A live toad every morning

Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Friday, July 26, 2019

Age binnet

Yet another article today in the form “If Scott Morrison wants to [make an impact/go down in history/avert a recession/whatever] he will [raise Newstart/stimulate the economy/manufacture electric cars/whatever].”  
When will everybody realise that none of this is going to happen?  At the last election, the government was re-elected despite being mean, stupid, incompetent, underachieving, borderline corrupt, and lacking any policy apart giving its enemies in the ABC, the unions, and the universities a good kicking.  That’s what we voted for, and that’s what we’re going to get. Scott Morrison has no intention of tampering with a winning formula.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Christening poem

Tragically, we can't be there to see the latest christening –                        
To hear the baby squealing as icewater from the font
Is splattered on her forehead in a sacramental glistening
When it's milk and burps and changing that she really seems to want –
In our absence please accept this somewhat tacky token,
A mutated southern reptile for the little poppet's pillow –
Less brittle than the real thing and not so quickly broken,
Here for darling Alice is a fuzzy armadillo. 

I don't know, a whole day seems rather a lot

Guidebook -

"Florence deserves at least one well-organised day - see the Academia, tour the Uffizi, visit the Duomo museum or the Bargello, and do the walk....
Art lovers will want to chisel out another day."

Eye spelling

The interactions of a crossword clue last night forced me to look closely, for the first time in my life, at the word 'hidalgo'.  Which I had till that moment spent some what, sixty years?  believing was 'hildago'.  I thought that was where the word 'dago' came from. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

What I said

  1. Ensuring Communist Party of China leadership over all forms of work in China.
  2. The Communist Party of China should take a people-centric approach for the public interest.
  3. The continuation of "comprehensive deepening of reforms".
  4. Adopting new science-based ideas for "innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development".
  5. Following "socialism with Chinese characteristics" with "people as the masters of the country".
  6. Governing China with Rule of Law.
  7. "Practice socialist core values", including Marxismcommunism and socialism with Chinese characteristics.
  8. "Improving people's livelihood and well-being is the primary goal of development".
  9. Coexist well with nature with "energy conservation and environmental protection" policies and "contribute to global ecological safety".
  10. Strengthen national security.
  11. The Communist Party of China should have "absolute leadership over" China's People's Liberation Army.
  12. Promoting the one country, two systems system for Hong Kong and Macau with a future of "complete national reunification" and to follow the One-China policy and 1992 Consensus for Taiwan.
  13. Establish a common destiny between Chinese people and other people around the world with a "peaceful international environment".
  14. Improve party discipline in the Communist Party of China.

I mean, apart from party supremacy, what is there other than motherhood statements (and I'm mildly surprised there isn't an actual motherhood statement, actually)?  Who would argue for partial rolling back of reforms, or comprehensive deepening of stuffups?  

I'm bothered, yes.

Can anybody describe what “Xi Jinping Thought” actually consists of? Maoism, like it or loathe it, did have some content, not to mention some pithy maxims. I have never ever seen anybody quote any doctrine or principle from Xi that didn’t mean “The party rules China and I rule the party”. Of which only the last part has any novelty and neither part has any underlying philosophy.
Alternatively, can anybody describe what the last part of “Marxism with Chinese characteristics” denotes?
Overall, if someone in another country - let’s just grab, say, Austria from the hat - admired China and Xi and wanted to follow Xi Jinping Thought, what would they have to do?

It all seems utterly null.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


From the school magazine....


1. Mess was not the sort of Boy who filled the master's heart with joy.
Hid dress was wild, his speech uncouth,
He hardly ever told the truth,
And never changed his socks.
He would continually purloin
Large quantities of Notes and Coin,
And many boys remember still
His most extraordinary skill
At picking awkward locks.

2. On Saturday the pupils all
went to the Bracebridge Wilson Hall
To see a moving picture show:
The temperature was twelve below,
And Neil took his rug.
A master with a stifled shout,
Observed the rug and and sent him out.
He left the hall with wrathful frown,
Procured a match, and Burnt
 Exclaiming with a shrug,

They gave the boy the punishment
The dreadful crime demand.
He went before the head and was
Severely reprimanded.


Remember rules are always right:
Do not attempt correction
Of what Much Wiser Men Than You ²
Laid down for your direction.

² Please, reader, do not look on this
As personally directed
Present company of course,
Is naturally excepted.

¹  Note well this reading has been made
In Fahrenheit, not Centigrade.

This is the first and only time
I have been forced to use this sort
   of rhyme.

It was (a) on a recent decision to ban rugs from the Hall and (b) an unfair and scurrilous attack on a boy I didn't much like at the time.  He took it badly, as one would imagine.  I'm glad to say that he forgave me at the sixtieth anniversary meetup.

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