29 Sept 2014

Innovation and research are the driving forces so we slash spending?

Innovation and research are the driving forces involved in increasing living standards.
Our government is blind.
 On one hand they are telling us that R&D is important and then they slash funding.

The Australian government's investment in research and development has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years, yes 30 years!
Spending has fallen to 2.2 per cent of total budget expenditure, the lowest share since 1984-5.
This is the third consecutive year governments spending has fallen as a share of either GDP or total budget spend.
Why should we worry, well when science spend falls, innovation falls and this is what drives improvements in living standards of that there is no doubt. This is what we are being told by this very government.
Science and innovation spending has fallen to its lowest share of GDP in 25 years. 
There is ample proof that public investment in research increases productivity.
A 2012 study found investment in basic research led to 30 times more economic growth than investment in physical capital such as infrastructure.  Investment in applied research led to 10 times more growth.
Our so called lucky country also has to be a clever country or our luck will run out.
We will be ill-prepared for future challenges, other nations are investing in R&D and powering ahead and will the reap the rewards.
What are we doing, well we are reducing investment, is this something a clever country would do, no its bloody stupid!

28 Sept 2014

Politicians say politicians in federal parliament would never be corrupt. We don't need an ICAC.

We are clean as the driven snow say pollies.

Australian Federal politicians reject oversight by a similar body as ICAC saying that they are above suspicion and no one thinks that Federal politician could possibly be corrupt

“Sometimes they think we are incompetent ... but when it comes to corruption I don’t think Australians think we’re corrupt,” said one MP

Why wouldn’t we want an federal institution similar to ICAC just to ensure that Australia is properly equipped to deal with the prevention of corruption and misconduct.

This would go some way to restore the faith of the Australian people in the integrity of our democracy.

For politicians to say we  don’t live in that world is crap.

I live in a world where it seems to me politicians and politics in general is are held in very low regard and the public's attitude towards politics in Australia is at a very low ebb.

Why would a body of ICAC's standing be a threat to federal politicians, are they frightened of something, is that why they killed this proposal?

27 Sept 2014

Cambodia :- Scott Morrison too clever by half or just plain stupid.

Is this the governments new form of waste management
Outsourcing our problem
to one of the poorest countries in Asia

Cambodia: - Operation Sovereign Borders is still working. Scott Morrison refuses to  tell us about $40 million gift to Cambodia.

The Australian government once again wants to keep us all in the dark about the deal done with Cambodia for taking refugees,  is it a bribe or something else.

On my reckoning based on the fact that all Cambodia is offering at the moment is to take 'just five refugees' it amounts to $8 million per person.

Now I could be quite wrong but seeing as how we are being told nothing, it’s the best I can do.

A government so intent on fixing the so called budget black hole it does not appear to be a clever thing to do, chucking a bag full of money at a greedy government.

Sending people to Cambodia a country with such a bad track record for corruption and taking care of its own people and offering a $40 million incentive payment does not enhance this government’s reputation in the world.

As for us poor Australian electors (mushrooms) who live in the dark and are given ample amounts of fresh manure from this government.

I think it’s about time we were given a change of diet.

25 Sept 2014

Terrorism in Australia, how not to beat it!

How not to beat terrorism!

The threat of terrorism is now a fact of life in Australia, how we handle it will determine how effective home grown terrorists become.

The worst thing we can do is demonise all Muslims because all that will do to the youth is to reinforce their feelings, of being picked on for being Muslims. This in turn will encourage vulnerable young Muslims to react and to believe what they are told by extremists.

In this regard our newspapers are ham fisted in their approach, rather than tell us just the horrible facts of a story, they bombard us with anti-Muslim rhetoric which gives succour to radical Muslims.

There appears to be no attempt to balance the story, to lower the temperature of the debate. They don’t seem to show us interviews with the many Muslims I’m sure who are disgusted by the be headings and mass killings.

One would think that the news media would be intelligent enough to realise what they are doing, not only to the Muslim youth but also to the gullible youth of Australia who will come to believe that it is okay to vandalise property and taunt Muslims because they are all terrorists.

Extremism in its self can breed an extreme reaction, if we are not careful. We have to tread carefully if we want to avoid any such over reaction.

The aim of these Muslim terrorists in this instance is to recruit all Muslims by making them feel threatened and under attack,  are we so stupid as to not see that we are playing into their hands by over simplifying this mess into an us versus and them war.

22 Sept 2014

Howard claims embarrassment after being conned by the US and UK to enter Iraq in 2003, was he blind or was it convenient.

Howard blames everyone but himself
once again.

Weapons of mass destruction:-Howard said he was “embarrassed” that this information turned out to be a failure of intelligence, but he insisted the arguments mounted by senior political players ahead of the invasion were not “a deliberate deception.”
Apparently he has had his head permanently buried in the sand because as we all now know the intelligence was doctored to suit going to war.
Howard plays down the nexus between 2003 and the current instability in northern Iraq and Syria. Saying " If you’re seeking to locate the responsibilities for the situations in Iraq 2003 invasion, let me put to you Syria was not involved in any outside military operation.
He says "The Islamic State operation comes out of what is occurring in Syria, and to suggest that it’s purely or predominantly a result of what happened in Iraq in 2003 is a false reading of history.”
He sidestepped the question by mentioning Syria and won't admit that Iraq was debacle because they put a government in power that demonised half the population and which has contributed to the creation of the terrorist organisation 'The Islamic State'
There is one thing about Howard that has never changed, he can't say sorry and he will never admit to making a mistake.He just can't tell us the truth.
Its no wonder he supports Abbott  because Tony Abbott is a clone of himself, it is an obvious a trait that he also has, its always someone else at fault, never his or his governments fault. .

19 Sept 2014

Embedded image permalink

Well Mr Abbott is caught in a moral tangle surprise, he says going to war with ISIL is a criminal offence, which of course it is.

However should our heroic Diggers do it, its not illegal and it won’t endanger Australians at all and we won’t provoke the ‘terrorists’ by going to war with them....So the recent raids by police are just coincidental...mmm.

I do hope he's right.
Anyway he won’t go to war unless the Americans say go, mind you it was the Americans who got it so right last time in Iraq ,mmm, as we all know.
They installed a government that polarised the people of different sects which in its way created ISIL .

Abbott will consult the Americans he says, but he does not consider consulting the Australian people, even though its obvious that the people would support him in this instance. Why he avoids a debate on this war is beyond me.

Sovereign borders comes to mind as a good example, if he was honest and open with the Australian people instead of holding press conferences that provided no information they would support him know doubt.

His calming strategy in this instance is counter productive as usual.

  • We'll have well publicised  body-searches at Australian football finals in case people have got atomic weapons up their clackers.
  • Abbott says, ‘Carry on with your lives as usual’, but  be aware the terrorists might be strapped with bombs at the next Grand Final’.
If Mr Abbott's calming strategy is to frighten the bejesus out of us it is working, if its about reassuring the Australian public it misses by a mile I'm sorry.

I think it smells a bit like taking advantage of an opportunity-- politics and the polls.

I'm sure someone prior to the last election mentioned open and transparent government.

18 Sept 2014

Australian Pensions,Medicare and Taxation to be shipped overseas?

Telstra takes over Medicare, Centrelink call centres

The move toward Telstra handling calls for Centrelink and Medicare follows the government's call for private players to bid for Medicare and Veterans' Affairs payments.

The Australian Taxation Office was mulling a proposal to move  outsourced IT work to the Philippines.

Outsourcing is another word for privatization but outsourcing to other countries, come on, the handling of Medical, Pension, Veterans Affairs and Taxation offshore is completely over the top.

You may think our Australian call centers have us fuming, just imagine how bad it could get if we are dealing with people in another country.

Press button 1

"You are being connected to another country
your call may be translated"

Press button 2
Press button 8
Press button 10
Press button 13
"You will be connected to our complaints department
somewhere on planet earth or to the nearest planet available"

16 Sept 2014

Tony Abbott's eye is not on the ball it seems. Indigenous peoples are still forgotten.

Indigenous department in disarray since PM's Department took over.
Based on an article by Celeste Liddle: 15/9/2014
The Guardian

Is the an Australia to be proud of in 2014, I don't think so!
Two weeks ago, reports emerged that the Utopia Homelands, a Northern Territory Indigenous community was suffering acute water shortages after a bore at Amengernternenh collapsed during council maintenance works.
The health service and several communities have had little to no access to water and sanitation for 10 whole weeks. Kids have no drinking water at their school.
A massive outbreak of scabies has resulted from the water shortage and the health service has no water to wash bedclothes or flush toilets.
Scabies, when left untreated, can potentially lead to kidney disease. Both scabies and chronic kidney disease are experienced at inflated rates in Indigenous communities.
The Northern Territory Intervention, studies revealed the Utopia homelands to be one of the healthiest Indigenous communities in the NT, with a lower prevalence of several chronic illnesses. 
The water situation doesn’t seem to have improved. In the meantime, the Barkly Shire response has been so disappointing that fundraising is underway, in the hope that the situation can be privately rectified in a more timely fashion.
It seems that access to water is not quite so important if you happen to be living in an Aboriginal community in the NT

The new smart Australia.CSIRO scientists sorting mail, cleaning labs after budget cuts

CSIRO scientists sorting mail, cleaning labs after budget cuts:

'via Blog this'

14 Sept 2014

Canberra and nursing homes, we've heard it all before, its about time it was fixed!

Year 2014: ACT nursing homes put elderly at risk.

Under staffed, underfed and unwashed residents.
On a regular basis these stories emerge, why, could it be that nursing homes are run for profit and therefore always looking to cut corners to save money.

Am I too harsh on the industry by suggesting such a thing, I don't think so.

The carers, the ones at the coal face say themselves that many homes are run strictly as commercial enterprises, they may be owned by religious organisations but they are run for profit.

All the relatives and carers are asking for minimum staff ratios.
You would think that a human being is not asking to much for this basic requirement to be met.

The reaction from the federal government is as follows:

Federal assistant minister for Social Services senator Mitch Fifield said the government took "care of our older community seriously"  but had no plans to implement minimum staff ratios.

"Commonwealth-funded aged-care providers are required by law to meet accreditation standards to ensure that quality care and services are provided to all residents," he said.

"Under the Standards aged-care providers must ensure there are adequate numbers of skilled staff to meet the individual care needs of residents.

"The ratio of staff-to-residents varies across facilities depending on the care needs of their residents which will fluctuate.

"As there is no single optimum staffing level or mix that meets all circumstances in providing quality aged care, Commonwealth legislation governing the operation of the aged-care sector does not include mandatory staff-to-resident ratios."

As you can see this government has once again buried its head in the sand on this issue. Why is it that successive Australian governments have sidestepped this issue.

We will all become aged if we're lucky, don't we deserve better?

11 Sept 2014

Science lobby are 'precious petals' for whinging. Says "ALIEN"

Ian Macfarlane "THE ALIEN" strikes fear into educated thinkers.

I can't believe this article, this is science fiction surely, from which planet does this alien come.

He has arrived among us from such a backward planet is unbelievable, and to do it without science is a miracle.

Apparently on his planet they have complete faith in miracles. I wonder is he the missing link, could he be the long lost first "COALITIONMAN".

Audio description gives visually impaired a new movie experience

Audio description gives visually impaired a new movie experience:

'via Blog this'

10 Sept 2014

England’s love-bombing of Scotland is a pathetic afterthought | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | theguardian.com

England’s love-bombing of Scotland is a pathetic afterthought | Suzanne Moore | Comment is free | theguardian.com:

'via Blog this'

Based on an article
By Mike Peacock Edited by S.W.T.Read
Britain lose 5.3 million Scots.
Cameron asleep at the wheel!

Foreign governments and financial markets had long assumed Scots would view independence from the United Kingdom as too risky a leap but recent polls have exploded such complacency.

Losing Scotland would likely  Britain as a power would be weakened and also self-confidence, it could become introverted.

An independent Scotland could join the European Union however the European Commission said Scotland would have to leave the EU and re-apply for membership.

Even more telling could be Scotland's absence from the debate about whether the rest of the country should remain part of the bloc.
The Scots are far more pro-EU than the English and should they secede in 2016 they would not get a say in the proposed 2017 referendum on Britain's place in Europe.

Should Wales and Northern Ireland vote to leave the EU are the chances are greater. Without the Scots even though they only account for around 4 million of the UK's 45 million voters could tip the balance.
Scottish independence could also alter the national politics in the rest of the country because the opposition center-left Labor party has 41 members of the Westminster parliament in Scottish seats while the center-right Conservatives have only one.

With these taken out of the equation and the chance of a Labor to win power looks daunting.

The Scots will however will still vote in a British general election next year, which causes another uncertainty. If Labor won, its government might lose its parliamentary majority and fall within a year because the Scottish lawmakers would be off.

That loops back to EU membership since the Conservatives are committed to holding a plebiscite while Labor is not.
Cameron would face pressure to quit if he lost Scotland and no wonder his attention to the Scottish vote has been a non event until now, to little to late, maybe, don't forget the full name of his party is the Conservative & Unionist Party.

If Cameron were to go there would be a clamor among the many eurosceptics in his party, and those who fear UKIP will cost them their seats, for a more clearly anti-EU leader to take his place.

That in turn could harden the chances of a British exit if a new Conservative leader would not campaign to stay in the bloc.

Cameron seems to have miscalculated as the main parties scramble to promise Scots more autonomy if they vote "No".

The constitutional genie is out of the bottle!

Scotland is bound to get more autonomy if it stays and Wales would almost inevitably demand more powers of its own and the so-called "West Lothian question".
Why should Scottish and Welsh parliamentarians be allowed to vote on laws that only affect England when English lawmakers cannot do the reverse?

This could require a full-blown overhaul of the UK's constitutional settlement.

What is certain is that minus Scotland, Britain would slip down the ranks from being the world's sixth largest economy.
The long-term question is whether it should keep a seat on the U.N. Security Council and stay in the Group of Seven major economies at a time when power is shifting to the world's big emerging economies.
Foreign direct investment without Scotland, those flows would fall and the rest of the UK's current account deficit could rise to a level that discomfits investors.

A number of major Scottish-based financial companies could head south if Scotland goes it alone. The Royal Bank of Scotland said in June it was considering its options should Scotland vote for independence, adding that the vote had created a great deal of uncertainty. Lloyds Banking Group is considering having its registered office in London rather than Edinburgh if Scotland breaks away.
The future of the nuclear submarines are seen by some as one of Scotland's main bargaining chips in getting what it wants in the 18 months of negotiations that would follow a "Yes" vote to work out how it leaves the United Kingdom.

Labor to loose big time, for ever!!

Israel does it again and steals more land.

Peace apparently never on the agenda for Israel

Israel on Sunday laid claim to nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land in a Jewish settlement block near Bethlehem – a step that could herald significant Israeli construction in the area – defying Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement expansion and challenging world opinion.

The mayor of the nearby Palestinian town of Surif, Ahmad Lafi, said the land belonged to Palestinian families from the area. He told the official Palestinian news agency WAFA that Israeli army forces and personnel arrived in the town early Sunday and posted orders announcing the seizure of land that was planted with olive and forest trees in Surif and the nearby villages of Al-Jabaa and Wadi Fukin.

Canberra: Will we follow Brisbane and pay to use our parks?

This is a tax no matter how it looks!
Brisbane City Council: They want to take your money if you use parks for recreation?(Perhaps taxing breathing will be next)

Brisbane residents to pay to gather in large groups

Fines of up to $5500 could be levied on large groups of people who do not purchase a permit to gather in Brisbane's parkes and public outdoor spaces.

The new proposal from City Hall suggests that  groups of more than 50 who want to use any of the city's parks or open spaces will have to pay more than $300 in advance for a permit or risk being fined.

This would mean that large children's birthday parties, impromptu sports games and small community events would suffer from having to pay to use free public land or pay a large fine.

Apparently more and more people are using our open spaces and parks and that's putting more pressure on them.
Surely the fact that the parks are used by many and so often is a good thing, so why charge people.

Opposition councillors and independent councillor Nicole Johnston attacked the move as tying park use up in unnecessary red tape.
"Why on earth should a local neighbourhood watch group with a barbecue have to go and pay hundreds of dollars for a permit? It is not practical, it's silly , just adding red tape and making people get permits for basic activities is wrong."

5 Sept 2014

Australian Government blind sided by multi-nationals

Australia is open for business
Tax. What tax?
Global companies like Google, Starbucks and IKEA are cashing in on government cuts to the Australian Taxation Office's and its ability to make them pay their fair share of taxes here.

This is despite growing pressure to crack down on multinationals reaping massive profits in Australia each year and paying little tax, the ATO has been scaling back its technical ability to force the "transnationals" to pay up.

Private advisers hired by "transnationals" to minimise their tax payments know too much about internal workings of the ATO because they may have worked there, they are using their insider knowledge to profit their clients.

Public servants with hundreds of years of combined technical know-how have left the ATO's "Internationals' Group" in recent years, with the process accelerated by the present massive cuts to the agency. 

This has left younger and less experienced tax officials facing the might of the "big four" accounting firms, KPMG, PwC, Deloitte's and Ernst and Young, who advise the transnationals.

The case deadlines of 90 days imposed on audit teams by ATO bosses eager to increase the number of cases covered have allowed transnationals to simply "wait out" the Taxation Office or to have low-ball settlements accepted.
All I have to do is wait!

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