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Sunday, 19 November


FACT CHECK: Size comparison - cargo vessel Island Trader and cruise ship Caledonian Sky North Coast Voices

The debate concerning the Sydney-driven proposal to make the Port of Yamba a cruise ship destination continues.

I have noticed there has been some comment on social media that the small cruise ships Yamba could expect to have visit would be same size or smaller than the Island Trader which used Yamba as its home port for around 17 years.

The phrase small cruise ship is being taken literally and the conclusion invited is that these cruise ships are so small there is nothing to be concerned about.

To assist with a more accurate size comparison I have laid out the dimensions of the cargo vessel MV Island Trader and the passenger ship MV Caledonian Sky below.

The comparison indicates that if the proposal goes ahead the average small cruise ship entering the Clarence River estuary is likely to be at least twice the size of the Island Trader.

# This is MV Island Trader

The Island Trader was built in 1981, has 485 gross tonnage, dead weight of 242t*, is 38.8m long, 9m wide and has a maximum draft of 2.8m.


Post Same-Sex Marriage "Yes" Victory: I want everyone to have the right to discriminate against the LGBTI community North Coast Voices

Tony Abbott on Facebook, 15 November 2017:

I always said this was an issue where the Australian people wanted their say and todays result demonstrates that seeking their views was the right thing to do.
I congratulate the yes campaign on their achievement.

The people have spoken and, of course, the parliament should respect the result.
I also thank the 4.7 million Australians who supported marriage between a man and a woman.

Both the Prime Minister and the Opposition Leader have pledged their support for freedom of religion.

I look forward to a parliamentary process that improves on the Dean Smith bill to implement same sex marriage with freedom of conscience for all, not just the churches.

So far, this process has been a credit to us as a nation and now needs to be completed in a way that keeps us the best country in the world.

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Saturday, 18 November


Richard Wolstencroft & MUFF ~versus~ Those Degenerate Gays slackbastard

Local filmmaker, self-described transcendental fascist and, more recently, Trump fanboy and partisan of the AltRight,* Richard Wolstencroft, established the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (MUFF) in 2000 after the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) declined screening his 1999 film Pearls Before Continue reading


Roundup Nov 18 Catallaxy Files

The media watchdog. The cost, supply and use of power across the states. Coal-fired power Units Planned and Under Construction. China 583, Australia 0.

Trumpwatch. Pressing on with deregulation. 105 rules down.

Climate. Brainwashing required to deal with global warming (Jerry Brown).Jo Nova on the madness of climate control the Climate Action Network rating the contribution of the nations of the world.

Since India is getting the Green Guernsey and the US is getting a wrist slap, we know for sure this chart is not based on actual CO2 emission trends, or perhaps even any numbers.

The US, after all, has reduced emissions more than anywhere else while India is doubling its coal mining. Is that what we should aim for?

Australia, meanwhile, can never do enough, despite reducing our per capita emissions by a phenomenal 28% from 1990-2013. We sacrificed our electrical grids, have implemented an Emissions Trading Scheme and say we are aiming for the same obscenely tough 28% reduction that is the fashion despite being a heavy industrial quarry, with the lowest population density, biggest distances, and highest electricity costs in the world. To make it harder on ourselves the chief commodity we are disadvantaging happens to be our second largest export industry. Despite all this, CAN ranks Australia Very low.

Dan Mitchell. The equality trap. With the very best of intentions of course.

When talking to such people, my first priority is getting them to understand that its possible for an economy to grow and for all income groups to benefit. I explain how even small differences in long-run growth make a big difference over just a few decades and that it is very misguided to impose policies that will discourage growth by penalizing the rich and discouraging the poor.
I sometimes wonder how vigorously to present my argument. Is it actually true, as Thatcher and Churchill argued, that leftists are wil...


CARTOONS: Hats off to Malcolm Independent Australia

CARTOONS: Hats off to MalcolmYes! It's four more new cartoons from Mark David. read now...


Northcote by-election results live The Tally Room

10:25pm As my last contribution for tonight, here is a map of the booth results and the Greens swing (which can be toggled).

8:23pm Im gonna turn off for a little while and will come back once most of the votes have reported.

8:22pm With seven booths reporting preferences, the Greens have won six. Labor held on with 53.3% in Darebin Parklands, but that was a swing of almost 21.8%.

8:20pm Six booths have reported preferences. The Greens are on 55.3%, but are projected to increase that to 60.7% as the remaining booths come in.

8:18pm Just back from dinner now. 10 out of 14 booths have reported the primary vote. The Greens polled 48.3% of the primary vote so far, and my model suggests it will creep up to about 49.3%.

7:49pm Four 2CP booths have reported, and the Greens are on 56% of the vote after preferences. This is a swing of 17.8% in these four booths, and youd expect that Greens vote to grow as bigger booths report.

7:47pm Weve now got six votes reporting primary votes, and the swing to the Greens remains above 14%, which would put them on track to win a majority of the primary vote.

7:43pm 14% primary vote swing to the Greens in Preston South. Its worth noting the best Greens areas have not yet reported its possible they will not gain as large swings there.

7:39pm 21.5% swing to the Greens after preferences at Alphington North.

7:33pm We now have preferences from Alphington and Darebin Parklands and the swings are just as big. A 14.7% swing in Alphington and a 21.8% swing in Darebin Parklands. Between these two booths its a swing of 16.8%, which would project to a Greens 2CP just over 60%.

7:29pm Another big swing to the Greens of almost 15% in Alphington. Overall swing to the Greens is sitting on 14.8% after four booths.

7:23pm Alphington, in the south-east, saw another double-digit swing to the Greens. The Greens gained 10.7% for a total of 43.6%, while Labor dropped 5.3%.

7:22pm Off two booths, the Greens are up 15.25%, and Labor is down 9.6%. Its worth noting both booths are in the north of the seat, which is one of the more pro-Labor areas. It suggests the Greens are making inroads in Labors better areas.

7:21pm The second booth, Bell, is substantially bigger than Darebin Parklands, and has a similar pattern. 13.6% swing to the Greens, 7.8% swing away from Lab...


A gas market run by a cartel is no market Pigs Fly Newspaper

A gas market run by a cartel is no market

Despite what Canberra believes, the gas crisis is not a question of supply.
The problem lies with the handful of extremely powerful companies which steer the market as they see fit.

The alleged gas crisis in Australia is patently not about supply. It is about systematic abuse by a handful of gas oligarchs to reap giant profits and rig prices.

The creation of such a crisis is as politically convenient for politicians as it is economically and financially advantageous for the handful of companies running this national sideshow.

With the rewards of power, profit and incumbency, like those Ive just outlined, why would either the cartel or our political leaders desire a real, meaningful outcome?

The actions of the Turnbull Government over the last few months, supposedly a party that champions the free market, in failing to act to curb LNG exports, is deeply troubling.

With even a laymans understanding of financial and economic analysis, this decision is baffling. It will cause further harm to our national prosperity. Lets not delude ourselves, the gas industry in this country i...


An opportunity for a Bill of Rights John Quiggin

One of the striking outcomes of the equal marriage survey is that a lot of people who had always assumed themselves to be part of (in Spiro Agnews phrase) the silent majority have been presented with undeniable evidence that they are actually in the minority. Not only that, but the minority to which they belong on equal marriage would be even smaller if it werent boosted by lots of people theyve always thought of as undesirable minorities. Most notably, the note vote was swelled by Muslims and recent migrants from more traditional cultures.

Against that background, its not surprising to see people who have never had a good word to say about the United Nations, or about a Bill of Rights, embracing the idea of incorporating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights into Australian law (were already a signatory, but that has no legal effect).

It would be absurd to incorporate a document dealing with topics as diverse as the death penalty and war propaganda (both prohibited) into the Marriage Act. Nevertheless, now that the issue has been raised, its a great opportunity for Australia to get something like a Bill of Rights enshrined into law (though of course it wouldnt change the Constitution).

Its tempting to use the thumping majority recorded in the survey as a stick with which to beat those (variously described as dinosaurs or reactionaries) who campaigned against equal rights on this occasion. But all majorities are temporary. It would be far better to use this moment to make common cause in support of protections for minorities of all kinds.

A couple more points

As occasional commenter Fran B points out on Twitter, theres no risk of the ICCPR becoming a backdoor way of implementing Brandis right to be a bigot. Section 18(3) reads

Freedom to manifest ones religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

and this clearly includes the protections of our current anti-discrimination law, not to mention Article 26 of the ICCPR which prohibits all kinds of discrimination.

Another appealing feature of this approach is that it doesnt leave room for lots of quibbling about what rights to protect: we cant amend the ICCPR, so the appropriate approach is to legislate it as a binding set of principles, then use subsequent legislation to interpret.

So, lets get equal marriage done straight away, then turn to the broader question of protecting civil and political rights for everyone.


Dammit, there must be room for a complimentary woman at the reptile table ... loon pond

The reptiles of Oz were keen this morning to propose that gorgeous George would pour oil on troubled waters, or if you will, kero in the rain tank to quiet the mossies, but dammit, to mix the metaphors, the squeaky wheel is always unhappy, no matter how much oil you drop on it ...

Paranoia's the name of the game, and fear and loathing must continue apace.

It's not enough to fear the apocalypse, the rapture, the end of the world, a life spent in limbo (if it existed), the usefully invented purgatory, or an eternity of hellfire, it's those damned progressives assaulting traditional values that must keep everyone up at night ...

You know, traditional values like burning witches and heretics and gays, or at least stoning them to death, and other traditional values ...

Say what?

Shanahan has also taken to scribbling the same sort of paranoia sighted three days earlier in their ABC?

Relax, that's just silly old Andrew West wanting to stir the pot and keep the paranoia bubbling along nicely in the Religion Report on RN here ...

No need to listen to that lightweight outing - yes, the pond did, and knows whereof it heard - because when the going ge...


Inspirational Orbn Oz Conservative

One nation that is holding out against its own dissolution is Hungary. Its Prime Minister, Viktor Orbn, gave a speech this week to a congress of his political party, Fidesz. It is, in the main, one of the great inspirational speeches from a major political leader.

I say this, even though it is difficult to categorise his speech politically. Is he a Christian and nationalist right-liberal? Or a traditionalist? At the very least, he is shifting the Overton window back toward something close to a traditionalist politics.

One reason I hesitate to label Orbn a traditionalist is that he excludes race as a foundation of national identity. I have written before (here and here) that I disagree with those who think that a communal tradition can be founded on racial self-interest alone. Orbn goes entirely the other way. He provides a rich foundation for a communal identity, but excludes what realistically ought to be there, namely a common ancestry.

I will now hand over to the extraordinary Hungarian PM:

...we should realise that the spirit of the age is not the same as the prevailing media trend. We should realise that the soothing melodies pouring out of the speakers of powerful global corporations and global political organisations siren voices encouraging breezy irresponsibility, frenzied consumption and boundless self-indulgence are not at all the same as the spirit of the age. Under the soft blanket of dreams laid down by the global elite, one finds the cold, hard reality of life. We see tens of millions of Europeans working hard and struggling day in, day out to keep themselves and their families afloat. We see how they yearn for security and order. We see how they cleave ever more firmly to their cultural identity, and fight every day for every square metre of their normal European life. This is the true spirit of the age. So we should refocus our vision, and well see that in fact the spirit of the age is on our side: it is on the side of hardworking and responsible Europeans who provide for their families, love their homelands and insist on their Christian roots. We are in a majority in an overwhelming majority. It is only a question of time, and we shall prevail not only in Hungary, but in the whole of Europe; indeed, we shall prevail in the entire Western world.

This is also well understood by globalist elites, the bureaucrats who serve them, the politicians in their pay, and the agents of the Soros-type networks that embody their interests. They understand it well, and therefore theyve invented the magic wor...


In which the pond suffers along with Dame Slap as she rents the air with a howl of pain ... loon pond

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix ...

Say what? The world has moved on?

These days it's Game of Thrones?

No matter, the pond can recognise a cry, nay, a howl of pain ... a shriek of endless suffering ... a sense of deep loss ... a feeling of abandonment and betrayal ... of desertion ... with consequent disturbance in the force ... and the weird species dysphoric anthropomorphism which creates the sense of being a donkey, or an ass ...

Lo, what golden ass is this that approaches?

A donkey vote.

Not to put too fine a point on it, Dame Slap confessing to being a donkey? Or worse, a Game of Thrones' fan?

Pausing in the ritual proceedings, the pond first had to acknowledge the many blood sacrifices it makes each day when it comes to blogging.

There's no time for the dog botherer, with his cheer-leading of Malware, urging him to hearken to the clarion cry of the deeply conservative on energy, conservatism having worked so well for SSM ...



New Music Through Old Ears: Kid Clarksons Maroon Flag Independent Australia

New Music Through Old Ears: Kid Clarksons Maroon FlagEntertainment editor John Turnbull checks out recent releases from Americas sweetheart Kelly Clarkson, hyper-patriot Kid Rock, punk survivors Anti-Flag and pop septuplets Maroon 5. read now...


Sally McManus: Speaking words of hope The AIM Network

Of the thousands of words in the hundreds of articles written about Sally McManus none describe her more passionately or more succinctly than these offered by Trish Corry: Sally McManus is everywhere. Fighting the good fight. Travelling all over Australia. Standing with workers. Speaking words of hope [my emphasis]. Fighting for workers. Standing

The post Sally McManus: Speaking words of hope appeared first on The AIM Network.


Weekend Reading Catallaxy Files

My RMIT colleagues Chris Berg, Jason Potts and I have a new working paper out on the economics of identity.

Identification forms a key part of all but the least sophisticated economic and political transactions. More complex or significant transactions demand more formal identification of the parties involved. In this paper we develop an institutional economics of identity. We distinguish between a Demsetzian evolutionary view of identity institutions and a legal-centric view of identity institutions. In the former view, identity is a contextual, fluid and subjective, and evolved for market, social and political exchange. In the latter, identity is uniform and permanent, and created (imposed) by governments. Governments have an interest in identity insofar as identity is used in the process of tax collection, entitlements, and conscription. Private organisations free ride off state-provided identification services. The paper concludes with a discussion about technological change and identity management. We characterise two possible futures: one in which new technologies enable states to create more comprehensive uniform identities, and one in which new technologies enable identities to be federated and transferred to citizens.


Modern ministerial sackings (Part 2): Scams, sex, shares and citizenship Independent Australia

Modern ministerial sackings (Part 2): Scams, sex, shares and citizenshipThree quarters of the Federal ministers forced to leave their posts in the last 45 years have been from the conservative side of politics. Alan Austin continues this exclusive Independent Australia series. read now...


In which, as alarums and panic spreads amongst the reptiles, the pond cuts directly to the prattling Polonius chase ... loon pond

The Terror in terror, the Fairfaxians rampant, oh deary me, what's a reptile to do?

Oh what a stern and unhappy woman she is, not a hint of a smile, a frowning harridan ... but will it be enough?

Can the reptiles yet achieve what they managed for SSM? Or will Black Knight syndrome prevail yet again?

Who knows, who can tell, who can say? Certainly not the reptiles ...

The reptiles are in a state of uproar and agitation this day, confused and bickering amongst themselves ...

Oh deary, deary, so many voices, some shouting about dinosaurs, some confessing to being donkeys - as if no one knew - so what's a blogger...


Gladstonian liberalism is the answer Catallaxy Files

Im not sure I know the question to which Cosmopolitanism Is the Answer, but whatever the question, it is the wrong answer for me. As it happens, these are things I have lately been thinking about myself having come across another article looking at these same issues but from a very different perspective. And while it is difficult to sort through the various labels one can put on ones personal ideology, the closest I have been able to come up with for myself is Gladstonian liberal which is quite different from classical liberal. So let me take you to an article about the naming of things where classical liberal is the equivalent of insane while conservative represents prudential common sense.

The differences between the classical-liberal and conservative traditions have immense consequences for policy. Establishing democracy in Egypt or Iraq looks doable to classical liberals because they assume that human reason is everywhere the same, and that a commitment to individual liberties and free markets will arise rapidly once the benefits have been demonstrated and the impediments removed. Conservatives, on the other hand, see foreign civilizations as powerfully motivatedfor bad reasons as well as good onesto fight the dissolution of their way of life and the imposition of American values.

Integrating millions of immigrants from the Middle East also looks easy to classical liberals, because they believe virtually everyone will quickly see the advantages of American (or European) ways and accept them upon arrival. Conservatives recognize that large-scale assimilation can happen only when both sides are highly motivated to see it through. When that motivation is weak or absent, conservatives see an unassimilated migration, resulting in chronic mutual hatred and violence, as a perfectly plausible outcome.

Since classical liberals assume reason is everywhere the same, they see no great danger in depreciating national independence and outsourcing power to foreign bodies. American and British conservatives see such schemes as destroying the unique political foundation upon which their traditional freedoms are built.

Here is the definition of Gladstonian liberal from Wikipedia which seems accurate enough for me and is utterly distinct from the classical variety as defined above.

Gladstonian liberalism is a political doctrine named after the British Victorian Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party, William Ewart Gladstone. Gladstonian liberalism consisted of limited government expenditure and low taxation whil...


Quotes of the Week North Coast Voices

Not sure if this has been posted but Jesus, this is wrong on levels yet to be described by science.  [Jeremy Parkinson writing in Facebook on 9 November 2017 with regard to a US newspaper opinion piece describing New Zealand as being in the grip of the far right]

The number of MPs and senators suspected of failing to obey the Constitutions requirements on dual citizenship is now 28 to 30 by some counts, and only the High Court can rule on their status.
 [journalist Malcolm Farr in, 10 November 2017]

"What is #absurd is people who under our constitution are illegitimately elected to parliament think that the problem is with the constitution" ...

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Friday, 17 November


Section 44iv Catallaxy Files

Judith Sloan raised a fascinating question this morning whether Ministerial advisors are an office of profit under the Crown Presumably this would include all parliamentarian staffers.

But further to that question, what about persons who receive any governmental transfers?

  • health fund rebates
  • childcare rebates
  • Centrelink benefits

What about persons who work for businesses whose main or only client is Government?

  • Consulting firms
  • IT suppliers
  • Caterers

If owning a share of a shopping center where Australia Post is a tenant may expose David Gillespie and warrant High Court review, why not the above?

It is unlikely that most of the members of the ALP and Greens , and several of the current Liberals will have ever worked for a business, but what the hey.

Given the length and breath of Government in Australia, that might not leave too many people who would be eligible for Parliamentary services.  Maybe it might create the incentive to reduce government.  One can only dream.

Over to you Attourney Brandis QC.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus


A Tale of Two teams: Australia, Italy and the World Cup The AIM Network

Australia chose a rather round about, and dangerous way, of getting to the finals of the FIFA World Cup. Qualifying by playing a South or Central American opponent has its pitfalls, the most memorable being Argentina at the Allianz Stadium in 1993. On that occasion, the valiant Australians went down, if only just, losing the

The post A Tale of Two teams: Australia, Italy and the World Cup appeared first on The AIM Network.


As long as we have mobile phones what difference does it make? Catallaxy Files

By Melanie Philips: The Deconstruction of Humanity. You will just have to read it for yourself. Ill give you the first para, then the last plus one from the middle.

If you want a break from the spectacle of Britain tearing itself apart over leaving the European Union, you can upset yourself instead watching the spectacle of the western world tearing apart the very notion of what it is to be a human being. . . .

Rigorous science. How quaint that sounds. In our ideologically fluid world, that too is being washed away as we steadily dismantle not just the foundations of western culture, not just morality, not even just the primacy of reason but our very understanding of what makes us what we are.

Heres the one from the middle. In her view this is the problem.

The ostensible aim of all this is to end discrimination, prejudice and social exclusion. This is untrue. The aim is unilaterally to change the entire basis of society from one governed by external moral rules and duties to one in which the only rule that has any authority is the duty to actualise our own inner potential and fulfil our own desires.

Could be. I actually think the left have run out of genuine problems to fix so are inventing distinctions to show how forward looking they are in comparison with everyone else. Whatever, it is the young and they are making the world in which they will have to live. Too bad for them.

MORE ON TOO BAD FOR THEM: This is Kurt Schlichter discussing At Least My Generation Will Have Our Revenge On The Millennials.

But while were still here together, with me owning stuff and you struggling to afford your daily kombucha smoothie, we face many shared challenges. Theres that giant debt, and there are those foreign people who want to kill us, and there is the terrifying fact that we are at each others throats here at home. We know how this plays out if we dont fix it bad for me, but super-bad for you. Maybe we should try and square things away. Maybe we should stop assuming the worst about each other, start thinking about what unites us instead of what divides us, and work together to make a better tomorrow. Maybe.

I just wish I thought it was funny, but things werent so great in Europe after the fall of the Roman Empire. In fact, it took more than a thousand years to get back to the same standard of living that had already prevailed in the second century AD.


Protest for Manus: Dutton blusters as Manus defies the siege The AIM Network

Refugee Action Coalition Media Release Media Release Emergency rally: still no safe settlement as Manus defies the siege Despite constant claims from the Prime Minister and Immigration Minister that new relocation areas are safe and ready, photos from West Lorengau on Manus Island show that the area is still a construction site. Duttons claim that

The post Protest for Manus: Dutton blusters as Manus defies the siege appeared first on The AIM Network.


A blueprint for change NJP applauds NT Royal Commission The AIM Network

Media Release The pro bono human rights law firm, the National Justice Project has applauded the forensic and thorough findings of the NT Royal Commission into Youth Detention as a blueprint for positive and much needed change. Principal Solicitor at the NJP, Adjunct Professor George Newhouse said today that the Royal Commission and Board of

The post A blueprint for change NJP applauds NT Royal Commission appeared first on The AIM Network.


Sparty McSpartyface Catallaxy Files

The NSW Government has decided to name the newest member of its ferry fleet Ferry Mcferryface.  This is not a joke.  Apparently.

In homage to this wise and considered decision, for the coming week, your humble commentator will write under the nom de guerre of Sparty McSpartyface.  I suspect that 1 week will be about how long it will take for this decision to be reversed.

Catallaxy McCatallacyface comments are invited.


Overcoming neoliberalism: Sally McManus tries to 'Change the Rules' Independent Australia

Overcoming neoliberalism: Sally McManus tries to 'Change the Rules'With the ACTU's new 'Change the Rules' campaign, Sally McManus is playing the long game, says Jay Goodall. read now...


Number of people removed from Cashless Card Trials Requests or responses matching your saved search

Response by Department of Human Services to Sandra Legro on November 17, 2017.
Dear Ms Legro   Please see attached a decision letter in respect of your FOI Request No. 17/18-043.   Kind Regards     Legislation and F...


In which the pond kicks back with TGIF Sharri ... loon pond

Choices, choices, always the choices ...

There was poor Henry "hole in the bucket" Ergas trying to hack his way through the labyrinthine thickets in the Amazonian jungle known as the Australian constitution - oh how arcane and befuddling, how cunning were these Daedalus founding fathers with their word trickery - but as Flinty had already sorted everything out by proposing that originalism means change, the pond turned towards safe harbour and the siren song of Sharri ...

The pond thought it might be poignant to juxtapose Sharri's thoughts with a few Terror comments below the Sharri piece, by readers inspired by her siren song ...

And where's the thanks he gets?

Oh dear, how quickly the cynical meme spreads ...


MONA FOR MERMAID! A Hecke of a challenge for Shakin' Ray Stevens Independent Australia

MONA FOR MERMAID! A Hecke of a challenge for Shakin' Ray StevensShakin' Ray Stevens may be in trouble in Mermaid Beach, with a credible Independent candidate, Mona Hecke, challenging him at the 25 November Queensland State election. This is Mona's story. read now...


Bruce of Newcastle: Shy Voters Catallaxy Files

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has provided good breakdowns of the SSM data by electorate, so I asked myself a question: was the turnout correlated with the % Yes vote?

Ive used the NSW data only since it has been reported that of the 17 No voting electorates 12 of them are in western and southwestern Sydney.  Furthermore SBS reports this:

The nine seats that voted No by the biggest margins are all controlled by the Labor party, with the seven biggest all located in west and south-west Sydney.

Here is what I find:

Ive highlighted those seven highest No voting seats which SBS says are Labor held.

Fairly clearly from the data there is a correlation between turnout and the percentage of Yes votes.  Furthermore the seven Labor seats with the highest No votes also have some of the lowest turnouts.

This suggests a couple of things:

  • That shy or disillusioned voters failed to put in their forms
  • That certain ethnic groups had both a low response rate and a high propensity to vote No

The first point suggests that the real proportion of voters who favour Yes to same-sex marriage is lower than the headline number of 61.6%. A cohort of as many as 10% of voters in low turnout electorates, who probably would choose No, in the end did not vote.  Whether this was because of fear of backlash, concern about confidentiality or other reasons is not clear.  But it does seem clear that the total Yes vote has been biased upwards somewhat by these shy voters.

I will leave to readers to draw their own conclusion about the second point.


Peter Boettke: Cosmopolitanism Is the Answer Catallaxy Files

My answers to our current challenges are simple ones. Lets begin at the beginningwhich for the liberal is basic human equality. We are one anothers equals. There should be no confusion on this point. And if you are an advocate of liberalism and you find yourself standing (metaphorically or literally) alongside anyone asserting the superiority of one group over another you should know you are in the wrong crowd and you need to move in opposition quickly to leave no doubt in their or others minds.  

Liberalism is liberal. It is an emancipation philosophy and a joyous celebration of the creative energy of diverse peoples near and far. The liberal order is about a framework of rules that cultivates that creativity, and encourages the mutually beneficial interaction with others of great social distance overcoming such issues as language, ethnicity, race, religion, and geography.  

We are one anothers equals. There should be no confusion on this point. 

Bumping and Bargaining

At a foundation level, no one is privileged over any other in recognition of our basic humanity.

As the great practical philosophical teacher in my lifemy MomElinor Boettke, used to like to say people are people that is who we are, we just have to let each other live, and that is that.We are fallible but capable human choosers, and we exist and interact with each in a very imperfect world.  

No one of us, let alone any group of us, has access to the truth from the Almighty Above, yet we are entrusted to find rules that will enable us to live better together than we ever would in isolation. We bump into each other and we bargain with one another to try to ease the pain of bumping or avoid the bumping in the future. But, we must recognize that despite our basic human equality, we argue and we dont naturally agree with one another about how we are live our lives.

So in our bumping and bargaining with one another, it is critical to keep in mind that we will soon face severe limits on what we can agree on.  In particular, we have little hope of coming to an agreement among dispersed and diverse individuals and groups over a scale of values, of ultimate ends that man should pursue.

As Hayek put it in ...


Moment of truth for refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island "IndyWatch Feed"

Australia can end this human rights tragedy. Wherever they end up eventually, the Australian government needs to immediately bring these men to safety.

lead Human Rights Watch Australia Director Elaine Pearson interviewing Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island in September 2017. 2017 Human Rights Watch SYDNEY Since October 31, hundreds of men have barricaded themselves in an abandoned complex on a naval base where security forces have previously shot at and attacked them. Exhausted, with no power and no running water in the tropical heat, they stockpiled food, dug water wells, and collected rainwater in trash cans to drink. Now, they are dehydrated, starving, and scared.

These men are not in a war zone, though many of them have fled war in places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan. They are refugees and asylum seekers trapped on remote Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. They are there because of Australias harsh refugee policies.  

The UN has described the situation as an "unfolding humanitarian emergency." On October 31, the Australian and PNG governments closed the regional processing center where these men have lived for the last four years. Other less-secure facilities are available in a town a 30-minute drive from their current location. But these men, refugees and asylum seekers, refused to leave, terrified by escalating violence against them by some local residents in the town and frustrated by the lack of a long-term solution to their predicament.

Since July 2013, male asylum seekers traveling by boat to Australia have been sent to Manus Island, while men, women and children have been sent to the isolated Pacific island nation of Nauru. As Paul Tyson wrote for openDemocracy, in real terms, it is the boat people themselves the Australian government has criminalized, dehumanized and demonized, and it is against them that Australian politicians on both sides of party power...


Heni Meke: from nurse to CEO "IndyWatch Feed"

An interest in supporting people with HIV/AIDS took Heni Mekes career from the frontlines as an army nurse to working in government. Now she heads Anglicare PNG, one of Papua New Guineas biggest NGOs, which has grown over the years with support from the Australian aid program. Anglicare runs a large HIV clinic in Port Moresby, which keeps 1,300 HIV-positive patients alive through anti-retroviral treatment. It also manages a nationwide adult literacy program and other development programs. 

In the latest in our 2017 Aid Profiles seriesHeni speaks to Stephen Howes about the challenges of running a complex national NGO, the impact of recent Australian aid funding cuts, and what drives her to keep going in a role that is sometimes just sleeping and work.  

Catch up on all the Aid Profiles here.

The post Heni Meke: from nurse to CEO appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.


Not that anyone will notice Catallaxy Files

It still has to make it through the Senate, but this is progress: House Republicans pass tax reform bill.

House Republicans on Thursday passed a monumental bill to cut taxes on businesses and individuals, the biggest step yet in the GOPs once-in-a-generation effort to overhaul the American tax system. . . .

The House plan would permanently chop the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent and make other tweaks aiming to make businesses more competitive. It would reduce individual tax brackets to four from seven and make changes to several tax breaks. Among them, the bill would limit state and local deductions and the mortgage interest deduction, eliminate the personal exemption and nearly double the standard deduction.

On other matters of more interest to the media, if you were wondering about evidence and sexual harassment and what it looks like, here is an actual example. Its sort of even more obvious than the DNA on Monicas dress, and the woman was herself outraged: Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And Theres Nothing Funny About It.

It doesnt much matter since the media is not trying to remove Democrats from the Senate, only trying to prevent Trump-supporting Republicans from being elected, the same approach being taken by Congressional Republicans as well. There are many reasons that the Republicans got around to finally doing something on the Trump agenda, and their clear willingness to throw away a Republican Senate seat by not defending the person who actually won the primary in Alabama is a not insignificant part of it. Really, what are they good for?

Meanwhile, the American economy is going forward, growth is accelerating and employment picking up. But since these are natural phenomena that have no relationship to who is president nor what he does, we can concentrate on what really matters, such as the sexual practices of actors and politicians in Hollywood and DC.


Farmers ruin another river No Right Turn

The Kaiapoi River is turning salty, and irrigation is to blame:

A freshwater Canterbury river is on the brink of turning into a saltwater estuary, in part due to water abstraction, new data shows.

It has blindsided some in the community and would permanently alter the river's character if the trend continued.

"The prospect of that river turning to a smelly, scum-filled seawater estuary is just totally unacceptable," Waimakariri District councillor Sandra Stewart said.

The problem is caused by farmers taking too much water from the Waimakariri River, meaning that its flow is too weak to prevent salty tidal flows from entering the Kaiapoi. The solution is obvious: reduce irrigation flows. But that means reducing farmers' profits, which was unacceptable under National. Hopefully with a different government (and a soon-to-be elected ECan) they'll be able to stop the farmers poisoning this river before its too late.


Dual citizenship: this parliament of foreigners is listing Catallaxy Files

Today in The Australian

As braces of bloodhounds scour Parliament House for dual nationals, section 44(i) of the Constitution has crippled the government and, depending on the outcome in the seat of Bennelong, may make Bill Shorten prime minister.


Democracy wins in Tonga No Right Turn

Back in August, Tonga's king dissolved the country's parliament, because he and the noble caste did not like the elected government. Yesterday, Tongans went to the polls, and re-elected Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva in a landslide. Pohiva's Democratic Party won 14 of the 17 "commoner seats", giving them an absolute majority in parliament and the ability to elect a government unchallenged.

You'd hope that the king gets the message: that it is for the people, not the monarch or the nobles, to choose governments. And hopefully Pohiva will be able to use this mandate to push for further constitutional change, such as the elimination of the noble seats and the restriction of monarchical power. Because the current situation, where a third of parliament is elected by just 33 inbred nobles, is simply unsustainable. The sooner this undemocratic power is removed, the better.


The Right And The Right Side Of History! The AIM Network

An optimist sees the glass as half-full; A pessimist sees the glass as half-empty. Personally, Im more concerned about whether theres anything left in the bottle. Every now and then, someone will talk about mankinds current predicament and how were all going to hell and theres no hope. Others will argue that we all need

The post The Right And The Right Side Of History! appeared first on The AIM Network.


Bitcoin Uncensored about the global war on drugs Antony Loewenstein

Im currently working on a new, investigative book on the global war on drugs covering vast parts of the world consumed by the drug war (from Honduras to West Africa). Itll be published by Scribe in Australia, the UK and beyond in 2019.

This week I was interviewed by the US podcast, Bitcoin Uncensored, on this book, what my research has taught me so far, what legalisation/decriminalisation looks like etc. And yes, the words are out of sync (technical issues):


Modern ministerial sackings (Part 1): Turnbull smashes Howards record Independent Australia

Modern ministerial sackings (Part 1): Turnbull smashes Howards recordAlan Austin analyses all Federal ministerial sackings and resignations since Gough Whitlams regime to show the Turnbull Government has by far the worst record. read now...


Section 44 (iv): where do ministerial advisers fit in? Catallaxy Files

Now we are all agreed that Section 44 of the Constitution is creating the silly season of all silly seasons; but the Constitution still stands.

According to Section 44(iv):

Any person who holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or member of the House of Representatives.

Now the law is clear that federal and state public servants are deemed to be persons who hold office of profit under the Crown and are ineligible unless they resign their positions prior to nomination. (Phil Cleary was a state school teacher and was knocked out.)

It is not so clear in respect of local government employees and councillors hence the hold up with the Jacqui Lambie nominee who is also the major of Devenport.

Where university staff fit in is also unclear.  Arguably they are employed the universities which are established by state legislation and there is a variety of funding sources that cover the salaries of staff.  But who knows really?  There have been a few former academics in parliament over the years Neale Blewett, for instance.

But where do ministerial advisers fit in?  They are paid by the Commonwealth.  They are surely persons who hold office of profit under the Crown.

Talk about a cat among the pigeons?  There are slews of current parliamentarians who were lobbed into their seats from being ministerial advisers.  Should they be deemed to be ineligible under section 44?

And dont just think it would be Labors problem; it is now the preferred pathway for the Coalition too.  Canavan and ODwyer spring to mind as former ministerial advisers.

Just a thought.


In which the pond is excited by fig leafs and calls on our man Flint ... loon pond

All's quiet in reptile la la land, as we lose all our freedoms - oh, et tu gays with ball and chain jokes - as we learn belatedly from the lips of the chairman that print is struggling in this digital age.   

What an extraordinary insight, but how pleasing that the poodle has risen to the challenge and provided some light musical comedy relief ...

What fun for the twitterati, and how strange that print might be struggling in this digital age ...

But enough of the reptiles, because the pond was aware that this is the day things turnover at the top of the magical faraway tree known as the Spectator down under. Why is this becoming the pond's go to spot on a dull slow Friday?

Just look at what the cover offered ...

There were all the reptiles who once made the Murdoch...


It is being suggested to Lower Clarence communities that inviting the cruise ship industry into the Clarence River estuary will bring financial gain to their towns - but will it? North Coast Voices

At this months ordinary monthly meeting Clarence Valley Council will be considering whether or not to give in principle support to the NSW Governments proposal to designate the Port of Yamba as a cruise ship destination and possibly build a cruise ship terminal in the Clarence River estuary.

The Berejiklian Government appears to be presenting this proposal as a way to increase the annual regional income of the Clarence Valley. But is it and will it?

Nowhere have I found any mention of the business model employed by the global cruise ship industry. An industry which seeks to create demand through the judicious use of political donations and paid lobbyists.

According to  Professor Ross Klein, Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, Memorial University of Newfoundland; Standing up to a cruise line can sometimes be difficult, especially given the industrys generous contributions to political campaigns, their active lobbying efforts, and their degree of influence with mass media [Klein, R. (2013) The Cruise Industrys Business Model: Implications for Ports

As an example, between 1997-2007 Cruise Line International Association spent US$10 million on lobbying the U.S Congress

In the first instance the business model used by cruise ship operators seeks to have passeng...


Day to Day Politics: And the losers were The AIM Network

Friday 17 November 2017 1 On Tuesday this week my daughter, together with her two children, Jack 13 and Riley 11 visited for dinner. Its a standing date. Jack, who attends a Catholic college had previously told me that the boys had already openly discussed the issue of marriage equality and were on the Yes

The post Day to Day Politics: And the losers were appeared first on The AIM Network.


Global Atheist Convention cancelled for lack of interest "IndyWatch Feed"

A Global Atheist Convention was supposed to be held next February in Melbourne, Australia, but its been cancelled due to lack of interest. In a commentary for The Sydney Morning Herald, November 8, 2017, Dr.  Michael Jensen, rector of St Marks Anglican Continue reading


Roundup of Roundups Catallaxy Files

The joy of insomnia, checking out past Roundups in CIS Policy.

From the Archive

John OSullivan, After Reaganism, National Review, April 21, 1997.
OSullivan takes conservatives to task for being too slow in matching the shifting positions of radicals who have nimbly moved on to map out new directions to Utopia. The Left ought to be more confused than the Right by the ideological flux of the post-Cold War world [but] it is moving more quickly to redefine the ground rules of the new political game. This game, as OSullivan calls it, is the disintegration of existing society and the replacement of traditional relations with bureaucratic management. He examines this process at work in three areas the economy, social and moral issues, and the national question of cultural or political identity.

The economy is undermined in the interests of consumer protection, workplace safety and the environment. He notes some estimates of the opportunity cost of clean-air and clean-water regulation (6 per cent of GDP) and affirmative action (4 per cent of GDP). A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon youre talking about real money. But beyond the dollar cost is the agenda of control, bringing industry under bureaucratic control without the responsibility or the bother of owning it socialism without tears.

Concern for the environment has extended to indoctrination of school children with a quasi-religious obligation to the earth or Gaia which is higher than the long-term interests of the human race. OSullivan points out that this gives the interventionist Left a whole host of silent constituents who cannot answer back, namely, the environment and the beasts.

Listening to Al Gore one wishes that the animals really could speak. If would be interesting to hear the candid opinion of the sloth on welfare, of wolves on foreign policy, and of the cuckoo on family values.

In the moral domain the Left first discredits the values of traditional society (duty, fidelity and chastity) which help society to work without close bureaucratic supervision, then tries to resolve the resulting moral problems by law and regulation. At the level of national identity, OSullivan finds the greatest threat of all in the multicultural agenda, apparently aimed at the disintegration of the American people into a babble of contending interests. According to this agenda, the ancient symbol of failed communication, the Tower of Babel, becomes the Utopian dream.

Andrew Greeley, The Other Civic America: Religion and Social Capital, The American Prospect, May 1997.
Greeley claims that religion can indeed be a source of social capital, in this case, by encouraging people to contribute their time I unpaid) for worthy causes. He drew upon two studies...


Oh dear, is the Turnbull Government asking chickens to visit the digital fox's den? North Coast Voices

The Turnbull Government has welcomed the eSafety Commissioners announcement today about the delivery of the pilot for a new national portal for reporting instances of non-consensual sharing of intimate images (colloquially known as image-based abuse or revenge pornography).  [Senator Mitch Fifield, media release,15 October 2017]

Given the dubious reputation Facebook Inc has managed to garner in relation to business ethics, transparency, consumer privacy, e-safety, data mining and data breach history, one wonders what the Minister for Communications and Liberal Senator for Victoria Mitch Fifield was thinking.

Facebook Newsroom, 9 November 2017:

Image Pilot
By Antigone Davis, Global Head of Safety

We dont want Facebook to be a...

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Weaponising Section 44: The Australian Constitution and the demise of politics Independent Australia

Weaponising Section 44: The Australian Constitution and the demise of politicsUntil the December disclosure deadline arrives, both sides of politics are using s44 of the Constitution as a weapon to weaken the other side, says Dr Binoy Kampmark. read now...

Tuesday, 24 October


Number of people removed from Cashless Card Trials Requests or responses matching your saved search

Response by Department of Human Services to Sandra Legro on October 24, 2017.
Dear Ms Legro   Thank you for your correspondence.   Please be advised that the Department of Human Services has transferred your Freedom of I...

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