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Saturday, 19 May

21:15

A Bill of Rights for Australia, Anyone? "IndyWatch Feed National"

On September 18, 2014, citizens of Australia rally to protest the dawn raids of Muslim homes by police in Lakemba, NSW

by Mary W Maxwell

Some say Australia needs a Bill of Rights. Gumshoe hereby invites any reader to propose a right. Our journalistic staff (if you could call it that) seems to be in a jocular mood at the moment (no reason given), so we dont forbid you to send a jocular offering. Still, serious ones would be especially appreciated.

For historical purposes, I am going to list, below, the United States rights never mind the apparent lull in their enforcement nowadays. These ten rights went into the US Con as amendments thereto. For an amendment to get in, three-fourths of the states must ratif...

16:14

The Guardian Is A Lapdog To Power. Theresa May Thinks Its 1984. And Other Reasons I Write For New Matilda "IndyWatch Feed National"

New Matilda columnist Dr Lissa Johnson joins the #MAYhem, to explain why she writes for Australias most stubborn independent media outlet.

If the parlous state of Western media was ever on full display, it has been lately. From sanitising massacres of Palestinian protesters to bolstering the silencing of Julian Assange, the media has some serious charges to answer.

In the UK, faced with gaping holes in their narratives during recent weeks, major media outlets went into melt-down over journalists, academics and others departing from the official scripts on Syria and the Salisbury poisoning. The desperate, dogged defence by media institutions of their own fragile groupthink has been remarkable to behold.

During a BBC interview on the alleged Douma attacks, for instance, former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West, advocated seeking accurate information before taking military action, whether in Syria or elsewhere. Despite the obvious prudence of his suggestion, the BBC presenter interviewing Lord West took umbrage at his stance. She found it inadvisable to say such things so publically.

West had gently pointed out that terrorist-embedded sources, such as those supplying intelligence on Douma, are not the most reliable. He added that when he was Chief of Defence Intelligence himself, he had been put under huge pressure politically to lie about the UKs bombing campaign in Bosnia, alluding to the dangers of politicised intelligence.

Casualties at Douma last month, from the ongoing Syrian civil war.

With US president Donald Trump citing discredited Israeli intelligence as a basis for withdrawing from the Iran nuclear de...

16:00

The Weekend Quiz May 19-20, 2018 answers and discussion "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Here are the answers with discussion for this Weekends Quiz. The information provided should help you work out why you missed a question or three! If you havent already done the Quiz from yesterday then have a go at it before you read the answers. I hope this helps you develop an understanding of modern monetary theory (MMT) and its application to macroeconomic thinking. Comments as usual welcome, especially if I have made an error.

Question 1:

In a fixed coupon government bond auction, the higher is the demand for the bonds the:

(a) higher the yields will be at that maturity, suggesting that higher fiscal deficits will soon drive short-term interest rates down.

(b) lower the yields will be at that maturity, suggesting that higher fiscal deficits will soon drive short-term interest rates down.

(c) lower the yields will be at that maturity but this tells us nothing about the fiscal effect on short-term interest rates.

The answer is Option (c) lower the yields will be at that maturity but this tells us nothing about the fiscal effect on short-term interest rates.

Option (b) lower the yields will be at that maturity, suggesting that higher fiscal deficits will soon drive short-term interest rates down might have attracted your attention given that it correctly associates higher demand for bonds will lower yields.

You then may have been led by your understanding of the fundamental principles of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) that include the fact that government spending provides the net financial assets (bank reserves) and fiscal deficits put downward pressure on interest rates (with no accompanying central bank operations), which is contrary to the myths that appear in macroeconomic textbooks about crowding out.

But of-course, the central bank sets the short-term interest rate based on its policy aspirations and conducts the necessary liquidity management operations to ensure the actual short-term market interest rate is consistent with the desired policy rate. That doesnt mean the central bank has a free rein.

It has to either offer a return on reserves equivalent to the policy rate or sell government bonds if it is to maintain a positive target rate. The penalty for not borrowing is that the interest rate will fall to the bottom of the corridor prevailing in the country which may be zero if the central bank does not offer a return on reserves.

This situation arises because the central bank essentially lacks control over the quantity of reserves in the system.

So the correct answer is that movements in p...

14:08

Can Cryptocurrencies Survive? "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

QUESTION: Do you think Bitcoin can survive? Or has it been a passing fad?

MT

ANSWER: Bitcoin rose because 70% of the miners were in China. It was NOT simply because energy was cheap. Bitcoin became the LEADING means of money laundering and movement of cash out of China, circumventing their rule of law and currency controls. So do not think for one minute that Bitcoin rose because it was really a wonderful idea. It was a means to get money out of China when you could not wire money out. In Australia, they have adopted the slogan that CASH IS FOR CRIMINALS. They will do the same to cryptocurrencies. All they need to do is declare a law that it is illegal for a business to accept cryptocurrency under the excuse that it is money laundering. You just killed the entire industry. The government has the army, tanks, and the guns. Until the army is willing to turn against the hand that feeds them, you cannot stand with cryptocurrency and claim some magical right to suppress government. You need the power grid!

Video streaming today is because of the online porn industry (I wont post a picture of that).  They needed to sell their product and they invented video streaming. It has since expanded to everything. Blockchain can be used in many other contexts just a video streaming was not restricted to just porn.

10:08

Scientists refute Ben Heards paper opposing reneweable energy "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Can we get 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources? https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-05/luot-cwg051718.php New article gathers the evidence to address the sceptics LAPPEENRANTA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY 17-MAY-2018

Is there enough space for all the wind turbines and solar panels to provide all our energy needs? What happens when the sun doesnt shine and the wind doesnt blow? Wont renewables destabilise the grid and cause blackouts?

In a review paper last year in the high-ranking journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Master of Science Benjamin Heard (at left) and colleagues presented their case against 100% renewable electricity systems. They doubted the feasibility of many of the recent scenarios for high shares of renewable energy, questioning everything from whether renewables-based systems can survive extreme weather events with low sun and low wind, to the ability to keep the grid stable with so much variable generation.

Now scientists have hit back with their response to the points raised by Heard and colleagues.The researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the South African Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Aalborg University have analysed hundreds of studies from across the scientific literature to answer eac...

09:21

Why Narrabri should choose wind, solar over CSG RenewEconomy "IndyWatch Feed Enviro.au"

Report finds Narrabri has enormous potential for renewables, with scope for between 1GW and 4.5GW of large-scale solar and wind, that would create 500-2,600 permanent local jobs.

via Why Narrabri should choose wind, solar over CSG RenewEconomy

08:36

The Beauty Myth 3.0 "IndyWatch Feed National"

If you want to be beautiful by todays beauty industry standards, youd better be prepared to part with some cash, writes Helen Barcham.

Every work morning, as I wait to board my bus from Parramatta station to the Western Sydney University campus, I find myself meditating on the in-your-face advertisement plastered on the window of the beauty clinic across the street.

The advertisement is not remarkable in the context of todays advertising culture, but it is nevertheless alluring. It features several attractive, happy and confident-seeming women (and one man) alongside the text, Whats your You Ness?

This image exemplifies beautifully the paradox of todays beauty industry.

The clinic promises to respect and amplify womens youness which they define as what makes you, well you. And yet, this promise is sold to women through a smorgasbord of products and services that, paradoxically, orient womens bodies and psyches towards embodying the cultural beauty ideal.

According to its website, the clinic promises to hit reverse on sagging skin through skin tightening treatments; leave others to guess about ones age through cosmetic injectables; and promises women theyll be ready at a moments notice through laser hair removal. Ultimately, the promotion of these beauty regimes tells us that youthful or youth-like, thin and hairless bodies are the cultural ideal to which women should aspire. Youness, then, is a false economy, re-routed to sameness.

 

Pain and Suffering is the Price to Pay for Looking and Feeling Good

In order to acquire the happiness and confidence of the models in the advertisements, women are, ironically, first required to endure pain and suffering in the form of endless laser treatments, surgical needles, chemical peels, injections, and take-home creams, among other body work.

Pain and suffering, we are told in todays therapeutic society, is a necessary requirement of actively looking after oneself. As the adage goes, no pain, no gain.

This suffering is no mere coincidence or by-product, but a politically organised normalising apparatus, strategically pressed u...

08:00

May 19 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed National"

1793 - Governor Arthur Phillip returned to England accompanied by Bennelong and Yemmerawanne. Following a six-month voyage, they landed in Falmouth, England on this day.

1805 - The Sydney Gazette was bemoaning the fact that so many furbabies had multiplied within the colony, or in their words...
"The prodigious canine increase within the last twelvemonth is as little surprising as alarming: go where you will you must patiently submit to be formally introduced by half a dozen domestic yelpers, who martial the way at the extreme danger of your calves. Upon many families the support of a number of useless creatures falls as a heavy tax; and yet, from some recommendatory qualification, imperceptible to every body but the owner, they must still be supported at the certain expence of those entitled by
nature to our first consideration."

1820 - Russian explorer Faddei Faddeevich (Fabian) Bellingshausen sailed merrily from Port Jackson for the Sandwich Islands where he made further discoveries, notably Ono Island in the Fiji group.

1825 - Francis Nicholas Rossi replaced D'Arcy Wentworth as Superintendent of Police in New South Wales.

1826 - Today saw the first issue of the Monitor newspaper in Sydney.
Gossip, ladies!
Shipping intelligence galore!

1830 - Polish explorer Strzelecki, having tripped over a large lump of land in south-east Victoria, named it Gippsland after the Governor of NSW George Gipps.

1837 -  Surveyor-General and explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell was a tad tired and emotional so he left Sydney on eighteen months leave.

1838 - The first Catholic Mass on Pentecost Sunday was celebrated in Melbourne with Father Patrick Bonaventure Geoghegan in the driving seat.

1845 - F.H. Faulding, the son of a surgeon, opened the doors of his business as a chemist at 5 Rundle Street.  His business grew rapidly as he made remedies for stock as well as people and he bought a site in Clarence Place, off King William Street, to give him more room for his manufacturing and wholesale business.

1854 - Ballarat Post Office opened cnr Mair & Lydiard Sts.

1861 - Helen Porter Mitchell, better known as Dame Nellie Melba, was pupped.

1863 0 The Flinders Street Baptist Church in Adelaide was officially opened with Rev. Silas Mead at the helm.

1869 - The Main North Railway Line (NSW) was flung open all over the shop, from Singleton to Muswellbrook.

1915 - Lance Corporal Albert Jacka won the first VC awarded to an Aussie for the action at Courtney's Post, Gallipoli.

1915 - John Simpson (Kirkpatrick), better known as The Man With The Donkey, was killed.After risking his life so many times to bring wounded to safety with the help of his do...

Friday, 18 May

21:32

Money for Blood is Good for All "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

The Economist: For years [Barzin Bahardoust] has been trying to pay Canadians for their blood plasmathe viscous straw-coloured liquid in blood that has remarkable therapeutic powers. When his firm, Canadian Plasma Resources (CPR), tried to open clinics in Ontario in 2014, a campaign by local activists led to a ban by the provincial government on paid plasma collection. Undeterred, he tried another province, Albertawhich also banned the practice last year. Then, on April 26th, when CPR announced a planned centre in British Columbia, its government said it too was considering similar legislation. CPR has managed to open two centres, in far-flung Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Even these have faced opposition.

The global demand for plasma is growing, and cannot be met through altruistic donations alone. Global plasma exports were worth $126bn in 2016more than exports of aeroplanes.

Only countries that pay for plasma are self-sufficient in it. (Italy, where donors are given time off work, is close to self-sufficiency.) Half of Americas plasma is shipped to Europe20m contributions-worth. Canada imports 80% of its plasma products from America. Australia imports 40% of its plasma products, too.

Its a very odd ethical policy that leads Canadian provinces to ban paying Canadians for plasma but then import paid plasma from the United States. I am one of the signatories (along with Al Roth, Vernon Smith and Gerald Dworkin among others) of a letter that argues for the efficiency and ethics of allowing compensation for blood plasma donation. The Economist riffs of this letter in a very good op-ed:

18:54

The Weekend Quiz May 19-20, 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Welcome to The Weekend Quiz. The quiz tests whether you have been paying attention or not to the blogs I post. See how you go with the following questions. Your results are only known to you and no records are retained.

1. In a fixed coupon government bond auction, the higher is the demand for the bonds the:




2. A sovereign government does not have to issue debt to match any spending above taxation. But the more public debt it voluntarily issues the more difficult it is for banks to attract deposits to initiate loans from.



3. When an external deficit and public deficit coincide, there must be a private sector deficit.

...

18:52

Business Insider Australia - behind the scenes "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Sydney podcast

Down to Sydney today, to record with Business Insider.


Here's a 30-second look 'behind the scenes' at Business Insider Australia.


David Scutt gets ready to record one of the most popular podcasts in Australian business circles, Devils & Details


Recorded in one take, thanks to Rick S, the sound guy.


Ready to record with Editor-in-Chief, Paul 'Colgo' Colgan.


Always great fun to catch up with these guys and talk f...

18:42

Landscape From Far, Far Away Thoughts are like fishes///

Visited Phil Henderson's fun exhibition Tyranny and Distance - Landscape From Far, Far Away at the Griffith Regional Theatre

17:51

The tale of three BAASS field investigations "IndyWatch Feed National"

Introduction

There are some, who are saying, that although they accept the fact that Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) received a contract from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)  regarding the Advanced Aerospace Weapon System Applications (AAWSA) program, there is no mention of UFOs or UAPs in that solicitation/contract. The contract was granted sometime after the solicitation closing date of 5 September 2008.

As early as 13 September 2008 Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies was advertising jobs which are directly related to the AAWSA. I have identified at least four individuals who were employed as investigators (one as "senior investigator/Team Leader;" (employed January 2009) ; two as "field investigators; (one from January 2009 the other from May 2009); and one as "investigator/security officer" (from June 2009.)

I explored the Internet looking for some evidence that these field investigators for BAASS actually conducted UFO investigations.

Taking a step back

The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) after negotiations with Robert Bigelow and BAASS, entered into a joint contract to work together. There were two main results arising from this. Firstly, that BAASS was given access to the MUFON CMS UFO reports database; and secondly that MUFON formed their STAR group. An individual named Richard Lang acted as the STAR Team Manager between February 2009 and January 2010.
 

In a 6 March 2011 blog post Lang provided detailed information about the relationship between BAASS and MUFON.

"The STAR Team Impact Project (SIP) was a MUFON project funded in part by Bigelow Aerospace Advanced Space Studies (BAASS) where MUFON was subcontracted to provide information from the CMS data base (website) and witness reports related to Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) directly to BAASS."

"BAASS investigators were given full access ( password and user ID) to the CMS database, in all cases where the witness answered "Yes" to the "third party release question" BAASS personnel and investigators could see all case information in CMS including witness contact information."

"MUFON also provided data to BAASS about significant events that were reported in CMS."

In short, BAASS were able to monitor almost all of the reports being received by MUFON CMS; had access to witness contact details, and could undertake their own investigations into any of the cases which they deemed of interest to them.

So, to cr...

08:52

Video: Why are the Palestinians protesting? "IndyWatch Feed National"

 

Next time someone asks you what Palestinians are protesting about show them this.

Video from EL4C

The post Video: Why are the Palestinians protesting? appeared first on The Pen.

08:00

May 18 #OnThisDay in #Australian #History "IndyWatch Feed National"

1789 - Arabanoo, an Aboriginal man, was captured at Manly on 31 December 1788 by order of Governor Arthur Phillip, caught smallpox whilst caring for others who were sick, and died at Sydney. He was buried in the governor's garden.

1806 - Report in the Sydney Gazette on five men from the wreck of the George who travelled overland from Jervis Bay to Sydney, along the coast

1825 - The Tasmanian and Port Dalrymple Advertiser, Australias first provincial newspaper, ceased publication.

1839 - Sarah Cook, wife of a shepherd at Norrilong (between Beverley and York, WA) and her baby were speared by members of the York tribe to satisfy tribal lore. Two brothers, Doodjeep and Barrabong were arrested and tried for wilful murder in July 1840. They were later hung in chains at the scene of the crime. A year later, a Noongar man named Yambup was also convicted of the same crime and was sent to Wadjemup Rottnest prison.

1849 - The Summary Trial and Punishment of Aborigines Act was passed in Western Australia.

1854 - Keep a lump of sugar in your pocket as a horse-drawn railway started plodding between Goolwa and Port Elliot in South Oz, which was in fact Australia's first public railway.

1859 - The Sydney Evening Mail ceased publication.

1859 - Harry was hanged at Goulburn for the rape and attempted murder of Margaret McMahon near Cooma.

1865 - Angus McMillan, the murderer of untold hundreds of thousands of Aboriginal people, kicked the proverbial bucket in a pub at Iguana Creek in Gippsland.

1877 - George, a Pacific Islander hanged at Maryborough Gaol for the rape of Mrs McBride.

1877 - Tommy Ah Mow, a Pacific Islanders hanged at Maryborough Gaol for the rape of Mrs McBride.

1889 - Intercolonial footy match between Tassie and Victoria was played at the MCG before a crowd of 20,000. The Gum Suckers wore colours of Royal Blue & Old Gold, while the Apple Islanders wore  their colony colours of Rose, Primrose & Black.
Final score was
Victoria - 6 goals, 9 behinds
Tassie - 1 goal, 6 behinds

1891 - James Johnston was hanged at Ballarat for murdering his wife Mary and their four children.

1897 - The original clubs of the newly formed VFL were Collingwood, South Melbourne, Essendon, Melbourne, Fitzroy, Geelong, St. Kilda and Carlton, which played their first matches today.

1901 - Harry Rickards opened his New Opera House, the future Tivoli Theatre, in Bourke Street, Melbourne, on the site of the former Prince of Wales Opera Theatre.

1902 -  William Windeyer took the main part in rescuing young people from a rowing boat capsized in Fern Bay, near his Hunters Hill home, and was awarded a silver medal by the Royal Shipw...

07:00

Australia is Exploring the Blockchain for Welfare Payment Distribution "IndyWatch Feed Economics.au"

Australias Digital Transformation Agency (DTA), which works with government agencies, users, and private sector partners to develop public services, has announced it is studying the use of blockchain for welfare payment distribution. A prototype could be in the market come mid-2019.

Australia May Deliver Welfare Payments over Blockchain

The approved Australian 2018-19 Budget last week included a sum of AU$700,000 intended to be used by the DTA to explore distributed ledger technology for efficient government services purposes, according to Randall Brugeaud, acting CEO of the DTA, who made the announcement at the CeBIT Australia conference in Sydney.

Our plan is to look for use cases across the Commonwealth with an initial focus on the welfare payment delivery system, then working with our digital service standard, well conduct user research with a view to having a prototype by the end of next financial year, he explained. The potential of blockchain to securely record transactions will be investigated, drawing on the experience of other public and private sector organisations.

The DTA is looking to instances across both government and the private sector to determine the best blockchain-based Commonwealth service delivery. The agency is looking at all possibilities, from benefits of employee buy-in to machine-learning, artificial intelligence, and security, to further business goals despite the difficulty of choosing the right fit for each case.

Well also build on work done across government already, such as the CSIROs work on distributed ledgers. Were looking at how these technologies might offer automated service channels that are closer to the human experience; this might include intelligent chatbots, or voice-enabled channels which are proving to be effective in other sectors. We think these have the potential to deliver significant benefits for government service delivery, Brugeaud said.

Aiming to make its services more consumable by other government departments, the DTA is also about to pilot a digital identity system in October 2018 in a bid to tackle the 30 different logins across government platforms and make it easier for end users to deal with public affairs.

There are 750,000 applications for tax file numbers (TFN) each year. Digital identity will shrink to minutes what is currently a mont...

05:50

Japanese Bus Drivers Are Striking By Refusing to Accept Fare for Rides "IndyWatch Feed National"

by Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Most people protest by forming a picket line. But in the Japanese city of Okayama, bus drivers are protesting by giving free rides to commuters.

According to The Guardian, the dispute began in April, when a rival to the Ryobi bus company advertised cheaper fares. Japanese media reports that concerned drivers asked for more job security. When no agreement was made, drivers continued to cover their routes but refused to take fares from passengers.

Protests of this kind are unique, but they are becoming increasingly common. For instance, last year in Sydney, Australia, bus drivers from 12 depots gave free rides for a day. They turned off card machines to protest government plans to pr...

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