Friday, 13 December 2013

TOTAL KNEE REPLACEMENT

Well it is good to be back home again and back in front of my laptop.
Four weeks ago I had a total knee replacement operation on both knees! Yes both at the same time.
I spent a week in a regular hospital after the operation and then two weeks in a rehab hospital. The physio and hydro therapy were great. I am now walking with just one walking stick. It is still quite painful, especially at night in bed but regular doses of endone and panadol osteo look after this.
If anyone is considering getting a knee replacement operation I would recommend going ahead with it. If both knees need replacement then I would, and my doctor and two friends, recommend getting both done at once.
Possible the worse aspect now is trying to sleep at night as it is very difficult to get comfortable.
I have exercises that I do religiously twice a day and am seeing progress.
I should be back doing regular blog entries soon.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

INDONESIA and REFUGEE BOAT PEOPLE

Many asylum seeker boats coming to Australia originate in Indonesia. The boat is Indonesian, the crew are Indonesian and the refugees on board have spent time free in Indonesia. What I cannot understand is why when Australian Military or Customs officials try to turn these boats back when they illegally try to enter Australian waters the Indonesian Government objects.
Most of these boats start calling Australia for assistance even before they leave Indonesian waters. Surely these people are the responsibility of Indonesia and not Australia.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

THE END Today i share a poem i wrote recently


THE END?

John Ross ©

I am the last.          
The culmination of mankind’s genius.
The perfect human being.
I see all. I know all. I never grow old.
Millenniums, ages, eons stretch out behind me.
I look down on the city from my lofty tower.
I see order, beauty, industry.
Created, maintained, by cold lifeless machines.
 

 I am the last.
We came from star dust.
We fought, learned, loved, hated.
We grew, prospered, imagined great things.
We dared to believe we would live forever.
For a brief second we thought perfection was achieved.
 

I am the last.
We cast aside so much.
The joy of new life, youth, discovery.
The challenges of failure, hardship, striving to achieve.
No need for compassion, forgiveness, repentance.
We knew all but had nothing.
                                              

I am the last.
I have seen the stars slowly dim and die.
Burnt out, exhausted.
We reached for them; they eluded us.
Now they and us, me, I, will end.
The universe is ready to die.
 

I am the last.
Loneliness is a constant cloak.
They are all gone, we may not age but we still die.
Love, friendship, a look, a touch. No more. Never.
I feel the weight of untold billions of people.
Their lives, their very being instilled in me.
 

I am the last.
Millenniums drift by.
The sun. The giver of life dims.
Time now to wonder. Why Who What. Meaning.
Soon it will end. This journey of Mankind.
Will there ever be another story.
Perhaps another beginning.
I am the last.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

FRIENDSHIP

On Friday I will be attending the funeral of a very good friend. It is at times like this that you look back and realise just how valuable and rewarding a true strong friendship can be.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

BUSHFIRES

Five days now of bushfires. 208 homes burnt down and another 150+ damaged. Here in Blackheath we are still in danger. There is a massive fire only a few ks away. Heavy smoke and fire fighting helicopters everywhere.  Emergency bag packed, house prepared as much as possible and ready to go if the order is given. It is times like this that you really value the things around you. Your possessions and your family and friends.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

BUSHFIRE SITUATION IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

The latest count is over 200 homes lost. Most at Springwood and Winmalee. 7 at Mount Victoria which is just about 5 to 6 ks from us. It is very smoky here at the moment.
we have prepared our yard and house as much as possible and are getting the car packed in case we have to evacuate in a hurry.

Friday, 18 October 2013

BUSHFIRES IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

Yesterday Thursday the 17th of Oct was a very scary day up here in the mountains. The temp was around 26c the wind gusting at 90k per hour then the fires started.
It would appear that around 100 or more homes have been burnt down and many more damaged. Thankfully so far no loss of life has been reported. There are still fires burning but today is much calmer with temps this morning around 3c and no wind.
Where I am the fires only came within about 4k so we were in no real immediate danger.
More later.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

THE ROBOT

I write sci-fi short stories and some of them are published on Narrator Magazine.
My latest story THE ROBOT can be accessed for free.
http://www.narratorsss.com/2013/10/the-robot-john-ross.html
So read and leave a comment.
Thanks.

Friday, 11 October 2013

THE GREAT WESTERN HIGHWAY THROUGH THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

The upgrading of the Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains is progressing slowly.
As most people are aware this highway runs parallel to the railway line for most of the way and both emerge on the other side of the mountains at Lithgow. The daily sight of hundreds of heavy trucks roaring through the supposedly quiet villages in the mountains is not only annoying and noisy it is also dangerous. SURELY a better way would be for the freight carried on these trucks to be placed on rail and offloaded onto trucks at an interchange near Lithgow.
The upgrade of the highway currently only extends as far as Katoomba. there does not appear to be any concrete plans or timetable for the section from Katoomba through Medlow Bath, Blackheath and Mt Victoria and onto Lithgow. How much longer are we going to see hundreds of trucks daily toiling through the main shopping centre of Blackheath with the result noise and pollution.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

From an Australian point of view it is hard to understand what is currently going on in the US.
We cannot see what the objection could possibly be to a scheme that provides affordable health insurance to millions of citizens who currently have none. Surely this is a good thing.
We also do not understand how the government can get into a situation where services are shut down because the peoples wages cannot be paid.
Americans you call yourselves the greatest country in the world yet you want to deny universal health cover to your poorer citizens and then put your own economy at great risk to fight it.
Your level of crime, gun ownership and resultant massacres, the level of poverty and homelessness and your strange habit of voting for everything including people in your legal and law enforcement areas cause most Australians, whilst also considering yourselves a great ally and friend, to be rather bemused.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

SPRING IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS



When I read and see of all the horrors that us humans are committing against each other then look at the beauty that nature and God has surrounded us with I ask...WHY?

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

MALL SEIGE NAIROBI KENYA

Thankfully the siege that has been going on for days at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi has now come to an end.
This senseless waste of life and its associated trauma. grief and sadness all done in the name of religion. Religious extremism and ultra nationalism are the two greatest evils that exist in our world today. To the greater majority of people of every religion what has happened in Kenya is abhorrent. Yet a small percentage of people, mostly of the Muslim religion, believe that such acts are not only acceptable but to be praised and that those committing these sort of acts will be rewarded in the after life.
It is time for Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and members or believers in all the worlds religions to stand up and say, 'Enough is Enough.' We the peoples of the world just want to live in peace and security and in an atmosphere where are children will grow up without hatred and fear.

Friday, 20 September 2013

SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS AND US INTERVENTION>

The use of chemical weapons against anyone is to be absolutely condemned. The outrage about their use in Syria appears to be because of the indiscriminate killing of civilians and especially children. However the use of tanks, artillery, helicopter gunships and air force bombers has killed many thousands more civilians than have been killed by chemical weapons. Why the selective outrage and calls for reprisals.
Any involvement, directly or indirectly, by any western powers will only bring wider grief and expansion of the conflict and incite a Muslim backlash.
It is up to the United Nations to act.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

THE ABBOTT GOVERNMENT CABINET

I do not understand the sudden out burst of criticism of the Coalition Cabinet as announced yesterday by Tony Abbott.
For at least the last 3 years Abbott has been saying that he will carry forward the members of his opposition shadow ministry into government if he wins the election. One female member of that group will probably fail to be re-elected. So Abbott has done exactly what he said he would. So why now the outcry about it.
The Labor Party has crowed that they have had more female members of parliament than the coalition. This is a direct result of candidates being parachuted into seats by the federal branch regardless of the local branch's opinion and regardless of experience or qualifications.
The over-riding reason to choose members of the cabinet must and should be by experience and suitability not just on gender.
Please remember that the people from the Labor Party that are now offering this criticism are the ones who shafted a sitting FEMALE Prime Minister.

Monday, 16 September 2013

COCKATOOS


These are Gang Gang Cockatoos. They are from the eastern parts of Australia. Here they are at our bird feeder in our yard in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney.
The ones with the red heads and ruffle are the males.
Their call sounds like a creaky door opening.
they are very sociable birds and usually unafraid of humans.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

BUSH FIRES IN THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

It has already been very hot and it is only early Spring. We also have had very little rain. the conditions are just right for a bad fire season.
Please clear leaves out of your gutters. Put firewood away from your house. Clear, as much as possible, any leaf, twig and dead wood litter from nearby bush. Check your hoses, sprinklers etc.
Above all DO NOT LIGHT OUTDOOR WOOD bbqs or any open fires.
Report all suspicious activity IMMEDIATELY.

THE CARBON TAX

The abolition of the carbon tax was one of the main policies of the Australian Liberal National Coalition leading up to the election. The people of Australia voted overwhelmingly in favour of this and the other policies of the coalition.
The Labor party who opposed the abolition of the tax received their lowest primary vote ever.
Last night an ex minister in the Labor party was asked if they would acknowledge the mandate given to the coalition and not block the abolition of this tax in the Senate.
She replied that just over 30% of the population had voted for its retention therefore the Labor Party would not support a vote in the Senate for its abolition.
To me this is hypocritical sour grapes. Nearly 70% of the people of Australia do not want your tax. You are going against the express will of the people.
To the Labor Party. You lost. The people voted against you. Accept it change and move on.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

TONY ABBOTT. AUSTRALIA'S NEW PRIME MINISTER

The people of Australia have decided in a fairly emphatic way. the Labor Government has ben swept from power and the Liberal, National Coalition is the new Government.
Tony Abbott is our new Prime Minister.
The time for division is now over. It is time to unite behind our new government that has been put into power by the vast majority of Australians.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

AUSTRALIA VOTES

Today Australia votes in possibly one of the most important elections in a generation.
Please make your vote count. Do NOT be distracted by one of the minor parties or independents. They do not and will not have the power to make and implement the decisions that are important for our country.

Friday, 6 September 2013

THE FEDERAL ELECTION AND YOUR VOTE

I believe that the Coalition deserves to win tomorrow. I also hope that is a decisive win.
If you are undecided as to who to vote for please carefully check the policies of any fringe party/independent before casting a protest vote for them. We do not need another hung parliament where minor parties or independents hold power out of all proportion to the number of people who voted for them. Consider carefully before wasting your precious vote on them.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

MY TWO E-BOOKS

Just a reminder that my two e-books are available to be purchased.
You will find the link on the right hand side of this page.
THE FIRST MAN is a scifi story of adventure, romance and mystery.
MY PATCH is a collection of stories about a policeman who lives in a small village in England in the first half of the 20th century.
I am sure that you would enjoy them.
A starving poor (lol) writer thanks you.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

KEVIN RUDD and THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

I have one question that puzzles me.
Kevin Rudd was rejected by his own party when he was the elected prime Minister of Australia. Members of his own Cabinet called him a psychopath, dysfunctional, a control freak and the majority of them considered him not fit to be Prime Minister.
SO why do they now expect us to accept him for that very role for which they rejected him and said he was not suitable for? Why?
Has he suddenly been reborn and is no longer any of the above things?

Monday, 2 September 2013

AMERICAN INVOLVMENT IN SYRIAN CONFLICT

It is my opinion that America should not get directly involved in this conflict.
If the government of Syria has used chemical weapons against its own people that is a terrible crime. However I fail to see that this is any worse than the constant indiscriminate shelling of suburban areas. Both kill innocent victims including children. The people committing these atrocities, and I am sure both sides are guilty, should be correctly tried in a court of law.
If America decides to take action, no matter how limited or targeted, innocent people will also die. It is also inevitable that certain sections of the Muslim world will see this as aggression against them.
Terrible acts of inhumanity deserve to be punished but it must be done in a legal way.To punish indiscriminate killing of people by more of the same is, I believe, not justifiable.
If one wishes the end of the Assad regime be very sure about what is likely to replace it.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY CAMPAIGN LAUNCH

This morning was the Labor Party of Australia launch of their campaign to retain office in the upcoming elections on the 7th of Sept.
These are my observations.
Therese, Kevin Rudd's wife, introduced him and I am afraid that her speech lacked warmth and was rather repetitious. Many times she said, 'Let me introduce etc etc.
Rudd's speech was really in two main parts.
Firstly about the achievements of past Labor governments.
Secondly the usual negative and personal attacks on Tony Abbott.
The main thing that it lacked was a real vision of what he as a possible Prime Minister for the next three years had for the future of the country.
At times his speech was full of bluster and one could not help feeling it was a plea to, 'Please Love Me.'
His attacks on the Coalition were the usual (now mostly discredited) ones about 70billion worth of cuts cuts cuts.
I do not believe that this will re-energise the Labor campaign.
I again stress that I am not a member of any political party.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL ELECTION

One week to go! The liberal, National Coalition ahead in all the polls. Labor support slumping.
It would appear that Australia has already decided. Kevin Rudd is still trying to dismiss the poor polls but his approach and demeanour is getting more desperate and rattled as the days go by. I believe that there are some within his party saying that they would be faring better if they had kept Gillard as the leader.
My prediction (purely my assumptions as I am not a member of any political party), A win for Tony Abbot and the Coalition. Kevin Rudd resigns and leaves politics and Bill Shorten will be the new leader of the Labor Party. The true stories behind what went on within the party and the involvement of the unions etc will come out as it has done since they lost power in New South Wales.
Well. I may of course be wrong! whatever happens the Labor party should learn something from all that has gone on the last six years. they must become a political party for ALL Australians and not a political wing of the unions.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

THE GREENS and WHY TO VOTE FOR THEM

There are three main political parties in Australia. The Liberal Party, The National Party and The Labor Party. Realistically the only party that could from a government and therefore introduce legislation is one or a combination of the above. The minor parties, and I include the Greens in this, will not have sufficient numbers to form a government. The only possible way that the Greens, for instance, could influence Government policy would be in another disastrous alliance with the Labor Party in a hung parliament. However both the Coalition and Labor have ruled out forming any alliance with the Greens if this situation should arise.
So I ask the question, why vote for the Greens? Would it not be better to vote for one of the major parties and put pressure on them to bring about the changes that only they can achieve. I am sure that many of you will disagree with this point of view. I would just ask you to not waste time voting Green and giving your second preference to one of the major parties. The Greens, just like the Democrats have had their day and will soon disappear anyway.
That is my opinion if you disagree please leave an informed comment

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

WESTERN INVOLVEMENT IN SYRIA

Today there is much louder and strident calls for the West and in particular the United States to get involved in the conflict in Syria.
I can not speak on behalf of the American people but I can speak as an Australia.
I speak directly to my government. Please DO NOT get involved in another messy civil war or so called police action in the Middle East. It is an Arab problem, let them sort it out.

AUSTRALIAN INVOLVEMENT IN AFGHANISTAN

The time is nearly here for the Australian withdrawal from Afghanistan. In my opinion it can not come soon enough.
Many young men, calling themselves refugees from Afghanistan are still arriving, or have already arrived in Australia by illegal means. Australians have suffered, bled and died so that their country (Afghanistan) could be democratic and a safe place. So why are these young men still here or still arriving. I am sure that they would be welcomed into the Afghanistan armed forces to help uphold what Australia has fought for. I, along with most Australians do not believe that they are true refugees.
It is now time to end our involvement and for most Afghani "refugees" in our country to consider going home.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

SYRIA. UNITED STATES. AUSTRALIA

It is my very passionate belief that both America and Australia should NOT get involved in the conflict in Syria. This has turned into a civil war that is spilling over into the neighbouring Arab countries and its ferocity and atrocities are deep rooted in the age old divisions within the Muslim religion.
There is, in my opinion, no good that could come from America, Australia or any western country becoming involved. I know that the scenes of women and children being killed is distressing but any military intervention will only cause more deaths and inflame an already volatile situation.
Please let the Muslim dominated and Arab countries sort it out themselves.

Friday, 23 August 2013

OUTBACK AUSTRALIA

If you have never visited the centre of Australia I urge you to do so.
It is a totally unique experience. Beautiful, Harsh, Rugged, Surprising, Remote, Isolated, Spiritual, Unpopulated, are just some of the words used to describe this area.
There are many ways to travel to and experience this area.
You can do it in luxury by flying in and staying in 4star accommodation and be taken around in conducted tours or...
You can drive (but remember the vast distances involved)
If you drive you can see many things in just a normal family sedan but if you really want to experience it in its fullest take a REAL four wheel drive and camping gear.
The most important thing of all is to allow sufficient time to fully explore the towns, the gorges, the aboriginal culture, the icons and the people.
If you have never driven and camped off road for long periods before PLEASE get together as much information as possible before you attempt it. Unprepared people die out here.
Remember, water, food, sufficient fuel (in one area the fuel stops are over 500km apart), let people know where you are going and when you will be back. Be aware that in summer the temperature during the day can reach 45to50c and the nights can drop to below Zero.
If you are really going a long way off track take more than one spare tyre and a puncture repair kit.
CB radio or a satellite phone and GPS are recommended.
Above all take away only photos and leave behind only foot prints.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

THE GREAT WESTERN HIGHWAY and TRUCK TRAFFIC

The upgrade of the Great Western Highway from Penrith to Katoomba is mostly now complete. the few remaining sections will be finished later this year or early next year.
This leaves one hugely important question for those people who live in Blackheath, Mount Victoria and to a lesser degree Medlow Bath. What are the plans, if any, to upgrade the highway through these villages.
Many hundreds of trucks pass through the main centres of these villages each and every day. Through Blackheath there are numerous traffic lights, including one set right in the heart of the village, this causes these trucks to brake and then restart with all the associated noise and pollution. It is impossible to hold a conversation on the footpath in front of the shops and pubs in this area.
These villages should be quiet, attractive, calm and pollution free areas in the midst of a national park and heritage area.
Will some one please advise us when this horrendous assault on our nerves, hearing and health will be alleviated.
I might add that it is congruous that just beside the highway is a main rail link. Could this freight be placed on rail ????

ILLEGAL BOAT ARRIVALS

The Labor Party is saying that their Papua New Guinea solution is stopping the boats. Well! Yet another boat arrived today with 208 people on board.
The Prime Minister of PNG does not seem to know or understand what is in the document that he signed with Kevin Rudd. It appears that the document says that real asylum seekers will be permanently settled in PNG or other co-operating nations. It would seem that Australia is not totally or specifically excluded in this arrangement.
This, I believe, is yet another ill thought out, bungled arrangement by a government that makes a decision, announces it without full consideration of all the consequences.

Friday, 16 August 2013

KEVIN RUDD's DECISION MAKING

The latest idiotic policy from Kevin Rudd proves conclusively that he has not changed his ways. The dividing off of the top half of Australia and treating it differently in the way of company tax was announced by him without consultation with some of his senior ministers. The first they heard about it was on the news. Policy on the run; made up as he goes.
This announcement has been met by horror by all the state Premiers, Business analysts and most thinking people. Image......All the banks and big Australian Companies moving the address for their head offices to Darwin. It would perhaps just need to be a post office box !!!
To me this indicates that the Labor Party are starting to get desperate.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

THE NEW SOUTH WALES SOUTH COAST AUSTRALIA

We have just returned from a week in a house at Bawley Point on the beautiful south coast of New South Wales. From our bedroom, lounge room and kitchen we had 180 degree views of beaches and rocky headlands. It was just a 2 minute walk to a wide sandy beach.
We saw whales, dolphins, seals and each day there were about 50 kangaroos on the grass near the beach. It is still the middle of winter here but it was so warm that my son and grand daughter went swimming.
This is a magic part of the world. Unspoilt deserted beaches, national parks, rugged cliffs, rock ledges and plenty of wild life. Many varieties of birdlife: magpies, butcher birds, black cockatoos, crimson rosellas, rainbow lorikeets, just to name a few.
There are no high rise, no 'resorts', no main roads, no airports, just small villages and an unspoilt paradise.
If you have not been there do yourself a favour and go.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

THE 2013 AUSTRALIAN ELECTION

Well what a few weeks it has been. I go away on holidays and all hell breaks loose.
We now have a date for the election 7 Sept. The first one on one debate is over. The initial gloss of Kevin Rudd's return as Prime Minister is rapidly wearing off and all the polls suggest a Liberal National Coalition win.
Firstly the election date. Just the day before he announced in K Rudd was saying he had no idea as to when it would be BUT a poll out that night caused panic and it was called the next day.
Subsequent polling suggests that the Labor Party under K Rudd is falling further behind and their hysterical scare campaign about the GST being applied to food under a Coalition Government has been shown to be just grasping at straws. How many times must Tony Abbott say that they have no plans to change the GST.
The first debate. K Rudd at times looked rattled and had to constantly refer to notes whilst Tony Abbott spoke freely without notes and appeared comfortable under the spot light.
I look forward to the next few weeks.

Friday, 2 August 2013

CHRIS BOWEN THE FEDERAL TREASURER AND THE BUDGET BLOW-OUT

Well here we go again. From the budget brought down in May to now (Aug) the expected deficit in this years budget has almost doubled to over 30 BILLION dollars.
One must ask the following questions.
Was the previous treasurer so inept that he drastically undervalued the expected deficit.
Was an attempt made to hide the true extent of the deficit.
Can anyone truly believe that this is the true depth of the problem that this Labor Government has created.
Why should we, the tax payers, believe anything this Government has to say.
They are, and will, blame anyone and anything for this huge deficit except their own ineptitude. It is only a few weeks ago that they have promised billions in school funding, disability care, scrapping of the carbon tax. All costing billions that they knew the country could not afford. Well we just cannot afford any more un costed, grandiose spending from this government.
PLEASE BE GONE AND SOON

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

FORMER NSW LABOR MINISTERS COULD FACE CRIMINAL CHARGES

The long running investigation of the actions of these ex Labor Party heavyweights has reached its conclusion. Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald could face lengthy prison sentences if found guilty of corruption.
I think that it is time for all members of the Labor Party that were in power with them in NSW or associated with them in their dealings with Federal Labor should now state clearly and plainly their abhorrence of their acts and to state that they were in no way involved. The great majority of the members of the party are hard working people and politicians that only have the good of NSW and Australia at heart. It would help to clear the air and give the party a chance for renewal.
There has been a suggestion that any proceeds of corrupt behaviour on the part of the men identified in the enquiry should be immediately seized and returned to state revenue. This I think would please the voters of NSW as NO ONE should be seen to benefit from such behaviour.
Again I state that I believe that the great majority of the members of the Labor party are honest and well meaning people but all seeds and roots of this corruption must be identified and dealt with.

Monday, 29 July 2013

FIJI'S RESPONSE TO KEVIN RUDD's PAPUA NEW GUINEA SOLUTION.

It has been reported today that the Government of Fiji has issued a stinging response to Kevin Rudd's solution to the problem of illegal boat arrivals into Australia. This "solution" is to send everyone who arrives he illegally by boat to PNG for processing and settlement. This includes unaccompanied children, minors and families.
The main thrust of Fiji's opposition to this idea is that it would irrevocably change the culture, stability and ethnic mix of the area. There is also the issue of the religious beliefs of most of the asylum seekers: they are predominately Muslim and PNG and the Pacific Islands are Christian states. The Christian belief is actually mentioned in the constitution document of PNG.
The Fiji response, in as many words, calls this policy an irresponsible knee jerk reaction to an Australian problem caused by the Australian Labor Government.
Once again I, and many Australians, are asking for the details of this agreement with PNG.
THE COST? HOW MANY? HOW LONG? WHERE IN PNG (Manus will only hold 600 after work is finished in mid 2014)?

Saturday, 27 July 2013

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR GOVERNMENT AND THE ECONOMY

It has been revealed, just this morning, that the Labor Government have again badly miscalculated their projections regarding the Australian economy. Revenue is $8 Billion lower than they predicted just over two months ago in the May budget. Their prediction of a surplus in 2016-17 is now looking impossible. Many of the Labor members are saying that either there will have to be savage cuts or once again their  surplus predictions will have to be pushed a long way out into the future.
Their, much vaunted Mining Tax, is only bringing in a fraction of the predicted revenue and the changing of the Carbon Tax to an ETS a year earlier has also put a large dent in projected revenue.
So what does this say about the ability of a Labor Government to manage the Australian Economy.
I will leave the answer to that question up to you to decide.
If one just stands back for a moment from political allegiances and looks dispassionately at what Kevin Rudd has done since coming back to power one has to conclude that it has just one aim. His election, at whatever cost, and the shoring up of his position in the future so it would be difficult to challenge him.
This is my opinion....We cannot afford another 3 years of a Labor Government.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

THE ROYAL BABY and WHAT IT MEANS TO AUSTRALIANS

To many Australians, such as myself, the birth of a Royal Baby in far of England has little meaning or relevance. In the United Kingdom it can and should be celebrated but here in Australia in this day and age it has very little, if any, impact on our daily lives. Our ties to the 'Old Country' are becoming very tenuous indeed.
Very many Australians now believe that our country should be a republic.
 A very large proportion of our population do not have an English background and indeed many have their origins in other  continents rather than Europe.
Our future security and economic success has absolutely nothing to do with the UK. What happens in Asia and America determines our future.
The concentration of the media outlets here in Australia on the royal birth is overwhelming the areas on which they should be reporting. We have a crucial election looming which could decide the future direction of Australia and this morning 90% of the national news time has been taken up with the appearance of a mother and baby in a foreign country. Where are our priorities????

Sunday, 21 July 2013

ASYLUM SEEKER BOAT PEOPLE and KEVIN RUDD's DEAL WITH PNG

There are many questions still to be answered by Kevin Rudd about the Labor Party's latest attempt to stop the influx of illegal boat people to Australia.
1 What is the deal that was offered to PNG as regards financial incentives. In other words what is the cost to Australia in both short and long term.
2 Will families with children or unaccompanied children be sent to Manus Island. If not what will happen to them.
3 Will the people arriving by boat be eligible for a recourse to the Australian legal system. I.E. will they be able to fight their deportation to PNG through our court system.
4 Does PNG and in particular Manus Island have the facilities, medical resources and security in place to handle an influx of foreigners.
5 What is the real view of the local people on Manus Island as this will be crucial to the re-settlement of these boat people.
6 As the PNG mainland is only 4 kms from the nearest Australian territory in the Torres Straight will the Federal Government beef up the border controls in this area.
7 When will Manus Island be ready to take a large influx of so called refugees. The facilities there are hardly coping with the handful of people there now.
8 Does this new system of handling refugees that arrive by boat also apply to the hundreds that arrive by aircraft every week. Also will it apply to the thousands of people here illegally who have overstayed their visas or work permits and who then claim refugee status when apprehended.
9 WHY HAS KEVIN RUDD SO DRASTICALLY CHANGED HIS ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE BOAT PEOPLE JUST BEFORE AN ELECTION. It was Kevin Rudd who willingly dismantled a solution back in 2007/8 that was working. As Amanda Vanstone said this morning it is like a man who has just set fire to your house now offering to hold the hose for you.
10 Be very wary of promises made by Kevin Rudd the king of policy makers on the run.

Friday, 19 July 2013

A PLAN TO RESETTLE ASYLUM SEEKER BOAT PEOPLE IN THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES

When I first read these headlines this morning I thought someone was having a joke.
However it now appears to be a new policy to be announced soon by the Australian Labor Party.
SO. the boat people keep coming to Australia, we process them at the usual exorbitant cost to the Australian taxpayer then send them to Papua New Guinea or some other place.
Some questions beg to be answered.
Who would accept them and why?
Would Australia have to pay billions of dollars to these countries to bribe them to take these people.
Would they soon become unwelcome in the countries to which they have been sent against their will.
Would they still be able to use our legal systems, (as they do now), to challenge such removal.
This just looks like a revamped Malaysian Solution.
The Labor Party and Kevin Rudd can now promise whatever they like before the election as it is impossible for it to become law before the election and in all likelihood will be voted down in the Senate after the election. The Greens and Coalition will still have the majority in the Senate.

REFUGEE BOATS RESCUED BY THE AUSTRALIAN NAVY

It would appear that the tactics used by the people smugglers sending boats from Indonesia to Australia has fallen into a very predictable pattern.
They depart Indonesia and as soon as possible radio Australian Authorities that they are in trouble and our navy or customs ships go to their aid. It is becoming like a taxi service.
The question that I ask is....where are the Indonesian Navy, Coast guard, Emergency Services in all of this. Many of the rescues made by Australian ships have occurred just of the coast of Indonesia and many hundreds of miles from Australian waters. I have not heard of ONE refugee boat being rescued by an Indonesian ship once it has left their territorial waters. One must always remember that these refugee boats are Indonesian, crewed by Indonesians and departed from Indonesian ports.
Why is Indonesia not criticised for failing to come to the rescue of their own boats and citizens. Instead Australia is sometimes criticised for a slow response even though these incidents happen a long way from our country.
There does seem to be different standards applied here.

Monday, 15 July 2013

REFUGEES/BOAT PEOPLE

Yesterday 300+ in 24 Hours. I heard my neighbour say, 'This is looking like an INVASION.'
As one of our better Prime Ministers said, 'We retain the right to say who comes to our country and how.'
With both our current Foreign Minister and prime Minister admitting that many of these people arriving are economic refugees and not under any duress in the country they have come from then they should be sent straight back home.
We are just a small country population wise and cannot afford such an influx of non English speaking, unskilled and ethnically very different people.
We have a great refugee/immigration process and entry to our country should be by these controlled and compassionate means.
I and many of my fellow countrymen and women are very worried what the future holds for Australia if this current uncontrolled influx of uninvited people continues.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

TONY ABBOTT THE LEADER OF THE LIBERAL PARTY AND LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT

I was listening to talk back radio this morning when a listener rang in and said something that resonated with me.
He stated that a number of his friends said that they disliked Tony Abbot. When asked what it was that they disliked about him they could not give a reason or said such things as, 'It's the way he walks.'
I find this incredibly interesting. Do we as human beings like or dislike another person for no valid reason or even because of the way they walk, or look, or talk. Are we so shallow that we always judge people as we would a book by its cover. Surely it should be by what they believe, what they do and the strength of their character and morals.
Maybe we should ask people if they like Kevin Rudd and why.
Let us please judge our politicians by their beliefs, character, actions and what they have contributed to the general well being and prosperity of our nation.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD AND THE UNIONS.

Yesterday Kevin Rudd announced that he was going to change the way the leader of the parliamentary Labor party was to be chosen. there would be a vote evenly divided between rank and file members and members of the caucus. The whole procedure could take at least thirty days.
I believe that this is a transparent ploy to make sure that in the future he cannot be challenged as the leader of the party and to try to neutralise the criticism that faceless men in the union movement control the party.
It is well known that large blocks of the parliamentary Labor Party are controlled by some of the largest unions. Therefore this would appear to be a hollow promise as it will never be passed by the majority of the members of his caucus. The last time that Kevin Rudd tried to break the control of the unions over the party he was unceremoniously dumped as leader.

Monday, 8 July 2013

COAL SEAM GAS. PROTESTS AND REALITY.

As a casual observer there appears to have been an hysterical over reaction to coal seam gas exploration in Australia. There must, of course, be informed discussion and debate about the merits and future potential of this possible new source of energy.
Unfortunately the debate has been overridden by the loud shrill reaction of some of the more radical backers of the green movement. This has tended to demonise anyone who tries to rationally discuss the possible merits of coal seam gas. The gathering of signatures from members of the public who have no clear understanding of the science, technology, benefits, possible dangers or long term effects on agriculture, does not prove a thing apart from the fact that a scare campaign is working.
I believe that it is vital that a reasoned debate must take place where the real facts, science etc is discussed by people fully qualified to do so. If the general consensus of these people is that it is harmful or dangerous to continue then so be it.
I, and I am sure that many Australians want the facts and not hysterical reaction so we can make a rational decision. With our dwindling resources of usable means of power generation we must make sure that all future avenues are PROPERLY investigated.
I am neither for or against coal seam gas I just want the facts.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

THE NEW SOUTH WALES BRANCH OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

The Federal Australian Labor Party has just announced an investigation and short term take over of their NSW branch.
What a joke. There has been an investigation going on now for many months. Not brought on by the Federal Branch of the party but by the NSW Government. It is highly probable that criminal charges of fraud and corruption will arise from this investigation.
The Federal Branch of the party have said that they will take over the running of the NSW branch for a period of 30 days. Anyone found to have acted corruptly will be ejected from the Labor Party.
It would appear that the allegations of blatant corruption in the NSW Labor Party have been going on for years. It beggars belief that the Federal Branch were not aware of these allegations. IF SO why did they not act earlier. If they deny previous knowledge what does this say about the running of the party.
The Labor Party did not act whilst Labor was in power in NSW. Nor did they act after they were thrown out and the allegations of corruption emerged into the public domain. They are only acting now when a  Federal election is looming and they are desperate to retain Labor seats in western Sydney.
Again I am not a member of any political party and the above is just how I see the situation. If you want to agree or disagree please leave a comment.

Monday, 1 July 2013

KEVIN RUDD THE NEW LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY and PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA

Mr Kevin Rudd has been recycled by the Labor Party and is now the new Prime Minister of Australia.
He replaces Julia Gillard the previous PM. She was defeated by a vote of the sitting Labor members by a vote of 57 to 45.
Julia Gillard replaced Rudd in a similar coup just three years ago.
Three years ago Rudd was replaced by his party because of a drop in support for the then Labor Government. He was described by his parliamentary colleagues as a control freak, megalomaniac and even worse. YET they have now reinstated him; once again because of a poor showing in the polls.
I defy anyone to understand the logic of this. He is a failure in 2010, is replaced by another (Gillard) who is also a disaster, then they bring back the original failure, disaster.
May be he is just the best of a very bad lot!
Many of the best, and longest serving, members of the Labor cabinet have now resigned and some are even leaving politics all together. The new ministers announced today are either those that sided with Rudd in his challenge or are total newcomers with no experience. In other words this new Labor ministry is made up of people whose only interest was the preservation of their jobs or total unknowns thrust into the limelight as there was no one else.
How can these new ministers get a good grip on their portfolios in the short time remaining when parliament does not sit between now and the election. Most of them will be campaigning in their own electorates desperately trying to hold on.
I am not a member of any political party or lobby group. Just a concerned Australian.

Friday, 28 June 2013

REFUGEES, BOAT PEOPLE, PEOPLE SMUGGLERS.

Kevin Rudd, the new/old leader of the Labor Party and now Prime Minister is already promising to get tough on illegal refugees arriving in Australia by boat. This would have to be one of the most cynical about faces in modern Australian Politics. It was this same Kevin Rudd newly elected in 2007 that did away with all the refugee policies of the preceding government. Those policies had been so effective that the numbers of illegal arrivals fell to almost zero. Under his new arrangements they have now risen to many tens of thousands a year.
Will he ADMIT that he and the Labor Government got it WRONG.
This very morning the new Treasurer was saying that they want to revisit the Malaysia solution. This "SOLUTION" meant sending 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia and taking 4,000 in return. With the current rate of arrivals that quota could be filled in one week.
Why do Labor politicians find it so hard to admit that the last Coalition Government had the right solution.
One final point. The current Foreign Minister Mr Carr admitted this morning that many of the so called refugees are actually economic ones who are just after more money and have not and will not face any persecution in their home country. He further admitted that our checks of these people are so weak that many of them are accepted as refugees.
For the sake of the security and economic future of our country, GET IT RIGHT NOW!!

THE CARBON TAX

There is talk that the newly installed PM Kevin Rudd is going to dump the carbon tax and go I to a carbon trading scheme 2 years before it is scheduled.
The main problem with that, as pointed out by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition, is that the Labor Government have already spent the anticipated revenue from the tax for the next 2 years. This would create a huge hole in the forward estimates and put our country further into debt.
Of course this change can only be a promise that they would do this if re-elected and can get it past a possibly Greens controlled Senate.
One must always remember that this is another mess created by themselves and promoted in the past by their "born again" leader.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

KEVIN RUDD AGAIN PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA

Again the Australian Labor Party has rejected their own sitting Prime Minister. Just over three years ago they knifed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and replaced him with Julia Gillard. Yesterday they replaced her with Kevin Rudd.
What does this say about the judgement of the Labor Party. They admitted they were wrong in electing Rudd and so replaced him with Gillard and now oopss wrong lets bring Rudd back.
This fiasco could be likened to a company that makes a product that the community don't like so they sack the director of the company and replace him with someone else but
 still continue to produce the product that no one wants.
Bring on the election so at last after 3 years of Labor mismanagement and farce we the people can have our say.
Kevin Rudd your own party did not want you before, the public did not want you and we still don't.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

THE LEADERSHIP OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

I believe that all the media chatter about a possible challenge to Julia Gillard as the Prime minister and leader of the Australian Labor Party is reflecting the true feelings of most members of her cabinet. The reason that no one, not even Kevin Rudd, is willing to challenge is for a very basic reason. Who would want the poison chalice? Even with K Rudd as leader they are still heading for a monumental drubbing. The real jockeying for position is now all about who will be the leader of the party in opposition after the election.
When, not if, they are defeated at the election I cannot see Julia continuing as the leader. I am sure that she would also resign from parliament rather than experience the ignominy of sitting on the back benches.
Many would say that it would be poetic justice to see her lead the party to a crushing defeat and to have much of the blame heaped on her head.
Maybe after the election K Rudd could break away and form a True Labour Party as distinct from the Union...err Labor Party.
It must be a real sadness for most true Labor supporters to see their once proud political party lose its values, direction and become mired in internal bickering and pandering to the Independents and Greens.
Bring on the election.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

THE SOCCER WORLD CUP. AUSTRALIA QUALIFIES.

Australia has just defeated Iraq with a last minute goal. They now are automatic qualifiers for the Football World Cup.
It was a brilliant game with Iraq showing real courage and skill.
The game was played with a great show of sportsmanship behaviour from both teams.
The crowd of over 80,000 went wild when Australia scored. They were all well behaved with no apparent problems or bad behaviour.
Soccer in Australia stands head and shoulders above the other codes both skills displayed and player behaviour.
Well done Australia.

THE FIRST MAN

This is a book that I have written it is available on Smashwords for under $2 Aus
just click on www.smashwords.com/books/view/242599 to view and read a free sample.

Friday, 14 June 2013

THE UNITED STATES PROVIDING ARMS TO THE SYRIAN REBELS

I have just heard that the USA is going to provide weapons to the rebels in Syria.
I just wonder why they did not learn their lesson from what happened in Afghanistan.
After Russia invaded Afghanistan the USA provided the resistance there with a whole range of sophisticated weaponry. After Russia left these weapons were then used by the Taliban to take control of the country. They are still being used today against the coalition forces.
I sincerely trust that there is some mechanism in place to stop the weapons provided to the Syrian rebels being used in the future against the West.

Sunday, 9 June 2013

ASYLUM-SEEKERS, BOAT PEOPLE, BORDER PROTECTION AUSTRALIA

I have just read a very disturbing article in The Australian newspaper dated June 8-9 2013.
Here are some excerpts from the article written by Greg Sheridan the foreign editor.
45,000 boat-people have arrived in Australia since late 2008.
It is the greatest single disaster of the Gillard Government.
This policy failure threatens to overwhelm and contaminate Australia's entire immigration programme and may change the nature of Australian society.
This financial year we will reach 25,000 by the end of June.
If the new norm is 3,000 a month the annual rate will be 36,000.
The three chief source countries are Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq.
This boat-people phenomenon is essentially a determined Muslim immigration.

Assume that 40,000 of those who have arrived are Muslim, mostly low skilled and with limited English. Assume that each one is responsible for one family reunion immigrant. That is a cohort, so far, of 80,000 low skilled Muslims with poor English predominately from countries that have the most radical and extreme jihadist traditions in the world.

Immigration figures released last year revealed that five years after arrival the rate of employment - not unemployment - of Afghans was 9 per cent. 94 per cent of Afghan households received Centerlink payments. From Iraq 93 per cent of families received Centerlink payments.

We are allowing, indeed attracting, a huge cohort of unskilled Muslim immigrants who have not been chosen by Australian policy or process, but there are almost no unskilled jobs available.

My comments regarding the above.
We must confront this situation head on and do something about it NOW.
If we don't we will surely face a future of disaffected, unemployed, people who are a major drain on our welfare system. This will be to the detriment of our society, culture and future prosperity.

Friday, 31 May 2013

THE NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK, ASBESTOS and THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

What is it about this Labor Government. They now have a proud history of stuffing up nearly everything they touch.
Let me list them
The fuel watch.
The grocery prices watch.
The cash for clunkers scheme.
Set top boxes for pensioners...Costing at least 4 times more than retail price.
Building the education revolution. Drastically overpriced school halls and tuck shops. Millions wasted.
The pink batts scheme...Ill conceived and cost lives.
The net nanny. Never even saw the light of day.
The promise of a budget surplus.....Just a miscalculation by billions of dollars.
I am sure that some of you could think of many more.
NOW THE NBN.
Way behind schedule.
Way over budget.
Whilst the concept is praiseworthy it would have required a strict cost benefit analysis and a swot analysis ( strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). None of this was done effectively or maybe not at all.
Now, a long way into the roll out, suddenly they discover that asbestos lined pits, that the government knew about at the start, are not being handle4d correctly. This is putting poorly trained contractors and the general public in danger. Does this sound a little like the pink batts fiasco!!
One must ask the question what can they do correctly?
UPDATE
The first death on a NBN site occurred just hours after I posted the above.
A man crushed to death by a truck driven by an unsupervised learner driver.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

COAL SEAM GAS in AUSTRALIA

There have been many conflicting reports in the media about the consequences or lack thereof in the drilling for coal seam gas.
Firstly it is often called 'mining'. This is not correct it is a drilling operation.
There have been rallies and petitions claiming that it will harm our underground water reserves.
Most of the people that are campaigning against it are not aware of the science or techniques involved.
I believe that the government has launched a scientific enquiry into all aspects of coal seam drilling.
All parties should restrain themselves at the moment until the results of this enquiry are released.
It is always a degree of ignorance and misunderstanding that breeds fear of something new.
As a nation we must fully investigate all possible avenues that might assist with our future power needs.
If we say no to coal, no to nuclear, no to wind turbines no to coal seam gas and the production of roof top solar panels uses more energy than they produce during their restricted life span....WHAT IS LEFT.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH and SEXUAL ABUSE

Slowly the evidence of the extent of the sexual abuse of mostly minors by catholic priests is being revealed. Apart from the vile deeds perpetrated by the priests the most alarming thing is the way that the church protected the offenders and tried to deny and cover up the crimes.
Priests that were known by the church as sexual predators were just shifted to different parishes and the complaints by children and parents glossed over.
This is a world wide problem on a monumental scale committed by an organisation that is supposed to care for and nurture the most vulnerable. It is hypocrisy of the highest order.
Nothing less than, all those who committed these crimes being brought to justice, the church paying adequate compensation, the church purging itself of this insidious climate of protecting its own members and a radical overhaul of all church procedures is required.
There are a number of areas where change is overdue. The requirement for priests to be celibate should be scrapped. Women should be allowed to become priests. The church should try to bring its ceremonies, pomp, dress and attitudes into this day and age.
I am sure that if changes such as these are not made soon even the threat of eternal damnation will not stop people leaving the church. It is becoming increasingly meaningless and not relevant to life in this modern world.

Monday, 27 May 2013

HOME GROWN TERRORISM

Currently there are approximately 200 to 300 People from Australia fighting in the Syrian Civil War.
Many of these people are Australian citizens. The Australian Government is not involved in this conflict on any level.
My concern is that some of these people are joining known radical groups. When this conflict ceases, and one hopes that it is soon, will these people then return to Australia. If so will they be satisfied to settle back into a peaceful, tolerant society such as ours along side people that they were recently fighting against. There are many people from different branches of the Muslim religion living peacefully here and the last thing we need is old hatreds and sectarianism being brought back into our country.
One must also ask, if these people are so passionate about the future of Syria, surely they would be willing to remain there and help to rebuild after the conflict is over.
All Australians, no matter what religion or background, must be vigilant that the peace and security of our nation is maintained.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

ANNIVERSARY OF THE CROSSING OF THE BLUE MOUNTAINS

Yesterday, here in Australia, we celebrated the 200th anniversary of the first crossing of the Blue Mountains by the European settlers. In may 1813 an intrepid group of men fought dense bush, sickness, and a very rugged landscape that included sheer cliffs to find a way westward from the settlement of Sydney. There had been numerous failed attempts before and some even said that every attempt would be blocked by impassable cliffs.
The current Great Western Highway very closely follows the route taken by these men. We rarely think of the hardships endured by these men as we travel in comfort for about 50 minutes over a route that took them weeks.
It has been said that the settlement of Sydney may even have been abandoned if a way had not been found over the mountains.
Their achievement is a vital part of the success of the colony of New South Wales and should be regarded as such.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

RELIGION AND TOLERANCE

Nearly all, if not all, religions of the world claim to espouse peace. I say claim because the facts certainly do not bear out what they lead us to believe.
I will leave you to be the judge.
Acts of terror. Sectarian violence and hatred. The killing of innocent women and children. Total intolerance of other religions. The treatment of women as uneducated slaves. Dictatorships.
You be the JUDGE.

Friday, 17 May 2013

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY and GONSKI

The Australian Labor Party wasted billions of dollars during the so called Building The Education Revolution. All we got were grossly overpriced buildings, many of which were not suitable and some never used. Millions were wasted on consultants and administration. Now they have the temerity to criticise Tony Abbott because he is wary of their further cash splash on an ill defined policy that is referred to as the Gonski Report.
In this report there is no discussion about how to achieve better teaching, better teachers or better outcomes just a mathematical formula for the distribution of money and a huge new public service department in Canberra to administer it.
There are many things wrong with the education of our children.
1 The quality of teachers has declined to a point where I have heard it said that some are bordering on illiterate.
2 The strangle hold on the education system held by the teachers union, abetted by the Union...oops Labor party, has to be broken. Education is not about them it is about outcomes for our children.
3 Head teachers should have more control over the teachers, standards and more say about what is required in their school.
4 The bureaucracy, red tape and duplication should be eliminated. Why does Canberra need a public service department of many hundreds when it does not even employ a single teacher.
5 Throwing money at the system has never worked in the past.
6 The curriculum must be looked at. Get rid of all the extraneous stuff and get back to core values.
7 Reporting on a child's progress needs to be changed. A report card that says, 'Met the standard' is meaningless. I want to know what score out of a hundred my child achieved and where he or she is placed amongst their peers.
Labor's past history in these matters should not lead anyone to trust them now.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

WAYNE SWAN and THE BUDGET

The current Labor Government and their Treasurer Wayne Swan have just delivered their budget for the next 12 months.
There is currently much criticism of both the savings and expenditures outlined in the paper. There is obviously some good intentions in their projected projects such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the spending on education. However it has been proved over and over that just throwing money at the schooling system has not worked. The NDIS is praiseworthy; but the big question is can the country afford it.
ANYWAY all of this is a complete waste of time as neither Wayne Swan or this current government will be in power after the election in September. Seen in that light the budget is just a cynical attempt to try to leave some sort of legacy of this failed government and also to create a huge problem for the incoming Coalition.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

THE NATIONAL DISABILITY INSURANCE SCHEME

Whilst most people in Australia welcome the introduction of this scheme there are still many questions arising about how it will be implemented and where the money will come from.
The way the scheme was announced by the Australian Labor Party could be likened to a person announcing that they are going to build a multi billion dollar house but have no land to put it on, no builder organised, and no finance arranged and no foreseeable way of raising the needed finance.
The way that the scheme is to be implemented has also not been properly explained. How will the money be allocated, to whom and when.
It also would need yet another huge new public service department to administer it. Under this, and all past, Labor Governments the public service has grown alarmingly.
To put it simply the country just cannot afford all the so called new initiatives of this government.
Again to break it down simply it is like a family that wants to build a huge new house, send their children to a top private school, install in their house all the latest energy saving devises, donate thousands to a climate control charity and all this while they are millions of dollars in debt.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

SYRIAN CONFLICT and WHY THE WEST SHOULD NOT GET INVOLVED

I stress that this is my opinion.
The opposition forces fighting the Syrian Regime are not a single cohesive group but many different elements from a wide range of religious and political backgrounds. The two main Muslim factions, the Sunnis and the Shiites are on opposing sides, there are fundamentalist groups associated with terror organisations, many that are answering a call for Jihad and some opposition groups have started to launch attacks on each other. The whole situation is confusing and constantly changing.
The problem for any Western Nations contemplating intervening is; who would you help and what guarantee is there that the group that you helped would not eventually turn against you?It is actually possible that who ever eventually takes over in Syria could be more anti west than the existing government.
Surely we have learnt from the experiences of the intervention in Afghanistan after the Russian invasion, Iraq and the latest Afghani involvement.
Any intervention, based on the idea of saving lives or establishing democracy in Syria is doomed to failure and would just lead to more unnecessary loss of life.
Please let the Arab nations sort out their own problems.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

AUTUMN (FALL) IN THE BEAUTIFUL BLUE MOUNTAINS

A change of pace with this blog.
This morning is the first really cold one so far this autumn. Temperature at 0800 just 4.4c. Winter is just around the corner.
Autumn, or as the Americans call it, Fall is a really beautiful time here in the Blue Mountains just west of Sydney Australia. The days are clear and warm, the nights cold enough for a fire and the streets ablaze with colour. Wentworth street in the village is particularly colourful as it is lined with tall, old deciduous trees that are covered in gold, red and bright orange foliage.
The many cafes are full of tourists that spill out onto the tables on the footpaths and the bush walks in the National Park are host to lots of people enjoying the great outdoors.
If you have never been to this part of the world then you are missing something magical.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY AND THE ECONOMY

Just six months ago the Australian Treasurer was firmly sticking to his government's promise of a surplus of just over one billion dollars this financial year. Now the Prime Minister has had to admit that there will be a deficit of approximately twelve billion dollars.
How could they have got it so wrong?
I believe that there are two factors that have contributed to this.
Firstly they went ahead and committed billions of dollars on the assumption that newly introduced taxes would bring in the  revenue required. Unfortunately most of these new revenue raising measures were poorly conceived and implemented and brought in just millions instead of the billions that they had already committed.
Secondly. They are saying that part of the deficit is due to lower tax revenue from businesses that are making lower profits and thus paying less tax. Perhaps they should investigate how things such as the Carbon Tax and the impost of the Mining Tax has had on company profits. Companies and indeed even individuals are holding back due to higher costs and uncertainty about future ill thought out ideas that have been mooted by the Labor Party.
Surely a budget must take into account every thing that could have an influence on the final outcome. It must be constructed on a responsible investigation of these influences and be neither wildly optimistic or to timid.
A thirteen billion dollar turn around in less than six months must surly indicate that the original budget was wildly optimistic or that the spending by this government is totally out of control. I believe that it is a combination of all of the above.
Please feel free to comment.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

ANZAC DAY....LEST WE FORGET

A day of remembrance and commemoration. One day, hopefully, we will just be remembering conflicts past and not present.
We should be thankful for those that gave their lives to defend our way of life but deplore the fact that the nations of this world had to resort to conflict to settle their differences.
May PEACE reign from now on.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

MARGARET THATCHER AND THE UNIONS

It was sad to hear of the passing of Margaret Thatcher but even sadder to hear and see some people rejoicing at her death. Most intelligent and reasonable commentators speak of her achievements and the fact that she rescued Great Britain from a downward spiral and turned the economy around and put its future back into the hands of the elected government. The country was slowly being strangled by the unfettered power of the unions and this had to be changed.
There are many comparisons that could be made between those times and what is facing Australia today. We currently have a Labor Government whose members are overwhelmingly ex union officials and which is desperately trying to do their union bosses bidding.
The percentage of workers here in Australia that are union members has been declining rapidly in recent times and now represents only a very small percentage of the total work force. This small group and their leaders have a disproportionate input into the running of our country.
This must change. Our government must rule and provide policies for ALL Australians.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

GUN CONTROL IN THE UNITED STATES

I find it almost impossible to believe that the National Rifle Association in America is advocating that all teachers in their schools should be armed with pistols.
What a great example this will be to the young students to see their teachers and role models openly carrying loaded fire arms. Surely the tens of thousands of Americans shot to death in their country every year should make the population realise that they have a serious problem with their cultures and their "cherished 5th amendment". Thousands of more loaded lethal weapons in circulation in the community can only lead to more deaths and trauma.
Sadly if this is the thinking of most Americans, and I am sincerely hoping it is not, they have lost their way and should be condemned by those countries where gun control is strictly enforced.
Most Australians would plead with you to do something now to control the distribution,sale and ownership of guns of all sizes and caliber. Surely the deaths each year and the terrible sight of children shot multiple times by an automatic weapon would give you the courage to stand up and say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH."

Monday, 1 April 2013

POPE FRANCIS A NEW BEGINNING

Pope Francis so far has been like a breath of fresh air in the Catholic Church. This is however only the beginning of what needs to happen.
He has dispensed with a minor number of the old traditions but they have been mostly only ritual or dress related. There is much more that needs to happen.
I realise that change in the Church can, and must, be made in small steps but it would be nice to see some of these changes beginning to be discussed and put forward soon.
The changes that really need to be made are those that would bring the Church out of the middle ages and into the 21st century. It needs to be more relevant to peoples lives and the demands of our new political, technical, industrial and moral challenges. If change does not happen soon I fear that church attendances will continue to fall and the younger generation will not engage with the church at all.
So, the beginning of the reign of Pope Francis has shown promise but there is much more to be done.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY and WHERE TO FROM HERE

The Australian Labor Party is languishing in the very low 30's in all the latest polls of voter's voting preferences. Unfortunately they seem to believe that carrying much the same as they have been will, by some miracle, get them out of a mess of their own making.
It is my opinion that they have totally lost contact with the feelings, aspirations and motivations of most of the Australian public. They keep speaking about their Labor Values; well times have changed we are no longer living in or under the conditions that prevailed back in the 50's or 60's. Working conditions and the very type of work carried out have changed dramatically. Blue collar work has mostly shifted to the mining areas and manufacturing has rapidly declined. Many new jobs have been created in the IT, tourist and service areas. Membership of trade unions has sharply declined.
The traditional base of the Labor Party has shrunk and to survive the Party needs to change to appeal to a broader spectrum of Australians or it is in danger of losing relevance entirely.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY and VOTER CONFIDENCE

I believe that the Australian Labor Party lost most of their diminishing pool of supporters last Thursday the 21st of March.
If they cannot even manage to conduct a leadership spill without it developing into a laughable circus what chance do they have of governing Australia. If they think (Julia Gillard) in particular that the aborted spill has stopped the deep divisions within the party from cracking wide open they are fooling themselves. The comments made by the four front bench members who have resigned their positions or been sacked make this abundantly clear.
With Julia having to do a cabinet reshuffle in the coming week this could be likened to a sinking Titanic who's captain is more worried about who has what deck chair rather than saving her ship.
I also believe that whatever political party you support we all should be calling for an election ASAP so that we the people can decide who has the best credentials to run OUR country.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

DRUGS IN SPORT and HOW TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM

The current system here in Australia of a ban for a few games or years if a sports person is found to have taken illegal substances is totally inadequate. Many people are willing to take a risk because of the huge financial rewards that are available. There is no avenue readily available to recoup the sponsorship money, salaries and rewards that a player has gained whilst cheating by taking these substances.
If we are truly sincere about stamping out drug taking in sports there should be an automatic life ban on any further participation or association with the sport placed on the person involved. The Governments that have trained and supported the athlete, the sponsors and the providers of winning bonuses should have a means by which they can retrieve their investments.
This would provide an incentive for athletes to remain totally drug free throughout their careers as it would provide both a moral and financial incentive to do that.

JULIA GILLARD and THE LABOR PARTY

THE CHANCES OF LABOR WINNING THE NEXT ELECTION
The Australian Labor Party finds itself between a rock and a hard place; all of its own doing.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that they cannot win the next election with Julia Gillard as their leader. Their problem is that there is no one who stands out as a viable alternative.
Kevin Rudd the ex leader and ex Prime Minister is so hated by most of his colleagues that it would seem that they prefer to be defeated rather than bring him back. When he challenged last year and failed some of the senior Labor figures made such scathing remarks about him that it is hard to see how they would retreat from those comments if he came back.
This morning Simon Crean's name is being put forward. With Simon I think that they are looking for a sacrificial lamb who would take the fall, resign after loosing the election and leave the main players to fight out who would be Opposition Leader.
It is my hope that whoever wins the next election, and it would appear that it will be the Coalition, that it is by a decisive margin so we can get this great country back on its feet.

Friday, 15 March 2013

POPE FRANCIS 1st AND POSSIBLE CHANGE

Again there has been much rejoicing in the Catholic Church about the election of a new Pope. However, if there has ever been a need for drastic changes to be made within the church it is now. Attendances are down, the abuse claims against priests are increasing at an alarming rate, the church, once one of the richest organisations in the world, is losing money every day and many young people cannot relate to the to the overly ritualistic approach of its services.
Those of us outside the Catholic faith and, I believe those within, are crying out for change. This new Pope has the opportunity to bring about that change. It is a shame that a younger man was not elected as time will be needed to achieve everything that MUST change.
It is time for the Church to make itself more relevant to the 21st century.
The Catholic Church over the past two millennium has been both a force for great good but also for much evil and suffering. With appropriate changes that force for good can come to the fore again and benefit mankind. Bring on the changes Pope Francis 1st.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

Before I say anything else let me say that I have nothing against adherents of the Catholic Church or for that matter any believers in Christianity. My chief problem is how the church presents itself in this day and age.
Firstly the celibacy of priests. This flies in the face of all natural human instincts and our inbuilt need to love and be loved by another human being.
Secondly the ban on women becoming priests. Does the church really believe that women are incapable of performing all the functions of the priesthood or do they think that women do not have the necessary spirituality.
Thirdly the church services themselves. Why is the church stuck in medieval times. The appearance of aged men parading in red dresses with silly hats on their heads certainly does not resonate with the younger generation here in 2013. I believe that some of the Protestant Churches have got the right idea; normal dress, less ritual, more personal congregation involving services.
Lastly. Let us hope that the church this time elects a forward looking pope that can bring the church into the 21st century.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

GYMPIE FLOODS

Here in Australia a town in Queensland has been flooded for the fourth time in about as many months. Surely we must get a message from this.
When Australia was first explored and developed towns and cities were established beside rivers as they both provided a water supply and a means of transport. Houses and businesses were built on the flat areas beside these rivers. As a consequence every time we have heavy rain over a period or in the north a cyclone the houses and business centres of these towns flood with a resulting loss of trade and huge demands on government funds and insurance companies.
Surely it would make sense for the government over a period of time to buy out and relocate these houses and businesses. In the long run this would save both money and heartache.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

GAMBLING ON SPORTING EVENTS

In recent times gambling on sporting events has blossomed into a multi billion dollar business. These days you can gamble on who will score first, who will get the first penalty, how long before the first score, who will win and by what margin. These are just a very few of the multitudes of options available. With so much money available and so many ways that these results can be manipulated is it any wonder that corruption and organised crime has infiltrated nearly every sporting code.
It is no longer "sport" but just another business enterprise.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

FOREIGN INVESTMENT IN AUSTRALIA

It seems to be every day now I am hearing of another large investment by a foreign country in Australian companies or agricultural enterprises. The predominant country involved is China.
While I am not against foreign companies investing in Australia I firmly believe that there should be a limit placed on the percentage of any industry or enterprise that can be controlled or owned by a foreign country.
To me the areas of biggest concern are water rights and agricultural enterprises. We MUST protect the future of our food production and the water needed to produce it.
It is said that properly managed Australia could become the food bowl of Asia. This however Must be developed by us, owned by us, and distributed by us.
We as Australians must act now before it is too late. All purchases of water rights or agricultural land should be registered no matter how small the price paid. As it stands now the Government can not give a definitive answer as to how much of our country is in foreign hands as the limit for notification is I believe around 10 million dollars. Many small properties can be bought for below this figure.

Friday, 1 February 2013

BOXING

Us humans are such a strange crowd.
If our son went out into the street with the deliberate intent to bash someone senseless we would be horrified. Yet many of us sit and watch two people getting paid to do exactly the same thing.
Why is it that if this bashing of someone senseless occurs outside of a ring someone is usually charged by the police and either fined heavily or locked up. If it is called "boxing" then two people are encouraged to do it and the so called winner is a "hero" and in some cases paid millions of dollars.
Most of us try to avoid situations that are proven to result in brain damage, loss of eyesight and disfigurement but then encourage others to do it in the name of boxing.
There are many programmes to stop bullying in our schools and yet we encourage young people to step into a boxing ring and try to exert their superiority over another by hitting them.
As I said we are a strange lot.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

SUPPORT FOR YOUR COUNTRY DURING SPORT'S MATCHES

I was watching the Sri Lanka versus Australia match the other night. This series is being played here in Australia. I was completely surprised at the large number of Sri Lankan supporters in attendance. They were mostly dressed in their national colours and waving the flag of Sri Lanka.
Whilst I think that this is a good thing I was also disappointed to note that there seemed to be very few if any Sri Lankans supporting Australia. Over the past years we have welcomed many Sri Lankan refugees into our country and many of them have done the right thing by becoming Australian citizens. So! My question is if they left Sri Lanka to find a better life here in Australia why are they not supporting the country that has taken them in and to which many of them have now pledged allegiance.

Friday, 25 January 2013

THE AUSTRALIAN FLAG

Every year at this time...Australia Day celebrations....we get a flood of ideas for a new Australian Flag. So far I have never seen one that I like better than our current flag.
To me our current flag embodies many essential concepts. Our heritage which is shown in the Union Jack. Our peaceful union from separate colonies into one country. Not very many countries can state that they came into existence due to a vote by the people. The southern cross which highlights our position on the globe.
Until someone can convince me that there is a major problem with our current flag I am very happy to stick with it.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

COLD COUNTRY FLOWERS IN AUSTRALIA

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Rhododendrons Azaleas and Camellias all grow very well here in the high country in the state of New South Wales in Australia. Here in the beautiful Blue Mountains we even have a Rhododendron festival in November every year.
Where I live it is 1100 meters above sea level and we even get snow falls in winter. These pictures were taken in my garden in the Spring of 2012. I use very little fertilizer
but keep up the mulch around the plants roots. They also do not like long dry spells, of which we get a few up here in Summer, so it is important to keep the water up to them during these times.
Sometimes heavy rain during flowering can saturate the flowers and cause them to droop very quickly. With the Rhodos it is also important to note that some years you may get very little or no flowers. I asked my local nursery about this and they said that it is perfectly normal as sometimes the plants just need a rest.

AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM....ROTATION POLICY

The Australian Cricket team Selectors have a policy where they routinely rotate players. This appears to have nothing to do with the form of the player or even if they genuinely need a rest. I believe that it is good to give young upcoming players a chance, but at what price. Players taken out of the game at the top of their form disrupts their momentum and impacts on the integrity of the team.
The recent losses by our national team could, according to some commentators, be partly as a result of this policy.
Whilst I fully support whatever team takes the field it would be nice to see that our very best are playing in every instance.

Monday, 14 January 2013

McDonalds NEW NAME IN AUSTRALIA

I believe that McDonalds in Australia are changing their name to MACCAS. OK. OK. Most Aussies already shorten their name to that.
The problem now becomes what do we shorten that to............MACS...MAS.  You see my problem.We cant just leave it at MACCAS.

Friday, 11 January 2013

A TYPICAL WEEK IN THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD.....AUSTRALIA

The past week has been fairly typical for those of us lucky enough to live in the best, fairest, free and democratic country in the world. AUSTRALIA.
The week started out with bad bush fires in the state of Tasmania with over a hundred homes lost and much more property damage. There were soaring temperatures in the state but just a few days later it was snowing on some of the higher peaks.
Then there were temperatures of 42 to 43c in the suburbs of Sydney.
Queensland is now experiencing high temperatures in parts of the state and flooding rains elsewhere.
Here in our part of the Blue Mountains  it was just 11c yesterday morning with thick mist and fine rain and today it will reach nearly 35c
Off the northern coast of Western Australia a category 4 cyclone ( a hurricane for Americans) is bearing down on the coast.
It is all part of the fabric of this country that helps to make it so unique.

PEOPLE DELIBERATELY LIGHTING BUSHFIRES

Today here in the Blue Mountains the temperature is expected to reach 34c and a total fire ban has been declared. It makes me sick to the stomach when I see on the news reports that the police have been investigating at least three small fires only a few hundred metres from my house that they believe have been deliberately lit. There have also been a number of arrests over the past few days of high fire danger. Well over a hundred homes have been lost, thousands of hectares of farmland burnt out and families traumatised beyond belief and these cretins want to create more damage and possible lose of life.
Words cannot describe the contempt that I feel for them.
I just hope that our court system treats these people appropriately.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

BUSHFIRES

Living here in the beautiful Blue Mountains in a house surrounded by bush we are very aware of the dangers of bush fires. Today the threat is listed as EXTREME. The wind is already picking up which just adds to the danger.
Unfortunately governments, councils and the general public many times have very short memories of past bushfire disasters. There are always discussions, plans and promises shortly after but many times nothing is done. I am afraid that the same applies to major floods.
Before white settlement the bush here in Australia would burn off, sometimes for months on end, on a regular basis.This had the effect of reducing the fuel load so that most fires were not catastrophic. Today we do only a minute amount of burning off to reduce that fuel load and make every attempt to put out fires as soon as they start. This later may seem a good thing but the end result is that the available fuel on the ground for a fire just builds up and builds up until there is no way of stopping a raging fire once it starts.
There are many things that we can do to limit the danger from bush fires. Burning off in the winter. Better fire breaks around towns. Constructing houses in fire zones that have a greater degree of defence against fires. These are just a few and I am sure that most of us are aware of many more. The great question though is, what do we do about implementing these things?

Friday, 4 January 2013

GLOBAL WARMING..AH..CLIMATE CHANGE

Just a few small observations regarding the Climate Change Debate. Firstly let me state that I am not a denier nor a convert just a healthy sceptic of the arguments used by both sides.
One. Why have the headlines changed from Global Warming to Climate Change.
Two. Why under the banner of Climate Change is it recorded that Perth has had its hottest December in 13 years. It was hotter 13 years ago so why the headlines.
Three. Most scientists agree that we are still coming out of the last ice age. If so does that not mean that the average temps would still be rising.
Four. Many land masses are either rising, sinking or moving so how do we measure sea levels
Five. In places like Australia we have only got records, or anecdotal evidence going back some 200 years. We do not have glaciers or ice sheets that can be used to determine past weather so how can we be sure that the average temps here, taken over a long period, are either warmer or cooler.
Six. I am always sceptical of groups, organisations or semi political areas that appear to need large amounts of money to arrive at a conclusion that they already seem to have made up their mind about.
Seven. I am also sceptical when governments tell us that most of this problem can be fixed with yet another TAX.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

NEW YEAR 2013

It is already the second day of the new year. Yesterday was a day for sleep and recuperation.
As always a new year starts full of hope and a wish for it to be better than the preceeding one. This is as true for me as I am sure it is for most people.
Last year, in May, I received a bone marrow transplant to treat a return of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. The donor was my eldest son. I now have the same DNA as my son and also the same blood group as him. Amazing eh!! So for 2013 my only resolution is to keep as fit and healthy as I can and my hope and wish is that my disease does not return again.
So to any one who may read this, I trust that you will have a happy and healthy 2013 and remember to enjoy and find happiness in every day.