Thursday, June 30, 2011

Back in the USA

Back in January this year I boldly predicted that the USA would implode this year. Big call I know.

And here at the halfway mark I think that my prediction is pretty much on track.

Especially if you have been following the nonsense that is happening in the Grand Old Party and with their apprentices in the Tea Party - those folks are just super weird.

But Bill Mitchell is right on the money with his regular commentary - including today here.

I suspect that young Ms Gillard will be getting a little bit nervous about her commitments to the US President and his nasty little war in Afghanistan about now.

Defying Gravity

What has always amazed me is the way the right wing commentariat and their apologists love to dish it out but aren't able to handle any criticism coming back at them.

Talk back radio shock jocks and the Murdoch attack robots have had it far too easy for too long. I mean why is it acceptable for people like comrade Bolt to continue to pen his bile - all designed to stir up the bogan class - and to name climate scientists? And for those scientists to then receive death threats from his readership - all with no cost and no penalty? Seriously.

Freedom of speech is very important - but so is responsibility and accountability.

I suspect the main issue here is the same one that affects most of the people who are employed in the journalism game in our nation - fear. Fear that if they step out of line and criticise a colleague then they will find it very hard to gain a promotion or another job. They will be ostracised.

The old boys club is very much alive in the rarefied atmosphere of our media. And that's no way to run an important industry that depends on fearless pursuit of the truth and the facts.

And the other thing that amazes me is why at least one of our daily newspapers hasn't worked out that there is a real market for truth and facts. I mean their circulation is in free fall for a number of reasons - one of which is that fluff and bubble and made up stuff is not really compelling anymore. Was it ever?

But the huge success of Crikey and The Conversation shows that people will respond to quality. Surely someone in power in the MSM can see the future - why won't they give it a go?

Because they think they can defy gravity - forever. Or at least until Rupert leaves his post.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Political Capital

I don't know what you think Virginia, but I think a carbon price is important.

Because we need to price the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels - which has until recently been ignored. It is not sustainable to continue to ignore this major impact on our home planet.

But in reality a carbon price is just a small part of all the many actions that are needed to be undertaken by our government to rebuild the nation and make our part of the world sustainable.

We need strong leadership - determined and capable - and some political capital to rebuild the nation and make it great. All to deliver security for our children and grandchildren and their children.

We need to focus on three main things. Industry, Jobs, Services.

Industry - Right now mining seems to be in vogue. Surprising because it employs bugger all people - less than 2% of the workforce. I personally don't mind which industries are flavour of the month - providing that they deliver jobs and equity to Australian's. Jobs that are meaningful and equity that doesn't steal our heritage. 98% of our workforce is employed outside of mining but those industries are mostly ignored. Let’s get the various ministers together to focus on making them great again. And I don't mean tariffs - I mean competitive advantage. It will require a lot of *thinking* and probably even a bit of *doing*.

Let’s have a national debate about our industrial resources and how we can maximise their use for the benefit of all Australian's - not just the rich 1%.

Jobs - I don't really care where the future jobs come from - but wherever they do come from - we need to make them sustainable and we need to make them full time. Because right now they aren't. And I don't have a problem with the Peter Reith's of this world advocating for industrial relations *reform* but lets make sure that it is genuine reform that is of benefit to the people of the nation. And not the traditional Liberal party reform of *screwing the workers* to benefit the bosses. If the current ministers won't start this process and get the people engaged then we can be guaranteed that another *WorkChoices* like derivative will bob up soon - and screw us all.

Let’s get a real debate underway about what jobs we want and how we will deliver them and also the costs and benefits associated with them.

Services - Our government services need to be fixed. We live in a big country but the service delivery of our various governments suck. Particularly state governments. And it's not a resources thing - it's a priority thing. Our state and regional governments think they are in the business of feathering their own nests and doing what they did last century - let’s make their goal "quality of service delivery" instead of something else.

And let’s also ask sensible questions about what services we need. Some might be discarded and some new one’s added - we haven't had that conversation for decades - but we need to.

But who is asking these questions - and who is answering them?

And if our federal government is not going to take the lead on these things then they need to get out of the way and let the rest of us get on with it.

One eyed bogan

Have you ever come across the one eyed bogan?

You know the one - always male, in their forties, a tradie, usually a smoker, love their footy and a beer, have a wife and two kids - a four wheel drive and a bunch of toys on the never never, live in suburbia in the McMansion and think of themselves as a true blue aussie - Oi!

Well these used to be their main characteristics - but these days they have another one - they have become political.

I don't know when it happened but sometime between late 2007 and now they decided that they knew enough about politics to have an opinion. Previously they left politics "up to the wife" but these days they think it is important to take a stand - for the benefit of the nation.

Mind you they are just learning about it all - they support the "Liberals" and they hate those communists and socialists and greenies because that is what dad always said - and they don't bother to read anything but get their news and information from commercial television - usually with a VB at the ready.

They are now fully informed because they spend a half hour in front of the TV news each night instead of propping up the bar at the local club. And that keeps the missus happy.

And their opinion is that they don't like that red headed woman but they think that the bloke on the bike is worth a go - because he looks like a tradie.

They don't like the red headed woman because they are hard working tradies who are well on their way to becoming actual "capitalists" and she is from the Labor party.

Yes our hero is convinced of the merit of being a tradie. Only last week he was called out to fix the pipes of the frail old couple down the street - and he stitched them up big time. Hey is it his fault if they don't know how pipes work?

It's clear that tradies are the new upper class. They charge like wounded bulls, they turn up when they feel like it and they stitch you up. Isn't that how it is supposed to be?

And pretty soon they will be determining who our government is. Hilarious.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Value of Education

While this article is focussed on experiences in the good old US of A - I am sure that its conclusions apply pretty much everywhere - including here.

Warren Buffett recently told Columbia Business school students, "Right now, I would pay $100,000 for 10 percent of the future earnings of any of you." (Tucker, 2009). He is not a legendary value investor for nothing: When compared to other investment options, a degree stands out as one of the best investments one can make.

Instead of worrying about the education of our kids and grandkids and their future prospects we seem to be worrying more about the fear that is manufactured by our unscrupulous and self-serving politicians.

And Nelson Mandela said "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."


Sunday, June 26, 2011

The sign of NO

You will all be familiar with the sign of NO. This is the little red circle with a slash through it and a symbol signifying that some activity or another is not allowed.

No smoking, no drinking, no skateboards or cycling, no parking, no camping, no fishing, no rubbish, no swimming, no swearing, no farting, no belching, no laughing - you get the picture.

My friends and I have been running a little competition amongst ourselves to see how many NO's they can find in the one place. We are always on the lookout for a good collection of NO's. Eventually they will find their way into a book of boganisms.

When we go out for a few drinks we compare notes and laugh about the fact that the dimwits with a little bit of power seem to have banned anything and everything - almost everywhere. It's why the joint is now known as wowser central.

Until recently the record was 9. This is what you will find stencilled on the door of a cab in most Australian cities - NO nine times in a row. And in the city rail trains in Sydney. It's pathetic and amazing - half the population can't count past nine, Virginia ;-)

But that record has now been broken - big time.

There is a huge sign - in a public place in a major city in one of the Australian states - where there are twenty seven NO's. Count them - 27 things that you and I are not allowed to do for fear of penalty. It boggles the mind.

I will donate $100 to your favourite charity if you can tell me where it is?

Nation Building

It has always been my hope that our national government would eventually awake and start to do a bit of "strategic planning" for and on behalf of the nation.

The point of which is to develop an integrated plan to guide national development. I can't recall any serious long term planning activity by any of our governments - Liberal or Labor - State or Federal - since the 1970's. That is why we so obviously lag the rest of the neighbourhood.

But apparently we are happy to go off nation building in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Perhaps there are excellent reasons why the national obsession is with selling houses to each other and digging minerals up for export. But I don't know what they could be.

The housing story was once a get rich quick scheme - but more recently has become a noose for people who paid too much.

And given that our two biggest exports are iron ore and coking coal I would have thought that some of these raw materials could be directed toward developing a real local steel industry. Instead our local industry is a shadow of its former self and China has steel coming out the wazoo - while prices continue to rise.

Surely a succession of smart thinking governments would have planned for a mix of mineral exports and local value added production. Perhaps even in a ratio like 80:20. Another half dozen export oriented steel mills would create a lot of jobs across regional Australia.

But it seems that is too hard. And clearly impossible for the State governments who think the state boundaries are on the outskirts of their capitals.

And I suppose the history of resource based nation building is not so successful anyway.

If you look at the Portland aluminium smelter then you will see that this "congealed electricity" manufacturing process uses brown coal generated electricity at around 1.4 cents/kW/h and has been doing so since 1986. Nice deal if you can get it.

Its entire product is exported - so that is good but the only thing that keeps it going is the hyper-low electricity price - and don't even mention the carbon impacts.

And the North West Shelf Venture has been underway since the mid 1980's and currently exports around 1400 million tonnes of Liquefied Natural Gas - which earns the partners about 3.27 cents/litre. A nice little earner for the JV partners but why isn't the nation receiving a market price?

And what will Australian's do when this resource is exhausted - shouldn't we be using this gas to reduce our coal dependency?

If the nation's export performance can only be successful by subsidising multi-nationals in these types of ventures then we definitely need to start thinking about some real nation building.

What say you Minister?

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Imagine for a moment that you are a conservative politician - one who aspires to lead the nation.

To achieve that ambition you and your team will need to gain the electoral support and presumably the respect of a majority of the voting population.

Imagine also that you have taken a contrary position on the biggest issue impacting the long term prosperity of the nation such that you don't accept either the conventional "science" or "economics" of how to deal with that issue.

And you haven't modified your contrary opposition despite all the nation's scientists and experts going out of their way to inform you and help you gain an understanding of how to deal with the matter.

Given all this, how do you think the people of the nation should treat your quest to lead them?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Anatomy of power

When you are likely to be languishing in opposition for a while - possibly even decades - I suppose it seems like a good idea to try something a bit radical in an attempt to alter that.

Which is why the coalition discarded their leader Malcolm and embraced Tony. Two years ago Rudd was at the peak of his power and the coalition was despondent. Back then it must have seemed like a good idea to deny the science and the economics around climate change and try to use "made up" stuff to wedge the government.

Delay and deny and associated fear campaigns seemed like good things to use to create chaos and scare people toward the coalition.

And having decided to go down that path they are now obliged to keep at it because they have far too much invested - as do their partner in crime - News Limited. And anyway their new bogan constituency and big business believed them when they said they would turn back the clock.

But then something unusual happened - the government lost its nerve and abandoned its emissions trading scheme which was at the centre of their popular support. Rudd was soon toasted and Gillard became leader. But she has failed to impress and it is now very clear that had Malcolm been in charge last August - then he would have won handsomely.

The coalition would be back in its most natural state - shovelling cash at bogans - Tony would be a minister and there would be no need to divide and conquer. The blue team would be pulling the levers and everything would be as good as gold.

Except it didn't turn out like that.

Tony is still their leader and for all his stunts he is seriously on the nose with large sections of our population. Despite the ABC's attempt to spin it - the #abbottin3 Twitter hashtag demonstrates that large numbers of thinking Australians don't want him anywhere near the levers.

Both he and his party are now between a rock and a hard place - with all the independent commentators saying they are on the wrong side of both the "science" and the "economics" of climate change.

So what started out as a grand if risky plan to get back into the big seats is turning into a major political disaster. Someone in the coalition will need to deal with it soon - and it won't be pretty.

My ideology vs your reality

Last night Professor Ross Garnaut said the Opposition's direct action plan is "expensive and foolish". And he also said carbon pricing "happens to be the low-cost way of meeting national targets".

But "Truth is optional" Tony is still batting away on his losing innings. And it's all because he is locked in on the wrong side of both "science" and "economics". It's what happens when you take a dingbat ideology and try to use it as a political wedge - sometimes it just gets run over by reality.

Even the wingnuts in the coalition must understand that and if they could see beyond next Friday then they would know they have a losing hand. The longer they persist with their current fiction then the harder the fall will be.

But that doesn't seem to worry anyone in the blue team - because Tony is front and centre and his "crash through or crash" strategy won't damage them much - will it?

And if they thought they could keep him propped up and just paper over his personality flaws then they just haven't been paying attention to the #abbottin3 hashtag on Twitter - or the ABC interpretation here.

It's all over - but they just haven't acknowledged that yet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Last year I couldn't even spell minister and now I are one

There is a good chance that every time a minister in this government opens their mouth they manage to put their foot in it.

What is it about the ministerial class of 2010 - 2011? First it was Ms Gillard drawling nasally about "moving forward" then it was Mr Swan and his limited and repetitive vocabulary and Mr Bowen and his "people smugglers business model" and now we have Mr Ludwig promising "animal welfare outcomes". What does it all mean - I wonder?

Most of the rest of them aren't even allowed near a microphone for fear of what they might say - or do.

Wouldn't you have thought that a senior minister these days would have half a blue clue about how to communicate with the people? Didn't they spend time at baby politician training school when they were in opposition? Aren't they all supposed to be educated, professional and worldly?

You would have to hope that they know something about how to run their portfolios because they clearly have no idea about how to communicate with their constituency - or even anyone else's.

Isn't it a mandatory requirement for any politician - to communicate - BEFORE they become a minister? Or is the cupboard so bare - the bar so low - that anyone who is even partially awake gets a guernsey these days?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Dingbat Register

Toward the end of this century when all those in denial on the right and elsewhere have long gone and even their children are pushing up daisies and their grandchildren and extended families are searching through the public record to understand what grandad and his forebears did in the great "climate change" debates - then they will come across the truth - and my *Dingbat Register*.

Which is just a list. A bit like Schindlers list - it is a list of Australian's who are in denial about our impact on the planet.

This is the list of names of the people in our society who talk rubbish in the parliament, write stupid letters to the editor, pen dumb comments on science blogs, talk crap on the radio and on television, threaten climate scientists and other people - and who insist that climate change is a myth.

These are the people who spent the best part of the first couple of decades of the 21st century denying the carbon problem existed and who then worked hard to stop any action to deal with it.

They hated science - because it made them look stupid.

These were the dingbats of the 21st century. The only good news is that their comments are on the public record and their names are in my register - so we know a bit about who they are and what they thought.

Sometime after 2081 - with the wind howling and the tide running and the temperature soaring then poor Johnny and his sister Jenny will discover that their forebear was one of the people who could have done something about this problem but didn't - and they will be seriously unhappy.

So send me your details if you would like to make history near the end of this century.

PS - I don't expect the Register to hold very many names as this research found 74 per cent of respondents believe the world's climate is changing and 90 per cent of respondents accepted some level of human causality. The sceptics are a minority group with just 5.8 per cent of respondents characterised as disbelievers.

Call me old fashioned

Why is it OK for Coalition MP's in the House of Representatives and the Senate and News Limited columnists and other people who have been captured by the far right to deny that climate change exists - when the science clearly shows that it does?

And why is it OK for people like coalition Senator Minchin to encourage the dingbats who threaten our climate scientists?

Why aren't the Federal Police on the case and why aren't these threatening moron's and their cheer squad sitting in a jail cell? Mr Keelty has retired already so he can't be the reason ;-)

It's pretty clear that these people are impervious to logical and factual argument and discussion. They hear it but they won't believe it and they certainly don't want to know about it. Apparently, their ideology outweighs truth and facts. A bit like religion really.

Their behaviour reminds me of the petulant little child whose parents wanted to let him *be himself* just before he used a fork to explore the power socket.

Call me old fashioned but why is it OK for these folks to run riot and rampage through our society - adversely impacting our living environment, risking the future of the planet and making life worse for our grandchildren and their children?

I suspect that our national tolerance is being seriously tested. Well mine is anyway ;-)

Pretty soon normal folks will get sick of this nonsense and then we will have a problem on our hands - it might be a bit of fun and games to coalition parliamentarians but it is our future that they are playing with.

Someone might start playing with the future of their grandkids - and then lets see how that pans out. Revolution isn't pretty.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What's the plan - Virginia?

The thing that continues to amaze me is why Australian's aren't curious? Why don't we pay attention to what is going on around us? Why aren't our eyebrow's raised - even a little bit?

Given that we are near the beginning of some rather large and fundamental shifts in the way the Australian economy works you would have thought that Australian's would be interested to understand what is going on - and what the impacts on their families might be.

Nope - apparently not.

Few have picked up on the message that is contained in the recent words of the reserve Bank Governor. Fewer still realise what is happening with the housing market and with the jobs of the old industries that we have relied on for decades. Particularly manufacturing and retail.

Nobody that I know is trying to get ahead of the curve - to be positioned for the new opportunities. Everyone thinks its business as usual - as usual.

No-where is this more obvious than the disaster that is state government. Their business model is nearly as broken as the newspaper industry. I once thought that the abolition of state government would not happen in my lifetime - now I am pretty sure it will. The toxic revenue grab that characterises most of the states is going to bury them. That and the complete absence of trust within their constituency. It's serious stuff that won't change until we get a new generation of state politician - who understand. By then it may be too late.

But the influence of the consumer is declining and with it the things that consumers lust after. In truth *consumerism* was always driven by the ATM that is impersonating the house that many people live in. When house values are going up - it's easy to withdraw some spending money. When prices decline then we become shy with deep pockets. Get used to it.

I imagine that Australia's *billionaire* index will move away from retail and housing and media toward other things. Not sure if that is good or bad. But what it will do is create lots of new opportunities for those who are paying attention.

Are you?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Crikey today - "The view that climate change is real and human-caused has softened since May. Just 50% of voters believe it is happening and is caused by humans, while 39% believe climate change is just a normal fluctuation in the climate.

Liberal voters are much more likely to NOT believe in human-caused climate change - 55% of them think it is purely natural and only 34% think humans cause it, while 83% of Green voters and 64% of Labor voters think it is caused by humans."

Scary stuff. Which is probably why "The Conversation" is on the case.

Those spoilers like Minchin must be laughing their t*ts off. For a couple of years now Monsignori Abbott and the rest of the right wing rabble in the Liberal party have been railing against "Climate Change". Denial is their personal little *in* joke that keeps them fronting up each day and giggling during question time. Here is their man debating with himself - if he is this confused about it then imagine how bad it is for their rusted ons?

And that's the thing. These politicians know that many of their supporters don't get it and aren't smart enough to get it - and so they play them. For fools.

Rusted on's - it's simple, you have been played. And that wouldn't bother me too much - if was just you who was impacted - but the unfortunate thing is that your stupidity is affecting me - and I don't like that very much.

It’s quite OK to have an opinion but if you don't know anything about the subject then you have two choices - either inform yourself or shut the f*ck up.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Here we go again

Despite the fact that "solar photovoltaic electricity cost has fallen dramatically and is almost certain to fall further" as discussed by John Quiggin, the ABC reports today that "Power prices are set to jump by 30pc".

Funny isn't it how one piece of really good news is offset by another piece of really bad news - and how this bad news is released on a slow Saturday and accompanied by ZERO analysis or justification.

The ABC really has no business pumping this stuff out - or if they want to do that then they should recall an investigative journalist and have him or her write an accompanying piece of analysis - that means something.

Here is the first sentence of their story.

"Households will be forced to pay up to 30 per cent more for electricity by mid-2013, with the Federal Government's renewable energy scheme responsible for 11 per cent of that increase".

All designed to scare the shit out of Barry and Betty Bogan. And what about the 89% of the rise that has nothing to do with the Government. Who do we blame for that - I wonder?

Meanwhile where is the accompanying story about the decline in cost of solar photovoltaic electricity?

If you were to ask me for a solution to this problem then I would tell you that the ABC is so badly broken that it needs to be guided by a board that has an understanding of the need for truth and facts and quality - because the current one either has no idea or is wilfully negligent.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Call Me Names

Call me names for pointing this out - but just look at the medium term jobs story here.

And in particular look at the South Australian jobs story which has had the biggest fall and the slowest recovery of all the states that are included in the series.

2009 was a serious shocker and this year looks to be sad. The biggest concern are the dips and bumps - showing big volatility. Compare SA with the other states?

But no doubt Mr Rann and his cronies will be spinning this as hard and as fast as they can. You know what they will be saying. "The future has never looked so good", "We need a grand big new hospital", "The Adelaide oval is a key part of our development strategy", "The mining boom is just around the corner". And other blah and BS.

It's all lies.

What they are really saying is that things are turning to sh_t real quick - and they have no idea. So let’s try a big bang approach.

And the big bang involves spending your money to build new *things* - forget the knowledge based industries - forget the smart technology - the state is now near the bottom of the barrel and needs the biggest bang for its buck. Let’s just build lots of stuff.

The really scary thing is that they have had more than a decade to work it all out but they can't - the issues are far too complex for these state politicians to grasp.

And you can all get upset with them and threaten to change to the other party but it will make no difference - our state politicians are simply not capable of responding - or delivering - ever.

Bite Me

The thing that should be becoming crystal clear - to even the most self absorbed bogan - is that the continuing denial and political dance around climate change is going to end up biting them - big time.

"Whaddya mean my new jet-ski is anti-social"?

Today we find that the Productivity Commission has reported that the rest of the world - or at least those nations that are of most significance to us - are all doing important things to understand and reduce the impact of Climate Change.

So much for the view that we are going it alone.

And there is serious work underway that will demonstrate to even the thickest Coalition MP that a market based carbon trading system is the most efficient way to proceed.

So much for their direct action fantasy.

But none of this is new. Those folks who are in denial now and who think that they can continue to delay and deny are just painting themselves deeper into a corner. But the smarter ones amongst them probably already knew that.

The dimwits, charlatans, liars, fools and opportunists - and their followers will eventually have to eat large amounts of humble pie - or perhaps many of them think the "Rapture" will save their sorry dumb arses.

Perhaps it will - but what if it doesn't?

PS - I asked Cardinal Pell to comment - but his office hadn't responded by press time ;-)

Who's a stupid boy then?

I was going to write about those deluded folks who beat up on Australian climate scientists and accuse them of being dastardly *communists* along with other unsatisfactory words - usually starting with C.. and F..

I was interested to understand where these dingbat ideas were coming from - and then I remembered unfortunate little Nick. Apparently this giant of the Liberal Party who has been ensconced in the Senate since 1993 thinks that climate change is a *communist* plot designed to impose a *world government* on us.

The only communist plot that I know of is the one from China - you know the one where their industry is eating our lunch - because of decades of denial by Coalition MP's.

Now IMHO that just demonstrates what being a Federal politician does to your thinking organ.

Fortunately he is retiring soon and will no doubt go on to become a lobbyist and/or a member of one of those far right think tanks that litter the landscape of the world and pollute the pages of the press.

I won't be attending his farewell but will send a small note approving of it.

Anyway there are more important things to worry about than a deluded ex politician - as Bill Mitchell discusses here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So here's the thing

Each day I get an email from President Obama - not a personal email mind you - but one from his campaign office seeking my support for his re-election next year. Basically these emails follow a well worn path. They tell a moving story involving some injustice - explain that they need my involvement to make things better - and then ask for my financial help.

It’s a sophisticated fund raising process. And the reason they target me is because I have previously donated - thinking that Obama would be good for the world. Or at least better than junior Bush and his party could ever be.

But this time he is on his own - I won't be donating a red cent.

Mainly because of the way the US are behaving with Julian Assange and Wikileaks. While things appear to be goodness on the surface - behind the scenes they are doing their best to close him down. I wouldn't be surprised if they sent in the Seals to do a job on him.

Because what Wikileaks has done is exposed the lie that is US Foreign Policy. And their incompetent war mongering. The USA is known for it’s out of control military/industrial complex for a good reason Virginia.

Which brings me to another thing. I won't be donating to the re-election campaign of the Australian Labor government either. In fact I will be working hard to get them replaced - not re-elected.

Some of my friends and colleagues dislike our government and its behaviour with a passion but they dislike the alternative even more. And that stops them from taking real action. But I don't see things like that.

I want to see a competent and effective government providing and delivering strong and capable leadership and real policy and programmes - all from a social democratic perspective. And if we happen to end up with a government that is scared of its own shadow and is unable to do that then we need to replace them and find one that will.

And if that means that we need to install a Coalition government then so be it. It's my view that we will never end up with a competent Labor government until they get to spend a lot of time in opposition reflecting on what they did wrong. And it may even mean that we need to wait out an entire generation or more - while they go through renewal.

But don't ever imagine that it would mean that Mr Abbott would be Prime Minister - because that just wouldn't happen.


Clive Hamilton is brave enough to tell the truth here.

"Opposition leader Tony Abbott is not foolish enough to attack scientists directly but his dog-whistling can be heard by all but the deafest. He has signalled clearly to the hard-line climate deniers that he is one of them".

And some of you lot want him to become even think he is capable of becoming Prime Minister? Jesus.

And it looks to me as though the dimwits who are making the threats are even using the bovver boys' very own language. What must Cardinal Pell be thinking?

I tell youse - those bluddy communists - they must be stopped - GEDDIT ;-)

The really sad thing about *dumb* is that there is far too much of it. But the really good thing about *dumb* is there is less of it than there used to be.


Jeez - I must be one of those thick Australian's who don't get it.

If it's not a war without a purpose - then WTF is the friggin purpose?

And why won't her majesty stand up in front of us and tell us what it is?

Please explain that to me Virginia.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lies and Statistics

One of the real and present dangers associated with relying on Australian mainstream media is the danger that you won't be properly informed.

And if you aren't properly informed then it is likely that surprises will sneak up on you and some of those surprises will hurt.

We saw the effect of that recently with those folks who thought that the mainstream media spruiking of the real estate industry was somehow related to reality and truth and facts. If some of those people had been looking elsewhere - they may have been better informed and they might not be in a perilous financial position now.

And that's the thing. Expectations have been created by our government and the usual suspects in the MSM that things will be just rosy after the disaster that was the March quarter.

Well I don't know what they are seeing - but I do know what I am seeing and it ain't good folks. The June quarter is turning into something much worse than the March quarter - which likely means recession.

Recession being two quarters of negative growth - it's guaranteed. Whether it gets reflected in the statistics is anyone's guess - because those same people who won't tell the truth in the newspapers or on radio or television also don't want you to know the real state of the economy.

Because they don't think you can be trusted with the facts.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Follower or Leader?

If you were a politician who - as a member of a political party - relied upon opinion polling and focus groups to set the policy direction for you then would you be considered a leader or a follower? Serious question.

And how could you be a leader if you follow the direction of the people whose opinions are contained in any particular poll?

You might think you are being *responsive* but all you are doing is encouraging the folks who work hard to influence public opinion - to keep on doing more of it. All you are doing is signalling to our broken, dysfunctional and scheming media that it is OK to keep feeding our people lies and untruths. Because apparently you will develop policy and govern the nation based on the people feeding those lies and untruths back to you via opinion polls.

If you were a member of a political party with real leaders then you would be trying to influence public opinion by presenting facts and knowledge and truth and science. And you would be speaking directly to the people about why some potentially unpopular policy is necessary. You would be trying to educate and inform. You would be a real leader.

But you won't. You seem to have given up on that - it seems as though many of you check your thinking organ in at the cloakroom when you turn up for work each day.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Politics by Opinion Poll

A lot of people seem to think that we should *do* our politics by opinion poll.

And most of the time our politicians agree - because that is what gets them to act in either a good or bad way. Public opinion polling has replaced smart thinking and good governance in Canberra and elsewhere.

It's why the dimwits currently in power nearly lost the last election - relying on opinion polls to drive their policy development processes. Because they forgot about the silent majority who want *thinking* to drive our policy responses.

Question: Why else would Gillard and Co. introduce the "Malaysian Solution"? Answer: Focus Groups.

Well let them suck on this "Opinion Poll" and react accordingly.


This report shocked me. But it is very clear to most of us - why it is happening.

The fear mongering and lies of the Coalition and News Limited were designed to have this exact effect.

Mr Abbott and his coalition cronies and his supporters in the media knew that when they started their lowest common denominator pursuit of the bogan and continued with their denial of the science of climate change that their actions would encourage extreme behaviour in some people. Especially people who are not adequately educated or informed.

This is what their winning strategy is all about - scare those people shitless - so they become extreme and say and do the most outrageous things. And the coalition will apparently then sneak back into power on the back of all the associated chaos and confusion.

Now those scared people are doing just what was expected and predicted. All you have to do is read the letters to the editor and the inarticulate comments on science blogs and hear the outrage on talk back radio - to understand the effect. And now apparently the people engaged in the actual science are getting death threats.

This shows Australians at their worst and it's a friggin disgrace.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Confidence Fairy

One of the things that Paul Krugman suggests as the reason that Republicans are in complete disarray about the US budget situation - is the Confidence Fairy.

I wouldn't mind betting that Abbott and Costello Hockey are roving about in the same la la Disneyland.

The Confidence Fairy is this imaginary being who will magically restore consumer confidence - if only we could find her.

Sorry folks - just my weak little attempt at humour after today's market performance.

And I do like this guy's humour ;-)

Workers Screwed

So Australian workers are being screwed again - according to the latest numbers.

The following graph shows what has been happening with real labour costs since 1997.

Pretty dismal story isn't it? Ahh - but free enterprise is a wonderful thing though isn't it?

Not to worry folks - *something* will arrive and save our your bacon.

This ain't democracy folks

The most disturbing thing for me are the long term effects of a government that has been so comprehensively done over by vested interests, rentseekers and corporate pickpockets.

The miners had a big win with the resource rent tax last year and they are now being encouraged to start another fight over the carbon price. Will this become an annual event?

We rolled over to the Bush Administration and the US Military back in 2001 and apparently now we can't change our mind even if we wanted to. Which raises an interesting question about what little Johnny actually committed us to?

News Limited has become emboldened - they have moved on from subtle commentary to an overt campaign of serious lies about the Gillard government. And the government keeps shovelling millions at them in the form of advertising dollars - WTF is that about?

And the ABC was once travelling calmly down the middle of the road - but more recently has become as shrill and as partisan as its commercial cousins. Our government apparently has no opinion about this and nothing important to say? But it still keeps funding them and leaves the board entrenched at the trough?

And the Coalition - well far too many words have already been written about them - so I won't.

But my point is that it is not good for the nation or for its people - when we have a seriously one-sided situation like this and when our government is not so much of a government in any substantial sense.

Every half arsed rentseeker, vested interest and corporate pickpocket will attempt to get on the bandwagon - and get their share of the spoils. All of them aided and abetted by a feckless Coalition.

This ain't democracy folks - this is something else altogether.

So what are we going to do about it?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Any Ideas?

I am not interested anymore in what becomes of our current Government. Sadly they have demonstrated a complete lack of any real idea about what it means to be in government - ever since they assassinated Kevin and snuck back into power last year.

It is a sad thing to admit but they are clearly a government that is out of its depth.

Anyone with even an ounce of common sense and any real understanding of what the nation needs would know that this government has squibbed it - because it clearly doesn't know what to do - about anything.


* Let the mining industry ride roughshod over them,

* Foolishly discarded their traditional base and chased after the bogan vote,

* Have been comprehensively done over by the Coalition on asylum seekers and a carbon price,

* Continue to deny the electorate a say on the shitty little war in Afghanistan,

* Suck up to the US Administration and Rupert - and god knows who else,

* Continually let News Ltd, the right wing media and even the ABC put them down,

* Have cobbled up a "Malaysian Solution" for asylum seekers which is simply wrong - if not illegal,

* Were intimidated by The Coalition into pursuing a "Budget Surplus" when something else is necessary.

And a hundred other examples of poor thinking, bad management and weak governance.

They seem unable even to articulate the successes that Kevin's government had - saving us from the GFC, the NBN, BER, and home insulation programmes - because they have let the Coalition and its puppeteers rewrite history around those.

And I am pretty sure that they are all wandering about wringing their hands and wondering how they got here. And trying to work out how to get out of it.

Who cares?

Fatal Error

Gillard seems to be making the same fatal error that Howard made regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

His hubris meant that he abused our parliamentary processes and sent our troops off to war without discussion or debate and all because he had been captured by junior Bush and the Republicans and the so-called "war on terror".

It was unacceptable then and even more so now after 26 of our young soldiers have died in Afghanistan.

It's particularly galling to those Australian's who believe that we are a sovereign nation - to discover that our military deployments and presumably our foreign affairs engagements are subject to the whim and control of the United States.

All of which is bad enough - but the fatal error made by both Howard and Gillard is that they haven't bothered to explain their decision and reasoning to the Australian people.

Perhaps it is necessary to send young Australian's off to war in Afghanistan. But like my fellow Australian's I wouldn't know because our leaders have chosen not to discuss it with us or to justify their actions. For ten years they have kept us in the dark and fed us BS like this.

Howard paid the ultimate political price for his hubris - will Gillard do the same?