Tuesday, 28 April 2009

The Universal Solution

What is the solution to aggression, rudeness and belligerence on our roads?

The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, said: "The problem is that motorists are treating cyclists really badly, and so you get the cyclists calling themselves road warriors and now you've got them driving motorists mad. Education is key."
Education, it will fix everything.

Except people who don't want to be fixed.

The problem is sin and the solution is Jesus.

Yes, the solution to road rage is Jesus.

(Full details here)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Dream Marriage

Free Trial

Ummm, it doesn't work that way.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

At Last, Some Unbroken Glass

Mirrool Creek Stock Route. (11 April 2009)
A very pleasant ride along the stock route from Quandary to Garvans Lane (The route runs just south and parallel to Walkers Lane) yielded a couple of rubbish deposits. The first, about 7 km from Quandary yielded a few interesting, but relatively recent finds (1950's?).

A little further on in a belt of scrub there are tins and scrap dispersed over a wqide area, just near the remains of significant early earthworks (dam? mine tailings?). Some nice smaller bottles were dug from one tip that went to a depth of about 10cm.

A small bottle with a lovely blue colour. If I read the M on the base right it's from the Melbourne Glass Works between 1900 and 1915.

A couple of those small vase bottles (Pecks?) of two different designs (RG No 528067)

Two small clear bottles (A54 C 10 UGB and A54 C 5 UGB)

A lovely glass stopper, fairly chipped, but with a hint of a lovely amethyst colour.

A fancy Zarona Regd bottle, badly chipped at neck and cracked at base

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Shame Culture and Getting Caught

Is our society moving to a shame culture?

There are several cultures around the world that are driven not by guilt or right or wrong, but by losing face.

Doing the right thing is less important than not losing face. If we can bluff our way out of it, that is better than admitting wrongdoing.

Western culture used not to be driven by this.

But I wonder is the hollow apology syndrome plaguing our politicians and celebrities driving us toward a shame culture. Is it our society's hypocritical double standards that have caused the rise of the spin doctor and moving us toward a losing-face based culture?

North Melbourne chief executive Eugene Arocca reveals a terrible lack of focus when he reveals his concerns over the chicken video, an apparently obscene and debasing video obviously made on the North Melbourne premises. Fairfax Article

I quote the article:

"It then found its way onto YouTube. It's now been removed. I'm furious to say the least that it's gotten out, though I haven't had the advantage of seeing it."

He is not furious it was made on our premises, not furious it was made by one of our players, but furious it got out, furious we got caught.

Can we expect a tightening of the PR rules and no real dealing with the issue, or will they actually discipline the proto-rapist that made the video?

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Bottle Collecting with Mother Hubbard

Old Temora Road
On a very windy ride 10 km down the Old Temora Road a back lane or stock route held a sprawling surface tip. It yielded a frustrating array of shards- beautiful colours, wonderful shapes, interesting inscriptions- all broken. Either previous collectors have picked it clean or kids have had a lot of fun, or both.

Stock Route North of town.

The stock route between the Barmedman road and the Cemetery road had a number of tips. Some manganese glass indicated age in some, but all but a few recent uninteresting bottles had been smashed. Evidence suggested this location was too close to town to escape the depredations of wandering kids.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Stooping From The Shoulders of Giants

Listening to the news in the car this afternoon I had two observations about the G20 protesters.

The Global Anti-globalisation Movement

How do protesters get to their protests? Why were there international protesters at the Sydney Summit? How long before the summit did they have to leave on their bark canoes in order to not be part of the global airline network?

I don't like global free trade. I think the little countries are always going to get pushed around by the big countries. But globalisation just is. Television, fibre optics, Internet, satellites these are the things that have made the world "globalised" These will not be wound back by protests. The protesters are completely missing the point, they need to protest outside every home that has Internet, every home that has a television, every city that has an airport.

There is something fundamentally myopic (more blind and stupid than hypocritical) about anti globalisation protesters who catch planes, trains, buses and taxis to protests and use the Internet to organise their protests.

Stooping from the shoulders of giants.

One dopey sounding protester on the news was recorded saying, "We don't need the banks." Utter stupidity. If he had said, "We don't like the banks." or "We don't want the banks." I could actually agree (kinda). But he is dead wrong. If you want to own a home, you need the banks. If you want someone to buy your corner shop which is fro sale, you need the banks.

Banks make a whole lot of things possible for a whole lot of ordinary people. One could argue that without the banks the middle class would not exist and the gap between rich and poor would be even greater. Where do you live for the twenty years it takes you to save the $350,000 under your mattress to buy your first home?

If you just remember banks are a business and are trying to make money out of their financial services you'll do fine. If you don't like banks, you should try some of the non bank lenders. banks like to make their money out of people paying off their home loan. Some other lenders are happy to make a living selling people out of their homes. In finance, by and large, the banks are the nice guys.

The protesters, who live somewhere, and utilise infrastructure, services and business all built on bank credit are like rich wastrels living of the inheritance. The enviro-protester lifestyle is made possible by the foundation of work and build over centuries with the cooperation of the financial sector.

Sure things have got financially wobbly lately. But don't forget that's as much because of the greed of the ordinary family as the greed of the banks. Our society is like the protesters. Living off the rich heritage of ethics, community, character and world view build up by generations of Christian civilisation. But like the protesters, ignorantly chipping away at the foundations as quickly as possible and simultaneously wondering why the system doesn't work like it used to.