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Monday Message Board

May 5th, 2008

It’s time once again for the Monday Message Board. Please post your thoughts on any topic. Civilised discussion and no coarse language, please.

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  1. BilB
    May 5th, 2008 at 18:50 | #1

    I am pasting this link in a few places because I think that there may be some substance in this technology. Matteran energy claim to be well into proving a 4Kw solar powered air conditioner based on a hybride sterling cycle.

    https://matteranenergy.us/

    One of the key features is the claimed ability to use low levels of heat, 100Deg C, although the higher the gradient the better it works. The site animation is very clear and easy to follow.

  2. Salient Green
    May 5th, 2008 at 21:05 | #2

    I thought 60 minutes did a really good job on the ‘Rivers End’ story.

    After a week of intense media coverage, blogging and research on the likes of Cubby station, corrupt state Governments, over-allocation and water wastage, and maybe a couple of bourbons, the story made me a little emotional.

    As a father and efficient irrigator, after a week long litany of greed, selfishness, incompetance, ignorance and apathy from irrigators and Governments alike, a bit of a sook just had to happen. What else could it be, when all the evidence points to a disaster and those with the power to avert it choose not to, but a crying shame?

  3. Jill Rush
    May 5th, 2008 at 22:35 | #3

    It is hard to watch governments without the values to work their way through issues. The lack of ability to cut through on issues of importance such as the Murray Darling Basin, whilst the NSW Premier is prepared to ignore Democracy in the desire to privatise public assets, built over generations, and just when public control is needed to ensure environmental outcomes occur. It is a shame that Iemma isn’t prepared to show leadership over an issue which requires it rather than try to cosy up to business and we can only wonder why he is preapred to ignore his party when to do so appears to be absolutely shameful.

    There are competing interests but it would be so refreshing to have a government show vision in a way which shows leadership and concern for the nation. I am hoping that Penny Wong will get there soon and make people like Iemma and Bracks and Anna Bligh take action to remedy the wrongs of the past in over allocation and profiteering from water.

  4. Ian Gould
    May 5th, 2008 at 23:09 | #4

    “It is a shame that Iemma isn’t prepared to show leadership…”

    Arguably, going against public opinion and your own party in the dogged pursuit of an objective you believe in is “showing leadership”

  5. Jill Rush
    May 6th, 2008 at 08:02 | #6

    Point taken Ian Gould. It could be argued that Robert Mugabe shows leadership by defying democratic traditions. I should have qualified with “decent”.

  6. Ian Gould
    May 6th, 2008 at 08:45 | #7

    You’ll note I didn’t say anything about him showing good judgment.

  7. Tristan Ewins
    May 6th, 2008 at 11:31 | #8

    Dear friends,

    I am writing to you today to pass on a paper which I have written about the challenges facing the incumbant Labor government. The paper explores tax policy, and the conditions of Australia’s welfare state and social wage. Most recently the paper was published on the international political website, ‘Znet’.

    For the low paid, pensioners, students and others who are vulnerable – austerity could well hit hard. And even for those on average earnings and higher – the wage share of the economy has fallen over recent years – and ordiary workers have the right to expect justice – not pressure for wage restraint they cannot afford.

    I urge you to read the paper – and distribute it to any other colleagues who you believe might be interested.

    The paper can be found at the following URL:

    http://www.zmag.org/znet/viewArticle/17191

    Tristan Ewins

  8. Tristan Ewins
    May 6th, 2008 at 11:39 | #9

    Dear friends,

    I am awriting to you now in relation to ANOTHER paper I have finished recently- which has been published at On Line Opinion today – and which can also be found at ‘Znet’.

    The paper explores the matter of ‘The Good Society’ – and how this is reflected in the principle of the ‘mixed democratic economy’, and ‘liberal democratic consensus’. ‘Liberal democratic consensus’, though, is not considered uncritically – but is taken alongside the need for methods of struggle and civil disobedience – in the pursuit of change.

    If you could make a contribution and state your opinion – at OLO or Znet, your opinions would be welcome.

    The URL for my ‘On Line Opinion’ entry is here:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=7315

    And the URL for my Znet Blog is here:

    http://www.zcommunications.org/blog/tristanewins

    Membership is necessary to access the blog – but gaining membership is free and simple.

    You’re also welcome to distribute the links in this message to whomever you think
    may be interested.

    Take care – and you to hear from you soon.

    Kind regards,

    Tristan Ewins

    [email protected]

  9. observa
    May 6th, 2008 at 12:05 | #10

    Iemma IS showing good judgement politically with a little bit of pain now for some long term gain. Better to handball those nasty Federal, cap and trade, power price rises in the future, over to the private enterprise whipping boys. As well he won’t have to foot the bill for a plethora of future public servants to run about in ever diminishing circles, commiserating with the battlers about rising energy prices. He can safely leave that to Rudd and the ACCC behemoth.

    Speaking of green power and bang for your buck, have you, like me, got a charger and a set of rechargeable batteries tucked away in the cupboard and gone back to throwawy alkalines? Like me you found that unlike alakalines, when you want to use the digital camera,etc they’re flat, or don’t last long in the remote controls, etc? Well it seems Sanyo have solved the problem with their new ‘eneloop’ pre-charged batteries. (Powerex ‘Immedion’ super low self-discharge batteries too I see and no doubt the clones will follow) Unlike the usual NiCad and NiMH rechargeables they don’t self-discharge at around 1% per day, which makes them virtually useless for intermittent or casual use. They will still be at 90% charge after 6 months and 85% after 12 months, very much like your trusty alkalines now. What’s more they can be charged up to a 1000 times. However on that note you should also get a ‘smart’ charger that not only charges them but can condition them occasionally. I grabbed a Powex MH-C204A which can charge or condition 2 or 4 AA or AAA batteries at a time (only in identical pairs note), but if you’re a real techno junkie you might like to spoil yourself with the $90-$100 Powerex MH-C9000, which has an LCD display, manually controlled individual functions and can charge, condition and analyse 1-4 AA and AAA batteries individually. Most of us however will be more than happy with auto mode smart chargers/conditioners for dummies.
    Ah, private enterprise, aint it grand? Bringing real green solutions to unionists and ACCC employees alike.

  10. gordon
    May 6th, 2008 at 12:49 | #11

    At my place we are on tenterhooks waiting to see whether NSW Unions will form a new political party to represent their interests. Wonder what they would call it?

  11. May 6th, 2008 at 13:09 | #12

    Curious. I pointed out Brad DeLong’s use of one the tricks in Thouless’s “Straight and crooked thinking”, and the comment has gone. How very odd (not).

    I have just pointed out the censorship on that page. I wonder how long that will last…

  12. jquiggin
    May 6th, 2008 at 15:20 | #13

    Given that the post your link points to is a two-line link to something else, I find it pretty hard to see what rhetorical trick you might be pointing at, PML.

    I found Thouless’ book pretty good when I read it long ago, though it didn’t save him from being sucked in by ESP, IIRC.

  13. May 6th, 2008 at 17:04 | #14

    The main reason it’s hard to see is that DeLong censored what I told him – and has now removed the comment I just put complaining of censorship, I see.

    It’s number 6 of Thouless’s list, the one about irrelevant objections. DeLong made an irrelevant objection putting “[I beg to differ. Ideology turns up. Economics much less so...]” in, above my own comment. So I quoted chapter and verse from an internet source for Thouless’s points, and pointed out that DeLong had done it. I see that he prefers to manipulate the field of debate so that his rhetorical tricks survive and people can’t point them out.

  14. Highlander
    May 6th, 2008 at 21:29 | #15

    I was disappointed on Sunday to see that the Rudd government has broken their word on intervening in state issues. The incident in question related to civil unions, which the ACT had voted to legally recognise with a ceremony, until the Rudd government intervened, saying they would oppose the act if it was passed. This comes after Rudd stating that he would leave the issue up to the states.

    While Rudd’s had a good start in terms of keeping promises in his term, non-intervention is a big one to break, especially for such an early point in his term.

  15. May 6th, 2008 at 21:51 | #16

    I would have been happy if DeLong had just removed his spurious interjection, which he might easily have made from not thinking enough before he did it. As things stand, he not only endorsed it, he has blocked the counter that Thouless advised, which is to point out that the argument was irrelevant (to whether or not there was earlier SF with an economics content; I offered Heinlein as an example).

    So DeLong is himself a barrier to truth, much like the press correspondents he exposes. As so often, the cover up is worse than the original offence, and it throws doubt on the integrity of other things he posts if he is willing to suppress such a small thing as this. “He who is faithful in little will also be faithful in much”.

  16. May 6th, 2008 at 22:03 | #17

    Curious, I could have sworn there was another comment here just now, from someone else confirming that he too had been censored by DeLong. I wonder where all these comments are going?

    I’ve put Gordon on automoderation, as noted in another thread – JQ

  17. May 6th, 2008 at 23:42 | #18

    Ah. It’s just that my comment at May 6th, 2008 at 9:51 pm, replying to the Gordon comment, comes over as a bit of a disjointed non sequitur without it.

  18. May 7th, 2008 at 12:25 | #19

    Concerning NSW electricity privatisation: Newspeak on the asset stripping of Australia

    When you take a public asset without permission and give it to private individuals, that is not ‘reform’ it is theft. Taking something without the owners’ permission is stealing.

  19. observa
    May 7th, 2008 at 15:44 | #20

    Quite right daggett if you give it away but Iemma’s not doing that he’s selling it to the highest qualified bidder http://www.smh.com.au/news/opinion/iemma-deserved-better-than-naked-obstructionism/2008/05/05/1209839545859.html
    You’ll note Keating’s point that if the assets had been sold in 1995 as his competition reforms advocated-
    “Then the power stations were worth $35 billion. A decade later the price discussion for the same stations is about $15 billion. That is, $20 billion in lost value; $20 billion that could have been spent on education, health and vital new infrastructure. A vast sum even by national government standards”

  20. Nicki Lagrange
    May 8th, 2008 at 13:20 | #21

    ok, it’s Thursday now, but i thought i’d post a link to Scott Adam’s blog where – gobsmacked by Hillary’s flippant attitude to the opinion of economists – he proposes a new political party, The Economics Party:

    http://dilbertblog.typepad.com/the_dilbert_blog/2008/05/the-economics-p.html

  21. BilB
    May 9th, 2008 at 00:47 | #22

    Keating is stooping to Howard’s level of creative truth. Had the power stations been sold a decade ago the drain of money from the economy due to higher electricity prices would make the difference in return to the public purse seem paltry. Moreover a significant part of that difference might well have been leaving the country as company profit. This sale locks in coal maximus for the next 50 years, and there will be nothing the Rudds can do about it once the ink has dried. Win, win a small club of environmental atheists and politicians, loose, loose the environment and the public.

  22. May 9th, 2008 at 11:39 | #23

    New Zealand Government re-nationalises railways and ferry services

    As the NSW Labor government, in defiance of the wishes of the NSW public without any electoral mandate, and cheered on by the corporate newsmedia, presses ahead with its plans to privatise NSW’s electricity assets, the New Zealand Government is moving in the other direction and has renationalised its rail network. It is notable that New Zealand’s experience of privatisation since 1993 is precisely the opposite of the claims made of what privatisation will achieve here in Australia. According to NZ Finance Minister Michael Cullen, as reported in the ABC, “The selling off our public rail system in the early 1990s and the running down of the asset afterwards has been a painful lesson for New Zealand“

  23. May 16th, 2008 at 02:23 | #24

    The Australian proposes apartheid ‘solution’ to Australia’s labour shortage ‘crisis’

    In the article “Bring in the Chinese”, of 14 May in The Australian newspaper Robert Leeson proposed what would effectively be an apartheid system involving imported Chinese labourers. These workers are said to be needed to build ‘necessary’ additional infrastructure.

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