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Wednesday, 19 April 2017 - 8:32pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Wed, 19/04/2017 - 8:37pm in

I'm prepared to suspend judgment over this bit of landscape gardening until it's done, but calling it "momentous" and a "corner of paradise" does seem to be overstating the scope of the project. Granted, the Key Stakeholders who say "Ni!" did threaten to say "Ni!" to us again unless we brought them a shrubbery, but I'm sure that once it's done we'll resume going about our business as though it never happened.

Unless they decide they want another shrubbery…

Friday, 7 April 2017 - 6:18pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Fri, 07/04/2017 - 6:19pm in

What the…? I'm sorry, I didn't realise that we adjusted the clock by an hour and a century when daylight saving ended.

Roll up ladies! It's not a beauty contest, and certainly not an intelligence test! If you think for a moment that we would besmirch and demean the venerable title of "showgirl" in such a way, you are sorely mistaken. Rather if you can, in an emancipated and empowered way, sport a lovely frock, and giggle and simper with poise, a bright future awaits you.

Imagine spending years hanging onto the arm of some bloke in a sharp suit, childbearing, and finally a lucrative divorce settlement; all this can be yours! But hurry, because frankly you're not getting any younger and - this being Coffs Harbour - do you really want to be serving coffee or scanning barcodes for the rest of your life?

Thursday, 2 March 2017 - 11:57pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Fri, 03/03/2017 - 12:01am in

A PROFESSOR stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, he picked up a large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

Really bad analogy for Coffs Harbour. The local university campus doesn't do courses in philosophy, or history, or even arts. You can do a degree in hotel management, but you won't see any professors. All the academic staff are casuals.

We are well off as far as golf courses, pebbles, and sand are concerned, so keep working on it. If you can come up with some other scenario where people in Coffs Harbour regularly engage in abstract thought, I think you'll be onto a winner.

Think Vladimir and Estragon sitting in the gutter in a shopping mall carpark:

"Sand, eh?"

"Sand? F* off! Pebbles, eh?"

"F*ing pebbles! Golf balls, eh? Eh, golf balls, eh?"

"Yeah bro. Golf balls, eh."

See? Tailor the message to the audience and you increase the impact while losing nothing of the nuance. Hope that's been helpful.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017 - 5:22pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Wed, 15/02/2017 - 5:34pm in

I'm ranting altogether too much over local "journalism", and this comment introduces nothing new to what I've posted many times before, but since the Advocate won't publish it:

Again I have to wonder why drivel produced by the seething hive mind of News Corp is being syndicated by my local newspaper. This opinion comes from somebody who appears to be innumerate (eight taxpayers out of ten doesn't necessarily - or even very likely - equal eight dollars out of every ten) economically illiterate, and empirically wrong.

Tax dollars do not fund welfare, or any other function of the federal government. Currency issuing governments create money when they spend and destroy money when they tax. "Will there be enough money?" is a nonsensical question when applied to the federal government. As Warren Mosler puts it, the government neither has nor does not have money. If you work for a living, it is in your interest that the government provides money for those who otherwise wouldn't have any, because they spend it - and quickly. Income support for the unemployed becomes income for the employed pretty much instantly. Cutting back on welfare payments means cutting back on business revenues.

And the claim that the "problem" of welfare is increasing in scale is just wrong. Last year's Household, Income, and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) report shows dependence on welfare payments by people of working age declining pretty consistently since the turn of the century. This opinion piece is pure class war propaganda. None of us can conceivably benefit in any way from pushing people into destitution in the moralistic belief that they must somehow deserve it.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017 - 7:59pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Tue, 14/02/2017 - 8:02pm in

The glaziers and carpenters have been busy these past few weeks and a new store is taking shape at Coffs Central.

[…]

A leading Australia men's clothing brand, GazMan provides contemporary, casual and business attire for every occasion.

Men's polo shirts, chino pants, denim, knitwear sports jackets and business wear will line the about to be completed display racks.

Wow. Forget I.F. Stone or Seymour Hersch. If I'd just written a piece like this, I would have to consider hanging up my word processor for good. When it comes to local journalism, it really does not get much better than this. At the pinnacle of any profession it's all to easy to rest on one's laurels and say that there's nothing that one cannot do. It takes a special kind of crusading spirit to declare that there's nothing that one will not do.

Monday, 6 February 2017 - 8:23pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Mon, 06/02/2017 - 8:40pm in

Through trial and error Joel overcame a range of food intolerances which lead him to identify a niche in the market. Around one in four Australians suffer a food intolerance of some description and as a solution, Joel has developed a range of fresh, healthy meal choices that not only taste great, but also accommodate a wide range of common food intolerances.

One in four? According to whom? Any even mildly debilitating health problem suffered by 25% of the population is a major public health issue, not something to be solved by plucky food truck entrepreneurs. Actual medical research, as opposed to self-reported conviction, puts the figure at about one-tenth of that (eg. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2222.2008.03184.x), but let's not permit science to get in the way of a little entrepreneurship.

If you're going to make claims of medical efficacy based on "trial and error" and a sample size of one, why stop at one in four? Why not get into the diagnosis market and make that three in four? Coffs is hardly short of well-to-do cretins desperate to be cured of imaginary ailments.

Give me gluten-free flour, or give me death! I want to take my snake oil as a burger to go. Ooh, and a kale and chipboard smoothy. And a side order of those healing crystals. My spirit guide says they're delicious.

Thursday, 2 February 2017 - 6:07pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Thu, 02/02/2017 - 6:10pm in

THE Real Estate Property Guide team stepped into a suburban oasis this week at Boambee East.

Unrealestate principal and selling agent Kerry Hines said the home is a true escape from the everyday grind.

"It has a central location, close to everything, yet it's almost a private oasis," she said.

"Close to everything"? I've lived in Boambee East and the isolation almost drove me mad. You are close to nothing except mile after mile of Colorbond fencing and hopeless despair. It's the country's largest open-air prison.

Walk the streets of an evening and I guarantee that before long you'll see a miserable middle aged man sitting alone on an upturned milk crate in his garage, listening to his Cold Chisel and Meatloaf records, over and over, and reaching into the carton on the floor beside him for another joyless can of rum and coke.

You'll also see the occasional old man or woman grimly pushing a walking frame down the middle of the road, because there are no footpaths, and in any case the grass verge is full of cars; the tiny prefab half-block houses necessitate using the garage as living space, and four or five car households are the average, because walking or public transport are out of the question, despite being so wonderfully "close to everything".

Kick the juice bottle bongs, empty opioid packs, and petrol cans out of your way, make sure the guy unconscious in a pool of urine is still breathing, and within an hour or two you'll get to the nearest pub. Recent renovations can't hide the fact that it's basically a livestock shed, optimised for slopping out rather than ambiance. In any case by the time you get there, they'll be stacking chairs and locking up.

So yes, a social, cultural, and intellectual desert is the perfect spot for a suburban oasis. Enjoy!

Friday, 27 January 2017 - 9:56pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Fri, 27/01/2017 - 10:17pm in

My heart has been rent in twain by the gross injustice of a hard-working entrepreneur defamed over nothing more than a good old-fashioned lockout. The poor man has written to our local MP:

You have helped the workers by helping the company obtain a supervised repayment plan for the superannuation and taxes due to the ATO. Your assistance gave the company a chance to recover and for the workers to keep their jobs.

These two gentlemen tirelessly give, and give, and give, by… erm… not giving. But honestly, what employee would be so churlish as to refuse an extension of their Christmas holiday to February? Especially if about half of it might have been paid for.

The company has paid all wages through to 18 January 2017. This has been allocated and is being processed. The Australia day public holiday has delayed these payments being processed.

I am dismayed that a tiny contingent of Trotskyite entryists (they're everywhere, I tell you!) and chardonnay-sipping elitists in the press have dragged the reputation of this thriving concern through the mud - after everything that Mr Van Vliet and Mr Hartsukyer MP have done for the workers and their community.

Picture the day a delegation of grimy but loyal workers visited Mr Van Vliet's office in Malaysia, wringing their flat caps and begging "We just can't in all good conscience accept any more superannuation payment after all what you done for us. It's a crime that a gent like y'self should have to pay tax, an' all. Please go see Mr Hartsuyker, for we hear he's a kind man with a heart open to the struggles of the multinational CEO. There's no shame in that, sir!"

What nobody seems to realise is that it's not only Mr Van Vliet; there's a whole parent company with (according to Bloomberg) a whopping eight employees, ranging from himself all the way down to the lowliest Vice President. Just imagine them, weeping into their hotel pillows, and explaining to their professional companion for the evening how powerless they are in the face of the Australia Day public holiday!

I suggest the workers, duly chastened, should have a whip round and post a money order to Renewable Fuel Corp's Las Vegas mailing address. Include a note instructing Mr Van Vliet to go down the road and put it all on black. The first rule of the entrepreneur is never gamble with your own money.

Update 30/1/2017: Voluntary liquidation. You could have knocked me down with a feather.

Sunday, 25 December 2016 - 12:51am

Published by Matthew Davidson on Sun, 25/12/2016 - 12:52am in

Great. Sleigh-people entering our homeland, radicalising our young with their degenerate something-for-nothing culture.

When I was young, our parents would crucify us at Easter - not all the way of course, and we'd had our tetanus jabs. But that principal of making an investment of excruciating pain, and often permanent maiming, to earn the right to eventual Christmas gifts of subscriptions to the Economist or the Financial Times, made us all appreciate the exchange value of our personal misery.

It's time to turn back the sleighs, and crack down on the Christmas cheats. Those children need to know that they enter the world in debt, and must spend an otherwise meaningless lifetime paying it back. That is the economically sustainable Christmas message.

Monday, 12 December 2016 - 6:29pm

Published by Matthew Davidson on Mon, 12/12/2016 - 6:36pm in

Airport a leading regional air hub
COFFS Harbour Regional Airport has reached another significant milestone.

Funny. I was there just yesterday thinking "This place is a hub. A total, complete, and utter regional hub." I suppose I was being processed at the time, though I couldn't tell if it was during a peak period. I expect it's tricky identifying a peak in a subdued environment. Are there any particular signs we should look out for?

I'm glad there was a specific strategy involving the development of detailed proposals and extensive negotiations, resulting in outcomes. I have just a few trifling details that could perhaps be cleared up: what was done, by whom, and what were the consequences?

Also welcome are the current works that will be completed, but I think some future works may also be in order. I'm no expert, but I don't like the sound of projecting growths. Sound like precisely the sort of thing you don't want, especially in a peak period. Could have somebody's eye out. Or trip up a small boy, resulting in a grazed knee, miles from the nearest bottle of Dettol. Mind you, he might be consoled by the splendid parking facilities, so it's not all bad news.

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