Crossing the Gulf on the Matilda Highway

Travelling solo with few vehicles on the road it was a lonely drive. Thank God nothing went wrong with the Rangie

Camped at Eagle Nest near Sharks Bay WA

You can just see the glow of my laptop where I was working on a clients web sIte in Tassie hosted through Rumcorps.net servers in Dallas Texas. As good an office as any!

Whales off the NW Coast

A pod of about 20 whales come fast from astern and passed either side of the yacht, frightening hell out of us.

Fire on the road

No flames apparent so I hardly slowed down until I had travelled a hundred odd meters with no visibility. About the time I started to panic I came out the other side.

 

O’Farell has resigned

BARRY O’Farrell has resigned as NSW Premier following his appearance at the Independent Commission against Corruption yesterday.

Mr O’Farrell denied receiving a $3000 bottle of wine from Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo yesterday but resigned today after it was revealed that he sent Mr Di Girolamo a card thanking him for the gift.

Something there for the ALP to think about. A Liberal political Premier resigns over a mistake he made, inadvertantly or not, while the ALP have had people like Thomson refusing to admit his crimes with Gillard backing him as a good local member. Hundreds of thousands stolen from his union members and through it all, he refused to resign and no one forced him to.

O’Farrell meets the high standards of the Liberal movement while the ALP sets low standards and fail to even meet them.

Terrorists killed

TWO Australian citizens have been killed in a US airstrike in Yemen in what is the first known example of Australian extremists dying as a result of Washington’s highly controversial use of predator drones.

Why highly controversial The drone killed 5 terrorists – I would think that would make it highly successful

I was concerned when I first read the headlines but it turned out the two guys were fighting for al-Qa’ida. If you fight for the enemy I think you should loses your citizenship so the only thing to take from the incident is that 5 terrorists were killed and that’s a good result.

Nu Ship Canberra

A great video tour through Nuship Canberra which will dramatically increase Australia’s defence capabilities, and impact the Army as much as the RAN:

That is great news for Australia and the ADF but elsewhere, after 6 years of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd debacle, the news is all bad.

Alan Dupont, in The Weekend Australian underscores the problems Abbott faces repairing the damage the ALP did to our economy.

Perhaps the best way to understand the seriousness of defence’s budgetary problem is to benchmark against Force 2030, trumpeted by the Rudd government in the 2009 white paper as “capable of meeting every contingency the Australian Defence Force may be required to meet in the coming two decades”. Capable it may have been but funded it was not.

The subsequent savage cuts inflicted on Defence by Labor in pursuit of an illusory budget surplus effectively removed $18 billion from Force 2030 in the space of four short years, equivalent to nearly three-quarters of the annual defence budget.

I recall Rudd coming up with his 12 submarines as a blatant try at sounding like he and his party new what they were doing in matters military. Everyone who had any skin in the game just looked at each other, rolled their eyes and dug in waiting for the election to get rid of the idiot.

The logistics of our current submarine fleet have two on patrol, two on build-up or wind-down and two on maintenance and we can just manage the manpower and dollars to keep that moving and Rudd wanted to double the trouble.

Capable it may have been but funded it was not – like most of their ideas – NBN, NDIS and Gonski to name a few.

The public needs to be reminded every day that the reason Abbott and Hockey are about to drop hard times on the country through the 2014 budget is because of the huge, obscene debt ramped up by the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd debacle.

Knights and Dames back in the realm

Well, Tony Abbott has got the Progresives traumatised with his reintroduction of Knights and Dames of the Order of Australia (AK/AD). Dame Quentin Bryce and, as of tomorrow, Sir Peter Cosgrove are the first two recipients.

I’m all for recognition of those who give much more than others and seriously impact on the life of Australia and Australians. Dame Quentin will have some difficulty with her progressive mates over accepting the award and any amount of others, like myself, will pause to wonder why she has accepted a title from a system she has railed against. Still, I doubt if she felt she had a choice and, anyway, don’t tell me she isn’t chuffed.

I doubt if many Australians would disagree with my old boss, Sir Peter Cosgrove, being so recognized.

Labour frontbencher Chris Bowen predicted Mr Abbott would next announce “that vinyl records are coming back or that his car plan is to reintroduce Cortinas and Toranas”. Greens leader Christine Milne said Mr Abbott was trying to create a “bunyip aristocracy” in Australia.

I’d take a Cortina if that happened. Had a rich girlfriend with a GT and as I recall I drove it from Melbourne to Perth and back in my 21st year(1967) and enjoyed every mile. The company was good as well.

Back to Knghthoods…..I actually don’t see it as an Imperial award because, simply put, it isn’t. Knights and Dames existed under the Order of Australia originally but were removed by Hawke because the ALP have this strange idea that everyone is equal. But as George Orwell pointed out in Animal Farm some are more equal than others.

It also explains wy the ALP don’t like the Army. We have officers.

Well done Tony Abbott and well done Dame Quentin and Sir Peter.

NDIS crash landing

The agency in charge of the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS) has been likened to “a plane that took off before it had been fully built and is being completed while it is in the air”, in an independent report that questions its ability to roll out the flagship project.

The report’s authors, led by former public service executive Jeff Whalan, point to woefully inadequate IT systems, staff confusion, lack of direction and vague terminology in the crucial assessments, such as the key “reasonable and necessary” supports.

The woes of the agency were made apparent as the Public Service Association in NSW stepped up a campaign to “ban work which requires their co-operation with the National Disability Insurance Agency” over its claims that the insurance scheme is being used as a cover to privatise disability services. 

The ALP rushed this to get it out before the last election and it shows. They make mileage out of their “great ideas” but never got on top of actually making them work or financing them.

Those minor problems are left to the Libs to fix.

And then there is this.

LABOR’S most experienced frontbencher, Jenny Macklin, has signed a deal with Melbourne University Publishing to write the inside story on the social policy achievements of the Rudd/Gillard governments.

What should be a book of blank pages will wax philosophically about the ALP’s great programmes and NDIS, NBN and Gonski will rate highly in anything she produces.

The book should be restricted to programmes that were planned, financed and established in the system which would make Macklin’s job so much easier.

But it won’t be.

Thomson “Good man” but depressed

“My husband is a good man” according to the current Mrs Thomson which makes me wonder what the previous Mrs Thomson thinks. Christa Thomson was still married to him when he was on a spending spree booking whores, porn, booze and travel up to the HSU membership. He is claiming depression from the break-up of his marriage to Christa caused him to seek solace elsewhere however he also claims Christa was with him at times when is accused of consorting with the ladies.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg doesn’t seem to be impressed with Thomsons depression plea.

“I’ve never met anyone who’s not depressed at the prospect of going to jail” he said, as Thomson’s QC passed up the magic report.

Thomson had agreed to repay the HSU the $24,538.42 he embezzled with union-issued credit cards and a Flight Centre account.

$24,538.42!

What about $389,000 of union money spent on getting himself elected to Parliament.

The thousand-page report by Fair Work Australia, made public this week, paints a fascinating picture of a man prepared to lie about the more than $250,000 of union funds he spent on trips, holidays with his ex-wife, an airfare for his brother’s girlfriend, wining and dining, and even prostitutes. Every cent of that spending – even the 14 airfares for his ex-wife – was legitimate, Thomson told FWA. Except for the prostitutes, of course.

Craig’s world is described here

Michael Smith has good coverage and well worth the time to read

The saga is nearly over and, I hope, it will end with Thomson’s incarceration.

Elections

I detect a breath of fresh air wafting across the Bass Straight as Tasmanians have at last seemingly recognized the damage the Greens have done to their state.

The Liberals recorded a 12 per cent swing to take 51 per cent of statewide vote to give them power in Tasmania but in South Australia the Liberals cant win with 53.5 % of the vote

Apparently, according to Shorten, the South Australia result is because the locals don’t trust Tony Abbott.

Let’s be really clear. Federal issues did play a role in the last couple of weeks of that state election and South Australians don’t trust Tony Abbott, and there’ll be a lot of South Australian Liberals who’ll be ruing his intervention.

But no such matter exists in Tasmania.  There is no mention of the Taswegians not trusting Shorten or the Greens.

I would rather think that the Libs didn’t run a very good campaign and they are hard put to beat the gerrymander anyway.

Such & Brock, the two SA Indies, have stated that they will follow their electorate wishes and as both their electorates voted overwhelmingly for a change of government thats what they should do. Of course, it’s highly unlikely that they will, given the very nature of independants.

One of the two federal independents who propped up Julia Gillard’s minority government, Tony Windsor, warned the two South Australian independents that they should brace for a public backlash to the anticipated hung parliament. “They’ll be blamed for everything that goes wrong,” he said.

Only if they do what you did Tony and go against the wishes of their electorates.

The Libs are slightly bouyed today by the ongoing counting and a possible hint of an attitude adjustment in the case of the Independents but I still hold feint hope.

Time will tell as the postal vote count continues.

More from the Adelaide Now

Lend Lease project on fire

Lend Lease project Barrangaroo in Sydney is on fire.

Barangaroo area is being redeveloped as a residential and retail hub, with plans for a high-rollers’ casino owned by billionaire James Packer.

Lend Lease’s shares dropped 3 per cent after the fire broke out

Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union assistant state secretary Rob Kera said workers were upset about the blaze.

“We conducted a full audit of the evacuation procedure on this site. To say it was an absolute disgrace is an understatement,” he said.

“The men at this point and time are pretty upset, they are pretty devastated.”

I smell a rat…Lend Lease….CFMEU…Royal Commission into Unions.

Could it be the CFMEU reminding Lend Lease how easy it is to stuff them around should the company spill their guts at the RC.

Just saying.

At least they’re consistent

The Employee Ombudsman in South Australia has been arrested and charged with 67 counts of fraud allegedly committed while he was a union boss representing some of the country’s lowest paid workers.

Stephen Brennan, former South Australian and Tasmanian branch secretary for the national textile union, was arrested last Thursday over 35 counts of falsifying accounts and 32 counts of dishonest dealing with documents.

Police made the arrest after the union reported alleged misuse of union funds last year. It claimed up to $180,000 had been defrauded from members between 1999 and 2004.

It also referred its concerns to the Fair Work Commission to investigate potential civil charges.

Goodes needs to broaden his horizons

Adam Goodes, current Australian of the Year, is proving a contentious choice.  Other than Aussie Rules fans, very few Aussies had heard of Adam until he abused a 13 year old girl at football match for saying “Way to go, you Ape”  or whatever.  He took this as a racist statement and called for her to be removed from the grandstand, which she was. He is reported as “being gutted” by the girl’s words.

In my youth, on the football field, I’ve been called “Big hairy ape” because, basically, I am big and hairy. Well at least that’s what I thought, but obviously there are different interpretations of the term and every man has the right to call it for what he believes.  If Adam Goodes has been referred to as an Ape previously and took it as a racist statement then that is his right.  But seriously, we are talking about a 13 year old girl who,  when she says “I didn’t mean it to be racist” has to be believed, or,  at least given the benefit of the doubt.

So when he was announced as Australian of the Year, the only way most Australians knew him was because of this incident.  Depending on your viewpoint, he was thusly appointed due solely to his being the victim of a racist attack, or, because,  as a hulking 6 foot plus fit footballer he abused a pudgy 13 year old teenage girl.

Either interpretation is not a good basis for selection.

If the Selection Board wanted to appoint an indigenous Aussie as Australian of the Year I can think of dozens, off the top of my head, who,  with greater intelligence and political savvy, could do much more for their people.  Pick your favourite from this list

So now he is the Australian of the Year,  a position wherebye the encumbent is expected to draw together different parts of the community and thus help his or their cause, in this case,  the cause of indigenous Aussies.

Since becoming AOTY Goodes has been noted for his absence in the media on subjects other than football, with one extreme example.  Earlier this week he announced that he now finds it hard to say I am proud to be Australian after seeing Pilger’s ‘Utopia’ 

Not proud to be an Australian…John Pilger…Utopia…FFS who is advising this man?

John Pilger is an expat Australian who, simply put, hates us.  He has made a career out of this hatred and for years has penned propaganda that always reflects poorly on Australia and whatever he says has little impact outside of the Green-Left of the political divide.  That is, about 10 % of the community give Pilger any credit whatsoever.  This 10%, of course, ecompasses the ABC and SBS where he is often seen talking about his hatred of Australia – but we expect that.

Adam Goodes take on Utopia.

Adam, heads up mate, you have just alienated 90% of the population, or, at least, 90% of those who are politically aware.

NOT the way to go.

To approach the problem of indigenous Aussies simply from the “racist attack” point of view is ignoring the elephant in the room.  It ignores the damage indigenous Aussies do to themselves and to quote Pilger, who blames all problems on white Australia, gets us nowhere.

If, as Adam Goodes believes,  hostility to John Pilgers film is a denial of the nations brutal past  then Goodes and Pilger are equally guilty of denying the present and this denial bodes poorly for the future.

Look around you Adam.  Look at the programmes that are helping your disadvantaged mates and build on that.  Look at child and women abuse, alchohol and drug dependancies, lack of support for education, waste and theft of governmet monies and use your position to agitate for improvements.  Start another education scholarship system as an adjunct to your help for young Aussies in the field of football.

Expand your horizons and seek advise outside the Green-Left political arena or most will simply wait until you’re gone and that would be a shame…a waste of the hopes of a lot of people… a waste of a chance to help.

UPDATE: I have include some extracts from an interview by Bess Price, one of those I thought would make a better AOTY than Goodes.  It is listed on the RHS Menu under “Worth Reading”

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