Wednesday 29 February 2012

More loops.

Free markets are efficient.

Free markets outperform all other means of commerce.
Free markets are self correcting. When demand exceeds supply, prices rise and more enter the market. When prices fall and an enterprise is not longer profitable, it fails. History and geography are littered with the skeletons of failed enterprises but at least for a time, we succeed best by doing what we do best.

Free markets are natural.
Yes, Nature is a free market, and that is where it becomes really scary because, like our towns and farms that are littered with the skeletons of failed enterprises, the history and geography of Nature is littered with the skeletons of failed species and we are not immune.

In the free market of Nature, species evolve to fill a slot in the ecosystem. If you fit the slot well, your species thrives. If not, it dies back so populations and resources are in equilibrium.

But we have changed the rules. We no longer evolve to fit our slot. We have found ways to change our slots to fit us, so our numbers have exploded. Can we avoid ‘market correction’? Of course not but we are in denial as has always been our nature. Diligent investigation identifies the problem and accurate identification suggests solutions. So why are we not choosing solutions?

Hope trumps action. Hope makes us feel better so we ignore the hard choices. We have faith that problems will solve themselves eventually one way or another and they do, sometimes killing us in the process.

So, are we on our way to extinction?
All species are but few have gone through the cycle of evolution from emergence to extinction quite so fast. If history is any guide we are on track to be the shortest lived species ever. But there is hope.

We are the first species to predict its own demise and the first to have the technology to prevent it, so there is a choice. Do we choose sustainability and suffer the cost, or do we procrastinate and find ourselves fighting to the death over the scraps?
Both choices are being made now. Some are fighting, some are cooperating. So how do we choose cooperation? How do we stop those are who will choose war in our name?

War has always been the default position and it did serve its purpose in Nature, but all-out war is now too destructive; too final. We can no longer let it happen. So are we thinking? Are we being brave enough to speak up when our friends are spouting political slogans, unaware of the implications? Are we asking the hard question? Are we demanding a future? Are we thinking big-picture, speaking out, voting, evolving?

On a good day, I believe reason will prevail but on a bad day I despair.
Make my day!

Monday 27 February 2012

Rudd destroys his party, but why?

Australians are intrigued by the sudden resignation of their Foreign Minister. He won a clear victory in the 2007 election to become Prime Minister but was unable get his promised reforms passed.

He wanted so much to be the Green Messiah and take the image of a clean green Australia to Copenhagen. He signed Kyoto but his negotiations with Conservative Leader Turnbull we so soft on polluters that his fatally watered down bill was not supported by the Greens. On the other side of politics, Turnbull, by recognising the need for action on climate change was seen as a turncoat by his natural constituency, Big Business and was replaced by Abbott, the archetype Right Wing denier (and femophobe) who has since taken hate mongering to new lows.

When Rudd returned from Copenhagen to bad polls, he had a temper tantrum and turned his back on Climate Change reform, shocking his supporters and driving the polls even lower.
His cabinet colleagues were unhappy with his autocratic style and blamed his failure to secure climate change legislation, a mining rental tax and health care reform on his inability to negotiate, so he was replaced as Prime Minister by his deputy Julia Gillard who was known to be a team player.

Gillard has since suffered unprecedented vilification by Abbott who is desperate to depict her as incompetent by blocking any legislation that might solve those nagging problems like refugees arriving by boat, he falsely claims is a breach of border security and a major illegal immigrant problem. In fact they are all intercepted so there is no security breach and they are relatively few compared to those who arrive by plane, papers in order and money in the bank, clearly not desperate refugees.

I have been concerned about the effects of climate change for at least thirty years. As soon as I became aware that CO2 concentration was rising towards double its historic level, I said; “We can’t have a change of this magnitude and not have knock-on effects.” I was right, but back then I expected that wisdom to be so self-evident the whole world would take action immediately as happened when CFC’s were shown to be destroying the ozone layer.

But back to Rudd. I have no doubt he is trying to force his party to re-elect him as Prime Minister because he thinks he can turn around the party’s popularity as he did in 2007, but he is deluded.
Image trumped ability then but he was a failure as Prime Minister. On the day before his resignation, I said to IXL.’ What Rudd needs to do is say he totally supports Gillard, agrees she is the best person for the job and he will not be challenging her.’ That would have swung his supporters behind her and the next election would have been winnable, and more to the point, Labor’s reform agenda would have been secured.

Thanks to Gillard and her ability to work with her own cabinet and maintain the support of Independents and Greens, that agenda has essentially been achieved although on the way she handed Abbott the whip he has wielded ever since, insisting she is a liar. We can nit-pick and harp on her election promise not introduce a carbon tax and maybe we should quote John Howard who introduced the concept of the ‘non-core’ promise, but she was committed to a carbon trading scheme so the temporary imposition of the tax, although it has a bureaucratic (and political) cost, will start the move we must make to a nil-carbon economy. However, if an election is called before the positive results of those reforms can be demonstrated, they will be scrapped by Abbott and we will again join the US as the only two developed nations where climate change scientists are dismissed as alarmist and Big Businesses dictates public policy on climate change.

My prediction:
Rudd will lose and in a third pivotal hissy fit, will resign his seat. There will be a by-election that Labor will lose. Abbott will try his damndest to woo Peter Slipper back from the Speaker’s chair and force Labor’s Craig Thompson, the man suspected of having a grotty past, to resign. Either way, Gillard is unlikely to survive until the next election and will lose government to a leader who has no policies except that he promises to undo all Labor’s reforms. He is selling the concept that government by a party that has a set ideology that economic growth is sacred no matter what the long term cost and believes the Market will fix everything is preferable to one that governs by negotiation and consensus.

Abbott will quickly move to a double dissolution to break the Greens’ control of the Senate and Bob Menzies' Lucky Country will again feel secure that Daddy is in charge and we can go on living the good life, ignoring the fact we are the World’s Worst Per-capita Polluters, letting everyone else do the hard yards while we bask in temporary wealth of our China-driven mining boom.

magpie soup

His career in the can… let me rephrase that.

Andy Warhol, young upstart
Made us wonder 'What is art?"
Repeated Monroes,
Soup cans in rows,
Scotch paper, paint, a shopping cart!

Dandy Andy minestrone at Magpie Tales.

Monday 20 February 2012

Homing Magpie-pigeon

Calling Home

I love my bike, I must confess
But reading maps, well, somewhat less.
Lost, alone,
Aha! A phone!
“Please Mummy, bring my GPS!”


Take your GPS and find Magpie Tales for real poems and stories!

Friday 17 February 2012

In the Loop.

I am worried about Jim.

Jim is in an outer loop of the economy, a very precarious place to be. But first let me explain the ‘loops’.

Primary Producers are at the centre where all loops begin. They grow and raise food so they are not working in an expendable industry. My maternal grandfather was a farmer who used horses for everything from hauling logs to powering the sulky that took him and Grandma to town. But that all changed when he bought a tractor. Tractors do not eat grass and do not self propagate, so his purchase started a second line of loops that include tractor manufacturers, whose demand for materials created the next level of loops of miners, oil drillers, refiners, service mechanics, you get the picture.

More tractor manufacturers joined in so dealerships sprang up and new loops were formed that managed sales for manufacturing, a services not directly producing food or an object we can see and feel. But soon the dealer no longer had time to sweep out his showroom so he hired a cleaner and yet another loop was created.

Then the cleaner became so busy he hired Jim’s Pooch Grooming Service and now, every Thursday morning, Deefer gets a wash and a brush, her claws trimmed and anal glands expressed and yet another class of loops was added. We need these loops to create employment as productivity increases and industry continues to automate but we now have more people in outer loops than inner loops and it is these outer loops that are first to go when money gets tight.

Outer Loop jobs depend on our discretionary dollar. They include restaurant staff, tour operators and Jim’s Mowing, the specialist BBQ cleaner and I must not leave out the busty blonde who bursts into the blue-collar work place in her van offering espresso coffee and hot pies to blokes who gather around to admire her legs and torso while spending twenty times the cost of a cut lunch and thermos of coffee.

When the Great Depression peaked in the late 30’s, over half the population here worked on the land so when sons and daughters lost their town jobs they came home where there was a cow to milk, some chooks for eggs, a few fruit trees and a veggie patch so they did not starve and were hale and healthy when the economy recovered..

Now, Agriculture here in Oz employs less than one in forty so where do our sons and daughters go if unemployment hits 30% or worse?
We are facing fundamental and worldwide shifts in energy, environment, population and wealth distribution. We need a survival plan and leaders to explain it and guide us through it.

It seems they are here, but their voices are being drowned out by populists of the Right, who insist the Market will sort out all those loops we created while we were running up our credit cards and the Left which seems more interested in same sex marriage. Both are aided and abetted by media continuing to direct our attention to which celeb is cheating on whom, obscuring the fact we are in crisis and desperately in need of a global plan and a social contract to deliver it.

That mix of undermined respect for leaders, voyeurism, platitudes, scandal and lies leaves us confused. Confusion leads to anger and so we get Greece. There, rioting is threatening the fabric of their society and it is spreading. So what are our politicians doing as they jostle for power? They are talking war. Should we be surprised? Of course not.

That will get our attention away from their appalling economic management and the diminishing habitat of the brown breasted miniature whistling duck! To fight each other is in our genes so war it will be and our last chance to address the issues of environment, energy and population will be abandoned. Are we really that stupid?


Note: No disrespect is intended towards the many good people who work in service industries, including Jim's franchises. 
I am really concerned for their futures, as I am for Humanity as a whole.

Monday 13 February 2012

Magpie Colours


Still bodies,
black or white,
Entwined or dumped.
asleep or dead.
Beautiful collage
or reminder of Auschwitz.

Sorry folks, no chuckles here today. But try your luck at Magpie Tales where Tess's friends give and give.

Thursday 9 February 2012

Big Jack

He’s narrow at the shoulder
And he’s wider at the hip.
He wears his momma’s underwear,
Her shoes and dress and slip.

But say his name throughout the West
And desperados quake
‘Cos he’s a mile more dangerous
Than any rattle snake.

He wears his four-gun tied up high,
Wears specs to aid his sight
And in his belt a diction'ry,
To get his cuss words right.

But should some rustlers comes to town
To challenges him to fight,
He lifts his skirts and shows his wares,
And outlaws run in fright.

Cos underneath that female garb
I’ve seen it and it’s true,
A Gatling gun, two hand grenades
And tattoos writ in blue:

“You wanna play? Then I‘m your man,”
It says, and they all cower.
“Undo your belt and drop your pants
Let’s see your fi-re power!”

But not a man has ever stayed
To draw, or call his bluff
And most went straight right afterwards
They knew they'd had enough!


With a respectful nod to the wonderful
Auntie Jack show

Image borrowed from Wikipedia.
PS. This is the sort of nonsense that comes to mind when one is sleep deprived.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

RIP Magpie

Here lies the body of Jessica Kelly,
Who stuffed so much cake and tart in her belly,
That she could not eat
Her veggies and meat
And choked on a huge slice of strawberry jelly!

More offerings can be seen at Magpie Tales.

Friday 3 February 2012

Bluebell 55 word challenge.

The Car God.

As it approached we ran to see what was pushing it, but saw nothing.
It had a voice, a rumbling; a language of no words as it carried the holy man, keeper of its demons.
In wonder and fear, we dedicated our lives to its mysteries.
But we should have burnt it.

Written for Bluebell Books.

Thursday 2 February 2012

Magpie with hubris or spot the red face..

“A child could do better,” I said.
“So why does this shyster have cred?”
‘Because his vermilions
are selling for millions,’
"I see," I said. "Is my face red?”

A Philistine in the presence of the cognoscenti has a duty to reveal his ignorance.
Poems and stories by the latter can be found at Magpie Tales.

Does this article tell us what freedom mean to a patriot?

I stumbled upon this while trying to get into my own blog, hampered by lack of signal here in this wilderness and was driven to comment. However, as a non-'team member' I was not permitted to comment so I repeat  the complete article here and include my rejected comment. 
I also add, that this level of hate directed towards any elected individual must undermine the rule of law the writer claims to support! Alan Jones on steroids?

The biggest Communist in Congress?
Written on January 25, 2012 by Daniel Greystone from Patriot Update

The title of this article says a whole lot so do you want to guess which Congress person I am referring to? I know there is more than one communist in our government and sometime before the November 2012 Election, I will be telling the entire world who they ALL are (Unless I am snuffed out). 
For now, let us focus on this one member of Congress who is so bent, so angry and so ugly (as an American Citizen) that it is a miracle that she can even look at herself in the mirror. Speaking of which, “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who’s the biggest Communist in Congress over them all?” As the mirror wakes up and smiles, the response is not earth shattering for it says, “Mr. Greystone, why of course it is Nancy. Nancy Pelosi.”
As Newt Gingrich rises in the polls and his momentum accelerates, Nancy Pelosi has decided to make known real mud and some rich dirt about Newt. In fact, she states that “Newt will NEVER be able to become President.” We can interpret this as a threat to Newt and if this same threat was issued by any other Congress person in regards to Obama, well, watch out for the drones!
So, Nancy Pelosi has some dirt and mud to throw at Newt. So what? This is the NEW democratic standard that we all need to get used to hearing. It is intimidation through coercion in order to get ones way. It happened to Herman Cain no matter if it was true or not true. He got bumped out of the running for the President because he did not listen to the threats from the Democrats. What does Nancy have to offer us American Citizens? Let me tell you…
If you ask me, Nancy Pelosi is a communist and has infiltrated our Government. If your parents and grandparents were alive, ask them how much they fought to keep America FREE from Communism. How many people have died and have given their life in fighting communism? Because of all of the fighting that happened years ago, the communists realized that a direct confrontation could not be won. So, they devised a scheme to subvert Americans and infiltrate our government in order to change us away from freedom into communism. In my opinion, Nancy Pelosi is the ring leader of this effort today.
What she did as Speaker of the House of Representatives is despicable and is against the very fabric of our American way of life. I could write a book about what she and her Communist cohorts have done as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Pelosi is parading around as “actually being FOR America, while passing laws and no budgets that is destroying America!” Nancy has the gall to say to America “I have some dirt on Newt and I am going to sling mud all over him!” It is implied that she will do this no matter what the LAW states about disclosure. Again, this just PROVES that she does not care about the rule of LAW in America. There is not one communist who does care about the rule of law. She and her cohorts (yet to be named) seek to undo every law that binds them to our US Constitution. Yet they create their own power base by stealing our federal money to pay off people to re-elect them back into office.
Nancy Pelosi feels very secure in all of her own back-door dealings and unethical behavior. She knows that no one will dig up dirt on her or sling mud on her either because she has the ‘goods on them’ or other communists in our government will see to it they are discredited (or worse). If anyone tries to expose her communistic ways to the general public, they would forever be silenced in one way, shape or form. Remember, communists’ demand things go their way; they have zero tolerance for anything else. Either they have total power over people, or they are trying to discredit hard working, honest Americans. There is not a person alive who is perfect and just because of our human nature we can say all of us have done things we are not proud of. However, moving America away from being a Free and Sovereign nation, Nancy Pelosi is leading us into servitude and tyrannical control. We are being enslaved by debt, bad policies and guilt for not being compassionate to others.
What we need is a leader; a Republican is who is stronger than the entire communist consortium in our government. We need this person to be someone who can withstand the plethora of dirt that will be thrown at them; someone who can wipe the mud off of themselves and become the LEADER of the greatest country in the world. Who can be that leader? Right now it is emerging as Newt Gingrich. Why do I say this? Well, look at what length the democrats are willing go to discredit him. Nancy Pelosi, one who has NEVER followed the LAW of this land, is willing to break the LAW to expose some dirt on Newt. She is willing to sling mud all over him and to ‘Hell with the consequences.’ She knows with her communists’ buddies already in place in our government, there will NEVER be any consequences. This is par for the course when dealing with communists.
In Summary
So here is what we have to be aware of: The Democrats want ALL of us live in tyranny. They want us to be scared to say or do anything for fear of some retaliation; to NOT be able to express our First Amendment Rights.  They want to subvert America into a Socialistic and Communistic Society where only THEY are in control of every aspect of our lives. They want to do away with consumer demand where we can now choose to buy something or not. They want YOU to believe and feel guilty for not having enough compassion for those people who refuse to work for a living. They will launch scare tactics to make us believe Republicans are evil and dishonest, will deflect any and all responsibility for what they are doing onto other people and other political parties and they will threaten us at every turn.
If we do not stand up, like our parents and grandparents did to these socialistic and communistic parasites, they will drain our life-blood from us and leave us with a stinking hulk that was once The United States of America. Stand up and let your voice be heard; we will NOT tolerate Nancy Pelosi and the socialistic practices they are ramming down our throats!

I don't know if I am a 'member of this blog' or not but I guess I will soon know!
From outside, and by saying that I really disqualify myself, it reads like paranoia to me that you brand Pilosi with any totalitarian label.
In the land of free speech and free elections there seems to be little tolerance for diversity. There are some of the Right one could brand a Nazi but having that philosophy seems less problematical than Democratic Socialism which is how I would describe the philosophies of Obama a far cry from both Nazism and Communism which in our experience were imposed in Germany and the USSR by force not by persuasion via the ballot box.
Here in Oz, there were attempts to ban the Communist Party in McCarthy's paranoid fifties but it failed because wiser heads decided that although their pro-USSR rhetoric was extreme, voters were trusted to see through it and we did, so it was never driven underground where it could have attracted sociopaths as do all 'secret' societies, the discredited KKK included.
So in closing, let me say it is my opinion that we should rejoice in the fact that we welcome opinions from all individuals in our multi-everything societies as a sign that debate is free and healthy and let the good sense of voters decide who they want to represent them.
Newt might make a good president, who knows? But unfortunately, like others before him, potential presidents seem to be judged on their sexual history rather than their administration skills. Or is there something important she knows about him that should disqualify him?
Here I agree that if she has something to say she should spit it out and let it be judged, not undermine his campaign by innuendo.