Posts filed under 'Talkback Emails'

The eating of pies

Earlier this morning, 2UE’s George Moore and Paul B. Kidd had a chat with someone from Garlo’s Pies about the pie maker’s growth in Australia and their expansion in to the US. They noted that most Americans who are given a meat pie instinctively want to eat it with a knife and fork, and the people from Garlo’s Pies have been trying to get them to eat the pies by hand. In reply to that, I sent the following email to George And Paul.

***
Good morning George and Paul,

I’m sorry, this might be very un-Australian of me, but I think they only way to eat a pie is with a knife and fork, or sometimes I’ll use a spoon to eat the filling and then eat the pastry afterwards.

I don’t like eating much by hand though. Even apples need to be sliced before I eat them!

Have a good week.

Samuel
***

George and Paul were amused, but not impressed. I am apparently “one of those” people. I would maintain that one day my knife and fork people will convince the world of the merits of using a knife and fork with a pie, but I fear that day might be some time away.

Samuel

2 comments November 8th, 2015 at 09:46am

Government-run terrorism insurance scheme’s unintended consequences are hampering businesses

The Sydney Morning Herald had an interesting story this morning about a federal government scheme which is designed to take over from insurance companies in the event of a terrorist incident.

Sydney retailers whose earnings were slashed by up to 70 per cent during the Martin Place siege face smaller insurance payouts if the siege is deemed a terrorism event, because a government body will step in to curb insurers’ losses.
[..]
Under legislation passed following the September 11 attacks in America, the federal Treasurer can declare certain events to be acts of terrorism for insurance purposes.

In those circumstances a federally funded body, the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation, can step in to assess the likely loss from the incident and, where necessary, reduce the scope of claim liability for insurers. The aim of the arrangement is to shield insurers from catastrophic losses and thus ensure they continue to offer the products.

(h/t Mathew Dunckley and Lisa Visentin, The Sydney Morning Herald)

The article goes on to quote a spokesperson from IAG who says the federal government’s decision, regardless of the decision, is unlikely to affect how IAG pays out claims for loss of trade, but completely ignores something which came up on 2GB this morning…the federal government scheme is designed to insure for loss of buildings and does not cover loss of trade, but is set up in such a way that it can effectively nullify any need for insurers to pay out any claims if the incident is declared to be an act of terrorism. This is currently delaying the processing of claims with some insurers as they wait to see if they will need to pay anything, and has the potential to leave some businesses seriously out of pocket despite paying for insurance for exactly this type of event.

It’s just another example of how governments interfering with private business arrangements often leads to all sorts of unintended consequences, partially because governments rarely understand the private sector well enough to write rules which work, partially because governments take time to process things which cause debilitating delays to the private sector which doesn’t have the benefit of ongoing funding from taxpayers, and also because such rules are so often filled with easily exploited loopholes which bureaucrats often can’t anticipate because they’re not familiar with life outside the public sector.

I wrote an email to 2GB’s Luke Grant (who is currently filling in for Ray Hadley and Chris Smith across the middle of the day) about this shortly after he conducted an interview (from memory I think it was with Russell Zimmerman from the Australian Retailers Association, Update: It was, and audio of the interview is on 2GB’s website End Update) on the topic.

Good morning Luke,

This terrorism insurance debacle is a perfect example of the unintended consequences which occur when a well-intentioned government interferes with private business dealings.

It’s amazing that with so many bureaucrats writing the rules, government terrorism insurance for building loss can somehow nullify private “loss of trade” insurance, and nobody in government sees the problem. Unfortunately it’s all too common that bureaucrats who live in government land rather than the real world cause such a mess, and of course the private insurers don’t oppose the measures when the government makes them because they can see just how much money they’ll save.

It’s a mess which would never occur if governments kept their noses out rather than interfering with every little thing.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra, Australia

In this case the good intention of the government was to ensure insurance companies don’t go under while trying to pay out terrorism-related claims. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with such bailout type programs, it ignores the simple economic fact that if a product can’t be offered viably at a price which people will pay, it probably shouldn’t exist, and certainly shouldn’t rely on some magical fallback position of a government bailout from finite taxpayer funds. Sadly it seems that far too many people and industries see the government as a magic pot of infinite money and forget that government money only exists because it is legally confiscated from people via taxation, and thus should be treated with more respect and not expected to be a magical fix for every ill.

Samuel

January 5th, 2015 at 12:49pm

911, help! There’s a lady stuck…in a jacket!

An email sent to 2UE’s George and Paul shortly before I left Petaluma, and scheduled to appear here at the start of their show (9am Canberra time, 2pm California time).

Good morning George & Paul.

I realise that you’re not on-air for another four hours or so, but I’m about to embark on an approximately nine-hour drive from Petaluma (a tad north of San Francisco) to Las Vegas and thus might not have a moment to send this to you, although I will listen online, mobile reception pending.

I thought you might like this story which I heard on US radio this morning from the Portland, Oregon area about a truly bizarre 911 call.

From http://www.kgw.com/news/Man-calls-911-after-wife-cant-get-jacket-off-245255581.html

Man calls 911 after wife’s zipper gets stuck
BEAVERTON — Each week, Washington County posts bad examples of 911 calls in its “You called 911 for that?” campaign.
The campaign is designed to draw attention to the dangers of non-emergency calls that tie up 911 lines. This week’s call really lives up to the hype.
OPERATOR: 911, Police Fire and Medical.
CALLER: Yeah we got a problem here. My wife is struggling in her jacket and can’t get it off. I want 911 here immediately.
OPERATOR: Is she not breathing?
CALLER: She’s alright, she just can’t get her [expletive] jacket off.
Just in case you were wondering, the fire department responded, rescued the woman and saved the jacket.

KGW Newschannel 8 also have the audio of the 911 call on their website at the above address if you want a bit of a laugh.

Anyhoo, have a great weekend…this country will get to the weekend eventually but for now I’ll enjoy a long Friday road trip.

Regards,
Samuel
Temporarily not of Canberra

February 15th, 2014 at 09:05am

Griffith by-election

An email to 2UE’s George Moore and Paul B. Kidd in regards to the Griffith By-Election where, unfortunately, the brilliant LNP candidate Dr. Bill Glasson looks set to be defeated despite winning first preferences 43.6% to 39.0% (at latest count) over the Labor candidate.

Hi George and Paul,

I feel sorry for Dr. Bill Glasson. He’s a great man who has put in a lot of effort in Griffith and was forced to put in his time and effort a second time by the duplicitous Kevin Rudd taking his bat and ball and going home when he lost the Prime Ministership to Tony Abbott.

Bill would have been a great MP, but I hope that he can now get away from politics and focus on his medical career.

As for preferential voting…what a joke. A system based on the idea that if you can’t get an absolute majority, you have to rely on the preferences of the least popular politicians…in other words a system which favours the supporters of fringe kooks. First preferences should be the only preference…whoever gets the most votes wins, absolute majority or not. It’s the only fair way.

Regards,
Samuel

P.S. I’m leaving for the US for a few weeks on Tuesday. I’m looking forward to listening to US talk radio while I’m over there but will be sure to tune in to you as well. Keep an eye out for a postcard!

1 comment February 9th, 2014 at 10:17am

Sydney’s roads: what a mess

A truck has been driven in to a major Sydney tunnel with the tipper trailer up, causing damage to the roof of the tunnel, an electronic sign, and most importantly breaking some fire sprinklers and flooding the tunnel. This is causing major delays, not least of all to people trying to get to the airport. Sadly it seems that major delays on Sydney’s roads whenever something silly happens anywhere is a very regular occurrence, and the airport is often one of the worst affected places, which is really silly considering how time-sensitive and economically important that airport is.

I wrote this email to 2GB’s Ray Hadley:

G’day Ray,

The numpty in the tipper truck is one of the main reasons why, when I fly out of the country from Sydney airport next month, I’m paying the extra amount to fly from Canberra to Sydney rather than driving up or getting a bus to Sydney.

The Sydney road network grinding to a halt whenever one person does something silly is costing Sydney’s economy a fortune because tourists from outside Sydney will do anything to avoid those roads.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra, Australia

Update: Just after I posted this I heard about a traffic problem in Canberra. This is about the worst you ever see in Canberra and it’s nowhere near as bad as Sydney. There is an accident on the Tuggeranong Parkway southbound near the Cotter Road exit. Traffic is backed up to Belconnen Way (about 8 KM). This is a fast-flowing road with minimal exits so traffic does back up quickly when something goes wrong, but it clears quickly and other roads handle the extra traffic well. End Update

January 30th, 2014 at 09:34am

Quentin Bryce should resign

An email to 2UE’s George Moore and Paul B. Kidd

Good morning George and Paul,

Quentin Bryce’s comments about a republic shocked me a little bit. While she is personally entitled to her view and I agree with her to a point, I can’t see it being worth the expense with our relatively small population.

What shocked me though is that she said what she said while holding the office she holds. To have the Queen’s representative advocate replacing the Queen as head of state is untenable. Quentin Bryce should resign. She can not faithfully represent the Queen if she holds the view that Australia should be a republic.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

4 comments November 23rd, 2013 at 09:19am

Voting below the line

An email to 2GB’s Ray Hadley, and I will be posting my personal voting intentions in full on this blog later this week

G’day Ray,

We’re lucky in the ACT to only have 27 senate candidates, so I will be voting below the line.

The AEC website has lists of the preference flows of each of the above-the-line options. I’m not entirely happy with the Liberal preference flow so I will be basing my vote on their preferences with a few alterations. I will be keeping The Greens absolute last though.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

September 2nd, 2013 at 09:32am

Majority of confusion in minority poll

An email to 2UE’s George Moore and Paul B. Kidd

Good morning George & Paul,

I’m just a little confused this morning. According to The Canberra Times today, a poll commissioned by The Greens says I’m in the minority (ACT says ‘yes’ to gay marriage http://m.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/act-yes-on-gay-marriage-20130831-2sxw8.html) but pretty much every other poll in the country (NewsPoll, Roy Morgan, Nielsen, ReachTel, etc) say I’m in the majority in wanting a Coalition government.

So, if I’m in the minority and the majority, does this mean I add the minority and majority together and represent all views, or that I divide the majority by the minority, or that Canberra is a strange place when The Greens poll it?

I also intend on putting in a pre-poll vote this week so that my name isn’t available on the roll on Saturday for people to perform dodgy votes, and also so I can spend an hour voting below the line in the senate without creating a giant queue out the door.

Won’t you be glad when this is all over next week?

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

And yes, I am aware the polls are of different people and different subjects. I’m just having some fun on a Sunday morning with a subject which needs a little bit of humour added to it occasionally.

2 comments September 1st, 2013 at 08:54am

Kevin Rudd considering suing News Ltd

An email to 2UE’s George Moore and Paul B. Kidd

Good morning George & Paul,

How utterly ridiculous for Kevin Rudd to consider suing News Ltd over a factual report about him flying to a cooking show.

Did Tony Abbott even respond to, let alone consider suing Fairfax over Mike Carlton’s defamatory satirical piece in last Saturday’s Sydney Morning Herald? No.

Not only does Kevin not shut up, he doesn’t grow up either.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

August 25th, 2013 at 09:18am

The charges against Essendon

An email to 2GB’s Ray Hadley

G’day Ray,

Given the hype which has surrounded the so-called scandal of the Essendon supplement scandal in the AFL for months, the charges of “bringing the game in to disrepute” seem very odd.

It seems to me that it may be a case of “we can’t charge them with anything else, but we need to charge them because we have made such a big deal out of it”.

“The Darkest Day In Sport” will surely go down in history as yet another grand failure of this Labor government. The suffering and anxiety it is causing across professional sporting teams is an outrage.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

August 14th, 2013 at 09:25am

Queen’s Birthday holiday, and the rumours of a Kevin Rudd revival

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore who is filling in for Alan Jones today

Good morning Andrew,

You posed an interesting question at the top of the hour about whether supporters of a republic would take advantage of the Queen’s Birthday public holiday. I support the monarchy, but I’m working today…where’s the Republican to do my shift today (but I’ll keep my public holiday penalty rates).

As for Kevin Rudd, I agree with you that if he takes over the Labor leadership he will immediately call an election. But I don’t think the public will fall for it and it would result in an even bigger loss for Labor…perhaps that would be a good thing.

Happy Birthday! (that’s the greeting today isn’t it?),
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

2 comments June 10th, 2013 at 06:19am

State Of Origin game one

An email to Andrew Moore and the rest of 2GB’s Continuous Call Team, who are currently in the middle of their pre-match show as they prepare to call the first State Of Origin match of the year

Good evening Andrew and co,

The series scoreline of 17-12 is much like the margin in the latest NewsPoll, the only difference being that New South Wales have a chance.

That said…Go Queensland!! And I’m glad your voice is better tonight.

Enjoy the match.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

June 5th, 2013 at 07:34pm

Dealing with telemarketers

This afternoon, 2UE’s Jason Morrison was discussing the federal government’s Do Not Call register and ways of dealing with telemarketers and other nuisance callers who do not abide by the Do Not Call list. It prompted me to send him this email about my way of dealing with such calls on the home landline.

Hi Jason,

The Do Not Call register didn’t really help at my place as most of the telemarketers we get call from overseas and are not subject to Australian laws.

What did work was setting the answering service to answer after one ring, with various different messages. For a while callers were greeted to the Norwegian version of the Postman Pat theme song, and after that for a few weeks it was a recording of a talkback caller demonstrating their operatic “skills”. Needless to say, telemarketers don’t sit through that, but legitimate callers do…usually.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart
Canberra

I still have the operatic greeting on hand. It was an edited version of a call to the Mark Levin Show, and came at a time when the “I’m from Microsoft and need to fix your computer” calls were coming thick and fast. My theory was that if the opera blasting down the phone line didn’t scare them off, the ranting which followed would. After a while I replaced this with a further cut-down version which was just the operatic bits.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download MP3

It seemed to do the trick!

Samuel

April 18th, 2013 at 07:24pm

What makes a safe driver?

An email to 2UE’s Jason Morrison who, this afternoon, posed the question, “what makes a safe driver?”

Hi Jason,

I got suspended from driving last year for accumulating too many demerit points for speeding offences (one was in double demerits on a road which a week later had the speed limit increased, but that’s beside the point). My insurance company knows I’m suspended because I told them…and yet they still sent me a letter to inform me that my “safe driver status” has been upgraded.

According to my insurance company, paying my premiums on time makes me a safe driver.

Regards,
Samuel

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

1 comment March 5th, 2013 at 03:14pm

B-Triple trucks on the Hume Highway

An email to 2GB’s Andrew Moore

G’day Andrew,

I don’t have a problem with B-Triples on the Hume Hwy. As long as overtaking them isn’t an issue, which it’s not on a double-lane dual-carriage road, it’s fine.

Where it gets a bit hairy is on roads like the Newell Highway in Western New South Wales where it’s a single-carriage road with one lane in each direction. That made me nervous a few times, and yet, have a think about it, when was the last time you heard about a B-Triple accident?

I wouldn’t put them on roads with steep bits and sharp corners like the Great Western Highway or the Kings Highway, but the Hume should be fine.

Regards,
Samuel Gordon-Stewart

January 2nd, 2013 at 07:35am

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