Archive for January 24th, 2014

Friday Funnies: Which file extension are you?

It’s rare that I find an online personality quiz which is remotely accurate, and it’s even rarer that I come across one which is amusing. This morning I came across this one which fits both bills. A decent bit of geek humour which isn’t (for most file extensions) out of the understanding of non-programmer types. Some of the questions are quite amusing too.

You are .html You are versatile and improving, but you do have your limits.  When you work with amateurs it can get quite ugly.
Which File Extension are You?

I’m not 100% sure about the “improving” bit (I never really think I’ve improved until the proof whacks me across the head) but the rest is accurate. I like a certain amount of routine but I adapt when I have to, but I can get more than a bit frustrated when dealing with people who don’t know what they’re doing…especially if they should know what they’re doing.

I was hoping to be a .inf file which apparently is informative and without which life can be difficult for whoever is left. Alas this is one of my delusions…I may be informative, but everyone’s life carries on quite well without my input, even if I think my input is indispensable at times.

Good luck.

Samuel

2 comments January 24th, 2014 at 08:57am

No boat arrivals for five weeks!

One thing the federal government has been very good at is following through on their promise to stop the boatloads of illegal immigrants and customers of people smugglers. Today the good news came to light that there has not been a single illegal boat arrival in Australia for five weeks, which is the first time we have had such a five-week period in five years.

In other words, from late 2009 until this past five weeks, we have had at least one illegal boat arrival in each five week period, and more often than not it was multiple boat arrivals every week and sometimes every day. Those arrivals were due to Kevin Rudd scrapping John Howard’s Pacific Solution and the utter incompetence of his government and Julia Gillard’s government in failing to address the problem when the human costs of their policy became apparent.

Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and the Australian military should be proud of their work in reducing the human suffering caused by the awful people smuggling trade. The vast majority of people who used the boats of the people smugglers were not refugees as they did not stop at the nearest safe port of call and instead paid to continue on to another location, and in many cases they weren’t even refugees to begin with and instead were paying to knowingly illegally enter Australia. The reduction in the false asylum claims which have to be processed will mean that the federal government is able to resettle genuine refugees who are currently living in refugee camps, and will be able to save an awful lot of money as well.

There is more work to do, but for now it is very safe to say to everyone involved in Operation Sovereign Borders “well done, and keep up the good work”.

Samuel

January 24th, 2014 at 08:42am

Sean Hannity would make a good US President

When I selected a few people recently who I would support if they chose to run for the presidency of the United States, I deliberately did not select radio and Fox News host Sean Hannity as I didn’t think there was any serious chance of him running, especially not in 2016. While I still think he won’t run in 2016, it does look like his interest in running for public office is increasing in the wake of his decision to (eventually) leave New York state after Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that “ultra-conservatives” are not welcome in the state.

A source who was on Hannity’s Fox News show last fall told The Hill the conservative commentator mentioned the possibility — off camera — of running in Florida.

“He wasn’t joking,” the source said. “It was definitive, but he didn’t mention a specific office in Florida.”
On his radio show, Hannity said he “can’t wait” to leave New York in the wake of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) remarks that extreme conservatives have “no place” in the Empire State.

Hannity, a native New Yorker, has repeatedly ripped the state’s tax rates. He said he would move to Texas or Florida, which don’t have state income taxes.
[..]
During an appearance on Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” Fox show Tuesday night, Hannity said his departure isn’t imminent.

Hannity noted his son is still in high school, and he has more than 100 staffers who work on his television and radio shows, suggesting it would be irresponsible to immediately move his media operation elsewhere.

He added, “As soon as I am able, some time probably when my son graduates from high school, I’m getting out of here as quick as I can.”

(h/t The Hill’s Bob Cusack)

Sean Hannity is an interesting creature in conservative circles in that he is one of the few genuinely conservative people who is both unafraid of standing by his convictions and has good friends in the more moderate “establishment wing” of the Republican Party. As such, Hannity could be one of the few people who could unify the GOP behind a truly conservative platform.

I have been critical of Sean in the past for giving some of his moderate Republican guests (especially regular guests like Karl Rove) a bit too much room to explain their point of view without challenging it, which isn’t to say that he doesn’t eventually challenge it, but I have thought he has sometimes left a few too many points unaddressed, however I have noticed that he has been much more strident in his promotion of conservative principles and solutions ever since his radio contract negotiations were finalised and he gave his Cumulus Radio affiliates the heave-ho in favour of Clear Channel affiliates. I put this down to not having to expend energy on contract negotiations, and not having to deal with pressure from Cumulus to be a bit more moderate in his views.

I think Sean would do a good job as US President and would be especially effective at “rallying the troops” in the House and Senate to support his conservative agenda. His lack of governing experience could be made up for with a good Vice President and also by his business experience. I’m not convinced that Sean would greatly enjoy the job, but I think he would be very effective.

That said, he has made no mention of a run for President and seems instead to be giving consideration to some other public office such as a congressional seat. I think Sean’s talents would be wasted in Congress or in a state government (although after two terms as President I would love to see him become a state Governor…but after, not before) as his ability to influence public policy from the media on a national scale is of much greater importance and value to the nation than his ability to be a conservative vote in the House or Senate, or to reform a state. If he is to run for office, then I think his talents dictate that the most suitable office is the top job.

But as much as I would like to see it, I doubt it will happen, and certainly not before 2024. He will be 63-years-old in 2024 so it’s not out of the question, but I rate the chances of it happening as being quite low.

Samuel

January 24th, 2014 at 05:37am

Federally-funded marriage counselling is the wrong priority in a time of federal budget deficits

I’m not entirely against the idea, but while the federal government is dealing with continuous budget deficits it is a bad time to start handing out vouchers for marriage counselling.

NEWLYWEDS across Australia will be given a $200 voucher for marriage counselling from July 1, as part of a $20 million trial to strengthen relationships and avoid family breakdowns.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews confirmed the Federal Government’s $200 voucher scheme would proceed with a 12-month trial of 100,000 couples starting on July 1.

The Federal Government believes the move will strengthen relationships, create more happiness and stability in the home and create a better environment for children.

“The evidence shows that strong relationships between parents make a substantial difference to a child,” Mr Andrews said.

(h/t The Courier Mail’s Laura Chalmers)

Based on current averages, the program’s 100,000 vouchers would be handed out to newlyweds within a year.

While Kevin Andrews is right that having children grow up with their biological parents in a loving household where the marriage of those parents is a strong and loving bond is by far the best option, I see two issues with the planned trial.

1. Newlyweds are the wrong target. If the vouchers are going to be handed out, they should be given to couples who are actually having problems, not couples who may or may not one day run in to problems.

2. The federal government currently spends more than it takes in. This is mostly due to the profligate spending of the Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard governments, however Tony Abbott’s government has not yet shown much initiative in reigning in the budget. An argument could be made that this program might lead to reduced federal benefits for single parents being paid to divorced parents at a future date, but it seems unlikely that this would save the federal budget much money, and the initial and ongoing expense of the program makes it the type of high cost to potentially minimal yield program which should be trialled when the budget is in a much stronger position.

Ultimately I’m not sure that the government really needs to be involved in this area at all, but if it insists on being involved, then this program should surely be of a much lower priority for implementation than reducing immediate spending and paying off the federal government’s debt.

Samuel

January 24th, 2014 at 12:28am


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