Sunday, 30 June 2019

Martyn Iles is impressive

I was quite critical of the previous head of the Australian Christian Lobby Lyle Shelton. The new head Martin Iles is very impressive.

Unlike he close predecessor he appears to have no political ambitions. This means he does not have to ameliorate his message. When interviewed by Lisa Wilkinson and asked if homosexuals go to hell he calmly answered that ALL people got to hell unless they repent.
This is the correct answer. Secular journalists got into a tether about it and claimed he was avoiding the question. It is unfortunate they they did not realise he was in fact answering the question quite correctly.
Iles then ran with the donations to Folau when go fund me said Folau could not use that platform.  So he can see a solution when it is not apparent to others.

Iles is off to a great start. Let us hope he keeps up his good form.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Around the Traps 28/6/19

It is time again for Around the Traps.

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

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

There are too many Democrat Presidential candidates

Before we talk about the huge number of presidential candidates perhaps we should ask ourselves what sort of person could beat Donald Trump?

We should remember he is a minority president! He also is ignorant . bombastic and possesses little concentration.
This means a policy wonk who concentrates on being a policy wonk would certainly show up Trump as a president who does not know or understand important policy positions. Something that mysteriously policy wonk Hillary Clinton did not attempt to do
now when you have a myriad of candidates will you get this? If the previous republican primary season is any guide no. The Candidate who won had few policies but plenty of one-liners.
I am at a loss why candidates who have no chance of winning  are allowed to participate in the debates.

I should also comment on Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Joe Biden has a poor record in primaries and is by no means a policy wonk. Bringing civility back to the presidency won't work. Just remember he is even older than Trump as well and we can see how age is affecting trump now!

Bernie sanders had the advantage of being really different and you could vote for him knowing you could stay pure because you knew he would not be the  candidate.

This time democrat voters know they have a real chance of tossing out Trump PROVIDED they pick the right candidate.

If they do not winnow out the large number of candidates they could well help in re-electing Donald Trump

Tuesday, 25 June 2019

A couple of solutions to Australia's problem

Nothing like a bottle of red wine to solve problems so let's go.

The economy is weakening and monetary policy is clearly not up to the task and you really do not want wholesale rates to fall further given what would occur to retail interest rates.
So use Infrastructure Australia's list of prioritised projects to grease the wheels of the economy. It gives a short term stimulus and a medium term boost to productivity. given how low bond  yields are you would be a dope not to do this

Working on a the assumption you cannot unscramble an egg we must rule our nationalising the electricity market.. so put a price on carbon so we internalise the social costs of carbon to the country. This allows the market to determine the solution. ( it will be renewables).

Adopt the EU policy on car emissions. This would reduce costs to car manufacturers exporting to Australia and reduce car emissions at the same time. A win/win 

 Put a price on water for commercial use and let the market determine which industries will flourish and which will wither. Use recycling water for public use to insure against drought.

There easy peezy

Monday, 24 June 2019

Israel Folau and Go fund me

Yesterday the site go fund me pulled Israel Folau 'page' which would have helped him to fund his legal fight against Christian persecutors  Rugby Australia.
( Clearly Folau was saying to Rugby Australia I am willing to go as far as the High court on this matter as he stated he wanted to get $3m.) The Australian Christian Lobby has come to the rescue  however

go fund me alleged Folau's site was against their rules yer Sarah Hanson young even now is pulling in money for her legal case against the bald former NSW senator. what is the difference you ask. Well nothing. you fund me have been exposed a bald faced liars and hypocrites of the highest order.

Let us go back a touch can we.. Can some-one please point out when Folau made his 'homophobic' comments please.  Telling a homosexual who is engaged in sexual; activity they will go to hell if they do not repent is no more homophobic that saying the same thing to a heterosexual  who is engaged in either fornication or adultery!! Is that adulterophobis??
That statement is fact as it is in the bible both old and new testaments. Have we now reached the point that people will now label the bible as hate speech?

I think we should also point out Rugby Australia, the NRL and countless of media people keep on saying Folau said something against inclusion in rugby and their diversity policy.

Evidence please.

What we have here is 'tolerant' people are clearly very intolerant. We need a clear decision on Folau's case so Christians know whether paraphrasing a bible passage is a valid reason to sack a person.

Whoopsy I should have added gofund me take a lucrative slice of the action of anyone who uses their site. Indeed if you do not do your homework they take 10% although not in Folau's instance.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

Book Review: John Kennedy An Unfinished Life

This book written by Robert Dallek is easily the best biography of anyone I have read.
I felt like I was part of his life whilst reading this book.
The medical research is quite extraordinary and it is wonder Kennedy could do anything let alone be a confident president.
I also knew of his womanising and philandering but still wasn't prepared for just how bad he was in this regard. He was very lucky he lived in an era reporters mostly thought this was a private matter.

We get to know he had a great intellectual mind when he wanted to apply it.Other people did not ghost write his books for example.

He was a good politician in that he learnt from his mistakes and he knew which people should be in what positions. He certainly wasn't the closet liberal ( in the US sense ) a lot of people thought he was.
What I found fascinating was how slow he went on domestic issues always believing race issues was a long game.

Do yourself a favour and read the book.

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Around the Traps 21/6/19

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, 19 June 2019

Peter Dutton arch Hypocrite

Mr Dutton does not like the Federal court ruling doctors in Australia can make a ruling on a patient ( who is a refugee) in Nauru  by merely looking at their file.

What is wrong here you say.
1) The government has attempted to overturn decisions made by doctors over there with their own doctors making decisions by MERELY EXAMINING THEIR FILES. Mr Dutton walking both sides of the street here.

2) How does Mr Dutton who was only a copper before entering parliament know more than doctors about any patient?

3) His crying wolf about the Medevac bill proved patently false previously why would this time be any different?

4) Mr Dutton clearly doe not understand boat turn backs.  The boats have never stopped coming to Australia although there was a clear decline once Kevin Rudd said no-one would ever be allowed into Australia however if the boats have kept on coming how come no asylum seekers?   Their boats have been turned back of course. Despite the legal  and moral dubiousness of this action turn backs clearly are effective in stopping asylum seekers coming to our shores.

5)Most reporting on this issue has shown this tactic has worked and few people are willing to exchange cash to get here. Some do but not many.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

We need fiscal stimulus and we need it now

Unfortunately Josh Frydenburg has taken a gamble.

He is gambling commodity prices stay high thus this boost to Nominal GDP together with the proposed tax cuts and offsets and decline in interest rates will be enough to stem the decline in economic activity in Australia.

Why is he taking this gamble? He believes the politics of having a budget surplus is too high to break the charade. In this he is also taking a gamble. He is gambling that commodity prices stay at high levels which will offset any deterioration in taxation or increase in payments due to a slowing economy

It is lamentable economics and politics..
As RBA Governor has stated the economy needs fiscal stimulus.The government should go directly Infrastructure Australia and implement their most recommended programs. This would grease the wheels of the economy and unlike tax cuts are only a temporary increase in the structural budget.

It is woeful politics because there is no such thing as expansionary austerity as we have seen many times here. Trying to tell an uneducated part of the electorate that only makes things worse if times get BAD!

Monday, 17 June 2019

There is a role for Industrial Policy

Industrial policy has rightly had bad reputation for governments attempting to pick winners and failing and thus wasting large amounts of taxpayer dollars.

Two economists from the IMF no less attempt to resurrect industrial policy as something governments can and should do.

I have always favoured policies that facilitate the market mechanism ( a price on carbon is a good example) and they recommend something that is a variation on this theme.

I have it via Bra De Long on reda-cherif-and-fuad-hasanov-principles-of-industrial-policy-weekend-reading although it was originally at Vox wonk as I like to call it.

Very interesting reading.

Sunday, 16 June 2019

What is the point of the desalination plant?

In Sydney we now have water restrictions because of the drought.
But hang on I thought the reason we built an absurd desalination plant ( it is absurd as it costs more than a recycling plant and uses a lot more energy THIS is very good to read on this issue and others.) was because it was an insurance policy against drought.

If not what was the reason for this piece of 'infrastructure'?
come to think of it water recycling could be a great boon to those living in the country and worried about water and drought. Have a read of this information sheet from Sydney Water.
While you are at it read THIS piece form 2012!!

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Around the Traps 14/6/19

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 June 2019

Renewables are our future

The ever excellent Renew Economy has a great articles which focuses on a McKinsey report on how renewables could boost the Australian economy because we have a competitive advantage in this area.
It is really fascinating stuff.It complements Ross Garnaut's belief that solar PV costs could be $30/MWH by 2025.That's right 2025.
Then read bad-trip-from-a-coal-generator-could-yet-lead-to-a-price-hangover 

The market is moving towards renewables. The government should facilitate this not stop it!!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Sinclair Davidson again

Alas and alack I have found it hard in recent days to write about anything  however Sinclair Davidson's desultory comments at Steve from Brisbane's blog got me reading Catallaxy in search of something I could  'write' about. Sure enough there is Sinkers attempting to show up Jim Chalmers.

so let us go through this penetrating article.

First of all he says the electorate had its vote on who had the better plan. This may come as a shock to Sinkers but we had a HUGE polling failure. Although we know the result we do not know the reasons for that result. The government had no plan either which is exactly Chalmers' point.

Next he makes the extraordinary claim that the sluggish growth is all due to people anticipating an ALP victory.  Any evidence for this ? Nope. We must remember Sinkers does not have a clear grip of basic macroeconomics. Indeed this is a feature of Catallaxy as we have seen in the past.

He does not like the term per capita recession. Oh dear what happened when our old mate Katesy talked about this in 2008. You are right Sinkers was silent. We now have GDP per capita falling for three consecutive quarters.!

He says an increase in tax as a % of GDP from 23.3 to 24%  of GDP  over time is a massive increase.Oh dear .Household consumption was obviously falling in John Howard's time then He implies those tax increases were aimed at those experiencing low wage increases. No  the ALP were  mostly targeting middle class welfare such as franking credits and  negative gearing. We should remember sinkers does not understand the difference between total income and taxable income so the confusion is understandable. And of course he forgets about what is occurring to expenditure.

Finally Sinkers does not seem to realise renewable energy is either cheaper ( solar PV) than coal fired energy or almost the same price ( wind) and both are still falling in cost indeed Ross Garnaut thinks there is a good chance Solar PV costs could be $30/MWh by 2025.

I should add something that neither He nor Judy knows. The ALP had a swing to them with better educated and high income groups. The people who swung against the ALP were the pesky voters who were getting all the goodies. That is a giant whoopsy. The PBO ticked off the ALP program so only an ignoramus would say the spending was not costed.

Lastly Sinkers does not want more spending. Well Phillip Lowe the RBA governor does because it will help stimulate the economy.

So many errors in an article and no-one at Catallaxy could pick one up.say it all really.

Anybody else 'working' at a University would be embarrass

Thursday, 6 June 2019

Around the Traps 7/6/18

It is time for Around the Traps.

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

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

The AFP raids were a disgrace

The AFP conducted two raids and threatened another radio commentator over the last two days.
We are lucky that Rebecca Anannian-Welsh has written a very good article about this.

My thoughts are these:

  1. These raids have NOTHING to do with national security
  2. It looks suspiciously like payback after the LNP's surprising electoral victory
  3. The journalists were assured they were not being targeted. the AFP were after those who leaked the information in other words the whistle blowers
  4. The information by all parties was clearly made in the public interest. The government and bureaucrats were clearly embarrassed.
  5. The Law council warned us about this last year.
  6. The legislation should be amended immediately so journalists are not targeted.

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Castle: Why the series was always going to fail

Well I had 6 weeks to recuperate from my Gallbladder/ Hernia  operations.

I tried to watch some Castle DVDs but simply could not. I simply could not get Castle and Beckett being a couple of bimbos out of my head.

However let us start at the beginning.  We immediately find the best chemistry I have ever seem between the two main stars Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. This meant you only need mere competent writing to have a great series. Unfortunately we did not even get that.

In the first season we see Castle two divorced wives. His first Meredith is not attractive ( nor is Castle's mother or daughter). She divorces him after SHE commits adultery in their own bed. Indeed he still has sex with her!! And she did not want their daughter in the split.
His second is Gina who is sensational looking. however she remained his publisher all through their romance, marriage and then divorce. As if this would occur in real life.
We also meet Becket who it must be said is very plain looking in the first episode, wears dowdish clothes, is allegedly wearing no makeup ( although she clearly was) and a workaholic.Very prim and proper.She also intensely dislikes married men who are having affairs and is a one and done gal as opposed to Castle who as we said has had two divorces.
So why does Castle eventually shadow Beckett? When she says you have no idea it is in complete contrast to her persona.
We also have to accept Castle is both a ladies man and a good father. Huh. If the man is returning home after a scandalous .liaison then he has no regard for his daughter. We never see this at all.

In the second season is where the chemistry  comes to the fore. however at no stage do we get to know why Beckett is attracted to Castle and vica versa. Indeed at no time in the 8 seasons does she ask him about his divorces at all. Very realistic. We never find out what is so special about Beckett either.
In the finale we are to believe  Castle gets back with his second wife and she is going to spend the whole summer with him. Again wholly believable .

It is in the middle of the third season Beckett becomes smoking hot. It is all down to that long curly hair. We also meet her third boyfriend  since working. Unfortunately the writers could not make up their minds on whether he is a chest surgeon or becoming one. given he goes on Doctors without Borders he must be a full surgeon. We also get an absurd situation on where he helps out with medical help in an ambulance. No surgeons do not do that!!
We also find out Beckett has had a varied sex life which means  a lot of one night stands which is in complete contradiction to season one
The finale is equally silly. Roy Montgomery who is the Precinct Captain sens some important information to a valued friend. This person does not get it until not only is he dead but Beckett is shot. the US Portal Service is very slow.

The fourth season is enjoyable but again problems. Castle learns that Beckett knows all about him telling her he loves her. He think she is embarrassed by this. This man was supposed to be a former ladies man What a joke. He gets all uppity about her not telling him. Does he confront her. Nor on your nelly. He does nothing indeed he does not tell her which is rich in irony. In the finale Beckett goes off on her own ( going rogue in other words) in attempting to unravel her mother's murder.
Castle says he has been waiting four years to see him in the proper light. Only one problem, We know from the season 3 finale Castle had been there one year so this is THREE years not four. Guess what it is the same writer. The finale is the ONLY time Beckett ever apologises. It makes her one weak women.

I had high hopes for season 5, Surely Beckett would now tell Castle how much his books meant to her given her mother's murder. Nuh.
We meet Gates the new Captain. She has had a lot of experience in internal affairs so should know about every different division in a precinct yet her very first action is to split up the most successful homicide squad in New York. wow.
Two highlights . They go on a weekend away. No-one at the precinct can guess who Beckett is going with. Yep the Precinct is full of dopes apparently. There is no follow up from the weekend away. Usually people might think of living together and perhaps even marriage but not here.
I should add here Beckett knows about every woman Castle has had lengthy affairs with now. It would be obvious to anyone Castle in no ladies man indeed quite the opposite. He simply wants a successful marriage. In the last three episodes We see a lying and conniving Beckett. Somehow the idealistic homicide detective has vanished and an ambitious career driven has  appeared from nowhere. Why Beckett would even need to work given that Castle is worth at least $50m and earning $4m in income each year is apparently never though of. Even more absurdly a woman who has been suspended for gong rogue, only had homicide experience and never had a partner since being a detective is offered a job in national security.

As quickly as Beckett had become an ambitious career driven woman she goes back to being the  idealistic detective again. Indeed even though she resigned from the NYPD she goes back to being head of homicide.
The 'highlight is an episode where the leading presidential candidate is both a drug runner and a money launderer. Gates rings Becket up and tells her not to tell Castle. Great relationship eh. They want Beckett to go undercover even though she has  no experience,
We end with Beckett finding our she is already married. how about that neither the NYPD nor a  national security agency could find this out but a clerk could by simply hitting her computer.

Season 7 had no good episodes in it. We had the absurd story of Castle being barred from the Precinct by the Department of Justice for a clearly specious reason. no-one wants to fight city hall on this at all. No Castle decides to become a PI.
In another absurd episode Castle is arrested by two policemen who witness him attempt to kills 3XK who is a great villain. Castle believes he knows where Beckett is. man. Despite this there is no charge and then when the man is killed no investigation at all.
in the finale the writers cannot even get Castle's age correct. It gets worse we are shown two political operatives grilling Beckett. Only problem they do not know she has been suspended by the NYPD, she resigned from the NYPD and then was sacked from the  National Security Agency ( which incidentally had THREE different names.). This means she had NO political future at all.

Season 8 is a disaster. Beckett a mere detective is promoted to Precinct captain.Nothing occurs when she fails to turn up to work.. Aggh

The series failed because for whatever reason the creator Andrew Marlowe was a very lazy writer who continually had problems with continuity.

We had a ladies man who was continually written anything but a ladies man. We had a prim and proper lady who we find is not prim and proper. A woman who is sometimes an introvert and at other times an extrovert.
We find in season one Beckett went to the Prom but in season 6 she didn't.
In season two we find Beckett a member of a large female group from her school yet later we are told she was a rebel. She is such a rebel she defers to authority such as in the very first episode.

I could go on and on but you get the picture, poor writing ,little continuity, no research into topics.
If not for the chemistry this series would not have lasted two seasons. As it was we were seduced ( pun intended) by the chemistry until the absurd season 5 which confirmed completely the Moonlighting curse.

Okay some suggestions that could have made Castle better if Marlowe was not involved.

A season that was about Castle and Beckett finding and getting Beckett's mother's murderer. They get together and discuss their future. Beckett wants to find her mother's  murderer so they do it together with the NYPD's approval. This means plenty of interaction with the 12th Precinct.
Next season has then having children. Just remember they are quite old to be parents.Beckett is a full-time mum and Castle a part-time Dad when not writing. however because they are Castle and Beckett they come across murders all the time. Again plenty of interaction with the 12th Precinct.

Just remember this could have been the greatest series of all time but it was never going to be given Marlowe was involved.