At this time of year our TV stations present a lot of retrospective programmes about the year passing into history. I detest these programmes as they look back only on what the TV station recorded and none of them do much of a job of that with the possible exception of SBS News. At least SBS provides news that is mostly about significant international events and not about which female movie star had/is having whose baby and which celebrity insulted (add own minority group here). And let us not forget that Hillary Clinton has been running a child-trafficking operation out of the white house (Pizza gate) and that Michele Obama is actually a man. All of this idiocy comes from a country that has just elected a very, very strange man to be their President. I don’t want to see “news” about things that have already been lived! I have no interest in celebrity nor in celebrity scandals. I don’t believe conspiracy theories.
What can we look forward to in the New Year? Well, I don’t know of course. Trump is just so weird and it is quite possible that his entire Presidency will be mired in attempts to get his cabinet nominees approved by Congress and in court cases about his continuing and clearly illegal attempts to (not) separate himself from his companies. I fully expect that his administration will be plagued with claims of corruption and illegality. I note that Boeing has now promised not to charge $4Billion for two Presidential 747-8 aircraft, a safe promise because the amount of $4Billion came exclusively from Trump’s own internal head mystery. He has now asked Boeing to provide a price for a version of the F/A-18 fighter that would reproduce all of the promised benefits of the F-35, which will never provide the promised benefits of the F-35 and be substantially cheaper. I wait with interest to see what Boeing might suggest!
The UK is due to begin to disengage from Europe in a few months. Not much has happened so far except for a significant devaluing of the Pound. Things are going on behind the scenes however with many companies looking at moving their operations to Ireland and the Benelux countries. If Brexit is realised I would guess that the UK will sink a good deal further into the mire and the issues that caused many to vote for Brexit will get worse, not better, because they don’t really have anything to do with Brexit.
Australia looks to be in for exciting times. If the ratbag right of the Liberal party does split and form its own party under the already registered name Australian Majority they will substantially weaken their own position as well as the position of the Turnbull Liberals who will still have ratbags in their ranks. And keep in mind that Turnbull’s completion date for his third rate NBN has passed and the NBN is nowhere near completion. For the first time I have obtained a rough date for the roll-out of the NBN in our area of Canberra; July 2019. Even if it happens it is unlikely that we will be able to be connected before the end of 2019. On top of all this Turnbull’s Mixed Technology Model (MTM) has turned out to be, as I predicted it would, an absolute disaster. Over the next few years quite a few homes in Sydney and Melbourne will be connected with Fibre to the Curb, a new glass fibre system, but will still have to rely on their copper connection from curb into the house. It would be so much simpler, and I believe cheaper, to run the fibre connection right into the home, thus providing almost the same benefit as the original system of Fibre to the Home which was not actually the ALP’s proposal but the public service’s proposal which was adopted by the ALP as the only viable solution. It’s going to have to be done eventually because already Australia is falling behind our trading and other partner countries in our region.
I wonder when the Australian government will begin to take seriously the shortfall in F-35 performance against RAAF needs? And what might they choose to do about it? Canada announced that they were going to cancel their F-35 order but have not been able to do so. I very much doubt that Australia will ever be able to get rid of the F-35 order even now after it has been announced that the aircraft will never by completed in the sense of achieving full operational capability and because it costs so much the US is not even going to try to complete it.
Interesting to note is that all the real effort against global warming in Australia is coming from ordinary people and some businesses. Our government is utterly incompetent and dishonest about global warming and is doing as little as it can possibly get away. This means that of all developed countries Australia is the only one where CO2 output will continue to increase. Many Australian households are investing money in massed solar arrays, joining their own rooftop systems by way of a company structure to their neighbours and local larger-scale solar farms. By doing this they are greatly reducing their electricity costs and receiving dividends from the companies involved. These companies are often financed by the people themselves because they expect to make far more this way than be leaving their money in banks where the banks gradually steal it by way of interest issues.
I expect we will learn more of Trump’s internal head mystery as the year goes on but I doubt that we will ever understand what goes on inside that thing. It should be regarded as a black box where little can be fed into it (due to very high surface resistance, sort of the opposite to a black hole) and what comes out of it is almost entirely self-serving codswallop.