Jenna hates… fireworks

It has become obvious to me we need a new category here; Jenna hates…

Unfortunately, the Sydney Morning Herald’s readership has declined in recent years so the original opinion pieces by Jenna Price don’t receive the widespread acknowledgment they deserve. We hope to rectify this by providing a summary here to give her the audience she so richly deserves.

This week’s insight into the mind of a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and a regular columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald won’t disappoint:

There is no justification for having New Year’s Eve fireworks, none. Not this year, not any year.

I agree, utter waste of taxpayers’ money.

Years ago, I felt differently. I would take my children down to the nearest view of soaring Catherine wheels, of sparkling flowers and hearts. One year, we even ventured down to the Rocks. It was awful. Drunken brawling, men catcalling my not-yet-teenage daughters, all for the best possible view of six million bucks going up in smoke.

Why on earth would you take kids younger than 13 to a location where people do pub crawls on stag nights… at midnight? Talk me through the thought process resulting in that parental decision.

Not that we mere mortals ever get the best possible view. That’s reserved, this year more than others, for those with real estate privilege: Green Zoners, those who live or have a reservation in the CBD or the lower north shore of Sydney (that bit’s not too far from plague central also known as Avalon) will have access to city venues with “valid passes”; Yellow Zoners, those who live a little further out, can go hell-for-leather, untethered, unmasked, unsurveilled and a danger to all. Pyrmont Park and Potts Point will each have to be renamed Peril Park.

Envy is the ugliest of emotions.

This is what real estate privilege does for you; Gaia knows who has those reservations to swanky harbourview restaurants and berths in CBD boltholes but my money is on some of Daryl’s mates or similar, developers of one kind or another, various tollroad builders, airport establishers, G8way to heaven, United World Enterprises, icare or some other bit of dodgery.

Real estate privilege.

165 million Bangladeshis would like to have a word with you about your real estate privilege, Jenna.

Good move to cancel the acknowledgment of frontline workers with a front-row seat at the fireworks. Let’s acknowledge them the best way possible. Give them a bloody pay rise, all of them.

Beautiful virtue signal there; pay other people more of other people’s money.

The recent behaviour of those in Sydney during COVID-19 times has confirmed for me that the government should cancel the fireworks this year. It’s Christmas Day at Bronte Beach and idiots are cavorting in board shorts and Santa caps, chanting at the top of their lungs as if we don’t potentially have the plague on every breath. The Sydney Fish markets attempted to pull itself together on Christmas Eve by taking temperatures and enforcing QR check-ins, but it didn’t insist on masks. Attending police tried to persuade but weren’t wearing masks themselves. My favourite fishmonger didn’t even have staff wearing masks. Not too many masks at the Hillsong light display in Bella Vista, even fewer at Westfield Parramatta.

There were seven cases in NSW yesterday after over 300,000 have been tested this week.

7/300,000 x 100 = 0.0023% of the people who thought they might have the virus. As a percentage of the population of the state, that’s 0.00009% with a virus that 99.97% of people fully recover from.

Perhaps people see those odds and feel it’s an acceptable risk, Jenna?

But while it is true that we have many excellent citizens who had had their swabs, that’s more of an “ohmigod, I might be sick and I should really get that checked out” action as opposed to the more purely selfless behaviour of those who wear masks at the shops and on public transport. Of which there is not enough.

Not enough? I was one of only three in the local supermarket not wearing a mask yesterday. I don’t wear a mask because I understand probabilities; the car journey to the supermarket is more dangerous than the virus.

Not enough? What’s your proposal to solve that, Jenna?

Which brings me back to the fireworks. Yes, they are lovely and exhilarating. Soaring, popping, being in large groups of people all aahing and oohing at once, as if they’ve rehearsed for months. But last year was a warning. As Australia burned, fireworks snipped and snizzled across our land. We had a few reflective thoughts about whether we should add more to our already poisoned air, whether we should heap particulate on particulate, but mostly went ahead anyhow, even as people were losing their families, both human and animal, and their homes. The spectacle mattered much more than our consideration of others.

Got a climate change reference in there. That’ll please your colleague Peter weather is climate Hannan.

This year, just broadcast the fireworks on various platforms. And next year, ditch them altogether.

Actually, this is a perfectly reasonable position to take if you’re being asked to pay for the fireworks.

Remember how we celebrated Earth Hour?

Yes! We have an annual tradition; we run a competition to see how quickly we can make the little dial on the electricity meter spin, by getting the kids to rush around the house switching on every electrical device they can find.

We give off so much heat and light for that hour, astronauts on the ISS can probably see Chez Ockham from space.

Switching off all the lights, watching the stars and contemplating how lucky we are, how lucky to be alive.

Oh, that’s not what we do. Are we misunderstanding Earth Hour?

Bill’s Opinion

As with the previous target for Jenna’s hatred, golf, I agree somewhat with Jenna about the fireworks.

My view is they are overrated but, if people want to use their money to fund them, fill yer boots. A subscription service or GoFundMe campaign would work. Just don’t use my taxes to fire 6 million bucks of gunpowder up in the air.

As with most of Jenna’s opinion pieces though, this one tells us more about her emotional state than the specific subject itself.

Jenna has more issues than Vogue. It’s nice of the Sydney Morning Herald to allow her to share the details of her ongoing therapy with us.

Why is this lying liar lying to me?

Today’s title is what the British current affairs interviewer, Jeremy Paxman, apparently used to ask himself whenever he interviewed a politician.

As a strategy, it can’t be faulted.

Witness:

For those who are unaware of the festival of Kwanzaa, it is a relative newcomer to the calendar, invented in 1966.

Some background on the Harris childhood may be useful too; She was born in 1964 to a Jamaican father and Indian mother. Her parents divorced in 1972. Kamala and her mother moved to Canada in 1976.

Of course, it is entirely possible an Indian immigrant single mother was an early adopter of a newly-invented festival for the sake of her mixed race daughters two decades before the rest of the USA had heard of it….whilst living in Canada.

It’s also possible Jussie Smollett was attacked by two Nigerian Trump supporters at 2am in a blizzard.

Bill’s Opinion

The chances the Harris family ever celebrated Kwanzaa aren’t quite zero but it is highly unlikely.

However, the explanation requiring the fewest assumptions to be true is that Kamala Harris is lying.

We can’t read minds, so the reason why she would lie about this can only be known by her.

The fact she chooses to tell lies about inconsequential matters such as this and the music she listened to whilst in college, is an indication of two possibilities though;

1. She must think people are really fucking stupid, and

2. She’s prepared to sell the most ridiculous fabrications as fact.

Neither of which are particularly comforting characteristics for the person who will take over from Joe Biden next year.

By the way, if you are reading this and thinking, “but Trump lied all the time“, you might want to consider the possibility you’ve fallen into a partisan mental oubliette where you don’t apply standards objectively.

We sleep soundly at night….

……because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.

Winston Churchill

Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith was photographed cheering on an American soldier drinking from the prosthetic leg of a suspected Afghan militant whose death is now the subject of a war crimes investigation into the war hero.

The world is divided in to exactly three types of people;

  1. Those who see the photo above and think, “so what?”,
  2. Those who see the photo above and think, “that’s disgusting, get the lawyers in The Hague on the blower”, and
  3. Those who see the photo above and think, “the infidel dogs in the west must die”.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have obtained two photographs that show Mr Roberts-Smith, the country’s most decorated living soldier, posing with the prosthetic leg which was used as a novelty drinking vessel.

Obtained” or, in English; “paid top dollar for“.

The photographs appear at odds with claims made by Mr Roberts-Smith’s lawyer in the Federal Court last year that the war hero was utterly disgusted by the use of the leg as a drinking vessel. Lawyer Bruce McClintock stressed Mr Roberts-Smith “never drank from that thing … Because he thought it was disgusting to souvenir a body part, albeit an artificial one from someone who had been killed in action.”

He’s not drinking from it. He’s next to a person drinking from it, neither of whom probably realised that, years after risking their lives on our behalf, investigative journalists would be frothing up a story where front line soldiers in Afghanistan are judged by standards applicable to wine bars in Glebe.

The fake limb gained further notoriety earlier this month when photos of soldiers and non-commissioned officers drinking from it were leaked to The Guardian. The photos supplied to The Guardian did not include any images of Mr Roberts-Smith posing with the leg.

In other news, I visited Dallas once but the authorities are still struggling with collecting the evidence necessary to convict me of assassinating JFK.

The Guardian story, written by freelance journalist Rory Callinan, included photos of two soldiers with faces blurred posing with the boot. The story claimed “rank-and-file” soldiers believe they have been unfairly criticised by the Brereton report and suggest that drinking from the boot could be classified as the war crime of pillaging because the leg was property taken without the consent of its owner.

Rory Callinan’s Twitter feed is to be found here. It is fair to say he posts little else other than allegations of Australian war crimes and the reporting of the investigations. That’s fair enough, he can be a single issue journalist if he wants. Readers may wish to bear this obsession in mind when reading his output, however.

“…drinking from the boot could be classified as the war crime of pillaging“. Perhaps this is technically correct, but when detailing the backlog of various breaches of the Geneva Convention to be prosecuted and in what order, this may be close on the list to the whole of class detention your child got last week because two other kids were misbehaving. Collective punishment is a war crime under the 4th Geneva Convention, after all.

Perhaps it’s time for a comment from an adult:

Australian Defence Association chief executive Neil James wrote on Friday that, “to our national detriment, much of the public discussion on war crimes alleged to have been committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan is focusing on secondary, peripheral or irrelevant issues.”

Quite.

Bill’s Opinion

Unfortunately, I’ve no doubt war crimes have been committed in my name. I am certain, at times, armed forces acting for my country have shot first, asked questions later. After the fog of war has lifted, it’s correct to investigate these incidents and take appropriate action against the individual and to examine whether it indicates a culture that should be addressed.

However….I don’t give a flying fuck about our “rough men” drinking out of a dead Taliban’s false leg. In fact, send me the GoFundMe page link and I’ll chuck a few quid in to buy a round of beers for them.

My suspicion is this is the view of most people outside of the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald and Grauniad’s news rooms.

I’ve been playing a round with my Secretary….

….she’s hoping I might get her in the club.

Poking fun at at the lunacy that passes for journalism and academia is one of the few remaining opportunities for fun during these days of no travel, no concerts, limited seating sports and all the other restrictions imposed on us for our own good.

So, ladies, gentlemen and binary non-conformists, please enjoy the Sydney Morning Herald’s resident and tenured Bedlamite, “Jenna Price is a columnist and academic“:

Shut them down. Shut them all down. Golf courses sit in the middle of our cities, using up valuable space in places that need more genuinely public land. Hectare after hectare devoted to a few people wandering around attempting to whack a ball into a hole in the ground. While kids across the city queue for swings and the handful of remaining naughty roundabouts, the golfers do not queue except for expensive memberships in elite clubs.

Using up valuable space“, which would otherwise be used how? A newly built Chesterton’s Fence?

While kids across the city queue for swings and the handful of remaining naughty roundabouts…“, please post any photographic evidence of these queues for swings.

“….the golfers do not queue except for expensive memberships in elite clubs.“. Jenna then proceeds to use her entire column to tell us public, not private golf courses, should be shut down.

Sydney’s lord mayor Clover Moore is in the spotlight again because she wants to decrease the number of holes in the Moore Park golf links from 18 to nine. Here is why. Moore Park is just over 113 hectares, according to City of Sydney staffers. Less than one-tenth is for general recreation. One-tenth. That’s compared with 45 hectares for the golf course (a sport that so few people play) and 46 hectares for all the other sports fields and courts used by the vast majority of us. Moore Park Golf Club is what’s called a public club although those fees don’t seem particularly public to me.

“Less than one-tenth is for general recreation. One tenth.” Moore Park has a cricket stadium, a rugby/other sports stadium, multiple flat spaces for seasonal participation sports, several lakes and a lot of trees. What is the correct ratio for this parkland? We aren’t told.

Also, “links” doesn’t mean what Jenna thinks it does. But I’m sure she knows all about golf as they wouldn’t let someone who doesn’t know what the bloody hell they are talking about write a column. Cough, Peter Fitzsimons, cough.

Moore’s proposal to turn it into nine holes is such a good idea – but it doesn’t go far enough. Boot all the golf clubs out of cities where there is just not enough open space. Already the sport is being abandoned. Participation has plunged from 8.2 per cent in 2001 to 5.2 per cent in 2020, a decline of over 36 per cent in 19 years.

Participation has plunged from 8.2 per cent in 2001 to 5.2 per cent in 2020, a decline of over 36 per cent in 19 years.“. Erm, there were 18,769,249 people in Australia in 2001, there are 25,649,985 here today. So, about 205,279 fewer people play golf. I make that a 12% decline in real numbers, not 36%.

You may wish to get someone from the Mathematics Faculty to do your sub-editing in future, Jenna.

Compare that with the sports that don’t rely on big footprints, fancy clobber, expensive gear, such as recreational walking, which has increased by 70 per cent to just under half the population.

No source for that claim in a column otherwise littered with hyperlinks, I note.

Why are we giving up massive amounts of space to a pursuit that offers so little to so few? Build a few outback golf links and send the 18-hole obsessives on a long drive.

Are you sure your objection is not an emotional reaction? This seems to delight in the prospect of punishing someone.

The cost and the way the sport is offered is just so off-putting for the majority.

So’s cricket, dinghy racing, Thai kick-boxing, cycling, high stakes poker and sky-diving. It’s still not an argument, Jenna.

Professor of sport at Federation University and also at Victoria University Rochelle Eime loves golf so much she even signed up her twin 14-year-old sons to the game when they couldn’t play footy because of COVID.

Some similarly aged children quite close to me have played nearly a full season of rugby union and rugby league this year and only missed a few weeks of training. Didn’t Rochelle get the memo?

That cost a total of $100 at the social club rate. When she wanted to join her local club, she was told it would cost $1000. Then told she could only play on certain days of the week.

Different clubs and membership types cost different amounts and have different restrictions. Who knew?

She works full-time. She can’t be popping off for a quick 18-holes on a workday.

Describing 18 holes of golf as “quick” suggests quite a lack of basic knowledge of what is involved.

Eime says golf is a traditional sport, rooted in the male competitive model and that’s hard to break down to something that works for modern lives, including those of women.

Sport can be competitive? Again, who knew?

Is competitive sport an exclusively male thing? The Williams sisters are on the phone and want to have a chat, Jenna.

Also, if your “modern life” doesn’t have time for golf, consider the possibility golf might not be for you. As an alternative, I believe there’s a clue in the name of F45 which might better help your diary planning.

“We need female voices in the decision-making.”

Ok. Hopefully that’ll be inclusive enough to include women who play golf or are at least vaguely aware of it. No, not you, Jenna, sit down.

Malcolm Gladwell, in A Good Walk Spoiled, possibly my favourite ever episode of his long-running series Revisionist History, spends the entire podcast exploring the social, political and environmental wrongdoings of golf.

And there we have the admission; Jenna heard a podcast once and the Sydney Morning Herald let her write a column about it.

…social, political and environmental wrongdoings of golf.” Oh come on, you can tick a few more boxes than that, Jenna. What about race, trans, gender and sexuality? Also, what about that chapter of Mein Kampf extolling the virtues of the sport?

Golf itself knows there is a problem and does its best to paper over them. A drive for membership here, a recognition that the game has to change there. By July this year, membership of Australian golf clubs had risen by 0.05 per cent, the first increase since 1998

Hands up who can spot a contradiction with an earlier claimed statistic? Bonus point if you can explain why, prima facie, the two numbers can exist together and still both be correct.

Golf Australia said in a statement that it would argue to retain any public golf course in Australia. Fine. But now it has to build a sport that fits with contemporary values and the lives of working women.

Because? Reasons.

Ready for the big finish?

Let’s see if it has the drive for that.

Boom tish. Try the veal.

Bill’s Opinion

Full disclosure; I have only ever played golf twice and consider those several hours as a an even worse waste of my life than the 3 English Premier League wendyball matches I was tricked into attending (spoiler alert; four and a half hours of no score…. and the fans still applauded as they left!).

The only practical use for golf is to separate out the sporting population from those of us who have realised team sports, particularly those involving physical contact, are the only ones worth playing. It serves a similar purpose as the ability to purchase personal car number plates, it’s a shibboleth.

However, unlike Jenna, I’m not filled with an irrational jealousy and resentment of those who find joy in participating in golf.

In fact, I’d be curious to know precisely what Jenna Price finds joy in, as her back catalogue suggests the answer is, well, not much, not much at all.

Give us a smile, Jenna!

Actually, on second thought, please don’t.

Everything needs a bail out

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.
Ronald Reagan
I learned something today; there is a 1c per litre tax on the petrol in my car’s tank used to subsidise Australian oil refineries.

Wait. WHAT???

Worse, the unions and Opposition think this isn’t going far enough.

Primarily, the reason given is the usual “to protect jobs” bollocks.

The government argues keeping refineries open will suppress the price of fuel and modelling suggests wholesale prices would increase by almost 1¢ per litre if production ended, adding up to $4.9 billion over a decade.

Oh good; they’ve got a model.

Well, why didn’t you say so earlier?

We love models in 2020, they’re such a great way to build our confidence in an argument, and they’ve got such a good track record, they’ve never lets us down previously…..

Interestingly, the part not being said aloud in this article is the national security argument. It is referenced by the union though, here.

….our politicians now seem to understand the significance that refineries have to our national and economic security and how difficult the operating environment has been.

A similar low bow was drawn before the car manufacturers took the taxpayers’ money and scarpered.

It was never quite made clear how the ability to build a shitty Holden Commodore would dissuade or slow President Xi and the PLA Navy from steaming into Sydney Harbour and Port Philip Bay with all guns blazing. An allergy to garish paint jobs and shaded windows?

Bill’s Opinion

Putting aside the hilarious concept of Australia needing a refinery for reasons of national security, the protection of refinery jobs is a classic example of the Broken Window Fallacy, best described by Henry Hazlitt.

It’s probably only fair we subsidise fuel refining, after all, we chuck money at wind farms, solar energy and the coal mining industry. Why not oil refineries?

2020; the year we all stopped worrying and learned to love being Keynesians.

Independent. Always. (Part 3,256)

The Sydney Morning Herald’s political correspondent in London filed a “proof of life” article this weekend, in a futile attempt to convince her editor she wasn’t spending all her time lounging around in Shoreditch bars and Brick Lane curry houses:

She probably could have stopped at the headline. Maybe she could have made it a little clearer, perhaps; “Opposition Party Opposes Government Position”.

Somehow though, she manages to fry up a couple of hundred words of absolute nothing burger on the theme:

London: Britain’s opposition is demanding Prime Minister Boris Johnson boycott Australia’s campaign to have Mathias Cormann installed as the next head of the OECD saying the former cabinet minister’s denialist climate change record makes him unfit for the job.

“Denialist”?

That’s a thoroughly modern adjective with really one main usage; to discredit an individual who expresses any level of scepticism with the climate change narrative.

How modern is this word? Here’s how many times it’s appeared in published books in the last couple of hundred years:

Labour’s spokeswoman for trade, Emily Thornberry has written to the British Prime Minister, demanding he guarantee that Britain will not back Cormann, who was instrumental in twice removing Malcolm Turnbull has Liberal party leader, over his record on climate policy. Australia’s Labor Party has backed Cormann’s OECD bid.

I’m confused, is UK Labour saying Cormann is a bad person for rolling a Prime Minister from the other side of the political spectrum? Or is the journalist making that assertion?

Also, Emily Thornbury, (also known as Lady Nugee); oh dear…. go to YouTube and look at her greatest hits. Fortunately for Emily, Dianne Abbott and Richard Burgon are still MPs so the Westminster Village Idiot position has an incumbent and succession plan.

Former Labor premier Mike Rann, who was replaced by the Abbott government just one year into his term as Australia’s high commissioner to Britain in 2014, added to the criticism.

Man who got the sack has an axe to grind.

Shocking.

But Cristina Talacko who chairs of the Coalition for Conservation said Cormann was not a climate change sceptic.

“Mathias is certainly not a climate denialist and that he will be very well placed to help the OECD member countries to achieve net zero given his experience on negotiations, his knowledge on how to apply the best methodologies and his fiscally responsible mind.

Woman from the same side of politics likes her side of politics.

Shocking.

British Labour’s opposition to Cormann’s candidacy is significant in the context of the UK-Australia bilateral relationship, particularly given the Australian Labor Party has endorsed Cormann’s candidacy.

So what? Do the UK Labour and Australian Labor (sic) Parties need to be in lock step about every issue? Who is Bourke trying to lobby here?

Number 10 declined to comment.

Number 10 might have a little more on their plate to deal with in 2020 than responding to Latika Bourke’s latest stating the bleedinobvious article.

Bill’s Opinion

The content of Bourke’s column is only relevant if you have the prior assumption Cormann’s stated position on climate change is incorrect at best, possibly mendacious.

It would have been written completely differently if the author was seeking to maintain a perception of journalistic objectivity.

There’s no law requiring the Sydney Morning Herald to be non-partisan, but their tagline is “Independent. Always“, after all.

Finally, the amusing, “Number 10 declined to comment” reminded me of this classic:

Where’s the marketing Anzac spirit?

Well, this is disappointing:

No, not that the Australian vaccine is a failure, but the reaction by Australian marketing teams to not take this news as a personal challenge in that legendary Aussie battler spirit.

Come on, all you hairy MarComs teams sitting on beanbags in loft offices in the suburbs of Glebe, St Kilda and /struggles to name a hipster suburb of Brisbogan/, where’s your Anzac spirit?

Surely there must be a gun marketing team out there ready to accept the challenge of promoting a vaccine that “cures covid with just a mild case of AIDS as a side effect”?

Somewhere in Australia is a team of professionals who are earning a good salary from convincing people to put Jägermeister-based drinks into their bodies.

If not the Jägermeister team, how about the people tasked with selling anything in the genre, ABC comedy, to the unwitting public? Those people could sell fridges to Eskimos (are we allowed to call them Eskimos in 2020? It’s hard to stay current in these things).

Bill’s Opinion

Fans of Game Theory will recognise the question of whether or not to take a fast-tracked vaccine for Kung Flu as being a classic example of the Nash Equilibrium.

My personal strategy is to loudly proclaim my desire to take the vaccine, lie when asked and say I’ve had it once it’s available, wait a year or so to see whether my fellow citizens develop debilitating side effects and then, maybe, take the damn thing if they haven’t.

But nothing will convince me the ABC could produce anything remotely resembling comedy. Not even if I’d chugged a bottle of neat Jägermeister.

2020: the most monogamous year ever?

There are plenty of studies detailing the rise of divorces following the varying levels of lockdowns in different locations. Here’s one from September suggesting a 34% rise of divorces in the USA from a similar period the year before.

It’s hardly surprising, of course; after spending 24 hours a day in each other’s company, perhaps for the first time in decades, many couples might re-assess whether their relationship is really what they wanted it to be.

Spare a thought, however, for those relationships that might not have been quite so publicly declared.

We’re talking infidelity, obviously.

It’s not easily measured and the rate changes by location and culture, but perhaps 50% of marriages experience at least one case of infidelity.

Well, that statistic will have taken a massive hit this year.

All those road warriors who would normally spend weeks or even months away from the family home each year have been grounded since March.

Of course, not all of those travellers or their partners stuck at home would have used the opportunity to misbehave, but a significant percentage definitely did, as anyone who’s observed the prevalence of 2nd or even 3rd marriages in the sales team would attest.

Worse, for much of this year the significant wage earner was probably not even leaving the house to travel to their office.

That’s going to have put a real dent in the freedom of either party to engage in “Ugandan Relations” outside the restraints of their wedding vows.

Bill’s Opinion

There probably hasn’t been a year as monogamous as 2020 for decades, perhaps even centuries.

This is excellent news for those who, like me, have married a spouse significantly above their level of attractiveness.

A word of advice for when business travel finally resumes; don’t take an early flight home as a pleasant surprise for your partner. Some knowledge is best unknown.

Toilet paper shortage in Noosa!

Residents of Noosa, QLD, are beginning to suspect a link between the arrival of their new neighbours and a sudden shortage of toilet paper for the second time this year.

Coincidentally, the local hospital has seen an exponential increase in emergency admissions for the rare condition of priapism.

What might be the cause, do we think?

Ah, the extremely rare but surprisingly well-documented (by himself) phenomenon of Accidental Rudd Relevance Syndrome (medical abbreviation; ARRS):

According to recent academic research from the Grievance Studies Department of Washington State’s Evergreen College, confirmed occurrences of ARRS are infrequent and closely correlate to the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, so Australian observers should savour this once in 50 generations opportunity to witness it first hand.

Bill’s Opinion

As we’ve observed before, the only subject Kevin Rudd likes to talk about more than himself, is China.

The virus was a tricky topic for him to publicly navigate as it inevitably requires reaching a conclusion which results in a loss of “face” for Rudd’s highfalutin mates in the Chinese administration.

The recent escalation in diplomatic tensions offer a much safer opportunity of personal relevance therefore, launching a dozen interviews on TV and radio and hundreds of column inches penetrating into sympathetic newspapers.

Hence the potential toilet paper shortage and erectile dysfunctional medical issues no doubt plaguing the normal domestic bliss, Chez Rudd, as he risks serious onanismic injury from the excitement.

Lubricate and hydrate, Kevin. Lubricate and hydrate.

A fool and their money

In news that can’t have improved their experience of 2020, it would seem some less than diligent Australians have discovered they’d been “investing” with a female Bernie Madoff.

In the words of Leonard Cohen when he discovered his manager had walked off with much of his wealth, “that can tend to take the shine off your day“.

Whenever one reads of these Ponzi schemes, the depths of gullibility always astound. This one is no exception; statements of investment accounts that were simply the CBA bank logo cut and pasted on to a fake statement and not even the correct number of digits in the bank accounts.

The inference being, none of these “investors” could have ever logged on to their accounts to confirm the balance.

That’s a level of trust bordering on insane.

Speaking of trust, if you believe her husband knew nothing about the fraud, I’ve got a bridge across the river Thames you might like to buy:

You’re not in trouble“. Riiight.

What was the inflight service like on the private jet to the month long holiday in Aspen, Anthony?

Anthony’s professional life seems to consist of not much activity for several years as a “music producer“. The more cynical and cruel amongst you might suspect he’s been spending a lot more time assisting his wife with her “business” than making shitty bleep bleep music.

Anyway, as we start to run out of new content on Netflix and the cinema while the 2020 break in production flows through to us, this case will be a welcome distraction.

See also, the recent arrest of Joe Anderson and Derek Hatton in the UK’s capital of grief and victimhood, Liverpool. Now that’s a Christmas present worth savouring.

Bill’s Opinion

Stupid and mendacious investments will always find willing suckers and, as long as we don’t fall for them, we get to enjoy the schadenfreude.

However, sometimes one just needs to accept the irrationality and embrace the opportunity. After all, a Ponzi scheme still makes money for some of the initial investors.

Which brings us to this prediction; 2021 will see asset bubbles springing up all over the place. All that easy money being hosed at everything that moves will find a home.

Which asset classes do I think are about to take off?

Gold, silver, the NASDAQ, energy stocks and residential property.

We may as well learn to stop worrying and love the bomb.