We are getting screwed by retailers in Australia. Australia is a country full of duopolies and monopolies. I was recently sent this video which discusses our two largest retailers.
Due to the high cost of the AU dollar and the reasons above nowadays there are a large number of items that if you don’t buy them online your are being irresponsible with your money. I have been able to save 50% on the shop price on these two items.
ENGL Valve Amp (nice!) 60% $1300 saving including shipping from Germany
I went to my bank to get some money to by my new car the other day. I needed $4000. They told me that officially I needed to give 24 hours notice for cash withdrawl over $2,000 however they had enough today so they could give me my $4000. Now my bank is probably a bit smaller than ANZ but I found this quite startling. It got me wondering about how much money banks have in reserve.
A note about Reserve banking. Banks don't need $100
dollars to lend you $100.The US has a requirement that
the banks have to at least own equity worth 10% of the
total loans outstanding. So if Citibank only actually
owned $10 then the sum of all the loans they could
make could not exceed $100.
So I did a little investigation and what I found (with a quick look on wikipedia) concearned me somewhat. I knew that the US had a 10% requirement I didn’t know though that the UK and Australia does not require any reserve requirement whatsoever. So they can make money loaning money they don’t have. I wish I could do that.
Julian Assange is an Australian citizen that has recieved many awards for journalism and peace (see the full list in wikipedia) just this month he won a peace medal from the Sydney Peace Foundation and he has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize see reuters article here
On Friday I watch the video below
High tech terrorist
In an article in the The Huffington Post Vice President Jo Biden was reported as calling Julian Assange a high tech terrorist. The Uk’s Daily Mail quotes potential US presidential candidate Sarah Palin as demmanding that Julian Assange is hunted down like Osama Bin Ladin.
The court case
Julian Assange is fighting a court case that could see him be extradited to Sweden (and then the fear is extradited to the US on some terrorism charge). He is only required for questioning. This is very unusual for an individual in the EU to be extradited just for questioning on a crime – especially unusual where no charges have been laid. The case has been widely missreported in the media but is actually about is him having fully consensual sex with two woman on different occasions whilst not wearing a condom (this is against the law in Sweden) . The case was started after one of the women went to the doctors to be tested for STD where she explained she had consensual unprotected sex with Julian after which the police started proceeding against Julian. The offense is of “minor rape” where the accused can be found guitly of rape even of the the person raped consents (?). This does not have an equivilent in the UK or Australia, an article explaining this was published in The Australian newspaper.
To hear two feminists on the radio station Democracy Now debating the charge and whether a charge of consenting rape is approprate click here.
The US strategy to contain Wikileaks
In an ironic twist of fate the US strategy to contain wikileaks was leaked to wikileaks. Democracy Now recorded an interview about 12 months ago with Julian Assange where he discussed this leak (unfortunaltly I cant find the episode please add a comment to this article if you can find it) . The key components of the strategy were
Link the organization to one person specifically
Assassinate the persons character
Lay down the importance of the leaks
Attack its source of funding for the organisation
Any of that sound familiar?
About the video screening on Friday
The video at the top was screened in the Federation square in the centre of Melbourne buy the Australian journalists Union ACTU during the presentation a number of Australian journalists praised Julian Assange for his work. After that at the Melbourne State Library a guy called “Robert Foster” from the juice media made an impromptu performance on the steps. After a bit of digging I found this video
Australia has been devastated this last few months. The flooding has been on a massive scale affecting most of the east side of the country in one way or another. QLD has been most badly affected but NSW and VIC have also taken a pounding close to home Castlemaine has been affected. We spent last Sunday preserving fruits to donate to the guys that had their homes flooded in Castlemaine. Part of the growing ambundance project. Below is a video showing the the water. It is incredible after all the drought all the resiviors around castlemaine are now full. However the flooding has caused significant flooding and personal disasters.