BlogRandom Notes - Idle Thoughts
With respect to the myth of free trade, the best example is that of the Jeep Wrangler revealed in the New York Times last year. Produced in the US for $40,500 and exported under a free trade agreement, the Wrangler on the showroom floor in China can cost $71,000 because of the various taxes Beijing charges on all imported vehicles. The one question that is being forced upon our political class and the commentariat with respect to free trade, free markets and AGL gaming the energy market is this: Are free markets about promoting competition or restricting competition as AGL seeks to do?
It all starts to crystallise. A former Labor operative and partner of Labor front bencher Tony Burke. A former Getup operative. Now a senior manager in public advocacy at AGL. That is shorthand for spin doctor, shaping and delivering the message. To complete the circle it was Bill Shorten who, when head of the AWU was a founding member of Getup and also donated $100,000 in union funds as start up capital.
So is government interference in the energy market a sovereign risk or not? Make up your mind because as the beneficiary of government interference in the form of billion dollar subsidies for renewables to the detriment of coal, Vesey and AGL don’t seem to have any problem or any great concern at all about market interference and sovereign risk.
Privatising our once state owned electricity assets without certain caveats, must now be categorised as one of those “..it seemed like a good idea at the time..” moments, all in the name of and at the altar of free markets. No problem with that basic underlying principle and I’m sure the belief and intent was that the new owners would keep it running as a coal fired power station and if not, sell it to someone who would. As commented on already, Andrew Vesey, the absent American landlord/CEO of AGL is fast catching up if not already overtaking the American boss of Telstra in the early 2000’s, the rambunctious and much loathed Sol Trujillo
If the descendants of Sir John Monash are concerned that his good name is being politicised or traduced in some way by the adopting of it by the Monash Forum, they may like to direct their ire towards the university that bears his name and the Antifa inspired, dark, dystopian, anarchic and menacing “Change It” promotional video released this week. It takes loud, ugly, and violent to an entirely new Orwellian dimension
If the members of the Monash Forum are “coal power socialists” as Paul Kelly characterises them, then this must make the recipients of renewable subsidies “sunshine socialists” — Dependent on the weather and unable to stand alone without taxpayer subsidies to prop them up renewables will always be unreliable, unaffordable and niche boutique at best. What’s the difference between funding and building a coal fired power station and funding and building a Snowy 2.0?
Forget Facebook. Google is worse. Far worse. IT expert reveals the extent of the personal data the search giant holds on you — Daily Mail
Forget about Facebook. That’s little league. Google is worse. Much worse. From deleted files to location history, IT expert reveals the extent of the personal data the search giant holds on you. In a series of tweets, one IT expert has laid out exactly what the search giant knows about him, dating back to 2008, which he describes as ‘preposterous’. It ranges from every place he visited in the past year to every website he clicked on, and even contained files deleted from his Google Drive cloud storage account.
Brilliant Writing. Essential Reading — We can’t even keep the national fence posts painted — Greg Sheridan, The Australian
The senate is the problem. It is no longer a house of review but a house of resistance. They see themselves as a shadow government. Greg Sheridan explains “…The Australian affliction today is that our politics has lost all ambition for national development. The only ambition left is for redistribution and virtue signalling on contentious social issues. No leader is addressing the crisis in our political culture. If the Turnbull government should come to an end at the next election, one central question for our national culture would be: what national development have we got from six years of pro-business, pro-development, centre-right government? We are turning against our own national interests, the chief of which is to build a bigger, better, more secure version of ourselves. As GK Chesterton once observed, the true conservative understands that to preserve a white fence post, you cannot leave it alone. You must constantly repaint it. We’ve lost that ability..”
Although the presiding magistrate Belinda Wallington at Melbourne Magistrates Court, will decide whether George Pell goes to trial or not, watching the media’s unseemly pursuit of Pell, over the last year or two particularly the ABC, and it’s attack dog journalist Louise Milligan, brings to mind a couple of quotes that highlight the media’s agenda.
Lavrentiy Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police: “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime” and Lewis Carroll’s line from Alice in Wonderland: “Sentence first, verdict afterwards”
It was only five weeks ago that Barnaby Joyce resigned after being brought down in another hysterical, media pile on and another round of totally out of proportion, confected outrage and a beat up not dissimilar to that that we’ve seen in recent days over the cricket tamper-gate, shock horror, affair. And all because of a mid life crisis doing what millions of others from royalty down through politics, business and ordinary people from the suburbs have done when he ran off with a staffer and got her pregnant. No sense of proportion or perspective.