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Sunday, 14 January

18:37

The Selfish Green Damn the Matrix

Every now and again, a video pops up in my newsfeed that I really really look forward to watching. This was one of them but oh what a disappointment..  Sometimes, and I know I am not, I start believing I am the only one who gets it and sees the whole picture. Well 99% of it, Im certain Ive missed something.

While theres no doubting the eminence of the panel of four, David Attenborough, Richard Dawkins, Jane Goodall, and Richard Leaky (of whom I hadnt really heard of much before), I thought they fell far short of understanding the issues no, predicaments we are facing.  None of them seem to know much about energy, or the monetary system, with the fat cat lookalike, that Leaky fellow I didnt know much about, really displaying his ignorance of nuclear energy.

Whats plain to see after watching that lot is that we are truly stuffed, notwithstanding their collective optimism, which as you probably all know, I dont share  a pessimist is, after all, a well informed optimist!

Leakys wish to monetise every aspect of the environment so it can be saved really takes the cake. Money is the problem after all, which thankfully Attenborough points out to him, even if its just as an aside.  I love Jane Goodall to bits (and her chimps theres a wonderful clip of a couple with a Jack in the Box), but shes frankly a bit nave.  Dawkins is interesting, as always, but has no grasp of the financial and energy problems at all, in fact says nothing whatever about it.  Attenborough is the best informed of all, he has after all seen how the planet has changed in the past 60 years more than anyone else, and at least he realises we are way overpopulated..  at the end, they all roll around in hopium. Id love to know what DTM followers think

That this video has only had 187,634 views as I type says it all.  Does anybody care?

 

12:31

The gang crisis our leaders help create "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

What is it about the African gang crisis that's so disturbingly familiar?

In case you haven't been paying attention, Melbourne is supposedly in the grip of a crime wave. Not on the basis of statistics, which show arson, property damage, burglary and theft down (sexual offences and robbery are up), but on the basis of a series of front page articles over summer in the Herald Sun and also The Australian about African gangs, most of them South Sudanese.

Victoria's opposition wants to recall Parliament.

Federal minister Greg Hunt, whose day job is Health Minister and who last year had to apologise to the Supreme Court for calling it soft, says African gang crime is "out of control". Prime Minister Turnbull says he is alarmed by "growing gang violence". And Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says people are scared to go out to restaurants "because they are followed home by these gangs".

It's feeding on itself. A nationalist group says it's planning a rally on Sunday in order to "take a stand on the streets". African Australians are being harassed and worse by vigilantes who are suddenly emboldened. Police say a Daily Mail photographer helped create the latest "flare-up" by taking close-up photos of a group of Africans socialising.

"The teenagers had been doing nothing of public interest prior to the photographer's decision to move in," a memo reported by The Guardian says. The Mail labelled the scuffle that it helped create "the latest gang flare-up" and boasted that its pictures were "exclusive".

It is familiar because it happened in Sydney with Lebanese Muslim youths (remember the Cronulla riots?) and before that with "Asian gangs" in Cabramatta. In Adelaide a decade ago it was the "Gang of 49". There never was a Gang of 49, but The Advertiser coined the term to describe 49 mainly Aboriginal youths the police said they were looking for.

The catchphrase had incredibly unfortunate consequences. Former police say it created gangs. Dispossessed, often homeless, y...

12:21

Axe negative gearing, boost GDP - RBA conference paper "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Axing negative gearing would lift home ownership to as much as 72.2 per cent of households, cut home prices by just 1.2 per cent and lift rents "only marginally", a study shown to the Reserve Bank of Australia has found.

Preliminary results from the economic modelling exercise, believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, were presented to a RBA workshop last month and released on Friday.

Melbourne University researchers Yunho Cho, Shuyun May Li and Lawrence Uren conclude that eliminating negative gearing entirely would lead to an overall welfare gain of 1.5 per cent of GDP, making three quarters of the population better off.

The figure compares to a Treasury prediction of welfare gain of 1.2 per cent from Turnbull government's plan to cut the company tax rate.

Speaking after the release of the paper, Dr Uren stressed the research was incomplete and said it was possible the size of the lift in home ownership could be revised down. But he said the directions of change and magnitudes were unlikely to change much.

An ownership rate of 72 per cent would be the highest since 1991, before 1999 when the Howard government cut the headline rate of capital gains tax making negative gearing more attractive. It currently stands at 66.7 per cent.

During the 2016 election campaign Prime Minister Turnbull said a Labor plan to wind back but not eliminate the negative gearing tax concession would "smash up home values", and "pull the rug out from under the property sector".

The claims were at odds with advice to the government at the time released on Monday under Freedom of Information laws that characterised the likely impact of Labor's proposals as "relatively modest".

Negative gearing allows investors in housing and other assets to deduct investment losses from their wage incomes for the purpose of calculating taxable income. The losses can be recouped later when the asset is sold for a profit, which is taxed at only half the rate of wage income.

Treasury found the arrangement predominantly helped high income families, with more than half of the benefit going to the top 20 per cent of earners....

12:15

Coal is now the biggest threat to energy security "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Worried the electricity system won't keep up over summer? Worry about coal. Seriously.

One of the four giant units at Victoria's ageing Loy Yang A power station broke down on Tuesday night at 11.05, taking out 230 megawatts, and then at 1.10 on Wednesday morning after being partially restarted, taking out what by then was 161 megawatts.

When demand soared during Sunday's heatwave, the Eraring plant on Lake Macquarie in NSW lost 275 megawatts. A few minutes later, Loy Yang A lost 264 megawatts.

On New Year's Day, unit 1 of Millmerran in Queensland stalled, taking out 156 megawatts. On December 28, unit 2 of Tarong in Queensland stalled, taking out 314 megawatts. On Boxing Day, unit 4 at Loy Yang stalled, taking out 528 megawatts. On Christmas Day, unit 1 at Gladstone stalled, taking out 230 megawatts, then unit 1 at the Tallawarra gas plant in NSW, taking out 187 megawatts. And so on, back to the start of summer.

When unit 3 at Loy Yang shut down without warning on December 14 taking out 560 megawatts and imperilling the entire system, the new Tesla battery 1000 kilometres away in South Australia sprang into action ahead of the coal-fired power station that was contracted to restore stability. It proved to be "dispatchable" in a way coal-fired power stations are not.

Age, heat and the steady encroachment of renewables are destroying the only advantages coal-fired power stations ever had.

When Treasurer Scott Morrison stood up in Federal Parliament and waved around a lump of coal in a stunt unworthy of his office, he said coal was an important part of ensuring a "more certain" energy future.

But he was speaking about the past.

Coal-fired power stations didn't used to get critically hot as often as they do now. The February 2017 heatwave that took out 2438 megawatts in one day in NSW might have once been a once-in-500-year event. Now it's a once-in-50-year event and perhaps soon a once-in-five-year event. The calculations are by the Australia Institute's Mark Ogge and Hannah Aulby in a study of the risks to energy security entitled Can't Stand the Heat. Ogge is the person who has been keeping a record of power station outages.

...

12:09

What a job? Move to NSW "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

It's the easiest to find a job since the mining boom.

The latest count from the Bureau of Statistics shows there were a record 216,000 job vacancies in November and 661,400 Australians out of work, the lowest total since 2012.

The ratio of 3.1 means there were roughly three job seekers for each vacant job, a step up from November 2016 when there were 3.7.

In NSW, the state with the best odds, there were only 2.2 job seekers for each vacant job, one of the lowest ratios ever recorded. A year earlier there were 2.7.

While Victoria has recorded the biggest improvement, the odds remain nowhere near as good as in NSW. There were 3.1 unemployed Victorians trying to get each vacant job in November, down from 4.2 a year earlier.

In Queensland the odds improved from 4.5 per vacant job to 3.9, in South Australia from 6.1 to 5.7, in Western Australia from 4.7 to 4.3 and in Tasmania from 7.9 to 5.7.

In the Northern Territory the odds remained little changed at about two unemployed per vacancy, and in the Australian Capital Territory they slid from 1.6 to just 1.3. But the ACT figures are unrealistic because they are biased downwards by the number of ACT workers living outside of the territory and the number who come from interstate for jobs.

The better odds in every state reflect both a surge in the number of vacancies, from 69,000 to 81,500 in NSW, and from 45,400 to 57,500 in Victoria, and also a drop in the number of Australians identifying as unemployed.

A near-record 383,300 more Australians have found work in the past 12 months, almost all of them full-time.

Construction vacancies have ju...

08:00

January 14 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed National"



1788 - Convicts disembarked from their world trip cruise at Botany Bay, but they didn't get much sight-seeing done, for some reason...

1803 - Lieutenant-Colonel David Collins drew the short straw to found a new settlement at Port Phillip... give up now David, it'll all end in tears....and Bill Buckley doing a runner!

1816 - Micky Micky, an Indigenous man, was admitted to Newcastle Gaol from Brisbane charged with various attempts to murder. Sent for trial.

1815 - The road over the Blue Mountains was completed to the Macquarie River.

1830 - In a classic lesson to update your maps when trekking around a new colony, Charles Sturt named a puddle of H2o the Murray River, not realising the oh-so-modest Hamilton Hume had had the honour of naming it after himself 6 years earlier.

1834 - Charles Waldron of the Illawarra district was belted to death although he took a good long 4 days to expire when convicts Mary Maloney and Sarah McGregor battered their tyrant boss (though not with a nice beer fish batter).
Over-whelming public sympathy saw their death sentences changed to 3 years imprisonment.

1837 - Gov Hindmarsh got hisself in print when the first printing press in South Oz became operational with the printing of the Guv's Proclamation "Establishment of Government".

1839 - Breakout attempt at Carter's Barracks by 19 soldiers confined there because of severe punishment such as being worked on the ring. The punishment of the ring was similar to the practice of breaking in horses. The men were made to form four deep and march round the ring twenty times, and afterwards ten times at double quick pace.

1840 - The SA Land Commissioners were dissolved by Lord John Russell, Secretary of State For The Colonies, and replaced by three Land & Emigration Commissioners, whose powers were extended over the sale of the waste lands of the Crown throughout the British Colonies and for applying the proceeds to emigration. Col Robert Richard Torrens continues as Chairman.

1842 Mary MacKillop, the only Australian to be canonised, was hatched in Fitzroy, Victoria.

1852 - William A'Beckett was appointed first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria.

1852 - Beruke, or Gellibrand, member of Native Police Corps, buried at South Yarra Depot, near Clara Street.

1852 - Melbourne failed in its bid to become Australia's capital.

1856 - Weenpulta, Weellanna , Yardulunulkarna and Eelanna were Hanged at Franklin Harbour for the murder of Peter Brown.

1856 - John Scott was Hanged at Perth Gaol for the murder of William Longmate at Vasse.

1866 - Bushranger John Dunn escaped briefly from Dubbo Gaol, NSW.

1875...

Saturday, 13 January

13:30

Interview: The Fight Against Climate Change Needs More Women "IndyWatch Feed National"

Four Chinese environmentalists talk about joining an all-female expedition to the Antarctic.

Credit: Homeward Bound

In February, a cohort of 80 women from 13 countries will make the chilly voyage by ship from the tip of Latin America to Antarctica.

Theyre part of a project called Homeward Bound, which seeks to strengthen the leadership skills of 1,000 women over the next ten years.

The voyage carries a message about how the planet is warming (nowhere is this more obvious than among the melting ice sheets of Antarctica), and the precious role of a robust, fair and representative global scientific community in meeting the challenges of a changing climate.

Drawing women from a wide range of backgrounds and age groups, the voyage creates a space for the women to bond and collaborate.

Founded by Australian marine ecologist Jess Melbourne-Thomas and leadership expert Fabian Dattner, the project is backed by many prominent women, including primatologist and environmental campaigner Jane Goodall, Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and the Clinton Foundations vice chair Chelsea Clinton.

This years expedition includes four women from China. In advance of th...

08:59

Returning to a Gold Standard Why and How. "IndyWatch Feed National"

Returning to a Gold Standard Why and How. | gold-dollar-eagle-720x340 | Economy & Business Special Interests

Author: Dr Fraser Murrell, Melbourne Australia
First Posted: Thursday , 20 Nov 2014

In the 1600s, Sir Isaac Newton presided over a (bi-metal) Gold and Silver Standard, with the flaw being the fix of silver to gold. In the 1900s, John Maynard Keynes revolutionized economics, with the result being certain economic collapse. In both cases there was a logical error in the key definition of price, which is critical to the stability of the economy. This note examines the problem and then goes on to present a workable Gold Standard, which it is argued, is the most stable frame of reference for our economy.

FRAMES OF REFERENCE

Life would be chaotic if time and space changed regularly or even our definition of it changed regularly. Fortunately, Newton sorted it all out back in the 1600s, developed the Laws of Motion, allowing mankind to proceed with certainty. However, if some Government expert later decided that time ran backwards on alternate days and space was shaped like a banana, then chaos would return.

In economics, the central concepts are time and price and again Newton considered this problem and deemed that price should be defined with reference to weights of gold and silver (more on this later). Once again the real world proved him (almost) correct and as a result there was economic certainty and Britain Ruled the Waves. But then along came economic experts like Keynes who changed all the critical definitions and as a result we have been plunged back into chaos.

To understand Keynes distortion of our economic frame of reference, consider the following example. A man walks into a bank in 1971 with savings of $1,000 (cash) and $1,000 (gold) and today in 2014 he retires and withdraws both. Ignoring for the moment interest and fees, under an (ideal) Newtonian frame of reference there would be price stability, so that the value of each wit...

08:01

January 13 On This Day in Australian History "IndyWatch Feed National"

1825 - ABSCONDING CONVICTS
We have been favoured with the following extract of a letter from Newcastle.... Six men have recently taken to the bush; indeed every settler is complaining of men absenting themselves without effect. Here on Sunday evening five prisoners and one soldier (the latter being on duty at the wharf) took the Commandants gig and proceeded to sea with the intention of taking the Government cutter Mars but were prevented (the night coming on with hazy weather) and made prisoner at Reids Mistake.

1827 - ChristChurch at Newcastle was in a bit of a state....the church was falling to bits, the churchyard, for want of a fence had been made a thoroughfare and pigs were permitted to root amongst the graves.
The repairs were commenced at long last on this day.

1834 - Ten convicts being transferred from Macquarie Harbour Penal Station on Sarah Island, Tas, seized the brig Frederick and sailed to Chile in it where they lived freely for two years. Four of the convicts were later recaptured and returned to Australia, where they escaped the death sentence for piracy through a legal technicality; as it was never officially launched it wasn't an official ship, and as it was taken from a harbour and not at sea it didn't meet the requirements for piracy.

1834 - Bryant Kyne was Hanged at Sydney for the murder of James Gavarin (Gevan, Gavan, Gavanagh, Govarin) at the Balmain residence of the solicitor-general, John Plunkett.

1851 - Charles FitzRoy got the short straw and became 'Governor-General of all Her Maj's Aussie Possessions'...the title now known as Guv-General.

1853 -  Today the South Australian Register published an article titled Journal of A Trip To Kangaroo Island, in which the author mentions Van Dieman Aboriginals living on Kangaroo Island.

1854 - Fire and timber buildings really didn't bode well for prime real estate when sparky flames burnt down 3 stores and 5 houses in Elizabeth Street in Melbourne.

1859 - The Railway line from Geelong to Williamstown (Vic) was extended to Melbourne at Spencer Street Railway Station.

1864 - G.E. Dalrymple had an empty dance card so he led an expedition by sea from Bowen to establish the port of Caldwell, Qld.

1874 - Robert Goswell was Hanged at Perth Gaol for the murder of Mary Anne Lloyd at Stapelford, Beverley.

1878 - One of Australia's first telephones was tested between La Perouse and Sydney, NSW. Similar experiments were conducted in Melbourne around that time by the proprietors of McLean Brothers and Rigg.

1879 - The ill-fated Glenelg-Marino steam-powered railway opened today in Crow-Eater country (South Oz) but it was not to last ...it was plagued with sand drifts , 2 fatal accidents, poor patronage and time was called on it in Apr...

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