Archive for July 2003

Winners Identified

July 29, 2003

The recent Gallop decision to not extend retail trading hours seemed at first to be a lose-lose proposition. After my experience tonight, it’s evident that isn’t the case.

I paid a visit to Dewsons supermarket in Doubleview at about 6:30pm last night. Dewsons is a chain (or perhaps franchise?) of grocery/supermarket outlets that for some reason are allowed to open 7 days a week until 8pm. How exactly Dewsons supermarkets are different to Coles/Woolworths etc, I’m not sure. They certainly sell all the same things that the larger stores do, albeit at a higher price. I’m assuming it’s something to do with the floor area of the store.

In any case, Dewsons, along with FAL, were a large players in the so-called “small business alliance” that lobbied hard against the retail deregulation.

It’s not hard to see why.

When I went to pick up a few things at 6:30, there were about 70 people in line for the 3 checkout operators in the store. Most of them had only a basket-sized grocery load, but it wouldn’t be accurate to say that they were just buying bread and milk. After all, Dewsons has a full fruit+vegetable and deli meats section (at least, my local one does).

In the scheme of things, its safe to say Dewsons (And similarly-sized grocer/supermarkets) sit somewhere between the full-sized supermarkets and the corner deli. The strange thing is that the deli owners have thrown their full weight behind the anti-deregulation lobby, when the only stores that really stand to benefit are places like Dewsons.

It would be a big surprise for any of the major chains to decide to open for 24 hours a day even if they were able to. More likely, they would simply open on Sundays, and until 8pm or thereabouts on weekdays to capitalise on the commuter trade. This is hardly going to affect the takings of Delis or corner shop operators any more than Dewsons already does.

Dewsons and their ilk are the undoubted beneficiaries of the Gallop decision to scuttle retail deregulation.

The losers are everyone else: The deli and corner shop owners, who continue to have their market share whittled away from the very franchises that they lobbied with; The durable goods retailers who face no real small business competitors anyway (like Harvey Norman); The retail employees, many of whom are casual and part-time, who could use more hours; And, of course, me and my 70-100 fellow consumers, facing the artificially sustained prices and Soviet-style queues which are the all-too-obvious signs of Government regulation gone out of control.

Semester 2 Booklist

July 28, 2003

I hope there’s still a library on campus…

Cost Accounting 11ED $99.85
Management Accounting 6ED $101.70
Financial Accounting in Australia 5ED $93.37
Taxpak 2 : Core Student Taxpak 2 2003 $146.15
   
ACC2360 Lecture Guide $28.85
LAW2410 Study Guide $15.85
ACC2250 Lecture Guide $13.70
   
Order Total: $499.47

Needless to say I won’t actually be buying any of these ridiculously priced books. The lecture guides may be worth the investment, but there’s no way I’m spending $450 on books that we probably won’t open at all during the semester.

One of the books is $146 for chrissakes. Even if it came with a TV it would still be overpriced.

Yobbo Idol

July 28, 2003

Due to my lack of things to blog about, I’ll take this opportunity to let all my loyal readers fight amongst themselves in the comments box. In the spirit of Australian Idol and other crap reality shows, the best performers will be given the opportunity to spruik for non prime-time lifestyle shows at the end of the series.

Suggested topics for my very original open mike post:

Why Wilson Tuckey is so great.
What new law Geoff Gallop will come up with next.
How much you’d pay to see Tim Blair and Tim Dunlop go at it in a bare-knuckle bout.
Who’s the best looking Oz Blogger. (Anyone answering “Margo” will be banned)
Good ways to annoy Greenies on the first day of Semester 2 tomorrow.

Go crazy.

Singapore Streaker

July 28, 2003

siagirl_country.jpgSingapore Airlines is by far the best carrier in our region in terms of service and value for money. Their entertainment system features 10 video feed channels and a Super Nintendo on the back of all seats, even in economy. Recently they have been experimenting with even more entertainment options:

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – An off-duty Singapore Airlines steward took off all his clothes and threw the contents of his wallet around as stunned passengers on a flight from Australia looked on, a newspaper has reported.

Singapore’s Straits Times said the 31-year-old man had been travelling as a passenger on the flight from Perth in Australia’s west to Singapore on July 11. An airline official said the man has since been placed on medical leave.

The good news is that the male steward will likely be replaced by one of the legendary “Singapore Girls” who make the SA experience all the more enjoyable. Come to think of it, if I had to spend all day surrounded by those chicks, I’d probably go crazy and tear off all my clothes too. Poor guy.

Kudos

July 26, 2003

Well done to Channel 10 Perth for choosing to broadcast the Richmond Vs Western Bulldogs game rather than Port Adelaide vs Brisbane. The widespread excitement associated with the match was thus narrowly averted.

In not only the best game of the 2003 season but one of the best games of AFL football imaginable, the Power withstood everything the Lions could throw at them and won the game when Roger James scored a behind with 42 seconds remaining.

I hope you all die of cancer.

ABC Bias Debatable

July 26, 2003

At least if you read Tim Dunlop’s blog:

[Alston’s dossier] plants in everybody’s mind the notion that the ABC is irredeemably biased, and installs an inner-Alston in every ABC journo’s head, tempting them to self-censor every word they write rather than face another in his relentless bouts of name-calling and denigration.

I was under the impression that the blogosphere had long ago agreed that the ABC is obviously biased, and that the debate should be turned to what, if anything, we should do about it.

Myself, I find myself agreeing with Tim Dunlop:

it will play so well with the peanut gallery whose earnest justifications for this waste of tax dollars I look forward to hearing.

Being a cultural philistine, my own idea about what to do with the ABC is a new lifestyle TV show along the lines of “Location Location“.

Instead of second homes for the bourgeoisie, “Privatisation Survivor” would feature nervous production assistants from 7, 9, 10 and Foxtel bidding on old buildings and sound equipment. Another popular feature would be watching ex-ABC broadcasters participating in reverse auctions with heartless commercial operators in an attempt to snare employment.

First up tonight on Privatisation Survivor: David Marr, Indira Naidoo and Liam Bartlett audition for the position of host for “Wheel Of Fortune”!

And don’t forget to stay tuned for our viewer SMS auction: Kerry O’Brien’s green pen could be yours!

Like most shows of its type, “Privatisation Survivor” would be a ratings winner, especially compared to anything on the ABC.

Geoff Saves Whales: TV

July 26, 2003

Geoff Gallop compromised the WA Tourism industry by pandering to the anti-development crusades of the WA Greens. Is he trying to hide his embarassment? Quite the contrary.

Geoff is so proud of himself he took out a TV ad to gloat! (And by “he” I mean “WA Taxpayers”):

The Future Directions report was released by Dr Gallop after he herded hacks on to a plane and flew them to Coral Bay to announce that he single-handedly “saved” the reef by canning Mauds Landing. This claim, of course, is complete nonsense. The only thing he saved, for the time being at least, was his own political skin.

If you haven’t seen the ads on telly promoting this wonderful decree, you really should as it’s costing WA taxpayers $350,000 to be subliminally informed that apart from the Incredible Hulk, there’s no one greener than our Premier.

Geoff, like his wet idol, Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise, is boldly going where no man has gone before in the pursuit of conservation:

Dr Gallop told the recent State ALP conference that his Government is on track to create 30 new national parks.

That should make it an even hundred. WA already has 63 national parks and 7 marine parks, which collectively cover an area of over 200,000 sq km, or 7 SBUs (Standard Belgium Units).

Church Embraces Free Market

July 25, 2003

Here’s a church with the right idea…Immoral porn peddlars getting you down? Don’t try to get the government to outlaw it – Just buy them out!

(Milford, Connecticut-AP) — A Connecticut church is the new landlord of Video Pleasures.

The Kingdom Life Christian Church in Milford is buying the building that houses the porn shop. Bishop Jay Ramirez says they’ll shut down the adult video store.

His congregation raised 245-thousand dollars to buy the place.

Ramirez says that’s just the beginning

He says the church will be collecting more money to buy-out other porno shops in the community.

If they raise enough money to buy the Bellagio, sound the alarm.

Unions Never Forget

July 25, 2003

Compulsory retirement is on the agenda again. For Elephants:

ELEPHANTS employed by the southern state of Kerala will enjoy full retirement benefits at age 65, the provincial forest minister said Thursday.

“The Kerala government has issued norms for the upkeep of elephants which among other things insist that elephants retire from work at the age of 65 years.”

He added that the retired elephants would receive a good “menu, healthcare and living conditions.”

What sort of social justice is this? What about free education? Cheap prescription peanuts?

UNGRATEFUL

July 25, 2003

For years, humans have tried to protect seals from other humans. Greenpeace, in particular, have been successful in stopping people hunting seals. How do seals repay the favour? JIHAD:

A BRITISH scientist has died after being attacked by a seal while snorkelling in the Antarctic.

Marine biologist Kirsty Brown, 28, was studying the movement of icebergs when the animal struck, dragging her under the icy waters.

Experts think the animal involved may have mistaken Miss Brown, from Southwater, near Horsham, West Sussex, for another seal.

“Experts”. Always blaming the victim.