Governments Running and Ruining your life

Obfuscation..

23rd September 2012. Now there’s a word I haven’t used for awhile. The Telco’s of course in their obscure and misleading contracts have this down to a fine art. Not to be outdone the power companies are now doing the same tired old bait and switch tricks. Corporate morals , an oxymoron.

‘Corporations don’t have to lobby the government anymore. They are the government’

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My preference…

13th September 2012. Having recently observed voting activitity at a polling station for Local Government Elections it was obvious that the majority of voters did not have a clue regarding the preferences allocated by candidates and nowhere is it required to be published. Consequently a vote for one candidate could end up being given to an entirely different individual not aligned with the voters wishes – a dogs breakfast.

‘Democracy it aint’

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Corporatocracy…

26th August 2012. Corporatocracy: n. Definition: The higher the profit, the higher the salary and stuff the consequences

‘Corporations cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicated, for they have no souls’

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Trapwire…

15th August 2012. There appears to be increasing evidence that some paranoid dills in government are considering the use of a system wide facial surveillance aggregator in our cities to spy on the population. The question will be asked in Parliament in the Senate today…

‘When it comes to privacy and accountability, people always demand the former for themselves and the latter for everyone else’

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Olympic circus…

1st August 2012. So once again I see the circus has come to town with the usual suspects tagging along,the fat purveyors, the gambling companies, the drug and supplement companies etc. call it a circus if you like but please dont call it sport.

‘whoever said ‘Its playng the game that counts’ probably lost’

A Pox on them…

8th July 2012. A digger dies on his 7th deployment to Afghanistan in a wet dream war of suspect legality. Retired service personnel get shafted by a pension scheme not keeping pace with other pension schemes. Politicians, in the second pay rise in a year vote themselves an extra $44,000 per annum with only one dissension in the entire house. I repeat myself

’ A pox on them..’.

Paranoia…

1st July. So the UK government and their computers are now going to monitor all of their own citizens email and telephone calls. Interesting way to get the postal system going again.

‘A paranoid is someone who knows a little of what’s going on’

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Under the hammer…

20th June 2012. Queensland believes it has 20,000 more public servants than it needs. The view is reinforced that Australia’s economy now rides on a bloated and non productive ( in economic terms ) public service with most of the rest of the country selling either overpriced services or overpriced foreign goods to other Australians. Respective governments as CEO’s of business Australia should hang their head in shame at the death of our manufacturing, farming and other productive industries. Nearly 2 Trillion Net Foreign debt – you better believe it.

‘Economists are people who work with numbers but don’t have the personality to be accountants.’

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Childs Play…

18th June 2012. So it appears that in the last 5 years, the issue of psychotic prescription drugs to children has doubled. The movement to remove discipline from the home and schools undoubtedly one of the major causes. But then some would say I am out of touch.

‘Dont discipline your children, drug them – its the Australian way’

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Monopoly money…

11th June 2012. With the four major banks in Australia having over 80% of the business, an effective monopoly held in place by regulation, I fail to see how the Reserve Bank and politicians can continue to talk about bank competition. This monopoly diminishes the assets and incomes of other Australians by charging an estimated seven times greater for their services than it is worth.

‘What is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank’

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Business Plan ……

7th June 2012. I see some of our major retailers are heavily into Poker Machine investment. Interesting business plan feed some families and cause others to go hungry.

‘Gambling: A tax on people who are bad at maths’

Snouts in the Trough…

31st May 2012. The decision of the new president of France take a 30% pay cut and his statement that the highest paid in the workforce should be limited to a salary 20 times the lowest paid must be sending shock waves through the pigpens in other countries. Tame remuneration tribunals in this country are doing their best to create a financial schism in society.

‘Boardroom Salary, mostly a warm personal gesture to oneself’

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Cloud 9..

25th May 2012. I see IBM have banned their employees from using I-Phone. Apparently the Siri voice recognition is not done on the phone but in the ‘Cloud’. The question of course is where is ‘The Cloud’, and more importantly who has access to it.

‘Privacy, a word that used to be in the English Language’

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Somethings rotten….

29th April 2012. A new NSW law now allows Local Government Councillors who have pecuniary interests in a matter to vote on the matter. Well I guess if your concerned about corruption it might as well be legal.

‘I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it.’

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No Surprise…

21st April 2012. As muted by this author many years ago, the government is about to plunder the superannuation kitty by changing the rules. As if this is not bad enough they are also talking about increasing the mandatory contribution from 9 to 12 percent. So be very careful about super, as one accountant once told me ’ Its not your money , its the governments’ – you better believe it !!

‘The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off’

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Jobs for the boys..

21 April 2012. A recent report states that over 50% of job applications forwarded by job agencies in a government funded scheme appear to be fraudulent. This is a four billion dollar program. Once again an indication that although its OK for politicians to think up grandiose schemes they should realise that we don’t have either the will or the expertise in the bureaucracy to administer them, and to increase Department Heads salaries to $7-800,000 is an insult to us all.

‘In any bureaucracy, paper work increases as more time is spent reporting on less that is being done’

Educated guess…

15th April 2012. Recent research by industry groups has revealed the alarming statistics that nearly 50% of job applicants have poor document reading skills. They also failed to meet required numeracy skills. Successive governments seem to believe that bigger more expensive air-conditioned buildings are the key to education success when in my opinion, better teachers, classroom discipline, and sensible curriculum are the key. Seemed to work in my day.

‘If you think education is expensive, try ignorance’

Patently obvious…

2nd March 2012. There is currently a war being waged across the globe to entrench vested interest business models in law. In particular onerous copyright and patent laws are being drafted to carve out copyright guilds and patent oligarchies in the mistaken belief that information belongs to people and organisations in perpetuity and that everybody else should be locked out.

‘I think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly’

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Fleeced…

12th February 2012. Interesting article in the weekend papers about how certain government sponsored betting agencies have been giving hefty rebates to high throughput punters to the extent that they make a profit on a losing bet. Of course these rebates have the effect of reducing the dividend pool size. So the poor mug punter not only gets shafted by the odds he also gets fleeced by the system.

‘The house doesn’t beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself.

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Heading for a fall…

20th January 2012. I see certain sections of the community are talking up the fact that unit owners will be collectively financially responsible if someone , particularly a child, falls from a unit block. Once again some sections of society abrogating their responsibility for care and using the legal system as a bludgeon for personal gain.

‘Laws are like spiderwebs.They catch small flies, but let hornets break through.’

 

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Eureka..

10th January 2012. In 1852 in Australia a group of miners stood up against repressive government regulation at the Eureka Stockade, a defining moment in our history. Now Newspapers report that one of our elected ministers has engaged on behalf of the government a private organization to trawl the internet and record and report green political activism. Australians spying on Australians who dont agree with current policies .

‘Silent Comment’

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Who Cares…

6th January 2012. Once again, unimaginative broadcasters around the world insist on inflicting upon us hours of the ridiculous and drawn out US presidential election process – who cares !!

‘If voting changed anything they would make it illegal’

Seeing not believing..

19th December 2011. On a lighter note approaching Xmas. At last an admission from the participants of home renovation, improvement shows that the team of five that completely renovates a house in a weekend actually had behind the scenes, 20 or 30 extra tradesman all unseen on the camera.

‘Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you wouldn’t have in your home’

All the best for 2012

Phony…

1st December 2011. Your smartphone could be watching just about everything you do, security researcher Trevor Eckhart argued in a video posted in the last few weeks. There is a hidden process on many smartphones, called ‘Carrier IQ’ which has the ability to record and transmit keystroke data and web searches to unannounced locations. This process is reportedly on 130 million mobile devices worldwide.

‘The telephone is a good way to talk to people without having to offer them a drink’

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Pill…ory

14th November 2011. A trip to the local pharmacist to buy toothpaste is sure an education. The concession card brigade, overweight, diabetic and high blood pressure, lined up getting pills by the bucketload to counteract their self inflicted injuries. Compliant doctors and zealous pharmaceutical companies inventing new diseases every day only curable by the magic pill. If only someone would tell these victims their cure lies in their shopping cart.

‘Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died’

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Nirvana…

4th November 2011. Imagine a nation where the obesity rate is the same as the US in the 1970’s, free or very low healthcare,childcare and education for everyone, a tax system where there is little disparity in income between rich and poor. The preferred method of getting to work is the bicycle. Want people on public transport, give them free internet on the buses Nirvana ? – no – Denmark. If they can do it why cant everyone else.

‘Bicycles have no walls’

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Elephant in the room…..

25th October 2011. We all carry on about politics,economy, ecology but is anyone paying any attention to the elephant at the back of the room , the game changer for all of us. When I was born there were about 1.9 billion on the planet, today there are 7 billion.

‘We all worry about the population explosion, but we don’t worry about it at the right time.’

Not if but when…..

24th October 2011. Most days I read the ‘teamcymru’ postings on twitter. These postings are links to the latest internet security exploits. Its probably still only the tip of the iceberg but there are about twenty or so a day. Its obvious that we humans can build things more complicated than we can control ( try the banking system), therefore realize, that if you have a reasonably consistent interaction to the net its only a question of time,before you in turn will be targeted. I would suggest you approach all internet activity with great suspicion.

‘The email of the species is more deadly than…..’

How Green was….

18th October 2011. Having ridden through the beautiful Gloucester / Stroud valley many times enjoying its rural tranquility within 50 k of one of our larger cities it appears that AGL’s vision of the valley is as follows:
A minimum 330 gas wells; gas and watering gathering lines, treated water ponds; salt evaporation ponds; water treatment plant; means of disposing of treated water; 15 megawatt power generation facility; connection to the electricity grid; access roads; temporary construction facilities and work camps.

Maybe in 50 years they will be saying ’ I wonder why our grandparents allowed this to happen’

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Grass Roots…

10th October 2011. In these days of resurgent global people power against the morphing of democracy into corporatocracy, I thought it apt to echo the words of Theodore Roosevelt.

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.”

Note: If you agree that there is a need to separate money from politics, the ‘Occupy’ movement will be holding rallies in major Australian capital cities on 15th October

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Shades of Grey….

28th september 2011. A lot of hoo haa lately about a case bought under the racial discrimination act in relation to defining racial origins. To my mind people can claim to be from any racial origin they like – it doesnt effect mé. However if as a result of that declaration they receive a benefit that I help pay for, it appears reasonable that they establish some proof of origin if nothing definitive exists. How about DNA and defining some percentage cut off – seems reasonable to me.

‘Laundry is the only thing that should be separated by colour’

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Thats fine…

14th September 2011. So there seems to be a lot of talk about job mobility in Australia, yet after a hundred plus years of federation we can’t get a federal education system to facilitate interstate movement of families. On the positive side I did notice that it didn’t take long for transmission of road speeding fines between states to be implemented.

“My education was interrupted only by my schooling”

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Media Mangle……

7th September 2011. Anybody, like me – heartily sick of turning on the TV to be confronted with the latest, seemingly daily, political poll. The next election is so far over the horizon – who cares. For that matter who cares anyway. How about the media do what they are least capable of doing – provide good relevant news.

‘If you saw a man drowning – what camera settings would you use”

With a feather….

3rd September 2011. I am echoing the sentiments expressed today in many newspapers in regard to recent court cases where white collar luminaries have been thrashed with a feather by the court system for dudding investors of billions in the last downturn. The same court system that gives ‘hard time’ to many of societies disadvantaged for minor offences. ‘Qu’ils mangent de la brioche’ ( Let them eat cake ) supposedly spoken my Marie Antoinette, but then look what eventually happened to her.

Down The Mine…

29th August 2011. Nauru , a separate nation island off the coast of Australia was extremely wealthy. It had its own airline, its government drove luxury cars, it had the good life based on ‘endless’ phosphate mining wealth. The phosphate has now been mined to exhaustion, the nation is destitute – sound familiar !

‘We’ll strip-mine the other planets later’

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Aftermirth……

14th August 2011. I don’t really like to harp on one point but the aftermath of the UK riots has evoked much passion and political fumbling. This letter to a newspaper I will quote in entirety.

“5 months for not being involved in the riots but being given a pair of shorts which were stolen in them, and a post in the shadow cabinet and a hundred grand a year for false expenses to the tune of 13k.

Separating a mother from her children for political point scoring, that’s mindless violence.”

“Honest, industrious, peaceful citizens were classed as bloodsuckers, if they asked to be paid a living wage. And they saw that praise was reserved henceforth for those who devised means of getting paid enormously for committing crimes against which no laws had been passed”, Kurt Vonnegut’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater – 1965”

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Distortions….

7th August 2011. Latest news headlines – monetary systems in chaos, riots in London and around the Middle East, mass demonstrations in many cities including unlikely places such as Tel Aviv – not hard to pin a culprit when in many countries 5% of the population own 80% of the wealth. And of course this 5% have their fingers in the legislative processes to ensure the status quo. Seems to me the untrammelled ability of the few to control the destinies of the many by medals , anthems and pledges is maybe drawing to a close, but its going to be a rough ride to social justice.

‘During times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act’

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Youthless….

15th July 2011. Strange, we complain about kids being inside the house all day getting tenosynovitus ,obesity and worse, from sitting around all day playing with video devices and computers, yet what do we do to encourage them otherwise. We chop down all the climbing trees and replace them with ugly buildings and concrete; we make the play areas so puerile and sanitized, its not a challenge for a two year old; we make the parks so rare its a days drive to get there; we make the roads so dangerous with the great god car its unsafe to ride a bike; we flood the streets with drunks after dark; we allow the fat purveyors to fill their minds and stomachs by allowing inappropriate advertising; we… So ! dont blame the kids !!

‘Childhood is that wonderful time of life when all you need to do to lose weight is take a bath.’

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Hacked Off…

11th July 2011. For those of us that only have time to read local news, I have included a link below to the 50 pages of open letters in the UK Guardian newspaper associated with the current UK media scandal and the ethical and political implications of media influence. Also pertinent to this country where one media organization controls 70% of the media.

Guardian Letters

‘If you want democracy – when was the last time you think you had it’

Rubber Stamps….

3rd July 2011. Being a motorcyclist was recently looking at German Schubert Motorbike Helmets. These excellent helmets, European, and US approved are unobtainable in Australia because they have yet to receive ‘Australian Design Approval’. How big is the army of public servants in Australia approving items already approved by competent authorities, and more to the point how much does this ‘approval’ add to the cost of the item.

‘You never see a motorbike parked outside a psychiatrist’s office’

Thats the ticket..

29th June 2011. I suppose while we are rabbiting on about smoking, alchohol and gambling. Does anybody else really believe that this stupid signing in at clubs, whilst adding thousands and thousands of booklets and stubs to landfill, actually achieves any purpose. Or is just another Government Department justifying its existence. If Alcohol Licensing really wanted to justify their existence how about they take a walk down any main street at 3 am.

‘Reality is a crutch for people who can’t handle drugs’

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Band Together…

26th June 2011. Cant quite see why people are getting themselves in a lather about the national broadband network. Would seem to be the catalyst for a paradigm shift in the way we do things. Just think all those offices in all those cities can only do one thing – exchange information. With decent broadband speeds we can all do that from our lounge room. Seems like it would fix our transport problems for a start.

‘The journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click’

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In case you’re here by mistake…

22nd June 2011. This site ‘nannystate’ has been operating for about 10 years. Recently the tobacco and alcohol industry started a lobby site www.nannastate.com.au to lobby against amongst other things impending legislation on cigarette packaging, proposed amendment to trading hours etc. To save you wasting time reading my blog if you were after ‘nannastate’ and have had finger problems, I would just like you to know that on balance because of the addictive nature of the products, I hold the tobacco, gambling and alcohol industries in some contempt.

‘Just cause you got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean the circus has left town’

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Take Credit…

20th June 2011. News that, already, European Industrial Companies are sitting on about 10 Billion Euros of carbon credits, and that some major Australian Companies are making a nice little earner by doubling their purchase price of credits when onselling, is a salutory reminder to us all that the credits you give away to day to your solar installer could be worth double tomorrow and that the whole scheme is highly rortable.

‘There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew’

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Roadworks….

17th June 2011. It seems the good old ( stay in bed or you might get hurt ) occupational health and safety imbroglio has spawned a thriving industry of private contractors who obviously at great expense with vehicles, flashing lights, hundreds of road cones, slow down signs and other paraphernalia, demand that you start slowing on the highway about a kilometer before a lazy road verge lawnmower machine that is going about its work. In prior years, one sign something like ‘caution road works in progress’ was the norm and to the reasonable person appeared quite satisfactory.

’ The only thing that saves us from bureaucracy is its inefficiency’

Warming Up….

31st May 2011. As usual more heat than light in our global warming debate, if thats what you call a group of parliamentarians screaming at each other across a room. Seems fairly simple – for 100 years we have been using the atmosphere as an air sewer – it has to stop for the good of the planet and therefore the good of us. It can only stop through individual, corporate and government effort. So lets all stop squabbling and get to it.

‘Think Globally – Act locally’

Interest…ing

10th May 2011. Had a call from a friend in a bit of financial strife. Of course the first thing people do when money is short is resort to credit cards. At 20 – 25% interest (compounded) its the kiss of death to someone in this position. The banks who will write off billions to failed ventures at the big end of town will undoubtedly hound my friend to bankruptcy or worse.

‘We can loan you enough money to get out of debt’

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Give me the drum…..

7th May 2011. So Tom Tom, the GPS manufacturer was caught out in the Netherlands giving police and other authorities traffic routing , frequency and speed information to be used for various purposes including the positioning of speed cameras. This company has been caught out now doing the same thing in Australia. The remedy needs no further explanation !

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Taxing……

6th May 2011. The Queensland State government is floating an idea to have all conversations in Taxi’s recorded. I find it hard to contemplate that some dill would even suggest such an idea that strikes to the essence of an individuals privacy.

‘You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, it does not exist.’

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Breathless……

24th April 2010. Stradbroke Island has two main communities joined by 20km of road, half of which is limited to 70Km/Hr, and no built up area on the road .Whilst spending some time here recently over Easter we have been breathalized 5 times in three days. Road fatalities on this island over past years you could count on the fingers of one finger. In the same vein, air traffic in Sydney was thrown into chaos for two days recently with 30 or so flights cancelled because a dozen or so people went through a security check that became briefly inoperative. Such thoughtless total overreaction by the guardians of our safety and morals is inexcusable in the grand scheme of a society that has so many more pressing higher priority problems that require their attention.

‘The more laws – the more offenders – the more laws’

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Minority View….

14th April 2011. People tend to think of our society as consisting of a vast “majority” along with a few “minorities”. The truth is that each and every one of us belong to a minority in many sectors of our lives. It may be our religion or our opinion about climate change. Our politics, where we holiday or even where we live. When sacrificing the rights of minorities is regarded as the price we just have to pay for our “freedom”, we no longer have any “freedom”. Freedom is the right to choose to be a minority in some area and not being forced to agree with some “accepted” view. When minorities lose their rights, eventually the country becomes ungovernable as EVERYONE eventually becomes upset with authority. First the bikie minority, then those selfish people who use their aircon units when they get too hot, then those who don’t agree with wars, then finally anyone at all who doesn’t agree with the current government (who are the ones deciding what the “majority” view is). Oppression of minorities eventually becomes oppression of everyone. About time to repeal those most oppressive laws which deny individual civil liberties.

‘The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority’

Right Royal…..

6th April 2011. Whilst many nations around the world are ridding themselves of the yoke of nepotistic and costly regimes , our fawning press and TV do their utmost to perpetrate this Royal claptrap originating in the Northern Hemisphere. Me a royalist … No – got it in one.

‘A throne is only a bench covered with velvet. – Napoleon Bonaparte’

No disaster today please we are busy…

14th March 2011. The Japanese tsunami is a salutory reminder that despite years of bluster from various governments Australia does not have a national disaster warning system. Off the top of my head in a couple of minutes, how about strategically placed sirens that can be selectively actuated to prompt the population to listen to nominated radio/TV/Internet. I guess however that a couple of minutes is precious time to a bureaucrat running to his next coffee break.

’ Bureaucracy is the art of making the possible impossible’

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Take a powder….

4th March 2011. A picture in my local paper. The councils mail lady dressed in a plastic sheet, rubber gloves and mask opening council mail looking for white powder. Another Occupational Health and Safety nonsense spurred on by the hysteria generated by Johnnys war.

‘knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security’

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Land of the free…

6th February 2010. Whilst trying to avoid comment on other Nations issues, we have enough of our own to keep mé going, I Think a recent expose in the International Herald Tribune newspaper that Carnival Cruises , a company with an $11.3 billion profit pays US , State and Foreign taxes of 1.1% tax, and that Boeing pays 4.5%, Yahoo 7%, and several energy companies less than 2% and so on. This ability of US corporations to avoid corporate tax would seem to make any free Trade agreements with the US a nonsense.

‘The United States has a system of taxation by confession.’

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Time to get political…

28th January 2010. The NSW state elections are on the 26th March. If you believe in the old two party paradigm you have the choice of total incompetence on one side and no policies on the other. A salutory reminder that there are other options, greens independents etc. Multi party governments work quite successfully in other parts of the globe. For instance Swedens multi party government has given rise to the most social and economic success story in Europe.

‘Politicians are the same all over – they promise to build a bridge where there is no river’

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Know it all….

8th January 2011. A couple of recent articles has reinforced the fact that the stock market is simply a device for transferring money to the minority ‘in the know’ from the majority ‘out of the know’. This is particularly reinforced by directors trading stocks in the blackout period and the rapid introduction of massive computing power by trading houses to beat the average punter. Easy solution – dont play their game !

Some light……

29th December 2010. As this year draws to a close with the usual shootings, robberies and other examples of man’s inhumanity to man, there was a different story circulating about a jewish football team comprising christians,jews,muslims,orthodox and agnostics and they would all rather hang out with fellow team members than anybody else. Maybe there is hope……..

‘Have a Great 2011’

Carping…

20th December 2010. I grow tired of the carping of retail oligarchs in relation to GST on imported goods . Perhaps if we saw articles from them about bloated supply chains and bloated on costs imposed by bloated bureaucracies they would be more creditable. In the past they have been content to pass these costs on to the consumer, who without any alternatives was forced to cop it sweet.

‘Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs’ – Henry Ford

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Labor pains….

8th December 2010. As the gravy train rolls to a halt and the 19th ( update 15th Dec ) (21st) member of the current NSW Labor Government resigns, I am inspired by their displayed family values that see most of them leave ‘To spend more time with their family…..’

‘We’d all like to vote for the best person, but they are never a candidate.

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Wiki Wacky…

30th November 2010. Now let me get this straight. It seems OK for governments and their agencies to spy on the population by nefarious and widespread means and Corporations to track our personal habits, opinions and lifestyle, but when the shoe is on the other foot….

‘Secrecy, once accepted, becomes an addiction’

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Spin..

12th November 2010. Seems to be a new word that has crept in to the modern vernacular of politics and media – in the absence of any dictionary definition let me be the first:

Spin . n. exaggerations, distortions,inaccuracies,lies

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Out of control….

10th November 2010. Dont know where the Reserve Bank get their inflation figures, but certainly not from my letterbox. The everyday living bills that drift in seem out of control. Rates , insurances, utilities seem to have have yearly increases well above inflation. Try the compulsory ‘green slip’ vehicle third party personal insurance now pushing $500, , the escalating utility bills driven by the mantra of ‘upgrading infrastructure’ , credit interest above 20% – CEO’s on 1-200 times average earnings, mortgages now thats another topic – families struggling – not surprised.

Scylla and Charybdis…..

23rd October 2010. Scylla and Charybdis were two sea monsters of Greek mythology noted by Homer; later Greek tradition sited them on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and mainland Magna Graecia (southern Italy). They were said to be located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too closely to Scylla and vice versa. Much the same choice will face NSW voters in the coming election, particularly those opposed to the scourge of gambling in our society. NSW Labor’s Gaming and Racing Minister recently reclassified a simulated horse racing game as a wager. This allows the machines into pubs and clubs without sacrificing any of their poker machine licences. The NSW Liberal party meanwhile has promised a $210 million cut in poker machine taxes.

‘The problem with political jokes is they get elected.’

And in defence…

18th October 2010. I didnt really want to touch on this subject, but as more Australian soldiers die in the downstream of George,Tony and Johnny’s little wet dream war, its always amazed me that a so called ‘defence’ force can be engaged in defence 20000 kms away.

‘War does not determine who is right – only who is left.’

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Overspeed…

10th October 2010. Germany despite its high speed expressways has a lower vehicle fatality rate than Australia. To improve Australian statistics, a German expert makes the following suggestions:- increase expressway speed to 140K – mandate trucks to the left lane on 3 lane expressways – reduce all urban roads to 60 Kph – reduce truck speeds ( a truck at 80 kph needs as much stopping room as a car at 120 kph) – separate cyclists from car traffic. He also makes the observation that the Australian habit of driving close to the vehicle in front is extremely dangerous. Personally I believe that the training and testing regime needs to put less emphasis on reverse parking and more on overtaking a truck on a two lane highway at 100kph.

‘Safety doesnt happen by accident’

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Lawless…

30th September 2010. I see the legal fraternity is going gangbusters on class actions and no win no pay lawsuits. Unless reigned in , this US inherited nonsense will distort the way we live.

I commend you to read Phillip Howards book – Life without Laywers: Liberating Americans from too much law

I quote ’ A nation in which the proportion of lawyers has doubled in the period 1970 to 2000, has become ridiculously dense with laws. Now legal self- consciousness is stiffling the exercise of judgement. … Today rights are increasingly offensive weapons wielded to inflict demands on other people, using state power for private aggrandisement’.

Read Howards book and weep for the death of commonsense.

The warning on a three pronged fishing hook says : ‘Harmful if swallowed’ – a letter opener warning ’ safety goggles recommended’

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Headlined….

28th August 2010. At last a victory against the road safety industry who would have us all driving rubber cars at 10 kph if they could. In only one of the two countries in the world that enforces push bike riders to wear helmets a woman here in NSW has won a court case for not wearing a helmet, based on lack of evidence that they actually are safer. In fact recent evidence indicates that in Australia the forced use of helmets is a deterrent to riding pushbikes.

‘Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving’

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Democracy it aint…

27th August 2010. A quiet month as I sit back gobsmacked at the ‘spin’ of the two major parties in our election system and their contempt for the voter. Of course the thing about our anachronistic westminster system is that only the winners get a say in government for the next three years whilst the almost 50% that voted for the other side have no say. In the Swiss system for example , each side would be represented by ministers in proportion to the votes obtained ie all voters are represented in government and leaders would be rotated.

‘“A Westminster Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.

Ever been had….

30th July 2010. Annual returns on managed super funds for the last 10 years have just come in at a little over 4%, or a tad over inflation. If you had just put your super in commonwealth bonds you would have been a couple of percent better off. Financial advisors and fund managers of course are faring OK

‘the only difference is between those who know they don’t know and those who don’t know they don’t know’

Wolves in wolves clothing…

17th July 2010. This comment echoes one of two years ago. I guess we now have a new crop of the naive,stupid, or just plain greedy . As the Global Financial Crisis shakes out the shonks, crooks and smarties into the courts, most of whom who have taken off for fields afar with investors money, it behoves us all to realize that compulsory super has simply managed to corral the sheep together, so that the financial wolves dont have to run as far, and that anyone giving a third party control over their money had best be very cautious.

‘Just because he wears a suit doesn’t mean he’s a professional’

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Et Tu……

5th July 2010. Our recently politically assassinated Prime Minister was a decent and honourable man who was a bit harsh at times. Gave us the best economy after the global crash, tried to make long overdue structural changes too hard for procrastinating predecessors. Wow! Call out the guard! Man the barricades!, getting us into unwinnable wars, making the wealthy even wealthier, were not his doing. No. Lots of people didn’t “like” him.

……… BRUTE

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Sent Packing…

20th June 2010. Think its time the paper, packaging and kindred industries had a fizzer put through them. Chronic users of natural resources, primarily water, power and timber – there appears to be little attempt in this country at regulation, self or otherwise. The double and triple packaging of items carried home in the ubiquitous plastic bag leads to a massive recycling burden. It seems that this is an industry that needs to be made accountable for some of the massive ecological problems facing us.

‘Don’t blow it – good planets are hard to find’

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Lost word…

11th June 2010. I have searched for it in Newsagents while standing behind queues of pensioners filling out Lotto, in online gambling sites, at racecourses, in clubs and pubs with poker machines. Seems to be expunged from the language in these venues, “Lose”

“The next best thing to gambling and winning is gambling and losing”

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No roosters…..

10th June 2010. In years gone by, the sounds of a Sydney morning were roosters crowing in hundreds of backyards. Seems like now you wake up to a Boeing 747 over the top at 6 am, unsilenced vehicles and motorbikes, jet skiis, barking dogs, building excavation,pavement blowers or last nights party,but sadly.. no roosters allowed.

‘Silence and reserve will give anyone a reputation for wisdom’

And in case you don’t know….

4th June 2010. Recent reports of being unable to smile whilst getting a drivers licence in NSW are related to the fact that these photographs are to be used by facial recognition software and placed in a database to be shared with other government agencies including police, and will eventually be used in surveillance cameras. This gross invasion of individual privacy and freedoms has apparently been introduced with little or no public debate. What sort of warped society are we allowing governments to create.

‘It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you’

Give me a sign….

3rd June 2010. And whilst we are talking about road safety. Recently as a passenger in a fit of boredom I counted the signs associated with the control of about a 40 kilometer section of a Sydney ring road. Including all the clearway and do not park signs on about every telegraph pole – there were over 2000 signs and their respective poles, screws and supports. Now between looking at the signs, checking watches to avoid multiple school zones, keeping an eye out for speed radar in case of inadvertent overspeed, and being distracted by multiple advertising banners – massive case of sensory overload, the driver is expected to maintain control of the vehicle .

‘Advertising is about making whole lies out of half truths’

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Unsafe at….

30th May 2010. Just reading about the safety features on a lot of new european cars – try multiple air bags – rear view cameras – lane excursion warning – intelligent suspension – abs brakes – cruise control with auto stop – self dimming lights- inability to select drive without seatbelt on – visual and aural parking assist , etc. Our federal government in all its dotage , by prohibitive import taxes and luxury car taxes have put such safety features out of the range of the average punter. Road safety – I guess thats only for the well off.

‘Anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac’

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1984 – a good year….

21st May 2010. I normally only make a comment about once a week – but various governments are keeping me busy. Now as well as being viewed by thousands of surveillance cameras on a frequent basis- net monitored and controlled – being forced to be politically correct for fear of litigation – complying with over the top standards of health and safety – my movie viewing censored, the thought and morals police now require me to tick a box on the immigration card if I am carrying pornography. George Orwell – 1984 was such a good year.

‘You can cage the singer, but not the song’

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Down the mine….

21st May 2010. Appears to be great angst from the mining community and a degree of misreporting about a proposed new tax impost on mining production. What is not told is that although miners pay the increased tax in the production phase, they get that same rate as a tax benefit in the exploration stage. Our proposed tax rate is in the 40 % range, in Norway, a very robust economy with a massive sovereign fund, it is in the 70% range and has been for some time.

‘Never cancel a subscription due to misreporting – if you do you will soon have nothing to read’

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Why do’nt they….

18th May 2010. We have all said it, implying a request for more government control, alternatively we also complain about too much government control ie the nannystate; criticism in both directions. Perhaps we should heed this statement from Steve Jobs of Apple to a critical questioner “By the way, what have you done that’s so great? Do you create anything, or just criticise others’ work and belittle their motivations”. A salutory reminder to any current affairs commentator, that there is a vast army of hard working bureaucrats and politicians that create and maintain an extremely good lifestyle for us in this country. Having said that on a recent visit to Queensland I am gobsmacked about the pace of infrastructure in Brisbane, new roads, bridges, and tunnels as compared to the gridlock of Sydney.

‘The shortest distance between two points is under construction’

Tale of a curlew….

15th May 2010. The Curlew is a magnificent bird, it stands about half a metre high with enormous black hypnotic eyes used for night feeding. There is a curlew at the bowling club near here that stands by the external floor to ceiling window all day. Its mate was run over by a speeding or drunk driver , she mates for life, she thinks the reflection in the window is her mate – she will possibly die there but certainly will never produce any more curlews – we will be the worse off for it.

’ Thirst is the end of drinking and sorrow is the end of drunkenness’

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