11 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. The social benefits of the Great Barrier Reef have been estimated to be worth $56 billion. This estimate may also include supplementary benefits arising from tourism. But the Great Barrier Reef is more like unique artwork. This means that it is priceless! Therefore it is worth protecting at any price! If you do place any monetary value on the Great Barrier Reef, then you cheapen its true value to Australian and world visitors.

  2. So that’s its asset value?

    Irony and tongue-in-cheek alert!

    Now, what value would we put on all atmospheric oxygen? If aliens offered some stupendous price, in money or any commodity we named, to take all our oxygen, would we sell it?

    As a sidelight, the stupendous windfall of whatever would be meaningless in any case quite apart from our asphyxiation problem.

    A stupendous windfall would be inoperative economically and indeed could wreck the economy. The moon’s weight in gold? Even if it could be brought on planet without massive earthquakes, rotational and orbit disruption, not to mention increasing the earth’s gravity to 1.16 G, that much gold would be a massive, costly problem, and not a help in any way.


  3. Seymour Hersh writes that the Assad “sarin” attack was BS.


    It begins….

    “On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.

    The available intelligence made clear that the Syrians had targeted a jihadist meeting site on April 4 using a Russian-supplied guided bomb equipped with conventional explosives.”

    The predictable leaping to conclusions (mis-)informed by our discredited MSM was sad to watch and experience. Hesitancy, circumspection and caution – if expressed – were treated as heresy and/or pro-Assad propaganda.


  4. Yes, disappointing also that London Review of Books did not have the courage to run with the story.
    They have published Hersh previously and I would have thought that the Corbyn result in UK election would have made media less rather than more likely to be prone to intimidation.

  5. ‘Welt’ published an editorial about their decision to publish the Hersh article.

    It says of the LRB:


    “Hersh had also offered the article to the London Review of Books. The editors accepted it, paid for it, and prepared a fact checked article for publication, but decided against doing so, as they told Hersh, because of concerns that the magazine would be vulnerable to criticism for seeming to take the view of the Syrian and Russian governments when it came to the April 4th bombing in Khan Sheikhoun.”

    In short – they were too scared. They’ve been bullied into silencing him.

  6. This isn’t good….


    “The White House said on Monday it appears the Syrian government is preparing for another chemical weapons attack and it warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he and his military would “pay a heavy price” if it conducts such an attack.

    The White House statement said preparations by Syria were similar to those undertaken before an April 4 chemical attack that killed dozens of civilians and prompted President Donald Trump to order a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base.

    Trump ordered the strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria in April in reaction to what Washington said was a poison gas attack by Assad’s government that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory. Syria denied it carried out the attack.”

    We can now at least be very unsure (as opposed to confident or fairly sure) that there ever was a “chemical attack” on April 4.

    If we’re very lucky this is just bombast. Alternatively, it could signal another mid-east “humanitarian intervention” so popular with the MSM.

  7. If the US Empire’s propaganda machine was hoping to further bury Hersh’s debunking of the “Syria Sarin” myth by today’s White House press release, it may well be having an effect.

    Putting “syria chemical wepons” into Google brings up 100% on-message results until you get to the 5th page of results (and hardly anyone would go that far unless they knew they were wading through lies in search of some truth) before you find even a MENTION of the Hersh article – and even that is on ‘Zero Hedge’, which is a bit libertarian/conservative.

  8. Article on Gautam Adani’s longstanding and fishy ties to Modi. Hostile but documented.

    My reading of Narendra Modi is Lloyd George without the priapism: a very intelligent, skilled, unprincipled and unscrupulous politician. The author of the article claims Adani’s crony ties to Modi will help him see through Carmichael. Maybe. But men like Modi are very unreliable friends. Modi has reached the pinnacle of power in India. What does he now need Adani for? The Supreme Court judgement on the Mundra PPAs, and Goyal’s recent comments on coal imports, suggest to me that Adani’s backing in Delhi is shaky. If it’s in Modi’s interests to abandon his old backer (and he likes the mantle of global green champion), he will do so.

    Modi’s visit to Trump in Washington was typical Modi. They didn’t discuss climate change at all, though Trump had previously stigmatized India as an emissions freeloader. But at the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Modi will fall in behind Merkel and Xi to defend Paris. He has made no concessions and not alienated Trump personally.

  9. @Ikonoclast

    What is the income and wealth disparity within and among states within the USA? Is it better than among the EURO-member countries of the EU? Does the UK, a non-EURO country have a less unequal income and wealth distribution than the EURO countries on average?

    Prof Stiglitz is making the point that a unified banking regulation is required for the EURO countries, ‘they’ are working on it but progress is slow.

    How is the US doing regarding banking regulation?

  10. @Ernestine Gross

    Q. What do genuine social democratic federations do when there is income and wealth disparity within and among states?

    A. The Federal Government (mainly) provides welfare and fiscal transfers. It is this aspect which is lacking in an incomplete union lacking a true Federal aspect.

    Q. Does the EU have higher or lower unemployment than USA and Australia?

    A. The EU at 8.2%, compared to USA at 4.7% and Australia at 5.8% as at Dec 2016.

    Q. What is the highest unemployment rate in the E.U?

    A. Greece at 23.1%

    Q. What is the highest unemployment rate in an Australian state (and a US state)?

    A. South Australia at 6.9% (in the genuine US states, New Mexico at 6.7%. If we look at Virgin Islands 10% and Peurto Rico at 11 %. We still see numbers nothing like Greece.

    Methinks something is seriously wrong with the E.U. Stiglitz does too. Bill Mitchell does as well. I am in their camp on this one.

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