Keatingnomics   30/7/2003

Never liked Paul Keating. Who could warm to a rock band manager? But he got some essential things done, for which the capitalist class should be eternally grateful. Whether you like the arrogant bastard or not, he’s always been interesting and his website illustrates this. He’s upbeat about the immediate years to come, too.
Have a gander:

It is worth noting that there were three economic long waves in the 20th century – 1904 to 1929, 1947 to 1974 and 1982 until now. Each had a duration of about 25 years; and each was technology driven.
The first wave, from 1904 to 1929, was driven by breakthroughs in petrochemicals, industrial production and transportation.
The second wave, the post-war wave, was driven by the economic rebuilding of Japan and Europe, along with technological breakthroughs in areas like plastics and aviation, and, of course, motor vehicles.
The wave we are currently living through has been driven by, the third wave, has been driven by– in the ‘80s – low terms of trade which was a subsidy from the developing world to the developed world, and in the ‘90s by telecommunications and micro-processing. By all reckoning, if the past is to be any guide, this wave should run until about 2007 or 2008. We’ve already had two legs, two business cycles, 1982 to 1990 and 1992 to 2000. The second one saw an enormous increase in stock market values around the world and in personal incomes and real wealth.
The good news is, I believe, that there will be a third business cycle. From about now. The bad news is that it won’t be so richly laden as the second one and we are beginning it at relatively high valuations for equities compared with those which obtained in 1982 or 1992. Or those which obtained at about this same point in the second long wave, which would have been about 1965. What will be different about this leg compared to the last two is that towards its end, the technological edge may have dissipated and the demographics will have acted to reduce unemployment substantially. Towards the end of this cycle, in say five to six years from now, we may see a pick up in real wages and with it wage inflation of a kind which may encourage central banks to do what they have traditionally done, and that is, cool the economy to keep wages and prices under control.

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Chief’s cheers   

Just received a welcome note from Chief Wiggles. He’s glad to hear from an Australian.
We really do like to hear from all those out there around the globe that do support us in what we are doing. Great to hear from someone from down under. Your guys have been great here.
Take care and God Bless
Chief Wiggles

So go on, Ozblogzz, send the chief a cheerio! He’s @
plunge@mac.com

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in mourning   

More to come, it seems. Ooglay has come out of his grief-stricken exile, (actually his cushy post at the NYT, but that’s another story) to let us know that there’s not only Saddam in line for the perforated skull treatment. There’s Queesy and Quasi:
“I am not my father’s only remaining son. Already you have forgotton my half-brother Quasi, he who my Glorious Father caught Uday lowering into the shredder feet first. This is how he bacame a half brother to me. Also you have forgotten my other brother who was so sickened at the sight that we changed his name to Queesy. So still my Father has the three of us as a blessing unto him in his old age.
Well why am I being back in Iraq? Was the desire to be in my homeland so great? Did I so miss the days when I could dangle my toes in the Euphrates on a hot July morning while the screams of Udays “latest” were carried on the breeze?
No. Honest to Allah the only thing that brought me here was American dollars. And my delightful sense of irony. You see, I am now on temporary leave from my job as Managing Editor of the New York’s Time Newspaper. I am working as “fact-finder” for the Democratic National Committee and something called “The Nine.” I’m still a bit confused by details, but apparently these “Nine” are plotting to somehow overthrow your King Bush, and I am to gather information here that may help them to do this wonderful thing. But here is something that I learned from reporters at Times: “Oog, baby,” they would be saying “why bother gathering information when you can sit in a bar and make it up?” So yes that is what I am doing in Iraq.

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shocker in bed   29/7/2003

A Norwegian couple’s cast-iron double bed took a direct hit from a lightning bolt that lit up their bedroom.
Idar Roenningen and companion Charlotte Amundsen, both 28, were kept awake by thunder late Friday night at their country home outside Porsgrunn, 100km southwest of the capital, Oslo. So, Roenningen unplugged some appliances.
Shortly after returning to bed, the room flared “like 10 welder’s torches” and then everything went dark, Roenningen said.

Did lights flash before your eyes, too, honey?

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Big chief not happy   

Chief Wiggles is normally fairly nonchalant about the situation he finds himself in, interrogating Iraq brass in a US military prison out in the desert.
But the quagmire-obsessed media and aid agencies have him a tad peeved:

I cannot speak for other facilities throughout the country but as far as this location is concerned these allegations are totally false. We have had up to 8,000 prisoners here at one time, now our numbers are down around 1,000. If you were to be able to read the entire circumstances of the sited events, you would know there is no truth to these vicious rumors.
Yes they live in extremely hot conditions, where the mean temperature inside the tent is over 120 degrees. Well welcome to our world. Hello, we live in there country right along side them, where the mean temperature outside is over 130 degrees, what do you expect. We all live in the same kind of tents under the same conditions with out air conditioning. Why isn’t someone complaining about our conditions?

Despite the inaccurate reporting, you get the sense the Chief is proud of what’s being achieved under trying circumstances:

This is a prisoner of war camp, now transitioning over to being a prison. If you were to look at a list of why these men are being detained you would see that most of them are here because they have either committed some violent crime or have attempted to attack or kill an American. Regardless of their crimes we continue to believe in their human rights and make every effort to consider their needs. How many people in the world would believe in the rights of a criminal who has just been arrested for trying to kill one of their own? I have seen interrogation teams from all over the world conduct interrogations, witnessed first hand their approaches and techniques, which has only reconfirmed by belief that we are the only nation following the Geneva Convention, and with out a doubt we treat our prisoners better than anyone else in the world. Go be a prisoner in somebody else’s camp. Even the Iraqi generals have commented in amazement for the treatment they have received from us.
When are we going to get true and honest reporting that doesn’t have some twist to it put on by some self-promoting special interest group. Why do we have to put up with the inaccuracies of these myopic self-proclaimed voices of the people?

Go read it all. Regularly. It’s illuminating.

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i wuz rong   

Oops, I let my bias show. Earlier, I posted an accusation that the ABC had accused Philip Ruddock of bias.
Wrongly, I had jumped to a conclusion like a paranoid lefty.
No, it wasn’t the ABC making the claim, they were merely reporting Sugar Ray Robinson’s claim of Ruddock bias. In fact they did what the ABC often doesn’t — they got both sides of the story.
It must have been the morning ABC news reports sifting through my head made woolly from a late night at the stone — not helped by Bob Hope shuffling off the mortal coil right on deadline — that had me confused. They did seem to place more than a little emphasis on “Ruddock” and “bias” in their news teasers.
Read the original report on the ABC site.
ABC TV’s Four Corners has broadcast a tape that was reportedly Mr Ruddock briefing a journalist on an Australian Federal Police investigation of financial dealings by former deputy ATSIC chairman Ray Robinson.
Mr Robinson says the tape is proof that the Minister is biased against him.
Mr Ruddock is refusing to say whether it was him on the tape and he wants to know where it came from. He has rejected suggestions he is biased against key Aboriginal figures.
“I have been quite studious in the way in which I have dealt with these issues over a long period of time in terms of making it very clear I have not prejudged any issues,” he said.
“I have not come to a concluded view in any of these matters.”

Anyway, after copping a pounding from Lenin-loving Niall for this time unfairly blasting the ABC for bias I hasten to add that I haven’t changed my opinion that the national broadcaster sees thing differently from the vast majority of Australians.
Seems to me that too many ABC individuals fancy themselves as part of the political game. That’s not what we pay them for. They’re there to bring us the facts about matters political, not their biased interpretation.
If they want to be part of the political machinery, they should all resign and seek seats in parliament or take to the streets and stir up a revolution.
Alternatively, if they think there is widespread support in the community for their take on things, they should demand the ABC’s privatisation and let the market judge. If they’re correct, they’ll be satisfied. And rich.

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Hope Lost   

FLASH, SNAP!!!!
Bob Hope has died. He was 100. MSNBC has more to come

UPDATE:
Beloved entertainer Bob Hope, who died today, was still cracking jokes as he approached his 100th birthday in May.
“I’m so old that they’ve cancelled my blood type,” he wisecracked just before the milestone, according to an aide.
Hope’s razor-sharp wit and extraordinary 75-year career has made him one of America’s best-loved entertainers and an unlikely hero for the 10 million US troops he entertained over half a century.
When his longtime comedy partner Phyllis Diller asked the “laugh boss” a few years ago who would ever want to be 100 years old, Hope shot back: “Anybody who’s 99.”

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Asshats   27/7/2003

A U.S. soldier lets my esteemed colleagues in the media know what he thinks of their efforts to give comfort to his enemies. His gesture is to arriving media as he stands guard with his MK-19 grenade launcher outside a children’s hospital Saturday, July 26, 2003, in the city of Baqouba, 70 kms. north of Baghdad.

gi.jpg

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Hunters and cat collectors   

Wallace Craig has an engrossing post on the historic schism in society:
This left our male ancestors with a lot of time on their hands, and led to the division of the species, which persists to this day. Some men tried to conserve remnants of the old way of life (hence the term “conservative”) by spending their days in the open field in the dangerous pursuit of big game animals. At night they would roast their prey at a big barbecue, and afterwards sat around the fire drinking beer, and telling off color jokes.
Other, more timid, souls stayed closer to home. They are responsible for the domestication of cats and the invention of group therapy. Mostly, they sat around worrying about how life wasn’t fair and concocting elaborate schemes to “liberate” themselves from inequity (thus their designation as “liberals”). In the evening they gathered around their fire, nibbling on fruit and nuts, sharing their innermost feelings.

Concluding:
The quintessential liberal is the handicapper, the person who decides how much extra weight to saddle the faster horses with in order to make the race “fair”. The American cowboy, of course, is your basic, full bore conservative. A hundred years ago an Englishman in South Dakota was trying to find the owner of a huge cattle ranch. He rode up to one of the ranch hands and asked, “Excuse me, but could you tell me where to find your Master?” To which the cowboy replied, “That sumbitch hasn’t been born yet.”

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Not as bad as painted   

Steve Edwards has an interesting post that suggests the West’s relentless celebrations of diversity have resulted in the downgrading of the once dominant Western culture. For the new political elite, nationalization and income redistributions have become less significant than controlling the speech and thought of democratic citizens.
That point might have validity in regard to Europe and the US academy. But in egalitarian, BS-detecting Oz I don’t think the situation is quite so bleak. Polls show that despite a hostile media and intelligentsia support for Howard values has never been stronger. I notice in a once-sickeningly PC workplace the influence of these therapeutic statists is on the wane. Risque gags are slipping back into conversation, there are not so many “Little Johnny” cracks and people are now actually game to voice opinions against “progressive” moves such as the Victorian government setting up Aboriginal courts.
And that’s in an ”elites” setting. In the community, very few below the rank of middle-middle-class support the therapeutic statists, hence the steady backing from the lower middle class, working class and a sizeable hunk of the underclass for Howard’s realistic, self-responsible policies. The most significant example of underclass rejection of the elites is the recent show of support for the PM from Aboriginal leaders who have seen that victimhood has got them sweet FA and has in fact, done more harm than any crimes of the past, manufactured or real.

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on the bugle   24/7/2003

Loony Park neighbour Andrew Pegler publishes a piece of urban absurdity known as the St Kilda Bugle. I gather you have to buy it from one of those mad, muttering 60-y-o paper boys in Fitzroy Street by the name of Sedgewick. Anyway, Andy’s asked me to give it a plug and as an old hack, I’ll always do a favour for an aspiring editor on his way up. The Bugle elicits a guffaw in places, despite the endorsement of a certain Phat Plagiarist whose name is never to be mentioned on Media Watch.
Droll Bugle excerpt:

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER
“SORRY TOO BUSY WITH
PARTY FOR LADY DI”

FOR YEARS 14-YEAR-OLD BILLY SNIGGER OF ST LEONARD’S ST HAS BEEN PRAYING TO GOD FOR SOME SORT OF
RELIEF FROM HIS ASTONISHING BAD LUCK, PERMANENT DISABILITIES, PAINFUL SKIN CONDITIONS, SPINAL INJURIES
AND LOVELESS EXISTENCE. BUT GOD DOTH NOT EVER ANSWER.
Billy was born with a heroin dependency from
his prostitute mother and at five was left in a
wheelchair after being run over by a milk truck
as he fled from his sexually abusive, violent
alcoholic foster parents. On the 17th
operation to fix his badly mangled spine he
lost hearing in both ears plus the use of his left
eye. On another operation to remove an
ingrown toenail surgeons accidentally
took out his remaining eye leaving him blind,
deaf and crippled.
Always a trooper Billy stopped praying
for his own salvation last month and started
praying only for a local cat called Tiddles
which has a sore leg.
In a surprise move God hath answered little
Billy’s prayer last Friday at 1:34pm. “God rang
my mobile, and I asked if he could help
Tiddles but couldn’t because he was throwing
a surprise party for Lady Di and simply didn’t
have the time. I said thanks very, very, very,
very much anyway Lord. Then he asked me to
take $45 to a man in Grey St which I did.”

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Get Matt rich   

I admire crazy buggers who try to eke an existence from words on the web. Drudge reckons he makes $800,000 a year. Tim Blair’s on his way to half of that. Ditto Andrew Sullivan.
Matt Hayden (not the cricketer) has got $5 from me for treading a tightwire of promotion, pushing new media using old media (Get in touch with him if you want more blog readers. Matt does a good deal. Well, he pitches one.)

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Undie achiever   

Wonder if the police measured the skidmarks?
BERLIN (Reuters) – A pair of flying underpants caused a crash on a German highway when they landed on a driver’s face and blocked his view, police said Tuesday.

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I said noodles with that!!!   23/7/2003

Sam and Caz have come up with the story of the day, published initially by the Cranbourne Leader (not online).
Here’s the intro:
A Cranbourne woman got a rude shock last week when she found what she thought was a penis in a container of takeaway food.
Read on. It’s a hoot.

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Baggy dog   

Favourite email gossip column, the Left Coast Report reports that ditzy diva Christine Aguilera has apparently acquired a new sense of eco-awareness.
Known to be a bit temperamental, Aguilera had a run-in with a glitzy Hollywood restaurant over some leftovers.
The singer had finished her meal at a trendy eatery and had requested that the waiters place her uneaten food into a doggie bag. When she was brought the leftover food in a Styrofoam box, Christina purportedly blew her cork.
Aguilera was furious that this kind of environmentally unfriendly material was being used and began to give the waiter a lecture on the evils of the polystyrene plastic. She allegedly ended up storming out the door leaving her Styrofoam doggie box behind.
The Left Coast Report says Christina shouldn’t worry too much about the biodegradability of Styrofoam. After all, parts of her body may last several thousand years longer than the little plastic food box.

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Fightback   

Going for a drive? Checked your fuel, your wallet, your road map? Your Roadwatch listings?
Your what, you ask.
In the people’s republic of speeding fine revenue dependent Victoria, checking burnett.com.au’s speed camera lists before embarking on a road journey is set to become as much a part of trip preparation as wiping the dipstick.
The site lists all types of cameras and their location in Victoria and NSW and is adding speed traps in other states.
Types of traps listed include: 24 hour permanent (fixed) speed cameras;
Temporary or mobile radar traps; Red Light cameras; Dual Fixed Speed/Red Light Cameras; Toll Booth cameras; Safe-T-Cam cameras; and Traffic monitoring cameras.
Here’s our chance to fight back against the empire. Who knows, next week someone might come up with a site that tells you where the best paying poker machines are. Then we’ll really have them stumped.

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bolt from the blue   22/7/2003

Don’t you just love the smell of litigation in the morning?
Herald Sun opinionista Andrew Bolt has elegantly fisked Smarmy Marr’s Media Watch attack on him, leaving a nice little legal threat lingering.
ABC Watch has Bolt’s response.

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Honorable lawyers: hahahahahahahahahahahaha!   

Rob Hull is one of the sharper knives in the Victorian Government’s extremely dull cutlery drawer. But that doesn’t make him totally devoid of stupidity. He is after all part of a rabble that is about halfway to getting the state to the same parlous condition that the Cain-Kirner leadership did in the 1980s-early 90s.
But to be kind we’ll put down the Attorney-General’s latest hare-brainer to a dose of moronity infection caught in the Cabinet room.
He wants the term solicitor changed to lawyer because some folk associate solicitors with prostitutes, beggars and other undesirables.
Dunno why he thinks changing the name will alter that opinion.

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What’s in a name?   21/7/2003

Occasionally vernacular collides with established nomenclature for amusing results. Hence, not since teen years have I been tempted to lead anyone to unfamiliar places. After getting some pals hopelessly lost on a trip to an out-of-the-way fishing spot, I had to put up with the “Slattery will get you nowhere” dig for what seemed eons.
That episode came back to haunt me while chuckling at the appellation taken by a competitor in the just concluded British Open Golf championship.
SK Ho seems a good natured type, given that he was prone to shrug and smile whether he was producing brilliant putts and approach shots or wayward drives that threatened to deliver him a cricket-like score.
He’d have to be a happy chappy would SK. For whenever he appeared on the television coverage, I could imagine every second couch jock in the western world mouthing a version of “Give it up for Skanky Ho”!!!

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apartheid in australia   19/7/2003

Tim Blair writes that Aboriginal leaders in north Queensland have thrown their support behind Australian PM John Howard while bucketing the ”progressives” for their harmful, feel-good policies.
If the ”progressives” left it at that, at least problems would be identifiable and hopefully, solvable. But as can be seen by this report in the Warrnambool Standard (south-west Victoria) the ”progressive” Victorian labor government is reverting to a form of apartheid to hide problems in the indigenous community.
WARRNAMBOOL’S long-awaited Koori court will be operating by November.
The development, three years after the idea was first mooted, was announced by Attorney-General Rob Hulls at a Regional Aboriginal Justice Agreement Committee function in Warrnambool last night.
Mr Hulls said the Koori court aimed to minimise the number of indigenous people in the criminal justice system.
“We can’t, as a community, continue to stand by and do nothing when indigenous Victorians are still 11 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-indigenous Victorians,” Mr Hulls said.

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