November 5, 2009 • 6:12 pm
The Victorian Opposition has emerged from a front bench shake-up with a promise to be tough on law and order. Oh yay. Truly the last resort of a desperate, clueless and cynical political party. Never mind that crime and lawlessness is actually declining.
What next? A war on drugs and education? FFS.
Mr Baillieu says having several law and order spokesmen will put pressure on the Government.
“We have been talking for months, and indeed years about the problem we have with crime and violence in this state, and we want to elevate that focus,” he said.
Opposition shuffles front bench – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Filed under: Ass Hattery, Politics, Ted Baillieu
November 4, 2009 • 8:01 pm
Researchers say they may have found a link between folate supplements taken during late pregnancy and asthma in young children.
The Adelaide University study shows that children aged between three and five years are more likely to have asthma if their mothers have taken the supplements after their first trimester.
Folate supplements linked to childhood asthma – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Filed under: Science, Asthma, Folate
November 3, 2009 • 12:21 pm
The ACCC’s Unit Man has certainly pressed some buttons for the IPA‘s, Chris Berg – paternalistic nanny statism through to a damning indictment of our school system! It is Cup Day, after all, so it’s a slow news day, I guess.
No, the government doesn’t decide Australians aren’t smart enough to figure out the cheapest way to buy cereal – it decides that duopolistic supermarket chains engaged in price gouging Australian consumers should make it clear how much they are paying for each unit they purchase.
If I go to the supermarket to shop for a family of four and purchase say 50 items, there will be at least 6 choices for every single item – so that’s 300 mental arithmetic calculations for every shopping trip. Yes, I can do them with ease, but it’s much simpler and a more efficient use of my time to read the unit price on each shelf label. And try doing it with toddlers in tow. Let’s face it, even within brands there are size and quantity variations designed for different consumer needs, with opportunities for extra profit margins arising from the confusion.
I’m sure the supermarket duopoly can handle this – the unit prices no doubt ship through the supply chain labelling software so it’s no big deal – they have to print labels anyway. What’s a few extra lines of program code? Or must we protect the rights of supermarkets to confuse customers about pricing?
Perhaps in a future article, Berg could cover the anti-competetive practices of the supermarket duopoly – from manipulating prices paid to suppliers and growers through to restrictive leasing arrangements in shopping malls and precincts.
Good to see Berg back in form and thinking of the supermarkets. I was worried after being in full agreement with him last week on his realistic and reasoned assessment of the asylum seeker issue. There’s a first for time for everything.
Filed under: Ass Hattery, Economics, Politics, ACCC, Chris Berg, Unit Man
August 13, 2009 • 9:44 pm
Another triumph for de-regulated free-market capitalism. A must view for all those who believe that the pinnacle of human existence is an economy based on consumerism.
Consuming Kids: The Commercialisation Of Childhood
With virtually no government oversight or public outcry, the multi-billion dollar youth marketing industry in America has been able to use the latest advances in psychology, anthropology and neuroscience to transform American children into one of the most powerful and profitable consumer demographics in the world.
The irony is that moral crusaders like Tony Abbott support this very industry which is warping the psychological well-being of our children in ways that undermine the very values they desire to instill. Or maybe they’re just hypocrites.
Powerful and scary stuff. And you thought teachers were to blame!
Filed under: Big Picture, Economics, Education, Media, Advertising
August 11, 2009 • 10:12 pm
Background Briefing – 9 August 2009 – Limits of power
Retired colonel in the US army and historian of international relations, Professor Andrew Bacevich argues that the US should get out of Afghanistan.
I caught this on the way to the shop this evening. An entertaining and erudite lecture and discussion on US foreign policy from a rational conservative.
Filed under: Big Picture, History, Iraq
Back in the Hawke-Keating years, Gerard Henderson was a columnist I respected. Obviously conservative, he nevertheless provided a reasoned and informative political critique. During the Howardian era, his think tank, the Sydney Institute became an influential gong-banger for neo-liberal free market dream.
Henderson became one of Howard’s most important foot-soldiers in his war on Political Correctness, while dog-whistling that some cultures and people are better and more valuable than others. When he wasn’t tilting at left wing bias in the ABC, his commentary consisted of polemic rants on the deluded and evil character of ‘The Left’ for their irrational Howard-Hating ways. Howard, the great political genius of the decade could do no wrong. Critics were simply elitists who were out of touch with ordinary Australians and therefore clearly Un-Australian.
Henderson now laments that the new Nick Torrens and Garry Sturgess documentary on the Howardian Era, Liberal Rule, is a shocker and a disgrace. This is from the man who thought The Howard Years showed too much Leftist bias, even though there was no commentary and the story was told by Howard and His Band of Merry Men themselves!
Henderson is concerned that Howard’s Legacy be rightly preserved in our historical heritage (and indeed within the contemporary Liberal Party). He accuses The Left of denying the good and lasting things that Howard gave us.
In reality, Howard was a man suited to the times – his genius was in using to them to his political advantage. His government was lazy, short-sighted, mean-spirited in public affairs, overly generous in private affairs In Foreign Affairs Howard nailed his colours to the neo-liberal Bush Administration. Howard presided over a decade of robust economic growth fueled by a resources boom and a burgeoning private debt. And that’s about the best you can say for Howard.
Ross Gittins nailed it – we had ten fat years but not much to show for it. So there you have it, Gerard. That’s Howard’s Legacy.
Filed under: Howardians, Politics, Gerard Henderson, Liberal Rule
A Tasmanian AFL player has been suspended for indecently exposing himself on live television.
Footballer suspended for flashing on TV – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Filed under: Politics, Footballers
Let me see if I’ve got this right. Some car dealer pressures his contacts in the Government concerning his application for funding from a GFC-inspired Car Dealership credit bailout. The application was subject to due process and was unsuccessful as far as I can tell with all the flak flying around.
In parliament today the Opposition taunted the Government with cries of “Patronage!” There’s a word you don’t hear very much these days. If I had to define the Liberals in one word it would be ‘patronage’ – at the level of art form.
$300 million in payments to Saddam Hussein to get him to buy National Party constituency grown wheat while planning to declare war on him – now that’s patronage! And we won’t even mention the Howard’s brother bailout.
Bad call on the email there, Malcolm. Casts a pall over your judgement under pressure, and it ain’t the first time. Not a good look in an aspiring national leader.
Filed under: Politics
And I have this much credibility.
Peter Costello is both confused and confusing.
Filed under: Ass Hattery, Howardians, Politics
Al Gore will be visiting Melbourne next month to address Safe Climate Australia on his plan to switch the US economy to clean energy in 10 years. Expect a flurry of outraged indignation from the usual suspects claiming that there is no such thing as human-produced-CO2-induced climate change because Al Gore is fat and a hypocrite for flying here in a jumbo jet to speak to rent-seeking totalitarian greens who want to destroy civilisation and eat your babies. What to speak of the fact that Safe Climate Australia will be charging exorbitant admission prices so only elitists can attend.
You heard it here first.
Filed under: Blogging, Environment, Wingnuttery, Al Gore, Safe Climate Australia