13 thoughts on “Weekend reflections


    THESIS: Clinton had a sleazy personality with mostly sensible policies.

    ANTITHESIS: Bush had a decent personality with mostly stupid policies.

    SYNTHESIS: Obama has a decent personality with mostly sensible policies.

    So there is dialectical progress after all.

  2. Just your thoughts on tomorrow’s election, from someone sitting a little closer.

    From here in Melbourne, it seemed that there was no way that Bligh wouldn’t get up, but she has had the worst campaign.

    She’s been lose with the messages, mishandled a football stadium (and this is Australia after all, a football stadium?!?!) and floods and oil spills.

    Dear me.

  3. Delperro Says: March 20th, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    From here in Melbourne, it seemed that there was no way that Bligh wouldn’t get up, but she has had the worst campaign.

    She’s been lose with the messages, mishandled a football stadium (and this is Australia after all, a football stadium?!?!) and floods and oil spills.

    None of these media flurries and furphies will have the slightest impact on the final result. I am predicting a small but not nail biting victory for the Right: 2PP split LNP 51-2 – ALP 48-9.

    Leaders only have a significant effect when they melt down or stuff up big-time. Momentum has been building on the LNPs side since they settled on a safe politician leader and a unified party structure.

    And campaigns only really signal to voters that its time to make up their minds, but with ingredients that long pre-date “attack ads”, “on-message” and the like.

    Economic cycles and voter fatigue are the strongest conditioners of partisan alignment in electorates with normal (unimodally) distributed ideological preferences. (State politics are pretty basic.)

    THe ALPs vote was already trending slowly downward months prior to the election being called. Undoubtedly the economic crisis was eating into marginal ALP support.

    More voters have jumped onto the LNP bandwagon as the campaign has progressed. Earlier polling preferences probably just record default settings which are held in suspension until it comes time to make a choice ie parked.

    I hypothesise that a good proportion of these ship-jumpers are sick and tired of the ALP – its been in office for over a decade – and are just playing their cards close to their chest on the off chance that the LNP does something repellent at the last minute.

    It wont. Springborg looks like a cookie-cutter modern politician, straight out of central Boston Consulting Group/Mckinsey central casting eg Greiner, Brumby

  4. Regardless of whether carbon poisoning our atmosphere is sick a joke or not, Rudds political solution to the supposed problem defiantly is a joke.

    Terry Mcann;

    “We cut our emissions to zero and what happens to the (supposed) cost? Nothing. We still incur it. Cutting our emissions to zero can have no impact on our climate. Irrespective of what the rest of the world does. ”

    “OK, so what happens if the world cuts all carbon dioxide emissions to zero? We die. We can’t live without carbon dioxide”

  5. Er Tony G #5, Terry McCrann has counted cost without also taking into account benefit. He has done this by the assumption that other countries choose not to do anything in spite of Australia’s reduction in emissions. In other words, McCrann is ignoring the reality of negotiation and reciprocation among countries in order to derive his conclusion. Not an enlightening contribution by McCrann, I’m afraid.

    BTW Tony G, that reminds me to mention a philosophy book (easy to read, informative, and fairly short too) concerning the various views of how science works:

    A.F. Chalmers, “What is this thing called Science?”, 3rd Edition, University of Queensland Press (2006).

  6. Clearly Mr McCrann has no concept of environmental toxicology. Industrial CO2 is the end result of a myriad of the most toxic chemicals which oxidise to CO2 – benzene, napthalene, pyrene, volatile organic compounds (dozens,) carbon monoxide, particulates etc.

    Add industrial arsenic, mercury, formaldehyde, chromium V1, lead, dioxins, SO2, nickel etc etc., and that’s just part of the toxic soup which has trashed Australia’s rivers, oceans, soil, air, biodiversity, human and animal health.

    Never mind. In short geologic terms it will soon be every nation for itself. We may as well make whoopie while the sun shines and anyway who was it who reminded us: “It’s the economy stoopid??”

  7. John, according to the latest reports China hasn’t done too bad in 2008 with total trade of $2.56 trillion trade up 17.8 percent from 2007. China’s new Think Tank forecasts an 8.3% GDP growth this year with exports and imports decreasing 6.5 percent and 4.6 percent respectively. China is more concerned with the USA printing money, US treasure bonds bubble and the US currency in general.

  8. Now if you are a real capitalist, rather than one of those who runs to the Govt every time they lose money or spens millions in ‘lobbying’ to get a Govt guaranteed monopoly worth billions. Then the market prospects of developing non/low CO2 technology are obvious.

    Now of you have following emerging trends:
    (1) Peak Oil has now happened. The data is pretty conclusive, somewhere between 2005-2008 we hit peak oil. So it is all downhill from now on, the rate, slow or fast is undetermined .. let us all hope it is slow (unlike the North Sea or Mexico).
    (2) GW is cutting in much faster than expected. Roughly 75% of the major food growing areas of the World are in drought. Sea level is rising much faster than predicted. Nothern, especially far northern, temp rises are scary. The great white hope, the Antartic is warming, at least in the places we don’t want it to warm.

    Just based on these 2 data points (let alone all the others), a smart capitalist would predict that in a few years panic will set in, GFC or not.

    So if you have invested and have technology ready to bring to market you will make squillions.

    Just got to find some real capitalists.

  9. Oldie but goody, quoted last week in the NYT “nature doesn’t do bailouts” and who would have thought Bligh would get in?

    The Age was leading with the Pac Brands boss blaming Australians this morning which I thought was a nice touch for someone sitting on millions, courtesy of Australians…

  10. Donald Oats @ 6

    Thanks Don,

    My belief is the universe is deterministic in the sense that every event that occurs is caused by other events in such a way that the causing events bring about their effects, or in other words, “determine” the effects they will have.

    In other words like Einstein I am on the “Determinism” side of the debate as opposed to the “Indeterminism” side.

    “God does not ‘play dice’, with the universe”.

    Does Chalmers expand on this?

  11. John, in the past Human Rights groups have openly accused Iranian authorities of abusing prisoners held at the Evin prison which included many political prisoners, journalists, and bloggers. The sudden death last week of an Iranian blogger, Omidreza Mir Sayafi, only confirms what Human Rights watchers have been saying all along.

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