Two and a half years after then premier Barry O’Farrell performed a flip filled routine worthy of Olympic gold in Rio, a city anxiously awaits the findings of Ian Callinan’s review into the impact of liquor law reform. Many are cautiously optimistic. Remarks from lockout advocates in recent times have appeared to offer hope of change, however a deeper look suggests a softening of hard line temperance views is, in reality, a cunning Trojan Horse strategy. Some are pessimistic, believing the damage has long been done and is irreversible. Others are simply hoping for reality to finally take its place at the negotiating table. Whatever ones stance or predictions, it’s fair to say most are equally eager to see what Mr Callinan has to say. But while the rest of us nervously wait for word, there are a couple of parties for whom the findings bear no consequence whatsoever. Most notably, the future casino kings of Sydney – Crown Barangaroo. Continue reading
Over the past few years the people of New South Wales have watched helplessly as their rights were revoked, their livelihoods ruined and the culture of their community destroyed – all for the benefit of developers, casinos and politicians. Since the start of the year, Surely Not – an independent page run by one guy with a passion for investigative journalism – has been trying to do something about it.
Speaking out against the powers that be has ruffled more than a few feathers in the last 6 months. In response to various investigations and articles, I’ve found myself the subject of smear campaigns, online abuse and even threats of violence – all part of the territory.
I’ve now also received multiple threats of legal action from the government funded anti-alcohol lobbyists, the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education (FARE). I’ve received threats on behalf of the organisation, their CEO Michael Thorn and CFO Sharrin Wells. Continue reading
So our live tweeting Bachelor fan turned #nannystate enthusiast, Mike #casinomike Baird, has today shown his compassionate side, by banning greyhound racing in New South Wales. “What a guy” claim the animal lovers who normally only voice their opinion on the racing industry when they protest the Melbourne Cup. Granted, the dishlickers have had their fair share of controversy, not least when the horrific practice of live baiting was exposed in 2015. But make no mistake, this is not the kind-hearted act of a compassionate premier looking out for the welfare of animals. Continue reading
In 2016 the sanctimony of so-called community leaders and self-appointed bastions of morality has become, as they would say, an epidemic. Our politicians have been in a frenzy as they try to turn New South Wales into a #nannystate, obviously because that’s what’s best for us. The attack on small business, night life and freedom has been relentless. The Axis of Abstinence has united strange bedfellows in a war against freedom and personal responsibility. This #teetotalitarian regime is led by an evangelical zealot with an image problem, we’re constantly being judged by a man who believes he’s on a mission from above. “Service that is purely self-serving” is his biggest vice for now… His right hand man is an equally devout police commissioner who they apparently call The Electrician. They’re backed up the health lobby and amateur statistician doctors who moonlight as policy experts. Their pawns are the public faces of a tragedy who may or may not have now been seduced by the ethically ambiguous, non for profit gravy train.
How to tell if you believe in bullshit is one of many excellent articles and videos produced by Maddox, owner of The Best Page in the Universe. Maddox covers everything from inventions, people on the internet and their stupid crusades to movie reviews but one of the main features of his content are his virtuoso rants. Often these rants are dedicated to systematically debunking stupid things people say, do and believe. Whilst I was doing some general research into the statistics St Vincent’s uses to promote prohibition, Maddox’s rant about believing in bullshit came to mind. Specifically the part about scientific method and all the steps Dr Fulde et al seemed to have skipped when producing their initial report. Continue reading
This is the second part of a series investigating the true ownership of New South Wales.
“I’ve been up two and a half million” Jim says to Frank as he pleads his case for a loan. Frank asks “What you got on you?” to which Jim replies “Nothing”. Frank asks “What you put away?” “Nothing.” Frank’s heard enough. “ You get up two and a half million dollars, any asshole in the world knows what to do: you get a house with a 25 year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shitbox, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life, at a level of fuck you. Somebody wants you to do something, fuck you. Boss pisses you off, fuck you! Own your house. Have a couple bucks in the bank. Don’t drink. That’s all I have to say to anybody on any social level. Did your grandfather take risks? I guarantee he did it from a position of fuck you. A wise man’s life is based around fuck you. The United States of America is based on fuck you. You have a navy? Greatest army in the history of mankind? Fuck you! Blow me. We’ll fuck it up ourselves.” Continue reading
This is the first part of a series investigating the true ownership of New South Wales.
Time travel is a fascinating concept. People often look back on situations they regret and remark how they wish they could go back in time and do things differently. Others often fantasize about the ability to travel forward in time for a sneak peek at their future life or in my case a look at next week’s Powerball numbers. Unfortunately though, it seems time travel in this sense will never become reality and to be quite honest I could take or leave the more plausible and logical far less cool theory. Fortunately Hollywood has never been one to allow facts to get any near, let alone in the way of a good story and continues to whet our appetite for our futuristic fantasy. Continue reading
One of the things I enjoy about writing is the feedback and communication you have with readers, haters (check the comment section!) as well as other writers. It’s always enjoyable to bounce ideas off one another, discuss theories, etc. Yesterday I had another writer contact me and we had a fascinating discussion about some research they had been doing on our favourite charity, the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation.
One of the best lessons you can learn in life can be summed up in a few words, thanks to a saying that’s been around for centuries; “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”
Everyone Almost everyone knows the line well. The idea is if someone fools you once, shame on them for tricking you. But if they fool you a second time, shame on you for letting them. The saying doesn’t go on to mention third, fourth, fifth times and so on, but you get the idea. Given deception and trickery is so prevalent in this day and age, perhaps it’s time the old saying was given an update to reflect the times.
After the release of documents which highlighted the salary of Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation Director, Ralph Kelly, there was justified outrage across the board.
“Sicilians are great liars. The best in the world. I’m Sicilian. My father was the world heavy-weight champion of Sicilian liars. From growing up with him I learned the pantomime. There are seventeen different things a guy can do when he lies to give himself away. A guys got seventeen pantomimes. A woman’s got twenty, but a guy’s got seventeen… but, if you know them, like you know your own face, they beat lie detectors all to hell. Now, what we got here is a little game of show and tell. You don’t wanna show me nothin’, but you’re tellin me everything” – Vincenzo Coccotti (True Romance, 1993)
New South Wales has been around for a while, and it’s fair to say she’s had a pretty good run. However, despite being first part of the country to have British settlement over two hundred years ago, New South Wales is still lagging far behind all other Australian states and territories in the population stakes. On the upside, we have a lot of space. With the total land area just over 800,000 square kilometres, each citizen of New South Wales enjoys over 2000 square kilometres all to themselves. Driving is a luxurious treat.
Following up our previous investigation, we open the books to the Foundation and scrutinise the most recent annual report. Having just accessed the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation 2014/2015 annual report there is a lot to look through.
However a full report can wait as this information appears to be something that needs to be urgently addressed.
The oldest profession in history is a topic that stimulates a lot of debate. Many have long held the view that the title goes to prostitution. An argument that seems logical, given the service provided is one that has been in hot demand since the beginning of time, has no competition worth considering and will probably never go obsolete. Quite the opposite in fact! Personally, I dispute this claim based on the fact that if these services were being paid for via currency, the client would have needed to acquire these funds through another method. Presumably gainful employment of some kind. But that’s a discussion for another time. Continue reading
There are a number of things that grind my gears, and the gears of most other rational people. Political correctness gone mad, charity muggers and social justice ambulance chasers are up there. Two others that deserve a spot in the upper echelon of pet peeves would have to be conspiracy theories and reality television. Not the theories or programs themselves necessarily as they can be quite a lot of fun to mock. But more so the people that have an unhealthy obsession with them. I don’t get it. Real life frequently provides far more entertainment. Whether they someone who has been indoctrinated by youtube nutjobs or just someone who lives vicariously through whatever inane drivel is on the idiot box, they sure do get under the skin of this particular rant merchant. Which is why when researching this piece there were often times where I stopped and thought “Suuurely not”. But unlike the plethora of tin foil hat theories and reality nonsense out there, you couldn’t make this stuff up.
There was a sense of déjà vu as we nursed our New Years hangovers and started mentally preparing ourselves for the dreaded but inevitable return to the grind. It had been a relatively uneventful Christmas break for me in terms of activities, in terms of news and to top it off the boxing day test was the dullest we’d had in years. Personally I was frustrated that despite my passion for doing very little, I had wasted my time off. This was supposed to be like the Summer of George, damnit! Although now that I think about it, it was exactly like the Summer of George… Continue reading