Category Archives: General Musings
I come from the Karri and Jarrah forests of SW WA and bush fires were an integral part of life and death on the farms and town in the small community of Pemberton.
For these reasons I am always aware of the dangers; I feel for the victims and the volunteer and professional firefighters. I would also like to think that the firefighters get the best equipment available..
Yesterday in The Australian Geoffery Luck wrote of lack of meaningful air support for these guys.
The huge Sikorsky/Erickson S64 Aircranes that Australia leases from California may look impressive, but they represent gesture politics. What counts in water-bombing is turnaround time and load. Each of the giant helicopters can carry 9500 litres of water, but they take almost a minute to suck it up; they fly slowly to the fire at 100km/hour; and they can remain airborne for less than three hours before refuelling.
He suggests an answer.
The Bombardier, a high-wing twin-turboprop aircraft, can scoop up its 6000 litres in 12 seconds, skimming any lake, river or the ocean at 130km/hour, fly to the fire at 300km/hour, dump and return for more while the Skycrane is still lumbering along with its first load. A single 415′s ability to deliver 80,000 litres an hour within a 4km radius of its water supply means a squadron could have saved Mount Stromlo in 2003 — as well as most of the 500 houses destroyed or damaged in the Canberra fires. The Victorian townships destroyed in 2009 were within operational reach of Lake Eildon, 60km away.
Spain has a mix of 14 older models and the new 415 series and a GDP similar to ours so I wonder why the issue hasn’t come up before. It can’t be the dollar and it certainly can’t be because we don’t have a need.
Queenslander and pilot Warren Bowen comments in a letter to the editor.
Australians should be aghast and dismayed we do not have a fleet of dedicated fixed-wing water bombers. The hire of American choppers must come at enormous expense each fire season. It is certainly high time federal and state governments, together with big insurance, embraced the concept. While Luck points out a fleet of six Bombardier 415 aircraft would only cost around $210m, the big costs come with crews and training.
As an ex-RAAF Vietnam vet and life-long airline pilot, I would guarantee hundreds of airline crew would volunteer for such a mission. Airline management would have to condone and authorise such arrangements as they “own” a pilot’s hours, which are restricted in time units by law. Many US airline pilots continue to fly fighters, bombers and transport aircraft as part of the National Guard and are subject to call for active service. If Greece can support a squadron of eight such aircraft, surely we could.
When I see the choppers operating it just looks like a thimble full of water being dropped into a huge furnace.
It has to be worth a debate at least.
BRITAIN’S first private navy in almost two centuries is being created by a group of businessmen to take on the Somali pirates who are terrorising an expanse of the Indian Ocean.
Simon Murray, Clencore chief, is building the force.
Its armed vessels – including a 10,000-ton mother ship and high-speed armoured patrol boats – will be led by a former Royal Navy commodore. He is recruiting 240 former marines and other sailors for the force.
The pirates will face former marines in armoured patrol boats capable of 40 knots and able to withstand incoming Kalashnikov fire. They will be armed with close-quarter battle weapons, such as the M4 carbine, and sniper rifles with a range of 2km.
I could never understand why shipping companies and/or their clients didn’t do something about the piracy. A well trained Infantry section of ten men could stop piracy dead in the water and they wouldn’t cost much. Include a cameraman to film the destruction of the pirates and their small craft and send that to be transmitted on local Somali TV and the problem would fade.
“The guys started off with their own PR being around poor fisherman having waste dumped in their waters. But sympathy disappears when you start killing people and extorting companies,” says Sharp. “There are 38 piracy training camps run by rogue special forces. It’s financed by people buying shares in their teams. So if you fund their boat, you get a share in the ransom.” Sharp believes the proceeds are fuelling micro property bubbles in places as far afield as Nairobi.
“Ultimately that’s being paid for by Lloyds and the insurance market,” he adds.
I admire the initiative and hope it comes to fruition
I’ve had to change theme due to the old one becoming unworkable. The advent of Word Press 3.5 has brought many problems to the blogging community and a lot of theme coders are yet to catch up.
I guess the new year is a good a time as any to change and to prepare for the election year when we finally get the chance to elect adults to the Treasury benches.
Reading this morning’s paper I notice some people were amused at the hoax perpetrated by two 2Day FM talking heads prior to the news of the hoaxed nurses suicide.
Making telephone calls that make decent honest folk going about their business look rediculous is funny?
I listened to a spokesman for Auststereo describing how devastated they were at the news of the suicide and how they were worried about the two talking heads. They are receiving counselling FFS.
In my opinion the only counselling they should be getting is from Centre Link.
Poor taste merchants making people look stupid for ratings – a good reason not to listen to FM radio.
Today the station claims they tried to phone the Hospital before they put the hoax to air. This is the first time that it has been mentioned so it looks like an invention to me and I wonder if they approached this alleged call with the same vigour applied to the original call.
No laws broken! It’s not about the law you scruff, it’s about poor taste and the obvious lack of any standards of decency.
Re reading The Fatal Shore when this caught my eye.
Governor Darling is having an argument with the media in 1826. He is losing to Wentworth and Hall who are pressing for trial by open jury and representative assembly so he;
…makes a clumsy lunge against the opposition press. He tried to muzzle the Australian and Monitor by imposing newspaper licences, which would be withdrawn if they printed a ‘blasphemous or seditious libel” John Macarthur also urged him to kill their circulation with a stamp duty of 4 pence per copy.
186 years later they’re still trying it on.
The ALP are getting desperate as they try and deflect peoples attention away from the AWU saga. Julie Bishop gets a mention as one of the Lawyers working for CSR in the asbestos claims and the ALP accuse her of trying to delay the cases.
Ms Bishop says she was simply doing her job as a lawyer – taking legal advice and acting on it.
…..she was advised on the cases by two of the nation’s most senior barristers, Robert French QC, now the Chief Justice of the High Court, and David Malcolm QC, who is a former chief justice of the West Australian Supreme Court.
The ALP’s raising questions on Julie Bishop finally give the ABC and in to discuss the performance of ex-lawyer politicians. For some reason they couldn’t bring themselves to discuss the matter until a conservative politician was called into question.
Problem is, there is no evidence or even a believable suggestion of malpractice on Bishop’s part. Not quiet the case with Gillard. Abbott is quiet happy for the ALP to question Julie Bishop’s actions as a lawyer and even encourages it. While the ALP raise Bishop in their defence of Gillard’s behaviour at Slater & Gordon then why wouldn’t he. It gives the Coalition open season on pursuing Gillard for some answers to a litany of allegations that seriously reflect on her ethics and values.
The problem for the ALP will not go away until Gillard fronts up and actually answers questions.
Doug Cameron wants everyone to stop being personal – good advice Doug but you need to get that message through to your boss. The baseless ‘Misogyny’ speech gives the Coalition open licence to attack Gillard on her questionable legal career when she was shacked up with AWU thief Bruce Wilson .
And talking about that, it would appear that files are disappearing all over the country . Whatever the truth of the matter, it smacks of clean-up gangs going from state to state searching for incriminating evidence and ‘losing’ it.
The debate continues…..
FBI finds 30,000 pages of correspondence between General Allen and Ms Kelley.
30,000 pages! When did he ever get time to play General?
THE widening CIA sex scandal has engulfed the Australian and US defence talks in Perth, after visiting Defence Secretary Leon Panetta ordered an investigation of the US commander in Afghanistan John Allen for allegedly “inappropriate” emails with a woman.
30,000 pages of “inappropriate communications” and he was commanding the troops in Afghanistan as well.
Much like my wife and I discussing what we would do if we won Lotto, Gillard announces her latest distraction from the mediocrity of her government – The Asian Century.
The white paper, unveiled in Sydney by the Prime Minister yesterday, sets a series of ambitious goals, including elevating the nation’s schools system into the world’s top five, having 10 universities in the world’s top 100 by 2025, and giving every school student the chance for continuous study of an Asian language.
Well yes, no one would argue that these aren’t worthwhile pusuits. The trouble is, the ALP are full of lofty aspirations but very short in the funding department.
Emmerson underlines this saying;
… the states would have to supply the teachers needed to embark on the Asian languages blitz. Those that refused would be denied education funding.
Like Rudd’s 2009 Defence White Paper this plan will be buried in the “when we win Lotto’ filing cabinet along with a lot of ALP plans
It won’t be funded, it can’t be funded and within two weeks ABC24 will be lining up to tell us about the next ‘New Gillard Initiative’ and the rest of us will have moved on.
Productivity is listed as one of the key planks but productivity is doomed while the the Fair Work Act favours the unionists and not the entrepeneur. Every kid learning an Asian language from grades 1 thru 12 is another, but once again the Government says; Here’s a good idea we just thought of but we can’t finance it so the states are going to have to find the money.
Gillard forgets that the Eastern seaboard states are flat out trying to pay off previous ALP government’s huge debts and have no spare cash to fund her ‘If I won Lotto” shopping list.
I was once a linguist myself in the days when we were having a little war with Indonesia and I’ve often bemoaned the fact that Asian languages don’t get the priority I think they deserve. My contacts in education tell me that the kids choose not to take them because of the weighting given languages for Uni entrance makes a language a second rate ambition
Meanwhile Gillard closes down an Asian language initiative
THE federal government will let a $62 million Asian language program expire in December despite saying it wants four priority languages to be taught from primary school to high school.
Gillard is off to India to try and recover from ALP Stuff-up #435 when in the earlier days of government they reneged on uranium sales to India that had been initiated and signed off by the Howard government.
At the time (Jan 2008) I wrote;
I can imagine a host of other countries waiting for us to let them down…to reneg on signed deals for ideology alone. They’ll be looking up all their agreements with us – vetting them to ensure they meet the ideological standards of the ALP loonies and looking to count their losses and resolving to never deal with us again.
Now she’s back to fix the original stuff-up. The Left and the Greens are screaming and next month’s ALP conference promises to be interesting.
Abbott goes to Indonesia with some ministers and has a one-on-one with SBY. A bit embarrassing for the ALP as it would indicate the Indons see Abbott as the next PM and that they need to talk to him. Emmerson and the rest of the ALP, including the ABC, are all over the fact that Abbott didn’t mention turning the boats back but I guess they have to find something wrong with the visit as it may turn peoples attention away from the debacle that is their own open-slather border policy.
Thompson, the whore monger, is being defended by the ALP as was Slipper the sexist. Craig Emerson said the Coalition had already acted as “judge and jury” on the allegations against the former Labor MP. I guess he means just like Roxon acted as judge and jury in the Ashby vs Slipper case. So long as the case put together by FWA is current during the lead up to the election and it appears it will be, then the ALP will be suffering all kinds of nightmares. A bonus would be the police charging him – surely that’s on the cards.
A good day for an old conservative – and then there is this;
Of more importance to me is this notice I found at http://trove.nla.gov.au/ while searching for details on my family in West Australia. Trove is a great source for info as it has digitized most Australian newspapers from the 19th century through to now.
Quiet a shock really
The paper was dated 1946. It’s amazing that I would get this far considering my life style and career choices.
The family Labs ready for an outing that turned sour for them when it turned into a dog wash. It turned sour for me as well when I’m left holding the baby who very quickly decides I’m not Mum.
She is not happy. Saturday morning is supposed to be devoted to reading The Weekend Australian. This Saturday morning was devoted to dragging up repressed memories from my young father days on how to quieten a whinging child – all I could remember was give it back to the mother!
The cycle of life goes on – I have two little girls hanging around my feet again and like the first time round, I’m loving it.
I’ll read the paper later.