7  July 1999


The GST has been passed.  Senator Meg Lees should have waited till 1 July, so that we had the new Senate voting.

The Federal Attorney General has dropped all charges against Senator Mal Colston for corruption. Of course it had nothing whatsoever to do with the Telstra deal, and I wouldn't even suggest such thing.

But the juxtaposition of legislation passed and criminal charges dropped days later.  Res ipsi loquitur.

[Bet Slobbo wished he had someone like Johnny as Pres. of Uncle Sam.  (Maybe he has.:)]


The National Road Motorists Association is the owner of the last mutual insurance company in Australia.  As such, one can imagine the desperation of the rest of the insurance industry to demutualize this organization.  Hero Dawn Frazer stopped the first demutualization attempt two years gone.

Now the baddies have regrouped, and a new vote is imminent.


The Republic party has backed off phrasing a referendum question that would not have had the word republic or president in it.  Obviously Turnbull is both acute and does not like to lose.  Unfortunately he is opposed by Ted Mack, one of the most honorable men to ever tread an Australian parliamentary lounge. (not that that is much of a compliment).   Lawyer that he is, Turnbull seems unworried by the calculatedly misleading statements that he utters.



The NATO investigators have found evidence of about 1,000 civilian murders by Yugoslavian forces committed apparently in reprisal of NATO bombing.  I am still waiting for evidence of the atrocities which caused Albright to start bombing Yugoslavia.  (I presume the Yugoslavs were committing massacres in Kosovo before NATO started bombing.)

Yugoslavia is credited by some historians with being the nail that lost the second world war for the Third Reich.  The US might be well advised to keep exactly to the terms and intent of that treaty.    I suspect that Yugoslavia might resume hostilities if it does not.


Political developments in Indonesia show the turmoil of a leadership realizing it's dispensability.   The leadership of the Indonesian army has been purged before, and the military oligarchy is in a panic as it attempts to anticipate & avoid it's own demise.


The cancellation of USA lamb imports is a reasonable tit-for-tat for the Howard inspired cancellation of US marching bands at the Olympics opening.  It gives both leaders the chance to be outraged about the unfairness of the other country, and only costs the taxpayers a pittance (a few million dollars).  A good advertising campaign would cost more and get less publicity.

I met an Arizonan last week.  He was outside central railway looking for food, so I led him to a remembered McDonald's.  After chatting about guns and Arizona (State of three C's, Cattle, Cotton & Copper) I asked him about Willie.  He looked embarrassed, and said that was one smooth talker.

I suppose Willie might have got elected like Our Johnnie.

We agree that the one we elected is terrible but you should see the one we didn't elect.
Somebody besides the Swiss should try direct democracy.