Entries Tagged as 'General'

A week is a long time in politics… especially under the Libs

In under a week the Liberals have managed to find, no wait lose 2 boats with nearly 200 people in total on them. Ignore that these boats have women and children, hold a non press conference where Scott Morrison said he isn’t holding a press conference, but say he was only doing a door stop to say he wasn’t doing a press conference. 1

Then, change the law so that the Commonwealth Bank can screw its customers over even more, then say there is no need for a Royal Commission into the Banking Sector screwing over its customers.2

Follow that with ignoring the outrageous events that are happening into an inquiry into what is happening to children in detention… You know those children that don’t exist because there are no boats. 3

Then not hold a press conference. Despite having 95+ media advisors in the Immigration Department to not talk about the boats that everyone knows exists, expect it seems the minister.4

Follow that up with on boat processing of one of the non existent boats, violating countless UN recommendations for the treatment of “LEGAL” asylum seekers.5

And then to top of today, they go an appoint an ex Liberal and a well known ABC hater to the panel that appoints board members to the ABC, I wouldn’t be surprised if they announced Ivan Milat as special advisor for NSW Regional Tourism at this rate.6

Also taking  a leaf out of the don’t talk about the boats, because as we all know, not talking about an issue means their is no issue, the Liberals have also removed mention of extreme climate change from the Department of Environment’s website.7

For extra bonus points, to ensure that the cleaners in Parliament got paid less, Abetz screwed the workers there out of 9k a year.8

Only 2 and 1/2 years to go… The damage the Liberals have done this week alone to our nation, our economy, the weak, the vulnerable and our precious Aunty will take years to recover from, if ever.

Yes a week is a long time in politics… this week has been very long already, and it is only Wednesday.

1- Image of Morrison Transcript

2- Self-funded retirees left bankrupt

3 – Storify of #HRinquiry into children in Detention

4- Spin costs Immigration Minister Scott Morrison $8m a year

5 – Boats screened at sea

6 – Conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen appointed to ABC panel

7 – Extreme weather official advice rewritten to remove climate change link

8- Jaunty minister makes a clean sweep to cut costs

( Appendum: Thurday: Scott Morrison ignores the High Court and says he will change the rules to not allow any refugees that he doesn’t personally approve, making him Judge and de-facto execution, or of boat people http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-looks-to-national-interest-test-to-circumvent-high-court-ruling-on-permanent-protection-visas-20140703-3bbbz.html )

Frances Abbott cycling on the gravy train is fair game.

Frances Abbott is fair game, she is an adult and was an adult at the time she accepted her mysterious scholarship. An adult that is more than enjoying the benefits of being a member of the privileged class. This is a class of people that with a nod and a wink (although, not the kind of wink her father is now known for) can get things done.

This mysterious scholarship appearing like a biblical burning bush, is bestowed upon this adult daughter (at the time she was old enough to drink, drive and die for her country) yet Tony Abbott says, nothing to see here, move along, leave my family out of it.

Sure, people would be more likely to leave Tony’s family out of it, but for one small factor, during the last election campaign he dragged them to every possible media photo op that he could in the lead up to the election. If he had sheltered them, then sure, he would have a case to say don’t attack my family in the media. But he didn’t shelter them. And Frances put herself in front of the media, as a human shield, more than once, to protect her father against his perceived sexism. Tony’s appearance on Big Brother with the “not bad looking daughters” comment just reinforced how much he was playing the media with them.

Now some elements of the media are addressing an issue (that is not about a child, but a daughter who is legally an adult) over something and he wants the media to leave well alone. Not going to happen. Those in the Right happily jumped on the “Died of Shame” comment in regards to Gillard’s father, but now in power, questioning potential wrong doing is a terrible thing, showing the level of hypocrisy that surrounds the privileged class.

At the age Frances was getting her 60k gift, I was already out of home and on that great scholarship Newstart.  Now before the opportunity of obtaining Newstart Tony Abbott et.al will ensure people starve for 6 months.  Even in her situation, I would have consulted with my parents on all the details about a $60 grand scholarship.

As an aside, thanks to Newstart, I did get my act together, didn’t starve to death and now pay an bucket load of taxes, something I am very pleased to do.

So we are meant to believe that Frances Abbott never talked to Mum and Dad and said, ‘hey, just got offered a 60k scholarship to a school from a well-known Liberal Party donor, that you should just ignore’. Sure, we are meant to believe they were doing it tough on a Leader of the Oppositions Salary of over 300k at the time, with all the expenses that he could think of paid for, say competing in various triathlons around the country. Yes, we are meant to believe he was a battler like the rest of us you know. Frances also we are meant to believe was I am sure like many of the other students in the school, she was struggling to make ends meet.

But a nod a wink get those with the right connections the right grants, the right doors opened and the Right are happy with the status quo.

Legally Tony Abbott did nothing wrong, but the law and ethics often blur, and the further embedded in the privileged class the further these lines blur. Frances Abbott is fair game because she and her father obviously must feel this is normal acceptable behaviour whilst slashing the dole, raising education costs and thinking that mysterious scholarships are o.k. Frances would have talked to her father about it before signing the dotted line; perhaps he gave her a wink and said everything is o.k.

Sadly for the rest of us, that is not how life works. All of us are more than able to say this is wrong and stand up against it.

Frances, or her father likewise could have said no thanks.

Lets charge $6 to the poorest of the poor, when they are feeling poorly.

Look, poor people, stop getting sick. Really, it must be the poor people that are causing all the issues with the upcoming budget, and that is why they are being targeted with the new sick tax.

Remember the outcry over death duties all those years ago, when rich people were going to have to pay tax on their estates when they die, forget that. This is more important than that matter.

A charge on the poorest of the poor, when they are feeling poorly, surely, that is the only way forward in these times of crisis.

If you are reading this and thinking, pffft a $6 dollar charge to see the Doctor, what does that matter. Guess what, you are part of the rich class. If you have never been so poor that this could mean the difference between you seeing a Doctor or not, then really, right now you can shut the FUCK UP NOW about this being fair.

This isn’t a one off charge, this will be every time you visit the GP when you are hunting to find a GP that still even bulk bills. $6, when you want a medical certificate for your minimum wage job to take a day off. $12, if you have two children who are both coming down with the flu, $18 if those two children have the flu and you need a medical certificate, $24 if you partner gets the flu from the children and you need a medical certificate. Then the Doctor says come back in 3 days time if people are still feeling ill, and you are up to $48 in one week.

Oh, and yes then add, medicine on top of that.

This doesn’t include the impost to family of multiples for example, or the families of those with chronic conditions requiring lots of trips to the GP over a single year.

If a woman needs to visit the GP for a script for the pill, $6 is a small price to pay for her not getting knocked up, not like that anyone worried about this charge would ever receive a cent under the Liberals PPL scheme anyway.

Of course, it is only poor people that this impacts. Why should the rest of us care? It might even be good for the economy as some of them drop off this mortal coil for what could be easily remedied illnesses, that they are too poor to seek medical treatment for.

At least now Australia is on that American Health Care path, where only the rich get treatment. Whew, I say, nothing worse than wasting money on those that can’t afford to see a doctor early on, when an illness first presents.

This charge is being leaked as a charge just for bulk billed patients only. How long before it becomes a charge on everyone visiting a Doctor. How long before you have to ensure you have $6 on you, so that the ambulance can frisk you for the money before they take you to emergency. How long before your comfortable middle suburb Doctor suddenly adds $6 to your $80 trip to the GP, where you will now get only $36 back of the $86 you spend. And how long before that $6 charge becomes a $10 charge, a $15 charge, or due to the 2020 budget crisis a $25 charge.

Welcome to the slippery slope, but at least there won’t be poor people on it, they will have all died from preventable illnesses.

How far Australia has regressed in 10 Months… care of two Defence Force Videos.

The first video (Published 12 Jun 2013) about sexism, with Lieutenant General Morrison, sets a high bench mark for what Australia can be.

This says we can be better. This video says we should be better. It is not just about the issue, but about us as a people.

The Standard we walk past is the standard we accept.

(1.4 Million views and oh look, the comments section is open )

The second video ( Published 2 Apr 2014 ) shows what happens we accept low standards.

Our Defence force is turned into a political play thing for Scott Morrison (same last name as above, but very different person!) and we as a nation haven’t just walked past, we have blindly followed. Believing that stopping the boats is the issue.

(as an aside, putting people on a different boat and sending them back, doesn’t mean that the boats have stopped! )

And yes, the shame is that this video has closed comments. Can’t have people trying to walk past this standard can we.

Welcome to #mybroadband, lots of facts and no truth.

There are a few major things missing from the all new singing and dancing My Broadband Site.

Firstly, the lack of upload speeds on any data. Upload speeds are critical in creating the work place of the future.  The sharing economy, telehealth economy, learning economy and the cloud economy.  Sure you can download “fast”, but if you can’t up upload you can’t share, create or engage.  You can’t have a remote health uploading content to a Dr in another city whilst you video stream in high definition to him or her. You can’t cloud backup your personal camera which takes 20mb+ files already to the cloud when upload speeds are so slow. You can’t generate the high quality print files as a designer to telecommuting when you have made edits to the final document.

Next is the lack of speed definition. Telstra advertise HFC connections as “Fast”. “Fast” broadband, what does that even mean? I don’t walk into a shoe shop and ask for “big” shoes.  If Telstra can’t even tell us what “fast” is on their HFC, but they can charge us an extra amount for “extra fast”, then we have major issues. And of course they don’t mention upload speeds at all.

Then there are the overly optimistic “ADSL” speeds they are using.  My area is listed at 12.2mpbs.  Congrats to those in my neighbourhood getting those speeds, but sure as hell I am not. Nor does this speed factor in things such as many peoples ADSL slowing down when it rains for example.  I get 4.5mpbs according to this funny thing called Speedtest. (tested at midnight!)

Obviously this Speedtest site is unaustralian, reporting facts against what the current government has told us are facts, my like the ABC reports facts I guess.

Surely someone in the Comms Department told Turnbull about this, people will share the data showing how slow their connections are, not the steaming pile of crap numbers that they deemed important enough to put on their website.

And finally, it shows just how much of Australia will never get the 1gbps/500mbs speeds that NBN was going to offer.

So now we have a new website to look at, one that tells us what we don’t have, what we won’t get and nothing about when we won’t get it.

Money well spent if you didn’t want a real NBN really.


Check the fiction here https://www.mybroadband.communications.gov.au/

And your reality here http://www.speedtest.net/

Then add your numbers to this survey http://yathink.com.au/article-display/my-broadband-vs-reality,106


So a Religious Chemist supplies propaganda… we of course can do one better…

Why do religious people feel it is their right to stick their two cents in when it comes to other people’s reproductive choices?

Once again a chemist is in the news for refusing to stock condom’s, sell the morning after pill and this one is also inserting letters into pill prescriptions. Imagine a chemist being allowed to not sell to black people because they were a member of the KKK.

Guess what, you don’t like giving out certain legal medication due to your religious beliefs, my view is simple… Get a different job. As a chemist or any medial professional, your personal beliefs have NO place in the work place.

When someone goes to the chemist they want something, your job is to supply the best medical information, not your 2000 year old archaic point of view.

Oh but there is a chemist a few km away, nope, not an excuse. “Their store, their rules”. Why, why is this even an option, they are a chemist, they get money from the government for what they sell, including the pill. A woman without a car, little public transport in the area, she is then suffering from their, not her prejudice.

If they feel so bad about it, why don’t they just go home, light a candle and say a few prays for the poor soul they feel is lost. That way, there is no impact on the individual, and they have still ticked the right boxes for their religion.

The solution is quite simple, we can’t all boycott the store, but we can do unto others as we would have them to unto us.

So if they feel it is perfectly reasonable to put unsolicited church propaganda into a delivery, why can’t people do the same back to them.

Now as an atheist, I think non-religious material would be appropriate, however, given the nature of what they think is o.k to do, I think any religious material would also suffice. Perhaps Scientology, Nation of Yahweh, the cargo cult of Prince Philip Movement, Islam, Judaism, or any religion apart from Catholicism, that is sure to be very upsetting to their personal beliefs. But they feel their beliefs trump everyone else’s with their actions, so why can’t people do it back.

I wouldn’t give them anything violent though, no offensive material (you know nudity, piles of poo etc.) keep it clean and nice, but keep it coming.

So next time someone has a delivery for them, why not include some reading material, seems fair.

I present the Logans Run/Soylent Green Aged Pension Amendment Act

So once again, a conservative government is on a drive to cut back on welfare payments. You know all those payments to the bludgers and old folk that don’t contribute to society.

Sure, for once any government could go after the tax havens, tax offsets, and massive tax benefits that the rich get. But no, today Abbott ( you may remember him, he won the election in 2013, then promptly went on holiday or hiding, or doing Harold Holt impressions, to be honest no one knows) and his government, specifically Kevin (I like Work Choices) Andrews, decided that the government spend on welfare is getting out of hand.

Sure, there are graphs that show this isn’t happening, but facts have nothing to do with this argument. Did I mention boat people, or the carbon tax. Boat people, boat people, carbon tax, big fat carbon boat tax.

Yet, once again we have a government afraid to make the big decisions.

The fastest growth in government expenditure is the Aged Pension. It may shock you to know that everyone you know will be on the Aged Pension within 70 years. Yes, that is over 23 million Australians on the aged pension* (*I am not that good at mathematics, but then neither is Joe “the numbers are the numbers” Hockey)

So it is time for a radical rethink of how we approach a rapidly aging population.

I propose the LRSG Aged Pension Amendment Act. This is a nice sounding name, which like Green Army or Direct Action, sounds great.

You can ignore that it is short for “Logans Run/Soylent Green Aged Pension Amendment Act”, cause that sounds a bit scary. Especially for those old enough to remember both movies, neither of which films will feature in the new Pyne model education curriculum.

But the LRSG APAA is great for society. Firstly, think of the massive cuts that the Liberals would be able to make to the Aged Pension. No more, gone, finto. Just how much money would that save alone? Now add the extra benefit of all that pesky superannuation sitting in accounts that only accountants can access via “fees” that the Liberals could get their hands on.

Of course there are a lot of other benefits to our society. Firstly, Bob Katter would stop banging on about food security. Well for two reasons; 1: he would be a green biscuit and 2 so would all the other old people. He could be served up guacamole style in his own big hat for extra flair.

Further, with Australia’s obsession with weight loss programs, image a new show: Australia’s Biggest Biscuit. Yummy, I can just taste that pensioner goodness already. Tie in a major supermarket chain for distribution and you have a winning model right there.

Others shows could make a comeback, Iron Chef Australia: Tonight the secret ingredient is pensioner…. bang a gong we are on.

Slideshow could take aging actors, and if they fall off the stage, they fall into a Soylent Green processing machine.

There a lot of other benefits as well. Housing, all those baby boomers soon will be dunked into a morning coffee in what I call the Tim tam grandpa’s gone slam, housing will become a lot more affordable.

Boat people as an issue is also fixed, no not that ones that arrived in 1788, but the recent ones, will be welcome, because in 50 years’ time or so they can also feed a hungry nation.

I still have 30 years or so before I need an exit visa to get me out of this very yummy and profitable dystopian future, but I can only see positives to this plan.

If only this government would take the big decisions.

( I am sure I have missed other benefits to my plan, please add them in the comments )

#wtrip13 – First Alone Road Trip in 3 years

Yep, this will be my first roadtrip for a few days on the road without the #wolfcatcubs.  They are flying with Mrs Wolfcat to Newcastle, so I have 3 days to drive up.

The biggest issue I had was trying to find roads and towns I haven’t been through.

The Trip will be just me, the new 2013 Subaru Forester, a new D7100, and lots of 80’s music.

So this is the tentative route…  I am happy to take suggestions on what to see along the way…

Day 1 – 422 km – Melbourne Airport to Narrandera ( Drop Mrs Wolfcat and Cubs at the Airport, hit the road )

View Larger Map

Day 2 – 456 km – Narrandera to Nyngan ( Passing the Geographical Centre of NSW as a 10km side trip )

View Larger Map

Day 3 – 499km Nygan to Moore ( With a stop at Siding Springs Observatory )

View Larger Map

Day 4 – 501 km Moore to Newcastle ( Sadly I will miss Hunterlink being open by a few weeks )

View Larger Map

Total Distance Approx 2,950 km, inc return drive back to Melbourne

In disasters…Social Media isn’t always right

One of the things about Social Media is that it isn’t always right.

I know this will come as a shock to some of you.  But it isn’t.  And it can become a life threatening concern during crisis communications.  You know, for example when the shit is hitting the fan, in say New South Wales due to record early major fires.

Of course there are those social media expert guru’s (colloquial know as #smeg’s) who will say otherwise that social media is the be all and end all during crisis comms.

The type of people that run with on the ground “reporting” of an event, where rumour can readily become fact; heard  third hand, or from a friend  becomes fact, and where but it was on Instagram means it must be true. In the rush to be first on social media, the rush to get the most retweets “facts” are  a secondary concern.  #smeg’s think that because second-hand sources of information (such as councils) aren’t live tweeting an event it is an outrage, a tweet that doesn’t see fire resources sent in response becomes an outrage.

The rush to be first to tell something can get people killed.  I saw and know of many reports of the Minmi fire jumping the F3 (sorry the M1 Motorway to those born post 2013), reports that were on both social media and commercial radio.  Reports that, by the way, did turn out to be wrong.  These were reports I had to tell a family member who was close by, no they aren’t real. Reports that if people reacted to could have caused stress, panic and even unnecessary evacuations.  Evacs that could have blocked the roads required by the emergency services to stop the fire jumping the road.  But hey, “I tweeted it first”, “I retweeted it first”, “I saw a post from a friend that said it was true, so I will share it so I can be first”, all turned out to be wrong. Funny thing was the ABC and the RFS didn’t tweet these “facts”, didn’t share this information, why because it wasn’t true.

Trust in an agency to get the information right and right the first time is important.  This doesn’t mean being first as is the want of many #smeg’s.

Take Google’s Crisis Maps for NSW.  They don’t just rely on rumours from social media; they rely on the cold hard facts from the RFS. (as an aside they work when the RFS servers are overloaded).  Why, because they are the go-to source.  Why didn’t the local council in the affected areas suddenly open up a twitter account and start tweeting? Because in this case they aren’t the go-to source.  Certainly not, when they don’t have an established system, protocol, trained staff and direct access to the agency that is actually in charge, yes the RFS. And what info would a council tweet, the source info, the RFS anyway!

Now when the shit hits the fan of course the RFS are going to be slower than people want, why because they are fact checking before they communicate.  An awareness of this small thing that seems to be missing from many peoples criticism of other organisations.

I know who I would retweet and share info from.  I have a wide range of trusted sources, these are people that work for organisations like the RFS.

Yes, social media does have  an important place during crisis comms.  The geotagged photo from an event can help.

Yet being first doesn’t always mean being right.

The amount of times I have seen “disaster” photos shared on social media, that aren’t even of the unfolding events but an early and different event, or the reports of something happening, which isn’t are scary.

A social media report saying a road is open, retweeted from 3 hours ago, when in fact a fire is heading straight for it, could see people get killed. What if the RFS reacted to all these reports, sent crews to areas they were not needed, because social media said so and people got killed.  What will the #smeg’s reaction be then…

A few facts to consider before voting tomorrow…

There is NO budget emergency, Hockey/Abbott etc made the whole thing up to fit their narrative. The finally released costing documents delivered by a man who had taken a master class in displaying every single sign of lying in one twenty minute press conference showed that the difference between the Libs and the ALP is 0.36% of the budget over 4 years.  That’s fucking it.  They have banged on about BUDGET EMERGENCY, BUDGET CRISIS, EMERGENCY CRISIS, etc for so long people believe them.

Next, Labors NBN is the only way forward, no point in paying 3/4 as much for something that will only offer .25% of the speed.  Yes, that is right.  Labors NBN is offering 1000mbps, Fraudband is offering 25mbps.  Not a hard choice when you think about it.

The biggest scare is yet to come, the “Commission of Audit” which is code words for blame someone else for you breaking your promises.  As they said in Yes Minister, you don’t have a commission without knowing the result in advance, and I am sure the Liberals do.

As for the terrible minority government that didn’t work.  To start with the Libs passed 87% of the bills anyway and the house passed more bills that Howard did in his first term.  Silly things about facts is they don’t often fit the narrative do they.

As for refugees, a pox on both their houses, without a shadow of doubt.  But if you think that the ALP is going to be worse than Morrison, let’s talk about a bridge I have for sale.

If you think ensuring that the top 10% of people getting the PPL eat up 30% of the total cost of the scheme is fair, we need to have a discussion around what is fair.  The Liberals have said they can’t fund Gonski beyond 4 years because that is beyond the foward estimates, but tell us down to the dollar what the impact of carbon will be to 2050, yeah right.

Voting for the Liberals at this election because you only don’t like Labor is akin to cutting off your own arm because your toe nail is infected.

Education, the NBN, trying to do something about Climate change, rail, these are important issues.

Vote for whoever you want, sure, but stop and think before you do, it will be 3 years if not six before you can take your election result back to the shop for a refund, and you may find your house is destroyed in the meantime and not covered by your vote warranty.