My 2.2 cents (GST Inc.)

It is a real prick when your opinions are taxed. Australia least powerful political blog. (Plus any other crap I want to talk about.)

Monday, January 31, 2005

Iraqi Election goes well

The election in the Iraq had a fairly large turn out. This was hardly a suprise in retrospect. Anywhere where there is an election for the first time there always a fairly large turn out. It happen in the ex-USSR states and in South Africa.
However, now they have had an election, we are still to see if the result will accepted by the vast majority and if those elected will ask the US troops to leave.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

It smells like a backroom deal

What drives more people away from the ALP?
Is it the lack of solid leadership?
Is it the inability to communicate ideas and policy?
Is it the smell of smell of Kimbo's armpits after a visit to the gym?
Or the way Julia Gillard struggles to cook a decent BBQ?
No, it is the belief that the party is controlled by factional heavy weights who pull the strings in backroom deals and have their own interest at heart more than that of the good of the community. The recent federal leadership contest (or non-contest as it turned out to be) is a clear example. of this. Three people wanted the job, two were pressured to withdraw and leave one to be elected unopposed. What is the point of even having a vote? They might as well have just called everyone in the party and said look Kim is the new leader and that is that.
Anyway, I wasn't actually to upset to see Kim Beazley get the job again. The way he handle the Tampa pissed me off but that doesn't really matter now anyway. The reason I am pissed off is because his election just gives the impression of the backroom deals again. Which is what I hate and why you won't see me joining the party in a big hurry.

What are we doing in Iraq?

After last week bomb attack on the Australian Embassy in Iraq, the government said the Embassy would be moved inside the green zone soon. Then yesterday six of our boys get injuried in a bomb attack a long way away from the Embassy. The troops are offically there to guard the embassy and escort diplomates around the place. So it reasonable to ask the question what are they actually doing?
If they are joining in general patrols then we have to ask, is that the reason the embassy has not been moved into the green zone earlier. Persumable in the green zone the embassy would require fewer troops to protect it. Or are the Americans keeping us out, for the same reason? Just something to chew over.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Time for a Cricket Post

I haven't posted about the Cricket recently so I figured I had better post away. I have been having an interesting time discussing the merits of some of selections in the late 1990's which was started by reading this blog post on the infamous band "Six and out". I think all non-NSW Australians feel that the same way about the number of New South Welshmen often selected.
Plus it looks as if England might be able to rap up another win against South Africa. They need 8 more wickets and lead by 53 runs with an innings in hand with a day to go.

Roller coasters

I just realised I have never been a roller coaster. And I just a strange urge to go to Luna park. Strange what TV ads do to you.
And I have never been anywhere where it has been snowing either.

Australia Day 2005

Our National Day. A day to eat lamb chops. A day to listen to the Triple J Hottest 100. A day for Leftwingers to call "Invasion Day" and groan about Aboriginal injustice. A day to watch a one cricket match between Australia and some other team (who is going to lose anyway).
Australia Day 1788 was day they actually flew the Union Jack at Sydney Cove. They had actually turned up a week or so earlier. I reckon it is a bit much that all Australians have to celebrate Sydney's start. At least the weather is often good this time of the year. Few Countries have national holidays in winter for some reason.

Why unopposed is a step backwards

Beazley is going to be elected this Friday. And the push is for the election to unopposed. I feel this is a step backwards. Sure, it will briefly suggest that the party is unitied behind him. But it will show that there is no clear person to follow him into the leader's role the next time, and we will have the same old shit fight again.
One thing about the Howard and Costello pairing is that the deputy could clearly step into the shoes of Howard if he "goes under a bus"*. In the ALP there is not the case. If the deputy had of been a true leader when Latham fell sick the first time, the deputy could have stood into his place. But instead we get a vacuum and "nothing ever happens in a vacuum"**.

*His own words.
** One thing I learnt at Uni.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Not tough enough on Rudd before

Sorry, but I think I might just not have been tough enough on Kevin Rudd in the post I did a few hours ago. Clearly, he felt that he was not going to get the numbers and as a result he is not going to run. He did the same thing the last time. And he will probably do it the next time too! If you were a Rudd supporter you would start to feel that he is a bit like the boy who cried wolf.
The most likely outcome of the spill on Friday is Kim Beazley will become the new leader. However, there is always a chance that health issues could take out the leader (Latham was only 44 years old and illness took him out). Although Labor has a deputy leader this normally a person who is not likely to ever be leader. So if Beazley was to fall ill at any stage the ALP would need to look for another person to lead. A person who was able to get over a third of the votes in a leadership spill is more likely to seen a potential leader than some lap dog of the factional warlords.


Rudd shows us he ain't no leader

Kevin Rudd has just announced he is not going to stand for ALP leadership. Not really a surprise when one things about it. Rudd likes to think of himself as a leader but he is clearly not. He follows orders too easily. The NSW Right and Queensland Right both said don't run and he just bowed to them.
Clearly, if Beazley was to run opposed, it would result in at least 25% of the caucus voting against him. This would show that a large section of the Caucus and the ALP party in general are not exactly happy at his return.
Now only Gillard is left to show if she'll stick up her hand. If she does it will will show that she has leadership qualities that Rudd clearly lacks.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

My personal feelings on ALP leadership

Who do I want to win?
That is a hard question and the best answer I can give is I want someone to win. Ten days is a long time to be leaderless.
Anyway I am going to start making a list of things I have said about each of the candidates (that I will periodically add to if I can be stuffed):
  • Gilly will get pick on for being a woman by the retarded Australian media if she gets the top job. Guys get a lot easier by just having to wear a suit.
  • Speaking of dress sense, Beazley needs to wear a tie as the open chest look on him is not really good. Mind you he had flown across the country on the red eye.
  • Rudd is a foreign minister, not a prime minister.
  • I think the Morgan Poll doesn't tell the whole story. But Smith on 2% is certainly true.
  • Also on the polls, they always have Beazley being the most favored by the people. Yet, it doesn't matter if most people want him if they don'r want him as PM.
  • Tillops would do. He couldn't be any worse and seems to have the support of the Drunk faction anyway. I am always in favor of leader who can jug skoll.
  • I am not going to run mainly because I can't see myself joining the ALP in the near future.
  • Gillard is talking about Condelezza Rice being a role-model for herself. What they have in common other than being women beats me. I mean Rice is Black, right-wing and American.
  • The last redhead to lead the ALP was Scullin. Although I am not sure if she is naturally a redhead.
  • Lindsay Tanner said he is not running and says he is backing Beazley. Clearly, he thinks there is no point in trying to get back those members of his electorate who voted Green.
  • Okay, I am not normally a sexist person and would fully support a female leader like Gillard but only on one condition: They stay away from the BBQs. This clearly men's work and the way Gillard was grilling meat on the news showed she clearly has no idea about the male art of BBQing.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Great Ocean Road toll

I must be one of the few Australians who does not really like the beach*. However, most can't get enough of it. The local council in charge of the Surf Coast reckons it can't handle the cost of so many tourists driving on the Great Ocean Road.
So they want to bring in a toll on the road. One of the suggestion is $200 levy on international tourists. That would mean they earn about $10000 per coach load that travels the road. This seems to me to a little bit high. It is just going to drive tourists away from that section of the coast. I know it is beautiful but most coastland is beautiful and the tourist will just go to somewhere else that is cheaper. If they can't make money out of the tourist trade by charging rates on hotels, cafe's, petrol stations etc. then are just not trying hard enough.

*Sand and salt water is just not my thing. My mother doesn't understand this and the family still has Christmas at the beach. Plus I stood on a crab the last time. Twice.

Feeling a bit better

My health seems to be on improve. But I have still cancelled my shifts at work today and tomorrow so I am doing myself at about $350. Luckly, I am acting shift manager next weekend so I should be right with the rent.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

More on the Werriwa By-Election

The media does not seem to get why the ALP lost in Cunningham to the Greens in 2002. The Liberals did not run. Hence, Liberal voters has a choice of either a Green or Labor candidate, so they voted mainly Green. If they had run, however, the Greens would not have got enough votes to win as they would have come a fairly distance third. (I know the State Exec also stuffed up and pissed the locals off but it wouldn't have matter if the Libs had run).

If the Liberals however were to pull the same trick in Werriwa, their vote is going to split between the Family First and Green candidate. And neither of these Candidates is going to preference the other over the top of the Labor candidate (barring the ALP running an openly gay or lesiban candidate as FF would probably prefence a straight Green over a gay Labor candidate.)

Of course some are talking about the Liberals taking the seat by themselves. However, 9.5% is a lot of votes to make up when one considers that the last two elections have seen near record Liberal votes.

How dumb do they think we are?

A truck drove up to as close as it could get to the Australian Embassy in Iraq and blew up. Yet, Robert Hill has said that he can't be sure that the Embassy was the target, despite the fact that there is not a lot of near the Aussie Embassy. Perhaps the truck just got lost on the way to blow up some Americans or something. I mean How dumb does the Australian Government think its people are? (Mind you, they did just get reelected showing a lack of IQ in many voters).

Which Godfather to watch?

I have all three Godfathers on DVD and as I stuck on the couch sick as a dog, I am not sure which one to watch between the end of the News at 12.30pm and the first 4.30pm bulletin. I know I can forget about watching Godfather Part 3 as it is shit. They should have stopped at two times. A little bit like how some people feel about Kim Beazley attempt at coming back.

UPDATE: Watch the first one again. It is always amazing that everytime I watch the films I pick up on something new. Like in the scene where Micheal goes to the hospital to see the Don and there is no protection, he explains to the Don that he is going to take care of him and he is going to help the family the Don is crying. I never noticed that. Plus I love way he drafts Enzo the Baker to protect the hospital with him.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Labor Leadership Woes

Nobody plays a game of cricket one day with the hope that they will cause enough harm to the other team that they will be able to win the next game. Everybody should play to win the next match. This is why talk of taking two terms to win government in the ALP is just plain stupid. At least the Bomber said that he does not intend to play that type of game.

The Bomber is the only one who has said that he will be running at the moment. Rudd looks like the only other one who is going to sick up his hand at the moment. This is a interesting situation. If Rudd was to run and got say more than 20 votes then he would be the next front runner if there is to be a spill sometime in the future. This is something that Gillard, Swan, Tanner etc. don't really want to happen so if Rudd looks like he might get half decent numbers you might see more than two in the contest.

Anyway, maybe this blog is starting to seem to be concerned only with three things: Cricket, Politics and problems related to my balls. Plus I am not sure anyone reads it anyway.

UPDATE: I understand people read the blog, I am not sure if there is any point in them doing so. But thanks for the tip Mr Knob.

Sick - I've got Tonsillitis

Don't only kids can tonsillitis? Here I am 24 years old lying on the couch with Tonsillitis. It is just a pity I live by myself and I am not able to milk it for everything it is worth. I never really got Tonsillitis as a kid but my siblings did. And they always got ice cream and jelly and soft sweet food.

Plus I have a secondary infection in my testicles which is even more painful.

UPDATE: They hurt more when I move around so I have got my computer now in front of the TV so I can lie on the couch all day. Plus plastic buckets are extremely useful.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Werriwa By-Election

This could become the shitstorm that Labor really doesn't need at the moment. Latham had got the margin up to 9.3% at the last election over the Libs from a low 8.5% in 2001. This is a smaller margin than Cunningham which was a stuff up and a half. However, I can't really see the outer suburbs racing after the Greens in a great hurry. So it is most likely just going to be a normal Lib/Labor contest unless of course the Libs don't run. However, in the present climate I don't think they will bother and just run as per normal.

UPDATE: Although, they could not run and attempt to hand the seat to Family First. They would love that wouldn't they?

Two new leaders.....

Anyone else notice that Mrs Howard maybe sick as well. With Latham gone and the ALP in a drift, it would not a bad time for Howard to call it quits as well. He could go out on Australia Day like Menzies. Wishful thinking I know....

Well, he's gone..... So it is on for the leadership

Latham just quit. And he looked sick too and about 10 kgs lighter.
Not only do we now have a leadership contest but a by-election to face as well.

UPDATE: (ABOUT TWO HOURS LATER)
I would have to say I had high hopes for Latham up until the election. I am sad to see him go but I would have to say at least things are over for the moment which is good. You can't have a leader who is likely to remain sick for a few months.
I disliked the way Big Kim and his supporters did white ant Simon Crean's leadership, but sometimes you have forgive people for there past sins if you are to get on with the job at hand.



When is a rat a Rat?

As I have been watching the whole saga of the Labor leadership (or lack of it) crisis, I have noticed a large amount of talk about the various factions and how certain people couldn't become leader as they are in the wrong faction. Anyway this got me thinking how much backstabbing is needed to make someone a Rat?

I have never been a member of the ALP and have always been repulsed from joining by the factions. However, I have had in the past had a mild assocation with the left of the party at Uni. If I was now to join the ALP and join the Right (something I don't plan on doing) would I be considered a Rat?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Latham again

Thinking about his email last week, perhaps it wasn't issued by him at all. Perhaps he is too ill or drugged up to the eye balls to have sent it. It might just have been a staffer who wrote it which is why it sounded like a year seven's letter about why they hadn't been in class for the past week.

I did enjoy the poll in the Sunday Age that said 41% would prefer an ALP member (other than Latham) over the PM. Thus, they should elect a sock puppet the leader of the party. Plus the two-party preferred was only 56% to 44%, which is extremely bad in normal times, however these are not normal times.

McSocialists

I had have just read this on Alex White's blog. It just reminded me how much I am glad not to be involved in Student Politics anymore. It sounds as if meetings are just as pointless as they ever have been.
Nothing gave me the shits more than the McSocialists who would jump on every causes. Surprisingly, they never got the troops out of Iraq, saved ATSIC or freed the refugees. This went on while the whole Student Union collapsed around them because they did not fight the enemy on hand instead of battles which they weren't going to win. Plus they always enjoyed fights amongst themselves more than fights with the enemy.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Prince Harry is not a Nazi, just a stupid prince

So young Prince Harry dress up as a Nazi and went to a fancy dress party. Big fucking deal. I know it is disrespectful to the victims of facism, but really if was any other 20 year old kid in the UK nobody would give a shit. It is also not like Harry has a choice in being a prince. He can hardly quit and get a job flipping burgers at a McDonalds. So he is stuck for the rest of his life with everything being watched by the British press.
Also I heard on the news this morning someone suggesting that Harry "should be sent to a Nazi death camp". I felt this a little harsh and I didn't know that they all hadn't been shut down.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Latham is not dead but still confuses everyone

Well, it turns out Mark Latham is not dead. We know this as he has sent an email. Perhaps he could gone to Thailand faked his own death as that would be a better fate than the one he now faces.
The email said nothing we didn't already know, therefore it failed to answer any of the question that have been asked of him. What is wrong with him? Will he get better and if so can he swear he won't? Does he still have the guts to still be leader and how is he willing to regain his team members trust? And most important of all, how expensive was the bottled water in the minibar?
The Australian Public needs a Labor Leader. And Latham is not leading, he's following. I know he is sick. I suspect that maybe related to his cancer that he had a few years ago (Hopefully not). But if he is just staying in the job for another month or two just in order to get someone he prefers into the job he is not doing anyone any good.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Bushfires in SA

Always very sad when there is bushfires and it kills people (So far 8 people are dead but there some others missing). However, they mostly seem to be deaths that could have been avoided.

A lot of the people seem to have been caught on the road after deciding to leave their houses too late. The one place you don't want to be in a bushfire is out in the open because it is the radiant heat which is the killer. At least, get into a ditch or stay in the car and crouch down covering themselves with a blanket or something. The odds are not too good but they are better than being in the open. It however might have been better to stay in their houses.

Despite the myths that the media like to present, Houses don't just burst into flames when a bushfire reaches them. In fact most houses burn down in the following few minutes after the fire front has past. This is because it takes a while for combustible stuff like window frames and garden furniture next to the house to catch and then that sets the house on fire. It is not like this new information. The CISRO did research after every major bushfire since the end of the Second World War and showed that houses that were defended by the residents survived about 80% of the time. Even if the house was to burn down those inside could flee to outside and the front is likely to have past.

The Victorian CFA does not evacuate people like other services around Australia who can force a person to leave. Of course, this then makes people decide whether they want to risk their lives defending their home or fleeing but then again life is full of choices.

I don’t know. The media just piss me off when it comes to Bushfires.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Is he dead or not? The question about Latham

Just wanting to be the first one to come up with this loopy idea and put out into cyberspace. Just for the record, I don't think he is dead. He doesn't however sound well.

UPDATE (10/1 PM): Sorry. This was just a sick joke. From the sounds of things it appears to be in really poor taste at the moment. So again let me say I'm sorry. The word is that a statement is going to be on Friday concerning Mark Latham's health. Sadly this can't be positive as if he was on the road to recovery they would make the statement sooner. Instead, the three days between today and Friday is going to allow a lot of consultations amongst factional heads.

Wonderful Day at the Cricket

What a great game it was yesterday when the ASIAN XI played the Rest of World XI. I must say I have not seen a team bat as well as the rest of world did for a long time. I have to also say I felt only partly let down by the lack of an actual match when the ASIAN side collapsed. Plus it raised a shitload of money for the Tsunami appeal.

The only dumb thing is that it goes down as ODI which clearly it wasn't. Perhaps to make the records clear, those of us who love our stats might have to work on Nation Vs Nation ODI from now on. The ICC is often full of crap and this was an example of this.

Also Bangladesh came through with the goods and won their test ever. In reality, both teams should not be playing test cricket.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Late Night TV ads

If you are up late at Night, the TV ads would have you believe you are either single, lonely, horny or overweight. Or all four. Otherwise you be in bed with you would be in bed with your other half at this time of night.

Bangladesh Vs Zimbabawe - Wooden Spoon Test Series

This blog is starting to sound like a blog belonging to a cricket tragic. Okay , I do have two posters of Don Bradman on my living room wall and one of Boonies' last innings is still on the wall in my Bedroom up on the farm. Anyway, today the feather weights of cricket have gone head to head today. And both are likely to be beaten by Kenya if they were allowed to play tests.

Anyway, Bangladesh is not playing that badly, ending the day on 280 for 4 at the end of play on day one. Unlike the matchs against the strong teams, like Australia, both teams are likely to learn more from this type of match.

UPDATE: (8/1) Bangladesh is looking like they are on top. They made 486 and have Zim 4/84.

UPDATE: (8/1) Who top scored in the Australia A side today? C. White and D. Hussey both of whom play for Victoria. And in the test, Zimbabawe is now 6/154 at lunch. Who would have guess Bangladesh would every be able to enforce the follow on?

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Latham's ill again

Sounds as if he is on his way out. Perhaps in more than one way. Actually resigning due to ill health might be better than being rolled. It is not exactly what you want from a leader who is only 43 years old.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Cricket Charity Match at the MCG Monday

Next Monday we have the very best of the Asian Cricket nations playing the some of the best of the rest of world to raise money for the Indian Ocean Earthquake victims.This is going to be great as when else are going to so many greats playing together. Plus it all goes towards to charity.

Plus a note to MCC members. The details about how it will work for members are on the MCC website.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Rain Delay at the Cricket

And Sydneysiders bag Melbourne weather. Mind you, it pissed down last week many times in the Boxing Day test.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Me and John Safran

I was watching John Sarfan's Music Jamboree (repeated) tonight. It turns out that he had a band called Raspberry Cordial in the early 1990's. And he played one of his songs on the show. It reminded me of a song that I heard play at my high school in 1993 when I was in year 7. And thinking about it was him. I was at one of his four gigs ever.

It must of been kind of a strange gig, as there was only about 150 students at my school on a good day. And I don't think the year 11 and 12 were involved in what ever the special day was (I think it was anti-racism day which is funny as we only had two asians and half dozen black kids).

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Still a donkey

I think I getting bullied at work. Or perhaps they are demaning too much of me. The problem is we have lost a large chunk of staff and have hired new staff who are basically crap (as we all once were). I am being relied on to train staff because some of the management have never done the job and therefore I am teaching all the bad habits I have to everyone else. And my bad habits are really starting to bug me. Plus that they are making me manage shifts like the one I did today.

And it is not like they are not making money. The turnover today was massive and I work in an industry that has very few overheads. So most of todays revenue was profit and I will get in trouble for calling in more staff because the two staff I had on were run off their feet. Plus I used all the change we had (4 grand) and I don't know how to order more.

And one of the supervisors is a real prick.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

It has hit me

Strange amounts of salt water has just started to leak out of my eyes. I have just started crying about the Tsunami crisis. Talk about delayed reaction.
And another thing, Is the Australian government not being honest about the number of missing Australians? I know it is hard to organise correct numbers and I have yet to see many newspaper reports about upset families, but the number of Australians killed must surely be in the low hundreds now. But with respect to the actual number killed it is chicken feed really.