Wry & Dry


From the mouth of...

Journalist:   "Will a Labor government hold a royal commission into the banking sector?”

W. Shorten: "It's a very important issue you've just asked.  Frankly, I'm...[insert 273 words]...from the nation's leaders"

Journalist:    "I'm sorry, do you want a royal commission into banks?"

W. Shorten: "I don't think you can rule it out quickly."

-       Media conference held by William Shorten, yesterday.

W&D is glad he wasn't going to do anything, quickly...

Some lightly salted absurdities from all over...

At the extreme left-hand of the bell curve

Andrew Hennells boasted about his plans to raid a supermarket in a Facebook post which included a selfie, a picture of a knife, and the words: "Doing. Tesco. Over."

Police caught him 15 minutes later with the knife and £410 in cash stolen from a Tesco in King's Lynn, Norfolk.  He was jailed for four years.


Things to keep you awake at night

CHEBOYGAN, Mich., Dec 27 (UP) — Traffic violation penalties going into effect here Jan. 1 include a $5 fine for any motorist caught driving with a woman on his lap.

(The Pittsburgh Press, from 1952)

But no fine for a woman driving with a man in her lap?

Not clear on the concept

Ah, marshmallow all over.  It had been drawn to W&D's notice that the West Indies' cricket team defeated England in the World Cup of 20-over cricket, in which a West Indies' batsman hit four consecutive sixes from the final over to win the game.  The hapless England bowler was Ben Stokes.

The UK Telegraph reported on Monday that, 'Stokes will be offered the full support of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s sports psychology team over the coming weeks'.


The full 'psychology team'?  Poor petal.  Perhaps just one for each six.

Have a wry and dry weekend


[1]  Sitting Bull (or Chief Sitting Bull in more popular circles) was an Lakota Indian who in 1876 foresaw the defeat of US soldiers in a battle.  Three weeks later the confederated Lakota tribes with the Northern Cheyenne annihilated Lt Col George Custer's US 7th Cavalry, bearing out Sitting Bull's prophesy.

[2]  W&D notes that SunEdison is a slightly different case.  Sure, it had the acquisition/ debt problems.  But essentially, the industry (in the US) was held up by government subsidies.   

The government took away the party punch bowl of subsidies this year, and that pushed SunEdison into a frantic development and acquisition spree.  Hence the massive debt.  

W&D make two observations, at the risk of upsetting some readers.

Firstly, with current technology, the industry is a fiscal house of cards without government subsidies.

Secondly, as W&D has noted a number of times previously, solar energy is neither clean nor renewable.  Solar panels currently have to be made with silicon, a material that has to be mined and processed by the use of fossil fuels (because of the high energy intensity required).  And the process creates dangerous chemical by-products. 

[3]  'Negative growth' is such a delightful obfuscation.

[4]  Source: www.factset.com.

[5]  The case was settled, eventually.  The banks' decade of obstructionism and fighting every possible legal point failed: they lost, but not the full amount claimed.

[6]  Readers will recall the "Just follow the money" advice given by informer 'Deep Throat' to Bob Woodward, of the Washington Post, in the film dramatisation of All The President's Men.  The book was about the Watergate scandal and the downfall of US President Richard Nixon.