You have to laugh at the irony. In order to make up for South Australia’s misguided renewable energy policy which has been the cause of numerous blackouts, 9 diesel generators costing $111mn will use 80,000 litres of diesel per hour to keep the lights on during power shortages. Had the Port Augusta coal fired plant not been ceremoniously dynamited as a virtue signaling exercise, South Australian tax payers would be $100mn better off as a start. Energy Plan Implementation ED Sam Crafter said after the initial 13-month period, there was an option to extend the lease for a further 12 months. There also was an option to walk away at the end of 25 months. So if South Australia chooses to extend the lease of the generators for another 12 months the cost won’t be included in the $111m. It is hard not to laugh at the irony of governments who make such appalling choices and cover up their mistakes by stealing more from taxpayers who they never properly showed costings to in the first place. Is it any wonder South Australia has the highest energy costs in the world, the highest unemployment rate in the country and the slowest growth. Don’t be surprised if Premier Jay Weatherill sees this as a fair price to pay to save the planet, even if South Australia is crushed in the process.
How deranged does Melbourne Antifa have to be to use the failed attack on Andrew Bolt as an excuse to launch a victimhood claim against him? To be honest their predictability was never in doubt. Apart from the woeful following of Melbourne Antifa’s Facebook page (97)…
…the comments section of their post revealed their own kind refrained from the comments section after others decided to tell them how Bolt rightly acted in self defense.
To even entertain a claim of violence when indeed it was your ‘family’ that started the whole thing makes me think that with such intelligence the three perpetrators should lodge the claim at North Melbourne Police station and see how far they get.
Begging for support is no longer working as hoped it would seem. Although condescending its audience would. The Guardian is now quoting the generosity of souls to help ‘secure its future’. Thomasine F-R would have us believe that no paywall is [somehow] democratic. Isn’t it democratic to allow people to choose what they want to read? In fact if there were fewer of the ride but not pay brigade among its readers Thomasine wouldn’t need to virtue signal her compassion. Secretly I’m sure she prefers it this way because all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. She got the ‘commodity’ bit spot on. There is no real differentiation to attract the masses. People can stream or listen to the BBC to get Guardian-esque left wing bias for free. Does the public require two such offerings? With any luck if Corbyn wins he might nationalise the newspaper alongside utilities, mail and rail.
These days it would seem that most reading starts and ends with the clickbait title. 99% of the Likes and Shares are based on pre-formed bias. Just read the comments to most social media posts and it is easy to see how little time is spent on absorbing content. It is the equivalent of digital Chinese whispers. Still so much of the media can’t escape self-praise. The construction of narratives in an echo-chamber about ‘their opinion matters’ is the problem. Indeed it should limit the number of articles under the paywall and see how many line up to pay for the privilege of accessing such journalistic brilliance or whether they ration the monthly morsels.
Shame on Murdoch for not allowing his subscribers to appeal to readers about how their wealth is what keeps the plebs from accessing the content for free.
I honestly can’t see how Trudeau can win the next election. Acting Opposition leader Rona Ambrose took great pleasure into cutting the PM down to size after he had his department make $1,900 worth life size cut outs of him to be placed in the Canadian Embassy in Washington and ten consulates in the United States. His answer was that he spends too much time in the House of Commons. Such is his vanity, even the Speaker of the House had a good chuckle. The Global Affairs department told civil servants to stop ordering them. Ontario MP John Brassard said, “A life-size, two-dimensional cut-out is probably a perfect metaphor for everything that Justin Trudeau represents… You’ve got the shallow facade, and yet there’s very little in the way of depth or substance there.”
Look up Rona Ambrose vs Justin Trudeau in question time and watch the bloodbath. She makes mincemeat out of the Canadian PM every time and exposes that behind the looks there is little substance and his poll numbers are reflecting that.
For once I’m going to pat Bill Shorten on the back. I’m not a fan of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) or the current Turnbull Coalition to be honest but Shorten’s ad is harmless. What is it with the regressive left that has to mock those in the ad? Instantly it gets the identity politics treatment. Because they’re all white. Assuming they put some other ‘colours’ in the ad then the next level of identity would come into play. How many LGBT were used? Then if that had been checked off then how many religions were represented? You can’t win. What if those ‘whites’ in the ad are LGBT, Buddhists or Muslims? It would be a bigger outrage if one was a Jew! We don’t know but by pure deduction we see memes accusing him of the ‘White Australia Policy”. Bill Shorten is a dyed in the wool trade unionist but the only thing he really shares with former Prime Minister Billy Hughes is the name. When will society grow up? If we have to check off boxes to guarantee inclusion then we set off the exact triggers for victimology to run riot. Why can’t merit decide who gets selected? Pathetic.
For once the polls seem to reflect the Twitter stats. Since the first round, Macron has accumulated 66% of the Twitter follower growth vs 34% for Le Pen. Facebook follower growth on the same metric puts Le Pen at 47% of the growth vs Macron at 53%, As we gleaned from the first round, Macron had the third highest number of followers on Twitter but the fastest growth, with Le Pen 2nd. Twitter seemed to forecast better than Facebook.
When her father ran in 2002, Jean Marie Le Pen garnered only 17.9% of the second round. It would seem Marine Le Pen should double that number. That in and of itself is a massive shot across the bows of the establishment. Of course a Macron victory will be viewed by the EU as an endorsement when there could be nothing further from the truth.
We only need to see Tusk & Merkel’s slapdown of Juncker over Brexit in recent days to show the disharmony within the inner sanctum. Have you seen the latest Greek bail-out negotiations? Talk about surrendering sovereignty to Brussels. Note the Conservatives gained 558 council seats in local elections this weekend by taking voters back from UKIP, which lost all but one of the 115 seats the party contested and Labour surrendering 320 seats, a margin which if replicated on June 8 will hand Theresa May a healthy majority. Brits want a hard Brexit not one built on compromises.
While there is some cachet in voting in the ‘youth’ in France we only need to look at Canada to see what an utter disaster Trudeau has been. His ratings are falling like a stone as Opposition Leader Rona Ambrose makes regular mince meat of him in Parliament. View any of their debates in parliament and Trudeau can’t string two sentences together.
In any event, markets should breathe a sigh of relief at a Macron victory although they’re pricing that already. Note that he is likely to be far more Trudeau than Alexander the Great and for France that will likely mean more of the same which will only give Le Pen far a better chance in 2022.
I was fortunate enough to attend an LDP function last night where Deputy PM and Minister of Finance Taro Aso spoke. The audience was largely retirees in their 60s-80s in the Yokohama area who in part likely came for the hotel buffet. I was the only foreigner to attend among 1,000 guests. Aso truthfully described the difference between Japan and the West. Talking of how many foreign politicians can’t understand how Japan can have so many vending machines because in their countries they’d be vandalized for their cash. Aso’s bigger point was made around deflation and how Japan is coping far better than most of the West, especially the EU. While there is a sense of celebrating an own goal, the biggest mistake made by the West in its analysis of the ‘lost two decades’ in Japan has been its unique society. Only in Japan could a population withstand two decades of hardship. Shared grief.
In the West, when it all goes to the dogs people will run as far away from the implosion as they can. Moral hazard is the order of the day. Make someone else pay. I recall the tale of a friend who had bought a condo in a ski resort in Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture for around $20,000 off a family who had paid $800,000 for it during the bubble. They religiously paid off the loan as a form of moral obligation. In Japan, bankruptcy is seen as failure. A bankruptcy record is hung around one’s neck forever. In America, bankruptcy is seen as a badge of honor in some circles for someone pursuing the American Dream and in the next credit cycle, financial institutions will forgive the infraction, albeit at a slightly higher risk premium.
The point Aso was making was on the money. Japan is different. It is a society based on values. While the West may frown on the Japanese taking on a 250% debt: GDP ratio to allow the air to slowly leak out of a balloon, the society demands it. Despite all of the studies I’ve read on financial resurrection from deflation in the West I can safely say ‘society’ is the seemingly most overlooked yet most relevant part of the equation. As the game of convenient lies mount up from the mouths of politicians, a growing number of people are realizing that failure to act will lead to unpleasant truths. Economic cycles can only be toyed with to a point until trust leaves the system. The Japanese are indeed the most capable people on the planet to embrace change. It may take a tragedy, shock or disaster to force true action but one can be rest assured the people will unite in common purpose while the West go out of their way to look after themselves at the expense of all others.
Japan is not capitalism with warts but socialism with beauty spots. With the coming global financial train wreck approaching Japan is the best place to be.