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.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Between a rock and a HAMAS place

HAMAS won the elections in Palestine. Who could have forseen that an extremist group could make electoral gains against a corrupt more moderate group?
Yeah, I know. It is not like it has happened anywhere else in the world. Except perhaps Cuba in 1959, Iran in 1979, South Vietnam in the 70's....
So you think it was Fatah's corruption was the main reason for HAMAS winning?
Put simply yes. Instead of attempting to establish a moderate rival to Fatah, the international community kept trying to prop up Fatah.
So what is wrong with HAMAS?
A lot. For one thing, everyone says they are a terrorist organisation. They also want to wipe out Israel which is not a nice thing to do.
What do you think it will mean for the peace process?
I think it will make it extremely hard to get a two state solution for the next ten years. Not that I think a two state solution is the way to go anyway. I can't see a nation that is divided by another working. It didn't work for Pakistan, that is for sure.
What other solutions are there?
Well, there is the status quo but that is clearly not working. The best solution I reckon is a one state solution where they all live together in peace.
But nobody talks about that?
I know. The problem lies in the fact that Israel wants to be a Jewish state and there will soon be more Palestinines than Israelis if current birth rates continue. Perhaps it just that it so hard for me to understand how one can be at war with people in the next suburb over.
A little off the track but is there any lesson that can be learnt from the Hamas victory?
Deal with the corruption in your ranks or else a group who you think is worst you will win.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The return of Normal TV

About bloody time. It is almost here.

Update: I was wrong. Nine is showing swimming trials for the Commonwealth games. It is very hard feel much for these races as we know an Australian is going to win. Actually, we know that is going to happen at the Commonwealth games too as no other nation is so deadly serious about swimming.

Big Day Out in my Lounge Room

If had of known I was going to be able to hear the Melbourne Big Day Out at home (about 3 kms away), I wouldn't have gone to work yesterday. Actually, I would've but that is only because I need the money. I can see why people would get upset if it was too happen every year in Princess Park but as a one off I think it could be lived with.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

With friends like these

The Nationals are a bit upset about their friends the Liberals doing them over. Not that they have been done over to badly. They have only lost one senator and one ministry. It is not like they hold the balance of power in the Senate and the house (just). And just because the Libs have cut their lunch and rubbed the Nats noses in it, does not mean they can't be friends. The Nats don't have the balls to go out on their own and therefore will be forced to be a lapdog to the Liberals for the rest of the time they exist (a few more elections).
Plus the more extreme Liberals really hate having the Nats on board with them. They can tell that they would win more than half of the Nats seats off them if they end the argeement. Plus it does not the Nats anywhere else to go.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Twenty 20 is the future

On Saturday, the mighty Victorian Bushrangers defeated the New South Wales Blues in Australia's first domestic Twenty 20 final. And I have to say it sign of things to come. That is not to say that Tests and ODIs do not have a place in the world of cricket nor should we get rid of the domestic versions. However, I can see Twenty 20 have a very big place.
Firstly, the crowds seem to love it. Maybe part of this is novelty of playing a new style but a three hour game is more attractive to families and to the television market. It is just a pity that the domestic series was not shown on TV.
It is generally agreed that there is too many ODIs played now that mean nothing. They are just still five or seven game series between the same two nations. Perhaps that could be reduced to say three ODI's and three Twenty 20's.
There is also scope for an International Twenty 20 competition between the winning team in the domestic 20-20 competitions from around the world. This could be like the World Club Championships for Soccer.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Well, no shit

Whale dies after it is taken out of water. Strange that, considering how many whales love to roll around on beaches and such.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Have a fuckin' sook

Hewitt doesn't like the surface at the Australian Open. Tough titties I say. The courts surface is one of the challenges of the all the different Opens. From example the French play their open on Clay and Hewitt plays shit there too. But it is not like they are going to change their surface. And he seems to like the grass they use in England sometimes (being from SA he might know people who know a thing or two about grass) and other times he fails there as well. If the speed of the court is his problem he doesn't have to play the Australian Open.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why I moved a one tonne safe by my bare hands

Makes you feel like superman when you get it for one side of the room to the other. All you need to do is lift one corner and swing it around a bit and then repeat the process on another corner until it is moved. It does nothing for the carpet however.
Anyway, the reason I was move stuff today is because the company worked out that us low level casuals are cheaper than labourers from a hire company. I know I am getting screwed but I need the money at the moment. Plus they paid me for a full day and it only took me a few hours of hard work and then a few hours waiting to be told to go home.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Crash Dieting helps....

get you out of jail. 14kgs is a lot of weight to lose to fit through the bars of a jail. One has to give the guy some credit for effort but I guess prison food is pretty bad so it might not have been too hard. I could never escape by this method, not just because I am fat, but my skull is extremely large to boot. So much so I can't wear normal hats.

Anyway, if I was the cops I would looking for the guy at all-you-can-eat outlets.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The failed experiment of the Super Sub

In ODI cricket the Super sub is not really working as well as it should. The problem is the team has to nominate the Super Sub before the toss. Therefore, the team doesn't know what it is going to need. For example, it would be useful if the team is bowling first to have a batsman as the Super Sub, or likewise a bowler if the team was batting. Instead the Super Subs are generally a sub-standard all rounder so that they can do before.
Like on Sunday, Australia's super-sub was James Hopes who look as if he was going to be required to bat in the place of one the bowlers in the first innings. This would have limited the bowling attack in the second innings. If the Aussies had known they were batting first they could have named Hopes in the starting line up and Supersub one of the bowlers, like Oh Ah.
Others, the team could gamble like South Africa did today by naming a batsman as the SuperSub and hope they win the toss.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Get a new Idea for a ID card

The call for a National ID card has gone out yet again. I oppose it on the grounds that it will serve no single purpose that other cards do not and therefore it will be a waste of money. A huge waste of money, one suggestion has been it could cost $15 billion or $750 per head, which I don't think is too far wrong. Firstly, it will involve linking eight different police forces computer systems plus those of DFAT, Centrelink, ATO, a range of agencies in the defence department and health departments as well as the various records offices of births, deaths and marriages.
Then there is need to photograph and produce a card for every single Australian. There is a 20.4 million of us and although it could easily be done in cities and major centres for only a few billion dollars, it is often forgotten that over a million Australians live in communities of less than 5000, getting to them is going to cost just as much.
Certainly, it could help cut down on tax cheating and rats who hold out of child support payments. But these benefits that would come form the card would most likely just come from the link of the databases of all the difference information holders listed before. Therefore, I suggest that we do know develop a national ID card but instead throw the money at linking the databases and create a psuedo ID card where any form of photo ID can serve to identify a person for a bunch of different tasks.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Iraq and Iran

Iran wants to wipe Israel from the face of the earth and make peaceful nuclear power. Funny isn't it that the world for some reason links both of these things together and things the Iranians might just be up to no good. The Americans and the Europeans are both not happy. Oil is sky rocketing and with the hardliners in charge in Iran and America it looks as things could get serious.
For the Americans it could very well be a tough fight. Firstly, they are stuck in Iraq for the forseeable future and are having problems mainly with the Sunnis. The Shittes are mostly quiet at the moment however that could easily change if Iran starts to stir them up. Iraq has already tied up most of their troops and if things start to get worse there they are going to need more.
Iran is four times the size of Iraq and has three times the population. If the west goes in full on, it will be the worst scenario any could think up. An unstable Afghanistan, a hostile Iran and an Iraq that is on the verge of civil war.
The Russians have got the best solution yet suggested. Iran gets nuclear power but they don't get to make the fuel. This is the only way I can see the situation from get way out of hand.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The coma crime fighter

It seems being in a coma does not stop the Israeli PM from fighting crime. Without lifting a finger, or even being able to lift a finger, he has cut the rate of breakins by 50%. The next time I hear one of our pollies tell us how they are going to fight crime, I hope someone has the idea of put them into a coma.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Buying Biota Holdings is paying off

I had some spare cash just before Christmas so I purchased 1750 shares in Biota Holdings (ASX:BTA) at $1.455 each. Until yesterday, they had only rose to about $1.55 but then they went crazy and the market sent them flying 20 cents higher. The reason why the rose is they get royalties of 7% from the sale of Relenza (one of two flu anti-virals that might work on bird flu; the other being Tamiflu). So as the chance of a bird flu outbreak increases so does the share price.
It does however make me feel some what guilty when I know I am profitting from the deaths of others.

A small fable

When I was a child, I used to love playing with the bull-ants at the local pool. Having been warned not to do it by those who knew better, I kept going. Until I got bit by one of the ants. I thought it was odd that I didn't get much sympathy but now I understand why. Sometimes, one needs to get bitten to understand why they should not play with ants.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tennis on Television

Can the players please wear different colours so that it is easy to tell them apart. In this age of TV on your mobile phone with the tiny little screens, it would a great help if they could manage this or at least wear different shorts/shirts like the Australian Rules players do. Not that I watch much tennis as I am more of a cricket fan.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Are there too many people in this world?

The topic of the world's population is one of those areas that most people fear to tread. And understandable too, for it means driving in areas of morals and ethics that most people don't like to go. However, I heard it being discussed on the radio earlier and it got me thinking.
One thing I realised is that the whole is not short of food or the ability to produce food. There are famines but these generally occur because of the inability to get the existing food to the people who need it because of a lack of inferstructure or wars and the cost of supplying to such areas. The price of wheat per tonne has not increased dramatically as many in the past have suggested it would do over-population.
Clean Water is another problem but it really just an issue of supply also, albit one that involves relocating masses of people or huge amounts of water. Energy is a problem but if we every get fusion working then we won't have a problem. As to our effect on the enviroment, it would not matter if we had a billion or ten billion people as we have already altered it so dramatically that it can never be restored to its past glory.
So I don't know if there are too many people in this world or not, but I do know that the human race has managed to cope with some extraordinary changes and we will probably cope with the consequences of our own existance.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Packer's Funeral

Kerry Packer is set to get a state send off. With state funerals, the cost is normally picked up by the tax payers. Kezza was never a fan of paying taxes as he felt the governments just wasted his money. I wonder how he would have felt about his money being wasted on a person whose family clearly can afford to lay on a fairly decent service (and perhaps a reasonable spread afterwards as well).