They’re In Hiding And It Is Our Fault

I just wanted to query the procedure for plumbing an old septic tank system into the sewer line.

So I phoned them. And went through the mandatory ‘sort yourselves out to save us the trouble’ hurdles of phone options, key tapping, etc. to finally get through, after the mandatory ‘on hold’ time to a human operator.

Who was very pleasant and told me all I had to do was get the appropriate form which was online at their website.

You beaut. But when I went to the website I couldn’t find a form that identified itself as having anything at all to do with sewage at all.

I only found one form in fact and it seemed primarily concerned with fire services. What they have to do with Water services I don’t know.

But this seemed to be an online fill in form anyway and I wasn’t prepared to fill in anything at this time. I want to look ahead and see what’s entailed, not put in an application right now. Don’t have the answers to hand. Seeing I don’t yet know the questions.

So I thought I’ll email them and ask.

I much prefer email to phones because of things like this. Phone and you get sent off somewhere dubious: i.e. come the event it doesn’t work – and then you’re left again without an established connection but have to go back to square one with no record of progress to date. Which, of course, means progress to date: nil.

So I thought I’d email them. Surely there’d be an email connection? After all they’re such a wonderful organisation. Every page of their slick looking web site seemed to extol further their wonders, their magnificence, their virtues…

Nope. Nothing. Not an email address in sight.

But social media ! Facebook. Or Twitter. Yes. They’re there.

Lost in the herd. Anonymous and totally public all-shout-together spaces.

I am free to put my request on those sites.

So I try facebook. And get nowhere because it hangs and crawls and I can’t complete the post. This is not unusual in my experience. I don’t know why it is but it is peculiar to Facebook and I think it is something to do with them and perhaps the amount of traffic they carry. With everyone in the world trying to everything on their platform.

What a public utility is doing trying to carry on their business on such a platform is beyond me. Entirely. Seems totally inappropriate to me.

So I revert to Twitter and send off a tweet.

That’s the best I could do. And that’s what I’ve done. Added an anonymous, unofficial birdlike ‘tweet’ to the cacophanous thunderous roar of a billion ‘birds’ tweeting their nonsense.

Why did it come to that? Because the phone failed, as it so often does, and left me nowhere, which it always does by its very nature unless they ‘keep a recording’ as they always threaten to do – and because they offer no other option.

It is like they are hiding from us, isn’t it?

Keeping us at arms length. Staying as far away from us as they can get.

But they are not. Are they? Ever worked in a place like that? Hundreds, even thousands, of dumb little clerks each in their own cubicles doing the same processing day after day. Doing as they’re told. Doing what they’re told, the way they’re told.

They don’t want to hide from us. They would welcome interaction with us.

But they can’t get to us any more than we can get to them.

We are they. They are us.

But we are held apart.

Why? By whom?

By the IT department. And by the complicity of upper management. Either from ignorance or design. I don ‘t know which. I think ignorance and laziness. They are ignorant of what the IT department is doing and too lazy to care to look into it.

If a complaint ever gets through to them ‘I’m a customer, I can’t get through your maze and can’t get the service I want, I need a person..’ – then they go ask the IT department head or the Customer Relations Dept Head or the Head of the relevant Department and that Department Head – here’s the twist, the irony, the elephant in the room, the irony – is one of them.

Is just another one of ‘them’. Upper management ignorant of the IT realities and too lazy to care to look into it.

That ‘upper management ignorant idler’ meets another ‘management ignorant idler’ when he goes asking his questions.

All the way down the management heirarchy we meet the same types: ignorant idlers.

And they all take refuge behind the same mantra: “People would cost more money.”

‘We would need to employ more staff if we were to allow communication with actual people within our organisation’.

They mean this when talking about increased telephone comms to reduce on hold times. That’s bad enough.

But they also mean it when applied to potential receipt of emails and responding to them.

They mean they cannot afford to have staff receiving individual queries from the public, reading them, understanding them and responding to them.

That’s what they mean. That’s what they’re saying.

All of them. More and more and more of them. These big companies. Private and public. That they cannot afford to have their staff – any part of it – actually in communication with the public.

Then how can they perform?

The IT Department says they can do it all online via automated programmes.

The IT Department says they can automate the whole interface.

That’s what is going on.

The IT Department wants to control the whole thing. The IT Department is not in love with people. The IT Department is in love with ‘no-people’, with the idea of cyberspace, cybereality. The IT Department seeks to construct a reality within which the customer or client interacts only with cyberspace, never with people.

This is their goal. Their idea. Their raison d’etre. To eliminate the human side of the organisation.

It goes further. They actually have the goal of eliminating the customer, the client.

How can a service, a business, exist without customers? Well it can’t. But it can exist without customers as human entities.

Imagine a retailer. They don’t need ‘people’ customers do they? They just need ‘orders’. Place your order. The retailer interacts with the order, not the person.

The order is nice and neat, discrete, defined, pure and simple. It either is complete or it is not. It has multiple choice questions and they’re either answered and complete within themselves or not. They are never ‘maybe’ or ‘not quite’ or ‘perhaps’.

The ‘Order’. Think about it. Many businesses really respond only to the Order.

Order Forms have to be filled out and that’s what the company responds to.

You know that. We all know that. More and more as time goes by and we get accustomed to online ordering we know that we simply ‘fill in’ an ‘order form’ and buy what that form specifies.

The whole process is automated. On our end we provide an ‘Order’ at that end they respond to ‘The Order’. Not to us. To ‘The Order’.

If ‘The Order’ is not correctly constructed it gets rejected.

So there’s no humanity there, see?

And now the service industries especially that biggest of all Service Industries: the government, our Government Departments, are remaking themselves in this likeness.

They respond only to ‘The Order’. We have to construct our queries in certain ways and only in those ways. We fill out multiple choice questions. We select certain paths from a limited set of options.

We sort ourselves and categorise ourselves until we’ve constructed a pre ordained ‘Order’ which the system then satisfies from pre-programmed responses.

And that’s how the IT Department removes us from the equation.

It doesn’t suit the IT Department to have people in the equation at all. It wants certain input and it demands that it gets them. There is no input specified as ‘human’ because that’s far too woolly.

So that’s what’s happening and that’s what’s wrong.

And who is to blame?

Why it is obvious, isn’t it? We are. We who ask should accompany every ask with the statement ‘and I want a person to respond to me’ and they who work int he organisations with which we seek to interact should continually tell their masters and their workmates that they want to talk to the public, to us, to the people.

We the people should say that we want us, the people.

And if we don’t. If we continue as we’re going, we’ll destroy ourselves.

But in the end..

You jump up and down ….. shake your arms around…

you scream out, shout out, sing out, speak out…

you dress up, dress down, undress, overdress…

recriminate, expostulate, enunciate and remonstrate….

cower, tower, lower and glower…

wheedle, beseech, moan and groan….

insist, persist, resist and retribute…

proclaim, exclaim, expound and annunciate..

profess and extol, praise and raise…

adore and nurture, love and cherish,

value and protect, dote…

calibrate, castigate, calumnate…

like a lighthouse..

with slowly turning beam…

signalling ‘here I am’

and in the end

you meet your death.


and your light goes out.

650 Homes Lost To Fires In NSW

I just heard that on the radio a little while ago.

I’ve said all this before. Tired of hearing it, my family is. Tired of saying it, I am.

But 650 homes ! Makes me feel I must say it again.

Say what? Say there’s something wrong. Something very wrong. Say we’re not mounting any kind of effective strategy for saving homes in this country, from bushfire.

I’ve got some ideas. They need setting out carefully for maximum impact. They need thinking over to see if they’re sensible. They need fleshing out.. etc…

I don’t think I’m going to do any of that.

Here’s the notes I jotted down since hearing that on the radio:

LEAVING TOO LATE. why? Must Die? Why?











HOW CLOSE TO A BURNING BUILDING CAN YOU BE? i.e. in the middle of a village amongst burning houses might be quite a safe place.

I can write a few notes about those I guess.


Why don’t we have a national ‘fire danger assessment’ protocol, routine, procedure, call it what you will?

We should all be aware of the fire danger of the building we’re occupying. There’s always a fire danger. Even in the middle of multi story in the city.

In the city the fire danger comes from within the building.

In the bush it comes from the environment.

Hence the danger in the bush should be assessed with respect to the environment.

Lets say we have a building on top of a well tree covered hill. Even amongst the trees on the top of the hill. And with the slopes of the hill stretching quite steeply to the East. And those slopes covered with Eucalypts of a particular variety very prone to burning, manufacturing volatile eucalypt gases and burning fiercely, tending even to crown.

What sort of a fire danger rating would you give it?

And how about a house in a clearing amongst wheat paddocks with flat ground stretching to the horizon, nothing but grass and wheat. What sort of a fire dancer assessment would you give it?

Surely there’d be a vast difference? And surely that difference would be quantifiable? Measurable. According to certain criteria?

Why don’t we have something like that? We have, that I know of, nothing like that. Not a thing. Not even an informal thing. But one day it simply has to start even just because of our dear god: Mammon.

For insurance companies are going to want it. So they will have it.

If we wait for them, though, how many more homes must be lost before it comes?


Given you’ve got an assessment shouldn’t it come with ‘mitigation measures’ applicable in that place? Something you can do, should do, to mitigate the danger if it comes to the crunch?

I don’t know. It would be different in every place. Perhaps there’s nothing ever could be done but I’d doubt that. How about ‘Your biggest danger is that tree next to the house, if a fire gets into it the house is gone. If it looks like a fire’s coming and can’t be stopped: fell the tree.

Or: bulldoze twenty metres clear into the wind, you’ve got a dozer.

Or: beginning of the season you should back burn fifty metres all around.

Or: you should get rid of all that light shrubbery.

Some appraisal of the situation and some foresight, some planning, for what you might do.


I never hear a solitary word about this. Never. I’ve just invented the idea. But don’t we generally believe that our houses burn because of fires starting in the roof? In the gutters I guess, usually?

Then couldn’t some kind of roof protection be devised that would protect the roof and in fact turn the house into a refuge – into a ‘safe house’ rather than a doomed pyre?


This follows on from the above about roof protection. If you’ve got your roof protected and you want to hang around then why not? What’s the problem?

People get told to abandon their homes. They abandon whole villages. I just heard on the radio before writing all this that they’re advising people in some village to abandon it.

Why? What is the problem? They never say. But I guess it can only be either Heat or Smoke. You’re either going to be asphyxiated or burned to death. Is what they’re saying. Why? How did they come to that conclusion?

If this village or this house is an ‘Abandon’ proposition from the very get go at the very idea of a fire coming there then it should be so known, known by everyone, part of the ‘Fire Assessment’.

We should be able to look at a place and make an immediate assessment: I’ll stay in there if a fire comes and do this and that we’ll be okay.

Or perhaps: there’s no hope of saving this place.

I just read a couple of good sites, one by the bushfire people and one by csiro and neither of them suggested that smoke could be so dense as to asphyxiate and therefore smoke predictions could be enough to force abandoning.

And neither of them said that the heat – though it is well stressed – would be enough to burn you to death if you stayed in your house.

So why are we losing 650 homes? Think of the horror of losing your home! Everything goes with it.


I’d expect this to be a formal part of the fire danger assessment of any place and of course it would have to encompass all the possible fire dangers – i.e. a fire from one direction would leave a road clear whereas a fire from the other would cut the road immediately.

But then there’d possibly be an exit downwind. But maybe not… the fire would be chasing you and without a road I suppose you’d be on foot.

Whatever. It should be very clear to you what the situation is.

Here are a couple of links, the ones I just spoke of:


Well my bottom line is that I think we are in a parlous state of ignorance.

I think hundreds of people are losing their homes needlessly.

At the same time as I think hundreds of volunteer fire fighting are performing superhuman feats of endurance and bravery and sheer bloody hard work.

I don’t mean to criticise or belittle them one little bit. Let me make that very, very clear.

But I think they’re not being help by our present state of ignorance, non-appraisal, non-awareness, non-understanding.

That’s it.

Literary Criticism

What’s This Mean?

Nothing can please many, and please long, but just representations of general nature. Particular manners can be known to few, and therefore few only can judge how nearly they are copied. The irregular combinations of fanciful invention may delight awhile, by that novelty of which the common satiety of life sends us all in quest: but the pleasures of sudden wonder are soon exhausted, and the mind can only repose on the stability of truth.

Samuel Johnson. ‘Preface to Shakespeare’.

This is quoted by Christopher De Groot in a recent Takimag post as “..the high point of literary criticism; “

I can’t even understand it. Makes me look pretty dumb then, doesn’t it? If that’s a high point in literary criticism I suppose it’d go without saying that itself it would be pretty literary – and I’d assume ‘literary’ to presuppose intelligible….

Best I can make of it is that general truthful things are the most lasting pleasures.

Well that would seem to go without saying.

But I will admit it perhaps does need some saying. In a culture devoted to excited stimulation perhaps many forget that a pleasant ordinary life is in fact ‘as good as it gets’.

So okay, because many of us have lost our way perhaps it needs saying. But that makes it the high point of literary criticism?

I don’t get it.

Proportionate Representation Fallacy

Today it is just about axiomatic that Boardrooms and Committees, etc, should always have the same proportion of women to the whole in them as exists in the wider population.

Without it they are supposed not to be represented.

This is a fallacy. A lie.

They are not represented ‘by a woman’ is the fact. But that’s as far as it goes.

It is altogether too easy to slip into thinking this means they are not represented at all. I thought this myself. Or, rather, I didn’t think. I just accepted it.

But it is the purest nonsense. Sloppy thinking of the first order.

Wherever you get group representation by one individual you get a sex being represented by someone not of that sex.

It is the norm. Always has been.

Further sloppy thinking assumes that having a female on the board means that women are now represented.

Howso? That particular woman is represented and that may well be as far as it goes. No other woman in the world may be represented.

To be ‘represented’ means to have your own desires, aims, perception of life manifest in that arena.

There’s positively no guarantee whatever that any single woman can or does represent all women.

And it is quite clear that often she doesn’t.

Case in point: Mother Theresa. How about if you had Mother Theresa on the board as a representative of women? As she virtually was in the halls of the church and allied politics.

How many women did she represent?

That she denied any right to contraception and was majorly instrumental in the extended suffering and even death of thousands of women who’d have happily, keenly, taken abortion if they could have got it is undeniable.

Undeniable. She’d to this day claim it was a virtuous stance, a virtuous act.

So having a female body on the board doesn’t necessarily mean you have ‘female representation’.

It is all just simply too silly to be taken seriously and yet that is what our world is doing today: taking this edict, this farcical idea, seriously, to the point of making laws about it. Forcing people to structure their boardrooms this way.

And what’s the final idiocy, the final farce, the final irony?

Well this: this concept, this push, is promoted by the very people who deny you can have any sexes: that outlaw ‘men only’ and ‘women only’ toilets, that have in some insance parts of the USA made it illegal to call males ‘men’ and females ‘women’, and so on…

Those who demand the board be proportionately male and female deny there are any males and females (except, of course, on the whim of the moment when you suddenly decide you feel all ‘feminine’ or ‘masculine’).


It is a manifestation of the popularity of a new freedom found. A new game that excites, exhilarates, empowers and can be played without any skills, training, effort, qualifications or repercussions:

It doesn’t have a name that I know of. Whinge, whine and demand maybe it should be called.

For to play it that’s all you have to do . Whinge, whine and demand.

With one little proviso: you always do it in the name of some minority and/or women.

Why does it work?

Ahh. Now that’s the real story. Never looked at. ..

Are Solicitors Fair Dink? $700 For a $50 Job?

How fair dink are solicitors?

They’d have a duty of care wouldn’t they? Of course. It is a legal requirement.

They’d know that. They are solicitors. Yet they don’t seem to give a damn.

How about charging $700 for a job you can do yourself for $50?

And a job that in the end the person did do themselves?

That is:

It’s a divorce application. The person is very distraught. As some tend to be when in such a scene. Divorces are very stressful aren’t they?

So because of the stresses and strains they give up trying to talk to their partner where they’re ostensibly going to file a joint application and have a peaceful, amicable arrangement, and in distress and turmoil go to a solicitor for help with filing this divorce application.

Now we are not talking the government fee here in this ‘$50’ cost estimate. No. That’s $900 and has to be paid whichever way you go. Tax. You know how it is.

No. But electronic filing of an application, via their website (the govt), from your desktop, at home, costs you maybe $50 all up. For printing out things, for going to get signatures witnessed and whatever.. coffee, croissants…


So this solicitor quotes this lady $800 (plus the govt $900) and she accepts.

And then she gives the solicitor two affidavits. Completed. Signed. Witnessed.

Being virtually all that is needed for the application actually. The total thing requires an affidavit each from the joint applicants and then signed, witnessed actual application.

Three pieces of paper.

Two of them – the most labour intensive, the most difficult to obtain, this lady gives to the solicitor as a done thing.

Accepts to use the solicitor’s services, gives the documents, forks out money as a retainer and leaves.

And then at home a couple of days later has a reconciliation to some extent with the partner and they decide to continue doing the thing themselves at home.

In the interim the solicitor has rung the partner and asked them to come into the office to sign something. And he declines. So that stops everything there as far as the solicitor is concerned.

So after the ‘reconciliation’ the lady goes back to the solicitor and says she’ll no longer need their services how about returning the documents and most of the money.

Okay says the solicitor. That’ll be $700.

Quoted $800 for the whole job. Did none of it. Demanded $700.

Which shocked and distressed this lady a great deal.

The parties concerned did the job at home in a few minutes at a cost of less than $50.

The demand – in fact it was more than a demand as the solicitor already had the money and wouldn’t return it so it was an appropriation. I’d call it a theft.

Now where is the ‘duty of care’ ? Where has the care gone? There’s evident distress in the first place. There’s the evident exorbitant cost of solicitors. There’s the obvious availability of the govt. DIY online app. There’s the obvious minor drama just blown up that can be reasonably expected to die down and allow further joint work towards the end as in fact happened.

Due care would call for the solicitor to consider all of this and carefully inform the lady. In effect to warn the lady she was walking unnecessarily into a place of potential harm – as it turned out real harm.

Was the lady, for instance, aware that her initial ‘consultation’ with the solicitor had cost her in the solicitor’s estimate nearly $300 ? Just to talk and explain.

I will wager the lady would expect this initial visit to be virtually non-accountable, but just the very beginning of everything.. ‘start now’ when she left the place so to speak.

What can we add to this? How about t his: the lady was Asian with a poor command of technical, legal, bureaucratic English.

Distressed with her home life, distressed to be alone in a foreign country, distressed to be swimming in a technical sea she couldn’t understand.

It is very true that the lady could have proceeded with an application online by herself easily enough. But such was her naivety in such matters, her phobia of them, that she turned away from that and sought help from a solicitor.

A professional person with a duty of care.

Whose obvious first course should have been to direct to counselling we’d think, obviously. A ‘cooling off’ period at the very least. A handing over of a piece of paper spelling it all out at the very, very least.

But no. She was immediately, there and then, fleeced of $300.

And a job quoted at $800 that comprised mainly of three pieces of paper had none of those pieces of paper processed by the solicitor yet she charged $700 !

How proud is the Legal Profession of this?

The Legal Profession often gets away with no mention of it; to such an extent that it probably even slips the public mind, they give it no thought, they actually forget it, but the fact is the Legal Profession is there to help people.

It has supposedly got the interests of the public, the nation, the individuals with which it deals at heart.

There’s a convenient canard emanating from the USA recent decades where they love to denigrate all law breakers as ‘scum’ and ‘lowlifes’ etc. that the Legal Profession is there merely to ‘uphold the law’.

No. It is there to help people. If it doesn’t help people we don’t need it or want it.

In fact there is no contradiction. There should be no contradictions. All our Laws are meant to Help People.

And there’s a Law that applies in this case and it is the Law of Duty of Care.

Where was their Care?

And where was their avarice and lack of care?


Mind Is a Blank…

A couple of minutes ago I had something in mind that made me think I should immediately post it on the web, it was so important…

Now I can’t remember what it was.

And now I come here I see I haven’t been here since April. 2019. At least it was 2019 and not 2018 or earlier.

And I see the typeface, at least on this old monitor of mine, is awful.

Ah well, you get that.

And I came h ere via ‘abrogard’s blog’ – googled. My old blog. It is still there. But viewable only. It doesn’t ‘work’.

Instead there’s a new place as a ‘continuance’ maybe. At ‘’ . But it only has two posts on it.

So, in short, my blogging history is screwed.

Well that ‘s to be expected when you’re getting it all for free. At the beginning of new technology.

Isn’t it?

And the thing is what’s happening, has happened, to me is equally likely to happen to our whole nation.

That’s how vulnerable we are.

And growing more vulnerable day by day.

It seems. From where I’m standing. But I know little. Let’s hope it’s better than that.


Double Standard Reporting?

Or just terribly bad reporting?

Here is an excerpt from David Cole’s post on Takimag April 2, 2019:

Muslim terrorists murdered twenty Filipino Christians as they attended services in their church two months ago, and do you recall the response from local Muslim leaders? Was it “We must address the anti-Christian bigotry in our community?” Or “We must stand in solidarity with our Christian countrymen?” Nope. It was “Well, to stop us from killing more Christians, let us carve a Muslim-only autonomous region in the country.” That’s literally like whites responding to the New Zealand massacre by saying, “Well, the solution is to keep New Zealand white and Christian. If we don’t have to mix, we won’t have any more race- or religion-based mass shootings.”

How do you think the media would have responded to that? Or the U.N.? Or most Western politicians? But in fact, the world response (and the response from media organs like CNN and the BBC) to the Muzz demand was essentially “Yes! Yes! Give them an autonomous region, so that they needn’t mix with those damn Christians.”

This is a point that bears repeating: A white Christian kills a bunch of Muslims in New Zealand, and the response is “More diversity! More mixing! Force them damn intolerant whiteys to get along, or jail their asses as racists.” Muslims in the Philippines massacre a bunch of Christians, and the response is “Let the Muslims be autonomous! Let them live free of mixing, free of diversity! Let them never have to see another Christian again!”

That was it.

What can I add? Nothing. It leaves one speechless.