Blogotariat

Oz Blog News Commentary
Popular Science Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 07:24 Source

Doctors have long suspected that those who have heart disease also tend to get gout. Knowing correlations like this is important for predicting and preparing for what will happen to patients in the future. The correlations are also important for understanding how diseases work. Is there a mechanism behind gout that's related to heart disease? Could medicines for gout help with heart disease, too?

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Political Owl Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 07:14 Source

Kevin Rudd is reportedly off and running hard in the race to succeed Ban Ki-moon as secretary-general of the United Nations. While Ban will not leave office until the end of 2016, World Politics Review reportsthat a lot of pretty serious politicians want to run the UN.

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 07:10 Source

There is something you need to understand about Google. It’s not a normal company. It’s not even a normal technology. Google is a revolution in our business practices, our media, our privacy, our governance and our democracy. It’s taken me some time to come to terms with this. Indeed, I’m sure many of you are […]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 06:22 Source

In my last “five drivers” update on May 1st, the Australian dollar was at 93 cents and pointing lower.  Since then the dollar did fall to 92 cents but has now rebounded to near 94 cents after threatening but failing to break the 2o14 high at 94.6. At this stage the model still favours falls […]

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 05:32 Source

Business Spectator’s Tristan Edis is onto a truth I’ve pointed to many times but simply does not get a wider airing for some reason. Australia’s carbon mitigation policies are not the cause of power price hikes. Indeed, the wholesale cost of electricity for Autumn is no higher than the decade average: Warm weather has helped […]

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Peter Martin Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 05:00 Source

Now I've seen everything. The Greens used to be numerate and they used to be smart about the use of price signals.

They are now neither. They are no longer numerate, because they've fallen for one of the oldest tricks in the book. They are no longer smart, because they are prepared to let petrol excise shrink.

Read more Views: 53
Digitopoly Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 04:42 Source

The recent debate over ‘disruption theory’ has focussed on the over-use of the word ‘disruption’ and also on whether it can be used to predict the fate of incumbents in various industries. Somewhat lost in that discussion is precisely what disruption means for start-ups. There has been a tendency to think that start-ups should have as their goal to disrupt a market or industry. For those looking for ideas, a good place to start is markets where a group of customers is under-served by existing firms.

Read more Views: 61
North Coast Voices Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 00:15 Source

Blissfully ignoring the fact that the High Court of Australia found that the Commonwealth funding the National School Chaplaincy and Welfare Program was of no material benefit to public school students, the Abbott Government looks for the best angle going forward in the coming public debate:Attorney-General George Brandis Media Release 19 June 2014TRANSCRIPT – QUESTION TIME, SENATE Subjects: High Court Decision – Williams v The Commonwealth (No 2) E&OESENATOR SESELJA: Can the Attorney-General advise the Senate on the decision of the High Court in the Williams (No 2) matter.ATTORNEY-GENERAL: This morning the High Court gave judgement in

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North Coast Voices Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 00:15 Source

From Lock The Gate:Lock Your Local CouncilOver the last 2 years councils right across Australia have passed motions opposing coal seam gas and other unconventional gas development and calling for a moratorium.

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MacroBusiness Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - 00:02 Source

Global Macro / Markets: Welcome to the New Warm Normal: Global Temps Break Another Record – Bloomberg Report from Henry Paulson, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer aims to frame climate change as an economic issue – Wall Street Journal Bond Market Has $900 Billion Mom-and-Pop Problem When Rates Rise – Bloomberg Could inflation be the […]

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Popular Science Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 23:48 Source

In 2008, Cameron Smith, an anthropology professor at Portland State University in Oregon, decided to build a space suit. He designed the Mark I to protect himself on a high-altitude balloon ride, and so far it’s passed tests in a hypobaric chamber and underwater. Last year, independent space program Copenhagen Suborbitals offered him a potential path to the stratosphere (between about 30,000 and 165,000 feet above Earth). Smith will make a suit for the Danish group this summer, and they’ll help him build a helium balloon craft. Traditional pressure garments can cost upwards of $30,000.

Read more Views: 61
En Passant Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 21:52 Source

Egyptian ‘President’ Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is the US’s new Mubarak. He is their strong man, brutally keeping in check all the dissidents, the democrats and the dangerous and keeping close to Israel.

Such is the importance of Egypt under al-Sisi to US imperialism that the US will reward him with $1.5 billion to spend on arms. Almost $500 million has already gone quietly to the dictatorship.

Read more Views: 68
Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 20:47 Source

I have not thus far used the adjective ‘evil’ in the last fifty years on anyone: not on Hitler, Eichmann, Stalin, Putin, Pol Pot, Osama, Nixon, Thatcher, W, John Howard. This is in part because I doubted, back then, that this is, or ever could be, an adequate or accurate or useful way to describe anybody.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 20:22 Source

I recently wrote an open letter to Bill Shorten, expressing my dismay at three particular policy stances the Labor party has adopted – continuation of off-shore processing for asylum seekers, support for the school chaplaincy program and for Abbott’s Green Army. I wanted the party to show more leadership on such issues, and also to have a more consultative way of coming to important policy decisions.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 19:14 Source

In his previous book, Standing in Another Man’s Grave (2012), Rankin brought together two of his series characters –John Rebus, at that time a civilian working for the Serious Crime Review Unit, and Malcolm Fox of the Professional Ethics and Standards section of the Lothian and Borders Police. They’re together in this book (2013) too. Rebus is back on the force. But he’s had to accept a demotion to Detective Sergeant, and Siobhan Clarke, now DCI, is his boss – or at least, as Rebus says, she’s under that ‘cruel delusion’. Fox has one last Ethics and Standards assignment to complete before he too returns to the CID.

Read more Views: 68
Harry Clarke Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 18:09 Source

La Trobe University’s “Future Ready” restructuring commenced over the last 2 days.  My School of Economics was dished out its medicine today.

The current School will become part of a Department of Finance and Economics (the lack of alphabetical ordering in the 2 components is significant). Proposed staff cuts in economics are from 28 to 10 faculty.  Is that a bloodbath or a restructuring?

Read more Views: 147
En Passant Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 17:45 Source

 YES or NO? Should protesters face mandatory jail sentences? Tough new legislation will be debated in Parliament this week: http://bit.ly/1qs2nIz - Kim & Dave

 

The Tasmanian ‘Liberal’ Government has introduced legislation that will see those who protest against logging ‘and other production sites’ jailed for their second ‘offence’.

Read more Views: 67
MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 16:42 Source

Stan Shamu for Chris Weston, Chief Market Strategist at IG Markets After a lacklustre start, most of the major markets in the Asian region have turned positive despite a lack of leads to drive sentiment. Markets in China have somewhat found their footing after a dismal session yesterday. While there hasn’t been much data for the […]

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 16:27 Source

Ah, be careful what you wish for! From Terry McCrann today: The Kouk accused The Australian of running a “fact-less story with the express intent of undermining a key policy of the previous Labor government.” Then came the inevitable abuse — that it was done deliberately to “sell more tobacco and cigarettes”. In the usual cocktail of stupidity […]

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 16:08 Source

From Reuters: Chinese steel producers are selling iron ore cargoes arriving in July under their long-term contracts with miners and using the cash to buy cheaper iron ore sitting at China’s ports, said a trader in Shanghai. “We’re doing this business now with mills who are trying to sell their long-term cargoes that are index-based […]

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Croakey Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 15:50 Source

In this first of a series of posts about Medicare, Margaret Faux notes that the Abbott Federal Government appears to be trying to gain some traction from former Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s introduction of co-payments. But she says, more...

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New Matilda Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 15:48 Source

Life on this planet as we know it depends on quick action to address climate change, writes Gillian King.

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The Australian Independent Media Network Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 15:47 Source

Young people starting out in life are a great resource for our future. Investing in them, giving them a helping hand to get started, is the responsibility and obligation of this generation.  We must nurture them while they learn not only skills for employment, but life skills.  When they fall, we must help them get up, dust themselves off, and help direct them on a better path.  We must give them hope and reinforce that opportunities are available - help them to prepare for and recognise them and take advantage when they come around.  They must have choices.  The social and productivity benefits of this are obvious.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 15:30 Source

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The economics of privatisation are pretty simple. Moving a business from state-ownership to private-ownership improves the profit incentive. Private owners will focus on their return. That means lower costs, higher prices and increased profit. State-owned businesses can, at best, attempt to mimic private incentives through ‘corporatisation’. But even the best run […]

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 15:28 Source

From Credit Suisse comes some good news for iron ore as marginal Chinese iron mines stay closed after winter: We expect further incremental closures to be forthcoming but do not believe there will be anything resembling a wholesale rush for the exit by domestic miners: Not all production is at the top of the cost […]

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Cheeseburger Gothic Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 14:58 Source

High winds just blew my garage door off. Or half off. Have to get it off completely before it takes out the front corner of the house.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 14:56 Source

From GetUp today comes news of another environmental defeat for the Abbott Government and an interesting description of the anatomy of political change: This morning the World Heritage Committee emphatically rejected Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s submission to have Tasmania’s ancient forests stripped of their protection status and opened to logging! It took the 21 delegate World […]

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New Matilda Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 14:51 Source

Cory Bernardi to join Family First? Ricky Muir to jump ship? Simon Sheikh explains.

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MacroBusiness Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 14:47 Source

By Leith van Onselen While I was away on leave last week, the ABS released its Australian demographic statistics for the December quarter of 2013, which revealed that Australia’s population growth rate continues to fall, driven by declining growth in the two key mining states of Western Australia and Queensland. According to the ABS, Australia’s […]

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Table Talk: Bob Ellis on Film and Theatre Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - 14:46 Source

How much of our ‘debt and deficit disaster’ was incurred by a war in Iraq which we lost?

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