Monthly Archives: October 2011

F@&ker!

I watched Tony Abbot on the 7PM Show tonight and f@&k does he make my blood boil. He is just so f@&king negative! And pretty liberal (get the double meaning? πŸ™‚ ) with the truth. He was sprouting off that pre-commitment legislation for poker machines, that is being considered to help problem gamblers, has been tried in Norway and failed. But, not surprisingly, he has been a little disingenuos. It’s seems that it’s not really comparing apples with apples!

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Carbon Tax nonsense!

I’m not sure whether to put this one under ‘You have to admire their balls’ or ‘How our media sucks’. Oh I have just worked out I can do both. Hey you learning something new everyday! In the end though I did neither. πŸ™‚ But I digress. As you hopefully know we have just has a piece of legislation pass the lower house of the federal government that will set up a carbon pricing scheme. As you will probably also have heard, this is going to single-handedly destroy the Australian economy and take us back to the dark ages. This is because we are the only major economy that is doing this, apparently. And the argument goes something along the lines of ‘why should we do it when no-one else is and it isn’t going to significantly reduce greenhouse emissions? After-all we only contribute a small amount to the total carbon emissions anyway ‘.

Now you can address this argument on a couple of fronts. The first is on the ‘where did you learn to argue? In Grade 5?’ front. Just because no-one else is doing it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it, if it is the right thing to do. This is the reverse of the glib question most mums ask when their child does something stupid because a mate did…’would you would jump off a bridge just because Kevin did? πŸ™‚ And the latest report on global warming says it is the right thing to do, as does the fact that we are right up there among the leading emitters on a per capita basis. We are responsible for 5% of the worlds CO2 but only make up .33% of the worlds population. And isn’t the logical extension to the argument of not acting unless others are that if someone else is doing it then we should be? I mean, you can’t have it both ways, we won’t do it if you don’t but we might not do it even if you do. That’s a ten year old’s argument. Hmmm, so maybe the Opposition can make it. πŸ™‚ But on the basis of the ‘we won’t do it until the rest of the world does’ argument we are a long way behind the rest of the world on both maternity leave and the number of asylum seekers we take. For god-sake we have a worse maternity leave system than Albania and take less refugees than Belgium, a country with half our population, an economy half the size of ours and a landmass so much smaller than ours I can’t even be bother doing the calculation (30,000Β  square km’s to 7,617,930 square km’s, you do the maths. πŸ™‚ ). If it is good enough for them then surely we should be doing the same? And while we are on the subject, lots of other countries have over-all tax systems including specific taxes on excess profits from mining companies that would make the tax burden on our mining companies pretty much similar if we taxedΒ  their super-profits. So why don’t we just do these things in the same way others are doing them? Cos the argument sucks. You should do, or not do, things because it is the right thing to do, morally, financially etc and it takes into account your situation. In other words, after rational thought, not because of mass hysteria.

The second way to address this argument in on the ‘you are speaking complete bollocks’ front. So no-one else has a price on carbon hey? Well Europe has and has had since 2005, and this is the biggest economy in the world. And California introduced one last week and this, if it were a separate country, would be between the 8th and the 11th biggest economy in the world. To be balanced about it, the European scheme has had some teething problems, at one point the price of carbon dropped to 30 euro cents, but it is has been continually developed and seems to be a functioning system now. And really, do we expect to make changes of this magnitude and not have a few hiccups along the way?

And as for the ‘it isn’t going to reduce CO2 level anyway’ bit, well I’m going to answer that with a question. Does it have to? If you go to the doctor and say ‘it hurts when I do this’ what is the doctor going to say? Stop doing that then! It makes logical sense to me that before you can solve a problem you have to stop doing whatever it is you are doing that is exacerbating it. If your leg hurts when you run, stop running. If smoking is affecting your lung capacity, stop smoking. Or, if you can’t do that, then sure as shit don’t smoke even more! That’s the problem we are facing, our emissions are increasing as we continually chase economic growth (don’t get me started on our mindless pursuit of economic growth! πŸ™‚ ). So if our Carbon Tax does nothing other than keep us at our current levels of emissions it will have served a purpose. It will have bought us time to find other solutions.

Btw, if you are curious whether the carbon tax is going to affect you, visit here and have a look. From what I can gather the reality is most of us will be compensated from the money raised by the tax. And a question for the WesternΒ  Australians out there. How much have your power bills gone up in the last couple of years without even an attempt to reduce emissions?

But sorry to have taken up your time with this. It is probably keeping you from what seem to count as the real news.:-)

Facebook Warren, May 2007 to 21st Oct 2011. May His Virtual Soul Rest in Peace. :-)

As the day of Facebook Warren’s passing in to the ether draws closer I thought I would share some final Facebook musings with you.

I have to say I have found people’s reaction to me closing my account really interesting. Some people have acted almost like I was dying while others have been totally dismissive of the me actually being able to do it, to the point of posting smart arse comments about seeing me back in a couple of weeks. It got me thinking about how quickly and completely Facebook, and social networking in general, have become not just part of our lives but, apparently, a necessity. But I guess when you think about it, it really is no surprise. It is, after all, communication-lite in a superficial world. πŸ™‚

And then there was the person who posed the philosophical question of whether, if we don’t exist on Facebook, we exist at all? An interesting, if not seemingly ridiculous, notion. And yet it has a element of truth about it. I think as far as most people who post events on Facebook are concerned, if you aren’t on Facebook then you don’t exist. πŸ™‚

This On-Facebook / Not-On-Facebook divide did get me thinking if whether in future people will be defined not by their country of birth but by which is their dominant social networking site. We’ll ask people if they are Facebookians, Bebonitess or WAYNers. People will argue about which is best, starstruck lovers will be denied because of it (the union between a Facebookian and a LinkedIner is frankly just wrong. I mean, what would they even talk about? πŸ™‚ ) and, I think, as a quite logically extension of my argument, wars will be fought over it. But all the different social-networkers will be united in their hatred and disdain of the new under-class, those without a social network to call home. Or have I taken that too far? πŸ™‚

My final musing comes from my brother when I told him I was closing my account. We talked about how Facebook uses people’s information (I have a friend who helps people set up their businesses on Facebook and he said you would be horrified at how much Facebook share with companies who sign up) when my brother pointed out how weird people are. They get all bent out of shape at the idea of the Government having access to their personal data, through things like the Census, even though they are using it to plan for the need for things like education, medical and social amenities. But it seems okay to let a major corporation, headed by a guy who is probably a narcissist and sociopath or both, have access to anything they want to make as much money as they want. So we don’t trust out elected officials, who we can remove every three years if we want, but we are happy to trust a corporation whose sole reason for existence is to make money and who we effectively have no control over. Does strikes me as kinda weird.

But enough of my ramblings. You know where you can find me so speak to you soon!

Some Telethon thoughts.

Just sitting watching some Telethon. I used to love it as a kid, so long ago now that we were getting excited about reaching one million. πŸ™‚ But this year’s event is going on while all over the world there are huge demonstrations that started off directed at the excesses of Wall Street but now seem to be targeting the inequity of the capitalist system in general. And it got me wondering about why, in a world as rich as ours, we need Telethon, or charities, at all.

Here are some interesting figures for you. The CEO of Qantas has just been granted a payrise to bring his salary to just under half of the $12 million raised this year. The biggest bonus paid on Wall Street in 2006 was $23 million with total bonuses in 2010 being $20 billion. Oh and the total of $12 million represents a whopping .05% approx. of BHP’s 2011 profit of $21 billion (but no way they can afford a to pay more tax hey!).

I’m just not convinced we have our priorities quite right.

How our media sucks – Pt ‘I’ve lost count’.

Quality journalists must shake their heads in wonder at what some of their colleagues are doing to their noble and essential profession. First there was the News of the World hacking peoples phones, including murder victims, families of murder victim and bereaved families of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Then Andrew Bolt, a man with his own TV show, a widely read blog and columns in 3 (I think) newspapers, tries to play the victim when he is found guilty of having breached anti-discrimination laws, not because of the subject he wrote on but because he lied. And now this.

How is on this f*&king earth is Julia Gillard’s praise tempered by the fact that they spelled her name wrong in a list? If you look at the picture of the article itself, they have spelled it right at least twice. And if anything, the praise is tempered by statements likeΒ  ‘The magazine notes Ms Gillard may have been forced into her energy policy by the need to form a minority government with the Greens, but by doing so she “risked her political life”. “Whether you see the move as politically expedient or as a principled course correction, there’s no denying the risk that it entails in a country where climate change is a wildly contentious issue,” the magazine says.’

But apparently a typo is more a reflection on the praise given. Well Jeremy Thompson might not have a single typo in his article but that doesn’t make his argument any less of a poorly written piece of crap. Too harsh? Look at it this way; I wouldn’t accept an argument like that from one of my Master students and they don’t claim to be journalists with an audience of thousands.

H0LY 5H17!!! :-)

7H15 M3554G3 53RV35 7O PR0V3 H0W 0UR M1ND5 C4N D0 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5! 1MPR3551V3 7H1NG5! 1N 7H3 B3G1NN1NG 17 WA5 H4RD BU7 N0W, 0N 7H15 LIN3 Y0UR M1ND 1S R34D1NG 17 4U70M471C4LLY W17H 0U7 3V3N 7H1NK1NG 4B0U7 17. B3 PROUD, 0NLY C3R741N P30PL3 C4N R3AD 7H15. 50 8E PL3453D 1F U C4N R34D 7H15, though it really isn’t that useful a skill! πŸ™‚