Posts Tagged ‘Murdoch’

The corona virus victims will get priority over the Cataract.

March 21, 2020


Our late son, Nicholas and Helvi.

Today there are 900 cases of confirmed corona infections in Australia, which are said to double every three days. This means that by the time my cataract operation is due on the 9th of April there will be 57.600 cases with a possible 1340 people having died. These are grim figures.

Of course, we all know that life has mainly zero survival and most of us will sooner or later have to accept the icy embrace of the hundreds of millions who went astral travelling before us. Now, the good news is that the survival rate of the corona virus is 96 %, which I suppose is better that the rate of survival by rock fishing or sky diving aficionados, let alone drinkers, smokers etc.

I do my best to stay isolated but will cancel my private cataract operation which might be cancelled anyway by doctors having more urgent work to perform than non essential operations such as mine. By the end of April, unless the peak infections are halted by a complete lock-down, Australia will have over 3.500.000 million victims.!

I went shopping this morning and had a coffee at the Bradman cricket café. There was a nice breeze blowing and Milo got his usual share of treats as well as Tess, a female Jack Russell, hopelessly in love with Milo.

I went to Aldi afterwards, and bought eggs, truss tomatoes, a loaf of Multi-grain bread, two bananas, a bunch of fresh broccolini, and a bag of nice looking mandarins. A woman who had bought four huge cartons of vile looking dried Pizza crackers jabbered on how she read in the Telegraph how the Chinese are emptying the Australian supermarkets and posting it back to China to sell for profits. I told her off and so did another lady in front of me. Of course , the Murdoch paper is only good for toilet paper as a last resort or perhaps it should be first

Stay well, dear readers.


Back to Memory Lane and Alexander van der Bellen.

May 24, 2016



Gertrude Cottage

Yesterday we decided to combine a visit to our daughter and grandsons with a visit to a local market near where we used to live. It has been twenty years since we left the inner city suburb of Balmain. Faithful readers of my ‘Oosterman Treats’ of bits and pieces’ might remember we first strayed into this area back around the late 1960’s. Freshly married and with two daughters in tow, we bought ‘Gertrude’s cottage’ for $ 12500.-. It came with glorious views and shimmering sunshine reflected on the hardwood floor just below the Harbour’s bridge and its blue waters. It also came with a couple of woody-weed eating goats.

It was then possible to save and buy a place. It seemed to be within reach of a normal working young couple. Today, that’s not possible. That house would now be over three Million. I don’t understand why this is so. Some say, wealthy Chinese from mainland China are buying houses. Others claim that the shortage of houses are to blame. Some of the more radical (xenophobic) claim that the foreigners are buying up and just leave the houses empty and pick up on the capital gain.

It seems to me an accident waiting to happen. Correction seems inevitable. How can houses be left empty when the need for houses and housing is so great? Look at the refugee camps around the world. Some have housed people for generations. The young grow up into adulthood and have children of their own, all in refugee camps,not knowing anything else.

Anyway, a glimmer of hope can be gleaned from Austria. Alexander van der Bellen has become president. He nipped the anti-refugee right wing contender within a narrow margin. I like Mr van der Bellen already. At seventy three he still enjoys cigarettes ( why should I torture myself giving up smoking at my age) and loves comic books. He is also green and an outspoken champion for the underdog and refugees.

He comes from an aristocratic Russian-Dutch-Estonia background and both his parents were refugees from the Stalinist dictatorship. He is not just a tree hugger but also a professor and an economist. Not a bad mixture. Let’s hope he throws off the anti refugee mentality that now so often seems to grab headlines instead of the much more prevalent and common more humane views of the majority of people. He did win the election!

I do hope that in Australia too, we will see a resurgence of a more humane majority emerging from this steaming racist xenophobic morass of Australia that seems so often to grab the limelight. Mind you, with Murdoch still hanging around, it is not surprising.

All that wedding ‘Hoopla’

October 30, 2013


By Corinne Grant

October 8, 2013

Strap on the angry, it’s Rage Index time! There’s plenty this week to make you more furious than Scott Morrison discovering that Australia is still a democracy.

Weddings, Parties, Anything

According to Liberal logic, it turns out it’s ‘government waste’ to spend money on stuff like climate science and foreign aid, but it’s perfectly legitimate to spend the public’s money on going to mates’ weddings.

Now we know why the Libs took so long to release any policies during the election campaign. They were so busy knocking back the champers and catching bouquets that by the time the election came around, they had barely enough time to scratch together a few half-arsed slogans.

Frankly, considering how much they love a good party, I don’t understand why they don’t legislate to legalise same sex marriage. Think of all the weddings they could booze on at then.

Sophie Mirabella’s wedding was a taxpayer expense for Abbott, the daughter of one of Gina Rinehart’s business associates was a funded expense for Bishop, Barnaby and Gambaro, and travel to a disgraced shock jock’s wedding for Barnaby (again) and Brandis was also on the public’s tab.

Thank goodness they’ve now paid it all back. Well, they’ve paid back the money we’ve found out about, anyway. We haven’t even got to the christenings, bar mitzvahs and spending time on the Gold Coast with the in-laws yet.

It’s not the rorting that’s the problem. (I don’t think anyone in Australia is at all surprised when a politician is found to be using our money for their own personal enjoyment.) What’s blood-fizzingly infuriating about this turn of events is that the Liberals honestly think they’re entitled to it. They’ve only paid the money back to save themselves the bother of media scrutiny. These toffs actually believe they have a right to line their pockets with our money.

Rage Level: very, very low. At least if Barnaby Joyce is off getting tipsy at some rich dude’s wedding, he’s not sitting at the policy table drawing pictures of stick figures and poking himself in the eye with a spoon.

I Know Nuthink!

It turns out the Liberals have been hard done by. The ever-angry Scott Morrison has now come out and, through gritted teeth, explained to all of us that the Libs never said they’d tow the boats back to Indonesia. I suppose that’s technically correct: they were never going to tow anyone all the way back to shore, they were just going to turn them around, dump them in the middle of international waters and sail away.

That’s what Howard did and it worked just fine. (Well, apart from a few people dying, but hey, why quibble?)

Considering the Liberals have been so grossly misrepresented, I wonder why Morrison didn’t say anything during the election campaign? Seems odd, doesn’t it. I guess all that audio footage of Abbott telling radio hosts that turning back the boats worked in the past and could work again was a figment of our imaginations. Gosh we’re a silly bunch of sausages!

Is anyone going to call the Liberals out? Anyone? Mr Murdoch, are you going to run a ferocious, front page campaign calling the Liberals liars? No? Okay, as you were then.

Rage Level: completely irrelevant. Like we’ll ever know if any boats are turned around anyway. We’re under some sort of weird, hybrid martial law now and Morrison is using the military to hide the fact that the Liberal boat policy is a complete failure so far. The military brass seem only too happy to get involved in politics, so I would expect we’ll never find out the truth.

I suppose someone could get off their arse and start up a senate inquiry. Maybe that nice young man from the Motoring Enthusiasts Party could do it. How different could running an inquiry into the potentially illegal use of the military be to flinging kangaroo poo at your mates?

The ALP is off to lunch and will be back… soon-ish.

Lance Armstrong’s ‘Humbling’ ride back to Wealth and Fame

January 21, 2013


We all know that even a split second appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show guarantees wealth and fame. That’s the power of untrammeled capitalism. If you mix that in with the word ‘humbling’ and a couple of sparkling crocodile tears carefully stage managed and filmed from the right angle and boy, do the sponsors start lining up.

Remember a while ago when Rupert Murdoch gave his first performance on the inquiry about the phone hacking scandal? After Mr Murdoch got down on his chair and felt comfortable enough he turned his face upwards towards the camera and announced with the sincerity of  Bill Clinton’s ‘no, I did not have sex with that woman’, ‘ this is the most humble day of my life.’  Today, Rupert’s media empire is capitalized at , give and take a couple of billions,  63  billion and the sixth largest company in Australia. It would not be surprising if the word ‘Humble’ will be subject to copy-rights in the future, might even get a patent taken out on it.  During the beginning of the scandal the company was hovering between 32 and 45 billion. Crime paid off handsomely and the ‘humbling experience’ certainly proved it to be for Newscorp.

I am sure Lance Armstrong’s future is now guaranteed just as much. Film rights, book rights, biographies. Boy oh boy, it’s just the beginning!

Banal confessions dripping with insincerity seems to be mainly the domain of the US. Surely, if Armstrong was sincere he would not seek an interview at the feet of the Goddess of Money and Fame, with all the world-wide fanfare and publicity that it would entail and instead lie low and hide his head in shame. He spouted again and again ‘the humbling’ of it all.

The most ‘humbling’, ‘oh, I am now under a death sentence.’ ‘I don’t deserve that’, he mumbled and humbled. The most ‘humbling’ of all times, he confessed tearfully, was the withdrawal from the Livestrong cancer foundation. Oh, seventy five million dollar a day I am now ever so humbly losing.


The foundation and original seeds of corny confessions might well have been sown some years back by Pastor Bakker and Tammy. Remember the disgraced televangelists, Jimmy and Tammy Bakker and the prostitute giving Pastor Jimmy a bit of light hand relief? The whole world was glued to their TV sets for weeks. For many years, the Bakers indulged themselves in conspicuous consumption funded by their televangelism on both land and satellite TV. No one at the time thought the glitz and glamour the Bakkers surrounding themselves with to be a bit unusual for a nonprofit organization…Jimmy was quoted as saying,” I believe if Jesus was alive today he would be on TV”. After it all came out, the tearstained confession of Jimmy Bakker on TV, would have to be one of the most bizarre events ever to have come out from the schmaltz world of American TV shows. Previous to that his “Praise the Lord” TV and Theme park in South Carolina made millions weekly. Some cynics afterwards thought that PTL always stood for “pass the Loot.”

Well, Mr Armstrong is well on the way of a comeback. The sponsors might sue him but were less shy when he was in the lime-light. Are they also giving back money made while the sponsored products were selling thanks to the fame of Lance at the time? For many years suspicion was rife but money as always speaks loudest. Who would be so silly as to upset the cart that was bringing in the loot?

I will never be able to ride on the back of ‘a humbling experience.’ It seems even more remote I will ever get an invitation to Oprah. Will you?

Go Back Where You Came From. ( never darken our doorstep again)

January 17, 2012

This is now the well entrenched refrain echoing around Australia’s colour- bond fenced off and secluded suburbs. It took us years to get where we are. We are proud of having our own homes, own children, own wives, own Holdens, world’s largest T-bone steaks and we all love our sporting heroes. Never mind those millions displaced through wars or famine. We need security first and if people come here and expect a hand-out, they’ve got another thing coming.

We have forgotten that bit about being a nation of migrants who often came here also from wars and famine. The ‘reffo’of the forties and fifties was also vilified and denounced as knife pullers, garlic munchers, women pinchers and with hairy armpits to boot., but that was a long time ago and Australia was different. Our hearts have ossified since through the long and relentless ranting by politicians with a keen eye on voters. Shock jocks renting the airwaves; have put on the final touches, richly nourishing our dormant xenophobia of years long gone by.

We now have reached new levels of anti ‘illegal’ boat people opinions morphing into ‘facts’ after every bit of Murdoch’s publicity. Those strange looking people, wearing flowing white garments and whose men are bearded have the nerve to arrive unasked and uninvited at our shores. We will continue locking them up without trial for years on end. Deterrents are what we finally aim for. We massage our residents with messages of “all boat people are violent and terrorists, hell-bent on bombing our lovely brick veneer homes and life-styles.” They are also very rich and as a matter of course destroy their birth certificates and all identity papers.

Fortunately we also lock up dozens of children. We know they are not children by x-raying their wrists.

We don’t believe their Indonesian parents or other relatives who tell us that they are still children. They all lie and are all potential illegal future terrorists. Never mind that those children back in Indonesia are sorely missed by parents and siblings. They are also missed for not being there to help out. Often survival is a daily struggle. They do not have large T-Bones. That’s why some were lured on those dangerous ocean boat journeys. It would bring some food on the table, perhaps even an opportunity to give the children the chance to go to school, learn to read and write.

Our intelligence service is not answerable to anyone or anything either, above the law, taking a leaf from North Korea perhaps? People are escorted ‘back to where they came from’ with many questions asked by asylum seekers supporting lawyers, but remaining unanswered. ‘A murderous regime’ is always elsewhere but not here in the land of our dreams, with jailed children and locked away boat people, languishing and out of sight and miles from care or conscience.

The dangerous journey in rickety boats is a last resort for many of those that have already languished in many other camps, often in countries that are overrun by tens if not hundreds of thousands refugees. No one wants to leave home and hearth. As some of them have said; better to drown at least with trying. We have nothing more to lose.

Go back where you came from.