Archive for March, 2014

NRL Tips: Round 4

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


March 28th, 2014 at 07:33pm

AFL Tips: Round 2

Richmond V Carlton
Essendon V Hawthorn
St. Kilda V GWS
Port Adelaide V Adelaide
Sydney V Collingwood
Fremantle V Gold Coast
Brisbane V Geelong
Melbourne V West Coast
Western Bulldogs V North Melbourne


March 27th, 2014 at 06:28pm

NRL Tips: Round 3

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


March 21st, 2014 at 07:34pm

AFL Tips: Round 1 (week 2)

Geelong V Adelaide
North Melbourne V Essendon
Hawthorn V Brisbane
St. Kilda V Melbourne
West Coast V Western Bulldogs


March 20th, 2014 at 07:30pm

The real march is the conservative one at the polls today, not the kooky one outside Federal Parliament on Monday

Voters in Tasmania and South Australia go to the polls today for their respective state elections, and the opinion polls indicate that conservatives are likely to win which would put conservative governments (or right-of-centre at least…I struggle to characterise the Victorian government as “conservative” although they are “to the right”) in power in every state, territory, and federal government in the country except for the Australian Capital Territory. Meanwhile, not surprisingly within the ACT, there is going to be a protest march against the conservative federal government on Monday, which is going by the name of “March in March”.

State elections are not generally fought on federal issues, but federal issues have an impact. It is fair to say that after Kevin Rudd and Labor took power federally in 2007 and all of the state and territory governments also went to Labor around the same time, the Liberal Party brand was on the nose and that was largely due to federal issues. The same thing appears to be happening now, just the other way around, and even Labor Party “elders” agree.

LABOR Party elders are calling for the party to embark on a new debate about key values to restore its economic credibility, as it faces the possibility of wall-to-wall state Coalition governments in its darkest electoral days since the defeat of Gough Whitlam in 1975.

(h/t Sid Maher and Mark Coultan, The Australian)

On that point there is an issue which has damaged Labor at all levels: reckless spending. Federal Labor did the most damage with it and dragged down their state and territory counterparts, but the state and territory Labor governments did it on a smaller scale and reinforced the image of irresponsibility.

The Liberal Party should win in South Australia today. Newspoll yesterday had the Liberal Party ahead of Labor 53-47 on a two-party-preferred basis. With a number as close as that, it’s possible that the Liberals might win the most seats but not take an outright majority, but the numbers look pretty good for a majority government.

In Tasmania the margin is much bigger. Liberal 53%, Labor 23%, Greens 16%, Palmer United 4%. This easily creates a two-party-preferred figure around 55% for the Liberal Party. Oddly enough though, Tasmania has the same curse of an electoral system as the ACT (Hare Clark) and numbers like that can very easily lead to nobody having an outright majority and Labor/Greens together having enough seats to form government. The margin should be large enough to avoid that, but Hare Clark is an awful electoral system which delivers results which quite often have very little to do with the intention of the way people voted.

The mood across the nation is clearly a pro-conservative and anti-left-wing one, but trust the ACT to supply many of the people who will attend the “March In March” on Monday, where people will express their “no confidence” in the conservative federal government. They seem to be lacking confidence in the federal government on three main topics:
1) Gonski school reforms
2) Illegal immigration and social justice
3) Climate change

Well, on the first point, objective evidence from around the world shows clearly that centralised control of education of the type Gonski proposed results in worse educational outcomes than school which have general autonomy over curriculum and staffing. On the 2nd point, under this government there have been no illegal boat arrivals in about three months, with only one death which actually didn’t happen at sea but in a detention centre, whereas under the previous government our shores and maritime authorities were being overrun by illegal arrivals and multiple people were dying at sea each week and often each day. And on the third point, the planet has not warmed in nearly 20 years, and the theory of man-made global warming caused by carbon dioxide has been proven to be a complete and utter nonsense, and yet these people who will march on Monday want the federal government to tax people’s carbon dioxide emissions to stop warming which isn’t happening, ignoring the fact that carbon dioxide is an important part of life on this planet.

It’s quite clear where the real march is and the real mood of the Australian public is. It’s in a conservative direction, in the direction truth and sensible government and government keeping out of people’s lives as much as possible. The people on Monday can march and get media attention to their heart’s content…and make a dumb spectacle of themselves in the eyes of the sensible majority of conservative Australians.

Good luck to the voters of South Australia and Tasmania today. May your votes be good, and the outcomes match your votes.


March 15th, 2014 at 09:13am

AFL Tips: Round 1, 2014 (week 1)

The AFL gets underway tonight with a split round where just over half of the round’s matches will take place next week. I’ll place my tips for next week’s matches next week.

Collingwood V Fremantle
GWS V Sydney
Gold Coast V Richmond
Carlton V Port Adelaide


March 14th, 2014 at 05:12pm

NRL Tips: Round 2, 2014

As I was out of the country last week for almost all of the first round of the NRL season, I decided not to put in any tips for the round as I hadn’t really spent any time examining the teams prior to the start of the round. Consequently my tips will start this week instead and will act as if round 1 didn’t exist.

Just like last year, points for my tips will be based on the winning margin of the match, so if I tip the winner then I will receive the amount of points by which they won, and conversely if I tip the losing team then I will lose the amount of points by which they lost. A mild change from last year is in effect in that I can no longer tip a draw, and a draw will count for no points whatsoever.

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


March 14th, 2014 at 05:07pm

And now it is time to leave

The time has come for me to leave the US after my four weeks of fun and excitement. I realise that I have failed to keep you updated on my trip, but the time required to do that was cutting in to my sleep, which in turn was cutting in to my adventure time. I will be in a better position to provide the stories and highlights upon my return.

As I drove to the airport today after a final bit of Washington DC sightseeing, I felt sad when the air traffic control tower came in to view…as much as I want to go home and see Pebbles and the family again, I also kind of want to just turn around and settle in Indiana. My mood was improved, however, when I was greeted at the airport by the best US President in modern history (and the 2nd best of all time…Calvin Coolidge was the best), Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan at Ronald Reagan airport

This is not the first time I have been greeted by this great man. I also saw him in Michigan when I visited Hillsdale College, where he stands near a truly great lady, Margaret Thatcher.
Ronald Reagan at Hillsdale College
Margaret Thatcher at Hillsdale College

In Washington DC I did some of my sightseeing at night. It was cold but this had the benefit of making me almost the only tourist at the time, so it was easier to take photos and explore.

The Capitol Building is much larger than I thought and is very impressive.
Capitol Building
Capitol Building

And the White House was exciting for a moment…there were moving vans out the front! For a brief moment my hopes were raised that the current occupant, a man who ranks among the worst Presidents in history and does not deserve to have his name uttered in the same blog post as Reagan and Thatcher, might be moving out. Alas, no such luck…he was having some sort of party and the vans were for the equipment belonging to the entertainment.
The White House

And today before I went to the airport I took a few moments to use up more of my prepaid fuel, drive my “Rush is right” bumper sticker around DC, and catch a glimpse of two fantastic conservative organisations which are almost directly across the road from each other: Hillsdale College’s DC outpost “Allan P. Kirby Jr Center for constitutional studies and citizenship”.
Hillsdale College's Washington DC outpost

And The Heritage Foundation, currently run by a most excellent former Senator, Jim DeMint.
Heritage Foundation, Washington DC

It has been a wonderful trip in which I have driven 2,934 miles according to the rental car companies, but I am now looking forward to coming home and sharing more photos with you soon.


1 comment March 9th, 2014 at 07:49am

Audio from my time with Casey Hendrickson on News/Talk 95.3 MNC today

It was good fun being on with Casey today. For the most part it was a normal show covering a normal gamut of topics for a local talk show, but it was switched up a little in the final hour when Casey opened the lines for “Ask An Aussie”.
Casey Hendrickson and Samuel Gordon-Stewart at News/Talk 95.3 MNC
Thanks to Casey’s producer Tim for taking the photo

Casey podcasts his show, so although my recording in the hotel room worked, I can just direct you to Casey’s podcast if you want to hear any of the show. I’ll also be nice and give you direct links to the specific downloads.

The third hour is where I was most involved.

In the other two hours, I was there, but not as involved as I was in the third hour.
Hour 1

Hour 2

(Each hour runs about 38 minutes as commercial breaks and news breaks have been omitted).

Many thanks to Casey for having me on today, as well as producer Tim, station program director Jon Zimney, and a shout-out to Mark McGill who hosts MNC’s morning program Michiana’s Morning News…you got me with that phone call…I had no idea who you were or what you were going on about, and I was so confused that I didn’t (at the time, anyway, I have re-listened since) catch all of the Aussie slang you threw in…well done! And as Casey said, thanks for arranging the tour of ABC57, it was great to see how a local TV station does things in South Bend in comparison to how things are done in Australia.


March 1st, 2014 at 01:59pm


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