Incestuous relationships in Canberra once again on display

The incestuous relationship between Australian journalists and politicians has been exposed again, with the journalist in question being the political editor of news.com.au, Samantha Maiden [seen below in a picture from YouTube].

The politician, sadly, is no longer in this world; Kimberley Kitching, a senator from the Labor Party, died on 10 March of a suspected heart attack. [More on Canberra’s incestuous culture here and here.]

Given the way that News Corporation, the empire owned by Rupert Murdoch, used alleged events prior to Kitching’s death to accuse other Labor senators of contributing to the stress that led to her exiting the mortal coil, nobody except an idiot would have assumed that the topic would not come up for discussion during political programs on the weekend after her death. Continue reading “Incestuous relationships in Canberra once again on display”

Loose lips sink ships. Joe Biden does not seem to know that

In 1991, the US, aided by a number of other countries, waged a war given the moniker Operation Desert Storm, to eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait.

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, after demanding billions from that tiny country which it claimed it was owed because the Kuwaitis had stolen oil from wells which were on the Iraqi side of the border.

Iraq’s demands came after a long and debilitating eight-year war with Iran, during which Kuwait backed Iraq and often suffered attacks to its oil tankers in the Gulf as a result. When Kuwait did not give in, Baghdad’s forces invaded and took over the country in a matter of days. Continue reading “Loose lips sink ships. Joe Biden does not seem to know that”

Rawalpindi draw indicates Australia still fears enforcing the follow-on

The second Test between Pakistan and Australia, which ended in a thrilling draw in Rawalpindi on Tuesday, brought to the fore one, rather puzzling question: why is Australia so afraid to enforce the follow-on?

It looks like the decision made by Steve Waugh in Calcutta in 2001 still haunts the Australian team.

On that occasion, Australia, 274 ahead on the first innings, asked India to follow on. Thereafter, what happened is well known: Rahul Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman put on 376 for the fifth wicket and India finally waltzed out winners by 171 runs (coincidentally their own first innings score).

Continue reading “Rawalpindi draw indicates Australia still fears enforcing the follow-on”

Blah, blah, blah: Scott Morrison goes on and on and on

Listening to the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speak is a painful experience. The man does not seem to know when to stop, even when he is answering pointed questions; he just waffles on and on, giving one the impression that he is trying to exhaust the time available to keep the questions to a minimum.

His verbal acrobatics take him from topic to unrelated topic and the whole thing sometimes makes no sense.

No end of jaw: Scott Morrison. Courtesy YouTube

What came to mind while I was forced to listen to one of his media conferences — I was driving — was the description, in Mark Twain’s 1883 classic Life on the Mississippi, of the pilots who guided steamers down that river during those years.

These men needed to know the river intimately, every swell and literally every rock, in order to avoid getting stuck on a sandbank, or, worse, hitting an obstacle and sinking. They had to develop extremely good memories.

Continue reading “Blah, blah, blah: Scott Morrison goes on and on and on”

Don’t go overboard with the sentiments, Warne was just another flawed human being

There is an unwritten rule in most human societies that one does not speak ill of the dead. You can be the worst murderer, thief, rapist or sociopath and beat your wife every day of the week, but the moment you die, you have to be treated as some kind of saint.

This kind of hypocrisy is so embedded that at least in one language there is a specific word to describe it: Sinhalese, the language spoken in Sri Lanka. [Despite all my efforts, I just cannot recall the word which was told to me when I was in the eighth standard many moons ago.]

Courtesy: megapixl.com

That rule appears to be asserting itself in Australia following the death of cricketer Shane Warne, a player who revived interest in the art of spin bowling when he came on to the international scene in 1992; this was after fast bowlers, predominantly from the West Indies, had ruled international cricket for two decades.

Continue reading “Don’t go overboard with the sentiments, Warne was just another flawed human being”

Stan Grant shows he is incompetent to host ABC’s Q+A

The ABC should find a regular presenter for its Q+A show, instead of shuffling through three of its employees week after week, after one of the trio, Stan Grant, proved conclusively on 24 February that he is incompetent at the job.

Stan Grant talks more than most of the Q+A panellists. Courtesy YouTube

Grant asked a member of the studio audience to leave after the man, a Russian-Australian named Sasha Gillies-Lekakis, asked a question about the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which contained an erroneous fact. It did not appear to be popular with the audience and the panel which was heavily tilted towards Ukraine.

Gillies-Lekakis would do well to consult a lawyer about his ejection; as an Australian taxpayer, he is also one of those who fund the ABC which receives a little more than a billion dollars from the Federal Government each year.

Continue reading “Stan Grant shows he is incompetent to host ABC’s Q+A”

Vale Shane Warne, the man who revived spin bowling

The master has gone. Spin legend Shane Warne bows out, bowled for 52.

Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has shuffled off the mortal coil. He died in Thailand on Friday at the age of 52, felled by a suspected heart attack.

The leg-spinner arrived on the international scene in 1992, a blond-haired kid from Melbourne, but did not catch the attention of the game’s pundits right away.

It took a while, but under the captaincy of Allan Border he grew in stature and slowly became the go-to bowler when Australia needed a wicket.

Continue reading “Vale Shane Warne, the man who revived spin bowling”