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Patrick's Blog and Other Rubbish

doctorpat at bigfoot dot com

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05/06/2002

Basic Assumptions

I was listening to parliment on the ABC as I was driving home last night (No, I am not a geek. Whatever do you mean?) And the member for Hunter Valley was tearing strips off the government for:

Rising Unemployment (pity it's about 1/2 what it was when the other party was in power, and it's falling, and it's about the 3rd lowest in the OECD. That all kinds of ruins her point doesn't it?)

High Interest Rates. (OK, slightly higher than a few months ago, but still much lower than under Labor, and largely set by the US Federal Researve Bank anyway.)

Poor Economic Performance. (Currently the highest growth rate in the civilized world.)

Blowing the budget surplus on a vote buying spree before the last election. (At last! An actual accusation that stands up to a casual meeting with the facts.) Naturally she glossed over this and went straight on to...

Not everyone getting bulk billed when they go to the doctor. Most of her time was spend documenting this OUTRAGE. Time and again she quoted numbers to prove that this was occuring. The only thing she didn't say... was what on Earth was wrong with it.

The Australian Medicare system was set up so that most people pay when they go to the doctor, and get most of the money (85%) back from medicare later. Bulk Billing, where Medicare pays the 85% directly to the doctor, and the doctor cops the 15% drop, is intended only for the poor. But of course, when the government has partly nationalized all the private doctors, the fact that it isn't completely nationalized is viewed by some types as obviously wrong.

Which brings us to why she probably glossed over the blowing the budget surplus thing. When it gets right down to it, she approves of more government spending, she is just annoyed that she isn't the one to do it.

Another Ad

The Telstra ad for *10# to get the number of the call you just missed.

That the person fixing up the car is a cute chick is a good thing to be encouraged.

But someone so stupid as to wear a white, clean top when working on a car, could hardly be expected to remember 4 characters in a row.

Too Many Ads

You can tell I've finished my subjects for the semester, I'm watching a lot more TV ads this week.

Bank Bust?

Simon Templar mentions some scary things about the current lending rates, and how an interest rate hike would hurt the banks badly, with a lot of defaulting loans. But I don't see why there is any need for interest rate hikes at all. If the economy needs some slowing, reduce or eliminate the first home buyers grant. How difficult is that? It improves the budget bottom line. It slows the economy, and it doesn't hurt anyone who has already bought a house.

I should declare my interests at this point. I have bank shares, so a banking crisis doesn't help me at all. But I don't have a house, so the first home buyers grant stands to help me. So as far as self interest is concerned I'm neutral.

02/06/2002

Bloody Weather

I had my first ride on my new motorbike on Sunday! Naturally it has been pouring rain since then. :(

Anti-Government Propaganda

The politically correct powers that be have been agitating to have all car advertisements banned if they show anyone driving in any manner that the wowsers consider to be other than perfectly safe. So the new Toyota Rav 4 TV ad shows them driving it straight over the side of a cliff. It also shows sexy young human women expressing a disturbing amount of affection towards a camel. So maybe the plan is to confuse the censors as to why the ad should be banned.

Bailz's D5

1. If you could have any other appendage, what would it be and why?

Wings. Working ones so I could fly around.

2. You're 19 and going bald thanks to your fucking awful genetics, do you comb-over, get a toupee or shave it?

Shave. See here.

3. Imagine you're that dickhead who was lost in the outback for 40 days, how do you survive?

Well everytime I have gotten lost in the outback, I found my way home again. Or at least, to the nearest road or river. But if you're truely lost, just start setting fire to everything. Someone will turn up eventually, if only to make you stop.

4. What would your rapper name be if you were stupid enough to become a rapper?

Milkybar Kid.

5. What country would you be willing to sell your soul in order to see lose the World Cup?

I'd be tempted to sell my soul NOT to see any of the World Cup. (Or wc as I like to call it.) But I suppose seeing thousands of Poms doing a Godzilla to Tokyo after losing 7-0 in the grand final, consisting entirely of own goals, would be entertaining enough.

31/05/2002

Centuries and Decades

This guy mentions that Historians consider the 20th century to have begone [sic] with the outbreak of WW I. Which is a strange kind of thing to say, until you think about it.

The Psychological begining and end of periods does not correspond exactly with the calendar. I can easily trace in my memory the fact that 2000 didn't seem any different from 1999. And up until 11 September 2001, it wasn't different. But after that, it was.

If you want to specify when people changed from being like "people at the end of the 20th Century" and started thinking and acting like "people at the beginning of the 21st Century", then the 11th September is the point at which it happens. Unless there is a nuclear war in South Asia, then this period between the World Trade Centre Attacks and The New Delhi Disaster will seem like that twilight period at the begining of World War II, between the Russian and German Invasion of Poland, and the actual fighting breaking out everywhere else. A period of uncertainty, when the War was on, but everyone (except the Poles of course, and the Chinese) was sitting tight with their fingers in their ears hoping it would all go away.

But if the Pakistanis and Indians AREN'T insane, assuming they re-enact the cold war rather than something far worse, then we are already into what the start of the 21st Century is going to be like.

This idea of psychological centuries can be extended to decades.

We all know when the 1990s ended, the World Trade Centre, once again. But when did they start? First we have to think of what the 1990s actually were, I will take a stab at it and say it was the period when the world was adjusting to the fall of Communism. In that case it was the summer of 1989, or winter in the Northern hemisphere. The End of 1989 anyway. Which means the 1990s actually started on time.

What about the 1970s to 1980s transition? Was the 80s the period of greed is good stock market boom combined with the escape from 1970s stagflation? If so, then the boom started, and inflation brought under some sort of control, in 1982.

Going from the 1960s to the 1970s. That time when the world was haunted by the scourges of high oil prices, high inflation, disco, the Soviets appearing to draw ahead in the cold war, sequined flares and Nixon. If the 70s finished in 1982, then it started in 1972 when the oil price shock stopped the good times of 1960s economics, the Beatles broke up, the Americans pulled out of Vietnam and the Apollo project, that icon of 1960s optimism, was finally abandoned.

The 1960s, that era of the Beatles, the Apollo Project, the Vietnam war, cheap oil, flower power, dopey politics. When did it start? Like the beginning of the 21st Century, it can be traced back with tragic accuracy to within seconds, to the 22nd November, 1963. The Kennedy assasination. When the 1950s really ended.

When did the 1950s start, in terms of being the post war period, possibly as early as August 14th, 1945, VJ day. Maybe it was the end of the Korean war in 1953, I don't really know enough about the mood of the time to say.

The 1940s would have started with the Invasion of Poland in 1939.

The 1930s, the depression era, started on October 24th, 1929. The great Stockmarket crash.

The 1920s would have started at the end of World War 1, 11 November 1918.

And June 28, 1914, marks the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, and the start of the 20th Century. (Or did it start October 1, 1908, with the release of the Model T Ford?)

One could of course go on, did the 19th Century start with the French Revolution or the American? Did the 15th Century end with the discovery of America in 1492, or when Martin Luther in 1517 Nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church? But I would soon run out of historical knowledge, and so would have to do some work. And where's the fun in that?

30/05/2002

What Happened to Jeeves?

Is this the real Bertie Wooster?

29/05/2002

Environazis

Batesy finds himself shocked to learn that the sort of "Kill all the humans" environmentalists refered to in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six do exist. Has he never heard of the Unabomber?

Or, slightly less terrible, these, or more seriously these guys or them.



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