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Wednesday, 19 September


New England bookshops to visit in the fall. Catallaxy Files

The stores. Enjoy!

Wind and Other doing 7.5% of demand before breakfast.


Chris Collins Will Seek Reelection After All "IndyWatch Feed"

Here is what Rep. Chris Collins of Buffalo, New York, did wrong:

Last month, federal prosecutors charged Mr. Collins, who sits on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, a drug company based in Australia, with providing inside information to his son and others that the company had failed a crucial drug test. His son, his sons fiance and his sons father-in-law all sold shares.

Thats a crime. Chris Collins is quite likely to be convicted for that crime. For this reason, after a brief period of indecision and defiance, he announced that he would not seek another term in the United States Congress. Th


State of Play Australia 2018: 11 per cent of the workforce is unemployed and 8 per cent underemployed North Coast Voices

Roy Morgan, media release excerpt, 13  September 2018:

Australian employment has grown solidly over the past year however the faster rate of overall growth in the Australian workforce due to more Australians looking for work means unemployment has increased to a two-year high of 11% in August.

The latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series for August shows:

* 11,940,000 Australians were employed in August, up 255,000 over the past year;

* The workforce which comprises employed and unemployed Australians is now 13,416,000, up 407,000 on a year ago;

* 1,476,000 Australians were unemployed (11% of the workforce); an increase of 152,000 (up 0.8%) on a year ago and the highest level of unemployment for over two years since March 2016;


The Morrison Government continues to internally haemorrhage North Coast Voices

On the local scene since the day of winning preselection in 2012, the local, self-determined senior Liberal has been leaking damaging material to the media and having publicity stunts that are completely against federal policy initiatives. And more recently he approached friends asking me to nominate my retirement date and then he'd call off his people.  [Liberal MP for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis in House of Representatives Hansard, 17 September 2018, p.103]

As a Liberal Party candidate Ann Sudmalis was elected to the House of Representatives for Gilmore, New South Wales, in 2013 and 2016.

At 63 years of age with 5 years of parliamentary service behind her, it now appears the boys club has stack her home branch and attempting to squeeze her out as the Liberal Partys preferred candidate at the next federal election in 2019.

The NSW boys club's preferred candidate is former Australian Federal Police sergeant, sometime...

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Tuesday, 18 September


Netsafe defends freedom of the press No Right Turn

Last week, rich prick Ray Avery tried to use the Harmful Digital Communicatins Act to suppress media coverage about him. But approved agency Netsafe has rejected his complaint:

Internet regulator Netsafe has declined to pursue a complaint by entrepreneur Sir Ray Avery that Newsroom stories about him amounted to digital harm and harassment.

The publicly-funded agency, which is charged with mediating complaints of online bullying and harassment under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, told Newsroom today: "This complaint has now been closed at Netsafe."

It said the law was "not clear about how to treat HDC complaints as they apply to media, and there is limited case law from which to form our advice.

"Therefore we are not recommending you take any further action. We have recommended to Sir Ray Avery that if he wishes to pursue this complaint he has the option of applying to the District Court."

But this isn't over yet, because Avery has indicated from the start that that using the courts to suppress public-interest journalism is exactly what he intends to do. And while we can hope that the court will look at s14 of the Bill of Rights Act and interpret the law so as to be consistent with the right to free speech and freedom of the press and exclude public interest journalism, I would feel far safer if there was explicit protection. That would at least prevent rich pricks like Avery from trying it on, and forcing media organisations to rack up enormous legal bills defending themselves.

There is obvious scope for a member's bill here. I wonder if any of the "free speech loving" MPs in the opposition will take it - or whether the only speech they want to protect is that of racists and Nazis.


Doesnt anyone notice this. I feel like Im taking crazy pills. Catallaxy Files

Last week, 3 of the 4 major Australian banks increased their mortgage interest rates.

The media and the political class, with their standard deep analysis and understanding of the business models and funding of banks did the predictable thing.  They criticised the 3 that increased rates (ANZ, CBA, WBC) and praised the 1 that made no change (NAB).

The whole out of cycle interest rate change blah blah was brought out, as if domestic savings are the principle source of funds for the banks.

Did anyone bother to actually look at what the rates were or was the movement just the story.  The answer is no obviously because notwithstanding the increases, the standard variable rate for ANZ (5.20%) and CBA (5.22%) are still less than NAB (5.24%) and the Westpac rate (5.24%) is now the same as NAB .

But actually looking at the details requires some level of journalistic and analytical sophistication.

Spartacus is not suggesting that these are appropriate rates or competitive rates, but NAB should not be complimented for having the equal highest standard variable mortgage rate of the big 4.

Spartacus hopes that a similar level of sophistication would be applied to the analysis of government expenditures (ie looking at the total spent and not the incemental variance), but somehow doubts that that will happen.  Spartacus feels like he is taking crazy pills.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
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EEO unintended consequences Catallaxy Files

Do Equal Employment Opportunity Statements Backfire? Evidence From A Natural Field Experiment On Job-Entry Decisions
Andreas Leibbrandt, John A. List
NBER Working Paper No. 25035
Issued in September 2018

NBER Program(s):Law and Economics, Labor Studies

Labor force composition and the allocation of talent remain of vital import to modern economies. For their part, governments and companies around the globe have implemented equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulations to influence labor market flows. Even though such regulations are pervasive, surprisingly little is known about their impacts. We use a natural field experiment conducted across 10 U.S. cities to investigate if EEO statements in job advertisements affect the first step in the employment process, application rates. Making use of data from nearly 2,500 job seekers, we find considerable policy effects, but in an unexpected direction: the presence of an EEO statement dampens rather than encourages racial minorities willingness to apply for jobs. Importantly, the effects are particularly pronounced for educated job seekers and in cities with white majority populations. Complementary survey evidence suggests the underlying mechanism at work is tokenism, revealing that EEO statements backfire because racial minorities avoid environments in which they are perceived as regulatory, or symbolic, hires rather than being hired on their own merits. Beyond their practical and theoretical importance, our results highlight how field experiments can significantly improve policymaking. In this case, if one goal of EEO regulations is to enhance the pool of minority applicants, then it is not working.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from ($5) for electronic delivery.


Adani To Go Announces Its Intention To Continue Announcing Deadlines The AIM Network

Every now and then The Australian Financial Review has an article that gives me a good laugh. Ok, its behind a firewall so I cant give you a link but todays article about Angus Taylor begins: Energy Minister Angus Taylor has slammed greenhouse gas reduction policies as corporate greed dressed up as saving the planet

The post Adani To Go Announces Its Intention To Continue Announcing Deadlines appeared first on The AIM Network.


Trot Guide September 2018 Update slackbastard

Its been a while eh over two years, in fact (see : #TrotGuide 2016, April 21, 2016). That said, while theres been some interesting developments on The Far Left : Down Under Edition, for the most part things are Continue reading


Morrison, Dutton, Coleman: Cold, heartless, sadistic Independent Australia

Morrison, Dutton, Coleman: Cold, heartless, sadisticChildren continue to suffer untold cruelty under Australias indiscriminate asylum seeker stance. read now...


From Aristophanes to Knight Or Is something else going here? The AIM Network

By George Theodoridis It is a case -as it bloody nearly always is- of relevance deprivation and diminution, thanks mainly to the prodigious proliferation and ever burgeoning of social platforms and the largely bored hoi polloi, bored by celebrities who have nothing to offer but the empty, irrelevant minutiae of their lives. The celebrities, like the

The post From Aristophanes to Knight Or Is something else going here? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Phase 2 of 2018 Australian aid stakeholder survey launched "IndyWatch Feed"

Nows your chance to have your say about the state of Australian aid!

Weve just launched the public phase of the 2018 Australian aid stakeholder survey have your say on the state of the Australian government aid program through the online survey here, it should only take about 15 minutes (or read on for more information first).

The survey is a tool designed to obtain feedback on the effectiveness of the Australian aid program and provide suggestions for its improvement. Phase 1 of the survey was sent to over 200 senior executives from Australian NGOs and development contractors that are familiar with and involved in the delivery of Australian aid. Phase 2 is available online for all aid stakeholders (here) and anyone knowledgeable about Australian aid to complete.

The 2015 survey saw over 400 stakeholders provide feedback on the Australian aid program, giving us valuable insights into the aid program as a whole, as well as detailed information about perceptions of the program, its management by DFAT, and aid volumes.

Now, nearly five years later, has the aid program become more or less effective? Has the use of facilities made program management easier? Have we reversed the loss of expertise that was the aftermath of the AusAID-DFAT merger? These are all questions we explore in the survey, and were keen to hear from anyone engaged with the Australian aid program, whether as a recipient, partner, implementer, analyst or advocate. So click here to have your say.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

The post Phase 2 of 2018 Australian aid stakeholder survey launched appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.


Bill Browder Strikes Back in Euro "IndyWatch Feed"

I am altering the deal. Pray I dont alter it any further.
The Empire Strikes Back

Since Vladimir Putin brought up Bill Browders name in Helsinki events have escalated to a fever pitch.  Russia is under extreme attack the U.S./European financial and political establishment.

And part of that push is coming from Browder himself.  In July, just a week after Helsinki, Browder opened up a money laundering complaint against Denmarks largest bank, Danske, alleging over $8 billion in money laundered from Russia, Moldova and Azerbaijan through its Estonian Branch.

The details here are important so bear with me.

Danskes report on these allegations are due on Wednesday.

No matter what they say, however, the die has been cast.

Danske is being targeted for termination by the U.S. and possible takeover by the European Central Bank.

Theres precedent for this but let me lay out some background first.

The Oldest Trick

Browders complaint says the money laundered is in connection with the reason why he was thrown out of Russia and the $230 million in stolen tax money which Browders cause clbre, the death of accountant Sergei Magnitsky, hangs on.

That crusade got the Magnitsky Act passed not only in the U.S. but all across the West, with versions on the books in Canada, Australia the EU and other places.

Danskes shares have been gutted in the wake of the accusation.

The U.S. is now investigating this complaint and that shouldnt come as much of a shock.

The Treasury Department can issue whatever findings it wants, and then respond by starving Danske of dollars, known as the Death Blow option the threat of which was plastered all over the pages of the Wall St. Journal on Friday.

Note this article isnt behind the Journals pay-wall.  They want everyone to see this.

Browder filed complaints both in Denm...


Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under The AIM Network

There is something peculiar doing the rounds in Australian food circles.  The land down under, considered something of a nirvana of fruit and vegetable production despite horrendous droughts and calamitous cyclones, is facing a new challenge: human agency, namely in the form of despoliation of strawberries. The results have knocked Australias highly concentrated supermarket chains,

The post Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under appeared first on The AIM Network.


Belgium stands up for freedom of speech in Spain No Right Turn

Back in February, Spain sentenced rapper Valtonyc to three and a half years in prison for insulting the monarch. He promptly fled the country. Now, a Belgian court has refused to extradite him:

A Belgian court on Monday ruled that Spanish rapper Valtonyc should not be sent back to Spain, where he was sentenced to prison accused of writing lyrics that praise terror groups and insult the royal family.

The rapper, whose real name is Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, was supposed to turn himself in voluntarily in May to authorities in Spain, where he faces prison sentences totaling three and a half years, but instead fled to Belgium.

"The judge has decided there will be no extradition and discarded all three charges," his lawyer, Simon Bekaert, told reporters near the court in the city of Ghent.

Bekaert said the judge ruled "there is no terrorism involved, there is no incitement of terrorism, so there is no question of a crime according to Belgian law." He said the judge also found that there is no crime to answer to over insulting the Spanish king and that no threat was made that could warrant extradition.

The Spanish government can still appeal, but success looks unlikely. Unfortunately, rather than accept that their laws are increasingly out of step with fundamental human rights, and will no longer be upheld or respected by other European courts (including the ECHR), Spain will probably double down on them and try and make them even more oppressive.


Australian Citizenship test revised Independent Australia

Australian Citizenship test revisedA new Prime Minister seems like a good time for a revised Australian citizenship test. read now...


Proactive release No Right Turn

In a major victory for transparency, the government will start proactively releasing Cabinet papers:

Cabinet papers will be proactively released, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins announced today.

The move is part of the Governments wider plan to improve openness and reflects its commitment to the international Open Government Partnership.

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019, Chris Hipkins who is also responsible for Open Government said.

This change is about being an open and accountable government.

On the one hand, this isn't that big a change - we already routinely have such releases when policy is announced. On the other hand, it is a huge step forward. In other parts of the world Cabinet material is tightly guarded (and this is then abused to hide other material), so we're displaying clear global leadership here. It would obviously be better if the timeline for release was aligned to the OIA's statutory 20 days, and I'll be interested in seeing the advice on why that wasn't done.

Of course, the problem with proactive release is that its grace and favour and cannot be contested except by filing another OIA making it clear that you want an unredacted copy (which may then be refused as the material "is already publicly available", even though the bits that you want are not). And this is clearly abused to hide material and steer the public conversation through selective release. One of the changes that needs to happen to the official information regime is bringing proactive disclosures under the Act and under the oversight of the Ombudsman, to prevent such abuses.


73% of Australians wrong according to climate denying COALition Independent Australia

73% of Australians wrong according to climate denying COALitionDoes the Coalition really think it is on the right track by ignoring 73% of the Australian public on climate change?  read now...


Critical problems in the integrated power grid Catallaxy Files

Recycling a comment from RobK in a previous thread on the renewable road to ruin. He reports a talk by an electrical engineer, Kate Summers of Pacific Hydro. She has excessive enthusiasm for renewable energy, especially hydro (which is cheating), but the most important take-home that I can understand is the massive spinning turbines are under huge mechanical stresses due to fluctuating voltage that is not being controlled properly in the integrated system. This will increase downtime and unscheduled outages and shorten their working lives.

Comments and further explanation are invited from qualified Cats, I took several pages of notes but will not take the time to listen again or attempt to improve on RobK and any others who are prepared to help.

Part of the problem that will appeal to students of catallaxies is her claim that the centralised control and monitoring in the integrated system fails compared with the decentralised controls in stand-alone systems.

Another vital take-home from the first or second question was the observation that among the 33 senior managers of the four regulatory agencies there are 3 with science or engineering qualifications.

Kate Summers Power system control or market control of a power system: Is there a fundamental loss of power system control?

On Wednesday 15th August 2018 I was happy to speak at University of Melbournes Climate and Energy College about a topic that I see as a very important one to the ongoing stability of the electricity grid (and hence to the continuation of the energy transition).

As I note during my presentation, it seems to me that we have moved from centralised planning but distributed control, to a market with decentralised planning but centralised control. This is apparent, for instance, in market provisions for ancillary services. I am not sure that we all understand the implications of this.

This is the commentary by RobK.

An interesting 60min presentation looking at an aspect of FCAS dealing with hunting of frequency control partially caused by poor integration of digital and rotory manchine control. Some interesting comments on the lack of engineering input to system design.

Presented by a power engineer with RE background. There are many other issues than mentioned here but interesting insights into the systems workings.

It seems worse than I expected.

At 6am Wind and Other were delivering 13% of the 20GW demand.


Prime Minister Shouty McShouty is just being his normal obnoxious self North Coast Voices

There has been some advice offered to Australian Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison by mainstream media.

Some journalists are suggesting that he should shout less.

Here are videos of his performance in the House of Representatives as Treasurer to demonstrate that he had little volume control even then :


When a prime minster fails to grasp the basics of climate change policy..... North Coast Voices

The Australian Prime Minister for Fossil Fuels and Liberal MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, has been repeatedly insisting since he came to office on 24 August 2018 that Australia is on target to meet its Paris Agreement greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Apparently he is telling journalists that the business-as-usual model gets us there in a canter.

Business-as-usual of course includes those cuts to climate change mitigation programs Morrison made as federal treasurer - including no further funding for the Abbott Government's Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) which has so far failed to purchase enough abatement to outpace Australia's emissions growth.

Those agencies outside of Morrison's magic circle are quite frankly contradicting his prediction of success.......

The COAG Energy Security Councils Energy Security Board expects that Morrisons refusal to revive National Energy Guaranteelegislation will see the electricity sector fall short of the emissions reduction target of 26% below 2005 levels.

According to Dept. of Environment and Energy  ...

Monday, 17 September


Dealing with the highest standards of political madness Catallaxy Files

This is the accusation: that the nominee for the Supreme Court, when he was 17, which is thirty or so years ago, did the following:

One summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend both stumbling drunk, Ford alleges corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

I thought he might inadvertently kill me, said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaughs friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.

Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. The therapists notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaughs name but say she reported that she was attacked by students from an elitist boys school who went on to become highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington. The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapists part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.

Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a rape attempt in her late teens.

In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions, she recounted being trapped in a room with two drunken boys, one of whom pinned her to a bed, molested her and prevented her from screaming. He said he recalled that his wife used Kavanaughs last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh then a federal judge might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, the White House sent The Post a statement Kavanaugh issued last week, when the outlines of Fords account became public: I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time.

Through a White House spokesman, Kavanaugh declined to comment further on Fords allegation and did not respond to questions about whether he knew her during high s...


What do think tanks think? The AIM Network

By Henry Johnston Auguste RodinsThe Thinker is universally regarded as a symbol of science and philosophy. But Rodin originally called it The Poet as a detail of a larger work known as The Gates of Hell to be used as an entrance to a Parisian museum. Neither the museum nor the bronze doors the

The post What do think tanks think? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Complicit in corruption reprint The AIM Network

Breaking news.well kind of. Company linked to alleged foreign bribery conspiracy in Nauru received $2.5m Australian government contract Shock horror.  Our AFP have discovered corruption in Nauru.eventually. Which leads me to repost an article I wrote over two years ago.. August 14, 2016 In June [2016], in an interview with A Current Affair, Naurus Justice Minister

The post Complicit in corruption reprint appeared first on The AIM Network.


Marketing Pixiedust The AIM Network

Regardless of the prognostications of politics in Australia, the message delivered by politicians from the larger parties is always professional, well-rehearsed and well delivered. Even as the dust was settling on the Turnbull/Dutton/Morrison brouhaha recently, Morrison had his message sorted (hes representing us in case you didnt pick up on it). Its just like a

The post Marketing Pixiedust appeared first on The AIM Network.


Australia and the new social democratic movement Independent Australia

Australia and the new social democratic movementLed by Bernie Sanders in the U.S. and the UK's Jeremy Corbyn, a new socially democratic force is dawning, writes Dr Steven Hail. read now...


Bring them home No Right Turn

In 2016, Labour promised that they would withdraw kiwi troops from Iraq if elected. They lied:

New Zealand will extend its military presence in Iraq until June 2019, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced.

Cabinet signed off on five military deployments on Monday.

The deployment in Afghanistan has also been extended to September 2019 alongside three smaller peacekeeping missions.

Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are neither moral nor necessary. In Iraq, kiwi troops have been directly assisting the Iraqi army in a murderous war. The Iraqi government has declared its enemies defeated. So why are we still there? And in Afghanistan, Kiwi troops have been directly implicated in war crimes, which are now the subject of an inquiry here in New Zealand. In both cases, all our presence does is directly support the corrupt, murderous regimes in Baghdad, Kabul, and Washington. Instead of doing that, we should bring them home - now.


Predator-free Waiheke? No Right Turn

Over the weekend the government announced an ambitious plan to make Waiheke Island predator-free:

Waiheke Island is set to become the world's largest predator-free urban island under a bold new $11 million plan to rid the Hauraki Gulf Island of rats and stoats.

Millions of passengers visit the Auckland tourist destination each year and the head of Fullers ferry company says it will be extremely difficult to introduce biosecurity measures similar to those imposed on other pest-free islands which involve checking visitors' gear, ensuring food is in sealed bags and cleaning footwear.

Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage will today announce plans to make the island, which is already free of possums, free of other pests by 2025.

This would enable North Island kk, kkriki, kerer, t, korimako or bellbird, piwakawaka or fantail, tturiwhatu or New Zealand dotterel, i or grey-faced petrel and koror or little blue penguins to breed safely and increase in number on Waiheke, she said.

While there's not a lot of money involved, this is a big, ambitious policy. It will also be a field-test for the wider goal of a predator-free New Zealand, and how to prevent rats spreading from urban areas into protected ones. But even if its not ultimately successful, and they end up merely vastly reducing predator numbers on Waiheke or restricting them to urban spaces, it will still have huge conservation benefits. And they can then take the lessons they learn and apply them to Stewart Island or the Coromandel.


Zeev Vinokurov: Schools out Catallaxy Files

Think back to university or high school. Were you or your classmates ever left bored or wondering whether one of your subjects would ever help you get a job? When was the last time most of us wrote an essay on literature or foreign policy, or solved an advanced mathematical equation? Youre not alone: An Australian government survey recently reported that more than a quarter of the nations graduates say their degrees are close to useless for their jobs, while more than half of employers say management and commerce degrees, the most popular field of study, are not important. Yet Australian taxpayers spent about $87 billion on education last year, $31 billion of which is spent on university education. Is that money well spent?

Economics Professor Bryan Caplans provocative, well-written and sometimes witty book, The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money, argues that taxpayers wastefully sponsor students to study courses that many wont enjoy, dont find relevant, dont learn much from, and dont remember much of after graduation.

So why do students study boring, irrelevant subjects? Graduating from university is valuable because it signals to employers that students are hard-working, capable, and willing to tolerate serious boredom as demonstrated by years of study. Indeed, graduate salaries tend to grow dramatically compared to nongraduates but mostly after they graduate. Thats called the sheepskin effect. The sheepskin effect even works for near-failing graduates, who still earn substantially more than students who drop out with one semester lefteven though theyre often separated by sheer luck. By graduating, students signal their work ethic.

The problem? Taxpayer sponsored education encourages excessive credentialism. Competent high school graduates benefit from a university degree even if it doesnt offer a career path, simply because it allows them to further demonstrate their pre-existing work ethic. But those too poor to enrol in university or complete it are effectively left behind when competing with tertiary graduates in the workforce. Thats because employers prefer to hire university graduates over high school graduates, even though both may be equally capable. State-sponsored higher education punishes university graduates by forcing them to engage in years of make-work while also punishing high school graduates who cannot afford university studies.

Moreover, and contrary to popular belief, students dont gain critical knowledge, reasoning skills, networking, discipline and social skills from studying the humanities. Studies conducted by educational psychologists indicate that most students dont learn these skills from the humanities, dont transfer what theyve le...


No more charter schools No Right Turn

National's charter schools are now officially dead:

All 12 of New Zealand's charter schools have been approved for transition to state integrated schools.

It marks the end to a rather short era.


"We have worked with the charter schools to find a way forward for them within the state system and no existing charter schools are closing their doors," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.

The last two schools to be approved for transition were Tranga Tangata Rite in Gisborne and Waatea School in Auckland.

Te Kura Mori o Waatea will open as a year 1-8 state integrated school in 2019, and Tranga Tangata Rite, which was not yet up and running, will open as a state-integrated school in 2020.

And that's that. No more second-rate, for-profit schools to exploit the poor with unqualified teachers and quack curriculums. Instead, they'll be required to have qualified staff, teach a proper curriculum, and be subject to the normal oversight of the Official Information and Ombudsman's Acts, just like any other school.


The police owe us some answers on Thompson & Clark No Right Turn

Back in March, the State Services Commission began an inquiry into government departments' use of Stasi-as-a-service firm Thompson & Clark. But there's one significant group which appears to have a deep and disturbing collaboration with TCIL which isn't covered by the inquiry: the Police:

There are calls for the inquiry into government agency links with controversial private investigation firm Thompson & Clark to be expanded to also take in the police, after a Stuff Circuit investigation exposed a long history of contact between police and the company.

"It's completely extraordinary that the police are not covered by the inquiry into Thompson & Clark," said Greenpeace executive director Russel Norman.


When police undertake surveillance there is oversight, from the judicial warrant system, for instance.

"Thompson & Clark don't go through any of those processes," says Norman. "They pay people who then turn up at groups and pretend to care about whatever the issue is and then if they're passing that information on to the New Zealand police without ever getting any proper judicial oversight of what the police are up to, that is very problematic."

The Stuff Circuit investigation makes a strong case that the police used Thompson & Clark to spy on animal rights activists, and has an admission from a police source that they shared a paid informant with them. And from reading the article, the police may also have lied on a search warrant application - a sworn statement to a judge - to hide the source of their intelligence. All of which is completely unacceptable. An investigation is necessary to uncover any police wrongdoing, as well as restore public confidence in the police. As for who should be tasked with getting to the bottom of it, it seems to fall within the ambit of the Independent Police Conduct Authority, and if it doesn't, then its covered by the Ombudsmen (the police being a specified organisation). But the IPCA would require someone to make a complaint, and may be reluctant to look at general matters of police policy - something the Ombudsman is generally far more willing to do. And I think people would be far more willing to trust the Ombudsman than the police's patsy "investigators".

Amnesty In...


The Woes of Climate Change States The AIM Network

As Australias tattered yet new government, led by the increasingly oafish and amateurish Scott Morrison trundled into its post-climate phase, states which see their existence as dependent on the cutting of carbon emissions have been more than a touch concerned. Their reality remains divorced from the paper clip conspiracies of Canberra and the energy cliques

The post The Woes of Climate Change States appeared first on The AIM Network.


More plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050 Independent Australia

More plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050Scientists warn that, unless we take action, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans. read now...


Semantic drift in the climate debate Catallaxy Files

Reading some academic literature by warming alarmists on the appropriate way to respond to criticism suggests that we have a shift in the meaning of key concepts in the debate. Cutting to the chase, in this literature the role of human emissions has shifted from likely one of the causes of warming in 1988 through discernible human influence in 1995 to causing most of the Earths warming since then.

So the image or the connotation of human-generated CO2 has shifted from traces of plant food added to the air by human activities that could have some influence on the climate to a global emergency that calls for trillions of expenditure to fix although it might be too late.

The technical term for this kind of thing is semantic drift or shift.

Awful Originally meant inspiring wonder (or fear), now usually has negative meaning.
Demagogue Originally meant a popular leader from the Greek dmos people + aggs leading, guiding. Now a politician who panders to emotions and prejudice.
Egregious Originally meaning good from the Latin egregius illustrious, select, literally, standing out from the flock, now really bad or flagrant.
Gay Originally meant (13th century) lighthearted, joyous or (14th century) bright and showy, it also came to mean happy.
Disinterested, once even handed or objective, now not interested.

In Climate scepticism and the manufacture of doubt [Ref below for nerds] we read Since at least the mid-1990s there has been a consensus that most of the Earths warming over the last half a century is likely due to increases in greenhouse gas emissions. In 1988 James Hansen testified [that it is] very likely on one of the causesIn 1995 the IPCC Second Assessment concluded that the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influenceand since that time the debate within the field of climate science [re the dominant contribution of human emissions] has largely been settled.

Observe the drift from likely one of the causes (1988) through discernible (IPCC 1995) to most of the Earths warming and debate largely settled since that time. Moreover the warming is alarming and it is mostly CO2 that is to blame.

Observe how the drift is propagated by the Reuters report on the 97.4% consensus paper by Cook and others. Incidentally the paper itself, read closely, indicates that most of the climate scientists think like most climate realists, that there has been some warming in recent times and there is a human influence (magnitude of both unspecified).

The Reuters item leads off with a summar...


Adani on life support John Quiggin

I have a piece in The Guardian under the headline Adanis rail line cut shows project is on life support but still a threat to climate, starting with the observation

The recent announcement by Adani that it will halve the costs of its rail line to the proposed Carmichael coalmine by building a shorter, narrow-gauge line raises an obvious question: if such a massive cost-saving is feasible, why didnt Adani go that way in the first place?

I also address the broader question

If coal is doomed, why has the price recoverd


Sandpit John Quiggin

A new sandpit for long side discussions, conspiracy theories, idees fixes and so on.


Monday Message Board John Quiggin

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

If you would like to receive my (hopefully) regular email news, please sign up using the following link


Recollections of youth while examining a judge Catallaxy Files

This is the Instapundit post which already has more than 1300 comments. If the right is going to fold every time some woman makes an accusation from decades before, they are not only sensationally vulnerable but fantastically stupid. Not one Democrat believes any of it, but they know some Republicans will, or at least will pretend to. Remember Roy Moore?

ANITA HILL, REDUX: Kavanaugh Accuser Breaks Anonymity, Is Liberal Professor.

UPDATE: Heres what we know: Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley reacts to new Kavanaugh allegation report. (Bumped).

MORE: Sen. Jeff Flake wants to postpone vote on Brett Kavanaugh; Update: Statement from Sen. Collins.

Plus: Thread: IF you wanted to detonate an 11th-hr, unfalsifiable smear & strategically leak it for max impact, this is how youd do it.



A Parliamentary Democracy for Everybody Pigs Fly Newspaper

Spin, Halftruths or simply Bulls**t

Forget what politicians say.
What truly matters is what they do.
And what they do is vote, to write our laws which affect us all.

A Parliamentary Democracy for Everybody

In Australia, every 3 years or so, we all head to polling places across the country to elect individuals to represent us in Federal Parliament. They become Australias Members of Parliament (MPs), and theyre there to advocate for the interests of the people who live in their electorate (whether we voted for them or not), vote on our behalf, and pass legislation to create a society which works for us.

They vote for you

Between elections, how do you know that the individual speaking for you, in your electorate, votes in your interest?

Have they ever voted against their party on an issue people like you in your electorate care about? Do they even turn up?

How your MP votes on issues you care about

Weve peeled back the layers of stuffy jargon, arcane procedures and language so you can find out whether a member voted on expanding powers to intercept communications or for Aboriginal land rights. There is a whole list of policies. If you see one missing, you can add your own.

Find your MP

Its easy to get started by searching
or head to the full list of Representatives and Senators.

Thanks for making this

They Vote For You was built by the OpenAustralia Foundation, an independent, non-partisan not-for-profit. It is based on the ground-breaking UK Public Whip site originally created by Francis Irving and Julian Todd in 2003. We owe Julian and Francis a massive debt of gratitude for everything theyve done.

A huge thank you to Google Australia whose donation made the development of this project possible.

They Vote For You was created by Henare Degan, Matthew Landauer, Luke Bacon and Katherine Szuminska. Political research for the resea...


Thomas Sowell hits the nail Catallaxy Files

From the wisdom of Thomas Sowell:

What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise peoplelike themselvesneed to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.

If there is ever invented a proven and working potion of youth, Spartacus would vote that Sowell be the first recipient if he wants it that is.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at


Morrison's Coalition Government in complete disarray Independent Australia

Morrison's Coalition Government in complete disarrayComplete with a new leader, this Government remains in complete disarray merely keeping the seat warm for Labor. read now...


In which the pond takes a break, but not before gorging on a final serve of Oreo ... loon pond


Everything old is new again, and the onion muncher survives again, because that's all he knows a professional politician, with the abilities of a rank amateur ...

The pond contemplated it with a weary grim joy and decided to take an extended break. 

We're all dying but some are going a tad more quickly, and the pond's ill-health has undercut its ability to tend to its reptile herpetarium and in any case for what? To make a fresh round of Direct Action jokes, and marvel at the inherent uselessness of the onion muncher?

Well at least the pond's banner retains some ongoing relevance, with the onion muncher's direct action nonsense still rampant but the pond wanted to go out with a bang, and who better than the Oreo to provide an Oscar Wilde rocket for the pond's buck?


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