Saturday, August 21, 2004

I just want to put in here that I will be in Brisbane from the 20th of September to the 24th, in Sydney from the 24th to the 1st of October, and back in Brisbane o the 2nd and 3rd of October. We will probably drive through Armidale between Brisbane and Sydney, though we aren't planning to stop there at the moment.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Hello again, I have just one thing more to say about politics. I think this Australia-US trade deal is absolutely the definition to me of a Clayton's free trade deal being a trade deal when there isn't actually any trade deal. This may sound abtuse but this is my reasoning. Both the US and Australia are firmly committed to the WTO and their multilateral rules. The WTO rule that has been the most basic principle and the one of total consensus between members as they join is this:- Tariffs must not discriminate between other member countries for instance if Australia has a 20% tariff on textiles coming from the United states, it cannot impose a higher (or lower for that matter) tariff on textiles from Japan. Although these rules are "tested" ie. broken with an attached excuse often, Australia and US especially have followed the WTO rulings when they are made even against their supposed interest. Therefore, since any reduction in two way tariffs between the two countries have to be made with all WTO members (and probably all countries) - there really is no real two way negotiation, it is all invented as if the WTO and their rules didn't exist and that it amounts to a deal for the whole world. Unfortunately, most spectators of the spectacle of these "negotiations" don't realise their being hoodwinked into paying attention to something which is an irrelevant side issue to the WTO trade talks which can actually improve our lot as well as the lot of many poor countries with the only losers those that opt out (that could be a very many countries however). Please comment as this issue is close to my heart.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

It has been a long long time since my last entry, so I'm doing this one in a hurry. I've got Broadband here at work and a Linux mail server - and it has made network administration so much easier, I've decided to connect our network with our neighbour's network and solve their problems as well, just to give me something to do with my spare time. I'm heading down to Brisbane and Sydney during the September school holidays with the whole family - only 4 and a half weeks away now - wow. I have got a luggage pod set up on the Kia Carnival, and three gameboys for the kids to have something for entertainment in the back. I am trying to organise an in car dvd player as well as remote central locking. I have tried to get 'Apple Sauce' played on the air on 4TO FM by getting Felicia (5) to phone Pricey up and requesting it - to no avail so far but I am still hopeful of a result (he's a sucker for little girls voices). On the Iraq front with all the bad publicity I have noted from the Economist that foreign investment in Iraq and surrounding countries has surged dramatically as the general security situation and confidence improves. It is higher than even before the Iran Iraq war and is mainly from Arab interests and ex-pats.