Wednesday 20th of February 2019

taxing times and aussie bums...

taxing times

Sean Ashby sold his house to start making underpants.

In the 17 years since, the personal trainer-turned businessman has worked to build a thriving empire, selling his iconic underwear and swimwear label aussieBum in stores throughout Australia and to loyal customers in 120 countries around the globe.

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a tax in reverse?...

China’s social credit system, a big-data system for monitoring and shaping business and citizens’ behaviour, is reaching beyond China’s borders to impact foreign companies, according to new research.

The system, which has been compared to an Orwellian tool of mass surveillance, is an ambitious work in progress: a series of big data and AI-enabled processes that effectively grant subjects a social credit score based on their social, political and economic behaviour. 

People with low scores can be banned or blacklisted from accessing services including flights and train travel; while those with high scores can access privileges. The Chinese government aims to have all 1.35 billion of its citizens subject to the system by 2020.

But a new report by US China scholar Samantha Hoffman for the ASPI International Cyber Policy Institute in Canberra claims the system’s impact beyond China’s borders has not been well understood, and is in fact already shaping the behaviour of foreign businesses in line with Chinese Communist party preferences. It has the “potential to interfere directly in the sovereignty of other nations”, she said.


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See also: The mother of invention...

class warfare and charity at home....

"Class warfare!", bellowed the Coalition — the very same people who, while in power, are waging class war against workers. There has been a one-sided class war going on in Australia since 1983 – the government against the people, and they have been winning.


Turnbull has also just introduced personal income tax cuts — cuts that overwhelmingly favour the rich. This is another example of wealth shifting from labour to capital. Ultimately, the burden will be felt by workers in the concomitant cuts to public services, jobs losses due to mechanisation and the increasing bills that the pittance of $10-a-week tax cuts for workers will not address.

Australia is a low tax country. We could easily squeeze the rich until their pips squeak.

Making the tax system less and less progressive, which is what most tax "reforms" do, benefits capital and the rich. These people are dining at the table of Turnbull’s tax cuts, while we get a few scraps. Those table droppings are just a return of bracket creep.

Those earning more than $200,000 a year (and that includes all Federal MPs) will get

‘ ... a tax cut of $7,225 a year … from 2024-25 while someone on $30,000 would get a tax cut of $200 a year.’  

On top of that, all Federal MPs got a 2% pay increase from 1 July. A backbencher will be better off from 1 July by over $4,000 a year or $80 a week. Turnbull will get an extra $203 a week. Turnbull donates his salary of $538,000 to his own charitable foundation, so in effect, with that as a deduction, he pays no tax on his salary. 


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when the "new rich" are poor...

This week saw criticism of Labor starting a class war. But the real class war is being fought by those who seek to erase people on low and middle incomes from the debate. And too often the media are willing participants in this erasure.

Let us be honest: Australia is a nation whose politicians are for the most part drawn from similar socioeconomic (and education) backgrounds, covered by journalists who (including myself) come from similar backgrounds, and where any interruption to this course of events – such as when Ricky Muir was elected to the Senate – is greeted with a barely disguised level of condescension that someone not university educated or white collar has deigned to enter the sanctum. 

It is a situation of course not solely devoted to income – gender and especially race are also major factors at play. In positions of power we remain a very white, relatively well-paid male nation (and I speak as one of that group).

It is not a situation without consequences. 

Retirement age of 70? Well, that seems doable to one who sits behind a desk. The shift of jobs to the services sector? Well, after all, who would want to work in a factory? Low levels of industrial disputes? That must be good – let me quote some measure of international competitiveness while I pass over these record low wages growth and wonder at the coincidence. 

It’s the type of thinking that has journalists asking “Is $120,000 the new rich” because that will generate a headline without even caring that it is more than double the median income


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Read from top.


of sharpening knives...

Scientists finally know why an orange purchased from a fruit and veg shop in suburban Brisbane turned purple, hours after it was cut open.

The answer? Naturally occurring anthocyanins in the orange reacted with the iron particles found on the recently sharpened knife which was used to cut it, causing it to go purple.

Scientists with the Queensland Government collected samples of oranges from Neti Moffitt's house after the scraps and leftover changed colour earlier this month.

They also took the knife used to cut them, as well as the steel used to sharpen it.

They were tested at Queensland Health's Forensic and Scientific Services (FSS) laboratory at Coopers Plains on Brisbane's southside.

On Tuesday, the long-awaited results were released to ABC News.


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It does not need Einstein to work this one out. Many old-fashioned knives that are (were) ordinary tempered (or not), hard or soft steel, will interfere with the food. Ordinary steel pans need to be "blue-ed" with some starchy food scraps (thrown away) to prevent them from rusting and tainting the food with rust. Most modern kitchens use stainless steel specially formulated to stay sharp or be sharpened without leaving oxidising steel filings...


See toon at top.



well, frydenberg is a legend in his own dunny...


“Well you’ll have to ask the people who are making those comments,” the defence minister said in an interview with ABC radio on Monday. “I can tell you there is a process in place. It’s the right process to determine whether the Australian embassy should be in the capital of Israel, which is West Jerusalem. Now if the shoe was on the other foot, it would be like Israel saying that they intend to put their embassy in Sydney and pretend that Canberra isn’t our capital.”

Pyne’s comments were in response to reports the minister for defence industry, Steve Ciobo, told his Indonesian counterpart there was “less than a 5% chance” of Australia moving its embassy, and Frydenberg’s advocacy to make the change.

Pyne has attempted to walk a diplomatic line in an increasingly loaded debate, which has spilled into the Morrison ministry.

Asked about Pyne’s comments, Frydenberg told 2GB he would leave his colleague to be a “legend in his own lunchtime”.

“I haven’t seen that but Chris has been giving his opinion freely ... I don’t know what got into his Wheaties this morning,” the treasurer told Ray Hadley. “Chris is his own person ... He is quite unique.

“He’s had plenty to say on it and I will make my comments judiciously and appropriately on all matter of issues.”


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Moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem is an affront to common sense, to decency and to peace. Pyne "the legend in his own lunchtime" knows where the real bread is buttered, for once.

Destroy this CRASS party of loonies who call themselves "liberals" but are arch CONservatives, bordering on the Neo-Nazi without the socialist element on many issues.