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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

HELSINKI: “50-50 when we Finnish the deal, kyllä!: that’s 30 penniä for you, out of every markka we make, horky dorky?” contrived Payton L. Inkletter.

Be all that as it may, meanwhile:

In other news…

07th October 2009:

Wednesday: It wasn’t long before dawn when I had got to bed last ‘night’, judging by the bird calls starting outside, and verifying by the clock. The shepherd’s pie had been up for a couple of hours, suffering her usual middle of the night insomnia session, and I ended up joining her in the cot, after working on my ‘Headers Archive’ site, doing a bit of tweaking, but leaving the radical template widening to another day when I actually feel like driving a stick through my head.

The Ashford’s Anonymous went off to her weekly Dianella Spinning Group shindig at Menora, and she set the alarm for me, which contraption, being quite inaccurate, let me sleep longer than was practical for today – but I damn well needed the extra shuteye.

I cleaned up the kitchen, and finally got going to take Bob swimming at almost three in the afternoon, the yodelling yarnfest having returned with the brum brum; it was almost half three when I got to Guildford; I saw his head manager Janine briefly, for only the second time since she took over the house a few months ago; we know each other however from about 8 or 9 years back when Bob was in the homestead nearby.

The pool was not very busy and got quieter as the afternoon turned to evening. We managed a walk later at dusk along the river at Fish Market Reserve, eyes peeled for dolphins, before Bob had a cup of thermos tea. Back at his house, after finishing with the paperwork, I had the longest chat yet with social trainer Richard, a Perth born Aboriginal man, of Wongutha and Noongar ancestry, about the habits of the nomadic tribes along the boundaries of their territories in the pre-white man days; I have particular interest in the Wongutha-Bibbulmun boundary east of Balingup-Manjimup.

I got fuel on my way home at Altone Road Woolies, and managed to catch Kerry O’Brien conduct a bonzer interview with Don Watson, on The 7.30 Report: The More O’Kerry (O’Brien) Volume: the interview was inspired by the publication of his latest book ‘Bendable Learnings: The Wisdom of Modern Management’. Mr O’Brien looked so snappy in his very dark suit, very white shirt, and very grabbing orange shaded geometric patterned tie, setting off that thing on his head beautifully; however, the threads for both men were casual for the actual interview, recorded earlier ex-studio, and Kezza certainly looked in need of the airbrushing Make-up gives him four nights a week back in Ultimo.

Mr Watson was so acutely insightful about the modern disease of obfuscatory speak, and I so loved the moment when he said to KezzaI don't know how you cope every night talking to them!’, referring to politicians; my sympathies added to Mr Watson’s to Kezza, Leigh Sales, Tony Jones, Ticky Fullerton, Ali MooreMr Watson drew a good laugh out of Mr O’Brien, with grand facial contortions to match, when he said ‘...speaking of which, the Church itself has taken it on. When Cardinal Pell signs off his advent letter in the last year or the year before, “May the Lord be with you going forward.”, you think what's going on? The entire history of the Catholic Church it was never necessary to add that to the blessing.If only every interview Mr O’Brien conducted was as happy and jovial as this one – the esteemed and feared journalist would live till five hundred, proving the efficacy of laughter generated endorphins as a fountain of youth, and he’d save a fortune on plastic surgery. And what a delightful speaking voice Don Watson has, as well as such good articulation – so important for damaged cochlear doodle doodahs like mine. A special interview now tucked away in my ABC archive: thank you Mr O’Brien, thank you Mr Watson.

The alleviatory alkaloid watched the remaining Aunty lineup with me till I retreated to my sanctuary for some writing at half nine. Before I knew where I was, it was Lateline time: The Tick(y Fullerton) Check Mark: The ever versatile Ms Fullerton sat in for an AWOL Leigh Sales tonight. Ms Fullerton radiated, wearing a vivid orange-red long sleeved top, her hair setting off what could only be called a vision of loveliness. She had Australian politics on the agenda with her first interview in-studio with Peter van Onselen, and a little later she conducted an powerful on-screen interview with Peter Galbraith, the recently sacked UN's deputy leader in Afghanistan, currently in Bergen in Norway.

This is one of those subjects of burning import to me, and I occasionally write about it here: should we be using and sacrificing our military's personnel, and spending money that's needed for a million other good causes, to prop up a government and a people whose values are very divergent to our own? Mr Galbraith's sacking for disputing Ambassador Kai Eide's, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, handling of the reported fraud in the recent election there, is a disturbing development. I think this was a very good interview, and Mr Galbraith was given ample opportunity to well-nigh diplomatically make his complaints about how he was treated and the gravity of the matter. Ms Fullerton's question regarding the feelings of Australian parents of killed soldiers was very valid, and Mr Galbraith empathised capitally with this, adding 'But I agree and I sympathise with those who ask the question in Australia because it's awfully hard to justify committing troops to fight for a country which has these kinds of elections.'; I would add to this '… and these kinds of values in general (subjugation of women, low/no religious freedom, restriction of ideas-the Media…)'.

Ms Fullerton's emphatic remark 'Those are very strong words, given we're at war' interjected after Mr Galbraith repeated his extensively reported explosive and personally costly point 'There is no doubt that these elections and the fraud that was perpetrated by Afghans, election officials, has given the Taliban its greatest strategic victory since the US war started eight years ago, US-led war started eight years ago today' drew immediate and unrepentant agreement, and rightly so, from the man. Galbraith explained the futility of the pretense of continuing business as usual with Karzai, and implied that only harm would result from sugar coating what's just occurred during the exercise of suffrage in that country. More power to you Mr Galbraith.

I am not convinced that 'democracy' is an unconditional value, especially in places like Afghanistan, where even if the populace votes in an unencumbered fashion, a regime can be elected that stands for very questionable values: take the last Palestinian election result for the Gaza Strip. A democratic result can sometimes empower barbaric government: democracy in the hands of the immature can be a very dangerous institution; only long practice with the appropriate civil mechanisms and structures combined with an enlightened citizenry converges towards perfection. So here this fellow is sacked for trying to illuminate possible - and highly likely - election fraud, but irrespective, it's all in the context of a country that has a thousand other values opposite to Australia's and The West's which even a perfect election wouldn't touch. Neighbouring Pakistan is an endless source of fanatics crossing the border to wreak havoc and shed blood, who care not for Afghanistan, nor Pakistan, only for their version of a theocracy which most of us Westerners find abhorrent (I should note that any theocracy is bad news: the Christian theocracies of the past - and possibly of the future - produced far more human suffering and limitation than they removed); separation of Church and State is an advanced principle, and its practice a measure of a society's maturity.

Peter Galbraith is the image of his famous father, John Kenneth Galbraith, by the way. Yet another valuable Lateline interview for my archive; thank you Ms Fullerton, thank you Mr Galbraith.

Hot on the heels of this interview came Lateline Business: The Ali Moore or Less: Demonstrating yet again that she is consistently the appositely best turned out female presenter on the ABC, Ms Moore looked superb tonight: no point waxing lyrical about her head, for she has mastered the effects with hair and make-up which enhance her natural beauty, leaving the experimentation for the Learners; I will comment on her outfit: a very smart olive greenish broad but subtle striped wide lapelled suit jacket, lifted with a red camisole vee plate, which contrasted excellently with both her skin and the jacket - often I see women paying homage to the former, but neglecting the latter: the result becomes an indefinite extension of their décolletage to who can tell where, and it looks sloppy to say the best. Yes, Ms Moore looked fabulous, and her dress sense is an asset to the Lateline Business masthead.

Paul Shaffer was funny during his interview with Dave Letterman about his book 'We'll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-biz Saga', but I didn't get very excited about the Kiss final act.

I wrote and computed all night, and got some hand lawn watering done outside in the early morning sunlight before hitting the low thread count poly cottons.


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