Friday, June 16, 2017

True heroism

Over the years of writing my former blog Life in Dubai I often talked about the way the word hero was degraded by its use to describe people who were anything but. Entertainers, sportspeople and so on.

And I often posted about my admiration for true heroes, top of the list being firefighters. My father was a firefighter and I was in awe of some of the stories he used to tell my brother and I when we were kids.

My admiration's been reinforced by the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower in London.

Two hundred firefighters putting their lives in danger to repeatedly go into the inferno to try to rescue helpless people inside. Reports are suggesting they brought out over sixty.

On the Twitter pages of one of the firefighters at the blaze there's an entry that sums up their heroism perfectly and succinctly

.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Bigotry & religious fanaticism

Tennis great Margaret Court is at it again, vilifying the gay community.

Tennis great, religious fanatic and bigot, to be more accurate.

She first went public with her decision to boycott Qantas because the company is pro marriage equality (same sex marriage). Stupid, because if she is consistent she'll just about have to stay at home and be self sufficient because Qantas is just one of many hundreds of companies which have taken the same stance.

She's not against LGBT people, of course, just against them marrying.

Then she went on a Christian radio show and basically admitted her bigotry.

LGBT tendencies in young people are 'all the devil'. Children struggling with their sexuality must have been 'raised by parents who don't care'.

Tennis is full of lesbians trying to convert younger players, she claims.

"That's what Hitler did. That's what communism did," Court said, "get in the minds of the children. There's a whole plot in our nation and in the nations of the world to get in the minds of the children."


In the face of polls that show 65 per cent of Australians support gay marriage, Court said: "We know the statistics are very, very wrong. They're after our young ones, that's what they're after."

On the website of her Victory Life Centre they actually boast of doing exactly that themselves.

The nursery for up to two year olds includes bible reading. Then for the up to fives, 'we bring the word of faith in a practical way'.

And up to twelves really get indoctrinated.  'We are passionate to see our children worshipping God in spirit and truth and increasing in the knowledge of our Heavenly Father, and we know that as we teach the Word of Faith, the Holy Spirit will transform their lives to become established in Him.  We have a spirit-filled curriculum to progressively train the children.'

Criticising others for that which you are guilty of.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bring on the clowns

Fire & Emergency Services. A basic responsibility of government.

We've long had the totally unfair system that a levy to fund it was added to property insurance - but many people don't bother with insurance so, while everyone benefits, not everyone contributes.

Simple to remedy - pay for it out of consolidated revenue, as it always should have been.

Trouble is, the decisions on things like this are made by idiot, self-serving politicians and the hopeless bureaucrats advising them.

Back in 2015 when our Premier was Treasurer, she announced that a new funding system would be introduced, with all property owners contributing.

But, in true bureaucratic manner a complicated basis for the charge was created. Payment amount based on land value determined by the NSW Valuer-General.

So a house with water views worth double the house across the road with no water views would pay a hell of a lot more. People in different suburbs would pay very different amounts, even though the service and cost for it provided to each is then same.

Fairfax Media has been running a campaign pointing out some of the new system's anomalies. For example, "...an owner of residential property in the Mosman council area whose land is worth the local median land value of $1.84 million will pay $502.96 for the 2017-18 financial year.

However, in Fairfield, where the local government area's median land value is $461,000, the annual levy for the owner of such a property will be $200.96."

The government touted figures that claimed the average payment would be $185  and the average fully insured residential property owner would save around $47 per year.. Being economical with the truth as usual.

The Opposition pointed out that based on the average Sydney land value of $774,000, the average Sydney household would pay around $270 – which is around $100 more than the government said.

Then of course there's the total amount being collected.

The government claimed that the new measure was 'revenue neutral', whatever that means.

Simple maths tells you that if many more people are paying more money, the amount collected is very much higher.

So, all in all, there's been an ongoing backlash from the community - read 'voters'.

So in spite of the new legislation being passed in March, yesterday the Premier announced another in an endless series of backflips from this government.

New legislation will be presented to reverse the just-passed legislation.

Waffling on, as our pollies do by default, the Premier said:"We are deferring this until we get a fairer system. If we don't get a fairer system, we won't introduce it. But our intent is to defer until we get a fairer system."

This started back in 2015, legislation was written and passed by parliament yet none of them had the intelligence or common sense to work out that it was unfair.

The Premiersaid modelling of how much commercial and industrial land owners would pay under the new system did not match the reality of what they faced after July 1.

She insisted that modelling of how much residential land owners would pay remained accurate and was "fair" but that the government wanted to revisit the entire reform.

In other words, a total stuff up, again, from the bureaucrats and politicians.












Friday, May 26, 2017

Getting away with murder

The time is long overdue for people allowing violent criminals to stay in the community to be called to account.

They make their decisions which are  patently ridiculous and dangerous to the public, yet are never called to account, never removed from their position, never prosecuted for endangering the public.

It's a regular occurrence that a violent criminal free on bail continues his (it's almost always a he) violent ways.

It's been highlighted in the Lindt CafĂ© Siege coroner's report this week.  The madman who held people hostage and murdered one of them was out on bail even though he'd been charged as an accessory to his wife's murder, faced forty sexual assault charges, and had been found guilty of  writing letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan in which he called the soldiers murderers.

He was often in the media causing trouble in public places so was well known to the police and the public.

Lawyers for the DPP didn't push hard enough to oppose bail, nor did police, so they're as guilty as the magistrate who let him roam free. All should be made to face court charged with endangering the public.

Today there's a report of a twelve year old boy charged with stabbing a ten year while trying to steal his Nike shoes. Obviously a young thug, he'd previously been charged with assaulting his school teacher. Police opposed bail, stating that he was a risk to the community and was a risk of committing further serious offences.

The idiot magistrate allowed bail saying, incredibly, that the prosecution would have to provide evidence that the thug knew that what he was doing was "more than mere naughtiness."

He's assaulted his teacher, he's stabbed a child in the torso while trying to steal his shoes...and the magistrate suggests it's naughtiness!!

The magistrate confirmed his stupidity by saying it would "be problematic for the Crown to provide evidence that he knew what he was doing was seriously wrong."

Yet another has come up, with a known criminal charged with aggravated break & enter let out of police custody by a magistrate who granted bail.

As soon as he was out he repeated the offence of break & enter, stole a vehicle from one of the houses, and killed two innocent men by speeding through red lights and destroying the car they were in.

And it's not only here. I listened to a report on the outrage of the bombing in Manchester in which it was said the bomber lived in the same street as an Al Qaeda bomb-maker...who was arrested some time ago but skipped bail and fled the country.

A known terrorist bomb-maker is given bail!

Giving bail to criminals like this, what planet do these people live on?  Why are they allowed to get away with their actions and allowed to stay in their positions to do it again in the future.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Too early for me

I've never been a morning person so I could never get my head around the reason for putting our clocks back in autumn. It means that currently the sun rises at 6.30am. And look what that means as early as 5.00pm...the moon's up already!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

Perfect autumn weather

It's just about perfect autumn weather here on the NSW Central Coast.

At The Haven, Terrigal, a clear blue sky, 24C, people on the beach, in the water, enjjoying a picnic.



 
And of course the pelicans keeping watch for fishermen coming back in, and lining up for left-overs at the cleaning station.
 


Friday, April 28, 2017

Poor economics -plus idiocy

We have yet another in an endless stream of examples of how our governments are serving us so badly, this one from the NSW state government.

The latest of the frantic selling-off of publicly owned (and profitable) assets is the Land & Property Information registry  against the advice of just about everyone.

That it's just ideological with no basis in economic or common sense is obvious, quite apart from the privacy, competence and cost concerns.

The registry produces a profit to the state budget of $130 million a year. It's been sold on a 35 year lease for $2.6 billion. Multiply $130 million by 35 and see how much more would be going into the budget if we kept it in public hands.

If we need the money for infrastructure now is the time to borrow it, with interest rates at historic lows. To borrow the $2,6 billion would cost about $75 million a year in interest, which could be paid out of the LPI's profit and still leave about $50 million or so in the bank.


Oh and idiotically, a billion of the vital infrastructure money is going on refurbishment of three football stadiums!