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Wednesday, 13 January


Ted Cruz and the Republican establishment Catallaxy Files

To the Republican establishment, Donald Trump may be the second worst outcome. The worst outcome may be Ted Cruz. It is why suddenly the Republicans, including John McCain, Rand Paul and plenty of others, have suddenly raised his citizenship as an issue. Roger Kimball brings this forward, Why the Sudden Love Among Establishment Republicans for Trump?

What you hear people say is that “Donald Trump may have the best chance of beating Hillary Clinton.” But what does that means? “Maybe Trump can beat Hillary, assuming she is the Democratic candidate, but anyway, despite his bluster, he really is deep down a pay-to-play kind of guy, just like us. Ted Cruz, on the contrary, really means all that stuff about ending the ‘Washington Cartel’ and restoring Constitutional restraints on government. It’s OK to say that in election years, but we don’t want to elect someone who will actually try to do it.”

The problem for them is that Cruz would do what Tea Party types want them to do. With Trump, you have no idea at all what he would do about anything. And you do indeed see the drift towards Trump. This is Kurt Schlichter at National Review summing up an article in which he assesses the future probabilities on President Trump: Taking The Donald Seriously.

Trump can win the nomination. I don’t like that, because I don’t think he’s a conservative. He can also win the general, and I do like that because this country can survive a Donald Trump administration intact, assuming he learns what the nuclear triad is. But a Hillary Clinton presidency? A presidency for a...


Last week Michael Pascoe started the 2016 political year off with his tongue-in-cheek and gave readers a good belly laugh North Coast Voices

The Age newspaper along with Fairfax journalist & BusinessDay contributing editor Michael Pascoe deserve a hearty round of applause for this effort on New Year’s Day 2016, Crystal ball reveals 2016's highs and lows in business:

Senator Eric Abetz declares a Day of Shame over Tony Abbott not being named Australian of the Year. "Monckton warned me – it's the United Nations World Government again," the Tasmanian senator says.
At his first official function as Ambassador – an Australia Day barbie – Joe Hockey lauds the McDonald's all-day breakfast as the sort of innovation Australia needs. Embassy staff quietly ask guests not to tell him it's already available here.


Sixteen parternalistic buybodies delivered a report to the Turnbull Government which may change your relationship with your GP North Coast Voices

The Daily Telegraph, 4 January 2016:

LAST year was the year we avoided a $7 GP fee and a $5 prescription medicine price hike but six major reviews are plotting other major changes to the health system for 2016.

Primary health care, Medicare rebates, private health insurance, prescription medicine payments, mental health care and electronic health records are all slated for major changes under these reviews.

These and other health reforms, to be rolled out from 2016, will push up the cost of blood tests and scans, change your relationship with your GP, see you dragooned into an e-health record and increase your private health insurance costs — but might save you $1 on your prescriptions.

Seven million Australians with chronic and complex illness like diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, asthma and mental illness will be asked to enrol with a single GP practice.


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Tuesday, 12 January


Militant suffragettes: Morally justified, or just terrorists? Independent Australia

Militant suffragettes: Morally justified, or just terrorists?Following the release of the film, Suffragette, La Trobe University's Janna Thompson asks whether the militancy of these suffragettes was justified. read now...


Abbott to the Vatican, the pond asks Turnbull ... loon pond

There are many tragedies small and large this day, including footballers hyperventilating and wailing about the unfairness of it all, much as drug users have done since the Roman days when Seutonius noted Tiberius's excessive inclination to wine, and dubbed him Biberius ...

As for the small tragedies ...

But none of it mattered for the pond up against this wondrous headline ...

Send him to the Vatican, for his sins! Let him repent in leisure, and at taxpayers' expense.

Now who knows if the report is true, as it originally came from Joe Aston, here:

Well the Graudian now contends it has confirmed the...


No sense in pet industry stance Independent Australia

No sense in pet industry stancePeter Wicks takes a look at a Pet Industry News article which attacks the Victorian minister Jaala Pulford's sweeping reforms to stamp out puppy farms. read now...


Does 1453 mean anything – has anyone ever heard of Lepanto? Catallaxy Files

Henry Ergas’s column on the war on the West, When faith takes up arms silence is no option, has drawn a number of letters which I thought were of interest and supplements his points quite well. First this although published last:

Henry Ergas’s article urges frank discussion. The thrust of the article could be simply stated in Greg Sheridan’s pithy comment last year on Iran, that no one in the West takes the idea of God seriously any more and cannot conceive of a government whose behaviour is determined by theological goals. It is somewhat amusing to think that a society that has jettisoned God could presumptuously give a movement with a god advice on changing its theology. The West is so satiated with its own righteousness it does not recognise all it has comes from the precepts of the God it has abandoned.

There is then this, also out of the published order.

The sickness of silence (don’t mention the war) and appeasement (peace in our time) that have infected Western politicians signal the death of Western civilisation. They will bring victory to barbarian invasions. Western politicians have become a supine tool through which the barbarians, not just Islamists, achieve their goals. There is no point continuing to jaw-jaw when you are losing the war-war.

Secular liberal democracy is the jewel in the crown of Western civilisation. It has taken centuries and millions of deaths to achieve it. To watch it being eroded by such idiocies as multicultural relativism and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s naive Willkommenskultur is sickening.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing, according to Ed...


No benefit from the TPPA No Right Turn

The government has been selling the TPPA as a magic bullet, a guarantee of future prosperity for all. But according to the World Bank, the reality is a little different:

Australia stands to gain almost nothing from the mega trade deal sealed with 11 other nations including United States, Japan, and Singapore, the first comprehensive economic analysis finds.

Prepared by staff from the World Bank, the study says the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership would boost Australia's economy by just 0.7 per cent by the year 2030.

The annual boost to growth would be less than one half of one 10th of 1 per cent.

Other members of the TPP stand to benefit much more, according to the analysis. Vietnam's economy would be 10 per cent bigger by 2030, Malaysia's 8 per cent bigger, New Zealand's 3 per cent bigger, and Singapore's 3 per cent bigger.

An economy 3 percent bigger in 2030 means an annual boost of just 0.2%. Almost all of which will flow to National's farmer-cronies. Prosperity for all? Hardly. And to benefit them, we have to give up democratic control over environmental, employment, and consumer safety law, and hand sociopathic foreign companies a veto on our democracy. And that's just not worth it.

The US does even worse out of the deal, with just a 0.4% boost to their 2030 economy. So why did they sign it? Firstly, distribution: the people who will be getting that 0.4% - Hollywood and pharmaceutical companies - can pay lobbyists. And secondly because of this:
[The TPPA] opens up trade between members but makes trade more difficult with non-members through a process known as "cumulative rules of origin" where members lose privileges if they source inputs from countries outside the TPP....


Vaya con Dios, The Man Who Fell to Earth No Place For Sheep

Probably won’t be writing much for the next little while, as I’m leaving for the annual road trip to the Snowy Mountains today, listening to David Bowie all the way. Haven’t felt so sad about a performer’s death since James Gandolfini carked in 2013.  They leave a hole in the world when they go, these […]


Ground control to major Caterists ... put that subsidised helmet on ... loon pond

Oh those wags at the Daily Terror with their photoshop ...

The pond, being addicted to marching to a different tune with the reptile commentariat, naturally confused yesterday's sad news with Ziggy says NBN faces challenge meeting 2020 completion target ...

No, no, not that Ziggy, nuke the suburbs Ziggy ...

But enough of conservatives doing cartwheels over a man they once deplored as a drug-addled weirdo, pervert and freak, because it's time, in these caring Murdochian tax-free times, to think about serious issues ...

The pond was drawn to this outing at the rarely visited ABC ...

Indeed, indeed, and it probably shouldn't be controversial that people share a belief in Santa Claus, the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy and pi...


January sport: The good, the bad and the ugly Independent Australia

January sport: The good, the bad and the uglyLachlan Barker delivers the good news first in January sport. read now...


A Trans Pacific Partnership negotiated for Australia by the Coalition Government? Well, what did you expect! North Coast Voices

It seems that the Australian Liberal-Nationals Federal Government laboured to bring forth a puny bundle of little joy.....

World Bank, Global Economic Prospects, January 2016:

On October 4, 2015, 12 Pacific Rim countries concluded negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the largest, most diverse and potentially most comprehensive regional trade agreement yet. The 12 member countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 January 2016:

Australia stands to gain almost nothing from the meg...


Tony Abbott makes a joke North Coast Voices

This has to be former prime minister Tony Abbott displaying a sense of humour or him well on the way to becoming the butt of another joke.

The politician who could never enunciate a genuine plan to “repair the budget” is now giving advice to the current prime minister. *cue laughter*


Liverpool Plains community getting the "Wrong Mine, Wrong Place" message out to China North Coast Voices

The people of the Liverpool Plains in NSW Australia have a message for the Shenhua Group in China, who want to build a massive coal mine in the middle of their farmland.

The LPP community have spent $750,000 fighting this madness so far! There are more battles to come before we can save our water and precious Ag land – for more information on how you can add your support, visit: 
http://www.friendsoftheliverpoolplain... and help us win this fight....

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Monday, 11 January


Ashes to ashes: David Bowie, the man of a thousand faces, plays his last song Independent Australia

Ashes to ashes: David Bowie, the man of a thousand faces, plays his last songLegendary artist and rock god David Bowie has died, at age 69, following an 18-month battle with cancer. read now...


Did Clarence Valley Council attempt to pull the wool over Iluka residents' eyes? North Coast Voices

Recently I received a ‘phone call from an Iluka resident which began along the lines of: I met you once at the bus stop in Maclean and I wonder if you know…

What this very concerned person from the opposite side of the Clarence River then told me was that Clarence Valley Council chose to advertise an approx. 19ha 162 lot low density residential subdivision with 10 new roads within Lot 99 in DP 823635 Hickey Street, Iluka on 24 December 2015 – Christmas Eve – and also to start a 28 day exhibition period from Boxing Day, 26 December. [Clarence Valley Council, block_ad_

From my experience, local government only acts in this manner if both it and the developer of record do not want informed community scrutiny of a ‘favoured’ development application (DA).



Rafe’s Roundup 11 Jan 2016 Catallaxy Files

Congratulations to newbie blogger Don Aitkin.

Culture: First editions from the 1970s.

Regulation nation. Poor to rich redistribution in the US>.

Political correctness. Conservatives in the soft social sciences. A new study finds 8 conservative social psychologists.

Weather. The Alan Moran report. Climate scientists tend to exaggerate, check this example of rorting the expense account.

Business. Disappearing CEOs in China.

For nerds. THIS IS THE DOOMLORD SPEAKING, SO PAY ATTENTION!!! Economists as social engineers.

Wednesday, 06 January


Where are we going? DUCK POND

Ben Eltham, in his review of last year, argues that politicians in Australia have been to the larger, often underlying drivers of events. ( I am taking liberties with my arguments.)

He refers to the French historian,Fernand Braudel, who according to Wikipedia was a developer of World System Theory. Weather and climate would be the best examples of such a theory of human and ecological interconnected. I am reminded of the Indian historians who observe that “Mohandas Gandhi had a civilizational rather that nation state historical understanding. Printing, for example, stimulated and made possible the Reformation, and that was not an overnight transformation. Scientific paradigm changes leaves social change in its wake.

The fallacies of the national state zero-sum game and the fallacy of what, at least I describe, of parochial  nationalism, that for example mistakes weather for climate was expressed by the former Prime Minister Abbott. He is either a fool, or irrelevant, and the kindest observation is to suggest the latter. Abbott, as Ben Eltham explains, was what a Prime Minister should not be. He was divisive and destructive, which included the formal political process, by his personal selections. For example, Bronwyn Bishop, among others, proved to be a disastrous. Turnbull, in his steed, inherited the legacy of wreckage. More so than most Turnbull is captive of his social class, successful upward mobility and investment in the Cayman Islands.

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