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Religious Freedom Review Report: a curate's egg in the hands of an Australian prime minister who doesn't understand the definition of secular or why there is a separation between Church and State "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"
This proposed development of 19.41ha of forested land adjacent to World Heritage Gondwana coastal rainforest in Iluka, NSW, was first sent for public consultation in December 2015.
This is probably the last chance that community members have to offer their opinion on the plan for a 141 lot subdivision on the lot.
The reasons are explicable but they are very difficult to understand without a thorough knowledge of how economies work.
GLORIA ALVAREZ ON REASON TV: Socialism Fails Every Time (Video):
It certainly has a lot of bad luck associated with it, for some inexplicable reason.
For an explanation, you need to go to what is known as the Socialist Calculation Debate, and then be prepared to spend a long time thinking it through. You can easily see that all such experiments have failed in the past, but that is empirical, and never convinces since it is always different next time, at least when it all begins. The end point is always The Soviet Union, Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela, and never Denmark or Sweden, but why?
The 'Religious Freedom Review' and its attempt to enshrine the religious "right" of schools to discriminate against gay people. read now...
The Federal Government has unveiled a plan that will settle certain classes of new migrants [to be known as drones] in regional areas for up to five years after their arrival in Australia. These will be required to work as indentured labour and will not be able to leave their servitude until the five-year term
So, the government thinks its in surplus, to the tune of $5.5 billion. Of course, its nothing of the sort. As I noted last time, when there are queues for basic healthcare, people without homes, underpaid public servants, and kids going to school hungry, the government having cash on hand isn't really a surplus, any more than I'm rich if I have $1000 in my wallet and a $10,000 overdraft. What we have is deep-rooted social and infrastructural debt caused by decades of austerity and NeoLiberalism - debt that isn't recorded anywhere on the government's books. But the fact that its not recorded doesn't mean it doesn't exist or doesn't cause problems - merely that its not properly managed. And the government needs to manage it, by paying off that debt and investing in hospitals, homes, and yes, teacher's salaries, before it makes any moves to gives it themselves as tax cuts.
A proposed zipline project at Mt Coot-tha, which promises to have community and economic benefits, isn't all it seems. read now...
Romanians went to the polls over the weekend to vote in a
constitutional referendum to ban same-sex marriage. Or rather,
they didn't - because the referendum failed due to
miserably low turnout:
A referendum to establish a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in Romania has failed - after only a fifth of voters bothered to turn out.
Romanians were being asked whether they wanted the constitution changed to specify that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.
But just 20.4% of eligible voters cast ballots - short of the 30% needed.
My latest piece in the Guardian is headlined The national energy market is an abject failure its time for a publicly owned grid Ive said this before and I dont mind repeating myself. But the new insight that provoked me to write this piece is a bit further down
Why has Australia done so badly? The reform process in Australia has treated markets and competition as goals in themselves, rather than as policy instruments designed to produce useful price signals and thereby guide investment and consumption decisions.
The article is also a plug for a recently published book, Wrong Way, How Privatisation and Economic Reform Backfire, in which I have two chapters, one on electricity and one on productivity.
Government fails because it grows, and it grows because it fails 
We must make the building of a free society once more an intellectual adventure, a deed of courageif we can regain that belief in the power of ideas which was the mark of liberalism at its greatest, the battle is not lost (Hayek, 1949) 
The second part of the chapter on the reconstruction of the liberal project examines the populist revolt in its various forms and suggests a liberal/cosmopolitan response. Boettke sees left and right forms of the populist critique of the status quo. I have been irritated by a lot of the talk about the rise of populism because there seems to be an assumption that everyone knows what populism means and right now I am feeling left out because I dont have a handle on what it is except that is supposed to be really bad. I think populism is good when I agree with the result and bad otherwise.
Brexit and the victory of Trump are supposed to be bad populism but I am in favour of both. Maybe it is the motivation that counts as bad like the British who voted yes because they dont like foreigners and the people who voted for Trump because they wanted tariffs to protect their jobs.
And then there is the populism of the left, vote buying for every politically correct group and the childrens crusade that backs Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. Trump is reviled as a racist by the deranged but he reached out to the ethnic communities and not in the cynical manner of Lyndon Johnston who probably invented the race card.
Insofar as there are arguments to support the idea that capitalism has failed, they bring recall Hutts complaint that the success of capitalism in advancing the poor had generated outrage at the poverty that was to that time accepted as inevitable and eternal the poor are always with us. He pointed out that the spin was to blame capitalism as though it was the cause of the problem and not the solution.
The main point here is that the failures that upset the populists are caused by big government and the welfare state. Our task is to explain this in a way that recruits the young people who are victims of the mentality that not to be a socialist at 20 is to lack a heart. Gook luck with that in the current climate of debate with the demand for equality and minority rights weaponised with the aid of the mainstream media, our ABC and the social media. Boettke is up for the contest and there is some probing analysis of the situation in this chapter with the conclusion pointing again to the need for institutional solutions to institutional problems.
And to end on a brighter note Despite the obvious frustrations with the establishment elite, it is a simple fact that 2015 was the first year in all of recorded human history when less than 10% of the worlds...
Last year Scott Morrison, then the Treasurer, carried a lump of coal into Parliament during Question Time, where he brandished it about, saying
This is coal. Dont be scared. It wont hurt youIts coal that has ensured Australia has for over one hundred years enjoyed an energy advantage that has delivered prosperity.
He went on to describe the Opposition as suffering from the malady of coalaphobia and possessing an
ideological, pathological opposition to coal as being part of our sustainable and more certain energy future.
Yesterday the international body responsible for updating our knowledge of climate change, the IPCC, release its latest report on keeping temperature rises below 1.5 degrees. Their report included this paragraph:
In modelled 1.5C pathways with limited or no overshoot, the use of CCS would allow the electricity generation share of gas to be approximately 8% (311% interquartile range) of global electricity in 2050, while the use of coal shows a steep reduction in all pathways and would be reduced to close to 0% (02%) of electricity (high confidence). While acknowledging the challenges, and differences between the options and national circumstances, political, economic, social and technical feasibility of solar energy, wind energy and electricity storage technologies have substantially improved over the past few years (high confidence). These improvements signal a potential system transition in electricity generation (IPCC SR15 SPM p33)
The report notes that keeping temperature rises to 1.5 would have significantly fewer impacts upon the planet and the well-being of its people then a rise to 2. The Great Barrier Reef, for example, is likely to diminish in size at 1.5 temperature rise, but at 2 would likely disappear completely.
This has certainly wiped the smug tone from the governments defence of coal, but not their determination to see coal as an ongoing part of Australias energy mix long into the future. The conversation we should be having is how we will replace coal with renewable forms of energy over the course of the next couple of decades. We have time to do it and to do it right. Instead we have a government burying its head in the sand, denying the IPCC report has any significance for us, and declaring support for the coal industry. I think we all know who the pathological ideologues are.
James Bartholomew is best known these days as the man who popularised the term virtue signalling by using it to describe left wing posturing and posing in their support of good causes like saving the planet from carbon dioxide.
He is spending this month as a resident scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney and one of his concerns is to conduct interviews with survivors and refugees from communist regimes. These will end up in the Museum of Communist Terror in London.
The Museum of Communist Terror aims to keep alive knowledge and understanding of the deaths, terror and economic failure that took place under Communist regimes, primarily in the 20th century. The strategy is to do this through social media, this website, talks and films for schools and universities, lobbying for improvements in the teaching of the history of Communist regimes, events and the creation of one or more small museums leading up to the development of a full-size museum in London. Video interviews are being made with people who have survived Communist oppression or whose lives have been affected. We are seeking to acquire artefacts for the Museum.
I wonder if Coalition politicians understand how ridiculous they sound when they disagree with, or cite, things they admit to not having read. Its a recurring theme. The latest is our new Environment sock puppet, Melissa Price, who, despite not having read the latest IPCC report, was quick to tell us how wrong they were
Im in the middle of writing a paper on Classical Economic Theory which has as its central theme how near impossible for someone educated within one school of economic thought to understand another. My own belief is that one can only understand an economic theory if one actually has at some stage thought it was valid.
But on the larger question whether economic theory can help us understand what to do, it is an unambiguous yes, if its classical economic theory, and for the most part if its Austrian. Otherwise, forget it. Modern economics is basically a bang-your-head-against-a-wall-theory because it feels so good when you stop.
This book, that has just come to my attention, because of a presentation next week by Alex Millmow which might be of interest if you are in the neighbourhood. I have, however, highlighted two bits from the ad for the book which make me very suspicious that she might really be able to help out any of us with much of anything at all.
(1) What do the ideas of Karl Marx tell us about the likely future for the Chinese economy?
(2) With globalization in trouble, what can we learn about handling Brexit and Trumpism?
(1) The more they pay attention to Marx, the worse their economic outcomes will be.
(2) If you are wondering how to handle Brexit and the economics of Donald Trump, you are already demonstrably incapable of understanding their natures or how and why they will improve things.
Anyway, here is the ad for the book and below is the ad for Alexs presentation.
Since the days of Adam Smith, economists have grappled with a series of familiar problems but often their ideas are hard to digest, even before we try to apply them to todays issues. Linda Yueh is renowned for her combination of erudition, as an accomplished economist herself, and accessibility, as a leading writer and...
Spurred on by shock jock Alan Jones and supported by the PM, NSW Premier Berejiklian is now facing a public backlash on her Opera House decision. read now...
Australia's response to the IPCC's dire climate warning
The Australian government has rejected the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports call to phase out coal power by 2050, claiming renewable energy cannot replace baseload coal power.
The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, said Australia should absolutely continue to use and exploit its coal reserves, despite the IPCCs dire warnings the world has just 12 years to avoid climate change catastrophe.
He said the government would not change policy just because somebody might suggest that some sort of report is the way we need to follow and everything that we should do.
Picture the scene: Bakhit has been sentenced to community service for breaking and entering. He is meeting his a social worker to find out what he has to do Slow down, slow down, I didnt say what nationality he was, so dont you accuse me of racism, you lefty hypocrites. Look, stick with this, Ive
The post This Is Not About African Gangs So Dont Call Me Racist! appeared first on The AIM Network.
Last month, we learned that Labour's "commitment" to end
offshore oil drilling wasn't. In an act of bad
faith with their coalition parner, and total, two-faced
dishonesty, they were
quietly planning to extend existing offshore drilling permits,
giving polluters more time to drill. And now, thanks to Greenpeace,
we know who they plan to help out this way:
Australian polluter OMV:
Greenpeace has today revealed that Austrian oil giant OMV has requested an extension to its upcoming drill commitment in the Great South Basin.
Greenpeace Climate Campaigner, Kate Simcock, says an Official Information Act (OIA) request has uncovered OMVs application for the permit extension, which otherwise required it to drill an exploration well before July 2019.
Six months ago the Coalition Government announced it would not grant any new oil exploration permits because of climate change. Today we learn that Austrian oil giant OMV is going to test the Governments commitment to action on climate change by demanding more time to drill for oil, Simcock says.
Any extension of an existing permit is essentially granting a new permit. In banning new oil exploration permits, the Government responded to a clear desire by New Zealanders for climate action. Now they must to stand strong on that principle extending permits is not consistent with that.
The Boris Johnson storm, beating away at the British Prime Ministers doors with an ancient fury, has been stayed for the moment in the wake of the Conservative Party Conference held at Birmingham last week. While the potential usurper batters away on the domestic front with red-faced enthusiasm, Theresa May faces the impossible sell: convincing
How its done from an expert. This is the text of what she said:
Pelosi: Its called the wrap-up smear. . . . You smear somebody with falsehoods and all the rest and then you merchandise it.
And then you [the media] write it, and theyll say, see its reported in the press that this, this, this and this so they have that validation that the press reported the smear, and then its called a wrap-up smear. And now Im going to merchandize the presss report on the smear that we made.
Here, for example, and it is only just an example, are more than enough reasons to understand Christine Ford was not playing straight with the truth, none of which was pointed out in the media that was merchandising all the falsehoods the Democrats could conjure:
She refused to hand over the results of her polygraph
She refused to hand over her 2012 therapists notes
She said she was afraid to fly, but has flown dozens of times.
Since she did in fact fly, she offered no other reason for the delay
She said she wanted anonymity but contacted [the Washington Post] multiple times
Said she got advice from beach friends but didnt mention that the primary one was a former FBI lawyer, Monica McLean, who worked for Preet Bharara, a man Trump fired.
She also failed to mention, when talking of her Beach friends at the hearing, that Monica was sitting right behind her.
She had a perfect memory of 1982 but couldnt remember basic things from the previous 10 weeks
Shed been drinking.
She changed the year of the alleged attack
She named 4 people, but had no backers
She couldnt remember how she got home even though her story had her escaping the house far from home, pre-cell phone.
She gave no location or any details that could be researched for verification.
She never told anyone and never claimed PTSD prior to Kavanaughs name circulating 30 years later.
She said that she put the 2nd door on her house because of PTSD, but evidence shows it was to get around zoning laws to create a rentable apartment.
She said she didnt know that Grassley offered to come to her, even though it was broadcast nationally....
One of the aims of the Privacy Act was to
regulate government use of information matching. The Act
prevents unauthorised disclosure, so any government use for (for
example) seeing if people on the electoral roll are citizens or
residents and so qualified to vote requires
specific statutory authorisation. There's a lot of statutory
littering the books, and the Privacy Commissioner is
required to review them every five years to see if they're
still necessary. And it turns out that a pile of them
aren't just unnecessary, but have never been
Privacy Commissioner John Edwards is recommending the repeal of 22 government information matching provisions, after a report showed many of them were never used.
Mr Edwards says information matching provisions are enacted by Parliament to allow the sharing of information in ways that would otherwise breach the Privacy Acts information privacy principles.
I am concerned these exceptional powers have been sought by officials, agreed to by Ministers, enacted by Parliament, and then never used. It shows up a weakness in the system and demonstrates the importance of having robust policy development procedures in advance of enacting such provisions.
Mr Edwards says the unused information matching provisions did not deliver their intended benefits to society and continuing Parliamentary authorisation of these privacy intrusive measures was unjustified.
Over the weekend, Nauru
threw out NGO Mdecins Sans Frontires, which had been providing
mental health services to the suicidal inmates of australia's
concentration camp there. So what is the Nauruan regime going to do
about suicidal refugees now that it has removed their only source
Refugee advocates say police in Nauru have arrested a 36-year-old Iranian refugee for attempting suicide.
The Refugee Action Coaltion said the refugee swallowed washing powder at the Anibare camp on Monday afternoon.
The Coalition's Ian Rintoul said although the man was in obvious distress, police arrested him rather than calling an ambulance.
It follows a government edict made last week that any refugee who threatens or attempts suicide be arrested.
Dont miss Jo Novas rejoinder to the call to make the next election a referendum on the GBR.
This news will come as a shock to corals on the Great Barrier Reef which are obliviously living across a range of 2,000 kilometers and a span of five degrees Celsius from 27 to 32C. But these are magic numbers apparently, and half a degree hotter (which is all we are talking about) it will be 27.5 to 32.5C which is numerology hell where baby corals go to die.
You and I might think that corals might just emigrate since they shed sperm and eggs in mass spawning events visible from space and have 112 sites known to reseed all damaged areas. But what would we know?
And what would a dumb coral know possibly something after 200 million years of climate change, most of which was hotter.
Moving on to Chapter 10 in Boettke on Hayek. After the war Hayek convened a meeting with a group that became the Mont Pelerin Society. The aim was to keep the ideas and institutions of democratic capitalism of alive and also renewed and refreshed to cope with emerging challenges.
Boettke sees a need for this process to continue because we face a thinking problem more than a marketing problem. Surely we need to lift our game in both of those departments. A longstanding complaint is that had core libertarians (eg Randoids) might be prepared to put their bodies on the line for Liberty but they are not prepared to explain their ideas in language that resonates with the punters.
Boettke sees serious problems from ideas emerging from a new generation of socialists on the left and from conservative movements on the right.  Immediately we have a marketing problem. In Hayeks essay on why he was not a particular type of conservative he described the triangle of forces with the left at one corner, the conservatives at another and the classical liberals at the third. The point is to get away from linear thinking about a left to right spectrum of positions that places us on the right. This is one of the most powerful rhetorical devices that the left can deploy and we set ourselves up to fail if we buy into it.
The ideas of the non-left include zero-state anarchism, libertarianism, classical liberalism, cultural conservatism, statism, the wrong kind of nationalism, religious fundamentalim, rightwing populism and incidentally fascism and racism. The term right in common use implicitly aggregates these ideas to the disadvantage of the mix of classical liberalism and cultural (and environmental) conservatism that can deliver peace, freedom and prosperity.
So I consider that using the label right for ourselves is practically is a free kick to the left every time and it is no help at all to try to rank different positions on the right along a spectrum in an attempt to distance ourselves from the far right or lunatic right. We are the lunatic right as far as the left are concerned.
Liberalism Is Liberal
Under this heading Boettke engages with the often-articulated views of left intellectuals, that for us Compassion, justice, civic responsibility, honesty, decency, humility, respect, and even survival of the poor, weak and vulnerable are all to take a back seat.  This perception is so widespread among what used to be called the educated public that a combined thinking and marketing effort is required to correct it.
Something like a robust moral framework has to be included among the pillars of classical liberalism, alongside the rule o...
The recently-released 2018 Commitment to Development Index ranks some of the worlds richest countries by their dedication to policies that benefit people living in poorer nations. The index ranks countries across a range of areas. One of them is the quality of the aid a country gives. Each countrys aid quality score is based on the quality of a countrys bilateral aid as well as the quality of the multilateral organisations that it gives aid to. These aid quality scores come from the Quality of ODA dataset (QuODA) that the Center for Global Development also maintains.
QuODA ranks Australia at tenth out of 40 donors. This list includes multilateral aid organisations as well as country donors. If we only look at countries, Australia is ranked fourth out of 27 (New Zealand comes first). Australias overall score is 0.18, an average of its performance across 24 individual aid quality indicators. In this blog, we look at some of the indicators with a view to what, if anything, these data reveal about how well Australia gives aid. (For those interested in more details on QuODA or New Zealands ranking, see Terence Woods blog.)
The histogram below shows the distribution of Australias scores across the individual indicators. A score of zero for any individual indicator means average. As the chart shows, Australias scores across the indicators are clustered around the average, some negative, but 15 out of the 24 are positive. There are four indicators on which Australia scores particularly well above one and two on which it scores quite poorly nearly minus two. Australias overall average is pulled up by the three indicators it does well on, but this is offset by the two indicators where it underperforms.
Australias scores on the QuODA by frequency
The table below shows Australias scores across the various indicators, from lowest to highest. We score quite negatively (-1.75) on making information on development funding publicly accessible. Why is this? We havent been able to obt...
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