Saturday salon 24/3

1. Trade war is on, as China strikes back

Trump has ordered tariffs of up to 25% on about $60 billion worth of goods imported from China annually.

China has responded with tariffs on around $3 billion worth of goods, selected to cause maximum political pain for Trump. So what does it all mean? Reverberations have echoed around the world, so $34 billion was wiped off the value of Australian ASX listed companies in one day.

My impression is that the Chinese are signalling that they want to talk rather than fight, but fight they will.

Seems Trump has something of a case. When American firms invest in China they can only own 49% on the business set up, but contribute 100% of their intellectual property. However, if Chinese firms invest in the US they can own or buy the lot.

All this is in accord with WTO rules. What Trump is now doing is not, and the Chinese have indicated they will take a dispute to the WTO.

Economists say that Trump’s actions are a serious own goal in economic terms. Reagan tried it against Japan way back when, and succeeded in practically wiping out the American TV manufacturing industry.

Meanwhile unanticipated effects will reverberate around the world, unless calmer heads prevail.

That’s the simple story as I’ve received it, but I could be wrong and am open to correction and new information.

2. The company tax war is about to begin

Phillip Coorey in the AFR says the company tax battle is nearly over, but the real war is about to begin. In other words, the LNP government may get the company tax cuts past the senate, but Labor will take a promise to repeal them to the next election. This issue should crystallise the differences between the two major parties.

Michelle Grattan also has a good article.

In terms of the immediate senate issue, it needs to be solved in the next week. Labor and the Greens oppose the bill so the LNP need 9 of the 11 cross-benchers to support it. The two NXT senators oppose the bill, so all the remaining cross-benchers must sign up. Four have supported it as good policy without bribes – Fraser Anning (ex One Nation), Cory Bernadi, David Leyonhjelm and Steve Martin (ex Jacquie Lambie). Three One Nation will support it in exchange for a pilot apprenticeship scheme for the regions, which will probably be wound up before it does any good. However, I gather they want more and are still negotiating.

The focus is now on Derryn Hinch, who says he is getting so much flak from the public that he needs to offer them a sweetener. At present that is either excluding the banks, or increasing the bank levy. He admits this is politics rather than policy. I gather the LNP won’t come to the party on the banks. I understand Hinch is also after $2 billion worth of benefits for pensioners and older retirees. Whatever.

How spending extra money to get a bill through which will reduce revenue can be justified has got me stumped. I believe Leyonhjelm is threatening to pull his support if the boondoggles get too ridiculous. ScoMo and Cormann should be asked what is going to be cut to deliver the goodies.

Tim Storer, independent ex-NXT who arrived in parliament a week ago, isn’t saying what his stance is.

CEOs of large companies have written saying they will pay better wages and invest more if given a tax break. Whoever takes them at face value needs their head read.

However, most commentators believe the bill will pass. I’m not so sure.

At stake is about $35 billion of revenue over 10 years – a tax reduction from 30% to 25% for the companies with revenue over $50 million pa. But it’s more than that. Labor has now announced that their alternative policy to boost the economy is an immediate 20% deduction for any eligible new assets created by direct investment in Australia. They claim this will be a better stimulus to “jobs and growth” than a lazy 5% tax relief to all and sundry. Plus it looks as though they may repeal the existing tax cuts for companies with turnover between $2 and $50 million, worth about $30 billion in budget revenue over 10 years.

Then they will have a story to tell about accelerated balanced budgets and alternative spending, which will make a very different offering for voters to consider at the next election.

3. Dividend imputation

The core of the story is simple. It’s about the tax breaks given to the wealthiest 20% of older people who own shares:

    When superannuation withdrawals are stripped out from income in ABS survey data, as is done to calculate taxable income, almost half of the wealthiest 10 per cent of over-sixty-fives report incomes of less than $18,200. On average, though, they have wealth of nearly $2 million — and that’s even before considering the value of their home or any other property assets they might own.

I understand that through self-managed super it is possible to get an income of around $100K pa without paying tax on the income received.

Labor is working on a carve-out for the needy who are affected, and it looks a s though that will not cost much at all.

4. Share the dignity, axe the tax

At a site called Share the Dignity, you can join the campaign to axe the tax on sanitary products used by women and girls. They want 100,000 signatures by 30th March.

Back when the GST was installed under John Howard, then Health Minister Michael Woolridge likened feminine hygiene items to shaving cream. As such, not a necessity, apparently. I’ve made inquires as to what my mother would have done, and I can assure you we don’t want to go back there.

Yet on local radio we heard the other day that some girls in Brisbane schools stay home every month, because they can’t afford the luxury of pads and tampons.

Apparently shipping costs make these items even more expensive in remote areas, such as Aboriginal settlements. The Share the dignity site provides opportunities to donate and get involved.

5. Gobsmacking stupidity from the Australian cricket team

A story broke this morning about a pathetically stupid attempt to tamper with the cricket ball to promote reverse swing perpetrated by 8-test newbie Cameron Bancroft, but hatched in the dressing room by captain Steve Smith and a group of senior players.

How they thought they could get away with such blatant cheating with up to 30 TV cameras focussed on the game beggars belief. However, it blackens the name of Australian cricket, Australian sport and Australians generally.

Steve Smith has apologised but still thinks he’s the one to captain Australia.

Cricket Australia are sending over their integrity officer and chief performance manager to find out what happened, saying they are “shocked and incredibly disappointed”.

I think that after this test the guilty senior group should be on a plane home. Smith can’t be captain and should have his card marked never to be captain again. Whatever the penalties are they should be severe enough to send a message that reverberates down the decades to come.

And cricket authorities should demonstrate zero tolerance for all the rubbish that goes around the actual playing of cricket within the rules.

6. Stuff

For a variety of reasons I’ve been up to my navel in alligators all this year, which started with my younger sister’s husband dying on New Year’s Eve. Apart from that, in terms of family the big event on the calendar is my elder sister and her husband, who live in Mississauga (basically Toronto), coming to visit. They are here now, and there are birthdays to celebrate and a gathering of the Brisbane branch of the clan. Among other thing this will involve my wife and I taking a trip out to Miles next Thursday and Friday.

Apart from that we have to finish our taxation returns for last year, which is much ado about not a lot, but involves preparing over 30 spreadsheets. My wife has finished her bit and I have barely started.

Then I’ve been committed to a round of health checks, which see me in encouragingly good shape, but I have to work at it. If you want to guess my age, the blog photo was taken 10 years ago. It was done because I was being pestered for a studio photo.

In addition to that, a number of people depend on me to keep their lawns, yards and hedges in good shape. We had a bit of a hot spell in January when it didn’t rain, but the season has been mostly above average in precipitation. Anyone who lives south of here has no idea how things grow in the subtropics, given a bit of warmth and rain.

The bottom line for the blog is that I’m not going into complete hiatus, but things will be a bit sporadic until about mid-April.

146 thoughts on “Saturday salon 24/3”

  1. Jumpy, it is an over-reaction to sack the whole cricket team, and unjust as well. They were not all party to the plot.

    I reserve judgement about the coach. Steve Smith was explicit in saying the coaching staff didn’t know about it.

    My main thought about Smith is that he was too young when appointed. However, what’s happened now will change his life forever. Can’t be un-done.

    I think CEO James Sutherland is correct in saying they need all the facts before they act.

  2. I think after every Test series the selectors should start with a fresh sheet, those involved should not be considered as fit to wear the Baggy Green.

    Smith has shat on, what I consider, the highest sporting honour in Australia and lessened the game.

    Crucifixion is too good for I’m.

  3. Brian thanks for the heads up about things, and a great welcome to those seeking relief from the farce of Trump. I hope they are not too sensitive about the rest-of-world view of where things seem to be going.

    I am quite worried by Trump’s antics of hiring cronies only of similar mind(?) to Trump. That’s what dictators do. What is also worrying is what the republicans are not doing, pushing back against Trumps antics. Perhaps the mid-terms will show what the people think. I’m not sure how effective the Democrats are either in trying to draw the American psyche to an understanding of where the US is headed.
    I have almost finished the Fire and Fury book and because of the fast pace of change in US administration it is really easy to reconcile the book with “reality”. But so far, Fire and Fury seems to be an understatement of the situation.

  4. Jumpy: Australian cricket lost any grounds for respect a long time ago. For example, the captain responsible for bowling underarm to NZ to avoid the risk, shock horror, of Aus being beaten by the Kiwis was not sacked.
    It would be more in keeping of the real tradition if Smith gets a bonus if the cheating produces a win.

  5. John
    I think your first link is broken.
    And the underarm ball was legal, ball tampering is not, big difference.

  6. I’ll be interested to see how the spectators behave tonight.

    I would like to suggest they all wear black armbands and greet the Australian players with stony silence.

    It seems Mr Smith says the “leadership group” cooked up the scheme at lunchtime. Presumably the bowler was instructed and accepted. He has copped his penalty without pleading not guilty.

    If the coach was videoed sending a message to the bowler via the 12th man, he seems to have encouraged the bowler to try to avoid detection. He should go.

    I don’t believe crucifixion should be reintroduced. The Press will have a field day.

    Perhaps Mr Smith could take leave for a year, like the disgraced James Hird did at Essendon FC a few years ago.

  7. Jumpy legal or not the underarm was gross cowadice and an insult to the spirit of the game. Had he bowled overarm and won or lost he would have added to his fame. As it happened he only added infamy. And as JD pointed out lowered the ethical bar.

    What next for that team? There is a fundamental breach of trust here and I don’t think that can be repaired quickly. And why the hell did they do it? It’s only a game right? Maybe not, perhaps the big money behind sports these days undermines the sportsmanship of yesteryear.

  8. I bet most of those people will hide those presidential photos in a bottom draw when Trump is done with. Thomas Jefferson, to me, looks like he wants to leap out of the frame and lead Trump out of the White House by the ear.

  9. Geoff
    If you have a problem with a law that isn’t in the spirit of the game then attack the lawmakers, not the players.
    Ball tampering is totally different in that it’s contrary to the rules, it’s cheating.
    Chappell didn’t cheat, Smith did.

  10. Sorry Jumpy, I’ll take the moral high ground. Compliance with the law does not prevent someone from being an a/hole.

  11. What can I say, a lot of folk are wrong and blame the wrong people. Happens all the time.
    Delusions of moral high ground are a contributing factors.

  12. I was actually in NZ when the underarm incident happened. They didn’t run me out of town – were surprisingly civil, but it probably fitted with what they thought of Australians.

    With the underarm, Greg Chappell had a brain explosion, ordering his brother Trevor to bowl underarm so that a six could not be hit of the last ball to win the game. GC admitted later that he was stuffed and in no fit state to be captain of the side. I’m not sure how many people know that GC suffered a serious dose of glandular fever at one stage, and his endurance fitness was compromised thereafter.

    That’s an explanation, not an excuse. Rod Marsh at the time was remonstrating, but GC, being more than a little arrogant, took no notice.

    Anyway, he and we have worn it ever since.

    There is no plausible explanation as to why Smith would approve what happened. What Chappell did worked. This one was never going to work.

    The Australian Sports Commission has called for Smith to go as captain, and the rest of the senior group to be stood down.

    I think Cricket Australia can’t act until they know who was in the group, because they might replace him with someone who was guilty. Similarly, I’d hold judgement on the role of the coaching staff until there is an investigation.

    Not sure I would punish Bancroft beyond what the game officials decide.

    And I’d ignore the opinions of most sport journalists. They aren’t very bright beyond describing the game.

  13. On Trump, I heard that the woman he appointed as head of the CIA approved torture and was guilty of war crimes. I think probably ditto for John Bolton, the new national security adviser, but I didn’t have time to investigate before posting.

  14. Cricket Australia saw the writing on the wall.
    That took about nine hours, from a Press Conference this morning, to the action Brian has just reported.

    Should the Australian acting captain simply go ahead and tell his South African counterpart that his team will forfeit the current Test match???

    Today on News Radio former captain Kim Hughes was scathing about the cheating. As a former Test captain, I think he has the right to “take a stance on morality and ethics”. I think Michael Clarke criticised Mr Smith also.

    Probably best we don’t hear any statement from Greg Chappell.

    BTW, good to hear that Rod Marsh was remonstrating against the underarm tactic, Brian.

  15. Smith and Warner pushed more like, good.

    On employment issues, both here and America, it’s been great.
    I feel like talking about positives for a change rather than doom and gloom, who’s with me ? 🙂

  16. Brian

    Good to hear of your visitors from Canadia (thank you Mr Abbott), and hope you enjoy all of the clan gatherings. Your diligence on our behalf is bl**dy marvellous, and your readers can always rely on your fine judgement.

    [Disclosure: Mr Bahnisch has not paid cash for my comment.]

  17. The rains are here, for better more than worse.
    Employment is rising Nationwide for 16 consecutive months.
    World poverty and violence continues to decline.
    Grandkid is gaining at a bigger pace than I remember my kids doing ( perspective obviously but great all the same )
    Wife hasn’t got liver cancer as suspected and her thyroid is at levels that don’t make her insane.

    Life’s pretty fuchan good to be honest.

  18. Down here in Gippsland we just had 14mm or so of welcome rain, after a dry spell of about two months.
    Grandkids are doing well, and are very good company.
    We are relatively healthy and almost fit.

    Big holiday coming up in a few months. Life can be good.

    Fuchan?? Is that a province in China?

  19. Thanks, Mr J.
    Yes, good things.

    To put 14mm in context, average annual rainfall about 900mm hereabouts.

  20. Gippsland has many beautiful parts, but none to rival the Whitsundays or GBR. You Quincelanders are lucky indeed.

    We have good soil and rainfall in some parts: dairy farms, spuds, a few vineyards, other horticulture. Good beaches: Wilsons Prom, Ninety Mile Beach, and the shallow estuarine Gippsland Lakes.

    Bass Strait oil, gas. Latrobe Valley brown coal. East Gippsland eucalypt forests. A couple of small ski fields, plenty of good bush walks.

    Very pleasant.

  21. Several electorates around here: MPs include Darren Chester (Nats) and Russell Broadbent (Libs). It seems Darren may have displeased Barnaby, and Russell most certainly annoyed John Howard over asylum seeker policies.

    But generally, we are very well-behaved!

  22. Thanks, Ambi.

    On cricket again I believe Smith has been sacked as captain of the Rajasthan Royals.

    Remember Shane Warne had a year out from 2003 for taking a banned diuretic. One year for Steve Smith seems barely enough.

    Sorry, I still like the bloke. My guess is that it was someone else’s idea and Smith failed to call it for what it was and just went along with it.

  23. Brian:

    30 spreadsheets??? What we all need is a simple, effective tax-system – not a convoluted Pester-The-Public waste of time. Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us.

    Hope your relatives from Mississauga really enjoy themselves here.

    Trump and his courtiers? Losers all!

  24. Oh Brian,

    Shane just took something his Mum was prescribed. He didn’t realise. He was blameless.

    I like Mr Smith too…..

    Now the Poms are wondering how Aussie bowlers achieved reverse swing unexpectedly during the recent Ashes series.

    Shame, shame, shame.

  25. Hmmm just a thought… Why would we cheat with such a talented team? Why would they risk all and cheat?
    Maybe the whole international game is corrupt. We have seen cheating before from India and South Africa. Is it possible Oz just got tired of looking for the level field?
    Just a thought….

  26. A friend said years ago he refused to watch le Tour de France because so many of the riders were dopes.

    This was well before the Lance Armstrong disaster.

    BTW, it’s sadly amusing to see a particular book appear in opp shops…
    Lance Armstrong, It’s Not About The Bike.

    Indeed, Mr Armstrong.
    It was not about the bike.
    Shame, shame, shame.

  27. The CM this morning had a list of ball tampering instances. I think it was not complete, but all Poms, Pakis and South Africans. Current SA captain was mentioned twice, once for rubbing the ball on his zip, for which he was pinged. The second was after the match was over, rubbing spit into one side of the ball. Faf says he was only shining the ball and that is OK. Coincidentally he was loading one side with moisture to make it heavier.

    Typical arrogant behaviour from that quarter, I’m afraid.

    Why is he still captain of his country? Because cheating is OK if you can get away with it, and hence a role model?

  28. Jumpy: “I feel like talking about positives for a change rather than doom and gloom, who’s with me ?”
    I’m tempted but having a problem with the principle Jumpy, you understand?

  29. Ross Gittens pulls apart the logic of the company tax cuts in No free lunches so why are we feeding foreign multinationals’ profits? starting with

    Most people don’t realise it, but we’re on the verge of letting foreign multinationals pay less tax on the profits they earn in Australia because we locals don’t mind paying higher tax to make up the difference.
    Our almost unique system of “imputing” to Australian shareholders the company tax already paid on their dividends means they have little to gain from Malcolm Turnbull’s pressure on the Senate to phase the rate of company tax down from 30 per cent to 25 per cent, over about 10 years, at a cumulative cost to the budget of $65 billion.

    and ends with

    What the proponents of a lower company tax rate don’t tell you is that, with a floating dollar (and all else remaining equal), the more successful we are in attracting foreign investment – as we were in the resources boom – the higher our exchange rate will be. Is that what we want?

    Why the hell would foreign investors who are already paying less than the proposed reduced tax rate find the proposed tax rate attractive?

  30. Look, a few of us chappies down at the Think Tank were having a chin wag about this CA balls up, and what we think would be absolutely marvellous, is for CA to bring out a series of posters and Press adverts, to clear the air.

    Now Spoffington is a bit of a rugger blighter, and for years we’ve been admiring the bumper sticker he has on his MG:

    To play rugby you need leather balls!

    It’s a bit of a play on words, actually.

    So the chappies would like to offer a first draft. We’re pretty sure CA would want to tinker around with it. Spoffo says CA might want a chat with the ICC. Blowed if I can see why the International Criminal Court should be interested…..

    Anyway, here it is:

    To play cricket you need a leather ball –
    and some adhesive tape, grit from the pitch, a mint, an abrasive pocket zip, a very small knife, a pocketful of sugar, strong saliva, etc. etc.

  31. Wow, Remington firearms has filed a chapter 11 because gun sale have dropped so much !

  32. Jumpy that is true. But it may have been strategic, a move planned sometime ago. There is a story to come out yet.

  33. Wow, Remington firearms has filed a chapter 11 because gun sale have dropped so much !

    Save your tears, according to USA Today the company is not going out of business just yet.

    Remington Outdoor and its subsidiaries submitted a Chapter 11 petition to the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware, outlining a restructuring plan that would maintain the company’s operations, continue pay and benefits for employees and ultimately turn the operating control of the company to creditors.

    Apparently the rot set in some 6 years ago with Sandy Hook which, like Las Vegas and countless other incidents both before and after the Parkland case, was also a dismal failure of background checks.

  34. Almost forgot.
    My thoughts and prayers are with Remington Outdoor, its subsidiaries, its employees and its creditors.

  35. zoot

    Will you be supporting the March For Outdoor Guns in Washington?? timed to coincide with – oh, I don’t know, so many unfortunate incidents to commemorate.

  36. Zoot I think under the terms ch 11, the company has been turned over to the creditors. Probably means that the company will continue but be immune to lawsuits piling up on it . That’s from a video that I saw this afternoon.

  37. A keen eye could also see that the worst 2 massacres in American history did not involve a semi automatic rifle, ” assault style ” or otherwise.

    I offer this information as a friendly gift, nothing more.

  38. Geoff H
    I’d like to see that video if you’d be so kind a to link or even just give the title.

    I’m guessing the law suits are from the same types that would sue the truck manufacturer used in the Paris attack.
    Costs an extraordinary amount to fight vexatious lawsuits, sometimes too much for the innocent defendant to cope with.

  39. Jumpy I got off YouTube CNN feed about 4:30. I’m sorry I can’t give you a link but if you search Remington chapter 11 on YouTube you might get lucky

  40. Ambigulous, in the US the March For Outdoor Guns could take place on any day, since every day sees someone sacrificed to the second amendment.

  41. The program about the Colosseum, in the series Eight Days That Made Rome, on SBS TV, mentioned that most of the audience, who enjoyed ultra-violence and cruelty so much, had never experienced war, with all its death and suffering. I think something similar applies to America’s obsession with guns and its love of brutality.

    No doubt thousands and thousands of war veterans, farmers, ranchers, professional hunters and target sports players have plausible reasons for keeping firearms. However, my guess is that most of the others use the possession of firearms as a substitute for either military service or for an active outdoor working life. No need to endure the risks of enemy fire or the hazards of working on the land, just buy a brace of firearms and you too can become a mighty warrior or backwoodsman without having to get your fat butt out of your lounge-chair.

    On a different note, the “Hand Up – Don’t Shoot!” and the “Black Lives Matter” campaigns, as well as the murder of that Australian woman resident in Minnesota, have shown up the appallingly low standards of policing in the U.S. . Although it is appropriate for a police service to be the organization with the sole civil authority to use legitimate lethal force in an emergency, until such time as police throughout the U.S. can demonstrate, consistently, that their training standards are better than Hollywood action hero movies, let them all be DISARMED. That’s right. Their hand-artillery off their persons, put under double locks back at the station and then they themselves out on the streets on duty, fully armed with their personal presence, their keen powers of observation, their knowledge, their authority, their training and their physical fitness. No chance that would ever happen, of course, but what the heck would be so wrong with considering the possibility?

  42. Graham, the coppers on the beat in Britain are still unarmed. I believe they have highly mobile swat squads at call, who were there within minutes in a London incident recently.

    I’ve had two nights with guests for dinner here on Monday and out last night. Working today, but should finish tonight.

    Right now we now have 98 unfinished posts in the bin at CP including 5 that I started during the last week. The closest to finishing is on the historical antecedents of American gun ownership and they we are now, but don’t wait for that if you want to discuss further here. Given my record of late I can’t promise anything.

  43. Pedants Corner

    Minister Canavan says he agrees with President Xi of China, that it doesn’t matter whether the cat is yellow or black, as long as it catches mice.

    Now, this may be a long held belief in the Middle Kingdom, but in recent decades it was more famously said by
    Deng Xiao Peng, successor to the Great Helmsman Mao, that
    he didn’t care if the cat was red or white, as long as it killed the mice.

    You may say that is common pragmatism Mr Deng, but it flies in the face of Orthodoxy, and it sounds like You and the Mice need to be Sent for Re-Education and Self-Criticism.

    Hold High the Banner of the Valiant Red Cats, Shock Troops of the Anti-Mice Campaign. Down with Imperialist Rodents!! Down With Right-Deviationist, Bourgeois White Cats!!!

  44. On March 27, at 7.35pm here, Mr J issued these stage directions:

    “Mr A enters, stage left.”

    Mr A, for it is he: raises bright yellow banner inscribed SATIRE WARNING.

    At Centre Stage, Mr A speaks: “Please note that the following monologue was penned as an humorous – albeit rather dark – response to recent debates in the United States; and is of satiric intent. It contains no true quotations. Any resemblance between the sentiments expressed and the authentic views of the National Riflemens Arsenal are entirely a figment. You have been warned!

    This monologue is purloined from The Onion website, verbatim. The Onion is an satirical newspaper and website based in the USA, which is located in North America.”

    Mr A moves to his customary position at stage left, flanked by minions and acolytes. Waits for applause.
    {There is none]

    Mr A declaims: ‘the National Rifle Association reportedly issued a statement Monday calling for more common-sense gun deaths. “Now, more than ever, what we need are more shooting deaths resulting from defending one’s family from home invaders or getting revenge—the types of clear, logical gun deaths with widespread approval,” said NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, adding that the contentious national conversation on gun control overlooked many common-sense gun deaths that both sides could agree on.

    “We believe that owning a gun is a Second Amendment right, and the solution here is certainly not harsher gun deaths.

    We can avoid senseless tragedies by encouraging more Americans to kill someone with a firearm in a more defensible and reasonable way.

    I’m sure we all can agree that we’d rather see a teen accidentally shoot their friend from a deer blind or unintentionally kill their sibling after finding their parents’ rifle under the bed than turn a gun on their classmates.

    We’re calling on law enforcement to kill more African Americans during traffic stops and more people with mental health issues to use guns for suicide—the kinds of gun deaths that we as Americans can live with.”

    [Still no applause]

    Mr A exits stage.
    Curtain falls.

  45. On a different note, the “Hand Up – Don’t Shoot!” and the “Black Lives Matter” campaigns, as well as the murder of that Australian woman resident in Minnesota, have shown up the appallingly low standards of policing in the U.S.

    No it doesn’t.
    HUDS was in response to the Michael Brown robbery, if you look at the evidence and overall American stats, the movement is based on bullshit.

    BLM was in response to the Trayvon Martin trespassing and Zimmerman wasn’t a police officer.

    As yet the Minnesota incident is at trial, the full evidence and verdict are as yet unknown.

  46. Also, on what has been deemed by some as evidence of Institutional racism in America, we have our own allegations in Australia with ‘ Aboriginal Deaths in Custody ‘.

    The truth is, of incarcerated individuals the percentage of non Aboriginal deaths is higher that Aboriginal deaths.

  47. Mr Smith: banned from high level cricket fir 12 months. Banned from Aust captaincy for 2 further years. IPL has banned him for
    one year. [ cost to him next year, $4 million. That’s before any lost sponsorships ]

    Mr Warner: one year ban, never to captain Australia. IPL ban the same as Mr Smith’s.

    Mr Bancroft: 9 month ban.

  48. corrigendum
    Pedants corner 1.15pm today.

    According to the Guardian Australia, Minister Canavan correctly identified Deng Xiaoping as the author of the cat metaphor.

    Wholehearted apologies to the Minister. According to the Guardian his speech in defence of coal was “fiery”.

    Which is only to be expected.

  49. Betoota Advocate headline

    Dutton Furious as White South Africans Have Second Thoughts About Becoming Australians.

  50. Newest Senator Tim Storer is not convinced by company tax cuts proposal:

    Today, Independent South Australian Senator Tim Storer told the Parliament he had not been convinced to support the bill in its current form.

    He and Victorian Derryn Hinch were the two undecided senators who could not be convinced, despite lobbying from the Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and big business groups.

    Senator Storer argued for a broader discussion about the “overall sustainability” of the tax system.
    He said the revenue that would be lost by cutting company tax would be better spent providing for a rapidly growing population.
    Senator Storer argued it would be better spent on infrastructure, education, health and measures to reduce inequality.

    Could become another problem senator if he keeps on saying things like this and disagreeing with the emperor with no clothes.

  51. John D, when I saw Tim Storer’s bio I was quite impressed. I think we may have turned up a good one there. Somebody sensible may have wandered in!

  52. Brian: I’m patient – and so shall wait until you have the time to post an article on gun ownership, (and no, that is definitely not an upper class hurry-up either 🙂 ).

    Jumpy: Did meet some excellent individual police whilst in what used to be the Great Republic. However, a lot of them are dangerously gun-happy and their policing standards and culture are downright Third World. I would put policing by Japanese, Singaporeans, British, French, German, Austrian (yeah, including Kommisar Rex ), Canadians and so on, way ahead of the Yanks..

    Deng Xiaoping actually spoke about black, not red, cats. Now there was a very nasty bit-of-work you wouldn’t want to meet on a dark night; would have preferred to meet President Professor Field-Marshal Hajji Idi Amin Dada , VC PhD, even if he was feeling a bit peckish at the time. But Western businesses fell madly in love Deng; he was great for doing business (even they didn’t notice they were losing their shirts in the process) . Of course, since then, Western businesses, in keeping with the spirit of free-wheeling competition, have been trying to outdo one another to trade with worse and worse dictators – Kim Jong Un can expect to be overwhelmed with billions in investment pretty soon, no matter what appalling acts he commits, just so long as he signs the Holy Deal.

  53. ( from the Adani thread, better here )

    Left boot or right boot feels the same when it’s on your throat.

    Mr A
    Yeah, some of them.
    The “ sign, sign, everywhere a sign” and “ my karma ran over your dogma “ types.

    I recon the left have created the latest manifestation of authoritarianism, at least in America and the West in general, and the counter revolution to it will be something to see.

    The major institutions have swung way to one side and the correction could be brutal. Unfortunate but inevitable in my view.

  54. ( also from the Adani tread )

    John, absolutely, the original hippies were about self determination and freedom, not forcing others the comply with their ideology.

    At that time the media, Universities and teachers, entertainment industry and local governance was dominated by the right enforcing that style of compulsion. A correction was needed then as it is now.

  55. I’m still waiting for the democratic/liberal/freedom upsurge in China, where the dominant system is authoritarian but scarcely ‘left wing’.

    No, Mr J, I’m not saying “any govt I disapprove of cannoit be left wing”, I’m trying to discern the govt characteristics.

    One party rule, kleptocracy, limited independence of justice or press, no “social security safety net” (?), arbitrary arrest, mass surveillance of people. Many of the worst features of laissez faire capitalism.

  56. Erm..not sure the features of Capitalism are what you just described mate.

    The roll of Governments are to protect real rights, not make up rights rights for votes.

    It’s almost as if you just called China a free Capitalist Country.
    Perhaps you just misspoke.

  57. Actually, I wouldn’t mind having a chat about inalienable Rights, see if we can agree on what is and isn’t.
    And what are privileges after that.

  58. Many of the worst features”……….

    not all the features
    not all the worst features
    not all the good features…..

    I think there is quite an overlap between characteristics of current Chinese society, and laissez-faire capitalism,*

    by which I mean “capitalism red in tooth and claw”, before some of its features were ameliorated or abolished by, for example
    * arbitration and conciliation for industrial disputes
    * recognition of legitimate rights of independent unions to represent their members, and to strike
    * a minimum wage
    * a 40 hour working week, or equivalent
    * welfare safety nets for unemployed, injured workers
    * trades education
    * anti-monopoly and/or fair trading laws
    * safety and health regulations for workplaces
    * opportunities for part-time work
    * an age pension for retired persons
    * outlawing discrimination in hiring or firing

    Of course, you may not like some of these.
    But there would be millions of Chinese workers (and yes, probably quite a few Venezuelan workers) who desire such conditions.

    * laissez-faire may be translated into Aussie as “let her rip!”

  59. Mr A
    Your argument seems to be a worm doesn’t fly,an elephant doesn’t fly = worms and elephants are remarkably similar.

    Truth is Capitalism isn’t against arbitration, it is a foundation stone of it.
    Monopolies are totally opposite to free trade, it’s government interventions that cause those.
    And Capitalism only sees “ green”, discrimination is anti capitalist.

    Capitalism is more opposite to what China is right now, its current success is because it’s inching toward Capitalism from a very low base.

  60. John
    Please tell me 2 fundamental, inalienable Rights that all human beings should expect to be protected and if we agree I’ll accept they allow the future to control itself based on the past injustices.

  61. Jumpy: Basic rights I think important include:
    Access to healthy food, clean water, health care and appropriate shelter.
    Access to education and the resources for ongoing education
    Access to a fairly run justice system
    A honestly run democratic system of government
    Protection from the power of the majority
    Able to have my say and be heard without fear of being punished.
    A safe workplace where I am treated fairly
    Freedom to change jobs.
    No doubt I could think of more.
    An important qualifier for all of the above is No matter who I am or how wealthy and influential I am.

  62. Jumpy, as an inhabitant of Queensland you live with not only the tyrannical left boot of the state ALP government on your neck, but also the oppressive right boot of the federal LNP government.
    So what freedoms are you being denied? What is it that you are prevented from doing, or saying, or being, that has got your knickers in such a knot?

    [Prediction: Jumpy’s answer, in the unlikely event there is one, will boil down to “I don’t like paying tax”.]

  63. Mr J

    You and I seem to be talking at cross purposes.

    I was attempting to refer to laissez-faire capitalism of the 19th Century, operating in USA and Canada, much of Europe, Australasia…

    Not some theory of “pure capitalism”.

    I was attempting to assess, briefly, some features of the People’s Republic of China, right now.

    Not some theory of “perfect socialism” or “pure communism”.

    We have been over this ground before. “Pure Capitalism” has never been achieved. Neither, I suspect, has “Pure Communism”.

    In either case, it seems to me, we could expect to see enormous misery for the majority of humans living in that State.

    Nirvana is a dream; utopia is a nightmare.

    I reserve the right to “diss” Dystopias.

    That’s a good list, John D.

  64. A friend of mine had this to say about sustainable industrialization:

    Another thing: Industrialization was never intended to be environmentally sustainable. It was meant to be confined to GB, to foul up GB, and to confer great power to the Establishment of the “sceptered isle”. But everybody wanted GB’s power, and so, industrialization spread far and wide. Ergo, today, the world has industrialized according to a system that was never intended, never designed, to be environmentally sustainable. Now we see a world whose human population has grown to over 7 billion, totally dependent upon a system of industrialization that was never intended to work in harmony with the environment. OMG! The world today needs a whole new industrialization idea. Therein lies a huge new paradigmatic opportunity for a minor party.

    My friend has interesting view of the world.
    Any suggestions for new industrialization?

  65. Jumpy: The basic rights issues might be reduced to:
    Survival needs.
    Having a say
    An important qualifier for all of the above is No matter who I am or how wealthy and influential I am.

  66. John,
    I see the main three as Property Rights, Free Speech and Freedom of Movement.

    The Governments duty is to protect these 3.

    Having unimpeded access to things like education, health care and shelter is a natural right.
    Demanding others supply them is not.

    Haveing protection from harm by others is, demanding other not risk harm to themselves is not.

    Having the unimpeded right to leave an employer at any time is, as is an employers unimpeded right to leave the employee at any time.

  67. How far does your inalienable right to free speech extend?
    Does it include the right to speech which incites violence against other humans? And if it doesn’t how do you define the boundaries?

  68. Total free speech zoot, for everyone.
    At the moment the only entities allowed the freedom to incite violence is Government.

    What would your boundaries be ?
    And are they universal ?

  69. At the moment the only entities allowed the freedom to incite violence is Government.

    Do you have an (Australian) example?
    I understand our Government is constrained by current legislation as much as any citizen.

  70. Let’s go back and forth eh ?
    Me only just answering your questions in more like an interrogation that a conversation.

  71. Well, I think I do, a few actually.

    But I’m not interested in a lawyer/defendant style discourse.

    You take it any way it fits.

  72. Jumpy: You said:

    Having unimpeded access to things like education, health care and shelter is a natural right.
    Demanding others supply them is not.

    I guess you don’t really want the kids of those poor people getting these natural rights do you? Bursaries and scholarships paid for part of my education so I kind of take your desire to exclude poor kids from education personally. It is part of the reason why I say that the rights I listed applyNo matter who I am or how wealthy and influential I am.

    When I included freedom to change jobs I was thinking of slavery and arrangements where some types of visa holders lose their visas if they leave a job no matter how the employer is behaving. There is plenty of slavery in the world today plus examples of defacto slavery like the one I just quoted.

  73. Now,now John, I don’t want anyone excluded from education, that’s just a cheap emotional tactic.

    When you think of Natural Rights, start with what you can do if there is no one around to stop you doing it.
    All the other “ rights “ are socially panipulative, some good at the cost of others, but not Natural Rights.

  74. Oh, and as far as slavery goes, if my 3 Natural Rights are protected there is no slavery.

  75. Having unimpeded access to things like education, health care and shelter is a natural right.
    Demanding others supply them is not.

    You seem to be saying that unimpeded access to things like education, health care and shelter is a natural right, as long as you have the means to pay for them. (Correct me if I’m mistaken)
    I would have thought that lacking the means would constitute an impediment. Which is why I agree with John D’s list.

  76. Only if you have such a narrow view as to think the only valuable education, health care and shelter can be from government.
    This view, incidentally, advocates involuntary confiscation with the use of violence over voluntary charity. Which I find quite immoral.

    Now that I’ve indulged your curiosity zoot, what boundaries wound you put on speech and are they universal ?

  77. if my 3 Natural Rights are protected there is no slavery.

    In the antebellum USA slavery flourished in the southern states. Which of the plantation owners’ three natural rights had been ignored to bring about this situation?

  78. Only if you have such a narrow view as to think the only valuable education, health care and shelter can be from government.

    You apparently know people in education health and housing who will provide these services without being recompensed.
    What Socialist paradise do you live in?

  79. what boundaries wound you put on speech and are they universal ?

    I wound agree with the judge who said freedom of speech does not include the freedom to shout “Fire!” in a crowded theatre.
    What you mean by “universal” escapes me, I’d appreciate an explanation please. It’s very hard to answer questions when I don’t know what you mean by your words.
    My fundamental belief is that rights, like political power, grow out of the barrel of a gun (no, not your Bushmaster AR-15) and their exercise depends upon people of good faith recognising their existence.

  80. Jumpy:
    If you don’t fancy the adjective, Capitalist, then how does the one, Fascist, suit?

    Business flourishes but not free trade.
    Populace firmly under control.
    Opinions that might disturb the peace, crushed.
    etc., etc., etc.

    I’m afraid the terms “left” and “right’ are only used by the lazy or by simpletons. Those terms tell one next to nothing about the politics at issue.

  81. Zoot

    My fundamental belief is that rights, like political power, grow out of the barrel of a gun (no, not your Bushmaster AR-15) and their exercise depends upon people of good faith recognising their existence.

    I think that putting the cart before the horse.
    Most rights come from customs developed by people of good faith with an eye on the past and future, long before the iron fist of government gets involved.
    Remembering religious institutions are also a form of government.

    The Natural Rights I listed are fundamental to all other secondary rights.

  82. Most rights come from customs developed by people of good faith with an eye on the past and future,

    People like those slave owners in the antebellum South and the Caribbean, all people of good faith acting from the purest motives.
    People like the upstanding members of British society who in all good faith accepted that their wives were their property (it’s a Natural Right don’t you know).
    You have a remarkably dewy eyed view of the human character.

  83. The slavers ( mostly the agrarian democracts in the South ) were denying all three of the Natural Rights of black people, it took the courage of freedom loving ( mostly capitalist Republicans of the North ) to put things right buy the overwhelming force of numbers.

    It’s strange to me that you having such a jaundiced view of inherent human character that you speak so loudly for it’s protection from global warming.

  84. Salon 1/4 now up. Have to go to Brisbane Bahnisch party now. catch you later tonight.

  85. to put things right buy the overwhelming force of numbers.

    When I wrote that rights are not granted but must be enforced you disagreed. Yet here you are praising government action and “the force of numbers”.
    I am far to optimistic for my view of humanity to be called jaundiced but I do try to be realistic. I recognise that within us we carry the seeds of our own destruction. Without allowing for this and guarding against it (which is not a call for ‘government’), life will more likely be Lord of the Flies than Galt Gulch.

  86. Hey Jumpy, let me mess with your mind here. Look up “deep State” and see what you get. Here is a start:
    “The Deep State is believed to be a clandestine network entrenched inside the government, bureaucracy, intelligence agencies, and other governmental entities. The Deep State supposedly controls state policy behind the scenes, while the democratically-elected process and elected officials are merely figureheads.” Now if you see it as I see it, preferred ideologies are at the mercy of deep state actors who allow change only when they benefit. A good example involves wars and conflicts where huge fortunes are made by those actors. Look up J P Morgans part.

  87. Geoff H,
    I don’t doubt that for a second.
    So Government should be limited to protecting Rights and our borders, not massive corrupt favour giving.

    The amount of politicians ( State and Federal ) is limited by Constitutions, there’s no limit to the numbers of unelected, corrupt bureaucrats.
    They’re all appointed party hacks pushing personal agendas with very little scrutiny.

    One of the things I’ve changed my position on is a federal ICCAC, it’s needed. But who’s going to set it up ?, not the “ deep state “ that set up everything now.
    I think submissions should be take, public debate and a plebiscite taken in conjunction with the next Election.

  88. Rights that can only be accessed if you can afford it are not rights. For example, our rights to a fair trial a badly compromised by the affordability problem and made more so by processes that are more about boosting legal incomes than fairness.
    Many rights have to considered as a group where balance is needed. For example, freedom of speech has to be balanced against freedom from vicious and dishonest verbal and written attacks.

  89. John
    I totally get the first half of that. Taxpayers contributions should be redirected to deal with protection of rights rather than pork barrel virtue signaling. Government pretty much sucks at enforcement because they’re too busy inventing other reason to exist.
    It cost nothing to allow Freedom of Speech, Property Rights or Freedom of Movement. Add Freedom of Assembly to the list. They’re what I consider Natural Rights that I’m happy to pay to be enforced for universally.

    The second part is just collectivist bs.
    Treat everyone exactly the same and forget the identity politics that divides us is what I’d say to that.

  90. Ha ha I think it’s funny how conservatives often think people were better in the past, even the ones they don’t like. So Jumpy says hippies were better in the past and I’m sure I’ve seen someone (Graham?) saying feminists were better in the past.

  91. Even though I’m in moderation I think it funny that some greens ( eg, Sarah Hyphen Yo-yo) are convinced they know what everyone thinks based on misrepresentations of what was actually said.

    Its also a little sad to realise almost 3% of Australians suffer this physiological disorder.

  92. G’day Val.
    A joyous Easter to you. 🙂 Nah, not so much that feminists in the past were better but that earlier generations of women in our family, and their associates, like the current generation’s, ensured they were respected and that their opinions and decisions mattered; every society has its outliers and its exceptions.

    John D.
    You said, “Rights that can only be accessed if you can afford it are not rights. …..” That is the one aspect of today’s Australian society that I find especially loathsome and inexcusable.

    Geoff H. and Jumpy:
    It is the “Deep State” that has kept Queensland backward for generations. Even Joh Bjelke-Petersen was a victim of the Deep State, though he successfully kept up the pretence that he was running the whole show. The last time the Deep State in Queensland had any publicity at all was when the “White Shoe Brigade” of the Bjelke-Petersen era was active. Today’s Deep State in Queensland makes the White Shoe Brigade and the Leonid Brezhnev era Soviet Union look downright virtuous and efficient by comparison.

  93. Jumpy are you familiar with the old Anatole France quote:
    “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

  94. They’re what I consider Natural Rights that I’m happy to pay to be enforced for universally.

    Enforced by who?
    Surely (gasp!) not by the government?!

  95. Jumpy doesn’t realise that his neighbours (who so disgust him) are actually living the hippie dream 😀

  96. Thanks for those quotes, Val and John D.

    Now I shall offend everyone by mentioning one possible response to the non-payment of fines: corporal punishment. One stroke of the rattan for a first offence; two for a second; maximum of six strokes.

    Why not? It would be entirely in keeping with Australia’s current rush to re-colonialization. “Bring back The Cat” is a slogan that would surely appeal to some political parties and their filthy rich “Deep State” manipulators.

    From an impression I have, punishments with the cat-o’-nine-tails should never have exceeded four strokes so as to comply with the Biblical limit of 40, (9 cords x 4 strokes = 36); however, out on the ocean, or in the lovely penal colony of Moreton Bay, far from the gaze of ordained clergy, the sky was the limit in depravity. I’m not suggesting we should return to the days of vicious psychopaths like Captain Logan – but I do think that corporal punishment, as such, should be included in the discussions of alternatives to imprisonment for the non-payment of fines. Who knows but it might also be a sovereign remedy for some high-level corporate finance crimes too?

  97. Jumpy:
    Just a response to your earlier scorn for the “Hands Up – Don’t Shoot” movement. Another American Negro has just been killed by incompetent cops: shot eight damned times, rapid fire!!! They thought he was threatening them with a hand-gun. Well, the last time I looked, mobile phones did not have barrels, visible slides or hammers, magazines or cylinders, triggers and trigger-guards. It is usual to hold a mobile phone to one’s ear when using it; a posture that could be mistaken for looking more suicidal than homicidal. Given the manifestly poor level of training and self-discipline by the cops, it did turn out to be a suicidal posture.

  98. GB just to add to the horrid story… one report is saw (video) stated that 22 shots were fired, eight of which lodged in the victims back.
    Does not seem like a disciplined, well-trained effort from the police. Still, there is room to doubt the accuracy of the reports’ detail, even though a man – father of two – is dead.

  99. Jumpy thanks.
    I get small comfort from hearing “There is no evidence…” It does not exclude guilt or say that something did not happen. It means that there is no proof or evidence available to support a contention at the time of the statement. It does not prove “innocence” because evidence may exist, albeit undiscovered.

  100. GB GH

    Rather than corporal punishment -lash, rattan, sjambok, cane… I prefer the current diversionary program involving “community service”.

    Can be assisting at a charity, weeding in a park, etc. Workplace needs to accept the workers, e.g. a retail place might reject a thief.

    Offender has to rack up the specified hours and bl**dy well behave while doing so.

  101. Yes that’s true, every bit of it.
    Yet the organisers of the movement, the media and protesters claimed it was fact, without evidence.

    The is no doubt that in any occupation a certain amount will be shity at it.
    There were 987 people killed by police in America last year.
    Of the more than 900,000 officers serving, 128 were killed in the line of duty ( second lowest in 50 years )

    From what I can gather the fatality rate per 100,000 is higher for police killed as being killed by police.

    And Policing isn’t even in the top 10 list of dangerous occupations.

  102. Ambi that sounds like community service stuff, but that has a few hairs on it. You need to have a paid supervisor to oversee the work, and he/she must be trained and hold a doctorate in sociology and various other tickets to qualify for the dubious honour of directing, minding and motivating those that actually turn up. Then there is the OH&S aspect. At one of our slightly remote towns tthey have access to a large number of community service hours – many hundreds. But they can’t use them because even mowing the lawn is classed as dangerous.
    It really does seem that there has been an effort to make things difficult. But similar impediments apply locally too. Also, sometimes the workers just don’t show up and then there is a problem chasing them

    I’m sure there is a way but I have not worked it out yet.

  103. Fines are inherently regressive and unfair. A $100 fine given to someone struggling on the minimum wage would be a minor irritation to someone on average income. There is a lot to be said for making fines a function of income with the fines for the better off being a higher percentage of income.
    Community service sounds good in theory but as others have pointed out there are some practical problems. There may also be problems with encouraging offenders to associate with each other and sharing tactics re avoiding being caught or finding new ways to offend.
    Perhaps the smartest thing to do would be to try and understand why people offend and look for ways of encouraging better behaviour. The management courses I attended said positive reinforcement works but the outcome of punishment is often unpredictable.

  104. Jumpy: 987 per yr for the US is roughly the equivalent 2 per week in Aus. Imagine the fuss if police were killing that number per week in Aus, particularly if a lot of the victims came from particular groups and/or many of the victims were innocent or not a threat at the time they were shot.
    I was advised when I was driving in the US to put my hands on the driving wheel or otherwise very visible if pulled up by the cops. All those guns the NRA loves make cops very nervous.

  105. John
    I can also imagine the fuss if we had the equivalent levels of gang crime or 4% of the population were illegal undocumented immigrants.

    On the fine issue, in QLD the fine for leaving ones wheelie bin out for more than 24 hours after collection is $2,500 ( max )
    That’s on the books according to our Mayor but they choose not to enforce it ( yet ) .
    If I choose not to pay or can’t, people with guns will forcibly ( violence ) remove all my rights and incarcerate me.
    I dont remember the discussion about that let alone a vote on it.

  106. Ambigulous, Geoff H., John D.:

    I’m all for enforceable and enforced community service orders but not ones that can lead to more or worse bad behaviour.

    Putting offenders together not only allows them to teach each other new tricks but bestows a perverted prestige on each. Whereas isolating them among law-abiding people shows them that their previous bad behaviour was decidedly abnormal; if these people have a similar social background, so much the better – however, credentialism and bureaucratic stupidity will ensure the police and the courts will be kept unnecessarily busy.

  107. If I choose not to pay or can’t, people with guns will forcibly ( violence ) remove all my rights and incarcerate me.

    If only you had a Bushmaster AR-15. Then the situation could be sorted out amicably.
    Damn you Nanny State. Damn you to hell!

  108. I be good boy Massa, Boss Man be good to me if’n I does wat I’m told.
    An Maybes I get whipt none today.

  109. Well, when Willis Island is getting Northerly and Flinders Reef is getting south Easters, we may get to put the cyclone prep to good use.

    Iris looks pretty lame but hey, you never know.

    Ootz if you happen to see this, all the best in having your preparation see you as comfortable as any other day.

  110. Geoff H

    No, the co-ordinator might have a bachelor’s degree in social work or criminology. Not a doctorate in sociology. It’s an administrative role; might not need a BA at all?

    Community service can be done as an individual, Graham B. It doesn’t have to be a ‘chain gang’ approach. The employing place, be it charity or church or temple, farm or Parks & Gardens, will specify whether they want individuals, pairs, or groups.

    If the hours are not done, the offender is answerable to the court, and may be liable to serve a prison term….

    Better by far than corporal punishment.


    But as to corporate punishment, that’s different! Let’s begin with massive corporate tax avoidance.

  111. I’d be happy to have fine recipients learn some skills for a while with my crew, let’s face it, all of them and myself have fallen in debt to Nanny/ Big Brother.

    You may find some intentionally committing a harmless crime, turn themselves in and gain a skill based foothold into the labour market that the the minimum wage has held out of their reach.

    I’m in favour of Mr A’s idea, it’s about bettering folk.

  112. Oh, and I have all the required credentials, insurances, OHaS standards and licenses.

    And a shit load of experience with non- conformist types 🙂

  113. Not my idea.
    Heard that it can work OK.

    Now and then it can pay off in spades, assisting an offender.

  114. Jumpy: Aborigines have a case to say that anyone in Australia who does not have Aboriginal descent is an illegal immigrant.
    The real criminal gang problem in the US and Australia are the conservative ones that steal from the poor and give to their rich mates.
    The criminal gangs you refer to are mugs who haven’t realized that “legal crime” is a lot more profitable with much shorter sentences if you do get caught.

  115. So they’re gangs of stupid progressives then ?

    You could be onto something there.

  116. Wiley’s Dictionary, as featured in “BC” maintains foreign aid as:
    “When you take money from the poor people in a rich country and give it to the rich people in a poor country”.
    There is some truth in that if you subscribe to the boomerang theory of aid programs. And that’s all “legal”

  117. Ambi April 2, 2018 at 7:48 pm I was being a bit cheeky using the term doctorate. I have seen some of those programs at work and they can be funny. I went to one site and there were two back hoes but only one operator. Other times I have seen guys just wander off. Or sit down and blow a joint.
    There are “administrative” problems if all that is sought is a task. However, the possibilities improve if there is a personal improvement opportunity available, where a useful skill(s) is transferred to the learner. ‘Won’t work every time but my view it is likely that there will be a better outcome. I actually spoke to Warren E about that and his agrrement was efusive.

  118. I think as time has progressed we’ve made it more difficult ( in some ways ) to try and prevent young blokes * from going fully of the rails.

    There was a time when if an employee with good heart spotted a Lad going going bad he easily put him on, surround him with hard working, take no bullshit, positive examples and get him on track if he could.

    Nowadays that’s more difficult, costly and fraught with legal bear traps.

    ( * let’s be honest, it’s young men we’re mainly talking about )

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