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Sunday, 28 February


Let the fear, smear and verbal diarrhoea begin! Truth Seekers Musings

Let the fear, smear  and verbal diarrhoea begin! Let’s face it, all the talk by the Turdball, of going full term, was just that…Talk!   :shock: Many of us here have been predicting an election as early as April – … Continue reading


No flies on Geotge Christensen political geometry

Boils on his arse - well I never


Turnbull and authenticity The Political Sword

Question: What do Donald Trump (Republican Presidential hopeful) and Jeremy Corbyn (Leader of the British Labour Party) have in common? Well it can’t be their politics.

Trump comes from the right hand side of the spectrum — he wants to keep the ‘illegals’ out, defeat Islamic State, favours traditional marriage (he’s been married three times), argues that climate change is a hoax and government borrowing and stimulus measures are detrimental to the US and objects to Chinese and Japanese interests manipulating their currencies and flooding the US with low-cost exports (despite Trump branded products coming out of China).

Corbyn by contrast voted against bombing Islamic State interests in Syria, supported investing in infrastructure to grow the economy, creating a National Education Service, renationalising British railways, scrapping tuition fees introducing rent control in unaffordable areas and investing in the arts.

The answer is they both seem to be saying what they believe, not necessarily what their minders and party hierarchy want them to say. They are both outsiders from the party machine and appear sincere, qualities which resonate with voters, as even if the voter hasn’t personally met the leader there is a connection.

One of the current management-speak buzzwords is authenticity. A dictionary definition of the word is ‘the quality of being authentic; genuineness’ which sort of seems obvious really! Corbyn and Trump are not the only people in the world to have entere...


Too salacious for Parliamentarians but okay for 11 year olds Catallaxy Files

Reported in The Australian:

How’s this for bizarre? On July 23 last year the Australian Christian Lobby’s Queensland spokeswoman, Wendy Francis, lodged a petition with the Queensland parliament complaining about the Safe Schools program and asking that it be removed from government schools. It was the second largest petition put to that parliament.

The Safe Schools curriculum, as revealed by The Australian, is a radical form of sex education under the guise of an anti-bullying program. To define the complaint about the program it was neces­sary to quote from resources used in the program.

So the following material from a Safe Schools student resource, OMG I’m Queer, was incorporated into the original petition lodged with the Queensland parliament: “It may come as a surprise, but there is no strict definition for virginity, especially if you’re queer. Penis-in-vagina sex is not the only sex, and certainly not the ultimate sex. If you ask me, virginity is whatever you think it is.”

The Clerk of the Parliament censored this from the Queensland parliament’s e-petition website because it contained “intemperate” language.

“In accordance with standing orders, petitions must be respectful, decorous and temperate and not contain any unparliamentary language or otherwise offend any rule or practice of the house.”

The wording of the petition was amended accordingly.

So, this quotation is considered “intemperate language” in a parliamentary setting but is considered suitable reading for schoolchildren aged 11 and up.

Many Queensland parents didn’t think so. And that is not all. Some of the material, especially that provided by the associated Minus 18 website, is too graphic to pass school firewalls, and students are urged...


They’re beginning to get the point Catallaxy Files

There is now talk of Newt Gingrich as Trump’s Chief of Staff. And Chris Christie has endorsed Trump for President. So slowly – very, very slowly – there is a drift towards seeing the point. How abysmal every alternative is.

This is from Peggy Noonan via Instapundit. The last time she wrote something I truly agreed with may have been when Ronald Reagan was still president. But here I think she gets it. I am part of that buffered few but I also have a sense of how things change rapidly and I worry endlessly, and probably fruitlessly, about how things may end up. It may be too late, but then again maybe not.

There are the protected and the unprotected. The protected make public policy. The unprotected live in it. The unprotected are starting to push back, powerfully.

The protected are the accomplished, the secure, the successful—those who have power or access to it. They are protected from much of the roughness of the world. More to the point, they are protected from the world they have created. Again, they make public policy and have for some time.

I want to call them the elite to load the rhetorical dice, but let’s stick with the protected.

They are figures in government, politics and media. They live in nice neighborhoods, safe ones. Their families function, their kids go to good schools, they’ve got some money. All of these things tend to isolate them, or provide buffers. Some of them—in Washington it is important officials in the executive branch or on the Hill; in Brussels, significant figures in the European Union—literally have their own security details.

Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much an...


Can a contemporary Western country have a moral immigration policy with a reasonable risk level? Skepticlawyer

The intense, and highly moralised, debate over migration in the West is clearly based on a widespread presumption that it is obviously possible for contemporary Western societies to have a moral migration policy. That proposition, when examined, is much more dubious than it might appear.

It is obvious that people moving to the West from the Rest are likely to improve their economic (and other) prospects, as noted in economist Michael Clemens’s 2011 journal article (pdf). Hence a Gallup World Poll suggesting that about 700m people worldwide would like to move permanently to another country.

This motivation is quite obvious and the fundamental driving factor–if it was not true, there would not be such demand to move to the West and the issue would largely be moot. What is much more difficult is why prospects are so much better in the West than in most of the Rest and how robust that success is to population inflows. Though the moral issues extend beyond that.

Bleeding initiative 

Consider the epitome of a successful immigration policy–Australia. There is effective border control, so the migration debate in Australia has not gone feral, as it has in other Western democracies. Even more impressively, a high level of migration is managed with remarkably little social disruption or political angst. So, a successful policy.

But one with distinct moral downsides. First is that effective border control involves a certain...


Senator John Madigan on ASADAgate Catallaxy Files

Senator MADIGAN (Victoria) (19:18): Yesterday afternoon, I moved a motion for a Senate committee inquiry into Australia’s participation in the international sports antidoping framework. My goal was to have this issue —and the numerous and pressing questions that still hang over it—reviewed within an employment framework. The antidoping framework is based on the needs of amateur sport. It began its life in the Olympic movement. A significant number of professional sportspeople, however, are employees.

A recent case proves the point. I refer to the double conviction of the Essendon Football Club and the resulting $200,000 fine in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. This followed charges brought by WorkSafe Victoria that the club had failed to provide a safe system of work for its employees. The employees were 34 footballers who played for the club under a controversial ‘supplements’ program during the 2012 AFL season. Clearly, the involvement of WorkSafe Victoria is proof that those players were in fact employees and subject to the direction of, in this case, a culpable employer.

My push for a Senate inquiry into this issue was co-sponsored by all seven of my crossbench colleagues— Senators Leyonhjelm, Lambie, Muir, Wang, Lazarus, Day and Xenophon. It was also supported by the Greens. But the motion was blocked by the government and the ALP, and the question that must be asked is: why? That is a question only the government and the opposition can answer. Clearly, both major parties are in the grip of the mindset that professional sport is exempt from the conventional application of Australian workplace law.

This is something that the WorkSafe Victoria case clarified, quite obviously. When you work for a real boss, in a real job, in private enterprise, your relationship with your employer is one by employment. It is a business relationship. You are party to a contract, either written or unwritten. In ente...


Approval voting: A true measure of voters’ will Independent Australia

Approval voting: A true measure of voters’ willAs the Turnbull Government pushes for "reform" in the Senate voting system, Dr Geoff Davies discusses "approval voting" as a truly representative alternative. read now...


The cost of Australia’s uranium deal with India Independent Australia

The cost of Australia’s uranium deal with IndiaZushan Hashmi discusses the Turnbull Government's recent unrestricted nuclear deal with India and the diplomatic ramifications for the South Asia region. read now...


How much does an individual candidate’s vote matter in the Senate? The Tally Room

There’s a meme going around from a supporter of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party claiming Senate reforms are illegitimate because Ricky Muir polled more votes individually than a handful of other elected Senators.

Here’s an example:


I’ve previously discussed how difficult it is to cast a vote below the line. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of voters vote above the line. In 2013, 96.83% of formal votes were above the line – in other words, they were cast for a party’s preference ticket, not for any individual. A further 2.73% voted for candidates ranked first in their column. Only 0.436% of voters decided to cast a primary vote for any candidate not ranked first.

Since others seem to think there is value in looking at candidates’ individual below-the-line votes, let’s see what the data tells us.

Let’s compare Ricky Muir with like candidates, who benefited...


Yes, the pond is here to help the hapless reptiles, apparently too scared to speak their minds ... loon pond

The pond is, of course, here to help the reptiles with their short and long term-business planning.

First tip. If you claim to be the weekend newspaper of the year, don't leave Saturday's nonsense and silliness hanging around like quickly rotting fish at the top of the digital page on a Sunday.

The notion that George Christensen, Dennis Jenkins, Cory Bernardi and the rest of the hysterical ratbag pack - peace be unto Erica, the poodle and George, honoured be their names - are too scared to speak their minds, is the sort of gabbling from dotage that should be quickly spiked. It's okay to let elderly politicians and other folk out of the closet every so often - though the pond would listen to an exception for Jeff Kennett - but once it's done, they should be quickly wheeled out of sight.

Which is why leaving that Abbott 'coulda, woulda shoulda' piece - from Dennis 'the bouffant one' Shanahan, channeling a failed pug and wall-puncher - should also have had a replacement on standby.

The problem isn't that people are too scared to speak their minds, it's that some people just never shut up, with the Murdochian commentariat to the fore, because they're paid to lead regularly with blather of the mischief-making kind. Of course the pond's entire business plan - celebrating...


Is Rupert Murdoch about to gobble up ten Queensland and two NSW regional daily newspapers? North Coast Voices

It probably comes as no surprise to readers of APN News & Media’s The Daily Examiner and Coastal Views that newspapers in the Northern Rivers are battling and, Rupert Murdoch may be poised to swallow whole  APN’s print stable Australian Regional Media.

This print stable includes 12 daily newspapers and 70 community & specialist titles.

If News Corp does purchase ARM that would leave only three Northern Rivers newspapers, including the Clarence Valley Independent not in Murdoch’s control.

Echo NetDaily, 26 February 2016:



A film you must not miss Catallaxy Files

I have just seen one of the most complete and satisfying movies on a conservative theme of my entire life. I will have to dwell on it over the next few days, but in the meantime, I just wish to make sure you do not miss this film. It is the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar!. There is no doubt an IMDb rating, and the critics and audiences at Rotten Tomatoes have no doubt made their appraisals known. And it may turn out that everyone else finds it dull and stupid. That is how these things go. But for myself, I haven’t seen a film in a long long time that has left me as satisfied, not just with its construction, but with its message.


Two Malcolms that the Liberal-Nationals Coalition not so secretly despise North Coast Voices

The then Leader of the Opposition and MP for Wannon John Malcolm Fraser resoundingly won government for the Liberal-Nationals Coalition in 1975 and became the twenty-second Prime Minister of Australia.

At the time the general public considered him little more than a haughty silvertail and, by the time he retired from politics in 1983 even he was aware that his party considered his time in office as a wasted opportunity.

Thirty-three years later and the same Liberal Party supplied another perceived silvertail, MP for Wentworth Malcolm Bligh Turnbull, as Australia’s twenty-ninth prime minister.

This time the Liberal-Nationals Coalition desperately want their second Malcolm to waste the opportunity to drive new policy and instead urge him to pursue the far-right ideological agenda of his predecessor in office, Tony Abbott.

That Malcolm Mark Two is as equally despised as Malcolm Mark One can be inferred by this gif which is doing the rounds at the moment on the NSW North Coast………


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Saturday, 27 February


The rape of East Timor: 'Sounds like fun' Independent Australia

The rape of East Timor: 'Sounds like fun'Previously sealed documents have exposed Australia's complicit and callous role in the East Timor holocaust. John Pilger reports. read now...

Friday, 26 February


What is it with government and dodgy regressions? Catallaxy Files

I have caught the Australian government producing dodgy regressions before; here and here. I’ve caught the Australian misinterpreting good regressions before too.

Then there is the Tobacco PIR analysis.

It is contained in Appendix A to the PIR.

So first things first. What does the analysis report?

To measure the effect of the packaging changes on smoking prevalence, I adopt a widely-used approach in policy analysis often referred to as “before-after” regression analysis. My analysis relates an individual’s decision to smoke to a set of explanatory variables, including sociodemographic factors and controls for tobacco control policies (including the policies governing plain packaging and enlarged graphic health warnings) that are widely believed to influence individuals’ decisions to smoke. There are two important features of this analysis. First, it disentangles the effects of multiple factors that may simultaneously be influencing the observed outcome. Second, it identifies the effect of the packaging changes by comparing smoking behavior before the policy to smoking behavior after.

So far, so good.

The analysis makes use of Roy Morgan data and shows a time trend.


A bit dodgy – the analysis does not test to see if a linear trend is appropriate or not. These things are...

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