Pelican Posing

I convinced a pelican to pose for me the other day.

Cyclone Marcus and Perth

One advantage of being unnecessarily ancient is that one (yes, third person reference) can remember odd events and facts.

For instance, back 4th April 1974 a very big (as in wide) cyclone named Alby strode purposefully southwards in the Indian Ocean. Its centre was some 400Km off the coast as it passed Perth’s latitude yet I remember that day for its extreme winds (maximum gust of 130Kmh in Perth City and 143Kmh in Fremantle) as I was out on the road doing delivery work. Five people in the State’s south-west did not survive the day.

Cyclone Alby has been recorded by the Weather Bureau as one of the notable cyclones on its website.

I have been watching Cyclone Marcus for the past couple of days, (ht to eldest son and family in Darwin) and found the Meteye map on the BOM site to be eerily reminiscent of Alby.

Be aware that we could be in for a late season cyclone affecting the South West. Do the necessary preparations and clean-ups just in case!

And hope that it doesn’t happen!

Australian Elections of a Lesser Kind.

We have had two highly publicised elections this weekend. There was a much less noticeable one in WA for Colin Barnett’s seat of Cottesloe, won, as expected by the Liberals.

There was the South Australian election. Lost by the ALP after 16 years in office. Now that could be seen as a HUGE win for the Coalition and a HUGE slap in the face for Bill Shorten. Possibly some may see it as a slap down of long term Premier Jay Weatherill. In reality, the exact result was predicted after the compulsory post-election redistribution. Four ALP seats would be won by the Coalition.

Forget the hype and froth and bubble of the past couple of years, the Libs were going to win four seats and they did. Not because of anything the ALP did or didn’t do but because the State has a compulsory redistribution after every election. This includes a ‘Fairness Clause’. Those doing this gerrymander must take into account the result of the previous election and vary seats and seat sizes so as to even up the number of seats won. Last election the Libs lost on number of seats but won 53% of the vote. The redistribution had to balance that out. It did, the pundits saw what it had done and called this election three and a half years ago!

That was why the ALP increased its vote but lost the election.

It had nothing to do with Bill Shorten’s announcement about Franking Credits.

Had that announcement had a political impact we would have seen it in what was supposed to be the much closer election in Batman.

Instead, the Federal seat was won with an increased majority and really wasn’t that close at all. It seems the Kill Bill plan of the IPA/Liberal backrooms is not quite going to plan. Every time they think they have a winning strategy, Bill sails though it unscathed.

Allegedly, the great Chinese General, Sun Tzu, wrote something to the effect of not interrupting your enemy while he is making a mistake. Shorten is constantly criticised for not doing anything to drag the Coalition down. Yet why would he want to? With one Liberal PM deposed for losing 30 Newspolls in a row, and another about to reach the same landmark, it seems the Liberals are doing Bill’s work for him.

Instead, Bill is presenting policies. New policies. Not always apparently popular policies because the media, plaything of the big end of town, are going to be hurt. The fact that the average man in the street will benefit is never going to be publicised. Just the standard ‘Kill Bill’ tripe we have all become used to. Sadly, some members of the ALP have been taken in by this twaddle.

The success in Batman shows that the Shorten strategy is working!

The Weekend

It is the weekend.
The time for making sense is long gone!
It is time to learn the lesson our politicians and role models have been teaching us all week.
Stupid is smart, war is peace, men do real work, women are a reward, wealth is entitled and higher taxes are for poor people.
Once we accept all these facts we can relax into a meaningless weekend.
Except for the women.
Bring me a beer, Martha!

Lovecraft on Republicans

Better known for his fearsome works of horror, Howard Phillips Lovecraft also wrote many letters to fellow authors.

Occasionally he would discuss politics.  He showed a prescience in that field which I hope he did not show in his other writings.

H. P. LOVECRAFT wrote, in a letter to C. L. Moore, August 1936;

As for the Republicans—how can one regard seriously a frightened, greedy, nostalgic huddle of tradesmen and lucky idlers who shut their eyes to history and science, steel their emotions against decent human sympathy, cling to sordid and provincial ideals exalting sheer acquisitiveness and condoning artificial hardship for the non-materially-shrewd, dwell smugly and sentimentally in a distorted dream-cosmos of outmoded phrases and principles and attitudes based on the bygone agricultural-handicraft world, and revel in (consciously or unconsciously) mendacious assumptions (such as the notion that real liberty is synonymous with the single detail of unrestricted economic license or that a rational planning of resource-distribution would contravene some vague and mystical ‘American heritage’…) utterly contrary to fact and without the slightest foundation in human experience? Intellectually, the Republican idea deserves the tolerance and respect one gives to the dead.

Six years earlier on October 4, 1930, he had written, in a letter to Robert E. Howard, – – – ‘Bunch together a group of people deliberately chosen for strong religious feelings, and you have a practical guarantee of dark morbidities expressed in crime, perversion, and insanity.’

I have not found a reference to him combining the two thoughts.

Perhaps the rest of his work is a warning of what may happen if the Republicans and the Fundamentalists joined forces.

Is Donald Trump one of the Shoggoth?

I Went Shopping Today

I needed some nails and stuff so I went to my local Bunnings Store.

That is our Australian hardware place.

Porn for all DIYers.

Filled with goodies and apparent bargains and a Tradies dream.

I got there and my day was ruined.*

They were not open and they wouldn’t let me in.

I can’t imagine why!

Apparently everyone got out safely and no one was harmed. And it is still smoking. So there are plenty of Firies on hand.

But they wouldn’t let me in to buy some nails!

* So were the jobs of several hundred people which really IS sad.

The Great Superannuation Fraud

So the USA does not have enough money, despite all its ‘monetary easing’, to upgrade its aging infrastructure. Yet good old Aussie Homie, Malcolm, knows just how to help out.

‘Don’t worry, Donny old mate, we have trillions of dollars stashed away in our Superannuation funds. Here, have a few hundred billion of them. We’ll only charge you a couple of percent interest.’

Meanwhile, back in the real world, every person putting their hard-earned money into their Super Fund begins to worry just a little. Their Super funds have been investing and growing their money, GFC’s excepting, at around 6-8% a year. That is what Super is supposed to do. Grow your savings into retirement. Not at the 2% Malcolm wants back from his mate, but at something better than bank interest.


That is why there are fund managers. so they can find the best places to invest YOUR money. It isn’t Malcolm’s to throw around, it is YOURS! If any fund manager was to invest the super fund he was managing into a 2% return he would be fired! Yet that is what our money-wise PM is about to force on to all our super funds.

At this stage, the proposal seems to be around 10% of the total fund being forced offshore into very low interest rate loans. Doesn’t seem very much, does it? It will only affect the effective interest rate for the entire pool by about a single percent. Not very much until you factor in the compounding interest lost. Because it is the compound interest which make Super so affordable and attractive. When you retire you have a good sized nest-egg. Have you seen those ‘Industry Super Advertisements’? The ones which begin, ‘Same age, same income’? Those poor people who haven’t switched? Guess what! That will be all of us if Malcolm gets his way.

Or could this just be the natural outcome of the IPA’s plan to force Industry (Union) Super Funds to have outside (IPA or Liberal) directors on their boards of management?

How will the funds to be given away be chosen?

By lot? ‘Sorry, your fund will be earning 2% for the next 30 years.’

By Government decree? ‘All your funds belong to us!’

So that is a one percent loss, compounding, for all future retirees. At the moment. What happens next year, or the year after? When Good Old Donny needs another handout? Another 10% of the Super fund? When will it stop? Will it ever stop?

All our super will be affected, all of us will have less in retirement thanks to this misguided gesture of incompetent generosity.