Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Comparing the Star Trek series

It is so awful here is Australia with the bushfires.I need to write about something else and why not Star Trek.
I have been a trekkie since I saw my first star Trek episode so here goes.

1) The Original Star Trek

Naturally with Kirk , Mr Spock, Scottie and the rest.  Made a long time ago but still holds up as great entertainment. Important to note absolute values ruled here. There was good and bad.

2) Deep Space Nine

Once you get into this it was a great series. all the characters were enthralling .Two lots of baddies where the name the Obsidian order that Brad De Long loves so much originated. I have to admit when Jadzia Dax left some of me did as well.

3) Star Trek The Nest Generation

Should have been the best however relative values ruled here. No good or bad. Respect the culture stupid!  Characters were great and we meet the Borg.

4) Voyager

Quite easily the worst. Very hard to have a captain as a female. romantic interest thus dissipates. Give her a whiny voice makes it worse.  Seven of Nine almost helped but few characters were interesting and the ones that were rarely were given enough lines to shine.

Monday, 30 December 2019

Some Very Bad TV shows

My wife and two sons return to Australia after being in Europe for 6 weeks. The boys are happy they saw 4 EPL games!.

Given I would be home alone I decided to watch some shows I normally wouldn't as I would have a lot of time during Christmas.

I decided  to revisit FRIENDS. I had been told a long time ago to look at it and id. Asked for my response the next morning I said it wasn't funny which was par for the course for Yank shows. But what about the Babes My mates shouted? What babes. They were average to worse. Every girl working here is more attractive than they are. I didn't watch this very long. It is still not funny.

THE FIX is on Nein. I still do not know where this is an updated version of the Postman rings twice because again I watch very little. Badly acted and written the only reason I watched it was because the lady from the Mentalist was in it.  Not good.  No Simon Baker to overlook her deficiencies

PEARSON could well be the worst program I have ever attempted to watch. She was head of a legal firm who decides to work for the Mayor sounds interesting but those yank writers can kill any decent idea and the acting was woeful.  The lead actress unfortunately has an old face so looked over 60

NCIS had the unfortunate experience of attempting to portray almost any actress as beautiful when they are simply average looking.  None of the charters really stuck to me either.
LA FINEST is another disaster. Yet again tow beautiful women who are not are detectives in the LAPD.  It is to melodramatic with some absurd plot lines

Whoopsy I forgot Hawaii Five-0. A series so poorly acted and written I wonder how it ever got on TV.

It is just as well I got a head cold from the change in temperatures last Saturday. Since I was in bed I did not need to view anything.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Trump and tariffs an unmitigated disaster

Courtesy of Brad DE Long I link this really good study on Trump hiking tariffs and manufacturing activity  from two economists at the Fed.

Enjoy. It is rather long but it is worth it.

Saturday, 28 December 2019

The Best Jazz ever

My next door neighbour calls jazz intellectual.

I like that and it certainly applies to the wonderful Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

The unmistakable So What

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Around the Traps 27/12/19 last for the year

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, 25 December 2019

Monday, 23 December 2019

Will the Government achieve a surplus?

When we  examined the budget after MYEFO was released  the surplus was razor thin. Indeed I would call it balanced not a surplus. ( It becomes a surplus once it is over 0.5% of GDP).

Two people have in recent times questioned whether the surplus will be achieved.

The Kouk questions the strategy.

John Quiggin thinks it is likely the response to the bushfires will burn the surplus.

As I said before increasing the structural budget surplus in these circumstances is stupid.  Ironically it may lead to the budget remaining in deficit.

The Government needs everything to go right. Me thinks it will resort to accounting tricks if needed to achieve that budget surplus.

Sunday, 22 December 2019

Christianity today says remove Trump

Christianity Today has long been the magazine evangelicals read. The articles are usually solid in biblical theology. Thus when the invasion of Iran was happening it produced articles from both sides although it must  but not all be said most who supported the invasion like the late Charles Colson realised they have been wood-ducked.

I have been long worrying about support amongst 'evangelicals' who support Donald Trump no matter what.
It seems they are imitating the Israelites then Jews who rather than accede to God would rather imitate their satanic neighbours.

The current editorial  in Christianity Today is scathing about Trump and really brings home what the current Christian in the USA should be concentrating on.

The critics amongst 'evangelicals'  have come from people who have limited knowledge of biblical theology like Franklin Graham or those who promote the satanic prosperity gospel doctrine.

Thus they can be easily disregarded.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Around the Traps 20/12/19

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, 18 December 2019

Mark Thoma and his blog

Mark Thoma has retired and we are reflecting on how influential his blog was.
Noah Smith is possibly the best one and I heartily endorse everything he says.

Any decent article anywhere Mark somehow picked up and linked and he did this every day!
moreover the person's political views were never taken into account only the quality of the article.

I am thinking now Mark has retired he can update his blog more often!! 😂

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

A few points on the UK election

I am not sure why no-one has made the obvious point on the UK election.

Last time people could make a protest vote by voting for the Labour party knowing full well they could not form government. Thus Corbyn could not be PM.
This time round that was not the case. People knew full well even voting for other parties could mean A coalition government where the Labour party was the main party and Corbyn was PM.

Labour was always going to go backwards with Corbyn as leader. most of the parliamentary Labour party did not want him as leader!!

Add to that their policy on Brexit made little sense and Corbyn perhaps unjustly criticised for being anti-semitic although to be fair he handled the criticisms of his party rather poorly and you get a poor result for the labour party.

however it is not all doom and gloom for a change of government.

The Tories have over-promised what will occur in Brexit both regards to the time and the economy.

I am more than happy to say in the next election provided the Labour party have a half decent leader will come back with a vengeance as a lot of voters realise they were wood-ducked..

Monday, 16 December 2019


Well MYEFO was released yesterday.

I could comment but do not need to because of the next three articles:

Perhaps just one comment. We see the Structural surplus in Stephen Bartos's article. It would seem this is not credible IF and I did say IF the RBA has to adopt unconventional monetary policy because interest rates are too low and in reality they cannot be cut anymore.

Sunday, 15 December 2019


Now I know Iran is stuck between Iraq and a hard  place ( get it) however here are three articles on Iran.
I am constantly struck on how US policy rarely if ever attempts to assist the moderates there and usually only ends up helping the hard liners.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Around the Traps 13/12/19

It is time again for Around the Traps

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

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

We should not be using our carry over credits.

Australia will only get under our targets for emissions by using our carry over credits. ( HERE  and HERE as well)

It shouldn't.
The reason is because it 'allows' an increase in emissions to show as a decrease in emissions.
Here in very smoky Sydanee we know only too well the need to reduce emissions by fair dinkum means.

There should be no carry over credits or debits used in examining whether emissions are falling or not. Using carry over credits to disguise a rise in emissions is a disgrace.

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

An NBN story

Some time ago we had people from the NBN putting in a cable.

When I asked why we needed a cable since we already had one I was told we got the internet via copper wires.
Not so I said I can show you the cable going through our wall.

The person's english wasn't the best  and I was given varied answers.
I thus contacted the NBN and asked the same thing.

I got a Morrison answer that is they avoided the question and simply said we should have the NBN by February.

I further learned telstra users have already gotten the NBN in my street.

I am not happy Jan

Monday, 9 December 2019

Australia's projected carbon emissions

The Department of the Environment and Energy ( I dunno what is is called now) released its projection of Australia's carbon emissions..

New calculations have then falling. The main reason is the renewables will have 50% of energy by 2030.

Now those who remember the election will have a problem. Did not the government say that the ALP target of renewables having 50% of energy would be far too costly? Has the government found a silver bullet?
The answers are yes and no.

The reason is that the cost of renewables has fallen dramatically. They are either below the cost of OLD coal stations or about the same. They are expected to fall further. Ross Garnaut thinks there is a good chance new solar PV will be $30 MWh by 2025!!

This has occurred DESPITE the government bot because of it. Imagine if you will how the market would react if there was a price on carbon!

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Adjustments to temperature

Tamino makes a great explanation of what this is all about.
For something so simple it is amazing how a few people either do not understand it or don't wish to.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Around the Traps 6/12/19

It is time again for Around the Traps.

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

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Pot Pouri : Folau, Medevac, GDP, Bob Willis

A whole lot occurred yesterday.
Let us examine a few of them.

Israel Folau

Both parties agreed to settle. I am bitterly disappointed that Folau did so as everyone needs to know if anyone says something on social media in THEIR time can be a sackable offence.
That said I can understand why he did settle. No-one can forecast where courts may head despite how confident you are in your case. Getting a substantial sum is as good as winning.
In this case Rugby Australia settled for a few reasons few people have mentioned.  Folau had a large war chest to call on so could easily match them. He had the best legal counsel for this case in Australia and there are legal precedents for his team to rely on
Perhaps now he could take legal action against both Rugby Australia and the NRL for not being allowed to play.


Nick Martin  says it all. Why are there any asylum seekers. This government has been in power for over 6 years. Au rely these people are either refugees or not! HERE is an explainer
The government has leaked that at present no persons who have come to Australia are in hospital and in the community.
Two problems here. Patients do not need to go to hospital for all specialist treatment and even could well be out of hospital after treatment. Why oh why do not journalists ask follow up questions.

ALL asylum seekers have to live in a detention centre
Let us be completely direct. no CHRISTIAN could support this.  ( Either now or when it originally started.)

National Accounts

Peter Martin has stolen my thunder. I will simply say we have anemic growth at present.

Bob Willis
Alas Bob Willis dies from cancer. Se HERE and HERE. He had a unique bowling action that in IMHO reduced his pace and effectiveness. He only bowled inswingers not outswingers however he did have an impressive test record. He wasn't a bad commentator as well.


I should call out two lies.

Firstly Israel Folau has never been against any groups from playing rugby Union indeed quite the opposite. Was this one of the reasons RA folded?

Secondly no person from Manus has come to Australia to have any treatment involving his penis.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Macquarie sports Radio revisited

I wrote previously about Macquarie Sports Radio.

They have changed recently again so I thought I might just round it off.

Firstly let us revisit what occurred to the radio network.

They had a talk format which was a bit 2GB lite. They attempted to be shock jocks without sounding like one. However  its ratings were low but respectable.
They then changed the format to a lifestyle format. Quite obviously no research went into this. At the time household debt was was going through the roof and wages were flat lining.
It went over like a lead balloon.
They then changed to an all sports format. They hoped the At sport station success in the UK would immigrate here.

It didn't. Why is this so as Julius Sumner Miller would say.

  • We have a  much smaller population for a start.The niche position in radio is thus much smaller.
  • To reduce costs the network went national however this really did not work in Australia. to make the obvious point which management obviously did not appreciate few people north of the Murray want to listen to Aussie Rules. Few south of the Murray want to listen to Rugby League whereas most poms love to listen to talk on football. It may well have been successful if they had different announcers in different cities. I call this the Department store disease. not enough people!
  • Few of the Announcer had radio voices. When I reviewed Macquarie Sports Radio previously I on;y really liked the night program. Their only two stars Julian King and his producer Christian Jantzen were the team. both great voices and the chemistry was there for all to hear. no-one came within cooee of it. not even the great David Morrow in the Mornings.
  • A sports station has to concentrate on all sports some some that aren't like horse racing or cars. People turn off when that occurs thus you get a niche within a niche.

What do they do now?
Well they sacked everybody or perhaps more accurately most. for reasons that escape me the drive team is still employed. Other announcers merely talk about sport with no feedback at all. to hear A star like Julian King merely talking about s[port without any listener feedback is a travesty.
It is beyond boring.
You listen to At sport in the UK in the mornings and reasonably early at night. Not a ratings winner me thinks
Again this appears to be a research free decision. They appear to have gambled that listeners will stay and with costs vastly cut the station will become profitable.
I very much doubt this.
As I said the format is dead boring. That and replaying past interviews is not interesting at all.

It is a great shame so little thought was  put into this concept.  I do miss the evening show not being on anymore. The intimacy that King and Jantzen had with their listeners was superb and it appeared to me the listeners at night were more insightful..

Monday, 2 December 2019

The London attack and reforming terrorists

In lieu of the London terrorist attack we are very lucky to have two very considered papers on this topic more or less from :

Sunday, 1 December 2019

Morrison shown up

Scott Morrison had a horror week last week.

Like Paul Keating with Ros Kelly he could not even admit his minister,Angus Taylor, had misled parliament and thus should resign.
Again like Ros Kelly Taylor's explanation blew up when people showed that what he said simply could not have occurred.

Unfortunately for Morrison the NSW police decided that it needed to investigate this matter.
This produced the first of his mis-steps. He then actually phoned the NSW police commissioner. ( At this stage we do not know whether these former next door neighbours are mates. They first of all said they were and then said they only said that for a laugh.)
The very idea of a PM ringing a police commissioner who officers are investigating his minster totally escaped Morrison..
He then claimed to know of the investigation and essentially said it was no big deal. The police commissioner disagreed with what Morrison said of the conversation.On this I believe the police commissioner as it would be close to a sackable offence for him to tell the PM of the whys and wherefores of the investigation.
Coming back to Parliament Morrison then misled parliament not once, nor twice nor even thrice but FOUR times.

Thus what did we learn?
 Morrison is very bad at thinking on his feet. I was surprised this was being ventilated by government supporters. Next election Morrison will not get the free run he got in the last election. He will be on the defence most of the time. This episode suggests liberal supporters will be very worried.

When Morrison is under pressure he shouts and uses very 'combative' language. It is not a great look. Again this will be exacerbated in an election.
This whole episode has shut down criticism of  Albanese. His knowledge of parliamentary procedures is masterful and is good on his feet so he was in his element.

Will either party learn from this???