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Sunday, 17 January


Conservative ideologues, bankers and employers determined to have their way on wages, unions & industry not-for-profit super funds North Coast Voices

Australian unions, the successful not-for-profit super funds they administer and enterprise agreements are all well and truly in the firing line as Australia enters the 2016 election year.

The Australian, 11 January 2016:

A new clash is looming over rules that can ban millions of workers from choosing their own retirement fund as the government tries to increase choice in the $2 trillion superannuation industry.
Despite fears it will be accused of running an “ideological” campaign against funds that are backed by unions, the Coalition will move to scrap a key part of the industrial relations regime that gives unions and employers the right to limit fund choice for up to 4.7 million workers.
The push sets up a new fight in the Senate after parliament resumes within weeks, but armed with a warning from trade union royal commissioner Dyson Heydon against the “tyranny of the majority” being allowed to dictate where workers put their retirement savings, the governm...


Natural Gas & Coal Seam Gas: A lesson in consequences for Australian federal and state governments North Coast Voices

LA Times, 6 January 2016:

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday ordered new regulations, including stepped-up inspections and safety measures, for all natural gas storage facilities in California in response to the continuing leak that has displaced thousands of people in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The emergency regulations would require Southern California Gas Co. and other operators of gas storage facilities to conduct daily inspections of wellheads using infrared leak-detection technology, verify the mechanical integrity of wells, measure gas flow and pressure and regularly test safety valves, among other steps.

Each facility would also have to draft a risk management plan that would examine the corrosion potential of pipes and other safety threats.

The requirements are part of a series of orders issued by Brown as he declared a state of emergency stemming from a leaking well at SoCal Gas' storage facility in Aliso Canyon. For more than 10...

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Saturday, 16 January


Keynesian policy explained in pictures Catallaxy Files

It’s my birthday, and my younger son has given me a present. You can see whose house he was brought up in. And while it may spoil the joke a bit by adding some commentary, you never know in this day and age what others will and will not see. The first picture is straightforward, however. You hear the equivalent said all the time in every economy.

josh keynes 01

The second is the subtle one. The government has chosen projects that will never repay their costs which means that the economy, so far as these expenditures go, will end up less well off at the end than it was before. Other projects, almost invariably from the private sector, will usually make up for this loss. But non-value-adding projects pull an economy backwards. If you are getting fewer units of output back compared with the number of units used up in production, living standards must contract. But as the picture shows, lots of people are employed. They are just not employed in projects that create net wealth, which includes those employed in industries supplying inputs.

josh keynes 02

Because Keynesian economics is all aggregates, the structural problems created by this expenditure is invisible both in theory and in relation to the actual circumstances of the economy. People are, to all appearances, working and producing. The problem remains that what is produced has less value than the resources used up. One day, as the debts pile up an...


Gains from agility. From the “you couldn’t make it up” file Catallaxy Files

h/t Grace Collier today. Pity about the paywall, but read on.

Punch the words “Australia Business Financing Centre” into your browser and your mind will boggle at the possibilities. The Australia Business Financing Centre, in its headline, says “Australian Government Money May Be Available For Your Small Business” and a button is there to click, “Go Grant Finder”. A quick questionnaire will tell you how much you can get. It asked did I have a job, was I female, Aboriginal, in business with an Aboriginal? Would I employ a disabled person, a Defence Force member? I said I was an unemployed woman in business with an indigenous Australian and prepared to employ a disabled person and a Defence Force member. The results said 13 different government programs and $1,070,000 in total possible funding was available, just for me. Would I like to call now and get started on the forms?

It seemed too good to be true. I clicked on the “Grant Recipients” link and a long list appeared. To pick a few at random: Catch a Bunyip Pty Ltd received $13,260 for “start up and marketing costs”, City Golf Practice in Hobart received $19,000 for “Operating capital, equipment purchases” and The Next Cartel Pty Ltd received $22,480 for “Product research and development, and prototyping”. Scougall Prestige Tiling received $20,000 to receive “Business advice from the Western Australia Small Business Development Corporations to expand into the commercial tiling market” and Mememe Productions Pty Ltd received $50,000 to “develop an interactive gardening app for children”.

Before I could take a breath, a giant pop up, in the shape...


Essendon players and the fight for justice Independent Australia

Essendon players and the fight for justiceJohn Passant explores the commodification of the AFL and proposes the Essendon doping saga should be treated as a workplace relations incident in which the players have the same rights as regular employees. read now...


Lettuce rejoice: Shorten finds new cause for hope Drag0nista's Blog

The Political Weekly: The Opposition Leader found a new way to help boost flagging poll ratings, but unforeseen circumstances threatened to derail his progress.


World's top 6 wind energy stories: Cost down 60% since 2009 Independent Australia

World's top 6 wind energy stories: Cost down 60% since 2009The rest of the world is powering ahead with wind, according to Professor Juan Cole. Sadly, not so Australia where investment in renewables has slumped to half of what it was under Labor and Turnbull has donned Abbott's tin foil hat with appointment of a Wind Commissioner to control 'infrasound'. read now...


The China syndrome: China poses a risk to the world economy Catallaxy Files

In The Australian today

China’s leaders may not have a clue as to where they are going, but they seem determined to get there as soon as possible. The question is how much damage will be done to the world economy along the way. With world stockmarkets alternating between precipitous falls and short-lived rallies, commodity prices tumbling and economic growth forecasts slashed, the answer seems to be plenty.


How that’s postal service going Mr Fahour? Catallaxy Files

I’m sure our 100% Government-owned Australia Post CEO, Ahmed Fahour (2013 remuneration about $4.8 million) would appreciate feedback on service standards.

On Wednesday 6 January in the morning using the new $1 stamp I posted a letter at the Canberra GPO bound for the Sydney GPO. It was delivered to my correspondent on Thursday 14 January.  That’s 7 business days. I wasn’t posting my letter from Onslow, WA, to Perisher Valley, NSW.

On the same day I ordered a book from It arrived on Monday 11 January, being delivered from the United Kingdom.

The delivery time for my letter was longer than when I was asked to lay down my plough, take the dictatorship, assemble my legion, defeat the Aequi, lay down my office and return to my plough.

In the Roman Empire, one could send a letter from Rome to Athens in far less time than from Canberra to Sydney under Mr Fahour’s Australia Post. The Cobb & Co service from Sydney to Yass was also quicker.

We now have the highest paid postal service CEO, the most expensive postal stamps for standard letters and the slowest delivery time in the OECD.

Congratulations Mr Fahour.


Sam Harris takes Noam Chomsky to task for equating Western crimes with 9/11 Independent Australia

Sam Harris takes Noam Chomsky to task for equating Western crimes with 9/11Sam Harris, author of best-seller The End of Faith, took Noam Chomsky to task for equating Western crimes with 9/11, in particular the Clinton administration’s bombing of pharmaceuticals plant in Sudan in 1998. The Daily Banter's editor, Ben Cohen, analysed the email spat that followed. With Harris' visit to Australia scheduled next week, IA thought it timely to republish the article. read now...


The fact is, so many reptiles are slaves to intellectual fashion, and intellectually are not dissimilar to Oscar the Grouch ... loon pond

(Above: a lovely tribute and a malediction from Pope this day, and more of the truly essential Papist here, much better than the pious proverbial hope that Malware might live in interesting times).

It was hardly unexpected that the Nick Ross matter would run dead in the mainstream media.

The reptiles of Oz, much given to ABC bashing, did nothing but reprint, at length, an ABC denial.

Oh sure the story bobbed up in the Murdochian empire's attempt at a liberal feint,, as Former ABC journalist claims the public broadcaster gagged him to not upset Malcolm Turnbull. And it turned up in a few foreign locations, as in the Daily Snail, Journalist claims ABC 'gagged' him because of his support for the National Broadband Network, and in the Huffing and Puffing Post as ...


Electoral redistribution in federal seats and what it might mean on NSW Far North Coast in 2016 North Coast Voices

Australian Electoral Commission (AEC), Proposed redistribution of New South Wales into electoral divisions, October 2015:

A total of 944,592 electors or 19.42 per cent of electors in NSW would change from their current federal electoral division under the proposed redistribution. Once a redistribution is final, the AEC automatically transfers existing elector enrolments, where required, to the correct electoral division.

The augmented Electoral Commission has adopted boundary changes* in the Cowper,Page, and Richmond electorates proposed by the Redistribution Committee for New South Wales.

Electoral boundary changes on NSW Far North Coast according to the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC):


Friday, 15 January


Jamie Clements saga: The politics of sexual harassment a bipartisan affair Drag0nista's Blog

Sexism and other forms of disrespect against women can only be eradicated if all our community leaders, including the two at the top, actively repudiate those behaviours.

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