all right

Occasionally adding corroborative details to add verisimilitude to otherwise bald and unconvincing,
but veridicous accounts
with careful attention, indefatigable assiduity, and nice discrimination.

28 February, 2012

Unfit to Lead

 “fingebant simul credebantque.”
—Cornelius Tacitus, Annales, V, 10.*

She Cannot Help Lying 

The PM’s trying
to speak the truth this once, but
she can’t help lying.

Her predecessor
would utter silly fictions
though his are lesser

because he’s rooted;
he tried to claw back power
but he was booted

to the back-bench.  Now
the PM wants to gain the
public’s trust, but how?

It is no surprise
that even her own people
don’t accept her lies.

Her revelation,
that the East Asia Summit
was Rudd’s creation

and the G-20
meeting was proposed by him?
Deception!  Plenty

more of her deceits
are yet to be exposed, but
“global warming” beats

all the rest.  That hoax
is still being extolled by
her as good for folks;

in truth, though, her sham
“climate-change” action is a
great, fraudulent scam.

Even in her bed
Gillard can’t lie straight; none can
trust a word she’s said.

We can’t believe her,
and need a poll to dislodge
this arch-deceiver. 

She may be trying
to be nice about Rudd, but
she can’t help lying.

In the House of Representatives yesterday, our beloved but unprincipled, mendacious, untruthful, treacherous, devious, untrustworthy Prime Minister eulogised the man who, but days earlier, she had exposed as a treacherous, incompetent bully:
“The member for Griffith has served this nation as Minister for Foreign Affairs with distinction, following many of the initiatives in foreign policy that he entered into for this nation when Prime Minister.  Amongst those major achievements include the creation of the G-20—because of how important it was for our nation to be at the top table when the world came together to manage the global financial crisis—and include the work he did to see the creation of the East Asia Summit  [...].”
The first meeting of the G-20 was held on 15 and 16 December, 1999 in Berlin.  The G-20 was proposed by former Canadian Finance Minister Paul Martin; see “Eight is not enough at summit”, by Thomas Axworthy, in The Star of 8 June, 2007:
Canada was once at the forefront of creating international institutions and Paul Martin has continued that tradition by advocating a G-20.  [The former German chancellor, Helmut] Schmidt, the 89-year-old Schmidt has now added his weighty voice to this call.
The first East Asia Summit was held on 14 December, 2005 in Kuala Lumpur.
Kevin Rudd served as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 14 September, 2010 to 22 February, 2012.  He had no hand in creating the G-20, and he did not help establish the East Asia Summit of foreign ministers.

Veritas Vos Liberabit

I don’t care what side 
of politics you’re on, but
they are wrong who lied.

We’ve all heard enough
phony spin.  We cannot trust
those who fake their stuff.

It’s simple:  when you
have to lie, then your claims must

be perforce untrue.

Honest folk delight
in speaking truth—it’s clear-cut;
facts are ever right.

“they feigned and at once believed [referring to the rumoured return of Drusus, the son of Germanicus].”

As soon as unwise
folk fabricate fictions they
believe their own lies.

†  The official residence of the Australian Prime Minister in Canberra is “The Lodge”.

UPDATE (1 March):  see “The PM Lied”.

27 February, 2012

Another Miscellany

See “Opinion Disguised as Science”, by Donna Laframboise, at No Frakking Consensus:
Not for one moment does anyone think it is the role of a handwriting expert to decide whether the accused is guilty. That is the job of the judge and the jury—after listening to a variety of experts, some of whom will no doubt contradict (and cast doubt on) each other’s opinions.
Although the pathologist who performed the autopsy may have private views about an accused murderer’s guilt or innocence we all understand that it would be inappropriate for that medical professional to voice those views within the courtroom—and doubly inappropriate to do so outside of it.
Yet when it comes to climate, everything gets turned on its head.  People with a narrow specialty (in water resources, for example) nevertheless regard themselves as full-fledged “climate experts.”  Taking on the role of judge and jury, they imagine that an understanding of their small piece of the puzzle translates into firm knowledge of the far more complicated big-picture.  They proclaim that multiple lines of evidence all point to the same conclusion—even though they themselves don’t possess the expertise to evaluate the merits of these other lines of evidence.
Also at No Frakking Consensus, see Peter Gleick—Then and Now.

See “Fakegate: Global Warmists Try to Hide the Decline”, by Robert Tracinski, at Skeptic’s Corner:
Fakegate shows us, with the precision of a scientific experiment, several key truths about the global warming movement.  It shows that most warmists, both the scientists and the journalists, will embrace any claim that seems to bolster their cause, without bothering to check the facts or subject them to rigorous investigation.  (Anthony Watts notes how few journalists bothered to contact him before reporting the claims about him that are made in the fake memo.)  And it shows us that warmists like Gleick have no compunction about falsifying information to promote their agenda, and that many other warmists are willing to serve as accomplices after the fact, excusing Gleick's fraud on the grounds that he was acting in a “noble cause.”  It shows us that “hide the decline” dishonesty is a deeply ingrained part of the corporate culture of the global warming movement.
Gleick wasn’t just an obscure, rogue operator in the climate debate.  Before his exposure, his stock in trade was lecturing on “scientific integrity,” and until a few days ago he was the chairman of the American Geophysical Union's Task Force on Scientific Ethics.  So this scandal goes to the very top of the global warming establishment, and it compels honest observers to ask:  if the warmists were willing to deceive us on this, what else have they been deceiving us about?
Between Climategate and Fakegate, the warmist establishment now has zero credibility, and we must call all of their claims into question.
See “Climate-Change Alarmism: Fuelled by Fantasy”, by Ben Pile, at Spiked Online: 
What concerns this sceptic when it comes to that kind of climate alarmism and the bizarre politics it produces, is the possibility that all too often stories precede science.  There is a widespread idea that there are actual and robust measurements of polar bear populations, the extent of glaciers, the rate of sea-level rise, and the extent of polar sea ice.  But in each of these cases, closer examination of the available evidence reveals the role of guesswork in the estimation of these ‘indicators’ of climate change and its effects.  Worse still, perhaps, is the possibility that these ‘indicators’ are presupposed to be in decline for no other reason than the truism ‘climate change is happening’.
Once you presuppose that climate change is happening, it doesn’t take a leap of faith to incorporate the assumption into models to estimate the health of polar bear populations, the progress of glaciers, and the vulnerability of Arctic sea ice.  There were no data showing polar bears and Himalayan glaciers to be in terminal decline.  Even measurements of Arctic sea ice only extend back to 1979.  And so knowledge which is patchy, based on sparse data, estimates and guesswork is fitted into an encompassing storyline of climate change.  Really, they ought to remain disconnected stories, at least until more robust studies can show otherwise.
The most extreme conditions on the planet are naturally the least accessible and therefore the least understood.  Such regions aren’t simply distant; our primary access to them is through the imagination.  It is no coincidence, then, that stories about climate change seem to be located at the hottest, highest, deepest and coldest parts of the world.  The most alarming stories about climate change rest where there is the least data.  Like explorers in search of Yeti, climate researchers hunt frozen landscapes hoping to make the myth a reality.
See “Why the Climate Skeptics Are Winning” by Steven F. Hayward:
The Gleick episode exposes again a movement that disdains arguing with its critics, choosing demonization over persuasion and debate.  A confident movement would face and crush its critics if its case were unassailable, as it claims.  The climate change fight doesn’t even rise to the level of David and Goliath. Heartland is more like a David fighting a hundred Goliaths.  Yet the serial ineptitude of the climate campaign shows that a tiny David doesn’t need to throw a rock against a Goliath who swings his mighty club and only hits himself square in the forehead.
See “AGW—A Falsified Hypothesis”, by Geoff Brown, at The Climate Sceptics Blog.

See “Fakegate: Can’t Hide This Decline”, by Rand Simber at PJ Media:
For the record, I greatly resent being called a “denier,” with its clear — and fully intended, as the LA Times analogy reveals — connotation to Nazis.  I am a skeptic.  I don’t “deny” AGW, because I don’t have sufficient knowledge of how climate works, or its history, to confidently have a strong opinion about it.  What I do deny is that the proponents of the theory do have such knowledge or competence, and my doubts were buttressed by the release not just of the emails that revealed their duplicitous and unscientific behavior, but of the shoddy and unreplicable climate data sets and models themselves.
So, yes, I guess I am a denier.  Here’s what I deny.
deny that science is a compendium of knowledge to be ladled out to school children like government-approved pablum (and particularly malnutritious pablum), rather than a systematic method of attaining such knowledge.
deny that skepticism about anthropogenic climate change is epistemologically equivalent to skepticism about evolution, and I resent the implications that if one is skeptical about the former, one must be similarly skeptical about the latter, and “anti-science.”
As someone who has done complex modeling and computer coding myself, I deny that we understand the complex and chaotic interactions of the atmosphere, oceans and solar and other inputs sufficiently to model them with any confidence into the future, and I deny that it is unreasonable and unscientific to think that those who believe they do have such understanding suffer from hubris.  To paraphrase Carl Sagan, extraordinary policy prescriptions require extraordinary evidence.
On a different note, see “Arrested without Evidence over Accusation of Gun Ownership” at Shall Mot Be Questioned:
There’s a story out of Canada about a guy who was arrested and told by officers that he was being charged with possession of a firearm.  Normally, you would expect this to happen after they found someone in possession of a firearm.
He was given an attorney who was informed of the charges and even had a date set with a judge for a bail hearing for this charge.  At no point did he ever possess a firearm, but they kept him locked up and moved forward with the charges.
With his wife hauled down to the station and his children taken in for questioning by the relevant agency for possible endangerment issues, he signed a document that allowed police to search his home.  They did and there was still no firearm found in his possession.  Finally, they let him go free.
The evidence seems to come from a he said/she said scenario because his 4-year-old daughter drew a picture of a firearm and said the guy holding it was her daddy who would fight off bad guys and monsters.  Yes, a child who thinks monsters are real was used as evidence for the arrest instead of, you know, actual possession of a firearm.
See “Lower than Pond Scum” by Alan Caruba:
On Thursday, February 23, President Barack Obama was on the UM campus to tell the biggest bunch of lies about energy in America I have heard compressed into a single speech.
This President has already set records wasting taxpayer’s money on a range of so-called clean energy and renewable energy “investments”.  Solyndra, the solar panel company that went bust and stuck taxpayers with a half-billion in loan guarantees is just one of those “investments” and I keep waiting for someone to ask why public funds are being flushed down the toilet when, if the companies involved were viable, they could not raise private venture capital?  [...]
All politicians put the best face on their pet projects, but to flat-out lie about one of the most idiotic ideas to replace oil when this nation has enough oil, domestically and offshore, known and estimated to exist, defies the imagination.  It is an insult to every one of us.  And Obama wants to pump $14 million into algae, otherwise known as pond scum.  [...]
Barack Obama has been lying about so many things for so long I doubt he even knows when he is lying or even cares.  It’s not enough to dismiss this saying that all politicians lie because many do not.  Some in Congress right now are desperately trying to get the public in general and voters in particular to understand that America has more debt per capita than Greece.  We are on the precipice of financial collapse and Barack Obama just wants to spend more and more and more; some of it on pond scum.  [...]
This is the same President who stopped the building of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada that would provide more oil for our refineries and not cost the American taxpayer one penny to build.  This is the same President who imposed a moratorium on oil from the Gulf of Mexico even after the courts told him to remove it.  It caused the loss of an estimated 12,000 jobs while rigs departed for Cuba, Brazil and Mexico.
Between now and November, the President will be out campaigning and telling the same lies.  The rise in the cost of oil isn’t just a seasonal thing though prices have usually gone up in the summertime when people travel more for vacations.  It’s up because the Iranians are closing in on making their own nuclear weapons and their own missiles to hit, not just Israel, but the U.S.  It’s up because it is essential to ensure that the tankers oil-producing nations around the Persian Gulf can enter and exist it via the Strait of Harmuz.

The world isn’t running out of oil and is not about to run out.  The Earth floats on an ocean of oil despite the rising demand from Asia and other developing nations.  To replace foreign oil with algae-based fuel would require a chemically-controlled tank the size of the State of Colorado, about 69.3 million acres.
An Ohio woman who compared animal-welfare work to the liberation of World War II concentration camps has been charged with soliciting a hit man to fatally shoot or slit the throat of a random fur-wearer, federal authorities said.

24 February, 2012

The Dangers of Fracking

Wicked Frackers Use Dangerous Materials

I have it on the
best authority* that they
also use fine gold

for their fracking, and
myrrh and costly frankincense
ere it gets too old.

Indeed, no evil
is too much for those frackers;
they grow overbold

since they do their work
for profit—yes, for money!
or so I’ve been told.

*  well, I assert it:
science is now based on what
we wish to uphold.

A slightly different, earlier version was written as a comment on Bishop Hill’s “More tactical lying”.  The satanic process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), according to allegations of its opponents, involves the use of lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydrochloric acid, formaldehyde, blood of newborn babies, bats’ wings, monosodium glutamate, the crushed dreams of pious environmentalists, dried toads’ livers, a dash of cayenne, soap, blue kryptonite, worn tyres and old velvet jackets.

UPDATE (9 April, 2013):  see “‘Fracknation’ Reviewed”.

23 February, 2012

Not an Incredible Car

In an advertisement on television for the Honda Jazz, I learn the automobile is “incredibly versatile and incredible value”.  Well, I don’t believe that.  It’s a car which, though able to take me from one place to another in modest comfort rather believably, does not check my mail for me or tune my guitars or pay the bills or prepare delicious meals or explain the mechanisms of pelagic warming or make the silly protestations of our current prime minister listenable.  As for the value, if instead of being required to fork out out nearly eighteen grand for the car I had to hand over a cardboard box containing old, decrepit socks, whereupon I then received as a bonus a voucher for unlimited free petrol and a certificate granting me and my heirs perpetual possession of all the rhodium in the known universe, that would be approaching incredible value.

credibly versatile and credible value

22 February, 2012

A Miscellany

Take the Global Warming Test.

It must be wearying to take so many vacations, so it’s no wonder that Michelle Obama needs a holiday.  See “Well it has been a whole month! Just weeks after 17-day Hawaii vacation Michelle hits the slopes with daughters on Aspen ski trip”, by Hannah Roberts of The Daily Mail.

Benjamin Sarlin, at The Daily Beast, explains the mechanics of presidential speech-writing in “Write-Your-Own Obama Speech”.  See also a comment from jd, at PJ Media.

See “The Not-So-Vast Conspiracy” at Junk Science.

See “First Global Warming – Now Global Sweetening!”, by Jim Yardley, at American Thinker:
From the same sort of academic busybodies who gave us the ever-popular global warming panic comes a new prediction of catastrophe.  [...]
Apparently, three researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) have decided that sugar must be regulated in the same way in which tobacco and alcohol are regulated.  The three scientists [...] argue that it’s a misnomer to consider sugar just “empty calories”:  “There is nothing empty about these calories.  A growing body of scientific evidence is showing that fructose can trigger processes that lead to liver toxicity and a host of other chronic diseases.  A little is not a problem, but a lot kills”slowly.”  [...]
In the article, [co-author] Dr. Schmidt claimed that she and her cohorts were being very sensitive to individual freedom of choice.
We’re not talking prohibition.  We’re not advocating a major imposition of the government into people’s lives.  We’re talking about gentle ways to make sugar consumption slightly less convenient, thereby moving people away from the concentrated dose.  What we want is to actually increase people’s choices by making foods that aren’t loaded with sugar comparatively easier and cheaper to get.
Isn’t that reassuring?  They advocate only a minor imposition of government into people’s lives.  Perhaps that’s somewhat akin to being just a little bit pregnant.  And isn’t it wonderful that they want to make “foods that aren’t loaded with sugar comparatively easier and cheaper to get”?  It’s embarrassing to never have realized that sugar and candy companies were the reason why a stalk of celery is so hard to find ... and costs as much as a new Volkswagen.  No, come to think of it, most sugar-free foods are a lot cheaper than those with sugar, right?  Unless they used to have sugar, and now manufacturers charge more after they label the same food “sugar-free.”
At New English Review, Emmet Scott asks “Who Destroyed Classical Civilisation?”
For centuries scholars assumed that the civilization of ancient Rome, the civilization we now call “classical,” was destroyed by the barbarian tribes of Germany and central Asia who, during the fourth and fifth centuries swarmed into the Empire and destroyed the political power of the Eternal City.  The migrations of the Goths, Vandals, and Huns, were held responsible for reducing Europe to an economic and cultural wasteland, and initiating the long period of backwardness we now call the “Dark Ages.”
This was the view that prevailed till the sixteenth century, at which point, in the wake of the Reformation, a new suspect was added: the Christian, or more accurately, the Catholic, Church.  According to this idea (one that remains strikingly popular in the English-speaking world), Christianity was corrupted beyond recognition after the time of Constantine and from the fourth century onwards a power-hungry Church hierarchy, in cahoots with the Imperial authorities, kept the population of Europe in subservience and ignorance, effectively completing the destructive work of the Barbarians.  [...]
[Belgian historian Henri] Pirenne began to look at the wider European picture; and [...] arrived at a radical conclusion: classical civilization had not been destroyed by the Goths, Vandals, or Huns, or indeed by the Christian Church.  It was destroyed by a people who it had, even then, become fashionable to credit with saving Western Civilization: the Arabs.  The evidence, as Pirenne was at pains to show in his posthumously published Mohammed et Charlemagne (1938) seemed incontrovertible.  From the mid-seventh century trade between the ancient centers of high culture in the Levant and the West seemed to have come to an abrupt halt.  Luxury items originating in the eastern Mediterranean, which are mentioned routinely in the literature until the end of the sixth century, disappear completely by the mid-seventh century, at the latest. 
[...]  Worst of all, perhaps, from the perspective of culture and learning, the importation of papyrus from Egypt seemed to have entirely ceased.  Pirenne stressed that fact that this material, which had been shipped into Western Europe in vast quantities since the time of the Roman Republic, was absolutely essential for a thousand purposes in a literate and mercantile civilization; and the ending of the supply would have had an immediate and catastrophic effect on levels of literacy.  [...]
Thus for Pirenne the detachment of the West from the East, politically, culturally and religiously, was a direct consequence of the arrival on the world stage of Islam.  “Without Mohammed,” said Pirenne, “Charlemagne is inconceivable.”
Melanie Phillips reveals, in “When a seven-year-old is branded a bigot”, that the mother of a young boy was told “to sign a form admitting he was racist”:
So what was the heinous act this child had committed to cause him to be branded in this way? Why, merely to have asked a five-year-old boy in the playground whether he was ‘brown because he was from Africa’.
What on earth is racist about that question? It does not express a hateful dislike of, or racial superiority over, another person on account of the colour of their skin. It merely wonders, in a child-like way, about the reason for that colour.
It is thus a perfectly inoffensive question from a curious child. The reason for the five-year-old’s brown skin is, indeed, that his ancestry lies in another continent. [...]
When George Orwell created his fictional ‘thought police’ and ‘Ministry of Truth’, he was attacking Stalinism and its attempt to re-configure human psychology itself.
Incredible as it may seem, that’s what we have in Britain with ‘political correctness’, which should more properly be called cultural Stalinism — a regime of oppression and intimidation in which even innocent children are being branded as bigots.
Webb and Mitchell shew Jesus relating the parable of “the Good Samaritan”:

16 February, 2012

The Cowardly Kim Carr v. a Courageous Kim Carr

In real life*, the Hon. Kim Carr, Minister for Manufacturing, is a compliant coward: 

At a Cabinet Meeting, the Hon. Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, is droning on in his usual boring way and as he orates he notices that Kim Carr, then the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research,  is taking notes; he stops, aghast.
Mr. Tony Burke:  I see notes are being taken.  That makes me uncomfortable.
Ms. Julia Gillard:  That’s right, there’s no need for taking notes.
Sen. Kim Carr:  [He lays his pen on the table.]  Sorry.
Mr. Tony Burke:  Right.  As I was saying in laborious detail—

In an alternative reality, however, the Hon. Kim Carr could be a courageous nonconformist: 

At a Cabinet Meeting, the Hon. Tony Burke, Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, is droning on in his usual boring way and, as he orates, he notices that Kim Carr is taking notes; he stops, aghast.
Mr. Tony BurkeI see notes are being taken.  That makes me uncomfortable.
Ms. Julia Gillard:  That’s right, there’s no need for taking notes.
Sen. Kim Carr:  [He holds his pen over his open notebook.]  So?
Ms. Julia GillardThere’s no need for taking notes.
Sen. Kim Carr:  There may be no need, but I want to take notes.
Ms. Julia Gillard:   We have official note-takers.
Sen. Kim Carr:  Well, official note-takers have been known to miss details which I might need to recollect later.  My notes help me remember details which are pertinent to my ministerial responsibilities and which I might otherwise forget.  Some people have such good memories that they have no need of notes; I, however, need to transcribe the occasional few words to assist my memory.  Am I also forbidden to transcribe imaginary notes in my mental notebook or jot down a few words once I’ve left this meeting?  What a bizarre injunction!
Ms. Julia Gillard:  Nonetheless, I insist that none take notes.  It’s the rule. 
Sen. Kim Carr:  Are those with good memories permitted to make mental notes without the aid of pen and paper?
Ms. Julia GillardLook, I’ve just given the best answer I can to your question.
Sen. Kim Carr:  But may I remember what colleagues say?
Ms. Julia Gillard:  I heard your question and I’ve answered it.
Sen. Kim Carr:  In other words, I ought not pay attention to anything? 
Ms. Julia GillardWell, I’ve given you the answer I’m going to give you. 
Sen. Kim Carr:  All right, in order not to remember details which might not be written by the official note-takers, lest I hear something I recall later, knowing that the only participation required by a member of Cabinet is to make his own report and then read the official notes, I shall hear no more.  [He closes his notebook and places it and his pen inside one of his capacious suit’s voluminous inner pockets, extracts a portable musical device from another pocket, plugs the earphones within his ears, makes a selection from the device’s menu, closes his eyes, and nods whilst listening to that marvellous song, “Faking Man-Made Global Warming”, and softly sings along with Mann and Jones et Al.“How shall we deal with egregious errors?”
Ms. Julia GillardKim?  Kim!  KIM!
Sen. Kim Carr:  Sorry, I can’t hear you.  I don’t want to take notes.  “As good as global warming”— 

Sen. Carr, by the way, is no longer a member of Cabinet.

The Australian revealed today that the Prime Minister told ministers at a cabinet meeting on October 17 last year that they could no longer take notes of proceedings and instead needed to rely on official note takers.
Amid a series of cabinet leaks, Senator Conroy said some of his colleagues had become “uncomfortable” at other cabinet members taking their own notes during the meetings.

11 February, 2012

The Test of Mortals

οὐ ψεύδεϊ τέγξω λόγον:
διάπειρά τοι βροτῶν ἔλεγχος ...

—Pindar, Olympian IV, 17-18.*

On Olympic Poets

Who would be able
to judge the worth of poems
in competition?

These days, few even
read poems.  Would you choose an

lecturers no longer have
the erudition

and modern “poets”
seldom have technical skill.
No, my suspicion

is that, if poets
were to compete in the games,
the exhibition

of their works would lead
to very swift regret for
such readmission.

*  I’ll not stain with lies
   the saw: “the test of mortals
   is competition”.
†  a comment (edited slightly) to a suggestion by a friend, on Facebook, that more cerebral and artistic competitions—for music and poetry, say—ought to be reintroduced into the Olympic Games.

10 February, 2012

The PM’s Gag

Meek, Muzzled MPs Lament

No-one is speaking
to the media without
first humbly seeking

the leader’s blessing.
She does this to stop leaking
from Rudd, who’s messing

with her low rating.
Members can’t be confessing
or validating

how they care about
naught but accumulating
pensions.  They lack clout

so none is seeing
press gallery mates without
the PM’s agreeing.

‘Everyday’ and ‘Every Day’

A message I sent to Yakult Australia by way of its website:
Yakult’s main slogan is “Everybody. Everyday”, which is intended, according to your website, “to reinforce the message that every family member can benefit from drinking a bottle of Yakult daily.”
Everyday, however, is an adjective meaning “mundane”, “ordinary” or “common-place”.  Every day is an adverbial phrase meaning “daily”.  If you believe spaces don’t matter and that some time has the same meaning as sometime, that all spice is the same as allspice, any way is the same as anyway, at one means atone, a top means atop, or even that no dose means the same as nodose, you’d be wrong.
If you can’t get basic spelling right, how can I trust you to identify and measure ingredients accurately, correctly and safely?  If you want to convey the message that “every family member can benefit from drinking a bottle of Yakult daily”, your slogan should be “everybody, every day”.
UPDATE (17 April):  see also my similar, recycled message to Segway.

08 February, 2012

Whose Bright Idea?

An e-mail I sent to the Hobart City Council:
This morning I walked through Princes Park twice—wandering into the city and back home again—and both times I saw disappointed children discover that the play area and equipment therein were inaccessible, and walk away saddened, because workmen were conducting some repairs or maintenance. Whose bright idea was it, what genius did it take, to schedule work on the play area the week before schoolchildren returned to State schools instead of, say, next week?
Was there nowhere else in the entire city of Hobart wherein the two workmen I saw could not have been productively employed?  Were the borders of the play area so decrepit and dangerous that the remedial work could not be delayed one week?  Are you unaware of neglected footpaths, particularly dangerous to the disabled, which ought to be repaired?  Have you no interest in paths which are perilously overgrown with thorny vegetation which could be pruned?  Is the council so full of oblivious nitwits and unobservant nincompoops (who, seemingly, never walk anywhere in the city) that none could think of a better idea than to close a play area when it would be most likely to be used?
One time, a few years ago, I was walking down Campbell Street and encountered a blockage with a sign revealing that the footpath was closed and that pedestrians had to use the footpath on the other side of the road; as soon as I crossed to the other side of the road, however, I encountered a blockage with a sign advising pedestrians that the footpath was closed and that they had to use the footpath on the other side of the road.  There was no notice further up the street advising pedestrians to seek a detour. Clearly, the council employs only the smartest of planners.
Perhaps, however, rather than being the fault of clumsy planning, such evidently inexpert decisions are deliberately made by council employees who dislike pedestrians and detest children at play.  Are your planners miserable bigots or are they just incompetent?
I received this automatic response:
Your email has been received by the Hobart City Council and referred for appropriate action.
Thank you