Weekend Links 19th-20th September




United States

Terra Turnbull

Global Macro/Markets

…and furthermore…

Latest posts by __ADAM__ (see all)


    • @Ronin, when you take into consideration the population difference between India and China, I have heard from a Bunnings interviewer that when they opened a new store here in Western Sydney they had to cut off the applications at 4800 for A total of around 200 positions….that was over 18 months ago and UEs got much worse since then?..not as bad as India but still very dire in this country….but we haven’t peaked yet, 2017 is the tipping point for UE unless we do something in our empty car factories etc.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Yep. I can’t remember the exact figures now but a mining job advertised in Central Queensland a while back had around 1500 applicants for a handfull of positions. This job was paid at two thirds of the going industry rate.

        Have folk already chewed up their savings and getting desperate? The next couple of years are going to sting.

      • We advertised for a graduate civil engineer last month. 180 applicants, only 25 or so were grads. The rest had a pile of experience and or postgraduate qualifications. The previous record was 9 applicants in mid 2008.

      • Victoria’s prisons increased by 40% in 5 years are a forecast to repeat this in another 4 years.

        I had a friend who ended up in prison, he was stealing because he couldn’t afford things because of his mortgage.

      • Sure, but maintaining ones good looks and the ability to claim the highest social status (debt servitude) at dinner parties comes before all else.

      • There were problems with addiction as well – seems to be VERY common.

        The ability to speak openly with their partner and confront the reality of daily struggle is in my opinion one of the darkest aspects of this housing bubble – and one of the reasons I caution against those raging to cheer on the demise of the specufestors – and not the capture of regulatory authority.

        These families simply can not discuss the idea of selling the family home and moving into rental accommodation, cheaper abode, further out, etc. The shame at school drop off would be too much – trust me – this is one of the biggest players in the Melbourne social scene – not Chinese late night noodle markets or Northcote food vans.

        These peoples entire existence is vested into the family home – and they will feed their kids cardboard boxes to keep it going – have seen it.

        Really sad stories are heading our way.

        The prison catastrophe is already happening. Watched a guy in a High Vis vest rob a jewellery store yesterday on his way home from pushing a broom which once brought in $125k at Wonthaggi now struggling to compete with 457’s on $60k with a $450k mortgage.

        When these people can simply no longer afford petrol, Holidays etc things are going to get ugly.

        A quick glance at Facebook and kids are already freaking out about the cost of electronics / gaming due to currency drops – mum and dad are ABSOLUTELY struggling to deal with this.

      • If one cannot set one’s priorities right (feed kids cardboard boxes? for gods sake), or see that being in jail is less good looking than selling one’s house, then there is not much others can do to help. Looks like we will need gated communities soon. Or maybe a bunch of concentration camps will do?

        Perhaps that is why Abbott was preparing for bombing of Syria. So that they can send the desperate ones offshore to fight, you know.

  1. No sympathy should be forthcoming for Abbott, a daft, useless c**t of a politician, who will wear the mantle of this country’s worst and most abhorent prime minister for the rest of his uncomprehending life. Dig a deep and wide hole, big enough to contain the unimaginable mass of his stupidity, and fill it with the bodies of every one of the lunatic acolytes in the Coalition that sought to suspend this country in their futile conserative orbit. Cover this deformed pile of political stupidity with our dirtiest coal, and let it burn through ten seering summers. Let one and all come to piss on the smouldering bed of ashes, and then let the wind carry the insignificant remains of dust and scatter them at sea, dispersed by the tides and into the mouths of unsuspecting fish, and into oblivion.

    • Ha! Reminds me of how Afrikaners in South Africa, some of the worst racists on Earth, were found genetically to be about 10% black (due to interbreeding since whites landed there in the mid-17th century). The phrase “Baas is one of the boys” was joked about. 😛

      • I remember learning that at school, though I did go to a “rooinek” school, can’t imagine it was in the official curriculum though!

      • “genetically to be about 10% black (due to interbreeding since whites landed there in the mid-17th century).”

        wow, this is new to me.
        You *inbreed* and suddenly there’s 10% of black blood in you?

      • @ R2M
        So, when a donkey and a horse or a sheep and a goat mate (interbreeding), to you, this is the same as when a european and african humans mate (miscegenation – as your choice)?

        Admittingly, I misread your text for inbreeding instead of “interbreeding” but what you did is even worse.
        Bottom line, the whole point you tried to make is an utter tripe based on common stereotypes and other Westworld’s MSM tripe. The choice of words tells about you a lot.

    • Looks like my link to rootschat forum has been blocked, they will find out in minutes if it is BS or true. (unfortunately the thread has been locked pending approval, can’t see why as he was the one who publicised it)

  2. That chart on private education spending in the Economist is a ripper. What a waste.

    Private education and its purported advantage is a standout irrational delusion in Oz. When it comes to educational outcomes it represents a truly terrible return on investment.

    But lets face it. Those parents that stump up the cash are buying a network, not an education. And as long as the network maintains itself, bucket loads of public money will be tipped into private schools. It’s not about choice. It’s about maintaining a social system of exclusion. Little Johnny Howard knew this keenly and his grossly skewed funding arrangements may well be one of his most enduring legacies.

    Those that should be opposed to this are silent because they are either complict (how many Labor politicians have their kids in the public system?), or they are so mired in identity politics and the in vogue social categories of race and gender that they have forgotten that class transcends all and across generations to boot. To our shame.

    Having taught at university and as a parent with a child currently in the Swiss public education system, Australia needs to wake up and realise that one of its best assets is an excellent education system. An excellent system that has been kicked repeatedly for years now, via underfunding, public trashing and prostitution via the immigation program.

    If our feckless politicians and business ‘leaders’ had half a brain they would be advocating massive investment in public education on the scale of the Apollo program. For a nation so often mouthing drivel about ‘infrastructure’ , few seem to have realised that education is the infrastructure that matters and will sustain us as an economy and society.

    • The problem is we are some way along a death spiral where private schools have captured many of the best pupils and teachers making it harder it harder for middle class parents to send their kids to state skills, while house prices and wages make it hard for teachers to stay.

      • De-funding is the biggest issue, see America and the attempt to privatize education via CORE.

        Skippy…. Education becomes a mirror of Wall St.

      • Consistently – and without exception every year – public schools top the education results.

        The stats are beyond question – private schools do NOT TOP the results.

        Further there is a great deal of evidence that sending your kids to a private school is condemning them to a life time of social exclusion and even mental health issues from prolonged exposure to the false narrative that they are special, chosen and exceptional – as opposed to the true narrative that they are simply part of the community and a member of society.

        Those who have come through the public system are far better balanced, far more open minded, inclusive, and mentally stable. The issues surrounding “private school” children are profound and deep.

        You see many simply falling into the traditional banker, lawyer roles, offering noting back to society and living lives of isolation and deeply troubled social ostracised from life.

        The problem is – they just do not realise how thoroughly fucked up they are.

        Melbourne High, McRobertons, Balwyn all top the state results in Vic. Shools like Melbourne Grammar consistently come well down the list at numbers touching 40th.

        The network is also bullshit – we live in a global world, if you are relying on an “old boys” network in 2015, you are totally fucked.

        In my business I ask where people went to school – and If I get the “private school and proud” a red line goes straight next to their name.

        If I get – I went to the local high school and have worked my arse off to get where I am today without the help of daddy then a great big blue tick emerges.

        Happens right across the board.

        Rural Australians are some of the most sought after global CEO’s on earth (by far the highest ratio of any demographic) – hard working, take no shit, self made, NOT FROM THE BOYS NETWORK.

        Private schooling really is a life sentence of seriously depressing shit.

      • @Tommaso d’Aquino

        Also note that vast majority of private schools’ top performing students are scholarship students. At least their teachers gets paid well, over $100k.

      • @Tommaso, Melb High and MacRob are selective entry – not surprising these, and similar, consistently outperform.

    • If you chat with people from Northern Europe they just laugh at the sums spent on ‘private’ education in the mainly english speaking world. Education has become just another financialised product, and in this the financialisation bears no relevance whatsoever to the end education result. As I have said here before the most spectacular manifestation of the phenomena is the advent of MBA courses (the most expensive of which are in the English speaking world or conducted in English as money spinners from other global institutions) which are essentially just a collection of 3rd or 4th year business subjects wrapped around a load of networking opportunities with varying degrees of select entry (based on price) so that those paying dont think that they will need to mix with anyone who doesnt have the dough to pay.

      For ten years as a journalist though, rewriting/writing MBA essays and assignments was a handy side earner. I always found it amazing how many of the most highly priced courses in the world had take home exams.

      Finland is a good example, almost no non state education, almost no homework, and about the worlds best academic results, I am still thinking about having my kids secondary education there

      • Yea but they’d have to learn Finish, personally I know someone is speaking Finish when I cant understand a single word that’s being said, so I’m not sure that’s knowing such a weird language is the best use of my kids scarce brain cells.

      • Trying to get the kids to Finland as well.

        Not just the education but also the social awareness. Australians are absolute bloody morons.

      • In Finland children grow up with a lot more freedom than those growing up in big cities around the world. Freedom feeds creativity and innovation. Finnish kids don’t live in the world of organised playdates. Teaching is a sought after profession requiring good grades as well as musical ability and better than average verbal skills. Pay is relatively good and holidays abundant compared to any other profession.
        Language education is superb. Homework is given and exams do exist but teachers can run spot exams and most of the exams of each semester are up to the individual teachers to decide on. The final senior high school exams are the only national exams. Big cities offer selective entry public schools for those gifted in musical or sports ability. What surprises me in Australia is that private schools in the biggest cities haven’t started continuous ( with no reset at year 7) language education from a primary school level, grade 2 or 3. In Finland English ( or another foreign language) will be introduced in year three and continued until the year 12 final exams. Languages are taught in a progressive manner right from the start, learning words, grammar, speaking and writing – not just immersion with songs and poems. That is what I’d pay for here if it was available. Since it’s not offered our children go to a good public primary school and will attend private secondary schools.
        With the immense reservoir of native speakers of a large number of languages in Australia, continuous, progressive language education is a missed opportunity in my opinion.
        Interestingly though, Finns are about to overhaul their education system so who knows what it will turn into!

    • The South Korean cram school madness, where there are now cram schools to get into the “better” cram schools is a real eye opener. Surely it must be counterproductive to the mental, physical & social development of the kids caught up in it?

      As far as school funding in Australia goes, I’d be happy to see the private schools nationalised. It would also be a way of ensuring adequate resourcing for our public schools if the kids of the moneyed members of society had to share class space with the plebs.

    • If Finland, a small homogenous country with an alcohol problem can do it, so can we!

      Er, no. Teaching is a highly regarded profession in Finland and although teachers earn around average wages, they enjoy respect and status generally reserved for the more elite. Teaching is viewed as a vocation, teaching applicants are rigourosly vetted with only the best and brightest gaining acceptance to training institutions. Once accepted, years of exacting pedogological and specialist specific training ensues.

      Contrast that with Australia – anyone can become a teacher, particularly primary. Generally the pool of applicants is from the lower to fail end of the spectrum. Sure, there are exceptions, but too few. We churn out too many inadequately skilled teachers, many psychologically unsuited to teaching, send them into the classroom and let them loose on our kids!

      I often quote Peter Van Onselen, bemoaning the quality of final year essays submitted by soon to be teachers – a depressingly low standard, barely literate yet about to be graduated. Don’t expect miracles.

      • For your info 3d I would observe the following.

        Alcohol is exceptionally expensive in Finland ( I have Finnish friends who race off for weekends on the booze in St Petersburg because it is cheaper than doing so in Helsinki)
        Alcohol in Finland (from memory but I think it is still the case) is controlled by a government owned monopoly with a view to making it expensive. All the Scandinavian nations have a tight grip on alcohol.
        Finland has no more a problem with alcohol than Australia does, and probably has considerably less of a societal drugs problem than we do.

        Teaching as a profession in Finland (like most of Northern Europe) is still well respected (and heavily unionised, actually) and teaching standards in Finland are closely monitored for numeracy and literacy, so much so that there is little ‘branding’ room for any private education outfits to come and trash the ‘brand’ of the government system.

        I must confess I agree to some extent with your sentiments about those entering education courses here…..30 years ago we used to refer to those in education courses as the ‘Vego edos’ and I actually knew people who had failed HSC (in Victoria) but somehow got into teaching courses.

        That said, my understanding is that most of those not up to it get sorted out fairly quickly, and that the biggest issue with education (primary and secondary) here is the stuffing around with the curriculum, where there seems to be a genuine divergence politically with the ALParatchiks wanting to broaden the curriculum and incorporate skills, but the Torynuffs wanting is stripped back to basic reading and writing – so as their private provider constituents can leverage the extra services in a margin/profitability sense.

        One of my close mates is a very senior figure at one of the most expensive private schools in the country (though he was a government school man). When I asked him about whether I should send my kid to a private primary school i was told ‘There isnt a shred of evidence anywhere that paying for a private primary education offers any educational or life advantages whatsoever, and for the most part the advantages of private secondary education basically stem from social set mixing and the ability to slip base grade morons into better jobs later in life than in comparison to base grade morons who went to Joe Bloggs Tech. If the kid has brains then the studies suggest that he will do better at University coming from the public system than the private, though once again there is a social mix advantage which is pervasive, and privately educated kids tend to have their horizons broadened for them and be more assertive in pursuit and expectation of what they see as opportunity’

        His basic theme is that idiots breed idiots and that intelligent aware people will breed intelligent aware people regardless of where they send them to school.

      • alcohol is certainly a problem in Finland but that’s nothing compared to the drug problem that Russia has especially once you step outside the big cities. About a year back I was in a town about 3 hours drive north east of St Petersburg when I saw Krokodile addicts for the first time. Damn I’ve seen a lot od shit in my time but strung out krokodile addicts trying to score by selling themselves was without doubt a new low. Just the smell of their rotting flesh was enough to make you puke. The bodily decay of a krokodile addict is one of those images that gets stuck in your head, you ask yourself Why? WHY?
        What would ever motivate one to try this stuff? Surely life cant be that bad? Not that I got to ask them why, because the one addict that got too close took a serious beat down from our security guys.

      • I make two points here.

        First, gunna and 3d are both right about Finland. Not only primary schools but even child cares have child care workers with PhDs. They design fabulous courses that are well designed for various stages of infant development. You think local kids here can compete with them when they grow up? Good luck with that.

        Second, private schools are like MBAs. You don’t pay through the nose to learn anything from MBAs. You pay, first for the brands, and second, and more importantly, for your connections with your peers. After all, you would not want to send your kids to a public school where several kids in your kid’s class have their parents in jail?

      • As a teacher myself in a private school, I can say that I have taught alongside others who got less than 60 in their HSC results and even with others who were not even qualified (did their degree while working full time as a teacher). Kids are always so happy when you can show them that you got in the 90’s for the HSC because they expect teachers only do it because they are unable to get into anything else. A big reason why good teachers choose private schools has much to do with the behaviour of students. It is easier to find a controlled private school as opposed to a controlled public school and at a private school you usually get paid a bit more

      • Gunna
        They all drink in Tallinn It’s an important part of the Estonian economy. As a young friend of mine who worked in a Tallinn bar said = this is where the saying comes from “Drink like a Finn”

      • exactly right Flawse!

        It is so expensive to drink in Helsinki they race off across the gulf to Tallinn or St P to get hammered there…….

        But does Finland have a drinking problem? Not for mine….I was heading there for visa runs and work purposes for the better part of a decade. Amongst the (mainly) Russians I worked with it was generally thought that the Finns didnt drink at all during the week, and would let rip on weekends……….That for mine would put it on a par with major regional centres in Australia (Helsinki from memory is less than a million pop) and as someone who recently saw Albury on friday eve festooned with heavily built young slappers wearing mini skirts and chundering on the streets, while the male folk dropped clutches in the car parks with slabs in the back of ther utes I would have thought they were on a par drinking problem wise (and anyone who has ever spent time in Townsville, Darwin, Adelaide Brisbane – even Sydney and Melbourne – would find nothing happening on the streets of Helsinki that they wouldnt find at home………) The Finns arent much into wine and drink beer and spirits, sure some of them get hammered (show me a society that doesnt) but does that mean they have an alcohol issue (or relatively more than anywhere else?)? Not for mine………

        maybe in comparison with all those wowser conservative types in 3d1k’s Perth social circles …….

      • 3d is correct about lack of respect for teaching. It reflects our lack of respect for book lernin’. We had one teacher that put special effort into our daughter. We gave her a bunch of flowers and a thank you note at the end of year. It had been 7 years since a parent had last done that she told us. We criticise them. Expect them to put up with our kids and teach them all the things we don’t. Never do we praise them or catch them doing things right. I’m working with a guy that went teaching for two years recently. He loved it. However, he found the 50+ hour weeks and the low pay just something he couldn’t handle. We’re thrilled to have him back, but what a loss to the school. More support. More respect.

      • It’s a bit rich for the minebot to be despairing about teachers when he regularly disparages it as a profession filled with people who are overpaid and unsuccessful (like many posting here, he’s a “those who can, do, those who can’t teach” type).

        Paying someone $150k to drive a truck up and down a hill is fine, but teachers on 80 grand are overpaid, in his world.

    • Also from the same story …… Mackay seems to have 20 years supply on its books.

      “The number of houses sold totaled 165 for the year throughout the region”,

      “about 3000 properties are for sale throughout the area and 1200 are available for rent.”

      The reality is (as I have often stated) that housing is a factor of production, or its finance ultimately is limited by the constraints of productivity. Productivity gone, value (price) gone. For this reason I favor a method of ‘guestimating’ future house prices not in terms of a decline or correction from the present but from a zero value and then add value where and if productivity exists. Yes I am saying that housing in the absence of productivity are worthless, save for welfare and retirement etc.

    • Diogenes the CynicMEMBER

      So Mackay prop average price = $355k and rents are $250 to 350 depending on #beds. Doesn’t sound screaming cheap to me.

  3. An environmental scientist who works with the mining industry has broken ranks to warn that Australian taxpayers will be left with a bill running into tens of billions of dollars unless Government and industry start taking mine rehabilitation seriously.
    Guys we need to get a wider interest in this, so we can get some media pressure on these miners before they go bankrupt.
    A good start would be to jail the directors of these companies until the cleanup is complete.WW

  4. I’ve noted some concern about PM Turnbull buying out the Nationals. Here’s a nuanced story about what really has been put at risk versus the perceptions to market this. http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/16/turnbulls-so-called-4bn-bribe-to-nationals-more-wishes-than-fulfilment
    We’ll still have to wait and see how he performs, but the Nationals look like easy pickings. The Nationals have a problem re-establishing themselves as the farmers friend after selling out to mining and now losing all that income stream with the downturn/collapse.

  5. The Winds of Political Change? Or perhaps just political expediency….

    “Two Chinese bidders have been shorted-listed for the properties, which are set to fetch more than $325 million and span 100,000 square kilometres across South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.
    In a surprise move, the (New Zealand) Key government on Thursday rejected Shanghai Pengxin’s bid for a 13,800 hectare sheep and cattle farm, saying the benefits of the deal were “not substantial enough”.
    The decision went against the advice of the country’s foreign investment regulator.
    Pengxin’s listed subsidiary, Dakang Farming, which has a market cap of $3.4 billion, is believed to be interested in the sales of both Kidman Properties and Consolidated Pastoral Company.”


    • Janet, I have been about the outback of QLD, NT, SA for many years.
      These huge outback properties have had many owners over these lifetimes, and in the case of SA Kidman, Sid bought the properties in distressed sales from the banks over 100 years ago. Ever since the properties were taken up, just after Burke and Wills passed through, the carrying capacity of the properties has diminished, to the level today where the properties are not viable at any price.
      These new owners are in for a very real lesson in the vagaries of the Australian Outback.WW

      • interested partyMEMBER

        These areas…or much of them…..are on a slow inexorable march to desert. The Australian landscape has never been subjected to the biological processes that the Serengiti and the North American plains have been with mass migration of grazing animals and associated predators. That process fed the landscape over time and was sustainable. The Australian landscape has had no such process so every year we run non-native livestock over this land, we deplete its ability to recover……..so the only outcome is desertification.
        As you suggest, the ‘new’ owners will discover these facts in due time.
        Savory on the subject…..touches on others also, but relevant just the same.

      • Yep, these people look at a map and think Australia is HUGE, land cheap! They have no idea, most of the soil, even in the better areas is thin and very poor quality, problems caused by long droughts and sudden floods, erosion, tropical pests, etc.

      • Come on – we all know that the new owners will put in worlds best practices, which are exclusive to Australia to restore the region without the need for rain via destocking.


        Besides, things are only going to get better.


      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Outback South Australia is a neat place for testing nuclear weapons as our founding colonial masters discovered ……….Who knows what the buyers may have in mind for it under the guidance of their masters in Beijing ……………Australians need to develop a healthy suspicion ……If we can get conned by our “education export ” miracle and its 711 consequences ……then lord knows what the sale of millions of square kilometres of outback holds ….MALCOLM …and co …..keep your eyes open ……The Chinese are not stupid …….there has to be some other bigger plan ………and it won’t include us …….!!!

      • QUEENSLAND’S worst drought in a 100 years is hiding policy failures in the agricultural sector that have devastated rural communities. Speaking ahead of next weekend’s Bush Forum in Longreach, Ben Rees says thousands of farmers are now in crisis, reeling from the cumulative effects of almost 50 years of flawed financial and political thinking. “Bank foreclosures have been subjected to confidentiality clauses, which have prevented rural financial stress from becoming public knowledge,’’ he said.

        The number of farms in Australia has fallen by 30% since 1973 to 128,917. But Rees says the economies of scale did not translate into increased profitability.
        In 1972, when sector reform began, rural debt was half the gross value of farm production.
        By 1994, when a debt crisis sparked a Senate inquiry, it had risen to 69%.
        The ratio continued to rise to 75% in 2000, peaking in 2010, when debt was 150% the total gross value of farm production. The reason it levelled off since, was that rural lending flatlined, cancelled out by foreclosures and bankruptcies.
        Farm land values have plummeted 40% since the GFC, but the debts remain.
        “As banks moved to restructure rural portfolios, farmers ­financed in pre-GFC valuations found themselves technically insolvent,’’ Rees said.

        The number of people working in farming has fallen 30% in 40 years, while the national labour force overall has more than doubled.
        Young people have left in search of work, undermining rural communities and adding to high youth unemployment in urban areas.

    • Thx for the info, Mr. Wolf! It’s been a while since I have been in your sunburnt country; the last time, I think I remember saying to Burke “You and Wills might want to take an extra water bottle on your trip…..”

      • I also spent some time in the Waikato Hamilton and Northland Whangarei, and if it didn’t rain for 4 of 5 days over there, everyone was yelling “Drought”, Need drought relief.
        As the bushies above will tell you you can go for years without rain out there in the outback, and I’m no greenie. but sure as eggs, chopping down all the trees has plenty to do with it.
        Last time I was out there the county was bare as a table top and dry as a dead dingo’s donger, and 47 in the shade.

  6. As a South Korean who grew up in nz and now working in Sydney, I can definitely confirm that private education is a waste of time, energy and money. I guess Private education is largely a case of cognitive bias, namely confirmation bias and groupthink. Sydney is turning into Seoul with respect to private education and that is why I am considering a move back to nz.

    • If you can afford a place in a good suburb then a public school in that suburb will be good.

      If you can only afford a place in a troublesome suburb then a public school in that suburb will be bad. You may find that some classmates of your kid have relatives in jail.

    • Regarding the link above called “The summer of 2015 was Earth’s hottest on record, multiple datasets show”, we all await the grovelling apology from Scheissenberg, who stated on July 28, 2015 “So you are saying …2015 will be the hottest year on record (which it will not be) and yet I am deeply foolish?”

      Followed up with “Well that I am totally certain to win” [the bet that 2015 will be the hottest year, he said No]

      So yes, Scheissenberg, it looks like you are indeed deeply foolish. 🙄

    • Will the Paris Climate Talks Be Too Little and Too Late?

      Many of the pledges sound ambitious, but analysis suggest they fall far short of what is likely to be needed to prevent warming beyond 2 degrees C (3.6 F) later this century — a goal set by nations at the Copenhagen climate negotiations in 2009. “It is clear that if the Paris meeting locks in present climate commitments for 2030, holding warming below 2 degrees could essentially become infeasible,” Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, a think tank, said during preliminary negotiations held in Bonn, Germany, this month. In fact, he said, they leave the world on course for at least 3 degrees C of warming.

      But there is some good news out in the real world. The decade-long boom in coal burning across the world appears to be ending, and radically lower costs for renewables, especially solar power, make them increasingly attractive. One economic study published this summer concluded that green energy was usually “nationally beneficial,” regardless of the climate benefits. Indeed, there is a growing realization in many countries that cutting emissions is not just cheap, but could actually aid economic development

    • Scientists Ask Obama To Prosecute Global Warming Deniers

      According to Politico’s Morning Energy report published today, twenty climate scientists have sent a letter to President Obama urging him to jail climate skeptics using the RICO act. In a letter dated September 1 and sent to the president and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the scientists argue that the “systemic efforts to prevent the public from understanding climate change resembles the investigation undertaken against tobacco.”

      The letter, which was signed by Kevin Trenberth, a UN IPCC Lead Author, says it drew inspiration from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who said on the Senate floor that there “might be a conspiracy here, and a civil trial could provide the tools of discovery needed to find out.” That tool would be the RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act, which gives the Attorney General unfettered access to “investigate corporations and other organizations” that may have “knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change.”

      In the letter, the scientists cite books written by environmental activists and radical organizations, including the movie “Merchants of Doubt” based on the titular book. They equate climate scientists who question the global warming orthodoxy as being similar to Big Tobacco, which knowingly mislead the public on the dangers of smoking. A RICO investigation uncovered their role and led to one of the largest tobacco settlements in U.S. history.

      The letter goes on to say that if “corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible.” They believe that a conspiracy is occurring and that the American people, nay, the world have largely been hoodwinked by the energy industry.

    • Basically a chart that says population ponzis worldwide have until about 2040. There is no way those projections come to pass and Australia’s population doubles again or even close .

      • Yes, I agree.

        I did find Malcom’s comments on fertility (marriage and divorce) quite interesting..
        “Turnbull argued that “the West is dying out” at a scale “matched only by the Black Death” without a public policy solution to the declining birth rate, arguing fertility rather than immigration was at the heart of Australia’s population challenge.
        “It’s the birth rate, stupid!” he insisted.
        “And if we keep ignoring it, we will be stupid indeed.”

      • No need to advocate for it. It is happening without policy.
        1 child policy would make humans extinct eventually, so not so sure we want that.
        China have lifted their 1 child policy in some areas and surprise, surprise, fertility in those areas still remains below replacement.

      • 1 child policy would make humans extinct eventually, so not so sure we want that

        With the best science suggesting the sustainable carrying capacity of this planet is in the 1-2 billion range, we could certainly do with 100 years or so of 1-child policies.

        But a chaotic die-off is much more likely, given the low general intelligence of humans. 😯

      • A global 1 child policy is not going to ever happen. Never….
        I am not sure a ‘chaotic die-off’ would be an event we want either. Ever…

      • Young Aussies have a very, very effective contraceptive – unaffordable homes. It’s emotionally and physically shit for family formation.

      • I am not sure a ‘chaotic die-off’ would be an event we want either.

        What we “want” is irrelevant, willy. We are deep into overshoot. Nature has only one solution to that. It’s called collapse.

      • Sorry Revert2Mean, I do not share your pessimistic outlook. I see a very bright future, with no mass die-off.

        Andy, yes agree and perhaps why, along with our peaking emigration of 25 to 35 year olds, that we have had fewer babies for the last two years.

        “The German government spends $265 billion per year on family subsidies. However, even that doesn’t seem to have had an impact on fertility rates.” 1.5 for the last 30 years… – See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/demography/view/how-might-society-better-support-parents/16801

      • Yes I also understand that is the best contraception. Which makes the path in the only two countries on the chart not below replacement in about twenty years pretty obvious including how western countries might help.

      • interested partyMEMBER

        @ willy-nilly,
        “world population is estimated to be 7.3 billion today. That number is expected to rise to 9.7 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100.” from your first link.
        While I am sympathetic to your thoughts on a bright future, I am of the belief that for your bright future to eventuate, massive social behavioral changes to human/environment interaction are required. It is indeed very possible…..however…
        We have many predicaments to face in the near term. Most of these are life sustaining predicaments. The longer we procrastinate….the larger the imperative to act. There is a time, however, where change…any change….becomes moot. But the problem is that society has too much embedded capital in the existing system to allow the needed changes to occur…so there lays the dilemma. It appears that we will only change when we absolutely have to…and by that time, how much more damage will be done. We may be approaching the point of irrecoverabilty.(?)
        An example is in how a city interacts with the environment. The typical city is a net resource sink….meaning they collectively ‘eat’ the world. Within a city you have generations of people who have known no other life other than city life. So to expect these people to change to a neutral resource consumption state is a huge ask….dare I say nigh on impossible. The embedded capital( read “lifestyle”) makes this choice completely unpalatable.

        So…..if you can get the city folk to change to sustainable ( true sustainability ) lifestyles…you can most likely achieve your bright future.

      • interested party
        I do not disagree with the points you have made. All valid. However catalytic technologies are on the horizon, such as Skunk Works and others fusion that are not just disruptive, that are catalytic.
        ” 29th August 2015
        Breakthrough in fusion energy”

        The rise to perhaps 11/12 billion is 30% as a result of our demographic momentum (increased longevity) and the future population growth is absolutely slowing. That is the main point. Global population growth peaked in 1965 and has been slowing since.
        For your interest…
        “A global rewilding effort is underway”


        Global fertility has stabilised at below 2.0 children
        per woman

        By 2095, the global average number of children per woman has dropped below two, with even Africa now approaching this level after 130 years of declining fertility.* There is now a remarkably similar rate between all regions on Earth – due to a range of factors including better education, improvements in health and living standards, access to contraception and shifting cultural perceptions on the value of children, ideal family size, etc.”

        “By 2060, the world’s population had begun to level off and plateau. This was partly a result of declining fertility rates (aided by improvements in education and birth control), but also from significant numbers of deaths caused by deteriorating environmental conditions. Entire nations were now being devastated by the effects of climate change. Despite advances in technology, the fundamental problem remained that humanity was consuming too much, too fast, beyond what the Earth could sustainably provide. Desperate attempts were made to improve carbon capture and geoengineering methods, but the sheer magnitude of this crisis would persist for decades to come.”

      • Sorry Revert2Mean, I do not share your pessimistic outlook. I see a very bright future, with no mass die-off.

        Paul, I have never read more complete bullshit in my life. Then I checked who runs that site, and surprise surprise, it’s a catholic site.

        I won’t bother to comment further, because I know the demographics thing is your obsession and from long experience with you, I know you will not change your mind and you get the wrong end of the stick on almost all issues. 🙄

      • +1 DE
        Increased investment in the education of young women (and young men) (and our political leaders) is the best defence against dangerous overpopulation

    • Worth noting replacement tfr is not 2.1 it’s 2.33 due to pre puberty mortality levels in less developed countries. Hence, with global tfr hovering around 2.36 and still falling we’re virtually sub replacement now – certainly continuing population increases are now due to tempo and longevity only.

      • Noted and I think it amazing that I will be alive when the world enters the region below the replacement levels you outline.

      • To be clearer it is global tfr which is around 2.3 – 2.1 or just under is correct for developed nations such as Oz ( noticed word was missing)

      • Yes R2M, the sky is falling….
        Paul’s “The Population Bomb” really turned out to be accurate….not.
        Dear me, even mentioning this man looks you look quite foolish. So be it…

        from Wiki..
        “On the first Earth Day in 1970, he warned that “[i]n ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”[5] In a 1971 speech, he predicted that: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.” “If I were a gambler,” Professor Ehrlich concluded before boarding his plane, ” I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”[5] When this scenario did not come to pass, he responded that “When you predict the future, you get things wrong. How wrong is another question. I would have lost if I had had taken the bet. However, if you look closely at England, what can I tell you? They’re having all kinds of problems, just like everybody else.”[5] Ehrlich wrote in The Population Bomb that, “India couldn’t possibly feed two hundred million more people by 1980.”[16]”

      • Willy, Ehrlich’s enemies have cherry picked some things he said to the press to rile them up years ago, as he can be a bit of a wag and showman at times.

        Concentrate on what he says about demographics in the podcast. He debunks your nonstop pro-population bleating that is motivated by your Catholicism.

      • R2M
        Really, the sky is not falling. Try Yoga…
        Note, I am not pro-population growth at all. Far from it and I am also not a Catholic.
        Perhaps you may feel better after a little rest under your rock?

      • If you’re not a Catholic, what’s with the links to Catholic sites and the constant posting about falling birth rates? As Erhlich explains, unless you want pop. to grow forever, a period of falling birth rates is both inevitable and not unhealthy (people can work till they die, why not?)

      • R2M
        It does not surprise me that you follow and believe Ehrlich. I sort of expected that I think.
        Once again, just because I link to a particular site, does not mean I am ‘one of them’ as you assume. To me, good data is good data, regardless of the faith of the websites.
        I do not support population growth at all, another assumption you seem to want to make. I point out that we have had fewer births so the ‘sky is falling’ types, like you can get some sleep at night.

      • Willy (Paul), I’d rather listen to (“follow and believe” are too strong) a Stanford Professor of Population Studies than an internet wingnut who links to Panglossian religious sites, and wants to ignore the unsustainable population growth globally because birth rates are falling in some countries. You didn’t listen to the podcast, did you? 🙄

      • Read the transcript.
        Never refers to fertility so it doesn’t belong in this thread.
        Most of it is about real or imaginary population boosters- everyone in this thread wants population to go down. We were discussing when or if this will happen. It seems notable that Ehrlich has no stated position on when or global population will peak – he starts from the position that population growth is exponential until the world is screwed and proceeds from there. As such he actually has zero to say About when the global population might peak or what the peak value might be and seemingly no interest in those numbers.

  7. LIBOR rates…. surged yet again, with new multi-year highs in everything. It should be noted that even the shorter maturities have gotten in on the disruption, with not just 3-month LIBOR surging but now also 1-month. That is a highly unwelcome deterioration…… the bid for safety was also intense. Both gold and the yen were bought heavily these past two session which, combined with interbank turmoil, is not an optimistic take on where markets might head into Monday (liquidations in commodities today, even as they had been more buoyant since August).


  8. Well the Chinese can’t pay through the nose for all our Iron ore and not expect us to pay for the Steel they produce! Horse trading is horse trading.

    More than 1,000 people have joined a rally in Wollongong to protest against the potential closure of BlueScope Pt Kembla steel works. BlueScope Steel has flagged the loss of 500 jobs initially but up to 5,000 could be lost if the mill closes. Blue scope is losing money form, they say, the regional oversupply and a flood of cheap exports from China.But some say the mill had been badly managed!
    (BSS) “We’ve been reviewing some work practice changes that affect the whole plant,” adding that this included sick leave, how work was performed and a number of positions that could be made redundant.
    (The Punters) “People are extremely angry. People have had enough… this uncertainty of whether the steelworks is going to be here or not is starting to affect people.”

    The Port Kembla steel works could also be up for closure. (another coupla thousand made idle)
    Dark days ahead for Turnstile.
    (Abbott truly dodged a bullet, he should be praying right now; and quit parliament)


    • I was hoping that The Wrecker would somehow go through to the next polls and cop the full blast of odium he so richly deserves, but that was always an unlikely scenario.

  9. interested partyMEMBER

    You people aware of pre-harvest herbicide usage? Maybe you should be.
    Open the PDF at the bottom of the page. Also, on this subject, how many of you are aware of the actual meaning of “systemic” with regards to biocides? I spoke to a bloke a week or so ago and asked him…..he had no idea what it meant. He comes from a farming background.
    Roundup is systemic! Look it up.

    • roundup is systemic virtually only via foliage.. I don’t know any farmer who stayed in business by spraying his crop with round up… (Sure there’s roundup ready crops but again no farmer sprays at the end of a season, it’s months prior to harvest)

      The story revolving around roundup being some form of monsteriously insidious chemical is ludicrous whilst totally missing the target of food safety.

      There are growers who spray a whole bundle of chemicals totally incorrectly and sometimes just prior to picking, and yet roundup is the concern..

      I am a farmer, I grow my own semi-organic food for my family. I know how bad the produce is in Australia and it’s got nothing to do with roundup!

      Australia is prone to “dumb farmer syndrome” uneducated growers doing what their father did 50 years ago. They spray whatever when ever and a little more for good luck!

      FYY don’t eat berries unless you grow them yourself. Prone to “hot shots” meaning it’s full of poision.

      • interested partyMEMBER

        “roundup is systemic virtually only via foliage.. I don’t know any farmer who stayed in business by spraying his crop with round up… (Sure there’s roundup ready crops but again no farmer sprays at the end of a season, it’s months prior to harvest)”
        There is a growing trend for glyphosate to be used as a crop dessicant to ‘enhance’ crop harvest.
        Dude…….Systemic is’ whole of plant’….and has residual effects up to 12 months. Whole of plant…… Leaf, stem, root.
        second page….read the product labels.

        “The story revolving around roundup being some form of monsteriously insidious chemical is ludicrous whilst totally missing the target of food safety.”
        You talk of food safety yet appear to defend poisons.

        “There are growers who spray a whole bundle of chemicals totally incorrectly and sometimes just prior to picking, and yet roundup is the concern..”

        Roundup is one tool in the chemical applicators arsenal. Most commercial crops are sprayed multiple times with a variety of biocides. Again….systemic = whole of plant. Root crops are included here.

        “I am a farmer, I grow my own semi-organic food for my family. I know how bad the produce is in Australia and it’s got nothing to do with roundup!”

        WTF is “semi-organic”??? Sounds like being ‘half pregnant.’

        “Australia is prone to “dumb farmer syndrome” uneducated growers doing what their father did 50 years ago. They spray whatever when ever and a little more for good luck!”

        And that my friend is why the OP. The public is less informed than the “growers”.

        “FYY don’t eat berries unless you grow them yourself. Prone to “hot shots” meaning it’s full of poision.”

        Why restrict the conversation to berries? Again……systemic biocides are very common in the food growing community. The gov has ”safe” limits to chemical residues for all foods.
        Key words….’chemical’, ‘safe’, ‘food’…… Something is very wrong with that picture.
        You wouldn’t sprinkle ‘ratsak’ over your weetbix, would you? Yet we accept what you call ‘hotshots’ as normal….and the associated diseases that poor food quality brings. WHY?

    • excerpt from the link….” low tolerance to residues” …. this is idiocy

      Pre-harvest herbicide use
      The application of herbicides late in the season to prevent weeds setting seed or to desiccate crops must be carried out with caution and in line with herbicide label recommendations. It is essential to check if these practices are acceptable to buyers, as in some situations markets have extremely low or even zero tolerance to some pesticide and herbicide residues
      – See more at: http://www.grdc.com.au/GRDC-FS-PreHarvestHerbicide#sthash.wvDCUDVI.dpuf

      • interested partyMEMBER


        “This means that the Accepted Daily Intake (ADI) for humans, i.e. what society finds “admissible” regarding pesticide residues may have been set too high, even before potential combinatorial effects of different chemical exposures are taken into account.”
        “Lack of data on pesticide residues in major crop plants is a serious gap of knowledge with potential consequences for human and animal health. How is the public to trust a risk assessment system that has overlooked the most obvious risk factor for herbicide tolerant GM crops, i.e. high residue levels of herbicides, for nearly 20 years? If it has been due to lack of understanding, it would be bad. If it is the result of the producer’s power to influence the risk assessment system, it would be worse.”

        Food industry corrupted……nah, not much.

      • It is common practice to use glyphosate as a desiccant prior to harvest of some small crops, including leguminous crops such as potatoes. (I know, I know. The natural cycle is that the potato plant is spent and withers. Glyphosate simply shortens the period and also suppresses weeds. All to aid the harvest – shorter &/or less herbage to deal with). Growers beholden to big contracts with the supermarkets, or to pressures from their agents, may be more willing to bend to their demands. The consumer should also undertake a little introspection. The notion of seasonal produce is diminishing in favour of year-round availability.
        Funny thing is, the traditional cold climate, acidic free draining soil growing areas means that potatoes can be left in the soil right through to August or even September in the really cold areas. This natural storage is cheapest (discounting alternative uses for the land) and prolongs availability.

        ANZ Food standards for glyphosate here:

      • yeah they certainly do rage but why bother? glyphosate is a recent addition to cropping whereas the crops we are fiddling with are ancient staples . it is just so unnecessary to introduce this to our food chain in this way.
        We really must use a desiccant? give me a break. Vinegar is a desiccant if needs be

      • interested partyMEMBER

        Can I take it then that you are in favor of this process? Take into consideration that glyphosate is systemic. It travels throughout the entire plant….including potatoes. The studies I have linked to above show that residue from glyphosate carries and accumulates in our bodies.
        I understand the situation we are in……..use the chemicals and eat something…or don’t use them at all and have crop failure from pests and disease. The bit that pisses me off is there is a better way yet it struggles to get mainstream attention. As you would likely be aware, I am pretty involved with permaculture…and I grow 90% of our food without one drop of chemical….sustainably at that.
        All this crap about poisons and allowable residue is madness…sheer utter madness. When you start to understand the things that these chemicals do to living organisms, including humans, you would wonder why you are eating the stuff, let alone giving it to your kids.
        I may bang on a bit about this stuff, but I have ethics. These bastards pushing the chemicals are no better than drug dealers in my eyes. And they have society hooked.

        edit to add:
        The other thing that really concerns me is that the so-called pests and weeds become resistant so they up the dose and the allowable residue limit. You may not be gluten/wheat intolerant…maybe you are poison intolerant.

      • @ interested party. No, just stating what is. As per my reply to jelmech, it shits me.

        Not to say that I oppose the use of certain chemicals, simply that the use should be judicious and kept out of food chains i.e. zero residual. Trouble is, and as you know, we may not know what to look for. So yes, ideally, systemic chems should be eliminated and all should be judicious.

        An anecdote to end. When Roundup was first being pushed by Monsanto, one ploy used to demonstrate its amazing ‘safety’ was for the spruiker to consume a glass of it in front of those gathered.

      • interested partyMEMBER

        Good to read that.
        All I can suggest to all and sundry here is if you are concerned with the quality of your food and you recognize that the food system we have has failed on several points, then please contact the closest permaculture organization to you and ask for growers who may have surplus…even better would be to actually join up and learn the science. I can assure you that the quality will be the best you can get, and grown by people who actually understand the situation so should be able to help in some way. It is not a perfect answer as food surplus may not be plentiful at times but it is a start…and will give impetus to the process where more surplus can be organized over time.
        Far too many people just shut up and accept the status quo. This is a conversation that must be had…at all levels of society. Food safety should not be negotiable.

  10. TailorTrashMEMBER

    “US repatriates one of China’s most wanted Sky Net fugitives ” ………if more follow then how long before as in all things we follow Uncle Sam ?….I hope those “five eyes” have a few of these people on their radar …..I’m sure they have some value as bargaining chips ………

    • Mining BoganMEMBER

      And authorities think people playing the pokies is the most dangerous type of gambling.

      Do I have news for them.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        C’mon dumpling, we don’t ban things in Australia because they’re dangerous. We ban things when the ‘right’ people don’t make money out of them.

      • That’s right. In fact, the more dangerous the merrier – just don’t use the ‘g’ word which may tick the social workers or activists. How much did they make from stamp duties over the last decade and a half?

        Perhaps we should start calling playing pokies ‘investing’, too.

      • PS

        IMHO, the relevant authorities need to be educated – they fail to understand an obvious and unquestionable fact that pokies are a legitimate form of investment that makes investment bankers rich. Don’t they even know that an official name for pokies is “high frequency digitally number matching structured products”?

    • arthritic kneeMEMBER

      What a Good Looking couple!
      Obviously highly intelligent: ““The trick is to have equity in the home the day you purchase it. You then take out that equity to buy your next properties,” he said.
      Why didn’t I think of that?
      BTW – What’s the stamp duty on 19 properties?
      Just like problem gamblers there is no thought of ‘cashing out’ when ahead. We’re on a roll! Lets double down (or whatever the 19x equivalent is).
      This will end in tears.
      If you want to know why the banks will be in trouble, look to these two. If they go under they will go under hard and all they have is peanuts outside of housing.

    • “His research led him to Nathan Birch of Binvested,”

      This guy was on Sunrise and has been getting “mentioned” @ the SMH quite a bit, I’m guessing an advertorial.

      Edit: This stuff is laughable!

      “Any homes the couple now purchase must meet three criteria: the home must be in an area where prices are about to go up fast, the monthly rental income must exceed their mortgage repayments and the price must be below the property’s true market value.”

      So, they have an exacting method, yet bought 19 homes in a year. I wish I had thought of buying homes in areas that are about to go up fast in price and pay below market value, all identifiable at an average of 1 house every 2.7 wks.

      Edit: Beyond laughable, just plain bs.

      “This approach means that after only a few months of ownership the property will be worth substantially more than they paid for it. They then refinance their original loan and use their newly gained equity as a deposit on their next home.”

      Last edit, promise! Just like I said, an advertorial, paid, I guess.

      ““Trying to secure new loans and good deals on homes is time consuming, so we get help,” Ms Sharp said.

      They use mortgage broker Graham Turnbull of Zinger Finance to negotiate their loans and a buyer’s agency Binvested to help find homes selling under their value.”

    • Here you go APRA – perhaps a quick investigation regarding responsible lending of these two…

      They use mortgage broker Graham Turnbull of Zinger Finance to negotiate their loans and a buyer’s agency Binvested to help find homes selling under their value.

      • arthritic kneeMEMBER

        The scariest thing by far for me was seeing this gem of responsible journalism being shared ++ on facebook. Enthusiastic punters tagging their mates to make sure they didn’t miss out on this golden opportunity. As they would say…..WTF??

      • I can easily see through what they are up to. Those with properties have vested interest in reeling in greater fools who are currently sitting on the sidelines, and Facebook is just one of the new tools to accomplish that goal.

    • Between this and the tax rorting, Australians have shown how easily our institutions have been degraded and captured.

      What a fail.

  11. Australia’s Slow-Motion Crisis

    With both major parties widely discredited, turmoil rules in Australian politics.

    “In summary, the mass representative political structures that dominated many Western countries for most of the twentieth century, with their stable (often class-based) social bases and their well-defined ideological differences, have experienced a long-run process of decomposition. This growing instability of official politics is a product of how political classes carry less and less authority in society. Finally, as they become unmoored from those they are meant to represent, parties often pander to the ideological obsessions of their most fervent supporters, leading them to be even less relevant to mainstream voters.”


    • An excellent read. Look at the endemic corruption in the union industry, and as even the Renaissance man cannot extricate himself from the rampant political cronyism.

      The parties are dead…but voters is…

      • 1973 the Powell Memo

        The Powell Memo (also known as the Powell Manifesto)

        The Powell Memo was first published August 23, 1971

        In 1971, Lewis Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell’s nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court.

        The Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell’s legal objectivity. Anderson cautioned that Powell “might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice…in behalf of business interests.”

        Though Powell’s memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration’s “hands-off business” philosophy.

        Most notable about these institutions was their focus on education, shifting values, and movement-building — a focus we share, though often with sharply contrasting goals.* (See our endnote for more on this.)

        So did Powell’s political views influence his judicial decisions? The evidence is mixed. Powell did embrace expansion of corporate privilege and wrote the majority opinion in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, a 1978 decision that effectively invented a First Amendment “right” for corporations to influence ballot questions. On social issues, he was a moderate, whose votes often surprised his backers.


        Voters aka humans are bioware [firmware] so one would think the elite coders [ideological creative class] is where the impetus resides, that said, much of the code is legacy stuff out of antiquity, endlessly extenuated and bastardized to remain relevant in the face of changing conditions and empirical evidence to the contrary.

        Skippy…. Atomized individuality is wonky aj and a great tool of the creative class…. do you “own” yourself?

      • “but voters is …”. more worried about footy than….. you name it.

        This is not unique to Australia. It has been a dominant trend in the West since the end of the cold war.

        It is all right – those who cannot make necessary adjustments will be wiped out clean – aka natural selection.

      • My point is dumpling: your using the same rational that got us here in the first place….

        Skippy…. bastardized scientific methodology turned into some quasi religious philosophical truism… barf~

      • Marketing works, and works very well – you’ll get no argument from me there (as you know). But if you are going to deny all free will, wouldn’t you find a peculiar paradox in your violent vitriol to those that disagree – surely empathy for those in the cage is required by other than the psychopathic? And incidentally how do the enlightened escape this cage.

        I have a mate who works in campaign management – one of his favourite sayings is that no-one ever lost an election by overestimating the stupidity of the electorate – if it works… etc.

        It’s marketing, and marketing needs an ignorant base.

      • This is a philosophical question which I would not waste my time on. You don’t need to be Marx or Engels to understand that a person’s ‘free’ will is defined by the environment in which the person grew up (and economy is a part of the said environment). Given that no person could ever ‘freely’ choose the environment in which he or she was born into, one can argue that there is no such thing as ‘free’ will.

      • Philosophy does not superseded more scientific observations, which is compounded by the term “free” its self e.g. fabricated out of whole cloth and completely vacuous.

        Skippy…. big driver in our currant problem set, antiquarian superstitions comported to irrefutable universal truisms.

      • As I said from the beginning ex nay on the free will just from the stand point of the root of free.

        Etymology: from PIE *priy-a- “dear, beloved,” from root *pri- “to love” (cognates: Sanskrit priyah “own, dear, beloved,” priyate “loves).

        Which begets this kinda crap –

        “Non-materialist neuroscience is one of the latest fronts in the war on science. The battle has been a long time coming and it is surprising it has taken so long to get going. Modern neuroscience is rapidly reducing much of human thought, emotion and behavior into component pieces of neuronal interactions. The combination of computational modeling and non-invasive imaging of living brains has allowed researchers to begin describing how complex thought emerges from the firing patterns of neurons. In a way, neuroscience is the death knell of dualism. When materialist causes become both necessary and sufficient to explain all of human thought then parsimony dictates that references to a soul or other supernatural entities can be tossed out.

        Non-materialist neuroscience is a reaction to these discoveries, a rallying cry for dualism. Like creationism and intelligent design this “new” neuroscience is a reactionary movement against science. Rather than a hypothesis that leads to predictions and experiments, it is simply a catalog of things modern neuroscience supposedly cannot yet explain.

        Unsurprisingly, the movement is spear-headed by intelligent design lackeys from the Discovery Institute and related affiliates. The primary proponents of the movement are Michael Egnor, a neurosurgeon and recent contributor to the Discovery Institute blog, Denyse O’Leary, a Canadian “journalist” who runs her own blog dedicated to non-materialist neuroscience and likes to copy and paste these entries over on William Dembski’s blog as well, and Mario Beauregard, the author with O’Leary of a recent book on the subject of non-materialist neuroscience: The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul.”

        Skippy… how that became the trope it has become, as a ID, creationist, libertarian bellwether, just shows how bent these people are…

      • Skip Mate, out of interest have you ever studied any Eastern Philosophy, I can see that Japanese Existentialism would be right up your alley. A few years back I was reading a lot of Chinese Neo-Confucianism but in the end my language abilities (inability) limited my understanding of the texts, so I reverted to reading the Japanese equivalents since they had much better translations.
        IMHO To understand where the world is heading we all need to forget western philosophy and learn what really motivates the other half of the world (that half where 2/3rds of the population live)

      • For Japan – reading phenomeno­logical analyses of Sartrean existentialism would be concurrent post WWII.

        This might be of interest to you wrt China –


        Existential psychology is quickly and forcefully gaining momentum in China. Yet, it is not just the introduction of Western existential psychology, but the discovery of indigenous existential psychology in China that is paving the way. The 2012 conference is expected to build upon the excitement already established, while also deepening the conversations.


        Skippy… For myself I observe through comparative sociology as it tends to acknowledge geographical borders are not as ridged as some might suppose.

  12. This may have been posted already but Graham Turner has done som lovely research showing that the Club Of Rome predictions from the 70’s are going quite well (or badly depending on your point of view)


    I have to admit I always get irritated at how economists and demographers dump their problems on other professions. When you point out the downsides to unfettered population growth (pollution, food supply, overcrowding) they wave their hands around airily and say “oh technology and the markets will fix that.” And if you suggest “why not just push for lower population growth” they freak out and say “noooo! that’s demographics! That’s an intractible problem!!!!!!!”

    • Thx for that link. Assuming it’s reliable data ( which at face value it appears to be!) it’s a sobering read, perhaps best summed up by what many of us now suspect:

      ” This suggests, from a rational risk based perspective, that we have squandered the past decades, and that preparing for a collapsing global system could be even more important than trying to avoid collapse

      But alas…..that’s not going to happen at the macro level…..Those with it all to lose from the current System will fight any preparatory work to all of our economic and social deaths.

      • Oh dear. Was it you who suggested, jokingly, some time ago, that the elites were preparing their bolt holes for the day they would nuke the rest of us. A kind of 21st century technological version of enclosure. Not looking quite so much like a joke now.

    • With 28% cash and other assets, their portfolio looks much more balanced and sensible than the ordinary local battlers’.

      Perhaps some drugs make one saner? I want that drug, too. How much is it?

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        Maybe the ones in cash are the local drug runners being outbid by those damned foreign gangs.

        Bloody injustice everywhere!

      • some drugs make one saner

        Folks prescribed anti psychotics and similar often seem very reluctant to take them. You may not like extra sanity if you find it.

    • Another reason why good old fashioned “hard copies” were so good. Digitisation of record keeping facilitates the parliamentarians to interfere with the records that make them feel uncomfortable. And since, almost without exception, parliamentarians are psychologically criminally minded mental defectives, this should be very worrying.

  13. http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/stop-the-rorts-30-million-crackdown-looms-for-vocational-sectors-dodgy-training-providers-20150919-gjqbuk.html

    So they want to weed out shonky operators. If they’re genuine then they’ll need to close the entire higher education system. I know plenty of foreign students who are essentially professional students, never attending classes, who still graduate at the end of their course. The following year they enrol in another course and repeat. The Uni’s and TAFEs love them.

    • The worst of the rorts have arguably been at the other end of the system. Sign-ups to collect huge fees via Government loan for people that can never cope with the course, leaving ‘students’ saddled with a huge loan and no benefit at all.
      This, in turn, is now causing huge enforcement and compliance costs on genuine providers.

  14. Bandaids, gaffertape and half-assed fixes
    Meanwhile back in the real world close to another 1000 extra residents are added to our population each and every day
    “..there is no major problem facing our planet that would not be easier to solve if there were fewer people and no problem that does not become harder — and ultimately impossible to solve — with ever more…” – David Attenborough

    • Attenborough is wrong…

      … ever more allows you to do really dumb stuff like killing all your productive industries, and engineering a housing shortage in a vast mostly empty continent, yet still print GDP growth figures without a negative sign.

      In any case, not a single developed nation has positive population growth from births, and most developing nations don’t as well. All signs are that the best way to halt global population growth is to alleviate poverty.

  15. OK whom fiddled with the reality knob last night…. Japan wins over the Springboks by attacking when every other team at their level would have taken the penalty kick for a draw…..

  16. The Cardinals clinched a playoff berth. They have not secured their division yet. Their once reliable pitching looks worryingly wobbly now. Perhaps they will exit the playoff in the first round.

    I will make my annual baseball predictions again once all the 10 playoff teams are determined.

      • No no no! We must have debtors prisons and ruin countries who allow their private banks to stiff bond-holders. You see, the lender must never bear any risk, it must always be 100% on the borrower…

        … at least, that’s the way many people in the West still think. And look where it’s got us.

      • The GFC taught me that basically everyone except the Icelanders are more stupid, venal, and corrupt than I thought. They were the sole country to tell their banks’ bondholders to get stuffed. They were the only ones that actually allowed capitalism to work. Literally everywhere else is basically a corporatist kleptocracy.

  17. Listening to Turnbull this afternoon, no three word slogans, no “we stopped the boats”, or “death cult”, and no mention of the grocery code of conduct. Finally, The dark clouds that have covered Australian politics for several years are finally lifting.

    • The depression is still coming to Oz (it’s baked in), but it will be nice to have a leader who isn’t a knuckle dragging head-kicking thug like Abbott was. We might even come out the other side in a better state. Or we might come out assuming high house prices are still awesome leading to further decades of poverty and hardship for millions.

      • I know this is a pointless observation given we’re so far down the road m’lud but the old aphorism ” never waste a crisis” does have merit. Rudd did waste a crisis with his can kicking. but his *team* would’ve given him the arse if he didn’t do the populist thing. Now the gods of filthy lucre are going to deliver another crisis upon our stupid boganistic she’ll be right sorry arses [and fkn good show I reckon] Are we going to find ourselves with leadership schooled in what the nation needs to be doing? Can said leadership sell the narrative? I hope so but my guts tells me that i’m still a decade premature. In short will some one just rip the fucking plaster off, just do it.

      • I think it’s too late for Australia itself to do anything that will alter its course, however they’re not called the lucky country without reason, so it wouldn’t completely rule out that China comes to the rescue with Infrastructure build phase 2. arguably this will be a cheaper option (with a more manageable outcome) than trying to counter the currency flight problem that China’s struggling with today.
        Add to this, the still remote chance that the whole Chinda meme can play out and Australia could indeed get lucky again
        Unfortunately for ChIndia to be of benefit to Australia it needs to play out before China’s needs substantially rebalance away from resource intensive infrastructure builds.
        IMHO the extreme volatility we’re experiencing today is the enemy of all NEW longer term export focused Australian business plans (outside of mining) so a leveling of ToT and with it a stabilization of the exchange rate is needed to enhance export business confidence. Failing this the business community is just going to step back and mutter the old investment maxim “don’t catch falling knives” and that’ll be all it takes to guarantee Australia experiences its own Japanese style “lost generation”.

  18. The Traveling Wilbur

    In his Blot Report today, Bolt referred to Hastie as “…former S.S. Captain Andrew Hastie.” Freudian slip of the slip of the century. Where did that come from? I’d love to see Bolt’s reading list.

  19. John Mauldin:

    The Fed is implicitly acknowledging (by not raising interest rates) that their policy action over the past 5 years of putting the US economy on a sustainable growth path has been a failure and now if their international concerns become more pronounced, they will also admit to the world that they have no tools to deal with it. I think today’s decision was a bad one…..I’m sorry to the retirees that have saved their whole lives. I’m sorry to the generation of young people that don’t know what the benefits of saving [are]. I’m sorry to the free markets that best allocate capital. I’m sorry to pension funds that can’t grow assets to match their liabilities. I’m sorry to the successful companies that are competing against those that are only still alive because of cheap credit. I’m sorry to the US banking system, [which] has been hoping for higher interest rates for years. I’m sorry to those industries that have seen a pile of capital (aka, energy sector) enter their industry and have been or will see the consequences of too much capacity. I’m sorry to investors who continue to be bullied into making decisions they wouldn’t have made otherwise. I’m sorry for the bubbles that continue to be blown.


  20. Eric the robot gone, Kevin gone, Bubbles not seeking a Ministry and planning to depart the scene (makes sense, there is no way he could credibly be given anything responsible to front again ……

    Malcolm Turnbull cabinet reshuffle: Women, young MPs the big winners in ’21st century’ team


    • So no real changes, more selling out to the highest bidding country and more crusading around the Middle East.

      • yeah, no surprise Robb remain in Trade.

        Andrews is predictably bitter and twisted announcing his dismissal ahead of Turnbull’s presser. His crawling during the last week was excruciating.

    • Scott Morrison will be a competent treasurer. He is a good administrator who can implement government policies.

      “The former Education and Training Minister Christopher Pyne, who earlier in the week was being tipped for defence has been promoted to Industry and Science Minister.” “Ian Macfarlane Axed as Minister for Industry and Science despite close relationship with Malcolm Turnbull.”

      What was wrong with Ian Macfarlane?

      • Yes dumpling, that one surprised me. When in opposition, Macfarlane was Turnbull’s climate policy negotiator with Penny Wong. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe the voice.

      • Quite frankly, I found this appointment disturbing.

        Pyne over Macfarlane…. proponent of school chaplains in science portfolio…… I hope Turnbull knows what he is doing.