Monday Message Board

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

47 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Joe Hockey speaks sh*t on taxes paid:

    When Australians spend the first six months of the year working for the government with tax rates nearly 50 cents in the dollar, it’s a disincentive.

    followed by:

    You’re working July, August, September, October, November, December just for the government and then you start working for yourself and your own household income after that for another six months, it is a disincentive, so we’ve got to bear that in mind.

    Apparently, this is okay to say, as Joe was speaking in “broad terms.” I’ll add that to my collection of euphemisms for “bald-faced lying”.

  2. Careful what you say about Smoking Joe – as Fairfax recently learnt his love of free speech is eclipsed by his propensity to litigate. That aside, Joe’s case for low taxes (on the wealthy) is based on strong empirical ground. A few years ago he was in Hong Kong. There he found the top personal rate at 17% and corporate tax half a point lower. Unemployment was at 3.4% and inflation and government debt were under control. The policy implications for Australia were very clear (to him at least) – low tax rates equal economic success. I learn this from reading his 2012 speech to the Institute of Economic Affairs in London which declared war on the Age of Entitlement – I continue to mine it for nuggets of wisdom. In sum, the primary effect of tax is to undermine the incentive to get out of bed in the morning and contribute meaningfully to society – accordingly it is scourge (unless it is levied on the politically impotent).

  3. @Dave Lisle
    The second quote which I provided above, makes clear that Joe is conflating a marginal tax rate (of 47% for $180K and above) with a total annual tax (of 50% of income).

    Joe can put that in his pipe, and smoke it!

  4. So.

    Our Tone has four knighthoods a year to give out, which by my numbers means he’s got to give out at least one by this time next week or the whole thing becomes an even more undeniable farce.


    For extra credit: who are the people who knocked it back?

  5. International students send aid to Donbass, oppose Kiev and U.S.-backed war

    This article was originally published on Fightback!news on 31 December 2014. See also: “Feeling of ‘solid Western support’ behind Kiev’s renewed assault on Donbass” on RT. For more news on the fight by the people of of Donbass against the Kiev regime, read other Fightback! articles on Ukraine or visit the #Donbass Twitter page. Article also includes 2 embedded videos: “Ukraine: Helping rebuild homes” (7/1/15) (2:57) and “Donbass under fire: Separatists” (27/12/14) (58:12)

    After the U.S.-backed fascist coup in Kiev, Ukraine in February 2014, the people of Donbass rebelled for independence from Ukraine. A popular anti-fascist resistance quickly emerged. The breakaway state of Novorossiya, or New Russia, was formed and Kiev sent in troops and tanks to crush the people’s resistance. Civil war gripped the country. Now, almost a year later, while the resistance soldiers on, a humanitarian disaster perpetuated by the Kiev government’s war of aggression has struck the citizens of Donbass.

    International Students Aid to Donbass, based in Wroclaw, Poland, is one of many aid groups springing up across the world in solidarity with the ongoing resistance and the victimized people of Eastern Ukraine.

  6. The URL was omitted above, my apologies. Here it is:

    International students send aid to Donbass, oppose Kiev and U.S.-backed war

    The action by Polish students is particularly brave, given that:

    1. The Polish Government is supporting the Kiev regime in its war against Russian speakers in the East with military ‘advisors’.

    2. There are large numbers of Ukrainian emigres within Poland, many of whom support the neo-Nazi anti-Semitic regime in Kiev.

    Poland, in terms of the proportion of the pre-war population who died in the Second World War, suffered even more than the Soviet Union. That the Polish Government is supporting a government, which worships Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi invaders, is one of the bizarre paradoxes of geopolitics in 2014. Another is that those Ukrainian collaborators, worshipped by the Ukrainian government of today, assisted the Nazi occupiers in their “ethnic cleansing” of Poles within Ukraine.

  7. I note that paper of record, the Australian, has a front page article detailing a breakthrough in proving wind farm health risks. Apparently someone called S. Cooper (Google shows that he is some sort of rogue engineer) has had people in the vicinity of the farms ‘diarise’ their ‘sensations’. The Oz appears to think this is the first step on the road to findings that will show that wind turbines placed in the countryside are as much risk to human health as smoking and fails to report any contrary opinion (NHMRC, Senate enquiries). Meanwhile on the AGW front they continue to proudly exercise their ‘robust scepticism’ in the face of vast amounts of empirical research validating the hypothesis. The thing is a joke.

  8. @Donald Oats
    Ben Phillips from NATSEM writes in the Conversation today that the median Australian with a tax liability earns $55k and is liable for $10,318 tax. That is an average rate of 18.8% (or 69 days of the year “working for the government” – unless they’re a public servant of course). Given his overt contrition about dancing around his office to “the greatest day of my life” (or whatever it was) after handing down the last budget and his and smug (sort of) apology for the gaffe about poor people not driving, perhaps he will reformulate his comments along the following lines:
    “When Australians spend January, February and the first week of March working for the government it actually seems like a pretty good deal, so we’ve got to bear that in mind when confronting the budget emergency of our imagining. Upon reflection, our approach to fixing Labor’s debt and deficit disaster, which is actually Howard’s fiscal booby trap, is a bit like using a pair of single bladed scissors – we focus on spending whilst ignoring the other side of the ledger – taxation”.

  9. @Hermit
    “perceived disamenity” as opposed to actual evidence of damage. Without reading the link in detail (it is to the Waubra people so hardly worth it) it looks like standard contract stuff, no contract without a consideration etc. I have no idea of the case you’re referring to, perhaps it was quietly withdrawn on the basis that it was unsound?

  10. @patrickb
    The ‘good neighbour’ payments were covered by the ABC and other m.s.m. Without re-reading it I think the deal was $1000 upfront and $2500 per year if you lived within 2km with provisos for adding new turbines at no extra payment. If I recall the NSW action was for 35% of the former valuation of the adjoining farm. Perhaps they settled on the basis of the SA formula.

  11. “Perhaps they settled on the basis of the SA formula”
    The word settled may not be accurate. It’s more a case of offer and acceptance rather than a claim for compensation under negligence. There doesn’t appear to be any question of injury or damage, just the waiver of rights for agreed sum.

  12. Member of the governing coalition, Svoboda, worships Ukranian Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera as a “hero”.

    On 1 January thousands of their members, and also ‘Right Sektor’ held a torchlight march in Kiev to celebrate his birthday.

  13. As an aside, CIA boy “our man Yats” was in Germany on 7 January to meet Merkel and appeared on German TV with this bizarre rewrite of WWII:

    Yatsenyuk said, “Russian aggression in Ukraine is an attack on world order and order in Europe. All of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany. That has to be avoided. And nobody has the right to rewrite the results of the Second World War. And that is exactly what Russia’s President Putin is trying to do.”

    Hitler and Bandera were just trying to pre-emptively protect Germany and Ukraine from the Russian invasion. Everyone knows that.

  14. The Russian’s, weirdly, have fairly strong feelings about WWII.

    After all, the Nazis (and Ukrainian SS fans like Bandera), only killed about 27 million of them.

    Having a CIA installed puppet government, a CIA/NATO fuelled, armed and funded war right up against their border makes them anxious.

    We proud brave Aussies would do well to remember that as we bloviate over the anniversary of a couple of thousand dead in a militarily futile battle of aggression – i.e. Anzac 2015.

  15. Evidence that Ukraine putschists worship Nazi collaborators

    On January 21st, 2015 at 20:18 J-D asked:

    How are Ukrainian collaborators with the Nazis worshipped by today’s Ukrainian government?

    There is a vast amount of documentary evidence, including photographs and videos, which shows that those who came to power as a result of the CIA-instigated coup of 21 February 2014, openly endorsed the legacy of wartime Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi German invaders. (If you look at my own local copy, linked to above, you will find a number of other linked articles, some of which include embedded videos.)

    One article, republished on my web-site, candobetter _dot_ net, and first published on Global Research, is “Moment of Truth: ‘Fascism As It Is’ in Ukraine” (30 Jun 2014).

    Another, also previously published on Global Research, is “New York Times discovers Kiev’s Neo-Nazis at war in Eastern Ukraine.”

    Articles about Ukranian Nazis, from the Russian news service RT, include “Russia slams Ukraine’s UN envoy for publicly justifying Nazi collaborators” (4 Mar 2014) and “Ukrainian neo-Nazism threatens to spread across Europe – Russian diplomat.”

  16. In Washington state the Stuart Island initiative does PV–>hydrogen–>fuel cells
    If you click on Efficiency in the index that page gives a round trip efficiency of 7%. However more recent projects claim better results. See the wiki article on Power to gas. This concept has a long long way to go in cost, efficiency and compactness for urban energy needs.

  17. Tony Abbott on radio today: “look, I’ve never been a skite – never intend to be a skite;”
    Skite? Have we elected a man or a schoolboy? And he’s wrong anyway, he’s mislead people by omission.

  18. Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight – climate change and nuclear weapons being the terrible two sources of major catastrophe

    the perils of 27,000 nuclear weapons in the world, 2,000 of them ready to launch in minutes, and the destruction of human habitats from climate change


    See more at:

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