Archive for June 14th, 2011

Andrew Bolt and the ash cloud

The two aren’t directly related. The link is one which applies to me.

The Institute of Public Affairs posted on Facebook today to inform everyone that their Freedom Of Speech In Australia night with Andrew Bolt, Mark Steyn and others is now booked out. For those of you who won’t be there, the good news is that a video of the night will be posted online after the event.

At the moment, even though I am booked to be there, I do have to wonder if I may miss out and be forced to wait for the video to be posted online. I hope not, but given the current situation with the ash cloud from the volcano in Chile, it’s a distinct possibility. You see, due to my commitments, I do not have time to drive to Melbourne and can only make it to the evening by flying. I am not a big fan of flying, but I do it when I have to, although I can guarantee you that if I had a couple extra hours of free time on that day, I would drive to Melbourne, stay the night, and drive back the next day. As it happens though, I don’t have that option, so I’ll be flying, unless an ash cloud puts the kibosh on those plans. If that happens, I sadly won’t be going.

My fear though is not that I won’t be able to go, but that I might not be able to get back. I am fortunate that, due to a happy coincidence in my work roster, I do not have to work on Tuesday next week and therefore have plenty of time to make my way back to Canberra as otherwise even flying back might not have been viable, however I do have to be at work at 5:30am on Wednesday, so it would be prudent to be back in Canberra as early as possible. At this time, I intend on being back in the early afternoon, but this assumes that I am able to fly back…if an ash cloud prevents that, then chaos ensues. My two backup plans are either a lengthy train/coach trip which would require me to leave Melbourne quite early in the morning and not reach Canberra until early in the evening, and then I would still have to reach the airport to retrieve my car, leaving little time to settle back in to Canberra and sufficiently rest before work. The other option is a coach trip, which would probably take just as long and probably provide the same problems.

The thought of a hire car did cross my mind, but alas I’m not sure that my budget would stretch that far, nor am I sure that it would be logistically viable for a handful of reasons.

If it looks like the ash cloud may cause an issue for my return trip a bit closer to the date, then I will probably book a “backup plan” ticket just in case. It may very well turn out to be dead money, but it would probably be worthwhile as an insurance policy against getting stuck in Melbourne and being unable to work.

Perhaps I worry too much, but given the fact that I haven’t planned a trip in this much detail for some time and I’m quite excited about going to this event, I do not want it to be ruined or turned in to a chaotic haphazardness of transport by an ash cloud.

Here’s hoping it all goes smoothly.

Samuel

June 14th, 2011 at 10:13pm

Finally I have someone to whom I can give my unreserved support: Michele Bachmann

I don’t know if I can adequately explain how pleased I was when I heard the news, a little over an hour ago, that Michele Bachmann has entered the race for the Republican Presidential nomination. My pleasure was joined by mild amusement that the announcement came during a debate on CNN. The rusted-on viewers (not the casual ones) of CNN must have been mortified.

More from FOX News

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said Monday night during a debate of declared and potential Republican presidential contenders that she had filed the paperwork needed to enter the race.

Bachmann, a favorite of the the Tea Party movement, said she intended to make a formal announcement of her candidacy soon.

She and other Republican White House hopefuls criticized President Obama’s handling of the economy from the opening moments of the two-hour debate and pledged emphatically to repeal the administration’s year-old health care law.
[..]
Bachmann, a third-term congresswoman and the first female contender to enter the 2012 race, has been leaning heavily toward a run over the past few months, visiting early primary states, raising money and railing against Obama.

“Our country needs a leader who understands the hardships that people across America have been facing over the past few years, and who will do what it takes to renew the American dream. We must become a strong and proud America again, and I see clearly a better path to a brighter future,” Bachmann said in a statement issued through her new campaign.

She brings high energy, charisma and proven fundraising ability to the Republican race to nominate a challenger to Obama. She also is known for unyielding stances, biting commentary and high-profile gaffes.
[..]
Bachmann, 55, spent the bulk of her political career in Minnesota and Washington as a minority party member, reveling in her role as a fierce voice of the opposition. She didn’t let up when Republicans gained control of the U.S. House last fall, enhancing her standing through public breaks with party leaders after she was denied a place in caucus leadership.

The camera-friendly congresswoman has irked some party leaders by grabbing at the spotlight, such as the alternate televised response she delivered to Obama’s State of the Union speech this winter.

Her willingness to speak her mind — she once accused Obama of running a “gangster government” — has brought her both loyal fans and plenty of critics.

Since first hinting at a presidential campaign ahead of an Iowa speech in January, she has made sustained trips there and to New Hampshire and South Carolina, all places with an outsized voice in the nominating process. She previously told reporters she would announce her intentions this month in her birthplace of Waterloo, Iowa.

Other full-fledged candidates include former Govs. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain.

Now that Michele is in the race, I think it is highly unlikely that Sarah Palin will run as they would probably fight over their main loyal audience (most of whom support both) effectively weakening both of them in the battle for the hearts and minds of other voters.

I like Michele about as much as Sarah Palin, and I have absolutely no reservations about supporting her. I’m very glad that she is running because I think she is precisely the type of person that the US needs right now in the place of the ongoing Obama disaster.

At this stage, my thoughts on the rest of the field are that there are a couple people that I can support, but I do so with increasing reservations as I move down the list. Rick Santorum is my second choice, with minimal reservations, and Herman Cain third with a few reservations about his knowledge of foreign affairs; domestically he is solid though.

The rest, well I’m having trouble separating them.

So, Michele 2012. I’m hoping it happens. It’s just a shame that, being a non-US citizen I am not able to financially support her, and as I have respect for campaign finance laws, I’m not willing to flout the law. Still, she has my editorial support.

Samuel

June 14th, 2011 at 02:57pm


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