Weekend Reading: 26-27 September 2020

Global Macro / Markets / Investing:

Americas:

Europe:

Asia:

Trans-Tasman:

 

Leith van Onselen
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  1. UNITED STATES …

    Are the massive and accelerating decentralization and dispersal trends adequately understood ? … consider recently updated http://www.PerformanceUrbanPlanning.org

    The Shift from City Centers to Suburbs: New House Sales Soar for 3rd Month, 46% YoY, to Highest Since 2007 … Wolf Street

    https://wolfstreet.com/2020/09/24/more-evidence-of-the-big-shift-from-city-centers-to-suburbs-new-house-sales-soar-for-3rd-month-46-yoy-to-highest-since-2007/

    But the median price declined. Households paying for office space to work from home? …

    … Median price declines, remains in same range since 2016.

    The median price of new houses sold in August fell 4.3% year-over-year to $312,000, and has been in the same range roughly for the past four years. The twelve-month moving average (red line), which irons out the month-to-month fluctuations, at $324,000, also shows that the median price has gone nowhere over the past few years:

    (graph)

    The median price is influenced by the mix of houses sold. A declining median price doesn’t necessarily mean that homebuilders are cutting prices – though it could mean that too. Builders could just be targeting lower price points to meet consumer demand, or sales could have shifted to cheaper locations (more distant suburbs or lower-cost states).

    The big shift. … read more via hyperlink above …
    .
    .
    The $88 Trillion World Economy In One Chart … Visual Capitalist / Zerohedge

    https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/88-trillion-world-economy-one-chart

    • There’s no point even mentioning falls in house prices in Australia anymore.

      To put it in perspective, with loan interest rates around 2.5%, interest only repayments on a $1,000,000 loan are $25,000 p.a. or $2,083 per month. Peanuts.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        Yeah. But are you willing to bet those metics hold for 30 years? $1M @ 2% is one thing. $1M @7% is not so much fun – keep in mind your calcs are IO and you still owe $1M bucks.

        Of course anyone who does this approach is dependent on property prices constantly rising, if they do not (or even just stay flat) it doesn’t work.

      • Genuine q. I’ve only ever known low rates. The banks seem able to keep them low forever. Their only purpose being high is to slow the economy and that’s not needed anymore here. So what would push them high? I know bcnich says they will go up but I don’t buy the derivatives will implode thing as a cause. Thx for thoughts

        • Risk. Rising inequality eventually leads to civil unrest. The Elites hate money being handed out to the plebs, and eventually their greed kills the host. Central bank QE creates asset price inflation rather than wage inflations, worsening the inequality.

        • I would say that rates will increase when capital is in short supply.
          At the moment there are no real liquidity issues however there is one big reason why liquidity could be soon tightening, it’s called China.
          Lets assume that China continues to militarize and the US continues to move towards Isolationism well Japan will have no option but to double down on its military spending and that’s likely to completely collapse the carry-trade.
          Now if the US achieves a significant amount of China decoupling then China also won’t be exporting capital.
          Germany is also unlikely to be able to support the worlds desire for capital so the well might just run dry.
          This doesn’t mean that the RBA can’t go it alone but history suggests that they’ll welcome the liquidity shortage and allow the value of capital to creep up which means higher interest rates.
          Now if India and China escalate their little border spat then all bets are off and the world will respond by pricing in the risk.

          • Great thinking. You basically say a return to the old days. And that’s when higher rates were the normal. Makes good sense. Thx

          • Yanks don’t get irony either. Worked with a whole bunch of foreigners we and had and American boss Was staring out the window at the wet, windy weather and the American said “what you upta?” “It’s a beautiful day, might go for a walk.” The South Africans, Poms and Kiwi’s had a laugh, the American was perplexed and said “No it’s not, it’s horrible outdoors.” “I know” I said. “So why do you want to go for a walk?” Said the American. Everyone by this stage was having a great laugh at her expense “I was being ironic” I said. At that point we had to explain what irony is and how to use it. She tried but just never got the hang of it unlike those of us who grew up on British comedy.

        • MB (and urban dictionary) continues to be a learning experience for me … my only question is, but why?

          • darklydrawlMEMBER

            Why?! haha, Great question. No idea. “Soggy Biscuit” seems to be a boys boarding school sort of thing. I first heard about it years ago from a private school type. Probably imported from Ol’ Blighty I suspect. No idea. Although I believe that (and “hid the poo” were common and popular at certain establishments).

          • Navy boys told me they played those games out of boredom when at sea…. Early 80’s. dunno where they got it from.

          • Mate who was in the army said they use to grab another recruits sock, slip it over the todger and away you go leaving a nasty little surprise. Said sequence of the puzzled look when said sock went on foot, surprise when they investigated contents of said sock then rage was priceless.

      • We forget the truth – How about the virtue signalling that is the Archibald prize this year?
        $100,000 for a rubbish painting?

        How about Dan’s virtue signalling of employing “Australia’s largest indigenous owned security company” to run hotel quarantine?
        800 Victorians dead

        • I am struggling to see what the problem is. Firstly, is it not a prerequisite to win the Archibald Prize to submit a rubbish painting? Second, getting upset when 800 Victorians die would have you upset quite regularly.

          Am I missing something? I mean, other than a soul.

        • Display NameMEMBER

          The reward for effort. I prefer paintings with good interpretation AND good technical execution.

        • Wrong question. Instead of asking why they contracted an “indigenous owned” security firm if you were fair dinkum you would have asked why did they contract a badly run security firm. The Feds also have a program encouraging the use of indigenous owned businesses but nowhere in the specs does it say that it is a free ticket for incompetent operators.

          • darklydrawlMEMBER

            Excellent distinction Triage. Too many people get this messed up (or tangled up in PC politics) and overlook the ‘competency’ part of the equation. I don’t care if the winning tender is run by bisexual blue coloured sentient hams – so long as they can do the job well, within budget and without screwing up the ethics and legals.

          • i reckon Claud is intimating the same point, that of the due diligence bar being dropped or not even observed at all because the firm had indigenous connections. The point seems justified to me given the negative outcomes and the standard of the other two firms who looked to have played no part in this ballllss up (pls correct me if I’m wrong on that). As is the case with much progressive policy it should be about removing any barriers, that is equality of opportunity, rather than diluting standards to fill quotas.

          • Anyone contracting ATSI company should expect it to be a total circus, a complete fvckup is assured.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        The Truth?!?! The truth is it is just Africans being African – go to any country they’re found and the exact same pattern of problems appear. Hell that 4Corners episode could be dubbed in Swedish, French, German, Portuguese or Italian and the locals would be nodding sagely saying how relevant it is, Africans produce cookie cutter societies of dysfunction and violence.

        The ABC and progressive white women like DrSmithy spend their whole time scratching their head and asking what are we doing wrong? Why are there these problems? The answer is simple, but one they never want to hear – it is just Africans being African.

        • I want to disagree with you about this, but sadly (and it is sad), I cannot. I left Africa decades ago because of many personal experiences with the native Africans that made me skeptical that they would ever attain a western way of life.

          On the other hand, the Earth would be in a far better condition if the technological Caucasian people did not exist! Africa is still the least despoiled continent, and the damage that does exist was largely perpetrated by non-Africans.

          • Yes, it is a conundrum. Mind you, I am not sure Africans are seeking to attain a Western way of life. (Which may be problematic if they choose to live in a Western country). Perhaps they simply wish to attain some of the trappings of a Western life. It reminds me a little of the issue with the CCP. So far as I can tell, it exhibits no desire to attain a Westerner’s way of life for the Chinese, but to sustain a Chinese way of life with the odd Western comfort and apparatus of war thrown in. This is where the last 20 years of US corporate leadership went terribly wrong. You know: invest in China and the CCP will then play by the Westerner rules. Yeah right. As if a little investment is enough to overcome thousands of years of culture. That amounts to some serious shorttermism on behalf if the US elite, even by its own standards.

            Without wishing to open Pandora’s Box, I get the overall impression that Western exceptionalism (as best exemplified by the US approach) is that “we have the best culture and social systems and we will therefore work to impose those upon others” (primarily to make money). Whereas the CCP (or China) exceptionalism, takes more of the form of “we have the best culture and social systems, but they are reserved only for the Chinese, as others do not qualify”. Both approaches are condescending but, hey, superpowers, more or less, can play by their own rules.

            In Australia, which does not enjoy superpower status, we do not get to project to the same extent our own unique exceptionalism. That may be a good thing, even in relative terms.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Empathy issues, he’d do it all again.
            https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/1309331661574664192

            This is how he even came near to being near an animal, “Progressive” Chicago mayor Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot appointed him:

            Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is taking a rather unconventional approach to encourage residents to fill out the 2020 Census — employing a mascot dubbed the “census cowboy.”

            https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/lightfoot-recruits-census-cowboy-to-help-raise-chicagos-response-rate/2304245/

            He road galloped it into the bitumen to the point that it had to be destroyed, in order make a point about ‘social justice’ supposedly in support of the #KidsLivesMatter movement.

            When interviewed on it, he said he’d “Do it all again”.

          • Nothing to do with ‘social justice’. It’s about money. Lots of money. They were getting get than 55% response rate, which means they will only get half the money they’re entitled to.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Culture also matters

            Shame cultures and Guilt cultures both teach people how they ought to behave, but they have very different approaches to wrongdoing. In shame cultures what matters is what other people think of you: the embarrassment, the ignominy, the loss of face. Whereas in guilt cultures it’s what the inner voice of conscience tells you. In shame cultures we’re actors playing our part on the public stage. In guilt cultures we’re engaged in inner conversation with the better angels of our nature.

            The biggest difference is that in shame cultures, if we’re caught doing wrong, there’s a stain on our character that only time can erase. But guilt cultures make a sharp distinction between the doer and the deed, the sinner and the sin. That’s why guilt cultures focus on atonement and repentance, apology and forgiveness. The act was wrong, but on our character there’s no indelible stain.

            In shame cultures, if you’ve done wrong, the first rule is, don’t be found out. If you are, then bluff your way through. Only admit when every other alternative has failed, because you’ll be disgraced for a very long time indeed.

            Shame has a place in any moral system, but when it dominates all else, when all we have is trial by public exposure, then the more reluctant people will be to be honest, and the more suspicious we’ll become of people in public life, not just in medicine but in politics, the media, financial institutions, corporations, and let’s be honest, in religious organisations too.

            https://rabbisacks.org/difference-shame-guilt-cultures-thought-day/

            And the distribution and intensity of guilt and shame based societies and the relative importance of shame/guilt as a motivational force.

            http://honorshame.com/map/

            Interesting how the “Cowboy” was puzzelled why the attention was on the horse rather than his social justice cause, steadfastly refused to admit any wrong doing other than riding the horse a little too far, then started defending himself that accusations of animal abuse were “just a way to make the situation seem worse than it is because I am a Black brother”. That would be an example of the bluffing, don’t admit part of shame culture behaviour.

            On the other hand going back to the original link that started this thread, bringing shame on the family and community, etc was the motivation not to do bad, rather than the intrinsic doing of a bad deed itself. Which would be a good example of the motivational aspects of a shame culture.

            So again culture matters.

        • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

          If only they could channel their violence and aggression into conquest and colonialism like us folks they could control the world like us too!

        • I think you are not wrong, however I think its the tribal aspect and applies where tribes operate. Think Saddam and Tito and even Ataturk keeping a lid on it.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Tribalism or ‘clans’ are definitely a factor and influence on their societies. Interestingly in the West the Catholic Church played a big role in the middle ages in breaking up the clan as a force of influence in their societies and effectively initiated the movement towards a nuclear family, or extended nuclear family including aunts and uncles and cousins, but not second or third cousins as tracked and monitored in more clannish societies.

  2. played Mafia: Definitive Edition. got refund.
    How come these gonks can’t program better than the last gen guys from ‘2000??
    both driving physics and gunplay simulation / overall gameplay, very regressed.
    *some caarnts outhere chanting sh|t real loud…
    edit: faark now they’re singing wonderwall.
    gotta move closer to the beach in Burleigh.

  3. To put covid death rates in perspective.

    Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States, including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure. This is about one in five deaths annually, or 1,300 deaths every day.

    Ban smoking!

    • Still don’t know of anyone who’s died of this coronavirus thingy. And I even live in Europe and travel regularly to different cities and meet many people.

      It’s like one of those things that, yeah, people probably die but the likelihood in day to day life is so low that realistically hardly anyone is going to know anyone that dies from it. Someone’s colleague’s friend’s relative might have had it here or there and recovered.

      But, yeah, doomsday headlines, government heroes, fear profiteering and all that…

      And… also gives people with no meaning in their lives something to get some excitement from. Sadly.

      Hi Revert2mean, hope your doing ok, mate 👍🏼

      • Thanks for that. Whilst you’re so generously donating your time, please discuss other important issues should we manage using solutions based purely on your life experience?

        • Remember when scientists, even government scientists used to say smoking wasn’t bad for you and didn’t cause cancer? It was the weight of people’s personal experiences that tipped the scales towards the truth.

        • He sounds to me like someone with no meaning in his life. I think he is just looking for an argument to get some excitement from.

      • The Penske FileMEMBER

        I’m with you Les. I live in the hot spot of Melbourne and actually know two people who know someone who had it. They recovered as it was just the flu. Of course every year I know someone who knows someone who has the flu. Still, I may get a 5% cheaper house around Christmas.

        • My sis in-law works in the NHS in the uk. she got it and gave it to the family. It was a bad flu for 2 weeks and it’s done. They say only health workers and geriatrics are the only people who’ve had it they know. So there you are

      • 1.5 million people died of TB last year.
        Did I miss the imposition of curfews, mandatory masks, lockdowns, travel bans , and the risk of being beaten and arrested by what used to be the police if you dare to leave your home to flatten the curve for that?

        • They literally forced everyone to have X-rays in order to detect and eliminate TB in Australia back in the day. And don’t forget military conscription as recently as the Vietnam war.
          This is to stop 50-200 thousand people from dying in this country. 0.2% of New York and New Jersey’s population died in a couple of months. Do the math.

          • I assume your figures are based on the totally discredited imperial modelling as opposed to the real world?

      • As an addendum to my previous comment I do in fact know of two people who’ve had corona virus. One was Prince Charles and the other was a relative of a friend of a friend. Fortunately they both recovered with no ill effects as I understand it. Still, it does reinforce the need for a police state.

        • Hang on … you know Prince Chucky? But you don’t know Tom Hanks or Boris or Pink? Mate, you obviously have a very limited social circle. You need to get out more. See if reusa will invite you to one of his celebrity relations parties.

      • Still don’t know of anyone who’s died of this Malaria thingy. And I even live in Asia and travel regularly to different cities and meet many people.

        It’s like one of those things that, yeah, people probably die but the likelihood in day to day life is so low that realistically hardly anyone is going to know anyone that dies from it. Someone’s colleague’s friend’s relative might have had it here or there and recovered.

        But, yeah, doomsday headlines, government heroes, fear profiteering and all that…

        Please add your own illness and location, it’s fun! The only rule of the game is that you can’t know anyone personally who’s died from it. Feel free to make up your location.

      • A friend of mine, his father in law just died of it. He’s in Europe. Had a bad cough to start and was dead within a week. Just like that.

          • Good morning R2m pleased to see you’ve mustered the courage to get up this morning.
            PS I also appreciate the fact that anyone who disagrees with you is a troll.
            Would I be justified in calling you a troll when you constantly post pro lockdown nonsense?

        • Absolutely justifies stopping the world. Totally agree, lucky it wasn’t a car accident or all motor vehicles would be locked down.

          • Aus fatality rate from motor vehicle accidents is 40 per million per year.
            New York covid fatality rate is 1700 per million and counting.

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            That’s why seatbelts, crumple zones, air bags, lane keeping, auto unlocking doors, etc, etc were invented. Your logic isn’t doing you any favours TW.

          • Hello Arthur, hadn’t noticed you’d put your head above the parapet to try and explain/justify how perfectly rational things like seat belts are actually the same thing as military law, curfews beatings etc etc. to curtail a flu.
            I think a little more detail is required for that one.

          • @robert
            AS NY transferred Covid patients to nursing homes what death rate did you anticipate?
            A bit like putting a toddler in a tank and letting him drive it down a busy street
            Compare like with like before you make an attempt at a cogent argument.

      • Well gosh darn and dogawn it. You could be right. I live in a country where they closed the borders just in time. I have relatives in Queensland where they closed the State border and chased down the few cases with tracing – and you know, no-one I know died at all. Sure some did – but none I know. I also have relatives in NSW where they closed the border to VIC, and did serious contact tracing and isolation, and once again, you’re right. No one I know died. Oh sure, some did, but not anyone I know. Even in VIC where they peaked at just over 700 a day before they got it under control – just – I don’t know anyone that died. Amazing! And in Europe where they insist on masks and do border closures and shut-downs whenever the hospitals become overloaded, well you don’t know anyone that died either. Makes you think. Although I’m not sure exactly what it is that it makes you think.

        Perhaps we should lift social distancing, masks, border restrictions until someone you know dies or the death toll becomes noticeable again. It’s an interesting way to measure the success of a plan. If there aren’t enough deaths, then it proves precautions are not necessary rather than precautions are effective.

        • Border closed in WA. Life is normal. Pre COVID normal. I don’t know anyone who has died from it so we should open the borders and let it rip so we can wear masks and shut down when a few locals die. If they are old, I think we can keep the borders open. When can I get back to Bali and have domestic tourism demand shrink. It’s unfair and unreasonable. can we have foreign students too. That’s unfair they prefer Sydney and Melbourne.

  4. *Breaking News*
    In early morning raids, thousands of Renters were abruptly awakened from their Saturday slumber by Australian Border Force officials. The non-home owners were then forcibly escorted to Auctions on the threat of being deported from Australia.

    In a coordinated move, A Phalanx of mobile lenders were dispatched to ensure that the correct levels of debt are obtained.

    QANTAS CEO ,Alan Joyce confirmed that all 12
    A-380 Aircraft had been re-activated from storage and are on standby to relocate any wavering FHBers.

    Craig Kelly’s popular Facebook page has been inundated with positive comments from investment property owners who applauded the Government for instilling consumer confidence..

    Developing story .More to come.

  5. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Governments job is to protect us from banks and other predators. Not enable them to destroy our kids futures.

    The time for revolution is here. Right now.

    • Perhaps the real reason for the draconian police state response to the flu virus is to prevent exactly this.

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        I suspect this. Not entirely, but it has crossed my mind.

        Giving MSM, Google and Facebook algorithms is another. It’ll stop any effort to vote LNP and Labor out.

      • I was pulled over in a remote area a couple of days ago by a cop for attempting to steal electricity to boost my EV battery enough to get me home from a ‘For Sale’ property I’d put in an offer for, and knew the agent.of (didn’t manage it as the external powerpoint to the shed didn’t charge).

        Said cop accused me repeatedly, and threatened to charge me with theft in a 10 minute long harangue, without asking for an explanation of why I’d attempted theft of .50c – $1.00 of electricity (i.e no EV charge points within 100 klms, late in the afternoon, isolated spot, friend who’s place I usually charge at, not home……so was stuck)

        Might have just been a bad cop, but the aggression was palpable and concerning.

        Edit: I was friendly, cooperative, provided license, address, breath test willingly…..

        • If he’d found you asleep you’d have been tasered like that poor league lad. Cops/taxpayers now forking out for his legal fees. Did you see it? He’s lying on the ground and the dumb cop is saying “stop it” and tasering him. All on his bodycam. How arrogant can you get?

        • I mean you were breaking the law

          Like the rugby player sleeping under a tree
          Or the Covid protestors
          Or the old grannies sitting on a park bench

          This is what you get when you cheer on fascism

          Eventually, they will come for you too

          • They aren’t the Stasi and it isn’t East Germany so any concerns are misplaced. Just carry on with police whose actions had the magistrate saying the league player would have been better off taking his chances in the traffic as at least he could have reacted.

          • Olaf. I have to say of all the fools on this site you are in the top 3. Read some history and learn more before embarrassing yourself further

        • Might have just been a bad cop, but the aggression was palpable and concerning.

          Likely just one of the 90% of cops who give the rest a bad name.

    • Sadly our Gubmint is so lacking in collective intellect they know only one strategy to get the economy growing.

  6. Totes BeWokeMEMBER

    Labor going to roll over and give us Josh’s loose lending?

    After all, every politician loves rising house prices and post politics bank board seats.

    The sooner everyone works out both LNP and Labor are the enemy, the sooner we can coordinate a way out of this mess.

    • It would be irresponsible to enforce responsible lending at this time. Given the situation with the economy after Covid-19. We need growth and we do that through credit…

      See it’s easy to justify such things. Now go out and buy a jet ski or something. Even if you never use it. You can say you have 1 and that’s good enough!

    • Start an anti corruption and direct democracy party!
      You can’t fix political corruption without getting rid of politicians.

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        Yep. With the promise of a federal icac that will retrospectively investigate every politician still alive.

        How do they accumulate so much wealth? We’ll finally find out, along with which companies and executives need to be prosecuted too.

        Build some more gaols.

        • I guess you could vote for the party that supports both more direct democracy and has been trying to get a Federal ICAC created (amongst numerous other steps aimed at addressing corruption and integrity) for 10+ years.

          • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

            Greens? lol.

            Greens direct democracy would not be Greens style open borders, so straight away i know they’re full of it.

            Sure. Replace all the virtue signallers and get genuine environmental and pro Australian candidates and I’m there.

            Greens are even less honest than Labor.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          Nick Greiner was the first casualty of Nick Greiners ICAC.

          Politics has come a long way since in Australia though, I’d say you’re right.

      • Yeh that Reddit post was the only trace I could find. Wonder if MB guys actually saw this on the CNN site? And if so, wonder if they could a legal threat over it? Not like false quotes haven’t stayed on the internet before!

    • *shakes head in dismay*
      This calls for the consumption of a cocktail of exceedingly dangerous drugs

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        But the remains were proudly worn and shown by the original shrinkers of the heads… it is squeamish progressive values that demands that they be removed, not because they are human remains, but because they don’t accord with progressives values of cultural relativity. Their existence and display suggests that head shrinkers spent a lot of their time shrinking heads as opposed to using their stone age electron microscopes to study the nature of our reality and expand human understanding… like the Bruce Pascoes of this world would have us believe.

          • boomengineeringMEMBER

            The aborigines were taught how to cultivate by the Dutch in the 1600’s to 1700’s bringing yams from South Africa. Haven’t heard grains but possible.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            They certainly had some proto-agriculture, I’d agree with that. Not orchards in the western sense, but groves that they knew of, harvested and tended to a certain degree. I don’t know about ‘farming’ grains, but their diet did include grains in certain areas and then there were the eel farms too. I suppose it depends on the definition of “agriculture”, proto-agriculture, probably yes. Intensive agriculture of the type described by Pascoe – no.

    • I’ve seen those heads. The Pitt Rivers used to be great, just junk from Grand Explorations thrown around on tables everywhere.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Someone actually took responsibility!?

      No, she doesn’t in good conscience think it was her fault. Walking the plank for the good of the Victorian Labor Party, and because she believes the Premier shafted her.

      Out of Parliament after 21 years.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        From what I’ve heard, her Department was appallingly run, and had been for many years before her appointment as Minister. Bad culture, and all that.

        • Yes. However the reporting structure could have been changed. Sutton should have been reporting to Mikakos rather than Skilbeck.

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            I’m not making excuses, quite the contrary. The same culture of diffuse responsibility is endemic in large Australian companies, and in Government. It’s tragic.

          • Agree. With the obvious difference being that Directors in large private sector land don’t resign when their executives stuff up.
            And nobody seems to expect them to..

          • Arthur Schopenhauer

            It’s interesting, in the US companies can be quite ruthless with stuff ups. For example, Apple has a ‘Directly Responsible Individual’ (DRI) for each project, and responsibility for a project does fall directly on that person. There is leeway given for technical complexity. Engineers I’ve met say it works pretty well.

            ARUP also had that culture while it’s founder was alive.

            The counter example is Boeing. It had that culture then lost it when upper management was filled with MBAs and finance people. Same goes for GE.

            In Australia, I’ve only seen DRI system in a handful of construction related firms. Maybe it’s in mining too?

    • At least one party still follows the Westminster convention of ministerial responsibility.
      I’m sure Dutton will offer his resignation for Ruby Princess any minute now – and journalism will be all over the LNP until he does.

      • Why stop at Dutton? What about that criminal Tudge? How about Stuart Robert on robodebt? I could roll this 5 or 6 deep with ease.

        • The Traveling Wilbur

          You need to watch the last couple of episodes of Mad as hell.

          Golder than the $41,000 Rolex gift that gets a mention in the one from a few weeks ago.

          • It’s so hard to choose who is the most egregious. We should throw in that branch stacker Sukkar for good measure.

          • Routine for LNP is a follows. Wait for journalism to sweep it under the carpet. If rogue journalist steps out of line ignore it. Ignore. Ignore. Deny. Deny. Take 4 weeks off as stress leave.. Wait for journalism to bring rogue journalist into line.
            .

          • Any allegation about an LNP pollie and the Murdoch press circle the wagons and blame Labor for whatever world ills they can think of. They know they’re safe because the empty chair has more to say than Albo. Over at 9Fux, the stroy lasts a day at best.

    • Good riddance.

      At the very beginning of the pandemic a GP with mild symptoms returned from the US and self tested before they where even known to have cases. Mikakos shared identifying and private medical information about him then said she was flabbergasted.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        She demonstrated her character with that. The resignation letter confirms just what sort of a person she is.

      • She ought to have resigned for her comments about the GP and then her doubling down when called out on her behaviour. She should be grateful to have had an extra 6 months on a ministerial salary.

  7. The widening gap between cases and deaths has zero to do with new treatments and zero to do with a weakening virus, and everything to do with more liberal testing.

    If the police have a blitz and hand out 5,000 extra tickets one weekend, were people driving more dangerously that weekend, or did the Police have some better technology, or were the Police simply issuing tickets for offences that got a warning the previous weekend.

    Now what if fewer people died the weekend of the blitz with 5,000 extra tickets? Well it would be hard to argue they were driving more dangerously. Maybe people were being more careful because of the blitz – and got rewarded with a ticket.

    The number of tickets issued tells you nothing about whether people were driving more dangerously. It only tells you how many tickets were issued.

    • It’s good that people have learned to think critically about “data”, and also that politicians including Guru Josh have learned the phrase “genomic sequencing”. I’ll suppose they’ll forget pretty rapidly tho.

    • If the absolute number of deaths and critical cases is falling (as opposed to proportion of cases) that must be due to improved treatment not more testing.

      • No.
        The vast majority of cases don’t require any treatment, so any purported advances in treatment would not benefit the vast majority.
        For the small minority that require treatment, advances have been small and incremental.

        The most vulnerable have already caught it, or are better shielded.

        The average age of “cases” now is much younger. Because of more liberal testing. Younger people have better outcomes. And so it looks like it is less dangerous.

        • I’m talking about absolute numbers not % of cases. There have been improvements in treatments. Even simple ones eg. dexamethasone use reduced qty of critically ill patients.

          • Yes dex had a significant impact on the small proportion of patients that require ICU or other resp support. That is beyond doubt. But the absolute number saved by dex is far to small to change the overall appearance of the disease. The falling case fatality rate (CFR rather than IFR) is far too large to be explained by dex.

          • https://www.recoverytrial.net/news/low-cost-dexamethasone-reduces-death-by-up-to-one-third-in-hospitalised-patients-with-severe-respiratory-complications-of-covid-19

            Yes. Mortality reduced from 41% to 29% in ventilated patients. So for every 9 patients treated, one person will live who would have died.

            But this benefit reduced in those least affected, and dex was actually associated with worse outcomes in the vastly larger number of people who didn’t require oxygen.

            So it is of significant benefit in the small proportion of patients requiring oxygen and ICU.

            But most deaths were in nursing homes – not in ICU.

            Very few COVID patients go to ICU. They are either too well to need ICU (good), or too old/frail such that ICU will not be helpful (sad, but true)..

            If you are looking for a treatment that meaningfully reduces overall deaths, it has to be a treatment operating where most deaths occur.

      • Back in April, I saw a number of young adults who very likely had COVID. But they didn’t qualify for a test and so could not be diagnosed. Of course, the authorities knew COVID was possible and so the paperwork handed out to these people stipulated home isolation for 14 days. Try explaining to any small business owner / sole trader that we can’t use a test on you, but close down your business for 14 days anyway.

        Strangely, these are the sort of cases being diagnosed now with enhance testing capability.

    • Vitamin D (which you get from sun exposure) appears to have a massive impact on Covid Disease severity. The first wave hit while they were coming out of winter, while the 2nd wave is starting after summer. Their flu seasonal peak is Feb so things could get much worse in a few moths time.

      • Yes there are multiple plausible mechanisms whereby D3 may work. And there is epidemiological data to suggest there is benefit – the seasonal data you mention, plus a latitude effect, plus the face that caucasians (who make D3 most efficiently) have a lower death rate.

  8. Australia’s newest political party is taking shape…….

    First I need to get time to get a website together, and work out what we need to do to help registration etc. It is not my party. It is everyones party. If someone would like to help get the show on the road I would love some help (set up a website so we can load up policy and work out in detail what we do and don’t like).

    The below are draft policy positions (all up for shaping – I note Dr Smithy had some good tax positions on one of the comments loaded but I cant find them)

    At this point I agree that ‘Bullshit Australia’ has issues as a name – but we need to come up with something better and I cant really think of anything that makes me think – this is better.

    This is Bullshit – Bullshit Australia!

    At this stage of the game it simply begs the question of whether it is the policy of the current Australian LNP government, headed by PM Scott Morrison, to completely trash the competitive basis of the Australian economy and to inflict lasting economic pain on all Australians.

    Further to that, if we think it was an ALP government (Gillard’s) which OK’d the Gladstone white elephant, and governments of both flavours which have looked the other way while Australian gas which once meant amongst the cheapest gas prices in the world for Sydney and Melbourne, and therefore cheap electricity, has become about the world’s most expensive – while both sides of politics try to nudge coal seam gas and fracking on a population all too aware of the environmental and health costs this entails – then the following question simply arise.

    Does Australia’s body politic – both mainstream sides including the Lberal Party, the National Party and the Australian Labor Party – have at its core an economic policy of completely trashing the competitive basis of the Australian economy and to inflict lasting economic pain on all Australians?

    Have Australian public sector data gathering, regulatory, and policy formulation organisations and departments been so corrupted that they do not identify the above? Have they been so neutered that they cannot report the above to Australian politicians?

    And at that point

    Are Australian political and public sector elites acting in the best interests of Australians? Are they accountable for acting in the interests and explaining their actions to Australians to a sufficient degree enabling Australians to feel that their politicians and senior policy makers are accountable to them? ….and if they are not, How can they be made more so?

    It is time for open revolt.

    I think it is time for a new political party which I would call putatively Bullshit Australia – the party to identify and deal with Australian Bullshit and to promote informed and data backed decisionmaking throughout the political and administrative bodies of Australia, and to hold politicians, public officials and corporate interests to account for past decisions made, starting with a permanent standing Australian Corruption Commission.

    I propose we aim initially – the next Federal election – at trying to get up 4 Senators from each state. I propose we get as far as we can up the nose of the current ‘elites’ by constipating their policy platforms in the Senate.
    I think/suspect we currently lack women…….

    Key Slogan
    ‘This is Bullshit!’
    Men and Women of Australia, Have you ever wondered about your energy costs ………‘This is Bullshit!’
    Do you wonder why your salary hasnt gone up in donkeys years? ‘This is Bullshit!’
    Do you work in a large organisation wondering why psychopaths inhabit the upper floors and you get stuck with meaningless KPIs? ‘This is Bullshit!’
    Do you worry about if your kids will get a decent education in a government school while ‘elite’ private schools get more funding from all levels of government than your kids school does? ‘This is Bullshit!’
    Do you wonder why your governments keep banging on about immigration needed for skills shortages when kids with Master degrees are joining the military as base grade grunts because there is nothing else for them to get into? ‘This is Bullshit!’
    Do you wonder why Australia, the worlds largest gas exporter has the worlds most expensive gas in Sydney and Melbourne? ‘This is Bullshit!’
    Do you wonder why foreign nationals traipsed on in and laundered money through Australian real estate so your kids need to move to Campbelltown to be able to afford a house, and hack out a 2 hour commute to a peanut paying gig every day? ‘This is Bullshit!’

    Every time a mainstream politicians opens his mouth (or her mouth) in the public domain, just point out ‘This is Bullshit!’

    Draft Policy Platform – for discussion/arguing about/ data provision
    I propose that the Bullshit Australia and the Macrobusiness cognoscenti run a full campaign in the upcoming election to get ourselves elected as the swing players, running on a platform revolving around (with negotiations/debate/argy bargy) the below…….

    – which would at least offer some sort of genuine left and data backed – and openly transparent – presence in parliament

    Policy Positions

    Constitution

    · Enshrine Medicare into Constitution

    · Enshrine ABC funding into Constitution

    · Enshrine Australian Bureau of Statistics funding into Constitution

    · Enshrine political party funding transparency into Constitution

    · Enshrine freedom from foreign influence legislation into constitution

    · Enshrine requirement for all candidates for every election in Australia to be approved by AEC prior to standing for parliament

    · Enshrine a National Crime & Corruption Commission into Constitution and give it investigatory powers.

    Taxation

    · End negative gearing

    · End capital gains tax dispensation

    · End health insurance rebate

    · Implement Federal Land tax

    · Remove PAYE taxation for those earning under 55K (but retain/create Medicare (4%), Defence (2%), ABS (1%) and ABC (1%) levy

    · Inclusion of family home in determination of access to the aged pension where the home is worth more than 500k.

    · Development and maintenance of publicly available database on Australian taxpayers [companies & individuals]

    Economic and Monetary Policy

    · Reinclusion of employee and community representatives on RBA Board.

    · Requirement for RBA to report quarterly to Parliament on monetary policy in relation to wages and housing costs

    · Requirement for RBA to report quarterly to Parliament on the effective use of taxpayers funds in relation to support for Australian banks and financial system entities.

    · Requirement for RBA, Treasury, and other government agencies (including ABS) to develop standards and monitor quality of life issues being faced by Australians (both on average and by decile) and report on how policies being adopted by them influence a range of demographics

    · Mandate the creation of new entity to be called the Australian personal public and corporate debt commission to produce analysis on the debt, indebtitude and debt servicing of Australians and Australian entities This organisation is to have representatives of the RBA, Treasury, State governments, local governments, retail banks and community organisations at a board level.

    · Requirement for RBA to report quarterly to Parliament on money creation and the beneficiaries of money creation over the preceding quarter and year, and forecast such into the future.

    Housing

    · Commence federal government building housing

    · Implement competitive GST Bonus payable to states which do best on housing affordability and housing creation

    · Enshrine right to housing into Constitution

    · Enshrine a National Probity and Veracity test for all funds used for housing purchases.

    Urban Design and Construction
    · Establish a set of national standards for residential design and construction. Enforce these standards with criminal penalties.
    · Establish ‘Plot Ratios’ in the state planning systems to ensure adequate green space on residential blocks.
    · Establish a national policy to harvest storm water for urban parks and open spaces.
    · Establish access to natural light as a property right.
    · Re-establish the professional registration of building related engineering services.
    · Outlaw private building surveyors and re-establish the system of Municipal Councils administering building standards.

    Politicians

    · Mandate real time visibility of politicians allowances and outlays

    · Mandate Housing affordability requirement for all politicians to reaffirm whenever they propose legislation

    · Audit all payments to or on behalf of politicians

    · Mandate funding transparency for all levels of Australian government (Federal State and Local), and a donations and gifts declaration requirement for all persons above a particular level (about SOG C in APS) in all public services of budget funded organisations (including Universities)

    · Mandate rate of politicians salary at 2, 3 , or 4 times average full time earnings.

    · Mandate access to politicians super is only accessible by vote of the seat which politician represented each 5 years at rate of 25% 50% 75% or 100% of standard politician rate.

    · Mandate all politicians and all political aspirants seek and gain clearance from Australian Electoral Commission on suitability for office regarding S144 of the Constitution & fiscal relationships with the Australian Taxpayer

    Industrial Relations

    · Reintroduction of the Australian Industrial relations Commission with powers to intervene in cases of Award and Agreement transgression – whether brought before it by parties or now.

    · Additional role for revived AIRC will be to oversee employee superannuation payments, their payment by employers, and the effective deployment of these funds as regards to the interests of employees (and with a view to minimising longer term budget and pension impacts on government outlays).

    · Additional role for revived AIRC to oversee use of contractors, contracting arrangements, and corporate entities to ensure employees are appropriately addressed for entitlements.

    Climate Environment & Agriculture

    Mandate of Inland Water Commission

    Abolition of tradable water rights

    Audit of all inland water resources and adoption of real time water availability monitoring.

    An investigation into the viability of major water users in the Murray darling basin (eg cotton farming) and the impact these have on water for other water usage in the basin

    Mandate of Australian Native Flora and Land Clearance Commission and audit of all Flora on Australian landmass and adoption of real time monitoring

    General policies to proomote reforestation where Australian Native Flora and Land Clearance Commission designates appropriate

    Mandate of Australian Salt Office to promote annd monitor management of salt issues in land use

    Energy

    · Mandate gas reservation policy to ensure globally cheap electricity and gas.

    · Mandate solar panels and hot water on all new dwelling construction

    · Mandate tax deductability of residential and corporate solar battery investment

    Defence

    · Enshrine right to lifetime medical care for all Australians who have served in the military more than 7 years

    · Mandate immigration rights (for individuals and families) for those foreign nationals agreeing to serve 10 years in ADF

    · Mandate that no deployment of more than 200 ADF personnel to any particular offshore location or theatre of operations can occur without debate and vote in joint sitting of parliament.

    Education

    · Remove student visas from right to residence and housing purchase

    · Remove student fees from first degree in science, mathematics, finance, medicine

    · Increase training of medical practitioners and access to medical degrees

    · Remove all public funding for non government schools

    Immigration

    · Mandate economic diversity criteria

    · Mandate country of origin criteria so that applicants of no nation comprise more than 10% of the total immigration intake in any one year.

    · Enshrine 70k NOM per annum as Immigration base, with priority to refugees and families

    · Allow NOM above 70k per year only where economic diversity, debt, education, housing affordability, intergenerational quality of life and employment conditions are being met.

    · Allow temporary visas in circumstances (eg academic world, some science) where globalised workforce would expect it.

    · End temporary work visas unless companies can demonstrate they have made attempt to develop their own skills in their own workplaces, or made genuine attempt to source skills within Australia.

    · End Special Investor Visas (except where entity is contributing to export or import competing business in Australia employing more than 10 Australian employees)

    Free Trade Agreements

    · Mandate audit of all Free Trade Agreements entered into prior to signature and ratification by Australian parliament

    · Have productivity commission audit all extant FTAs Australia is signatory to

    Foreign Policy
    Foreign Aid with a focus on:
    – The Pacific
    – Supporting nations on the frontline of refugee crises to make safe camps there with the hope they can return.
    – Empowering women in developing countries to make decisions on family size.

    Public Service

    · Commence regionalisation policy for major APS agencies

    · National audit of all APS outsourcing since 2000

    · Mandate that no company identified to shift profits offshore can receive government contract (onus is on company to prove and gain certification from ATO)

    · Mandate that all contracted services in Australian public sector are audited and re[ported on to parliament for effective use of public monies, and with all transition costs (including relocations and redundancies) included in that consideration.

    · Mandate that selection for all Senior Executive Service Positions in the Australian Public Service be subject to approval of APS Probity Commission

    · Mandate creation of Evaluator General for all public policy proposals

    · Mandate all policy that can be based on empirical evidence should be so based
    · Mandate any policy that is intended as an interim measure have a review date and terms of review attached to it, and
    · Mandate that all policy Have a clear plan for the future of the nation at a federal and state level, so policy has a long term rather than short term vision

    Social Welfare

    · Make unemployment the same as study assistance

    · Re Establish Commonwealth Employment Service

    · Mandate requirement for all calls to all social welfare services be monitored, and answered within 10 minutes

    Internet Data

    · Mandate that all Australians own the data collected on them

    Royal Commissions

    · Royal Commission into the Tertiary Education Sector and Links to Foreign States

    · Royal Commission into Private Indebtedness

    · Royal Commission into the Funding of Australian Politicians

    · Royal Commission into Housing Affordability

    · Royal Commission into the advent of COVID 19 – its Origins, entrance to Australia, and effects on the Australian Public

    · Royal Commission into the value for the Australian people & Impact on budget of Australian Public Sector Outsourcing and the Embedding of Private Sector Providers into Australian Public Sector Service Provision

    · Royal Commission into Housing Affordability

    OK Guys, sorry about the lack of further action since Friday – work and family issues have intervened

    But the burgeoning political movement – still operating under the Bullshit Australia banner – has about just over 60 expressions of support………

    The ‘membership’ or those currently having indicated ‘I’m in’ are the below

    1 Anon
    2 Arthur Schopenhauer
    3 baddreams
    4 Baldbadger
    5 Banana Man
    6 BCNICH
    7 bda2206
    8 Bendy Wire – (WA)
    9 blacktwin997 (Vic)
    10 Bolstrood
    11 Buzzy
    12 C3PO
    13 Cham
    14 China Plate
    15 ChristopherJ (QLD)
    16 Darklydrawl
    17 Dominic
    18 drt15
    19 Elbe1 (NT)
    20 Ermington Plumbing (NSW)
    21 Footsore
    22 Forrest Gump (Secretary of the ‘No Bullshit’ wing of the Party)
    23 Gareth
    24 Gavin
    25 Gavin (VIC)
    26 Geordie
    27 Goldstandard1
    28 Gunnamatta –(VIC)
    29 gunner1970
    30 Happy Valley (NSW)
    31 Haroldus (NSW)
    32 Hill Billy 55
    33 Itag
    34 Jimbo
    35 JS
    36 Jumping jack flash
    37 Kanniget
    38 Kodiak (Vic)
    39 L
    40 Loppy68
    41 LSWCHP ( ACT)
    42 Macrofish
    43 Mark
    44 Mining Bogan
    45 my torana
    46 Niko
    47 Peterbruce
    48 Popcod
    49 RaglanParade (VIC)
    50 Revert2Mean
    51 robert2013
    52 RobotSensei
    53 Steve (Vic)
    54 Stomper
    55 Swampy
    56 Tassie Tom (TAS)
    57 The Claw
    58 The Sling Shot Boys
    59 Totes BeWoke
    60 Tree (WA)
    61 Triage
    62 Ukraine fn
    63 Yeborsky
    64 Gramus
    65 TailorTrash
    66 Frostilicus
    67 Maun Rhys

    as far as I can make out – and there may be the odd mistake

    I have created an email – [email protected] – because the word ‘Bullshit’ cannot be part of an email address in Google.

    I propose as a first step we will need to create a website with a domain name – although in the first instance I dare say there are free websites about.

    The real steps are going to be to start working on

    Getting enough names together to form a party for the purposes of the AEC.
    Getting some form of basic admin together for the AEC, and
    Firming on what ‘We’ stand for.
    Getting a Webpage

    At some point we will need to start thinking on who can and will be prepared to stand as a Senate candidate, and what we can do to support them, and what commitments those people can give the ‘members’ of the party about their commitment to serving the ideals of the ‘party’ – the last thing we would want is to get someone elected and watch them sell out to one of the bigger parties. I really do think the general themes I posted last week are likely to be fairly popular, and I really do think if we are serious we can get someone into the Senate.

    I like the name as is, but do agree it may potentially pose problems. I tend to the view it is swearing, but also that we need to position ourselves as being ‘honest’ and capable of stating things honestly and accurately to the people of Australia and part of that to my mind is that respecting that virtually all Australians know what bullshit is (and a large number of them think our politics is full of it)

    Who is thinking what as a next step?

    • Who would like to be a candidate for Bullshit Australia?

      Those interested in running under a ‘Bullshit banner’ please give an idea of State

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Bullsh!t party is not a marketable name other than an initial working name – it is something you’d expect to hear in a Goodies Episode with Tim Brooktailor running against Lord Ponkingtonworthy and The Monster Raving Loony Party. Calling “Bullsh!t” on Australian policy is another matter though and should be part of the party’s motto.

        If you’re serious about a party name then it should reach into the roots of prior periods of Australian rebellion, The Stockade Party, Lalor’s Eureka Party (Lalorites?), the Rummers… something like that – after all, the mining license was just another expression of tax farming and corruption by our elites that transpired back then.

        Maybe get in the spirit of progressivism and call it after a black fella rebellion or some famous spear chucker from somewhere it Aust? Get those ABC and SBS nobs to fall over themselves in their efforts to cover you. But then again what value is referencing to Australian culture history nowadays or trying to tap a little patriotic spirit – perhaps the Bullsh!t party is more appropriate?

    • You want an Anti corruption and direct democracy party.
      If you want to get rid of political corruption you need to eliminate politicians.
      Go Swiss or go home!

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        I like the constitution. It protects us. The way we vote is the problem.

        Vote the right people in and we’ll be okay. Leave LNP and Labor there and we’re literally going to lose our country.

      • Everyone has some anger about something.

        Do you have the self control to not spit on them?

        If so, it doesn’t disqualify you.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          Yes I do have the self control but just. I really hate who and what they are. Especially Labor for being so fake and drawing the vote of the very people they’re destroying.

          • & what does that say?

            On face value it suggests you care about workers.

            Labor don’t have a God given right to be the only ones able to represent the interests of workers.

            We’re all free to help in this regard.

            We have enough smarts in every sector in Australia to kick ass – but their ideas often have no where to go. If you’re a worker with an idea on how to improve things around you – is it worth your time to pick up the phone and call the Labor party and share your thoughts? The space is completely vacant for someone to occupy. If Labor won’t, someone else can. Whether it happens is a different topic.

          • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

            Nice comment.

            I’m very pro worker. Labor are not.

            I’d like to see Labor replaced with Independents.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      Next step.

      A march with banners stating what we stand for.

      “Australia deserves better”…

      “Corruption in banking, land, insurance, retail, visas, donations, branches, funding”

      “Kids futures”

      “LNP and Labor liars”

      “Make a difference”…”join us”

      “Environment..jobs…housing..for Australians”

    • May I suggest registering “thisisbs.org.au”. (Needs to be a registered organisation to get a .org.au domain). Can get it for $1 for the first year from Ventra Ip. If you don’t want to go the WordPress route, I can help with building and hosting it on AWS (using S3, and Cloudfront for https), but I’m more of a Jack of all trades Developer, not a pure UI developer (and definitely not a designer).
      I’m keen to help out however I can. I’m willing to be a candidate if it helps, but I’m also happy not to be. This is about getting the BS out of politics, not getting myself in.

      • The problem with “thisisbs.org.au” is that the first thing you see is “isis”. You don’t want to look like a terrorist party.

        Instead of “bullshit”, what about something more like the Honesty Party, though it brings back memories of the Democrats’ slogan “keeping the bastards honest” which was a good catchphrase.

        Maybe use a synonym for honest like real, authentic, true-blue, equitable, fair and square, scrupulous etc.

    • Whats the policy on corporate governance?
      This is the elephant in the room for me. Everything else you mentioned is derivative.
      Every single RC has shown that large entities in private sector land can no longer govern themselves. They are too big, there is too much distance between shareholders and management. Boards are full of former managers who don’t represent shareholders or the community.
      imo. a foundation of any party needs to recognise this and come up with a solution even if it’s unpopular. eg. if boards are unwilling to hold managers accountable, the government needs to do it.
      yes that means the state will be responsible for removing executives of private corporations if they don’t meet certain criteria. The media will hate it. But seriously whats the alternative.
      In addition boards of directors should not be allowed to include former managers, must include members from the local community etc.

      • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

        Nah. John Howard fixed it, allowing shareholders to sack them if their salaries got too high. Of course they’ve gone up five fold since.

      • Seconded and will note many have studied and supplied results of them on the need for both boardroom and C-suite reform.

        The NC CalPERS saga is just the tip of the iceberg, ditto for all of Bill Blacks works.

    • Can we have something about the CSIRO, funding and independence, and some sort of mandate that requires polices to be research/science based.

      And also, can we start supporting a renewable energy export scheme like (but might not end up being) the green hydrogen link above. Also people keep talking about HV cables to the north.

      Oh and can we mandate that aluminium is converted via renewables? Fvck it, all industrial processes to the centre of Australia surrounded by hundreds of square kilometre arrays!

      • Aluminium is referred to as solid electricity due to extraordinarily massive power inputs. If we could achieve that & same for Steel smelters/mills then there’d be little that couldn’t be done….. Can it be done at scale with renewables? Genuine Q.

      • I’m thinking a complete range of designer accessories.

        You know, everything from coffee mugs and teacups through to champagne flutes and shot glasses all labelled ‘bullshit’. Of course we would need a full range of bandanas, cravats, scarves, sunglasses holders (made of wetsuit materials), and hoodies. Some boardshorts of the finest corduroy with ‘Bullshit’ splashed across the keister, and of course baseball caps, Greg Chappell style cricket hats, thongs/sandals, and a range of swimwear (including some speedos with a Malcolm dickholder) and healthcare items (eg the Andrew Robb bumcrack insert incontinence tampon) and gloves (for shaking hands with ScoMo after bushfires) – All adorned with a simple slogan like ‘This is bullshit – Vote Bullshit’. Of course a full range of combat gear – everything from leather artillery vests to berets and camouflage gear with little badges stating ‘This is bullshit!’ and some epaulettes.

        From there I am thinking bumper stickers, fridge magnets, sun visor fittings, golf umbrellas, and bringing the cape back into contemporary fashion – something in a soft black cashmere with a large helvetica font (in red) ‘This is Bullshit’.

        But the big ticket item would be a mass produced T shirt or hockey shirt in black with a neat clean ‘This is bullshit’ on the right or left of the chest area.

        You can be our marketing and promotions man

        • What about donations & funding (ie accept any donation provided they are Aus based and it’s disclosed).

          imo the funding model of the party will determine if it becomes rotten like the rest of them.

          Why not go for the house of reps (provided suitable candidates obviously)?

          • What about donations & funding (ie accept any donation provided they are Aus based and it’s disclosed).

            We dont have one yet, but I completely agree we need one which is quite overt, and that we want people who will not be bought. You are welcome to draft up some internal probity policy/rules if you are in the mood! Christopher J (on this page) is of like mind!

          • I had some stuff about this the other week. I’ve posted variations on this a few times here in the past in various discussions about political donations and corruption.

            Reform political donations
            * Allow donations from registered voters only.
            * Overt “volunteer” time (eg: doorknocking, creating campaign materials, etc) counts as a “donation” at hours * minimum wage (additional allowances for people who are time-rich – eg: retirees, part-time workers, unemployed, etc)
            * Max annual donation limit per person equivalent to 4 weeks @ minimum wage (so about $3k)
            * Donations must be processed through a centralised system with real-time disclosure. Donors are publicly anonymous.
            * Deliberate attempts to circumvent limits by donors should be subject to crushing fines. Mandatory gaol time for repeat offenses or attempts using co-ordination or coercion (eg: someone giving a group of others money to donate).
            * Deliberate attempts to circumvent limits by politicians should be subject to mandatory gaol time and loss of pension or other benefits.

        • Noice

          “..we need one which is quite overt, and that we want people who will not be bought. ”

          This is my current view on the topic – so welcome to criticism.

          What can be done with a flat membership fee of say $10 per month or $99 per year?d

          If 5% of an electorate were paying members of a party which had the above fees, the revenue would be:

          5,000 x $100 = $500,000.

          The above revenue should be more than sufficient to develop sound policy positions.

          A bit like MB.

          $199 per year and we get LVO & DS able to think & speak freely on any topic.

          Will the Bullshit Party spend its funding in a similar manner to the major parties?

          If you had 5,000 members paying $100 per year, would you spend $50,000 per year on policy and save the $450,000 to spend $450,000 x 3 = $1,350,000 on ads at election time like the other guys?

          I believe there is an opportunity in going in the opposite direction…spending $450,000 on policy development each year and spending $50,000 on outreach each year with no massive bump in the election year.

          That’s it. flat membership fee with no major donation option.

          Exception could be donating to the party in your will. Then you can make a bigger donation when you die with no ability to have it conditional on a policy position change.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      We’d be better off defunding the ABC in its current form. They’re not acting in Australia’s interests.

      So sack the whole lot of them, start again with balanced journalists.

      • Rorke's DriftMEMBER

        Totes the platform policy of enshrining ABC funding in the constitution is what is stopping me joining this nascent political mutiny from the great unwashed. Im afraid there are just too many left wing progressives on mb to form a cohesive platform that cuts through the bushlitt and could represent the citizens interests.in the senate. The ABC is lost. There are better ways of govt supporting the open exchange of information using technology and alternate media.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          I agree. It is the left that have opened the door to our country’s demise and STILL too many don’t see the problems.

          The ABC is as much the enemy as is LNP, Labor and other MSM.

          • That’s what the BBC manager should have asked the younger members of the audience after Jimmy Saville’s shows.

      • Why not?
        Unicorns for under 7s, constitutionally enshrined.
        Anyone who wants to be a fireman when they grow up is guaranteed to be so, constitutionally enshrined.
        It’s the Pipedream Party. Slogan “This is a pipe dream”.

    • I find the Environment policy a bit light on.
      We are now standing beyond the point where by we can contain the Climate Catastrophe, the best we can achieve from here is to mitigate complete enviromental, social and economic disaster.
      We MUST commit to rapidly reducing our burning of all fossil fuels.

    • Also we need a set of guiding principles (thank you ITIL). Let me start.

      1) The BS party will act in the interest of Australian citizens.
      2) ?

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Gunna, are you up for a take away coffee and a walk along the Geetroit waterfront when Melbourne opens up? I’d like to chat about the nuts & bolts of getting this going.

      • I am up for some form of political party creating get together……

        The sort of thing which will have future historians write

        ‘It was on a blustery spring day near the frigid waters of Geelong’s Eastern Park when Gunnamatta extended his hand to Arthur Schopenhauer, thus transforming the political landscape of Australia forever’

        More potentially viable though is would anyone be interested in an online (skype?) (zoom?) (or any other platforms) catchup? – maybe even this evening? or tomorrow?

        • Arthur Schopenhauer

          Can anyone suggest a more secure conference platform than Zoom & Skype? (As far as I understand, both get hoovered.)

        • Gunna – can I suggest that maybe we lock in a time each week on an evening (say 8pm) for a zoom discussion that people can dial into.

          The idea would be as follows:

          We put a topic for discussion the day before – based on the policies already been outlined.

          5 people can put their hats in the ring to speak about the topic for 5 minutes (first in best dressed) – and the others can listen and get to know everyone elses styles.

          Do this for 10 weeks on various topics – and we will soon be able to determine who the suitable candidates are?

      • I believe any party operating under the name ‘Bullshit Australia’ should potentially have a platform to speak the way Australians speak. As a man who has on both sides of his ancestry a load of catholics, protestants, and methodists and who has his children skipping religion altogether I like the idea of a right to apostasy – A fundamental right to say ‘Bullshit’ when Religious dogma is trotted out or when anybody assumes a right or entitlement which has its origins in watery bints distributing swords.

      • RobotSenseiMEMBER

        I hate negative gearing as much as the next bloke HOWEVER I am happy to have a discussion around how long it is kept / how to transition out. I don’t think any economic policy in this country should be deemed “untouchable” at this junction.

    • I’m in too. Something has got to give. Also agree ‘bullshit’ might scare some people away, though maybe that demographic is already rusted on elsewhere?

    • The Homeowners party. Since the aim is to improve the lot of Australians, it would include making homeownership an achievable goal that doesn’t lead to crippling indebtedness nor a paper mache house in a suburb 2 hours by traffic jam from the place of work.

    • Gunna, I can help with a webpage, keep it simple and seek new party members that way. Not a java coder, but know about design and have done a few.
      I would be willing to stand for election to Senate (QLD), or office bearer, whatever would help
      Let me know about online meet
      What is policy about donations/bribes? Corporate structure of party?

      • What is policy about donations/bribes? Corporate structure of party?

        We dont have one yet, but I completely agree we need one which is quite overt, and that we want people who will not be bought. You are welcome to draft up some internal probity policy/rules if you are in the mood!

        • Small donors only, $20, a rocky, (less than a pack of coffin nails).
          With the right platform, and leader, and policies, there’ll be plenty of funds to help spread the message.
          Friends in the msm??? Yeah, what was I…

          Look forward to how this plays out

    • Jevons ghostMEMBER

      There were 44 federal non-parliamentary parties extant as of early 2020. Most if not all will probably get less than 0.5% of the vote if they nominate candidates for the next federal election. Why bust your gut forming yet another one that will likely suffer a similar fate next time.
      Another way forward might be for you to suggest to your many enthusiastic acolytes that they might consider joining one of the several existing second line federal parliamentary parties and then follow due process; this approach might prove to be a more effective way of getting parliamentary air time. Not a new idea of course.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_political_parties_in_Australia

      • You speak total sense but most here won’t listen, too much fire in the belly.

        Not saying it’s bad, I’ve just been through it before and faced the reality you speak of. Taking over established parties from the inside is the only viable route I can see (unless we have a societal changing “event”).

        What would make me laugh/cry would be if this party gets up and then it inevitably gets torn apart from it’s founding members clashing over their true beliefs (this is 100% guaranteed, far too many people on that list are already so far apart in most values apart from their agreement on bs – but are they talking about the same bs?)

        • What would make me laugh/cry would be if this party gets up and then it inevitably gets torn apart from it’s founding members clashing over their true beliefs (this is 100% guaranteed, far too many people on that list are already so far apart in most values apart from their agreement on bs – but are they talking about the same bs?)

          +1

      • I agree in principle but I think in practice you would simply find anything too different from existing policy will simply be vetoed by existing leadership.

        For the same reason I support Ermo’s similar idea about reforming Labor but I don’t think it’s possible.

      • Totally agree – we need a movement that brings together Katter, Hanson, Lambie, Rex Patrick, Sustainability and some of Clives money as a meaningful third option…… Another party from scratch could very well be a waste of time.

    • The below are draft policy positions (all up for shaping – I note Dr Smithy had some good tax positions on one of the comments loaded but I cant find them)

      Thanks, Gunna. Here you go from the other week – this is the same content but I changed the formatting slightly to better mesh with what you have.

      I must confess I share concerns already voiced about the name. I suppose it depends whether you want to potentially develop this into something viable long-term, or if you’re just going down the “get some headlines” path to try and get some of these adopted by other parties. Someone else the other week suggested a slightly different name that could then be shorted to “No BS Australia” or similar – a better way to go if you want a longer-term view IMHO. I’m less concerned about the swearing per se, and more about any “easy” ways that ideas can be dismissed.

      You can put me down on the list as well but I couldn’t commit to much more than general discussion for probably another year or two.

      I reckon you need to get whatever policies you intend to be firm on, solidly defined and well thought through in terms of objectives and consequences. All policies should come with a statement of intent as well – ie: “the desired societal outcome is X and this will be achived through policy Y”.

      Constitution / Electoral reform
      I feel like these should be doable without fundamentally redesigning the system ?
      * Recall elections (eg: get X number of signatures from the electorate and trigger a by-election.)
      * Citizen-initiated legislation (eg: get X number of signatures across the country to force legislation into consideration)
      The trick here is making X high enough to discourage stupidity but low enough to be feasible.

      Reform political donations
      * Allow donations from registered voters only.
      * Overt “volunteer” time (eg: doorknocking, creating campaign materials, etc) counts as a “donation” at hours * minimum wage (additional allowances for people who are time-rich – eg: retirees, part-time workers, unemployed, etc)
      * Max annual donation limit per person equivalent to 4 weeks @ minimum wage (so about $3k)
      * Donations must be processed through a centralised system with real-time disclosure. Donors are publicly anonymous.
      * Deliberate attempts to circumvent limits by donors should be subject to crushing fines. Mandatory gaol time for repeat offenses or attempts using co-ordination or coercion (eg: someone giving a group of others money to donate).
      * Deliberate attempts to circumvent limits by politicians should be subject to mandatory gaol time and loss of pension.

      Taxation
      Maybe make an explicit point around the purposes of taxation being to drive economic and social policy – (re-)distribution/investment of wealth (with a preference that people make those decisions themselves) ? Ie: we levy income/wealth taxes to encourage productive investment and discourage unproductive accumulation, we levy sin taxes to discourage harmful behaviour, we provide tax deductions/breaks to encourage good behaviour.

      Remove PAYE taxation for those earning under 55K (but retain/create Medicare (4%), Defence (2%), ABS (1%) and ABC (1%) levy

      I don’t really see the point of special levies.

      How about this instead:
      * Tax-free threshold is set at the median income (adjusted each year based on previous year’s tax returns).
      * Tax brackets defined as based off income percentile or multiples of the median income rather than fixed $ figures. Eg: set marginal tax rates based on whether your income falls in the top 0.01%, 0.1%, 1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, or at 2x, 5x, 10x, 25x, 50x, 100x median income.
      * Taxes should start to get punishingly high past about 25-50x median (per above the objective here is to get really high income earners to do something more productive with their money than have it taxed).
      * A wealth tax (modelled after the Swiss)
      * Death/estate taxes, but per Damien’s (?) suggestion the other day, come at it from the angle of a maximum allowance for recipients after which it is taxed as income. Again, the objective here is to incentivise distribution of wealth/money rather than having it taxed – ie: if you’re going to die a squillionaire, distribute your wealth how you see fit to relatives, charities, etc or it will be brutally taxed. Care needs to be taken with the PPoR (per next point), farmers, small business owners.

      Inclusion of family home in determination of access to the aged pension where the home is worth more than 500k.

      I disagree with this to a degree. Lots of people will have ended up with huge paper growth in wealth through the property bubble but haven’t benefitted in real terms from that – so they shouldn’t be punished.

      That said, if someone is sitting on a massively valuable (10s of $millions) house… So I guess my caution here is more around the threshold amount ($500k seems low) than the principle of the issue. I actually think most of these threshold amounts (eg: for the estate tax above as well) should be fairly generous – the problem is the massively dynastically wealthy, not the upper end of the middle classes leaving their children a house worth a couple of million.

      How about:
      * Leveraging increases in property value (eg: re-mortgaging at a larger amount) trigger a CGT event.
      * Retain the PPoR CGT exemption but only for people moving from one PPoR to another (maybe allow a 12 month grace period to buy a new PPoR).

      Development and maintenance of publicly available database on Australian taxpayers [companies & individuals]

      Could go down the radical transparency path of Norway (I think it is), where everybody’s tax returns are publicly available. 🙂

      Politicians
      Mandate rate of politicians salary at 2, 3 , or 4 times average full time earnings.

      I actually think ALL PS wages/wage brackets should be calculated as a multiplier of the base social security payment. The multipliers should be relatively hard to change (especially for politicians), but the base payment should be much easier (and indexed to inflation (or maybe median wage?) at a minimum).

      Immigration
      Allow temporary visas in circumstances (eg academic world, some science) where globalised workforce would expect it.

      I assume this is to address skilled immigration ?

      I’ve always said setting (and policing/maintaing) the requirements for skilled immigration sufficiently high would fix most of the problems here. Eg:
      * Minimum Master’s Degree in directly relevant field (academic sector) or 10 years of directly relevant work experience.
      * Must have a job offer to apply for a visa
      * Minimum salary for skilled immigrants should be something like 2x national median income or 1.5x median income within the industry sector, whichever is highest.

      Social welfare
      * Make Centrelink the administrative point of politician pensions and associated lifetime perks, with no “special caller” lines or exemptions.
      * Introduce a job guarantee. Provide specific additional support around transport and accommodation to people prepared to relocate to follow seasonal rural work.
      * Simplify and reduce means-testing and “mutual obligation”.

      Education
      * Expand the publicly-funded school system to include childcare.

      • all great points. I’ll add a couple things.
        – Full and absolute monitoring and full disclosure of all finances for life, for all frontbencher/MP’s/PM. This will dissuade psychopaths from gaming (ie. 95% of parliament).
        – Reintroduce capital punishment for mass-murder citizen and for pollies breaking above rule (no McCarthyism due to full disclosure and monitoring.

        I trust noone.

      • Why not simplify the tax system and do away with progressive taxation all together and replace with following?
        *2% Tax on all and any financial/economic transaction (incl. Shares/Forex and other traded financial instruments)
        *X% Annual Land Tax (Not sure what to set this at.. maybe 0.2%)
        *Remove GST
        *Maintain Tobin Taxes (i.e Cigarettes, Alcohol, etc.)

    • The working class party.
      Or the party for working class Heroes.
      The Blue Collar Party.
      The Sovereign Party.

    • And all NSW residents are secretly and not so secretly pleased to be living in state and country where lockdowns were used to make living normally safe.

      • Or put another way.
        All NSW residents are pleased that no one Who thinks they ‘might’ have it have bothered getting tested So life can go on as normal, just as it would if the response to this flu was rational and proportionate to the danger it posed.

          • You’re one to talk “nothing special about contact tracing in NSW, Vic was just unlucky”

            Shame on you.

          • Nobody is saying is doesn’t spread it is simply not that dangerous to 99.7% of the population as per the flu, that’s the issue.

          • I’ll stand by that. NSW (and anywhere else) is still just one uncooperative dickhead away from disaster.

      • Pleased Gladys resisted the urge to lock us down twice. Pleased we have a decent public health unit. Pleased the barely suppressed excitement here at the thought NSW was headed the way of Victoria never happened and we didn’t need to go all autocratic to get there.

  9. wife told agent we will not be signing new contract as we are looking to move and was told that the agency holds hundreds of empty apartments but houses are getting rented the moment they come on the market. This is in line with what I observed with the house that got listed for lease about 2 weeks ago. This morning walk showed me “leased” sticker over the For Lease sign.
    Is it possible inner city renter scum to be moving into outer areas in order to save on rent and get bigger place? I doubt they calculate additional travel (petrol, time, train) cost. We actually struggle to find decent house in St George area. Looking for 3-4 bedder, single or double garage and decent size shed so I can put my camping and fishing gear in. Trying to find something for around $700 per week and it seems impossible for the time being. Rents for houses don’t seem to be going down.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      FWIW, in Melbourne, inner city RE agents are scouring the middle suburbs for free standing house listings.

    • This has been exactly our experience as well. Finally found a house in the St George area. Everyone open home we went to had tonnes of people. Rents also very high. Huge numbers of apartments available with rents falling. Hardly any houses and rents still high.

      I suspect it is because houses are owned or lived in by families, and with eviction moratoriums and mortgage holidays there is not much movement in that market at the moment.

  10. Things aren’t rosey guys. Check this struggling business in Brisbane… $300k fit out, open 9 months and literally giving it away. Rents are probably killing them
    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/brisbane-city/business-for-sale/cooked-fish-shop/1254022232

    https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/brisbane-city/business-for-sale/trendy-coffee-shop-location-location-priced-reduction-29-000/1255306374

    This is in Brisbane where things are still open. Imagine how many businesses have gone to the wall in Melbourne…

    • Give it away give it away give it away now
      Give it away give it away give it away now
      Give it away give it away give it away now

      I can’t tell if I’m a kingpin or a pauper
      Greedy little people in a sea of distress
      Keep your more to receive your less
      Unimpressed by material excess
      Love is free love me say hell yes

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        The roof, the roof.
        The roof
        Is on fire.

        (finally)

        And, as someone had to say it eventually, they probably just got shutdown for failing to return their BAS…

    • Covid reference in ad is likely false.
      Fish shops are part of the past, if this was converted to Thai it may have a fighting chance but I bet there is a Thai shop there already.
      The only success fish shops I’ve seen lately were fresh seafood / cooking with at least some sit-down

      • Djenka: no. Setting up a fishnchips shop in a food court in the Brisbane CBD would be like setting a boat hire shop in Inala. But some of the best fishnchips you can get anywhere are available in plenty of Brisbane suburban locations. And here’s a tourist tip for you. At this time of year take a trip to Shorncliffe or Sandgate – there are several fishnchip takeaway shops there that are close to perfection. Set among fully grown frangapanis, massive moreton bay figs, flame trees, palm trees, streets of ornate Qld style houses, parks that run down to the bay which sparkles in the warm September sunshine (bloody freezing here in Canberra today). If the setting was not so close to perfection the only annoyance is that these places are so popular the queues are ridiculous.

        There used to be a Portuguese restaurant away from the main part of Macau that was a destination in itself. (Mostly) westerners from all around the region would make a day trip just to have a feed there. Long ago the Breakfast Creek Pub was a little like that for its steaks. I reckon the fishnchip shops in the Shorncliffe area, at this time of year, are equally as memorable.

        • Been to that Portuguese place in Macau. More than once. Can confirm it was a proper outing for an evening but was totally worth it. The Vindaloo was to die for.

  11. Think someone should do a seeking arrangement economic indicator. Been doing some research (kind of like reading playboy for the articles) and there are a LOT of listings mentioning the fact they’re not currently working due to COVID. Lucky for women they’ve always got simps to rely on.

    The other thing that’s noticeable is the amount of new accounts being started by girls listed as 18 who are referencing they are in the last year of school. Financial pressures at home have cut back the $$ or part time job no longer there?

      • yeah, that makes things a bit annoyingly difficult to fathom.

        However, the recent corrections have been partly buying fatigue (running out of new money), and part lack of new Fed buying of bonds (etc) – isn’t that right?

        Hence, unless I’m wrong about the above, surely that would be a reasonable expectation for a surge of new money entering the economy? It’s hard to see how this isn’t bullish.

        I think I’m being genuinely open-minded here; and, I’ve fought the Fed too many times to know it’s not a great idea to do for long…

        • I find myself agreeing. QE. Heavy & fast shorts means max pain coming for them if the usual script unfolds, so volatility till resolution to the upside. Although in saying that, there is technical structure on what there is of the current downleg. I’m steadily getting back into trading FX a bit & about to code/automate more, It keeps me less biased because I don’t care which way it’s going, so long as I’m on it. But hanging till after the civil war for stocks – just too much bandwidth required for all the different strategies for me to deal with right now.

  12. Motley Fool had this to say about the recent relaxation of lending standards:

    https://us3.campaign-archive.com/?u=0d1d0582254b8399936e6130e&id=927118e10f&e=616c5ddd0e

    Even The Motley Fool don’t approve…their conclusion:

    “The government wants banks to make loans they can’t currently make because they’re obligated to lend responsibly.

    In other words, the extra credit will flow to loans that are currently deemed irresponsible.

    Let that sink in…”

    • The truly scary thing is what MB has reported on previously and that’s “Australia has the second highest debt load in the world behind Switzerland, as well as the second highest average principal and interest payments on debt”

      To think that debt levels could be taken even higher with even greater risk is unfathomable

      • Yeah.

        MB and the MB community have for a while been predicting that the LNP would just end up pumping housing prices ASAP and immigration – as per the last 20 years. They don’t really have much of a clue, otherwise.

        As Shaun Micalef satirised this week of the LNP (paraphrased): ‘Run a business? You guys couldn’t run a bar!’

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        @DH Yes. No one could have predicted this. Absolutely no one. It was completely unfathomable earlier that Australia’s response to an economic crisis of any kind would be to ratchet up not only debt consumption, but the vulnerability of the average Jo to succumbing to predatory lending practices. Even before all of the banking RC’s recommendations were finished with being implemented.

        Not one person could have thought that. It is an unpossibility. I’m sure if we scoured every page of MB even there would not be a single comment hypothesising such a response. Not one.

    • Bank boards and bank shareholders are not stupid, they will not lend unless the risk rewards works full stop.
      Too much light on them now

  13. Arthur Schopenhauer

    So much fkn snow, so close yet so far away. You could almost ski from Licola to Hotham this weekend. Or Stirling to Buller & back. Fkn.

    [Edit: Licola to Hotham is around 30 to 40 hours, weather permitting. So maybe a 4 day weekend.]

    • Nice turns!

      Just had a flashback of SkiFree. Ah, the innocence.

      The present day Yeti chasing me is a mortgage broker!

  14. It physically hurts the brain to follow this thought process and yet this is precisely what online activists say over and over again, rarely politely. Indeed, bereft of any rationality they embark upon random campaigns of vitriol and abuse. Some are more professional and prolific than others – readers of the Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph may be familiar with one recent example – others are just garden variety pests.

    Is he talking about friendlyjordies?
    https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/there-is-only-one-way-labor-can-save-itself/news-story/f635f576d3a2e8a78b1cac66e98e5368

    • Believe it or not I actually know some skilled Americans who have expressed interest in migrating to Australia recently (though I did tell them our local politics is pretty nutty and in some ways we are a dictatorship of dullards) simply on the basis that they think the US is teetering on the edge of major civil insurrection. And a very close mate in the UK (who spent some of his childhood in Melbourne) thinks the UK has gone so el whacko he is sniffing about Geelong.

    • The level of hypocrisy on how this will be handled by McConnel, et al, is truly breathtaking – and that’s saying something.

    • About 50% of abortions are to (poor) Black women despite them making up about 13% of the female cohort – no abortions is going to mean a lot more (unwanted) Black kids and so a lot more welfare spending and crime… I don’t understand why Conservatives don’t understand that.

  15. For those bemused by the current all out warfare in the USA over the replacement justice for the SCOTUS led by the rightwing reactionary Federalist Society. In Australia we have our own rightwing reactionary Samuel Griffith Society which has similar objectives to put very conservative justices on the High Court bench.
    Thanks heaven we have age limits, time limits to align with the Senate election timing would be even better.

    • FUDINTHENUDMEMBER

      Reckon it’s kinda like The Australian. Need to chuck in the odd reasonable piece now and again or everyone knows it’s totally full of sh1te.

  16. Display NameMEMBER

    One of the fellows I work with mentioned a friend of his bought a coffee shop business just off George st in the city, complete with a mid to upper fit-out less than a year old for 18,000. Basically free. Maybe less than a months rent.

    • Yes, but the deal with that (and the $1,000 fish shop above) is assume full liability for the crippling rent under the 5 year lease of the premises and the payments on the financed coffee machines / fridge etc i.e. pretty much everything that can be ripped out and taken away.

      True that he gets all the fitout free though.

      If he can make a go of it, more power to him.

      But these kinds of deals (and there are a lot of them ATM) suggest otherwise.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        Oh, please, don’t tell me you think these kind of arrangements smell just a bit… fishy?

        Surely, all budding Australian entrepreneurials would be unpatriotic loosers not to… snapper up such once in a lifetime… opportunities?

        • TT’s right to point it out. I’ve seen “savvy” people waste 5 years of their life in a prison of their own making & come out with $100k of useless tax offsets & nothing to show…… Meanwhile the LL hasn’t given a sh1t, just gimme!

    • I just checked, nothing’s going on.

      But even if there was, there must be some benefit to be a paying member, surely.

      Assuming access to members only links is a benefit.

      • I’m mostly amused by the inconsistency of what plebs are banned from, recently it has sometimes been all weekend stuff, sometimes just Weekend Links, sometimes just Sunday Supplement.

        I click on nearly every article, a lot are members only and I find myself disappointed only 1/5 of the time. Really hard to cough up the dollars with that number.

        • I feel that members only posts should be flagged. They used to be and I don’t know why they aren’t now.

          Edit – I mean members-only pages.

          • They know that every time I click on a story I’m interested in and discover it’s members only (not even completely blocked, they give me a teaser blurb and tell me there’s “x number of words remaining”) I’m tempted to sign up.

            Suckers should realise kfc already wore out all my temptation and now I’m too angry/depressed at already falling for the Colonel’s campaigns I can’t give in to any more temptation.

            Must explain why I have all these class a’s sitting here and I can’t bring myself to indulge 🙁

    • The Traveling Wilbur

      Methinks this pleb doth protest too much. 😉

      Yonder portals of descrptive vice and discourse of matters are cast wide upon this fertile soil of thought. As so should it be.