The Chinese Rugby League fan, and Mr Toad again…

Saturday at Steelers there was a woman of Asian appearance photographing club team memorabilia. Naturally we asked about this.


Turns out she same from Beijing but has just started living in Wollongong. One of here English teachers had told her that really to learn Australian English you needed to learn about the culture. He recommended Rugby League, and now she is a great fan! Lovely woman. I wished her Happy New Year — in Mandarin. Bless Australia in all its diversity!

Sorry, but it has been rather hard to avoid Donald Tweet lately, who even after a day or two is turning out to be as bad as, if not worse than, I had imagined. Also, can you see any resemblance? I can…


But I don’t think Donald Tweet smokes, or at least I am not sure he does. Mind you his performances sometimes suggest he might have been smoking something. Take just one example:  Trump Goes to CIA to Attack Media, Lie About Crowd Size, and Suggest Stealing Iraq’s Oil. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing!

“I love you. I respect you,” said the president, who ten days earlier likened U.S. spies to Nazi Germany for their role in publicizing an intel dossier packed with allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising information on him.

“There is nobody who feels stronger about the intelligence community and the CIA than Donald Trump,” Trump said, speaking before the wall at CIA headquarters engraved with black stars for the officers who died in the agency’s service. “You’re going to get so much backing that you’re going to say, ‘Please don’t give us so much backing.”

The substance of Trump’s speech focused on the fight against what he called “radical Islamic terrorism,” echoing his inaugural line that it be “eradicated off the face of the earth.” While Trump did not offer any details on how he would do that, he hinted at a more aggressive approach in prosecuting the war on terrorism….

At times, Trump’s remarks veered into political territory unfamiliar to an agency that prides itself on remaining above the partisan fray. He attacked the media, bragged about his election, and bizarrely claimed huge crowds on inauguration day.

White House spokesperson Sean Spicer used his first press statement Saturday to deliver an angry broadside against the media and reports of the inaugural crowd size. “These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong,” he said.

Trump claimed between 1 and 1.5 million attended the inauguration; estimates put it closer to 250,000 attendees.

“I have a running war with the media,” Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings.”…

God help us if this is the garbage we can expect for four more years! Oh, and as all of us could see with our own eyes on our own TV sets in live coverage a day or so  back:


Ochlocracy triumphs but Vegemite comes home!

Great word, isn’t it? Thanks to James Traub on Foreign Policy.

I don’t find it at all impossible to foresee a moment in which criticism carries a price that cannot be reasonably reckoned in advance. Once people have stopped believing in the sanctity of opinion, once they have been convinced that some vast and vague category, like “elites,” holds views not merely wrong but traitorous.

Trump, like his idol Vladimir Putin, will need only a glancing comment to mark an enemy to be hounded. Breitbart News can do the hard work of weaving a tweet into a narrative of betrayal. And if something terrible happens? That won’t be President Trump’s fault, of course, or Breitbart’s. Then courage really will come at a price, and we may yearn for the days when you could live your whole life without knowing if you were a coward.

Do I think this will happen? No, I don’t. I think Trump will fail on one front after another, steadily drop in the polls, lose his ability to dictate congressional action with a tweet, and go into a monumental sulk. Or rather, that’s what I hope will happen. But if this election has taught me anything, it’s not to trust my hopes.

See also Trump Promises ‘America First’ in Defiant and Divisive Inaugural Speech, also on Foreign Policy. And from our ABC: Donald Trump inaugurated as 45th President of the United States;  President Donald Trump’s inaugural address in full. Particularly interesting, I thought, is Mary Lloyd, US election: Donald Trump’s journey a tale of wealth, hard work and controversy. As you might anticipate, I thoroughly agree with Waleed Aly, Voting Should Be Mandatory. Thanks to my cousin Ray Christison for drawing attention to that one on Facebook.

But the big news really is that Vegemite is coming home!


Making Australia great again!

Vegemite is set to return to Australian ownership after dairy company Bega announced it would buy most of Mondelez International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business.

Bega, in a note to the Australian Stock Exchange on Thursday morning, said it would use bank debt to fund the $460 million acquisition….

“Everybody loves cheese and Vegemite and I think that Bega Cheese and Vegemite are just a natural fit,” Bega executive chairman Barry Irvin said.

Baby HP may be moribund, but there is hope…

First off though, I am being a bit spoilt here in Wollongong Library with their free big screen access to the Internet via the NBN’s fibre optic cable! Fast!


That’s a kind of farewell pic of Baby HP: see Computer tragedy (February 2014). And here is another.


Now the news! Yesterday I had a phone call from a Wollongong friend offering to set me up with a new computer! I’ll let you know how it works out! Apparently he is one of a group of Wollongong friends. 🙂

The landslide that wasn’t, plus more on Baby HP

As we all know, 3am our time on Saturday sees the Apotheosis of Donald J Tweet — or something of that nature. This will for good or ill, or at best good and ill, be POTUS.


The Revenant of Oz was actually invited to the shindig, her being such a big fan — but she is alas too busy.

One Nation senator says she decided she could not leave the people of Queensland, and her colleague Brian Burston would go instead….

Burston told Guardian Australia on Monday he was in the process of buying tickets for his trip, which he would pay for himself and not seek to claim under his parliamentary entitlements.

He said he would represent One Nation in Washington after Queensland senator Malcolm Roberts, who received an invitation to the inauguration through his advisor and former Trump campaign worker Darren Nelson, withdrew because of a medical condition.

Hanson, who was next in line for the tickets, said she had decided not to go, citing “work commitments”.

Well, there you go!

Just for the record, let’s review the “landslide” victory furphy. Many have done so:, Trump Landslide? Nope is one.

Despite Donald Trump and his campaign manager describing his election victory as a “landslide,” Trump’s margin of victory actually ranks among the closest in the Electoral College…

…the percentage of electoral votes won by Trump, 56.9 percent, is hardly a landslide by historic comparison.

John Pitney, a professor of American Politics at Claremont McKenna College, put together a chart showing the Electoral College share won by every president since George Washington and found that Trump’s margin of victory ranked 46th out of 58 U.S. presidential elections. (You can view the whole list below.)

“It’s just not true,” Pitney said of Trump’s “landslide” boast….

And then there is FACT CHECK: Trump Falsely Claims A ‘Massive Landslide Victory’.

The Short Answer

Trump contends that the size of his victory was historic, which is not borne out by the results.

Trump won 306 electoral votes to Clinton’s 232. That puts him comfortably above the required 270 electoral votes. But it’s hard to argue this represents a landslide of historic proportions, given that out of 58 presidential elections, the winner has received more electoral votes in 37 contests.

Not to mention the loss by millions in the popular vote. But the system, such as it is, has delivered Donald J Tweet to the White House, a bit of a let-down after Trump Tower, and we’re stuck with it — hoping of course for the best.


Inside the modest Trump pad

Meanwhile, poor Baby HP!

I did manage to get it going in Safe Mode which at least means I can rescue some items from the hard drive — like the picture at the top of this post of  The Donald. But it won’t boot normally any more and thus can’t do Internet, or blog posting.

So here I am again at Wollongong Library!

Bad news on computer

Baby HP received an update on its antivirus program this morning. All went well until restart, when Baby HP (which runs on Windows XP, being as old as the hills) fired BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH over and over again. Alas for Baby XP, and for me, as I am at the moment computerless.

But here I am coming to you from Wollongong Library’s admirable free internet…

There will be delays and glitches for some time though, I suspect, though I have located something to try on Baby XP when I get home, in hope of resurrecting it. And here is a reminder that Chinese New Year draws near, and some other event even nearer, I believe….


Year of the Rooster