Blog sans reader

Hello and welcome to Ernst U. Boarking's blog about stuff & stuff-all.
Warning: Some material in the blog may not be suitable.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Letters to the editor of the 'Hun

I wasn't blogging, but did manage to fire off a few quick letters to the Herald Sun (under a pseudonym of course). Why the 'Hun? I think because I tend to read it at work over lunch so I'd get a chance to respond promptly, whereas the Age gets taken home and read maybe days later making it too late to respond. Also, the 'Hun publishes so much drivel, I thought they'd generally be happy to publish mine...

Preference poll threat

(Published 21/11/14)

Letters to the Editor

Dear Sir / Madam,

Your editorial (Preference poll threat, 19/11) tells us that we “need to vote Liberal or Labor for effective government”. As both parties have “effectively” committed us to massive overpriced infrastructure projects without the slightest mandate from the people, I think I’d like to get a bit less “effective” and a bit more democratic government by voting for a minor party and trying to break the dodgy duopoly we’ve got running this state.



Andrew Bolt is wrong to dismiss "universal wage" as Greens lunacy

(Published 11/4/18)

To the Letters Editor.

Dear Sir/Madam,

Andrew Bolt is wrong to dismiss the "universal wage" as Greens lunacy (Aly only a pawn in crazy Greens ideology, 9/3). In fact, this elegant idea, as part of a broader overhaul of tax and welfare, has much to appeal to conservatives and was advocated by the fathers of neo-liberal economics, Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman. It could go a long way to  pay for itself through the dismantling of the existing welfare bureaucracy, it removes the disincentive to work caused by the high effective marginal tax rates that job seekers face when they attempt to transition from welfare, and it would save businesses the administrative hassle of dealing with hundreds of unqualified applicants for any vacancy as Newstart recipients attempt to meet their mutual obligations.

All sides of politics should embrace this idea and make the ideological battle around what level the income should be and how it can be paid for.

Yours sincerely,


Greens not the dopes on dope

(Not published)

The Letters Editor,
Herald Sun.
Dear Sir / Madam,

Your Editorial (Greens’ white flag on dope, 17/4/18), in its predictable diatribe against sensible drug reform, tells us that Richard di Natale is no Winston Churchill as he “waves the white flag” on the war on drugs. That might be so, but your editorial writer reminds me of Comical Ali in Baghdad, 2003, telling us how well Saddam’s war was going whilst the coalition’s tanks rolled into town behind him.

Cannabis can be harmful for some people, sometimes, but a regulated market is actually the best way to reduce those harms, and to raise funds to resource rehabilitation programs. The illegal market, which your editorial in effect supports, does nothing to reduce supply, but exacerbates the harms to users and to the wider society by leaving supply and distribution in the hands of criminals.
We’ve had fifty years of the same failed policies on illicit drugs; how many more decades do we want to waste fuelling organised crime and bleeding billions from government coffers, before we concede that there might be a better way?

The only winners in the war on drugs are criminals.


Boarking is back!

It's been awhile, but Ernst U., your guide to all that is good in life, is back in business...


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Excerpt from a letter to a friend

Here's an excerpt from an email to a friend in England:

"Yes, it is hot, very. I was ringing you about 2am, unable to sleep due to the heat.  I was sat in the backyard and it was still over 30degrees.  This is a glimpse of the future, so we (in Australia) better get used to it.  In a decade or so we'll probably get heatwaves like this every year and some years we'll get three or four.

I lay awake getting really angry at all the "skeptics", maverick scientists, fossil fuel execs, right wing pundits, assorted pollies and the selfish idiots, readily seduced by their half truths, distortions and lies, who vote for them.  At least 25 years ago the science was strong enough to suggest that governments should start to take prudent measures, instead we've had nothing except a whole lot of not much at all.

And now in Australia, denial is government policy.

Golly gosh, I'm off on a rant!   Anyway, hope all those bastards are happy, we're reaping what they've sowed."

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On the Angry Summer

A broken weather record doesn't necessarily mean climate change, and records can get broken for many reasons; however if climate change was not involved you'd have as many cold records being set as hot ones, on average.

That's not the way it is. 

I'd hate to be considered an alarmist, and the first thing I'd say to a denialist is "I hope you're right", but it seems to me it's well time:
to pull our heads out of the sand,
our fingers out of our a*ses,
and try to turn down the experiment we're running on the only planet we've currently got to live on...

How to kill someone for free...

1. Go to Florida

2. Buy a gun

3. Goad your victim into throwing a punch at you

4. "Stand your ground" and blow your victim to bits

5. Walk away scot-free

Note, for best results at point 5, ensure your victim has darker coloured skin than you.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Bloody frustrating...

It's so frustrating listening to Red Cross on the radio complaining about their shortage of donors, when hey stop thousands of us from donating because we lived in the United Kingdom for six months during the period 1980-1996.

Where do the British get their bloody donations from?

Friday, November 16, 2012

A decent cuppa

Being of a somewhat sensitive nature, I die a little inside each time I see someone destroying tea: the workmate adding milk to their cup before adding the not-quite-boiliing-for-OHS-reasons water and the ubiquitous yellow enveloped teabag that is defeated before it starts; the inner-city cafes that import Italian barristas to work vast espresso machines like demented church organs, they offer coffee beans excreted by mongooses, but serve their tea in a bag undunked next to a pot of unsuitably cooling water; and the fast-food “restaurants”, well don't get me started.

Therefore it gives me the utmost pleasure to advise on the correct preparation of tea:


A good loose black tea*

(*you don't need to go overboard, but the cheap stuff is generally of dubious providence and it's taste will betray it, on the otherhand, some things at the top end from fancy stores seem designed to extract many dollars for middle class vanity. I find Dilmah a suitable compromise, though doubtless there are many others.
It must be black tea. Green tea, not to my taste, is still tea I grant you, but it is not the subject of this treatise. I shudder to hear of herbal concotions and fruit infusions described as tea, these serve only to pollute decent water, even if their dubious medical benefits were proven I'd rather suffer the malady they might cure)

You will need a kettle, a tea pot, cup(s), a strainer, potable water.


Add sufficient water to fill as many cups or mugs as required plus a little more to the kettle and apply a source of heat.
As the water approaches boiling take a little to the pot to rinse it out and provide some pre-warming. Empty the pot.
Add tea. The classic one teaspoon per person and one for the pot is about spot on. With a decent tea, the spoons can be low rounded rather than heaped and if you don't wish for hairs on your chest you may forgo the one for the pot.
Pour boiling water into the pot over the leaves. Yes, boiling. Pour it whilst bubbling, in the one movement whilst you turn off the heat. No delay, no dilly-dally, get it on right away. If the water is not boiling, you are not making tea, merely an unfortunate infusion.
Leave to stand, weaker—shorter, stronger—longer. About five minutes will surfice for most.
Serve into the cups.
Though purists will argue otherwise, I believe it acceptable to add sugar and even a little milk, to taste. Some might even add lemon.