Allan Takes Aim Blog

Archive for February 2013

Take the cure: start writing

More often than not when I sit down at the computer to write, I don’t have a topic in mind. As I sit there I’ll idle my time away write something such as: Mary had a little lamb it had a curly tail and everywhere that Mary went she hung it on a nail. Suddenly not just one topic but myriad topics will spring to mind which is what happened a few minutes ago. Indeed I now have so many topics the only worry I have is that the topic I choose is of interest to readers. I’ll soon know if it is because if it isn’t readers will tell me.

For exmple the topics in this piece will be a gallimaufry of brief comments about Australian parliaments; the Pope’s resignation; politicians; the Oscar’s; the firstitis syndrome; status disease; the state of Australian education; and the state of Australia’s hospitals and health system.

Parliaments, as you know,  are gatherings of politicians most of whom credit themselves as the originators of ideas created by other people. Another distinguishing feature of politicians is that many have brass necks which , depending on wind direction can swivel in an arc of 3600. Sadly too, they have a limpet like quality which enables them to hang on to seats in parliament that voters should have pulled from under them a long time ago.

As for the Pope’s resignation, well may he have been infallible but he was not invincible. Like other mortals who, as they age, find their physical and mental capacities often distorted by pain, his decision to cast aside involvement in activities that require a clear mind and strong body at all times, seems wise.

The Oscar’s are a different kettle of fish.  I use that analogy because many of the winners seem to have been arrived at in fishy fashion. The winners also have much in common with people afflicted by the Firstitis Syndrome: a need to be first.

You would be surprised at how many people are afflicted by this syndrome. For example: athletes who have a need to be seen as number one in a particular sporting activity so that they can then spend the rest of their life boasting about it.

Despite its alleged egalitarianism Australia is a country filled with people for whom status matters more than happiness. This lack of status makes some people ill with depression. It also destroys the idea that egalitarian societies can be created by legislation.

As for education, when I read various articles and hear Education Ministers mouthing off about how their new education system will illuminate minds that seem resistant to education,  I wonder. The truth is some of these ministers and their supporters are so dim they should be sent back to school for arithmetic lessons while lessons in logic and philosophy might not go astray.

I would love to say Australian hospitals are a wonder of the world and that Australia’s health system is also in that category. I will concede that many of our hospitals are first class but unfortunately many are far from being places in which a stay ensures wellness. And as far as the health system is concerned while the free national health system has some benefits at the same time it has created a new class of people in an allegedly egalitarian society

Stuck for something to write about? Why not try my cure?

Blog: Allan Takes Aim; web:;    

NB.  It’s pleasing to see the US Federal Court agrees with me that the Sea Shepherd is a pirate ship, as suggested in yesterday’s post: About Smart Aleck Bloggers, political plagiarists and Green Pirates


About Smart Aleck Bloggers, political plagiarists and Green Pirates

Many readers are put off using blogs because the comments they attract come from people who only use the blog’s title as a means of polluting the web with smart aleck remarks and more rubbish than can ever be recycled. Eventually this rubish will destroy the web and blogging as means of transmitting ideas. I get much of this rubbish on my website and it gets there under the cover of making a comment about my blog.

The same thing is happening generally in the media. As with the web much of what appears or is broadcast could be classed as rubbish though it is said to be of interest. Personally I think the interest is confined to the people participating and their friends.This is particularly noticeable  with continual recycling of ABC radio programmes constantly being recycled and called repeats. The ABC and the commercial TV stations are guilty also of repeating programmes ad nauseum on the new channels which says little for the state of the industry.

But radio, TV are not the only guilty recyclers; so too, are newspapers.  Indeed, at times,all three seem to have run out of new things to broadcast or write about. I’m waiting for our politicians to come up with new ideas and stopped visiting the dustbin of history to drag out old ideas, clothe them with different words and then posture in the media like little Jack Horner who, when sitting in a corner eating a Christmas pie, put in his thumb and pulled out a plum and said “what a good boy am I.’

Far be from me to suggest that every Australian voter thinks this is the case but in my opinion most do. That said it seems to me that unless Australia’s political parties wake up to the fact that voters are fed up being treated as children who need to be patted on the head and fed nursery rhymes,  they will face political revolution

This is only a short blog which I’d like to end while sitting watching the ABC’s 7.30 pm .report about the alleged ramming of the Sea Shepherd by Japanese Whalers in the Southern Ocean.

As a former seaman, I can only say the Sea Shepherd’s behaviour was appalling and contrary to the law of the sea. And both former Australian and Greens Leader senator Bob Brown, now a director of the Sea Shepherd Group, who heaped praise on the actions of the Captain and crew of the Sea Shepherd, deserve to be treated as pirates.

Blog: Allan Takes Aim;;

The decline in political standards is affecting Australia

Perhaps it’s just because I’m getting old and crotchety or are my observations are right that, in some parts of Australia, politics have declined so much they remind me of the gang warfare of the late twenties and early thirties that provided the basis of many films and TV series of which we were won’t to say: Only in America? Lest people think only State and Territory politics are concerned, the decline is as pronounced at the Federal level as it is at State and Territory level.

Much as politicians boast ad nauseum that Australia is one of the world’s leading democracies, perhaps it is fortunate it is far away from the rest of the world and so escapes closer scrutiny. Indeed many in Australia complain that the foreign media treats Australia with indifference. On the other hand perhaps this indifference serves us well because pictures of Australia as the benign democracy are seen infrequently in the foreign media.

The truth is, most of the pictures seen in the foreign media suggest Australia is a nation obsessed by sport. In fact many people today, young people in particular, are more familiar with men and women who run, swim, jump, play tennis, football of all kinds and golf because the media promotes national champions in sport as bronze Aussie heroes than they are of the politicians who control their future. On the second tier of Aussie heroes are celebrities whose main contribution to the community is gossip that, unfortunately, is often heeded.

When taking a close look at Australian society it seemed to me that the main focus in life for many Australians is the acquisition of fame and/or wealth. Sad to say in very many cases these objectives are achieved at the expense of honesty and integrity a conclusion better expressed by the title of the film written by, and starring American comedian W.C.Fields: ’never give a sucker an even break.’  For some Australians these words form the basis of their new religion: GREED.

Currently, a cohort of NSW Labor politicians, union powerbrokers, business people and the politician’s associated friends appear to have become the most zealous followers of that religion. Similar cohorts are rumoured to exist in other Parties. But for me the most noticeable change is how many politicians are no longer democrats but demagogues who, having donned the purple cloak of celebrity also see themselves as demigods.

Once upon a time the theme of male and female political candidates was their wish to serve the community. While their speeches still suggest this they now also subtly suggest that voters would be silly not to vote for them.   And if only to show the venality of many would be politicians, some turn down the offer of being a candidate unless assured of being elected.

Just as Labor, The Peoples Party, has lost its direction so, too, has the Liberal Party.  Both Parties are now much the same: Conservative. That said, perhaps the time is right for Labor and Liberals of conservative political bent to separate from their respective parties and set up a Conservative Party.

As for the Greens, where do they stand? I ask because, at every possible opportunity, they asseverate their dedication to the environment as if they were the only people who understood it. In other respects their philosophy is little different to Labor’s; a little more different than that of the Liberals; but far removed from that of the Conservatives.

Nonetheless it has something in common with the other parties. Despite its mooted allegiance to transparency, openness and honesty, like Labor and the Liberals, its policies are decided behind closed doors. Finally, behind those closed doors while policy is being decided, the question that occupies the closed mind of many participants is: how can I acquire Power, Position and Pelf, if possible?

As for the concerns of voters who just want politicians not to forget why they’ve been elected: they are honoured more in the breach than the observance.

Blog: Allan Takes Aim;;

The wonderful world of politicians’ promises

 It has to be said that our wonderful world of promises would be even more wonderful if it didn’t have so many people who make major and minor promises that too often they never keep. Unfortunately when major promises are not kept the wonderful world often becomes a world of despair while failure to keep minor promises often makes it a world of disappointment.

Generally speaking, minor promises are made between individuals and they are often made without any expectation of ever being held to account if the promise is never realised. That all of us make such promises should not be used as an excuse. The truth is, we shouldn’t make promises if we don’t intend to keep them.

It is true also that at times not keeping a minor promise can lead to trauma because the recipient believed the promise to be sincere. A common area where this effect can be seen is when one person promises another they will love them forever that the recipient takes seriously but is then broken. The tabloids are often full of reports of a suicide or homicide caused by a false promise. That’s the more serious side of broken or forgotten promises; broken romances that heal quickly are more usual.

But it’s the world of despair occasioned by the breaking of major promises that interests me. Many of these promises are made by government across a vast range of issues both national and international. At the same time promises are made by celebrities who no doubt mean them when they make them without thinking of the consequences, which is why they are often accused of making them in the interests of personal publicity. People tend to think this way because the promises often fail to meet the expectations of the people named as beneficiaries but the celebrities still get the publicity.

My main interest however lies in the promises made by politicians in their efforts to be elected to parliament. For example: recently an election was held for the seventeen positions in the ACT Assembly. Three parties gained enough votes to get them into the Assembly with the final result eight Liberals, eight Labor and one Green the result of which that a minority Government was established by the eight Labor and one Green joining together; whether or not it works remains to be seen.

I mention the ACT only because the same situation occurred at Federal level in 2010, the only difference: it was combination of Independents and Greens that allowed Labor to form a minority government. That situation prevailed until yesterday when the Greens walked away from the agreement they signed with Labor. I mention it because it has greater relevance at the moment due to the fact that Prime Minister Gillard has announced an election for 14th September.

Putting it politely, the performance of the Federal Government is not something to write home about. Since taking office in 2010 the Labor Government’s performance has been a litany of disaster The asylum programme for refugees has become a money making venture for criminal people smugglers who risk the lives of desperate people in search of a better life while  promised education funding plan and dental care for children are still mysteries.

The litany of failed promises is too long to print. Examples: the NBN, Pink Batts, BER, Carbon Tax, and Child Care Subsidies the thought of which would have you rushing for a bex, a beer and a good lie down.   Further failures in the litany are:  Grocery Watch, Fuel Watch and the $1 billion Cash for Clunkers

Of particular interest to me is the promised but unfunded National Disability Insurance Scheme which, when announced, I welcomed in my Chronicle newspaper column. Since that time however, it could appear that before my peer group (the over 65s) will ever benefit from it we’ll be pushing up the daisies.

While shortening the litany of Labor disasters in the interest of readers’ sanity, it would be wise to get ready for the coming Federal election and Labor’s litany of new promises and decide for yourself how many of them you think will be kept.

That said, however, before voting in September, you will also have to judge if you think the Liberals promises are more likely to be delivered.

Blog: Allan Takes Aim;;


 Man is part of the environment

 As I am part of the environment I know some readers don’t share my scepticism about global warming.  Butt share it or not, whilst I believe anthropogeniic activity plays a mall role in increased levels of CO2. it is not the role that some scientists and others without an appropriate scientific background say it does.

This article is sourced from a paper titled: “Fluctuating environment may have driven human evolution” written by a research team – funded by the National Science Foundation- from Penn State and Rutgers University in the USA and published December 24th, 2012, working In the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, spells out some of my reasons.  While not a comprehensive rebuttal or total debunking of the science is settled argument about global warming, it helps bring it into question.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Clayton Magill (a double PhD graduate student, one of the team of researchers that produced the paper said: “The landscape early humans were inhabiting transitioned rapidly back and forth between about five to six times during a period of 200,000 years. “These changes happened very abruptly, with each transition occurring over hundreds to just a few thousand years.” These findings appear to contradict previous theories which suggest evolutionary changes were gradual, and in response to either long and steady climate change or one drastic change.”

Another member of the team Penn State Professor of Geosciences Katherine Freeman says: “A series of rapid environmental changes in East Africa roughly 2 million years ago may be responsible for driving human evolution. There is a view this time in Africa was the ‘Great Drying,’ when the environment slowly dried out over 3 million years,” adding, “But our data show that it was not a grand progression towards dry; the environment was highly variable.”

The research team used gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to determine the relative abundances of different leaf waxes and the abundance of carbon isotopes for different leaf waxes. The data enabled them to reconstruct the types of vegetation present in the Olduvai Gorge area at very specific time intervals.

The results showed that the environment transitioned rapidly back and forth between a closed woodland and open grassland. To find out what caused this rapid transitioning, the researchers used statistical and mathematical models to correlate the changes they saw in the environment with other things that may have been happening at the time, including changes in the Earth’s movement and changes in sea-surface temperatures.

“The orbit of the Earth around the sun slowly changes with time,” said Freeman. “These changes were tied to the local climate at Olduvai Gorge through changes in the monsoon system in Africa. Slight changes in the amount of sunshine changed the intensity of atmospheric circulation and the supply of water. The rain patterns that drive the plant patterns follow this monsoon circulation. We found a correlation between changes in the environment and planetary movement.” The team also found a correlation between changes in the environment and sea-surface temperature in the tropics.

“We find complementary forcing mechanisms: one is the way Earth orbits, and the other is variation in ocean temperatures surrounding Africa,” Freeman said.

It seems to me that what Magill, Freeman and other respected scientists and members of the research team said, illuminates deficiencies in IPCC models based on information produced by a select group of similarly minded climate scientists for  soi –disant environmental groups that separate man from the environment.

The fact that man has managed to survive the various environmental catastrophes suggests to me they will survive the catastrophes predicted by global warming alarmists

Blog: Allan Takes Aim;; 


Politics and political parties are not fun

Political parties are collections of individuals who indulge their belief that if they can get into government they will be able to make a suburb, town, city or even a nation a perfect society. As usual with most political collectives members’ thoughts on the subject are as numerous as the stars in the sky and as often far away from reality.

The ACT Assembly has managed to assemble such a collection. No doubts Its 17 members have thoughts in common although I have heard voters say they doubt if all 17 Assembly Members members have any meaningful thoughts. Let me add they think and say the same about members of the federal parliament.

Well, last Tuesday, following the long Christmas break, was the first sitting week of the Assembly in 2013. Unfortunately the long break seemed not to have affected members’ for the better. Same old; same old! That said let me say to those first time Members that voters trust them to deliver on their election promises.

Sadly the early signs are not promising. I get the distinct impression that politics have taken precedence over governance and that the Speaker in the last Assembly is out to take revenge on the current Speaker for the hard time she gave him. I also thought there was a whiff of anti-religious bias in the furore of over the religious service the Speaker tried to mount for the opening of the Assembly. Speaking personally, professing no religious belief, I would be prepared to accept any religious service provided it engendered good government.

That apart it seems to me also that before going ahead with a religious service the Speaker should have consulted every Member of the Assembly as to whether or not they thought the idea of a service acceptable, no use deciding on doing it, then asking them. Nonetheless even though a majority of MLAs did not approve a service went ahead.

One can but hope the animus between Government and Opposition this caused will not turn out to be a permanent obstacle to constructive government or will the Government continue to belabour Speaker and Opposition about it and toss participatory democratic Government to the wolves, dictate policies that fits its own biased agenda without taking the views of voters into consideration.

It has to be said, that governments of all persuasions in Australia seem to be falling into this habit. While elections seem to fulfil the charter of democracy governments elected today seem not unlike the governments in countries accused of being non democratic.

Freedom of speech is under attack and policies introduced that most Australians know nothing about until too late, are reminiscent of governments that dumped democracy on the scrapheap. Unfortunately, Governments in some Australian parliaments still cling to the idea that such systems work best.

In the ACT the Government and many voters remain ever hopeful that the Utopian benevolence once enjoyed by ACT citizens will be restored by electing to power a majority of politicians who share this view. And while I feel sure that some MLAs in the current Government do not share that belief, too few of their colleagues at the last election secured the votes necessary to join them in the Assembly and empower change.           

I confess that being lazy by nature I enjoyed the Utopian benevolence as did many others who, due to the generosity of the wider Australian population, liked being provided with the best health, education, transport and recreation facilities et al, in a bucolic environment?  In other words, we liked being molly-coddled?

Unfortunately our fairy tale existence couldn’t last. But while politics were important in Canberra they were of little import to the average Territorian until the ACT became a self-governing Territory.  It was at then that voters – sadly not enough of them – found out that politics and political parties were not fun.

Blog: Allan Takes Aim;;

Posted on: 15 February 2013

Bullies are people who don’t think before they speak !!!


This message was sent to me yesterday by a lady called Valmai. I promised her that I would post it in on my website.

This is a slightly edited version of her message



  • The boy you punched in the hall today – Committed suicide a few minutes ago.
  • That girl you called a slut in class today – She’s a virgin.
  • The boy you called lame – He has to work every night to support his family.
  • That girl you pushed down the other day – She’s already being abused at home.
  • That girl you called fat – She’s starving herself
  • The old man you made fun of cause of the ugly scars – He fought for our country.
  • The boy you made fun of for crying – His mother is dying.
  •  You think you know them.
  • Guess what?
  • You don’t!

Repost if you are against bullying.

Blog: Allan Takes Aim;;


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