Mr. Trump, can I have some more winning, please

OK, in the vein of, “We’re going to be winning so much, you’ll get tired of winning” (May 26, 2016); now that we are all in this together with you as my Pr*sident, Mr. Trump, I’m prepared to get on board.

I’m pretty happy with the wins so far, from my perspective with you driving the ship of state, that’s:

• Muslim ban 0-2 in its battle with the constitution. A clear win
• Repeal the Affordable Care Act 0-1 (which I for one will now START calling Obamacare, in homage to a guy who was competent enough to at least get half a shit sandwich passed)
• Expose Paul Ryan as not brilliant and also not competent at his job, a bonus win
• Expose Devin Nunan as complicit and incompetent, and shifting the situation closer to a special prosecutor appointment

So, can I have some more winning, please. Can I have a win in 100% of all Senate Democrats voting “no” to Gorsuch, and “no” to any other Supreme Court nominee, with the exception of M. Garland, who was duly selected by a President a year before leaving office. If there is no vote on Garland, then vote “no” until such time as the next Democratic President is elected to make another nomination. There is no rule that the Supreme Court is required to be filled by 9 justices, and I for one am happy to take the win as leaving it open for now. Now, the Republicans make threaten to go ‘nuclear’ on this and any other appointments going forward, I’m not cool with that. But hey, as indicated above, I’m very interested in seeing the rules applied, so I will be satisfied that the Democrats will carry on any tradition set by the Republican Senate with regard to rule changes.

We need some more wins more quickly, Mr. Trump, because we need the Big Win (your removal from office) to occur soon to prevent more of the serious losses that we are bit quiet about, but are real problems for the US, like:

• Repealing rules that required companies to report their bribery overseas
• Signing a bill that allows mining companies to once-again dump their waste into streams and rivers
• Your appointments across the board who will either waste money or destroy their departments
• Every day that R. Tillerson, S. Gorka, J. Sessions and S. Bannon spend in their positions doing damage to US credibility at home and abroad


An unfortunate constituent

The word you are looking for is ‘repulsive’

So, finally we may have reached the point where Trump will lose significant support and endorsements for using language that was so vulgar and mysogynistic that even stalwart supporters reacted negatively. I believe that there will be a significant number of wives and girlfriends of white supremacists that will secretly vote for Hillary. Plenty of his core white male support will also have wives, daughters or mothers that could be the target of behaviour like that displayed by Donald Trump, and will also be repulsed by it.

I actually reckon that his campaign had jumped the shark last week when people started leaving his event about half way through the 40 minute rant after he was 80 minutes late. But hopefully this latest revelation is the end of him in this election. The racism, sexism, and bigotry to virtually every constituency I can think of already displayed didn’t seem to do it. Nor has the documented evidence of his poor business skills or the proclivity he has displayed to defraud anyone he encounters in business.

But his final failure is clearly the fact that he is a pathological liar. That’s right, a liar so complete that he believes his own lies and is deluded enough to think that audio, video or written records will somehow disappear, or can be explained away as some conspiracy theory.

Spy magazine clearly nailed it when they dubbed him a short fingered vulgarian in the ’80s.

Precisely what is wrong in the world

I note from the ABC the recent closing of the article on the Pluto flyby:

Following its encounter with Pluto and its satellites, New Horizons will continue its one-way journey. . . . Its radioactive power supply will last into the 2030s; NASA wants to focus investigations on two more objects in the Kuiper Belt but will need to secure more funding to make that happen.

With all the stupid shit we fund in the world, we can’t even find a couple million bucks to continue examining the world around us. Truly doomed as a species at this rate.

Love Your Work Jen

This is exactly how it works here in Australia in relation to taxing mining, addressing climate change and other issues, and she says it more succinctly than a 3 page rant from yours truly.

Attribution: Jen Sorensen

Issue of the Day – Asylum Seekers

Some previous background on this issue can be found in an earlier post The Cruelty Index, and the associated video of the same title on YouTube.

This is a really tough issue, because we definitely want to be firm with lawbreakers, but not resort to cruelty, incredible amounts of monetary waste, or becoming international lawbreakers ourselves. Unfortunately this is exactly what we are doing with this government, or the last, for that matter. But there are solutions.

You can take it from me, or go to a more reputable source, like Mr. Julian Burnside QC, who published details of an approach that is fair, just, and not cruel or wasteful of money around the time I was last talking about this.

It’s personally an issue I have been trying to put forward solutions to since 2000 when the Howard government was throwing out “Babies Overboard”. I sent my ideas in writing in great detail at the time to a bloke named Mark Latham, who was trying to become the next Prime Minister at the time. But they were ignored, as the non-intelligent are prone to do with good ideas.

Actually, I am being unfair to Mark, as I don’t think the ideas even made it to the man himself, but I did get them into a brief exchange with the aide that operated his email account.

As an immigrant myself, I wanted to come up with a proposal that is:
• Firm on lawbreaking. In this case the people smugglers who operate boats for money to deliver asylum seekers to Australia;
• Humane and in-line with our international obligations;
• Fair from the perspective of the average Australian citizen; and,
• Fiscally sound, and even beneficial to the country in the medium term.

The first part of my solution is firm application of the law to people smugglers, who I believe can be classified as pirates under the law of the sea. The Australian Navy or Customs vessels that intercept asylum seeker boats shall take the vessel under control, capture and take all personnel on the vessel into custody and safety scuttle the vessel at sea. All passengers shall be taken to the nearest safe port where the government is a party to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees. In many cases this will be Christmas Island, as a lot of our SE Asian neighbours are still not signatories to the convention, and frankly ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Once all vessel passengers are onshore, they shall be processed to determine valid asylum claims, criminal records, and complete health screening. This will include interviews with all passengers to make every effort to identify the people smugglers.

People smugglers will go into mandatory detention and prosecution, regardless of their age and have all assets stripped. Children amongst this group will be returned to their family in their home country, where this can be established, and after full interrogation and processing. Adult people smugglers will get life without parole, or the harshest penalty allowed for pirates following successful trial.

All remaining vessel passengers will be classified as refugees and processed for relocation to an acceptable interior location until such time as their asylum claims have been fully processed and put on a basic allowance from Centrelink. Housing can either be purchased on the basis of the allowance, or provided from surplus accommodation available in a host location.

Any local government area can apply to host refugees up to a limit of a small percentage of their population, if they can demonstrate availability of work for a portion of refugees they want to take. Infrastructure upgrades from the federal government to local communities will be made available to ensure the refugees can be housed, provided basic health care and schooling (mandatory for all ages unless proficiency in English and a skill can be demonstrated) where they will be hosted.

Any refugees being hosted on a temporary basis that are found to break the law in a significant way, or are serial offenders in minor lawbreaking will be sent to mandatory detention and deportation/prosecution at the first opportunity available. In short, fit in or fuck off.

All refugees will be allowed to work, pay taxes and fund superannuation, in a manner similar to people on 457 visas. Refugees that have valid asylum claims assessed will be provided with residency visas that require them to stay in the original hosting community for a period of at least three years, prior to being free to move anywhere they choose. Businesses and states that want to sponsor temporarily hosted refugees may apply to do so as they would people on 457 visas and relocate them for work.

If conditions improve in the home country of refugees during the period of temporary hosting to the satisfaction of the Australian government, refugees may be returned to their home country at no cost to themselves. Any refugee that wants to voluntarily return to their home country in the period from initial processing but before the three year period of temporary hosting is up may be returned to their home country at no cost to themselves.

This is a fair, firm and economically beneficial system that meets our international commitments and is no picnic for refugees. It should be applied to all, regardless of their manner of arrival. It will also be economically beneficial to Australia in the medium to long term because it can be statistically demonstrated that immigrants (regardless of their reason for arrival) cost a country a small amount in the first several years they are here, but pay back into the system much more in the 5 to 10 years after that. Don’t trust me on that, look it up. Immigrants, especially refugees, are extremely grateful to have an opportunity to start fresh, and can be educated on our rule of law, the benefits of learning English, and often bring skills and capabilities with them that we need. How much would some small towns with seasonal harvest work benefit from a workforce that was available and interested? Often refugees are also doctors, tradies and intellectuals like artists. We can use all three of those in small towns, or at least all the ones I remember.

In summary, we need not be a pushover to resolve the issue of asylum seekers, and can absorb them in a manner that is organised and beneficial for both the host and the refugee, while dealing appropriately with criminals.

An Honest and Fair Mining Tax

Hey, today I want to talk to you about a serious issue that we have been mislead about and had ignored in serious examination by the media. I want to talk to you about how the public is regularly screwed out of taxes and fees the government ought to be collecting on big mineral extraction businesses. Because the mining industry spent $20 million on an ad campaign when we last spoke about the mining tax, the labor government wimped out, and let mining lobbyists write the legislation, so you know what that said. They all paid little or nothing on that in the first year it was in.

The miners ads said that if we put mining tax (actually called the minerals resource rent tax) up the economy would collapse, and Australian businesses would all go down, when the mining industry closed up all over the country. Real wrath of god type shit.

The truth is, the mining tax should more accurately be called the resource super profits tax (RSPT), and here is how it was supposed to work in its original form:
1. First up, it gives a fair rate of return for the mining company. They pay no resource super profits tax until
they get 6% return on capital back themselves as profit. You’d have to be Warren Buffet
2. After that, the Australian public, which owns the finite resource, is given a 40% share of the profits.
3. It eliminates a confusing bunch of confusing royalties and fees paid to the states at present, and all royalties
presently paid to the states would be rebated.

But let’s look at the main point of contention, the 40% rate. A RSPT would not “kill off mining and related small businesses” as claimed by the mining industry ads. How do I know this? Because it has happened before, and right here in Australia. Remember the wailing and gnashing of teeth when Australia set the tax rates on all the offshore gas we are now developing for shipment to eager customers.? . . . . . Yeah, I didn’t think so, but it happened, believe me. And guess what, the guys moving the LNG are paying a super profits tax very similar to what is proposed for land based mineral extraction under the RSPT.

So on April 5, vote the Australian Democrats, because the resource super profits tax is just part of what we call sustainable prosperity, and a fair return for all of Australia.

Spot On

I don’t actually comment on culture much, although I have my views. Sometimes though, you could comment, or you could just pass on those who you are surprised are residents of Dallas, TX but are appreciative that they are there.

You rock, Dale.

Woah there big fella!

OK, in an otherwise excellent post about the out of touchness of CEOs, Vyan goes way too far by saying:

“As a matter of fact most Investment people like Perkins, Zell or even Mitt Romney don’t actually do any real “work” at all, because their Money Does their Work For Them in the form of gaining interest and paying dividends.”

This is kinda bullshit. As a Director and company owner, I worked my way up from the bottom of a business I built myself with no outside investors gifting me anything, or inheriting the whole show. As a result of that, I also have a significant retirement investment account I manage myself and do quite well at, thank you. But if you think for a second that all the research, analysis and planning that I do to make sure I meet or exceed the markets I invest in isn’t work, then fuck you. If you think I shouldn’t use the advantage I have in intelligence, patience and opportunity to make the most of my time, money and ideas, then once again, fuck you. If I am smarter than you and as a result have a better job and am on the way to financial independence and you don’t like it, {ahem} well, you know the drill. It’s ok, I don’t need to be loved by all, but I bet I will be included in many people’s zombie plans, so I sleep OK.

What you should be focusing on is whether the whole package of labour, capital and ideas I am putting into a business and assess whether I am duly compensated for that. A good basis has always as a multiplier of the CEO salaries in comparison with the average worker salary. Way back after WWII it used to be in the 40s. When Ronnie the Raygun took office in the USA, it was 78. Its over 4000 today. Hmmmmmm, but what does the peak CEO do for the world? Isn’t he responsible for making the whole economy work, keeping liquidity maintained and other superhero type shit like that? well, fuck no obviously.

The same guys that inflate the big bubbles in the economy, overheat them with outright fraud and then watch as the fuckers explode while counting their fees based on the transaction, not the OUTCOME of the transaction, get 4000 times the average worker in their companies. And I understand that Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman’s actually spends the large amount of any given week wandering around the house in his undies eating chips, drinking beer and playing whatever Call of Duty is currently hot. And hey, I got no problem with that. You are basically describing my perfect weekend several times a year. But it ain’t worth 4000 times, is all I’m saying.

There’s a revolution coming, and things have gotten so out of balance in the balance between the return on money, ideas and labour in the world, that when it does occur, it’s going to be quite a shock to some, if the balance is corrected.

I Could Be Fucking Brilliant

Yeah, things I propose in detail one day can become the policy of nations a couple days later, completely unknown to me at the time I derived the concept.

Cull The Beasts!

So, I’ve had a serious look at the shark cull issue, and want to add some analysis as a longer term lover of killing and eating beasts of all sizes. There is what appears to be an OK summary of the facts on The New Daily, and you can read them all for yourself and decide.

I wanted to read some more, as I was not convinced either way, and I want to avoid being biased, so I am going to need to see the estimates of the actual fall in $ from tourism directly attributable with Australia being seen as “dangerous” and then pull out of that body of danger that would surely include spiders, snakes, jellyfish, crocs and plants that are dangerous in this broad red land, and try to come up with something exceeding the $22 million anual cost estimate in the articles “for’ case.

And then I need to be able to answer the question, when exactly did tourists become fearful homebodies, and not see dangerous as a draw card?

I think it might be suss to spend $22 million for a reduction of 1 person killed per year so we can return to our normal rate of humans killed by sharks. Even if we could prove that what we proposed would do what we want it to. And the case for that is not good {cough, cough, by-catch, cough}

However, the facts on the side of which species are threatened and endangered are pretty solid. Here’s the “red list” details you might be familiar with from the IUCN, based on shitloads of peer reviewed evidence collection from scientists. Yeah, I know, those fucking scientists and the UN again. It’s like living with your mom, reading me regularly isn’t it?

So after examining the data, basically it’s easier to count the number of non-threatened species than threatened or endangered ones. For the common man, put it this way: you see a shark, I pretty much guarantee it’s either harmless and overfished to decimation by someone, or has lost or is losing habitat to the point that it is being killed out from fear and complacency and numbers are dwindling. Trust me, just about the last thing you want to be in this world is kinda slow, basically harmless, and look like a shark.

The sum of Colin Barnett’s current argument is that Australia is being seen as too dangerous and is losing more than $22 million a year due to fear of surfing at one south coast surf spot, and he has a constituency there that has raised it as a big deal to him. Well, I got news for you folks down south. There are a bazillion good surf beaches on this tropical island continent of ours. If yours just happens to be currently or permanently experiencing a high concentration of sharks where you like the curl, too fucking bad. Basically, you are saying that your right to surf right there trumps the right of another species to exist. And I am not being theatric. Lets say there were only 3700 humans left in the world. That’s the number of Great Whites estimated to be swimming around in the pool that covers 66% of the planet’s surface.

Now, I know humans are fucking scary, but if there were only that few, I’d be doing everything I could to save them. They are a peak predator and they are an indicator species for the health of the ecosystem. Honestly, this is just like the controversy I have run into everywhere I’ve lived. Doesn’t the grizzly bear, mountain lion, grey wolf, shark, tiger, black rhino and every other fucking scary peak predator, or even those just holding up their part of the food chain, deserve enough space just to survive? Do we demand, as humans, access to all the space in the world, anytime that it suits us to a point where we drive other species to extinction? We are one bleak fucking species if that’s the case.

But there is an alternative, you know, If government feels that the ‘do nothing’ case is not strong enough and is compelled to fuck with something.

If you want to go all ultra-protectionist and remove the dangerous killer from the water, outlaw swimming and surfing.