What's what?

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
Shatner'sBassoon started the topic in Friday, 6 Nov 2015 at 7:48pm

AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING KALEIDOSCOPIC JOIN-THE-DOTS/ADULT COLOURING BOOK EXPERIMENTAL PROJECT IN NARCISSISTIC/ONANISTIC BIG PICTURE PARASITIC FORUM BLEEDING.

LIKE POLITICAL LIFE, PARTICIPATION IS WELCOME, ENCOURAGED EVEN, BUT NOT NECESSARY.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Saturday, 9 Sep 2017 at 6:04pm

Cool Sheepy.

So will the unemployed Aussies that are currently desperate for employment in the same remote and regional areas be sent to the Pacific for work ?

Honestly mate , why do you think the government is granting work visas / residency to these people ?

Altruism ?

Sure . The LNP has a big heart of gold that can't give enough to Australia's bread line class so they've got to start helping islanders.

The reality is 3 seperate reasons.

1/. Provide a workforce of labour that will suffer employer exploitation in order to gain permanent residency and a pathway to immigration for their entire extended families. At the expense of residents of rural towns that will have less employment opportunities.

The greater the available labour pool , the greater downward pressure on wages.

2/ A subsidised , vulnerable and exploitable workforce available to farmers etc in regional areas that are the grassroots of the Nationals and their vociferous lobbying bodies. Not to mention the labour hire companies that are probably run by the mates of the LNP who stand to benefit from government arbitrage in a similar fashion as the administrators of the cashless welfare card.

3/ The solidifying of ties between the various nations the workers are sourced from with Australia as a foil against the constant overtures that China is making in their plan of expansion into the Pacific region . Hoping they'll think of Australia in a pleasant light as the Chinese attempt to win their affections and place them against us.

This is the only real benefit Australians will gain from this exercise.

Except of course placating the bleeding hearts that hold more love for the abstract idea of foreigners than they do for the fellow Australians that they disdainfully consider uneducated bogans .

Does that sound about right ?

Fucking xenophiles. Prioritising foreign nationals over the needs of Australians . Self loathing masked as charity.

Unwitting pawns aiding the LNP in their constant drive to destroy the working classes.

Maybe they could look a bit closer to home to fill the needs of farmers desperate for workers ? ... https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2017/sep/08/6000km-only-20-minute...

"There’s nothing out there: there’s a lack of services, no counselling, no proper education. When you’re out in towns and you can’t get jobs and you’ve got no one to talk to, people feel depressed. People feel alone.”"

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
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Shatner'sBassoon commented Saturday, 9 Sep 2017 at 6:34pm

Tun beer. It's the reality now.

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southey commented Saturday, 9 Sep 2017 at 7:40pm

Fear no beer

" SA's Reserve Capacity "

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Rabbits68 commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 12:14am

Luke Shuey. Nice kick son......

https://youtu.be/VyP2sXfJQh8

Crystal Clear

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
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Shatner'sBassoon commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 9:19am

Sweet. If it walks and quacks like a duck...

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 6:54pm

Disruptive technology.

To date have reached technological milestones never previously achieved by humanity.

https://spacewatchme.com/2017/09/spacewatchme-interviews-meir-moalem-sky...

Share price increased ten fold in 18 months and they've only just begun.

Aim to provide satellite based communications to the billions of people without coverage spanning 15 degrees either side of the equator through a constellation of nano satellites .

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 7:43pm

Not to be pedantic, but why's that disruptive?

People couldn't make phone calls, and now they can. Now the brown folk can be hypnotised by the mobile screen. Seems like simple progress.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 10:00pm

Till now satellites have weighed hundreds of kilograms and have been large in size making them costly to build and launch into space.

SAS 's Nano satellites are the size of a shoebox and weigh 10 kg making them easy and cheap to produce , launch and replace as technology improves rapidly .

Most areas of the planet are covered by land based telecommunications repeater stations . Some areas have zero coverage due to the vast distances involved and the poor economies of many regions .

The Nano satellites are placed in such a constellation that they act as the repeater stations in space.

Inter Nano satellite communication has never been possible till SAS achieved it a few weeks ago.

Autonomous Nano satellites - that is they self regulate their position relative to the Earth and to each other , self maintain and maximise their own efficiency and performance. Communicate with each other.

When fully operational every single point of the Earth that is covered by the satellites - including well into the upper atmosphere - will have voice , messaging and data communications.

No ground based repeater stations required.

Think of the entire centre and North of Australia , Africa and South America with complete coverage .

https://thewest.com.au/business/public-companies/sky-space-nano-satellit...

Also , while it's maybe not technically disruptive , I'm sure that the ability to use a mobile phone for the 4 BILLION PEOPLE on Earth currently without any coverage might affect their lives quite dramatically at least.

https://www.skyandspace.global/operations-overview/technology/

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stunet commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 5:25pm

Winding the thread back a bit....

Gaz, the claim George Soros backed GetUp is total bullshit. Probably spread by a false Wikipedia entry and the fact Eric Abetz used that source to attack them in The Australian. Nothing like fact checking, eh?

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/inquirer/union-and-labor-party-links-test-getup-independence/news-story/7bc4f82df53d6a4583fec3c2ea4beef0


 

simba's picture
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simba commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 5:54pm

Hey Blowin what do you think of these shares,worth an investment in your opinion????...sound like potential.

simba

talkingturkey's picture
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talkingturkey commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 5:54pm

Speaking of 'fake news'...

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 6:34pm

Simba - I wouldn't want to influence anyone in a situation where they could lose money.

And the share market is a form of gambling , no doubt.

I just post things that interest me . I actually put that up in the hope that someone with a knowledge of communications technology could provide ME with some possible insight . Some glaring contradiction that I'm unaware of to potentially save me some money.

I had a flip phone till a few months ago. So you wouldn't say that I'm an expert in this field.

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 6:44pm

Here's some more feel good .

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/confidential-docum...

Wonder how many Aussies will be working on this project now that a Chinese state owned construction company has gotten the contract to build it ?

Let's see how the Chinese / Australia free trade agreement ( CHAFTA ) for us .

Aussie taxpayers pay for it , Chinese workers build it , multinational owns the infrastructure and Australia gives away the iron ore for a pittance.

Oh , and the coast gets a massive great port on it that would create a statewide riot if they tried to build it on the coast of NSW.

Sounds good !

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 7:12am

That Northern Australian Development fund is basically a slush fund for the Nationals to play with to allow them to counter any electoral damage caused by One Nation. Its pork barrelling on a grand scale just like the 130:1 ratio small Commonwealth Government grants are going to LNP seats right now compared to Labor held seats. Labor has done this sort of shit in the past also but currently its off the scale. Joyce's electorate is currently getting lots of cash splashed on it just case he has to go to a by-election.

The slush fund might also be a way Turnbull is buying the Nationals support of a Clean Energy Target.

So when people say "I like Hanson" "she's rattling the chain of the major's" this form of pork barrelling is the soft consequence of that vote. The good ole boys and gals of FNQ and the Top End might like jobs at the expense of the environment or workers rights or plain old financial prudence but should we quietly suffer it?

Any decisions on the project referred to in Blowie's link or Adani are now on hold pending the High Court decision - lets all hope the court says NO and forces them into by-elections kicking the slush fund decisions down the road and nearer to an election.

The way Joyce is going he to will be joining his former National Party leaders working in or for "minerals and mining" after he leaves parliament. His party should be renamed the Mining Party.

People say voting for Hanson is a harmless way of sticking it up the majors - think again

Blowin's picture
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Blowin commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 8:14am

Sorry , Guy.

What electoral damage done by One Nation ? This has zero to do with One Nation and everything to do with their ideology of Australia benefiting business to the exclusion of everyone else don't you ? Everyone except the LNP of course.

My main point is that the work will not be done by Australians. With CHAFTA any project over $50M allows Chinese workers of any kind without any redgard to available Australian labour .

You really think that is going to curry favour with ON voters or the increasingly unemployed West Australians ?

And that whole good 'Ol boys thing belongs to the USA , not Australia. Any attempt to draw a parallel just illustrates your lack of experience in the North of Australia.

Maybe you should check it out and realise that alongside incredible natural beauty , untouched wilderness , still functioning ties to Indigenous culture and a unique identity of place are many wonderful reasoning human beings as opposed to caricatures of the last remaining stereotypes acceptable .

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
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Shatner'sBassoon commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 10:40am
GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 11:32am

Blowie,

Your point about foreign workers was well made and accepted.

My point about the Northern Australian Development/Slush Fund for the Nationals ought not be lost. The Turnbull Government minister in charge of that fund is Fiona Nash - National. The same National Party that voted on the weekend to end all subsidies for renewables and lost a vote 51 / 55 to ban religious head dress for muslim women (the executive had to vote against it to vote it down i.e the floor wanted it). All that is pandering to the reactive lot in the electorate in FNQ and the top end. Those votes were designed to allow people like George Christensen and other National knuckle dragging politicians to go back to their electorates and say "see I tried, we really are very much like Pauline Hanson, vote for us coz we like our music country and western just like you". Hanson is changing the political landscape here by moving the LNP in Queensland further to the twilight zone. That's the damage. Blowie, I have regularly visited FNQ and the NT for a long time, sometimes for months at a time, it is or was very beautiful. I've also worked there for an 18 month period. People up there are different and not always in a good way so my good ole boy comment stands. I don't understand how Nationals like Joyce, Nash and Canavan and the local mayors up there are desperate to get Adani up using a $billion of taxpayers money (employing just a few thousand people during construction and as you have highlighted probably foreigners) when there are 200,000 Queenslanders directly employed in tourism, you know, small tax paying mum and dad businesses employing local people that could be adversely effected if the reef all goes to shit on the back of some coal inspired accident.

Another gem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guQiDsXW_Cw

talkingturkey's picture
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talkingturkey commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 11:41am

That's some real crazy shit, Shatner!

Gaz1799's picture
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Gaz1799 commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 11:52am

The best thing the nats could ever do is detach from the Liberals. They'll be there in the conservative heartland strumming banjo's long after the Liberals fade away to nothing in their identity crisis. Hard to believe Pauline's lasted this long she's turning out to be a liberal lapdog, or maybe that's just her plan to steal voters away from the LNP? It seems like a joke that we even need to debate how bad putting a coal mine on the great barrier reef would be at the same time the coal industry is being vilified and coal power generators exiting the market.

But therein lies the biggest joke in the whole argument. Coal is our second biggest export. About $40 bil +. So all the green power crusading is bullshit when both sides of government are sucking on the teat of the coal industry while slamming any local power generators that actually use the stuff.

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GuySmiley commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 12:40pm

Gaz, that $40billion export figure, not wanting to question your intent here but where does that figure come from? The Minerals Council? The question I have for the coal industry and all other forms of mining is what is the net benefit to the country by allowing it? Sure there is some employment but compared to manufacturing, tourism and the services sector its small. But after all the government subsidies and tax concessions are taken into account, the environmental damage and the foregone taxes because of tax avoidance what is the benefit?

This is a reasonable question highlighted by our current adverse situation on gas availability causing Australian power prices to massively increase. What is the benefit to the country of all our gas going offshore? we know there will be no tax receipts for decades so why do it if there is no benefit?

The other question mark over mining I have is that every time there is a boom it fucks our exchange rate which in turn makes manufacturing and tourism here all the harder, you know industries that employ large numbers of people and pay tax.

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Gaz1799 commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 1:01pm

The numbers come from DFAT and include all our top exports so it seems legit enough. Just looking roughly at the numbers it looks as though 40% of all our top exports come out of the ground some way or the other so there's obviously loads of jobs attached, but I agree the amount of subsidies the government pays for the privilege is huge. There should be absolutely zero diesel fuel rebate for the mining industry that's for sure (and just one example).

I agree that someone needs some kind of national plan for gas/coal/resources but I doubt we'll get it. No spine for that kind of thing and no vision past 4 years. The mining industry outlasts all governments, although it should be mentioned that there aren't many jobs in central oz without the mines either. As far as jobs go, they do the heavy lifting but I think as far as royalties go they're as weak as piss.

As far as exchange rate goes our country is a pawn to the yanks and the Chinese, at least in my opinion. I think anyone would have to be mad if they didn't think the Chinese treated our currency like a ping pong ball to benefit themselves. We're just too small to not be owned by economies of that size. I think 2 years ago the Chinese devalued their currency for the first time out of the blue and it wiped 4 or 5 cents off the AUD. There isn't a doubt in my mind the Chinese pull the strings to get a trade advantage over oz or the USA and the foreign currency reserves they have are immense.

http://dfat.gov.au/trade/resources/trade-at-a-glance/pages/top-goods-ser...

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
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Shatner'sBassoon commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 1:35pm

Awwww.

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Herc commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 3:05pm

'Lest we forgot.'

Yeh shats, there's plenty that would love to forget plenty. About lots. About the cliffs. 'Historical' fibbers. Bullshit artists. 'Cowards'.

http://stabmag.com/style/the-bloody-history-of-australias-best-waves/

All the 9/11 movies. Human stuff. Things like Connie Johnson. Human stuff. We go deep there. Human deep. Feelings. Human feelings. Deep. People. Humans. Humanity.

But we did a real good job on Indigenous Australians. We took away the all the depth, all their humanity. Brainwashed the rednecks. They ain't human... not like us! Its not hard, hitler knew that. 'Nation', pride! Superior! Nature! We sanitized it. Genocide. Fuck'n just get over it. Jeeze! But go real deep for Connie, for the Anzacs, for 9/11 humans. Never forget the humanity that those events, that the human lives eeks out. Immortalize it. Feel the deep humanity.

'“They used to bury the women and the children up to their neck in sand and kick their heads off… Newborn babies buried up to their necks in sand and they’d go along kicking their heads off,” says an Indigenous “knowledge holder” and massacre investigator from the the Bundjalung nation in the Northern Rivers of NSW, which includes such world class waves as Lennox Head, Byron Bay, and Yamba (Angourie).'

Imagine the mothers, staring into their babies eyes. Unable to move. The human feelings. Their babies. The fathers, broken and powerless. watching, feeling their wives, their babies. The human feelings. The survivors, the witness's. Imagine if you dare. The laughing, the rednecks. 'Get over it'. 'Just enjoy, marvel at the incredible natural beauty , untouched wilderness', that wasn't, and isn't 'untouched wilderness'. More bullshit. Indigenous Australians shaped this land. Every inch of it. For over 60,000 years. Worshipped it. Shaped it, understood it beyond a depth that we can comprehend. Every inch of it. Before:

“(Western Australia) being the most isolated and last frontier to be ‘discovered’ they ran amok on the people and they came prepared for death and destruction, for the land grab,” she says.

According to the beliefs of her people, and that of many other Indigenous tribes around the country (there are 500 Indigenous clan groups or ‘nations’ across Australia), it is forbidden to return to areas where massacre and murder has occurred.

“You pick it up as an Aboriginal person, you know it’s not a good place. A lot of groups, family groups were gradually wiped out,” she says, adding of being forcibly removed from their land, “You have a broken heart, you are on the outskirts of town, you are alienated from your country and the government created laws to make that so - we were put on ‘missions’ or ‘reserves’ that were six miles out of town.”

'Many of the best stretches of surfable coast are created by rivers and creeks, which mould reefs, divvy up sand banks, and groom point breaks. Like Kalbarri here, which is fed by the sublime Murchison River, and what is said to be another undocumented massacre site.'

'The incredible oasis that is the Murchison River, feeding the sublime reefbreaks of Kalbarri, is another site of a large scale massacre. Just south, near the surf break at Oakabella, Geraldton, there was a massacre at Black Mountain; the names of landmarks are often barely concealed clues to our recent genocidal history'

'History, as we know, is written by the victors, and, given the shocking, cowardly nature of the massacres it is unsurprising many in Australia don’t want it recognised.

“If there’s a pioneer that was speared there’s always a plaque or something at the site where it happened. There’s monuments recognising settlers that have been killed all across the west coast and around the country,” says Wirangu elder, Jack Johncock. “So here we are, and you have a few people that are opposed to the word “massacre” (on the memorial). There’s no other word to describe it: it was a massacre.”.'

Its easy for many Australians to keep dehumanising Indigenous Austrlians. The brainwashing worked so well. Plus, we got rules aye! Analytical rules! Correct brilliance. Just like adolph easily convinced next door neighbours to feed little, innocent kids into furnaces.

How would you do a movie, or write a story, in that 9/11, Anzac/Connie Johnson vein, one, or many, capturing the depth of humanity, the emotion, the feelings and thoughts, of the victims and survivors dealing with this, trying to come to terms with this below, and much, much, much more.

'“They used to bury the women and the children up to their neck in sand and kick their heads off… Newborn babies buried up to their necks in sand and they’d go along kicking their heads off,” says an Indigenous “knowledge holder” and massacre investigator from the the Bundjalung nation in the Northern Rivers of NSW, which includes such world class waves as Lennox Head, Byron Bay, and Yamba (Angourie).'

And considering this trivial, absolutely insignificant, yet oh so dramatic and deep outpouring of grief and humanity, and struggle, that continues to this day, that moved and moves so many to their very core (sic)? That needed to be told to the world, and heard in its 'fullness'(sic)?

https://www.swellnet.com/forums/wax/12736

No, we don't go there. to those depths, not for Indigenous Australians. Its easy for lots. Because the brainwashing, 200 years of it, not a few years, worked so well!

'Yeh, yeh, we said sorry didn't we! Faaaark! And yeh yeh, we said ya's are human... well, yeh... but aye, look what we dun for yas, ya'd still be livin' in fuckin' caves if it weren't for our superior stuff, aye! Get over it! Embrace it!'

Mines? Immigrants? Storm, teacup. Trees, forests. Like wire brushing rust off a car that you park in the ocean. The foundation. The cause. Profit at any cost. Blowie's beloved system. Inequality rules. Royals and serfs and plebs. (Yeh, yeh, and 'them lot'). The system was designed for it. Someone always has to pay. That's all. Sparky wants 100 bucks to put his foot in your door, but wants to give a cleaner 20 bucks for sticking his head in the sparky's shit. Surgeon wants thousands to sew up sparky's rotator cuff, but wants the guy with fucked cuff to fix the wiring on his Ferrari for a hundred. And the flat tire on his Ferrari for twenty. Its how its always worked, the system that the blowie's champion. 'Advance Australia fair'.

Mines, immigrants? Small fry. Most don't even bother bringing them here. Been going on for ages. 'Outsourcing'. OS. Who'll bid on this, lowest bid wins! Fuck, wake up! Profit! Cost cutting! Some one always pays though! Keep it polite, keep em busy! 'Tenders'! For liz's hungry, bored, chubby corgies! Who'll pay for the surgeries and fried ribs! For katies new outfit! Wills skis! Someone has to, its designed like that. How much! Out source it! 3 cents? Move the factory to Mexico! Rip the curl! Its them fuck'n immigrants... not them fuck'n immigrants! Sneaky cunts! Rednecks ahoy! I'm being called... up up and away... again!

Gaz1799's picture
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Gaz1799 commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 3:18pm

Jesus christ herc you had me hook line and sinker until you drifted off into the same old insane personal crusade.

But vendetta's aside, I've got young kids and I did take a moment to think over the horror of the situation you described and it made me feel genuinely sick. I wouldn't wish that kind of sorrow on anyone.

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 8:19am

Now revealed directors sitting on the board of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund aka the Nationals Slush Fund have a conflict of interest to do so given their links to mining ............

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/13/infrastructure-fu...

THat's $5 billion of taxpayers money they are playing with ... the (corporate) welfare state

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 8:40am

Rob Sitch divining the spirit of the times, again!

'Utopia, Series 3 Ep 8, Independence Day'

http://iview.abc.net.au/programs/utopia/CO1511V008S00

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GuySmiley commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 11:05am

I had first had experience with all that working for the Commonwealth. Dealing with ministers, their side-kicks and with high level policy development. Utopia nails it, there is always a political dimension. Those scenes dealing with the restructure were ridiculously accurate, they could have added restructures occur every 18-24 months or when there is a change of government or minister to the point that staff that survive the carnage get to see the same ideas regurgitated in 3-5 years.

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talkingturkey commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 2:14pm

Utopia absolutely nails office 'culture'. Be it government, corpo, NGO, whatever bureaucracy and organisation.

"Who let HR into the building?!"

Snuffy Smith's picture
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Snuffy Smith commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 2:51pm

Fair bump,going the tonk on Doull. Mad bastard

Balls of fire

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Sheepdog commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 4:19pm

The energy debate is a joke.
I'd fix it tomorrow.
But I got shit to do..... lol

Sheepdog

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Dale -Cooper commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 5:57pm

Venceremos, comrade! Turnbull goes to war against capitalism.
by GUY RUNDLE

Communique from El Presidente Turnbull:

El Presidente gives “field guidance” at Mal Colston Memorial (formerly Liddell) Power Station!

Mal Colston Memorial Power Station lives again!

John Winston Howard City (formerly Canberra)

Long live the Menzian revolution! Presidente Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Menziezista Republic of Australia, has announced that he is taking personal control of the distribution of power in Australia at a plant-by-plant level, and will be preserving the use of Mal Colston Memorial Power Station for the people!

“Rootless cosmopolitan wreckers have …” Ah well, you get the drift, no point extending the parody.

The Liberal Party of Australia, the home of free enterprise, small government, property rights and rule of law is, with this bizarre process around Liddell power station, managing the economy not merely at a sector or industry level, not even at a company level, but at the individual plant level.

By now, the energy crisis story moves hourly. Did Barnaby Joyce really complain that AGL was “shorting” the market, by running its business for the maximisation of its own profits? Is Graham Richardson really complaining about government by back-room deals, because it is to the disadvantage of his first love, coal? What’s next?

The government is now summoning in energy sector leaders on a weekly basis, giving them pep talks, vaguely threatening them if they don’t stop gouging consumers. Now it is making their investment plans for them, with a strategy of bullying and shaming AGL into running, or selling on, a knackered old plant it has long calculated on shutting down.

This, surely, is one of the most bizarre things we have seen in Australian politics for a long time. We have known for a long time that Malcolm Turnbull’s “innovation” and “agility” routine is bullshit, the flim-flam of a venture capitalist and dealmaker who has never managed anything to fruition. We’ve heard the talk of pragmatic conservatism, that justified government assistance and free bungs to Adani, et al.

But Liddell is something else. This is a government willing to reach into the deepest workings of capitalism to achieve its particular ends, which appears to be some hedge against closures of other plants, and a desperate desire to keep alive the fiction that coal is a worthwhile investment.

What’s both significant and symbolic is that the attempt to keep Liddell going, or to falsely assign it a value of more than $0, is that Turnbull’s government has gone to war against every single principle of capitalism, the free-market, etc, etc. The whole idea of the state as guaranteeing a stable investment environment appears to have gone out the window long ago.

But so too has the most basic proposition of capitalism: marginal utility and creative destruction. AGL wants to kill a hopelessly outdated power plant, to speed up their switch to renewables — and they don’t want to sell it on to a low-rent operator who will run it into the ground for a few years more. That’s a business decision in a privatised environment — and one, apparently, that the government is willing to reach in and meddle with.
This is where 25 years of privatisation and deregulation have got us. The measures were meant to give us the self-regulating maximal efficiency, the invisible hand. The invisible hand is giving Turnbull an extended prostate exam by now, and the paradox is obvious: reforms that were meant to make the process as autonomous as possible have created results so contradictory to the general interest that the government has to become statist, dirigist, and soft-dictatorial in its approach.

I can’t be the only one to have noticed that the government that Turnbull’s now resembles, on these matters, is some gimcrack banana republic, with one panicked improvisation after another — and Matt Canavan, the Darling Downs caudillo, shrieking at AGL on radio and Twitter, for their disloyalty.

With these failures has come, inevitably, talk of the re-nationalisation of power. But I suspect this is a sort of lure, designed to convince people that, as bad as it now is, private ownership of the energy sector is the less worse option. Top-down national, or state, bureaucratic control of major utilities had its own problems, even in the post-war heyday of social democracy. A unitary system would be even less efficient and flexible now.
What we need is not re-nationalisation, but social control, and socialisation of key parts of the energy sector — while preserving a space for private operators, and for community and post-commodity operators to grow — so that modular and scaled energy operations expand into the field occupied by private and public behemoths.

That would involve the transfer of key assets from private hands into social holding companies, with a public board, and run with the usual statutory expectations of corporate, non-profit, good governance. The ratio of fees, wages, profits, and re-investment, could then be set as a social goal, rather than as a corporate one. Compensation could be paid in the form of bond issues and the like. But, in many cases, some of these companies are so broke that the assets can simply be transferred to social ownership for a write-off of tax and other liabilities.

Ultimately, the goal is a socially distributed energy system whose scaling is a smooth curve — upwards from the individual solarised house, through efficient and self-generating apartment and office blocks, to non-grid networks of energy generation, exchange and storage, to larger solar, wind and hydro plants, and the remnant fossil fuel plants as they are phased out. This isn’t a distant future scenario. With expanded tax credits and incentives for solarisation, and the creation of neighbourhood, etc, exchange and storage networks, this could be done in a decade.

That’s the point of course. The beginnings of post-capitalism are starting to intrude — pushing in from the future — on late capitalism, whose one-dimensional model of success no longer serves our needs. With every new crisis, from hurricanes there to blackouts here, it’s clear that our solutions must be ends-based, not means-based — i.e. financial profit as a sole measure — and better still, it’s becoming clearer to ever larger numbers of people. The last to twig seem to be the left neoliberals — the Keatingista generation, market Trotskyists. They never understood the inevitable failure of a system that tries to make key decisions about social ends — i.e. the difference between the crucial and the dispensible features of social and economic life — through the market mechanism, which works by annihilating that distinction, and rendering the value of everything in terms of everything else. That only works until the lights go out.

The Greens have had a raft of such proposals in their policies for years — but of course they’ll never get any publicity for them from the mainstream press. Labor will, if it adopts policies that look forward to a social, efficient, well-managed future, that cuts with the grain of contemporary existence, rather than proposing a false choice between Omnicorp Power and the revival of the State Electricity Commission.

We are helped immensely in this, by Turnbull’s incessant meddling. With every meeting he dragoons corporate leaders to, every interference he makes in individual business decisions, the Napoleon of Bellevue Hill establishes the over-arching political consensus: that the economy is a social entity, to be socially managed. Turnbull has done more to move the debate leftward than any of us could. What better figure than a film-flam venture capitalist, to deliver the message that capitalism can no longer deliver?

Ole!

“The dog leg. That dog had four legs. One you found in my trunk. The other three went out with the information you're thinking about right now. Two people you don't want coming around here if anything bad happens to me.”

GuySmiley's picture
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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 7:47am

One could only guess at the hyperbole headlines from the Murdoch press if it were Labor trying this all on ....

Shatner'sBassoon's picture
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Shatner'sBassoon commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 8:19am

The uncanny Pommy/Greek/Cypriot X man ( and x Liberal) just gifted Murdoch all our 'old' media. Yew!

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-13/media-reforms-set-to-pass-senat...

Not concentrated enough. Apparently.

https://theconversation.com/factcheck-is-australias-level-of-media-owner...

Whatevers. All that 'old' media like tv and papers and radio doesn't matter anymore anyway. It's not like it influences anything these days. Am I right or am I RIGHT?

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talkingturkey commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 1:28pm

"We have known for a long time that Malcolm Turnbull’s “innovation” and “agility” routine is bullshit, the flim-flam of a venture capitalist and dealmaker who has never managed anything to fruition."

Malcolm = a flim-flam venture capitalist.

That's a keeper.

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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 12:53pm

Dale-Cooper makes a valid point.

The LNP, the party of capital and the market, scrapping a market mechanism to price carbon (Abbott) and now direct interference not only in the energy market but interference at a company level (AGL).

This is on top of Turnbull wanting to buy out the states (NSW & Vic) stake in the Snowy Hydro (and lets all remember Howard tried unsuccessfully to privatise it).

Again, how would the Murdoch press be treating this if it were Labor?

Stunning stuff all because the ultra right rump of the LNP refuse to engage in a sensible debate on climate and energy policy.

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stunet commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 1:12pm

Stand back and let the market work itself out.

....except when it moves in a direction we don't like.

The hypocrisy rankles, and it's not too dissimilar to the double standards shown in the free speech debate.

People should be allowed to say what they want.

....except when they attack us.

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Gaz1799 commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 2:37pm

The RET itself is a market interference. This national power shortage only exists because idiotic ALP governments in SA & VIC have swept out the coal industries with a kick up the ass on the way out. They then made no plans to deal with the following shortage and bitched about the feds not having a national plan to deal with it instead.

In SA Leigh creek was a coal mining town killed off by the closure of the coal mine in Port Augusta. A whole town in the middle of the outback suddenly dead with no jobs. A population of 2500 down to 250.

You can hate the coal industry and chirp about about saving the world but the fact is the RET killed off any future investments from the coal industry that would have kept the coal baseload power stations around oz alive. Coal is our second biggest export. We're not saving the world in any way by exporting $40billion worth of the stuff but refusing to use a tiny bit ourselves its the stupidest thing I've ever heard.

The Weatherill government was offered the Port Augusta power station for an extra 3 years at just $8 mil per year. They refused now the states power bills have tripled and he attacks Turdbull for not having a national plan, despite throwing the entire state of SA to the dogs so he can do Bill Shortdick's job for him.

I used to be all for this renewable energy business until my power bill went from $1600 a year to $6500 a year. If its a national market and a national shortfall but two fuckwit states let their baseload power go on ideaological grounds with zero plans for a backup, then there's no point blaming the feds. The energy ministers in SA & Vic should be thrown in jail.

They said last year that it'd be a great idea for us all to look into home solar and battery storage. To lower prices and to avoid the blackouts coming this summer. We all scoffed at how ridiculous that sounds because it would cost at least $10k. Well I'll probably be giving $10k away to the power companies long before I can get anything like that installed. And I'll be sitting in the dark through the heatwaves this summer.

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stunet commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 2:53pm

Where would Tony Abbott's attack on clean energy and the subsequent chaos regarding investment sit amongst all that Gaz?

A mate was contracting for two diff companies who both upped and left citing lack of long term security here following Abbott's carnage, one of them taking propietary tech with them. Solar tech too (PVC to battery storage), so ideal for Oz.

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Gaz1799 commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 4:28pm

Didn't that chaos only last for 12 months whilst they reviewed the RET? I could be dead wrong here but as far as I know Tones did bugger all except talk it down and whinge. I think the RET was actually higher under Tony than it is now.

In SA we've already hit 50% power production from renewables. And it's killing us. Rather than saving the world we're only lining the pockets of already rich power companies. I sound very pro-coal but that's actually not the case. I'm just annoyed no one in government had the brains to see this obvious issue coming. The power companies aren't phased about maintaining supply they get to charge amazing amounts when demand outstrips supply. They love the RET and abandoning coal power, but lets not for a second assume its for any noble reason. There's a gold mine to be made in charging us all like wounded bulls at the moment.

Those companies that mate contracted for that upped and left should be here now its a free-for-all.

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talkingturkey commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 5:52pm

Where's the NEM (National Electricity Market) and AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) in all this? Their role?

Oh, and what are the "two fuckwit state's ideological grounds" again?

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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 6:14pm

The effective operational life of all power stations in Australia are well known.

When people say "the state government closed power stations" they are totally ignoring (1) they are not government owned (2) the owners closed them for commercial reasons i.e. their operational life had ended and (3) the fact there has been a policy and investment void at the federal level in this country for a decade (largely because of conservative and ultra conservative politicians in the LNP.

Liddell power station's operational life has been known for decades yet suddenly the LNP want it to continue to operate. After Liddell there are power stations in Qld, NSW and Victoria are all due to close over the next 10-15 years.

If you are a power company wanting to invest billions in the construction of a new power station which will take years to build you need first and last investment certainty and without a national federal climate and energy plan power companies are working in the dark.

Investment uncertainty and power price increases, thank Abbott and Turnbull

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Shatner'sBassoon commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 6:20pm

Mark Butler to the PM in Question Time today:

"Asked about the closure of 7 coal fired power stations, yesterday the Prime Minister boasted about 2900 megawatts of power coming on in the gas industry. Can the Prime Minister confirm that all of the 2900 megawatts of power came on under the Labor government?"

Turnbull:

"aaah, ummmh, .....I thought I was quoting direct from an AEMO document"

(handballs to Frydenberg)

Frydenberg's mumbling, stumbling response was to talk about "this Prime Minister is helping do a deal with a gas station in SA that might come on line sometime in the future"... or words to that affect.

Ya wouldn't read about it!

(literally)

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Sheepdog commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 6:43pm

As I said, I'll fix the power debacle.
Someone hand me the keys to the lodge.

I'll put a freeze on beer tax, durries will be cheaper, sporting club membership (including board riders) will be tax deductible, as will any sporting equipment purchased for the use at sporting club :), and I'll reinstate penalty rates.

That's week 1..

Sheepdog

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GuySmiley commented Thursday, 14 Sep 2017 at 7:47pm

Do a Rex Connor Sheepdog?

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Gaz1799 commented Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 10:46am

Turkey the two fuckwit states are SA & Vic who set their own RET's well above the national rate. It's no coincidence both are now energy basket cases. For anyone that doesn't know the national RET is around 24%, the Vic rate is 40% and the SA rate is 50%.
The AEMO/NEM aren't policy makers or investors. They're stewards of the market with power provided by private and government owned power generators and they work with what they have. Allegedly they are independent from government yet somehow energy ministers from state and federal governments have the right to kick the shit out of them for doing nothing more than what they are meant to do. The SA energy minister actually legislated his right to tell the AEMO to do what he wants it to do 6 months ago so figure out how that ones fits in to an allegedly independent national organisation.

SA wouldn't have gone dark if the encumbent state government had filled their election promise ten years ago to build an interconnector to NSW. That's not a federal stuff-up, its a state failure on grid security. No good blaming the NEM or AEMO when it was a state government failure to deliver.

All this talk about the lack of federal planning ignores the fact that the short sighted SA & VIC state governments de-stabilised the existing market by going rogue with their own RET's and then went on to blame the feds for the consequences.

Alinta brought forward the detonation of Port Augusta by 1 year. They say it was lack of coal/useful life etc etc but bullshit it was profit based. Once the state hit a 50% RET they just didn't want to hold that baby anymore. All their competitors were subsidized by the state governments 50% RET and the demand for their power, now more expensive than renewables just wasn't there.

SA has now brought in DIESEL generators to get us through the summer after the coal stations closed. Nice work guys! Not sure what Victoria's plan is yet.

Jeeze sheepy thats more than Abbott or Rudd achieved in their entire terms! You have my vote though. If we want penalty rates back maybe we should just casualize our entire parliament and then see what miracles happen.

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GuySmiley commented Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 11:06am

Gaz, your anger at such massive prices increases in your personal electricity bill is understandable, I would also be livid.

RETs are targets, aspirations for the future, they are not set in concrete. Victoria's is 40% in 2025 i.e. 8 years time. Likewise SA's is 50% in 2025. A RET may not be achieved in the prescribed timeline at all.

AEMO's legislative authority to act in the market comes from the Commonwealth Government. It can only do (and not do) what the enabling Commonwealth legislation allows. Power companies can and do manipulate prices (based on the average 30 minute pricing policy) allowed for under AEMO rules, as legislated by the Commonwealth Government.

http://www.theage.com.au/comment/electric-lies-trust-neither-the-generat...

There is an existing interconnector between SA and the national grid. I've heard many say there needs to be a second, but the question I ask is what is the cost:benefit of that expenditure when the future of power generation will be more localised with renewables? Would building a 2nd interconnector be like the "gold plating" of the national distribution network that has occurred over the last decade that has resulted in very large increases in household power bills as privatised distribution companies take advantage of guaranteed (high) rates of return on private investment? So would a 2nd interconnector to SA also add to your soaring power bills?

I'm not sure what you expect governments to do when privately owned plant and equipment is closed because it has reached its use by date?

The effective life of these power plants are well known so what will they be replaced with? To replace them we need a national policy on climate and power .... darn we are back to Turnbull's responsibility again.

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Gaz1799 commented Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 12:05pm

I do have an axe to grind smiley, but whats reported in the media seems to be confused with other issues too often.

SA reached its RET this year, pretty much the day after Port Augusta shut its doors. I believe it hit 53% at the most. A second interconnector (which was meant to be state owned) would have saved SA the statewide blackout, and the blackout is what actually started this whole argument in the first place. On a windy day SA actually exports power back over the border. The real problem comes when we get our stinking hot 40 degree 2 weeks heatwaves this summer with no breeze to boot.

Alinta offered to keep Port Augusta open for 3 more years for just $23 million. The state government refused. Any argument about effective life forcing closure is all bullshit as they could have happily extended it for a couple more years to save a statewide blackout and allow a second interconnector/new power generators to enter the market in the mean time. AGL is trying to screw Turdbull over Liddell for way more because he's trying to strong arm them. It's a vindictive measure by the coal industry in my view, but hey it is the coal industry.

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GuySmiley commented Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 12:59pm

On topic but a tangent ...

Most of the debate is about additional infrastructure (power plants, poles and wires, interconnectors, renewables etc) but that only looks at the generation of power.

The question of the efficient use of existing power is mostly ignored. So people are free to build McMansions with massive windows with poor orientation and with no eaves and they expect the power to stay on over our increasing hot summers so that their air-conditioners** can keep them comfortable. We have been told time and time again that the poles and wires have been "gold plated" at a massive cost to consumers so that "the system will cope with the few heat wave days of each summer".

Given cost is rightly an issue shouldn't the debate also be looking at how we can better use existing power? Uniform national building regulations for staters with reference to power efficiency anyone?

** its breathtaking to see how mostly inefficient the air conditioners sold to Australians are

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Gaz1799 commented Friday, 15 Sep 2017 at 1:07pm

I actually went to a display village south of Adelaide a few weeks back and saw one of these energy efficient homes first hand. Outside it was 15 degrees grey windy and raining whilst inside (with no heating of any kind) it was probably 18-19 degrees. To say I was impressed would be an understatement. Not sure how it works but it had plenty of angles, high ceilings, full length windows etc and no doubt the direction etc all comes into play. Not sure if it would work on a standard 350 m2 city block where you cant adjust direction relation to sun etc but on a big country block you'd be set.