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
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.)
NBN & GOVERNMENT & RUPERT.
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
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.
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.
WIKILEAKS & COPYRIGHT
& HOMELAND SECURITY.
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
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
Homeland Security (or any other US government instrument) controlled
the international www (internet) they would have stopped wikileaks
Homeland security is showing us that they are an innovative department
that can learn the latest homeland censorship techniques from
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.