Oz Blog News Commentary
The Political Sword Sunday, December 1, 2013 - 08:35 Source

In the closing days of the Second World War, the name ‘Lord Haw Haw’ was synonymous with the cry: ‘traitor!’ In those days a traitor was seen as a clear-cut thing. In The Meaning of Treason (Penguin, 1965), Rebecca West identifies him as a traitor:

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Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 16:25 Source

I have been using the R package stl() to undertake seasonal decompositions of time series data. However, it removes much more signal/noise than the approach used by by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Because it produces a trend series that is much less noisy than that from the ABS, it is slower to identify turning points in the data (as can be seen in the next three charts).

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The Australian Independent Media Network Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 14:02 Source


Over the next few days The AIMN is switching web hosts. Hopefully the move will go smoothly (as promised by the new provider) and you won’t even notice it. We will look no different. But there is an outside chance that we will be offline for a short time – an outside chance only – so if we do disappear off your screen it will be only temporarily. Life has taught me one lesson: things don’t always go as planned.

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WixxyLeaks Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 09:38 Source

The other day I received a letter from the US of A that I thought might be worth sharing with you all.

Unfortunately however the letter was not a pleasant one.

We live in an electronic age where data security is essential for any company that wishes to remain relevant in a digital world.

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George Monbiot Saturday, November 30, 2013 - 03:26 Source

The BBC’s disgraceful failure to reveal who its contributors are speaking for.

By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website 29th November 2013

Do the BBC’s editorial guidelines count for anything? I ask because it disregards them every day, by failing to reveal the commercial interests of its contributors.

Let me give you an example. Yesterday the Today programme covered the plain packaging of cigarettes. It interviewed Mark Littlewood, director-general of the Institute of Economic Affairs, an organisation which calls itself a thinktank.

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Antony Green's Election Blog Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 17:44 Source

The release of Federal election preference data again shows Labor to be the net beneficiary from preferential voting.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 17:18 Source

Yesterday we looked at older workers. Today it's the turn for those of prime working age.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 13:12 Source

It’s an Americanism, to be sure, but the idea that the first 100 days of a presidency (or in this case, a Prime Ministership/new government) is the most important has some merit.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 12:12 Source

The push for GM food is a stitch-up by government and agribusiness. Where are the massive crop yields we were promised? Tasmania should continue its moratorium, writes Katherine Wilson

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Drag0nista's Blog Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 08:26 Source

Bishop’s conduct as Speaker has been far from impartial, even in two short weeks. It seems that shrugging off the armour and handing over the weapons of a Liberal Warrior have not come easily to her.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 08:23 Source

So it’s time for another Overflow thread, as part of our system for keeping other threads on-topic. There are Rules here.

DO NOT treat this as an Open Thread (which is where off-topic discursive chitchat belongs) – the #overflow has a very separate purpose. Overflow threads are set apart for more contentious side discussions (especially perennial stoushes) to avoid disruptive thread-clutter that discourages other commentors from continuing on-topic discourse.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 08:17 Source

Dvir Abramovich, chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission, has an op-ed in the Herald Sun today talking about Kristallnacht.

It was a night of terror, a nationwide state-sponsored pogrom unseen in Germany since the Middle Ages, foreshadowing the Holocaust.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013 - 03:09 Source

This article from Climate Spectator tells us that shutting down the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will actually cost the government $200 million each year in lost revenues.

The article refers to an article (by Laura Tingle) in the AFR. Apparently my $3 per day subscription doesn’t entitle me to see the article online – the first time I’ve encountered this problem.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 22:53 Source

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 19:54 Source

When I read Matt Cowgill's recent post, it got me thinking about the significance of population ageing on the participation rate. In my previous post, I looked at the ageing trends. In this post, I want to reflect a little on what these trends might mean.I spent a little time replicating some of Matt's work using the tools with which I am familiar. (I use STL rather than X12 for the structural decomposition of time series data).

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laberal Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 18:56 Source

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The Global Mail - Syndicated Stories Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 16:03 Source

Foreign treasure hunters have descended on the battle-scarred and economically bereft Pacific island of Bougainville, as jockeying for its natural riches intensifies. Hot on their trail: The Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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WixxyLeaks Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 09:21 Source

Yesterday in a Melbourne Magistrates Court Craig Thomson was left scratching his head.

In what has been the latest bizarre event in the whole saga surrounding the former MP the prosecution in the criminal case have gone all schizophrenic on us, offering one thing and doing another.

Sources close to the case have told of the prosecution approaching Thomson with an offer they likely hoped would be too good, or Thomson would be too broke to refuse.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 03:26 Source

Kevin Rudd and I are on a unity ticket. There’s no difference between Kevin Rudd and myself when it comes to school funding.

That’s Tony Abbott before the last election.

“you can vote Liberal or Labor and you’ll get exactly the same amount of funding for your school”.

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laberal Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 18:25 Source

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Damian Smith Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 16:27 Source

I’m going about to do something which is supposedly one tiny step below treason for someone of my nationality. I’m going to defend an English cricketer.

English first drop Jonathan Trott has called stumps on his Ashes tour and is currently heading home, the victim of what press releases are calling a “stress related illness”. For those of you unfamiliar with the way that such press works, “stress related illness” is a powerful euphemism for something much more sinister, much as how your mother refers to your alcoholic and embarrassing uncle as “a bit of a character”.

Jonathon Trott is suffering from severe depression.

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George Monbiot Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 07:05 Source

Advertising and consumerism dull our capacity for empathy.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 26th November 2013.

Guilt is good. It’s the feature that distinguishes the rest of the population from psychopaths. It’s the sensation you are able to feel when you possess a capacity for empathy.

But guilt inhibits consumption. So a global industry has developed to smother it with a 13-tog duvet of celebrities and cartoon characters and elevator music. It seeks to persuade us not to see and not to feel. It seems to work.

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George Monbiot Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 03:27 Source

A government-backed industrial lobbying campaign is being funded by a stealth tax. It’s an outrage.

By George Monbiot, published on the Guardian’s website 25th November 2013

It’s a stealth tax about which the government has kept very quiet. When you hear the details, you will know why. I doubt whether one in a thousand people is aware that it exists. Every time you buy fish in the UK, you pay a fee to support an organisation which opposes campaigns to protect fish stocks and marine ecosystems.

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Monday, November 25, 2013 - 23:47 Source

I found this in Tony Abbott’s Battlelines which is a quote he took from John Howard:

A conservative is someone who doesn’t think he’s morally superior to his grandfather.

Very nice, very neat and in its own way sums up just how difficult it is to be a conservative these days. Because the sentiment will actually only appeal to a small proportion of the country. Most won’t know what it means and a majority will surely think their morals are superior because none of us live in the moral space of people fifty and a hundred years ago.

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Drag0nista's Blog Monday, November 25, 2013 - 22:56 Source

Quentin Bryce: a model of even-handedness. A post for Guardian Australia.Filed under: Politics Tagged: equal opportunity, equality, Governor General, marriage equality, Quentin Bryce, republic, same sex marriage, sex discrimination, social justice

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Monday, November 25, 2013 - 20:42 Source

Matt Cowgill caught me a little by surprise with his post on ageing and the labour force participation rate.To better understand these dynamics, I have had a quick look at the ageing of the civilian population in the labour force statistics.

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laberal Monday, November 25, 2013 - 19:11 Source

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WixxyLeaks Monday, November 25, 2013 - 14:08 Source

Branch Number 1 of the HSU has had its fair share of troubles for many years now and its membership must be among the most patient union members on earth.

Or perhaps the most frustrated.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 18:09 Source

'Freedom' is getting a real workout in the Australian media nowadays. It's a peculiarly American view  of freedom, though - the Platonic, chiseled-into-granite view of the word. Hands instinctively go on hearts at its very mention.Take the taste test and it is revealed as the Rupert/IPA flavour of freedom.

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We are all dead. Sunday, November 24, 2013 - 12:54 Source

After reaching an all-time high of 65.8% in November 2010, the proportion of people aged 15+ who are either in work or actively looking for work has declined sharply, hitting 64.8% in October this year. An important question for policy makers is this: is the participation rate declining because people are being discouraged from looking for work, or is it declining as a natural consequence of the ageing of the population?

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