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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.

Wednesday, 19 September


Sometime Australian Prime Minister & MP for Cook, Scott Morrison, is the protector of religious freedom? Don't make me laugh "IndyWatch Feed"

This was Australias most recent Liberal prime minister quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald on 17 September 2018:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will enact "preventative regulation and legislation" to shield freedom of religion from future enemies, giving his strongest hints to date about the government's intentions regarding "religious freedom" laws.

What a load of codswallop, manure, dung, heifers dust, cowpats, meadow cocktails what ABSOLUTE BULLSH*T!

The Liberal Member for Cook Scott Morrison already knows that the Australian Constitution without qualification guarantees religious freedom in this country at federal level:

Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion


Papadopoulos Bombshell: PRESIDENT OBAMA, Brennan and Clapper ALL KNEW I Was Being Spied On! "IndyWatch Feed"

Guest post by Joe Hoft

George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign volunteer targeted by the Deep State and foreign spies let loose last night and stated that he was targeted by US allies and Obama knew!

Papadopoulos tweeted on September 13th that the Brits met with him often before the 2016 campaign

Papadopoulos notified the FBI that he thought Aussie diplomat Downer was illegally taping him

After Papadopoulos humiliated British PM Cameron in the press, Downer wanted to meet

Papadopoulos claims that the Mueller team and the FBI wanted to know about some of his interactions but were not interested in his interactions with western diplomats (who he notified the FBI he thought were spying on him)



Scott Morrison is completely out of touch "IndyWatch Feed"

Many of us were disenchanted with Malcolm Turnbull, but Scott Morrison is completely wrong about why. The majority of the population agreed with Turnbulls previous statements about climate change, renewable energy, marriage equality, the Republic, the negative affects of overly-generous property tax concessions, the perils of political donations, the need for state-of-the-art communications etc. Our disappointment

The post Scott Morrison is completely out of touch appeared first on The AIM Network.


British suicide by weather-dependent energy "IndyWatch Feed"

The story in Britain.

Unlike other Western nations, the UK has made legally binding commitments to decarbonisation as a result of the 2008 Climate Change Act. This Act gives the UK much less flexibility to react to the coming failure of its electricity grid, caused by the replacement of reliable base load power from Coal-firing and Nuclear with the installation of an increasing proportion of unreliable, non-dispatchable, intermittent Weather Dependent Renewables.

The UK in 2017 had Renewable Energy installations:
Solar Power nameplate 12.7 GW: capacity 9.6%: producing 1.22 GW
Wind Power nameplate 19.0 GW: capacity 19.6%: producing 3.72 GW
Biomass Drax nameplate 2.04 GW: capacity 82.1% dispatchable: producing 1.67 GW
Total Renewables nameplate 33.7 GW: combined capacity 19.8%: producing 6.67 GW contribution to the grid overall in 2017.

Because of both these poor capacity factors and their unreliability, the business case for Weather Dependent Renewables is not viable without the massive subsidy support. This means that those essential additional costs are charged to electric power consumers and advantageous business environments for Renewables are imposed by Government mandates.

Overall Weather Dependent Renewable technologies in Wind and Solar PV in combination are about 8-9 times more costly in overnight capital costs and about 10 times more costly in terms of long-term running costs than using Gas-firing for generation, even when including the cost of fuel.


Chris Collins Will Seek Reelection After All "IndyWatch Feed"

Here is what Rep. Chris Collins of Buffalo, New York, did wrong:

Last month, federal prosecutors charged Mr. Collins, who sits on the board of Innate Immunotherapeutics, a drug company based in Australia, with providing inside information to his son and others that the company had failed a crucial drug test. His son, his sons fiance and his sons father-in-law all sold shares.

Thats a crime. Chris Collins is quite likely to be convicted for that crime. For this reason, after a brief period of indecision and defiance, he announced that he would not seek another term in the United States Congress. The problem was that it was too late to take his name off the ballot. Under New York State law, the only way Collinss name could be replaced is if he died or he sought some other office.

Another feature of the Empire States unique election laws is that voters dont get to choose the partys replacement candidate in a primary. Instead, the local county party chairmen get to do that, so ambitious local Republicans began jockeying to win over the support of these chairmen. And the party bigwigs began searching for some small local office Collins could seek on the fraudulent pretext that he was stepping down from Congress to be the next dog catcher for Genesee County or something equivalent.

This was always a rather desperate gambit. The seat should be safe for the GOP since New Yorks 27th congressional district voted for Donald Trump sixty percent to thirty-five percent in the 2016 presidential election.  In fact, Chris Collins was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trumps campaign.  But it turned out that Collins didnt have the stomach for the subterfuge that would be required to get his name off the ballot.

Mr. Collins opted to stay on the ballot on the advice of lawyers who said his removal a Byzantine procedure governed by New Yorks complex election laws would most like


Charts for Cats "IndyWatch Feed"

Courtesy of the ABS, here is some information to chill the spine.  And when considering, remember:

(here are some quick Sparta-vations:

  • there are more public servants in Australia than the population of all of South Australia
  • there are nearly 4 x the number of  public servants in Australia than the population of all of Tasmania
  • these figures dont include the cost and numbers of government outsourced workers and consultants!!!)

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @...


EDITORIAL: The National Party's Barnaby problem "IndyWatch Feed"

EDITORIAL: The National Party's Barnaby problemIf the Liberal Party has a woman problem, the Barnaby Joyce sexual harassment saga reveals the National Party to have a woman disaster. Sydney bureau chief Ross Jones and managing editor Dave Donovan report. read now...

Needles, pins and decimated strawberry fields "IndyWatch Feed"

Needles, pins and decimated strawberry fieldsA food-crisis media frenzy, combined with poor industry mitigation, may wipe out farms in the wake of the strawberry contamination scare. read now...


Professor at large "IndyWatch Feed"

Spartacus swore he would never do it again.  He took an oath before his almighty that he would stop reading and listening to Peter Van Onselen.  But like reformed drug addict at a dance party, Spartacus has dipped into the well again.

Writing in the Australian, in what he probably considers a defence of Tony Abbott, Van Onselen offers this:

True conservatives protect institutions, they dont tear them down. They mitigate for the risks of climate change, rather than rail against the science. True conservatives defend freedoms from vile speech every bit as much as they seek to preserve from of speech.

Really.  Do they Professor Van Onselen?

One only hopes that his students at Griffith and the Uni of WA have available a money back guarantee.  But rather than writing his assessment of Van Onselens commentary, Spartacus has done a video review.  Available here.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
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Monetary bleg "IndyWatch Feed"

Send me money bitcoin. Oh wait

More seriously, send me information.

Im sure Cats recall a story explaining liquidity traps. The story goes along the lines of a businessman paying a cash deposit to an innkeeper in a small town. The innkeeper then uses the cash  to pay his debts. The innkeepers creditor then uses the cash to offset his debts, and so on. Eventually the entire town has paid their debts and the cash is back in the hands of the innkeeper. At this point the businessman changes his mind and the deposit is refunded. The point being that an injection of cash would be a good thing.

I seem to recall that Paul Krugman originally told this story. But I cant find it anywhere. Krugman uses a story about a babysitting co-op to illustrate the liquidity trap.

So my question is: can anyone tell me who first told the story and were I can find it?

Many thanks.


PM steps up religious crusade "IndyWatch Feed"

By Brian Morris Australia has already been described as a soft theocracy.  The question is, despite the public showing less religiosity, will a more overtly Christian PM subvert the nations preference for secular values? Australia has continued to move steadily towards progressive policy most notably to finally legalise same-sex marriage last year.  But that came

The post PM steps up religious crusade appeared first on The AIM Network.


An open and shut case "IndyWatch Feed"

When Massey University Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas vetoed a speech by Don Brash on the Massey campus, she claimed it was due to "security". Now, an OIA request from David Farrar has revealed that she lied:

Thomas started discussing Brash's speech with colleagues on July 9 where she asked about options to not allow Brash to speak on campus and mentioned the "racist behaviour of Brash. She ended the email with, "would be good if we can cut off at the pass some how".

On July 10, Thomas sent another email saying the subject was on her mind.

"I would like to know what are our options re [regarding] not allowing politics clubs to hold event on campus - free to hold any event but not with any inference of support by university.

"Will hit the fan in the media if we go this way. However, racist behaviour of Brash - given te reo is a official language of NZ and we are a tiriti led university - can't be ignored."

On July 11, a Massey University staff member said there weren't grounds to say no to Brash speaking on campus and noted to Thomas that declining him "would present a very real risk of us being accused restricting free speech etc."

The vice-chancellor then replied, saying she was still "deeply concerned" about the matter asking if there was any mechanism the university could use to stop the event.

Which looks like an open and shut case that the cancellation wasn't really about security, but about Thomas simply not liking Brash's views. Those views are disgusting - Brash is a dirty old racist crank, a relic of the nineteenth century - but as a government institution, Massey is bound by the Bill of Rights Act and its affirmation of freedom of speech. It simply can not behave like this. As for what to do about it, Massey academic staff may wish to consider whether someone with such views is really appropriate to head an institution supposedly dedicated to free academic debate. And the politics club should be using this evidence to seek damages for the infringement of their right to receive information. And on the basis that bureaucrats don't learn unless you beat them, they should be seeking those damages from Thomas personally.


Grudging progress "IndyWatch Feed"

After months of back-pedalling, the government has finally agreed to keep its promise and raise the refugee quota to 1500. But not until 2020:

New Zealand will lift the refugee quota from 1000 to 1500 within this political term, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

Im proud that the Coalition Government has today agreed to make such a significant and historic increase to the annual quota of refugees, Jacinda Ardern said.

This is the right thing to do. It fulfils New Zealands obligation to do our bit and provide a small number of people, displaced by war and disaster each year, a place to call home.

The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure were prepared for this change in policy.

So, grudgingly and leaving it as late as they possibly can. While I'm pleased, this is something the government had to be dragged into doing. Which the opposite of the impression they gave during the election campaign.

So, what's the next step to push for? 3000? Which would still be less than half of Australia's per-capita contribution, and less than 5% of Sweden's. In other words: we can do much better, and we should.


2018 Australian workplace fatality statistics revealed "IndyWatch Feed"

2018 Australian workplace fatality statistics revealedRachel Erin from Australian Accident Helpline reports on the alarming number of deaths in Australian workplaces so far this year. read now...


Justinian the Great: The Liberal Partys Problem with Women "IndyWatch Feed"

The Liberal Party does have a problem with women. None are any good!

At least going by those who have served in either the Cabinet or Outer Ministry under the Abbott and Turnbull governments.

This is the list of women to have served in the Cabinet or Outer Minister over the past 5 years:

  • Julie Bishop (Foreign Affairs)
  • Marise Payne (Human Services, Defence, Foreign Affairs)
  • Michaelia Cash (Employment and Women)
  • Sussan Ley (Education, Health)
  • Kelly ODwyer (Small Business, Assistant Treasurer, Revenue and Financial Services)
  • Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (International Development and the Pacific)

Can anyone think of a single accomplishment or policy contribution of substance any of these women have made?

If these women represent the cream of the crop, then the Liberals do indeed have a huge problem!

Chief among them being conservative women with above average intelligence and success would rather a career in anything else other than Liberal Party politics.

No quota will fix that!

Which is hardly surprising considering they would have to endure mind numbing hour upon hour of political drivel from such dull intellects as Christopher Pyne and Simon Birmingham to name but a few.

Only to discover they signed up not to a conservative party after all, but a big tax, big spend, nanny state party where the spoils of office is what the whole game is ultimately about.

Lets be honest, the Liberal Party is gradually morphing into a Gentlemans Club of the vacuous Left. Its where soft in head College / Grammar boy Lefties go to get into parliament because they forgot to join a union (or were too afraid).

The Liberal Partys problem with women is that it has become a poor mans Labor Party but without any balls.

In short, its a turn off!

Self-respecting, strong, independent, intelligent, successful women typically do not choose to partner with dull, impotent, spineless, sheep of men. So why would they want to join the Liberal Party?

If the Liberal Party wants to attract more women, best it man up to its man problem.

This means it needs a quota of bona fides Liberal warriors before...


Todays news: nothing happened "IndyWatch Feed"

Im not sure I understand why it would matter even if it had happened, but in any case it is a certainly that nothing of the kind ever took place. And for any of you who ask, how can you know for sure, common sense cannot be counted as among your most important personal characteristics. Might as well accept the truth of alien abductions.

American politics remains the oddest place in the world. Donald Trump is a small dot of sanity in the midst of it all. It is his common sense and willingness to fight things out that makes him so formidable. Meanwhile.


'Other man in room' won't testify...
Senator Wants Men to 'Just Shut Up'...
Soros-Backed Activists Slip Cash to Protesters... 



Keeping it brief Alex Jones "IndyWatch Feed"

There has been a lot of sound and fury of late about the role of the internet platform providers (eg Google, Facebook and Twitter) in censoring content.  It came to a particular head with the banning/blocking/expelling of Alex Jones.

Spartacus is a free speech near absolutist.  He believes that the best remedy for bad and offensive speech is more speech and not less speech.

It is however a sad reflection that an al-foil hat wearing loon like Jones has an audience and not to mention an income from that audience.  Consider for example the following fish people performance.

Jones clearly missed his calling.  He should have been a Greens Senator from South Australia rather than an internet whatever he is.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
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Member's Day "IndyWatch Feed"

Today is a Member's day. First up there is a local bill: the Muldoonist Tasman District Council (Waimea Water Augmentation Scheme) Bill to enable the Waimea dam. This has the support of everyone by the Greens, so unless it is found to violate Standing Orders, it will progress to select committee.

Following that there's a couple of second readings: Jan Tinetti's Education (National Education and Learning Priorities) Amendment Bill and Gareth Hughes' Consumers Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill (which despite the name, has been gutted in select committee so it won't actually do what's on the label). The House will almost certainly wrap up Alastair Scott's Land Transport (Random Oral Fluid Testing) Amendment Bill, and will probably make a start on Darroch Ball's Protection for First Responders and Prison Officers Bill. If that happens, there will be a ballot for one bill tomorrow.


Another OIA review "IndyWatch Feed"

Yesterday's announcement that the government would be proactively releasing Cabinet papers had a buried lead: the government may be planning another review of the Official Information Act:

The documents revealed the existence of a Cabinet business committee paper produced last month which noted Little intends to carry out targeted engagement to inform a decision on whether to progress a formal review of the OIA.

Speaking to Newsroom, Little confirmed he was considering whether a full review of the OIA legislation was needed, or whether improvements could be made through non-legislative changes to departmental guidelines and policies.

It wasnt top of the priority list at the beginning of the year, but as we get to now embarking on a programme of proactive release then these things have come into sharper relief.

But do they really need to? The OIA has been reviewed twice in recent years: by the Law Commission in 2012, by the Office of the Ombudsman in 2015, and by the NZ Council for Civil Liberties earlier this year. While none of them is perfect, these reviews contained useful proposals for reform, particularly around eligibility, oversight, coverage, and penalties. But despite public support by users of the Act, these recommendations have been ignored by successive governments. And now, instead of implementing them, Little is proposing another review.

Little's proposed review is a waste of our time. We already know what is wrong with the OIA regime and how to fix it. Rather than dragging his feet with yet another review, Little should actually do something to fix the Act. Otherwise, people might get the impression that he was trying to thwart change rather than enable it...


125 years "IndyWatch Feed"

125 years ago today, the Electoral Act 1893 became law. The law allowed women to vote for the first time - back then a world first. Here's how it was reported in the Auckland Star:

[Auckland Star, 19 September 1893, via Papers Past].

It wasn't a full victory - women got to vote, but not to stand for Parliament - but it was a start, a start which made other change possible. There's still obviously a hell of a lot more to do around equality, the gender pay gap, and ending sexual harassment and violence, but all of that work would be much harder without basic electoral rights and the power that comes with them.

The anniversary is being celebrated around New Zealand today, as it is every year. Its something which has defined us as a nation and which kiwis are justifiably proud of. But on the 125th anniversary, its time to do more than that: we should make Suffrage Day a public holiday.


The Morrison Government's aged care merry-go-round "IndyWatch Feed"

The Morrison Government's aged care merry-go-roundAfter cutting funding by $1.2 billion, why is the Morrison Government now calling a royal commission into the aged care sector?  read now...

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Tuesday, 18 September


Podcast #8 Wagga Wagga results and Banks "IndyWatch Feed"

Im joined by Ben Spies-Butcher and Amanda McCormack to discuss the Wagga Wagga by-election, the state of NSW politics six months before the state election, and the federal seat of Banks.

We also discussed Ann Sudmalis retirement announcement and Kerryn Phelps candidacy announcement.

Links to things discussed in the show:

You can subscribe using this RSS feed in your podcast app of choice, but should also be able to find this podcast by searching for the Tally Room. If you like the show please considering rating and reviewing us on iTunes.


New England bookshops to visit in the fall. "IndyWatch Feed"

The stores. Enjoy!

Wind and Other doing 7.5% of demand before breakfast.


Play the ball, not the person: NZ media commentary on the PIF "IndyWatch Feed"

Theres been a big reaction around the region and within New Zealand Pacific communities to comments by media commentator Heather du Plessis-Allan about NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Arderns trip to the Pacific Islands Forum. She told her Newstalk ZB audience in Wellington that it wasnt worth going to the Forum because it didnt matter: They are nothing but leeches on us. The Pacific islands want money from us.

Now, the best reaction to some of the crass and ill-informed comments in the New Zealand media came from TVNZs Pacific reporter Barbara Dreaver, who said: As someone who has lived and worked in the region for nearly 30 years I have nothing but contempt for the sheer ignorance I have been reading from those whose idea of the Pacific is lying poolside at Denarau with a pina colada.

Now I share Barbaras perspective on this (full disclosure, she and I have been friends and colleagues for more years than I care to remember) and feel there is considerable ignorance about the Pacific in the mainstream media on both sides of the Tasman. But I noticed a rather ugly tendency in some of the reactions from the Pacific to attack the motivations of those making the arguments, rather than the arguments themselves.

Many people simply dismissed Heather du Plessis-Allan as a South African, and there were comments in Facebook threads about her being some sort of Afrikaner nationalist, the clear subtext being that having that sort of background, she must be some sort of racist. Thats a shockingly lazy weapon to reach for, and also shows the people saying these things dont know anything about her. She was wrong to suggest that Pacific nations are leeches, but reaching for the racism card is just as shallow and ignorant.

Ive found that ignorance is best corrected with knowledge and information rather than abuse. Wouldnt it be better to have someone well-informed who can speak about the massive contributions the Pacific makes to New Zealand to go on her show and have a discussion? I would love to hear Dr Colin Tukuitonga have a dialogue with Heather du Plessis-Allan on Newstalk ZB. It would probably change a few peoples minds.

Pacific island nations are small, and feel very vulnerable. Australia and New Zealand are much larger and have enormous influence in the region. This means there is extra sensitivity required in the dialogue between us. Theres a huge power imbalance, and that distorts the relationship. But we also need to feel we can be honest with each other, rather than treading on eggshells and tiptoeing around issues for fear of causing offence.

Australia and New Zealand have done good thing...


State of Play Australia 2018: 11 per cent of the workforce is unemployed and 8 per cent underemployed "IndyWatch Feed"

Roy Morgan, media release excerpt, 13  September 2018:

Australian employment has grown solidly over the past year however the faster rate of overall growth in the Australian workforce due to more Australians looking for work means unemployment has increased to a two-year high of 11% in August.

The latest data for the Roy Morgan employment series for August shows:

* 11,940,000 Australians were employed in August, up 255,000 over the past year;

* The workforce which comprises employed and unemployed Australians is now 13,416,000, up 407,000 on a year ago;

* 1,476,000 Australians were unemployed (11% of the workforce); an increase of 152,000 (up 0.8%) on a year ago and the highest level of unemployment for over two years since March 2016;


The Morrison Government continues to internally haemorrhage "IndyWatch Feed"

On the local scene since the day of winning preselection in 2012, the local, self-determined senior Liberal has been leaking damaging material to the media and having publicity stunts that are completely against federal policy initiatives. And more recently he approached friends asking me to nominate my retirement date and then he'd call off his people.  [Liberal MP for Gilmore Ann Sudmalis in House of Representatives Hansard, 17 September 2018, p.103]

As a Liberal Party candidate Ann Sudmalis was elected to the House of Representatives for Gilmore, New South Wales, in 2013 and 2016.

At 63 years of age with 5 years of parliamentary service behind her, it now appears the boys club has stack her home branch and attempting to squeeze her out as the Liberal Partys preferred candidate at the next federal election in 2019.

The NSW boys club's preferred candidate is former Australian Federal Police sergeant, sometime...


Netsafe defends freedom of the press "IndyWatch Feed"

Last week, rich prick Ray Avery tried to use the Harmful Digital Communicatins Act to suppress media coverage about him. But approved agency Netsafe has rejected his complaint:

Internet regulator Netsafe has declined to pursue a complaint by entrepreneur Sir Ray Avery that Newsroom stories about him amounted to digital harm and harassment.

The publicly-funded agency, which is charged with mediating complaints of online bullying and harassment under the Harmful Digital Communications Act, told Newsroom today: "This complaint has now been closed at Netsafe."

It said the law was "not clear about how to treat HDC complaints as they apply to media, and there is limited case law from which to form our advice.

"Therefore we are not recommending you take any further action. We have recommended to Sir Ray Avery that if he wishes to pursue this complaint he has the option of applying to the District Court."

But this isn't over yet, because Avery has indicated from the start that that using the courts to suppress public-interest journalism is exactly what he intends to do. And while we can hope that the court will look at s14 of the Bill of Rights Act and interpret the law so as to be consistent with the right to free speech and freedom of the press and exclude public interest journalism, I would feel far safer if there was explicit protection. That would at least prevent rich pricks like Avery from trying it on, and forcing media organisations to rack up enormous legal bills defending themselves.

There is obvious scope for a member's bill here. I wonder if any of the "free speech loving" MPs in the opposition will take it - or whether the only speech they want to protect is that of racists and Nazis.


Doesnt anyone notice this. I feel like Im taking crazy pills. "IndyWatch Feed"

Last week, 3 of the 4 major Australian banks increased their mortgage interest rates.

The media and the political class, with their standard deep analysis and understanding of the business models and funding of banks did the predictable thing.  They criticised the 3 that increased rates (ANZ, CBA, WBC) and praised the 1 that made no change (NAB).

The whole out of cycle interest rate change blah blah was brought out, as if domestic savings are the principle source of funds for the banks.

Did anyone bother to actually look at what the rates were or was the movement just the story.  The answer is no obviously because notwithstanding the increases, the standard variable rate for ANZ (5.20%) and CBA (5.22%) are still less than NAB (5.24%) and the Westpac rate (5.24%) is now the same as NAB .

But actually looking at the details requires some level of journalistic and analytical sophistication.

Spartacus is not suggesting that these are appropriate rates or competitive rates, but NAB should not be complimented for having the equal highest standard variable mortgage rate of the big 4.

Spartacus hopes that a similar level of sophistication would be applied to the analysis of government expenditures (ie looking at the total spent and not the incemental variance), but somehow doubts that that will happen.  Spartacus feels like he is taking crazy pills.

Follow I Am Spartacus on Twitter at @Ey_am_Spartacus
Subscribe to the Sparta-Blog at


EEO unintended consequences "IndyWatch Feed"

Do Equal Employment Opportunity Statements Backfire? Evidence From A Natural Field Experiment On Job-Entry Decisions
Andreas Leibbrandt, John A. List
NBER Working Paper No. 25035
Issued in September 2018

NBER Program(s):Law and Economics, Labor Studies

Labor force composition and the allocation of talent remain of vital import to modern economies. For their part, governments and companies around the globe have implemented equal employment opportunity (EEO) regulations to influence labor market flows. Even though such regulations are pervasive, surprisingly little is known about their impacts. We use a natural field experiment conducted across 10 U.S. cities to investigate if EEO statements in job advertisements affect the first step in the employment process, application rates. Making use of data from nearly 2,500 job seekers, we find considerable policy effects, but in an unexpected direction: the presence of an EEO statement dampens rather than encourages racial minorities willingness to apply for jobs. Importantly, the effects are particularly pronounced for educated job seekers and in cities with white majority populations. Complementary survey evidence suggests the underlying mechanism at work is tokenism, revealing that EEO statements backfire because racial minorities avoid environments in which they are perceived as regulatory, or symbolic, hires rather than being hired on their own merits. Beyond their practical and theoretical importance, our results highlight how field experiments can significantly improve policymaking. In this case, if one goal of EEO regulations is to enhance the pool of minority applicants, then it is not working.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from ($5) for electronic delivery.


Adani To Go Announces Its Intention To Continue Announcing Deadlines "IndyWatch Feed"

Every now and then The Australian Financial Review has an article that gives me a good laugh. Ok, its behind a firewall so I cant give you a link but todays article about Angus Taylor begins: Energy Minister Angus Taylor has slammed greenhouse gas reduction policies as corporate greed dressed up as saving the planet

The post Adani To Go Announces Its Intention To Continue Announcing Deadlines appeared first on The AIM Network.


Trot Guide September 2018 Update "IndyWatch Feed"

Its been a while eh over two years, in fact (see : #TrotGuide 2016, April 21, 2016). That said, while theres been some interesting developments on The Far Left : Down Under Edition, for the most part things are Continue reading


Morrison, Dutton, Coleman: Cold, heartless, sadistic "IndyWatch Feed"

Morrison, Dutton, Coleman: Cold, heartless, sadisticChildren continue to suffer untold cruelty under Australias indiscriminate asylum seeker stance. read now...


From Aristophanes to Knight Or Is something else going here? "IndyWatch Feed"

By George Theodoridis It is a case -as it bloody nearly always is- of relevance deprivation and diminution, thanks mainly to the prodigious proliferation and ever burgeoning of social platforms and the largely bored hoi polloi, bored by celebrities who have nothing to offer but the empty, irrelevant minutiae of their lives. The celebrities, like the

The post From Aristophanes to Knight Or Is something else going here? appeared first on The AIM Network.


Phase 2 of 2018 Australian aid stakeholder survey launched "IndyWatch Feed"

Nows your chance to have your say about the state of Australian aid!

Weve just launched the public phase of the 2018 Australian aid stakeholder survey have your say on the state of the Australian government aid program through the online survey here, it should only take about 15 minutes (or read on for more information first).

The survey is a tool designed to obtain feedback on the effectiveness of the Australian aid program and provide suggestions for its improvement. Phase 1 of the survey was sent to over 200 senior executives from Australian NGOs and development contractors that are familiar with and involved in the delivery of Australian aid. Phase 2 is available online for all aid stakeholders (here) and anyone knowledgeable about Australian aid to complete.

The 2015 survey saw over 400 stakeholders provide feedback on the Australian aid program, giving us valuable insights into the aid program as a whole, as well as detailed information about perceptions of the program, its management by DFAT, and aid volumes.

Now, nearly five years later, has the aid program become more or less effective? Has the use of facilities made program management easier? Have we reversed the loss of expertise that was the aftermath of the AusAID-DFAT merger? These are all questions we explore in the survey, and were keen to hear from anyone engaged with the Australian aid program, whether as a recipient, partner, implementer, analyst or advocate. So click here to have your say.

The survey will close on 19 October 2018.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

The post Phase 2 of 2018 Australian aid stakeholder survey launched appeared first on Devpolicy Blog from the Development Policy Centre.


Bill Browder Strikes Back in Euro "IndyWatch Feed"

I am altering the deal. Pray I dont alter it any further.
The Empire Strikes Back

Since Vladimir Putin brought up Bill Browders name in Helsinki events have escalated to a fever pitch.  Russia is under extreme attack the U.S./European financial and political establishment.

And part of that push is coming from Browder himself.  In July, just a week after Helsinki, Browder opened up a money laundering complaint against Denmarks largest bank, Danske, alleging over $8 billion in money laundered from Russia, Moldova and Azerbaijan through its Estonian Branch.

The details here are important so bear with me.

Danskes report on these allegations are due on Wednesday.

No matter what they say, however, the die has been cast.

Danske is being targeted for termination by the U.S. and possible takeover by the European Central Bank.

Theres precedent for this but let me lay out some background first.

The Oldest Trick

Browders complaint says the money laundered is in connection with the reason why he was thrown out of Russia and the $230 million in stolen tax money which Browders cause clbre, the death of accountant Sergei Magnitsky, hangs on.

That crusade got the Magnitsky Act passed not only in the U.S. but all across the West, with versions on the books in Canada, Australia the EU and other places.

Danskes shares have been gutted in the wake of the accusation.

The U.S. is now investigating this complaint and that shouldnt come as much of a shock.

The Treasury Department can issue whatever findings it wants, and then respond by starving Danske of dollars, known as the Death Blow option the threat of which was plastered all over the pages of the Wall St. Journal on Friday.

Note this article isnt behind the Journals pay-wall.  They want everyone to see this.

Browder filed complaints both in Denm...


Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under "IndyWatch Feed"

There is something peculiar doing the rounds in Australian food circles.  The land down under, considered something of a nirvana of fruit and vegetable production despite horrendous droughts and calamitous cyclones, is facing a new challenge: human agency, namely in the form of despoliation of strawberries. The results have knocked Australias highly concentrated supermarket chains,

The post Needled Strawberries: Food Terrorism Down Under appeared first on The AIM Network.


Belgium stands up for freedom of speech in Spain "IndyWatch Feed"

Back in February, Spain sentenced rapper Valtonyc to three and a half years in prison for insulting the monarch. He promptly fled the country. Now, a Belgian court has refused to extradite him:

A Belgian court on Monday ruled that Spanish rapper Valtonyc should not be sent back to Spain, where he was sentenced to prison accused of writing lyrics that praise terror groups and insult the royal family.

The rapper, whose real name is Jose Miguel Arenas Beltran, was supposed to turn himself in voluntarily in May to authorities in Spain, where he faces prison sentences totaling three and a half years, but instead fled to Belgium.

"The judge has decided there will be no extradition and discarded all three charges," his lawyer, Simon Bekaert, told reporters near the court in the city of Ghent.

Bekaert said the judge ruled "there is no terrorism involved, there is no incitement of terrorism, so there is no question of a crime according to Belgian law." He said the judge also found that there is no crime to answer to over insulting the Spanish king and that no threat was made that could warrant extradition.

The Spanish government can still appeal, but success looks unlikely. Unfortunately, rather than accept that their laws are increasingly out of step with fundamental human rights, and will no longer be upheld or respected by other European courts (including the ECHR), Spain will probably double down on them and try and make them even more oppressive.


Australian Citizenship test revised "IndyWatch Feed"

Australian Citizenship test revisedA new Prime Minister seems like a good time for a revised Australian citizenship test. read now...


Proactive release "IndyWatch Feed"

In a major victory for transparency, the government will start proactively releasing Cabinet papers:

Cabinet papers will be proactively released, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins announced today.

The move is part of the Governments wider plan to improve openness and reflects its commitment to the international Open Government Partnership.

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019, Chris Hipkins who is also responsible for Open Government said.

This change is about being an open and accountable government.

On the one hand, this isn't that big a change - we already routinely have such releases when policy is announced. On the other hand, it is a huge step forward. In other parts of the world Cabinet material is tightly guarded (and this is then abused to hide other material), so we're displaying clear global leadership here. It would obviously be better if the timeline for release was aligned to the OIA's statutory 20 days, and I'll be interested in seeing the advice on why that wasn't done.

Of course, the problem with proactive release is that its grace and favour and cannot be contested except by filing another OIA making it clear that you want an unredacted copy (which may then be refused as the material "is already publicly available", even though the bits that you want are not). And this is clearly abused to hide material and steer the public conversation through selective release. One of the changes that needs to happen to the official information regime is bringing proactive disclosures under the Act and under the oversight of the Ombudsman, to prevent such abuses.


73% of Australians wrong according to climate denying COALition "IndyWatch Feed"

73% of Australians wrong according to climate denying COALitionDoes the Coalition really think it is on the right track by ignoring 73% of the Australian public on climate change?  read now...

Monday, 17 September


Critical problems in the integrated power grid "IndyWatch Feed"

Recycling a comment from RobK in a previous thread on the renewable road to ruin. He reports a talk by an electrical engineer, Kate Summers of Pacific Hydro. She has excessive enthusiasm for renewable energy, especially hydro (which is cheating), but the most important take-home that I can understand is the massive spinning turbines are under huge mechanical stresses due to fluctuating voltage that is not being controlled properly in the integrated system. This will increase downtime and unscheduled outages and shorten their working lives.

Comments and further explanation are invited from qualified Cats, I took several pages of notes but will not take the time to listen again or attempt to improve on RobK and any others who are prepared to help.

Part of the problem that will appeal to students of catallaxies is her claim that the centralised control and monitoring in the integrated system fails compared with the decentralised controls in stand-alone systems.

Another vital take-home from the first or second question was the observation that among the 33 senior managers of the four regulatory agencies there are 3 with science or engineering qualifications.

Kate Summers Power system control or market control of a power system: Is there a fundamental loss of power system control?

On Wednesday 15th August 2018 I was happy to speak at University of Melbournes Climate and Energy College about a topic that I see as a very important one to the ongoing stability of the electricity grid (and hence to the continuation of the energy transition).

As I note during my presentation, it seems to me that we have moved from centralised planning but distributed control, to a market with decentralised planning but centralised control. This is apparent, for instance, in market provisions for ancillary services. I am not sure that we all understand the implications of this.

This is the commentary by RobK.

An interesting 60min presentation looking at an aspect of FCAS dealing with hunting of frequency control partially caused by poor integration of digital and rotory manchine control. Some interesting comments on the lack of engineering input to system design.

Presented by a power engineer with RE background. There are many other issues than mentioned here but interesting insights into the systems workings.

It seems worse than I expected.

At 6am Wind and Other were delivering 13% of t...

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