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Monday message board

July 18th, 2005

As usual on Monday, you are invited to post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

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  1. GoTF
    July 18th, 2005 at 12:16 | #1

    I got my monthly bank statement on Friday and discovered that my bank has unilaterally altered its fees and charges. Everything costs more. They’re able to do so under the terms and conditions of the contract I entered into with the bank. I’m not too bothered by this, but in no business I’ve worked for have we been able to unilaterally alter our ‘fees and charges’ without warning clients first. Imagine billing someone and deducting the fees from their bank account without telling them that your rate had increased.

  2. wilful
    July 18th, 2005 at 14:26 | #2

    But banks are competing on the open market, and you can go elsewhere.

    Oh what was that word, again? Cartel?

    So, about this national ID card. Who’s driving it, what is the real motivator behind it? It would be totally irrelevant for any national security reasons, virtually all terrorists ahve had legitimate identity documents. And it would be reasonably expensive, and quite possibly not very popular. So who stands to gain from it and why is it being pushed?

  3. Paul Norton
    July 18th, 2005 at 14:32 | #3

    The report at this link has considerably brightened my day:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200507/s1416339.htm

  4. observa
    July 18th, 2005 at 14:39 | #4

    Be good if it signalled the end of class actions generally Paul.

  5. Andrew Reynolds
    July 18th, 2005 at 15:21 | #5

    I would think that this has nothing to do with the merits of the claim and a lot to do with the amount that Gunn’s lawyers were trying to charge. It looks like they will not get the full recovery on this job that they would have expected to.

  6. joe2
    July 18th, 2005 at 18:18 | #6

    Paul Lennon is now in Victoria spruiking the noble cause of allowing the ordinary aussie to know where there food comes from in the supermarket.

    Would I be in trouble if I told companies overseas the source of there paper? House/car on the line and relying on pro bono. Obviously so.
    With all gunns firing.

    A premier, that has clearly relied on a great song duo, for re-election , should take his spuds and go home to the Easter island that he seems intent on creating.

    File– fair ,comedic content from alleged/proposed/bad left-wing shock jock.

  7. Terje
    July 18th, 2005 at 20:38 | #7

    If we had not outlawed privately issued promisory notes in 1910 I doubt that bank accounts would be so pervasive today. The Banks would have continued to promote or at least support a cash based economy. As it is they now conspire with the government and other vested interests to see the use of currency for trade kept to a minimum.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_dollar

    QUOTE:-

    In the early years after Australian Federation the British pound sterling was used as the national unit of account. Sterling circulated in conjunction with banknotes and bills of credit issued by private banks. Acceptance of Private Bank notes was not made compulsory by legal tender laws, but they were widely used and accepted. Queensland treasury notes were also in circulation and these were legal tender in Queensland.

    In 1910 the federal government passed the “Australian Notes Act” which prohibited the circulation of State notes. Also passed in that year was the “Bank Notes Tax Act” which imposed a tax of ten per cent per annum on “all bank notes issued or re-issued by any bank in the Commonwealth after the commencement of this Act, and not redeemed”. Both these acts remain on the statute books and perpetuate the prohibition of private currencies in Australia.

  8. Terje
    July 18th, 2005 at 20:54 | #8

    An interesting bit of technology: http://www.enviromission.com.au/

  9. E J Thribb’s Aussie Cousin
    July 18th, 2005 at 21:53 | #9

    So farewell then Sir Edward Heath

    Or “Ted Heath” as Gran always called you,

    She could never understand how the leader of the band

    She saw gaily playing at Hammersmith Palais in 1945

    Could end up leading the UK Tories.

    And Gran always called the lifelong bachelor’s yacht

    “Morning Glory”.

    Rhyming slang she said.

  10. July 19th, 2005 at 03:29 | #10

    But banks are competing on the open market, and you can go elsewhere.

    Oh what was that word, again? Cartel?

    https://us.etrade.com/e/t/estation/pricing?id=1206030000

    Fees and charges for E-trade.com

    Like most “cartels”, this one is imaginary.

    Banking at a branch is like flying on a full-ser vice airline. You’re paying someone else a large premium to do your thinking for you.

  11. GoTF
    July 19th, 2005 at 08:40 | #11

    Actually Yobbo, the main increase in my case is for using internet banking. Hardly “full service”. I can’t see what the bank is charging for, other than to increase its profits.

  12. still working it out
    July 19th, 2005 at 08:49 | #12

    I wonder if there could be any way for banks to have to submit an invoice for its fees and then require seperate payment, rather than automatically deducting fees out of the account. If banks are offering a service it seems reasonable that their customer’s should be asked if they wish the fees to be deducted automatically and unreasonably presumptuous of banks that they are not.

    I know automatic debiting of accounts is easily understandable from a historical point of view, but think how remarkable it is. Is there any other industry that charges every single customer via Direct Debit? I am sure it would lead to better competition amongst banks if more user’s of bank services had the chance to review in a bit of detail what they are being charged for before paying for it.

  13. Homer Paxton
    July 19th, 2005 at 09:40 | #13

    I am sorry to see Steve Edwards has stopped his blogging.

    He comes from a Walshian type of rigt wing ALP politics that is sorrily forgotten amongst the present lot.

    He, I suspect, go over the top deliberately every so often. Pehaps he has gone undercover to get those terrorist cells already in operation in Australia!

  14. Paul Norton
    July 19th, 2005 at 10:00 | #14

    Homer, I thnk your characterisation of Steve was probably accurate a few years ago when he was active in the ALP and Young Labor. I don’t want to put words in Steve’s mouth but I have formed the opinion that his views have moved somewhat further to the right since then. Unlike most RWDBs (and not a few of us LWLBs), Steve has the endearing quality (which we would all be better people if we had it) of being able to see the joke on himself.

  15. Paul Norton
    July 19th, 2005 at 10:01 | #15

    Homer, I think your characterisation of Steve was probably accurate a few years ago when he was active in the ALP and Young Labor. I don’t want to put words in Steve’s mouth but I have formed the opinion that his views have moved somewhat further to the right since then. Unlike most RWDBs (and not a few of us LWLBs), Steve has the endearing quality (which would make us all better people if we had it) of being able to see the joke on himself.

  16. Homer Paxton
    July 19th, 2005 at 10:04 | #16

    Paul, I disagree.
    I don’t think he has moved further it is rather the ALP has moved.
    Peter Walsh wouldn’t stand a chance these days.
    The party is much poorer for that.

    I certainly agree on your last point.

    I hope he is back whether in a doing a Banischian Melba impression or perhaps a longer layoff in sheilain fashion.

  17. Albatross
    July 19th, 2005 at 10:32 | #17

    Perhaps he has gone undercover to get those terrorist cells already in operation in Australia!

    Well of course we should all bear in mind that in the case of Australia and New Zealand the only terror bombings that have occurred in our own lands were in the former case (the 1978 Hilton Bombing -3 dead) in all probablity carried out by our security services and in the latter case (Rainbow Warrior – 1 dead) definitely carried out by the French, a sovreign democratic government.

    I thought that it was a delicious irony in that yesterday the French government had a representative chatting with Ruddock about combatting terrorism when they themselves have consistently failed to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Rainbow Warrior outrage.

  18. brian j mckinlay
    July 19th, 2005 at 15:04 | #18

    In view the almost constant attacks on people in the Islamic community,I thought It was interesting to note that this weekend, a Colorado Congressman,Tancredo,a know extremist Republican ,called for the nucleur bombing of Mecca, if further attacks took place on the USA.. A crazy idea from a man who won a 100% rating from something called the US Conservative Union on all major issue,which probably says it all.! However I haven’t heard any reprimand from the White House.I know Bush,on his own addmission doesn’t read newspaper(it was made on T.V. which presumably even Bush can follow)but it was a good opportunity for Bush to speak out. But from the White House..Nothing ! I notice that the speech has been widely reported in various Arab sites on the Web however !

  19. July 19th, 2005 at 17:05 | #19

    Yobbo, let me know when I can get cash other than from a physical outlet which is constrained to be a bank or like a bank. The actual constraint is requiring people to be paid via banks – including social services. It would have been easier if people could have maintained footholds in the cash economy without going near banks and their analogues.

  20. Katz
    July 20th, 2005 at 09:17 | #20

    Perhaps inevitably, in light of the purported significance of the London bombings, one of the old favourite tactics for refusing to engage in intelligent debate has been revived. I am refering to “brainwashing”.

    It is seriously proposed that the boy bombers did what they did because they were “brainwashed”.

    “Brainwashing”, it hardly needs to be noted, has taken on a variety of meanings. Indeed, the word itself exists to allow one of those odd conjugations:

    I am educated
    You are trained
    She is brainwashed

    In other words, it is often used to deny the possibility that someone whose opinions you don’t agree with has thought out her position.

    But let’s look at the word in its narrowest definition. As a perusal of wikipedia’s article on brainwashing indicates, coercion is a necessary component of any attempts to brainwash. Thus, when boys with paradise in their sights travel to Pakistan to deepen their understanding of Islam they are doing it willingly and voluntarily. This is the opposite of coercion.

    And in any case, the very possibility of brainwashing as a reliable technique to control actions arising out of directed thoughts is highly dubious. As the abortive efforts of the CIA’s MK-ULTRA program of the 1950s and 1960s to “brainwash” unwilling and unaware victims demonstrate, it is extremely difficult to destroy free will and personal autonomy. Indeed GITMO stands as another failure at mind control perpetrated by US authorities.

    It is ironic that, while prating about “freedom” and “personal liberty”, the Bush Clique are spending billions trying to prove that these human attributes are contingent and capable of being undermined. An excellent book on this topic is the highly mordant “The Men Who Stare at Goats” by Jon Ronson.

    A secondary theme that attempts to “explain” the dire choices of the Boy Bombers of Leeds is the purported existence of “Godfathers”, shadowy figures who were supposed to have “groomed” these boys to blow themselves and others up. But there is a difficulty with this attempt at an explanation. The families and associates of the Boy Bombers were completely unaware of any overt activism. So-called “Godfathers”, it seems, simply had no opportunity to wield their malign influence.

    So we are left with the least convoluted but most disturbing explanation for the Boy Bombers. They did it because they wanted to and because they persuaded themselves, and each other, that it was both right and proper and an effectual method to express their rage and anger.

    This has much more dangerous significance than the fanciful existence of brainwashers and godfathers. And until civil authorities come to terms with that reality they will continue to live in a world of dangerous fantasy.

  21. what the
    July 20th, 2005 at 09:41 | #21

    Geez, this guy’s a total nob. I wish the global media would stop interviewing people who contribute nothing towards a solution. A 70 year old ought to know better – in Australia he would be just another stupid geezer who whinges down the pub, in the rest of the world he’s an interviewee with air time who makes a public laughing stock out of his own people. read and sigh.

    Atta’s father praises London bombs

    CNN. Tuesday, July 19, 2005 Posted: 2315 GMT (0715 HKT)
    http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/07/19/atta.father.terror/index.html

    The father of one of the hijackers who commandeered the first plane that crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, praised the recent terror attacks in London and said many more would follow.

    Speaking to CNN Producer Ayman Mohyeldin Tuesday in his apartment in the upper-middle-class Cairo suburb of Giza, Mohamed el-Amir said he would like to see more attacks like the July 7 bombings of three London subway trains and a bus that killed 52 people, plus the four bombers.

    El-Amir said the attacks in the United States and the July 7 attacks in London were the beginning of what would be a 50-year religious war, in which there would be many more fighters like his son.

    He declared that terror cells around the world were a “nuclear bomb that has now been activated and is ticking.”

    The man, who gave his age as “at least 70,” said he had no sorrow for what happened in London, and said there was a double standard in the way the world viewed the victims in London and victims in the Muslim world.

    Cursing in Arabic, el-Amir also denounced Arab leaders and Muslims who condemned the London attacks as being traitors and non-Muslims. He passionately vowed that he would do anything within his power to encourage more attacks.

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