Friday, May 14, 2010

‘Illegals’ bean counting

I admire a dude who ‘spreadsheets’ stuff, and evidently Tim Blair has been hard at it:

There are an estimated 450,000 illegal immigrants living in Arizona, which has a total population of just 6.6 million. Were Australia to have a proportionate amount of illegals, we’d be talking in the range of 1.5 million.

Damn straight! So, on those figures, the number of “illegal immigrants” in Arizona is approaching 7 percent of the population.

Now, according to the Australian Government, as at early-April there were a total of 2,498 people in immigration detention who “arrived unlawfully by air or boat.” (Note that this excludes hundreds — or, I forget, perhaps thousands — who arrived “lawfully”, often from affluent ‘western’ countries, but overstayed their visas.)

The Australian population is currently projected at around 22.3 million.

Therefore, the number of “illegal immigrants” in Australia is around just 0.011 percent of the population — that is, in the order of one six-hundredth of Arizona’s apparent problem.

So if Andrew Bolt now wets his pants every time another handful of poor slobs “arrives unlawfully”, he can just thank God he doesn’t live in Arizona.

And we can thank God too, because the screeching from Bolt, already most unpleasant to the ear, would go way beyond pain threshold.

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Transport Trivia Friday

Presenting milestones in Victoria’s transport landscape...

This week: 1975


The 27-kilometre extension of the suburban train network from Dandenong to Pakenham is completed.


The first ‘Z’-class trams enter service.

Next week: 1976 ! !

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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Out of the Connex and into the Metro

Customers of Metro Trains, which took over Melbourne’s train system from Connex about six months ago, can arrange to receive text messages advising of delays and disruptions to services.

The text will usually read something like as follows:

Minor delays Pakenham line: citybound trains may be delayed up to 15 minutes

To which one might ask: What kind of suburban train operator would consider fifteen minutes a ‘minor’ delay?

Fifteen minutes is not a ‘minor’ delay unless we’re talking about something like a trans-continental flight. But for someone travelling by train from, say, Dandenong to the City, fifteen minutes represents around a third of the traveling time.

This isn’t Spain! In the context of a suburban train ride, fifteen minutes delay is ƒυςќιηģ major!

Sadly, it seems customers of Metro Trains have not only to contend with chronic delays in their train service. They’re also insulted daily with the debasement of language which seeks to deny the problem.

And there’s no end to it in sight. Unless...

Perhaps Melbourne’s employers might initiate a class action against Metro Trains to recover the millions they’ve lost in productivity, through thousands of their employees being needlessly and uselessly confined to rail carriages for a significant portion of each working day.

Metro customers might help get the ball rolling by clocking in to work 10 or 15 minutes earlier than when they arrive, and tell their employers to invoice Metro Trains for the difference.

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It’s unnatural ! !

Madness . . . ! !

“Our Liberal-Conservative government will take Britain in a historic new direction. A direction of hope and unity, conviction and common purpose. A new politics where the national interest is more important than the party interest.”

  • David Cameron, unelected UK Prime Minister

This is at complete variance with the doctrine of our venerable former Prime Minister John Howard, who insisted that the first duty of Liberal candidates elected to the Australian Parliament is to their party.

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