Seasons greetings 2018


Climate Plus again wishes you a pleasant Christmas/New Year and health and happiness for 2019.

Last year I went into the history and meaning of Christmas in some detail. I won’t repeat that here.

However, I do have important news. Santa Claus has been detained by Australian Border Force. Fair dinkum! Here’s the story:

    Merely days before Christmas, a Mr S Claus allegedly from the North Pole has been detained by Australian Border Force whilst trying to enter the country.

    It’s believed the patron of Christmas was identified by Customs Agents during immigration, his big beard and unseasonable attire drawing attention and concern.

    Upon being confronted by officials, agents were unable to determine his proper identity due to discrepancies in his story and multiple passports in different names.

    “We’ve had to detain a gentleman trying to access Australia due to an inability to ascertain his identity”, stated a public official, “whilst at this stage we don’t suspect the man to be a terror threat, we intend on taking every precaution”.

    It’s believed that Santa was visiting Australia to perform interviews with several Australian politicians to confirm their naughty/nice status for the upcoming holiday.

    Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, fronted media on the matter in the early hours of this morning. “This is a wonderful testament to Australia’s border security. Even if Jesus tried to enter the country, we would do a thorough background check regarding his activities and time spent in the middle east”.

You wouldn’t read about it!

I did hear a report on ABC radio that Border Force had been alerted to a planned invasion of Australian air space by a white-haired old man on Christmas eve. We can all rest easily in our beds because they are planning to shoot him down. Unfortunately I can’t verify the story, so it may be groundless alarmism.

More seriously, 2018 has been a challenging year for many people close to me, but most ended in better shape than they began. Sadly it began with news of the passing of my brother-in-law, who passed away in the early hours of the last day of 2017, after a long illness having just made it through to their 52nd wedding anniversary.

She’s my younger sister, so that might give you a clue as to how ancient I am. I’m actually feeling better than I was a year ago, so while there is life I’ll carry on, although not entirely regardless.

Again, we’ll keeping things simple at our place. My son Mark is still with us, and my younger son will come over for a quiet one on our deck. Here’s an older photo of Mark from a few years ago:

Later, before New Year, we’ll get together with the wider Brisbane clan. On Christmas day we plan to talk to my daughter and lovely granddaughter in Adelaide in a video link via Facebook. In late January they are coming up for a week. Here they are in the Mt Coot-tha Botanical Gardens when they were last here in November 2017:

And here is my lovely granddaughter on the day she left:

Again from Climate Plus we sincerely wish you a pleasant Christmas/New Year, health and happiness for 2018. Beyond that, may there be purpose and meaning in your life, but the capacity to be in and to enjoy the moment.

47 thoughts on “Seasons greetings 2018”

  1. All the best to you and yours Brian, and many thanks for your tireless efforts in keeping this forum active.

  2. Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, fronted media on the matter in the early hours of this morning. “This is a wonderful testament to Australia’s border security. Even if Jesus tried to enter the country, we would do a thorough background check regarding his activities and time spent in the middle east”.

    Someone of middle east appearance who had form as a challenge to the religious establishment wouldn’t have stood a chance in Dutton’s Australia.
    To make matters worse, Jesus is recognized as a prophet by Muslims!!!

  3. John, Jesus is typically shown as white European, which has to be wrong. And, yes, he is an important figure to the Muslims.

  4. Thanks for the photos, Brian. Its all about family. And beyond You and Mark have had a profound impact on so many of us bringing reason, rationality and political focus into our daily lives. Thanks for all that you are from me and mine.

  5. Good on you Brian

    You and Mark have indeed made your mark in the rational part of the electronic media.

    All good wishes
    Und fröhliche Weihnacht

    please excuse spelling

    [Ambi, I’ve just fixed it]

  6. Long, happy, fulfilling family day here.
    Winding down as the kids reach exhaustion.
    Hope everyone here had such a wonderful time.

    And at this stage of Xmas day I reflect on those, foreign and domestic, that haven’t.

  7. The crisis with Santa continued with Christmas Crisis: Santa Transferred To Christmas Island For Processing :

    Addressing the media, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told of his concern in managing the situation. “We didn’t wish to introduce Santa to Nauru as we have the well being and safety of these incarcerated children as our highest priority.”

    Barnaby Joyce has chimed in, saying this was the Johnny Depp saga all over again. In a tweet he said that “Santa should be in a cell with Pistol and Boo”, and that, “Christmas is a time for family/families, not refugees”.

    Global leaders are concerned:

    “I’ve been tremendous this year. I’ve asked Santa for a new long range missile system and satellite targeting. Australia better not fuck this up!” stated Kim Jong Un. The White House responded, saying there was no way that “very very very bad man” was on the nice list.

    Then the Christmas Crisis Deepens: Deported Santa Places All Australians On Naughty List:

    Despite having a key role in the incident, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was allegedly inconsolable after hearing the news, having written a letter to Santa, requesting a new set of steak knives for Christmas.

    This ends the week-long saga where international opinion of Australians has reached an all-time low, with even Tanzanian officials referring to Aussies as “closed-minded”. (Emphasis added)

    Thank goodness, we can all relax again!

  8. A perspective of what, fleeing back to Guatemala because King Donald is going to kill the children ?

  9. And at this stage of Xmas day I reflect on those, foreign and domestic, that haven’t. (had such a wonderful time.)

  10. Who’s this Santa?
    Sounds Eyetalian like Santamaria.

    That surname is a bit of a worry. Is it really Claws? I’m inclined to think a bloke called Claws shouldn’t be in shared accomodation
    with other detainees. Or is it a typo…. Claus? Klaus? Did he throw away his ID before he arrived?

    Did he have aviation clearance? Reindeer sound positively quaint, but if they’re coal-munchers, they’re probably OK.

    Down here at Rumour Central, we reckon there’s a lot more to this than meets the eye. Wouldn’t be surprised if The Claw is somehow linked to a vast secret conspiracy; conniving adults duping innocent children, huge commercial interests involved, media co-conspirators and tarts, even those most pure amongst us (charities and politicians) joining in or covering up the lies!!! Huge, I reckon.

    Global, international. Massive.

    Most likely it’s so big, not even the Freemasons or Knights Templar would have contemplated organising it.

    And from the little I understand, the Jews wouldn’t have a bar of it.

  11. Bewdy Ambi, good to see you in such excellent form.

    On Christmas day I went for a walk and the park near our place was crawling with people. This evening, just about no-one there. All the worse for wear, at home sleeping it off I reckon.

  12. Thank you Brian for another year of many well informed posts spread over wide topics. I wish you and your family much joy health, love and peace.

    We are experiencing much gentle rain for the last few days and more to come here on the Tropical Tablelands. What welcomed relieve from the massive heat wave we experienced previously. We are taking it easy, visit some friends with a diner here and a lunch there. Time to rest and reflect, while in-between I future proof our ailing household IT by installing a NAS (Network Assisted Storage) system. An upgrade which is akin to a Heart-Lung transplant and keeps me occupied until wee hours.

    This year I systematically went through our finances and divested from everything unethical and fossil fuel related. Changing the bank involved more than I thought. In todays democracy you don’t vote on the ballot but with your wallet. Credit is not a number on your balance sheet but how many good friends you can count on and people you make happy.

    The new year will bring more massive changes as we evolve into the 21st century. However, the divisiveness will continue for a while as reflected in our populist political leaders. In technology we will see big data and electric cars having a major impact. Helpfulness and authenticity will make a comeback in our society and will shape increasingly successful business models. Women will increasingly have more say in public discourse and decision making. while religious institutions will find themselves increasingly at existential crossroads. However, interesting developments to watch is in the future of work, biotechnology and the cracks widening in conventional ‘free market’ economy and a diminishing of established and bloated ‘market forces’.

  13. This year I systematically went through our finances and divested from everything unethical and fossil fuel related.

    What a wonderfully capitalistic endeavour, well done. If only everyone would be so diligent.

    May your 2019 be filled with an abundance of free market options to choose from, which is impossible without Capitalism.

  14. On the Cricket front, I’d rather be India ATM but a draw is looking more and more within possibility.
    Australia have it all in to do.

  15. Jumpy, please note that there would not be a holiday, Christmas or any other without socialism or communityism, and possibly not even enough money to experience the benefits of the capitalism.

    All things in moderation, except climate change action which must be at maximum effort.

  16. Jumpy

    Whoa there!
    “I’d rather be India ATM”….

    Are you suggesting there is bribery or betting involved in this absorbing contest between bat and ball?

    Where I come from, ATM is automatic teller machine and that’s often used for gambling scams, thefts, etc.

    Perhaps up your way everyone is as honest as the day is long. Over here in Queen Victoria, we’re keen on sandpapering balls, giving pitch reports to shady fellows, and blaming positive test results on our Mum’s innocent medications.

    “Nice one, Gary!!”

  17. BilB
    I’m at a loss, why would there not be an Xmas holiday without the State controlling the means of production, distribution, and exchange?

    And what is the definition of ” communityism “, i can’t find a trusted dictionary that defines that ?

  18. ATM, in the context I intended.

    But I’ve a sneaking suspicion that you knew that already, cheeky beggar.

    Anyway, keep up the good form and spread it around.

  19. Thanks, John.

    zoot, great cartoon!

    Let’s never grow up!

    Ootz,thanks and an impressive statement, especially the last para.

    Jumpy, read a bit of 19th century social history about how child labor was eliminated, the 8 hour day and eventually the 40 hour week and then in the 20th century about the Harvestor Judgement and why Henry Ford paid his workers a decent wage against the advice of fellow capitalists and how the owners of the wharves used to throw coins down into the yard for people to scramble to see who would work that day etc etc. I’ll let you do the Googling.

  20. Child labour?
    That was merely a few enterprising, hard working families taking advantage of opportunities for financial advancement and (fortuitously) assisting their offspring to understand the value of honest toil.

    Demand and supply.
    No crime sprees for those decent, young earners.

    Nothing to see there.

  21. Child labour is a Capitalist, free market thing is it ?

    And id be very, very careful about the motives and virtues of Henry Ford.

    Perhaps I’m not ignoring large chunks of history, yeah, that could be my problem.

  22. Child labour was, unfortunately, widespread across the globe and still continues in many lands.

    Certainly not restricted to free market economies. I was trying to poke fun at the type of justification that could be mounted in its favour. (Fail.)

    Other justifications :
    1. We’ll all starve if the children are idle
    2. What’s the point of school anyway?
    3. It’s the childrens’ duty to the Emperor/Chairman/Great Leader / Revolution/ war effort/national struggle
    4. Dad said so.
    5. Mum said so.
    6. If they want pocket money, let them earn it/ money doesn’t grow on trees
    7. Be a good lass and go and fetch a few coal lumps from yon waste heap
    8. Bring in the sheep, boy. It’s your turn.

  23. Let’s have a little squiz at Child Labour Stats then and see if there is any sort of difference between Capitalism type Countries and “socialism or communityism” types.

    Looks pretty straight forward.

  24. 6. If they want pocket money, let them earn it/ money doesn’t grow on trees

    I agree with that one, all my kids got a job ( insert multinational franchise ) when they were 13 years old.

    When i told them i’ll happily pay for a good $50 pair of shoes for them whenever they needed them, but if they wanted a $ 350 pair with a logo then they earn the difference.

    I also refused to ever be their employer, not ever.

  25. OK

    Let’s narrow it down to children who must work 40, 50, 70 hours a week, every week; don’t attend school; and have no say in either.


  26. Child labour is a Capitalist, free market thing is it ?

    But “capitalism” and “free markets” contain no inherent mechanism to exclude the use of child labour or slavery.
    This means regulation of “capitalism” and “free markets” is a necessity (always assuming you agree that child labour and slavery are a bad thing.)

  27. Jumpy, in England originally children as young as four were made to work. This link tells us:

    The first major legislation created to place limits on child labor were a series of Factory Acts passed by the British parliament throughout the 1800s. These acts limited the number of hours that children could work and placed regulations on workplaces in terms of safety and cleanliness. For example, by 1819, the Factory Acts limited the workday for British children at 12 hours. By 1833, child labor was further regulated when it became illegal for children under 9 years old to work, and children over 13 were not allowed to work more than 9 hours a day.

    The link you provided is limited, because it doesn’t go back past 1850, and deals mainly with the 10-14 age group, apart from a bit towards the end.

    You might also look at their article on laissez-faire capitalism, where self interest is a critical feature.

    Then ponder why countries would intervene with socialist ideas like free compulsory education, which was introduced in Prussia in the 1860s:

    The basic foundations of a generic Prussian primary education system were laid out by Frederick the Great with his Generallandschulreglement, a decree of 1763, authored by Johann Julius Hecker. Hecker had already before (in 1748) founded the first teacher’s seminary in Prussia. His concept of providing teachers with the means to cultivate mulberries for homespun silk, which was one of Frederick’s favorite projects, found the King’s favour.[2] It expanded the existing schooling system significantly and required that all young citizens, both girls and boys, be educated by mainly municipality-funded schools from the age of 5 to 13 or 14. Prussia was among the first countries in the world to introduce tax-funded and generally compulsory primary education.[3] In comparison, in France and Great Britain, compulsory schooling was not successfully enacted until the 1880s.[4]

    It’s a funny thing but the ‘Prussian model’ was developed by Wilhelm von Humboldt, who Christopher Clark says strove to “realise his Kantian vision of education as a process of self-emancipation by rational autonomous individuals.”

    Of course, true liberal capitalists would have none of that and saw it as state brainwashing. In England you had to wait until 1880, when if you wanted to employ a child above age 10 they had to have a certificate of completion of schooling for that age.

    Strictly speaking at that time I gather schooling was neither compulsory nor free.

    In Germany that well-known socialist Martin Luther thought primary schooling should be compulsory so that everyone could read the bible for themselves.

    As we know the reformation in Britain began with the needs of Henry VIII’s private member.

  28. Brian, i hope to get to all that reading you link to in a few days, I’m going off for a few days.

    I’ll never win a ” swamp em with links ” competition.

    But this,

    In Germany that well-known socialist Martin Luther thought primary schooling should be compulsory so that everyone could read the bible for themselves.

    In Germany there was another well known socialist that thought the same way as Martin Luther about education, he praised Henry Ford in a book he wrote, he also had children as young as 5 worked to death, he also waged war and conquered land like Fredereich , he was a rabid ” civiliser of Capitalism, lover of the Arts, thought the best way for humanity to live was the way he saw was correct and wanted to force that into being through law, teamed up with muslims for a common cause and was loved by many at the time and had total governmental power.

    Didn’t end well for him or us.

  29. I’ll never win a ” swamp em with links ” competition.

    Writes the person who demanded

    E…Vid…Ence or your pants self combust.

    [Hint for the irony deficient: evidence = links]

  30. Struth, i’m kicking myself for even engaging with you again but,

    [Hint for the irony deficient: evidence = links]

    No, links to opinion or satire or appeals to authority are NOT evidence. Links to statistical data can be but whenever I do that it’s apparently ” limited ” and no statistical rebuttal is provided. If I were silly enough to link to opinion then the source is untrustworthy or tainted. If I were even sillier I’d link to and authority figure that would be roundly put down.

    Look, I believe it is imperative that the left/right/progressive/conservative/capitalist/socialist/whatever can have free, honest, considered, respectful, un-harassed conversation or everyone is in for a horrible time.
    I’ll use my solo camping trip to reflect on if this venue provides that anymore and why the fuck I should bother.

    ( note to Brian, thanks for the fish if I still feel the way I do now, better pastures in 2019 for us both )


  31. Jumpnmcar (for the rest, if you don’t recall, that’s what Jumpy called himself before I shortened it to Jumpy), I was just treating what you said and linked to in straight fair dinkum terms.

    I think that other bloke you referred to was an Austrian, and they don’t like being called Germans.

    Any way, you choose where you hang out, and I wish you well.

  32. Jumpy, I enjoyed looking up all that stuff on social history and education, which I would not have done without your comment. Being honest.

  33. Jumpnmcar,
    evidence = links” is NOT the same as “links = evidence

    Your response indicates you have not understood this.
    Happy angling.

  34. Thanks for the fish
    may have referred to Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide……..

    Happy fishing, and in answer to your ultimate search: 42.

  35. Some people on here… who can turn a major market failure in Australia into a virtue of fee market capitalism … given the choices we have.

    But yeah … when you’r stuck to a particular ideology with no rational basis but a you can do anything to tickle your ego’s fancy attitude. Kind of a form of auto-erotiscm, or in old fashion terms wakning. Which is a perfect right thing to do, just not unsolicited in public.

    Happy New Year to everyone!

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