Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Quote for the Day


Separated at birth?
The second pic is Quentin Tarantino.

By the way . . . 

Reader Comments and Contributions . . .


Some funnies from Ron T (USA)::

Thanks Ron.


An email from Philip G (Aust) about a significant inland rail moment:

Hi Otto,

Apart from Bytes and Landline not a lot of good news is provided to city dwellers. The following story was in a regional online newspaper - I saw it via the Boorowa News. The overall inland railway is big news but the small 100km section between Parkes and Narromine delivered a lot of benefit to regional locals and city based manufacturers.

Thought it might be of interest to your readers.

All the best. 


Thanks Philip.


Some funnies from Leo M (Aust):

Thanks Leo.


Some political comment from Tim B (USA) in response to the Joe Hildebrand article:

Greetings Otto,

A most interesting bytes on Saturday concerning the decay of modern politics. Joe Hildebrand hit the nail on the head with his six words that defined how one feels about their particular candidate. I’m assuming that when he says modern politics he is going back to the time Bill Clinton, womanizer par excellent, was caught with his pants down and still beat the impeachment conviction. My brother, a staunch liberal Democrat, told me,” He’s a c@#t, so what.” He didn’t actually say those very words, but he did say Clinton’s sex life was of no concern to him. The view of, what he/she can do for me is now the bottom line, character has no play in politics anymore. 

The US now has on the one side Trump, and on the other side, Biden/Harris, who you said nothing about. We dare not say “She’s a c*@t, so what” even though being the mistress of Willie Brown would surely be appropriate. I think also that it was Kamala Harris that said in the primary debates, Biden is not fit to govern, and I believe all women who have accused him of sexual harassment. 

Out of 350 million people you would think we could come up with better candidates, we don’t, so it all boils down to who is going to do better by me. Sad.

Stay safe Otto,

Tim B

PS: The electoral college is a stroke of genius by the founding fathers. It makes sure we are not governed by just the left and right coasts.

Thanks Tim.


Monday, September 21, 2020

Quote for the Day

 More great Presidential quotes . . .

What's in a Name? . . .


Some risqué content . . . 


Yesterday I posted in full Joe Hildebrand’s article about “6 words”. 

Today I’m posting in full an item from the news that is too good to pass up . . . 


September 20, 2020 


Sydney barrister in fight over his Lamborghini’s ‘offensive’ number plate 

A top Sydney barrister has got into a legal battle of his own with Transport NSW over the cheeky number plates on his yellow Lamborghini. 

A top Sydney barrister has got into a legal battle of his own over the “offensive” number plate on his bright yellow Lamborghini, which reads: “LGOPNR”. 

Peter Lavac said most people would never connect the dots and realise his number plate was cheekily saying “leg opener”. 

But at least one person did, in fact, connect those dots, and soon Transport NSW was calling for his plates to be removed. 

“Tough s***,” Mr Lavac unapologetically told The Sunday Telegraph. 

Transport NSW gave him 18 days to change his number plate, writing in a letter: “Transport for NSW determined that these number plates could be considered offensive and must be returned.” 

From Palm Beach in Sydney’s northern beaches, Mr Lavac fought for his right to keep the number plate and challenged the letter in his local court on September 1. 

He argued it was a free speech issue. 

“I resent anyone who’s trying to violate my freedom of speech and expression,” the former Hong Kong crown prosecutor said. 

“They (the number plates) are meant to be humorous, tongue-in-cheek, funny and entertaining. 

“That is how most people find them when it’s explained to them. 

“But how could you possibly construe recreational sex between two consenting adults as ever being offensive or demeaning in any way, shape or form? 

“How many other little Aussie battlers who have similar bullying letters, have caved in and laid down and let (Transport NSW) walk all over them because they didn‘t have my resources or legal expertise to stand up to this and challenge them?” 

In the end, Transport NSW backed down, which Mr Lavac believed was because they used an outdated section of the law. 

Defence Barrister Peter Lavac used his acquired wealth in the legal profession to buy a sports car and add on an offensive number plate. 

Transport NSW safety, environment and regulation deputy secretary Tara McCarthy said that the department relies a lot on members of the public to report offensive plates, as many controversial number plates slip through the vetting process. 

“If a member of the public finds a plate offensive they can report it to Transport for NSW which will investigate and the plate may then be recalled,” she said. 


The Yay for the Day goes to Peter Lavac.


The topic What’s In a Name? also lets me repost an item that I have posted previously but also a golden oldie . . . 

You know that classic oldie about how Native Americans get their names. . . 

A Native American lad asks the tribe’s chief how he names the tribe’s children. “When a papoose is born,” says the chief, “I enter the teepee and hold the child in my arms, then I walk outside and the first thing I see is what I name that child. That is why your brother is named Lone Eagle and your sister is Moonlight on Water. Why do you ask, Two Dogs Fucking?” 

I came across a reference to a possible source for that joke, a book called Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. Even if that book is not the origin of the joke, the variation in the book on the classic joke is quite witty: 

"Why are you called One-Man-Bucket?" 

"...In my tribe we're traditionally named after the first thing my mother sees when she looks out of the tepee after the birth. It's short for One-Man-Pouring-a-Bucket-of-Water-Over-Two-Dogs." 

"That's pretty unfortunate." 

"It's not too bad. It was my twin brother you had to feel sorry for. She looked out ten seconds before me to give him his name." 

"Don't tell me, let me guess. Two-Dogs-Fighting?" 

"Two-Dogs-Fighting? Two-Dogs-Fighting? Wow, he would have given his right arm to be called Two-Dogs-Fighting."

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Quote for the Day


RIP Ruth Bader Ginsberg (March 15, 1933 – September 18, 2020)

Bonus quote:

6 Words

We here in Oz constantly wonder at the US political system. Some of the things about US elections and politics that confuse us: 
- the Democratic Party destroying itself every 4 years when selecting a candidate to run; 
- the electoral college system; 
- the voting being on a weekday; 
- voting not being compulsory; 
- that unlike the position of the Prime Minister, the President is not selected by the parliamentarians of the party in government. 

No doubt the Americans are just us nonplussed that: 
- in a democracy, we fine voters for not voting unless they have a reasonable excuse; 
- our preferential system of voting; 
- we change our Prime Ministers as soon as the polls start falling; 
- the party MPs can kick out the PMs. 

Where we really scratch our heads is wondering how things can be said, and done, in the US by political leaders which if done in Oz would create such scandal, condemnation and political fallout that it could result in the loss of office and government. 

If Donald Trump’s actions and words had happened here, featuring a local politician, the response and flow on effects would be quite different from what has been happening in the US. 

That is why today I am reposting an article by Joe Hildebrand that was published yesterday on news.com. The original can be read at: 

He is one of my favourite columnists whose articles are always worth reading, the item below offering some insights and a spin on the US elections that I hadn’t considered. 

Joe Hildebrand: Just six words can sum up modern politics 

Just six words can sum up what people think of modern politicians. But it is a lesson that political parties continue to ignore. 

September 19, 2020 

Perhaps the greatest ever lesson in modern politics was relayed to me by the man with whom I now share a microphone on 2GB. 

It was a decade ago and veteran radio host John Stanley and I were rummaging through the nuclear fallout of the Labor caucus’s fateful decision to knife Kevin Rudd, a first term prime minister, in the dead of night. 

Chief among the reasons was Rudd’s personality – his perceived contempt for cabinet colleagues and top bureaucrats, his stubbornness and narcissism, his temper tantrums and cool disdain. 

Hardened backroom operators who once buried people over a plate of shredded beef at the Golden Century Chinese restaurant now clutched their pearls at such unbecoming behaviour and so buried Rudd too for his rudeness. 

Bringing down a government for bad manners seemed like something of an overreach to both me and John and to illustrate the point he told me about a chance meeting he had with a Labor elder statesman at a Sydney cafe. 

Stanley rattled off the laundry list of complaints about Rudd and the wise old warrior simply shrugged his shoulders. 

“So he’s a c**t,” he said. “So what?” 

There is more political wisdom in those six words than in a thousand polls or focus groups, neither of which have any value unless you know how to use them. 

Put bluntly, most people have the same view of all politicians. The only thing they care about is which one is going to do more for them. 

US President Donald Trump’s latest scandals are unlikely to bring him undone in the election. 

The art of character assassination might have been an effective weapon in more puritanical times but in the age of social media, in which virtually every public figure is instantly scandalised by some outrage or another and such facts are rarely if ever agreed upon, it has no use. 

It is therefore staggering that Democrat strategists and activists genuinely still believe that heaping one more scandal upon Donald Trump, a man whose entire career already rests on a scaffold of scandals, will finally bring him undone. 

Lest we forget, this is a man who was publicly caught on tape in 2016 saying that when meeting women he could just “grab ‘em by the pussy” and got elected President of the United States a month later. 

Now, four years later, the same people are convinced that reports of some vile comments he made calling fallen US soldiers “losers” and “suckers” will guarantee his loss in six weeks’ time. 

Did he make the comments? Probably. Were the comments disgraceful? Certainly.

Will they cost him the election? Almost certainly not. 

For the record, I made this prediction on the US politics podcast I’m Usually More Professional more than a week ago based on nothing more than a hunch. 

Now the numbers are in. 

In a Hills-HarrisX poll conducted in the days following the Atlantic Magazine’s expose of the comments, Trump’s approval rating actually rose to a three-month high of 47 per cent. And this is not just my analysis. 

The headline in Newsweek could not have been clearer: “Trump Approval Rating Rises Despite Controversial Atlantic Article, Poll Shows”. 

Obviously, this is not an election-winning figure but it is equally clear that the reported comments did not hurt his standing and possibly fed into his supporters’ ardent belief that there is a media conspiracy to sabotage his re-election. 

Of course, there is also the continuous question of whether polls can be trusted given their failure to predict Trump’s victory last time, not to mention similar discrepancies in the UK Brexit vote and the 2019 Australian election. 

There are countless words to be said about this but the simple fact is that all these polls underestimated the right vote, so were the same assumption to be made about this one Trump would be doing even better. 

This brings us to another unlikely prediction I made two weeks ago both here and on the podcast, namely that if Trump got re-elected it would be on the back of progressive middle-class women. 

This group, I suggested – again purely on a hunch – would be both the most worried by the violence of the rioting in the US and the least likely to admit to pollsters they would vote for Trump. 

This is the great question of the so-called “shy voter”, a phenomenon so opaque that pollsters are divided as to whether it even exists. 

For political analysts, it is the equivalent of what astronomers call dark matter or dark energy. It cannot be seen in and of itself but explains things that otherwise have no explanation. 

And, surprise surprise, it might just be real. Another pollster told Bay News 9 – a cable news service in Florida, the state which Trump shocked the world by winning in 2016 – that there did indeed seem to be some strange forces at play. 

Mason-Dixon polling head Brad Coker pointed specifically to the state of Wisconsin, one of the classic Midwest states that was assumed to be a Democrat stronghold yet swung for Trump in 2016. 

As the article states, Hillary was supposed to be a shoo-in – up at least five percentage points on the night before the election – but Trump snuck home. 

Why? “Coker cites the discrepancy in pre-election and exit polls with one specific demographic.” 

And who could that be? “White women with college degrees.” 

This group was telling pollsters they supported Clinton by a margin of more than 20 per cent. According to exit polls that margin was in fact just seven points. 

Wisconsin is of course also the home of the once sleepy regional city of Kenosha, which is still reeling from mass rioting and killings after yet another police shooting of a black suspect. 

One can only imagine how secure those college-educated white women are feeling now. I suspect defunding the police isn’t top of their list of priorities. 

And so if the Democrats’ assumption is they will turn away in disgust from Trump after his latest crude comments I suspect they might be disappointed. 

Enough already voted for him after knowing what he might do if he met them and clearly decided the benefits outweighed the risks. 

Maybe they were more worried about a bad economy than bad language. Maybe they were more worried about faux outrage than false promises. 

And maybe they just thought to themselves: “So he’s a c**t. So what?” 

Joe Hildebrand is co-host of the US politics podcast I’m Usually More Professional and Nights with John Stanley on 2GB from 8pm Thursdays

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Quotes(s) for the Day

 Inspiring quotes from past U.S. Presidents . . .

By the way, for those who don't know what a "Rick burp" is (and that includes me), it is a burp made during speech, named after the character Rick in "Rick and Morty", an American adult animated science fiction sitcom.

Sydney Suburbs continued: Clifton Gardens, Clontarf





Clifton Gardens is located in the local government area of the Municipality of Mosman and is part of the Lower North Shore.

Name origin:

Early settler Captain E. H. Cliffe purchased a 23-hectare (56-acre) estate on the waters edge, he named it "Cliffeton" and it is believed that the area's name was derived from that.


Clifton Gardens features an affluent residential area, a big contrast to the earlier mentioned Claymore.

It is home to several beaches and wharves on Sydney Harbour.

Clifton Gardens is also a popular fishing spot.

Clifton Gardens was developed as a picnic spot in the late 1800s, with a local hotelier building a wharf and dance pavilion. In 1909, Sydney Ferries Ltd purchased the estate, and further developed the area, including a large swimming enclosure. The structure burned down in 1956.

Today, Clifton Gardens is touted as ‘remnant bushland’, offering birdwatching, a netted swimming enclosure, change rooms, a fenced playground and spectacular views over Chowder Bay.

There is a walking track from the wharf.  It heads towards the playground-end of the beach, then  along the beach, passing the playground and rocky outcrop on the left to tend right onto a boardwalk. The boardwalk takes the walk to the lower gate of Chowder Bay.  The Bacino Kiosk, just next to Clifton Gardens, is a smaller version of the Bacino Bar above at Chowder Bay. This kiosk supplies passers-by with a home-blend coffee and sandwiches.  Continue following the walking track to Georges Heights where you will see a gun emplacement with a commanding 180degree view over the entrance to the harbour. The old gun emplacements are still in position, with their arcs of fire explained in the signs nearby. The view from this lookout is magnificent



Chowder Bay, Clifton Gardens 

Submarine miners depot, wharf


Submarine miners depot, Clifton Gardens


Bacino Kiosk


WW2 gun emplacement, Georges Heights


Clifton Gardens Pool, 1909


Clifton Gardens Pool, 2015


Adams' Clifton Gardens Hotel, 1908\

Built in 1871, the hotel and pleasure gardens were purchased by Sydney Harbour Ferries Ltd in 1906.  The hotel was renamed the Clifton Gardens Hotel.  The beginning of the end for this sort of entertainment came with the construction of the Harbour Bridge in 1932, and the consolidation of this area for the doctors, and lawyers, and company directors of the city. Along with the popularity of the pleasure gardens, parcels of the original Cliffe Estate were sold off for sububan developments




Clontarf is located 13 kilometres north-east of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Northern Beaches Council, in the Northern Beaches region. 

Name origin: 

Clontarf gets its name from a coastal suburb of Dublin, known for the Battle of Clontarf in 1014 which freed Ireland from foreign domination. In Irish it means “meadow of the bull”. 


Clontarf, Sydney, became infamous as the site of Australia’s first assassination attempt. 

On 12 March 1868 Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh and second son of Queen Victoria, was guest of honour here at a sailor’s picnic.  Dublin-born Henry James O’Farrell jumped out of the crowd of picnickers, shooting the Duke in the back. The Duke’s rubber suspenders deflected the bullet, sparing him major injury. 

Guilty, O’Farrell was hanged a month later, despite the Duke seeking clemency on his behalf. 

In the interim, the Irish O’Farrell was quick to air his anti-British and anti-monarchism views. 

Sydneysiders were even quicker to fuel existing anti-Irish sentiment. The NSW Government even passed the Treason Felony Act making it an offence to refuse to drink to the Queen's health. 

The Duke and the British monarchy were hugely popular in Australia at this time. When the Duke had arrived by ship three months earlier, nearly ten thousand Sydney-siders came out to welcome him in the pouring rain. This was ten per cent of the city’s 100 thousand population. 

After the assassination attempt, citizens donated money for a “substantial monument in testimony of the heartfelt gratitude of the community at the recovery of HRH”. Hence the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney was built in 1882.

The sailor’s picnic the Duke attended in 1868 was just another function at what is now Clontarf Reserve. 

From the 1860s until closing in 1900, thousands would arrive by ferry from the city for drinking, dancing and games at Clontarf’s dance hall and “pleasure grounds”. 

In 1881 The Bulletin newspaper described the behaviour at Clontarf as “not just an excursion – it was an orgy”. 

The outraged dance hall operators sued the paper and won. The one-year-old Bulletin couldn’t afford court costs so proprietors John Haynes and Jules Archibald went briefly to jail. 

On Archibald’s death years later, he bequeathed funds for the building of the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park.



Archibald Fountain and surrounds, 1930s

Some Archibald Fountain images . . . 

By Harold Cazneaux (1878-1953)

Also by Harold Cazneaux (more of Harold Cazneaux's photography to come)

Clontarf  is located on the north-eastern side of Middle Harbour with a long, sheltered, west-facing beach.


Contemporary sketch from the Sydney Illustrated News of the attempted assassination of Prince Alfred in 1868


Henry James O’Farrell