Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category
Walmart as an example:
“… while the company’s revenues seem high, Walmart’s profit margin is far from fat: a mere 3 percent. The company has billions in expenses every year—so significant that in a 31-day month, all its sales in the first 30 days go toward paying expenses. Only on the 31st day does the company actually turn a profit, assuming nothing goes wrong during that month—like an unexpected jump in wages.
Just like any other firm, Walmart employs individuals who will earn the company revenue. After pay increases early this year, the average full-time Walmart employee will earn $13.38 per hour, well above the industry average of $10.29. With other benefits, including short-term disability and paid time off, the company’s actual cost per employee is significantly higher.
That Walmart pays an average of $13.38 an hour plus benefits means it expects the average employee to earn the company more than that amount. While a jump in pay of just a few dollars may seem trivial, for a company that employs 1.4 million domestic employees, it is positively massive. This is not to mention the additional costs associated with taxes paid for each employee. With such thin profit margins, Walmart cannot afford to ignore these costs.
As the cost of employing workers increases, Walmart has to decide whether its current workforce is worth the price. For example, if a worker’s hourly wage plus benefits is $30 per hour, but he or she generates only $25 in revenue, the company loses money for every hour the employee works. Under those circumstances, it would benefit the company and its shareholders to lay off workers. It has nothing to do with “corporate greed.” It’s business. Firms can’t operate at a loss.”
It really is simple. If the government forces employers to pay workers more than those workers make for the company, the company will either stop employing them or go broke. There’s no point whining about reality. No one owes you a job. If you don’t want to work for yourself, get a job by proving to an employer that you will make more than you cost.
Very, very sad. But surely this is not a surprise to anyone?
The mother of toddler Sanaya Shaib has been charged with murder after she confessed to killing the 13-month-old infant.
Really? I mean, really?
If it was play money, no one would want to play with it.
Purported Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull intends to spend $1 billion of taxpayer money to stop climate change. Given that the climate has been changing ever the earth has had an atmosphere, this may seem like a tall order. But Malcolm is undeterred.
The Prime Minister says clean energy is a vital part of his plan to boost innovation and create jobs beyond the mining boom.
Experience shows that every “green” job comes at the cost of 2.2 real jobs. That is, 1,000 jobs in clean energy means 2,200 jobs lost in farming, mining, small business. Areas where people are employed to create value; to create prosperity for themselves, their employers, and the wider community.
Nah. Let’s spend more money on windmills and solar panels that don’t produce any net energy over the cost of their manufacture, transport, installation, maintenance, and the cost of enabling the grid to cope with their wide fluctuations in production day to day and even hour to hour.
In further rampant nitwittery, Mr Turnbull has proposed a fast rail link between Sydney and Melbourne. Like we haven’t heard that before. He says it would be self-funding, because easier, faster access to the centre of those cities would dramatically increase land values near stations along the way.
An anonymous writer at Quadrant Online, someone who writes like Roger Franklin, gives this the walloping it deserves by pointing out the bleeding obvious. If the train stops at stations every fifteen minutes along the way, it won’t be a fast train. If it is not a fast train it won’t make access to city centres any easier. If it doesn’t make access to city centres easier, it won’t increase property values.
I have pretty much gotten to the point that whenever I see news of a hate crime committed against blacks, gays or muslims I assume it is a hoax.
There is a long. Very long. And growing. List of hate crimes that featured in the mainstream media and were subsequently shown to be false.
A Syrian refugee has admitted to setting fire to a German shelter where he was staying, spray-painting swastikas on the walls to make it look like a political crime. The asylum seeker said the arson attack was in response to poor conditions at the shelter.
I guess he was used to much better food and accommodation at home ….
And no, this doesn’t speak to a larger truth. Lies don’t. They are just lies.
An ISIS supporter has been charged after allegedly carving “e4e” — representing “an eye for an eye” into the head of an Australian Digger he was sharing a cell with. The former soldier, who served in East Timor, (and was) deemed a low security inmate, is fighting for his life following the alleged attack inside Kempsey prison on the state’s Mid North Coast.
It is believed the 18-year-old attacker choked the 40-year-old and carved ‘e4e’ into the front and back of the victim’s head. The teen then allegedly placed a towel over him and poured boiling hot water on him.
The former Toowoomba-based soldier was rushed to the Port Macquarie Base Hospital and put in an induced coma, believed to have suffered a broken sternum and severe wounds to his neck, head and face.
Senior prison sources said the 18-year-old attacker was a known supporter of the terrorist group and had been previously caught sending graphic images of beheadings via internal mail to other ISIS extremists housed in Goulburn’s Supermax.
Bourhan Hraichie has now been charged with causing grevious bodily harm with intent and intentionally choking a person.
Sources said the teen was also previously found to have a hand-drawn ISIS flag inside his cell, as well as having carved one into the wall. Hraichie had been isolated from other inmates previous to the alleged attack because he was being “disruptive”.
The pair were in the same cell for just a few hours before Thursday’s alleged attack inside the prison’s maximum security section. Authorities were alerted when a medical alarm system, known as a “knock up” was activated.
ISIS is known to use the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” mantra when inflicting their brutal torture. It is understood the teen allegedly used a razor blade to etch the slogan, but prison authorities would not confirm it.
NSW Corrective Services Commissioner Peter Severin confirmed the attack, saying it “appears to have had a strong fundamentalist element to it” and that the teen had “clearly identified himself as a radical”. “I am appalled that these two inmates were placed in the same cell,” Mr Severin said.
The general manager of the prison, Greg Steele, has since been stood down from the role.
From the always useful New English Review.
This is simply getting to the point of absurdity. We have to start taking what these people say about their own beliefs and intentions seriously, or more and more ordinary people are going to be hurt.
A couple of days after that advertisement appeared, Tanweer Ahmed, a Sunni Muslim, traveled 200 miles in an Uber car from Bradford in England, to Glasgow in Scotland, where he waited for Assad Shah to leave the convenience store where he worked, then stabbed him 30 times, stamped on his head, and sat on his chest waiting for him to die, which he did later that night.
“Mr Shah’s family, originally from Pakistan, are members of the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect, which preaches ‘love for all, hatred for none’, but is seen as sacrilegious by orthodox Muslims.” Family members now fear they will be Islamic murderers’ next targets.
The UK Daily Record quotes a source who says that “The hardline Sunni Muslims call Ahmadiyya Muslims kafir. They say they are non-believers.”
87 percent to 90 percent of all Muslims, or about 1.5 billion people, are Sunnis. Additionally, “the majority of modern Muslim scholars continue to hold the traditional view that the death penalty for apostasy is required.”
Two articles from the Financial Review, both warning about Australia’s debt levels.
The first about the National Australia Bank’s concern that further debt increases will risk Australia’s AAA credit rating – meaning higher interest rates, and a less attractive business and investment environment, which in turn means higher unemployment and lower tax revenues.
Treasurer Scott Morrison says the coming budget will ensure the government lives within its means: “It means you don’t make promises for which there is no money. It means that you keep your expenditure control tight”
All well and good, but the NAB is not convinced, and neither am I.
“However, NAB’s Mr Jolly expressed unease that the looming federal election and next month’s budget may see both sides of politics ease up on budget repair efforts to maximise votes.
He also pointed out that debt levels are well above the average of the past 36 years, hitting 15 per cent of GDP last year and on the way to 18 per cent over the next two years. That’s about three times greater than the last time S&P cut the credit rating to AA in 1989.
Mr Jolly said that keeping the ratings agencies happy would require demonstrating “ongoing restraint”, thereby continuing the likely drag on economic growth of recent years.
“With a general election at some point over the next six months, where the government and opposition will be releasing policy initiatives and making promises, a question for investors is whether fiscal restraint will continue.”
In January, S&P warned that Australia’s AAA rating was based on an expectation of ongoing budget restraint that would result in “consistently narrowing deficits over the forecast horizon, maintaining the general government debt near or below current levels”.
The agency cautioned that there was a need for “strong” government savings to offset the exposure caused the offshore borrowings of Australia’s banks.”
Then there are similar concerns expressed by Forbes Magazine, which says Australia is the second most likely country in the world to suffer a debt crisis within the next three years. The most likely is China. And of course, if China suffers a debt crisis, it won’t be buying our resources, which means we will be in trouble too. If China falters, so do we.
We just cannot afford generous welfare schemes or refugee resettlement programmes, or health and education systems to which those who benefit directly make no meaningful contribution, nor trendy but pointless projects like fast rail systems. We must return to a system where those most in need are cared for, and at the same time, every member of society is expected to make a contribution.
It is pretty clear now that Donald Trump will not get the required number of delegates to win the Republican nomination. There will be a contested convention. At this stage, although he has a majority of delegates, less than 40% of votes have gone to Trump, and a disturbing (for the GOP) proportion of people in the street say they will not vote for him if he is nominated, regardless of who he chooses as running mate, or of who the Democrat candidate is.
I like Trump, but I also said months ago that the only way the Republicans could lose the election was to choose Trump as their candidate. If the GOP has any sense, and I am hoping they still have some, they will choose someone else. Who?
Cruz is a viable option, but not likely to get the numbers at a convention, though I wouldn’t mind if he did. The likelihood now is that something completely unprecedented will occur, and that someone who has not participated in the primaries will end up as the nominee.
Nikki Haley has shown herself a courageous and competent politician. She does not bow to popular opinion. She is consistently conservative on social issues, and sensible on economic policy. Foreign policy is important, and that is an area where she lacks experience. But it is also an area where good advice counts and is available. Character, intelligence, experience and energy all matter more. Nikki Haley is a woman and the child of immigrant parents. Those things should not count, only who will do the best job for the US and the world, but they do count with voters and it is silly to pretend otherwise.
So Nikki for president! But who should she choose as VP? Well, Cruz, of course. Stacked up against either Clinton or Sanders, both bottom of the barrel candidates, Haley/Cruz would be an winning combination electorally, and an outstanding mixture of character, skills and knowledge in office.
The answer, Miranda, is none.
I was a great admirer of Frank Devine. One of Australia’s greatest newspaper men, a person of imagination and integrity, and a superb writer.
His daughter Miranda is an insightful and intelligent woman, and also a talented writer. I rarely disagree with her. But Miranda Devine has lost the plot here:
“Newspoll revealed Abbott’s usurper Malcolm Turnbull had suffered his first defeat, with the Coalition trailing Labor by two points, 49 to 51 per cent.
The poll was manna from heaven to delusional conservatives. Abbott was circumspect when interviewed on 2GB yesterday morning. But the glee of the delcons knew no bounds.
The Newspoll is a “gamechanger”, they cried excitedly. It’s all over for Turnbull, the great “waffler”. He’s a “dud”! His challenge to state premiers to control their spending was a “humiliation”. He will lose the next election. Yay!
Yes, these are conservatives, willing a Liberal rout.”
No. Nope. There is no glee here. No will for a Liberal rout. There is just appalled despair.
I said at the time of the coup that this could not end well. People in the media and public life who supported Malcolm Turnbull were people who would never vote for him, because he is a Liberal. Ordinary Liberal Party supporters will not vote for him because he is not.
Already it is clear that those who supported Turnbull are being punished in their own electorates.
It is not that we “delcons” (and no we are not deluded, far from it!) want a Shorten victory. Shorten and the Labor Party have nothing to offer except more debt, more illegal immigrants in detention including children, more unemployment because of investment and industry moving overseas, and less credibility in international relations. No one in his or her right mind wants that.
But the social conservatives and economic libertarians who make up the Liberal Party membership do not see a party led by Turnbull as being significantly different in philosophy or outcome. What moves us is what we believe is best for Australia, for Australian society, for ordinary men, women and families, and what will help us to be the best citizens we can be on the world stage. That does not include Mr Turnbull. Nor does it include Mr Shorten and any renewed Green/Labor alliance.
And no, we are not stupid. We know putting Tony Abbott back in the leadership, much as many of us respected him and would like to see him back at some time, will not solve the problem. Nor will any change of leadership prior to the election.
Turnbull will take the party to the next election. It will be a close run thing. None of us will delight in a Labor victory, should that occur.
Our local member, Jamie Briggs, voted for Abbott in the spill, and has done a good job for his electorate. Although there are matters on which he and I disagree (the ridiculous white elephant Kingscote airport project, for example), he has worked hard, and is a person of integrity. I will be happy to vote for him again. The senate, however, gives me an opportunity to send a message to the Liberal Party mandarins, without doing anything to endanger a renewal of sensible, business and family friendly policies. And that is to vote for the ALA, with preferences to the Liberals.
Not waited? Called the police? Done something to help? Rescued the girls? Saved the planet?
The need to believe ourselves morally superior to others has impacts on our understanding of history, the way we respond to calls for social or environmental action, and the way we interpret current events. The story of the story of Kitty Genovese is instructive. Thirty-eight neighbours watched the assault and did nothing? No. Thirty-eight neighbours were interviewed by police. Most of them heard and saw nothing, because they were inside with their families.
The rape and murder of Kitty Genovese was sad, horrific. There are lessons to be learned. But the story of Kitty Genovese does not say anything about the willingness of “other people” to stand by idly or curiously and watch a neighbour being stabbed and raped. That is not what happened.
“At 3:15 on the morning of March 13, 1964, a 28-year-old bar manager named Kitty Genovese drove her red Fiat into the parking lot of the LIRR station by her Kew Gardens home.
As she walked home — she was only about “a hundred paces away” from the apartment she shared with her girlfriend, Mary Ann Zielonko — she heard a man’s footsteps close behind her. She ran, but the man, Winston Moseley, was too quick. He caught her, slammed her to the ground and stabbed her twice in the back. She screamed twice, once yelling, “Oh, God! I’ve been stabbed!”
Across the street, a man named Robert Mozer heard Genovese from his apartment. Looking out his seventh-floor window, he saw a man and a woman, sensed an altercation — he couldn’t see exactly what was happening — and yelled out his window, “Leave that girl alone!”
Moseley later testified that Mozer’s action “frightened” him, sending him back to his car. At this point, Genovese was still alive, her wounds nonfatal.
Fourteen-year-old Michael Hoffman, who lived in the same building as Mozer, also heard the commotion. He looked out his window and told his father, Samuel, what he saw. Samuel called the police, and after three or four minutes on hold, he reached a police dispatcher. He related that a woman “got beat up and was staggering around,” and gave them the location.
Other neighbors heard something as well, but it wasn’t always clear what. Some looked out the window to see Moseley scurrying away, or Genovese, having stood up, now walking slowly down the block, leaning against a building. From their vantage point, it wasn’t obvious that she was wounded. Others who looked didn’t see her at all, as Genovese walked around a corner, trying to make her way home at 82-70 Austin St.
But the police did not respond to Samuel Hoffman’s call …
Word of the attack spread though the building. A woman named Sophie Farrar, all of 4-foot-11, rushed to the vestibule, risking her life in the process. For all she knew, the attacker might have still been there. As luck would have it, he was not, and Farrar hugged and cradled the bloodied Genovese, who was struggling for breath.
Despite the attempts of various neighbors to help, Moseley’s final stab wounds proved fatal, and Farrar did her best to comfort Genovese in the nightmarish final minutes of her life.
.. Instead of a narrative of apathy, the media could have told instead of the people who tried to help, and of the complex circumstances — many boiling down to a lack not of compassion, but of information — that prevented some others from calling for aid.”
Yes, but telling the truth, the whole truth, is not what the lamestream media does.
“How different then is that gentle, tentative sexuality between parent and child from the love of a paedophile and his/her lover?”
“Love, warmth, support and nurture is an important part of the paedophilic relationship.”
The author of these tributes to the beauty of ‘intergenerational love’ is Gary Dowsett, a professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne. He wrote those words, and many more in the same vein, in an article on ‘gay men and kids’ in a 1982 edition of a publication called Gay Information. Dowsett is a former schoolteacher now employed in La Trobe’s department of Sex, Health and Society, the nest of thinkers who gave us the Safe Schools Coalition.
Lest anyone think that Safe Schools is just the latest whim of an LGBTI establishment wanting to push its entitlements to the limit in a society which has lost its hitherto defining moral principles, Dowsett’s Gay Information article shows that initiatives of this sort are part a carefully thought out strategy, planned over the decades. Long before many of today’s advocates of gay ‘marriage’ and such novelties were born, the future professor was stating that:
…a new political position is needed for there are significant political struggles at stake. First, we have three legal/social questions to win: custody rights for gay men and lesbians; the legal right of paedophiles and their young lovers; and finally the sexual rights of children as a whole…
As with manifestos such as Mein Kampf, what ‘we’ intended to do could not have been spelled out more clearly for anyone who could be bothered to read it. This, of course, was back in the days when the ABC in its hippie mode was endorsing paedophilia as a ‘lifestyle choice’ and the fashionable LGBTI demand, the gay marriage of the day, was for the age of consent to be lowered to eleven.
For, women, it was nasty, brutish and short. An excerpt from an article by Tony Thomas on the Quadrant Magazine website.
Newly-arrived British and French were shocked at the local misogyny they encountered. First Fleeter Watkin Tench noticed a young woman’s head “covered by contusions, and mangled by scars”. She also had a spear wound above the left knee caused by a man who dragged her from her home to rape her. Tench wrote,
They (Aboriginal women) are in all respects treated with savage barbarity; condemned not only to carry the children, but all other burthens, they meet in return for submission only with blows, kicks and every other mark of brutality.
He also wrote,
When an Indian [sic] is provoked by a woman, he either spears her, or knocks her down on the spot; on this occasion he always strikes on the head, using indiscriminately a hatchet, a club, or any other weapon, which may chance to be in his hand.
Marine Lt. William Collins wrote, “We have seen some of these unfortunate beings with more scars upon their shorn heads, cut in every direction, than could be well distinguished or counted.”
Governor Phillip’s confidant, Bennelong, in 1790 had taken a woman to Port Jackson to kill her because her relatives were his enemies. He gave her two severe wounds on the head and one on the shoulder, saying this was his rightful vengeance.
Phillip was appalled that an Eora mother within a few days of delivery had fresh wounds on her head, where her husband had beaten her with wood.
In 1802 an explorer in the Blue Mountains wrote how, for a trivial reason, an Aboriginal called Gogy “took his club and struck his wife’s head such a blow that she fell to the ground unconscious. After dinner…he got infuriated and again struck his wife on the head with his club, and left her on the ground nearly dying.”
In 1825, French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville wrote “young girls are brutally kidnapped from their families, violently dragged to isolated spots and are ravished after being subjected to a good deal of cruelty.”
George Robinson in Tasmania said in the 1830s that men courted their women by stabbing them with sharp sticks and cutting them with knives prior to rape. The men bartered their women to brutal sealers for dogs and food; in one case, such a woman voluntarily went back to the sealers rather than face further tribal violence.
Also in the 1830s, ex-convict Lingard wrote: “I scarcely ever saw a married woman, but she had got six or seven cuts in her head, given by her husband with a tomahawk, several inches in length and very deep.”
Explorer Edward John Eyre, who was very sympathetic towards Aborigines, nevertheless recorded:
Women are often sadly ill-treated by their husbands and friends…they are frequently beaten about the head, with waddies, in the most dreadful manner, or speared in the limbs for the most trivial offences…
…few women will be found, upon examination, to be free from frightful scars upon the head, or the marks of spear wounds about the body. I have seen a young woman, who, from the number of these marks, appeared to have been almost riddled with spear wounds.
Louis Nowra visited outback communities and found them astonishingly brutal: “Some of the women’s faces ended up looking as though an incompetent butcher had conducted plastic surgery with a hammer and saw. The fear in the women’s eyes reminded me of dogs whipped into cringing submission.”
Bashing of women’s heads appears to have been the custom for millennia. Paleopathologist Stephen Webb in 1995 published his analysis of 4500 individuals’ bones from mainland Australia going back 50,000 years. (Priceless bone collections at the time were being officially handed over to Aboriginal communities for re-burial, which stopped follow-up studies). Webb found highly disproportionate rates of injuries and fractures to women’s skulls, with the injuries suggesting deliberate attack and often attacks from behind, perhaps in domestic squabbles. In the tropics, for example, female head-injury frequency was about 20-33%, versus 6.5-26% for males. The most extreme results were on the south coast, from Swanport and Adelaide, with female cranial trauma rates as high as 40-44% — two to four times the rate of male cranial trauma. In desert and South Coast areas, 5-6% of female skulls had three separate head injuries, and 11-12% had two injuries.
… serious armed assaults were common in Australia over thousands of years prior to conquest. Settlers reported that sexual violence, including pack rapes and horrific genital wounding, was inflicted in many groups on girls barely out of the toddler stage.
Solicitor/historian Joan Kimm wrote: “The sexual use of young girls by older men, indeed often much older men, was an intrinsic part of Aboriginal culture, a heritage that cannot easily be denied.”
Even though our eyes are on the US presidential contest at the moment, this applies everywhere. Even in Australia.
8,000 refugee/asylum seeker children were placed in detention during the Labor/Green alliance governments of Gillard and Rudd. Some 1200 men, women and children lost at sea.
Now, for the first time in a decade, there is not a single child in detention on the Australian mainland. The last few, a baby, a toddler and a seventeen year old, left the Wickham Point detention centre in Darwin on Friday.
That is something worth celebrating!