Thursday, 29 November 2018

Around the Traps 30/11/18

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, 28 November 2018

The Great Recession revisited

Laurence Kotlikoff has a quite controversial article on the origins on the GFC.

He says the main reason was a bad banking system that was built to fail.

Hmm it did not fail down under nor in Canada.  Regulation works??

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

The Government is in chaos

Is it a bit premature to think the Liberal party may disintegrate as the 'right wing' and the 'centre' cannot seem to agree on anything.
Mainstream parties are broad churches and if one side is not accommodated a split occurs.
It happened in the mid 50s to the ALP however Evatt was quite clearly not the full  quid. However this kept the ALP out of power for over a decade and Australia did not need that.

At present the Liberal party seems to be on that course. What I  find mystifying is why climate change has become part of the culture wars. Perhaps some believe what happens in the USA should occur here as well. however as we saw yesterday renewables is the way to the future as solar now has the same cost as EXISTING coal stations.
It seems to me only two sorts of people would be spruiking coal. Idiots like Craig Kelly for example or those on the coal payroll. 
With both the loss of Wenworth and now Julia Banks the government has given up on any thought of a legislative program.

No-one appears to know where to go in the government. They are desperate that Dutton is not referresd to the Court of Disputed Returns because they can only feel He will lose.

MP's who may lose pre-selection are threatening to go to the cross-bench.

It is a complete mess.

Australia cannot afford a split in the Liberal party just as it could not in the ALP. We also need a federal election as soon as possible.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Solar energy now the same in cost as existing coal stations.

I came to via Frank Josko who was critiquing ALP policy.
Solar energy now is now the cheapest option. for bulk energy. In Australia  according to Origin Energy solar power id as cheap as EXISTING coal stations. wind energy is marginally more expensive.
The cost of existing coal power is $40 MWh  which solar power has now reached except solar power has NO negative externalities.Wind power is at $50 MWh.
If we add in NEW coal powered power  stations costs are about $80 MWh and the fact units in coal powered power stations break down regularly on very hot days the future is looking one-way.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

The Victorian Election

Well that was a surprise.

No-one but no-one was expecting a landslide in Victoria.

Why did it happen?
The one thing I do know is the ALP very heavily advertised the fact Morrison was aligned with both Abbott and Dutton and it appears this strategy worked very well.

You cannot run a scare campaign on law and order if people believe those whom are doing so have little credibility.

It means the ALP should be in Government for at least two more terms.

This is a bad thing.
The Government thus far has shown itself to be the very worst of a secular humanist government. Its support of euthanasia, the safe school campaign, abortion rights etc shows a government that has well and truly gotten rid of any of the social conservatism that was the bastion of the ALP when it started.
Indeed It is the type of an ALP government I could not possibly support.

I said before the previous election they should not win it after being in Opposition for only one term and they governed like that. The behaviour towards the CFA was disgraceful and I was quite amazes and the admittedly small corruption that a loot of MPS and their staff were found to indulged in was ignored by the public.

Victoria needs a Liberal government so the sooner they clean up their act the better

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Around the Traps 23/11/18

It is time again for Around the Traps.

Northern America
Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)
Genial Dave Giles (ecnometrics)
Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)
vox wonk

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Sinclair Davidson at it again.

Oh dear. Sinclair Davidson has been caught out again goebbelsising again.
Let us go through shall we.
The Grattan Institute is ALP funded. Any evidence? Of course not. HERE is their latest Annual Report.
If the ALP funded the Grattan Institute you would see it in two areas.
1) donations in income
2) the directors would represent the ALP.
no sign of that anywhere. Funny about that. They say this " We receive no ongoing government funding and reject commissioned work to ensure this independence."
Clearly they would be put under the microscope if not prosecuted if this statement was wrong.

The Grattan Institute supports the measure in question cause it improves the structural position of the budget. Davidson does not go anywhere near this. Presumably because he has supported in the past measures that created a structural deficit. He has NEVER recanted on this so like his mate Kates he in theory always wants a budget surplus but in practice heartily endorses measures that increase the structural deficit.

Next he alleges the people of whom would no longer gain tax credits under ALP policy do not pat income tax implying their income is very low.

The reason why these people do not pay income tax is because Peter Costello got rid of tax on superannuation benefits in his last budget. the worst policy measure they ever made.
Then he has the hide to call it an anti-robin hood tax
The only people who could have shares in companies together with a substantial superannuation benefit are the rich! The PBO shows this HERE

The question is does Davidson actually understand this. If so then he is simply plain out lying his head off.
Or is he so lazy he simply does not know.

As Harry Callaghan says

Please note the ignorant comments made

Added bonus.
Greg Barton plus more. Sinkers again.

Yep second option

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

A carbon tax that leaves most households better off

Richard Holden and Rosalind Dixon have a very interesting article on a variant of a carbon tax.
There is both a tax on miscreants and a carbon dividend to most households. It is also a progressive dividend.

A really interesting article where policy is made reasonably  simpler.
Me thinks the ALP should adopt this.

Monday, 19 November 2018

It is strange how some things affect you

Some time ago I went to my regular cricket association monthly meeting.
for some time our Association (NDCA) and the NSCA had a combined turf competition over two grades. I was until last year on the executive committee for that competition. This season given falling teams it was decided to have 4 divisions incorporating artificial turf with trams from the two associations.
Thus there were 6 grades of the NCU competition.
Whereas previously the two umpiring associations provided umpires to matches it had been decided, without any input from me, that the NCU would have its own umpiring association.

After 150 years of tradition the Northern Districts Umpiring Association was no more. given its demise I could see no further use for me being a member of the executive committee of the NDCA.

Hence for the first time in some 18 years I had no cricketing responsibilities. I would simply umpire in Shires competition.

I went home and had a drink and felt very sad. 150 years down the drain was to me a bad thing. I had enjoyed myself as head of the Umpiring Association. Allocating umpires for each round, attempting to find umpires for or all semi-final and final  matches, finding guest speakers each year to address the local umpires to help them etc.

It left a gap in my life I was not expecting. The well-wishes from the local umpires for the work I had done was nice
Nevertheless life goes on.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Moving our Embassy in Israel would be madness

During the last week of the Wentworth by-election  Scott Morrison said he was looking at moving our embassy to Jerusalem.
This was never thought out. Neither the heads of DFAT nor Defence knew anything about it.

Why would this proposed change be such a poor decision.
1) If you believe in a two nation existence in the area then this blows that out of the water. The reason being if Israel moves first it claims all of Jerusalem not West Jerusalem.
2) Terrorists who have enough cause celebres would be given a gift to mobilise their resources as well as targeting Australia.
3) It would hamper our relation both foreign and economic with our near neighbours as well as other nations.

This has not only shown up Scott Morrison's political judgement , he is now in a lose/lose situation, it also shows him up as comically stupid. Very McMahonish actually.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Around the Traps 16/11/18

It is time again for Around the Traps

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

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Woeful TV Writing

Time off from serious stuff and i am finding as I graduate into being a grumpy old man I am needing more escapism thus needing more enjoyable TV shows.

What makes this impossible is very poor writing. I initially thought this the province of the USA. In this I was influenced by CASTLE. What should have been the greatest series of all time turned into a complete joke.
Just a few things to highlight very poor and lazy writing.

  • A mere detective is promoted to Captain. She leapfrogs every Sergeant and Lieutenant in New York
  • This detective resigned from the NYPD to pursue a career in a National Security agency ( which was given not one but THREE different names ). 
  • She was given a hefty suspension for going rogue only three years hence. She was sacked by the same national security agency.
  • On her first day as Captain she does not turn up to work but no-one does a thing.
  • A hit squad who has killed all of the people Beckett worked with at the said Agency fall for the oldest trick in the game broken glass!
however to my horror I have recently found a few british series where the writing are equally poor.

Bancroft. Here we have a detective murdering people tampering with evidence. Even when her story constantly changes ( always a problem) her Boss still does nothing.I could not help but compare with Line of Duty  ( season 4) where there are some similarities but done very well.

The Split was simply terrible. Here a woman rails against her father who left the family. Yet this woman had sex with a man on the night BEFORE her wedding. It ends with her continuing this adulterous affair despite her waxing lyrical against her  husband who had done the same. Indeed the only consistent theme of this series was that everyone lied.

What is the common denominator here.
Firstly the writing needs to be as accurate as possible and thus true to life. When poetic licence is used it must be made explicit.
Secondly in a series the writers must be cognisant of what has occurred in previous programs.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Poll Roundup

The inimitable Kevin Bonham has his first poll round up since the coup and it aint pretty.

What I find interesting is that most people expect the LNP coalition to get a thumping.

  • Scott Morrison does. He is campaigning as an Opposition Leader and each strategy gets shot down in flames. The moving of the Australian embassy to Jerusalem is merely an example of a government attempting to do anything to try and get a lift in the polls
  • Bill Shorten does and he earnestly ties to show a confident but not smug face.
  • 'Conservative' commentators believe a landslide is on and are saying hyperbolic things about Shorten and the ALP
And there is two state elections before the Federal election.

Monday, 12 November 2018

What can Muslim leaders do?

Every time I have a great idea about something to write something much better does it.
Greg Barton who had made a reputation on terrorism amongst other matters has a very good article on morrison-wants-muslim-leaders-to-do-more-to-prevent-terrorism-but-what-more-can-they-do.

Let's face it when politicians say things like the above it is for political reasons usually gross political reasons.

That they never think they maybe putting in danger the relationships various intelligence and security organisations have with the Islamic community never enters their heads or they simply do not care!!

Rodger Shanahan on a related issue.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Around the Traps 9/11/18

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, 7 November 2018

Luke Foley is finished

Luke Foley the ALP leader in NSW and likely winner of the State election in NSW in march is finished. His behaviour whilst drunk with as female reporter is simply not acceptable.

A very short comment on the US Mid Terms

The Democrats gained a 9.2% swing. This is the second largest in recent years. The largest was in 2010.
To win back the house of Representatives the Democrats had to win 55% of the vote!! That is landslide territory.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Super is fine

That is the surprising conclusion that the Grattan Insitute has come to. A SGC of 9.5% is more than enough for most people to be comfortable in retirement.

I had always thought 15% was needed just to provide for health in old age but apparently not.

Good news all round.

Here Ross Gittins

Sunday, 4 November 2018


I do find it amusing people called commentators have either little idea of what they are talking about or are outright liars.
Take Andrew Bolt. He is in the John Quiggin or Ken Parish league of prognosticating on politics.
He wonders why the people of Nauru do not have the same problems that Asylum Seekers have. Mate They live there. If they have the means they can go anywhere. Asylum Seekers cannot leave the Island. It is a prison. Indeed if you are not used to the climate it is horrible.
He says the people there are illegal immigrants. No Asylum Seekers can go to any country they wish to go to.

However you would expect this from a person which a court found his article was inaccurate , In Boltspeak that is a lie.

Let us now take Gerry Henderson. He claimed the changing of our embassy had been taken to cabinet. No it had not. If it had the cabinet would have had informational from DFAT and even defence. The DFAT Secretary did not even know about it until the last minute.
Henderson was Howard's chief of staff when Howard was in Opposition. clearly he had no experience or background for the job. his comments here says he is completely ignorant of cabinet procedure or he is a patent liar.
What is worse neither of the other people in Insiders picked him up on this. They ( Barrie Cassidy, Malcolm Farr and Katherine Murphy) are just as bad. clearly no-one on that panel were insiders at all.


I should have mentioned Bolt is one of those who denies Trump sais the media are an enemy of the people. Whoopsy ever tried reading Trump's tweets?
Let us just remember no conservative would be a Trump apologist like Bolt is. for a start a conservative is a defender of a rules based tracing scheme. Trump is not and wants to tear it down.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Around the Traps 2/11/18

It is time for Around the Traps again.

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