Thursday, 29 October 2020

Around the Traps 30/10/20

 It is time again for Around the Traps


Northern America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox Wonk

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

The Polls and the US Presidential election

 Eric Kramer has a good and short discussion on the polls. Be sure to read the Mathew Yglesias link.

Can I just say one thing. If Biden gets wel lover 50% of the total vote it is hard to see him not winning the absurd electoral college.

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

The Government in Queensland should change

 I have a very simple way of voting.

Once a party has had two terms I vote for the other party.

There are lots of reasons for this. more than two terms breed arrogance, laziness, a senses of entitlement etc. We can see this at bot the Federal and State ( NSW) level. history backs this up. No Party is so much better than its opponent nor is the opposition so incompetent they should not govern.

Therefore Queensland needs a change of government and they need it now.

I should add voting this way means you do not have an allegiance to any side of politics. 

Monday, 26 October 2020

Kruggers on Trump's failed Trade policy

 Via Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution we get a wonderful paper from Kruggers on not just Trumo's failed trade policy but why it failed.

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Cartier watches and the rest

 Well we had the CEO of Australia Post admitting to giving out luxury Cartier watches as a 'bonus' for gaining contracts.

The PM went off his nut about it. I thought it strange. If you want government enterprises to be commercial why would you go so mental when they adopt commercial practices. That is not to say they are sound practices. I am with Demming, the founder of total quality management, who saw no great reason for bonuses.

Next we have ASIC. The Head had over 100k in taxation advice paid for by ASIC. His deputy had some six months of rent paid as well. I have to say that is some taxation advice for moving here from the USA. He must have a lot of assets and income.

The next we have the Government buying land for Badgerys airport. It wondered how much to pay. No problems said the sellers. We have a valuer. He said it was worth $30m. A year later they found out it was worth a mere $3m. This is either staggering incompetence, criminality or both.

A federal ICAC to investigate you ask. Well no the explanatory memorandum for the laws have been lying on the Attorney General's office since last October. You simply need to meet with stakeholders and get feedback on the prosed legislation, make the necessary changes and then present the legislation to parliament. This is apparently all beyond the government. They cannot walk and chew gum at the same time

It all adds up to a government that doesn't know what to do or why they have to do anything.

Thursday, 22 October 2020

Around the Traps 23/10/20

 It is time again for Around the Traps


Northern America






Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews)

Vox wonk

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

The US Supreme Court

 I said a while ago I thought the Supreme Court of the USA would not go partisan in deciding on which votes are valid.

Clearly I was wrong. There are four Justices who clearly do not care.


This is the real issue which should concern people.

Although I would be very happy if Roe V Wade  was overturned I doubt if this will occur. Maybe some window dressing but that is all. Abortion is now well inculcated into US culture so it is very hard if not impossible to change.

Let me be very clear. If the Supreme court has a case on this issue and brings down a highly partisan decision that decides the election violence will occur because people will lose confidence in the whole system. The USA becomes a third world country courtesy of the Supreme Court..

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Quiggin on solar energy and zero interest rates

 John Quiggin is good when he is not censoring people views because of political correctness.

He has two short articles which are thoroughly interesting.

  1. too-cheap-to-meter-2
  2. transmission-too

Monday, 19 October 2020

Why Trump is likely to lose

 Donald Trump is a minority President. He may even won the election in a fluke however he acted like he won in a landslide. Unlike say Nixon or Clinton ( you cannot get more diversified than that) he has made no attempt to reach out to the middle ground. sure he has solidified his base but that rarely wins elections.

He and his party has had massive swings against them in what we Aussies call by-elections.

The Mid-terms were a disaster. Unlike Clinton or Obama has has learnt no lessons from this.

He is no longer an outsider whom punters might just bet on just to see how he goes. He has a record and it is bad.

His ads such as the one with Fauci are lies and Fauci has called them out on it.

His campaign has no consistent them to it. It is all over the place but that is Trump.

The Senate is looking bad for Republicans. Iowa possibly the most prominent example. ( Wouldn't it be ironic if both Graham and McConnell lost their very safe seats!)

Trump is now hitting out anywhere now. today at Fauci. He does not apparently know Fauci has much more credibility than he does.) 

The debates rarely change votes but Trump was way over the top.

Trump getting the virus makes the virus the number one issue. It is a vote loser for trump.

Can I just finish that Trump was never a  politician and it is showing up big time at present. He is all over the place because he needs to make up a lot of ground and simply does not know what to do and thus is throwing a lot of what yanks call 'hail marys'

Coming into election day my advice is to examine 538 and Andrew Gelman very carefully.

Just remember the national polls were not wrong last time some state polls were and my guess they have had modifications made to them.

Sunday, 18 October 2020

The Barrington declaration is a sham

 Brian Resnik from Vox tears apart the Barrington declaration.

We are lucky it is only supported by fringe dwellers.

It is as a yank medical specialist said legalised murder and he was right

Tyler Cowen on why he rejects it.

Stats man Kaiser Fung on i-dont-like-the-term-herd-immunity

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Around the Traps 16/10/20

 It is time again for Around the Traps


Northern America






Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle (quirky + book reviews) 

vox wonk

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Our Gladys again

 It got only worst yesterday for our Gladys.

Her lover of five years confessed to crimes yet not only did she not know she at no time urged him away from, this future.

Lets face it on one phone call it was obvious he wasn't just on the way to misfortune ( euphuism) he was bursting down that way.

Did she urge Daryl to stop. Perhaps retire and live on his tax free pension and do what he wanted to.

Nope. did she put her foot down and say if he didn't change his ways the 'close personal relationship' was over. Nope. Indeed she was still with him when he was in disgrace having to resign from parliament.

So if we are to believe she did not know what her Daryl was up to. This means as I said previously Daryl did not say anything about his business ventures in bed. He would be the first man to only talk about it on the telephone.

What is worse for me she never ever urged him to get back to the straight and narrow.

She had no moral compass to guide her.

Sorry but bye Gladys.

Whoopsy I should have added she was terrible at her press conference. The pressure is definitely getting to her

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

NCIS revisited plus a few more shows

I can now write about NCIS as I have watched all the episodes until Tony leaves.

Before this i had only watched post Tony episodes.

That is why I was so ( rightly0 dismissive) of the series.

In chronological order  The first two seasons the writers really di not know what they were doing. Were they trying to line tony and Kate or not. There was no chemistry within the team. Tony's character was all over the place.

Somehow it got to a third season and it all started. the  introduction of Zhiva was the catalyst. Tony's character changed and Michael Weatherly became the star of the series. I said before he reminded me of Doug McClure in the Virginian. Mostly playing a fun guy but could do serious when needed.  Mark Harmon who is a limited actor became very good indeed all the major characters leaped out at you.

Overall the characters of tony and Zhiva were great. Playing people who were interested in each other but di not want to show it. the only criticism here is it went on too long. In the real world one of the two people dip their toes into the pond and takes a chance.

This brings us to the next problem. Tony and Zhiva were so close the writers had no idea of what to write when she leaves the show for very specious reasons.

Tony is despondent at times at other times he is the same care free pre Zhiva he was. It is utterly absurd. He has lost the love of his life. He rarely acts like it. Also important is the fact tony was offered his own team in season 3 yet here he is years later and he has not moved on. why?

The writers had made both of them so close they di not realise if Zhiva leaves then Tony had to as well.

Whoopsy I should add three things. Mike Franks, Gibbs old boss, Agent Fornel from the FBI ( the actor was in Hill St Blues) and  Abby from coastguard are my favourite recurring characters.  Abby from Forensics has more skills than anyone I know. Forensics, computers, examining cars are all in her domain. Not believable.

This is where the series  loses its bearings.

The new characters are quite boring and in most cases make no sense. The latino actor is full of himself it is laughable. Harmon goes back to his limited acting again. I do repeat that the writers have no idea of women concerning the character of Gibbs. The man has been married 4 time engaged 5 times. women would be very wary of him in real life. The ages of the women attracted to Gibbs is also 'interesting'.

I do find it interesting they went to when Tony leaves and then back to season one.

Anne with an E gets much better in its third season after losing its bearings in season 2.

The coroner is a series I watched previously on the ABC. It now back on commercial television. Its major problem is that whilst the major characters are interesting the minor characters are not.

FBI is okay but lacks something I cannot put my finger on. The boss went from a lady in her early 60s to one in her early 40s. A bit young me thinks but the writers did not think this was even a problem so so answer to why. A pity because the actress is one of my favourites.( Jo Martinez from Forever)

My roblem is now there is very little on TV to watch!!

Monday, 12 October 2020

Gladys must go

 Oh dear our Gladys has appeared before ICAC and it appears truth is stranger than fiction. See HERE for example.

She never told anyone of this relationship although the Ministerial code says she should have.

For Gladys it  an earthshaking moment. A man thought highly of her. It would not occur very often as she is not attractive. This can be the only explanation why it took her so long to realise the truth of the matter concerning Maguire. She knew he was going down the wrong path but did nothing.

He is the archetype of the greedy politician who is only in it to make as much money as he could. He always had grandiose schemes to kame money but few came to fruition.

This never bothered her at all. It can only be explained by the fact she must have been a very lonely woman. She simply rationalised his behaviour away. As I said previously she never tried to change his ways. Indeed at one stage on the phone she says don't tell me. how revealing.

Imagine what was said in bed! It is simply incomprehensible he di not rattle off his get rich schemes to her.  He may have been a bad rat but he was her bad rat.

Even when Maguire had to resign from Parliament the lights never went on.  She only stopped the relationship once the matters were sent to ICAC.

It never occurred to her Maguire was using her. When the relationship started she was deputy leader of the Liberal party in NSW.  Why would Maguire ,who is no chick magnet, pursue her.  She is unattractive, hardly an intellectual giant but very important person in the liberal party. She was a mover and shaker in the parliamentary party and seen as the heir apparent to Baird. 

From the phone calls we heard Maguire never asked for special treatment but Gladys knew exactly where he was situated. This is possibly the only smart thing Maguire did.   As I said just imagine what they tlaked about in bed with each other. Maguire made sure She knew how each 'project' was going so it was always at the back of her mind. She never told anyone of this conflict of interest because presumably of her high moral standing (sarc).

Yet she never told anyone of her relationship at all.  In essence she wood-ducked a lot of people and her judgement is shown to be terrible.

This all means to me she should resign. That there is no heir apparent is irrelevant.

I should also say I found it fascinating to compare our gladys with Julia Gillard.

Neither woman had relationships with married men UNTIL that marriage was in essence over yet Gillard was labelled a family wrecker. Only the Murdoch press could do that.

Samantha Maiden is on the money

Sunday, 11 October 2020

A Football Grand Final

 I went with my older son to the all Age 10 grand final on Saturday for the North West FA. It was held at West Epping.

The Game was between Macquarie University and St Andrews Eastwood. The former was undefeated whilst the latter was going for their third successive grand final win.

Both my son and I had referees St Andrews whilst my younger son had refereed Uni last week. He then informed us there was bad blood between the two teams.

The game was unspectacular  but marred by very poor refereeing. He actually did not run at all. He gave Uni tow penalties. The first he was well out of position ( nearer the halfway line than the penalty area.

HE gave a penalty but not a red card ( for a dogso as the jargon tells us.) This was absurd. It was either a penalty for stopping a goal and a red card or it was play on. Then whilst the penalty was taken he was on the goal line together with the linesman so he had no idea of any encroachment.

He gave a second penalty in the second half for what my son and I thought was a dive and thus a yellow card.

On neither occasion did he go to his lineman and so show the crowd he was taking their opinion into account.

I saw a studs up tackle a that three referees thought was a red card. I saw a defender push an attacker away from a provocative position in front of the goal keeper and take no action.

The only yellow card was produced when a player kicked the ball away  when a free kick was given. no action was taken when opposition players clapped the said player. 

but the worse thing was the crowd, Full of beer on both sides, terrible remarks and NO social distancing.

My son was coopted to ring the police about this. ( the crowd was around 100, not bad for such a game).

The  police palmed this off and gave him the covid hotline to ring. After several attempts he did.

Did anyone come you ask.

Not in this match, not in the next which my oldest son line nor the match after that which my younger son lined. so.

onya Gladys. good to see Covid is being taken so seriously.

Thursday, 8 October 2020

Around the Traps 9/10/20

 It is time again for Around the Traps.







Andrew Gelman ( mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox wonk

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

The budget

 I actually have little to say.

I enjoyed a very pleasant dinner last night at a friend of my wife.

so here is some reactions

And this wonderful interview.

It has Frydenberg essentially saying stimulus to fight GFC bad, stimulus to fight covid good.
what a bunch of hypocrites

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Trump and Covid

 A few thoughts on the ONLY news story.

No schadenfreude.

How did he get this? He raged when his driver got it and was not wearing a mask beforehand despite home not doing so.  He was determined not to get this virus so it is all surprising.

The timeline does not add up. We are assured Trump has daily tests. If this is the case then he went through a few days where he had the virus including the 'debate'. If the tests were stopped then it shows complete and utter  stupidity. The doctors press conference simply AVOIDED answering this question

We know he is in the danger zone . He is male, he is over 60 and he is obese. The problems usually occur in the second week however we do not know when they that is. Going to hospital maybe a cautious thing to do or it maybe something else.  Why did he go to hospital but not his wife?

This is important. Unlike other old fat men he is getting the very best medical care.

The ceremony of showing Trump's nominee to the Supreme court is clearly a super spreader event.

Clearly over the next few days a lot of people ( including those working at the Whitehouse ) will be having tests. Emphasis on the plural because the virus takes time to show up.

No-one trusts what comes out of the Whitehouse.  What is needed now is transparency not spin.

Lastly this is not good for Trump politically.  Covid becomes the only issue.

This also shows up big time the whole incompetence of how Trump has treated this issue.

The numerous TV ads which could be made just on this is astounding.

The Superspreading event, The President who gets the best medical treatment who wants to stop a lot of people getting basic medical treatment, putting people in danger etc

538 on the politics 

Steve from Brisbane on Trump playing idiot yet again.

and we should note the IRONY as well or is that hypocrisy

Thursday, 1 October 2020

Around the Traps 2/10 /20

 It is time again for Around the Traps.


Northern America






Andrew Gelman (mainly stats)


Dianne Coyle ( quirky + book reviews)

Vox wonk