Hello and Absolve all Black & Tans

March 17, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, LIFE, Ulalume |
"Have a nice day, Ireland!"(Portrait by Peter Lely)

"Have a nice day, Ireland!"(Portrait by Peter Lely)

Happy St Patrick’s Day! If Pátraic was so hot though, why does Ireland still have to put up with Sinn Féin? Anyway, top of the morning to Paddys everywhere, and we hope not to have been too inflammatory by passing-on the best wishes of well known hibernophile, Oliver Cromwell.  The more polite Irish tend to refer to Oliver as a “Special Occasion.”* [*euphemism with apologies to the late Elisabeth Wynhausen.]

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Gandhi’s Tax Revolt

March 12, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | HISTORY, LIFE, POLITICS, Ulalume |
No fries with this salt

No fries with this salt

On this day in 1930, Mahatma Gandhi started his long march to Dandi on the sea to collect some salt for himself.  This seemingly innocuous act was illegal at the time – the salt tax in India brought in lots of cash in olden times for the East India Company and now for the English King.  A hundred thousand Indians joined Gandhi along the 400 kilometre walk.  On arrival, Gandhi stooped and gathered some grains of salt, a gesture that would lead to his arrest, and presage the doom of the British Raj.  It seems the Tommys had forgotten the reaction that stems from…

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Unconscious Bias

March 8, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, Ulalume |
IWL2

On this International Women’s Day, we notice the return of calls for the elimination of unconscious bias in the legal profession. This got a lot of airplay back in the 1990s, especially regarding alleged gender bias in the Judiciary.  (Apparently, there were a number of ‘beer man’s judges’ about). Recently, the President of the Law Council of Australia, Fiona McLeod SC, issued a press release announcing “a national first, a customised unconscious bias training program aimed specifically at the legal profession…Human beings are hardwired to notice personal characteristics and to prefer those with attributes or experiences similar to their own, without…

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Our Smoking Ruin

March 5, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, AUSTRALIANIA, LIFE, Ulalume |
"Wasteland with Elephant" (image by 
Topangahomeboy)

"Wasteland with Elephant" (image by Topangahomeboy)

South Australia – a Looper’s Paradise If you’re unlucky enough to live in (or almost as bad, be passing through) Australia’s benighted State, the coalmine canary of the Commonwealth, cheer yourself up by logging-on that superb website, SA Great [http://www.sagreat.com.au/].  You’ll be treated to a hard-to-navigate map and several invitations to submit an event, a business, a restaurant, a job, or a coupon (but not a complaint, not an idea). Adelaide closes down for a couple of months every year to host a stock car race (that ‘climaxes’ today), a pallid homage to the Formula-1 Grand Prix that we used to hold (annoyingly)…

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A Hung Jury on Global Warming?

February 20, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | LIFE, POLITICS, RELIGION, Ulalume |
"What did South Australians use before Tom gave them candles? Electricity."

"What did South Australians use before Tom gave them candles? Electricity."

16 February 2017. Twelve years to the day since ‘implementation’ of the Kyoto Protocol.* You and I sit in a jury box. We have only just met. We bring to our mutual task our life experience and understanding of the ways of the world, our endogenous prejudices, and our gut feelings. The Judge sends us into our room charged to answer whether we are amid an interglacial, or, rather, is the globe warming – are anthropogenic CO2 emissions causing or contributing to this warming – and does this pose a clear and imminent danger, on the balance of probabilities? So we…

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