Oz Blog News Commentary
MacroBusiness Monday, December 22, 2014 - 07:52 Source

The national auction clearance rate fell over the weekend, driven by a big decline in Melbourne. According to RP Data, the national weighted average preliminary auction clearance rate was 64.3% over the weekend, which was down 0.9% from the 65.2% clearance rate recorded last weekend. Sydney’s clearance rate rose by 5.0% to 76.2%, whereas Melbourne’s […]

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MacroBusiness Monday, December 22, 2014 - 07:51 Source

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MacroBusiness Monday, December 22, 2014 - 07:00 Source

Global Macro / Markets / Investing: Do falling oil prices raise the threat of deflation? – Econbrowser The Conventional Wisdom On Oil Is Always Wrong – Of Kiwis and Currencies: How a 2% Inflation Target Became Global Economic Gospel – New York Times The Blacklist That Rules Wall Street’s Loan Market – Bloomberg Deflation […]

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Cheeseburger Gothic Monday, December 22, 2014 - 07:00 Source

If you want all your heavy drinking, buffet destroying, monster smashing SPLODEY Dave action delivered free o' charge in the traditional dead tree format, this would be the week to head over to Boomerang books.

Emergence is Book o' the Week there with free domestic shipping when you use the promo code 'thedave' at checkout.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Monday, December 22, 2014 - 01:11 Source

The shooting down of MH17 is part of larger, longer-term conflict, writes Dr George Venturini*. In Part 7 Dr Venturini concludes his investigation into the ‘oil factor’ in this conflict.

Cui prodest? Huh … It is the oil, men! (Continued).

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Monday, December 22, 2014 - 00:18 Source

Just when I thought it was safe to exhale along came this last paragraph from Senator Arthur Sinodinos’ media release announcing his resignation as Assistant Treasurer, a position he stepped aside from in  March 2011 due to allegations (see here,  here and

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Monday, December 22, 2014 - 00:16 Source

From Clarence Valley Council ordinary monthly meeting minutes of 9 December 2014:

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Monday, December 22, 2014 - 00:15 Source

From polls, to punters, to political cartoonists and purveyors of fine condiments.......Ipsos Australia reporting on its Fairfax poll, 8 December 2014:The national poll of 1,401 respondents, interviewed from Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 December 2014, shows Labor with 52% of the two-party preferred vote (up 1 since November), ahead of the Coalition on 48% (down 1 since November), based on 2013 election preferences.

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The Political Sword Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 18:30 Source

As we come to the end of another year, please forgive a little self-indulgence as the TPS Team discusses what TPS has achieved in the past 12 months. It was a year in which we saw Abbott and his cronies trying to destroy the country and make us a paradise for the neo-liberals, the neo-cons and the economists that support them — and, of course, big business. We saw the worst budget in living memory and have, so far, only been saved from its full ramifications by the senate.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 16:46 Source

Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced a reshuffle of his Ministry, that has seen Peter Dutton move from Health to Immigration and replaced by Sussan Ley, former Assistant Minister for Education, who becomes the second woman in Cabinet...

Read more on the blog...

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The Mugwump Post Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 11:24 Source
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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 06:22 Source

The second front forms in the ongoing Liberal-Nationals ideological war against ordinary workers and their families.I, Joseph Benedict Hockey, Treasurer, pursuant to Parts 2 and 3 of the Productivity Commission Act 1998, hereby request that the Productivity Commission undertake an inquiry into the workplace relations framework…..The Productivity Commission will assess the performance of the workplace relations framework, including the Fair Work Act 2009, focussing on key social and economic indicators important to the wellbeing, productivity and competitiveness of Australia and its people.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 04:51 Source

Joe Hockey said his Budget was ‘fair’ though it persecuted the old, starved the young, ended public schooling and enriched pregnant millionairesses, and added, ‘All right, if it wasn’t, it’ll be fair next time.’ His rating as the least popular Treasurer in world history he said was a ‘misfortune’ but he had ‘goodies’ which would intensify the ‘debt and deficit disaster’ next May. ‘We’ll have the biggest deficit in our history,’ he exulted, ‘and, look, debt works.’ He would never bring down a Surplus, of course, but the new Obama-Castro deal would keep him ‘well-stocked with Cuban cigars’.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 00:16 Source

Ever wondered how often the twitterverse calls Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott incompetent?Wonder no more, the tweeted mesages of political 'love' run for pages - going as far back as 15 August 2010.Here are a few recent examples:

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Sunday, December 21, 2014 - 00:15 Source

Something to think about from the NSW Dept. of Environment, Climate Change and Water as many of us in New South Wales frolic by the sea over the holidays:The NSW Government has adopted a Sea Level Rise Policy Statement (NSW Government 2009) to support consistent adaptation to projected sea level rise impacts.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 13:49 Source

Eight children were killed by a troubled woman in Cairns. This equalled in number the abortions procured by despairing women on Christmas Island after Morrison threatened their unborn with life imprisonment on Nauru. Morrison now threatened other unborn with equivalent punishment for the crime, he said, ‘of being born in 2015 and not, as I will tolerate, 2014. My patience is not limitless.’

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

The most remarkable thing about the first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle that you can buy outright is how unremarkable it is to drive.

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

The planet Venus, named for the Roman goddess of Love, certainly wouldn't be a very loving place to live. On the surface, Venus hosts scorching temperatures of more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit, a heat capable of melting lead, as well as an atmospheric pressure 92 times greater than Earth's. That's the same kind of pressure found at nearly 3,000 feet below the ocean's surface.

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

You've heard the statistics: the world population may hit between 9 and 12 billion within the century. The middle class is especially growing fast, and will likely continue to demand more meat and dairy, which take more energy to make compared to plant-based staples. The big question is: how are we going to feed all those people?

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

All hail the world's deepest dwelling fish.

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

Since the first gun appeared on a battlefield, bullets have dealt death in straight lines. As the shortest distance between two points, lines are great, but they mean enemies can hide behind walls or buildings and not get hit, a clearly undesirable prospect for anyone in the business of shooting enemies. Now, the Department of Defense is testing a bullet that can change direction in mid-air.

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

In the old days, the battle between condiments was fought by Hellmann's Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. That was mostly a debate about taste rather than substance. Nowadays, vegan mayonnaise that uses plant ingredients instead of eggs is shaking up the world of sandwich slathers. One brand in particular, Hampton Creek's "Just Mayo" has drawn the wrath of food giant Unilever, maker of Hellmann's. (In 2013, Popular Science gave Hampton Creek a Best Of What's New award for their eco-friendly eggless eggs.)

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

Earlier this week, roughly 50,000 Skype users woke up to a new way of communicating over the Web-based phone- and video-calling platform, a feature that could've been pulled straight out of Star Trek. The new function, called Skype Translator, translates voice calls between different languages in realtime, turning English to Spanish and Spanish back into English on the fly. Skype plans to incrementally add support for more than 40 languages, promising nothing short of a universal translator for desktops and mobile devices.

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Popular Science Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 11:11 Source

This slithering, contortionist robot is named the “Series II - X125 system.” The robot snake-arm is over 7 feet long, and can carry over 13 pounds. It has a flexible tip, and can bend over 225 degrees. In the video, it appears to also have a camera and a flashlight.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 09:46 Source

(First published by Independent Australia)

Let us imagine Campbell Newman stood on Murray Street, Manoora, and, his eyes welling, said, ‘We will get through this. We…will get…through this.’

This is a measure of how inadequate Liberal strategy sometimes is. Taking a leaf out of 9/11, it strives to alter a cock-up into religious occasion; to turn the emphasis away from the bungling bureaucrats that caused the calamity, or failed to prevent it, and towards the ‘glorious dead’.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 09:06 Source

It is just a few days before Christmas and probably not the best time to be warning people of impending doom, but then, when is a good time? The world is in a precarious position right now, brought into sharp focus with the sudden and dramatic fall in the price of oil.

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MacroBusiness Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 08:42 Source

  This will be a little slower than usual today…..   China China’s superlative growth looks hard to sustain – Reuters Chinese corporate failures pegged to rise – Nikkei Asian Review Xi’s Reform Gambit – Project-Syndicate What Bad-Loan Crisis? China Banks Jump Most Since 2009 – Bloomberg Russia may seek China help to deal with crisis – […]

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 07:10 Source

“Chapter 1: Economics:
The Study of Choice.”


“Ultimately, Economics is the study of choice.”

Economics Textbook.


How do people choose between a number of alternatives?

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Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 00:18 Source Commissioner John Dyson Heydon AC QC handed his Interim Report to the Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove at Government House in Canberra on Monday 15 December 2014.The Interim Report was tabled in Parliament on 19 December 2014.Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption Interim Report–Volume 1 [PDF 5.7MB]Royal Commission into Tr

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Saturday, December 20, 2014 - 00:15 Source

The infamous culture wars sank to a sorry new low last night. At the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, handed out in Melbourne, the prize for history went to a right-wing rant against Australian trade unions, an ideological tract that includes errors, hearsay, exaggeration and in some cases, sheer fiction and fantasy. History it is not. [Mike Carlton in Crikey on 9 December 2014]

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