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thinking and writing

T&J was started because social media sites are not so suitable for more philosophical articles. Here you can share those thoughts that you feel like expressing with other people.

Anyone can read the articles, but you must to publish.

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To all our friends in Australia.

Please get vaccinated as soon as you can!

I read about what is happening with Covid 19 in Australia and end up confused. You have a lower rate of infection per 100,000 people than almost anywhere in the world but are in a constant state of flux, more like a seige state like North Korea (no one in, no one out).

For all the isolation the country has been successful in keeping Covid at bay, but you are not vaccinated enough to protect yourselves from the bubble that has now burst. In the UK new infection rates are almost as high as last September but hospitalisation is minimal and death likewise. Here in Austria we are also getting an increase in daily rates as our hospital rates and ICU rates drop each day.

Here there is a very simple rule. If you are going into a busy place you need 1. to prove that you have had Covid and recovered, 2 that you have a negative PCR test no older than 72 hours or 3 that you are vaccinated. This means that no one in that space is going to be passing Covid to other people.. Clubs, restaurants, pubs etc. Works very well and better than lockdown.

The First published this on 15th July 2021
REF# 0013

I follow Jeff Lawler who seems to find many interesting articles about Covid. Some you could almost classify as conspiracy theories, some espousing misinformation by the bucket load of BS and a few well grounded knowledgeable articles.

If you have the time and inclination to read the sensibly and rationally presented articles you would have little to fear about Covid other than your statistical established risk. If on the other hand you get your Covid information from the media, almost of any type, you will be confronted with doom and gloom.

Yesterday the media's scary story is that someone had 2 types of Covid and died, this presented in such a way as to further induce fear. The story has not been presented as being about a 90 year old, high risk, person who was not vaccinated, nor do they present it as the sole scientific anomaly it is. ONLY THE BITS TO SCARE YOU!

We are told the Delta variant is highly contagious but not how dangerous it is. People read contagious as dangerous, not so. While the Delta variant is being caught by thousands of people hospitalisation rates, ICU admissions and mortality is a mere fraction of what they were 6 months ago before this variant.

Clearly vaccinations are important not only in inhibiting the spread but cutting down the severity should you get it. The USA said there are zero Covid deaths of vaccinated people, and many other countries are reporting similar findings.

Although Covid will, like the Spanish flu, have to run its course the high levels of infection and mortality rates in many Western countries can be laid at the feet of the politicians who have been soft when they should have been much tougher. To do things that are unpopular is not a good way to get re-elected, personal self interest often outweighs the national interest.

When people scan information, and there is a lot of it, looking for highlights rather than in depth. They then publish the highlights that get repeated all over the media and become so scary people say " I am not going to be vaccinated because it is a huge risk". To the media I say you are irresponsible and to those who fear the vaccine that they better stay in bed for ever because their risk of dying if they do anything at all is possibly about 1000 times mor likely than if they get vaccinated.

Crazy times fuelled by misinformation, outright lies, half truths and the most incredibly irresponsible media.

The First published this on 15th July 2021
REF# 0012

For the last one and a half millennia Afghanistan has been invaded and conquered many times but never successfully occupied. In Victorian times with the might of the huge Indian army the British failed on several occasions, in the 20th century the Russians failed twice.

Even after witnessing the Russians give up in despair and after huge losses the US led NATO coalition invaded - like they are better than the rest?

So now we are witnessing the coalition give up like all before them. Loss of NATO and contractors lives at just under 10,000. Injuries, mostly devastating, well over 70,000. On the Afghan side 10s of thousands of dead and injured - mainly civilian.

So they leave with no glory, no victory, no changes having achieved absolutely nothing except kill and maim. They have hardened the hate for the west in the middle East and left thousands of families in the west damaged and in pain.

The stupidity of invading Afghanistan was akin to Hitler marching on Moscow with no regard to the failures of Sweden and Napoleon before him.

The saddest thing is that ALL intelligence agencies predicted this outcome and advised against it. Sadly the politicians needed some sword waving and killing to help their own careers.

Although the troops are leaving the damage will not and cannot be repaired. The legacy of stupidity will remain to be ignored by the next ones looking to conquer and change Afghanistan.

The First published this on 15th July 2021
REF# 0011

Taxing the super rich which is the new thing being talked about. I have some ideas.

How about not taxing true entrepreneurs who create wealth and jobs and taxpayers. In 2007 Microsoft-related activities were responsible for 14.7 million jobs, Amazon employs close to 1.5 million with many more multiples in indirect employment, Elon Musk is creating tens of thousands of jobs worldwide. There are many more entrepreneurs creating large work forces. They are all creating tax payers and all improving employment opportunities.

In contrast to the entrepreneurs there are super rich who gain wealth by money manipulation, investing for high return, but not exploiting their own ideas or creating jobs. Indeed in the case of quite a few funds they make money by asset stripping and creating job loss. These people should be taxed, maybe even penalised when they create unemployment!

A final thought concerns taxing older people who want to continue working. Why should a 70 year old who works and declines a pension or any government assistance have to pay tax at the maximum rate when they are already contributing what they are not taking?

The First published this on 15th July 2021
REF# 0010

The Independant says that the Bezos trip into space is proof that the super rich should be taxed. They sort of miss the point that his space company employs 3,500 paid out of his own (deep) pockets.

Many years ago a senate committee asked NASA how the could justify sending 3 billion dollars into space? The answer was "Senators we did not. The 3 billion dollars didn't leave earth it went into in the US economy advancing science and creating jobs. The result was sent to Mars.

It all a matter of perspective.

The First published this on 15th July 2021
REF# 0009

I bought a shade sail from these guys totally happy with the sail and their service.

Want a shade sail take a look at Sail Shade World

The First published this on 2nd December 2020
REF# 0007

Sometimes it is hard not to feel proud to be an Australian. In the last week our wonderful government, displaying their concern for the welfare of two year olds, has recommended that parents should ask permission of their two year olds to take their picture. It's nice to think that our two year olds are capable of having a discussion or thoughts about the merits of having their pictures taken.

Just now the start of our annual supercar race, the 500, was officially opened and blessed by the traditional owners of the land on which the race is run. Yet another wonderful example of our caring government doing what all the race fans want.

Much better to have the traditional owners dancing and playing traditional native music than a display of young children walking hand in hand with the drivers.

Not to mention the lack of highly paid, now unemployed, grid girls. All the audience in blue and red are now protected by our wonderful government from seeing these scantily clad girls, something that must have been objectionable to them.

Thank you Australia for doing the right thing and taking control of my decision making and control of what I can see. Also thank you for creating thousands of jobs for people putting up traffic warning signals and witches hats every several hundred metres to slow the flow of traffic.

The First published this on 24th February 2020
REF# 0006

If a juror shows or indicates any bias or preference that would influence their impartiality they are immediately disqualified.

The rules of Impeachment state that the Senators, the "jurors", should be impartial so why are not those Senators who have already declared how they will vote in the Impeachment proceedings denied the right to vote?

The checks and balances that were designed to control any misdeeds of any of the three branches of the US government become meaningless if everything is done party lines.

For generations of Americans bought up with the emphasis on Honest Abe, the President who never lied, and with a sense of security that government was well balanced and non partisan in matters that effected the good of the country these are indeed sad, sad days.

The First published this on 18th December 2019
REF# 0005

In a conversation yesterday the topic of Mrs Whitehouse came up, she was a campaigner against, as she put it "filth", on the BBC and elsewhere. She was the person responsible for Oz magazine being charged with blasphemy in the 1960s.

The thought of any publisher being charged with blasphemy in the UK or Australia in 2019 is laughable, although people back in the sixties were very seldom offended it now seems everyone is offended by something and little things become a big deal.

Last week Kerri-Anne Kennerley (Australian TV presenter) asked a co presenter if she was wearing pants in reference to a play suit the presenter was wearing. This was a jest in good fun but succeeded in offending (that word) thousands of viewers who said that she had slut shamed her colleague, official complaints to the TV station and eventually an apology from Kerri-Anne Kennerley.

Why is the world now governed by the FUN POLICE!

The First published this on 17th December 2019
REF# 0004

Time to toss in my two cents.

A wonderful outcome to the UK election with a huge majority the new government will be able to actually do something and release the people from this endless uncertainty.

I am a total Europhile with a home in Vienna, I even went to the length of calling on my Irish heritage to get an Irish passport so I can continue to be a citizen of the EU.

Having said that I have always respected the vote of the majority that gave us Brexit and now hope that it can be done so that the UK can maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with its biggest trading partner, albeit without being part of the EU.

Too much instability and waffling over the last three years. Hopefully this is now behind us.

The First published this on 15th December 2019
REF# 0003

Here is a tale about my wife's experience with a dentist in Adelaide.

In November (2018) they quoted over $4,000 for a full crown and two replacement fillings. They said this work should be done very soon to prevent any further disease or damage to the teeth.

Knowing we were coming to Europe and that very good inexpensive dentistry in Hungary is only a 50 minute drive from our home we thought we would wait.

In May I emailed the Adelaide dentist's quote to a dentist in Hungary who quoted just under $950 to do the same job. When we visited the dentist he examined my wife and took X Rays.

He said she needed NO dental work other than a clean, he was totally unwilling to do any work and make money from us!

Which dentist would you trust?

The First published this on 24th August 2019
REF# 0002

Something that frustrates me as an Australian.

How very wrong a government can get it?

The Australian government has spent $51 Billion dollars on the NBN (National Broadband Network) providing fibre to the node then copper to the user to provide speeds of 12Mbps to a maximum possible of 100Mbps.

Here in Austria we can get broadband at 300Mbps with a receiver in the home with a 4G sim card - no wires to the street no fibre. Unlimited data at less than you would pay in Australia for mid range NBN. Next year we will have 500Mbps with 5G.

How can Canberra justify spending $51 billion on last century technology?

The First published this on 24th August 2019
REF# 0001