Here is the news …

The course of my day took me from place to place.

The radio gives much solace as you deal with Melbourne’s ever increasing traffic, at its best it helps me cope with the scourge of the red arrow. I must vent at length about that one day.

Given the number of ABC channels, paid for out of our taxes and therefore light on the adverts that I do so loathe, I can usually find one where I can take refuge. It is largely a matter of avoiding the moronic (Red Symons, Richard Stubbs) and the raving left wing ratbags (Jon Faine, Phillip Adams, Rafael Epstein) and the cloyingly religious (Rachael Kohn) or all of the above (Waleed Ali). Plus the feminists and American Public Radio.

So maybe it’s the channel surfing that passes the time, until I reach Classic FM and safety in fine music.

The ABC wasn’t at its most balanced today.

Before 9 am ABC News Radio brought me a party political broadcast in favour of Kate Jones Labor candidate for Ashgrove, Queensland. Disguised as news, it had three gushing interviews bagging the incumbent. Julia Gillard followed, I bumped into two extensive extracts from a fawning interview. Oh, how she suffered at the hands of the increasingly schizophrenic, nay maniacal, Kevin Rudd, poor dear, not to mention the misogyny. Didn’t hear her claim that Kevin had ever been guilty of swindling low paid unionists. Had I switched to Classic FM at noon I could have heard the Honorable Julia Gillard make her selection of music hosted by Margaret Throsby.

The only thing worse than sitting at a red arrow when it would be absolutely safe to turn the corner, not a car in sight, is sitting at a red arrow listening to Julia Gillard blame the rest of the world for her incompetence.

Tails I win …

… heads you lose.

It’s what my father used to say before tossing a coin and putting my pocket money back in his pocket but funnily enough people are losing their heads all over the place.

Now, before you go jumping to conclusions this is nothing to do with Islam.

Dismiss from your mind anything that the ever cynical Mark Steyn might say such as …

“Nothing to do with Islam” is not yet the leading cause of death in developed nations, but it’s making impressive strides.

Au contraire, it’s the French. Since I’m not particularly concerned with accuracy, this is from Wikipedia …

The period from June 1793 to July 1794 in France is known as the Reign of Terror or simply “the Terror”. The upheaval following the overthrow of the monarchy, invasion by foreign monarchist powers and the revolt in the Vendée combined to throw the nation into chaos and the government into paranoia. Most of the democratic reforms of the revolution were suspended and the Revolutionary Tribunal sentenced thousands to the guillotine. The first political prisoner to be executed was Collenot d’Angremont of the National Guard, followed soon after by the King’s trusted collaborator in his ill-fated attempt to moderate the Revolution, Arnaud de Laporte, both in 1792. Former King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette were executed in 1793. Maximilien Robespierre became one of the most powerful men in the government, and the figure most associated with the Terror. Nobility and commoners, intellectuals, politicians and prostitutes, all were liable to be executed on little or no grounds; suspicion of “crimes against liberty” was enough to earn one an appointment with “Madame Guillotine” or “The National Razor”. Estimates of the death toll range between 16,000 and 40,000.

Some remarkable facts about the Guillotine can be found <HERE>.

  • The guillotine metal blade weighs about 88.2 lbs
  • The height of guillotine posts average about 14 feet
  • The falling blade has a rate of speed of about 21 feet/second
  • Just the actual beheading takes 2/100 of a second

Remarkable achievement, right up there with the croissant and n-rays.

The last execution by guillotine took place in Marseilles, France, when the murderer Hamida Djandoubi was beheaded on September 10, 1977.

Nonsense you say, those figures are in imperial units, clearly libellous, and look the epicentre of beheadings isn’t in France.

No but, a quick look at the list of former French colonies, and once again since I’m not particularly concerned with accuracy, my source is Wikipedia …

  • Morocco (1912–1956)
  • Algeria (1830–1962)
  • Egypt (ownership (1798–1801))
  • Tunisia (1881–1956)
  • Libya (1943–1951)
  • Sudan (1883–1960)
  • Syria (1920–1946)
  • Yemen (1868–1869)

Clearly, the French have much to answer for but at least they were efficient. As opposed to 0.02 seconds the modern technique with a knife, as practised in the Islamic State, and by Islamic State supporters elsewhere, not necessarily as part of their religion, mark you, is said to take a couple of minutes.

A slap for Slipper …

The former Speaker of the House of Representatives sentenced to 300 hours of community service … that’ll be new for him.

The Magistrate found that he intentionally concealed the true nature of his trips to wineries, had acted out of greed not need and had betrayed the community’s trust.

He was convicted, must repay $954 and must perform 300 hours community service during the course of a two-year good behaviour order.

You’re dumb and you vote …

Well at least that’s what the solar lobby hope.

Democracy hits a bump in the road when the electorate realises it can vote itself the contents of the treasury. The road bumps get bigger and bigger as the Political Parties have to promise more and more welfare to get elected. We could call it a Greek spiral in honour of a spectacular example.

Solar photovoltaic panels are expensive. Your reward, if you put them on your roof, is cheaper electricity. If nothing goes wrong with any of the fixtures and fittings they will pay for themselves in fifteen years or so. Householder thinks hey I can shell out a small fortune now and in fifteen years I will start to reap a profit and instead invests in a macadamia plantation … only five to eight years to wait for the break even point. Solar runs on subsidies and regulated quotas. Without them it will simply trickle along until it really does reach the level of competitiveness we so often hear about.

Who benefits from solar?

The Renewable Energy Target is under review. The solar industry is unhappy at the prospect of having to compete on cost with fossil fuel and they are squealing. Their TV advert features one ugly hag telling you how much she would like cheaper electricity (and indirectly how much she would love you to pay for it). Vote anyone but Liberal.

One thing dumber than voting the entire populace their personal goldmine is to vote one section of industry the keys to the mint.

As an aside, just when will solar be truly competitive?

There are about 8.5 million households in Australia. If you put a 1 kW solar panel installation on each and every one you would generate 8.5 gigawatts of electricity. Subsidise each at $8,000 and the government will shell out $68 billion. By comparison the Loy Yang A coal-fired power station will knock out about twice that amount … even in the dark.