Category Archives: Political thoughts

Australian cliffhanger

A weight has lifted off the continent of Australia. Last night there was a cliffhanger with 44 votes to 54. We now have a new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Even though my political leanings are not with this government, this man is intelligent, and hopefully will once again recognise climate change and be more reasonable with other issues. Julie Bishop remains deputy, and Minister for Foreign Affairs.

This was not the only excitement. We had a bet with friends that Tony Abbott would be ousted before the end of the year. So, a box of chocolates is coming our way, ‘and all was (is) well with the world.’

No Cliffhangers Daily Post by Ben Huberman

Write a post about the topic of your choice in what ever style you want, but make sure to end with ‘…and all was well with the world.’

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/no-cliffhangers

 

 

 

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Statistics and how you look at them:

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello
Believe it or not, this gives you one of the best explanations of unemployment.
Works in Australia too.

image0011
COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .

ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 7.8%.

COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?

ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.

COSTELLO: You just said 7.8%.

ABBOTT: 7.8% Unemployed.

COSTELLO: Right 7.8% out of work.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 14.7% unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, that’s 7.8%.

COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 7.8% or 14.7%?

ABBOTT: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.

COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.

ABBOTT: No, Congress said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.

COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!

ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.

COSTELLO: What point?

ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.

COSTELLO: To whom?

ABBOTT: The unemployed.

COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work.

ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.

COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles that would count as less unemployment?

ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!

COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?

ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how it gets to 7.8%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%.

COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?

ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.

COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?

ABBOTT: Correct.

COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?

ABBOTT: Bingo.

COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for work.

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an Economist.

COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!

ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Politician.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/isnt-your-face-red/

Death Sentence: right or wrong?

Challenge from bumblepuppies:                                                                                              Thinking of another object or event that project radically different meaning depending on the viewer or participant. Then write a true or fictional story that incorporates the differing perceptions people have of your chosen topic.

On Monday night TV, here in Australia on Q&A, we had the privilege of hearing a most impressive and compassionate man, Bryan Stevenson. Because there are two Australians on death row in Indonesia, the topic of the death sentence was uppermost. (We, fortunately, no longer have the death sentence in Australia). The two men who have been in jail for over nine years have positively changed their lives for the better. Is the death sentence going to change anything, apart from causing the families of these men enormous heart break? The drug trade will not stop because of these executions.

Bryan Stevenson was later interviewed this week on radio by Jon Faine, during which Bryan said words to the effect of: ‘Capital punishment is only carried out on those without capital, by those with all the capital.’

It was a delight to hear such an eloquent and able speaker, especially on this emotive topic. Another quote from Bryan Stevenson is:

‘If it is not right to rape a rapist, how can it be OK to kill a killer?’

This American works with people on death row, and describes in his book how difficult it is for those who are immediately affected. Bryan Stevenson’s book, ‘Just Mercy’, is one that I shall be looking out for.

https://blacklightcandelabra.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/divergent-meanings/

 

 

The Super-rich and us, BBC Documentary 2015

For any of you with time on your hands, this documentary is very insightful and horrifying. I watched it last night and was appalled. It made me think historically of the French Revolution, and I wonder how long it will be before Britain suffers the same consequences.

The Super-Rich and Us BBC Documentary 2015 Episode 1 Rich People VS Poor People UK – YouTube
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t2BiuW93bos

Australia Day:

The 26th January has many conflicting feelings throughout the community. Since reconciliation there has been an improvement, but it is good to be aware that our background has been one of, often, boat people and integration. Too many bad things have been done under the banner of patriotism, so I am inclined to play down pride in that way. Though it is rewarding to know that four women won major Australian Awards:

Local Hero Award was won by Juliette Wright, a young mother and entrepreneur who is on a mission to alleviate poverty by networking on the Internet.

Young Australian of the Year is Drisana Levitzke-Gray, a 21-year-old Western Australian deaf girl. Drisana is the fifth generation in her family to be born deaf. With her first language Auslan, she promotes her language helping many others to see the value of life as a deaf person by recognizing their culture, traditions and history.

Senior Australian of the Year, you will be thrilled to know, is a Children’s Book author. Jackie French, 61, from New South Wales is a well- loved author. Having suffered from dyslexia herself, she’s very keen to support children with learning difficulties. She now has published 140 books in 32 languages and won many awards.

Finally, excitedly, Rosie Batty won Australian of the Year. Having suffered the loss of her mother at the age of six, and then less than a year ago, the death of her son, Luke, by his father, she has gone from strength to strength. Rosie has dedicated her life to change. Domestic violence must be spoken about. Working towards changing legislation that will benefit others is one of her aims. We are very proud to know this extraordinary woman and wish her every success.

 

 

 

Political thoughts:

Subject: Change the Entitlements

I absolutely agree, if a pension isn’t an entitlement, neither is theirs. They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn’t sustainable.
Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable! The politicians themselves, in Canberra, brought it up, that the Age of Entitlements is over:

The author is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in Australia will have this message. This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.

Proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:

1. Scrap political pensions.
Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do.

2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink.
A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they’re out of office.
Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians.
Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.

3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians’ retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.
This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.

4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.

5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.
i.e. Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.

6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.

7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/14.

The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians, that burden was thrust upon them.
Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves.
Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career.
The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, then it will only take three or so days for most Australians to receive the message. Don’t you think it’s time?

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!

If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.
If you wonder why the above individuals are asking for your help look at the figures below.
REMUNERATION – SPECIFIED STATUTORY OFFICES
Date of Effect 1 July 2014
Specified Statutory Office
Base Salary (per annum)
Total Remuneration for office (per annum)
Chief of the Defence Force > $535,100 – $764,420
Commissioner of Taxation > $518,000 – $740,000
Chief Executive Officer, Australian Customs
and Border Protection Service > $483,840 – $691,200
Auditor-General for Australia > $469,150 – $670,210
Australian Statistician > $469,150 – $670,210
“PAY FREEZE, NOT FAIR. SOB, SOB”
Salaries of retired Prime Minister and Politicians
Office
Additional salary (%)
Salary as of 1 July
Prime Minister
160
$507,338
Deputy Prime Minister
105
$400,016
Treasurer
87.5
$365,868
Leader of the Opposition
85.0
$360,990
House of Reps Speaker
75.0
$341,477
Leader of the House
75.0
$341,477
Minister in Cabinet
72.5
$336,599
Parliamentary secretary
25.0
$243,912
Other ministers
57.5
$307,329
Shadow minister
25.0
$243,912
Source: Remuneration Tribunal.

So if I press all the right buttons, the TOTAL annual wages for the 150 seats in the Parliament are:
Prime Minister
$507,338
Deputy Prime Minister
$400,016
Treasurer
$365,868
Leader of the Opposition
$360,990
House of Reps Speaker
$341,477
Leader of the House
$341,477
Minister in Cabinet
$336,599
Parliamentary secretary
$243,912
Other ministers*
307,329 x 71 = A$21,820,359
Shadow ministers*
$243,912 x 71 = A$17,317,752

The TOTAL ANNUAL SALARIES (for 150 seats) = $41,694,311 – PER YEAR!
And that’s just the Federal Politicians, no one else!

For the ‘lifetime’ payment example (below) I used the scenario that:
1. They are paid ‘lifetime’ salaries the same as their last working year and
2. After retiring, the ’average’ pollie’s life expectancy is an additional 20 years (which is not unreasonable).

It’s worth remembering that this is EXCLUDING all their other perks!

SO, for a 20 years ‘lifetime’ payment (excluding wages paid while a Parliamentarian)

Prime Minister @ $507,338 = A$10,146,760
Deputy Prime Minister @ $400,016 = A$8,000,320
Treasurer @ $365,868 = A$7,317,360
Leader of the Opposition @ $360,990 = A$7,219,800
House of Reps Speaker @ $341,477 = A$6,829,540
Leader of the House @ $341,477 = A$6,829,540
Minister in Cabinet @ $336,599 = A$6,731,980
Parliamentary Secretary @ $243,912 = A$4,782,240
Other ministers** @ $307,329 = A$6,146,580 x 71 = A$436,407,180
Shadow ministers** @ $243,912 = A$4,878,240 x 71 = A$346,355,040

Conclusions:
TOTAL ‘life time’ (20 year) payments, (excluding wages paid while in parliament) = A$833,886,220 – OVER $833 MILLION
Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, John Howard, Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, et al, add nauseum, are receiving $10 MILLION + EXTRA at taxpayer expense.

Should an elected PM serve 4 years and then decide to retire, each year (of the 4 years) will have cost taxpayers an EXTRA Two and a half million bucks a year! A$2,536,690 to be precise.

A 2 year retirement payment cut-off will SAVE our Oz bottom line A$792,201,909 *** NEARLY $800 MILLION.
There are 150 seats in House, minus the 8 above = 142 seats, divided equally for example = 71 each for both shadow and elected ministers.
This example excludes all wages paid while a parliamentarian AND all perks on top of that – travel, hotels, Secretarial staff, speech writers, restaurants, offices, chauffeured limos, security, etc. etc.
150 seats, 20-year payment of A$833,886,220 less annual salary x 2 years of A$83,388,622. [$41,694,311 x 2]

“Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.”
Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)

YOU’RE RIGHT, YOU HAVE FOUND WHERE THE CUTS SHOULD BE MADE!
ACTION: Push for a MAX 2 year post retirement payment (give ‘em time to get a real job).

Spread it far and wide folks. People should know.

Dr. Dale Kerwin
School of Education
MT Gravatt Campus
Grifffith University
ph. 07 3735 5884
fax. 07 3735 5991
email: d.kerwin@griffith.edu.au