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The dog blog has become much more straightforward. I have taken the course of least resistance, now that U discover I can put almost all the photos I have taken and it it not too long. Furthermore, the photos are a self indulgence.
This week compared to last week the volume of the decibel capcophony of the cicadas has fallen dramatically. The birds could be heard so much more easily.
It was a bird week. Dexter discovered the Dollar bird, which was sitting on a log. It was still there when we came back. I dont know anything about handling birds, other than not to pick it up directly. I put it in my hat and brought it home. Then it was taken to the vets. Apparently, they x-rayed it and was not able to fly because of critical damage to its wing muslces. So they gave it a last feed and drink, and put it down.
The name is of some interest the species is probably known by a different name in SE Asia. Graeme Chapman observes that the name goes back to 18th Century when the Spanish Dollar was legal tender in early NSW. The alternative name is the Broad-billed Roller.
If I am to permit Dexter and Hannah their tangential diversions part of their immersion in their environments, with some human advant...
At 12 PM on 19 January the electricity market manager, AEMO, to its own and everybodys great relief announced VIC AND SA ENERGY SUPPLY REMAINS SECURE.
It had been a knife edged couple of days with hot weather bringing high electricity demand (even though much of Australian industry remained on vacation). As often occurs on hot days, wind velocity was low and this, the fabled modern source of electricity, was feeding in less than half its capacity. On the spot market, prices reached $14,000, once, as often happens during periods of excess strain on generators, one of the Loy Yang B generating units had to close down. Here is a graphic of the prices.
The January 18/19 prices averaged over $1,000 per megawatt hour compared to the regular price of under $50 in the days before government subsidies forced the closure of two major power stations, Hazelwood in Victoria and the Northern in South Australia. In the past, the loss of one generator unit, as occurred with Loy Yang B, would have opened the way for another but we are now at the bottom of the barrel. Even on hot January days, if the closed the coal generators were still operating, prices would likely have averaged less than $100 per megawatt hour. Paul Miskelly and Tom Quirk (with the encouragement of Jo Nova) produced the following table estimating the market costs ($387 million) resulting from the heat wave.
In addition, the market manager, AEMO, on behalf of customers contracted stand-by power (mainly ancient gas and diesel generators) and, as in Third World countries, paid some major users to shut down to suppress demand. The Market Manager claims this additional support totals some 2,000 MW (ostensibly an increase of 4.5 per cent) across the National Electricity Market
The $387 million extra ene...
Now that Donald Trump, Leader of the Free-with-the-truth World, has got a dodgy clean bill of health and a thumbs-up from The Drum for keeping almost all his campaign threats, nifty neo-colony, Australia, can breathe again before it blindly follows America into further military misadventure, or a disastrous war with North Korea. We have already
Im a sucker for taxonomies, and Ross Douthat has quite a good one in the New York Times
Like any strange and quarrelsome sect, the church of anti-Trump conservatism has divided and subdivided since Donald Trumps election. Some members have apostatized and joined the ranks of Trumpists; others have marched leftward, with anti-Trumpism as a gateway drug to wokeness. There is a faction that is notionally skeptical of Trump but functionally anti-anti-Trump, a faction that insists its just calling balls and strikes and a faction screaming that the president rigged the game and needs to be thrown out.
Whats interesting is that, from my observation, he has the factions about right in order of size. The group who have gone left is probably smaller than its ranking suggests, but contains most of what was left of serious thought on the conservative/libertarian side of politics. The smallest group, and the one treated most dismissively, consists of those who have remained politicaly conservative while being unremittingly hostile to Trump. Its members are either out of active politics already (like the Bushes) or are kicking Trump on the way out (like Corker and Flake). By 2020, it will probably be an empty set. That obviously raises the question of what will remain of the conservative movement when and if Trump is defeated.
A point of purely sporting interest is to classify Douthat himself. Id say, some mixture of anti-anti-Trump and balls and strikes. The main part of his column, arguing that Trump is more of a joke than a menace, is consistent with this, I think.
The Kobayashi Maru was test used in the Star Trek universe where officer candidates at the Starfleet Academy were subjected to a no-win simulation designed to test character.
In the most recent Star Trek movie, James Tiberius Kirk (then candidate, later captain) failed his first two attempts at the Kobayashi Maru simulation, but for his third attempt, re-framed the challenge by reprogramming the simulation to allow him to win the otherwise no-win challenge.
Within the next 12-18 months, Australians will face their own Kobayashi Maru moment. And as for Starfleet Academy officer candidates, Australians will be faced with a no-win situation; to vote for a formal coalition of the Liberal and National Parties or to vote for an informal coalition of the Labor and Greens Parties. Whichever of these two coalitions win, Australians will almost certainly lose.
The bipartisanship on policy but disagreement on degree of implementation will also cover education funding, health funding, industrial relations, foreign policy, parliamentary remuneration and benefits, increasing regulation, increasing taxes and general deindustrialization.
It is entirely unclear where the Liberal-National and Labor-Green coalitions will disagree on principle or policy at all.
Australians seem to recognize their coming Kobayashi Maru no-win choice as evidenced by the approval ratings of the parliamentary leaders. But given Australias preferential voting system that protects the majors, one of these groups is certain to win a majority of seats in the parliament and thus form government.
Will Australians re-frame the situation and reprogram the simulation so as to extract a win from an otherwise certain loss? Perhaps, but it will be a major challenge.
Will Australians be able to re-frame the game. Lets hope so.
Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @...
Youth and youth issues are badly misrepresented by the mainstream media and politicians, writes Caitlin Mary Neate. read now...
Wow! Just like that, the next Tasmanian election became important. The Tasmanian Liberal Party have been nowhere near as incompetent, corrupt or divisive as their federal counterparts. Add to that some comparatively progressive positions on refugees and Marriage Equality and they are closer to their Labor opposition than the federal government. Well they were close.
Ok, this isnt so much about Scott Morrison as the whole problem of using an analogy to explain a complex economic concept. Sometimes using an analogy is as ridiculous as Cory Bernardi and his Hottest 100 kerfuffle. For those of you who havent caught up. Bernardi has released his own list because Triple J decided
The post Why Scott Morrison Is Interesting And Other Lies You Dont Believe appeared first on The AIM Network.
I wrote a blog piece earlier this week in which I suggested that the good news of the gospel cannot and should not be reduced to the declaration that Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins. In the process I questioned whether the doctrine of penal substitutionary atonement (PSA), which is a fairly detailed elaboration of how it is Christs death saves us from the consequences of sin, is in fact an accurate representation of the teaching of the New Testament. My piece was denounced by a few of my fellow Baptist pastors, who boldly declared that not only is PSA the correct way to interpret the New Testament statements about Christs death, but that it constitutes the heart of the Christian gospel.
Really? Somebody had better tell that to the apostle Paul. Given he is the writer most closely associated with PSA, it would be reasonable to assume that if PSA is the heart of the gospel it would stand out boldly in his summaries of the gospel. Likewise, one might expect it would feature heavily in his evangelistic preaching. Now he discusses dimensions of the gospel right throughout his letters, but on three occasions he pauses to define the content of his gospel: in Romans 1, in 1 Corinthians 15, and in 2 Timothy 2. I have reproduced the texts below (NRSV translation). I also tracked down and include below the two sermons of Pauls that are recorded in the book of Acts. Not a single one of Pauls gospel summaries nor his Acts sermons comes close to describing the gospel in terms of PSA. Theres no discussion of propitiation or expiation, no mention of Christ bearing the wrath of God upon the cross, no elaboration of how it is that his death serves to save.
Did Paul understand that PSA is the mechanism by which God saves us? Thats a debate for another day. Even if I for the moment grant that it is, surely Pauls own summaries of the gospel and his preaching of the gospel should relieve us of the notion that PSA is the heart of gospel. For Paul the gospel seems to focus on the glorious news that God raised Jesus from the dead, with a myriad of spin-off implications for us today. That we are deeply and truly loved. That even the deepest pits of despair cannot extinguish the possibilities of hope. That life has purpose and meaning. That death, disease, violence, and all those things that plague our lives and our world are not the final word, That injustice will finally be overturned. And on and on it goes.
From Romans 1
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, 3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and ap...
This is the deal. The Democrats wont allow the Federal Government to pay its bills unless the Republicans allow in enough illegal migrants so that Republicans can never again win a presidential election. If it werent for PDT you know how it would go. But there is PDT so we shall see. From Gateway Pundit.
As previously reported, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a blistering statement late Friday night on the Senate Democrats blocking funding the federal government in favor of amnesty for illegal alien DACA recipients.
The Trump administration is putting America first and the Senate Democrats dug in their heels Friday night, shutting down the government in favor of illegal aliens.The House budget resolution failed a cloture vote in the Senate on a largely party line vote, 50 to 49.
The Schumer Shutdown went in to effect shortly after midnight Saturday.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) went on a tweetstorm then released a full statement on the government shutdown.
Pelosi gave President Trump an F for failure:
Watch The United Nations lay out exactly why @realDonaldTrump can't be labeled anything other than a racist in 1 minute. pic.twitter.com/1Bc0e7zg4dUnsilentMajority (@The_UnSilent_) January 13, 2018
Barry Williams died this morning. We were friends for many decades and I am not sure of his age which was probably approaching 80. He was never a prominent mover and shaker although for some years through the 80s to 2009 he was the public face of the Australian Skeptics, a network of groups ostensibly dedicated to critical thinking.
He was achieved the rank of flight sergeant in the Air Force and later worked in the US Consulate in Sydney doing trade shows until a large bequest to the Skeptics freed him to become the fulltime executive officer in 1995.
This is a fairly good interview. As noted in the interview he was a huge cricket fan with a great knowledge of the game. He wrote an essay on the myth of the devils number 87 (13 runs short of the century) which was reputed to be a dangerous number when many batsmen succumbed.
My wife painted his portrait.
I mentioned that the organized Skeptics were ostensibly dedicated to critical thinking. That was the case when Barry and I and some other good men and true were on the NSW committee but times have changed. Nowadays the Skeptics (and also the organized Rationalists and Humanists) are warming alarmists.
Industrial relations laws have the power to determine whether this century will be one of prosperity or stagnation for Australia.
Yet despite bills to establish the Australian Building and Construction Commission and the Registered Organisations Commission serving as the official triggers for the early double dissolution election in 2016, not a whimper was heard about industrial relations during the election campaign. And since then, the government has done little more than tinker.
The re-established ABCC will enforce existing industrial relations law, but the CFMEU will retain its privileged place at the bargaining table of Australias construction industry. And although the supervision of union officials has shifted from an organisation stacked with Labor appointees (the Fair Work Commission) to an organisation stacked with Coalition appointees (the Registered Organisations Commission), there has been no reconsideration of why union officials should be supervised at all.
If legislation didnt give unions special privileges, there would be no need for separate legislation to supervise unions.
Then there is legislation like the Corrupting Benefits and the Proper Use of Worker Benefits bills, which attack union officials who look after themselves rather than members. These may force some union officials to change their behaviour and slow the flow of funds to Labor and its mates, but any impact on the workplace will be marginal.
Government tinkering to industrial relations also includes, in the case of the Victorian Firefighters legislation, banning enterprise agreements that fail to promote respect for volunteers. This is not a record of visionary reform.
Visionary reform would remove unwarranted privileges for unions,
remove unfair dismissal laws and, above all, reduce the regulation
Australian workplaces need wage deregulation to promote productivity and innovation and restore wages growth, in the face of challenges from automation and international competition.
Workplaces will never encourage individual workers to take on roles that make the best use of their skills and enthusiasm so long as they are paid at rates identical to other workers in the business, the industry or across the country. And yet the proportion of workers paid at a one size fits all regulated wage rates, otherwise known as awards, is on the rise.
From the time Keating first promoted enterprise bargaining as a better way for setting wages, through to the end of the Howard era, the share of workers on award wages fell. But from 2010 that share has risen and is now at levels not seen since the turn of the century.
What changed in 2010 was modern awards. These involved replacing thousands of wage regulations with a little over a hundred regulations. The problem was, whenever multiple regulations were rolled into one, the highest wage rate from the original regulations applied. This r...
Since 2006, Wikileaks has been exposing government and elite corruption, high-level crime, and other wrongdoings by leaking secret and classified information. Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has been targeted multiple times by mainstream media, which often refers to Wikileaks as fake news.
The irony is that the documents published by Wikileaks and the claims theyve made have yet to be disproven, which is something many mainstream news outlets cannot say about their own broadcasts. Unlike mainstream media, Wikileaks has helped keep the public conscious of whats actually going on in the world.
11 Stories You Would Have Missed Without Wikileaks
The following video exposes some of the craziest stories Wikileaks has uncovered. Its interesting to think that without Wikileaks, we may never have discovered the truth about some of these subjects!
Some of the topics include: journalists death as a result of the U.S, military, secret military prisons, Scientology, tampered data in support of climate change, the Australian governments internet blacklist, a major cover-up by an oil company, and more.
You can watch the video here:
Why Disclosure Is So Important
If you just watched that video and had no idea about some of the corruption that goes on within the government, the elite, and large corporations, I understand that it can be difficult to learn the truth. Government was created to serve the needs of the people and corporations cant bend laws, right? Although this was probably true at some point, weve come a long way from that ideal.
Its not so difficult for corporations and the elite to avoid laws when theyre the ones writing them, which is why theyre known as the shadow government.
At the moment, we live in a world where a select few groups control the overall population. The well-being of a country is determined by finance, so those who control the finances (big banks) essentially control the population. When you live in a world that values profit over people, its easy to understand how all of this can occur.
John C. Calhoun, the 7th Vice President of the United States,...
Not a pretty sight.
SA is the mendicant state today, as you would expect.
Very few people, even among environmentalists, have truly faced up to what the science is telling us.
This is because the implications of 3C, let alone 4C or 5C, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of emergency responses such as the suspension of democratic processes.
A CHINESE corporation Landbridge that sparked a global diplomatic incident expressed interest in securing a stake in SAs Flinders Ports, which controls a crucial Port Adelaide site near where the $50 billion future submarines will be built.
The Advertiser can reveal retiring Trade and Investment Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith and SA Government bureaucrats met senior managers of the Chinese company, Landbridge, last September, for a meeting that included representatives from the Chinese consulate-general.
Landbridge was at the centre of an international incident in 2015 when it acquired Darwin Port from the Northern Territory government.
The sale led the then US president Barack Obama to chide Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for permitting the deal and sparked a major Federal Government review into the oversight of critical infrastructure.
At the meeting in a restaurant in Adelaides Chinatown, Landbridge raised its strong interest in making an investment in Flinders Ports.
Landbridges billionaire owner and president Ye Cheng, a national committee member of the Chinese Peoples Political Consultative Conference, was also present, along with Darwin Port operators.
On Friday, Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said he was aware Mr Hamilton-Smith had arranged a meeting with a potential investor in South Australia, but not that it was specifically about ports.
Mr Koutsantonis said of course it was appropriate for Mr Hamilton-Smith to hold the meeting.
We often meet with Chinese investors and they ask a range of questions, sometimes about investment in mines in infrastructure, he said.
Theres no national security ramifications here because ultimately the decision is made by the Commonwealth, not by the state.
Chinese company Landbridge at centre of Darwin Port security scare meets SA Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith in a play for SAs Flinders Ports
Mr Koutsantonis said the State Government would not support a sale if it was considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board.
Flinders Ports has seven operations in SA, of which Port Adelaides inner harbour is its biggest.
The meeting has sparked a warning from one of the countrys top security experts that the State Government could compromise SAs future bids for defence construction contracts by adopting a naive attitude about the operation and ambition of Chinese-backed companies.
Both the State Government and Flinders Ports say no formal proposal for an investment in the company has been made, but remain tight-lipped about details of the meeting.
Australian Strategic Policy Institute executive director Peter Jennings, formerly a senior defence department official and prime ministerial adviser, said the Port Adelaide site was one of Australias most sensitive and of extremely high interest to Chinese intelligence.
Mr Jennings said the Darwin Port...
Labor could enter jointly funded infrastructure ventures with the Chinese government in Australias north under Beijings Belt and Road initiative, all as part of an escalated embrace of Asia, should it win the next election.
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen will today propose coordinating the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund with the Belt and Road initiative, a massive push by Chinese President Xi Jinping to fund a global network of major infrastructure projects throughout the region and beyond such as ports, rail networks, bridges and roads. It is regarded with suspicion in certain circles as a vehicle by which Beijing wants to exert political and economic influence.
In a major policy speech, Mr Bowen will accuse the Coalition government of tinkering and gradualism when it comes to engaging with Asia as he outlines what he says will be a fundamental whole of government and whole of nation approach.
Other policy initiatives to be announced today range from strengthening business engagement by increasing Asian expertise in boardrooms, to establishing diaspora groups, boosting ministerial engagement, and rekindling measures from the Gillard governments Australia in the Asian Century White Paper. This includes working with the states to give every Australian student the opportunity to study an Asian language.
Not only were British colonists at war with Australia's First People, but irrefutable evidence shows they were trying to wipe them out. read now...
By Cally Jetta If every blackfulla in this country received a dollar each time someone said to them stop living in the past or you get better treatment than other Australians and you still complain we would all be very wealthy people. Thats it in a nutshell. The two main attitudes and beliefs that fuel
So long as Keynesian economics remains the mainstream, there is no possibility of taking down the crony capitalist system of economic mis-management that is at the heart of modern policy. Because Keynesian theory is the mainstream which everyone learns, economists are taught from their very first days of study, that routinely syphoning our wealth into the hands of governments and their friends will create a net increase in the number of jobs while making everyone better off. It isnt true, and ought to be seen as obviously untrue, but since the pretence makes governments and their crony capitalist friends rich, it just goes on. So more fool you for accepting Keynesian theory.
The argument that an economy is driven by the level of demand, irrespective of what is being demanded, works very well for those receiving handouts from governments, but harms everyone else. All production uses up resources while only a small proportion adds anything back in. It is invisible in the way economics is currently taught why all of that matters. In writing as I do I am doing nothing more than repeating what was obvious to every great economist before The Keynesian Revolution but is utterly unknown, other than to a handful of modern economists who have actually studied the classics.
At the link may be found a pre-print of an article of mine that will appear in the June 2018 issue of the Journal of the History of Economic Thought: Making Sense of Classical Theory. This is the description of its contents.
The fundamental problem discussed is the shifts in the conceptual base of economic theory that followed the publication of The General Theory, along with various technical terms being given different meanings, which have made it almost impossible for modern economists to comprehend classical theory. Yet it is in the classical theory of the cycle where the most profound understanding of the nature of recession and cyclical unemployment is found.
The papers not long but it takes you into the heart of the differences between modern economics and the classical theory that had existed prior to the publication of The General Theory in 1936. This is now the sixth paper in a series that began with the publication of my article on Mills Fourth Proposition on Capital in 2015. That earlier paper was criticised by an economist in the UK by name of Roy Grieve, whose criticism of my paper attracted a further series of comments by an American economist, James Ahiakpor.
I can only hope that the core point found in the attached paper, explaining why classical theory works and Keynesian economics does not, will be clear. But as this brief paper points out, there have been so many changes in the terminology and presuppositions within economic theory since classical times that it remains almost impossible for a modern economist to follow what the gre...
Tonight, Ill be hosting a live YouTube stream with Davis Aurini, the Bechtloff and Artistic Layman assessing President Trumps first year in office, the FISA memo scandal, and our thoughts on the coming year in American politics. Well also be taking your calls. The show will begin at 7pm EST (6pm CST/4pm PST).
You can watch the stream when it starts by using the window below, or you can click here to watch it on YouTube and join the chat. You can also use the window below to watch a recording of the stream after it ends.
To call into the show when I go live, dial (641) 715-0872 if youre in the U.S. or Canada and use access code 497702#. International callers, please use the following numbers:
Saturday 20 January 2018 It was around a year ago that I was suggesting a number of things that Labor, in its lead up narrative to the next election could advocate for. The most popular thing, amongst many Labor supporters and others, was to advocate for a National ICAC or something similar. Almost on cue at
The post Day to Day Politics: So, Bill, where do you stand now? appeared first on The AIM Network.
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