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Today's quote:

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Captain Gordon Dewsnap

I am trying to locate Captain Dewsnap who in 1978 was General Manager of the Pacific Forum Line in Apia in Western Samoa.

If you can help, please

Victor Aung


I am trying to locate Victor Aung who used to work as a Marine Biologist on Thursday Island in the late 1970s.

If you can help, please

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Life's a bitch and then you die

... or, if you prefer Shakespeare's MacBeth,

Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more

And so, after a long-simmering domestic, we checked ourselves into a luxurious boutique hotel, the Seahorse Inn. Only time will tell if it was money well spent!

The $1,350 we afterwards spent on a post-coital agreement (I think the official term is 'post-nuptial agreement') was definitely a good investment in the future as we now know exactly where we stand should the unthought-of be thought of.

Draw up your own agreement! When the "I do!" turns into "I don't!", you'll be glad you did!

Monday, April 11, 2011

35th Anniversary

BHP Buy-back

BHP has announced the result of their share buy-back.

BHP bought back 147 million shares, which represents 4.4 per cent of the issued share capital . The final price for the Off-Market Buy-Back has been set at A$40.85 per share, which represents a discount of 14 per cent to the market price of A$47.4985 per share.

Due to the strong demand, a scale back of tenders was required. Shareholders who tendered their shares at a 14 per cent discount and/or as final price tenders will have a priority allocation of 125 shares bought back before the scale back is applied. As a result of the 78.27 per cent scale back, successful shareholders will have 21.73 per cent of their shares tendered in excess of the priority allocation bought back.

The buy-back price of $40.85 a share comprises $0.28 in capital and $40.57 as fully-franked dividend. The franking credit amounts to $17.38, giving the buy-back a value of $58.23 a share to a tax-free super fund in pension phase. This compares to today's closing price of $49.55.

For capital gains tax purposes, the deemed capital proceeds are $9.31, being the $0.28 capital component plus $9.03, which is the excess of the tax value over the buy-back price.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Letter to the unelected Prime Minister

Dear unelected Prime Minister Gillard,

Thank you for making the weather nicer by forcing us to pay more for

Who knew that fixing the global climate was so simple?

Still, one or two questions remain about your new plan and a few related matters:

BY how much will your carbon dioxide tax reduce Australia's temperature?

IF after five years there has been no recorded decline in temperature, will the tax be abandoned?

MULTIPLE choice! How much money has already been wasted by Australian federal governments on pointless climate change initiatives that have done nothing:

a - $2,000,000,000
b - $3,500,000,000
c - $5,500,000,000

IF taxing Australians at a certain level will make us more competitive with the rest of the world, as you claim, then surely taxing us at even higher levels will make us more competitive still. Universal taxation at, say, 80 per cent should make us a global powerhouse. Why are you holding Australia back?

YOU claim that Australians want this new tax. How about testing your theory at an election?

IF I announced on television that I was going to kidnap the federal Cabinet and put them through a series of deadly Saw-style torture tests, do you think I could avoid charges by asking the police to stop going on about "semantics" and "word games"?

DO you have any experience in herding cats? This might be important during your coming 16 months of negotiations with the Greens, who you seem to have forgotten are completely insane.

CONSIDERING Labor couldn't run a simple grocery pricing website and Labor's attempts to insulate houses ended up setting them on fire and killing people, what are the odds Labor can successfully run the country's largest and most complicated tax regime?

LABOR promised to reduce the number of boat people arrivals. As with everything else, Labor's policies resulted in exactly the opposite outcome. Now you're trying to change the weather. Where should people hide?

CARBON dioxide contains two oxygen atoms for every one carbon atom. Shouldn't we call it an "oxygen tax"?

IF the aim of the carbon tax is to change behaviour, why are you planning to compensate so many households? They'll just keep killing the planet and get no penalties at all.

AT what point does carbon dioxide's necessary presence in the atmosphere become "pollution"?

IF the carbon tax is definitely going to be introduced on July 1, 2012, how come Tim Flannery is going to be paid $720,000 over the next four whole years while he roams the country "explaining" it?

ISN'T explaining new taxes your job? Or, more specifically, Wayne Swan's?

For that matter, where was Wayne the other day when you announced this massive new tax? You were there, and so was Bob Brown and Christine Milne and Greg Combet and Tony Windsor and the Hairy Princess. But no Wayne.

The next time you see Wayne, could you ask him why he said this last August: "What we rejected is this hysterical allegation that somehow we are moving towards a carbon tax." This question should really be asked by journalists, I guess, but they're too busy making excuses for your hilarious lies.

WHAT is the point of building a $27 billion national broadband network to deliver computer connectivity across the nation when Greg Combet is telling people to turn off lights and televisions?

ANOTHER thing: how much more cost will be added to the NBN courtesy of the carbon tax?

AGRICULTURE, which produces around a quarter of our carbon dioxide output, is exempt from the carbon tax. You're not really serious about this whole "carbon pollution" deal, are you?

WHY don't you just ban the mining, burning and export of coal? Your boss Bob Brown wants to. He thinks that coal caused the Queensland floods (or "water pollution").

YOU'VE said that people shouldn't be worried about media estimates of the amount they will be penalised. Why should they believe you?

HOW does taking money off person A and giving it to person B help the climate?

You'd be surprised, Ms Prime Minister, you really would, at the way clever lawyers can shift investments and capital around so that the source becomes "agriculture".

IN 2007, Labor Resources Minister Martin Ferguson said that a mere $30 carbon tax on local flights would "kill the Australian aviation industry both domestically and internationally".

If he was right, what does that mean for all Australian industries facing a carbon tax?

WHAT level of bureaucratic expansion will be required to deal with the intake and dispersal of something like $10 billion per year?

WILL your compensation plans take into account Australia's regional differences in living standards?

Because if they don't, hard-up families in Sydney are going to be giving money to the well-off in Adelaide.

WHAT percentage of revenue from the carbon tax will be lost in bureaucratic churn between it being collected by your Government and handed out in compensation?

INSTEAD of creating a tax system that eventually gives people their money back, why not just let them keep their own damn money in the first place?

ACCORDING to you, "there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead". Would you mind telling us who does lead this Government, then? Otherwise I've sent this to the wrong person.

Yours in climate justice,