Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Burning the candle from both ends

This is why I don't watch breakfast television. Once you get past the plastic presenters, and the mostly superficial treatment of news, you also frequently find spelling errors in onscreen graphics, or the news ticker. This sounds snobbish, but it makes these shows even less credible than they are already.

Mind you, Today Show presenter, Karl Stefanovic is no stranger to looking silly on national television. One year when he co-hosted the telecast of Melbourne's annual Carols by Candlelight, he introduced the carol, The First Noel by mispronouncing it as The First "Noel," as in the name. According to Wikipedia, Noel is a synonym for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

That didn't take long

When Bill Clinton was a Presidential candidate in 1992, he had to deal with allegations of serial marital infidelity. When the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke in 1998, it was no surprise that given his past, Clinton would eventually be involved in a Presidential sex scandal. This led to his impeachment, and contributed to the unsuccessful presidential campaigns of both Al Gore and Hillary Clinton.  

Donald Trump is yet to take office, but already questions are being raised about potential conflicts of interest, with his business interests interfering with his duties as President. The constitution prevents a President from using the office for personal benefit. It is highly likely that Trump will eventually be tarnished by a conflict of interest scandal. The question is if this will be serious enough to lead to his impeachment.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016


Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. I thought he was unelectable. I was wrong. Newsweek magazine was sure that Hillary Clinton would easily win the election, and in anticipation, jumped the gun by printing this special commemorative edition. 

It reminded me of the famous picture of former President Harry Truman, holding up a newspaper with a front page story announcing his defeat, when he defied expectations to defeat his Republican opponent Thomas Dewey in the 1948 presidential election.

The United States is in for an interesting 4 years. I'm shocked at the election result. I didn't see it coming. Watching analysis on television news channels, I saw that some commentators are speculating that Trump won't seek a second term, and that the progressive agenda of the Obama administration, centred on identity politics, will be overturned. I don't see how. There's no turning back the clock.

I actually feel sorry for Hillary Clinton. She must be devastated that she will never achieve her ambition of becoming President. As for Donald Trump, during the campaign the media class asserted that he did not have the character or temperament to be President. They might yet be proven right.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Cringe factor

In late 1979 I was gearing up to leave kindergarten, and make the transition to primary school. It was a heady time. Songs about telephones proliferated in the pop music charts. Among these was Hello, This is Joannie (The Answering Machine Song), by Paul Evans. In this week in November 1979, it was at the no. 31 position on the charts, after peaking at 22.

It was a novelty song, back from when an answering machine was also a novelty. It's also a bad song, a piece of late 1970s schlock. To my knowledge, Magic 1278 is the only radio station that still plays it.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Slaps hand on forehead

Just when I thought The Age had lifted its game in its production quality, it managed to print an article in which the printing of the writer's name is completely illegible.

Monday, October 31, 2016


This is the first time I've posted anything about Wikileaks. Why is Hillary Clinton still a viable candidate for the office of President of the United States? A cursory reading of this list of leaked Clinton emails, supplied by Wikileaks isn't very flattering to either her or her associates, to say the least.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Corporate citizenry

Google is showing its philanthropic side by giving grants to Australian innovation projects. These include an app that allows people in remote areas to test their eyesight, an app to help people give up alcohol, an autonomous robot that cleans up the Great Barrier Reef, mobile technology that records fish stocks around the world, and a system to send personalised text messages to chronically ill people.

These all sound like worthwhile projects, but it's hard not to be cynical. Google is alleged to have exploited tax law loopholes to avoid paying millions of dollars in corporate taxes to the Australian government. In the wake of these allegations, I'm sure that it has not at all occurred to Google that this initiative will help to improve its slightly tarnished corporate image.$5m-to-australian-innovation-projects/7968800