One thing I admire about Australians is our intolerance of low quality food.
Several American food chains that are big overseas ended up closing their doors or winding back their operations in response to poor patronage or low profitability in Australia. These include:
- Taco Bell, which closed their doors in 2005. I once sampled one of their tacos in the George St store, near the Sydney CBD cinema district. I could describe that taco as resembling ground-up roadkill with grated cheese in a cheap, squashed, cracked shell. That was my first and last visit.
- Starbucks, which closed 64 its Australian stores, representing three quarters of its total operation, leaving only 23 running. Even now, Starbucks Australia is still unprofitable and is only operating due to the financial backing by its parent company in the USA. For me, their coffee was tolerable, but vastly inferior to the many small cafes which have coffee machines operated by trained baristas, who offer good coffee at a cheaper price.
Now, Krispy Kreme donuts has gone into voluntary administration. They blame expenses, but the fact is, if their product was popular enough, it would pay for those expenses. The fact is, their product is a nutritional bomb, high in sugar, saturated fat and carbohydrates – amongst the worst of its class. Picturing a box of those in my head makes me feel sick. It is telling that one of their largest stores is in Penrith. There are other local chains like Michel’s Patisserie that offer better much better quality fare.
- Explains the paradox of blackmail and extortion – why combining two legal acts can result in an illegal act: http://bit.ly/bNOldi #
OK, long time no speak, but I must catch up on all recent Australian political developments before talking about anything else.
Following the Australian election, Labor PM Julia Gillard managed to form a fragile minority government by the skin of her teeth, by forming a coalition with a rag-tag group consisting of independents and greens party members with irreconcilable policy differences. For the time being, things are still working out, but I think it’s only a matter of time before there’s a serious clash that will destabilise the government and result in another election.
She abandoned her crazy idea of an unelected group of 150 citizens to determine how to “tackle climate change”. It is uncertain how things are going to proceed. Hopefully, they won’t.
She appointed the ousted former Labor PM Kevin Rudd as Foreign Minister in order to appease his anger and that of his supporters over the way in which he was ousted and sidelined.
Despite identifying herself as an atheist, contrasting herself with the religiously observant former PM Kevin Rudd and current Communications Minister Senator Conroy, she has expressed support for continuing with Conroy’s idiotic Internet Filtering scheme, but she has baulked on setting a deadline for its implementation.
Regarding the handling of boat people, she is back in talks with the East Timorese government over the establishment of a new “refugee processing centre”, after they had previously expressed reluctance. I guess the money earning potential for East Timor was too much for their government to refuse. Good on them. I still reckon reopening the existing facility on Nauru would’ve been better value for Australia. Nonetheless, to placate her Greens party coalition partners, she has agreed to a plan to release some asylum seekers, who are currently in detention, into the community. It is not clear yet who will be released and who won’t be.
All in all, I will say that she is taking all the correct measures to ensure her political survival in the current climate.
- Sydney Real Estate agent who tried to screw taxi driver over fare, ends up screwing himself: http://bit.ly/8XOu3C #
What do I think of Australia having its first female prime minister?
We are in a modern age where men and women have equal opportunities. Whether they choose to take up these opportunities is a separate matter.
I will judge Julia Gillard the same way I judge any politician or person in a leadership or managerial role – through his or her policies and competence as a leader.
At the moment, I do not expect much to change, after all, she was a key policy maker under her predecessor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Perhaps now that she has a fresh start, she can change her mind and abandon bad policies without losing face.
Since taking up the role of PM, she reached a compromise with the big miners on the controversial Super Profits tax. A compromise was expected, considering that Kevin Rudd was brought down after adopting a hard-line stance. I never knew what the truth was about the need for a Super Profits tax – all I heard was propaganda coming from both sides, so I cannot say whether a compromise is a good thing or a bad thing. Time will tell.
I do like that she in an atheist, unlike religiosly devout Kevin Rudd. Perhaps religious lobby groups and ministers like Stephen Conroy will have less influence and his could spell the end for the stupid Internet filter.
She also appears to have taken a leaf out of former Liberal PM John Howard’s successful “Pacific Solution” as a means of deterring people smugglers and their boats. She has proposed the establishment of a processing centre for boat people in East Timor, instead of the former Nauru location. Naturally, this has already generated much controversy amongst her party, but it clearly will be popular amongst voters.
In followup to my previous post Men At Work Should Pay Minimal Damages For Using “Kookaburra” Riff in Hit Song, the judge has ruled on damages.
Men at Work is to pay 5% of all royalties on their song “I come from the land down under” earned from 2002 onwards, to Larrikin Music. This was far less than the 60% share that Larrikin were seeking.
In my opinion, this is a just outcome, because it upholds copyright law, but acknowledges the opportunistic nature of the case, which I described thoroughly in my previous post.
- Heather Mills, ex gold-digger wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, has squandered the $50m of divorce money she got: http://bit.ly/bcPrSU #
- To Tony Abbott, Lib opposition leader: those who don't learn the mistakes of history are destined to repeat them: http://bit.ly/9qn52I #
- ABC chairman Maurice Newman tries to talk journalists into permitting debate on evidence for Global Warming: http://bit.ly/b2y2vV #
- The Cold Facts on Global Warming: A mathematically and scientifically based view that challenges alarmist predictions: http://bit.ly/9gQlTn #
- Great tips on what to do if you are injured while travelling overseas: http://bit.ly/aCar7a #
- 'Dem Catholic Priests sure love 'dem young boys – the latest from Germany: http://bit.ly/dl3Dcj #
- Representatives from Group of 8 Australian Universities warn "Maths education is in crisis": http://bit.ly/dtotFk #
- Gourmet catering for your upcoming Christmas party: http://bit.ly/c0Sr1S #
- British? Wedding bells coming your way? Why not celebrate your bucks nite at Auschwitz! http://bit.ly/d717nL #
- Israeli woman writes open letter to parents of American "useful idiot" activist Rachel Corrie: http://bit.ly/bTANDG #
- Young Jedi knight receives apology from UK employment office after being kicked out for refusing to disrobe: http://bit.ly/b24bDv #
- Tim Blair explains incompetence and irresponsibility of environment minister Peter Garrett's home insulation scheme: http://bit.ly/dfNoTe #
- Aussie Judge tries to talk sense into Catholics about evils of celibacy following conviction of pedophile priest: http://bit.ly/d7odmy #
- The greatest American hero – 67 year old Vietnam veteran Thomas Bruso defends himself against a hooligan on the bus: http://bit.ly/9fyahX #
- "Green" Prius car turns out be be extremely expensive for Toyota: http://bit.ly/c7s4Ns #
- Investigation by Guardian newspaper suggests that climategate scientist Phil Jones concealed flaws in Chinese data: http://bit.ly/bZxtxh #
- Religious discrimination by Australian government – refuses funding for atheist conference: http://bit.ly/9zJo3s #
- Indian who claimed to be a victim of a racist attack by white Australians turns out to be an insurance fraudster: http://bit.ly/9lUSjU #