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Thursday, 21 January


Japanese whalers active again in Antarctic waters North Coast Voices

Snapshot, Google Earth image of Antarctica, 14 December 2015

Sea Shepherd Australia, Monday 18 January 2016:

Sea Shepherd’s Flagship, the Steve Irwin, has departed Fremantle, Western Australia for the Southern Ocean. The ship’s departure marks the official commencement of the organization’s 12th Southern Ocean Defense Campaign, Operation Icefish 2015-16.

Led by returning Captain, Siddhar...


Clarence Valley Council in residents & ratepayers' bad books North Coast Voices

It's a local government election year in the Clarence Valley (unless the NSW Boundaries Commission decides otherwise) and locals are getting restless as Saturday 10 September is marked in red on many a fridge calendar.

A vague suspicion is developing that a whole lot of payback may be going down at polling booths across the valley on that date.

Clarence Valley Independent, 14 January 2016:

Forum campaigns against CVC's 'secrecy'
Story By: Geoff Helisma
Convenor of The Clarence Forum lodges a petition with Clarence Valley Council last week. It asks the counc...

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Wednesday, 20 January


George's diary Independent Australia

George's diaryMore from the pudding and pie man ... read now...


Framing the political debate - the key to winning The Political Sword

Why did Tony Abbott thrive as Leader of the Opposition, but turn out to be such a dud as Prime Minister?

What was it about his period in opposition that was so different from his period as the nation’s leader?

There are many possible answers to these questions.

This piece asserts that the most plausible reason for the difference is that in opposition he had the uncanny ability to frame the political debate in his favour, but in government that ability deserted him.

Let’s begin by defining what framing means. In common parlance, to frame something is to provide it with a surrounding; objects of art are commonly framed. A suitable frame contributes to the appeal of the object. An attractive object can be diminished, made unattractive or even repulsive if placed in a discordant frame.

In the political arena, suitable framing is crucial. It has been around in politics since time immemorial, but perhaps not well known by that name. Concepts that have a name are more easily understood simply because they are named. The name ‘framing’ makes it easier to understand what the concept means. Framing creates a perspective, an orientation, a way of viewing. Suitable framing is a winner, unsuitable a loser. Cynics diminish the concept of framing when they label it simply as ‘spin’. Framing is much more than spin. Spin conflates with misinformation.

By way of illustration, let’s begin with a classic example of framing in our own federal political arena. During the global financial crisis, Labor framed the stimulus package as saving jobs, spurring economic growth and supporting communities. After the first tranche, the Coalition strongly opposed the package, framing it as needlessly running up unmanageab...


Lambie prepares for Australian Shipping Conference in Melbourne Senator Jacqui Lambie - PUTTING TASMANIA FIRST

Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie will attend the Coastal Trading meeting or shipping conference in Melbourne tomorrow to build on the group work she has carried out previously in September last year – in an effort to produce a solution to properly remedy, the Australian shipping and maritime crisis.

“ Unfortunately, the Liberal / National government have deliberately lied to the Australian people when they presented their Coastal Shipping legislation to our Parliament late last year.  If the Coalition’s legislation would have passed the Senate – then the destruction of Australia’s home-grown maritime industry and thousands of local jobs, would have been guaranteed,” said Senator Lambie.

“Essentially, the Liberal’s solution to our maritime crisis was to register all our trading ships in dodgy foreign countries, sack all the Aussie maritime workers and replace them with cheap overseas Labour.  That fact became clear when I spoke with ship owner and cruise operator Bill Milby from North Star Cruises (see here)

And that was never going to happen on my watch – especially while there are better solutions being put forward by major stakeholders in our Maritime Industry.” said Senator Lambie.

“Since the last shipping conference in early September last year, I’ve continued meetings with a variety of Australian Maritime industry stakeholders including Tasmania’s SeaRoad CEO Michael Easy, yesterday in Devonport.  Both Michael and I agree that any shipping reform plan for Australia must protect our national interest and have a broad consensus approval from all the major stakeholders in Australia’s Maritime Industry – otherwise, business will not invest if there is a risk that a change of government will produce a change in shipping policy,...


Gentrification is dividing Australian schools Independent Australia

Gentrification is dividing Australian schoolsRather than being microcosms of the community, schools are increasingly divided by class and ethnicity — and this should ring alarm bells for us all. read now...


She's baaack ... loon pond

It was, of course, a tease of the pond not to include Dame Slap in the initial outing for the day, but the pond believes that Dame Slap is far too important to be lumped in with the likes of the Oz editorialist, the bromancer and the Terrorist egg beaters ...

Instead we must celebrate Dame Slap warming to the notion of teh Donald.

This does, of course, follow an important papal missive from the Chairman ... well, it seems, pace the bromancer, that we must now talk of secular papal pronouncements, and who better to do that than Il Papa?

Now it takes Dame Slap awhile to get there - much foreplay time must be spent demonising teh Islamics before we get to teh Donald, but get there we surely will ...

Firstly let's get stuck into the demonisation, and perhaps we could have an illustration of teh Donald as a necessary and engagingly charming gargoyle for starters ...


Turnbull's dilemma Independent Australia

Turnbull's dilemmaTurnbull will be involved in a lot of foreign policy announcement this year — and none of it will be any good for him, writes Bob Ellis. read now...


NSW and WA redistributions – updated maps The Tally Room

We are now nearing the end of the federal redistribution process which precedes the next federal election.

We had redistributions in New South Wales, Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory.

The AEC has a curious process where they announce the final boundaries but do not provide the maps and data which allow people to see the precise boundaries. This extra information is usually provided about a month later.

In the ACT, the final boundaries were identical to the draft boundaries, so no further maps are necessary (although the final data is expected next week). In Western Australia, the final maps were released yesterday, and I’ll post them further down in this post.

In New South Wales, the final boundaries were announced last Friday, without any maps. In most places it’s reasonably clear what boundaries they were using (although a few were confusing). I’ve done my best to put together a new map – I think it’s likely to be accurate but there may be a few errors (in particular the Hume/Whitlam boundary and the Parkes/New England boundary) and I will update it when the official data is released in late February.

Download the NSW final-ish electoral map.

Download the WA final electoral map.

Download the ACT final electoral map.

Below the fold you can see interactive maps for NSW and WA, although I haven’t added any other data to the maps, just the boundaries.



On the sad passing of Bob Carter, a great scientist and friend Catallaxy Files

From Joe Bast
It is with deep regret that I report the passing of a friend, colleague, and great scholar, Dr. Robert M. Carter. Bob died peacefully in a hospital surrounded by family and friends following a heart attack a few days ago. He was 74 years old.
Funeral arrangements are being made and it will most likely take place on Monday next week in Townsville, Australia.
This is almost unspeakably sad. Bob was the very embodiment of the “happy warrior” in the global warming debate. He was a scholar’s scholar, with impeccable credentials (including a Ph.D. from Cambridge), careful attention to detail, and a deep understanding of and commitment to the scientific method. He endured the slings and arrows of the anti-science Left with seeming ease and good humor and often warned against resorting to similar tactics to answer them.
Bob never failed to answer the call to defend climate science, getting on planes to make the long flight from Australia to the U.S., to Paris, and to other lands without complaints or excuses. He was a wonderful public speaker and a charming traveling mate. He was not an easy man to edit, though – he kept wanting to put unnecessary commas, “that’s,” and boldfacing back into his manuscripts — but the great ones never are.
Bob helped immeasurably with three volumes in the Climate Change Reconsidered series, a series of hefty compilations of scientific research he coauthored and coedited with Craig D. Idso and S. Fred Singer. Just a few weeks ago, he flew to Paris to speak at Heartland’s “Day of Examining the Data” and contributed to the completion and review of another book, Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming: The NIPCC report on scientific consensus.
We honored Bob with a “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the 10th International...


You can visit the lizards of Oz, and check out any time you like, but you can never ever leave ... loon pond

It's a busy day for the pond, with much to look at, which is why it might seem bizarre to start off with this little tweet ...

The most bias speaker of all time?

Who knew Hewson spoke so badly?

But it was an official communication from a venerable source ...

Of course here's what Hewson actually said ...

JOHN HEWSON: You'll probably have to carry her out in a box. She doesn't think she's done anything wrong. She doesn't see that she's been totally discredited or probably go down in history as a poor mini...



North Coast Voices

Women falling pregnant or due to give birth after 30 June 2016 are not going to be amused when they realize exactly how much harder their lives might become under the Federal Coalition Government.

Especially when they realize that Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull was a successful barrister who inherited an est. $2 million in the same year his first child was born and, would have little to no understanding of the predicament in which he is placing many low-income families.

University of Sydney Business School,  Women and Work Research Group, January 2016, Prof. Marian Baird & Dr. Andreea Constantin, ...


Journalism is not terrorism No Right Turn

Back in 2013, David Miranda, the partner of investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, was detained by UK police under anti-terrorism powers while transiting through Heathrow. He was interrogated for nine hours, with no right to legal advice and no right to silence. His laptop, cellphone, and other electronic storage devices were confiscated. The ostensible reason for this was that he was carrying encrypted Snowden material, which could supposedly endanger UK national security. The British government called that "terrorism".

Today, the UK Court of Appeal declared in no uncertain terms that that was bullshit, and declared the law Miranda was detained under incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights:

A key clause in the Terrorism Act 2000 is incompatible with the European convention on human rights, the master of the rolls, Lord Dyson, has declared as part of a court of appeal judgment.


Dyson said that the powers contained in schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act (2000) were flawed. Schedule 7 of the Act allows travellers to be questioned in order to find out whether they appear to be terrorists. They have no right to remain silent or receive legal advice, and they may be detained for up to nine hours.

“The stop power, if used in respect of journalistic information or material is incompatible with article 10 [freedom of expression] of the [European convention on human rights] because it is not ‘prescribed by law’,” the master of the rolls said.

The court ruled that the power was arbitrary as it lacked judicial safeguards. More importantly, it also ruled that terrorism requires intent - that one cannot be a "te...

Tuesday, 19 January


Just like starting over: Who will help reform NSW Labor? Independent Australia

Just like starting over: Who will help reform NSW Labor?Luke Foley is not the leader to take NSW Labor to the next election, says Peter Wicks — so who is? read now...


ACCC opposes consumer interests and markets reappointment for its Chair Catallaxy Files

Long standing ALP notable, Rod Sims, continues on his pursuit of reappointment to the Chair of the ACCC.  This SMH  piece begins, “Competition tsar Rod Sims has vowed to crack down on inflated petrol prices, warning retailers need to trim up to 7¢ a litre at the pump”.

A public warning like this must surely appear on the regulators’ web site.  But it is absent – the journalist was given an exclusive by the regulator as a means of ensuring prominence to an article that paints the ACCC boss as a crusading knight there to protect the consumer from ruthless price-gouging oligopolies.

Actually, the only recent posting on petrol on the ACCC website is a press release that is said to resolve a dispute between the ACCC and five retailers  concerning the retailers’ subscription to a service that provides hour by hour information on the retail petrol prices being offered in different regions.  The service, by Informed Sources, allows cost savings since, previously, the petrol retailers each had people employed constantly phoning gas stations to determine each one’s retail price.  Far from being anti-competitive, like a market stallholder constantly listening to the prices her rivals are shouting out to customers, such activity is pro-competition.  However, subjected to harassment from an over-provisioned government agency, the parties apparently agreed to conditions whereby anybody wanting the information gets it free.  While this might be handy for the highly price-conscious travelling consumer, the provision will make it difficult for Informed Sources to charge for the service as a result of free-rider conduct.

However, the resolution announcement appears to have been premature since the parties are now back...

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