Daily Archives: February 26, 2017

When you bought a cat to fix the mouse problem


Power & Politics: Coca Cola Abandons South Australia to Escape Crippling Power Prices & Chaotic Supply


jay weatherill Delusional and dangerous: Jay Weatherill, enemy of the people.


In Australia’s, so-called ‘wind power capital’, South Australia, meaningful and lasting employment is a rare and beautiful thing.

Last week, Coca-Cola Amatil announced that it is shutting its Adelaide bottling plant, which has delivered the ‘real thing’ to South Australians since 1939.

The loss of around 200 jobs in the economic basket case that is South Australia is a crushing blow to the workers and their families. One of them, Gino Gaddi, a 58-year-old Italian migrant, is yet another victim of South Australia’s obsession with heavily subsidised and utterly meaningless wind power.

Watching Gino on the ABC news broadcast was a gut wrenching experience. Clearly aware that the chips are now stacked firmly against him, Gino said: “I’m 58, who is going to employ me? There are youngsters around that will do as good a job as me.”

Good question…

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Stratfor: we can learn to fight jihadists by studying the anarchists

There have been violent groups bent on destruction for at least 100 years. They are all anarchists of one ilk or another.

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: We have difficulty dealing with present problems because we have forgotten so much of our past. Here Stratfor seeks lessons for our long war with jihadists by examining our long struggle with anarchists during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is rich with lessons for us. Stratfor

Jihadism: An Eerily Familiar Threat

By  Scott Stewart at Stratfor, 23 February 2017.

As part of my day-to-day job, I read a lot of news reports, books and scholarly studies. Though the never-ending avalanche of information sometimes feels like a mild version of electronic waterboarding, it also allows me to pick out interesting parallels between different events. Not long ago I re-read Blood and Rage, an excellent book by historian Michael Burleigh that outlines the cultural history of terrorism. As I flipped through the chapters on nihilist and anarchist terrorism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, I couldn’t help but notice some…

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NAFTA – Positives and Criticisms

The gains to Mexico were always hard to estimate because it has such a terrible political system. How do you define the counterfactual in a left-wing crony capitalist state


NAFTA took effect in 1994 during the Clinton administration although he had to rely on support from the Republicans in the House – 60% of congressional Democrats voted against NAFTA. NAFTA got rid of tariffs on more than half of its members’ industrial products and by 2009 the deal eliminated tariffs on all industrial and agricultural goods.

Positives of NAFTA

  • American corporates believed the deal would cut labour costs and therefore increase efficiency and international competitiveness.
  • American consumer would also benefit from lower prices.
  • It would raise Mexico’s living standards especially in the north.
  • Trade between the USA and Mexico has risen 1.3% in 1994 to 2.5% in 2015
  • Mexico’s real income has risen – $10,000 in 1994 to $19000 in 2015
  • Less Mexicans are migrating to the USA – 500,000 a year to virtually nothing.

Mexican incomes are no better, as a share of those in the US…

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astonishing reduction of #poverty and child mortality over the last 40 years

Trump and The Courts: Presidential Attacks On The Courts Have A Long History


donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedSupreme CourtBelow is my column in USA Today on the continuing controversy over President Trump’s attack on judges who have ruled against his executive orders.  I have been critical of Trump’s attacks on the media and the courts, which undermine not just those critical institutions but the White House itself.  As discussed below, presidents have learned that attacking the courts tend to diminish their own credibility over time.  Having said that, Trump is not as much as a departure from other presidents as some have made out.  Indeed, public discord between the executive and judicial branches has a long history in our country.  Of course that is no license to continue a bad practice and most modern presidents have avoided direct personal attacks on judges and justices.  Most importantly, the criticism of the judges in the Ninth Circuit in my view are unwarranted and unhelpful.  The executive order on immigration was…

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Two Utterly Depressing Medicaid Graphs

International Liberty

The United States is going to become another Greece, and it’s largely because of poorly designed entitlement programs. As the old saying goes, demography is destiny.

Let’s look at just one piece of that puzzle. James Capretta of the American Enterprise Institute has a very sobering summary of how Medicaid has metastasized into one of the largest and fastest-growing entitlement programs.

You should read the entire article, but if you’re pressed for time, I’m going to share two grim charts that tell you what you need to know.

First, we have a look at how the burden of Medicaid spending, measured as a share of national output, has increased over time.

What makes this chart particularly depressing is that Medicaid was never supposed to become a massive entitlement program.

It was basically created so the crowd in Washington could buy a few votes. Yet the moment…

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$200 a week to all New Zealand families raising a child under three and additional payments for low-income families are among proposals to tackle poverty in a book co-authored by aspiring politician Gareth Morgan. They calculated a gold standard package of free universal early childhood education, increased childcare subsidies for low-income parents for under-3-year-olds, the “thriving child UBI” and a basic income for low-income families would cost roughly $3.3 billion per year.

A one percentage point increase in the GST brings in an additional $1.525 billion according to the latest budget figures at the Treasury Website.

Tigers versus drone: no contest!

Why Evolution Is True

Here’s a bunch of Siberian tigers (Panthera tigris altaica: there’s only one species of tiger; all the named versions are subspecies) in a Chinese “tiger park” being photographed by a drone. Although they’re largely fat and out of shape, they take the gadget down handily in the last bit of the video.

I wish they didn’t fence in these magnificent beasts, which have large territories in the wild. Perhaps they’d go extinct without this kind of captivity, but sometimes I think that would be the best alternative if they or their descendants can never be put back in the wild.

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