As I was saying yesterday…

I seem to recall using the phrase “Catch-22”.

What, pray, is the consolation offered by one of the least inspiring people ever to be in Federal Parliament, Kevin Andrews?  Sounds rather like Catch-22 doesn’t it?

Kirsty Needham offers another instance in today’s Sun-Herald.

Young unemployed in NSW and next year’s school graduates are in for a nasty double whammy.

Not only do they face the Abbott government’s tough “earn or learn” welfare restrictions from January 1, but hefty fee hikes for jobs training, courtesy of the state government, will kick in on the same day.

A school-leaver or newly unemployed young person won’t be able to access welfare for six months unless they enrol full-time in a course, under rules announced in the federal budget…

To get a fee concession at TAFE, you will need to prove you are a welfare recipient. But to become a welfare recipient, you will now need to first prove you are enrolled to study…

Now that makes sense, doesn’t it?

While still on Budget-related matters, do read an angry post by Michael Taylor: Can ‘The Australian’ stoop any lower?

Yes, Joe, it is an easy budget to criticise. You knew that your budget would make millions of peoples’ lives more appalling. You deserve the criticism.

But some of your friends at The Australian see it differently. From yesterday’s editorial came this disgraceful piece of filth:

Joe Hockey’s first budget has brought out the whiners and whingers, the grifters and grumblers, the loonies and looters. The culture of complaint is alive and well in our noisy democracy, with myriad platforms available to those who want to participate in an orgy of angst or add to a bonfire of miseries. It is pretty puerile stuff and Bill Shorten’s budget-in-reply speech last night sits comfortably within this immature, facile political debate.

What a display of absolute contempt for the needy, the poor, or the disadvantaged. And such blatant disregard – bordering on mockery – for their desperation.

And so I look out my window and wonder…


Hard to believe it is only two weeks to winter!

Going by the current forecast temperatures for next week, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra could break records for consecutive warm days this late in the month of May.

In Sydney 3 days at or above 25 would be a record for this late in the month, but the monthly average is currently 1 degree off the record and the warmest day so far has been nowhere near the record hottest day of 30.0 in 1919.

The weekend will see a continuation of the mostly sunny skies, light winds and mild days although the mornings will remain cool to cold.

Next week is expected to see several days around 25 degrees so it will be interesting to follow the numbers and see if any records are affected.

Last night’s news did claim that for the Sydney region this is the longest continuous spell at or above 25C for this time of year since records began. See also Beachy weather breaks autumn heat records with more to come.

Not necessarily related – along with recent events in California and Bosnia – is Paul Krugman on the Coming Onslaught of Crazy Right-Wing Climate Economics—From Scalia, Rubio and Pals.

Krugman again:

Why is this crazy? Normally, conservatives extol the magic of markets and the adaptability of the private sector, which is supposedly able to transcend with ease any constraints posed by, say, limited supplies of natural resources. But as soon as anyone proposes adding a few limits to reflect environmental issues — such as a cap on carbon emissions — those all-capable corporations supposedly lose any ability to cope with change.

Now, the rules the E.P.A. is likely to impose won’t give the private sector as much flexibility as it would have had in dealing with an economy-wide carbon cap or emissions tax. But Republicans have only themselves to blame: Their scorched-earth opposition to any kind of climate policy has left executive action by the White House as the only route forward….

Here of course we have continued to walk backwards for Christmas

I’ve tried walking sideways,
And walking to the front,
But people just look at me,
And say it’s a publicity stunt.