Saturday, 22 October 2011

The men who crashed the world

This four-part production by CBC (Canada) is available (amongst other places) from Al Jazeera English live.
It should be required viewing for self-funded retirees, or anyone who has funds invested in shares or real estate.

It reveals how, during the GFC, the behaviour of many senior financial executives on Wall Street and in The City (London) would have been more appropriate in a casino.
It also explains how billions of dollars of American taxpayers' money was used to get these same financial executives off the hook.

The biggest welfare cheque in history ($US700 billion) was written to Wall Street.
It is timely in the light of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

When you consider the collateral damage caused by this meltdown it makes you wonder why the reaction has been so muted.

It also shows that whilst we live in a democracy, must of what effects us daily in the financial world is the result of the amoral behaviour of individuals whom we don’t elect, who live on the other side of the world, and don’t give a stuff about anything except the almighty dollar.

We have world government – but it has nothing to do with the United Nations. The international financial sector runs the show.

They're doing a very poor job of it.....

Go here to watch the first episode -

The men who crashed the world - Meltdown - Al Jazeera English

Friday, 21 October 2011

We're Getting Somewhere

This is probably the most significant development in the lives of Australians with disabilities and their carers since I started working in the field in 1971, so you'll have to excuse me if I have a little celebratory post.

From the NDIS website -


Dear Cedric,

Yesterday we had some fantastic news. State and Territory governments agreed to deliver the foundational work for the National Disability Insurance Scheme by mid 2013 - a year earlier than the Productivity Commission recommended.

It is all your hard work and support that has made this happen. Your voices have been heard and all your campaigning has made a difference. Take a moment to reflect on how far we have all come together.

Our politicians are listening. But we still need to get out in the community and make sure everyone understands why we need an NDIS.

Will you spread the word from November 27 - December 3?

The Federal Government said at yesterday's inaugural COAG Select Council meeting that it "wants to see improvements to disability care and support as quickly as possible".

The State and Territory Disability Ministers and Treasurers all agreed on a timetable for delivering the foundation reforms necessary for the introduction of an NDIS. These reforms include common assessment tools to determine eligibility and strategies to boost the disability workforce.

The Select Council also considered the draft principles to be agreed on by COAG. These principles will guide the work of the Select Council in pursuing reform of disability services.

And earlier this week the advisory body established by the government to provide advice to the Select Council also met for the first time.

So it is clear that all your hard work is making a difference. But we cannot give up - we need to keep the pressure on.

There are three easy things you can do to help during Spread the Word Week - which one will you choose?

Tell your friends, neighbours, work colleagues and family members. The campaign is continuing and we are showing everyone that Every Australian does indeed Count.

John Della Bosca
and the Every Australian Counts team

P.S. Can you watch our latest campaign update video and share it with your friends? Building support for the NDIS is the most important thing you can do right now.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

More Gaelic Music

The English name for this song is "women of Ireland".

The singer is the inimitable Kate Bush.

It's beautiful music, as much as anything else because of the lyrical tone of the Irish language.

It was composed by the late Sean O'Riada and played by The Chieftains in the film 'Barry Lyndon." The lyrics are a poem by Peadar O Doirnin (?1704-1769).

I have no idea what the words mean exactly, nor do I care. The way they sound and blend with the music is what matters.

When we visited South-West Ireland it was during the Gaeltacht (a Gaelic festival), and sitting in the pubs listening to the music of the language, without having the foggiest idea of what people were talking about was enormous fun.
In case someone out there is fluent, I'll post the words below. Let me know what they mean - it was all to much for Google translate.

Ta bean in Eirinn a phronnfadh sead damh is mo shaith le n-ol 
Is ta bean in Eireann is ba bhinne leithe mo rafla ceoil 
No seinm thead; ata bean in Eirinn is niorbh fhearr lei beo
Mise ag leimnigh no leagtha I gcre is mo tharr faoi fhod 
Ta bean in Eirinna bheadh age ad liom mur bhfaighfinn ach pog 
O bhean ar aonach, nach ait an sceala, is mo dhaimh fein leo; 
Ta bean ab fhearr liom no cath is cead dhiobh nach bhfagham go deo 
Is ta cailin speiriuil sg fear gan Bhearla, dubhghranna croin. 
Ta bean a dearfadh da siulann leithe go bhfaighinn an t-or, 
Is ta bean ‘na leine is is fearr a mein no na tainte bo 
Le bean a bhuairfeadh Baile an Mhaoir is clar Thir Eoghain, 
Is ni fhaicim leigheas ar mo ghalar fein ach scaird a dh’ol.

Update - 

I found this translation It makes more sense and sounds better in the original Gaelic.

Bolt Dishonours Queen

 The mad mutterer from Melbourne falls over his fingers again.

Only this time he has landed Her Majesty the Queen in it.


According to the Urban Dictionary it has a very disreputable meaning .

He's used it in reference to the Queen and the Prime Minister.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011


This is a beautiful song performed by the Clancy brothers and Tommy Makim in 1984.
The comedy monologue at the end is worth listening to.

My bride and I saw them at about that time in Brisbane, and we remember the show fondly, although they didn't perform this one at the concert we attended. To my way of thinking, Celtic music has a quality and depth not found in any other musical culture. Perhaps I'm biased.

You may recall the saying -

"The Irish as a nation
Are really all quite mad
Their wars are all so happy,
And their songs are all so sad"

Tis true, but it may have to do with the fact that for a long time they fought everybody else's wars.

Endless Fun

If you take a look at this screen shot, you'll notice that it looks familiar.

This is because it's a grab from this blog, posted on CANdo a little while ago.

I was mucking about with an astroturf* site and I decided to see how closely it was monitored. This particular site is modelled on the Tea Party sites in the USA, and is sponsored by Senator Cory Bernadi.

I just took a couple of posts from here and moved them across. The fact that the political message, if there is one, is at 180 degrees to what Bernardi is seeking to sell is apparently neither here nor there. Fascinating.

He (or his minders) obviously don't look at CANdo all that often.

It's been up there for a while now.

I'm taking bets on how long it will stay.

Odds - One more day - 5 to 1

One more week - 10 to 1

One more month - 20 to 1.

*Google it.

Update -

Three days on, and it's still there.....

Update 2 -

It took them six days. Pretty slack.

Hugh White - Without America

Hugh White is always provocative, and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to criticising current defence policy. In 1995, he was appo...