Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I don't hold out much hope that our politicians will think of anything but their own best interest in 2015. It won't be any better in that respect than 2014.

Labor ex-ministers and powerbrokers regularly found to be corrupt, likewise their coalition opponents.

In the Sydney suburb of Homebush the state government sold a block of houses in June to developers for $5.8 million. The developer onsold it in December for $10.5 million.

The federal government continues to crow about 'stopping the boats' which contain legal asylum seekers - in spite of them being officially called illegal by the government. Meanwhile, it's confirmed yet again that tens of thousands of people are living here illegally, deliberately ignored by the government.

Historically the main illegals are Americans and Brits but they've been pushed down to third and fourth respectively by Chinese and Malaysians. They come in legally but then overstay their visa and melt into the population. Genuine illegals.

When asked what, as Minister for Women, his biggest achievement for women was in 2014 all Tony Abbott could do was squawk about removing the carbon tax. In other words, he's done exactly what we expected him to do in that portfolio - nothing. He's still spouting the lie, too, that households are $550 a year better off as a direct result of the carbon price removal.

Meanwhile his Environment Minister sneaked out data in the Christmas rush that shows carbon emissions reduced by 1.4% in the twelve months to June, beating the 0.8% the previous year. The carbon price obviously worked but is to be replaced, if the Senate allows the government to get its way, by payments to companies to not pollute.

Yep. Instead of penalising them for polluting the world we're going to pay them extra to do the right thing.

Smokin' Joe Hockey you will remember for his time as Shadow Treasurer, purple in the face screaming endlessly about the previous government's handling of the budget. Vote the Coalition in and he would fix it, get it straight back into surplus, get the economy booming, create more new jobs than you could poke a stick at.

He's in reverse now of course. Buggered it up totally, first by trying to introduce a patently unfair ideologically-driven budget of which the Senate sensibly has rejected the most unfair proposals.

The budget is getting worse and worse. Due in large part to the way they've behaved since winning power, revenue is going off a cliff. Outside events, which he refused to acknowledge when he was frothing at the mouth at his predecessor, are now one of his excuses. It's true of course, but he refused to accept that in the past.

He and Abbott led the crew spouting the nonsense that 'the adults are back in charge', that there'd be no broken promises - after endless histrionics over Gillard's broken promise over the carbon tax - that there'd be no surprises.Confidence would flood back, Australia was open for business.

All utter bullshit. It's been nothing but broken promises, childish behaviour, plummeting confidence, mass sackings, huge youth unemployment, an economic and budget disaster.  There's no surplus anywhere in sight.

The hypocrisy knows no bounds with what was the most destructively negative Opposition now, in government, crying that the now-Opposition is being negative and unfair and not simply rubber-stamping the government's proposals.

They organised a Royal Commission into Unions - nothing about that do I object to - but refuse to have one into the finance industry which has consistently stolen money from ordinary investors.

They'll do nothing about the Big Two, Coles and Woolworths, who are now dominating our economy to a dangerous extent. In the face of their denials, evidence has emerged that they do indeed use their power to bully and rip off suppliers. They've tried to con us into believing that they have our best interests at heart, claiming that they're reducing costs for consumers.

In fact, as anyone with half a brain realises, their profits are climbing all the time. They force their suppliers to pay for any price reduction consumers get - and even make them pay again to boost profit margins to what the Big Two decide they should be.

Our State government is planning to sell off the electricity poles & wires, Abbott claims the carbon price was the cause of the huge hike in electricity prices. More bullshit. Government siding with big business was the cause of the price hikes, with the gold-plating scam they agreed.

In Singapore, the Straits Times is reporting: "Electricity tariffs will be reduced in the first quarter of next year by an average of 8 per cent, energy firm SP Services said in a statement on Tuesday. The tariff reduction is due to lower cost of fuel for electricity generation, which fell by 16.4 per cent compared to the previous quarter. "As fuel cost makes up about 50 per cent of the tariff, this translates to a proportional reduction of 8 per cent in the Q1 2015 electricity tariff," SP Services said".

With our government and business so intimately tied together at the expense of the rest of us, we can only dream of such a thing here.









Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Will they learn from the Sydney tragedy?

For me the tragedy in Sydney in which two innocent people were killed raises two critical questions.

The way police deal with hostage situations is one and the way the scumbag responsible for it was dealt with is the second.

First, as I said yesterday, the emphasis on negotiating with criminals is wrong. When they're threatening other people they need to be stopped at the first possible opportunity.

In this case the scumbag - well known to police and the rest of us - was clearly visible at windows on more than one occasion. That gave sharpshooters opportunities to end the danger to the innocent hostages.

But no, the plan is always to negotiate. As a direct result, two people are dead.

In this case in particular, given the history of the scumbag, they must have known that negotiating was totally useless. You can't - and shouldn't - even think about negotiating with a mentally defective fanatically religious criminal.

We still don't know how several of the hostages were shot. It could well have been in the crossfire when police stormed the building after shots were heard from inside.

There's always the danger of the innocents being caught in crossfire when dozens of guns are going off in an enclosed space.

The way to avoid that is for a sniper to shoot the perpetrator at the first opportunity.

It's too late for the two victims but I hope that for once lessons are learned and in future the emphasis will be on eliminating the perpetrator at the earliest possible opportunity. Any negotiating should be designed solely to lure him into the sights of a sharpshooter.

Second, the scumbag was given political asylum from Iran back in 1996. That's OK, until his true personality became obvious. That's when it should have been revoked and he should have been immediately deported back to Iran.
 
Years ago he came to our attention when he sent offensive letters to the families of Australian soldiers killed in action. Was he deported? No, he was given a few hours of community service.

Last year his ex-wife was stabbed and set on fire. He was charged with with being an accessory before and after the fact to the murder.Instead of immediately deporting him.

Earlier this year he was charged with over fifty counts of sexual assault. Still he wasn't deported.

At the time of the hostage taking he was out on bail.

Again, will the authorities learn from their mistakes?





Monday, December 15, 2014

Why is the hostage taker still alive?

I don't understand the softly-softly default position the police take in hostage siruations.

The one going on right now in the heart of Sydney is a perfect example.

A gunman has people in a cafe held hostage, for over ten hours now. The police are out in force of course, armed to the teeth.

After hours of waiting they say they're now negotiating with the hoodlum.

He's been in full view of a window, as shown on TV:


So why didn't they shoot the bastard?

The deputy commissioner has been saying that the safety of the hostages and the general public is paramount.

Well, the best way to ensure everyone's safety is to eliminate the threat.

Forget the negotiators, there must be sharpshooters all round the place. They know what he looks like so they should have orders to shoot to kill at any opportunity he gives them.

Anything less is not making the safety of hostages and the public paramount.



More mandate crap

I really have a problem with governments and their supporters squawking about having a mandate.

The latest is ANZ Bank's CEO Mike Smith, whingeing about the Senate not rubber-stamping the government's patently unfair budget proposals.

"They have a clear mandate to govern and should be allowed to get on with it."

In the real world, the coalition, with all its components, managed just 45% of the vote. To claim a mandate when less than half of us voted for you is ludicrous.

Added to that, of course, with this lying government, the policies they went to the election with are not what they decided to give us once in power.

They have no voter approval, let alone a mandate, for so many of the things they're trying to push through - such as cuts to education, cuts to health, changes to pensions,cuts to the ABC & SBS.”




Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Enough!

Abbott brought it all on himself and he's reaping what he sowed.

Dr No in Opposition, everything was negative, everything was in crisis, the PM was a liar, outside events were no excuse for budget blowouts, changing circumstances were no excuse for changing policy.

It would all be so different if only he could be given the power to govern.

In the year or so since he was given power - he didn't win it, he was gifted it by Labor - it's been an unmitigated disaster.

More broken promises - read lies -  than you can poke a stick at, the most unfair budget proposals in living memory, arrogance causing a fractious Senate to be even more hostile, a huge budget blowout, no chance of meeting the 'budget in surplus' bragging.

As it was with Labor, the problem with the budget is falling revenues, and they're falling faster than ever. But there was no policy to do anything about that, just cuts to expenditure which affected ordinary people.

Meanwhile, multi-nationals get away with paying little or no tax, mining companies are given concessions, including our money to subsidise their fuel costs, while paying a fraction of what they should in tax. The paid parental leave rort is still on the cards, money for religious, and only religious, school counselors was found.

Worst of all are the lies. Just as his mentor John Winston Howard did, he said anything, told any number of lies, in the pursuit of power.

And it's continued, naturally enough, since he gained power. He's even lying about lying.

His election-eve promise of  'no cuts to the ABC or SBS', for example, was broken, he and his ministers obfuscated, using convoluted garbled phrases to try to con us into believing it wasn't a broken promise.

In the face of the obvious ridicule he now says the action 'was at odds' with his earlier pledge. At odds! He has broken his promise to the electorate. Another one.

It was changing circumstances that caused it, he claimed. The reason he was so scathing of when Labor used it.

Again like his mentor, he and his ministers are thrashing about blaming everyone but themselves.

The Opposition is the cause of so much of his problems, he tells us. They won't just rubber-stamp his proposals, they're being obstructive, they're 'feral' he says.

This from Dr No!

The debacle that was the Labor government, thanks largely to Kevin Rudd, was nothing compared to this rabble.

Deceit, lies, secrecy, arrogance, unfairness, looking after their mates at the expense of  ordinary people - even with Anonymous Bill  as Labor leader this will be a one-term government.

Abbott will be thrown on the scrap heap of history where he belongs.


Monday, December 01, 2014

Why?

What's this thing with people sticking their tongue out when they're photographed, selfie or otherwise?

I'm seeing it more and more in the mainstream media and online, from 'celebrities' to nonentities.