Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Deflationary dangers and other news and views for Tuesday 21 January

From this morning’s Australian papers.
  • Tony Abbott’s audit commissioner accused of conflict of interest over pay TV advocacy - Sydney Morning Herald
  • Welfare must be reined in, says Kevin Andrews – “The nation’s welfare system is “unsustainable” and large, urgent changes must be made to the disability pension and the general unemployment benefit, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has warned. A 10-year report by the Department of Human Services shows that more than five million Australians received an income support payment in June 2012 – more than one in five Australians – with Disability Support Pension recipients hitting 827,000, while 550,000 people were on Newstart Allowance.” The Australian
  • Abbott’s first poll test - “If Glasson does not win Griffith narrowly, or come within 1 per cent of victory, Abbott can consider himself on the outer with Queensland voters for the time being. And if we still don’t like you up here in 2016 Tony, you’ve had it.” The Australian
  • Mates rate when it comes to court jobs - “Attorney-General Greg Smith is at the centre of a new O’Farrell government “jobs for the boys” affair after handing a $288,000-a-year magistrate’s job to the president of his local Liberal Party branch. Solicitor Michael O’Brien joined the Epping branch of the Liberal Party in March, 2012 ,and was president of the branch with Mr Smith’s backing for eight months before last week resigning from the party at the time of his appointment to the bench. Mr O’Brien is understood to be personal friends with Mr Smith.” Sydney Telegraph
  • Abbott’s political agenda backfires on Nauru - “The island’s instability has left asylum seekers exposed. It’s time to bring them home.” - Melbourne Age
Some links to other things I’ve found interesting today
20-01-2014 mountain
  • Climate change’s new menace: mountain tsunamis - “Last summer more than 6,000 died after glacial melt cascaded through valleys in northern India. Scientists expect such disasters to become more common.”
  • There’s a Gene for That – “History is littered with horrifying examples of the misuse of evolutionary theory to justify power and inequality. Welcome to a new age of biological determinism. If you want to understand why humans wage wars, there is a gene for that. Want to understand why men rape women? There is a gene for that. Want to understand why the “national characters” of East Asia, the West, and Africa are different? We have those genes covered too. Indeed, if we are to believe most popular media, there is a gene for just about every inequality and inequity in modern society. Genetic determinism, and its uglier cousin social Darwinism, are making a comeback. Armed with large genomic datasets and an arsenal of statistical techniques, a small but vocal band of scientists are determined to hunt down the genetic basis of all we are and all we do.”
20-01-2014 fallingprices
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