Oz Blog News Commentary
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 14:28 Source

What does the ABC think it is doing broadcasting a lengthy interview of Peter Slipper by Barrie Cassidy on this morning’s Insiders?

Are they kidding?  Using taxpayer funds to ask questions of someone who secured less than 1500 votes standing as an independent in a seat he previously held as a member of the LNP?

And there he was defaming Mal Brough and verballing Finance Secretary, David Tune.  His constant mentioning of Ashbygate  - very droll, Pete, NOT –  was never pulled up by Cassidy.

Read more Views: 314
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 11:20 Source

Readers of Frank Herbert’s Dune series would be familiar with the Spacing Guild.* In the series the Guild are, more or less, parasites and maintain their position through a monopoly on interstellar travel. At the same time they are addicted to the spice that is only available on the planet Arrakis (Dune). In the story they do whatever it takes to maintain the supply of the spice – hence the phrase “the spice must flow”.

Read more Views: 343
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 11:16 Source

Well it’s not a lot but it is something. Obama has knocked back the Republican proposals for ending the supposed government shut down which at least shows there actually had been some proposals. This is from Politico:

Read more Views: 254
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 10:30 Source

10.10 am

Kevin Rudd and only Kevin Rudd could have worked out a scheme that left the Labor Party decapitated, headless and flapping about for a month, an Abbott-honeymoon month, and after that bequeathed it a leader that either the caucus or the membership did not want. It is yet another hand grenade he has rolled under the bed before sauntering out the door smugly humming ‘Poor Wand’ring One’ with an iced vo-vo in his hand.

Read more Views: 434
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 10:30 Source

Since we don’t live by politics alone (I sincerely hope), what else did people get up to this weekend? Join in, share some tales, regulars and lurkers all!

Read more Views: 486
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 08:47 Source

The decision handed down by the High Court in Bugmy v The Queen is incredibly important. And it has already been the topic of a great deal of discussion, both amongst Criminal Lawyers and the community generally. But to understand it you need to appreciate some of the background.

It is common knowledge that Aboriginal people are imprisoned at shockingly high rates. According to the ABS 1.9% of the Aboriginal population of Australia is in gaol.

Read more Views: 761
you said it... Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 00:49 Source

Reblogged from slackbastard

Posted on October 10, 2013 by @ndy


Read more Views: 656
Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 00:34 Source

When one looks at poverty and suffering around the world there is a common thread: corruption and an absence of the rule of law. This thread ensures that the market is unable to move resources to their most efficient use. It increases transactions costs and reduces gains from trade. In the absence of strong property rights, there are few incentives to engage in activities that increase wealth and wellbeing.

Read more Views: 280
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 23:15 Source

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to destroy 6 tonnes of illegal ivory. The head of the Africa Branch of the USFWS, Richard Ruggiero, is an outspoken advocate for the destruction, which surely leads to concerns about conflict of interest?

Due to the US Government shutdown, the scheduled crushing of the illegal ivory has been postponed.

Ruggiero has argued that the destruction of the ivory will discourage poachers.

Read more Views: 326
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 13:48 Source

Oliver Hirschbiegel’s Diana may not be, like his Downfall, the best film ever made but I liked it a lot and suspected after a while that its bollocking by some of the British media derived from British politics more than, well, artistic differences or fumbled historical detail.

Read more Views: 364
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 11:27 Source

There is a bit of a meme around that the MSM are giving the LNP Coalition a free ride in government. On Friday the Australia Financial Review did its bit to buck the trend by asking the above question in an editorial.


Read more Views: 438
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 09:57 Source

Here’s the thing: if Gates, Zuckerberg and Buffet decided to migrate to Australia (Buffet probably wouldn’t be let in, he’s too old – but that’s another story), observed income and wealth inequality in Australia would increase.

Would anyone be worse off if these three likely lads made the move?  In fact, we would be better off.

What then explains the near obsession with inequality in so many bureaucratic and academic circles?  The OECD goes on and on about inclusive growth and releases report after report about income and wealth inequality.  Democrat academic economists in the US are likewise obsessed.

Read more Views: 310
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 09:30 Source



The Greens’ most vocal advocate for cyber-rights, Senator Scott Ludlam, has penned an argument over on New Matilda about six ways to fight surveillance by the State on Australian citizens.

Read more Views: 579
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 07:58 Source

Actually, I don’t recommend you waste your time reading this part of the National Curriculum.

This is where I land in today’s Australian.

The bottom line is that the national curriculum on economics and business for years 5 to 10 is tosh. It is page after page of earnest, largely worthless, drivel. I pity the poor teachers who have to use this guide as a basis for preparing teaching materials and lessons.

Read more Views: 491
Saturday, October 12, 2013 - 01:01 Source

An open thread where, at your weekend leisure, you can discuss almost anything* you like.

* Weekly Netiquette Reminders:

Read more Views: 322
Café Whispers Friday, October 11, 2013 - 20:36 Source
Read more Views: 483
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 17:18 Source

Perhaps the OECD is suffering relevance deprivation syndrome. It jumped on the climate change bandwagon some time back, massively growing its environment department. Now it wants to ignore the election result in Australia and cite Australia as a leading example of a country that has successfully introduced a carbon tax (although he call it an emissions trading scheme)!

With the release of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report last week, the OECD felt the need to release its own report, Climate and carbon: Aligning prices and policies. Its headline

Read more Views: 322
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 16:13 Source

This morning I spoke with ABC 666 Canberra Breakfast host Jolene Laverty in support of the ACT Government’s same-sex marriage laws as something that will make our society stronger. Here’s the full transcript:

ABC 666 CANBERRA with host Jolene Laverty

Read more Views: 534
The Tally Room Friday, October 11, 2013 - 15:30 Source


Territorial authorities of New Zealand

As part of my project to cover the 2014 New Zealand general election in more depth, I’ve just completed a Google Earth map of New Zealand’s Territorial Authorities, or local councils.

Read more Views: 581
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 15:29 Source

No boats arrived in the past week, other than one this morning. One boat arrived last week.

So Abbott effortlessly achieves what Julia Gillard for all her apparent effort (and it was a lot of effort) couldn’t achieve in three years.

In reality Julia Gillard had no interest in stopping them coming. She and the ALP wanted them to come, it was an idealogical desire. Hundreds of thousands of them. In line with the international lefts doctrine of importing third world voting bases to replace the lefts now lost for ever traditional working class base.

Read more Views: 318
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 14:42 Source

What I don’t understand about this truly amazing story is why employers would be making regular contributions to the TWU slush fund.

And then the officials of the TWU would use monies from the slush fund to influence the outcome of elections in other unions.

Truly amazing stuff.

Read more Views: 306
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 14:37 Source

LATE FINAL EXTRA: No news today.

Arts and letters. The Kilmeny Niland & others art show at the Artarmon Gallery, Sydney. And poetry reading by Alastair Spate at the Willoughby Club, Sydney.

Test your “writing fitness”, insert some text in the box and see how you perform on a number of indicators of tight, lean writing.

Read more Views: 336
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 14:28 Source

One of my favourite Ronald Reagan quotes is this one:

The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.

And so it came to pass:

Mike Marsh is a federal employee who wrote to Congress this summer with an unusual proposal to save the government money.

Fire me, Marsh told lawmakers. And everyone I work with.

Read more Views: 323
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 14:18 Source

At Quadrant Online I have some analysis and some true life adventure about my meeting with Janet Yellen at an OECD meeting back when I represented Australian employers at meetings in Paris. It’s called, On Planet Janet the spending never ends about the nominee to replace Ben Bernanke. Still, it is this quote about Yellen that is probably most telling and accurate and therefore ought to be all the more disturbing for that:

Read more Views: 314
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 12:33 Source

The gas industry says greenies and farmers are to blame for price rises. Exports driven by coal seam gas expansion are the real cause, writes Justin Field

Read more Views: 354
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 11:41 Source

Ceremonial Nails by Blonde Tiger

Ceremonial Nails by Blonde Tiger

Read more Views: 331
WixxyLeaks Friday, October 11, 2013 - 10:27 Source

Today there has been a huge development in the case against Craig Thomson.

As those of you who have followed the case will be aware, the case against Thomson is based on two things;

Read more Views: 461
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 09:00 Source

As we come to the end of the ALP’s first ever rank-and-file leadership ballot (votes close today and the new leader will be announced on Sunday) it is worth looking at how it has all gone. One thing we can certainly take out of it – and this is not unexpected – is that the ballot seems to have invigorated many in the ALP membership. Looking at the reactions of my friends in the Party, I get a real sense of empowerment by the process.

For example, last week a friend of mine tweeted:

Read more Views: 511
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 08:47 Source

My op-ed in today’s Daily Telegraph discusses Mr Abbott’s three broken promises in his first three weeks in office.

Broken promises after just three weeks in job, The Daily Telegraph, 11 October 2013

Read more Views: 479
Friday, October 11, 2013 - 07:38 Source

Kenneth Whalley, an Adelaide headmaster, will hereafter suspend pupils who swear, he says, for two weeks, if they do so ‘with aggressive intent.’

He does not name the languages they may not swear in. Clearly an aggrieved boy bodylined at cricket saying ‘thy mother mated with a camel’ in his own Kurdish dialect would go unpunished and this, I think, is unfair.

Read more Views: 540