Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Polling Update

Kevin Bonham again comments on the latest lot of polls.

He also examines the polls visavis Tony V Malcolm.

I again say it appears the electorate has made up its mind. Turnbull at present is very much like Gillard was. you can pass all the legislation you like and even though most of it is good policy the electorate does not give a stuff!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

The Murray-Darling Basin

Four Corners had an outstanding episode on the Murray-Darling basin.

In essence we saw NSW Departments giving irrigators information they gave no-one else and without a NSW Government badge. Plan B was to simply walk away from the Murray-Darling deal.
We actually saw some cotton farmers taking water illegally. The water was far too low for them to take water but they were caught out doing so.

The whole matter needs a judicial inquiry. At present we are spending billions of dollars for no benefit what so ever.
Get the evidence and charge the villains as soon as possible. The Murray-Darling basin is vital both to Australia over all and to the region.

It needs to be regulated well and the rivers brought back to health.

See also Ross Thompson


The whole Family watched this movie tonight. I agree with Steve from Brisbane.

This is a fantastic movie.The direction is something else. The filming of the air fights is simply magnificent.

Do yourself a favour just go and see it. You will enjoy it.

Has to be the BEST movie of the year by a country mile

Monday, 24 July 2017

Trump and Russia

Something stinks about this. First of all everyone involved call such stories lies.
Now it seems all those involved are saying they occurred, many more times than we first realised. There are lots of e-mails involved. how forgetful they were about them.
Three key Trump officials met with Russian operatives after being told they were official Russian 'players'!

It seems their key defence is either sheer stupidity or ignorance.  Even a key Trump apologist The New York Post is saying Junior's defence is that  he is stupid!
 Imagine if they key officials of Clintons campaign met with Russian operatives!


Just remember Kushner's defence is a lot more sophisticated than Juniors!

Will anything occur? I doubt it. We must and should wait for Muller's report.
However Trumpists are not a rational bunch. Here is an example. Lincoln would say an idiot talking about idiocy to idiots.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Around the Traps 21/7/17

It is time for Around the Traps again.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
  • nothing within a p value!
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Israel and Palestine

David Schullman in the New York Review of Books ( always one on the most enjoyable reads one can get because of the wide variety of topics) has a wonderful and somewhat sad article on the future of peace between Israel and Palestine.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

New Department and Terrorism

The Prime Minister announced a new 'super' department to 'fight' terrorism.
He failed however to give any evidence of how it would improve performance. There is an old saying . If it ain't broke then don't fix it. In fact the security and intelligence agencies have been doing a pretty good job. ( it always helps that in Australia the people arrested for terrorist crimes have been pretty stupid and pretty easy to discover.

Whether it is the private or public sector one looks at two things. The strategy involved and the execution needed to put that strategy into operation better known as structuring. We almost always hear about companies restructuring. We rarely ever hear about companies changing their strategy!
Yesterday we neither heard why the execution was bad nor that the strategy was off. It is pretty easy to agree with John Blaxland. This is all about politics. Turnbull is frightened about losing his job.
More insights from Geoff Kitney and again from John Blaxland.
Adele Garnier sees other problems for Immigration policy. Ric Smith also comments.

What makes this worse is that the Minister is Peter Dutton. He was hopeless as Health Minister and is repeatedly caught out brazenly lying in his current portfolio. See Andrew Elder 

Directly related to this is a new study which shows the new counter-terrorism measures PERMANENTLY reduce international trade!

Clearly both measures here have not been thought out properly.

Monday, 17 July 2017

On media bias

Chris Dillow of Stumbling and Mumbling fame has a typical thoughtful piece on BBC bias.

Much of it could apply to Australia and the ABC.
Whenever anyone is interviewed on the ABC there is no difference on how the interview is conducted whereas on frequent commercial outlets there is a vast difference difference.  Pauline Hanson given feather duster treatment by some outlets. The very people who are so biased one way always accuse the ABC of bias without ever becoming specific. Think Andrew Bolt, former auctioneer Ray Hadley etc.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Cricketers dispute a great ad for joining a union

Greg Jericho has an article entitled australian-crickets-pay-dispute-is-a-wonderful-ad-for-joining-a-union.
He is right.We have had labour market deregulation from mainly the ALP. ( Howard actually re-regulated it to favour employers).

We now see the final fruits of this in wages.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Around the Traps 14/7/17

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Tamino is not amused

Tamino is back and he has a go at scientists who fail to do climate trend change correctly. He shows us how it should be done!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Measuring the impact of Austerity

Simon Wren-Lewis of Mainly Macro fame writes a clear exposition on  measuring-impact-of-austerity.
As Brad would say it is a must read.

going to Blayney and won't be back for a while.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Around the Traps 7/7/17

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (econometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
Vox Wonk

Monday, 3 July 2017

The Cricket Dispute

Will we have an Ashes contest?
What is going on between the Australian Cricket board and the Australian Cricketers Association?

Here is Geoff Lemon on the dispute. It is possibly the best article by a journalist I have read.
Also on the ever excellent ABC we have the normally so so Tracey Holmes doing a great job  on the whys and wherefores.
Also Braham Dabscheck who also pops up on the Tracey Holmes audio

I do think given the change in personnel on the ACB since the last agreement and the fact previous agreements have been good for both sides means we are looking at something else. In this case it is ideology and the subject union busting. A very middle class union at that.

Going away and will be back on Friday

Hotwhopper skewers David Archibald

hotwhopper is a good blog. I gather she lives in Australia and uses most of her energy exposing the stupidity that inhibits Watts up with that.

Here she absolutely skewers David Archibald who thinks another ice age is coming.

As a bonus Here is Variable Variability on trump-administration-new-scientific-method-red-team

A further bonus and Then Theres Physics skewers David Whitehouse

Denialism is simply another form of anti-intellectualism

Sunday, 2 July 2017

A few comments on Australian Politics

Things are happening in Australian politics so I guess it is time to make a few comments.

Let us start with the Liberals. They made a rational choice in disposing of tony Abbott and replacing him with Malcolm Turnbull. Abbott, who vies with Stanley Bruce as our worst PM, was leading the government to a huge loss.
Turnbull just got them over them over the line. The electorate was initially overjoyed he became leader but as it became apparent he was simply implementing the same policies as Abbott but was a different face Turnbull lost a lot of his support.
Indeed I very much doubt if Turnbull did implement policies he supports ( as does the electorate) , he would gain much support. He is not his own man!

Here lies the irony. Abbott continues to snipe from the sidelines with no hope of doing a 'Rudd' because the electorate never liked him. All he does is to perpetuate the thought the Liberal party is fighting with itself. The more he does it the worse it becomes. Given there is at least one radio station in Sydney which allows to voice his opinions twice a week this will continue for some time to come.

A few problems with this is Abbott is quite boring and seems not to have any understanding of topics he talks about. Take new coal powered electricity plants. They are very costly. They will not bring down prices. Anyone who has read anything on the topic knows this but not Abbott!

Thus the government is walking ever so slowly to a defeat in the next election.
In recent times the government has reminded me of the ALP under Gillard. They implement good policies but simply cannot sell them . Education or NDIS are good examples.
The LIberals are in the  unfortunate position of having no-one around who can replace Turnbull.

Let us now look at the Greens. The major problem here is that the NSW branch of the Greens are a separate party to the National Greens. Hence they see no problem in opposing policies their leadership group are trying to negotiate with the government.
 The Moscow educated Lee Rhianon is the NSW's branch perfect candidate. She is still an unreconstructed communist who will never be part of a party group.
( I am amazed no-one has ever said Rhianon and Hanson are so similar. Both are not very smart, both have aged badly, both are bad at detail on topics they talk about, both are not thought highly of by the electorate but are loved by their small devoted fans no matter what stupid things they say or how they try to manipulate their own people.)
Hence there is a festering sore in the Greens which will always be there unless Rhianon goes somehow.
Rhianon makes it easy for the ALP to defeat possible Green forays into 'their' territory and for the Greens to make it into mainstream politics.

I lover her!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Songs that are better in the studio than live

Its a Beautiful Day made the iconic White Bird a long time ago. In the studio it is magic. The vocals, the violins ,the production.
See here

However it loses something in the translation when live.  Singing not as good, a bit too fast as is prone in live performances etc
See here