April 29, 2011

April 27, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Glory is fleeting but obscurity lasts forever. 

Napoleon Bonaparte

April 26, 2011

Tetchy Tanner to Unfurl

Lindsay Tanner, former federal ALP pollie, is about to unfurl his angst.  His book- Sideshow - will be released later this week.

It comes with its own warning, care of an early reviewer:
'WARNING: This book contains painful truths for journalists and politicians.  It provides a pitiless, first-hand exposure of the trivialisation of our national discourse by the media, aided and abetted by the political classes.' ALAN KOHLER
Not at all pitiless or original is that Tanner thinks Gillard's "Moving Forward" campaign slogan was banal.  Hardly a compelling reason to buy the book.  We all concluded the same the first time she took the slogan on a public outing.

More interesting is that Tanner believes Gillard's red hair is a branding exercise, rather than a call for help from a new hairdresser with a more refined sense of appropriate tints for ladies of a certain age. Tanner is convinced that it's not some horribly botched kitchen sink accident - he believes it to be deliberate.
"He also says Ms Gillard has dyed her hair red for years to help build her personal brand.

"It makes her more noticeable. She has registered as an individual personality in the sideshow."
Insider lets rip

Good times getting worse by the minute

We're often told that we mustn't become addicted or rely upon the resources boom, of which Australia sometimes seems to have a never-ending supply.  It's all going to go bust, so we're told. Ripping natural resources out of the ground, shipping them off raw (with no value add, thus forgoing a vast fortune), will, one of these days, result in depleted resources or depleted demand for our stuff.

Now the ALP is telling us that the boom is already bust, because the boom is bad for us and will create dire economic circumstances, like higher wages and inflation.

Apparently:  damned if resources aren't booming, and even more damned if they are. 
" ... as a result of mining companies' successes, prices and wages would spike and spur inflation, that larger investments by miners would entitle them to big tax cuts and that while the foreign exchange rate favoured commodity exporters now, other industries were feeling deeper pain than they did in the last resources boom.

"That means government revenues will not grow at the sorts of rates we saw during the previous boom," Mr Swan said.

"We should not expect to see a repeat of the massive $334 billion upward revision to tax revenues that occurred between 2004 and 2007."

The Treasurer said the economy faced inflationary pressures from the growing investment by miners that would be necessary to satisfy demand for Australian resources.

"An unprecedented investment pipeline will stretch our economy's capacity in the years ahead, putting pressure on prices and wages."

The right thing to do in this situation, he continued, was to restrain government spending and budget for future surpluses in order to soften the forecast inflationary risks.

"This means taking difficult Budget decisions now to keep ahead of the challenges, rather than playing catch up down the track when the consequences of inaction could be much more severe."
And that's why welfare recipients are going to be bludgeoned in the next budget.

Now it all makes perfect sense.

Big Wayne to make big spending cuts

April 23, 2011

Damn, he works hard

Dr Bob Brown is a hero to thousands, perhaps millions, and yet again, as one of our well paid elected senators, he has demonstrated why.  Frankly, I have no idea how he finds the time, the energy, or the pure burning intellect to contribute to politics and society in the voluminous manner that he does. 
The head of the Coalition group investigating the building of new dams across the nation. Andrew Robb, wrote to Senator Brown, an anti-dams campaigner, inviting him to make a submission as part of the consultation process.
On behalf of the party he leads, Dr Brown submitted 63 words to assist the group:
"Thank you for your letter alerting me to the Coalition's task group. I look forward to the group's informed outcome. I expect you'll look long and hard at the extinction threat dams pose to animal and plant species.

"Secondly, your inquiry will need to assess global and domestic literature on dams and greenhouse gas emissions, in particular the highly significant emissions of methane."
Senator Robb was extremely grateful for the contribution:
"We thought it was important to give Bob Brown and the Greens an opportunity to have their say. We really appreciate all the effort they have gone to and the valuable environmental insights that Bob has shared in his submission."
Ah, I just remembered where Dr Bob finds the time for this stuff:  by not bothering to vote on any legislation, except when it relates to the environment, when he mostly turns up to vote "no".

Brown's brief submission

French riot police tetchy at tipple ban

French riot police are threatening to strike over not being permitted to drink on the job, something they've been allowed to do, oddly enough, up until now.

A glass of wine, beer or cider - but not spirits - was always permitted with lunch, including while on duty. Even packed lunches provided out of riot vans came with a can of beer or glass of wine.
Previously very happy in their jobs (and who wouldn't be?), the members fo the Compagnies Republicaines de Securite are outraged at the decree that they may no longer partake of alcohol while at work.

The union has noted that a drink with lunch is in line with French labor laws.

Here ...

Next a policy coach

Some voice coaching tips have been offered up to assist our PM, Joolya Gillard.

Can't be the first voice coaching she's had, surely, not with the number of voices she's tried out since knifing Rudd and taking on the top job.

Perhaps with a more rounded, lively voice Gillard will find the wherewithal to voice a few decent policies.  If not, then I'd suggest it's a wasted exercise.

Gillard Twang gets worse at the top

April 22, 2011

April 20, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique and not too much imagination. 

Christopher Isherwood

April 17, 2011

Still lost

Gillard was one of the key players in the government that "lost its way" - the Rudd government. 

Having helped the government to lose its way, Julie promised that she was the person to get things back on track.  She had no plan, no vision, not much of anything in fact, yet, she and her buddies thought any government was better than a Rudd government.

How wrong they were.

The federal ALP is an empty vessel, seemingly with no idea what they stand for, no idea who their constituents are, no idea for whom they're running the country or why.

PM Gillard is determined to have the budget back in surplus by the year of the next election, clearly in the belief that even a one dollar surplus will demonstrate her economic credentials and lead Australians to believe they're in safe hands - and that they will, therefore, let the ALP have another three years. 

Ain't gunna happen.
Australia spends just 0.07 per cent of GDP on health research and development. But its researchers, who account for just 1 per cent of the world's total, have recorded 3 per cent of internationally recognised findings.
It's a trifling amount, already too low, but Julia is rumored to be cutting $400M from health research. 

I know I've become prone to calling this crop of ALP pollies "idiots", but I think they more and more approach simpleton status as each day passes. 

Vision?  Can't see past their own images in the mirror.  Can't see what the hell they're doing to the country.  Can't see that all their poorly considered gambits are ugly and mean and bad for the country and every person in it.  Can't see that the Federal ALP bears no resemblance to the party that used to be the ALP.

Top scientists make plea to PM on budget cuts 

Be alarmed, Julia is coming

Julia "alarm clocks" Gillard is determined that every poor sod in Australia drag their arses out of bed early in the morning to get up and do something.

Lots of us are no good lazy little clots leaching off other taxpayers.

With a seemingly intractably low level of unemployment, Gillard is seething about the number of people who aren't "pulling their weight".

The woman is obsessed with everyone having to be out of bed and doing stuff for money, and people with disabilities that prevent them from working will allegedly be a major target in the federal budget next month.

The Prime Minister likes to call it "The Dignity of Work".  I think it's a bit of a laugh that the red headed Marxist is determined that every person be out of bed early, contributing to the profits of the capitalist rulers. 

Yes, you've gotta laugh at this PM, at this Labor government. 

It's only another two years or so of putting up with this tosh, isn't it? 

By then, even I will welcome Tony or Malcolm - I will vote for either of them as often as I can, when the day comes.

PM takes aim at welfare

Illusion and Stealth

Finance Minister Penny Wong said: "This is not a tax that people pay; this is a tax that polluters pay." That sounds all very reassuring, until we remember that Treasury thinks that household expenditure will go up by $860 per year for a $30 a tonne carbon tax.

What many people don't know is that the carbon tax will have to be much more than $30 a tonne to be effective.
Fifty companies in Australia are responsibly for more than 50% of this country's carbon emissions, so "they" will be paying most of the new beaut carbon tax (you and I will be paying it, actually, but that's a quibble), so it turns out the cows and sheep aren't as guilty as we've previously been told (repeatedly).

It's looking pretty good for the little Aussie battlers, who will be the beneficiaries of six billion dollars in "compensation" for this new tax.   In fact, millions of people will allegedly be even better off - they will be over-compensated for the carbon tax (yes, that tax that is supposedly going to cost us nothing, because the polluters are paying ... which begs the question why consumers need to be over-compensated for something that will not cost them anything).

Out here in the real world, that's called wealth redistribution by stealth.  It's also the most inefficient, ineffective and opaque way in which to redistribute taxes.  It will cost a fortune in administration, and no one will understand where the money has come from, where it is going, nor whether a single particle of nasty emissions have been reduced from the atmosphere.

As far as I know, the atmosphere has never taken heed of taxes, but Gillard and her band of merry idiots must know better.

Carbon illusion we can't afford 

Top 50 polluters to take carbon hit 

Six billion for households

Millions better off with carbon tax

April 15, 2011

April 13, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome. 

Samuel Johnson

April 11, 2011

Bolt never this eloquent or convincing

This is jam packed with provocations, and boldly politically incorrect statements, and yet, Antony Dillon says in very few words everything that Andrew Bolt can only have wet dreams about.

It's an interesting contrast.

We are told so often how clever Bolt is - I've said it too - and we all know he writes to be seen and heard, but not to convince or unite or improve society.  He's an empty vessel making noise, and it sells papers, we assume (and soon telly adverts too, given that he's landed his own show).

Unlike Bolt, Dillon evidently has a fine intellect and a beautifully economic writing style, which packs a punch in a way that Bolt must envy - or should.
I personally identify as someone who is part-Aboriginal, simply because I wish to acknowledge the ancestry of both my parents. I do not pretend that my European ancestry does not exist. However, if somebody disagrees with how I identify, that is no problem to me.

There is nothing offensive about the term part-Aboriginal just like there is nothing offensive about the term part-Chinese or part-German. I mention this because I have been verbally attacked many times for using the term part-Aboriginal to describe myself.

Barrister Ron Merkel in opening his case against Bolt's articles said, "language such as part-Aboriginal is used throughout. None of the persons before Your Honour have identified as part-Aboriginal. That is an insulting term."

People can make the term part-Aboriginal offensive if they choose but it is a matter of opinion and it is not an opinion I share.

People are free to identify their ethnicity any way they wish. However, with regards to Aboriginal status, there are significant problems. First, health statistics may not reflect the true problems facing many Aboriginal people as the good health of some identifying as Aboriginal (often "fair-skinned") can mask the poorer health status of others who also identify as Aboriginal (often not so fair-skinned).

Second, many claiming Aboriginal status who are never likely to experience disadvantage or racism (because they are fair-skinned), have access to privileges not available to non-Aboriginal Australians that have been developed specifically to help those Aboriginal people who are disadvantaged on most social indicators of health and wellbeing.

The issue of Aboriginal identity seems unique in this country, as those claiming Aboriginal status feel that it is important for others to know that they are Aboriginal. Why is this? I am proud of my ancestry (on both sides) but am not all concerned what others may think. ...Typically here in Australia, people of other ethnic origins are not as concerned about their ethnic origins being recognised, as are those identifying as Aboriginal. A reason for this may be due to the potential privileges one has when they identify as an Aboriginal Australian.

In his book What's race got to do with it? Larry Elder (a black American) says "The term 'black leader' at some point simply becomes a catchall statement, no credentials required". A major concern I have regarding use of the term "Aboriginal" is that there are many people, who, because they identify as an Aboriginal person, also adopt the title of "Aboriginal leader". Qualifications for being a leader should be based on skills, experience, character, and competence, and not one's choice of ethnic identity.

... It is somewhat paradoxical, that while Aboriginal Australians are over-represented on most measures of health and social disadvantage, they are also over-represented by people claiming to be Aboriginal leaders. The insistence that Aboriginal people need swarms of Aboriginal leaders to represent them, can only erode a person's sense of self-reliance and capacity to engage in the shared interests of the broader community thus broadening the gap.

People are free to decide for themselves if they will identify as an Aboriginal person. However, given the appalling health inequalities, perhaps it is time to look at a more equitable and efficient way of distributing privileges to disadvantaged subcultures within the wider Aboriginal community.
Yes.  Impossible to argue otherwise.

And yet the politicians always do, as do the bleeding heart lefties, and the greens who believe the noble (drunk, abusive and dead young) savage is a romantic vision and a true reflection of some ancient culture, which in truth has long ago vanished.

We really must strive to do better.

Identifying as Aborigine can hurt - other Aborigines (those who are most disadvantaged) 

Good fucking grief

Pauline Hanson is still in the lead and looking horribly, horribly, horribly as though she will win a senate seat in the next NSW parliament.

We should know tomorrow.

As much as I'm 100% sure that most of our current crop of pollies are inadequate, and far too many of them have been in-bred for politics, at least most of them had that explicit goal - a seat in parliament wasn't their last resort for moving out of the unemployment queue, or in Hanson's case (and yes, I'm going to say this out loud), running for a seat in the hope of getting enough votes to clean up a few hundred thousand dollars from the taxpayers, but not quite enough votes to win a seat and then have to pretend to do something. 

Hanson holds out hope for seat win

April 8, 2011

April 6, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

I choose a block of marble and chop off whatever I don't need. 

Auguste Rodin

April 3, 2011

Winners & Winners, Losers & Losers

Last week, an office lottery ticket won for half a dozen New York IT workers -  a nice $319 million, before tax (unlike here, dumb luck is taxed in the US).

While Mike Barth was waiting in line to buy the winning ticket, he had an attack of the munchies, and grabbed himself a Snickers bar, a sweet and salty treat.  In that moment, an ill mannered fellow ticket buyer sneaked in ahead of Barth, thereby becoming the owner of a losing ticket.

But that's not all, the six happy workers should have been seven, but one of their brethren "wasn't feeling lucky", so opted out of putting in for the weekly office syndicate.  That decision cost him $16 million (post tax). 

April 2, 2011

Paul Allen on the skids

Former founding father of Microsoft, Paul Allen, has written a book, mostly to have a big sooky-whinge about the skullduggery and selfishness of co-founder Bill Gates. 

Having retired from Microsoft ten years ago, at the youthful age 43, Allen is still seething and in need of cash.

Can't blame him for writing jealously-laden revenge book, a man is entitled to earn a living any way he can. 

Allen's personal wealth currently stands at about $13B. 

Bill Gates self-interested schemer

Black pots and kettles abound in the land of Labor

''If you've actually connived in the destruction of the parliamentary leader and are a principal cause why 24 or 25 members of Parliament have lost their seats, if those dead men and women are hanging around your neck, and they are, you've lost the vantage of the leadership.
''You lost the point of moral authority.'' 
Nooooo, not what you're thinking!  Keating, the last of our best and brightest ALP leaders (and former Prime Minister), was not talking about Julia Gillard, Wayne Swann and sundry NSW back room boys, he was talking about state polities, of the NSW variety.
Keating then went on to suggest that the wanna-be NSW leader of the ALP would be a heavy burden for PM Gillard, and he talked-up Gillard's determination to run with a carbon tax.  

Let's all just go back and mull over Keatings first quote - slowly.

Keating unloads on NSW Labor

April 1, 2011