That was many years before the Monica saga.

    It may be that Ms Flowers had been a consenting partner; I can’t recall. Monica was a subordinate. And there were dozens more.

    JFK was a shocker.

    Closer to home, J. G. Gorton PM was publicly accused of sexual misconduct, and R.J.Hawke actually boasted about his antics on TV with Mr Michael Parkinson: ” Yairs, I’ve had my moments….” [appreciative chuckle by studio audience].

    JFK was enabled by a silent Press.
    Ditto Gorton, Hawke.

    The list is, sadly, very long.

    In Washington DC they have the Harrasser in Chief.
    Little wonder Mrs T chooses to stay in NY in T Tower.

    Apologies for this long comment.

  21. PS
    Not suggesting that Mr Hawke or Mr Gorton ever forced themselves on a lady.

    The reptilian Henry Kissinger is notorious for saying, “Power is a wonderful aphrodisiac!”

    You’d know, Henry!

    And again, I don’t mean to suggest the harrassment is mainly occurring in centres of state power.

    BTW, my personal opinion is that celibacy isn’t much of a factor…

  22. Apparently, young Jacinda will be PM in Aotearoa = New Zealand.

    Interesting times ahead.

  23. Yes, Jacinda is the one.

    On errant public figures, there was Billy Sneddon, who died on the job, Jim Cairns, who expressed ”a kind of love” for young Junie Morosi, and old Profumo with Christine and Mandy. I do know that when Bob Hawke was staying in overnight in a Queensland provincial city, the local ALP branch was tasked with finding him some company for the night.

    The locals were not impressed!

    On Hillary and Bill, I did look into the matter a bit and came to the conclusion that Bill had a fetish, which meant that Monica did not get what she was expecting.

    I came to the provisional conclusion that Bill was a serial performer and a serial liar. Hillary, when she found out was very angry and upset, but in the event decided to forgive him provided he mended his ways.

    I know that many feminists disapproved, but one or two respected Hillary’s right to make her own decision.

    I don’t know whether you were at the blog Back Pages, but I recall writing a long dissertation about forgiving the unforgivable in relation to Hillary, but I’ve lost the detail now.

  24. Hillary wasn’t very supportive of the women saying Bill raped them. Even before I had any interest in politics at all her image on tv gave a distrusting feeling.

    But on the entertainment industry thang, I have no problem with a voluntary exchange if sex is involved and I’m pretty sure there is lots of that going on, it’s common knowledge.
    But for high and mighty Merrill Streep calling Weinstein ” God ” knowing what was going on or moral superior Ben Affleck saying he’s shocked when he knew turns my stomach a bit.

  25. NZ will be back at the polling booths inside 2 years and NZF will go the way of the Maori party after winston pulls the pin.

    You heard it here first.

    I surmise that one factor in Hillary’s lack of appeal to the American public, is that when the Monica story broke, Bill lied to her. So she went on TV and said the accusations against him were part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” against him.

    Truth came out, egg all over Hillary’s face. Nice work, Bill!

    And then last year at her nomination in front of thousands in the hall and millions on TV, he came out with this sweet and sentimental gush about “the first time ever I saw her face”.

    More carpets ruined by vomit at that moment, than in all previous history.

    Christopher Hitchens explained that the title of his book on the Clintons, No-one Left To Lie To was a quote from a Congressman, at the time of Bill’s impeachment hearings; after many years of scandals hanging around Bill and Hillary like a very bad smell.

    Sorry, you can probably guess I don’t have much time for her.

    Of course, she had every right to stick with him.
    But my guess is that it speaks more of her hunger for political office, than loyalty to the man she loves.

    Bill Snedden was no longer an MP when he slept with his son’s ex.

    Jim Cairns on the other hand was a Minister and for a while Federal Treasurer, when his colleagues thought he had become distant, and blamed a staffing choice.

    Unfortunately, Jim and Junie later both perjured themselves during a libel trial, claiming nothing intimate had occurred.

    Tom Uren later said he used to lend Jim the key to his flat when they needed a private Treasury moment; and Jim admitted the affair on Melbourne radio, after his wife Gwen had passed away.

  27. Ambi, I wasn’t a total fan of Hillary, but thought she was the best candidate on offer. I liked Sanders’ policies, but I thought, if elected, he wouldn’t get far with them.

    Hillary, though, I thought had too much baggage that was exploitable, and she was always vulnerable to a big dump towards the end.

    Bill should have stayed at home during the campaign.

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