89 thoughts on “Weekend reflections

  1. Rudd lost as PM to the anyone but Rudd candidate.

    Rudd then bottled it when he could have won as the anyone but Julia candidate.

    Those three ministers should have resigned before the ballot when it might have weakened Gillard, not today after the ballot when the resignations makes her stronger.

    Rudd lacks the ticker to be PM.

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  3. @iain
    That was painful to read, Iain. I may never get the words ‘electron yolk’ out of my head now. Or the phrase ‘…as fast as two molecules a second.’ Home and business energy storage has a lot of potential, but I doubt we will get rid of power lines any time soon. At least not in towns and cities. Of course, not getting rid of power lines is not the same as not wasting vast amounts of money on recent transmission upgrades.

  4. Syrian Foreign Ministry: UNHRC Resolution rejected as it ignores support for terrorism in Syria

    DAMASCUS, (SANA)- Syria strongly rejects the selectiveness adopted while drafting the resolution which was endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on Friday, saying such resolutions are continuation of attempts to sabotage efforts seeking political settlement for the crisis, said an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Saturday.

    “Once again the UNHRC gets carried along by a wide misleading campaign led by countries supporting terrorism in Syria to provide a political cover for the crimes committed by the armed terrorist groups,” the source added.

    See also: Syrian People’s Assembly Speaker: Time for international community to listen to the truth, not mainstream media lies of 24 Mar 2013, Murder of 42 in mosque bombing a continuation of the war against the Syrian people of 22 Mar 2013.

  5. @Ronald Brak

    If you know more than the science is currently saying and see any obvious hurdle, let us know of your discovery. If this is commercialised in the next 5-10 years, it will make most existing electricity generating and transmission assets obsolete and worthless (except for scrap copper or alternate use). Distribution assets will likely still have some value, however.

    In advocating for non-privatisation of electricity assets, this argument should be considered.

  6. @iain
    I don’t think I know more that ‘the science’. But I do think I know more than ‘the science writer’. At ‘as fast as two molecules a second’ it would only take about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years to get a gram of hydrogen gas. Pass the beans and my digestive system will do that in a month or two. my guess is they couldn’t work out what small burrowing mammals had to do with hydrogen and wrote molecules instead of moles.

  7. @Ronald Brak

    Yes, I read the two molecules per second part also. I thought it had a strangely upbeat quality.

    I did wonder if there was another part to the description though. For example: “two molecules per second per molecule of catalyst”. I’m sure this would then be faster your digestive system, Ronald. 🙂

    However, I don’t know how fast it would be compared to what is required.

  8. @David Jago
    I’d like to appologize. It would actually only take about 10,000,000,000,000,000 years to get a gram of hydrogen gas at the rate of two molecules per second. I should have realized I had made a mistake as having to wait around for 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years is just ridiculous.

  9. I was listening to Newsradio this morning while brushing my teeth and from the other room I heard it reported that the ALP in NSW had challenged the O’Farrell regime to get moving on its ‘anti-bikie’ laws.

    Now from a civil rights point of view, I have serious concerns over legislation that seeks to criminalise mere association. I cannot begin to see how anyone who regards laws targeting identity and association (rather than specific conduct) can claim to be any kind of progressive. But let’s put that to one side, because I long ago stopped thinking of the ALP as ‘progressive’ in any meaningful sense. Certainly, they survive, when they do, because people who count themselves progressive vote for them despite the fact that they clearly aren’t, merely on the basis that the other lot appear to be even more oppressive and reactionary. I’ve often pointed out how flawed this reasoning is.

    My question goes to what the ALP thinks it will get out of contesting the field on ‘laura norder‘ with their more insistently reactionary and dog-whistling rivals. Does the ALP really believe it can outflank the Liberals on the right? Is there, in its view, a large bunch of people in winnable seats (let’s not call them marginal because few are close enough for that title) who, hearing the ALP say ‘me too’ on Laura Norder will coo their approval and consider voting for a party that is still widely regarded as incorrigibly corrupt and repulsive? If the ALP believes this, it really is in no better shape than it was when it was smashed in March of 2011. Firstly, if I weren’t an environmentalist and had not turned off the water, I’d not have heard the item at all. “ALP agrees with Liberal government, only more so” is not much of a story and not one that is going to get it any kudos. At best, someone like Jones or Hadley will have to find some other talking point, and Obeid is a lot more interesting.

    Really, the NSW ALP would be better off shutting its mouth if this is what it has in its head. If it can’t stand up for civil rights, because its forces are too puny, largely from being too much like the Liberals plus being corrupt, then it should at least not cheer their dissolution. A better idea, given that most people couldn’t care less what they said right now, might be to focus on building an organisation that people would want to join and support between elections. It’s a radical idea, but given that the downside risk in this is currently zero, if they can’t do this now, it’s hard to imagine when they would. Given that the Liberals already have the Laura Norder and assorted reactionaries pretty much sewn up, why not focus more on appealing to people who like civil rights, social justice, the environment, etc? Yes, that might be the minority but as they are now a minority anyway, having one that is coherent might be a help.

    In a similar vein, I was looking into the Gary Gray matter yesterday and at his website came across a tweet from Andrew Leigh, lately the Parliamentary Secretary to Gillard, who claimed that “the ALP is the party of Deakin” or some such thing. Again, I’m wondering what the ALP thinks it is getting out of such claims. Are there really people in winnable seats who are not already committed to one of the major parties who like Alfred Deakin (I presume it’s this one) so much that the mere mention of his name will make them look fondly on the ALP? To the best of my knowledge, none of the major polling organisations have ever identified Deakin nostalgia as an opening for the ALP. I’d be surprised if even 1 in 50 voters knew his first name let alone point to any substantive achievement of his in the glory of which the ALP could bask.

    OK, people educated in the 1940s and 1950s in Australia might know of him, as would history buffs and people who paid attention in compulsory history class. My Year 9s last year knew of him as an author of the White Australia Policy, attempts to Pacific Islanders, and as someone who agreed to exclude Aborigines from countring in the new constitution. He was a protectionist who, in 1890 had helped to violently (but successfully) suppress the first big maritime strike in Australia. So even allowing that there are some out there who have heard of him, Andrew Leigh has to hope that they’ve not heard these bits, or that they have heard of these bits but think that’s a good thing. This is obviously some multi-toned dogwhistle.

    It seems to me though that citing Alfred Deakin as a patron of ALP values probably falls well short of anything that would save the furniture. Maybe there are 50 people currently intending to vote for Abbott who would be favourably impressed, but surely, there has to be better. Now, if they’d said they were the party of Curtin, Chifley and Evatt, people would laugh, but more would be impressed — maybe 100 or so.

    Really, they are a clueless bunch. This is what happens when you abandon all coherent ideas in an attempt to win support from people who ought not to respect you. You just talk tosh.

  10. see http://mruniversity.com/ for a online course on the economics of the media.

    It has an excellent section on media bias and tests for media bias. an example is a change of ownership should change the slant of a newspaper if the new owners indulge their politics at the expense of circulation

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