Tag Archives: Tony Abbott

The fools errant

At times we all like to poke a little fun at government officials. Not in a vile way, like throwing a pie in the face of Theresa May, but one of those gestures one does to see if anyone was paying attention. A fine moment from my side was in October 1981, when I discovered a box in the archives. A box overlooked, forgotten. It was filled with envelopes. So when I read the little blighter, my eyes lighted up like little sapphires, the demon in my head grabbed the pitchfork, stabbed it in my brain and shouted to my inner-self and shouted: ‘Do it pussy! Be a man, and show those Major Wanker and Captain Caveman characters that they are asleep at the wheel‘. And so in October 1981, the Dutch Defence education garrisons (their edition of Sandhurst and so on) received the financial updates not in the usual progressive ‘Ministry of Defence’ brown envelopes, but in envelopes with the same colour stating ‘Ministry of War’. I believe we should all get a wakeup call every now and then. Perhaps it made them laugh, perhaps it made them question the events of that day, yet the chances are that they never even noticed it. Just my little frolic with chaos, no harm intended, and unless they got a paper cut from that envelope, my mission was a complete success.

So as some consider this to be a fool’s errant, immature, or even degenerate. Consider how Duncan Lewis feels when gets to deal with people like Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt, people you don’t want to have to deal with on any given day. Those two have a reliability factor that is lower than the reliability of a water heater turning milk into quality butter. It just ain’t gonna happen. The issue is seen in The Guardian (at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/31/asio-chief-says-radical-sunni-islam-creates-terrorists-not-being-a-refugee). Their attack is at “people become terrorists because they adhere to a violent interpretation of Sunni Islam, not because they are refugees“. There is enough evidence but I will get to that soon enough. What is a little upsetting that “former prime minister, Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis was tiptoeing around the subject“, now the important word is ‘former‘, perhaps he is trying to get serious politics again, yet decided to take the silly road to get there. The quote “Hanson later told 2GB the response from Lewis at estimates was “not what the Australian public want to hear”” gives us more to roll our eyes against. The article gives us a few other parts and ends with: “He said he had no intention of appearing contemptuous of Hanson’s line of questioning: “The point I am making is we need to stick to the facts.”“. To that I would suggest that her existence is mere contempt to life in general, but that might just be me.

It is the ‘stick to the facts‘ that needs adherence and rightly so. In this article we see a gem that I have never considered before, mainly because of two reasons. The first is that I have no way of seeing the different versions of Islam in a person, when a Muslim passes me; I have no way of telling. For the same way, if another Australian or Brit passes me, I cannot tell if they are Catholic, Church of England, Protestant, Lutherans, Agnostic or Atheists, they all smell roughly the same, and according to certain tribes in Papua New Guinea, they all taste like chicken.

So it is my surprise that the media at large, with ‘stick to the facts‘ have never done a proper big data analysis of the known acted terrorists and which school of Islam they belonged to. The article implies that even the dim witted Pauline Hanson has never gone in that direction. Is that not interesting? In my view, I think that such an analyses would be of great interesting importance, yet in equal measure we must understand that the Islamic population of Australia comprises a mere 2.2%, so we might find a much better significance when we analyse a certain political party against the chances that they resort to discrimination. I mean, from a personal point of view, why anyone would try to abolish The Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in the first place is more than a small mystery. Now, as I started my story with my little demon issue, I need to take a look at Duncan Lewis too. With former director David Irvine we could go with: ‘The man looks like a librarian, what does he know about field intelligence?‘ we got none of that on current director Duncan Lewis. His rank is Major General, held numerous posts all over Europe and still looks like he could take on Anthony Mundine before lunch and get in a few decent punches. The only opposition between him and me might be that I outrank him at present through seniority (I have been a citizen for much longer than he has). Yes, that was a little funny!

So when we get back to the facts, we have two issues. The one is the extreme Sunni-Islam issue. Not the mention of it, but the mere fact that I have never seen anything in the media looking at that part. In equal measure, we have not seen any details on any of it in the European escalations in the UK and France. In addition, there is one part of Australian exposure as our exposure tends to be mostly Indonesian, Pakistani and Philippines as I currently see it. I will admit upfront that I have no idea how the different schools of Islam propagate over the Muslim nations, but the fact that we see a revelation in a short Guardian piece and nobody jumps on it, showing clear data in opposition, or a windbag response that this is not what Australians want to hear, I state: “Can we get clear data on this?” I think the people have a right to know and as I see it Director Lewis was not really tiptoeing around any issue, he was giving a fact. Now the Guardian gave us elements, yet when we consider: “Tony Abbott, who suggested Lewis, was tiptoeing around the subject. “Asio has to command the confidence of the Australian community, and that’s why you’ve got to be open and upfront about these things”“, I agree, which is why I am not stating that Director Lewis is wrong or incorrect, merely that we would like to see a decent amount of evidence, not just a local view, but projected against the global numbers and theatres of events. Is that such a strange concept, more important, why did none of these so called journo’s (read: Andrew Bolt) show either in opposition evidence of the incorrectness of Director Lewis, or in support of the comment ‘be open and upfront‘. I can tell you now, that in order of priority, the Australian population at large has three priorities. Get wasted, get laid and get high. So as for the ‘gobsmacking’ and upfront view, the two jokers in this farce majeure as I would call it are the elected Pauline Hanson and Andrew Bolt.

Another part is “We have had tens of thousands of refugees come to Australia over the last decade or so and a very few of them have become subjects of interest for Asio and have been involved in terrorist planning“, which is something we all have seen to some degree. One of my classmates was a refugee, she was proud to be a student, proud to be a graduate and the first in her family history to have completed a tertiary education. This is where we see the bulk of the refugees, to build a happy and healthy family and a decent prospective future, which is pretty much the dream of the bulk of all 8 billion people on this planet. When we see this against Andrew Bolt who according to a source stated of some former event: “The document I seek is a list of links to articles related to “global-warming”, “climate-change”, “CO2” and “coral bleaching” that represent the sceptical view of those respective debates – as presented by the ABC on all its platforms. I have listened, viewed and searched for years and I’ve not found any sceptical articles on the ABC’s platforms“, that whilst even a simple search Bing.com (Bing of all places) on page 1 gives us a few examples. And when we look beyond ABC, we get even more options. So what was the ‘sceptical view‘ in all this? A view Andrew could relate to? Perhaps an intentional way to filter data, so that no exact match would be found? I am at a loss, so as we see him doing some tiptoe event around climate-change, or is that around Coral bleaching? Anyway, it seems to me that the only one not doing the tip toe, the tap dance or the jive is the one, the only, the Duncan Lewis himself!

In all this Pauline Hanson is even more of an issue, she should know better and if not, she has no business being an elected official. The one thing that sets her apart is that as the Ginger Neanderthal, she might think she has something in common with Wilma and Pebbles Flintstone, yet the latter two have qualities like wisdom, cute and endearing. Elements that Pauline Hanson clearly does not seem to have in my personal opinion. So as the Sydney Morning Herald claims that “Counter-terrorism experts have overwhelmingly backed spy boss Duncan Lewis“, I feel that I have to add that on a global level data analysts, the refugee volunteers at the refugee camps and immigration specialists will all come to the very same conclusion that the Spy boss is right. Is that not interesting too? On a planet so diverse, people in groups so far apart in acts and responsibility on their different workplaces would come to the very same conclusion? As we see these numbers we are confronted with the figurative notion that the chances of finding a Wall Street trader with integrity is larger than finding a terrorist in a refugee camp. When the numbers sway to such a degree, how lost was the cause of the opposition to Duncan Lewis in the first place?

As I see it, if she had done her homework properly she might have propelled forward through meaningful dialogue, but that is the flaw in my reasoning, when a view is as extremist as One Nation, meaningful dialogue would never have been on her agenda. It is reflected in the Sydney Morning Herald quote “some acknowledged he and Senator Hanson may have been talking at cross-purposes” (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/if-asio-dont-know-nobody-knows-terror-experts-back-spy-chief-over-pauline-hanson-20170530-gwg2hu.html) yet, again as I personally see it, she might have been intentional about the cross-purposes of this and in finality when we consider the global response and the expertise at that table, it would have been far better for Tony Abbott not to get involved in this to the degree he did, which is a tactical flaw on his side for certain.

So as I end my fool’s errand in all this, we need to consider the quote from Greg Barton “Lewis is seeing a much bigger and clearer picture than any of us,” Professor Barton said. However, “he should have unpacked more of what he was saying”, so as not to imply there was “zero connection at all” between migration and terrorism“, which is only partially correct from my point of view. I agree that stating more regarding any available statistics as Sunni versus other extremism, he is also correct that ‘zero’ is an undesired number as it tends to be statistically flawed, yet that invokes a long ongoing debate (wasting the time of EVERYONE) between ‘too insignificant’ and ‘zero’, terms the politicians hide behind at a moment’s notice, yet offer it on the table at the blink of an eye to make other people waste their times.

As for my next fools errant in the classification of ‘prank‘, I will take my copy of a Vatican work order, make a really close representation of the autograph of the man in the white outfit in the Vatican, and watch the reaction of the security guard in the Sistine Chapel as he reads that I have been ordered to paint the ceiling white. I’ll just sit back relax and watch chaos unfold, the next Aprils Fools day is 305 days away and I cannot wait that long, because that is how I roll!

It will be my homage to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who decided to paint the roses red.

 

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Soliciting the gay vote

It started innocent enough. I was just going over my tweets, seeing what happens and then suddenly something odd happened. I saw this tweet go by: “Wow Plibersek is actually refusing to support binding the ALP in favour of marriage equality“, which seemed odd. So I took a look at the facts (you know, the arrangement of letters in an online newspaper), which got me these quotes from the Sydney Morning Herald “Bill Shorten has narrowly avoided a Left faction attempt to immediately bind Labor MPs to support same-sex marriage equality from the next election onwards but the affirmative policy will still become binding on Labor MPs within four years” and “But while the hybrid voluntary-compulsory formula is a win for Mr Shorten who publicly opposed a plan initially backed by Ms Plibersek to bind Labor MPs immediately, the prospect of mandatory policy by 2019 may also offer Mr Abbott the political cover he needs to deny his own Liberal and Nationals MPs a free vote in this Parliament“, which gives me the opposite. So be wary of some tweets on twitter, for me, with a giggle I say, there you go putting your faith in a tweet that comes from a person who openly heralds ice cream and gossip girl in his profile (which he’s allowed to do of course).

Yet, it is not about the tweet, it is about the information that it brought bare, the ugly truth of solicitation, especially when it is for votes. You see, I am all for the act (I am actually not against it, which is not the same), but in the end, whatever makes a person happy and as long as it does not hinder my way of life I say: live and let live!

Yes, life is often this simple, when an act, a choice of life or a preference is no real danger to other people, when it is no hindrance of your lifestyle, why object to it? Especially when part of the hetero sexual community states it is ‘so bad’ for healthy marriages and they screw up their own relationship all by their selves. The clear statistic of 40% divorce should be the indication that the hetero sexual seems clueless on what they are doing and how to do it right, but that might just be me.

So back to that same sex thing!

How did I get to the solicitation part? That would be the clear issue. Consider that the Labour party has been screwing up their side, whilst in office between 2007 and 2013. Senator Nettle, a member of the Greens in New South Wales introduced the bill (at https://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2007B00038). So there it stayed for a very long time as you can see. So whilst Heavy Kevvie and the Bushfire Blonde were fighting over who was top dog in the PM residence (Kevin Rudd vs Julia Gillard), we now see another wave of Labor members stating half- baked intentions, basically soliciting (as I see it) for the office of governing through ‘the Gay’ vote.

Even in opposition they will not come out for the bill and they need a compromise, if it is so important, why was the act not made law in 2008 or 2009? Now we see in the very beginning of the Sydney Morning Herald “Bill Shorten has narrowly avoided a Left faction attempt to immediately bind Labor MPs to support same-sex marriage equality from the next election onwards but the affirmative policy will still become binding on Labor MPs within four years“, so I can guarantee my British readers that our Labor party is in a bigger mess then the UK version! (I end this with a hefty nah nah nah nah nah)

Then we get the next quote “And Mr Shorten has pledged that a Shorten Labor government would move to make it law within its first 100 days“. ‘Move to make it’ is not the same as ‘making it law’, it is just the introduction for it and the fact that there is a left and another faction within labor, that means that enabling the act is not a guarantee. If the Australian Labor Party (ALP) does the same iteration of non-sensible overspending the moment they get into office, that act is not a guarantee at all (they will suddenly have other ‘priorities’). If you want to see that evidence, then check out the Marriage (Relationships Equality) Amendment Bill 2007 and how it stayed untouched throughout 2 terms of office, in addition, we can watch the news on May 21st 2013 when we saw (I mean read) ‘Kevin Rudd declares his support for same sex marriage‘ (at http://www.news.com.au/national/kevin-rudd-declares-his-support-for-same-sex-marriage/story-fncynjr2-1226647193111). It must have been an election year. Oh wait, yes, that is what it was! His support came 12 weeks before the elections, yes! Way to go Kevvie, trying to score votes, were you?

As I personally see it, if the gay community wants that act to become rule of law, than my advice to them is to get rid of Bill Shorten now and make a vote for either Tanya Plibersek or Penny Wong. It seems to me that they wanted to bind this achievement as mandatory, there is an additional need to change now, because the SMH quote “However, after that, a positive vote for the reform will become mandatory for all of ALP parliamentarians, meaning any MPs voting against it on religious or other grounds would face automatic expulsion, consistent with long-standing ALP rules“, so basically Bill Shorten does not want to get tied down now and hide behind the mandatory vote later on, how is THAT the definition of a leader?

Is it not interesting how these ‘long-standing ALP rules‘ were able to stop the Labor Party from enacting the Marriage (Relationships Equality) Amendment Bill 2007 during their last two terms?

In all this, it also seems to me that of all the political weights throwing themselves as so ‘equally’ minded, it was a Green, Kerry Nettle who introduced the bill, so I think that Labor is nowhere near out of the woods and even though it seems to me that both Penny Wong and Tanya Plibersek are hard on board to get the act stronger and enacted sooner, the question must remain, why was Bill Shorten in any way opposed? Consider the quote from the Age “Bill Shorten has made a last-ditch appeal to his colleagues not to adopt a binding vote on same-sex marriage amid renewed speculation he could be defeated on the issue on the floor of the ALP national conference“, it seems to me that all Labor party leaders prefer to keep the ‘Gay vote’ at hand, but not at their sides, which is odd to say the least. In all this, we see both Penny and Tanya fight for the vote, but the skeptical soul in me does wonder whether this was for marriage equality or to dislodge Bill Shorten from his leadership seat? There is no given info whether that was ever the case, it is just my suspicious nature in all this.

No matter what happens next, if marriage equality does not come now, it will be the main event for debate towards who gets to be elected into office in 2017. To me that sounds like the wrong way to get an act into law, but that could just be me.

 

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If at first you don’t succeed!

That was the first thought I had when I saw the article ‘Academics attack George Osborne budget surplus proposal‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/academics-attack-george-osborne-budget-surplus-proposal) and the title reflects on them as well as on me. You see, as stated more than once before, I have no economics degree, but I have insight in data, I am not a bookkeeper, but I know how to keep my own register (I’ll let you boil down that conundrum by yourself).

So as I have a go at 77 of the best known academic economists, I present the first quote, which is: “George Osborne’s plan to enshrine permanent budget surpluses in law is a political gimmick that ignores “basic economics”, a group of academic economists has warned“, here we see the first failing of these economists. You see, the first rule of a basic economy is plain and simple:

Do not spend more than you earn!

That has been a massive need for over 20 years! Some ‘academics’ convincing that the budget could be X (whatever the amount is, now they tell us that X = Y (part of our costs) + Z (the interest and minimal payback on a massive loan that allows us to do more). At some point, one politician was stupid enough (or forced) to do this, but then the next one did it too and so on. Now we have a game, because of a group of flagellationists, we are all whipped into a place we never wanted to be, which is deep in debt!

Were those economists wrong?

They were not IF (a very loud if) the politicians would have diminished the debt, which is now 1.5 trillion pounds. You remember the first formula (X=Y+Z), now let’s take a look. You see, the numbers have been shifted again and again. Some now state that the interest is £42.9 billion per annum (2013 numbers), So now we get X = Y + (42.9 + 30), which is the annual interest and the paying down the debt at 2%, let’s not forget that at this pace it will still take 50 years, that is, if we get a budget that is actually set!

There are other complications that will make ‘Z’ higher, or ‘X’ a lot lower, when we consider maturing bonds and all other methods of ‘borrowing’ funds. You will see that the only winner is the bank. Whomever gets paid 42.9 billion is getting that as a guarantee without ever working for it. You the readers in the UK are doing all the work for that bank. The economists are not trying to tell you that. They come with ‘it is a very complex situation’ or my favourite ‘it would take too long to explain it all’. Yet, in their own words, ‘basic economics’ is actually really simple.

Do not spend money you do not have!

Now we get the quote “the chancellor was turning a blind eye to the complexities of a 21st-century economy that demanded governments remain flexible and responsive to changing global events“, which I see as a half-truth! You see, economics are quite complex, but they are only complex because economists and their friends in the financial sector MADE it complex! They get all this money for free from governments all over the world. They do not want to change that ever!

For the sake of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and our sanity, George Osborne is making that change. If previous Labour (especially Gordon Brown MP) had not spend the massive amounts they had, the UK would be in a much better position, but that is not the case. The economic view of ‘flexible and responsive’ is a valid point, but previous events turned ‘flexible and responsive’ into non-accountable overspending of funds that were not available. It will take a generation to clean up. The issues in Greece got so hairy that the President of the United States put his foot down, 2 days later the IMF walks away. An economy so deep in debt, an economy only representing 2% of the economy of the EEC could be able to topple it all. That is what many do not want to address!

This gets us to a linked quote in the article ‘Greece running out of time to avoid default, leaders concede‘ (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/12/greece-running-out-of-time-to-avoid-default-leaders-concede), where we see: “Greece has less than a week to strike a deal with its Eurozone creditors to avoid defaulting on its massive debts and perhaps being kicked out of the single currency area, with German leaders and top European Union officials now conceding that default is the likeliest outcome“, so as you might recall that Greece claimed that a solution was ‘almost’ there, I will show you the ‘flexible and responsive’ side to the word ‘almost’.

You see, “I have had sex with Laura Vandervoort almost every night!” Monday almost, Tuesday almost, Wednesday almost. You get the idea, ‘almost’ here is like ‘as soon as possible’, at times it means ‘Never!’ (it would be so much fun to get a mail from Laura stating that she will be here ‘as soon as possible’, I am not beyond irony and it will make me chuckle for weeks!

Why this example? Well, I have been telling the readers for months that Greece has been screwing us around, you see how the words just fall into place? The economy does not! This is the clear evidence that the law must change. While all the players getting nice incomes were saying ‘tomorrow’ ad infinitum, George Osborne is saying ‘Now!’

The fact that this is essential is also seen through the acts of President Obama. Tax evasion was high on the G-meetings (G-7, G-20, take your pick), yet, when Australia introduced the Google Tax, we see the us Treasury making waves to stop it ‘US Treasury pressures Tony Abbott to drop ‘Google tax’ ‘ (at http://www.afr.com/news/policy/tax/us-treasury-pressures-tony-abbott-to-drop-google-tax-20150428-1mu2sg). They stated it as: “Mr Stack said it was critical that Group of 20 countries like Australia that were participating in global tax negotiations did not pass laws on their own that would contradict international agreements“. In my words, my response would be: “Mr Stack, you and your administration are a joke! You have not acted for over three administrations in reigning in corporate greed, your American corporations were cause of a financial meltdown 11 years ago, a meltdown we are all still feeling. In addition, you have not set ANY solid ground in countering tax evasion, other than the windy speeches we have expected to see, all speech, no action! It is time for the American administration to put their actions where their mouths have been for too long!” Not too diplomatic, but the message is coming across I reckon. The commonwealth can no longer adhere to the irresponsible acts of a nation that is 18 trillion in debt!

So as I see it the quote “they argued Osborne was guilty of adopting a gimmick designed to outmanoeuvre his opponents“. You see, this is not a gimmick, this is a direct need where the banks are no longer in control, the Commonwealth is a monarchy, that is there to give a future to the people and to keep them in a place where they have a future. For now Greece basically no longer has a future. It has spent it all, unless the US treasury comes up with 50 billion (quoting Jean-Claude Juncker), it only has time to find a solution that will not end the existence of Greece.

This is the massive difference that the people keep on forgetting. The UK is a monarchy, with a sovereign ruler who has accepted (or: was given) the responsibility to keep the nation thriving and its people moving towards a happy place that has a future, America is a republic, where the elected official is depending on large contributions, especially from the wealthy. It has given in to big business again and again for the last 20 years. As we see the USA, a nation more and more drowning in civil unrest, we should consider how they got there. The got there by lacking in laws that held big business and government to account of spending. Here we now see “George Osborne’s plan to enshrine permanent budget surpluses in law“, this is an essential first step to get us all back on a decent track where we are not in debt!

Getting back to the formula. The last step we were at was: X = Y + (42.9 + 30), you see, the people all over the place have been ‘deceived’ to some extent. Deceived is hard to use, because the word ‘misrepresented’ is a much better word. X is what the UK receives. With large corporations ducking their fiscal responsibility, the value of X goes down, with unemployment issues and zero hour issues, the people get less money and as such they pay less taxation, so X goes down even further. Now we get the set costs. (Y), more and more elderly, means more costs and they do not pay taxation. So the elderly drive down X a small bit and drive up Y a large portion. I do not hold that against them! They worked, they made Britain (and Australia) great! They did their share, so they get to sit down to enjoy the tea and biscuits (an additional fine venison steak would be good too). These are all elements that the economy is confronted with and as these economists have been to enabling to big business, we see that we must put a stop to what is happening. We have no other choice, or better stated we have less and less options. These economists are all polarised into one direction, one direction that has not worked for over a decade. We get misrepresented by ‘managed bad news’ and other forms of information we can no longer rely on.

Consider that I have been on top of the Greek case for some time now, so when we see (at http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/eu/countries/greece_en.htm) the fact that the forecast of Greece is 0.5% in 2015 and 2.9% in 2016, I wonder how they got to it all and if such misrepresentation should not be a cause for liability? Is it based upon raw data that we can trust? You see as these economists all rely on the ‘formula’ and all concede that it is a good model and a real predictor, my gut has been a lot more accurate and these economists had to adjust their numbers downwards time and time again. The last part for Greece is seen in the Financial Times, it reflects on what I stated earlier (at http://www.ft.com/fastft/343532/eurozone-financial-fragmentation-hits-5-year-low)!

Initiatives such as the European Stability Mechanism, a permanent rescue fund designed to limit financial chaos that might arise from an event such as a Grexit, as well as the €1.1tn quantitative easing programme, have helped insulate the rest of the Eurozone from Greece“, to ‘limit financial chaos’, is that not weird? Many players downplayed the impact of Grexit (especially France). So this ‘rescue fund’, how much is in it? You see, that will become a debt too and where does it go? France, Italy? They are in deep financial waters. So how much more will be needed to stop France and Italy to go over the edge?

Simple economics is to lower debt, now to throw money from other sources at the interest of debt, which solves nothing! George Osborne was right before, he is right now. The fact that the Economy players, the IMF and America do not like it when others are out of debt, that does not mean that we should adhere. I showed how USA adheres to big business (including banks), it is time to be self-reliant! So as rating agencies set the outlook bar to negative, we should start to wonder, who do they serve? You see, if the ratings are about the ‘now’, so the outlook is moved from Negative from Stable for an event that is not happening until 2017. Guess what, the UK was always stable, and when these ratings are shown to be ‘flawed’, then what?

To be honest, S&P has an interesting paper on this (at http://www.standardandpoors.com/aboutcreditratings/RatingsManual_PrintGuide.html). Here we see the quote “Credit ratings are opinions about credit risk published by a rating agency” and “Standard & Poor’s ratings opinions are based on analysis by experienced professionals who evaluate and interpret information received from issuers and other available sources“. Now we get the final part. The first quote is clear. It makes it known that this is a matter of opinion. The second quote is how they get it. Now tell me, how many of these ‘77 economists’, who were thumping George Osborne on all this, are involved in setting economic predictions? Are they linked to people who do set the ratings? I am not certain of the first premise, but I am decently certain of the second premise!

So are these economists, who claim that it is about ‘governments remain flexible and responsive’, is that it, or is the game getting rigged because the few are willing to sell the larger proportion of a population down the drain for the interest of self?

Consider the information given and work for a place of common sense. You will soon realise that the path of George Osborne is the right one, moreover, when in your life, has debt ever been a good thing and how is the debt working for Greece?

 

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True torture

This issue started a while before this. The title “Tony Abbott: Australians ‘sick of being lectured to’ by United Nations, after report finds anti-torture breach” is just an incentive for emotion. (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-australians-sick-of-being-lectured-to-by-united-nations-after-report-finds-antitorture-breach-20150309-13z3j0.html).

There are two quotes that need to be looked at: “Mr Abbott’s criticism of the UN follows his attack last month of Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs, in which he called the report she commissioned on children in detention a ‘political stitch-up’” and “The United Nations report, by the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, finds Australia is violating the rights of asylum seekers on multiple fronts under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment“.

I am all for human rights! I think Human rights are important, but what about the people ‘orchestrating’ the message?

Let’s that a look at the message ‘U.N. Urges U.S. To Treat Migrants as Refugees’ (at http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/08/329774643/u-n-urges-u-s-to-treat-migrants-as-refugees). The message seems to be clear, but what is that message? When we consider the quote “The refugee agency is particularly concerned about the large number of unaccompanied children arriving in the U.S. Washington estimates more than 90,000 unaccompanied children will arrive by the end of September“.

This was the news of last year. You see, what we all ignore (especially Labor and Greens) is that this all has a cost, it does not matter whether it is in Australia, Canada or America. When we accept refugees we accept financial responsibility to some extent. This is the not so nice part if us trying to be good and humane, there is a cost and we do not shy away from it, but we have limits, we all do! With every irresponsible act of spending what none have we limit our options and limit those who we allow in as well.

There is however another side, the side from the UN as we see the title ‘Asylum seeker torture report: United Nations special rapporteur Juan Mendez responds to Tony Abbott criticism‘ (at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/asylum-seeker-torture-report-united-nations-special-rapporteur-juan-mendez-responds-to-tony-abbott-criticism-20150310-13zrwz.html). The quote “I think we in the United Nations also deserve respect and I wish the Prime Minister had taken my views on this more seriously and engaged with my rapporteurship more constructively” is a defence and a subtitle, also a statement that is not incorrect, but perhaps incomplete. When we see the quote “Among the concerns raised by the report was that escalating violence on Manus Island, and the ‘intimidation and ill-treatment of two asylum seekers’ who gave statements about last year’s violent clashes at the centre was in breach of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment” issues come to light. Now, it is important that I am not making any claims of dishonesty or that the claims are lies. There would be no way for me to prove it. In addition, it is nice that we get these ‘verdicts’ from the UN, an administrative group where those ‘voices’ are incomes vastly above minimum wage, an income fuelled by other governments, but guess what, EVERY single one of these nations are in debt, not one excluded! Yet, this is not about money, or the income of some of these comfortable living executives. Let’s take a look at some of the elements.

Let’s restate the phrase: “intimidation and ill-treatment of two asylum seekers“, now, I am willing to blindly accept the following:

  1. There are likely more than 2 victims
  2. Let’s accept that in every case it is always both intimidation and ill-treatment

Now let’s take a look at the information form Amnesty international (at http://www.amnesty.org.au/refugees/comments/33587/), where they state the following: “There are currently 1,100 asylum seekers detained on Manus Island, all of whom are men who arrived without their families. These men have fled war, chilling acts of torture, threats of death, or profound discrimination. Many of them have made the desperate decision to make a perilous journey from Indonesia and other countries, including Sri Lanka, to Australia“.

Now, let’s be realistic and accept that more than two people have faced certain ordeals, there is no way for me to clearly find (at present) how many faced events. But if we take 20 people, than the issue revolves around 1.8% opposed to 0.18%. 1.8% might be too large, and I would agree with it, but we all seem to forget that a detention centre like that, is a place with constant pressures and clashing cultures, there are uncertain times ahead for many of these people, so pressures will come to a boil pretty fast in a place like that.

I am trying not to trivialise, but the need for better statistics is evidently required before we start a dictionary war between Australian parliament and the UN, whilst we know that the media is ‘presiding’ both sides whilst they enjoy the benefit of the occurring discord.

Yet, in the end, the actual culprit has not once been named. Oh, evil villain, oh master of the dischordian principle that weighs the loom of infinity unto the hands of fate. I have seen thee oh villain and I name thee………. (wait for it)………. Tax-Man!

Yes, in all the issues of emotion, so many forget that humanitarian aid must be paid for. Humanitarian causes require funds to exist, as do immigration centres, because they are a pure cost for any government. Which is one reason why Greece is getting rid of them tout-suit! In addition, they are so broke they are now returning to the need for WW2 reparations from Germany, which I will not condemn, but in reality, their own Tax-Man did not do anything, which covers close to 1/3rd of all their debt. So as they ignored current debts (and irresponsible spending), they go back to WW2. It makes perfect sense, the Greek PM and that finance ‘Rock Star’ have no other options (if they want to remain in power), but this is not about the Greek debt!

This is about refugees and the truth is that many nations (most of them), they are all failing refugees, mainly because of Tax-Man. You see, this super villain relies on the help of its sidekick Mrs. Poli Titian and this sidekick has been overspending, giving tax breaks to large corporations in a whimsy notion that under those condition more money would come in. It was a flawed approach, because they all rely on people SPENDING money. Guess what? They overspend on luxuries and are now paying it off, many have no jobs and many more have been in an income world that resembles the world of Frozen, whilst the cost of living is still rising. All this adds up to empty coffers.

So Mr Juan Mendez, where will these costs come from? This is not my lashing out, this is me actually asking. I remain in favour to help refugees as much as possible, but how? We need to make massive changes to the way of life we now have. Mrs Poli Titian needs to actually instigate massive changes. Not just in Australia, US, Canada et al. ALL nations need to accept certain changes. We need to readdress the way we think and I will admit right here, right now that I am at a loss how to go best about it.

In my view, there is an option, but it is not one you like, not one you will even find acceptable or humane.

  1. Retirement homes are as per now only for those without family. If they have family, they must go there. This needs to be a global change

Yes, you are all upset now. Yet consider, if we unite families we shrink the costs of arranging all this, yet in answer, those funds will ALL go to legal aid, health care aid and refugee aid.

  1. Refugees can come in, but only assigned to volunteer positions for places like Salvation Army, St. Vincent, Red Cross and other volunteer places. For this they receive room and board. It will give aid to other places, work force and support. For that they will receive a place in our community and after 5 years they will get automatic citizenship.

Non-compliance means expulsion from that nation!

This is not even that harsh, the situation could become a lot worse soon enough, then what will we do? As we get all these academic people (and governmental expert consultants) telling us how things will get better soon, hoping that they can avoid actually answering the question in earnest.

The Greek example of their detention centres might have been the most outspoken, but I feel certain that they are not the worst, not by a long shot. Real refugees want to work towards a better future, my solution seems to be less, but it still gives them a guaranteed future for them and their children.

The parliament of Australia site gave me two paragraphs that matter (at http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp0001/01RP05).

Asylum seekers are drawn to particular countries by a range of obvious factors-proximity, family and ethnic community networks, employment opportunities and wage levels, generosity of welfare systems, levels of tolerance within existing societies, and the accessibility of determination systems. In Europe last year 70 per cent of asylum seekers sought protection in just four countries-Germany, Britain, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Acceptance rates are more revealing of a country’s political priorities, or its attitude to migration, or the weight of numbers it has had to deal with, or its diplomatic relations with ‘sending’ countries, than the genuineness of refugee claims” and “Australia is perhaps unique amongst Western countries in its capacity and willingness to remove failed asylum seekers; in other countries most failed asylum seekers simply remain. Australia has however joined other countries in attempting to discourage new applicants. The most minimal welfare payment, special benefit, is provided to illegally arrived asylum seekers even after they have been determined to be Convention refugees; they are provided with temporary visas with no family reunion entitlements; and they are denied access to settlement services tailored for and provided free to off-shore refugees

In my view refugees would (read: should) willingly go to any place that will accept them, this information gives a slightly different view. It is also interesting that the information is incorrect. The Dutch numbers are going down, whilst the Swedish numbers were going up. Moreover, the Swedish numbers are over 25% higher, yet the premise of the writ is not strongly affected. In this light we will see that the economies of the large 6, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and Switzerland will soon change stronger and stronger if large changes are not made. Reasoning is that ‘in earnest’ (not in condemnation of any kind), refugees are an economic burden. They often cannot speak the language, the culture is different and there will be other moments that will stop them from becoming an asset to any future (most important their own future).

The solution that I am proposing might seem ‘inhumane’, but they are cast in places where people are less likely to take advantage of them. They will be in places helping their new nation and as such themselves as well and they will get exposed to a strong impulse of skills, language and cultural foundations that will only propel them stronger in future. In that light their children will already be eligible for schools and will help them build even stronger foundations.

Is my plan the best? No, it is not, but by giving it to large industries, who gave a massive part of that to their own members of the board is certainly never going to be a solution. This is not some anti-industry chant. The issue is that life in any environment requires equilibrium. A ‘coalition’ and politicians with their ‘after-elected’ need, as I personally see it, have been uniting for the need of a few and that need has been answered for these few to such an extent that the many are now no longer regarded as essential. We have now entered into the realm of trimming. Not the trimming of the fat, but the trimming of non-consumers and in the short minded view of the industry, those, of whom they think no one needs. But in that same view we will also trim our humanity, reduced to be workers, for the lessened good of consuming.

My view is not a good one, but as I see it, it beats where we are moving towards. In the end, is my view just an exaggerated negative view? I personally wish it was so, but consider the following facts:

External debt and population

  1. Germany – 5.5 trillion – 81m
  2. France – 5.7 trillion – 64m
  3. United Kingdom – 9.5 trillion – 65m
  4. Sweden – 1.1 trillion – 10m
  5. Netherlands – 2.5 trillion – 17m
  6. Switzerland – 1.6 trillion – 8m

Now take the next part in close (but sceptical consideration), one report claims that for the UK servicing the debt costs a mere £43bn, which amounts to the entire defence spending of the UK. The UK collected a forecasted 650 billion in taxation last year, taking 6% of the budget away just to keep Even Steven, so if the UK wants to move forward they need to budget on 90% whilst collecting the 100% forecasted part. It is quite the miracle to make that happen. Now the UK and Germany are doing reasonably well (compared too many other nations), but they too have issues. When we look at Sweden and the Netherlands; that image swifts a lot faster in a downward spiral. Perhaps some will remember the issues Switzerland and their currency had a little over a month ago in my article ‘A seesaw for three‘ on January 18th 2015 (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/01/18/a-seesaw-for-three/)

We now see the picture adding up to a lot more hardship, and add to that the refugees:

  1. Germany 571K – 144
  2. France 210K – 310
  3. United Kingdom – 194K – 319
  4. Sweden – 86K – 106
  5. Netherlands – 75K – 222
  6. Switzerland – 50K – 154

Now the view is almost complete. So for Germany we see 571,000 refugees, which means one refugee per 144 non refugees. The 144 pay for the way of one refugee. We could think that this is easy, but now consider that taxation is down, so the required money is not getting in (for various reasons). Now we see the problem, how can any government continue to support a sliding scale? This is not about fairness, because it is not fair on the refugee. I will be on the first line stating this, but when the bills are due, fairness will no longer be a factor. If we want to resolve the refugee solution, so that we all can continue giving them a future, something must give way. We can hope for a much better economy, but that is a ludicrous fantasy, even if the economy suddenly upgrades by 15%, these nations will still be hurt by the overspending and the consequential bills that became the headache for well over a decade.

So in my view we either change the way the refugee issues are addressed, or soon thereafter Australia will not be the only one sending back refugees, with the consequential nightmare that such actions will bring.

So as I contemplate the words of Juan Mendez, I wonder if Mr Mendez has considered the dangers of true torture when funds run truly dry on a near global basis. We all need to look at how it can be made better as we all should consider such steps, but in addition, no one seems to be looking at the cost of it all, yet the pressures of the rising costs of helping refugees getting a future are not being addressed in this economy, why not?

 

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I have seen this before

It was not a pretty picture this morning. The Australian deficit is about to be blown clearly out of the waters surrounding it. Yes, there was nothing wrong with the initial assessment that Australian would no longer be in the red before 2016. The plan was bold, it was feasible and after the Australian Labor party had blown its spending in the hundreds of billions, from a 57 billion debt, Australian Labor blew the national debt and grew it in excess of 250 billion, in addition, the forward spending spree by Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard would give the Liberals a 600 billion headache, and it is a firm headache, which is about to get a lot worse.

Whether we see it as politics, treason or just incompetence, the Labour government seems to have played an intentional game of silencing certain contracts. It is my view that there is not possible, that after only 3 weeks into the liberal government that the car industry decided to just walk away. This was planned all along and they played nice with the Labor party for the view of whatever benefit game was played. So the Liberals ended up with massive invoices and bills that Labor should never have spent, but this is not about that, this is about a second game that has been in commencement. It has been played for a little longer that the Liberals have been at the helm, but in that instance, I will state that neither party is to blame. This is not political; this is political management of another nature.

For the second game I need to take a little detour to the 80’s. When I grew up in the Netherlands, more specifically Rotterdam, I was all about harbours, ships and engineering. My work with IT systems in the harbours gave me an interesting edge. I had access, I was busy all day programming new container solutions in Clipper and I dealt with cargo of several natures. One of the things I used to see on a daily basis was an enormous mountain of iron ore. It was meant for Germany, yet at times that mountain would not shrink; it would grow and grow and grow. In those days it made no sense to me, little did I know!

Now we get back to today, the current administration is about to bleed out no less than 20 billion for the simple reason that revenue of iron has gone down 40%, not that less is produced, no, iron is worth a lot less now. So, to get even, Australia needs to ship 250%, which is not an option. So why sell it at all? Now we get to an interesting article in the Sydney Morning Herald (at http://www.smh.com.au/business/price-drop-signals-the-end-of-the-iron-ore-age-20140912-10fxr7.html), we see here that the initial rise and fall was all in the previous government, there is also a clear view that not only is this rise temporary, the overall trend shows that the previous government had a lucky break (and still overspend by close to half a trillion), yet the current government is not innocent either as their view on iron revenue should have been downgraded by at least 20%, which would have lessened the impact. Neither is to blame, but also, neither is innocent here. So as we see the solution, we need to worry what will come next?

This is where it gets to be dodgy; it is sheer speculation in my side. I think that someone is playing chipmunk here. I think that a mountain is created using all manners of non-taxation and then they will sell it all off at a massive profit when iron price suddenly makes an upturn. Between March 2010 and April 2010, the price went from 139.77 to 172.47. Even though such a jump is not conceivable, the fact is that if housing improved only a little, iron prices will grow again and it is a global market, so as one person needs more, iron will do better again. so buying and storing when prices are down, transferring to a foreign account and then selling as prices bounce back, will yield massive profits for those non-taxable entities. Is it true? No, it is speculation (from my side), yet we have seen similar acts before, so it is not inconceivable, in addition, the Australian government is bleeding deficits fast, and they are amounting to serious amounts within the next three months.

This part is all on the Liberal side, it is not their fault, but they will need to amend their budgets and forecasts accordingly. And it is not just Australia, the UK has similar issues, yet not to the same extent, but the pressure is there too. The UK will take a 30 billion dive, which is a sizeable amount. This all beckons, why were predictions not made a little less enthusiastically? You don’t skin the bastard until it is dead (and very healthy for the poacher seeking crocs). This again shows the need to take a better look at how certain items are anticipated and budgeted. If you doubt that part, then ask George Osborne and Joe Hockey on how many complications those billions bring and it is not the only worry, because there is a second downside. Whoever has these current mountains of ore, they do have a firm grip on driving prices high soon enough, then what will we do?

So, when did I see this before? Well, that is the fun part; I saw it happen around 1989, when the prices went up a little (16%) form $12 to $14. Yes a mere $2. It becomes an interesting view when we look at the data form the last 30 years. The entire mountain of increase and decrease started pretty much in December 2003, when the price was $13.82. From there it would shoot up to almost $178 (2011), now if it is going back to its foundation price. Why was this not better investigated? How come that a commodity is driven up by 1369%? The final part we see in the Economist (at http://www.economist.com/node/21564559). The quote “In the longer term, overall iron-ore demand will grow as China’s march to urbanisation goes on. Demand in the rich world may be drooping, but Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, says steel consumption will not peak in China until 2026“. Is that a given? When we consider the site macro business with the article ‘Chinese Iron production is booming‘ (at http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/08/chinese-iron-ore-production-is-booming/), we see the question I had in my mind.  “The one question that nobody in the iron ore sector (or Australia more generally for that matter) dare ask is what if Chinese iron ore production does not close as Australian miners ramp up output. The reason nobody asks it is that the outcome will be calamitous“.

It comes down to, why should China import? They have cheap labour and resources, and they have iron (at http://www.srk.com.au/en/newsletter/focus-iron-ore/iron-mineral-deposits-and-projects-peoples-republic-china), so why import when they can become a supplier themselves. It is not inconceivable that Australian iron moguls like BHP, Fortesque, Rio Tinto and Hancock will see a decline in numbers. There is no way to tell whether it will return to pre 90’s prices, but if China gets their own iron and their demand for it goes down by 70% or more, the hard news hitting us now will be nothing compared to the bash we get when an industry of 250,000 miners will shed part of their people. We thought the car industry was a nightmare, well; consider that under current conditions if 40% less minerals are needed, we might see the shedding of 100,000 people, a level of bad news Australia has never faced before.

Even though Australia mines a lot more than just Iron, the metal impact could be harshly felt in 2015, if the situation does not improve.

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Changing topics?

It is Tuesday evening, I had been preparing some of my assignments when the two hour bell rang, it was time for a break. I am still ahead of what is needed, which means I can relax (only a little). For 4 weeks I have been doing my daily Uni work, so there is a moment to breath. This is good for now, so what to look at?

Well, I could take you down the road of a copyright driven Australia, yet, when we look at the facts, especially as presented by Brendan Molloy, councillor of Pirate Bay Australia, then a moment of depression hits me. We all speak in truths (or so I hope) and as such, so does he. I do not completely agree with his approach, but he makes a decent case. There are a few tweets he made as @piecritic that have reverberated in my own writings in the past.

  1. Brandis is known to have not met with any consumer representatives and stakeholders as part of writing this draft. #copyrightau“, which seem to give slightly more weight to the issues I posted on my blog on June 17th 2014 called ‘The real issue here!‘, when I wrote “This is at the centre of it all. From my point of view Mr Burke knows it, Mr Brandis knows it and Google, who has every profit with large broadband usage, knows it too. I think it is time for this sanctimonious posturing to stop” it was to state the issue that in the end this is NOT about copyright, this is about bandwidth and as such the Australian economy cannot survive another multi-BILLION dollar blow to it at present. I think that Attorney General Brandis DEFENITELY got spoken to (not speaking with) by certain stakeholders (off the record of course), yet these people do not want ANY visibility in the limelight at present.
  2. @piratepartyau made an FOI request for that data. They refused to release it. https://www.righttoknow.org.au/request/copyright_legislation_working_gr#incoming-2467 #copyrightau”, which seemed to link to “A question about data costs being absurdly high. Love it. #copyrightau“, this is an interesting side. In my previous blog and other events I focussed on the bandwidth, which is what an ISP should be able to monitor and as such they do not, or better, only monitor for billing purposes. This all takes another turn when we consider the tweet by Ed Husic, Federal MP for Chifley, Shadow ParlSec to @bowenchris. His Tweet is “Abbott Govt should tackle copyright, pricing, access simultaneously and not just @copyrightau 1st“.

Well first, to get it all straight, I am a Liberal, so basically in the Abbott, Hockey corner!

Yet, these people make a decent case. You see, I am not in favour of copyright infringement, so if we can stop illegal downloads then this is just fine with me (additional reasons to follow soon). The issue here is not just about copyright; it is in part the ludicrous idea of continuing the TPP. This is at the centre of strangling honest commerce in the near future. I am all for a better legal system that protects the owners of copyrighted articles that Burke represents, yet ‘the rants’ as Brendan mentioned gives way that he is angry because the ACTUAL profiteers are too strong and too powerful (read the ISP and large telecom companies). This is why we see these ‘packaged’ solutions by Optus lately, amongst others. They are trying to convert people to a package as they know that securing revenue now is becoming increasingly important to THEIR survival, this is not seen anywhere in clarity.

So prices are being partially dealt with and access is being transferred to the US via the TPP. If you consider that to be not true, then wonder why Microsoft is setting up 300,000 servers. Just for gaming? Please get a grip and be fast about it!

Consider the following, this was stated by developer Jonathan Blow, but he is not the only stating issues in this direction. “I can spin up 10,000 virtual servers per host. They would just all suck. Saying 300k when they are virtual is a lie“, this is a developer, my issue, since even BEFORE day one has been on the ridiculousness of certain claims. This has all to do with streaming media and entertainment. Microsoft introduced it, when the backlash came they changed tune and dance, so why is this continued? Because the change to a broadband Foxtel approach will FORCE people in the bandwidth and there is no more downloads (which I do not oppose), but there is also no more privacy, with which I have an issue. When you force consoles online for all the wrong reasons, then we can safely state that this is about monitoring”. As America was the land of the free, it is now quickly becoming the nation of the monitors, which is what a debt of trillions will get you. As stated before, i cannot understand the TPP for the life of me, it strangles digital freedom (actual freedom, not freedom to download illegally), it will strangle generic medication (not part of this discussion) and it will strangle local commerce (very much the issue at present).

Patrick Bach, producer behind Battlefield 4 has an additional view “I’m not sure how the cloud will work for real-time stuff, but I can see how it could work for non-real-time stuff where you need a lot of calculations”, monitoring is not real-time, but requires massive power, here we see a side of that what is monitored and how it requires many servers. By the way, consider that this, when (or if) this is up and running, that the monitoring power of Microsoft will exceed that of the NSA by a massive margin. It seems a little extreme for streaming TV shows and online players, doesn’t it?

Additional evidence comes from the Australian (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/opinion/copyright-law-is-failing-to-keep-up-with-internet/story-e6frg9if-1227050705973, this link requires you to subscribe) “As a former chief financial officer, I follow the money: these schemes haven’t worked, because the content owners aren’t prepared to invest in their administration. If they were genuinely effective, surely the movie and television studios would be happy to throw resources at such schemes“.

Again, as a technologist this could definitely be done, yet this is not in the ISP interest at all, his fortune is all about bandwidth, reducing it costs him money.

This is why I thought that the entire action was a waste of time from before the very beginning. Until greed (read revenue) from the Telco’s is set straight, whatever deal comes, will come at the price of ALL valid users and for the larger extent at the cost of their freedom (read privacy).

Yet, in all the tweets, Brendan Molloy does repeat on many occasions the issue that is at the centre of it all “fix your business models“. This is at the centre, yet in all scenario’s several players lose out on revenue (and loads of it), in addition Australia is not even at the heart of the issue that is playing behind the screens. For people like Google and Netflix (where a few groups have a valued investment of over 10 billion), it is not Australia, but the UK where the big price is. Australia with its 10 million households is just a small individual away from the Commonwealth pack. Yet this does not just hit the bandwidth and download models.

In all this, I have one other link. This one http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2014/09/malcolm-turnbulls-anti-piracy-forum-live-blog-follow-the-news-as-it-happens/ shows us the entire copyright AU evening and when you read it, please try to consider the following:

  1. The words ‘Revenue’ and ‘Bandwidth’ did not get mentioned ONCE. You might think that with illegal downloads and copyright infringements that issue would come up at least once, but both iiNet and Telstra were extremely cautious to sail away from getting near it. In my view that forum did exactly what it needed to do, keep interest away from the TPP, bandwidth and where the actual money would be draining from.

All this is as I expected it to be and if you read my previous blogs then you would have read that pointlessness is next to greediness. Not grammatically correct, but highly accurate. Whether we see changes remains to be seen, but the moment the TPP comes into effect the changes will be massive and it is likely that this changes get announced whilst the ink of the autographs on the TPP agreement is still drying.

So, why is this about changing topics?

Well, the discussion seems to be about piracy, copyright and copyright infringement, but the topic that hinders all events (like revenue and more important ‘blood money’) is kept out of the discussion for now.

I have already discussed revenue in more than one place, so feel free to read the other blog article (The real issue here!, mentioned at the beginning) to catch up on it. What I have not talked about is the issue of ‘Blood-money’. It is not my phrase, but I have adopted it as it applies (to some extent). You see, this is not the price of the game, not the cost of doing business. It is the price of being there and staying alive. It seems pure and simple, but it is not. You see, the topic of micro transactions is a little more complex and as such it is important to distinguish between them.

  1. The good guys and girls!

Highest on my list is Blacklight: Retribution. It is released for the PS4, yet there is also a PC edition. The game is large and is FREE! So how do they make money? Well they rely on micro transactions. When buying stuff you have two options, you start low, but as you get through games and as your score is there, you get money, this money allows for low to medium styled weapons. They are not cheap so it will take a little time to acquire the cash. Yet, it is free and you have time, so this is all good. However, if you want that one piece, that ultimate weapon, the slamalamadingdong of all shotguns that will rip through flesh, bone and Kevlar as you squeeze of the right trigger of your controller, then you must purchase Z-coins. There is an off-set here. Partially I think that without Z-coins you will be in a long trial to get decent gear to oppose, yet consider that this is all multiplayer and for those who are not really into this, it means no $99 and this is good, you can invest $10 to get decent gear. I think the approach is pretty good in this economy. This approach is better than try before you buy and is a decent business model. There are others that do this too and some have too steep a curve of costs, but Blacklight seemed reasonable.

For the iPad there is ‘Elemental Kingdoms’. A game, which is free to play and as you play and win, you get coin, which allows you to buy packs with random cards. It is easy to play, the game looks extremely well and the artwork is amazing, the cards unlike with actual cards evolve as you invest in the card, making it more powerful. If you purchase gems with your own cash you can buy packs with more rare cards and better rare cards, which makes for better odds. New players will get double the amount of gems with their first purchase. a good approach.

So, this is the good model, some like it, some do not, but nothing is for free and this way you get the pleasure to try and the option to grow without spending a cent. Those eager to step forward quicker can place $10-$25 and get a head start.

  1. The demons

Here we have the bad side. Whether we go after the Forza games, Gran Turismo or the classic which should now be regarded as an utter joke on the iPad! Prices range from roughly $7.5 for 500,000 in game credits to $75 for 7 million credits. Now consider that one car could cost you 20 million credits, which would be one of the extreme top cars, but that means one additional car at around twice the price for the whole game. How is this even considered sane? This pales by comparison when we see a great classic like Dungeon Keeper seems to push people to invest vast amounts of money into gems so that the player can get anywhere. This is free-to-play?

These are two extremes, yet how does this relate to the initial issue?

This is where the future takes us. The market on many levels is pushing for micro transactions on all fields. Whether it is an app or just a service, it is not just a worry, the future as we see it comes again from the Apple Market. This is not just the versions of the iPhone6 (plus or not), but the other options like the Apple Watch, where we see an interaction between watch and phone. This sounds like a decent gimmick, yet did you consider the exploitation of the consumer through services via micro transactions as well as the events we get as Apple collects all this data? It is not just Apple, where one goes Google will follow and the entire debate we saw on copyright now gets a whole new meaning as people on a global level sign up for ‘services’. This is where packaging of services will truly get a consequence. What if you have Foxtel?

Now we revisit the following statements:

Ed Husic: “Abbott Govt should tackle copyright, pricing, access simultaneously and not just @copyrightau 1st

Brendan Molloy: “fix your business models

Jonathan BlowSaying 300,000 servers when they are virtual, is a lie

I think that the business models have been adjusted, yet I think the adjustment is moving in a very dangerous direction. The Ed Husic nail is getting hit by a massive hammer; there is, at the core of these changes a need to immediately revisit pricing and taxation sides. You see, the ‘micro-transactions’ might seem small, but it reflects on the dangers we face how the frog will not jump out of the pot when the water is slowly brought to a boil, when we react to micro transactions, we will react too late. In this economy we need to make sure the consumer is protected as well as the national coffers, because when Apple and Google start their $0.99 a month service per service we will be hoisting millions a month outside of Australian tax shores, whilst at the same time collecting all that data to be resold and analysed at the other end giving them additional billions in revenue. The Privacy act will not guard us in any way for this new consumer wave. This all brings me to the question, how much do Telstra, Optus and iiNet know at present? Does the intelligence community realise this change of data and how can they keep track of some of the more shady events. Last but not least, when ‘3rd party’ people start pushing out data apps, how can this tsunami of data even be sifted through?

The final part will get us to the conclusion (at (at http://thenextweb.com/apple/2014/09/01/this-could-be-the-apple-icloud-flaw-that-led-to-celebrity-photos-being-leaked/) we see that last week someone took a look at certain events. and it gives us this quote “The vulnerability allegedly discovered in the Find My iPhone service appears to have let attackers use this method to guess passwords repeatedly without any sort of lockout or alert to the target. Once the password has been eventually matched, the attacker can then use it to access other iCloud functions freely“. As stated, this is not a fact at present, but it does give serious voice to the hacked phones.

Things you might think that have no bearing, but as we consider the case of the 101 naked celebrities (like Disney’s Dalmatians for adults), what else can outsiders get access to when people start using these new gadgets? If we consider that the financially well off start using these innovations first, how long until this clear target becomes a target of interest to the cyber-criminal?

So many issues linked to the changing topic. My question, what topic SHOULD have been debated? This is not about copyright perse, but that links to all of this, it is about a missing league of securities that endangers the lives of many Australians and none Australians alike. It is a change to facilitate for profit and data to be handed to big business at the expense of our personal, social and economic safety. Sides many seem to ignore.

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Trade Pact Dangers

Yesterday I saw the first inkling that there is a problem with the EEC. When we recall the events in any place for a long time, where we see a stronger right take control, it always falls over because fortunately for us, those at the head of a far right table tend to be ‘loons’, which usually works out well for the people. In France we saw Jean-Marie Le Penn, who never got a large enough foothold, so people relaxed. Yesterday, if you watched the European debate, you would have seen a very strong and victorious Nigel Farage, he made perfect sense. In that same light, the local elections saw a massive French pull towards Front Nationale. Marine Le Penn is gaining control of 11 towns, which is a strong indication of the waves that will follow in a direction towards the Presidency and the Future of France. If the future feared by big wig exploiters comes to term, we will see a massive changing wave. It is one of the reasons why President Obama looks eager, some might say even desperate to get the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) finalised.

It is clear that Big Business is changing. It is more and more about where the partnership resides. Australia is currently finding this out the hard way. The TPP was always an issue to some extent, but now that not just the Car Industry, but the Petrochemical industry is leaving Australia for cheaper Asian shores, we see that Australia is deduced to nothing more than a consumer state. Mitsubishi, who had already left, is closely followed by Holden, Ford and Toyota, who are now executing their exit strategy. In the last few days we also saw the messages on how Philip Morris, BP and Boeing are moving away (at http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=963890&vId=439434).

The quote “BP said the emergence of large low-cost oil refineries in Asia was the reason for its decision to close its Brisbane operations“, is only the first of many of those sentences. American companies are moving away, needing more leverage, especially as America is increasing its hunt for those hiding behind tax shelters (Ireland apparently has a lovely percentage option this time of the year). When it is all added up together, the prospective job losses will likely rise above an additional 50,000 within the next 3 years. This is a massive blow to the economy. This is all part of a larger wave. What is happening here is not due to what the Clown spokesperson of Labor has claimed it to be (he is sometimes addressed as Bill Shorten), this is also not due to the Liberal party as Bill Shorten (wow, I managed to avoid the word Clown there) claims it to be. “Tony Abbott’s only been in power for five months, and we’ve seen 5,000 manufacturing jobs announced as gone, that is a thousand jobs a month in manufacturing lost under the Abbott Government” (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-19/bill-shorten-cherrypicking-manufacturing-job-loss-figures/5260996). These plans have been underway for a lot longer than that. Some of these issues were at the heart of the TPP, which places much of this in the time that Labor was in office. In addition, as the AC rightly states “ABS data clearly shows the number of people employed in manufacturing has been declining for decades“, which puts the ball very clearly in both courts.

We are all looking at these matters the wrong way, especially the non-youthful ones. What we are forgetting is that ‘fair‘ has not been part of any business approach for a long time. The TPP was not about ‘opening‘ borders for trade; it was about allowing business to find the best route to profit. It was never about saving the 3%-5% on margins as borders opened (as some state it); it was about the options to save 30%-50% on labour costs. the TPP goes further than that, when we consider the patents and services options as they are trying to get that through, but this article is not about that part for now (I illuminated that part in past blog articles).

We can see these Australian examples as a foundation of what is going on in Europe. Nigel Farage called the EEC “A political Union with an expansionist foreign policy“. That part has been seen in the Ukraine and it is now backfiring as Crimea rejoined Russia. The second danger is the one that Nick Clegg stated in a way he did not expect to do “that we can have all the good things in Europe, whist not being in Europe. It is a dangerous con“, he was kind enough there to make a case for Nigel Farage, because that is what is happening, whilst the UK is in the EEC. The expansionist part, driven by some players is all about tapping sources for low cost labour, what happens when investors ‘suddenly’ open plants in Lithuania, as people costs are 70%-80% less? This is exactly what is happening in Australia, and in Europe, they do not need to wait for a trade pact, the EEC is one, opening those doors for anyone joining them.

I have always been for trade agreements, but those who were there leaving others a decent margin of fairness. As we saw HMV, Virgin and other stores shutting down as the internet took over, we now see other markets where manufacturing moves away, which leaves the UK with a consumer market, but one that is not funded through jobs, which means that the downward spiral will hit them hard and fast. In Australia we see messages of 60,000-90,000 jobs lost. Several are basically shouting for panic reactions, but a massive amount of jobs are falling away, which means that the spending group is also leaving the Australian borders. This is exactly the fear that Nigel Farage is informing the people on, whilst the other parties are all about preserving the EEC link no matter what. It is the ‘no matter what‘ that is the issue. I am all for trade, the EEC and to some extent the TPP. Yet, this is no longer a good idea as these two concepts are paving the way for a ‘cheapest option possible‘, which is the real danger. It is also high time that American Business is getting taught that lessons right quick. I have nothing against Boeing walking away, but consider the consequence that will come as we saw Russian Aeronautical ‘giant’ Sukhoi getting the deals from China. What would happen when Sukhoi gets the option to enter the EEC and the Commonwealth market? That should give a right scare to the American market. As America is unable to stem in the levels of greed and exploitation, why not cut them? Consider that the Sukhoi S-100 is more than sufficient to reach the European destinations, should we really bother with a flawed Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

It is time for people to throw out the strategy guide that they have made their decisions with for the better part of their life. The greed driven are playing us all based on that guide. It is time for us to write a new one. I remain hesitant whether leaving the EEC is a good idea. However, Nigel Farage was able to shift me and I dare say many others from definite ‘no’, to a hesitant ‘maybe’. I’ll admit, that knowing the TPP to some degree (the Wikileaks edition) and seeing the Australian fall-out did influence it all, but there is the foundation of the fear we all face. When Ford or a company like that starts moving from the UK to Poland or even Latvia or Lithuania, the UK will only have themselves to blame. It will not be the fault of the Conservatives, Labour or even UKIP. It was the cost of doing business and workers are so much cheaper in other places, with no retirement issues to consider (small reference to the Visteon workers deal).

I remain hopeful that the European and Commonwealth nations will unite, whether within the EEC or not. As we get our trades up in a fair, square and profitable way, we will flourish, which is a lesson that has been forgotten in the US of A where greed rules eternal. In an age where the average unemployment rate is well over 11% (EEC average), we have options, we have willing people and we can get a profitable balance for all.

This is why Le Penn and Farage are gaining loads of grounds and the changes in the EEC are now slowly becoming a mere matter of time, a change that many did not realistically anticipate 12 months ago.

 

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