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.)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

SmartCard done the dumb way

I am not a real big fan of the Smartcard as I have doubts about what they want to hold information for. They claim it is to stop welfare fraud but the way they are going about introducing it suggests that is not only thing they want the smartcard for.

If they only wanted it for the stated aims this the way to do it with no major bodies objecting is this. Firstly, what they should have claimed was that you need a Medicare Card to get any welfare payment. Easy, as the only people whp would object are those cheating the welfare system. Then they should have sometime later introduced the need for a photograph on the medicare card. It would take all of two years and there would not be much of a barney.

Instead they are picking a fight with the civil liberations basically because they think they are onto a winner with hinting that it could assist with national security and police actions with certain sections of the community, yet covering themselves against other sections* by using the welfare fraud issues as the main issue.

* The section that is easily misled.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Backing the wrong horse in the Solomons?

The PM of the Solomon Islands resigned today after a week in the job. Trying to understand what is going in on in these islands is a task best lefted to those of us with too much time on our hands. Some have suggested that it appears to be a proxy "war" between China and Taiwan in part who appear to be using ethnic tension to gain control of the control. That might be an over estimated of outside involvement. Certainly it is not like Australia doesn't have business interests there eithe

The islands don't seem to be able to police themselves but I wonder how long it will be before the RAMSI force is look upon as occupying force by the locals and they become targeted. Considering that the MPs the RAMSI force arrested are possibly going to now play a roll in government, it appears that they may have backed the wrong horse.

How long before the commerical media flys home? I'm betting Tuesday of next week.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Old Friends

I went to a 30th birthday party last night and there was a lot of people there who I had not seen in years. It was strange how someone was not in focus until somebody else said their name and all of a sudden they came into focus.
There was also great irony in the fact I was at 30th and my parents had gone to a 21st. They are getting invited to younger parties than me.

Friday, April 21, 2006

How people get here

Someone got to this site by searching google for "What do you look for in a graduate program?" I find this funny as it was a question asked last year on the application for Victoria Public Service Graduate program. And it was there this year too.... So someone was looking for a quick today before the applications closed this afternoon. Instead of an answer they got this post. The line about showing leadership by being the first to declare three quater length pants looking silly made me laugh 12 months on.

When a door closes...

Another opens?
My work for the past few years is likely to wrap up this weekend. Sure I might get a few shifts here and there but I think it is time to move on. However, there might be a chance for work elsewhere at soon. Time will tell.

No matter what the sun will come up in the morning and that alone makes it worthwhile.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Forex Trading?

I was thinking about doing some Forex Trading because I spend enough time in front of the computer that I might as well give it a shot. If anyone has had an experience with Forex Trading, feel free to tell me I am crazy.

Defence Blow out

Australia's F-111's are getting old* and need replacing some time in the near future**. The current plan is to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter sometime around 2010. This plane has only just entered testing with the USAF and will not operational until 2010 or so, so I can't see us being the first in line to get them before the USA and the UK, both of who have so far put more money into the plane than Australia.
Anyway, I have a problem with the JSF. It has a range of 800 kilometers which is too short for Australia's defence policy. To cover a greater distance is going to require mid-air refueling. I don't mind mid-air refueling but it limits the ability to strike without preparing for a longtime.
We would be better off buying the latest F-22 Raptor which is at least operational and has a range of 3,200 kms which is about what is need to bomb "New Zealand"***. The cost of doing this is a $300 million per plane that is slighty higher than the projected cost of the JSF. But as the F-35 has not fully been developed the cost is really unknown.

* They are not however "rusting" as the media loves to say as they are not made of Iron. Rust requires Iron.
** Like my VC Commodore, which is indeed rusting and needs a new muffler.
*** Indonesia is the most likely target which is about as far away as New Zealand. Hopefully, the purchasing of the JSF is not just another part of sucking up to Indonesia that Australia has been doing lately.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nutcases

Those Muslims might have something with the ban on pictures of the prophets. Otherwise, you end with Christian nutcases seeing Jesus in stuff when really there is nothing there. It is like that f@#%ing toast cheese sandwich. If the lord was to speak to you personally, do you really think he would do it in food stuff or an oil mark or skid mark in your underwear? No, he would take over your TV and broadcast in HDTV. Or at least he comment on your blog.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The growth of cricket

The editor of Wisden has attacked the ICC for basically being money grubbing and talk of expansion when in reality there is very little chance that supposed growth markets like the USA and China are ever going to take up the game in huge numbers. The only people who generally play there are the expats from cricket playing nations. It would make more sense to make the game stronger in existing areas and make sure it doesn't lose ground like it has in the West Indies.
This is also the problem the AFL has, when it comes to talk about expanding worldwide interest, it tries for the USA before anywhere else. And locally it is talking about a team on the Gold Coast, where as it would make more sense to get a team in Tassie and Canberra before it tries elsewhere.

UPDATE: (13/4/06) Aussies beat Bangladesh. Nice to see that it was actually a real match, but it perhaps says something about the amount of cricket being played as well. At the moment, there is simply too much cricket being played by the same players. It is going to burn out players. Afridi quit test cricket yesterday. There needs to be fewer series that mean nothing. Less ODI's matches. In particular, Australia's summer tri-series should be cut to nine games and one final.

Monday, April 10, 2006

When the Underdog roars

Australia's cricket team has been used to winning. They have got so use to it that when they lost the Ashes last year it was a mamouth suprise. And most people wrote it off as a blimp on the radar. But now things are looking different.
Bangladesh is a nation that many people have said should not be even be playing test cricket. They have only ever won one test. But now they punching above their weight. After scoring 427 against the Aussie, they at one stage had the Aussie at 6/93.
It is unlikely they will win the match, but they will be able to hold their heads high tonight. For when you are the underdog, it is really the small victories that taste the sweetest. One day in the future when they have had more practice, they might win a series against some test playing nations but it probably will not feel as good as performing well against the Aussie at the moment.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Dumbarse Doyle

Robert Doyle showed what a twat he really is today when he launch the state Liberals policy on speed cameras. This proved such a winning formula last time they tried it, what with the lost of 20 odd seats. The majority of drivers don't regularly get speeding tickets and those which do get them on a regular basis are a minority. It is a classic example of the 20-80 rule where 20% of the population accounts for 80% of the tickets. Plus a large percentage of the electorate doesn't drive or drives not very often.
As a result, their policy is easily counted by the state ALP. All they have to do is drag out a few victims of road accidents and the Liberals policy is crushed. Doyle is a moron if he thinks this a winning strategy. The No tolls policy is only going to affected those that drives in the Eastern Suburbs and will win them a half a dozen seats (all of which they normally would hold) but there is little chance of win many others. As a result Doyle is screwed and should really hand over to a leader.
Not that I really give a crap as the only reason I care about having an effective opposition is that it might ensure Bracks and co. are forced to be somewhat cleaner.

Footy Season

I am not really able to get into the footy so far. I am not sure if it just blow back from the Commonwealth Games or the fact I missed the first round working at the Grand Prix or that Richmond is playing like shit*, but I can't get excitied. Maybe it is just that I have to put up with AFL on Nine for one final year. I caught a bit of Nine's attempt of a program "Any Given Sunday" and frankly I think Mick Molloy might consider giving the game away.

* Come on boys, play like shit in June and July and then come ninth.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Great Purchase

I was in JB Hi-fi today to get some new headphones as someone who will remain nameless steped on my last set*. Whilst there I picked up both Led Zepplin VI and House of the Holy for $10 each**. I had forgotten how awesome Zepplin was. I feel like a teenager again discovering how good they are. It is really funny the first time you discover Led Zepplin as a kid because you normally can't shut up about them and everyone else is like "well, dah".

* I live by myself, so the guilty party is easily found.
** I still buy CD's on the basis that I might lose digitial data. Anyway they were a bargin.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The West Papua feud

Indonesia is not happy with Australia admitting West Papuan who claim to be refugees. Indonesia is supposed to be a democracy today, yet for someone reason advocating independence for West Papua is a big no-no (or should I say "tidak tidak"). Basically Indonesia can have all the democracy they want around Jarkarta but once you get out to the outer regions (mineral rich) the army still has control. Next time SYB why wants refugees returned Howard should say "Maaf, Saya tidak mua".
Australia and Indonesia are neighbours and sometimes you need a little understanding. We will never be real close basically because we are too different. Australia has generally Euporean values and Indonesia has Asian values who controlled by a European power. We are have a lot of land with a small population, Indonesia has a big population. So there will always be some fears amongst sections of both countries of the other. But in the end, we are still going to be neighbours, no matter what happens.

Has Howard had botox?

I was watching TV last night and there was something odd about John Howards face (No it was just that I wanted throw stuff at the telly). His left side of face was not moving as much as normal. I think he might very well have had botox treatment in the past few days. Anyone else think there is anything in this?

Selling Telstra and Medibank Private

Peter Costello has declared that the government will not sell Telstra unless the price is right. I have one simply message for him and the rest of cabinet: "The price is right now". Things are not going to get better for the big telco unless it is split in different sections. The biggest asset Telstra holds is the copper wire network, yet there is no scope for growth in this sector and it is going to cost a lot to maintain. It would be perhaps better if the government retained this side of the business as it is almost a lead weight on Telstra. The listed company could have the mobile, internet, media etc sides of the business which can grow and bring in the real profits.

And they are now looking to sell off Medibank Private. Considering that they are only going to get about $A1 billion for the health fund , it would be perhaps a smart move political for the Government to demutualise as the people most likely to benefit would be the government's support base of upper middle class families. And with surplus as big as it is, another billion is not going to add much to the coffers.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Been away

I have been working long shifts at a major international event so I have not been able to blog lately. I am still fairly rooted as I am not used to waking up at 4 am to go to work for fifteen hours. The funnest thing that happened was I had a bunch of my staff rocket up on Sunday early because they forgot about daylight savings. One even turned up two hours early after going forward an hour (not back).