Felines Furever!

Our Guest Poster is none other than Kampong Palmer Trev, whose delightful remarks yesterday evening on his betters caught my eye. Trev (if he will forgive my informality) was kind enough to agree to the “appropriation” of his comment, and even more kindly supplied photographic evidence. Thank you, Trev, and may this be the first of many.

Cat Fotos

My neighbours are away for a long weekend of swimming competitions in Sydney – so I’m looking after their two cats and the two that own this place and consider me their maid. I really want my head read for feeding them ‘roo meat – all four now expect it.

Wally, aka Walter Furry-Griffen

“You can stick your Aldi canned muck … and we have had enough dry stuff, Trev”.

There are, of course, those who say that anthropomorphism is wrong (“No, darling, we are educated people who do not do that sort of thing. Animals are animals and we have no right to project human values. While we do believe in the brotherhood of man, it’s no reason, my dear, for you to associate with them – why else would we be sending you to that school? Now, eat your carob, sweetie, and before you go off for your music lesson, let me explain why when you are grown-up you should vote Green and have a Family Trust”).

Bugger ’em. Life is too short – and why have domestic animals if you can’t talk to them? Yes, lah, as in every other election I’ll be voting ALP.

Old Sporty (about 16 years old and built like Stalin crossed with a Yak fighter aircraft), from next door, is allegedly a Russian Blue cat. IMHO, the only Russian thing about him is his appetite – and it’s just as well I never have vodka in the house. I’d have visions of waking in the morning and finding Sporty reeling around the joint with a bottle in his paws, and meowing the “Volga Boat Song”. That black cat T-shirt on the linked post has some truth in it.

Sporty, the alleged Russian Blue

This is Canberra. Thick feathery winter doona onto bed today and a Chinese quilt on top – Ok, maybe should go under the doona (next time in China I’m going to buy one of those thick quilts from Shanghai filled with spun silk). If I find any trace of cat fur or a dug-out coriander seedling in the next 2 days, I’ll be invoking the ‘Kampong Palmer Internal Security Act’. Punishment without trial – do not pass go and do not collect $100. One swift swipe of the rotan (in this case, a whippy bamboo tomato stake). And to think I have a cat called Harry – named after Lee Kuan Yew (LKY). The uppitty little tabby bastard (“Singapore Tiger”) now wakes me up in the morning for the sake of it. It used to be in order to be fed. He must be about 5 or 6 years old now – in his prime. I’m still to discover if he has a law degree and a fondness for defamation litigation.

Cats – they probably taste good out of a very hot wok, with a bit of oyster sauce and a hint of ginger. You would be better off with a labrador as a pet. Then again, you could have an old black cat like the Tunku Jazz. A cat who thinks he is a labrador, or an old and rather benevolent Malaysian ex PM who lived long and had a fondness for slow racehorses, fast women and whisky. – Jazz even likes going for a walk and is always happy to see you when you arrive home. Jazz is my kind of moggie.

Tunku Jazz (left) and Harry (aka LKY – right) discussing armed neutrality

Forty-nine Days to Go Friday

Funky Retro Theme

Far out!

I mean, like, which Coalition prime idiot thought a really looooong campaign would be a fiendishly cunning idea?

Why didn’t someone say,

Hey, man . . .

The Numbers

Didn’t anyone whisper in his shell-like that

The Road to Moscow

can so easily turn into

Photographic Memory

Or that Australians don’t like elections in

SIBT Students

or during the

Taekwondo Central

And why oh why didn’t some brave person blouse-front him and shout

Hey, man . . . everyone knows you’re in the

Ramparts of Civilization

Oh well.

HAPPY

Dr Ryan Llera

The Dodgy Brothers???

Urban Wronski has generously given permission to The Pub to republish his latest piece, a good analysis of the most recent of the three bodgie budgets this appalling régime has tried to impose upon the long-suffering people of Australia. Thank you, Urban Wronski, and welcome to our illustrious Guest Author list!

News Corp Australia

Scott Morrison’s and Malcolm Turnbull’s cunning plan not to provide costings for their ten year tax giveaway has blown up in their faces. Whatever they may claim about not wishing to “do Shorten’s homework for him”, their decision to leave costings out of the budget paper is a gross tactical error, a blunder which may well just have handed Labor the election.

Of course, there other possible explanations. Morrison’s excuse that he was merely being mean and tricky may just be a cover up. The junk-yard dog ate his homework. Or he may simply been left out of the loop again by a PM who has every reason not to trust a ruthlessly ambitious cabinet member widely believed to have been the Abbott government’s best leaker.

Yet the PM must have known. And the fiasco has highlighted the Coalition’s predilection for deception. This is a budget of dodgy assumptions and double-dealing.

Take the deceptive way this is billed as Morrison’s first budget. It is no such thing. It is the Coalition’s third attempt and it is vital to read it in the context of all its prior decisions $13 billion of Family tax, maternity leave and PBS cuts which still remain on the books to boost the budget’s bottom line even though they have not been passed by parliament’s upper house.

This is the third in a series of failed tests where the self-styled “better economic managers” have already lost the public’s confidence and are wasting the nation’s time.

Yet Morrison’s inattention to detail or his ploy to get Bill may not be such a bad thing.

On the contrary, the Treasurer may have done voters a service in arousing suspicion. The public will come to see that the budget centrepiece of a ten year tax handout for business is based on the entirely erroneous assumption that cutting tax for business owners and the top quarter of wage and salary earners will stimulate the economy. It’s a budget based on a lie.

The appearance of John Fraser, Abbott’s pick for Secretary to the Treasury at the Senate Estimates Committee on Friday dramatically underscores the element of deception.

Although the Prime Minister had denied that treasury had done any costings of the ten year tax cut to companies, Fraser admits, with excruciating indirection and languid delay, that these amounted to “dollars 46 billion”, a bizarrely jargonised admission that, yes, now that you mention it, Senator Wong, Treasury has done the costings and the cost would blow a $50 billion dollar fleet of submarines out of the water, even if they were still at the conceptual stage.

Fraser hangs Turnbull out to dry on the previous day’s line that the Treasury had not costed the tax cuts. For all his talk about innovation and agility, the PM is hoist by his own petard. Before voters even get an election date officially declared, we are left dwelling on the government’s duplicity; its maladroit strategy of conniving to trick the Labor leader into making a bad guess.

Yet there is an even bigger deception at hand. The budget centrepiece is founded on the fiction that cutting taxes for companies and for the quarter of the workforce who earn more than $80,000 will stimulate economic growth. It won’t. Nor will it do to lie about how many of us earn $80,000.

(Astonishingly the top 25% become ‘average wage-earners’ in the PM’s radio interviews or “middle income earners”. The Australia Institute calculates, however that counting all wage-earners, it may be as few as 18%.) The electorate that will do best out of this budget’s income tax cuts is the PM’s own of Wentworth or net worth as it is has so aptly dubbed. Ordinary Australians are left out in the cold.

Central to the budget’s calculations is that notion that making the rich richer makes all Australians prosper. To this false assumption it adds investment and jobs. Given its record so far, however, these are the last claims this government should be making.

Tax attack dog Morrison whose false accusations that Save the Children workers were coaching refugees to self-harm on Nauru two years ago have resurfaced in a compensation settlement this week has another equally implausible slogan that can only once again draw attention to his government’s lack of achievement.

Morrison chooses to campaign on jobs, investment and growth. Yet after nearly three years, growth is forecast to be well below par at 2.5% for the next two years rising then to a minimal 3%. Unemployment is at least 5.5%. Business investment will be flat-lining at zero growth in 2017-2018.

Job figures, of course, can be fudged in many ways, including absorbing punters into internships, but the growth boast beggars belief at a time when the Reserve Bank is cutting interest rates because growth is feebly declining and inflation is plummeting. As with climate change, marriage equality or safe schools the Coalition is well and truly in denial.

Denial is the bedrock of the Coalition’s latest budget attempt. At massive expense to ordinary tax payers, the Abbott-Turnbull government’s main budget strategy is based entirely on the superstition that wealth will trickle down, or that cutting company tax will boost productivity, a notion which is now so well-disproved that even economist Arthur Laffer, its guru, no longer believes his own theory.

A big taxing, big spending government, the Coalition has produced in it its third budget an Enterprise centrepiece – an ill-judged, expensive and unnecessary handout to those who run businesses or who earn over $80,000 on the pretext that this will kick-start a halting economy. Turnbull’s “innovative” prime ministership has a plan which relies on nothing more than the old, discredited disgraced trickle-down theory and a bit of dodgy supply-side economics,

Putting aside its need to please the self-interested urgings of the Business Council of Australia, the IPA and others for a moment, company tax cuts are completely counterproductive, illogical and damaging to economic recovery.

Company tax cuts do not cause economic growth. Even Treasury can tell the government this. Cutting company tax has never stimulated any economy – not in Australia or anywhere else. Nor will cuts cause prosperity for all in the future.

When Treasury modelled a one per cent cut in 2014, the benefits flowed in the short to medium term solely to the business or company.

Companies simply pocket the difference in higher profits. Some of these profits do ultimately return to the economy as dividends. Multinational corporations, however, including the Coalition’s newest chum, submarine builder DCNS can just take the money off shore.

In the long run, cutting company income tax leads to a tiny increase to GDP of 0.15-0.2% – if and when an increased influx of foreign capital rushes to fund projects that wouldn’t be viable under the higher tax rate.

Treasury finds no case for company tax cuts. Yet not only is the Coalition prepared to risk an estimated $60 billion to defy its own Treasury modelling and ignore the lessons of history it is prepared to defy the laws of economics while cutting government spending to “live within our means”.

Turnbull is prepared to throw public money away in a bizarre gamble against the odds. Renowned economists. Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, have argued repeatedly that cutting spending while the economy is slowing results in increased unemployment. Yet they are mere Nobel laureates. What would they know?

Both argue that reducing inequality not to increasing it will boost productivity. And both point to the key role of education.

What these experts would tell the government is that education is the key. Economists the world over hold that the best way to increase productivity, labour-force participation and GDP growth is to invest in education. Yet the Coalition’s 2016 budget cuts Gonski funding by a quarter. New strings are attached.

Morrison’s budget does not replace the cuts made by Abbott Joe Hockey to schools and in tertiary education. It even adds a big new cut. Despite backing down on university fee deregulation, the Turnbull government wants to cut university funding by $1.5 billion. Vice Chancellors will have every reason to feel betrayed.

So, too will teachers feel betrayed to discover that only $1.2 million or a quarter of full Gonski funding for schools survives in this budget. Hollow if not hypocritical is Morrison’s boast in the budget preamble of making provision for future generations.

In brief, the government is prepared to defy all evidence, abandon all pretence at fairness, even do a bit of cheating with its figures in order to satisfy its appetite for the trickle-down theory.

Another explanation is that the Coalition is hell-bent on appeasing its powerful business backers and the majority of Australians can just go hang. 2 July will see what ordinary Australians make of that assumption.

Mohawk Nation News