The continent has most of the world's most poisonous snakes, not only on land but in the ocean. It has the world's largest crocodiles, and one can be devoured by one in or near the ocean or a river, and then out in the surf great white sharks abound. And I haven't even mentioned box jellyfish, blue ring octopi, stone fish, or the red backed and funnel spiders.

If ever a land was saying "Go away, people," it's Australia.

Add to all this that Sydney, strangely, is one of the most expensive cities on Earth and that you're so far from the United States (where everyone wants to go) and why would anyone live there, much less WANT to live there?

So, why are there people in Australia? What explains it?

Yes, and of course I'm being tongue in cheek. I'm sure there are many reasons to risk the many ways to die there.

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Thanks for restarting that branch - I was losing the will to live!

Actually its a very good question - why are some items taxed more than others?  Is it really the 'sin tax' phenomenon?  You can get away taxing stuff that is considered 'bad'?  Why not just apply a general flat tax across the board?  It seems far more reasonable to have a steady level purchase tax.  Exempt some things if you want, but all this 'morality' taxation is really sneaky.

(incidentally, I think your food stamp system is way better than that in the UK where money is given.  It seems here you have to use the credits on foodstuffs)

"You can get away taxing stuff that is considered 'bad'?"

I know you're working on getting your citizenship, but you're never going to make it with that kind of mindset - trying to apply logic to a Christian nation, where do you think you are? You're gonna find yourself back on the boat SO fast --

True about the food stamps needing to be used for food, but someone can get, say, a $200 SNAP allowance through providing misinformation and sell it for, say, $120 cash, which is then used to buy drugs.

Wherever there's a will to "work the system," there's a way.

This is true - but it does help the recipient to budget better than a wedge of bills might.  Every system has a work around.  That's what humans are good at - problem solving.

Further, you can buy a low-priced item and get the change in cash.

archaeopteryx  that's brilliant so I'm going to steal that line!

Philosophical question for you Norm, if a man walks into the woods and speaks, and there's no woman around to hear him, is he still wrong?

If he's talking to god, I'd say yes. Otherwise it depends on the woman who isn't there.

I've been mulling that one for 34 years and am still not certain. I can tell you a few things I have learned from marriage:

1) A man doesn't know true fear until he marries.

2) Being wrong is not good but showing her that she's wrong ---wow! don't even go there!

3) They say that married men live longer but I think it just seems longer.

4) When her toddler sprays her butt with the hose it is cute and engaging. When you do it.. well see the last part of #2.

A remarkably small and sad set of wisdom from 34 years of marriage but there may be hope. I read that some male chimpanzes understand some female signals & behavior so I've invested in some banannas and my lessons start in a couple of days.

Well, I've learned my lesson, instead of marrying again, my plan is to just skip all the ceremony, find someone who hates me and give her a house.

2) Being wrong is not good but showing her that she's wrong ---wow! don't even go there!

I had a female coworker who grew up in Alabama and somehow we got on the subject of the Cajuns who live primarily next door to Alabama in Louisiana. I innocently brought up an interesting factoid I had learned recently: "Did you know that 'Cajun' is a corruption of 'Acadian' which is another word for 'Canadian'? The Cajuns came to Louisiana from Canada, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and The Maritimes ." She told me that was ridiculous; everyone knows they came from France. So, I found the Wikipedia entry on the Cajuns and shot her the link in email. 

I got the cold shoulder for weeks.

Yes, you're right, the story of their trek from Canada to the Louisiana swamps is told in the epic poem, "Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie," by Longfellow,

Interestingly, they proudly refer to themselves as a "Coon Ass."


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