Category Archives: Sundries

Posts on sundry matters of life the universe and everything: Culture, Environment, Life, Politics & Government, Science, Social Science and Society, Technology etc.

Trump walking away from Iran nuclear deal

There was a disturbing interview with Stan Grant in the last edition of The Link on ABC TV. Trump and other major powers have a deal with Iran has called the deal with Iran where trade sanctions have been lifted in exchange for Iran stopping its nukes program. Trump has called the deal an “embarrassment” and “the worst deal ever negotiated” and has threatened to nix it.

And now he has. Not completely, but he’s on the way by ‘de-certifying’ it. Continue reading Trump walking away from Iran nuclear deal

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:

Continue reading Saturday salon 14/10

We deserve better

In recent times we have had a number of polls in which the Australian people have shown good sense, though not all the time, as we shall see. However, the politics we deserve better than the politics we get.

The latest Essential Report has found that support for same-sex marriage is now at 61-32 in favour, with Labor voters almost as positive as the Greens. Whether you go to church or not does seem to make a difference. The more people go to church the less positive they are.

Of those who voted, 64% say they voted ‘yes’, as against 30% ‘no’ and 6% prefer not to say. Continue reading We deserve better

Electricity shock

Rod Sims’ speech Shining a light: Australia’s gas and electricity affordability problem to the National Press Club certainly established that Australia has a gas and electricity affordability problem which is hurting many consumers and businesses. Electricity prices have more than doubled since 2009 as shown in this graph:

Continue reading Electricity shock

Saturday salon 30/9

1. The power of Tweet

South Australia’s Craigburn Primary School organised a Do It In A Dress fundraising drive with the aim of raising $900 to help girls in Africa who did not have access to education.

    Senator Bernardi tweeted his frustration about the idea on Wednesday by writing, “This gender morphing is really getting absurd”.

    That tweet prompted a backlash and a flood of donations and in less than 48 hours, the school had hit $200,000.

Continue reading Saturday salon 30/9

“Mutti” Merkel looks a certainty

I’m told Germans have little respect for politicians, rating them at the bottom of the pile. Generally, though, they are said to be courteous, even boring in how they conduct their politics, although it doesn’t altogether look that way from the outside.

However, this time policies are not so much to the fore, it’s really about the Merkel model of how to succeed in politics – unobtrusive, appearing ordinary and not of the elite, Continue reading “Mutti” Merkel looks a certainty

Saturday salon 23/9

1. Same sex marriage campaign goes ape

All day yesterday I heard that a same-sex marriage campaigner planted one on Tony Abbott, with Abbott and all and sundry saying it’s emblematic of how the Yes campaign is being prosecuted.

Turns out that 38-year-old Hobart DJ Astro ‘Funknukl’ Labe reckons:

    he is a lone anarchist that “felt the need to headbutt Tony Abbott because I didn’t think it was an opportunity I’d get again”.

Continue reading Saturday salon 23/9

Saturday salon 16/9: late edition

1. What happens when fools get to vote

Philosopher AC Grayling told Phillip Adams that just 26% of eligible voters voted in favour of Brexit, and exactly the same percentage voted for Trump. It doesn’t sound like democracy. BTW Google says that 36.8% voted for Hitler’s party in Germany.

Grayling says that Plato worried about democracy when everyone had the vote, although ‘everyone’ in Greece meant ‘citizens’, by definition male, and constituting about 20% of the adult population. Continue reading Saturday salon 16/9: late edition

Saturday salon 9/9

1. Hurricane Irma

Having just finished with Harvey, Hurricane Irma, said to possibly be the biggest and meanest on record in the north Atlantic basin, looks set to make landfall in Florida by Sunday, but flanked by Hurricane Katia and Hurricane Jose.

James Hansen worries that, given what happened during the Eemian, the last time we had temperatures roughly this high, all hell could break loose. Maybe it’s happening.

Here I want to talk about the impact Harvey, Irma el al could make on the US budget and immigration policy. Continue reading Saturday salon 9/9

Saturday salon 2/9

1. Peter Dutton did something useful

He banned Kent Heckenlively, the world’s ‘No 1 anti-vaxxer’, from visiting Australia for a lecture tour in December.

He said “it’s not in our national interest that he should come here.”

Free speech advocates may complain, but seriously, people can die from this madness. Continue reading Saturday salon 2/9

Kill Bill or any distraction vs a fair go

Phil Coorey in the AFR reckons Turnbull has three wishes, all of which must be fulfilled if he is going to get to Christmas with the Government in good shape – he needs a Yes vote on same-sex marriage, he needs a Clean Energy Target that makes some sense, and he needs his three National Party ministers to be given a ‘get out of jail’ pass by the High Court.

It’s no surprise, then, that Turnbull, as Malcolm Farr told Patricia Karvelas, is trying to turn our attention to other matters.

Firstly, he was in full visionary nation-building mode, announcing the feasibility trial for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 pumped storage scheme that had already been announced. Then he called in the electricity retailers again to be wacked around the ears about electricity prices, which is more of the same. Continue reading Kill Bill or any distraction vs a fair go