Where’s My Damn Invitation Malcolm?

September 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

I’m Stuffed. In fact…I am Doomed.

Like the Javan Rhinoceros, the Vaquita (Google it) and the Cross River Gorilla, my time for extinction has come. I am the last of my species. The environment has changed, the climate has changed and I can not survive.

Who am I?

I am a high earning Hard Rock Miner who has busted a gut for over a quarter of a century to build a couple of homes, raise and educate four children, put away a nest egg for retirement and have the temerity to suggest that I should be allowed to enjoy the benefits of my labour in a capitalist country.

But…No!, No!, No! There are a bunch of people who are about to get together to tax me out of existence.

Malcolm has called a snap summit of “Business, Community and Union” leaders to seek economic reform.

Where’s my God damn invitation????

I am one of the 20% of households that actually pay tax. I am one of the heavy lifters. Not only do I clothe, house and educate my own children, I do the same for the 80% of the population that don’t pay any net tax. You would all be aware of the recent Australian Bureau of Statistic survey that found that;

  1. 20% of t families fund the other 80% of families.
  2. The average family receives $2.70 from the government for every $1 they pay in tax. What? You didn’t know that? Here’s a couple of leads;

http://thoughthub.com.au/2014/05/21/who-really-does-the-heavy-lifting-in-australia/

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/no-the-rich-dont-pay-a-fair-share-of-tax-they-pay-all-of-it/story-e6frgd0x-1226841174461

Well…not this little black bunny. I actually pay tax. I paid over $120,000 last year.

“Jehova! Jehova!”,  I hear you say…”Stone Him! Stone Him! He’s rich! Stone Him! If he’s paying that much tax, he’s earning millions!!!!”

Unfortunately not. I am a PAYE employee, with no tax minimisation available. I’m one of the poor bastards that pays a crapload of tax. I am a rare breed. I am a “heavy lifter”.

So who is getting together for this little soirée?

  • The Business Council of Australia – They want me to pay more tax, because they want business to pay less tax.
  • The ACTU – They want me to pay more tax because I’m a rich bastard and should pay my fair share – see above.
  • The Australian Council for Social Services – They want me to pay more tax so that they can give it away
  • The Australian Industry Group – They want me to pay more tax so that their members don’t have to
  • The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Ditto
  • Council of The Ageing – They want me to pay for everyone else’s retirement
  • Australian Youth Affairs Coalition – They want me to pay them not to work – see “Income Support”

So who represents me? Given all of the above organisations either;

A) Want to pay less tax

or

B) Want more money without paying any more tax

Where’s the money coming from??

Me! Bugalugs here! Moi! Where else can it possibly come from? If you are getting together to gain consensus on tax reform, then the bloke who is not at the table is going to end up copping it from behind.

My voice will not be heard. Oh, but the BCA and ACCI and AIG will all look after my interests……crap! No one will look after my interests because there are so few of us left and we are not swinging voters. Well, we are now Mr Turnbull. The word around the mining camp is that WE WANT YOU GONE! You lefty, back-stabbing bastard! You just want Malcolm to be the hero…at any cost.

Can I just highlight a couple of thoughts for this get together;

  1. You can’t make a nation rich by taxing the hell out of those who work and giving the money to those that don’t.
  2. Bar Stool Economics – People do have the ability to cut and run if the tax burden exceeds the pain of packing up and moving. Canada, here I come….they love Miners over there.

So… what can I look forward to?

  1. Land Tax – I should be punished for owning a home I paid for with income I have already paid tax on.
  2. Superannuation – Yes, I should provide for my own welfare and be punished for doing so.
  3. Negative Gearing – Mmmmm see what happens when you stuff with that.

Politics has become religion ….belief without fact. We like to create villains and demons and then blame the for the world’s woes….Climate Deniers, Big Polluters, Greedy Multinationals….The Rich.

Well, I am one of the rich and I’ve worked damn hard to get there. I’ve always paid my fare share of tax and have contributed to the economy. I have educated four children who are now themselves paying tax and creating jobs. However, I am now the target of scorn and the target of a greedy alliance between Malcolm and Bill Shorten. I must be taxed out of existence and cast to the memories of a land long forgotten.

A land where;

  1.  A decent day’s work meant a decent day’s pay.
  2. Successful people who worked hard were respected, not scorned.
  3. It was acceptable to build wealth for the next generation.
  4. You paid your own way.
  5. The family home was sacrosanct.
  6. The country was successful.

We built a nation on that basis.

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VW…..Whoops!

September 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

Remember the days when you took your car to a “Mechanic” instead of an “Automotive Technician” ?

Those were the days when you could just go to the garage, buy a 20 cent light bulb and replace the blown one in your internal light. These days…..you have to take your vehicle to the dealership where some bloke with a bit of factory training plugs it into the “diagnostic unit” and tells you that the Pulse Width Modulation module that allows your internal light to dim (instead of just turn off) has blown. It will take a week to get a new module from Melbourne and half a day to fit and will cost $585. “Would you like to book a detail for when you bring your car in?”

They call this progress.

So…how the hell did Volkswagen end up in this mess? How did it all go so horribly wrong?

Quite easily.

Having had a bit of software and technology development experience (yes, we even have computers underground), I can tell you how it happens. See…when you start introducing computers and software to stuff, you have an enormous amount of flexibility. Things aren’t so black and white anymore. I would doubt that anyone actually set out to defraud the public.

The reliability and power of microprocessors has increased exponentially over the last couple of decades. As we all know, the little buggers have found their way into our cars and are used for everything from saving your life to dimming the internal light. Microprocessors greatly reduce the amount of wiring in cars as you can have little ones distributed everywhere through the vehicle rather than having all of the wires going back to one point.

The very second that you put software into anything is the point in time that you can change things quickly, easily and cheaply. And… because you can…..you do.

So why do the VWs have a “Dyno Mode” ? Because on a dyno, you may only have your front or back wheels driving. The others are completely stationary and often strapped down. This is a completely alien situation for a stability control computer that is sitting there trying to detect abnormalities in the driving dynamics of the vehicles. This is a real pain when you are doing something a little different.

Honda Hairpin at Phillip Island is the classic example….when you are cruising in there at a couple of hundred K and there is a car braking in front of you, the computer in my Merc assumes that I am about to have a massive prang and wrenches the crap out of the seatbelt to try to save my life. It hurts!. The car doesn’t know you are racing and that it is perfectly normal to have another car just in front of you at that speed. I’d love to have that function turned off in “Race Mode”, but the boys at AMG won’t let that happen.

Given that you have to have a “Dyno Mode”, you suddenly know when the vehicle is on the test stand. There is nothing wrong, unethical or illegal about this. It’s just a fact of life for modern cars. So, because you are already changing a few settings for “Dyno Mode” , it doesn’t take much to change a few other settings……like the engine mapping.

This idea could have started with just a programmer or two and gradually ballooned thinking they weren’t doing anything wrong. Change a parameter from .57 to .58 here, .78 to .79 there….not much.  What they had discovered was an ability to meet the emissions standards while also increasing economy and power a bit. At some stage (and this is pure speculation) someone higher up found out about this ability and went completely overboard. At that stage, they had crossed the line between a “tweak” and fraud….a  system that is so far from the original mapping that it produces vastly different emissions between the “Dyno Modes” and normal modes…..and you know it’s happening.  It is entirely possible that only a group of three or four people ever knew about this. The fact that there were so many vehicles out there with this software mod would indicate that it was almost impossible to pick up without sensitive instruments and a stringent test regime.

Here’s where things get interesting…..

An organisation know as “The international Council on Clean Transportation” funded some Uni students to measure the highway emissions of a BMW and a couple of VWs and gave them the sensitive instrumentation required to catch VW out. Why did they choose these cars??? Who knows. They had some pretty hi-tech gear to do the testing…

VW

They found that the VWs were emitting higher than stated emissions…..and the world fell apart for VW.

Who is The international Council on Clean Transportation ? They are group principally funded by Climate Works who are a climate change mob who themselves are funded by a bunch of foundations including those of Mr Hewlett and Mr Packard.

Did they know what they were going to find? I don’t know, but I have a feeling they did. No doubt, there are a bunch of European car manufacturers checking their software tonight.

Whoops.

The ABC…Australia’s Third Biggest Political Party

September 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

I hate politics….I just want to get on with business.

I never started out to make this a political blog, but with events of recent days, it’s hard not to throw in my two bob’s worth.

The ABC has always pretended to love Malcolm. They laugh and giggle with him and treat him like the grand old statesman of Australian politics. Compare the way the ABC’s chief attack agent, Leigh Sales, treats Malcolm as opposed to Tony. The following clip shows her allowing Malcolm to finish his responses without interruption;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-exLPA3lZ84

On the other hand….her interview with Tony;

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=leigh+sales+tony+abbott+interview&FORM=VIRE3#view=detail&mid=645028504925375878E2645028504925375878E2

The ABC elevated Malcolm because they hated Tony and his old school values. In his role as a beaten leader who had been offered the olive branch of communications minister, Malcolm could afford to sit back, be middle road, and be everyone’s friend as he didn’t actually have to achieve anything. He offered a reasonable approach that didn’t have to fight unions, didn’t have to defend a budget, didn’t have to deal with anything of substance. He could be mister nice guy and slid easily into the alternative prime minister slot that the ABC created for him. Sure enough, between the ABC and Malcolm chipping away at Tony, Malcolm is now prime minister.

What’s changed. While the ABC and others would have you believe that there is dancing in the streets….what’s changed? I defy any one of those celebrating to tell me what the difference is between Tony Abbott’s policies and those of Malcolm Turnbull. I felt very sad for Tony yesterday as the media stuck the knife in and twisted it by highlighting those few tweets that mocked our prime minister’s term in office (Put out your onions, Tony’s biggest gaffs).

The instant gratification generation have been rewarded for the superficial view of the future and of Australian politics. They always say it takes three generations……one to create wealth, one to build it and one to lose it. Welcome to the third stage!

Well Malcolm, things are about to change old boy! Your agreement with the ABC has now been torn up. Having knocked off Tony Abbott, the ABC will now focus on knocking you off so that Bill Shorten can take your place.

Watch this space.

A Brief Stopover on the way to Greece

September 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

Jeff Kennett could not have summed it up better;

“This has nothing to do with the governing of Australia. This is the promotion of Malcolm Turnbull. He couldn’t work with the team.”

It was only a few weeks ago that I blogged this;

Political Sabotage – The National Sport of Australia

The biggest loser in this whole debacle is Australia. The media have another assassination that they can write about for the next few months, ruminating over why Tony had to go and the disintegration of the Liberal Party. Malcolm has his chance of being the first President of the Australian republic. But worse, much, much, much worse…Bill Shorten has his reprieve, he can step down from the gallows…reinvigorated, reborn…no one will ever raise in parliament again the fact that he was involved in the political assassination of an elected prime minister as both sides now have blood on their hands.

There is no honour. There is no loyalty.

This type of politics puts the individual first and the country last. Behind every great strategy from every great nation, there was the political will to act as a team. Be this driven by the fact that a country was at war, or be it driven by great leaders who could pull a team together and motivate alignment to achieve the common good.

Jeff Kennett again;

“I took on government in Victoria under difficult circumstances, my popularity was down to nine per cent and we won the next election,”

With the selfishness we have seen in Australian politics and the media always ready to drive a wedge into the slightest crack caused by recalcitrant back-benchers, Australia will not have the determination, the willpower, the dedication of purpose required to avoid the train wreck that is coming.

Malcolm: “We need to have in this country — and we will have now — an economic vision, a leadership, that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face,” 

Malcolm, how do you explain to the 80% of families in Australia who pay less tax than they receive in welfare payments that they are going to receive less? This is not a matter of complexity. Every family know that if you spend more than you are earning, you’re going out the back door.

Malcolm will not win that battle. The only place he can go is;

  1. Superannuation – Which invests in Australian industry. Changing Super will cut the guts out of this investment.
  2. Negative Gearing – Watch the building industry fall off a cliff when you stuff with this
  3. Income Tax – We are already one of the highest taxed nations in the world

We’ve lost our income. We’re still spending like there was no tomorrow and no one is prepared to make a sacrifice.

Greece, here we come.

Give it up ya bastards!

September 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

Where do you start?

I get really annoyed when I hear our younger generation poo-pooing politicians; “They’re all the same. They’re just in it for the rort”. Mostly un-researched opinions based on whatever the media feed them. That said, I was driving back from the mine to camp yesterday and happened to turn on the radio which was streaming The Senate live. Let me tell you, I almost broke down and cried for Australia . How absolutely depressing!

So the debate appeared to be around who has broken more promises, who had more slogans and who had wrecked Australia most. At no stage was anyone talking about the future or how they were going to make this country great again.

I sit in project meetings all the time; working out how to make things safer, planning where we are going to develop next, where we need to spend money, how many tonnes we need to get out, how we’re going to make the whole process more efficient, etc, etc.

Imagine if we all just sat in that room saying “You stuffed that project up last time”, “You said that you’d finish that by September”, “You blew your budget”, ‘You have no idea what you are doing”. We wouldn’t get real far. It’d just turn into an absolute debacle and the mine would fall into its own hole.

Australia is the biggest project that we are all involved in. Where do we want to be in the future? How are we going to fund it? How are we going to make us all more proud, prosperous and healthy?

How are we going to make the big decisions that will get us across the line over the next decade of downturn while these muppets are spending all of their time calling each other names and then grandstanding to the media.

The derogatory nature of the adversarial debate we call The Senate and Parliament is achieving absolutely Jack Crap. I have to agree, after listening to that debate, that they are all the same. The kids are right….in as many words. We’re just a bunch of underground hardrock miners trying to get a job done as best we can. We all have a different view of life based on our own experience and the way we think. Yet, we manage to work together to keep everyone safe and to move forward in the shareholders (and our) best interests. Why can’t our politicians do the same? That’s what they’re getting paid for.

What we need is one side to just give it away; give it up. Stop the crap and start talking about Australia. Yes, for the next two years, the other side will keep throwing stones. But, if one side just had the balls to do what they know is right for the country (as opposed to what is right for them or their political party), we would start to make progress.

Wedge politics may be great for a headline, but it’s not great for the country. Imagine if a bunch of pollies had the intestinal fortitude to ignore polls, understand that they may lose the next election, understand that they had to make a sacrifice, but it was in the best interests of the country. Imagine that.

Given that so many soldiers have laid down their lives for this country….willingly…and made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our democracy, it brings me to tears to see these wankers making a mockery of it.

Who will stand up for Australia?

The Greens………..God bless ’em

September 8, 2015 § 3 Comments

Ya gotta be honest in a blog….otherwise what’s the point. So I’ll admit in my uni days (yes, even hardrock miners go to uni), I may have partaken in some whacky tobaccy, but these days with all the drug tests at the mine, you just can’t do that sorta thing.

Do they have drug tests at Parliament House?

Fair dinkum, these Greens must be on something, or maybe they’re just high on their version of life. Listening to parliament on my way from underground to the processing plant, I heard one of them calling the government “Rudderless”. They love that stuff, don’t play the ball, play the man. He went on to say that it was not the senate blocking the Government’s bid for reform, it was the Government’s fault because they were not bringing policies to the senate that were in line with what the Greens stood for….

The Greens are a minority party. To think that the Government who won 50% of the vote at the last federal election should modify their policies for approval of a party that received 8% of the vote is just plain arrogant and ludicrous. To think that the media give the Greens as much oxygen as they do is just as ludicrous. However the media love to stir the pot, and when you have a bunch of loonies spruiking all sorts of ridiculousness, how can they resist?

The one I really love is that we can stop mining coal in Australia and replace that industry with solar power and windmills. Muppets! We sell our coal overseas….it gives us an income. We buy solar technology from China…….we spend money. So the Green’s economic model for Australia’s future is to replace an income with a spending habit. Brilliant!!!  But….it’s all for a good cause; global warming………climate change……..the doc won’t let me buy enough blood pressure tablets for me to compose myself to write a blog about that!

These people hate the establishment and love to deconstruct. They talk about the future and the effects that ……you know……climate change….Denier!!…Denier!!……will have on future generations, yet they have no problem tearing down the economic policies that affect the majority of Australians; Negative Gearing….yeah, let’s get rid of it. See how affordable rental accommodation will be then. Superannuation….yeah, it’s only for the rich, let’s tear that apart now…bloody rich.

The economy is not something that you can just switch on and off at your whim. These policies support massive industries. Where do you think that superannuation is invested? Hmmm……BLOODY MINING you muppets. You know that “Big Polluter”, “Big Miner” industry that employs a crapload of Australians and generates……dare I say it….a friggin’ INCOME

let’s see what’s left for our grandchildren if these zealots ever get their day at the helm.

MUPPETS!

The Disruptive Economy……..Gimme a Break!

September 7, 2015 § Leave a comment

12 hour shifts tend to take it out of an old bugger like myself, so it’s usually a shower, a quick bite and off to bed ready to start another day at 5:00am. Occasionally, I will follow the boys into town for a steak at the Royal….medium rare, chips and sal, mushy sauce.

They have banned me from watching Q&A in the pub as I tend to get a bit excited after a few reds (yeah, even hardrock miners don’t mind a full bodied cab sav), and have been known to throw things at the flatscreen. Q&A is like a window into the enemies living room. You don’t want to watch, but better the devil you know….

So….through a mixup of new staff and a lack of written procedures a few weeks ago, Q&A was on the screen with a bunch of miners watching. I’d had a few, but the boys were keeping me under control………..Uber.

Nothing makes my blood boil faster than Gen Y’s talking about Uber and the disruptive economy. What absolute wankers!

So here’s the deal. You get a bunch of mercenary businessmen with a slick marketing campaign selling an illegal business model to the most gullible generation in the history of humanity and you make a killing. The disruptive economy…..gimme a break FFS.

Let’s look at this logically. It is illegal to operate hire vehicles without the appropriate registration, permits, etc. etc. the beauty of Uber is that the market they are creating wears no risk. The hirers are not the ones being fined. The hirers are not the ones breaking the law. Imagine if I grabbed a bunch of illegal miners and shoved them down the hole without any of the appropriate training or regulation. We could build mines so fast it wasn’t funny. We’d grab a bunch of guys who own an excavator and a bobcat and tell ’em to start digging. We’d pay them by the meter…no sick leave….no holiday pay….no superannuation…no contract..Costs would plummet!!!. We wouldn’t have to worry about all that environmental or safety crap, we’d just get into it. Yeeehaaa! We’d be DISRUPTIVE!!!!! And NOW and we’d TREND!!!

We’d also kill a lot of people, but hey, that’s OK, we’re now part of the digital economy!

So here’s Ms Monica Bradley on Q& A part of the “PWC Chair of the Digital Economy”.  When asked about her thoughts on Uber she grinned like a Cheshire Cat and proudly announced “Well….I use Uber!”. And everyone in the audience clapped and cheered. Yeehaaa!

So here’s Monica….sponsored by an accounting firm…you know…COMPLIANCE ….Corporate Legislation…Governance…..telling the world that she couldn’t give a crap about the law. What a great look. Oh, but she’s part of the disruptive generation, YEEEEEEEHHAAAAAAA!

Don’t get me wrong! I would LOVE to be disruptive, I really would (some say I have been for years). I’d love Monica to come to the mine and show me how to be disruptive but, at the end of the day, I am responsible for the safety of the guys and girls who work for me. So, call me old fashioned, call me a dinosaur, but I am not going to be disruptive, I’m going to be safe and boring!

Disruptive……Wankers!

Where Am I?

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