Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Vandals in the Southern Highlands

The Southern Highlands are home to a bunch of Vandals, as we all know.

Here is Proof. It is on Ministerial Letterhead, so it must be true. (Please click on the image of the letter to enlarge it to readable size print.)

We should all be on alert now for an invasion of Visigoths as well.

Who do these people think they are kidding?

Here is the one cracked pipe in question.
After reading Mr Debus's Press Release, did you think that there were hundreds of smashed pipes? Gosh, do you think he was over-reacting?

It is wonderful what a Minister of the Crown can dictate to a Press Secretary in the post-prandial session of the day. Incidentally, my photos of the water squirting out of the cracked pipe were taken at about 10:45am. Mr Debus's Press release seems to have been circulated at 5:07 pm.

All Mr Debus's best work seems to be done at this time of the day. This is reminiscent of Mr Debus's famous "Oversized Dragonfly and an odorous bog" quote (see Daily Telegraph, 13 December 2006).

Seemingly it is a machine cut to the pipe, but it is clearly not a Chainsaw cut (from the regular cut, and the smooth edges from which the water is squirting). How many "vandals" do you know who carry electric generators with them? You could not use an average handy-man saw to cut these pipes. Have a look at the size and thickness of the wall. This kind of reinforced pipe would be an absolute nightmare to cut through with handyman tools.

Applying "Ockham's Razor" , it is incumbent upon us to find the simplest possible explanation for this event.

To my eyes, this looks like a fine blade cut, such as would be incurred if a "drop saw" was brought down in the wrong place, when these huge 22 metre pipes were being measured and cut in the factory. That is my guess.

An engineer has reviewed the photographic evidence and suggested that perhaps it is a kind of stress fracture in the pipe, as a result of handling errors when the pipes were being laid out.

  • Eric Conley (an Engineer) is in no doubt the damage to the pipe could not have been done post laying!

  • "The rupture was caused by a 'beam failure' (a term applied to pipe construction of this type. It is laterally wound to withstand high pressure)

  • "This failure is either a manufacturing fault or mechanical damage cause pre-laying either in the manufacturing, handling or cutting phase, or, maybe transportation of the PVC pipe production.

  • "It is 'highly unlikely to have been caused by any trauma to it post laying.

  • It could have been the result of poor handling during transit, loading or unloading or during the laying process it was longitudinaly bent.

  • "Any bashing or tampering, bending or pushing after laying would have caused far more damage."
Photos of the ends of pipes prior to laying, to show their "machine cut " ends, and the size of the pipes.

The thickness of the walls is illustrated by my "hand model's" little finger. Thanks Liz.

This is the huge amount of water being splashed all over the place after being pumped from the aquifer.

It comes out of a curved section of pipe (90 degree bend) and pours over a galvanised tray, to disperse it and allow it to drop to the ground, in order to be "oxygenated", and to disperse the pressure of the rushing water (presumably) before it seeps through the sandbag levees, and then into a pipe whence it floods into the Nepean River.

Just let me ask one question:



Thursday, 15 February 2007

Financial tip tips me over the edge.

I start to wonder about my fellow man, when someone I have met once, and have written emails to on a few occasions, gets me so wrong, that he could send me the following email.
Names of persons and companies have been altered to protect the guilty parties.

Hi Denis
I am presently in Perth Wa looking at another Uranium company over here its
called Xxxxxxx1.
If u buy Xxxxxxx1 shares by friday next week u are entitled to a 1 for 3
share issue in Xxxxxxx1's next company at no cost to u in a Uranium company
called Xxxxxxx2 in the Northern Territory.
This deal is a bargain and in years to come will be worth heaps.
I bought about 45k shares in a company called Xxxxxxxx3 in January 2006 and
presently they are worth about 3.25 a share in january 2006 i got them for
the price of 33 cents a share.!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sorry i did not make the saturday night meeting, a big rain storm held me up
and ew other things happened as well.
How did the night go and more importantly did (Person A) front up to the event.
I will catch up with u when i get back from Perth on late sunday.
p.s big write up in (NewspaperX) today about Xxxxxxx3, Xxxxxxx1 and
Xxxxxx4 it all looks good so far.

Frankly I was so gob-smacked by this seemingly well-meaning "tip", that it tipped me over the edge. I replied as follows:

Subject: Dear Prime Polluter.
Hi Xxxxx
Glad your investments are going well. Thanks for the tip.
Unfortunately, I am as poor as a church-mouse, and such proposals are totally beyond my ability to take advantage of.
As for whether I would ethically consider investing in a uranium mine, I will leave you to ponder, but you might find a clue in my re-wording of the Subject line in the email.
I know that coal and other petro-chemical industries are probably going to cause a catastrophic collapse of the earth's climate as we know it.
It's simple. All that CO2 will cause the temperature of the worlds oceans to rise to the point that the Oceans will start giving off CO2, (currently they act like a sink to absorb most of the CO2 we produce - far more than the world's forests absorb).
Once that happens, you will get a catastrophic melting of the polar caps, which will destroy the circulatory flow of ocean currents, which will cause the Gulf Stream to stop flowing. Europe and Nth America will be plunged into a mini Ice Age.
That will cause such Geo-political instability that world wars are inevitable.
The Ice Age might even be a really big one (like the last one, with 3km of ice over the top of Europe as we know it now. I am talking about something sufficiently huge and powerful to carve out the Great Lakes of North America. Serious stuff.
These events appear to occur quite suddenly (in geological terms, maybe over 100 or so years). So, start knitting your booties and gloves now.
Long after that catastrophe, any human life forms which might still exist (say in 40, 000 years time) as the earth starts to recover from the next Ice Age, those humans will still be dealing with the poisonous residue of the Nuclear Cycle which your Mining Company friends will have bestowed upon the earth.
Sorry - but that's how it will pan out. Just because you and I may not be around to actually see it all happen, does not mean that this is not a genuine ethical issue.
You can see that I am the wrong person to send this offer to - for several reasons. In a weird way, I am almost flattered that you did send it to me. "Thanks, but no, thanks".
Person A, who did turn up at the Launch, and the farewell party, is far more "Green" than I am. So, I doubt you would have much in common.
Love to Grow: Grow to Love

Friday, 9 February 2007

John Howard - our Prime Miniscule

Today I was talking with one of the locals and she floored me with her critique of John Howard.

She refererred to the "Prime Miniscule".

What a critic!

And this from a "Nice Lady" from one of the nicest parts of the Southern Highlands of NSW.

For a fellow Blogger's considered view of Howard's recent failures, read Miss Eagle's blog about the Hicks debacle. For other views of Howard's recent stumbles, read my contributions below, and Yurii's explosive little commentary.

Thursday, 8 February 2007

The Body Politic is ill.: Politics

The Body Politic is ill.: Politics


On this grey, foggy day,when I cannot see to the bottom of my garden, a wistfulness and depression overtakes me. Perhaps it is the collective consciousness of my Viking/Slavonic ancestors, in their bleak and cold environs, that is stirring within me.
Perhaps I forgot to take my pills!

We sit around grumbling about our politicians. We write blogs.
Do we really identify what it is that we are dissatisfied with about politics locally and elsewhere.
I believe we need to examine not only the local politics but also the situation in the world.
We need to identify the terminology and research history of politics.
All that in good time. Later.
Today I am giving in to the basic feelings about local (Australian) politics.

I believe that we elect politicians (our representatives in Parliament) for their: wisdom; ideas that resonate with our own; their ability to speak for us; willingness to consult with us; their individual leadership qualities; ability to think creatively; strong belief in a civil and democratic society, freedom of speech and thought; transparent justice system;

Sadly I am very disappointed in most of our politicians, who, I believe, fail to live up to most of the above qualities.

Our representatives, once the election is over, no longer represent their electors. They mostly follow the party line. They learn verbiage, and the art of saying nothing in many words.
Our PM, John Howard, no longer leads. He follows and obeys his mentor overseas - G.W Bush. It appears that Bush and his puppeteers can do no wrong. In fact, I believe that JH has become a puppet of the USA administration.
I do not perceive JH as a person of vision of a future society. Instead, on "his watch" we have seen workers' rights eroded; civil rights limited; justice system becoming very opaque; each one of us may be picked up in the middle of the night, held incommunicado, not told of our alleged crimes, perhaps even rendered to another country and held in a secret prison and tortured.. All legal.
Shades of USSR, Communist China, and of course Fascist Germany.
John Howard of course says: "trust me".
What is happening to development of the indefinables - arts - fine, film, theatre, opera..... Not really accessible to the masses.
The Australian film industry is in doldrums; actors are going overseas, etc....

David Hicks is lingering in an USA military concentration camp situated outside USA. He is subjected to physical and psychological torture and inhuman treatment. He has been in the concentration camp for 5 years without a charge. The process is rejected as unsafe and illegal by most civilized democracies. In fact USA will not subject its own citizens to this. Uder JH "watch" this treatment is fine for an Australian citizen. After all GWB and Rumsfeld said Hicks is fine and the torture is OK.
Who created politics of fear?
I believe it is the height of hypocrisy when JH and his cardboard cut-out Attorney General - P. Ruddock, stand and mouth words about democracy.
What shit.

How utterly sad that JH had a chance to lead Australia into a better future. Instead, under false pretences he followed USA into an unjust war. He condoned killing of many innocent people. TO BRING THEM DEMOCRACY?!!! Etc, etc, etc.
Ignore the corruption in USA administration. Ignore that Dick Cheney ran the Halliburton Corporation - the biggest vulture in Iraq! What happened to Iraq's USA$20 billion allocated for reconstruction? According to the USA ambassador in Iraq: This is water under the bridge".

All of this are my personal beliefs and feelings.

I also recognize that the polity, the grey masses, seem to like the status quo and have elected JH and his cronies to govern this country.
I have to accept this.

I love Australia and love living here.
As a result of geographical quirk and accident, Australia is physically isolated from the other continents and the shit that is going in these.
I am ashamed of our federal politicians and their sycophantic relationship with USA.
I am ashamed of our PM who I believe, overdoes the kissing and rimming of George Bush's backside.
I perceive JH as a mediocre little person and not a leader of a major state.

I am ashamed of our government's treatment of David Hicks, Australian citizen.

Enough for today.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

JWH admits he was "wr, wr, wr,,,,,,"

In the words of the Sydney Morning Herald, PM like the Fonz: Labor

The issue was a question from Peter Garrett (photo) linking emissions and climate change.

The PM denied there was any link between the two issues.

The PM had denied this a few weeks ago, when inspecting the bushfires in Victoria. Speaking to the Press, on the site of the "fireground", he denied a link between global warming and bushfires (which led to my photo montage).

In fairness, today he came back into the House, and made a correction to the answer he had given to Peter Garrett's question. Seemingly the PM mis-heard the question, and that was supposedly why he denied any connection.

It led to some interesting comments, though, from a variety of supporters and critics of the PM.

"Labor's immigration spokesman Tony Burke said Mr Howard would never have made such a mistake two years ago...... "

Hmmm - Interesting.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

War expenses - an obscenity.

The Daily Telegraph has reported this morning that George "W" will ask the US Congress for a cool US$245 billion (Aus$316 billion) to fund his war campaigns. This is an obscenity.

PRESIDENT George W. Bush will ask Congress today for an extra $US245 billion ($316 billion) to cover war costs, even as he faces a knife-edge vote of no confidence in the Senate on his plan for a troop surge in Iraq.

Will George's Little Pal offer to kick in with some extra finding of his own, (our own)?

More significantly, how could that money be better used? It could be used to remove 3rd world debt, or to directly fight poverty, or to provide a bore in every village in Asia, South America and Africa which currently does not have one.