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Wednesday, 22 August

00:18

A definitive list of the far right nutters within the current federal Liberal Party? North Coast Voices


Sky News stated this as a list of those in the Liberal party room who backed, then Minister for Home Affairs and now backbencher, Peter Dutton's attempt to overthrow Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull:




A Whos Who of those voting against Malcolm Bligh Turnbull in Liberal party room leadership ballot on 21 August 2018:

Peter Dutton hi...

00:16

And the warnings continue about My Health Record..... North Coast Voices


Financial Review, 13 August 2018:

One of the world's leading experts in cyber security policy has warned the manipulation of health data is one of his biggest concerns facing society, as debate continues to rage about the long-term viability of the government's controversial opt-out My Health Record.

Former Pentagon chief strategy officer for cyber policy and newly appointed head of cyber security strategy for data centre security company Illumio, Jonathan Reiber, told The Australian Financial Review the health data of MPs and business leaders would be of particular interest to cyber criminals.

"If I'm a malicious actor wanting to cause discontent, I would be interested in that," he said.

"If you get access to the health information of key leaders, you can understand what they like, who they are and what their problems are. [Cyber criminals] would want to look at a segment of 50 to 100 key leaders in the country, figure out data for intelligence purposes and then manipulate the data for the negative."
...

00:15

Gloucester community's landmark climate change case began in NSW Land & Environment Court, August 2018 North Coast Voices




CASE SUMMARY

Gloucester Resources Ltd and Stratford Pty Ltd
v Groundswell Gloucester and Dept of Planning & Environment 


The Client: Groundswell Gloucester, a residents community group concerned with the environmental, social and economic future of the Stroud Gloucester Valley near Barrington Tops in the upper Hunter.

The Case: Represented by EDO NSW, Groundswell Gloucester was joined to proceedings that will determine the fate of the Rocky Hill Coal project, a greenfield open-cut coal mine less than 5km from Gloucester township.

...

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Tuesday, 21 August

23:59

Malcolm Turnbulls Prime Ministerial Obituary Catallaxy Files

If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined

(Pyrrhus of Epirus)

One of the first posts ever written on TMR was Tony Abbotts Prime Ministerial Obituary.

Malcolm Turnbull doesnt need a similarly written obituary: hes done a perfectly good job of writing his own.

Building Turnbulls PM Obituary Guarantee

During Turnbulls first year as Prime Minister, Australians were treated to Turnbull and his leather jacket at their barnstorming best:

  • March 2016  Turnbull thinks about introducing a negative gearing cap and reducing the CGT discount before taking them off the table in April 2016:

After weeks of suggesting the government might make some changes to negative gearing at the higher end of the income scale, Mr Turnbull said it was common sense to make no adjustments to existing arrangements.

In other word...

21:21

Burn out, fade away Press gallery reform

The Coalition has two choices going forward, and both depend on the Labor Party. This means that the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, is more powerful than the current Prime Minister and more powerful than any Liberal who might replace him (Dutton, Abbott, Bishop, Morrison, take your pick).

Shorten's first option

Turnbull could reach out to Labor to pass a bipartisan NEG. It is possible that Shorten would play a cat-and-mouse game with him, and send Turnbull back to his party room with a deal he cannot sell, but this is not consistent with our experience of him. Shorten's behaviour as a union leader and as a minister under Rudd-Gillard-Rudd suggests that he will surprise observers not by demanding his opponents meet him halfway, but by offering the other side pretty much everything they want and then getting his side to back the eventual compromise. If you accept the idea that a Labor victory at the next election enables Shorten to reshape or abolish the NEG, then he loses almost nothing by giving Turnbull what he said he wanted last week. He even looks like the guy putting some steel into the spine of a weak leader, buttressing his claim to be a Hawke-like healer and uniter, and diminishing Liberal framing of him being a schemer and wrecker (certainly in contrast to Abbott). Whatever triumph Turnbull puts forward will never fully be his own, because Shorten will own it too.

Abbott, Dutton, and the para-Liberal right (e.g. Joyce, Bernardi, Hanson, Sky News, 2GB) will frame this compromise as selling out. As the Liberals start preselecting candidates for the coming election, the party at its grassroots will debate negotiating tactics in its deliberations over who they choose to participate in these negotiations. This debate will override any dictate from the leader's office or from a party-room vote. Turnbull has not done the work at the party's grassroots to make this debate work in his favour: he is not a grassroots politician even among Liberals, he is a politician who gets the lead players into a small room and hammers out a deal, the very outcome that will not work here. The wider Liberal Party will look like chaos, it will not be able to be contained by the party's gatekeepers, and Abbott is the Liberal Party's lord of misrule.

Turnbull cannot claim that any Liberal who supported the no-policy status quo is finished politically. The evolution of the Nationals away from being a farmers' party toward being a general non-metropolitan conservative party demonstrates this. The shadowy political support mechanisms provided by Gina Rinehart toward failed politicians Sophie Mirabella and Adam Giles, not to mention Cory Bernardi and Pauline Hanson, negate the idea that political aspirations end once the major parties are done with you.

Remember how big business groups like the BCA and Ai Group lobbied Liberal MPs to agree to something over nothing? Those people lobbied Shorten too. In times...

19:38

The Loveliest Leadership Challenge Where Everyone Sang Kumba Ya! The AIM Network

After deciding that the overwhelming support of the party room wasnt enough to pursue the policy endorsed on Friday, Malfunction decided that he needed to change the policy because overwhelming support isnt the same as enough support. He changed it yesterday. Moving on Sky News told us today that some Coalition members called for an

The post The Loveliest Leadership Challenge Where Everyone Sang Kumba Ya! appeared first on The AIM Network.

17:00

Charisma and Banality: Kofi Annan and the UN The AIM Network

Being the head of a creature essentially without spine, and, even more to the point, with vague form, must be something of a challenge. Part of the failing of the United Nations probably lies in its disparate existence, a scattered composition of bureaucratic entities that, when they come together, supply a perfect picture of inertia.

The post Charisma and Banality: Kofi Annan and the UN appeared first on The AIM Network.

16:58

Turnbulls last chance for greatness John Quiggin

Since he first entered the Australian political scene as a leading proponent of republicanism, Malcolm Turnbulls career has been one long series of disappointments, which involved failing (more or less steadily) upwards.  Barring a miracle, his career is now effectively over. In the unlikely event that he survives as PM to the next election, he is assured of electoral defeat and subsequent oblivion.

But, he has one last chance for greatness. Its now clear that  many of his Liberal colleagues and, almost certainly, a majority of coalition MPs, want to hand the country over to an overt racist, bigot and climate denialist*. Yet it would only take 75 votes on the floor of the House of Representatives to stop this from happening.  A handful of genuine liberals in the Liberal party would be enough*.*

If Turnbull led such a group, he would be reviled by his own side, most of whom hate and/or despise him anyway, but he would finally justify the hopes of millions of Australians (including me) who actually believed he could change politics for the better.

Even if the requisite handful could not be found, Turnbull could resign his seat and recontest it as an independent, or support someone else pledged to oppose Dutton.  That would give at least some electors a chance to have their say.

Of course, this is all said in bitter jest.  Turnbull has never stood for anything and never will. He will hang on to the last possible moment, then capitulate meekly.

*  I mean Dutton, though his puppetmaster Abbott fits the bill also. In his inglorious run as PM, he at least paid lip service to racial equality and climate reality, but that has now gone out the window.

** Somewhere between one and five depending on how the independents and fringe parties went. I assume that any confidence agreements made with Turnbull would lapse.

16:30

#LibSpill, NEG or NBN? It's not poor MALsplaining Malcolm Turnbull's fault Independent Australia

#LibSpill, NEG or NBN? It's not poor MALsplaining Malcolm Turnbull's faultThe MSM needs to stop making for excuses for Turnbull's failures and subject him to the same scrutiny endured by Julia Gillard. read now...

15:15

Peter Boettke on F A Hayek Catallaxy Files

Peter Boettke is a prolific writer and a Professor of Economics and Philosophy at the George Mason University at Fairfax, Virginia. He was elected President of the Mont Pelerin Society for 2016-2018.
He has written a major work on the contribution of F A Hayek and these are the chapter abstracts.

Enjoy!

Chapter 1. Friedrich Hayeks ideas played a fundamental role in all major debates over economic policy-making throughout his lifetime and beyond. They were developed in a precise historical context and were the result of the intellectual influence of his teachers and colleagues. Unfortunately, they are surrounded by the following misconceptions: his economics was atomistic; he believed markets to be perfectly efficient and government plays no role in a market economy; and he thought any government intervention will lead to totalitarianism. Due to their importance, these ideas demand careful consideration to go beyond the misconceptions in order to engage them fully and employ them to make sense of Hayeks ideas and how they apply to our world today.

A minor quibble on Chapter 7 Hayek belongs to a long tradition of social scientists who saw themselves as contributing to the invisible hand theorizing of Adam Smith. Years ago my late friend Roger Sandall made me read a (then) recent biography of Adam Smith. This may have referred to the hidden hand that Smith once or twice mentioned and it is surprising that the hand is so often regarded as the leitmotif of Smiths thought because the overwhelming impression from this book was that Smith was relentlessly engaged in institutional analysis.

Apparently he envisaged a Newtonian synthesis in the human sciences in four volumes. He completed the first two on the moral system and the economy but he did not get past preliminary work on politics and the law. Ironically one of the things that diverted his time and energy from the great task was his diligent work on a committee concerned with tariffs. He directed that all those drafts and notes should be burned when he died.

Something like the Smithian synthesis might have emerged from the joint efforts of von Mises, Talcott Parsons and Karl Popper in the 1930s if they had pooled their resources instead of working in different directions. For example in 1944/45 Popper briefly signalled the need for social and institutional analysis to explain scientific and industrial progress but he didnt follow up the insight (Sections 31 and 31 in The Poverty of Historicism).

14:53

Peter West: Restoration as revolution Catallaxy Files

About a week ago, Steve posted the article Jordan Peterson trashes the left once again. He quoted from an article by Joy Pullman, called (big breath) The Left Is Actually Afraid Of Jordan Peterson Because Hes Leading A Revolt Against Their Corruption. It was published in The Federalist. Pullman starts her article by commenting on an earlier piece from The Atlantic, by Caitlin Flanagan . I had previously read, with amazement, Flanagans article.  It seemed to me to be schizophrenic.  The quote that Pullman utilises in her second paragraph encapsulates its central weirdness. Ill quote her here again.

They began listening to more and more podcasts and lectures by this man, Jordan Peterson, she writes. The young men voted for Hillary, they called home in shock when Trump won, they talked about flipping the House, and they followed Peterson to other podcasts to Sam Harris and Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan. What they were getting from these lectures and discussions, often lengthy and often on arcane subjects, was perhaps the only sustained argument against identity politics they had heard in their lives.

When I first read it, I could not credit it.  How could you watch the dismantling of the rationale of the modern left and yet vote for Clinton?  It made no sense to me at all.  To me it had seemed self-evident that identity politics, in all its vituperative glory, was the primary driver of Democratic politics, and that to undermine its foundations was to undermine the entire rationale of the Democratic Party.  Democratic voices opposed to the identity politics that dominated the media, mainstream and social, were never, as far as I could tell from here, heard.

It also seemed self-evident that the Democratic Party was, by virtue of these emphases, not a centrist party, but a party of the left.  Yet Flanagan, author of the above remarks, titled her article, Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson, and throughout she makes it clear that she, and her Peterson-listening, Clinton-voting sons, are not now, nor have they ever been, on The Left.  Jordan Peterson, and the intellectual dark web are offering kryptonite to identity politics, yet Barack Obama [is] the poet laureate of identity politics. So, was Obama on The Left?  The producers of Today, and Good Morning America and CBS This Morning did their bit by not giving Peterson a platform to promote 12 Rules for Life, presumably because these programs are voices of The Left.  But not Flanagan.

...

14:30

The ATAs Cheap Energy Guarantee Catallaxy Files

The ATA is inviting coalition MPs to sign up to their Cheap Energy Guarantee.

01 Scrap The Paris Mandate
Utilising Behavioural Economics not mandates to achieve Paris Targets.

It is proposed that the National Energy Guarantee would ensure 18% of energy emissions be sourced from renewable sources and that techniques learned from behavioural economics be used to ensure voluntary compliance to bridge the gap to 28%.

This is a significantly superior model to that currently proposed of leaving emissions reduction quotas to the discretion of future Energy or Environment ministers, a model which puts electricity consumers at risk and causes great investment uncertainty. Households and businesses who have a commitment to renewable energy would be able contribute additional funds to ensure Australia matches or exceeds its commitment under the Paris Accord, thereby offsetting their carbon emissions and even leaving a negative carbon footprint. This is more economically efficient and also matches liberal values of individual choice and personal responsibility.

A model based on the most cutting edge behavioural economics research will facilitate compliance.

02 Provide Certainty For Gas & Coal Investment
Ensuring investment certainty through codifying regulatory compensation.

A key factor in increased prices is the barrier to investment due to regulatory uncertainty. As a result, investments in certain types of power generation is not made, and prices of existing generators are significantly inflated due to a perceived shorter lifespan. Codifying a system of regulatory compensation will guarantee companies significant payouts for losses if the regulatory environment is changed. This will provide certainty and will drive down costs in a manner that remains true to free market principles.

03 Abolish All Green Subsidies
Treat all sources of energy generation equally by 2020.

Levelling the playing field by bringing forward the elimination of market-distorting subsidies and green energy programs to 2020 will save considerable taxpayer funds which may be invested elsewhere, while simultaneously stabilising investment opportunities driving down costs to consumers. While the federal government plans to abolish the Renewable Energy Target and phase out subsidies by 2020, states and territories including Queensland maintain their own Renewable Energy Targets.

These do not just hurt consumers within those jurisdictions, but hurt consumers in other states and territories who share the collective National Energy Market grid and have no say in the matter. Where these policies are proven to negatively impact electricity prices across the NEM, it is submitted that the federal government should impose appropriate penalties through a reduction in the states share of GST distribut...

13:10

Warning. Social justice warriors at work in our ABC Catallaxy Files

A nice pickup from None at 10.57 on the Dutton Challenge thread. History teachers at two Sydney universities contributing to the Religion and Ethics section if you please. Warning, vested interests are misreading modern history and undermining the welfare state. They write:

At a time when conservative governments, the Murdoch press and their corporately funded think-tank supporters run down university departments of history in this country, the need for careful interpretations of the past has never been more evident.

Indeed!

13:00

In which the pond gets around to the Caterist ... loon pond


As everyone should know by now, truth isn't truth, and so there's no point reading the Caterist in the hope of finding truth, because there's no truth in the Caterist world, just the warm, cosy feeling of government cash in the paw


Now that little sugar hit is way better than truth, and surely a path to some kind of epiphany

The pond had to put aside the epiphanic Caterist earlier in the day in the hope of witnessing a slaughter, but even though the near death experience has passed for the moment, his piece reads as a piece of sublime irrelevance, as if the NEG still had some kind of life and substance


To be fair, the Caterist was blessed with a Krygsman, thereby guaranteeing cult status, though the pond was torn between seeing Dave and the mutton Dutton in the picture

As for the rest, it's the usual sly innuendo of Caterist climate science denialism at work. The way this goes down is that the furtive sociology student and van driver slinks around, never actually tackling the science, but instead muttering about HAL, computers, modelling, and dropping waggish hints here and there ...

...

12:26

Another statement to pause and reflect on Catallaxy Files

Following on Mark Kennys article in the other part of the Fairfax stable, SMH/AGE, was the following comment in the comments section from someone called Malcolm in the Muddle:

To repeat  Now, after 5 long years, we can return to sensible government!

And another statement to pause and reflect on.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at eyamspartacus.wordpress.com

12:00

Dutton, Turnbull and the #libspill that never really was Independent Australia

Dutton, Turnbull and the #libspill that never really wasIt is folly for Peter Dutton, whose seat is held by a two per cent margin, to run as a prime ministerial candidate. read now...

11:45

A statement to pause and reflect on Catallaxy Files

In todays AFR, published before the leadership spill this morning, Phil Coorey wrote:

Labor is now the undisputed free market party in Australian politics.

Once upon a time such a statement would have been laughable and Coorey ridiculed.

This is no longer the case.  Such a statement now gives cause to pause and reflect.  And for that, all Australians will pay the price.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at eyamspartacus.wordpress.com

11:08

NEGative thoughts John Quiggin

I was asked by Bloomberg to comment on what the future holds for Turnbull and the NEG. My comments:

Its an established convention in Australian politics that a narrow victory in a leadership challenge implies the need for a subsequent challenge in which the incumbent invariably loses. So, I think Turnbulls future is either on the backbench or early retirement from politics.  Even if he hangs on, the NEG is now finished.
 It remains to be seen whether the various ad hoc interventions announced or canvassed over the past few days take place. My guess is that most will require legislation and that getting this legislation through the Parliament will prove impossible.
  I think nothing much will happen until Turnbull is replaced, presumably by Dutton. I cant forecast what will happen after that.
This followed some comments I gave yesterday about rightwing opposition to the NEG (over the fold)

1.  This is primarily a culture war issue.  The immediate cause of the crisis is the refusal of the climate denialists in the government to accept any serious response to climate change.  As is evidenced by the case of the Trump Administration US, this refusal would be just the same even if power prices had not risen significantly.   Supposed concern about power prices is used as a political talking point, to support policies that may or not lead to lower prices.
2.  The increase in prices reflects the comprehensive failure of the market-oriented reforms introduced in the 1990s, including privatisation, the creation of the National Electricity Market and the introduction of retail competition.  The big cost increases have reflected the increased rate of return on monopoly transmission and distribution assets and the large retail margins that have emerged following the introduction of competition
3. Rather than undertake the necessary fundamental reforms the government has bolted on a series of emergency measures including the constantly evolving National Energy Guarantee, ad hoc intervention in the market for gas, and the current price cap proposal
4. The retail cap measure is desirable in itself but undermines the logic behind the National Electricity Market as a whole.
5. It would be preferable to renationalise the transmission, distribution and retail sectors, and use power purchase agreements in place of the spot market. Obviously, this would be a long road and is unlikely to happen. My expectation is that we will continue to see more and more fudges, at least for the foreseeable future.
6. At this point, Id be highly surprised if the policy was adopted, and even more so if Turnbull lasted l...

10:57

How to move energy policy models beyond bias and vested interests Pigs Fly Newspaper

How to move energy policy models beyond bias and vested interests

How to move energy policy models beyond bias and vested interests

File 20180820 30593 fmzgin.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1Modelling should be a chance to test your assumptions, not just confirm them.
Shutterstock

Shirin Malekpour, Monash University and Enayat A. Moallemi, UNSW

The Turnbull governments flagship energy plan, the National Energy Guarantee, was intended to end a decade-long stalemate on energy and climate policy in Australia.

Ironically, since its unveiling in October 2017, the debate has heightened considerably, with the result that the government has now walked away from the emissions-reduction component of the policy.




Read more:
Malcolm Turnbull shelves emissions reduction target as leadership speculation mounts

...

10:30

NEG guarantees nothing The AIM Network

By Stephen Fitz All the debate, all the policy, all the smoke screens and diversion, all the pain and all the suffering inflicted on energy consumers, and for what? What it boils down to is reducing greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuel, the key components driving elevated global temperature and subsequent climate change. And,

The post NEG guarantees nothing appeared first on The AIM Network.

10:00

The seats youve been talking about The Tally Room

With the federal election guide now complete, I decided to check in on which seats have been attracting the most comments. Comment sections are now open for all 159 federal contests, and some of these pages have been quite active.

These are the seats with the most comments. Theres some obvious marginal seats but also a few surprises.

Seat Comments
Hume 49
Ryan 44
Macnamara 39
Lindsay 38
Cooper 36
Cook 33
Brisbane 28
Higgins 27
Lilley 23
Reid 22
Casey 20
Herbert 20
Hughes 20
Stirling 19
Deakin 15
Isaacs 15
New England 15
QLD Senate 15

Overall (as of Saturday evening) 1153 comments had been posted on 140 different guides, with nineteen races yet to attract a...

09:40

The Tribe Has Spoken Catallaxy Files

Its no wonder that this current Australian Government cannot get its foreign policy settings with China correct; they seem to have no understanding of the basics of Chinese numerology.  As Spartacus has previously written, the number 4 is bad luck in Chinese and the number 444 is particularly bad.

So lets get to the details.  It looks and smells like Prime Minister Turnbull might be deposed any day now.  Now as Spartacus has previously disclosed, he is not a member of any political party, but Spartacus does not believe that the Parliamentary Liberal party (or any parliamentary party) should remove a Prime Minister.  That job should be left to either the population as part of a general election or at the very least to the general party membership.  The Parliamentary party has long surrendered its authority to appoint and remove leaders by virtue of not supervising or nudging their current and prior leader.

(As an aside, the appointment of a parliamentary leader by the party membership is an idea long advocated by John Ruddick but recently co-oped and claimed by others.  Ruddick is soon to publish a book on this subject and the reform of the Liberal Party).

But no matter what happens to Prime Minister Turnbull, there are 2 people in Turnbulls Cabinet who should resign immediately and start planning for their post politics career.  Those 2 people are Josh Frydenberg and Julie Bishop.

Julie Bishop, the Minister for Fashion Shows and First Class travel has been the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party to 4, count them, 4 Liberal leaders:

  1. Brendan Nelson
  2. Malcolm Turnbull 1
  3. Tony Abbott
  4. Malcolm Turnbull 2

She has failed ever single time to perform the duty of a deputy.  Where is the current DEPUTY Leader of the Liberal Party?  What is her view on the NEG?  What is her view on the current political turmoil.  Not a peep.  Perhaps she has read the tea leaves an is already filling in an application for a role with the Clinton Global Initiative.

John Frydenberg, Minister for Surreptitious Carbon Taxes also has to go.  The NEG is his second attempt to sneak through a carbon tax by another name; the previous effort being his Energy Intensity Scheme.  Couple these two stuff ups with his $444 million (note the number) Barrier Reef boondoggle with is abject failure as Deregulation Minister to achieve any real deregulation.  Not again the magic and bad luck number 4:

  1. No substantive d...

09:32

Google collaborating with Chinese censors Catallaxy Files

Who would have thought? Fortunately there is unrest among the staff.

The internal furor began after The Intercept earlier this month revealed details about the censored search engine, which would remove content that Chinas authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. It would blacklist sensitive queries so that no results will be shown at all when people enter certain words or phrases, leaked Google documents disclosed. The search platform is to be launched via an Android app, pending approval from Chinese officials.

The censorship plan code-named Dragonfly was not widely known within Google. Prior to its public exposure, only a few hundred of Googles 88,000 employees had been briefed about the project around 0.35 percent of the total workforce. When the news spread through the companys offices across the world, many employees expressed anger and confusion.

Now, a letter has been circulated among staff calling for Googles leadership to recognize that there is a code yellow situation a kind of internal alert that signifies a crisis is unfolding. The letter suggests that the Dragonfly initiative violates an internal Google artificial intelligence ethical code, which says that the company will not build or deploy technologies whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.

09:21

Peter Dutton challenges Malcolm Turnbull for leadership Catallaxy Files

Its on.

Liberal leadership declared vacant

PoliticsNow: Malcolm Turnbull has declared the leadership of the Liberal Party vacant in this mornings partyroom meeting.

UPDATE: Malcolm Turnbull wins partyroom ballot against Peter Dutton 48 35

09:00

Dont feed the trolls The AIM Network

Ever since Internet blogs allowed comments, there has been a particularly nasty, vile group of people that visit the comments sections of blogs, post inflammatory comments to provoke others and move on when they have derailed the conversation. Usually the rationale for doing this is to disrupt the blog or to get some publicity for

The post Dont feed the trolls appeared first on The AIM Network.

08:00

PRESS GALLERY REPORT: Is Turnbull's leadership running out of energy? Independent Australia

PRESS GALLERY REPORT: Is Turnbull's leadership running out of energy?IA's Canberra correspondent John Passant delivers his first report from the Press Gallery, just as Turnbull ditches the NEG over a #libspill. read now...

07:23

In which the onion muncher's stick in the ants' nest produces a reptile frenzy ... loon pond

 
 

So John Oliver picked up on Bob Katter and his dropkick sidekick, and had much fun with them, and once again made sure news of the ugly Australian spread through the United States!

So Media Watch last night had much fun with the racist loon from the deep north, whose family came from the Middle East

Sorry, that's so yesterday, today the reptiles are deep into the killing fields, and the onion muncher shoving his stick in the ants' nest day after day has finally worked, and he and climate science denialism have won, and now it's just a matter of burying the walking dead

Oh yes, already the fighting and the mutual abuse has begun, as noted at the ABC here

...

06:00

A new perspective on aid delivery "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

It is rare to get a real insight into the differences within and between agencies in how aid is delivered. A new book, Navigation by Judgment: Why and When Top-down Management of Foreign Aid Doesnt Work by Dan Honig, does this.

For most of us who have worked in aid-funded programs, it is a mystifying and frustrating business, especially when you have had the experience of working for different aid agencies as I have had (UNICEF, AusAid, USAID and the German aid agency (GIZ), as well as multilaterals such as the ADB).

After reading a highly favourable review by Lant Pritchett on the Building State Capability Blog, I purchased the book, not least because I noted that Dan had worked on a youth-related project in Timor-Leste, as I had done. The books insight is not a new one, but what is new is that it is built on two solid evidential bases: an econometric analysis of a huge database of delivery outcomes of aid projects and eight case studies in two countries of the differences between USAID and DFID (UK aid) modes of aid delivery.

Honigs main finding, with some qualifications, is that program outcomes are better where aid agencies allow and encourage their direct staff or contracted staff to have greater latitude to exercise judgement. I prefer to use the Australian spelling because the word judgment in an Australian context can refer to legal decisions, the opposite of what Honig is referring to.

The value of navigation by judgement applies especially when the operating context is unpredictable and where performance is difficult to measure. Judgement refers to the scope that staff have to make their own decisions within the broad parameters set by the program design. This is in contrast to top-down management, which in the words of the books fly leaf is problematic: Tight controls and a focus on reaching pre-set measurable targets often prevent front-line workers from using skill, local knowledge and creativity to solve problems in ways that maximise the impact of foreign aid.

The econometric analysis is of evaluations of over 14,000 projects from nine international development organisations. Spoiler alert: no Australian aid projects are included. The analysis uses self-evaluated project outcomes as a measure of success. If you want to see Dan present the econometric results and more else besides, this video is well worth viewing.

In short, Honig finds that navigation by judgement is most helpful where environment predictability is lowest. The...

00:16

William Fraser Anning - an ugly aspect of far-right politics in Australia North Coast Voices


The Sydney Morning Herald, Fraser Anning

William Fraser Anning then a member ofPauline Hansons One Nation Party was declared elected to the Australian Senate on 10 November 2017,as a replacement for the recently disqualified dual citizen Malcolm Ieuan Roberts.

Less than seven months later he had joined Katters Australian Party.

In the 2016 general election Anning had received a grand total of 19 votes (59 if transferred votes are counted) out of a possible 2.72 million Queensland ballots cast. The Queensland electorate had firmly rejected him.
...

00:15

Great Barrier Reef: $487.63 million to do little more than sit by the bedside of a dying reef system? North Coast Voices



The Great Barrier Reef Foundation has had some good fortune that few environmental NGOs could count on. The $444 million it was granted by the government earlier this year dwarfs its previous budgets by a large multiple. Having worked in two small environmental charities of a similar operating budget and staffing to the pre-windfall foundation, I can confirm getting so much money without even applying for it is far beyond anyones wildest dreams.

Still, the biggest questions about the GBRF windfall dont relate to its good luck in an opaque government decision, or even its connections to the fossil fuel industry. 

These are entirely valid concerns, but they risk eclipsing the bigger significance of the governments move.

What we also need to ask is: what does the foundation do? What are its outputs, its...

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Monday, 20 August

22:27

John Constantine: Great Safe Cow Cull Catallaxy Files

How the Cull of grazing animals to meet turnbulls Paris treaty will work.

In Australia, stocking rates depend upon the access to water, the original settlers drove their herds from water source to water source, and the expansion of grazing enterprises always depended upon innovation and infrastructure making water supplies more plentiful and reliable, even in desperate times.

Only under our New Class has Australia turned its back on abundant and cheap water supplies, and began the long march returning to the dry and dusty rewilding of the interior, just like our back has been turned on cheap and reliable electricity as we walk away from industry.

Central planning control of the rivers of the Murray Darling Basin now sits in Canberra, and Turnbull has borrowed billions to buy central planning control of the water of the Snowy River for Canberra as well. Plus the treaties to save the Great Barrier Reef, which open the way for central planning control of the waters that flow from Queensland farmland to interact with the Reef.

The State will not send squads to shoot the sheep and cattle, when the time comes, they will simply squeeze the supply of water off, and market forces will respond with a slow and remorseless destocking.

Control the water supply and you control the number of stock that can be depastured.

Australias livestock drinking and fodder growing water is now centrally controlled by a New Class that has the political will to use this control as a tool to enforce their transnational treaties.

The rainfall deficiency created droughts can be managed, but the lefts treaty and paperwork created droughts will be inescapeable and eternal.

22:20

Greg Chapman: Mornings with Jon Catallaxy Files

Good morning this Monday morning the 18th of August. This is Jon Fabian, and what a morning for news we have today. The tragic shootings in the Sydney gay nightclub over the weekend by a man identified by police as Hasaan Ali, who apparently was draped in an Islamic State flag and who shouted Allah Akbar before firing on the crowd, and left behind a note that said homosexuality is a sin against Allah, but as the police minister said, we must not jump to conclusions about the motives behind this attack. Indeed, I think we will never know the motives since this person of interest was shot dead by police.

In light of this attack, we are very fortunate to have Waleed Ali, an expert on terrorism, not that we know that this was an act of terrorism. Waleed will share his favourite halal recipes, and will be able to answer all your questions on how to prepare them. If we have time, he may also provide us with an opinion on whether the police allowed this man, Hasaan Ali, his human rights. I should mention, that Waleed isnt related to the terror. sorry the alleged person of interest in the Sydney attack.

Also today we will be looking into the unprecedented heat wave in the UK with a palaeontologist who has literally written the book on giant wombats, Professor Tim Flannery. This month they had temperatures as high as 35 degrees, not seen since 1976. Isnt this proof of climate change? And just to have a balanced debate on this matter here at the ABC, Tim will be debating with fellow climate expert, Sarah Hanson-Young, two people with strong opinions on this topic. I will do my best to moderate this discussion as objectively as I can. It likely to get very heated.

Then of course we had the launch of a missile by North Korea sinking a Japanese navy frigate in the Sea of Japan. I will be speaking with our special geopolitical correspondent Yassmin Abdel-Magied who has been following this story closely, and has written in the Guardian today how this is the fault of President Trump and why he should visit Pyongyang to apologise to the North Koreans.

Look, I have just received breaking news from Sydney at the Premiers press conference on this weekends events. While the conference was mostly to do with the weekend attack, our reporter was able to ask a question of the Premier I am sure will be of great interest to ABC listeners and I can reveal that the Premier has indicated that Parliament will be considering introducing laws that will allow gays to adopt children, providing important context to the news today since this anti-gay discrimination may be a contributing factor to the tragedy yesterday, something that has been totally ignored by all other media at the press conference. All the news you want to hear, only on your ABC.

With just a minute or so before the news, I need to say a few words on the demise of the Fairfax newspapers. With this indepe...

20:09

Regular email news John Quiggin

Over the fold, my latest regular email. If you would like to receive it, sign up at http://eepurl.com/dAv6sX

Hi everyone

 

As is common for academics of a certain age, Ive been writing lots of book chapters lately, and several of the books have come out recently.  They include:

Wrong Way: How Privatisation & Economic Reform Backfired, edited by Damien Cahill and Phillip Toner, which is going to be launched at Gleebooks in Sydney on Friday 21st September. I have contributed chapters on electricity reform and productivity.

The Coal Truth, by David Ritter  This isnt an edited volume but a great piece of writing by David, with additional contributions from lots of people including Tara Moss and Berndt Sellheim, Adrian Burragubba, Lesley Hughes ,Hilary Bambrick, Ruchira Talukdar, Geoffrey Cousins and me.

The SAGE Handbook of Neoliberalism, edited by  Damien Cahill, Melinda Cooper, Martijn Konings and David Primrose. I have a chapter on Neoliberalism: Rise, Decline and Future Prospects. Given the pricing, this is a book for libraries and academic specialists only.

I hope to be back with more regular mailings once Ive finalised the manuscript of my new book, Economics in Two Lessons.

Best wishes
John

18:00

Its Not Easy Being Green The AIM Network

By Henry Johnston Watching Richard Di Natale posit the Greens political philosophy on Insiders with Barrie Cassidy (ABCTV 19/08/2017) reminded me of Kermit the Frogs cutesy tune, Its Not Easy Being Green. On the eve of another round of political destabilisation, Di Natale had an opportunity to make a case for Greens values. Instead the

The post Its Not Easy Being Green appeared first on The AIM Network.

17:44

Australian Psychological Society Medicare review submission betrays members and clients The AIM Network

The Australian Psychological Societys (APS) submission to the Commonwealth Governments Medicare Benefit Scheme (MBS) review is an astonishing attempt to restrict access to psychology services for the most vulnerable of Australians. The submission, which was only made available to APS members on Friday, 17 August 2018, represents a kick in the guts to over 60%

The post Australian Psychological Society Medicare review submission betrays members and clients appeared first on The AIM Network.

16:30

Bring back the Black Australia Policy Independent Australia

Bring back the Black Australia PolicyFrom terra nullius to terra fullius, white Christians are taking over Australia, writes contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence. read now...

16:00

Human qualities v animal behaviour The AIM Network

By Stephen Fitz Who knows what evil lurks within the hearts of men? It was in comic books and Marvel movies and there was mention of it in early editions of the Bible so its been around for a while dare I say it The battle between good and evil. Thats being

The post Human qualities v animal behaviour appeared first on The AIM Network.

15:06

Frozen No Right Turn

MP's are rightly well-paid, as a defence against corruption. But their high pay and the fact that they get a pay increase year after year no matter what they do puts them on a different planet from most New Zealanders, and is frankly offensive when they are trying to deny pay rises to others in our society. So now, Jacinda Ardern has said "enough" and frozen their pay:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the Government will freeze MPs' salaries and allowances for a year.

The Remuneration Authority recently recommended an incease of about three percent for the coming year, which Ms Ardern said did not feel right.

Urgent legislation will have to be passed in order for the freeze to take effect before the Remuneration Authority's increase comes into force.


This will be a popular decision, because MPs have worked hard to make themselves despised by the public. But its also not unjustified. As I noted above, they are literally not in the same boat as the rest of us, and that's something they need to look long and hard at. As for how they should proceed, indexing their pay to the median wage, so they do no better than everybody else, seems like a good idea. And it sets some solid incentives for them to boost everybody's living standards, rather than just their own.

13:00

In which the pond does the Major and a crash course in great books ... loon pond


The pond is struggling to keep up with the reptiles today, but this offering from Stephen Brook is irresistible as a starter

Note that reference to "off reservation."

No, that's not Faine's crime, that's stupid Stephen Brook, who doubled down in his actual report ...

It looks like ABC Melbourne Mornings presenter Jon Faine has wandered off the reservation again. Aunty has been forced to apologise on behalf of the radio presenter over an out-of-character ethnic slur he made against Indian NBN technicians. The apology follows a year of highs and lows for the ABC veteran. His spectacular take-down of managing director Michelle Guthrie for failing to defend the ABC against the government was well received at the Melbourne Press Club in June. Faine acidly pointed out Guthries dignified-silence approach failed to stop the government freezing indexation in the next budget, which will cost Aunty $84 million. But Faines frank interview with a disability activist in March was labelled insensitive and bizarre.

"Wandered off the reservation again"?!

And Brook thinks he's being superior to the offensive Faine? How else to put it than to say than to put political correctness aside and call Brook a fuckwit of the first water? Unless of course he intends a meta-level of irony, and a deep sympathy with Faine, and a willingness to go there with him ...


There's plenty more at NPR here

Uh huh, and now for that apology from the lizard Oz for the scribbling of babbling Brook ...

Never mind, the pond has so much to tackle, it was just seeking a little light relief before heading off to Major Mitchell territory, the reptile galah reliably offering exceptionally uniquely infallible advic...

12:00

Readying Knives: The Mortality of Australian Prime Ministers The AIM Network

The opinion poll prime ministership is a modern Australian disease. Not only does it suggest an ailing in the Westminster system, but a profound contempt for the democratic sensibility on the part of party representatives, hacks and the industry that supports them. Prime Ministers are merely the icing, to be whipped off and replaced on

The post Readying Knives: The Mortality of Australian Prime Ministers appeared first on The AIM Network.

12:00

Aretha Franklin: Farewell to the Queen of Soul Independent Australia

Aretha Franklin: Farewell to the Queen of SoulThe Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has died of pancreatic cancer 41 years to the day that the world lost the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. read now...

11:58

High Noon for Mal? Catallaxy Files

Approaching high noon, lots of sunshine, demand down and Wind & Other delivering 7% of demand.

Is it too late for a new Coalition leadership team to dump the Paris accord, call bullshit on the RE target and the NEG, create a credible policy to keep the lights on and sell it the few percent of voters required to change their current voting intention and swing the result at the next election?

11:56

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

10:00

Federal election guide finalised The Tally Room

For those who havent already noticed, I wanted to let you know that the guide to the next federal election is now finished and up on the website in total.

The guide includes profiles of all 151 House of Representatives races, and all eight Senate contests.

You can use these links to see a full list of lower house links:

Or you can use this map to navigate to any seat of interest. Click on the seat and a pop-up box will appear, including a link to the guide.

And here are links to the eight Senate contests:

Please let me know if there are any errors by commenting on the relevant post or by filling out the contact form on the front page of the guide. I will make some small changes as the election gets closer, and will occasionally do updates of candidate lists.

Meanwhile I am now posting one seat per day for the Victorian state election.

09:31

Small victories No Right Turn

The Greens had their annual conference over the weekend, and after some jousing over the waka-jumping law, were able to announce some small victories for the environment. The first is a proposal to put protection of water into the Overseas Investment Act - effectively, the law change Eugenie Sage needed to refuse the Otakiri Springs water bottling plant. The second is a proposal to extend the waste levy and to introduce mandatory product stewardship schemes for tyres, e-waste, and synthetic greenhouse gases, requiring the companies who import or produce these products to clean up their own mess. There's consultation to be done first - in the latter case, as a statutory requirement - but I think we can be confident that they'll actually make it into actual policy. As for the impact, stopping foreign water bottlers from pillaging our water and forcing some polluters to clean up their own messes are relatively minor things, but still welcome and worth doing. And hopefully they'll establish some useful policy directions which can be built on later.

08:54

"As soon as reasonably practicable" No Right Turn

How quickly are agencies required to respond to Official Information Act requests? The law is very clear: "as reasonably practicable". While there's a 20-day limit, this is a backstop. When they're actually meant to respond is "immediately".

So do agencies do this? Of course not. And thanks to a long series of requests filed using FYI, the public OIA request website, Mark Hanna has the statistics to prove it. Pretty much every agency investigated showed a huge spike in their responses at the 20-day limit, and usually responded on the day a request was due. In other words, they weren't responding as reasonably practicable as required by law, but instead treated the 20 day limit as a target.

Some of this is due to explicit game-playing to delay release, as admitted by John Key. Some of it can be explained by overworked public servants having to prioritise their workflows and so not dealing with requests until they have to. But either way, it is not acceptable. The law says that requests must be dealt with "as reasonably practicable". And clearly, that law is being ignored.

As for what to do about it, Hanna suggests better reporting on timeliness, so that agencies can be held to the "as reasonably practicable" standard. That's a good idea, since we can't manage what we don't measure. But I'd also add that we need a culture shift within the public service to make handling public requests for information a priority. That can only come from the top, from Chief Executives and Ministers, and it must be backed by funding, so that OIA staff have time to handle things quickly, rather than having to juggle requests and so process them in deadline order. Sadly, despite all its talk in opposition, and even appointing a "Minister for Open Government", Labour seems uninterested in displaying this sort of leadership on transparency issues.

08:50

Updated Why Malcolm Turnbull will be our longest-serving PM since Robert Menzies Catallaxy Files

Thank you to Darren for reminding us of the wisdom, prescience and judgement of Fairfax opinion writers.

It was only November 2015 that that paragon of inner city latte intellect, Elizabeth Farrelly predicted that:

Malcolm who like Beyonce is known universally by his first name will be the longest-serving prime minister since Menzies. Possibly ever.

Oh and this:

But this is more than a prediction. Its a judgment. Malcolms political longevity will be a Very Good Thing. Not because hell necessarily manage to repurpose the crazier cowboy fringes of the Coalition. But because far more importantly the explicitness of Malcolms intelligence makes it OK for us to be intelligent too

Its a judgement.  And people wonder why Fairfax had to be saved by an entertainment company.

Malcolm speaks to us not as a rabble of blithering chimps wanting their buttons pushed but as grownups, capable of considered argument, reasoned reflection and conscientious decision. For Australia, this is huge.

Really.  Does he?

But for what it is worth, this is Spartacus prediction:

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at eyamspartacus.wordpress.com

08:29

Nauru is farming refugees No Right Turn

World Vision has launched a campaign to get the New Zealand government to resettle refugees from Australia's concentration camp on Nauru in New Zealand:

World Vision national director Grant Bayldon said they were asking Ardern to make the offer directly to Nauru, rather than Australia.

"While there remains an obligation on Australia under international law, it doesn't look like they are going to do the right thing any time soon."

Another element of the campaign was that they were asking for the evacuation of children and their families to be prioritised, Bayldon said.

They should be brought to safety in New Zealand before Universal Children's Day in November, he said.

"These vulnerable people seeking refuge and asylum should be resettled in New Zealand as part of an emergency intake over and above our refugee quota," he said.


Of course we should do this - its the humanitarian thing to do. But I suspect Nauru's response will be a firm "no". And the reason for that is that being Australia's concentration camp is big business for the Pacific despotism. Australia pays Nauru by the prisoner, and releasing any of them has a direct impact on the government books. Last year's budget took a 10% hit from "uncertainty surrounding the number of refugees who will be resettled in the United States" and another 5% due to less tax from foreign concentration camp workers. Once you include the families, rescuing these 120 children would likely have a similar financial impact. The Nauruan government just isn't going to want to give that up.

Of course, refusing to release people because you'll lose money is morally reprehensible. But "morally reprehensible" pretty much describes the Nauruan government these days. In addition to the crime of running a concentration camp, they've jailed the opposition, undermined the judiciary, and banned foreign journalists. So I expect Baron Waqa and his cronies to reject any offer of resettlement New Zealand makes. The only way they'll surrender any of their refugee cash cows is if Australia cuts off the funding.

08:00

An open letter to Andrew Bolt The AIM Network

By Christian Marx Once again, the shrill cries from Andrew Bolt can be seen in his latest crusade for free speech. According to his warped world view, hate-speech is acceptable and should never be censored. Bolt has been all bent out of shape by the news that many sponsors have withdrawn their funding of Sky

The post An open letter to Andrew Bolt appeared first on The AIM Network.

08:00

What is the point of Malcolm 'Cave In' Turnbull? Independent Australia

What is the point of Malcolm 'Cave In' Turnbull?Climate change policy once again challenges Turnbulls hold on the Liberal Party leadership. read now...

07:45

Lee Rhiannon and communism Catallaxy Files

A terse commentary on the life and times of Lee Rhhiannon and the communist contribution to peace, freedom and prosperity in SE Asia.

Support for socialism in general and communism in particular appears to be on the rise in the West more than a quarter of a century since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

This is reflected in the advent of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party in Britain and the support gained by Bernie Sanders in his unsuccessful campaign to win the Democratic Party nomination to contest the 2016 US presidential election.

The Australian politician who sounds most like Corbyn and Sanders is Lee Rhiannon (nee Brown), who is stepping down as a Greens senator for NSW at the end of this months sittings.

The evidence suggests that from her late teenage years until the collapse of European communism two decades later, Rhiannon was supportive of communist dictatorships. However, on Monday she offered no apology to the victims of regimes she backed. Instead, she attacked her critics, whom she accused of McCarthyist tactics.

BTW which is that political party that wants us to have 100% renewable energy?

07:38

Tony Abbott is responsible for our high energy prices The AIM Network

Commentators blame successive governments over the last ten years for our lack of a coherent energy policy resulting in excessive power bills but that, in my mind, is completely unfair. This whole debacle can be sheeted directly to Tony Abbott. Many blame the Greens for sinking Rudds emissions reduction scheme but, had Labor and the

The post Tony Abbott is responsible for our high energy prices appeared first on The AIM Network.

07:11

In which the reptiles set up a howling and a yowling and the Oreo joins the din ... loon pond


The dogs of war are howling in earnest now yet there were a couple of strange exceptions, with the HUN and the Tiser downplaying the drama


Did they remember all that Murdochian blather about the dangers of changing a PM without recourse to the electorate?

It left the pond with nowhere to go, because the lizards of Oz were in an absolute feeding frenzy. 

To hell with the electorate, they would have their mutton Dutton

...

06:00

Something strange has been happening to the Australian aid program "IndyWatch Feed Politics.pg"

In setting out the Australian governments aid budget for 2018/2019, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, and the Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, wrote: Our region is home to 40 % of natural disasters and 84 % of people affected by natural disasters worldwide. Our development program is one of the ways Australia can respond to these pressures. In this context, the development program is more important for Australia than it has ever been.

Why, then, if the development program is more important to Australia than it has ever been, has the Australian government aid program (Official Development Assistance or ODA) now fallen to the lowest level as a share of GDP ever, as shown in the graph below? Put simply, if the Australian economy was $100 we now contribute just 22 cents in overseas aid.

Source: Aid Tracker

One possible explanation, originally stated by Foreign Minister Bishop, is that cuts to the aid budget are needed to help repair the deficit and debt challenge in Australia. But the Australian aid budget is less than 1% of government expenditure: cutting it is simply not going to make any meaningful difference to the deficit. Furthermore, if reducing the budget deficit was the real reason for the cuts, why has the aid budget been cut by 32% in real (adjusted for inflation) terms since 2012/13, yet much larger government expenditure overall actually increased over that period by 31%? For every dollar of aid, Australia now spends $42 just on health and social welfare in Australia; independent think-tank The Australian Institute now rightly asks if charity now not only begins, but also ends, at home. Analysis by the Development Policy Centre shows that Australia is currently on track to spend more than $10 on defence for every $1 it spends on aid, reversing the age-old vision of turning swords into ploughshares.

A second possible explanation for the decline is that perhaps Australias aid program is not particularly effective. But the Australian governments own latest annual report on the aid program found that nine of ten strategic targets set by the g...

00:50

Dog Blog: Around While We Can. DUCK POND

I keep on meeting Buddha. I wish he would get off my case. His appearance is more metaphysical than physical. I went to see the doctor at the hospital he was not Buddha he matter of factly said, I do not expect you to be alive in five years. That is what he expects with a person with my condition to live. I have organized for a second opinion, but I would be surprised if the diagnosis was radically changed.

My life has been all about self, and that turns out as the Buddha is a constant reminder is not a good way to live. I need to get the life expectancy forecast more defined. I have to engage in contingency planning for others, who will be directly affected by my passing on, either to oblivion, or somewhere more interesting.

While, I did not expect to hear this news, neigher was I shocked by it. I heard that some neighbours were discussing the problem of entering a nursing home. I believe I might be able to avoid that problem. The thing that distressed me most was my GPs failure to recognize the need for contingency planning, particularly at the terminal stage when it is to be expected that severe mental deterioration will set in.

Whereas I might be going to hell, it is quite clear that, without a radical change, that is where the world is heading. One of the most telling indicators is the suggestion that night time temperatures are increasing and reaching record levels. We forget that Climate Change is a moral problem and transcends our desire to have electricity when we wish for it. Similarly, the problems with water will not go away.

When that set of human beings have finished the job of destroying the ecosystem, they might have their Buddha moment, and reflect on what was wrecked, wasted and pillaged.

If the fires in NSW continue as they have begun over the fire season, my circumstances may be very different than what I expect them to be. We all supposed to have a fire plan, by which we identify our most important possessions and decide whether to stay or leave. The car will be a bit crowded if we have take Dexter and Hannah but we could not leave them.

I wonder what the animals think. Recently, a gathering of scientist signed The
Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness.

What has also been found is very interesting. It has been shown consciousness can emerge in those animals that are very much unlike humans, including those that evolved along different evolutionary tracks, namely birds and some encephalopods. The group of scientists have stated, The absence of a neocortex does not appear to preclude an organism from experiencing affective states. Convergent evidence indicates that non-human animals have the neuroana...

00:16

Medicare Australia State of Play 2016-2018 North Coast Voices


The Australian Minister for Health and Liberal MP for Flinders Greg Hunt tweeted this on 16 August 2018:

So what is all this self-congratulatory chest-beating about?

According to the Department of Human Services in 201617 a total of 24.9 million people were enrolled in Medicare.

In 2017-18 Medicare recorded a total 419,852,601 Schedule Items on which Medicare benefits were paid.

This figure represents on average 1,672,091 items per 100,000 people.

According to Heath Minister Hunt the Medicare bulk billing rate in 2017-18 stood at 86.1 per cent of the total number of Medicare benefits claimed, leaving 13.9 per cent of Medicare benefits to be claimed by the patient.

Based on 2016-17 figure...

00:15

Clarence River Estuary communities need to remain both alert and alarmed as NSW Berejiklian Government seeks to expand exposure to international cruise ship industry North Coast Voices


In July 2018 the NSW Berejiklian Coalition Government released the document NSW Cruise Development Plan to the delight of the international cruise ship industry.

This plan confirms that Berejiklian ministry - sitting in offices over 670kms south of the small towns of Yamba and Iluka on the banks of the Clarence River estuary - is still pursuing the idea that the Port of Yamba is a potential official cruise ship destination.

The state government also obviously expects that Clarence Valley local government will both accommodate the needs of the plan and contribute to the cost of meeting this aim if it is progressed.

To further the Berejiklian Governments aim to make as many small ports or undeveloped harbours/inlets capable of use by cruise ships the NSW Cruise Development Plan states that:

A regulatory framework that fosters the competitiveness of ports, encourages the expansion of the tourism sector, minimises environmental impacts, protects the community, and supports jobs growth is required for the NSW cruise industry.
National regulatory barriers currently inhibit the cruise industry, including the small expedition and luxury cruise markets, access to NSW coastal ports.
...

Sunday, 19 August

23:14

Dutton circles, poised to attack, sensing Turnbulls blood in the water. The AIM Network

A conga-line of suck-holes and the odd cross-bencher form a blue-grey-suited crush up the raspberry carpeted steps of the senate, Tuesday, as members of our governments upper house file up to shake Aussie racisms latest White Australian, Fraser Anning, by the hand. Are they spell-bound by his five thousand word maiden speech fantasy? Fifty years

The post Dutton circles, poised to attack, sensing Turnbulls blood in the water. appeared first on The AIM Network.

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