Class of ’95 remembered — and “not Cricket”!

In October 2015 I posted: Class of 95 remembered, and Muslim students today. One student I mentioned there is Jeremy Heimans (now also a Facebook friend.) Do read a great profile of Jeremy by Malcolm Knox in the April Monthly.

He has co-written a book, New Power: How Power Works in our Hyperconnected World – and How to Make It Work for You, which carries personal endorsements from Richard Branson, Jane Goodall and Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza. Heimans might be the most connected and influential Australian on the world stage, yet his profile here is minimal. As GetUp! co-founder Amanda Tattersall says, “Jeremy is a complete genius, but nobody here knows who he is.”

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Well, I know who he is! 🙂

No-one surely could have watched Steve Smith’s emotional press conference yesterday without being moved.  Unless of course you are a British tabloid headline-writer, who managed to be as foul as you would expect from serial scumbags!

I just hope this whole sorry episode leads to a renewal of the more traditional manners of test Cricket. Australia’s new captain seems to have made a good start.

Of course there is from many viewpoints something quite bizarre about the whole matter, as Ross Gittins noted in his excellent commentary, and today even more trenchantly Martin McKenzie-Murray in The Saturday Paper.

A good number of Australians may have been shocked last Sunday morning, but the rest of the cricket world had their belief in our hypocrisy deliciously confirmed.

Hard but fair. The gentleman’s game. It’s just not cricket. There’s a surplus of empty pieties this week, usually invoked in inverse proportion to one’s knowledge of the sport. “Cricket is synonymous with fair play,” the prime minister said. “Integrity is written into the heart of this game,” Guardian Australia’s sports editor wrote.

Really? The game of Bodyline and Underarm? Of Hansie Cronje and Saleem Malik? The game of the News of the World match-fixing sting, and Australia’s tour of apartheid South Africa? Or the game of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh’s light collusion with John the bookmaker, imperfectly buried by Cricket Australia for a few years?

See also Waleed Aly, What the ball-tampering crisis says about us.

No other country to have committed its own ball-tampering offences – including South Africa, whose own convict is currently its captain – has kvetched about it in such a self-flagellating way. Sure, those other episodes may have seemed less shady, less ham-fisted, less characterised by appalling footage and farcical press conferences. But those players from other nations to have taken to the field with a pocket full of mints, in the belief that their sugary saliva could engineer a ball that swings more, were doing something no less premeditated and no less illegal. And unless you follow cricket closely, you’ve probably never even heard about them.

Update 2 April:

Excellent reporting and analysis on the ball tampering affair tonight on ABC’s 7.30: see The long road from Bradman’s moral lesson to Bancroft’s ball tampering.

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Voted today

In the Local Government election, that is!

Coming up of course is the Postal Survey I referred to yesterday, which unlike actual voting is not compulsory. (Here in Oz voting is normally compulsory, with fines if you don’t turn up at a polling station. This is a practice I totally endorse!) There is a clear danger that the Survey could yield a negative result — especially if some boycott it. So don’t! See Support for same-sex marriage falling and ‘no’ vote rising

The NO campaign is a farrago of Chicken Little-ism. Tony Abbott’s sister chops that down very efficiently!

The question put to the people will be simply whether they think same-sex couples should be allowed to marry under Australian law. It is not about the freedom to preach or practice religion, or what is taught by whom to our children, or being politically correct or otherwise. It is just about whether or not every Australian and their family, friends, neighbours and colleagues should have the same right to marry.

Because ultimately the yes and the no campaigns are arguing about the same thing: the special nature of marriage. Everyone intrinsically knows that marriage is a relationship exalted above all others, not just by religious people but by all people. It is the only way, other than by birth or adoption, that we can choose our family. That is why it is enshrined as a secular institution in our constitution and is now administered under our federal Marriage Act.

But it’s the special status of marriage that makes the yes case so compelling. I don’t know a single person who wants to wed – straight or gay – who does not wholeheartedly respect the significance of marriage. All of them believe marriage will strengthen their commitment to each other, their families and ultimately their community, and it defies logic to suggest that letting them into the club will in any way diminish the special relationship of any heterosexual couple. On the contrary, allowing more people who profoundly revere and desire marriage to take that step can only provide greater security for the institution.

And on another matter altogether: I am abandoning my Virgin prepaid internet. It is utterly unreliable now, and very expensive. While I shop around for a replacement I will be availing myself of the free wi-fi in my clubs. Could be a solution that, except I do need internet access at home as well.

Tomorrow when the war began…

Um, such a shame to have a loudmouth idiot in the role of #POTUS, especially given the juvenile lard-arse that “runs” North Korea! Let’s hope the Donald doesn’t get his nightmare!

US President Donald Trump has warned North Korea “will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen” if it continues to threaten the United States.

Key points:

  • Mr Trump made comments a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson left door open for dialogue
  • President’s press briefing was supposed to be about opioid addiction
  • Washington Post says Pyongyang has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery

But within hours of Mr Trump’s threat North Korea’s military said it was “carefully examining” a plan to strike the US Pacific territory of Guam with missiles.

Mr Trump’s comments, delivered to reporters at his New Jersey golf course, came after Japan said it believed North Korea could have developed the technology to miniaturise nuclear warheads — which would enable them to be put on an inter-continental ballistic missile.

“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Mr Trump said during a briefing which was supposed to be about the problem of opioid addiction in the US….

Meanwhile, I have been away as I am getting used to the new version of Windows 10. I find myself forced to use Edge, which I don’t really like, as weird things are happening now with Google Chrome since the Windows upgrade. For example, “log in to Twitter” on Chrome simply vanished every time I tried to link to it, but no problem in Edge. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

And further to the burger question. I am at Illawarra Leagues and can attest that the following is rather good.

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And I did get my mouth around it! Just!

Wi-fi at Illawarra Leagues

Spent some of yesterday at Illawarra Leagues Club. Just a note about the club:

The club was formed in 1947, the inaugural meeting being held on Friday, May 2.

It received it’s license later that year, one of the first clubs on the coast to do so, but it was not until December 12, 1951 that the doors were officially opened.

Illawarra Leagues is the second oldest leagues club in the world, a fact that all those associated with the club are especially proud of. The oldest, NSW Leagues Club, is located in Phillips Street, Sydney.

And here I am:

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One reason I went there was to use their excellent wi-fi (45.9 mb/s) to at last update my Windows 10. That took a while even so, but I had no chance doing it from home. Then, sharing with T and C, friends at the club.

A good afternoon all round.

Junior HP had an outing yesterday

Junior HP likes the Illawarra Leagues Club.

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You see, the wi-fi internet there goes with NBN speed and they allow viewing of YouTube. So after lunch (silverside, yum!) at Diggers, just up the road, I called on the retired wharfie who now spends his time mostly at Leagues. I had introduced the wharfie to Junior HP last week, when we pursued quite a few old songs. This time though I brought headphones, as Junior HP’s own speakers are what you might term minimal.

The wharfie, among other things, had been a swimmer of note in his day. So on YouTube we followed that track through several Olympic Games starting of course with Beverley Whitfield.

Then music. As am I, the wharfie was particularly moved by the Hayley Westenra, Vera Lynn, Fron Choir version of “We’ll Meet Again” from the Royal Albert Hall, sung before The Queen, and Dame Vera herself, at The Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance 2009.

I can get teary listening to that. The wharfie and I are both “war babies”.  My father came home from Papua, his did not.