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Monday Message Board

July 1st, 2013

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. As usual, civilised discussion and no coarse language. Lengthy side discussions to the sandpits, please.

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  1. kevin1
    July 1st, 2013 at 12:56 | #1

    Loved Senator (!) Michaelia Cash’s tantrum in the Senate this week. What a talent – real scary! Now that that guy from the Sopranos has died, if they do a sequel……

  2. Hermit
    July 1st, 2013 at 15:13 | #2

    On a previous thread I joked about the next parliament being run by Young Liberals and on reading the Wiki entry sure enough Sen. Cash was a prominent Young Lib. We’ll get a year or three of the country being run by YLs and climate change deniers. Can’t wait.

  3. pablo
    July 1st, 2013 at 18:01 | #3

    Keeping Michaelia ‘on message’ in an Abbott government could really terrify LNP party managers. It has probably registered with the ranting Senator that getting noticed depends on stunts which could make her a formidable LNP performer. The only obvious way to manage this maverick is a very senior cabinet post.

  4. kevin1
    July 1st, 2013 at 19:08 | #4

    The euphoria around the launch of the NDIS (Disability Care) pilot schemes today was impressive. Without stakeholder support (clients, organisations, workers) it would not have been possible. The transformational aspect of this tectonic shift (to call it a “program” suggests another bunch of experts driving topdown change, but this is intended to be disruptive change) comes from the power shift towards beneficiaries, previously invisible but now acknowledged as having the rights of citizens, and now appearing at a shopping centre near you! (Go up to them and have a chat if you see them and ask them about NDIS.)

    From personal experience, my expectation is that the transformation is not just about the independence and personal development of the beneficiaries (no longer “clients” because they hold the purse strings) but their increased social status. Interesting for those who reflect on the dynamics of change is that business (especially small business such as shops, swimming pools, tennis courts, internet cafes, and all the local places where people get their simple pleasures) were early respondents to the “business case” for welcoming people with Disability Support Pensions and finding ways to meet their needs.

    It has created awareness about direct funding as a tool to devolve power to marginalised people and Stella Young (a revelation for many of us about who “these people” are) was on The Drum on ABC TV tonight, eloquently explaining what it means for her and colleagues. These include things such as the ability to choose the person who showers them in the morning.

    She acknowledged Macklin, Gillard, Shorten and Rudd as supporters of the concept over previous years. Where were the Liberals in this?

  5. kevin1
    July 1st, 2013 at 19:15 | #5

    The euphoria around the launch of the NDIS (Disability Care) pilot schemes today was impressive. Without stakeholder support (clients, organisations, workers) it would not have been possible. The transformational aspect of this tectonic shift (to call it a “program” suggests another bunch of experts driving topdown change, but this is intended to be disruptive change) comes from the power shift towards beneficiaries, previously invisible but now acknowledged as having the rights of citizens, and now appearing at a shopping centre near you! (If you see them, go up and have a chat and ask them about NDIS.)

    From my vantage point, the transformation is mainly about the independence and personal development of the beneficiaries (no longer “clients” when they hold the purse strings) and their increased social status. For those who reflect on the dynamics of change it is interesting that business (especially small business like shops, swimming pools, tennis courts, internet cafes, and all the local places where people get their simple pleasures) were early respondents to the “business case” for welcoming people with Disability Support Pensions and finding ways to adjust their environment and meet their product/service needs.

    Ideologically, it has created awareness about direct funding as a tool to devolve power to marginalised people and Stella Young (a revelation for many about who “these people” are) was on The Drum on ABC TV tonight, eloquently explaining what it means for her and colleagues. These include basic personal choices such as the ability to choose who showers them in the morning.

    This is lived experience informing political orientation, and it’s significant that Young acknowledged Macklin, Gillard, Shorten and Rudd as supporters of the concept over previous years. Where were the Liberals?

  6. kevin1
    July 1st, 2013 at 19:19 | #6

    Sorry, second version is more complete.

  7. Ikonoclast
    July 1st, 2013 at 19:45 | #7

    It’s strange that at the same time as NDIS is launched more people on welfare are to be pushed onto the BasicsCard.

    “The quarantined money will be contained on an eftpos-style ”BasicsCard” that can be used only at certain retailers to buy food, clothes, medicine, bus and train tickets and other ”priority items”. Banned products will include alcohol, cigarettes, ****ography and gambling products.” – Farming Ahead.

    So much for basic personal choices by people on benefits. The purse strings in this case are being taken off them. Paternalism of this kind does not usually help people develop personal skills.

  8. David Allen
    July 1st, 2013 at 22:10 | #8

    Loved the gall of John Howard, war criminal, chastising Kevin Rudd for highlighting the potential for conflict with Indonesia over the libs “turn back the boats” policy.

    Michaelia Cash, Sophie Miribella, Julie Bishop, Amanda Vanstone, Bronwyn Bishop. Seriously, is this the best women they can attract?

  9. alfred venison
    July 1st, 2013 at 22:43 | #9

    i’ve been reading foreign papers with my google translator and they are hopping mad over there about what snowden has revealed. the german greens leader says consideration should be given to granting snowden sanctuary in germany. the french gov’t has sent a stern note and is waiting for a reply while the french political parties are expressing outrage left right and centre. french greens are calling him a freedom fighter. netherlands left parties are furious. german chancellor has called for john kerry to stopover on his way back from the middle east and meet with her to explain himself/his country. the e.u. spokesuit said the north atlantic free trade negotiations are problematic in light of the trust issue. -a.v.

  10. Ernestine Gross
    July 1st, 2013 at 23:03 | #10

    alfred venison,

    Having read a couple of EU (Euro zone) papers in the original languages, it is not only the left and green party representatives who are hopping mad but just about everybody and in particular the EU parliament. The articles I’ve read contain the demand on the US government to verify leaked documents. Bureaucracies are useful at times.

  11. Jeff H
    July 2nd, 2013 at 02:49 | #11

    Just FYI, it looks like Crooked Timber forgot to pay its hosting bill or something. Might want to poke whoever is responsible for such things.

  12. alfred venison
    July 2nd, 2013 at 07:56 | #12

    like i said, left right and centre in france and merkel is demanding kerry stop over and talk to her. i read french and i can read german with a crib.

    this will be the beginning of the unravelling of “the western alliance”.

    its not possible for any self respecting country to remain in a military alliance where they are held in contempt and treated like the enemy.

    what the americans have done is totally unacceptable. to restore relations to what they were when european powers would commit troops to lend legitimacy to american wars of aggression are well over.

    even if the american were to admit they did wrong and apologise for it its too late. they have poisoned the well. -a.v.

  13. Fran Barlow
    July 2nd, 2013 at 08:24 | #13

    Great article by Simon Chapman defending the standing of the state to regulate to protect public safety and spiking the IPA ‘nanny state’ meme. I loved this in particular:

    Similar attacks once rained down on Edwin Chadwick, the architect of the first Public Health Act in England in 1848. He proposed the first regulatory measures to control overcrowding, drinking water quality, sewage disposal and building standards.

    In response, The Times thundered:

    We prefer to take our chance with cholera and the rest than be bullied into health. There is nothing a man hates so much as being cleansed against his will, or having his floors swept, his walls whitewashed, his pet dung heaps cleared away.

    Err … quite. Merchants of filth indeed. Perphaps the IPA might inscribe this on their website. 😉

    Personally, I prefer a ‘nanny state’ to a ‘f**k you’ state.

  14. Ikonoclast
    July 2nd, 2013 at 08:53 | #14

    Ok, third attempt to avoid moderation for a most moderate statement. I’ll cut it down further.

    It’s strange that at the same time as NDIS is launched more people on welfare are to be pushed onto the BasicsCard. So much for basic personal choices by people on benefits. The purse strings in this case are being taken away from them.

  15. Ikonoclast
    July 2nd, 2013 at 09:09 | #15

    @alfred venison

    How many of these statements are for public consumption? It is well known in government and national security circles that all governments spy on all governments, where they can and where they think they can get away with it. As the old saying goes, “Nations do not have friends, they have interests.”

    The above is the Realpolitiks of it. However, a further Realpolitik is that nations reassess alliances when an ally becomes too unreliable. The US is a long way down the path of being a rogue state and very obviously so. Even worse, the US has arguably gone plumb loco. They seem to have little idea how to further their own best interests any more, domestically or abroad. Most of their actions now are as self-destructive as they are destructive of others and others’ interests.

  16. kevin1
    July 2nd, 2013 at 10:19 | #16

    @Ikonoclast

    It’s strange that at the same time as NDIS is launched more people on welfare are to be pushed onto the BasicsCard. So much for basic personal choices by people on benefits.

    Meaning no disrespect to those who do, I don’t have a formed view about whether the BasicsCard and the NT income management policy are matters of principle and human rights, or social engineering trials to deal with intractable problems. Without defending it, the government’s view is the latter, so it is not inconsistent to cede flexibility to welfare recipients, in the different context of disability support.

    We got away from “in kind” support – like the “susso” paid during the Depression – a long time ago. I suggest it’s more apt to see NDIS as a progression of that, rather than the introduction by stealth of a “voucher” policy for funding education, health etc. advocated by conservatives.

    But govt is a multi-headed beast and inconsistent policies rife, so no surprise if a struggle for direction occurs, based on different visions from the political level, bureaucrats, service providers, advocates.

  17. Mel
    July 2nd, 2013 at 15:59 | #17

    AV:

    “this will be the beginning of the unravelling of “the western alliance”.”

    Would you you be willing to place a bet on that? I’m willing to put $1,000 on NATO making it thru to Xmas. Easy money for you, if you aren’t bullshitting us.

  18. Mel
    July 2nd, 2013 at 15:59 | #18

    AV:
    “this will be the beginning of the unravelling of “the western alliance”.”
    Would you you be willing to place a bet on that? I’m willing to put $1,000 on NATO making it thru to Xmas. Easy money for you, if you aren’t bullsh1tting us.

  19. Ikonoclast
    July 2nd, 2013 at 18:55 | #19

    @Mel

    Alliances do unravel sooner or later. Nothing lasts forever in this universe. AV did not mention a timetable. As I pointed out above, the US now acts so irrationally, erratically and even self-destructively that one ought to seriously doubt their governing wisdom, their geostrategic purpose and their general reality checking.

  20. alfred venison
    July 2nd, 2013 at 19:02 | #20

    i don’t bet, Mel, and you can take it or leave it, i couldn’t care less. you need to get your head out of the anglosphere to really understand the implications of this. have you read der spiegel english edition yet?
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has compared US spying to Cold War tactics and Brussels wants EU facilities checked for American eavesdropping equipment. Concern is growing the scandal could seriously damage trans-Atlantic relations.

    The German government has failed to protect the public from the NSA’s surveillance program and should be held accountable. On both a national and an EU level, there needs to be an independent investigation into the scandal.

    Experts Warn of Trans-Atlantic Ice Age
    Revelations that the US has spied extensively on the EU and European countries have infuriated leaders in Brussels and Berlin — and could endanger the trans-Atlantic free-trade agreement. Important American voices are demanding that Obama come clean.

    The fallout has been immense over revelations that US intelligence agencies systematically spied on EU officials as part of their far-reaching surveillance programs. German commentators on Monday say that Washington must explain itself.

  21. kevin1
    July 2nd, 2013 at 19:27 | #21

    @Ikonoclast
    You clearly expect the unravelling of alliances sooner rather than later, but why? In 2013, most people would say that the degree of closeness between international leaders is closer than ever, connected with the “end of communism” in its embodied form. And they all spy on each other: it’s an open conspiracy.

  22. sunshine
    July 2nd, 2013 at 19:48 | #22

    The US is beginning to realise its brief period as top dog exceptional world policeman is not a permanent state to be enjoyed forever . Arrogance and overreach (greed and racism) adds up . Robert McNamara thought they killed 3.8 million in Vietnam . Now they cant rely on everyone else putting up with them because of economic might .Their moral authority is lost . They will have the biggest military for a long time yet so if they go into a long period of economic stagnation watch out world !

    Whats with this basics card ? Wont they even have to claim its to prevent us from becoming alcoholic pedophiles, or do you only need that excuse to impose it on aborigines ? There has been forced assimilation practiced by the fed govt for a while now , so that there appears to be some intractable problems (pedophilia has been found not to be one, and most NT communities were dry by choice anyway ). From here it is much easier to convince the public that the best thing to do is just to take the last step in the process of forced assimilation than it is to explain how to undo all the damage and build something better in its place .

  23. Mel
    July 2nd, 2013 at 21:10 | #23

    A.V.:

    Today’s news, tomorrow’s fish’n’chip paper.

    All the necessary ass kissing is no doubt taking place behind the scenes and everyone will forget this little lover’s tiff in two or three months.

    The US-West European relationship will not end in divorce while W Europe has tetchy relations with a nuclear armed Russia and mad Muzzies with fragile states and in one case nuclear ambitions not far to the East.

    Keep your shirt on and don’t be such a drama queen.

  24. kevin1
    July 2nd, 2013 at 22:21 | #24

    @sunshine
    Got some proof of pedophilia being made-up, and alcohol-free communities the majority choice?

  25. July 2nd, 2013 at 22:27 | #25

    Time to saddle up the hobby-horse and ride it up onto the soapbox.

    In the 80s when Keating and Hawke were trying to slip us all into a total surveillance state with the “Australia Card” the people howled it down. “No way we’re letting the government spy on us! We don’t trust them!”

    We now know about PRISM etc.. and nobody really seems to care.

    Why?

    Because of the state of our news media. We, as a country – and the ‘West’ generally, have become so propagandised and used to our news media being megaphones for corporate power and interests that “we” have been brainwashed into accepting that (a) the corporatised state SHOULD spy on us to protect us, and (b) that the corporatised state would NOT use the information obtained by that spying against our interests.

    Jonathon Holmes finished his last “Media Watch” last night by lecturing to us about how “we” have a duty to pay the corporations that have deliberately destroyed journalism (and have thereby destroyed their own credibility, which has resulted in the collapse of their revenue) in order to ensure that “they” can continue to provide “quality” journalism.

    Spinning heads all round!

    More generally, the stories broken in the mainstream media provide us with our talking points, with the raw material that holds our society together. The ABC and SBS are valuable institutions – but they can’t, and shouldn’t, do that job on their own.

    So my parting plea is this: whatever your politics, or your preferences, and even if you’ve never bought a newspaper, start subscribing to at least one media website: whether it’s the Herald Sun or New Matilda, Crikey or the Sydney Morning Herald, old media or new, pay just a little to keep real journalism alive.

    If only we all gave some money to the purveyors of the rubbish that has driven away readers (and consequently advertisers) they could…., what? Go back to doing proper journalism?

    He’s joking, right?

    I was truly saddened by the backward logic of this comment:

    Well done on your run Mr Holmes. I must admit I am considering your final appeal to subscribe to at least one firewall “old media” newspaper in Australia. I used to be a reader of The Age but since leaving Australia I have watched it decline with despair. However, unless people do pay, it is never going to improve again.

    This country not only deserves better news media, but it can easily be profitable if only it sticks to the principles of “old” journalism.

  26. July 2nd, 2013 at 22:36 | #26

    Can the change back to Rudd achieve a uniform 1.9% swing nationally?

  27. July 2nd, 2013 at 22:38 | #27

    I remain sceptical that the Rudd return will make a difference

  28. Ernestine Gross
    July 2nd, 2013 at 23:13 | #28

    @Mel

    Today’s newspaper may well be tomorrow’s proverbial fish’n’chip paper but the job of checking the authenticity of the leaked documents remains.

    Messing with the trust of about 330 million people in the EU (Euro zone) is not a PR job which relies on the forgetfulness of people.

    The argument that every country has a foreign intelligence agency, reportedly presented by President Obama, is both true and misleading. It is as misleading as pretending fishing with a spear is equivalent to fishing with huge trawlers, even though both activities are correctly classified as fishing.

    The ephemeral PR approach isn’t going to work in this case. But DeGaulle will be remembered. As a minimum I expect a response from the EU (Euro zone) to be akin to Airbus being the response to Boeing.

    It isn’t military matters (eg NATO) that are of concern to the EU (Euro zone) – except for the insult – but rather basic and applied research at universities as well as by private companies. There is also the financial market to be considered. There is a fight on between the core Euro zone countries and Wall Street. There is no fight between the population in the EU (Euro zone) and the population in the USA. There may be more than the usual degree of shared sadness or anger on both sides of the atlantic.

    Why to you think, Mel, has Dr Merkel been portrayed as demanding ‘austerity’? Have you not noticed the NYT has printed an article in which they suggest Dr Merkel is going to soften and, in the same article, they admit that Dr Merkel doesn’t have the power ascribed to her (in the propaganda)? Maybe, Mel, the NYT is managing the image in some segments of the internationl press down to something a little more realistic. PR and media management are so boring, aren’t they? All one needs is an average memory and a little bit of thought – not much really – to see the weasle word manufacturing business.

    A.V. isn’t a drama queen. He simply reports important events.

  29. July 3rd, 2013 at 00:33 | #29

    @alfred venison

    its not possible for any self respecting country to remain in a military alliance where they are held in contempt and treated like the enemy.

    Phew! Luckily Australia has no self-respect as a country, otherwise we’d be questioning why we’re in an alliance where we are held in contempt and treated like the enemy, which of course we are and always have been by our nuclear-bomb-testing and spy-base-imposing US&UK ‘mates’.

  30. Ikonoclast
    July 3rd, 2013 at 07:47 | #30

    We are a vassal state to the UK and USA; expected to provide military assistance to the dominant state when requested to do so. We are also in some senses a tributary state. We pay tribute by allowing their (and other) corporations to own large pieces of us and repatriate the profits. Our obligagated purchases of very over-priced, second hand and quasi-obsolete military equipmment from the US also amount to a form of tribute.

    However given Realpolitiks, even I, a lefty by most definitions, find it hard to see how we could practicably and safely avoid the Western Alliance and adopt neutrality. “If you are not with us, you are against us,” is an inescapable program now. The logic is similar to prison logic. No loner can survive in a prison. He must join a gang or clique to improve survival chances. Earth in a similar sense is a prison planet of nations.

  31. Paul Norton
    July 3rd, 2013 at 07:50 | #31

    Fran @13, here’s a link that’s very relevant to your post.

  32. alfred venison
    July 3rd, 2013 at 08:12 | #32

    either that, Mel, or running dog lackeys of the wall street imperialists always lap it up. -a.v.

  33. Will
    July 3rd, 2013 at 08:28 | #33

    Bitcoin.

    It is admittedly with a fair amount of schadenfreude that I read about the ongoing issues with Bitcoin. The “currency” has no basis for existence and nothing holding up the value whatsoever. It is proof that neither markets or people are rational especially taking into account the target IT drone demographic that prides themselves on logic and pure rationality. A market consisting of hyper-rational people with more education than the mean exhibits the same booms and busts and evidence of mediocre decision making as the wider investment markets as a whole! These Dunning-Kruger candidates would obviously pooh-pooh that particular notion which has been in economic literature for decades now, since, after all, economics is not a strictly logical discipline. This is apparently justification to ignore the whole subject matter and substitute their own realities, eg libertarianism and Austrian economics.

  34. Jim Rose
    July 3rd, 2013 at 21:30 | #34

    Fraser is joining the greens according to paul murray live. Shame fraser shame!

  35. Mel
    July 3rd, 2013 at 21:56 | #35

    In further evidence of Venison’s clueless asshattery, the Italians, Portugese and French have acceded to American demands to make difficult a flight by the Bolivian President that was thought to have Edward Snowden on board.

    http://www.theage.com.au/world/bolivians-bitter-as-snowden-standoff-triggers-hostile-act-20130703-2paih.html

  36. July 4th, 2013 at 00:16 | #36

    @Mel

    Have your read the comment policy, asshat?

  37. July 4th, 2013 at 00:28 | #37

    Commenters with a repeated history of provocation (trolls) will be banned. Comments that seek to score debating points at the expense of others (snarks) are discouraged;

    (my emphasis – to highlight your attributes)

    I’ll happily withdraw the last word of my previous comment. Robust discussion is one thing, but asshattery is probably not becoming of any of us who want useful discussion and exchange of ideas.

  38. Mel
    July 4th, 2013 at 00:49 | #38

    Megan,

    I think I perform a worthwhile public service when I point out that folk who are besotted by monomaniacal visions and hyperventilating doom-laden ruminations about Merikans, climate change, capitalism or in your case, toothpaste, are clueless asshats.

    The term asshat is a good one because it is non-gendered and it isn’t racist, ablist or homophobic. It is a gentle admonishment that is consistent with Brady Bunch style wholesomeness and good old fashioned family values.

  39. alfred venison
    July 4th, 2013 at 07:56 | #39

    its way not over yet, Mel. -a.v.

  40. Fran Barlow
    July 4th, 2013 at 13:02 | #40

    @Jim Rose

    According to him, he isn’t joining The Greens,and isn’t campaigning for us either. He has chosen to do one event in support of one candidate of The Greens, namely, Sarah Hanson-Young on the basis that she is saying the right thing on asylum seeker policy, is the person most at risk of losing hjer senate spot in the election, and his view that the senate should not be controlled by either of the major parties.

    I will concede that it is annoying nearly 40 years after the event that formed my attitude to Fraser and the Liberals more generally, to have to give him some credit as a human being. I take comfort in the view that this affirms my contention that even deeply flawed people can be of use to humanity. Fraser may have been a political scoundrel, at least in the period 1975-83 but then and now he seems to have been genuinely attached to the concept of human rights including, impressively, when it hasn”t been convenient to his fellow travellers.

    So through gritted teeth, I will credit this cold-war liberal with some ethical integrity. OK … off to gargle now … 😉

  41. July 4th, 2013 at 13:56 | #41

    @Mel

    I’ve pointed out innumerable times before to you that your “toothpaste” fascination is based on a lie created by you last time you made an idiot of yourself attempting to misrepresent me.

    But by all means, keep digging that hole you’re standing in.

  42. Tim Macknay
    July 4th, 2013 at 16:49 | #42

    @Megan

    In the 80s when Keating and Hawke were trying to slip us all into a total surveillance state with the “Australia Card” the people howled it down. “No way we’re letting the government spy on us! We don’t trust them!”

    We still got tax file numbers tho’.

  43. July 4th, 2013 at 17:51 | #43

    I was quite impressed by Rudd in his 7.30 interview last night. His whole verbal style seemed more direct than it used to be, he batted away all the “how can we trust you” lines with ease, and there was a good deployment of the Peter Beattie “yes, we stuffed up a bit, but we are the best ones to fix it” approach re asylum seekers.

    I honestly think it would have been causing anxiety in the Abbott minder camp.

  44. alfred venison
    July 4th, 2013 at 18:27 | #44

    fraser isn’t a johnny come lately to human rights. he opposed minority rule in rhodesia and persuaded thatcher to withhold recognition. he supported the commonwealth campaign against apartheid. he helped resettle the vietnamese refugees.

  45. Jim Rose
    July 4th, 2013 at 22:02 | #45

    @Fran Barlow correct, but I can make one post a day on this thread. the additional information came out later last night so no opportunity to update.

    the future of the senate will be decided in WA and SA in the view of the greens.

  46. July 5th, 2013 at 00:33 | #46

    @Tim Macknay

    Quite so, but my point was not so much about the ever increasing degree of surveillance.

    It was really about the surprising change in acquiescence.

    People really like the idea of being spied on by governments or corporations, and strangely they agree to this because they believe that the only other alternative is to be attacked by terrrrsts.

    Perhaps people are just an awful lot stupider than I thought.

  47. Jim Rose
    July 5th, 2013 at 18:27 | #47

    @Fran Barlow On the dismissal of Whitlam, the recent essay in quadrant finalises the case for the senate blocking supply in 1975.

    Evidence-in-chief was the legal analysis of Whitlam and Murphy when they attempted to block supply in the senate in 1970. Hung by their own words.

    This attempt by labor to block supply in 1970 was discussed widely in 1974 and 1975. Whitlam’s one-eyed supporters ignored these inconvenient truths.

  48. BilB
    July 7th, 2013 at 11:19 | #48

    I think that this is an important article from an economics point of view.

    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/10026

    I believe that this will be a highly significant terminology in all sectors as we move into a world of increased population, increased economic growth, but steadily declining resource consumption.

  49. July 7th, 2013 at 18:03 | #49

    @BilB

    It presents an interesting viewpoint.

    One of the best sites on the internet IMHO and a real loss that they’re shelving it after 31 July.

    I’ve been lurking there since almost the beginning. Peak oil is real and it is probably around about now (ie: we’re around the maximum daily production of “oil” and from here it goes down not up – no, it doesn’t run out today we just produce less at a higher per barrel cost).

    I’ve always been impressed with the standard of discussion/comments. They really don’t tolerate brainless trolls and I’ve seen some troll-slaughter there over the years.

    A real loss.

  50. J-D
    July 11th, 2013 at 06:43 | #50

    @Ikonoclast
    Since it is true that everything comes to an end eventually, it is not a defence of a prediction of some particular thing’s coming to an end to say that it contained no timetable; on the contrary, for precisely the reason you state, such predictions are vacuous, and have no relevance to analysis of any specific current event. Nothing lasts forever; therefore, the western alliance will not last forever; that’s true now and has always been true, without any reference to today’s news.

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