Archive for March, 2011

Coffee addiction

An email to 2UE’s Jason Morrison who mentioned a story about coffee addiction just after the 6:30 news. Apparently drinking more than six cups of coffee a day makes you a coffee addict.

Morning Jason,

Hey guess what I was doing when you were talking about coffee addicts…I was making a cup of coffee!

Anyway, what is the definition of a “cup” in that story, as I use different sizes of cups during the day. For example, the cup I use at work is a travel mug and it holds roughly double what my cup at home does, so I count it as two cups. I usually have two or three them while I’m at work, which counts as four or six.

And then there’s the cup of coffee I picked up on the way to work and the coffees that I had at home.

Yep, I think I count as a coffee addict.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

March 31st, 2011 at 06:53am

Just when you thought Mark Latham had gone away…

An email to 2GB and MTR’s Andrew Moore

G’day Andrew

On political points I find myself disagreeing with most things that Mark Latham has to say, but I think he’s nailed Julia Gillard’s lack of conviction and Labor’s gradual decline in to standing for nothing…a decline which his own leadership was partially responsible for I might add.

That said though, Latham is an irrelevance, he just rambles a bit whenever he thinks we’ve forgotten about him, makes a few semi-valid points and spends the rest of his time mouthing off about anyone who might be headline-worth and an easy target, and frankly, seeing as I’m paying his pension as a taxpayer, I expect more of him than an occasional incoherent uttering. Perhaps what we need is a work-for-the-pension scheme for retired pollies…one where they go and drive the buses trains to keep them on-time and fill the pot-holes in the roads…you know, all the things that they failed to do while in office.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

March 30th, 2011 at 04:23am

The NSW election in four words: Pride, trust, hope and despair

The election is done and dusted, Barry O’Farrell is the new Premier of New South Wales as I think we all knew he would be.

The only way that I can really sum this up is that this is a night for the Liberal/National coalition to be proud, proud of the fact that they have gained the trust of a massive majority of New South Wales voters, proud of the fact that they have gained the trust of people in electorates that they could never have imaged that they would ever win.

This is also a night for the people of New South Wales to be proud, proud of the fact that they have given themselves the hope of something better than the endless soap opera of scandals and incompetence that they have endured for far too long.

For Labor, this is a night of despair for more than one reason. Partially because they lost the election, but more so because they have tarnished their name and really lost their way, and have finally been told by the people of New South Wales that enough is enough. Despair because their bizarre back-room antics have cost them some of their best people.

Kristina Keneally, despite her faults, believed in what she was doing and, I think, tried to get her way without pushing too hard and suffering the same fate as her predecessors, a public humiliation by the Labor Party henchmen. Kristina even seemed to believe that she had a chance of winning this election, or at least coming closer than she did…as delusional as that was, it was clear when she gave her concession speech that she is hurt, not just by the loss, but by the way her party’s actions have betrayed her.

Kristina will stay on as the member for Heffron, but has made the very wise move to step down as leader of the Labor Party. This is in no way an indication of her abilities as leader…in fact I think that if she hadn’t been constrained by the party backroom, she could have been far more effective than she was…rather this is an indication that she is better than all of the ripping and shredding and destruction that is about to occur in the ranks of New South Wales Labor. Kristina will be able to work as an effective local member without having to deal with the daily scandals which will surely come out of Sussex Street for the next few years as the party regroups.

Nathan Rees, the former Premier who was knifed by his party when he stood up to them for what he believed, is in a tight battle to retain the seat of Toongabbie. Nathan is apparently a good local member, and if he wins, I will be happy for him. If he loses, I’ll feel sorry for Nathan as it will really be his party which cost him the election, but I’ll be happy for his electorate who will have chosen their representative. Either way, Nathan, mate, run as an independent next time. Being associated with the party which betrayed you does you no favours.

Closer to my home, some good news from this election for the people of Monaro with the ousting of Steve Whan, a local member who would often tell his constituents one thing and then do the opposite in parliament. John Barilaro, the National Party candidate, will be a much better local member than Steve Whan ever was, and I congratulate John on his victory.

Overall, this is a night to be proud, both for the coalition, and for the people of New South Wales. Tonight is for celebration, and tomorrow is the start of four year of very hard work, as Barry O’Farrell and his team work to get New South Wales back on track.

On a national scale, this election has important repercussions as Barry is not as sold on the idea of giving more power to the federal government as NSW Labor were, and this could place many of the Gillard government’s national/state government “partnership” ideas in some jeopardy. This, overall, is probably a good thing as these plans will ultimately give too much power to the federal government and remove power from the state governments which are, ultimately, supposed to be a bit closer to the people.

Also, as this election was partially fought on the subject of the federal Labor party’s carbon tax and Barry’s fervent opposition to it, it is important for federal Labor to realise that New South Wales has loudly said “no” to the carbon tax, and many people in other states agree. I think what we will see from this is Julia Gillard clinging to power as hard as she can, because she knows that if she went to an election now, she would probably be defeated, even if narrowly.

Congratulations to Barry O’Farrell and the Liberal/National coalition. Take tonight to celebrate. You have much of which to be proud. The work starts tomorrow, and with your continued hard work, you and the people of New South Wales will be much prouder by the time the next election comes around than you were as you went in to this election. Labor have a lot of hard work to do as well. They must sort themselves out and mount some form of credible opposition…I doubt it will be complete by the time of the next election, but hopefully they will be well on their way.

Four years of hard work and lots of effort starts now.

Samuel

March 26th, 2011 at 10:50pm

Election Forecast

It’s pretty clear that Barry O’Farrell and the coalition will win the NSW election tonight, which is absolutely wonderful, however my prediction for the primary vote in the lower house is:

Liberal/National coalition: 65%
Labor: 15%
Greens: 10%
Independents: 5%
Other parties: 5%

I’m also going to predict that Pauline Hanson will get a seat in the NSW upper house.

Samuel

March 26th, 2011 at 12:57am

Fanatically following sporting teams

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr

Good morning John,

Well I can tell you that I definitely fall in to the category of a fanatic when it comes to supporting the Bulldogs in both the AFL and NRL. As an example, during the AFL pre-season I had to be at work while the Bulldogs' games were on, so I recorded the radio coverage of the games on my iPhone (Rex Hunt was calling the games and I love listening to Rex call football) and avoided the scores all night which is a tad difficult where I work, and then after work set off on a drive to Goulburn and back so that I could listen to the games through the car radio. The Dogs won the first game and lost the second game, and didn't progress to the next round, but it was worth the effort.

And it's not confined to me. In this household everyone is fanatical about their teams. In the AFL, Dad's a Carlton fan…well one week back in 2000 I won a competition on 2CA in Canberra where Daniel Gibson was working. Daniel, who is now a weatherman and newsreader for Prime Television, is an avid Bulldogs fan, and the Dogs were playing Carlton that weekend, so when Dad and I went to the radio station to pick up my prize (a vegemite t-shirt from memory), Daniel was wearing his Bulldogs jersey so he and I wound Dad up a bit, and the Dogs won that weekend. On the Monday, Daniel said to me that he could picture me and Dad sitting at opposite ends of the couch in our team scarves and beanies, one of us cheering and the other crying…that's pretty much what happened on that Sunday!

Anyway, this Earth Hour nonsense tonight…finally it falls on a sensible night. Kristina Keneally's fans will be able to turn the lights off and go home at 8:30. I, on the other hand, will be turning the lights on for Human Achievement Hour at 8:30 as a protest against Earth Hour and its promotion of the flawed theory of man-made global warming.

Have a wonderful day John, and thanks again for your note yesterday.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

March 26th, 2011 at 12:49am

Samuel’s Footy Tips: NRL Round 3

Eels V Souths
Titans V Broncos
Panthers V Sharks
Tigers V Raiders
Warriors V Dragons
Bulldogs V Roosters
Sea Eagles V Knights
Cowboys V Storm

Samuel

March 25th, 2011 at 06:55pm

Samuel’s Footy Tips: AFL Round 1

With the AFL starting tonight, here are my tips for the round. My NRL tips will follow tomorrow.

Blues V Tigers
Cats V Saints
Magpies V Power
Crows V Hawks
Lions V Dockers
Bombers V Bulldogs
Demons V Swans
Eagles V Kangaroos

Samuel

March 24th, 2011 at 05:42pm

They’re trying on their old tricks now that they’re losing the argument

An email to 2UE’s Jason Morrison who had Mark Dreyfus MP who is the Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Senator Barnaby Joyce of the Nationals on his show at the same time this morning to discuss yesterday’s anti-carbon tax rally. During the discussion, Mark declared that carbon dioxide is “pollution” despite it being plant food, but stopped short of calling Jason a “climate change denier” pr an “extremist” even though he branded most of the anti-carbon tax rally’s attendees as such.

Good morning Jason,

I love Mark dreyfus’ logic. Firstly, the cherry picked more sensational signs at the rally are representative if everyone at the rally, and they are therefore all insane. Secondly, if you don’t believe every word that Al Gore says, then you’re wrong and should not be allowed to have a view on the issue.

It’s amazing how Mark and politicians on that side of the debate are so scared by a few thousand conservative protesters that they have to go back to pre-climategate “the science is settled” nonsense, while Barnaby and similar politicians want to debate the issue and, as yet, have not said a bad word about the people who were presenting pro-carbon tax petitions yesterday. The difference is stark.

I would have loved to be at the protest yesterday but I couldn’t make it. My hat tips for all the people who did make it and represented the silent majority…perhaps Mark Dreyfus should look St the Ninemsn poll yesterday which was at least 90% against the carbon tax.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

March 24th, 2011 at 08:53am

The anti-carbon tax rally and how our politicians reacted

It was wonderful to see thousands of people attending the anti-carbon tax rally outside Parliament House today. I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t able to make it there myself. If I had been at work, it’s possible that I might have been able to attend the end of the rally, however I was asleep thanks to some sedation from some medication. It’s a pity, because I’ve been looking forward to the rally for weeks.

Anyway, I was very happy to see the footage on the television news. It was amusing to see Christine Milne from the Greens claiming that the protest was very much like the tea party protests which we saw in the US not that long ago, as if that was a bad thing. This amused me because, while Christine is right about the protest being very much like the tea party protests in that they were organised at the grass roots level by concerned citizens (not by 2GB’s Chris Smith as GetUp tried to claim, although like many of the tea party protests, interested media personalities provided some publicity). You would think that someone who is in favour of democracy would be in favour of people protesting…but apparently not.

I can understand Christine’s reservations…I mean it’s quite unusual for protests outside Parliament House to be promoting a view which is contrary to her views. Most protests outside Parliament House are organised by left-wing groups for left-wing purposes, so it must be a shock to see those of us on the right gathering in large numbers to defy Christine’s wishes.

I have no problem with Christine disliking the message of the protest, but it is wrong of her to try and paint the protest as being something which people should not attend.

It was even stranger inside parliament, with Wayne Swan among others claiming that the protesters were lying about climate change. That’s a bit rich coming from someone who still believes the doctored graphs and figures provided by the IPCC…data which has been shown to be doctored in the Climategate emails and in many independent studies since. That to one side, one would think that, at the very least, the fact that with the exception of a brief El Nino last year, the planet hasn’t warmed for about the last decade and has in fact cooled slightly, and is cooling again right now, in vast contradiction to the IPCC’s climate model forecasts, would be enough justification for us to be at least a tad sceptical of the theory of man-made warming.

But no, according to Wayne, we’re all liars or delusional or something along those lines.

Wayne can hold a differing point of view, that’s fine and he is entitled to do so…but to claim that those of us who doubt that humans are responsible for “dangerous climate change” are delusional, when the scientific community’s debate on this topic is more active than it has been in a long time, is more than a tad deceptive.

It was interesting to also see petitions supporting the carbon tax being handed to politicians inside Parliament House by groups such as the Youth Climate Coalition. Fair enough, that’s the good thing about our democracy, all of these voices get to be heard…but did you notice the difference between the politicians supporting the anti-carbon tax rally and the politicians opposing it?

Yes, the big difference is that the politicians who addressed the rally (Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce in particular) reserved their criticism for the politicians who are supporting the carbon tax and didn’t have a bad word to say about the people presenting or signing the pro-carbon tax petition, whereas the politicians on the other side of the debate were directly attacking the people involved in the anti-carbon tax rally.

It’s sad in some ways, but it’s also an important demonstration of what our politicians think of the democratic process. Christine Milne only supports the democratic process if it follows her agenda…otherwise it’s a bad thing that people have a voice according to her. Wayne Swan doesn’t like to talk about the issues, he just likes to smear the protesters. Julia Gillard runs away to a windfarm…not just to avoid the protesters, but to provide a very clear “I disagree with you all and hold you in such contempt that I’m going to ensure that I end up in your news story supporting something which you don’t” message to the protesters. Tony Abbott and Barnaby Joyce on the other hand are happy to support a protest and not say smearing things about the people on the other side of the debate. Pauline Hanson was even in the crowd at the rally…hopefully this helps her on Saturday and she gets a seat in the NSW Upper House.

I do hope that this rally helps to prevent the carbon tax from every actually occurring, and it was wonderful to see so many thousands of people descend of parliament for a peaceful protest. I’m just saddened that I wasn’t able to be there myself.

Samuel

March 23rd, 2011 at 09:18pm

And we’re back

Although I’ve been asleep pretty much all day which is probably a combination of the side effects of the accident on the weekend and the medication which I’m on as well.

I’ll be back with you after midnight. I’m just not feeling up to writing much more than this at this very moment in time.

Samuel

March 22nd, 2011 at 08:30pm

Back soon!

Due to a scheduled server migration by our service provider, we’ll be in maintenance mode for the next little while. During this time, no new posts, comments or user registrations will be possible so as to avoid losing any data in the migration process.

I will probably be at work when the migration is completed and this would make it impossible for me to put things back to normal, so things might not be back to normal until tomorrow afternoon when I intend to post the results of my last two weeks of football tips and also this week’s musician of the week who is a great gentleman of the music industry who sadly passed away last week.

See you on the other side.

Samuel

March 21st, 2011 at 07:50pm

Horse Park Drive accidents this morning

I know how quickly these things can spread, so I’m going to clarify this one now to avoid any possible unnecessary confusion, concern or alarm.

Yes, there was a serious accident on Horse Park Drive in the early hours of this morning. No, it wasn’t mine.

I did run off the road while avoiding a kangaroo on Horse Park Drive in the wee hours and my car has sustained some damage which is now the insurance company’s problem, however I was unharmed in the incident, thankfully. I expected the whole thing to end very badly, and given the location and exact events, it could have been much much worse, so I’m thankful and lucky. The short version is that, in the process of avoiding the kangaroo, my car slid off the other side of the road, turned 180 degrees and skidded backwards for quite some distance through the grass and bushes, somehow (thankfully) avoiding the larger bushes and trees.

I feel very sorry for the people involved in an accident on the same road about an hour or two after me, as detailed by the Emergency Services Agency:

5:45am Saturday 19 March 2011 – Serious motor vehicle accident in Gungahlin ACT Ambulance Service and ACT Fire Brigade are on scene at a single vehicle accident on Horsepark Drive Gungahlin.

Intensive care paramedics are treating a total of three patients including one trapped by confinement in the wreckage.

Firefighters are currently working to free the person.

6:15am Saturday 19 March 2011 – Update – Serious motor vehicle accident in Gungahlin Firefighters have extricated a male from the wreckage following a two car collision not single vehicle as first thought.

He is being treated for suspected chest and leg injuries.

Two other females patients from the same car have been stablised on scene by intensive care paramedics with suspected abdominal injuries.

All three patients will be transported to the Canberra Hospital in a serious condition.

The occupant or occupants of the second vehicle left the scene before ambulance and fire brigade arrived.

I would be interested to know where exactly on this road the accident occurred as mine occurred in the stretch of road which has been rather poorly resurfaced recently, creating a very loose and somewhat slippery surface…not good for avoiding animals on a road which is notorious for crazy wildlife.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people involved in the serious crash. It is certainly not a good morning for that road.

Samuel

March 19th, 2011 at 07:48am

Pauline Hanson’s preferences

Good Morning John,

One of your callers asked about Pauline Hansin’s distribution of preferences. Well the short answer is that they’re not going anywhere.

The longer answer is that the NSW upper house preferences work differently to federal senate preferences in that candidates can not choose how an above the line vote’s preferences are distributed. In NSW, the above the line vote only goes directly to the candidate or party to whom the voter placed the number in the box.

If your caller wishes to vote for Ms. Hanson, she can either do so above the line and have her vote go only to Ms. Hanson, or she can vote below the line and distribute her preferences to whomever she likes. Ms. Hanson will have no control over the flow of her preferences.

I hope this helps.

By the way, you said last week that Tom Wards might be retiring and that you would check this with him this week. What did he say? Is he retiring? If he is, I know that he will be greatly missed from your show by many people.

Have a wonderful day.

Regards, Samuel Gordon-Stewart Canberra

March 19th, 2011 at 02:53am

Ryan Tandy

Good evening Stuart,

As a Bulldogs fan, the Ryan Tandy situation is very simple and quite painful for me. A player’s loyalty must be to their club at all times, and when a player bets on a game, they are splitting their loyalty between the club and their private profit which is entirely unacceptable, even if the bet is on their own team, as even a bet on their own team can affect their judgement on the field.

Ryan is a valuable player, but given his refusal to answer a simple question which is directly relevant to his loyalty, he has to go and the management of the Bulldogs have my full support in this difficult decision.

I hope that you have a good weekend.

Regards, Samuel Gordon-Stewart Canberra

March 18th, 2011 at 10:19pm

Samuel’s Footy Tips: NRL round 2

It has been a very busy week for me, so I apologise for not posting last week’s results. I’ll deal with them at the end of this round.

Eels V Panthers
Raiders V Broncos
Storm V Titans
Tigers V Warriors
Cowboys V Knights
Rabbitohs V Bulldogs
Roosters V Sea Eagles
Sharks V Dragons

Samuel

March 18th, 2011 at 02:09pm

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