Thursday, June 30, 2016

LIVESTOCK CARRIER SECRETLY EXPORTS POLITICIANS

New   Market  for  Turnbull's  Castrated   Cattle   
  
Without  any mention by the Townsville media ( what's new ?),  the livestock carrier Ocean  Ute , above,  slipped into port  in  the last  week of  the election  and  departed  with  a  whole pen  full of  bellowing  Coalition  politicians . True  . Hand on heart, true.

The fact  that  the media  did not  pick up  this  innovative  export drive is  stunning  .  What  is  also  odd   is   that  the  alert   scribes   failed to    cover the  arrival  in  port and  future movement   of  the  vessel   seeing  as  there had  been   an outcry over  shocking  footage   of  Australian animals  being  killed with  sledgehammers   in  Vietnam  and  the  revelation   that   government vet  Dr Lynn  Simpson was  removed  from  the Department of Agriculture's   position  on ASEL, the body   charged with setting  standards   for exporting  live stock   because her  illustrated report  on  the appalling  conditions  on  some  livestock carriers  in the past  had  accidentally  become   public . 

 
The report  showed  cattle  covered  in faeces, eating out of troughs in which there was faeces,  a waterfall of urine  from  one level pouring down  into  another level,  injured animals , over crowding . All  hell  broke  loose .
 
As  live export  of cattle  is a  hot issue in Townsville , more  cattle boats than      cruise ships using the   cruise ship   berth , you would  think there would be  a close  watch on  all  carriers  coming  into port ,  reporter  type questions  asked  of shippers , a response to  Dr Simpson's  sacking  due to  industry pressure , etc., etc.  Nope .
 
Endeavouring to  find out   where Ocean Ute  was headed with its latest  load of cattle ,  Google was  searched  and maritime  traffic and  movement  websites viewed. Some website's would only  supply info if you agree  to have their cookies inserted  up  your  blog . No way Jose.    In olden days in ports, shipping movements were  run in newspapers  which  gave  details of   vessels in port,  those due,  cargoes  and  destinations of departing  vessels .
 
Shipping movements in Townsville, it seems are now  top secret , as  the Port authority warns   that  all  information is copyright and  no  info can  be used or passed on  to  a third party  without  permission  in  writing . Makes you wonder if  radioactive bulldust  is  being shipped in / out .

( When  the  colourful Darwin diver ,Carl Atkinson,  of   Drs Gully , who at one stage owned  most of the wartime wrecks in Darwin Harbour ,  was  refused permission  to use land  at   Myilly  Point , near  the military  Larrakeyah Barracks ,  he  upset the  brass by  asking  if  the  Army was  developing   "radioactive  crabs" there  as  a  secret  armament .  Naughty . )
 
In  the  search for the seemingly  top  secret  info  about  shipping movements in and out of  Townsville , nautical  type websites suddenly , unexpectedly  produced  advertisements  on  Friday July 1 ,   authorised  by  T. Nutt  of   Canberra , showing smiling  PM  Malcolm Turnbull   urging voters  to support   his  government  and  various Coalition  candidates - Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Andrew Laming, Luke Howarth , Scott  Buckholz ...
 
Obviously, this was  part of a desperate  Coalition  Funk Bunker  drive to open up a new export market in beefy Tories  and  also  capture  the  votes  of  sailors , one-legged  great white  whale  hunters and   tipsy  beachcombers who  spend hours   carving    penguin   teeth , in  the process hacking off  a  digit  or  three .

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' BY MAMAS AND NOISY ISLAND CROAKERS

Under a grey sky , Crows  protest  near  a  cool  Moke.

ELECTION NOTEBOOK SURPRISES

 CARD  CARRYING  SECRET
Of  all  places, this illuminating political anecdote   took  place  during  the  Joh Bjelke-Petersen   Government,   in  the  Irish Club ,  Mount  Isa . Over  drinks ,  a  fairly  high  ranking  official of the  Queensland Education Department , regarded  as  not  being overly  bright  ,  was  asked  how  he   had  seemingly  been  promoted  out of  sight. In a  moment  of  surprising  honesty , the  fellow  replied  by  pulling  out  his  National  Party  membership  card  and  said  with  that   you  could  achieve  anything . Present at this  confession was a  teacher who  had  been  banished  to  the  mining  town  because he  was obviously  a   smart   lefty .
 
 KISSING   BILL'S A-UTOMOBILE 
That  picnic hamper  tuck  in  between  Annabel Crabb of the famished  ABC and marathon  runner  Bill Shorten elucidated the amazing fact that some  people have actually KISSED !!! the  bus in which  he has been travelling about the country . A feature of  the interview  was  that viewers    got  more of  a  real  insight  into  the  ALP  leader , not afforded by  the torrent  of  media coverage , much of  it  froth and   bubble . And what  about  those  dogs of  his , are  they  Bulldogs ? If so ,  they conjured  up  a  Battle of Britain  scenario , Shorten in a  Churchillian   pose  giving  a  V-for victory  sign  on  election day .

HORSEWHIPPING   CALL   IN  MISSING  CATHY  CASE
Into recycling  and  wildlife protection, a supporter of  the  ALP  candidate in the seat of  Herbert, Cathy O'Toole , erected  a   corflute   of   a   younger  looking  Cathy  from  an  earlier  election . Placed in  a prominent position  in Horseshoe Bay , Magnetic  Island , it disappeared   overnight . Another modern  poster of Cathy placed  in a strategic position  in  another part  of Horseshoe Bay   got  the blacked out  tooth treatment and was  thrown  into  the  fantasy  frolics area of the nearby  jungle  .  Posters  in  the area  of   Greens  candidate , Wendy  Tubman , often seen mounted on  a bike , appear  not to  have  been molested  or  suffered  any  dental  artwork  like  that  of  Cathy  .   

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NORTH QUEENSLAND GHOST SHIP

High , dry   and  eerily empty  is  this rare arts  and  crafts  design   distinctive  building , once   the  busy office  of  the   Adelaide  Steamship  Company in  Cairns , North Queensland, one of  Australia's  enterprising  colonial ventures  that   grew into a huge , diversified  conglomerate  which  eventually went  down  like  the  Titanic .


The  ghosts of  a  colourful  , bygone shipping  era  haunt  this interior  view taken through  a  window  and  another  angle , below , details  the interesting  timber fittings, a  large walk in safe on the right , the  area  recently occupied by a  real  estate  company .


Near the main entrance  view , below , of  the  building  , above which can be seen a  ship outline  and the company name , is a heritage sign containing information about  the Adelaide  Steamship  Company and some of its vessels, including the  MV Manunda , converted to an Australian hospital ship, bombed by the  Japanese   in Darwin   on February  19, 1942 , resulting in  12 deaths  and  58 wounded .

 
Australia's Pearl Harbour, by  Douglas Lockwood , Cassell Australia ,1966, contains graphic details  of  what happened  aboard  Manunda  and tells how the badly damaged  ship with  456  sick and wounded aboard limped out of Darwin the next  day  headed for Fremantle , there being 11 burials at sea along the way .
 
 
Formed in  1875 by prominent pastoralists and businessmen such as Andrew Tennant , Robert Barr Smith and Thomas Elder , Adelaide  Steamship  Company  became the   biggest shipping operation in  Australia ; in  1935 it  formed  Adelaide Airways (see Wikipedia photo above )  , bought out West Australian Airways , formed  Australian National Airways , which was sold to Reg Ansett  in 1957 ; for more than 100 years the company  dominated  Australian passenger  and cargo  shipping , employing  800 at sea  and about 90 in offices  ; shipbuilding  was another  activity  and  towage .
 
In the  1970-80s , under CEO John Spalvin , Adsteam became a corporate raider , borrowing  large  amounts of money  to buy controlling interests  or holdings in   Woolworths, David Jones, Penfolds  Wines  , Tooths Brewery , Farmers Union, , Metro Meat ,  Petersville  Sleigh  with  interests in food, timber and woodchips,  AWA electronics , and  other  companies involved in construction and land development .
 
It held 15 per cent of shares in Westpac  and 20 per cent  of Bells Resources, the  Holmes a Court company, amassed  156  tugs  and had  other  interests . During the  l980s it was Australia's fourth highest capitalised company .   Caught in the  l990s recession , 200 banks  demanded  their money and the company was    forced  to sell  assets  in  a  giant fire sale , wiping  out  the  great enterprise, once the  pride  of  South Australia . Recriminations  and lawsuits followed .
 
The  South Australian Maritime Museum has   a large  collection of  Adelaide Steamship Company  items  including  a  fancy  head  office epergne , ship fittings , badged cutlery, brochures , uniforms  and  an  upright piano .  
 
Oddity/Spooky  Note :The former Adelaide Steamship office  in  Cairns  is situated in a  flood - prone part  of  the   city  and   like  the company  could go  under. In the  photograph below  of  the office interior  taken late in the afternoon  an old  Adsteam  ghost  seems to be guarding the  premises against bankers  and  bailiffs , ready  to  man  the  pumps .  
 

Monday, June 27, 2016

CONFRONTING EAST TIMOR FILM


 
A sensational documentary  film  is  planned   about  the murder  of  the  Balibo Five   in   East  Timor  during the  Indonesian  invasion.    Darwin  agronomist  Rob Wesley-Smith , deeply  involved in the   East Timor  struggle  from  1975  , who in an earlier reenctment  played the part  of journalist  Roger East  being shot and thrown into the sea at Dili , received  the following message which  explains the  aim  of  the  dramatic  film:  
Dili Film Works and FairTrade Films have started a crowd sourcing campaign to fund a new documentary, The Age of Living Dangerously. Many of you helped make history by generously supporting Beatriz’s War, Timor-Leste’s first feature film.
 
The Age of Living Dangerously is a film that profoundly touches both Australia and Timor-Leste.  In 1964 President Sukarno gave a speech declaring that the following year would be ‘the year of living dangerously.’ In 1965 he was overthrown, up to a million Indonesians killed, and Suharto started his three decade long rule. 
 
The Australian Government celebrated Suharto’s victory and his pro-West ‘New Order’. It was the start of a new era in Australian and Indonesian foreign relations, not a year, but an age of living dangerously; an age which saw genocides in Indonesia and East Timor, and during which six Australian based journalists, the Balibó Five and Roger East, were murdered.

The Age of Living Dangerously is the true story of the  Balibó Five, told through a woman’s search for the truth about her husband’s murder and the reasons why her country has covered up the crime for over forty years.  This powerful cold case investigation unearths new and politically explosive facts as it follows Shirley Shackleton to  Balibó, Timor-Leste, to visit the border town where her husband was murdered. 
 
 Greg Shackleton was one of five Australian based journalists killed in Portuguese Timor whilst reporting on Indonesian military incursions into the small colony in 1975. Shirley has lived for decades not knowing for certain how her husband died or who killed him. She wants the doubts and nightmares to end so that she can live the rest  of  her  life in peace, a life marked by a fierce determination to discover the truth about the deaths, and why Australia did not protest over the killings.
 
 Shirley believes that the Australian Government covered up the murders because it had colluded in the invasion of Portuguese Timor to protect its trade interests with Indonesia and to get hold of Timor’s oil.  This collusion is a deep betrayal of a people who helped Australia during its darkest hour.  In 1942 three hundred Australian soldiers fought a brutal guerilla war that kept the Imperial Japanese Army pinned down. Everywhere else, the Axis powers were advancing except in Timor. Timorese boys as young as eight became the diggers’ eyes and ears, carrying weapons, and at times sacrificing their lives for the Australians. 
 
 In 1975 Australia betrayed Timor by giving Indonesia the green light to invade the small colony. The Australian Government could have stopped the invasion by formally protesting about the journalists’ deaths.  Instead it colluded in a cover-up and ignored the immense historical debt owed to Timor, a betrayal that led to the highest genocide per-capita in modern history.
 
The film is reminiscent of Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence. However, The Age of Living Dangerously, unlike Oppenheimer’s films is about the murder of Australian citizens, and, in the case of East Timor, about genocide right on our doorstep. Until the truth is told about who murdered the Balibó Five, why Timor was sacrificed, and why our government officials were complicit in these crimes, our very identity as a decent, fair nation, our very sense of who we are as a people is damaged.
 
Your support in making this groundbreaking  film would be greatly valued.  Please have a look at the following links to see the rewards you receive if you become a fan club member or sponsor the  film. For more information about the film or to make a contribution  please  visit: 
 
http://www.fairtradefilms.com.au/crowd-funding-campaign/  
http://www.dilifilmworks.com 
 
Dili Film Works is considered Timor-Leste’s leading film & television producer.  It made the country’s first  feature film, Beatriz’s War.

BREXIT AFTERMATH REVIVES BEAR STEARNS DISASTER WITH LESSON FOR AUSTRALIAN VOTERS

Wall Street Journal reporter  Kate Kelly  captured the  dramatic last 72 hours of Bear Stearns ," the toughest   firm on Wall Street" , in  her 2009   book  Street Fighters , published by  Portfolio . The  inglorious demise  of the company with more than  15,500 employees  globally , is already being raised in connection with the Brexit  aftermath, one commentator   saying  the  financial  turmoil is more like the  Bear Stearns  slide ,  rather  than  the  Lehman  Brothers  collapse .

Kelly  told   how  Bear's CEO  James  Cayne , took to task  an outside   director   of  the company  without any background in finance , after  he  made what he thought  were   constructive criticisms  about   board   meetings, in particular  long   audit  committee  meetings.

Cayne   called him into  his office and gave him a  " woodshed  " session   meaning he  was  disciplined ,   taught a lesson ,  in which he told the respected  president of a  university ,   he  did not understand  the company . Gridiron  terms were  used  to  explain the  company needed  a "blocking and tackling "  approach , driven  by   minute- to- minute  decisions on trading .
 
There  was no need  for long  winded strategy  sessions  at  the  board  level .  Bear, he continued,  needed to recruit good  talent  and  remain nimble  in fast moving markets. PM Malcolm Turnbull, a  former merchant banker(Goldman Sachs Australia ) ,  often uses  the expression   nimble  and agile to describe  his  government .

In Cayne's  case, an "inveterate schmoozer " who  regarded himself  one of  the rulers of  the universe , he  made sure  he was  nimble and  agile  by  getting   out  of  the  Manhattan  office  swiftly  and  regularly  by  helicopter  to   the  Hollywood  Golf  Course .

Heavily involved  in  the  subprime  mortgage crisis , Bear shares tanked   and    the  business  was swallowed  up  by J. P. Morgan   under  a   strange deal in which the Fed  provided  a  special  bail out  up  to $30 billion . To  avert  a depression  like collapse of  the money market , regulators  and Congress  ," in the most  dramatic  market intervention in years , " pumped hundreds of  billions  of   government  money  into  companies in  the  GFC .
 
The book's epilogue   contains   grim details of the  impact  of the GFC on America in particular , devastation  from   which  Australia was  largely protected by  actions of  the  ALP  government  that stimulated the  economy to stop massive job losses , kept the nation's  AAA   rating  , guaranteed  the  main banks  and made us the standout country in the OECD . All this against the  baying  of the  Coalition  ,  including Malcolm Turnbull,  who  voted  to cut  the  emergency  measures.
 
By February 2009,  Kelly said  this  was  the  situation in America  :
 
* Unemployment had reached  nearly 8 percent, a loss of nearly 3.6million jobs  since   late 2007, with a possible loss of a further  2million  by end of  year.
*There had been a wave of bankruptcies in the retail sector .
The big three car makers were struggling to survive .
*Housing prices had fallen precipitously , many US suburbs were  dotted with boarded up  homes  and closed   public services .
**Many jobless   citizens faced   stacks of unpaid bills and lack of  access to health care .
* California , faced with a $40 billion shortfall in its budget , had ordered   200,000  state workers  to  stay  home.
*In New York , in early January, the state's online unemployment  insurance  system , besieged by  inquiries, shut  down  twice  in  two  days .

Sunday, June 26, 2016

PASSION PITS BUSY

Greedy  Generation Y  Curlews  Ejected

Another  sit  in .
As if the tension of the   election campaign is not enough, our  resident consenting  adult  Curlews   have  produced  another  egg . In the process they  chased away from the backyard  the  two  chicks which  survived  from  the  previous sitting . These  two hungry chicks now occupy the front garden , upset at being  driven out into the cruel cold world by their parents who want  to  be alone .  

While watching an afternoon  news bulletin item about the strange late election launch by  PM  Malcolm Turnbull in which   he praised   the Mad Monk , shrieking Cockatoos were heard  , a  reflection caught  in the  louvres of   the birds  in  the PASSIONFRUIT  VINE !, covered up  with   netting .  Those  *!!!#* Cockies  were  munching  the   passion fruit .

Action stations . As we  rushed out , raiding  Cockies , one   holding  a  large, unripened  passionfruit in its beak , rose in a white, noisy  cloud . As the damaged fruit was  inspected on the vine and  on the ground , the netting rearranged to include a neighbour's vine, the Cockatoos  circled , dive bombed, shrieked. One graduate from  Circus Oz  hung upside  down . 
Cockies  in  palm  tree look down  on  vine .
A  fruity and  passionate handshake  in  Coalition pawpaw patch, resulting in  the spitting out  of  many  sour  pips / pipsqueaks .


STOP  PRESS  BREAKING  NEWS ?



Why have  the  Curlews stopped  sitting  on   the  nicely  marked   egg ?...Now there are two eggs .

 

CAPE CLOUD SHOW CONTINUES

Spectacular  cloud  formations and  more  unseasonal  rain  have   been  experienced   in  Far  North  Queensland  during  the  week . One  of   our  roving correspondents  captured the above dramatic  view of  Cairns  with  a splash of  pink  . Rain and  very low cloud  was   encountered  during  a  road  trip  south  from  Cairns   two days  ago . (Photographs  by  Abra )
View through windscreen of low cloud .
Cardwell jetty with  large  cloud  bank
Cloud  blotting  out  Great  Dividing  Range  near  canefields .
 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

MEDICARE CUTS LEAD TO CHANGES IN MEDICAL FEES , BULK BILLING IN NORTH QUEENSLAND

The Magnetic Island medical centre  has issued the following  fees schedule notice  stating  it  will  become   a  mixed  billing practice   as from  July 1 - the day  before the election  in  which  the fate of  Medicare is  a  major issue .

The notification  states that  the change is  "due to Medicare  restrictions and cuts " and   other  running  costs , thus it  is unable to bulk  bill  everyone .
 
 

Across  Queensland  public  hospitals   are under great  pressures , especially emergency departments .   The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service  is facing a  budget  blowout of $6million.   At the Cairns Hospital    medical staff  have been  instructed  to even  cut back on the use of pens , couriers  and to  critically assess  each  patient's  need for  pharmacy, pathology  and  medical  imaging . 
 
 
The Cairns Hospital was selected  as one of two pilot sites  for the rollout of Digital Hospital , an integrated electronic medical record  which  is supposed to reduce patient paperwork.  However, Dr Sean McManus of the medical staff  association  has  said  it is too unreliable , creating a lot of stress for clinical staff and  distracting  them   from   patient  care.
 
A previous  Little Darwin   post    from the John Menadue blog, Pearls and Irritations ,  detailed how Medicare continues to  be  hollowed out  by Coalition governments  and  that  while Turnbull  declares  he will  not  privatise Medicare ,  it  will  continue to be  undermined by stealth and emasculated so that it is no longer  what it was  intended... universal  health scheme , the envy of  the world .
 
The public  health service  and the fate of Medicare are major issues in   Queensland , as the above  flyer in the  seat of  Herbert  indicates , which highlights cuts of  $514 million   from North Queensland  hospitals  and $228 million   from  schools  in  the  Herbert   electorate. 


Friday, June 24, 2016

THINK OF THE POOR (SHIVERING) SOUTHERNERS AND ALICE SPRINGS

Balmy  and  barmy   North  Queensland .

DISRESPECTFUL ELECTION CAMPAIGN LATE FINAL EXTRA

Outrageous  views  along  the  campaign  cactus  trail  by the Chaser's Desk and Mad As Hell  which  saw  missing  Prime Minister   Harold  Holt  found in a wardrobe , PM Malcolm   Turnbull  attacked by a coral munching  crown of  thorns in  Townsville  and  Gerard  Henderson   tested  for a   bit  part on a meat hook  in  a  new Wolf  Creek  horror  movie .

 
In obvious pain from the crown of  thorns munching on  his thigh  , the  PM  grimaces as  Environment Minister Hunt announces  troops  at Lavarack Barracks will  be armed with  Exocet  missiles  to attack  the  feral purple  reef eaters  .With  the PM was the  dynamic incumbent for Herbert , Ewen Jones , who received  high  praise  from the  Chaser team.
That  endearing  , wise old gentleman , with a  hunk of  fritz in his hand , shocked the  world  by producing  the  skeleton of Harold Holt  and    snorkel from  his wardrobe ,  who  will be thrown into  the save the Great Barrier Reef   Campaign .
 An indication  of how  scared  the Liberals  are   in South Australia  because of Nick Xenophon is  the fact  former PM   John  Howard  , billed as  Liberal Party Royalty !!!  (the Queen  is not amused ) ,  campaigned  in  yappy  Christopher  Pyne's  seat   which   is  under  threat.  
 
The next Aussie movie star , Gerard Henderson , far  right , down under ,  wows  his  fans  at  the  Catholic  Boys  Daily , an expression stolen from Gadfly in  the Saturday Paper ,  and on Late Night Live , run by his admirer  Phillip  Adams , Adams even intending to nominate Gerard and the Duke of  Edinburgh for an Order of  Australia Medal  . Henderson  is also   highly regarded  by Melbourne  scholar and  raspy voiced  gentleman,  Pete  Steedman , on new medication , and is only too  happy to provide Gerard an  unsolicited  testimonial  anytime  you  feel  inclined  to  ask . 
 


Thursday, June 23, 2016

HISTORIAN AGAIN CHALLENGES KATTER'S WAR STATEMENTS


The above special report  by military historian, writer and  journalist , Ross Eastgate, who  specialises in defence ,  was  run  across two pages  in the Townsville  Bulletin  on  June 16 , without  any apparent reference to  the  Member for  Kennedy, Bob Katter ,  or  a  request  for  comment .

It came  after  the issues  were  earlier  raised  by Eastgate , a graduate of  Duntroon  and  the Army Command and  Staff College , who has  served  in the Middle East, PNG  and East Timor .

The Australian  newspaper of  May 30 carried a  report  by  Sid  Maher which stated Bob Katter was  threatening defamation proceedings against a Townsville Bulletin columnist, Ross  Eastgate ,  who questioned his account of  his compulsory military service in the 1960s and his depiction of his ­father’s unit’s involvement in the Kokoda campaign.
 
It said  Katter, the long-serving independent member for Kennedy in far north Queensland, has been under fire by a senior LNP figure over his description of the 49th Battalion as “my own’’ in his book An Incredible Race of People.

Eastgate  had  picked up on the story after Dennis Quick, the LNP regional co­ordinator in far north Queensland, claimed Mr Katter had exaggerated his father’s and uncle’s ­involvement.

The report  said  that in  a letter to the Innisfail Advocate, Mr Katter wrote: “When the 49th were relieved at Sanananda, there were only 28 of the 800-man battalion able to walk out from the trenches. We had put our lives between ourselves and the enemy again and again, denying them ­access to Port Moresby and the ­invasion of Australia. 

“While of course I was not there, it was father’s battalion and my Uncle Billy’s battalion. As kids, we would hear the stories in awe about the men who had fought and saved their country from ­invasion.’’
 
The Townsville Bulletin had  reported that Mr Quick wrote in reply that Mr Katter’s use of the word “we’’ was “misleading’’ about his service in the Army Reserve and challenged his claim that more than 95 per cent of the 49th Battalion was lost at  Sanananda.

Mr Quick said the 49th lost 60 per cent of its assault force “and the attack failed ... therefore Mr Katter’s statement ... is also unable to withstand scrutiny.’’
 
Eastgate wrote in a column in the Townsville Bulletin that Mr Katter’s father, Bob senior, was discharged from the 49th Battalion on medical grounds in 1942 as the Kokoda campaign began. He said the attack to which Mr Katter referred took place a month  after the Kokoda campaign ended.

“His interpretation of the 49th Bn history is at odds with both the Australian War Memorial’s record of the 49th Bn’s war service, and the official battalion history, Fred Cranston’s Always Faithful: A History of the 49th Australian Infantry Battalion 1916-1982,’’ Eastgate wrote. He also questioned Mr Katter’s writings in The Australian in which he said as an 18-year-old he was handed an “SLR rifle and had to give next-of-kin phone numbers.
 
The Australian report  ended by  stating   Mr  Katter’s spokeswoman said he was “bringing an  action of  defamation against Ross Eastgate."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I DID BUT SEE HER FLUTTERING BY AND TUGGED MY FORELOCK ....

From the  famous  Sir Robert Menzies  lepidopterology  collection , over which he  spent   many  a   quiet  evening   sinking   ports  and  getting down on his knees  to   relentlessly  hunt   Reds  under  the  bed  to  impale  with  a  pin and  stick in  his  insect   display  case . A telephone  survey revealed  that most Australians did not  know Sir Robert  was a  lepidopterist ,  believing  he  was  a  teetotaller.   

PATIENTS NOT ALLOWED TO BE SEEN IN THE PINK OF HEALTH

A strange situation exists   at  the Cairns  Hospital  where  senior doctors  have expressed concern about  a  budget crisis. Doctors have been told to  no  longer use  pens , switch off  lights  in unused rooms , reduce  clinical  waste , critically assess  each patient's requirements  for  pharmacy, pathology and  medical imaging , reduce the use of  couriers. And  photocopying  in  colour  is  to be avoided .

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

MEDICARE THREAT EXPOSED


Anyone  doubting  Medicare  is not under threat should  read  in  full  the  article by  a  former  head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet , John Menadue , in his blog , Pearls and Irritations ,under the heading : Bill Shorten Is Right : Malcolm Turnbull Is A Major Threat To Medicare

It starts with the statement:  Turnbull won't "privatise " Medicare , but he will destroy it .  Summarising , it says : the Coalition has been eroding Medicare from within for a decade and a half  since John Howard ; the vehicle for  this erosion  is private health insurance , facilitated by  the  government  paying it  $11billion  each year ; the process   of erosion of  Medicare  is proceeding rapidly , the danger and threat , outlined , increasing  every  year ; most of the emergency departments of public hospitals have been at bursting point  for years ; private health insurance is hollowing out Medicare  and the public  system from  within  ; the Minister for Health Sussan Ley has floated the idea that the Coalition  will introduce categories of " gold ","silver" and  "bronze" to help patients better understand  the many confusing  and dud policies that private health insurance offers ; the destruction of Medicare  is the endgame of vested  interests ; the Coalition  is facilitating  that process  with $11 billion annual subsidy despite  what Malcolm Turnbull  says ; the forms and external structure  of Medicare , the shell , may remain  but  its founding principles-fairness, universality, solidarity  and  efficiency - are  being  whittled  away. 
 
In other telling  points, Menadue saysfull inquiry into the private insurance industry  should be included in the ALP's proposed  royal commission into  dubious  practices of  banks Medibank  Private  is   being investigated by ACCC  for  serious breaches in  failing   to disclose  to its 3.9 million  policy holders  that it was slashing coverage of  pathology and radiology services , just when  it was  about to float on the  stock exchange ; the  ACCC  is soon to launch  cases against major hospital operators  for engaging in anti-competitive   conduct  to keep out smaller health  providers ; these revelations about  private health insurance are the  tip of a  dangerous iceberg, the end game  being  increased profits  and  the destruction  of  Medicare by  stealth .

HAIR ,OATHS ,FLU AND FLUMMERY FLY IN LONG RUNNING ELECTION

The  increasing   loss of hair on Immigration Minister  Peter Dutton as the election  tussle continues  is evident in this  photo of him with  hairy MHR   for Dawson  George   Christensen  (LNP )  , whose  very name makes  the  long locks  of  a  well  known  Darwin  lady  of   distinction  stand  on  end .
 

In  the case  of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull , it seems incredible that he could possibly come down with the dreaded lurgy , as  photographed , above ,   waving  his arms about  against  the   background  circular  logo for the less than agile  and nimble   Turnbull  Coalition Team , it  looks as  if  he  is one of  the three wise men  with  a  whopper  halo in  a modern day version of  the  Adoration of the  Magi  by  either  Sandro  Botticelli or Leonardo  da Vinci .
 
Antagonised  by  Chaser,SMH  
 
Imitating an angry  fire ant   as  the  marathon  election crawls  along  is  the Treasurer , left , whose pent up  antipathy towards  the ALP came  through in a boisterous  exchange with   Fran Kelly  on Radio National , which  probably cost  the  Coalition  a  few  thousand   votes . 
 

 
 
The  Coalition  has a  handicap  with its frontline sales  team ...Christopher  Pyne     has  long  passed  his  use  by  date ; Michaelia  Cash , seen   below  being  tickled  by  the  PM , performs  like  a  karaoke  singer on  The  VoiceAttorney-General  George  Brandis , rarely seen on the hustings , has  been branded a  "dud"  by  Crikey  ; in the case of Defence Minister   Marise Payne   , the  disgruntled  old  boys' clique  in  the Coalition is undermining  her ,  and Turnbull , pushing   for  the Mad Monk , Tony Abbott , to take her baton  after the election .  Of  course, she who must be obeyed ,  Peta  Credlin ,has  found  fault  with  the way  Malcolm  is  performing  in  the  election.
 
 
There  appears to be no truth  in  the beaut  story that Lucy Turnbull , who recently  stepped  down  as  president of  the   German-Australian  Chamber of Industry and  Commerce  ,  dressed like Brunhilde the shield warrior and valkyrie  in  German  mythology ,  home alone in  The Lodge , each night,  vents  full  throated  anger about  the iniquities  of  the  compaign   and  the action of  that  overcooked , hairy  German  sausage  John Howard  who   convinced  Malcolm  to stay on  in  politics , rather  than  let  him  roam  free in a relaxed ,   exotic location , away  from   the   maddening   Canberra   crowd .


And  the  Deputy Prime Minister ,  baffling Barnaby Joyce , who promised  Malcolm the support of the Nationals as long as he did not  go in hard on global warming , was  seen  standing on a table , apparently worried about rising sea levels .  Just recently on  the ABC   Four Corners , he made  a  convoluted  statement  about   global  warming in which  he  seemed to be saying  he had been  up a creek not only without  a paddle, but , more  worrying ,  without  water . Then  he went  out  and  threatened  to  deport  a  Lama  to Cambodia . Somebody else,  a  guy  in  a  frock  ,   was  told  to  piss  off .

Monday, June 20, 2016

MAD KATTERS/ MAD HATTERZ / MAD AS HELL/ MAD MOMENT IN SENATE FORUM CONFRONTATION

Snake  Gully  Influence  in  Queensland   Politics  
Three  serious looking Katter's Australian Party  hombres, Big Daddy Bob Katter (in Marlboro Country hat and sunnies, a  grim High Noon shootout expression on his face  ) , his  son , Bob  ( with tie ) ,  and   former  law officer , Shane  Knuth, make  life  tough  for  the minority  Palaszczuk ALP  government  in  Queensland  which  hangs  on  by  a  nylon  thread .

 Because of  this  precarious position,  the ALP often has long discussions with the only  two  KAP members in Queensland state politics-Shane Knuth  and   Bob  Katter Junior -on various matters , seeking  their  support .

However , just  when it looks as if  the duo  agree on  an issue , their stance  changes overnight  because in  the morning  Katter the younger  announces he has  discussed the  issue with  his dad  and  he is not  agreeable,  not  happy .

This situation  has been labelled  as  the  Dad and Dave of  Snake Gully  influence  on  Queensland  politics. Said one exasperated pollie in Brisbane  : "We know  who  Dad and  Dave are , but  will  there  be  a Mabel ?" Good question, as Joy Marriott , one of  the Knitting Nannas , a protest group which campaigned against  coal seam gas and  other  exploration and mining threats  to   land  and  water , is  standing for KAP as a Senate candidate  in  Queensland . Describing herself as an "ethical green" , commenting on proposed new  land clearing regulations  , she  said : "Until we can work out how we're going to  grow carrots  or produce in the fork of a tree , clearing land is essential for farmers."


She recently claimed  at a media conference that Cairns  federal government  pollie   Warren  Entsch told her to f**k off  at a  forum  on  the  proposed new  Queensland land  management laws .   He laughed off  the matter and claimed she had "stalked him " with  flyers . Snake Gully sure  has changed.

 
Apart  from  being  difficult to deal  with , believing they virtually have the government  at  the  point  of  a gun because of  the numbers , the KAP two play hardball . As well as making life difficult  for the ALP,  the KAP two  expressed disappointment  at  the successful challenge to the leadership of the LNP  leader  Lawrence Springborg   as  they had  an agreement  with him about their place in   a  change of  government , and  did not  like  the  replacement , Tim Nicholls ,  treasurer  in  the  Newman  government.

It is irksome that  the  only  KAP  member  in  the  House  of  Representatives, the Sombrero Kid, in effect calls the  shots in  the Queensland parliament .This has  caused impolite  muttering  in Brisbane , on both sides ,   about the "Mad  Katters" .
 Recently, one  of  this  blog's roving  rural reporters ,  running about on the Atherton Tablelands , spotted  Katter  senior , the Member for Kennedy , neatly kitted out ,  striding  along  at the  large Yungaburra  market , above ,  followed  by  Shane  Knuth, the  latter  armed  with  a  twisted  potato  on  a  stick .

Distracted by stalls offering books ,  our reporter lost track of  the  Katter deux  and  the spud on  a  stick   when  his attention was   grabbed by a book on Hitler's personal library,  which  he  bought ; there are two good  bookshops in the  town .

The  KAPs in  cowboy hats had  seemingly disappeared...Searching for them in the  large  crowd , our  scribe  spotted a place where they could be hiding -the  nearby   Mad Hatterz Whimsical  Tea  House  .   
 
 Peering  through  the  windows  like a thirsty  March Hare  , no  sign of the KAP duo   could  be seen , just  happy  people swilling  tea,  so  he  headed  for  the 1910 built  Yungaburra Hotel , also known as the Lake Eacham Hotel , for   light refreshments  and a  look  at  the interesting Federation architecture  interior features made  from  local timber, there being  a large street   painting  nearby depicting  tree felling .  
 
 
 
In a surprise development, a  Townsville  economist ,  Colin Dwyer  who had unsuccessfully  stood  for the LNP in  a  Queensland  state election , announced  he would  saddle up  for  KAP in the federal seat of  Herbert  against  Ewen Jones (LNP).
 
His entry was announced at  a  media conference where Dwyer sounded  like the angry  TV station   news   anchor   in   Network , Australia's own Peter Finch ,   the  academy award winning  l976  movie, in  which  he famously urged  viewers  (couch potatoes ) to  get  up , go to  windows , stick  out  their  heads  and shout out that they are  mad  as hell  about  the  state of  things  and are not  going to  take  it  any  longer .

(This scenario , of course , is repeated   in  our own  ABC TV   Mad as Hell  series anchored  by   oughta   be  certified  and  gonged   Shaun  Micallef.


 In print , on TV  and over  the  radio , Dwyer, obviously mad  with the LNP , spread the  message  that  he is  standing because  he is  very angry  about  what has    happened  to  the  Townsville economy  and  that  the city needs  a  voice  in Canberra ,  not  Canberra's  voice  in  Townsville .
 
This  expression of anger and the need for a voice in the holy city was  repeated in  campaign  adverts , and other media interviews . It could be prompted by the fact   that  during  one of the  Question Time  sessions  in  the House of Representatives , shortly  before the double dissolution election was  called , Bob Katter  senior  got  up  and  did  not seem to be seeking  information ,  more  like making  a  rant.  The government  responded  by  saying   Katter had  been in  parliament  long   enough  he  should  know   how  to  word  a  question.    

STOP  (SHOCK )  PRESS :   KAP expressed support for the Queensland budget because  of  provisions for  regional  parts of  the  state .