Normally I try not to use that kind of language – in public – but it’s Australia, so I figure that it’s cool. Anyway, it’s DOOM time for liberal parties Down Under: “Australia’s conservative opposition swept to power Saturday, ending six years of Labor Party rule and winning over a disenchanted public by promising to end a hated tax on carbon emissions, boost a flagging economy and bring about political stability after years of Labor infighting. ” The ruling party made a bunch of mistakes, including passing a carbon tax (I personally wish that people would keep their religious views under control when it comes to setting political and scientific policy), but this didn’t help, either:
[Liberal* Party coalition leader Tony] Abbott has also promised to repeal a tax on coal and iron ore mining companies, which he blames in part for the downturn in the mining boom. The 30 percent tax on the profits of iron ore and coal miners was designed to cash in on burgeoning profits from a mineral boom fueled by Chinese industrial demand. But the boom was easing before the tax took effect. The tax was initially forecast to earn the government 3 billion Australian dollars ($2.7 billion) in its first year, but collected only AU$126 million after six months.
Actual tax revenue not matching expectations. Amazing how often that happens, huh?
PS: Quick digression to California: a recent rise in the sales tax rate has resulted in an “unexpected” decline in sales tax revenue. People bought less things that were taxed, and bought more things (mostly services). So, of course, the papers are calling for taxing services. Because I always want to hear from somebody in the newspaper industry when it comes to advice about operating anything at a profit, of course.
*A certain amount of irony there, not to mention being an admittedly entertaining ongoing irritation to the Australian Left.
There isn’t much else to say, except this: I normally have a rule of “If it touches a human, it dies. And everything that looks like it dies, too, in a mile radius.” Given that the crocodile was minding his own business in a designated zoo environment, the human blatantly provoked the incident*, and the crocodile let the human go… I favor clemency, just this once.
I am not an unreasonable apex predator, after all. The crocodile clearly understands the rules, and it wasn’t the one that broke them…
Yes. There are people out there worried about increasing the population of a country (population 21.5 million, 6.15% arable land, .04% under cultivation) that’s roughly the size of the United States (310.2 million, 18.01% arable land, .21% under cultivation) and is a major agricultural exporter. Tim’s not one of them, so he’s his typical amusingly cruel self on the subject:
[Australian PM] Kevin Rudd – two sons, one daughter – is also alert to population panic. Two months ago he appointed Tony Burke – three daughters – as Australia’s first population minister, due to “legitimate concerns” over population growth. Rudd arrived at this decision via the usual Rudd method: a complete 180-degree flip. Last October, Rudd told The 7.30 Report he made “no apology for believing in a big Australia … I actually think it’s good news that our population is growing.”
We’ll take his subsequent appointment of a population minister as an apology. Still, you can understand the PM’s concerns about a bigger Australia. The fewer Australians there are, the fewer who can become crushingly disillusioned in him.
If the cane toad can survive so much, then it can evolve, and the signs are that it’s already doing so. The evidence was buried in last week’s report, but I underlined it and I’ve got it here in front of me. This is the bit you probably haven’t heard yet, but I think it might be crucial. As the advance guard of the cane toad army moves west, its leading members are developing longer and stronger legs.
Have you got that? The cane toads are getting bigger and smarter. Soon they’ll be learning to drive. There is a school of thought, not necessarily paranoid, which holds the opinion that cane toads with human skills have already penetrated the Australian media and are even appearing as presenters of reality television shows.
Yes, I’ve mentioned cane toads before. I apparently have an unhealthy fascination with the species.