The blog is taking a break for a few weeks.
There is an old saying – there are no atheists in foxholes. In reality, modern soldiers are unlikely to be in a foxhole. But, if they were, they would be far more likely to be uttering obscenities or blasphemies than praying.
Yet, as the Rationale magazine has detailed in a series of articles, religion is imposed on Australian military life through official support for military chaplains and religion.
Opinion polls suggest Peter Dutton and his media accomplices – both Murdoch and the Nine Newspapers – are having some initial success in confusing The Voice issue.
It’s not surprising as the tactic has worked very well in many countries in many situations for a long time as the blog recently described. It also suits the media which mainline on a daily fix of controversy and what ifs.
When companies try too hard to come up with quirky slogans or creative takes on their expertise the end result is often a dog’s breakfast, cliché-ridden text or incomprehensible New Age-y stuff.
Tony Jaques of the excellent Issue Management website and newsletter recently came across a classic example topped off with what seems to be either illiteracy or a new form of modish managerialist style.
The influence of the RSL in Victoria – and in Australia as a whole – is declining in inverse proportion to its poker machine revenue.
Back in the immediate post WWII period the RSL was a powerful political body and a strong voice for veterans. While it got pre-occupied with Reds under the Beds it did advocate for a wide range of veterans needs and rights.
In June 2019 McKinsey arrived at the US Aspen Ideas Festival. Their major speaker was Dickon Pinner, co-founder of the company’s sustainability practice.
Bogdanich and Forsythe report that he delivered a lecture inevitably illustrated by PowerPoint slides charting carbon dioxide levels going back 350,000 years and predicted what we all know (except for the intentionally disbelieving) that there was a case for urgent action. As McKinsey says on its website “We are committed to protecting the planet.”
The blog has written about the PR campaigns to cast doubt on all sorts of things – from climate change to tobacco.
Hill & Knowlton were early advisers in the tobacco wars but McKinsey was at their side working with Phillip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Lorillard, Brown and Williamson, British American Tobacco and Japan Tobacco International. It also worked on campaigns to boost cigarette sales in Germany and Latin America.
When the US energy trading company, Enron, which allegedly had $US60 billion in assets went bankrupt in 2001 its auditor, Arthur Anderson LLP, which had missed Enron’s fraudulent accounting was dissolved.
Arthur Anderson had been one of the world’s largest auditing and accounting firms in the world.
On New Year’s Eve I had an epiphany. It was at lunchtime by the way – not after a long evening – as it has been some years since I have stayed up to see the New Year in.
We had guests for lunch who have a similar attitude to waiting around until midnight. They had brought a bottle of Moet along. It’s also a long time since I’ve been allowed to drink much but Moet deserves two glasses so it was a bit of an exceptional day.
An historic take on fusion
The enthusiasm about the latest news on nuclear fusion prompted the Weekend FT (17/18 December) to dig out a famous quote about the prospects of the technology.
“Many sceptics have questioned whether fusion can ever make business sense given the complexities and costs. As Sir Walter Marshall, the former chair of UL’s Atomic Energy Authority, used to say in the 1980s: ‘there will come a time when we get more energy from a fusion reactor as we put it. Then there will come a time when we get more energy out than we put in. However, there will never come a time when we get as much money out as we have put in’,” it said.