Supplementary Easter Links April 1-2, 2018

An Easter Holiday, John D. Moore, 1925, Art Gallery of NSW

 

Markets, Macro & Investing

Asia

Europa

Americas

Terra Nullus

…and furthermore…

Comments

  1. There’s nothing new under the sun.

    “After a bar brawl in 1972 in Cardiff, Keith Murdoch became the only All Black sent home from tour…Rather than face the wrath of the New Zealand sporting public, Murdoch hopped off his flight in Singapore, caught a plane to Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory and went walkabout for the rest of his life…. Journalist Margot McRae managed a brief conversation with him in 1990, when she found him at Tully, in the remote Queensland rainforest. He refused to appear on camera but the fleeting encounter made such an impression that McRae later wrote a play about it called “Finding Murdoch”. “He was a deeply shy person and not very articulate,” she told the BBC. “There was a real sense of a wound that has never healed.”… His former teammates, including ex-All Black captain Ian Kirkpatrick, believe Murdoch was harshly treated and have expressed regret they did not threaten to leave the tour in solidarity with him.
    He never accepted invitations to join them for reunions, but Murdoch was not forgotten by the All Blacks.
    To this day, whenever they play in Cardiff, a delegation of players visits the Angel Hotel and raises a glass to the memory of the giant who never made it home.
    “Keith Murdoch: disgraced All Black who ‘went bush’ in Australia dies at 74.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/opinion/102743494/Former-All-Blacks-prop-Keith-Murdoch-was-a-boy-in-a-big-mans-body

    • How very sad, sometimes I think we all just want to go walkabout and not come back..

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      Cheers for the read Janet.

      Sad in some ways but some people do just like a life of solitude or being out of the way/limelight too.

      • I remember seeing him when heading to family holidays at Mission Beach. Ken the bushie is another FNQ legend.

      • bolstroodMEMBER

        I was a friend of Innessa Formenko’s son , Dan. I rented a room at her place in Surrey Hills in the late 1960’s,while Innessa was renovating it , Inessa was a beautiful, madcap, artistic woman, full of life and vivacity.
        She told me of her families flight from Russia and the effect on Michael, whom I never met.
        Thanks MB.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        My cousin befriended an odd mentally ill fellow who spent decades living in and around the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.

        Jacko,..10 or more years older than my cousin, had been his neighbour, when my cousin Greg was in his early teens.
        Greg and his other friends used to tease, Magic mushroom, brain addled Jacko, until he caught them and introduced them to Cannabis in the early 80s.
        The guy was a total stripper, and it was not possible to converse with him without thinking,…this guy is insane,…but it was a insane in a good kind of way,…he was friendly and harmless and enjoyed nothing more than making you laugh with his ridiculous stories. He could recite verbatim all the Captain Good vibes comic strips out of his vast collection of tracks “magazines” and Goidvibes pigalogs.
        Greg and his friends spent way to much time stoned on Jackos parents property, I side his home made hideout, made out of old wine bottles.

        He was kicked out of his Parents Valuable Rosville home after they died, and even though he held a sizable inheritance, decided to spend decades living out of his shitty Range rover and in the Caves of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
        He was hassled by Rangers often, but kept sleeping rough in the area for decades.
        He used to grow dope throughout the National park and my cousin scored of him for decades, with Jacko always informing him of his next camp location.
        My cousin was one of his only confidants,…sadly he spent well over 99.9% of his time totally alone.
        I haven’t thought of him for over a decade,…I must ask Greg what became of him.

  2. Hard to believe that Sydney vacancy rates are only 2.3%. The Domain app (using map view), shows thousands of apts for rent.. something I have not seen before!!

    • Michael Matsuik has a nice summary of ‘vacancy rates’.
      In the following, he shows how a rental vacancy rate of 2% is actually 8%
      It is a good yarn.
      http://matusik.com.au/matusik-missive-property-blog/vacancy-rates/?print=print

      In the dodgy world of RE stats vacancy rate is the worst.
      The other explanation is that they might be AirB&B places which are advertised so as to be ‘available for rent’ for the purposes of NG but never let long term.??? Could that be an explanation?

      • Happily “available to rent” is sufficient for CGT to be applied, regardless of whether anyone ever stays there. Even if you are renting out a tiny cabin, if the guests can wander ’round the property then CGT will apply to all of it. Something most airbnb hosts fail to grasp. ATO have access to airbnb books.

      • @2big2fail: I have seen that at least once with a comment I made on MB. But I was happy to have my point of view re transmitted, so don’t care about lack of attribution.

      • He adds the apartments coming up for rent (tenants not moved out) to his vacancy list yet doesn’t account for where they are going to. That makes an assumption that everyone who is moving out has bought an apartment to live in. A bit of dodgy maths.
        I have no knowledge or opinion on vacancy rates and $ rent

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        2B2F …….see that quite a lot ………words, phrases ,expressions and ideas that are posted here start to appear in the MSM …..used by the brain dead property ladder obsessed devoid of original thought “ reporters “ as their own .
        I would not be surprised if they wade through here looking for the nuggets that appear from time to time .
        The bigger picture arguments given exposure here and supported by solid data from the two main authors are also starting to seep into the consciousness ……and that can’t be a bad thing.

  3. https://www.facebook.com/ABCCOMEDY/videos/1654124857973927/?hc_ref=ARToiNAID27PRv9jxTz4DvpSD0fjQ0U7cewzqBV3un0vNMM6WrVtFxIwu6dKGsrnqvM&fref=gs&dti=1203836729736040&hc_location=group

    why are we funding the ABC again? i remember just watching cool kids cartoons when i got home after school in the late 90s/early 2000s on it like daria and hey arnold. now they are putting this sort of out and out brainwashing on it to kids. our media should be treated as the propaganda organ of a hostile occupying foreign power.

    • “Kevin likes to blame the world”

      Kevin has a brain and can see, in fact he can feel the world impacting him and his kids.

      These two girls however are privileged inner city highly paid elites. All they see are whinging bogans complaining about the vibrancy.

      Two different worlds. Two different views.

      I want to make it impact them. Defund the ABC. Compulsory aquire property and develop all the beautiful places left in inner Sydney and Melbourne. $350k ABC journalists pushing a big Australia. $1m Wilkinson and Stefanovic wages are as much the problem as anything else.

      • CharlieChaplin

        The increasing polarisation of debate I guess. If you don’t like an opinion treat it with contempt or patronise. Interesting that the ladies in that video above are really falling victim of their own critique. Perhaps understanding another person’s anger and frustration may be more helpful, rather than simply dismissing it and blaming people for blaming the world. We usually have a world view that places us in a place of special privilege morally. To have that challenge usually elicits rage.

        Interesting that they also use the plaintive “Its a kids tv program…” I’m guessing that they politicised that same kids program. Surely the same plaintive could be used against themselves?

      • Charlie.

        Yep. ABC were reviewed by left wing not to have left wing bias.

        In addition I’m guessing bias by omission wasn’t investigated.

        ABC is a disgrace and should be entirely defunded.

      • Charlie

        Most left thinkers have zero concept of reality. It’s not how their brains “work”.

        For example, a typical left “thinker” wants to help the world by bringing 400k migrants to Australia a year. Completely ignoring there are 90m extra humans on the planet every year.

    • The other thing I loved was the story about the Aussie hockey player breast feeding in the locker room. Her interview about it included the line “society has sexualised breasts”. She must be so farking stupid – probably unsuitable to be raising and educating a child.

    • Eff me…Thanks Stag. It has to go!!!! The whole kit and kaboodle of the ABS has to go! So damned corrupt.

      • The only reason LNP allow it is it works for them. They put a compliant Guthrie there. Pro population growth.

        ABC is a treasonous political machine killing our kids’ futures and absolutely needs to be wound up.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Thought the ABS version was more appro poe.

        And the ABC has done some derisable looney-tune brain farts, but they just put The New Adventures of Monkey on iView. That undoes a lot of cumulative damage. Decades worth probably.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      The ABC needs to be urgently privatised so that is can run more efficiently and be a little more pro business!

      • wish i as a white male had even 1/10th as much as they probably have

        -six figure salary
        -career on the abc
        -inner city house near ultimo
        -spent their whole life being given sh1t bc they are female so guys suck up to them

        i dont get the message are they saying that its harder for refugees to come to australia than white males or something?

      • The propaganda song, oops i mean the privileged song is just more ABC propaganda, they;re becoming more and more aggressive these days, as they impose their re-education programs on an impressionable audience, brainwashing them for the replacement population policy being foisted on the country.
        The ABC is the propaganda ministry of the elites

    • Agreed. ABC and SBS are massive extreme fake lefty propaganda machines and I’ve switched off. Even JJJ sh!ts me just listening to the news or Hack, the whole fn world is racist or homophobe.. get fd. Never used to be that bad but now I’d be more than happy if they cut their funding or shut em down. I don’t watch tv anyway.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      LOL.

      Plenty of Kevins on MB these days.

      Pretty sure Tom Ballard’s show – where that clip is from – isn’t aimed at kids.

  4. We have seen this movie before

    https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2018/03/26/is-the-housing-market-rolling-over

    Here are the enablers…giving people credit again who can’t afford it

    https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/the-increased-role-of-the-federal-home-loan-bank-system-in-funding-markets-part-2-20171018.htm

    And here is the mechanism…warehouse lines of credit to Dodgy Brothers Inc

    https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/5_kimetal.pdf

    Expect cash out refi’s to get popular again as the speculators sniff the wind

  5. St JacquesMEMBER

    Why do we persist with The Economist’s habit of putting Turkey under the Europe tag? Apart from its toehold in Europe and the strong European cultural influence, especially in Istanbul, one cannot call Turkey a European country either geographically or culturally.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      I must confess I put it under Europe because I divvied up all the links I had and realised had a good chunk of Asian ones and sweet FA European ones, and thought to myself ‘well a bit of Turkey is in Europe so I can put it under Europe’

      I should also point out I know more than a few Turks in Istanbul who dont need much prompting to remind that they live in Europe.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        Istanbul is neither geographically or culturally typical of Turkey. Before you know it, sloppy labelling leads to sloppy thinking and sloppy debates and just sloppiness all over the place. Gunna, Gunna, Gunna, what are we gunna do with you? No Easter bunny egg for you !

    • Turkey has been a long term competitor in the Eurovision contest (They haven’t been part of it since 2012) which should be a bona fide qualification to be part of Europe. . Then again, so has Australia more recently.

      But more seriously, since NATO Turkey has been an important flank to the alliance and that gave it a de facto place at the European table.

    • Europe is a meaningless term. It doesn’t exist culturally or geographically. Turkey and the Ottomans were formative to whatever it is we now think of Europe, going all the way back to the 15th century. The Turks are no less European than the Magyars, Finns or Albanians.

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        There is a clear longstanding convention of what “Europe” and “Asia” are geographically, especially concerning that area.. As for “European culture”, I’m using it as a synonym for Western culture, and the Finns and Hungarians are unmistakably culturally western. The Magyars, well, they no longer exist though Hungarians may claim descent as part of their nationalist mythology.

      • @ StJ
        As much as I’d agree on both comments on sloppiness and the later on classification of intercontinental topics, you need to up your ante on history of Europe… particularly on ethnonyms and xenonyms

      • St JacquesMEMBER

        My comments were meant as a mildly humorous rebuke. I was quite aware the Hungarians are called Magyars and their language is related to the Finnish,, but , they’ve been culturally westerners for centuries with some peculiar customs, clothes, cooking and brews of their own. I don’t give much credence to the national culture thing.

  6. Vacant shops in malls, franchises being ripped off and in turn ripping off foreign workers.

    These small businesses need to fund the SAP so that immigration is cut hard and demand that the rural growth boundaries be removed.

    Also, stop using plastic straws:

    http://www.harveststraws.com/

  7. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    Staggsie pointed out in the other easter thread, that,

    stagmal MEMBER
    April 1, 2018 at 1:52 pm
    i was born in goulburn

    Which compelled my reply,

    ErmingtonPlumbing MEMBER
    April 1, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    “Fellow wordsmith, Miles Franklin was born and brought up in the Goulburn area Staggsie,…She would definately have approved of your “life in Dubbo series”

    “She was committed to the development of a uniquely Australian form of literature, and she actively pursued this goal by supporting writers, literary journals, and writers’ organisations. She has had a long-lasting impact on Australian literary life through her endowment of a major annual prize for literature about “Australian Life in any of its phases”,[1] the Miles Franklin Award.”

    Like Patrick White, the first recipent of this award, for his novel Voss (1957),…I suspect that you to Staggsie, will one day join the ranks of those celebrated for articulating and documenting the Australian condition, in such a poetic manner.”

    To the MB comentariate,…I ask,…am I overstating Staggsie’s awesomeness,…or am I on the mark?

    • Overshot the mark…Voss was unreadable (been decades since I slogged through it so maybe I wasn’t smart enough at the time).
      On the other hand, Stago is an original.

      • It was definitely a struggle for me. Though I was really out of reading shape when I attempted it.

      • yeborskyMEMBER

        True, JohnR, in both respects.
        But the all the “original” comments on this forum, like most, will be forgotten after a short while. By tomorrow. I admire many commenters’ humour, style and enjoy the retelling of their life experiences. But it’s already in the past. Gone. How many of us trawl through last week’s posts, let alone last year’s? You’ll still probably be able to buy a copy of Voss in fifty years’ time or more; the pearls of wisdom on this site will be less than dust.

      • good and interesting point, Y.
        and just to bring it all home, I am currently slogging through Power Without Glory based on an ephemeral exchange of comments on this blog.
        Don’t want to make anything out of it, that’s just how it is.
        ps enjoying PWG.

    • A 25 word comment on a blog is one thing; then sustain it for 80,000 words (minimum) to sell commercial fiction.
      White is a peculiar case. His syntax is technically and stylistically as bad as it gets; perhaps worse than Dostoevsky. White refused his editor to touch anything in his manuscripts and hence his books, the later ones especially, are not good examples of prose style.

    • i dont think i deserve the title of poet. im just a guy who does mundane things and writes about it on the internet.

  8. The China Hustle on Netflix shows systemic financial fraud in Chinese companies… That’s where a lot of that wealth is coming from and finding a way into Australian Real Estate no doubt.

    • Watched it last night. Best part – in China, it’s not illegal to defraud foreign investors. Rhetorical query – if a Chinese based national defrauds an Aussie bank by outright lying on a loan application, what’s the penalty in China? What happens if a million of them do it? Is this another part of Australian subprime lending which caused the now popping bubble?

      • TailorTrashMEMBER

        Have asked this question a few times . How many skyboxes ( those great “ export products “ ) have been funded by local banks and are sitting on their books .
        If prices go south can the local banks be left holding these great sources of export wealth for Straya ?
        Could we be in a position where the local punters find their deposits forcibly converted into holdings of said repossessed skyboxes( via shares in sh1t banks )…..could we really be that stupid …..or is such a though just silly ?

    • Watched it last night too. Was pretty much a whinge about how the yanks are being ripped of and they can’t do anything about it. Boo Hoo. I fail to have sympathy for the most part. The whole financial system is a giant con full of liars and thieves.

    • GunnamattaMEMBER

      It is actually everywhere.

      It is in fact ‘managerialism’ and the logical end point of a generations worth of MBA worship. What we are seeing now with cricket is exactly what you get in any organisation of more than maybe a dozen people. Utter psychopaths masturbating about ‘brands’ & ‘values’ and ‘their process’ – in which everyone has to ‘buy in’ and have ‘belief’. All invariably desperate to do anything which gets a ‘result’ and leading to psychopaths in leadership positions, cocooned by psychopaths as consultants, sitting on psychopaths in management, weeding out anyone who isnt the right ‘brand’

      It isnt just cricket, it isnt just corporates. It is whole societies (and not just Australia – as the subaltern par excellence, we simply suck it up from elsewhere) who have simply lost track of any ability to recognise right from wrong, any ability to question themselves, and any ability to think about, incorporate or respect any notion of a ‘greater good’

      Everything has become a tool for the psychopaths this corporate belief system vomits into prominence, coating everything it touches with fraudulence, glibness and speciousness. And its overriding mantra is to drown out discontent – never to address it, except from a position of power

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        I love ya work Gunna,…but I’m going to sleep depressed now, thanks to your accurate little lament.

      • Jesus, that’s a good analysis really..makes me want to pick up this book. I saw it in someone’s toilet when I visited their house and read the blurb. Never did quite ready the whole thing however.

        Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? https://g.co/kgs/UAL1hG

      • Absolutely. Psychopaths appointing psychopaths. They are everywhere; sit on the boards of not for profits, government bodies, culture and the arts. Should be cap on the number of board members with business management backgrounds (psychopaths). Then the psychopaths in management wouldn’t stand a chance. Cricket Australia is a great example as West says. The board is appointed by self appointed presumably corporate consultants who surprise surprise recommend a bunch of corporate figures. The members don’t get a look in. Apart from Tubby Taylor and Kasprowicz its a bunch of business figures who define success as revenue growth which is probably incompatible with a decent cricket culture let’s face it.

      • imo there has to also be a link between the new formats of cricket (eg. big bash, IPL) and the win at all costs approach which leads to cheating.
        The new formats put more emphasis on the result, and bring into the game the tribal idiots who would never care about the game except to see there team win between AFL/NRL seasons.

      • @Gav, After you’ve read that you might want to salve it with what everyone else’s read – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k.

      • Failed Baby BoomerMEMBER

        Gunna,
        Excellent summary comment. Somehow you manage to encapsulate a huge vague cultural shift in a few sentences.
        Well done!

      • Know IdeaMEMBER

        That is a good summary of my conclusions after an interview with a deputy principal of a private north shore high school my daughter attends. Just don’t ask why I was having the interview. Just don’t.

      • You’re link to Bill Mitchell is absolute necessary reading. I shared it to a very eclectic group with very positive response

    • Australia monetises everything, and there is no room for us not to pay for all aspects of it. I think this is part of the problem and CA are a bunch of thugs IMO. They couldn’t care less about the players or spectators…just cogs in the system that generate the funds for them to exploit, and win at all costs. Sport and cricket now in the focus is why I don’t go anymore except cycling where for the moment in most cases you can just turn up, but how long before that is ticketed. Like Essendon AFL for me, cricket is on my sh1t list and I won’t go or even look at it.

      • Mining BoganMEMBER

        The interesting victim of money-cricket is the Sheffield Shield. Everyone still accepts that it is the most important competition in relation to producing players but it’s not a money maker. The powers that be know that the bods who toddle off to a shield game aren’t spending big. They’re going to watch strong competition. Might grab a beer or two but it’s about watching some of the best. Money is why the shield gets punted out of the way for the T20 and one dayers. Quick profits in those two.

        I was talking to someone who knows the high-ups and when asked why the shield wasn’t promoted more the answer came that the types who like to watch the shield like to watch it online. WTF? Maybe because they’re forced to. Maybe because the stars rarely have a run. Maybe it’s bullsh!t. Maybe it’s because the money-cricket mob make more out of a app subscription than a beer and a pie. Maybe I’d spend more if the prices weren’t so stupid.

        I do know that the shield isn’t promoted or supported. I regularly wander in to watch a session and there will be more people inside than outside the fence. You can hear dogs barking in the distance. I think it’s sad.

      • rj2k000MEMBER

        They’re the same c*nts that say the “market” demands smaller house blocks.
        The same c*nts that forced blocks to quintuple in $/m^2.

      • @MB yeah. Sheffield Shield should be the crown jewels for our national team, but it’s really shocking how’s it’s promoted. IMO, It’ll die unless they take care of it…like if you don’t water a seedling..it’ll die.

        @rj …yep well spotted, it’s the same disgusting lot.

  9. Silly thought of the day.

    Imagine holding the patent for tomato sauce. Every BBQ would a drop in your river of gold.

    • Glad to see that you start thinking with clarity.

      Guess what, that is what Heinz, and by extension, Berkshire Hathaway does.

    • I think there are certain things you cannot patent. And patent protection only lasts a period of time (that is not THAT long in the scheme of things).
      Though a trade secret protection is different. I think Coca Cola used that one instead

    • We have enough corrupt locals without letting in foreigners who are just as bad if not worse after seeing how it’s done here. 😁

      • Australian corruption needs more vibrancy! The immigrants are willing to stoop to levels locals aren’t willing to consider!

      • @ Gavin

        Are you saying that immigrants are better at doing “the job” of previous immigrants descendants?
        😉

    • This happens all the time…I am at the chemist here in Brisbane twice a week for my wife and every time I am there they are buying the milk powder. Those doing it mostly have very expensive cars. Why aren’t the makers exporting their product direct to China and charging three times as much there ? There is no export limits on it that I am aware of..

      • What I am told is that Chinese do not trust the product if it is marketed and exported by them. They only trust these formula powders that available in Aussie shops for Aussie people.

        Then of course overwhelming the demand so that Aussies can’t buy due to exhorbitant costs or simply it is no longer available.

      • That’s what you want, indeed – that place’s more vibrant than a d!ldo in an airport trash can!

    • Perfect quote from Dept of Agriculture: “we are aware of community concerns”. Not aware of any problem mind you, how could they be? But aware of concerns, yep, got it covered.

  10. CharlieChaplin

    Stagmal. Did you drink the can, or does it still sit int the fridge alone with the light off?

  11. Solving the affordable housing problem has wider benefits … SMH

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/solving-the-affordable-housing-problem-has-wider-benefits-20180330-p4z72z.html

    Philip Curtis is the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Victoria.

    … concluding …

    … We believe in the empowerment that comes from home ownership which, over time, helps to generate improved outcomes in education, employment, health and lifestyle – for children and parents. We see families and individuals become less reliant on government services and the supportive services provided by other agencies, and become more independent and more engaged with their community.

    There is sufficient evidence available to support the proposition that if the housing problem is addressed and access to affordable safe and secure housing is improved, many of the other challenges faced by low-income, disadvantaged and vulnerable groups on the margins of our society can be reduced over time, often using their own skills and resources.

    Our belief at Habitat for Humanity in a “hand up, not a handout” philosophy is aimed at helping to break the poverty cycle. At present it is arguable that too few are receiving an effective hand up as we fail to effectively address the housing needs of those on lower incomes. The recent research reinforces the need for some real change to occur. … read more via hyperlink above …

  12. cuturhairMEMBER

    Chiang Mai in northern Thailand is suffering through its yearly smog due to farmers burning off the remains of last seasons crops. Local students organise a protest to complain about air pollution, which is worse than Delhi and Mumbai. Students share a cartoon as part of awareness raising. Local governor uses monarchy protection laws to shut up protest to ‘protect image of Chiang Mai ‘, does nothing about pollution.
    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/thai-magazine-sued-for-blasphemous-painting-of-ancient-kings

      • cuturhairMEMBER

        It’s mainly the stalks left over from rice harvests, maybe corn too. There is some illegal land clearing thrown in for good measure

  13. “Australians warned to reconsider travel to Russia amid diplomatic row”

    Apropos of what? What anti-Western incidents have prompted this warning? How many Australians or even just westerners have been attacked?

    Or is this just another bullsheet attempt to impose soft sanctions on Russia, in this case tourism?

    • Mate, you are a deadset goose. You do realise how risk assessments work, right? You do realise that our consular and walloper bods in Moscow are there to give guidance on what may happen as much as what has happened. MB has its own source of intel in St Petersburg right now (name?? – I think it is Paddy (?)) and we also have our resident Rusky expert, Gunna, so maybe they would like to comment. My own understanding is that even at the best of times some of the young Russians do enjoy a drink or two and they do enjoy the occsasional headstomp. Add to that the adrenaline, testosterone and jingoistic passion of a soccer world cup and you’d have to be a moron not to expect increased risk. DFAT is simply stating the obvious (in part to cover their butts – its a beware the coffee is hot statement).

      I was always told never to flaunt where you are from and always walk away from crowds but at a soccer tournament you are there to do both. Anyway champ there might be a couple of teenage girls there taunting passersby so you should give the place a wide berth.

      • Stable Genius

        I have a close relative living in Moscow and he reports that he has never felt safer in any place, and much safer than he felt walking the streets in Australia. That’s the facts. There are no incidents that would justify a heavy handed travel warning… none.

        Try thinking independently for once.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        The guy in St Petersburg is Paddy Finucane, who is not only related to me, and a man with whom I have shared a few binges and eyeballed some pretty fair talent on the streets of Russia, but works in a similar field to that I did while in Moscba. He’s as Irish as Murphy’s pigs but was actually born in Camperdown and believes he will return to Australia some day (which is partly why he tunes into MB)..

        I traipsed the streets of Moscow for 10 years and was never once hassled in all that time, and was a man prone to walking home after a drinking binge, which I did often. It is in my opinion an often surprisingly safe city, but I would note that i tended to walk around the inner burbs (it is the outer burbs which are noted as being more dangerous), I speak the local lingo, and, particularly when in coat and hat, I am both large and look slavic enough to pass as a local. I made a point of not advertising my nationality, and not talking loudly in Angliskii such that it may attract attention.

        My experience is that most Moscow locals will tell anyone to be a touch careful going to football games there (where there can be issues not dissimilar to the hooliganism English football has had in the past) and one of my life footballing experiences was of going to a CSKA versus Dinamo game where the incoming crowd was greeted by heavily armed soldiers and police, who hung around to make sure everyone departing the stadium was very well behaved indeed.

        My experience is/was that Australians tend to get a pretty good reception in Russia – sometimes precisely because they are not Americans or Brits – and for the most part the average Russian knows as little about Australia as most Australians know about Russia (we know about their bears and the Kremlin, and they know about our sharks and the opera house).

        There may be a tad extra angst about foreigners in Russia at the moment, but I would doubt it poses a threat – particularly to most Australians [mostly on guided tours or doing the trans Siberian] . My guess would be that for the world cup there will be some foreign skinheads who will bump into the Russian counterparts and enjoy some biffo, but normal everyday people are likely to have not the slightest problem in the world. I would also imagine that every last militsia in Moscow will be told to make sure they are real nice and friendly to anyone looking foreign who looks like they need help.

        I was always told never to flaunt where you are from and always walk away from crowds

        ….and those words are amongst the best words of advice for anyone in a foreign land you will come across anywhere.

    • This reminds me of the meaningless BOM hail storm warnings. Go back 20 years or so and BOM were very specific with their hail storm warnings. Everyone heeded them. There was one storm which took a different path to BOM’s modelling and caused a lot of unexpected damage in Sydney. The media went nuts and every storm warning since then has the standard disclaimer which everyone has learnt to ignore.

      • That was one helluva blowout storm to be in. Some thought it was the end of the world. The sky was almost emerald green, golf ball to apple size hail 8″ deep, clowns trying to drive in it – Nothing was safe, but I doubt overall damage could’ve been reduced much with a warning, it evolved pretty quickly.

  14. Gittins penned a fairly silly article today on the Good Samaritan parable. It’s clear he is dealing with an inner intellectual turmoil having bought into neoliberalism for the past 35yrs.
    Claims that the Good Samaritan could equally have been a Thatcherite neoliberal. Completely wrong. A Thatcherite would say the man on the side of the road should stop whining re-skill and become an entrepeneurial disruptive innovator.

    • I put this to Gitto then: if the man reskills as mugger and disrupts innovatively wallets from their owners, is that still counting as ‘ok’?

    • Gittins is quite fair and accurate on Thatcher and the parable of the Samaritan. Thatcher’s Methodism, and her father’s own religious convictions, let alone her faith and use of von Hayek, whom Nigel Lawson said she referred to as a sort of scripture, ( she didn’t read it critically) extolled individual action. It was an article of religious and political faith to her.

  15. Gotta hand it those up thread talking about defunding the ABC et al. It was monetized after years of conservative moaning about not being a for profit enterprise and skewing the MSM market place, whilst being beholden to ridged ideological positions e.g. not pro “free” markets and anti war.

    Epic own goal.

    So rather than reform it the plan is to remove that last vestige of some public good – awesome idea, its worked so well so far’.

  16. As a reference to the above since some are currently feeling the neoliberal after glow WRT so many aspects of life.

    Neoliberalism corrupts the core of societal values.

    Nations more often and not claim to identify with a value system that is intended to bind the citizens together. It is a fine line between this and nationalism. The US for example, claims to be the land of the free, although that is a patently ridiculous thing to hold out given the nature of its society. Australia has long traded on the claim that it elevates sportspersonship, fairness, honesty above all else. In a sports’ obsessed nation, we hold ourselves out to be ‘fair but tough’. We play very hard – competitively – but honour sporting traditions. At times, this claim is at the sanctimonious extremes and we regularly criticise other sporting nations for what we perceive to be rule breaking – even rule stretching doesn’t escape our ‘holier than thou’ media and commentators. That myth has now been exposed. In fact, our most elevated national team – the Australian cricket team – has demonstrated that it stoops to deliberately conceived cheating (not spur of the moment) in order to win. And now these revelations are obvious, the national scandal that has followed, reveals how out of touch we have become with what has happened to our Society in this neoliberal era.

    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=38978

    I think the concept of ‘trickle down’ should be reevaluated from the purview of money to the dominate narrative about the self and its place in a Society, money is ultimately a construct after the fact. Hence how Society is shaped will dictate how things like money function.

  17. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Had lunch today with some real estate bulls of the more refined “equity maaate “ variety ……..for the first time in years the conversation never veered to that subject and when I tried to steer it in that direction there was just the teensiest hint of uncomfortableness………could it be that this might one day become a subject not mentioned in polite society ?

  18. Was just having glass of water while wife watched some quiz show on Ch7 when the commercials started and there was a highlight about affordable apartments coming on the news. Long story short I watched the CH7 news until they ran the story. Could not stop laughing the way MSM explains price drops – we will show you where apartment prices will be more affordable.
    It appears people struggle to sell their shite these days but it will require another 4% price drops from where we are right now for bulk of the sellers to start accepting the fact that they will not make money if they bought in the last 18 months.