Dacka's Razor

I am anxiety

Bah... depression and anxiety, that's just a load of hogswash.  These sissies should just pull themselves together...

That's what I used to say... before I had a massive panic attack on public transport one day and thought I was going to die from a heart attack.

That's what I used to say... before I was mentally shot from trying to self medicate for the little incessant voice rattling around in my head.

That's what I used to say.... before I understood why my temper would explode for no reason over the fact that the person in front of me at the checkout was taking too long.

That's what I used to say... before I realised that I had experienced severe depression and anxiety for close to 20 years and that I needed help.

If you ever feel like any of these things do what I didn't do... Speak to your friends, speak to your doctor and open yourself up.  People care and they can help you.

Most importantly you're not a sissy, you're not weak and you're not crazy... you are just like so many other people in the world who suffer from moments of such intolerable sadness that life seems too hard.

Beyond Blue can help you understand that you are not strange or unusual, just that everyone needs a little help every now and then.

Do yourself a favour, check it out and take the first step to a better life.


Cost of losing control of our borders

iStock_000013971739XSmallI think nearly everyone will admit that Labor has totally lost control of Australia's borders, with numerous boats chugging over the horizon from Indonesia on a daily basis.

The amount of traffic that is now enroute to Australia via the people smugglers is quite easily the highest ever recorded.

Don't forget that under Howard the people smuggling trade had all but dried up with only FOUR people in detention in 2007.

While Australia should have a humanitarian program, illegal arrivals via the people smugglers in Indonesia is undermining our capacity to actually look after legitimate refugees by having an immense impact on our budget.

The fact that Labor has fundamentally lost control of our borders is one of the key reasons Labor has a $12 billion dollar black hole in its budget.

With boats seemingly lined up over the horizon to get into Australia before the election is held, it is worth analysing what Labor estimated in terms of numbers and the accompanying spend it would need to outlay to process the anticipated arrivals.

Labor budgeted $1.1 billion in the 2012/13 budget for processing asylum seekers.

This was based on the assumption we would get 450 arrivals per month.

That works out at a cost of $203,704 per person based on Labor's own cost estimates.

Now the problem lies with the amount of people that are actually arriving because it has outstripped even the most horrendous estimates.

Just in April this year alone, 3,436 people arrived on illegal boats, most of whom identified as asylum seekers.

Not 450 a month but instead over 3,000!

So if we extrapolate this monthly figure out for the next 12 months we can expect to cater for 42,232 people arriving by boat in the next year.

So, how much can we be expected to pay to process these illegal entrants to Australia? Let's go back to Labor's own figures.

42,232 x $203,704 per person = $7.42 billion

That's right kids, over SEVEN BILLION dollars just to process them.

This is not the final amount because many of these people will go into the community and be supported with free housing, free access to services and free money from the government to survive.

SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS of our money being used to look after people who decided unilaterally that Australia should be the place that should look after them.

Seven billion dollars is more than the required amount of funding for the full implementation of the NDIS or DisabilityCare as it is now known.

Don't worry about slugging us taxpayers with yet another tax to pay for DisabilityCare, how about you just shut the doors to illegal boat people, save a boat load of money and put it to use looking after Australians first and foremost.

It's not that hard surely to see the connection? At this rate we WILL fill the MCG quite quickly wont we Julian Burnside?

(H/T - Michael Smith News)


Virus found residing in Senator Conroy's NBN email

CONROY CONFair dinkum.

Could this mob be the most hopeless government of all time? Not just Australia, but in the whole world?

As we all know Senator "Red Underpants on their Heads" Conroy presides over the contentious National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout but what you might not know is that Labor's amazing IT gurus have helped to disseminate a computer virus to anyone who unwittlingly interacted with an email sent out from the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

Michael Smith News reports that clicking on the campaignIQ logo on Conroys latest and greatest email missive users are taken to Bruce Hawkers, Labor's super campaign mastermind,  candcgroup.com.au site.

Apparently as one of Michael's reader attests there is a nasty virus sitting there caused by two possible scenarios.

Whoever set this website up has allowed this to happen, either through doing it themselves or by providing access to someone they shouldn’t

And these guys want to be in control of our internet?

Face meet palm.


Censoring Twitter - Labor's new low

Very interesting article from mediafreedominternational.org last week about Labor censoring anti-government sentiments on Twitter.

This happens quite regularly on Labor related Facebook sites with any negative comment removed by moderators to give the impression that everyone thinks that they're ace but there could be nothing further from the truth.

Lets go check out what mediafreedominternational.org has to say about this disturbingly totalitarian trend

Last year Twitter announced that it would censor tweets if a country’s government requested them to do so.

In early 2013, Twitter began actively censoring Australian tweets at the direct request of the government, making Australia “the first modern democracy to identify, filter and ban free speech whilst not in a state of War,” according to a March 15, 2013 report from Polliter.com.

A subsequent Polliter report indicates that “the Prime Minister’s own ‘public record of communications via Twitter’ @PMOPressOffice has been proven to be filtering anti-Labor comment, and suspending users that interact on that site.”

Although outright suspensions appear to be unusual, content filtering, where certain terms or tweets sent are banned from the Australian public, appears commonplace.  In these instances, content blocked from Australian sites can still be viewed when using Twitter from the US or elsewhere in the world, consistent with Twitter’s stated policies.

Regardless of Twitter policy, the manipulation of commentary and opinion with the express intent of identifying and neutralizing dissenting voices is deeply problematic in any democratic society.

Moreover, the practice may be in breach of Australia’s privacy act and, possibly, the Wire Services & Carriage and Personal Surveillance laws, which forbid eavesdropping or manipulation of a carriage service, even a private one, without a court order.

Labor once again showing that they actually don't care to engage in democratic debate.

Labor always positions itself to occupy the moral high ground on any and all policy areas, but only through default by actually removing people's democratic right to challenge and engage with any and all public commentary or trying to wedge their political opponents with empty policy announcements.

This is a disgusting act of wilful connivance by a government that has rightly been described as shameless.

Only 130 days to go folks, then we can be rid of these people for a very, very, very long time.


The headless chooks

I am not sure if you saw the new Liberals advert on TV over the weekend, but if you havent it is an absolute cracker.

Poking fun at the never ending policy foul ups that have plagued the government ever since Gillard's coup de grace in 2010, it really hits the mark in portraying Labor as a bunch of headless chooks running amok in the henhouse.

Check it out

I would encourage you to also visit the campaign site for more chook lotto fun and check out the hilarious character assessments of the various Labor chooks.  The pick of the bunch are the assessments for the "world's greatest treasurer" Wayne Swan and his Finance Minister sidekick Penny Little, ah I mean Penny Wong.

Swan is described as a text book example of the Peter Principle, which asserts that employees tend to rise to their level of incompetence.  Fans of Dilbert will be well versed on the Peter Principle.

Wong is also on the receiving end of a decent serve by describing her climb back to the top of the SA Senate bill as going from number two to number one.  Ouch.

There will be many more of these types of campaigns as the Liberals sheet home the blame for the last seven years of incompetence, backflips and policy debacles wholly and solely into the Labor camp.

Love it.

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Why Labor doesn't bite the hand that feeds it...

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 3.29.28 PMIn my recent post "The Unholy Triumvirate of Australian Politics" I developed a nice little diagram highlighting the money-go-round that is the relationship between Unions, the Labor Party, and finally Labor Governments.

Well that view has been completely affirmed by John Ferguson in The Australian just a few days ago in his article Militant union underpins ALP, which again is behind Evil Rupert's Evil Paywall™ so I will summarise for those of you that don't pay for the news you consume.

The Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) is one of Australia's largest and most militant unions, and it turns out that this militant union is seriously underwriting the Labor party.

This really shouldnt come as that much of a surprise because the CFMEU has been publically backed by the ALP here in Victoria, but what is surprising is the level of financial support that the CFMEU and indeed the union movement in general contributes to the Labor party.

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As the graphic shows, the CFMEU has contributed $9.1 Million since 2001 towards the Labor party, second only to the extremely powerful Shoppies Union.  That is some serious amount of money going in the front door of the Labor party.

Interestingly, these unusually large donations started to climb after John Howard initiated the royal commission into the building industry started in 2001.  I wonder why that was...

Now, I was a union member once upon a time due to a no ticket no work policy, which despite being against the law was quite openly applied.  Suffice to say that I didn't last long there :)

What irked me was not only that I basically had no choice but to join the union, but also because I had no say whatsoever in what donations were made by my union in my name.

I know of many other people who find themselves in similar positions and almost to the man these people just sign up because they cant be bothered with the bully tactics that union members use to intimidate non-union members.

This is why legislation introduced in NSW to prohibit political contributions to only individuals is a step in the right direction.

Of course this was quite necessary in NSW due to the completely corrupt influence of unions and Labor party members on critical decisions such as the granting of million dollar coal exploration licences and looking at this research it would appear that something similar is needed here in Victoria.

However, I wonder what the response would be if Victoria followed NSW's lead and banned political donations from organisations and instead insisted that only individual people could make donations?  I would imagine their response would not be a quiet nor meek stroll through the CBD.

Interestingly, this legislation is currently being appealed in NSW by... you guessed it, the Unions.

The only Union that is missing from the list of contributors is the AWU, but I suppose that they probably feel that they have donated enough in the past either in actual funds or in kind.

Like not pressing charges when a supposedly "young and naive" lawyer helped rip off several hundreds of thousand dollars out of their pockets.


Are you out of control?

Fantastic take on the current funding predicament that the government finds itself in by Bill Leaks, who has recently returned to The Australian full time.

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I have changed my mind

2026710291_changed_mind_xlargeSo we have all woken up to the earth shattering news... that Julia Gillard's word is not worth a pinch of salt.

Ben Packham in The Australian reports that Julia Gillard will go to the next election promising a 0.5 per cent income tax hike to help fund her national disability insurance scheme. 

The Prime Minister said her plan to lift the Medicare levy from 1.5 to 2 per cent would cost average Australians $1 more a day from July 1, 2014.

Last year when the NDIS juggernaut rolled over Australia's collective horizon most were unaware there was a problem with disability in Australia but what we did know was that Labor had previously rejected the concept of a levy to fund the NDIS, which the Productivity Commission said should be a last resort.

But Ms Gillard said today:

I have thought about this deeply and I have changed my mind.

Well, I'll be...

How convenient for you, Ms Gillard.

Many people have changed their minds since foolishly voting for the most wastrel government this country has had the misfortune to experience, but unfortunately for us (but fortunately for her) we have to wait until September 14th to do it officially.

Not only has Gillard once again changed her mind in changed circumstances, much like her now infamous 180 degree turnaround on implementing a Carbon Tax,  she isn't really being all that up front about the impact of this proposal.

Well, maybe she is... but in a weaselly, laywerish manner, where the detail is hidden just under the surface.

What detail you ask?

The detail that this tax increase is just the tip of the iceberg.  This is NOT a once off increase in taxes because moving forward the NDIS will require many more increases of the Medicare levy to cover its cost.  The detail is there, just obscured from view.

The 0.5% increase in the Medicare levy will raise an estimated $3.3 billion which would be placed into a special account that would be used only to fund the NDIS.

However the NDIS is budgeted to cost more than TWICE that much to run when it is in full swing, in fact the NDIS tips the scales at a whopping $8 billion a year when fully operational.

OK two things.

The 0.5% increase will only raise $3.3 billion and it is only for trials.

The budgeted cost of the full monty version is $8 billion.

See that? That's another $4 billion that we need to find PER YEAR, EVERY YEAR to fund this policy.

So where exactly will this additional money come from do you think?

Well, the ever truthful Ms Gillard told us yesterday that..

..further budget savings would be needed in the future to meet the full cost of the scheme..

So Labor, the party that firmly believes in Tax and Spend, is in fact highlighting that this is not the only time we will be hit with another tax to pay for their fancy policy ideas.

My tax rate already went up to pay for the additional 3% Super Guarantee, having gone from 30% to 32.5% and now I will have to pay an additional 0.5% on top of that to fund LESS THAN HALF of the yearly bill for the NDIS.

To be able to pay for  the NDIS fully, we could expect another 0.5% increase in the Medicare Levy next year and as we know with taxes, they only go one way and as that great 1990's band Yazz once told us, that is up.

Here's an idea.

If the NDIS is so important, then let us as a nation prioritise it against the other spending that is going on, because there is a lot of spending going on, however much of this spending is being wasted on programs that are not working, or not on initiatives that are not needed.


Is it wrong to train a child to use a kitty litter box?

huggies2_1_My wife and I are expecting our first child in a few months and as a result the topic of changing nappies has been broached ever so delicately by The Razor.

You see, I am a little gun shy about good old number two's, especially the baby version.  Just don't like it, but I suppose no one really does.

My wife, god bless her cotton socks, has told me in no uncertain terms that there will be no way that I escape the dreaded baby bottom wipe and wrestling our Little Dacka Tacka™ into his disposable nappies.

I think this is not really all that fair, especially since I have been cleaning the kitty tray on my own for the past 7 months.

I have however copped her judgement on the chin because as all husbands with any modicum of sanity will know happy wife, happy life goes double when said wife is 7 months pregnant.

After pondering the awfulness that awaits me in the not to distant future whilst emptying the kitty litter tray, I quickly came to an idea which is I think is a stroke of genius.

kitten-in-a-litter-box (1)I am going to try and convince my wife to help me train our child to crap in the kitty litter.  Not the same one as the cats, that would be unhygienic and gross.  The little fella can have his own special tray.

Why would I do such a bizarre thing like that you ask?

Well, after reading David Thompson's latest post, It’s Good for the Carpet and Smells of Candy Floss, it seems like some of the hipper communes in the States have come to the same idea and I reckon if it's good enough for the eco-hipsters then it's good enough for me.

I'm doing it because I don't like poo but these eco-hipsters are doing it for the good of the environment and to connect more with some past, ancient cultures, god bless them their little frazzled eco-hipster brains.  Saving the world one nappy at a time.

Let's check out what Thompson has found under the couch of eco-hipster land just behind that lost sock...

“Elimination communication,” as the diaper-free method of child-rearing is called, is finding an audience in the hipper precincts of New York City.

Ms Jada Shapiro, who is a doula, a birth and child-rearing coach, says it is practically now a job qualification to at least be able to offer diaper-free training as an option to clients.

When Shapiro decided to raise her daughter from birth without diapers, for the most part, not everyone was amused.

Ms Shapiro scattered little bowls around the house to catch her daughter’s offerings, and her sister insisted that she use a big, dark marker to mark the bowls so that they could never find their way back to the kitchen

Caribou Baby, an “eco-friendly maternity, baby and lifestyle store,” has been drawing capacity crowds to its diaper-free “meetups,” where parents exchange tips like how to get a baby to urinate on the street between parked cars.

Parents are drawn to the method as a way of preserving the environment from the ravages of disposable diapers.

Many of them like the thought that they are rediscovering an ancient practice used in other cultures.

Hmmm... that sounds kinda wanky actually now that I think about it a bit more.

Huggies-Ultra-Dry-Nappies-Crawler-Girls-6kg-to-11kg-24-packThe main reason people are literally drowning to get to Australia from back-water third world countries is to get away from these "ancient types" of practices.

Living in the first world allows people to embrace all the wonderful modern conveniences that technology and innovation can bring to people's lives.

Like babies pooing in the comfort of their very own Huggies nappies, thus helping to prevent Mum or Dad from stepping in Junior's #2's en route to the fridge and saving the Tupperware for lunches.

(H/T - Tim Blair)


Come on, squeeze in... there's plenty of room

packing-people-into-a-phone-booth1Remember when in June 2010, Prime Minister Julia Gillard promised she would not pursue Kevin Rudd's ''Big Australia'' population target of 36 million by 2050?

I do, and so do many others I imagine.

Why did Gillard back away from Rudd's grandiose idea in the first place?

In my opinion Gillard mainly stated her opposition Rudd's unpopular idea because it quickly became a flashpoint on talkback radio and reflected poorly for Labor in the polls.

Additionally, Gillard wanted to appear more moderate than Rudd, which is exactly what Rudd did to convince voters to dump John Howard as PM. Hmmm.. seems we don't learn very much do we.

As usual Gillard sensed the political expediency of backing away from one of Rudd's more unpopular ideas and used her first major announcement as Prime Minister to reassure disenchanted voters she did not believe in a big Australia. Gillard unequivocally stated that

Australia should not hurtle down the track towards a big population.

William Bourke, president of the federally registered Stable Population Party outlines today in the Sydney Morning Herald the cold hard facts on how Gillard has broken yet another promise to the Australian people by pursuing policies that seemed to be diametrically opposed to the actual promise that she made to us all.

We are now on target for not 36 million but 40 million by 2050.

Under Gillard, the permanent immigration program stands at more than 200,000 a year - the highest level in Australian history.

On top of this we have more than 50,000 New Zealanders now freely crossing the ditch annually, without proper immigration management such as skills testing.

To add to the population explosion, a recent Gillard government decision grants foreign students automatic working rights for up to four years, irrespective of their field.

In short, Gillard has spectacularly broken her first promise as PM. She even recently admitted that Australia would continue to run ''a sizeable immigration program''.

Gillard? Broken promise?

Never.