Lies, lies, and more lies

Trigg Beach, WA

Beautiful day, 39deg and the same tomorrow. I can hardly believe this is the last week of summer. Noooooo!! I don’t want it to end. The sun is rising later, 6.00am, and setting earlier, 6.59pm. It’s noticeable. Still the temps this week are (Mon-Sun) 39, 39, 32, 36, 36, 36, 36. I shouldn’t complain.

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The headline is because I’ve been reading the news about the rape that happened in Parliament House in Canberra in 2019 and the lies being told now in trying to cover up who knew what, and when. Three more women have now come forward and told new stories about the guy, and how they felt pressured to keep quiet, and there seems to be a pattern of lies being told about who was told, who was not told and so on. Luckily journalists are right onto the story, digging, digging the facts and showing the prime minister to be a liar. We knew he was anyway.

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On top of that, there’s a new story today, that the Liberal government of Malcolm Turnbull lied about the cost saving of dumbing down our NBN, the National Broadband Network, by around $10 billion! It was always obvious to me anyway, but I’m glad to see it being exposed.

In case you didn’t know, the original Labor government plan in 2004 (I think) was for a fibre-optic network for high speed data connections (up to 1Gb/s) to almost every house and business premise in the country, within reason. (Satellite and fixed wireless for areas where it’s impractical to run cables.)

When the Libs took power and Malcolm Turnbull became PM, he had to have a different plan, and so he ordered that the whole network be redesigned to take the fibre-optic cables only to junction boxes in the streets, connecting from there to existing copper wires previously used for phones. He touted this as saving 10 to 20 $billion and taking five years less to do.

Well, the fact is that the savings were never there, costs blew out to at least the original estimate and the network is still not finished in 2021. It was obvious five years ago that Turnbull’s plan was bullshit and now, I hope, the figures are coming into view.

Unbelievable! The only reason Turnbull (Malcolm Turncoat, so named because he abandoned his climate change principles) ordered these changes and cost cuts was so that he had a point of difference to Labor. Therefore I have no hesitation in branding him, The Man Who Crippled Australia’s Broadband Network. I revile him.

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A bit of good news: a friend has sent me a link to an article that says Telstra is implementing a software solution to scam calls. It’s trained to recognise the characteristics of a scam call and block it. They say they blocked more than a million calls last year and are now blocking up to half a million calls per day! Hooray! I have noticed a lessening of the number of spurious calls these days but I put it down to phases of the moon. Telstra stands up automated platform to block scam calls – Telco/ISP – iTnews

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I’ve had a visit this morning from two ladies from Silver Chain. Two? It looks as if my request for “someone to have a chat” has finally paid off. One of them was the Claire that I mentioned last week, who organises this sort of thing, and the other was a lady called Kim who lives five minutes up the road and will be my “chat lady” or chatterer. We talked for about an hour today, with both of them, but Kim will come next week, just to visit and talk. We’ll probably go across to the Dome, not sure yet. She’s from the UK, Kent, and I’m sure we have plenty to talk about. I’ve been to Kent a couple of times.

The other side to this is that Claire wants to recruit me as a volunteer for social contact as well. In our talks last week we got onto the subject of older people and using technology. I said often think about older people who never had to use computers before and how difficult it must be for many people. It’s really an essential skill these days. Banking in particular is mostly on-line now, with bill paying in particular being part of that. If you don’t feel comfortable using a PC, how do you cope paying bills?

So it’s occurred to me to try to pass on my knowledge about this. I have, in the past, thought of going to the aged care home near here and asking if they would like me to run classes. I’m thinking I would want a bit of payment, maybe $10 per hour per participant? I’d have to tell Centrelink, of course.

One thing that’s often occurred to me, though, is that teaching someone to use internet banking would almost inevitably involve revealing passwords, or at least showing how to write them down or use a password manager. This is a bit dangerous. If the person somehow made mistakes and perhaps “misplaced” some money, it could get messy for me and could generate accusations and ill will. It might need a disclaimer to be signed before starting.

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Bali, 2017

I was browsing a map of the Sanur area of Bali where I’ve stayed many times and know quite well. It’s very noticeable how cheap the hotels have become. My favourite, the Taksu, used to cost $65 to $85 per night. It’s now down to $30. How I wish I could take advantage – but I can’t. First, we’re not allowed to travel there, and second, I could not go there due to the COVID pandemic. Even if the locals declared it safe, I could never relax and enjoy the stay, because Indonesia tends to be a bit too relaxed about these kinds of things. No, I think it will be another three, four, five years before we can think of going there. Only once the vaccines are in wide use and are proven to work.

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Speaking of vaccinations, I got a text this morning asking me to come in to the GP for an annual pneumonia vaccination. I was surprised, I didn’t know it was being done. OK, fine with me.

Busy week this week: the visitors this morning; podiatrist tomorrow; Wally Lunch Wednesday (Wally’s our school mate who has MS – I’ll be going to this lunch fully dressed up and made up, and I’m expecting many ribald comments from these sports-fan old high-school mates); cardiologist at 12.15pm Thursday in Mt Lawley, followed by another GP appt at 2pm; and finally the pneumonia shot at 1.45pm Friday. Crumbs! Appointments every day. I might have to retire.

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