A live toad every morning

Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Age Bin

Amanda Vanstone warns against the politics of envy, telling us that the top 2% of taxpayers pay 25% of the tax. Why would that be, I wonder? Well, let’s skip the top 10%, for the moment; let’s look at the top 2 – the top 0.000 000 01%.  Gina Rinehart and the Pratts, together, have 27 1/2 billion dollars. That’s ever so slightly more assets than the bottom 14% of Australians put together, right there.

Very few people realise how very rich the rich people are in this country. If string cost a thousand dollars a millimetre the poorest 10% of Australians could afford enough to measure the joint of their little finger.  The average household would have under half a metre.  Gina Rinehart’s allocation would stretch from Federation Square to Tullamarine Airport, as the crow flies. Do the math.

Rich people in this country sit on heaps of treasure like Smaug on his hoard, flying out to attack anybody who wants to diminish their wealth by a farthing.  Their influence distorts our politics, our economics, and our media. Politicians, and ex-politicians, compete to lick their boots.  And now we are told that we ought to be grateful that in absolute terms some of them pay more tax than I do. 

Bring back death duties for estates over, say, fifty million dollars. It’s not as if Gina want to pass it on to her children anyway.


Assets of bottom 14% - ABS Household Wealth and Wealth Distribution, Australia, 2011–12

Top 2 wealth from BRW Rich list

Actually, they have an excuse for binning this one - Richard Deness of the Australia institute makes much the same points at http://www.theage.com.au/comment/australia-needs-to-be-fairer-if-it-wants-to-be-richer-20141013-115bdo.html

Monday, October 13, 2014

Out of Chaos

In God the Geometer, doesn't the universe look like someone trying to remember how to draw


the Mandelbrot Set?



Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Age Bin part the millionth

Since nothing else seems to be working, why don't we land our Superhornets in ISIL territory and leave them there with the keys in the ignition? It may be expensive at first, but if we can tempt the enemy away from their pickup-truck-and-machine-gun model and into our billion-dollar high-tech way of warmaking then we have a fighting chance.
I mean, who are we kidding?  Kipling nailed it a hundred and thirty years ago:
"Strike hard who cares -- shoot straight who can --
The odds are on the cheaper man."

Friday, October 03, 2014

Trivia question

Which single book has been made at various times been made into movies starring
Alan Bennett
Anthony Newley
Baby Leroy
Carol Channing
Cary Grant
Dame Flora Robson
Dudley Moore
Edward Everett Horton
Eydie Gorme
Gary Cooper
Harvey Korman
Imogene Coca
John Bird
John Gielgud
Leo McKern
Lloyd Bridges
Malcolm Muggeridge
Martha Raye
Martin Short
Michael Crawford
Michael Redgrave
Miranda Richardson
Peter Cook
Peter Sellers
Red Buttons
Ringo Starr
Sammy Davis Jr.
Sir Ralph Richardson
Sterling Holloway
Steve Lawrence
Telly Savalas
W.C. Fields
Whoopi Goldberg
Wilfrid Brambell

Wilfrid Lawson?

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Payola

Went to the Equalizer, a really shitty movie.  The low point came when Denzil Washington, who is neither Edward Woodward nor his bootlace, had an extended killout in a Home Depot hardware warehouse, offing the villains with barbed wire nooses, pruning saws (I think), and - for god's sakes - battery-operated power drills to the head.
You cannot kill a person with a power drill to the head unless they're held down against a wall or floor. Even if they don't move of their own accord, which seems unlikely, the drill just push them away. It will spin off the skull without penetrating, and if it doesn't it will still take some time - seconds - to get through the skull to the brain, allowing them to avoid death by stepping away. You'd be better off hitting them over the head with it.
You'd also be lucky to have a barbed wire spur pierce a vein, and you can't shoot someone at a distance with a nailgun.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Age bin

Banning the burqa from Parliament House would be a good start, but still leaves far too much scope for male terrorists to disguise themselves as women.  We should accept nothing less than a policy of complete nudity below the waist. 

Some might suggest that certain groups might have religiously based objections to this policy, but that boat has surely already sailed.  And been boarded.  And returned to its country of origin.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Age bin

I think the average Australian would have a better idea of what was signified by the various threat levels if the idea was brought more into the mainstream of everyday life - if, for example, it suggested what you should put on when you woke up in the morning.
Threat level one  - White trousers - god's in his heaven and all's right with the world
Threat level two - Black trousers - occasional episodes of pissing yourself with fear, but manageable
Threat level three - Brown trousers - sphincter-disabling terror
Threat level four - Nothing - running naked through the streets howling and envying the dead
It's disability-friendly, too, in that the blind could navigate the whole system simply by smell.

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