Home > Regular Features > Monday Message Board

Monday Message Board

September 3rd, 2012

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language. Lengthy side discussions to the sandpits, please.

Categories: Regular Features Tags:
  1. quokka
    September 6th, 2012 at 11:11 | #1

    Australia’s highest-emitting brown coal electricity generators are between $400 million and $1 billion better off than they would have been without the carbon tax, according to new modelling.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/burn-on-pms-dirty-power-buyback-plan-up-in-smoke-20120905-25ewq.html

    Whatever the numbers, this is shaping up to be a political disaster for the government. Won’t help the Greens, either.

  2. September 6th, 2012 at 11:23 | #2

    Hello! Good to see the blog is working again. I just wanted to pop up and mention that back in the vasty deepness of time before the great blog failing, I mentioned something along the lines of how eastward facing solar panels could take care of much of the early morning demand for electricity. But after looking at actual facts, while that is the case for South Australia, in other states other states people tend to start using electricity earlier than in SA. So eastward facing panels are not quite as useful for meeting the early morning peak as I thought. But then I guess this does mean storage can be used twice a day, being charged up with cheap electricity in the very early morning and again in the middle of the day.

  3. September 6th, 2012 at 11:38 | #3

    So, a guy came to my door the other day to talk about changing my electricity distributer. It was really stupid. Why does a guy need to come to my door? Why aren’t I automatically receiving my electricity from the cheapest distributer? It was a waste of my time and his time. Why do we have a (more or less) competitive market for wholesale electricity but not for retail? So stupid! Do I care who pretends to make the electrons in my wires flip back and forth? No, I just care that the people who actually make them flip back and forth continue to do so. On our electricity bills we should be given a phone number or website address that we can use to change things so we automatically receive our electricity from whichever distributer offers it at the lowest price.

  4. Freelander
    September 6th, 2012 at 14:05 | #4

    Brand is everything.

    We live in the age of the designer electricity provider. Everything else would remain the same, but come billing time you see a different decal on the bill. Makes it all worth while.

    Follows that weekly bill is then preferred to monthly,monthly to quarterly, quarterly to monthly. More opportunities per annul to appreciate the designer decal.

  5. September 6th, 2012 at 14:46 | #5

    Every now and then I have a run-in with a “MSM” ‘journalist’.

    Usually it is when I have pulled them up on shoddy reporting and mindless groupthink.

    Yesterday was one such occasion when an ex ABC ‘journo’ told me I didn’t know anything about journalism or the media.

    Relevence of this?

    Well, we’ve all heard (endlessly repeated without question by our MSM) that Gina said African miners willingly work for $2 a day.

    Even on the miner’s own lowest estimates of their monthly take home pay (R3000), and at the current exchange rate of about R1=USD$0.119, the striking South African miners take home no less than $11 a day.

    According to the mining company’s annual report, the entire generous package for the miners (when you include hostel accommodation etc..) is R10500 a month ($42 a day).

    The outgoing CEO of the mining company, Lonmin, Ian Farmer took home R1,200,000 a month. That works out to about $4,760 a day (including weekends) – roughly 400 times what the workers get.

    I won’t bother working out what multiple of the workers’ wage our mining CEOs take home every day. But, wouldn’t it be nice to have a functioning media in this country?

  6. Freelander
    September 6th, 2012 at 15:24 | #6

    @Troy Prideaux

    Yes. Some of these narcissistic robber barons might follow some of the robber barons of old, or Willie Gates III and use some of their ill-gotten gains for charity.

    Hopefully not all on “charities” like art museums and other monumental muesulem monuments to the dead wealthy ”great one”. Hopefully they will follow Willies’ lead and have the money spent for good, rather than attempt one last shaft of hu

  7. Freelander
    September 6th, 2012 at 15:29 | #7

    attempt one last contemptuous shaft of humanity from beyond the grave.

    Given that Gina didn’t even manage to accumulate her wealth (all done by time, compounding and the emergence of China) she has to be one of the most attractive of her robber rentier baron ilk.

  8. Freelander
    September 6th, 2012 at 15:39 | #8

    @Megan

    Unlike other creatures that crawl the earth ‘journos’ do so for a different reason – sheer laziness. If it wasn’t in the press release, an unidentified “source” or interview with their typewriter, it ain’t going in.

    Hence the risevof the blogosphere, “journalism” – not a hard standard to beat.

  9. Hermit
    September 6th, 2012 at 16:23 | #9

    @quokka
    Let’s hope the brown coal burners haven’t spent the billion dollars they’ve already received. Perhaps they could repay it while singing along with Minister Garrett; in this case ‘them’ means taxpayers and those who take climate change seriously.

    The time has come
    A fact’s a fact
    It belongs to them
    Let’s give it back

  10. Tim Macknay
    September 6th, 2012 at 17:21 | #10

    @Pepsimax
    If Gina keeps at it, she could revive the political fortunes of the Communist Party.

  11. September 6th, 2012 at 17:50 | #11

    Hmm, there isn’t much understanding here of what Gina Rinehart said. I expected better. Don’t let this blogsite descend into mindless chanting of window lickers.

  12. rog
    September 6th, 2012 at 18:11 | #12

    What is your view on Gina’s piece SAP?

  13. Freelander
    September 6th, 2012 at 22:12 | #13

    @Steve at the Pub

    An admonishment from someone who locates himself where those with limited mental facilities go to enjoy being and hopefully staying even more limited.

  14. Freelander
    September 6th, 2012 at 22:16 | #14

    @Hermit

    Twas possessed by them; little did they know they were simply holding it in trust.

  15. September 6th, 2012 at 22:56 | #15

    @Freelander: That isn’t fair! I do NOT locate myself on this blogsite. I merely visit from time to time.

  16. September 6th, 2012 at 23:12 | #16

    @rog: My view is she was right on the money. Hammer meet nail.
    Condensed, she said Australia’s mineral exports are competing with countries that have a much lower cost of production. This will cause some difficulty for a country (Australia) which depends totally & completely upon the money made from mining.

    She also said that people who get rich do it by forgoing relaxation & luxuries in favour of working hard. (Those words will have been quite a humiliation to those who sneer at her in envy, but in their heart know they haven’t got what it takes to work hard – which does not alter the harsh fact that she is right).

  17. September 6th, 2012 at 23:26 | #17

    The international media is having quite a field day with Gina’s “$2 a day” comments.

    Terry “His Master’s Voice” isn’t on board – unsurprisingly.

    According to the BBC she makes AUS$600 per second. Assuming she works 10 hour days, that works out at $21,600,000 per day.

    The starting salary for unskilled Australian mine workers is about $1000 – $2000 per week. So about $400 per day.

    Gina makes about 54,000 times more per day than her mine workers. Cool.

  18. Pepsimax
    September 6th, 2012 at 23:56 | #18

    And so it begins! The pouring forth of the John Galts – oppressed small business owners who gross multimillions, who work 25 hours a day 8 days a week just to see their hard earned money be stolen at GUNPOINT by jackbooted government thugs which leaves them worse off than people on welfare. Oh, the humanity! Any day now, they will throw their toys out of the pram and take their god-like charisma, brilliance and entrepreneurial skills back to Galt’s Gulch. THEN won’t everyone else feel silly for oppressing them so much?

  19. rog
    September 7th, 2012 at 05:50 | #19

    @Steve at the Pub the Australian economy does not depend totally and completely on mining. According to those who know this stuff mining contributes 10% and mining related industries 9% to the national GDP (that’s 10 + 9= 19%, as they say do the math).

  20. September 7th, 2012 at 09:45 | #20

    @rog: Australia rides on not the sheep’s back, but on the ore carrier (so to speak).
    Technically not 100% dependant upon mining, but right now oh boy, if mining sneezes the rest of the economy catches a cold. I shudder to think what’ll happen if mining collapses.

  21. Freelander
    September 7th, 2012 at 10:04 | #21

    If demand for minerals collapses we will likely need a sensible stimulus response. Will we get one? I shudder to think. Because we avoided the counter-factual most everyone else experienced, many of us foolishly believe our economy was never under grave threat. Many of us remain charmingly ignorant about the charmed life we have been leading post the GFC and ignorantly put our good fortune as solely sourced in China’s voracious demand.

    Alcohol and analysis don’t mix.

  22. Freelander
    September 7th, 2012 at 10:13 | #22

    @Steve at the Pub

    While a nod might be as good as s wink for the wise, for the wilful blind or willfully ignorant other more painful means are necessary.

    For the hard of thinking let me draw it out with s pencil. Steve at the pub, is a Steve who for some reason identifys himself ad located “at the pub”. Apropos given his contributions.

  23. Freelander
    September 7th, 2012 at 10:18 | #23

    Oh, I note a prissy quaint excise. Fact, although I admit unpleasant and open to misinterpretation.

  24. Tom
    September 7th, 2012 at 10:28 | #24

    On the Gina Rinehart issue.

    Concluding points made from Bill Mitchell’s blog: http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=20782

    “spend less time drinking, or smoking and socialising, and more time working”

    using the ABS: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Lookup/4102.0Main+Features10March+Quarter+2012

    Low economic resource households: spends $10 or 1.9% of their income on alcoholic beverage
    Other households: spends $21 or 2.4% of their income on alcoholic beverage

    Low economic resource households: spends $50 or 10% of their income on recreation
    Other houholds: spendings $108 or 12.4% of their income on recreation

    Other sources of spendings are also lower in dollar terms or percentage of income except:
    - Current housing costs (selected dwelling);
    - Smoking;
    - Fuel and power (lower in dollar terms but higher in percentage of income);
    - Food and non alcoholic beverage (lower in dollar terms but higher in percentage of income);
    - Household services and operation (lower in dollar terms but higher in percentage of income)

    Gina Rinehart is only correct on smoking; however it is not clear whether smoking is a behaviour which is caused by poverty, or poverty caused by behaviour.

    http://stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?QueryId=21699

    Australia is the sixth lowest taxed country in the OECD and taxation as a % of GDP has decreased since 2007

    Well there are much more to be said about Gina Rinehart not having a clue about what she’s talking about. As we all know however that the mainstream media is not interested in the facts.

  25. Tim macknay
    September 7th, 2012 at 11:01 | #25

    Hmm, there isn’t much understanding here of what Gina Rinehart said. I expected better.

    Laughable.

  26. may
    September 7th, 2012 at 13:37 | #26

    @Tim macknay

    poster queen of the republic?

    and didn’t a recent evaluation of the benefit of unpaid voluntary work show the monetary benefit to the country was a bit more than expected?
    the mining industry could collapse and we would get by( although the poor old fin would be hard pressed for copy,the property and financial jobs losses sector only fills so many column inches)
    but what would happen if the voluntary input collapsed and we went to a pure “libertarian”eat the losers society?

    i’m being unkind to the poor old fin.
    the evaluation of the volunteer input was in the fin.
    just as an aside,if they ditched the glossy speudo magazines about fashion and expensive travel for the cashed up and clueless and stopped being the equivalent of a manic depressive and concentrated on the undeniable truly informed flashes of lucidity and those really good essays that come at the weeks end and extended the knowlege of what they are,the availability of their product and concentrated on reviewing finance (things like council finances (heh)
    unlisted company finances,the off balance sheet social cost/benefits of various industries and stopped boxing themselves into a corner by trying to be all things to a really small section of the poputation,
    after all, every body is interested in the money-go-round and stopped employng writers of the “make it turgid,make it boring, convolute,obfuscate and treat the reader as an idiot school of jounalism”maybe they’ll stop burning money and actually make some.

    really,it’s not a good look for a broadcaster that specialises in money to be unable to actually make any.

  27. may
    September 7th, 2012 at 13:51 | #27

    apolgies all,stream-of-conscience becometh me not.

  28. Freelander
    September 7th, 2012 at 14:47 | #28

    @may

    Interesting to observe that in the wild ((as opposed to at the pulpit) libertarians desire for liberty extends little further than for themselves.

  29. Troy Prideaux
    September 7th, 2012 at 14:50 | #29

    @may
    You definitely get fired up over the ol Fin May :) I think your last statement is most pertinent though. Maybe they should be forced to suffix every critical report of those businesses not performing with the statement “just like us” :)

  30. Tim Macknay
    September 7th, 2012 at 18:25 | #30

    If mining sneezes, the dollar declines against the greenback and euro, and the manufacturing industry gets a dose of vitamin C.

  31. Freelander
    September 7th, 2012 at 22:46 | #31

    @Tim Macknay

    Correct, historically at least.

    However, first, the crumbling US dollar has created a bit of a scramble for new safe haven(s) and unfortunately, to some extent, the Au$ has been lucky enough to sneak onto the try out list. Second, the shedding of labour in mining will be close to instant whereas the cranking up of other sectors will take some time, and during a world downturn. A sensible bit of stimulus will be called for. But will the incumbent political clowns answer? That’s the big question. The downturn in China has been predicted again, and again. And again. Eventually even wishful thinking can come true. Time reveals…

  32. Freelander
    September 7th, 2012 at 22:48 | #32

    Meant “wishful thinking analysis”.

  33. may
    September 10th, 2012 at 12:00 | #33

    @Troy Prideaux

    well,sort of.but it’s the best paper in Oz(imho) (which is not really saying much)
    and the potential for being better-than-just goodish, is huge.

    sigh.

    the call for an improvement in financial literacy in todays fin in the light of everyone in Australia being personally exposed to the variety of the financial industry is a step in the right direction.(imho (again))

    i could certainly do with it.

  34. may
    September 10th, 2012 at 12:00 | #34

    @Troy Prideaux

    well,sort of.but it’s the best paper in Oz(imho) (which is not really saying much)
    and the potential for being better-than-just goodish, is huge.

    sigh.

    the call for an improvement in financial literacy in todays fin in the light of everyone in Australia being personally exposed to the variety of the financial industry is a step in the right direction.(imho (again))

    i could certainly do with it.

  35. September 10th, 2012 at 21:56 | #35

    This MSM meme about a sudden fear of “trolls” has me worried.

    Firstly, everyone who uses the internet knows what a “troll” is. It isn’t simply someone who is abusive, offensive or otherwise disagreeable. The key to trolldom is dishonesty and an agenda (usually poorly hidden, or denied – eg. climate denier trolls/concern trolls).

    Abuse is just abuse and certainly nothing to do with being a “troll”. Some trolls can be infuriatingly urbane as they try to destroy all that is good about the internet.

    So, there’s no problem with “twitter trolls”.

    Then why the sudden flurry of what look like conveniently contrived “outrages” relating to so-called ‘social media’, together with a straight-faced call by our MSM for strict regulation?

    With ‘Leveson’ on its way and the Govt supposedly considering ‘Finklestein’, and given that we are – as Assange put it – burning traditional media to the ground, as well as the MSM’s dire state where they couldn’t accurately report a minute’s silence unless they were paid by Rolex to do so – I have a nervous feeling.

    The biggest liars and bullies in our society have huge megaphones but we have the equivalent of passing notes in class when they have their backs turned, and they don’t like it at all.

    You don’t need a tin-foil-hat to guess that this whole “troll” thing is a fabrication designed to facilitate legislative constraint on our ability to communicate freely with each other (anonymously if we choose) while leaving the megaphones to people like……, who would want that?

  36. September 10th, 2012 at 21:56 | #36

    This MSM meme about a sudden fear of “trolls” has me worried.

    Firstly, everyone who uses the internet knows what a “troll” is. It isn’t simply someone who is abusive, offensive or otherwise disagreeable. The key to trolldom is dishonesty and an agenda (usually poorly hidden, or denied – eg. climate denier trolls/concern trolls).

    Abuse is just abuse and certainly nothing to do with being a “troll”. Some trolls can be infuriatingly urbane as they try to destroy all that is good about the internet.

    So, there’s no problem with “twitter trolls”.

    Then why the sudden flurry of what look like conveniently contrived “outrages” relating to so-called ‘social media’, together with a straight-faced call by our MSM for strict regulation?

    With ‘Leveson’ on its way and the Govt supposedly considering ‘Finklestein’, and given that we are – as Assange put it – burning traditional media to the ground, as well as the MSM’s dire state where they couldn’t accurately report a minute’s silence unless they were paid by Rolex to do so – I have a nervous feeling.

    The biggest liars and bullies in our society have huge megaphones but we have the equivalent of passing notes in class when they have their backs turned, and they don’t like it at all.

    You don’t need a tin-foil-hat to guess that this whole “troll” thing is a fabrication designed to facilitate legislative constraint on our ability to communicate freely with each other (anonymously if we choose) while leaving the megaphones to people like……, who would want that?

  37. Freelander
    September 11th, 2012 at 01:02 | #37

    @Megan

    Troll is simply one of these words of abuse like the n word. An indication of disposition toward the person it is applied to and not much more. These sorts of words come in quite handy when one is groping, and don’t really have anything substantive to say.

  38. Freelander
    September 11th, 2012 at 01:10 | #38

    @Ronald Brak

    It is so you can enjoy some libertarian economist:s wet dream of what they think is competition. When they have such a strong belief in their own personal freedom, there is no way you can convince them that there are somethings they ought not do in public!

  39. Freelander
    September 11th, 2012 at 05:59 | #39

    @Megan

    Have to agree with your sentiments on this one. As the mainstream media is in a race (losing it seems) to see whether it or journalist standards (((oxymoron anyone?) will extinguish first, the ‘need’ presented in it is increasingly stagey with all the hallmarks of sponsorship. Increasingly visitors from so-called repressed places laugh at our free press and the only decent news organisation left is not the BBC but Al Jazerra. Must be why the US military fire rockets at their journalists. What an endorsement!!

  40. Freelander
    September 11th, 2012 at 06:00 | #40

    Need I thought I typed news!

  41. September 11th, 2012 at 16:23 | #41

    Further to my post about the MSM’s sudden obsession with good behaviour,

    This morning News Ltd’s Sydney tabloid, the “Daily Tele”, started a ‘Twittition’ under the hashtag StopTheTrolls. A minute ago it had garnered 11 signatures.

    2 and a half hours ago some wag started a Twittition #StopTheDailyTele and it has 60 signatures already.

    I love the internet.

    PS: I saw a tweet from someone asking if #StopTheTrolls constituted uncompetitive conduct by the Tele!

  42. September 12th, 2012 at 22:49 | #42

    Its great to see the America reaping the benefits for supporting the Arab Spring in Libya and Egypt. Western countries need to intervene more in the Middle East to promote democracy so that more of our diplomatic staff can be murdered by Islamists or at the very least be targeted by random RPG firers.

    And the next time lets rope the Japanese into our next incursion. I don’t see why the isolationist Japanese should miss out on all the fun.

    Also, lets invite more people from these regions come to our shores, the better to shower them with the blessings of liberal democracy.

  43. Freelander
    September 12th, 2012 at 23:05 | #43

    One or two assumption there. One huge one that the “good” guys were there to promote democracy and to do good.

    What a pity the “bad” guys gave them that now traditional greeting that the US military gives the non-embedded journalist, the one RPG salute.

    But isn’t it natural to imitate your betters?

  44. Freelander
    September 12th, 2012 at 23:45 | #44

    @Megan

    Interesting how you cease being a troll (or never were one) if the media shower you with obscene sums of money for your activities, as Bolt and Sandilands demonstrate.

  45. Freelander
    September 13th, 2012 at 00:04 | #45

    Speaking of sponsorship, our current foreign minister, americophile, Bob “make mine a Lincoln” Carr, is now doing such a Sterling job for our much loved big-brother ally that ought he not be fully sponsored by them? Surely due to his extraordinary schmoozing efforts the sponsorship ought to be so bountiful that he should become a budget fixing profit center for our government. Deficit begone, the Carr sponsorship deal should see to that! Leastways, hard to see why the Australian taxpayer should be one cent of pocket for the services he’s providing on the world stage. If recycles are the order of the day, why is Paul-the-charmer Keating still moth-balled?

Comment pages
1 2 10924
Comments are closed.