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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.

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Two legends, great guitar, great words:

Really? I mean, really?

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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.

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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.”

via Newsbusters

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.

This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilisations which disregard it.

A photo of the War Memorial in Adelaide, taken by my friend the Honourable Peter Lewis, former Speaker of the South Australian House of Assembly. The description is Peter’s words.

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“An amazing moment when it is possible to see the brilliance of the Designer & Creator of such wondrous things. The Grand Geometrician of the Universe inspired the designing architect to make this amazing sight possible twice a year for ~8 days, just after the March equinox & ~8 days just before the September equinox at about the same time every day  ~16:15hrs plus or minus a minute or two, depending on where you stand & how high you hold the camera hand piece.

The Vision of Glory is made possible by placing the Memorial on the site at 45° to due North (or due West) & far enough back from the northwest Corner of Kintore Ave/Gawler Plc with North Terrace, such that you can stand on/near the footpath and look at the head of the Angel to see the glorious energy of the beams of sunlight coming through the the sculpted open space around the Head, as though to give us a message from God that all things are noticed & known to the Almighty who provides understanding, succour & compassion to those prepared to make the effort to fight for righteousness, freedom & responsibility and whose choice in Service was to take the risk of having to make the Supreme Sacrifice, just as did the Son of God for us.

This was taken on my Samsung Galaxy 4. Notice that when you zoom in you can see the Angel’s head & how clear the image is of the scholar, farmer &  nurse are, as they heed the responsibility confronting them.”

Just a little comment on Peter’s words. In most cases the farmers and nurses are still taking their responsibility seriously. I am not so sure about the scholars.

$3.80 out of $10,000. That’s the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

1.7 cents out of $10,000. That’s the amount of Methane in the atmosphere.

Terrifying, isn’t it?

I watched this tonight. Wow! What a great movie. The special effects are a bit cheesy in just a couple of places, but story and characters are compelling throughout. I loved it.

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.

haley

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.

I think this guy needs a friend.

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