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Wednesday, 21 February

10:18

The Bumpy Road Down, Part 5: More Trends in Collapse Damn the Matrix

IrvMillsIrv Mills has published the fifth and last part of his 5 part series called The Bumpy Road Down, previous instalments being available here.

 

 

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In my last post I started talking about some of the changes that will happen along the bumpy road down and the forces and trends that will lead to them. (The bumpy road down being the cyclic pattern of crash and partial recovery that I believe will characterize the rest of the age of scarcity). These changes will be forced on us by circumstances and are not necessarily how Id like to see things turn out.

The trends I covered last time were:

  • our continued reliance on fossil fuels
  • the continuing decline in availability, and surplus energy content, of fossil fuels
  • the damage the FIRE industries (finance, insurance and real estate) will suffer in the next crash, and the effects this will have
  • the increase in authoritarianism, as governments attempt to optimize critical systems and relief efforts during and after the crash

Oscillating overshoot...

09:03

Joyce clearly not going anywhere-Cormann "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Finance minister Mathias Cormann. Image from econews.com

The Turnbull government needs to move on from the furore surrounding Barnaby Joyce, who clearly doesnt plan on going anywhere, cabinet minister Mathias Cormann says.

The soon-to-be acting prime minister was laying out the coalitions plans on Wednesday amid ongoing questions about the future of Mr Joyce, who is on personal leave after his extramarital affair with a former staffer was revealed.

When it was put to him that Mr Joyce was not going anywhere, Senator Cormann replied: That is clearly what he is saying.

We just keep doing the job that we were elected to do, do the best we can to secure more jobs and higher wages, he told Nine Network.

Mr Cormann said the nation needed to move on from the saga.

We must move on. The country wants us to move on, we must move on, we need to focus on the things we were elected to do, he said.

Our next priority is to get our business tax cuts through the Australian Senate so that Australian businesses can be globally competitive.

Mr Joyce is defying anyone suggesting he stand down as Nationals leader in the wake of the breakdown of his 24-year marriage and relationship with Vikki Campion who is having his baby.

WA Nationals state leader Mia Davies issued a statement on Tuesday telling Mr Joyce, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, to go.

Mr Joyces actions have caused pain for his family but it is the ongoing damage Mr Joyce is causing the Nationals organisation that is of greatest concern to me as WA leader, she said.

Mr Joyce pointing out that WA didnt have any federal MPs and that the eastern states, which had more skin in the game, supported him.

I find it surprising that a federal issue has so much momentum in the west, when people in the east in the National Party have, in the majority, a different view, he said.

While the WA branch does not have any federal MPs it was second only to the NSW branch in raising political donations last financial year, receiving $1.79 million.

The NSW and Victorian Nationals both say the federal leadership is a matter for federal MPs.

Further commentary on this issue in the public domain is unhelpful, the NSW branch said in a st...

08:00

February 21 On This Day in Australian History "GroovUs Feed Anews"


1802 - HMS Investigator was misplaced (some say lost but I believe it will resurface down the back of someone's couch) whilst under the command of Matthew Flinders, who was stickybeaking about the coastline in the vicinity of present day Port  Lincoln. A water party, comprising two officers and a crew of six left the ship to land on the mainland and was not seen again.

1802 - Corio Bay, near Geelong, discovered John Murray poking about its shoreline.

1804 - Niberlooner was renamed Sullivan's Cove (Tassie) on this date when Lt David Collins cast his baby blues over the area.
Not to be confused with Sullivan Bay, Victoria, a settlement Lt David Collins named and abandoned after 7 months.

1840 - The cat was out of the bag when a particular gossip from Penwortham told the press of the vile events of this day when a shepherd promised a starving Indigenous woman a sheep in exchange for sex which he neglected to fulfill then, later forced to face the woman's rightly angry relatives, he killed her.

1842 - Dig out the feather boa and polish up that rhinestone garter-belt Mavis...the first play to be wrought in Melbourne was sprung upon the populace at the Theatre Royal, the title "Widow's Victim".


1848 - A hefty cutter named Psyche. Cutter was shop-lifted from Hobart by four convicts. Two survivors from her were picked up at Percy Island by the barque Freak, but the fate of their two companions was never discovered although some suspected cannibalism.

1881 - The Grey River Argus proclaimed that John Almao of Dunedin had been awarded a second order of merit, from the Melbourne Exhibition, for his model aerial tramway, while Reid and Duncan, civil engineers from Dunedin, received an Honourable Mention for their plain wire rope railway.
Well, I found it interesting...

1891 - Two Indigenous men were murdered by a policeman in Central Australia.

1894 - The Wanganui Herald whispered how Mr. Hindle, MLA of Lithgow, denounced Parliament for containing drunken blackguards.
One feels that Mr. Hindle was holding himself back, not really letting rip and tellin' like it was....

1899 - Sir George Bowen popped his clogs. Georgie-boy was a busy lad with fingers in political pies, being the Guv for Qld, the Guv for NZ and the Guv for Victoria where he didn't kiss the girls to make 'em cry but sacked 400 public servants and made 'em cry.

1907 - Tired of swimmers ignoring the SWIM BETWEEN THE DAMN FLAGS ALREADY message
The Bondi Surf Bathers Life Saving Club was established on this day at the Royal Hotel, Bondi Beach.

1927 - Radio station 3DB began broadcasting in Melbourne. It borrowed the initials of the Druleigh Business and Technology college and was launched upon the world with a Children...

07:49

ABCC heads paid off handsomely and others are made to go without "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Contributed from Victoria

Freedom of information provisions have revealed that the top chiefs of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) received generous pay increases of about 14 percent last year.

One of the commissioners found his take went up from $199,000 to $222,500 and another two from $185,000 to $210,000. Seven are now being paid more than $210,000.

These individuals are highly rewarded, because they are hired to carry out the dirty work of ensuring that that section of the workforce engaged in one of the most dangerous industries, has its own pay and working conditions undermined.

The ABCC is not an independent tribunal to deal with matters before it, in a balanced ad fair way. It is a political police force, operating with impunity, and denies the usual legal protections to those it hunts down.

This is why those who make the decisions are handsomely rewarded by a government hell bent on carrying out its class war against constrtuction workers across Australia. It needs to buy the loyalty of its principal henchmen.

A key function of theirs is to de-unionise the industry. They do this by employing provision that make it extremely hard for officials to communicate with their members. There is no right of entry onto the job. Delegates and rank and file members have little right to pursue matters of concern. Even minor breaches of the stringent conditions, risk being dragged before the ABCC.

There is little doubt that the construction industry is a test case. If successful here, the same will be applied to other industries. Fortunately, this has been held back by the ongoing resistance of the construction industry workforce and their unions.

One thing that has revealed the mercenary nature of the ABCC, is the departure of disgraced head Nigel Hadkiss, who eventually admitted breaching the law in the carrying out his role. The Commission handed out more than $418,000 for Hadkiss legal defence and he walked away without suffering any penalty at all.

Hadkiss new replacement, Stephen McBurney, is being paid $426,160 a year.

Overall, the ABCC spent almost a third of its last financial years budget, that is $11 million, on lawyers

The pay rise has shown the double standard of a government that is at the same time, actively imposing very limited pay increases for nearly all government employees. The only exception to the rule are the top executives. Their loyalty has to be paid for as well.

Australias public sector is being shaped as a weapon to wage the governments class war across the field. Through restrictions to service and ongoing privatisations, resources are being channeled upstairs, to the wealthiest individuals and everyo...

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Tuesday, 20 February

19:08

Australian University Launches Nations First Open Blockchain Course "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

The post Australian University Launches Nations First Open Blockchain Course appeared first on CCN

Australian public research university RMIT is launching the countrys first dedicated online short course on blockchain technology, the underlying innovation behind cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. The emergence of blockchain as a disruptive, game-changing technology has spurred Melbourne-based RMIT University to offer Australias first online course on the sector. The 8-week program, titled Developing Blockchain Strategy, will Continued

The post Australian University Launches Nations First Open Blockchain Course appeared first on CCN

16:41

Media Release (Tamil Refugee Council) 20/2 | THE U.N. SHOULD OPPOSE AUSTRALIAS DEPORTATION OF SANTHARUBAN Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

  The UN Committee against Tortures decision to lift an interim measure preventing the deportation of a former member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers) is a mistake, the Tamil Refugee Council said today. In the letter, dated 19 February, the UN committee acceded to the Australian governments request to lift the(...)

14:54

Vacancy rates drop in January "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Rental vacancies tighten

I've noticed many rental properties letting much more quickly in Brisbane in recent weeks.

Whether or nor this is the beginning of a trend for 2018 remains to be seen. 

SQM Research reported that nationally vacancy rates tightened from 2.5 per cent to 2.3 per cent in January, partly due to the seasonal variation over the Christmas period. 

In Sydney the vacancy rate fell from 2.6 per cent to 2.3 per cent in the month of January.

However, that's still higher than the 1.9 per cent recorded a year earlier.

Indeed, smoothing the numbers on a 6mMA basis you can see that Sydney's rental conditions have been easing, and rental price growth may now moderate from here. 


Hobart's vacancy rate increased to 0.4 per cent in January, but a severe rental shortage in the Tasmanian capital is putting continued upwards pressure on rents. 

Canberra also recorded a tight vacancy rate of 0.9 per cent in January, with Adelaide at 1.5 per cent, and Melbourne at 1.8 per cent. 

The trend in Perth's vacancy rate, although still elevated, is also improving. 

...

13:55

There is no European citizen cultures and narratives diverge in the Eurozone "GroovUs Feed Anews"

I have noted before that when someone asks me where I come from I immediately (and innately) respond Australia. If questioned further I might tell them I grew up in Melbourne, Victoria. Sure enough, I am a Victorian (with some of the cultural attachments that that denotes) but that affiliation is weak compared to my nationality. That doesnt make me a xenophobe or a nationalist. It just says I am culturally from that geographic area. If I ask my friends from Italy, Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Norway, etc the same question, they will answer they are from those nations. They never immediately respond by saying they are European. I can get them to say they are European but that is not their innate cultural association. The point is that there is really no such thing as a European citizen. They are all citizens of their individual Member States with little shared culture and quite diverse histories (not to mention languages etc). An interesting study came out from European economics think tank Bruegel last week (February 15, 2018) Tales from a crisis: diverging narratives of the euro area highlights the consequences of these differences and concludes that it makes for an extremely challenging context within which to conduct a uniform monetary policy across different countries. I would add economic policy in general to that assessment.

The study investigates Who gets the blame for the crisis in the Eurozone. They also were interested in the question: How did narratives of the crisis develop since 2007?

Their approach fell within the area of research known as narrative-building in economics which Robert Schiller described in his January 2017 paper Narrative Economics as involving:

the study of the spread and dynamics of popular narratives, the stories, particularly those of human interest and emotion, and how these change through time, to understand economic fluctuations.

Recessions are obviously about people deciding to spend less, to make do for now with that old furniture instead of buying news, or to postpone starting a new business, to postpone hiring new help in an existing business, or to express support for fiscally conservative government.

These decisions are subject to feedback so as a recession deepens and confidence falters, people will decide to spend less.

But as Schiller notes: why did the recession even start in the first place?

There is a body of literature in the fields of marketing, journalism, education, health interventions and philanthropy that show the people respo...

07:00

HE SAID BOOO-RETURNS! Gay man arrested at gay festival for booing right-wing gays to boo with others next year "IndyWatch Feed National"

EXCLUSIVE: A gay man recently arrested at a gay festival in Melbourne for "booing" right-wing gays says he is planning to do it all again next year and is now inviting others to join him in his peaceful protest. [READ MORE]

Monday, 19 February

15:27

COVER UP! The dark past of disgraced Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle in The Valley of the Dolls "GroovUs Feed Anews"

EXCLUSIVE: Having recently resigned as lord mayor of Melbourne following a number of sexual harassment claims, it can now be revealed that Liberal Party heavyweight Robert Doyle once got a teenage girl to sign a confidentiality agreement after she was sexually harassed by another sleazy politician who made crude remarks to her in person and over the phone. [READ MORE]

10:03

A renewable energy jobs boom is sweeping across regional Australia "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Renewable energy: powering Australia in more ways than one http://www.examiner.com.au/story/5229330/renewable-energy-is-powering-jobs-in-the-regions/?cs=97 James Wright  18 Feb 18  A jobs boom is sweeping across regional Australia and theres one industry to thank the renewable energy sector. From places like Gordon in southern Tasmania to Pindari in north-east NSW, new solar installations, windfarms, battery arrays, solar towers and pumped hydro facilities are springing life into regional towns. How are they doing this? By injecting desperately needed investment and job opportunities into remote locations.

09:39

Lets put an end to the battery cage "GroovUs Feed Anews"

With the release of the Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry draft, we're encouraging all members to speak up and have their say on Australias continued use of battery cages. The opportunity to ban or phase out battery cages is now, and may not return for another decade.

These draft Standards will have a lasting impact on the future of the poultry industry. We believe all poultry producers voices should be heard in the debate on battery cages, just as many would remember from the free-range labelling debate in 2015 to 2016.

Put the pressure on Agriculture ministers and your local members, especially in states where the proposal has yet not seen governmental opposition such as Queensland and NSW. Victoria and WA are already on board with the development of better welfare standards than those proposed.

Write to your local member of parliament and tell them what you think about the draft Standards. Some key points to include are:

  1. The Proposed Australian Animal Welfare Draft Standards and Guidelines for Poultry should include a 3-year phase out of battery cages to be considered as providing a responsible solution to consumer and animal welfare demands.
  2. The current proposal provides Options that are inadequate in terms of improving animal welfare because the soonest Australia could see a phase out of battery cages is in 10 years. The entire European Union announced it would phase out cages in 1999 and did so by 2012. If an entire political continent can shift its production methods in less than 13 years, then it should be feasible for Australia to attempt a shorter phase out period of much less than 10 years. Countries in the EU such as Sweden responded immediately by banning the use of cages in laying production from 1999.
  3. More research should be done by the Government on alternative production systems such as pasture-based poultry management systems and regenerative agriculture systems including poultry.

Include further reasons

in your submission as summarised by RSPCA at...

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