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Everything posted by staringclown

  1. Gerard Minack, Satyajit Das. Absolute bear porn.
  2. It's certainly the far rights best chance in a long time. To change the world to how they want it. Of course it won't be what they actually want. Their own futures won't be enhanced. The promises they were made won't eventuate. Bannon has been sacked and he's admitted as much. The swamp doesn't drain easily. It fights back. I was hoping that Abbott would remain in power for similar reasons. Give 'em enough rope so to speak... I've heard a load of opinion lately about not upsetting the alt right for fear of enlarging their base. One nation here is a case in point. Governments need one nations votes. And their base has legitimate grievances. High unemployment, no benefit from globalisation etc. They're looking for someone to blame. Lots of talk about universal income as well (hats off to you sir for raising this long before it became a thing) George Brandis stood up this week and it was good to see. I hardly ever agree with George. I can't agree with the pandering to opportunists argument. Let Trump speak on please, but the mass movement of the alt right needs to be opposed at every every opportunity along the way. Handing over any ground to any party that doesn't deal in actual evidence based policy is dangerous. In keeping with Godwin's law I will not mention names. It's encouraging that the "free speech" rally in Boston was met with overwhelming numbers of counter protesters. I don't like to see violence and I think overwhelming numbers against illustrate the level of support within a democracy and provide a suitable smack down for an offensive minority view . Likewise with Hanson. Also, likewise with Turnbull. I don't understand why the minority in his own party hold so much sway. Bipartisan support for evidence based policy will bypass the nutters on both extremes. The marginal seat holders would applaud the rise in their standing and would keep the far right rump at bay vis a vis leadership challenges. Grow a pair Mal if you want to do right by the country rather than preserve your own job. Even if you fail, in the long run you win. History will remember you favourably. rant over
  3. She got what wanted. A cheap headline and the enhancement of her reputation as an 'outsider' condemned by the swamp. Her smile grew the longer Brandis spoke and her supporters lapped it up just in time for the Queensland election.
  4. Absolutely. If NK shoot first they are deader than disco. It will be akin to pearl harbour. Carnage will ensue so I doubt very much it will actually happen. If it does I'll concede the point on rationality. I'm on the cusp of fifty and will hope to avoid the call up. I'm not skilled with the bayonetz.
  5. China have said they will take a neutral stand if NK strike first. If the US strike first it's a different ballgame Wha? A nuclear war won't save his neck. It'll guarantee it gets stretched. That's if he survives the war he starts.
  6. No. At no point did I suggest that we throw up our hands and let NK develop a massive arsenal of nukes. NK spend 10 billion per year on their army. ~1 million soldiers. That's 25% of their GDP according to wiki. The US is spending ~250 billion of nukes over the next 30 years. There are ~15000 nukes worldwide Given that NK have 4 they are going to need to spend a lot of cash to equal China (270) let alone Russia (7000). This will be particularly difficult if they continue and more sanctions are applied. China has agreed to denuclearising the peninsula. They supported the recent UN sanctions. More may be needed. Where is the money coming from for NK to rival China or Russia? How can you be so sure that China wouldn't intervene if the US launch a preemptive strike? They don't want a US ally abutting their border. They also don't want millions of NK refugees flooding into China.
  7. Rationality is a subjective term. The main aim of the regime is to keep themselves in power. They see the US as a threat to this aim. Obviously it's not a good thing but from their point of view the development of nukes is rational. It's the same reason that the USSR developed their nukes. Australia is a target now if China or Russia go up against the US. Pakistan has nukes and a military intelligence organisation (ISI) that supports Al-qaeda. This is not rational from our point of view either. But no one is threatening war with Pakistan. If we're judging rationality based upon language then the two camps aren't that dissimilar. Trump vs Kim Jong-un: who said what? The Germans had a much greater military capability than NK. I don't think the situations are the same.
  8. As Tor points out, the likelihood of mass deaths has stayed the hand of previous administrations. There are no good options. China is happy with the buffer that NK provides. A preemptive strike by th US could see direct conflict. Even with nukes, NK couldn't defeat the US. If they ever used them they'd end up a crater. The world has been living with detente for decades. It is worsened when another country joins the club for sure but is it so bad that potentially millions should die to prevent it?
  9. I'm not sure whether Trump is using his rhetoric to try and convince Kim Jong Un that he is the crazier of the two of them or Trump is just plain crazy. Either way, relying on sanity to prevail on the NK side is high stakes. At some point if Trump is bluffing to get China to act or NK to back down and negotiate and the bluff is called it's going to be humiliating for him. He doesn't take humiliation well. Obama humiliated him publicly at a dinner over his birther claims and he hasn't been able to let it go since. He hasn't, and possibly won't ever draw the line that will need be crossed by NK to take action. If he ever does set a hard line and crab walks back from it and someone laughs at him I doubt he'll worry about the consequences to others compared to the dent to his ego. If he is indeed mad he might launch a preemptive attack if the hard line is crossed. This would bring China into direct conflict with the US. Utter disaster would follow. Equally mad would be if he was hoping to provoke NK into attacking first. China might stay out of direct conflict but will tool up NK. If he doesn't set a line and just amps up the threats NK and China will see that his words are hollow. Still a humiliating situation for him but given his ability to claim success from failure possibly a slightly less dangerous one. At this point I see this as the more likely scenario. I could be wrong.
  10. I thought he had already spirited away cash to Lebanon. 20 million bucks
  11. Sorry, couldn't resist.
  12. Just watched 7.30 report about aged care facilities being reviewed by some government board every three years. Why can't aged care facilities be subject to the same kind of review process as air B&B? Or even eBay. Open forum site with a ratings system for the facility and actual reviews by the families of the residents. This would provide a more informative site for decisions to be made. I can see an opportunity for the running of such a site though I imagine the legal bullying and take down notices would cause the owners significant grief. Which may go some way to answering my question. But what if the government ran the site?
  13. +1 Viking pyre would seem my best option now. It's a pity they have banned fireworks in the ACT. I've always fancied having my ashes blasted into space like Hunter S. I may not have made it to the stratosphere but I could have covered a fair area of Woden.
  14. Gerrymandering down to the street level by all accounts
  15. I hope that avoiding a Royal Commission into the banks now will be more difficult. We're now informed that the Commonwealth bank has allowed money laundering by criminal and potentially terrorist organisations. Terrorists Mal. Your quite big on them. I've been waiting for the out from both the bank and the government and received it tonight. In spite of the headline that there was potentially 1 trillion in fines and the effective re-nationalisation of the bank we all knew that was bollocks. The entire affair (~53000 unreported transactions > 10k) will be reduced to one offence. It was a software error. Apparently they don't test their software at the Commonwealth Bank. No business analyst picked up the error, no tester, no PM, no business area. Numerous reports from coal face staff never made it to the upper echelons of management. Ian Narev gets to name his own penalty. He's not walking the plank. He expects a reduction in his bonus... Don't even start me on the same sex marriage "debate"
  16. Have you seen the original Blue Murder? Cracking good show. Roxburgh played Rogerson in that too.
  17. I'd like the option of euthanasia for you too Cobran. Seriously though, it should be an option. I don't see point in prolonging pain or anyones exit if that is their wish.
  18. Surely not every liberal... And surely some conservatives crave power? I can think of a couple off the top of my head. Republicans seem to be playing the game somewhat better than the Democrats. Their gerrymandering is far superior at the moment. Republicans are so much better at gerrymandering than the Democrats
  19. True. NZ will last a bit longer according to the stats... NZ ski field operating days
  20. I'm not new to post modernism. I have a friend that I argued with vociferously against for years that science was simply another belief system. He was a masters student in medieval literature from the University of Melbourne. I'm calling that humanities. The argument goes that I had no basis to doubt religion based on what I would refer to as an objective basis. My objective basis was defined as the repeatability of experimental results. The failure of any one experiment causing the theory to require further synthesis or to be thrown out altogether. This is how I understand the scientific method. Not a belief but a method. Not as simply my own objective view but a collective view and an acceptance of the results by the overwhelming majority of folks that study the topic and whom have conducted the same experiment and achieved the same result. This is what I consider to be objective. The subsequent argument is made that they have simply repeated my flawed subjective experiment. I always counter with the fact that the theory has lead to concrete outcomes. The internet being the most tangible. It doesn't work by virtue of some fluke. My bachelors degree was in environmental science. I've completed four courses since and I am now enrolled in a yet another, a masters in data analytics. This doesn't make an expert in anything other than what I have studied mind you and I don't claim that it does. However, I can honestly say that business is not interested in such high falutin' concepts of subjectivity vs objectivity. And it is the new god. They are interested more in "how do I sell more of my sh*t" concepts. I understand that if I show up to an interview a start spouting post modernist psychobabble that I'm unlikely to obtain a position. The philosophy whilst interesting has no basis in reality and the idea of everyones subjective opinion being equally valid is anathema to common sense. But common sense is anathema to post modernism. It seems that the whole philosophy is the new Luddism. Or perhaps the new creationism. But that is actually my subjective opinion.
  21. Bit of a fixer upper. I think we should suggest this property for "The Block"
  22. Hot in Sydney. Cold in Canberra. Heatwaves and wildfires in Europe. Something for everybody? Sydney records its hottest day on record for July with 26 degrees Canberra weather: Coldest start to winter in 33 years as airlines 'de-ice' planes
  23. Not looking great for skiers in Oz. I was up at the former ACT alpine club at Mt Franklin chalet a few weeks back. There's a nice little wall at the site showing the glory days when they had snow back in the fifties. It burnt down in the 2003 fires and they haven't rebuilt. I think that says it all. Snowy retreat: climate change puts Australia's ski industry in downhill slope
  24. I think that sentiment can decline quickly. Interest rates will be kept low for a while yet by the RBA. But banks are starting to raise for interest only loans. Wages are stagnant and not looking like rising for the foreseeable future either. I don't sense much optimism amongst people I speak with. China is also trying harder to restrict capital outflows. Nothing signaling a crash but likely a moderation. The longer these conditions hold the more moderation we will see. Not sure if governments will stimulate either if the decline is gradual.
  25. Ms clowns mum has recently entered the system. Oldtimers. There was little to no info on good homes. Luckily ms clowns sister works in paliative care in Victoria and knew some people in Mildura. The place we decided on is quite good. A 300k deposit is required else the rent is not covered by the pension. There is a bit of self interest. I'll end up in one myself eventually. No kids so I'll need to bribe some nieces with the promise of an inheritance. It needs to be fixed. I haven't checked whether such a site exists but I suspect you're correct about the government running such a site. I think I'll explore it further. To add to your list of possible revenue for such a site I'm thinking pharmaceuticals.