18th October 2003


At Barvennon we have been shearing, which has curtailed other activities (like writing this diary).  The price of wool seems to have dropped drastically.  Probably the strengthening AU$ is the cause.  (It has now risen about 40% above it's lowest point US$0.50c a couple of years ago).  Our dollar is strengthening because the US has engineered the $US to fall.  With it falls the tied Chinese currency (Yuan) and China is one of our largest wool buyers.  The tying by the Chinese of their currency to the $US is a brave move.  This is because they must maintain parity by purchasing US deposit bonds (e.g. Fanny Maes etc) to stop their own currency from bloating.  This artificial strengthening of the US$ gives a free ride to those US corporations who want to invest in foreign instruments, (which permit enormous profits to be realized as the dollar falls due to those burgeoning investments.)   Liberal journalist economists believe that the US$ fall is due to trade imbalance caused by overspending by the US government.  (My own guess that they are victims of a disinformation initiative by the CIA.  I think that the real cause of the fall is purchases by the US public of cheap Chinese goods, and coupled with massive purchases by US firms of foreign investments).

Bush & Hu plan to address the Australian Parliament in Canberra next Thursday and Friday.  This is an extremely interesting development.  Your diarist will be watching closely for indications.  Hu seems to be a very intelligent leader.  Unfortunately for the Chinese, he is not intelligent enough to understand that he should destroy the political system that exists in China & retire as quickly as possible.  A directed economy will never surpass a libertarian economy.  Science, technology, politics and manufacturing work best in a competitive environment. (look at Israel, Switzerland, maybe California?).  The bottleneck to obtaining a functional liberal democracy is the attitude of the masses.  If they have always been supervised, they have not learned responsiblity in government.  The Swiss have been at it for generations.

Australia's interest rates are predicted (by journalist economists) to rise in the next quarter.  Their reasoning is that the property market is still hot, and that the (secondary) economy seems to be overheating.  An interest rate rise would be bad for export (mostly primary) industries.  Our export industries are what makes us a wealthy, successful economy.  If we wish to keep the price of land low, then we should increase the cost of holding land.  The simplest way to do this is by raising rates.  When rates become high, then the capital cost of land will diminish.  See Henry George.

Gun violence is trending upwards in Sydney.  This trend was predicted by your diarist when gun control laws were enacted.  Our politicians and journalists prefer to give a racist reason for the increased violence.  Their explanation is that Muslims (or arabs?) like to settle arguments outside of established legal systems.

In the weekend Australian there was a report of at least one local Muslim cleric who condemned Jihad on Australian soil.  Unfortunately, the attitude of our politicians and journalists (see above) is undermining his support, strengthening instead local Muslim support for clerics who preach Jihad in Australia,


Back when Gus Dur was overthrown, your diarist foresaw trouble, admittedly not how it would develop.  Now Megawati is having problems with Muslim terrorists, and does not have the moral authority that would have been held by cleric Gus Dur to act strongly against those terrorists.  In the nation that has given the English language the phrase "run amok", the position of the Indonesian army following it's interference in the succession is invidious.

- IRAQ -

Despite the biased reporting of the mostly liberal (read conservative left wing, aka politically correct, aka left wing loonie) press in Australia, hints are beginning to filter through that a large majority of Iraquis welcome the US invasion.  Meanwhile the democrats (liberals) in the US Congress are attempting to have the grants for rebuilding Iraq declared to be "loans".  That is quite short sighted of them, but then again, politicians in democracies are notorious for their lack of sensitivity, maturity, intelligence, rationality, & etc.

It might instead be a good idea to allow Iraq to have a constitution that could declare all loans incurred by a previous criminal dictatorship to be void.