ARCHIVES 1997-2007  --- ARCHIVES 2007 +



Currency wars are looming.  The battle pieces are in place.  For the rest of the world, the narrative is that the USA must stop what it calls "Quantitative Easing".

The narrative of the USA is that China is fixing exchange rates artificially low against the $US.  And they can do that unendingly, because the Chinese keep their currency low by investing their surplus in US bonds.  The Germans benefit from the common currency because the unions in the PIGS keep demanding higher wages. 

Seoul is a potential turning point.  The simplest solution, and I do not know if it is legally possible, is for the US to begin to pay negative interest on government bonds.  So when an investor buys a US bond for $1,000,000 that bond will lose value of (say) $5,000 a month.  Such a solution would have the same result on an investment as would inflation, but without the unpleasant side effects on the national economy.

The North Koreans are rattling their missiles again.  I am not concerned.  I have my own conspiracy theory.

A dictatorship is one of the stablest forms of government, but easy to conquer.  Machiavelli distinguishes between dictatorship and democracy which is highly unstable, but difficult to take over because internal guerrilla movements will arise.

So we have an unholy marriage of convenience.  The CIA gets to justify it's hegomonistic advice, the North Korean government gets to keep it's populace in control by reason of the external threat, the Chinese retain an important buffer.

It would not surprise me in the slightest if Kim telephoned a contact in the CIA and gave prior warning of the minisub and the shelling incidents.  (I mean, a few dead civilians or soldiers do not matter, but if he had injured anyone important, like the family of someone with real power, then there would have been real consequences for North Korea.)


While my conspiracy hat is in place, lets consider the considerable excitement about the NBN.

The National Broadband Network is a government project to connect about 90% of Australian homes to a 100 MB fibre network.  The first estimate was $43 billion, this has subsequently been revised to around $37 billion, which does not count the purchase for $11 billion of the Telstra copper network, thus creating a monopoly and eliminating an important competitor who could have undercut the NBN by about 80% for about 60% of the market at about 20% of the 100 MB speed.  Of course that speed is an illusion.  Oldtimers like me will remember when advertised 28.2 KB/s actually was more often about 5 KB/s.  Likewise 100 MB/s is only going to be about 1 MB/s on the internet, unless the government invests many more $Billions into undersea cable upgrades.  I do not deny that Madge in Kalgoorlie will be able to talk and watch grandson Tommy in Hopeville saying "Goo goo" in full colour on a 1.5 meter screen on a full 100 MB/s broadband connection.

Now the players.

First to Murdoch.  What would be his interest in the NBN?   The elephant in the room is FOXTEL.  What do you think the NBN would do to the profitability of existing fibre networks?  It is not likely to make them more profitable.  And Murdoch and the current leadership of the ALP are implacable enemies.

Next look at the actual case for NBN.  It is totally wrong.  There is absolutely no financial or technical justification for Australia.  All up cost exceeds $48 billion, and if we divide that by the number of households in Australia (say 10 million?) we get an average cost per household of $4,800.    So essentially, it is costing each family about $5,000 to upgrade from their present connection to a 100 MB connection. 
  If further evidence were needed of the lack of economic viability, consider the government's hysterical refusal to release any documents relating to the financial viability of the NBN

Then the Coalition.  Malcolm is very much on the financial ball.  He knew before Rudd that the bank guarantee in 2008 should have been $100,000 per account.  And as a founder of Ozemail, I credit him with a basic understanding of the economics of the internet.  He knows

So we have an unholy alliance of independents and Julia determined to destroy Murdoch in Australia.


As a libertarian I am totally against governments having secrets of any kind whatsoever.  As such I view wikileaks as the best media thing since Matt Drudge.  The greatest danger is that Conroy et al will manage to get a censorship wall up.  I notice that the Australian government has been exposed by wikileaks most recent offering.   Would anybody like to give me any odds whatsoever that wikileaks would be one of the first sites blocked?  As a matter of interest, has anybody got a book on how long the founder of wikileaks is expected to be both alive and at liberty?

I am indebted to Drudge for drawing my attention to the following image.  It is visible on several sites (listed here)

since when is copyright a department of homeland security issue?

It was never my understanding that Homeland Security should get involved in prevention of copyright breaches.  I thought homeland security was for preventing terrorist attacks.

I read this as another desperate ploy by the Porsche driving executives of the big copyright corporations to stop copyright theft.  Although it makes powerful copy, it is unlikely to have much effect.  The sites that are blocked are in the USA and will soon restart, possibly under another domain name and from offshore.  The DNS system is controlled by ICANN and is an international organization located in about ten primary DNS servers  around the world.  Only US domains would be under the control of homeland security.

If Homeland Security (or any other US government instrument) controlled the international www (internet) they would have stopped wikileaks already.

Homeland security is showing us that they are an innovative department that can learn the latest homeland censorship techniques from China.  I wonder how the copyright industry got them onside?


In the US they have introduced scanning technology that reportedly sees through clothes so that the scanned person is seen naked.  For those who fear such exposure, and the possibility that the images could be saved, there is a "pat down" (feeldown?) body search.  The puritanical gene is at full blast.

My suggestion is that airlines should offer "no scan no patdown" flights.  The pilots might need danger money, and the insurance companies would undoubtedly raise the premiums, but hey, who cares about risk where privacy is concerned?


In Australia we don't mind telling overseas police about Australian drug runners who will thereby get the death sentence.  But pity help we should allow a US citizen to be deported if the US might execute him.  Mick Kelty should be jailed for life.

And how could a Queensland court allow a dive instructor to plead that he panicked when his wife's air became disconnected?  And ignore the huge policy on her life?

November 10:  After hearing further details I am no longer sure that Australian courts were wrong.  Apparently that "dive instructor" was an 8 hour course attended over 2 years ago.  And the insurance was not for a large amount, only taken out because of a persuasive salesman.  Well we will see what we will see.


After four weeks I still have not heard from Vaustralia.  In a few more weeks I will start looking into the possible methods of complaining to government.

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