Category Archives: Opinion

Also known as ‘rants’

Australian Citizenship Test

This is almost too stupid for words or to waste time on.. but I’m in a posting mood tonight.

Citizenship Test Unveiled

You have to get more than 12/20 apparently.. Here are the 20 question’s selected by the journalist at random I think, I scored 14… Yay.

Quite a few of the questions are about our political system and who represents who and so on, like that is an important thing at all to know.

1. In what year did Federation take place?
2. Which day of the year is Australia Day?
3. Who was the first Prime Minister of Australia?
4. What is the first line of Australia’s national anthem?
5. What is the floral emblem of Australia?
6. What is the population of Australia?
7. In what city is the Parliament House of the Commonwealth Parliament located?
8. Who is the Queen’s representative in Australia?
9. How are Members of Parliament chosen?
10. Who do Members of Parliament represent?
11. After a federal election, who forms the new government?
12. What are the colours on the Australian flag?
13. Who is the head of the Australian Government?
14. What are the three levels of government in Australia?
15. In what year did the European settlement of Australia start?
16. Serving on a jury if required is a responsibility of Australian citizenship: true or false?
17. In Australia, everyone is free to practice the religion of their choice, or practice no religion: true of false?
18. To be elected to the Commonwealth Parliament you must be an Australian citizen: true or false?
19. As an Australian citizen, I have the right to register my baby born overseas as an Australian citizen: true or false?
20. Australian citizens aged 18 years or over are required to enrol on the electoral register: true or false?

The turkeys who dreamt this guff up could use some help I thought so.. I donated some of my time to add to the question pool with a focus on weeding out the dreamers or the clueless from those with a solid grasp on reality.. and we can send the latter group straight back to where they came from.

1. Over 75% of Australian’s would not know their own floral emblem. True/False?
2. All Australians chosen for jury duty have the right to use any means fair or foul to escape fulfilling that obligation. True/False?
3. If your mate orders a couple of sangers at the shops, what is he asking for?
4. What game would you be playing if you were asked to ‘bowl a maiden over’?
5. What are the colours of Essendon’s jersey?
6. Australian troops are in Iraq because we are promoting democracy in the world, true/false?
7. Australians have the right to lock up people in detention centres for as long as they want, true/false?
8. We love youse as long as you look like us and talk like us, true/false?
9. What group of people are still pissed at us that we actually did settle here in 1788?
10. Name one former Australian politician who recently said ‘We don’t want more muslims coming here’.

Water Woes

SE Qld dam levels fall below 17pc

I’m trying to get my head around what would happen to Brisbane if/when the water levels get close to zero.

An obvious idea would be a population cap on SEQ, at the moment this appears to be sneaking in due to some local councils being more strict on new developments, but if it was to become an official policy… what would that mean?

I imagine the radical idea of charging money for a precious resource like water instead of giving it away for free (practically) would have to be raised. Though the social think of the current QLD government would probably lean towards more intelligent solutions such as … more water police… shorter shower timers and the like..

Interesting and dry times ahead it looks like.

Gambling – The Ignorance Tax

This is what Warren Buffet, one of the worlds best investors and richest people has to say about gambling..

When a shareholder asked about the future of gambling companies, Buffett remarked that they should do very well, provided that gambling remains legal. “People like to gamble,” he said, adding that day-trading stocks comes close to gambling.

The fun of gambling aside, the Oracle had harsh words for the industry, saying, “Gambling is a tax on ignorance.” He said it’s revolting that the government takes advantage of its citizens’ weaknesses rather than protecting them.

My Saturday begins with the arduous journey to the news agency 200m away so that I can get the morning paper, I read the real estate section closely but try and skim the rest of the content fairly quickly (to avoid toxic information contamination). I have to don a pair of track suit pants and make sure my hair looks like I haven’t just woken up.. Otherwise I fit right in with the look in my suburb with the Ug boots and tracks on.

This morning I was about 5th in line to pay for the paper, and all of the people in front of me were loading up for the lotto (or whatever!?) draw that presumably was happening tonight, some of the charges were from $10 up to the mid $20’s which when added to the cost of the pack of cigarettes that often get purchased at the same time adds up to a decent chunk of change.

It’s a weird thing that paying a $1 to get 20c in change (or whatever the expectation is for lottery) is considered a wealth creation scheme by anyone. Weird but not surprising however as there is plenty of research done into why our brains make irrational decisions.

The thing I find funny is that there is a well proven path to wealth creation (instead of wealth destruction) so close to these people as there is a public library right next door, and the cost of that is free, though admittedly you can’t smoke inside.

Ron Paul – 2008

Just donating a small slice of bandwidth to the Ron Paul for president 2008 movement.

America and the world really need people like this in power.

When you consider that more than half of the American republican candidates don’t believe in evolution and almost all of them won’t reject a ‘nuclear first strike option’ against ‘enemy’ countries… it makes you despair. Ron Paul is wonderful voice of reason in a crazy world, and unlike almost every other politician he is a learned man who is both aware of history and understand it’s lessons.

Winter Follows Summer

Australia is experiencing an extended bout of economic prosperity. Stock market powering, unemployment low, wages high, property once more surging on the east coast (where was the crash!?), still a geopolitically safe island, cheap and plentiful money supply, A country still sponsored by the Asian natural resource guzzling dragon… We are a lucky country… Dumb luck possibly but the results are the same.

Apart from a squeezing of those who don’t own investments due to the silent tax of inflation, which is quite understated by official measures; this country has never had it this good in material terms.

It’s a fact of history that bad times follow good however.

How long we can keep surfing at the top of the wave is anybody’s guess, and it’s possible the wave will last for a very long time or even get much larger before it subsides.

For dark clouds on the horizon you might start with peak oil (the end of cheap & plentiful energy), which is a monster in our global future and extend to ideas such as global warming, geopolitical risk, fiat currencies, global financial bubbles induced by easy fiat money (study present day Zimbabwe for a lesson of what can happen here) and stoked by the fires of financial derivatives chicanery. It’s a long list. Perhaps it always has been though.

Some smart people who’s work and writings I follow are starting to prepare for the winter with their investment thinking. There is nothing magical about this idea, it’s simply an appreciation of the lessons of history.

I haven’t experienced a great depression, world war, pandemic or true global crisis. If I could place a bet it would be that I will live through at least one of these things in my lifetime.

Think winter when it’s summer and don’t expect the good times to last forever.

The ‘No Call Register’ Scam

The Australian government has introduced a ‘do not call’ register for telemarketers.

Early feedback is that it could actually be a government scam, glad I haven’t registered so far. It seems that your number might actually be up for sale for all of the ‘exemptions’ from the list.

I will keep my silent number private, and so far I have remained unmolested from the land line spammers. I hate this type of spam so much that I will change my number, send everything to answering machine or do almost anything to avoid it.

Will it stop all telemarketing calls?

Registering your telephone number on the Do Not Call Register will not stop all telemarketing calls to your number. There are some exemptions which enable certain public interest organisations to make telemarketing calls. Exempt organisations include charities, religious organisations and registered political parties. You can also still receive calls from market researchers.