28 August 2015


In Quarterly Essay No. 57, Karen Hitchcock, a doctor, wrote about aged care and many of the issues involved, financial and others, and what should be considered for the future with an ageing population.

As is usual practice with the Quarterly Essays, people are asked to respond to the essay just published and the responses are published in the following Quarterly Essay. in this case N0. 58, and the writer of the essay being responded to has a right of reply to the published letters and that right of reply is at the end of the rest of the correspondence.

There were 10 published responses and Karen Hitchcock's response was, in fact, number 11.

As stated previously, Hitchcock is a doctor. Of the 10 responses, 7 are by doctors, one is by a Fairfax journalist who writes on finance and economics, one is by an ex-senator who is currently Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, and one is a well-known writer who is herself in an aged care facility, and so writes from a position of practical experience of the aged care system.

There were no published responses from "the common herd" and people such as my partner and myself were not included in the correspondence.

It seems to me that this then begs the question as to who is writing for whom, and whether there were other letter-writers who are also not people in the public arena and whose voices remain unheard.

Our response was comprehensive and covered much ground of our day to day experiences, including living our lives as two openly gay very old geriatrics.

To me this means that much of what needed to be discussed has now been omitted and the exercise is therefore not successful in terms of outcomes.

Of course the Quarterly Essay allows only limited space and therefore there is a limit to what can be included, so it is somewhat of an exercise in futility, because it is such a vast subject and so much research still needs to be done.

My essay in response was published by me in this blog and can be found under GLTH Ageing and Quarterly Essay on 6 JUNE 2016.


Chelsea Manning has appeared in a rigged kangaroo court of the US military and charged with some of the most ridiculous nonsense that a military prison system and possible conjure up.

Chelsea has already endured years of military abuse and political abuse because the president of the United States of America has seen fit to prosecute a soldier for crimes committed by the US government and US army.

Is Chelsea going to be kept in the disgusting circumstances of the military prison system until the whole of her 35 years sentence is completed and suffering the indignities of those court cases such as the one recently trumped up - you know, the expired tube of empty toothpaste - what an absurdity - and what has the president done to stop this nonsense?

Obama finishes his term of office in 2016 and leaves that position as one of the worst presidents in US history, Considering how many criminal and other bad presidents there have been since the north fought the south and won and "united" the country as the United States of America, some 250 odd years ago, that is quite some achievement - of the wrong sort!

17 August 2015


When Barack Obama became president of the United States of America he made some promises which he broke soon after the election and soon after he became the president in that election.

Obama promised to close Guanatanamo Bay Concentration camp in 2008. We are now in 2015 and Guantanamo is still open despite the current thaw between the US and Cuba.

Obama promised a fair deal and support for whistleblowers. Think of Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and many others. Their treatment at the hands of the US administration has been criminal and the current behaviour towards Chelsea Manning is not only criminal but human rights abuses of the worst kind.

It is not Chelsea Manning who should be behind bars but Barack Obama and those who have supported him through these travesties of justice in which this young person is being treated worse than some of the US mass murderers and the processes by which guns are more or less freely distributed in the US to anyone who wants them.

Chelsea Manning should not have been sent to Iraq in the first place. That in itself was an abuse of power, and it only got worse stage after stage in the process.

And what about the whole story with Julian Assange and many of those in the USA who have been locked up whistleblowers.

The so-called greatest democracy on earth which supports the greatest apartheid state on earth Israel and punishes in concentration camps growing smaller by the day as their lands are stolen in large chunks for Jewish religious fanatics who mostly come from the USA.

Barack Obama's legacy will not be one to be credited with any great achievements.

But the treatment of Chelsea Manning is one of the darkest episodes in modern USA history.

15 August 2015


When I bought a new PC a few years ago it came with windows 7 installed. The shop where I bought the computer advised that windows 6 was being released in a few months' time and would be able to be downloaded for a small amount of $15.

Who could refuse an offer like that! - although I know nothing about windows 8 at that stage.

However, ever a glutton for punishment I bought and installed windows 8.

Disaster of course hit immediately and I found windows 8 unworkable. My mini notebook had windows xp installed - thank goodness - and when I had trouble on the PC with windows 8 I did what I needed to do on the mini.

Looking on the web I discovered that I was not alone in having problems with windows 8 and some enterprising developers had developed a start button to install and life with windows 8 improved considerably.

Then came windows 8.1 which improved matters somewhat.

When windows 10 was announced as a free download if one had 7, 8 or 8.1 installed I thought that 10 could not possibly be worse than what I had been struggling with on my PC, but how wrong could one possibly be!!

To start with, two of the uppercase symbols seem to have been changed around so that the @ symbol is now where the " symbol is and vice versa!

Then the sidebar almost disappears when one uses it and it becomes impossible to find where it has disappeared to.

The next problem appeared in my ftp programme which I have been using for the last 10 years and more.

In order to upload pages to the web from one's local documents one has them loaded onto a notepad page which then gets uploaded with its contents to the web for everyone to have access to - except that windows 10 has made alterations to my ftp programme and I am now not able to access my notepad pages and so am unable to upload anything on my windows 10 PC.

Thank goodness for my old windows xp computers - and thank goodness I have now got a new laptop with linux installed.

Ultimately I will get rid of windows for ever and start having peace of mind. If windows continues going from one disaster to another, I don't want to be one of the guinea pigs! 

I have now just discovered that I am unable to save word documents in word as I have been doing for years! What is the next disaster I will be facing?

Thank goodness for my LINUX laptop!


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Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm