July 29, 2011

Horse 1216 - T20TwentyTwontyTwoonty, Who Cares?

It would appear that the organisers of the KFC T20 Big Bash League have started up using precisely the same formula as the A-League did for its first season.
Let me put this in perspective for you. Unlike the A-League which became the highest level of club football in Australia at its inception, the new T20 Big Bash League will become one of three cricket competitions at domestic level in Australia.
Apart from the national side, the Sheffield Shield competition which is the Four-Day game and the 50 Over competition struggle to gain crowds. The old T20 competition although it fared a little better, still struggled to capture the public's imagination.

Of course the obvious question is then, why does the KFC T20 Big Bash League exist in the first place? Presumably it won't gain a lot of crowd support, and at least a few players including Brad Hodge of Victoria have suggested that the competition will blur the lines and weaken the existing State based competitions.

I imagine then that the domestic T20 competition in Australia is nothing more than a monetary hedge. I honestly think that the reason that it does exist, is to sell TV rights into India. If this is the case, then I start to wonder, why Australia needs to bother with it at all. Wouldn't it just have made more sense to push for more teams in the IPL and get them all to play in a proper home and away league rather like the English Premier League?

Better yet, how about about just abandoning the domestic T20 league althogether in Australia and just let the players play in the IPL if they want to. Let's just admit that it's money which runs the game, so why not open the doors to the cash, the same way that the English Premier League did back in 1992-3?

Since I think that Test Cricket is still the highest form of the game and that Test Cricket in particular will carry on as it always has done and into eternity (amen), why not let the kids coming up into the game decide where they want to specialise and be done with it?
Don't make some hoo-haa about a manufactured competition which no-one will care about anyway... full of sound and fury signifying... nothing!

July 28, 2011

Horse 1215 - Dancing On The Ceiling

For your entertainment, I now provide this handy little cartoon:

Bear in mind that was back in 1996, and so the numbers might be different. The same monster still lives there though.

The thing to remember about the Debt Ceiling is that the only reason it exists is because of the operation of legislation. The Second Liberty Bond Act of 1917 and the 1939 and 1941 Public Debt Acts are the instruments which determine the aggregate limit on the total value of US Government bonds that can be issued.

The Debt Ceiling is established by the Congress and is actually quite independent from the US Federal Budget. The US Federal Budget is produced by the Executive Branch and specifically the Department of the Treasury. It's almost as though the Treasury develops the budget without working out how to pay for it.

The Debt Ceiling it should be noted has been raised 74 times since the last time it was actually lowered back in 1962. This so-called "crisis" is dubious at best and is little more than a political smokescreen to hide the far worse underlying issue - a huge debt hole.

As of now the US Govt rakes in about $2,300bn a year. The Interest bill on previous debt comes in at about $225bn and "Mandatory" spending is worth about $2,108bn a year. Right away even in the US Federal Government cut all "Discretionary" Spending to ZERO, there'd still be a shortfall of about $333bn.

In fact the last time a genuine surplus was achieved, that is when Taxation Receipts exceed Government spending was back in 1958.

If you are looking for someone to blame then blame Presidents
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, everyone who's sat in the Congress since 1958 and every single American Citizen who has been alive since 1958 for not holding 11 successive administrations and the Congress to proper account.

As for government debt issues, even if the United States were to cut all government spending to ZERO, which includes all "Mandatory" spending, you'd still need to collect enough in taxes to fund existing debt and interest responsibilities.
At less than 15% of GDP, tax receipts for the US Federal Govt were the lowest they'd been as a percentage since 1962.
Assuming the 2008 level of taxation before the GFC and Government Spending of ZERO it would still take until 2018 to eliminate Government debt.

Faced with such a flood of fearful, formidable, frightful and furious foulness, could such a "crisis" happen here in Australia? The answer simply is... No.
1. Because the Executive and the Legislative Branches co-exist in parliament, they wouldn't disagree with themselves.
2. Budgets in Australia aren't really any different to any other Bill placed before the Houses. If a Budget Bill was rejected three times, Parliament would shut down, we'd have an election and the first action of the new Government would be to pass a new Budget.
3. Australia has no Debt Ceiling in the first place.

Really the only thing that will happen with this artificial crisis, is that the Republicans and Democrats will yell at each other like a couple of Rangers and Celtic fans for 90 minutes and then go home. Nothing will have been solved and the underlying debt problems will persist. Oh well.

July 27, 2011

Horse 1214 - The Right To Privacy


Last night's episode of Media Watch on ABC1 raises the question over whether or not a Right To Privacy should be enshrined in law, following the wake of the News Of The World phone hacking scandal.

According the the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, although Australia has ratified and adopted the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, "The Universal Declaration is not a treaty, so it does not directly create legal obligations for countries."¹
Obviously then question then is, if not, why not?

Framers of the Australian Constitution were careful not to include a Bill of Rights in the document for fear of limiting the rights that citizens have to the bullet points within the document. Notwithstanding the fact that there was already a Bill of Rights Act (1689) which is legally binding because it existed as statute law before 1901 has hasn't been formally repealed.

So then, we reach a tricky situation where there is a Right to Privacy according to the UN but there isn't actually a legal standing for that right. The right is explained in Article 12:
"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Maybe the right itself doesn't need to be spelled out in as many words, though there is certainly a case to be made to enshrine into legislation, then ethical standards for parties who wish to infringe on people's privacy.
I don't think that the Right as contained in the UDHR only just applies to government's infringements. By the word "universal".

The legal trick is to conflate the various digital concerns into a new form of property right: a general tort against invasion of personal privacy akin to someone breaking into your property or a home invasion. Conventional private property rights are a foundation of a democratic market economy. But a property right over individual privacy necessarily intrudes into a more basic foundation of an open society: free speech.
- Michael Stutchbury, Economics Editor , The Australian, 26th July 2011.³

I find it really curious that in yesterday's The Australian (26th Jul, 2011) the front page led with an article by Peter Van Onselen the Contributing Editor, asking the question of what poltical parties do with personal data and with a small graphic bump "Protecting Your Privacy" yet the editorial on page 13 by Michael Stutchbury, Economics Editor suggests that the tort of an invasion of privacy somehow negates the Right to Free Speech.

Seeing as both the Right to Privacy and the Right to Free Speech both exist in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as Articles 12 and 19 respectively, I would like to know if The Australian as an entity thinks itself of having a higher and nobler purpose than the astute diplomats and statesmen who founded the document in 1948 after having passed through the bloodiest conflict the world has ever seen, with the intent of making the world a safer and better place than they left it.

The way I see it, the issues of Privacy and Free Speech are separate. I think that what constitutes the line around which the issue of Privacy is drawn is pretty obvious. If someone has written something, or posted photographs to MySpace, Facebook, Twitter or elsewhere on the internet then those items have been published voluntarily. An invasion of privacy is where information which includes photographs taken in an invasive process or without permission implies that that information was not published voluntarily. An invasion of privacy is tantamount to theft.

I think that the Right to Privacy is an extension of someone's basic Right to Human Dignity. Whether you believe that that is a result of having it endowed by your creator (as I do), or as a result of the commonality of Human existence is moot but the point remains that all Human Rights are an extension of someone's basic Right to Human Dignity.
I think what we've seen particularly in the wake of the News Of The World phone hacking scandal and the reason why people are so offended is precisely because that Human Dignity has been violated.

I also reject outright this claim by Michael Stutchbury.
"The new digital technology also reduces the gatekeeper role of the traditional media: anything seems to go in social media."
Well, no it doesn't. Most journalists belong to the Australian Journalists Association; members are required to follow a code of ethics.
Guess what? Ethics also extend from the basic Right to Human Dignity. Please don't forget this.

¹ - Link: http://www.hreoc.gov.au/human_rights/UDHR/what_is_UDHR.html
² - Link: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a12 
³ - Link: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/lawsuits-no-way-to-defend-privacy-or-free-speech/story-e6frgd0x-1226101597493

July 21, 2011

Horse 1213 - David Hicks Sells Books, The DPP Wants Money

From Sky News - http://www.skynews.com.au/local/article.aspx?id=640649&vId=
David Hicks could be deprived of tens of thousands of dollars reaped from his Guantanamo, My Journey book, after the DPP served him with a notice.
Hicks's book, Guantanamo, My Journey, was published last year by Random House, and is based on his time as an inmate in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from 2001 until 2007.
Under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, he is legally unable to profit from his Guantanamo ordeal, which has resulted in 30,000 book sales, The Australian reported on Thursday.
A restraining order he was issued with by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on Wednesday will be followed by an application to seize profits made from the book under the Commonwealth Proceeds of Crime Act, the paper said.
An Australian Federal Police spokeswoman said the matter would be heard by the NSW Supreme Court on August 3.

Whilst I acknowledge that it's probably safe to assume that David Hicks was in fact training to be a terrorist. I also acknowledge that he confessed to doing as much.
However, for the Director of Public Prosecutions decides to prosecute under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, I think this sets a disgusting precedent.

Firstly Hicks was never tried in a recognised court. Let's be perfectly frank here, it was a kangaroo court organised specifically designed because it was in a legal grey area. For an Australian Court to recognise the findings of that so-called court, is to undermine the legal framework of this country.
Even the US Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006 declared that this pathetic excuse for a court was unconstitutional. Why then if the United States legal system doesn't the court, should an Australian court recognise its decisions?
What point does it stop? If the courts recognise the decisions of a court which was legally and morally vague and certainly without due jurisdiction, then does this mean that the NSW Supreme Court by inference actually endorses those decisions? I hope not.

Secondly, if the DPP appeal is upheld, then in effect the NSW Supreme Court will uphold a confession obtained under torture. Australia is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (which I should point out that the United States ISN'T), of which Article 5 states:
"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
Are we to suggest therefore that in upholding a decision we should negate existing law?
I would hope that the laws on this country are at very least based on or recognise Human Rights law and upon failing that human dignity. If not, then what is the point of law itself?

Thirdly, technically the proceeds which result from book sales aren't the proceeds of crime but the proceeds of book sales. Book Sales aren't the direct proceeds of crime under the s.124 definition contained within the Act.
Admittedly the DPP probably have lawyers who are prepared to argue all sorts of defnitions at law and my knowledge of the actual operation of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 is not as robust as the legal profession, but it still doesn't change the fact that law can and should be read at face value.

If the NSW Supreme Court does uphold the DPP's request, then I think it will be a failure in the legal process. Whilst I don't like the fact that Hicks was bascially training to kill people en masse, I don't think that the rule of law should be bent because we happen to be morally offended. The thing is that because out legal system is in part based on the principle of precedents, if the law is bent, then the precedent is set to do so in the future.

As an aside, I would have thought that the best way for this to go away and thereby negate any media capital which Hicks could have generated, would be simply to let the book go on sale, and sale very few copies. Does the DPP, by going to court actually generate more media hype to surround Hicks in the first place and thus defeat their own cause?

July 20, 2011

Horse 1212 - The Mining Tax Is Just and Noble

Thomas Paine whose most famous work "Common Sense" of which it can be said helped to spark the American Revolution, also went on to write "Rights of Man" in 1791 and suggested that when a government does not safeguard its people or their rights, that they are then permissible to incite a revolution. This was probably inspired from his own experiences in America as well as the then recent goings on in France which resulted in the opening of the French Revolution.

It is Paine's 1797 work "Agrarian Justice" which I now draw something from. "Agrarian Justice" was written as a treatise to discuss how to fund the fledgling American republic, but there are some things contained within it still worth considering even today, some 214 years later.

"It is a position not to be controverted that the earth, in its natural, uncultivated state was, and ever would have continued to he, the common property of the human race. In that state every man would have been born to property. He would have been a joint life proprietor with the rest in the property of the soil, and in all its natural productions, vegetable and animal.
But the earth in its natural state, as before said, is capable of supporting but a small number of inhabitants compared with what it is capable of doing in a cultivated state. And as it is impossible to separate the improvement made by cultivation from the earth itself, upon which that improvement is made, the idea of landed property arose from that inseparable connection; but it is nevertheless true, that it is the value of the improvement, only, and not the earth itself, that is individual property.
Every proprietor, therefore, of cultivated lands, owes to the community a ground-rent (for I know of no better term to express the idea) for the land which he holds; and it is from this ground-rent that the fund proposed in this plan is to issue."

- Thomas Paine, "Agrarian Justice" 1797

I don't think that it is a difficult leap to suggest that not only "vegetable and animal" but indeed mineral produce should be included in all of the earth's "natural productions".

Paine viewed private property as necessary and that production which originally came from the earth should by rights belong as common property to the people. In effect if people took profit from this common property, it is akin to having stolen it from the general public who have been otherwise deprived of it.

If the general public does in fact have a claim to the produce of the earth as Paine suggests, then it makes sense that the Mineral Resource Rent Tax as proposed by the Gillard Government like the previous Resource Super Profit Tax proposed by the then Rudd Government is a noble tax because it attempts to return some of the benefits of the produce of the earth to the general public who should be rightly entitled to it.

If a mining company takes something out of the ground that otherwise should by rights belong to the people of Australia and do not return a portion of the profits back to the people of Australia, the logic of Thomas Paine suggests that the mining companies are in effect stealing from YOU.

The following is also worth considering:

BHP Billiton as a percentage of profit paid only 13% tax for 2009/10.
Rio Tinto as a percentage of profit paid only 13% tax for 2009/10.
Newcrest Mining as a percentage of profit paid only 17% tax for 2009/10.

Last time I checked, the corporate tax rate on profit was 30%.


What I find particularly insulting is the series of adverts on telly at the moment, which are trying to curry favour with the Australian people; saying that they're "part of the community".
Well if the mining companies are part of the community, hadn't they better start paying the same rate of tax as the rest of us?

Stealing from us once because we should be rightly due a share of the produce of the country is bad enough; stealing from us twice because they aren't paying even the proper base rate of tax is reprobate. Further to this, suggestions by West Australian Mines Minister Norman Moore that WA should secede and rely on China for its defence needs, is bordering on treasonous.

Let him that stole steal no more? Maybe.
OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
- hurt (5x)
- death (4x)
- dead (1x)

July 14, 2011

Horse 1211 - John 10:30 - ΕΓΩ ΚΑΙ Ο ΠΑΤΙΡ ΕΝ ΕΣΜΕΝ

This morning I was on the train reading through the Gospel of John when someone got on and sat next to me at Strathfield; this particular chap dressed in a grey suit and tie said that he was a Jehovah's Witness and that he was curious as to what I was reading.
I assume that he either wanted to make me doubt the validity of what I was reading or rather unlikely he was questioning his own faith, I don't know exactly.

I find it incredibly curious that I had been reading John 10, which from verses 1-21 likens Jesus' followers to his sheep and that he is the shepherd watching over them; and protecting them. Verses 22-42 deal directly with Jesus claim that he was God.

Contained within John 10 is the direct claim that Jesus is God in Verse 30 and it is the only verse which I know in the original Greek:

ego kai ho pater hen esmen
I and the Father one we-are(ing)
- John 10:30

The reason why I find this morning to be curious is that Jehovah's Witnesses not only do not believe in the divinity of Jesus but they also make the claim that he was a created being.
If you assume that this standpoint is correct, then logically the next three verses make no sense:

"Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”
“We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God."
- John 10:31-33

If Jesus is not God, then his opponents are in fact correct and Jesus is a liar. If however Jesus' claim that he is God is true, then their claims are unjustified. It's worth noting that the claims of both Jesus' opponents in John 10 and the Jehovah's Witness are identical but I suppose that they do not see that.

The thing which makes John 10:30 so useful, is that not only are all the nouns in the Greek in the nominative case, but the verb "esmen" is a first-person plural. It means that it is impossible to draw any other conclusion from the Greek text at all.

Related is the claim at the beginning of John's Gospel that Jesus or "The Word" is God. If you look elsewhere at John 1:1 the New World Translation which the Jehovah's Witnesses use, sneakily adds an "a".

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
- John 1:1 (NIV)

"In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god."
- John 1:1 (NWT)

The addition of that one word "a" substantially changes the meaning of the sentence. The thing is though, that it's not above the Jehovah's Witnesses to alter the bible where they don't like it. In doing some research for this, I find that they've completely removed or fiddled with 47 verses in the New Testament.*

I suppose that if you really want to attack the divinity of Christ, then the best way to do it would be to attack either the translation or attack the text itself. This does however create a problem in that if Christ is not God and is a created being, then He would have had to have created Himself, which is a logical impossibility.

Also if John 1:1 is to be taken at face value in the NWT then if the Word is only a God and there is only one true God, then Jesus must be some sort of false God, which means to suggest that any faith in the Gospel is based on a lie. This makes me very much wonder what sort of faith Jehovah's Witnesses actually have. If they make out that Jesus is a liar, then what hope do they have in any of the Gospel at all? Why then do they even bother?

I'm hoping that this particular Jehovah's Witness gets around to reading this, because I certainly do not doubt the validity of what I was reading.

*Aside: Maybe we should though. I'm finding that the latest versions of the NIV are also leaving out stuff:

Matthew 18:11
"For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost."
Matthew 18:11 Some manuscripts include here the words of Luke 19:10.

Matthew 23:14
"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! You devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore you shall receive the greater damnation."
Matthew 23:14 Some manuscripts include here words similar to Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47.

What is Bible Gateway doing? This appears to be an act of barbarism; and if it's the NIV's fault, then what are they doing? The way I figure it, if it was important enough to go into the original Greek text, then it's important enough to go intoa modern translation of that text. Leaving stuff out is as bad as making stuff up.

July 12, 2011

Horse 1210 - Hyundai V8 Supercar... Can I Have A Go?

Hyundai isn't interested in knocking shields with the likes of the BMW M guard, the Audi S line or even the Mercedes-Benz AMG legion with its 2012 Genesis 5.0 R-Spec. Instead, the newest addition to the Genesis line is out to offer buyers an extra helping of power and slightly sharper dynamics without all the motorsports pretense of its haughty German rivals.

Why the heck not?

I for one would love to see Hyundai create some motorsport street cred. Maybe it doesn't need to "knock shields" with the Germans but that doesn't mean it can't have a go against Ford and Holden does it?

I think that a Hyundai Genesis 5.0 R-Spec going against the Holden Racing Team, 888 Vodafone and Ford Performance Racing might look pretty cool if done properly.

The Korean International Circuit just outside of Yeongam in South Korea has already hosted a round of the Formula One Championship, which means that the facility already exceeds any standards which the V8 Supercars might set.

If Hyundai were to run their Genesis against the Commodores and Falcons, it would give them an advertising platform not only in Korea but other markets around the world. When the V8 Supercars travel to Texas in 2013, Hyundai which is already a very big player in America, would find themselves very well placed indeed.

Because of the Car Of The Future which will rollout in 2012, Hyundai wouldn't need to develop a whole suite of racing parts. They could just buy the bits developed for COTF and bolt the shell of the Genesis on top, which is after all the whole point of the program.

If no-one wants to sully their reputation by driving a Hyundai, then I can even find a driver for this hypothetical program... ME. Yep, I'll drive a Genesis in the V8 Supercars if you'd like; I won't even care about my reputation being damaged at all. YEAH!

July 06, 2011

Horse 1209 - King of the United States of America

Legend has it that George Washington was offered the title of King of America in 1783 and thought that the idea was abhorrent, however there doesn't seem to be any evidence for this. We do know that George Washington didn't pass into a third term of the Presidency but that's more because that by that stage he was 65 and probably a very tired man. His retirement only lasted two years and closed with his death just 33 months into his retirement.
But I wonder what would have happened had he been made king.

George married Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759 but because George had fought off a case of smallpox in 1751, they were unable to have any children. Most of George's estate passed to his nephew Bushrod Washington, whom he was very close to.
Admittedly the line of succession appears very muddy but thankfully someone at Ancestry.com has already looked into this and we have a sort of incomplete line:


House Of Washington

George - 1776 - 1799
William I - 1799 - 1810
Bushrod I - 1810 - 1831
Spotswood I - 1831 - 1865
Bushrod II - 1865 - 1918
James - 1918 - 1924
Spotswood II - 1924 - 1948
William II - 1948 - 1994
Paul - 1997 - date

Presumably the United States would have probably adopted a parliamentary democracy mirroring that of the United Kingdom. Maybe the US House of Lords would have been elected, maybe not, though it's fair to assume that the executive of the nation would have been formed in the US House of Commons and not directly appointed by the head of state as is the case now.

It is a real irony that in spite of a deep-seated fear of kings and of papacy; one only needs to read Thomas Paine's 1776 treatise "Common Sense" (and I think extremely poorly researched) to see this; that the President of the United States in terms of the exercise, has wielded far more actual power than any monarch from George III onwards ever has. The Declaration of Independence itself is a constant attack on the person of George III, even though he probably gave nary a thought to America at all.
In the capacity of Commander-In-Chief of the armed forces, the President of the United States has declared war 10 times, been authorised by Congress to make war a further 12 times, been funded by Congress to enable military engagements 7 times and has acted without any express authorization from Congress on at least 125 times. In the United Kingdom, even though the Monarch has the power to declare War, not even once since 1776 have they done so; with it all being done by the parliament or the Prime Minister.
Maybe if the executive of the nation and specifically the power to commit the nation to war had been held by the parliament, then maybe the character of the nation would have been different.

The logical comparison of what the Kingdom of the United States of America would have looked like is either Canada or indeed Australia. Australia elects its Upper House whereas Canada does not and Australia does employ a system whereby the seats try to give an equal say to the states.
Bills of Supply, that is monetary bills and the budget, would still pass through the parliament in the normal fashion, though I suspect that unlike now, the tendency for filibustering would not show itself quite so much.

Obviously where one stands depends on where one sits and the animosity for having a king was bitter following the events of 1775–1783. I can't help but feel though that the United States as a nation would have projected a softer and dare I say it, kinder, shadow into the 19th Century. We shall never know though.

July 05, 2011

Horse 1208 - Build the NBN... in 1999!

I love the world of pure speculation because it allows me to dream of what might have been and what we should have had.

I keep on hearing with reference to the National Broadband Network ,that Fibre-to-the-X is not "future proof" and as such it is a waste of funds to invest in such technology. Malcolm Turnbull as shadow Shadow Minister for Communications and Broadband seems to suggest that the project is best left up to private enterprise, and Andrew Robb told ABC Radio that a "Coalition return to power would see the government's fibre-to-the-home broadband network halted and either sold off or incorporated into its broadband vision where appropriate." How iniquitous!

Let's imagine for a second what would have happened if Telstra hadn't been privatised. The accounts for 1996/97 show Telstra making an $8.1bn profit. If Telstra had been allowed to continue as a single government owned entity, then the profits would not have had to have been distributed and they could have been ploughed into reserves.
If Telstra's profits had performed at worse than average inflation and only achieved a progressive 3% per year, then by the end of 2010/11 it would have accumulated $150.6512bn. Finding $40bn to build a FTTX network would have been child's play.
Assuming Telstra had maintained world's best practice and commenced building the network in 1999, then this debate over NBN Co would have never have existed.

Is such a thing possible? Are they comparable projects? Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) did build such a network and although uptake was slow initially, by 2008 FTTX networks eclipsed DSL as the main carrier networks of internet traffic in Japan.
Real world speeds in Japan work out to be about 66 Mbit/s in the country and 78 Mbit/s in the 23 Special "Cities" of Tokyo.

Malcolm Turnbull of all people should have appreciated the benefits of having a national broadband network when he was CEO of OzEmail. Service providers would use the network like private users currently use the road networks. No-one seems to complain in-principle about access fees to using public highways do they? So why is it different for a National Broadband Network? Would he have argued for NBN Co in 1999 as CEO of OzEmail?

The point is that if I can see this via hindsight, then how come this isn't being looked at with the same broad vision looking forwards. I agree with the current Government's standpoint that broadband networks will be like the railways of the 21st Century. A properly executed national plan and infrastructure network is therefore obvious isn't it? And if it's obvious now, why wasn't it obvious back in 1999?

FTTX would have been "future proof" back then for now. Now we're trailing behind in the Digital Dust.