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Lost in an Australian podcast where currency decays, cathedrals are built, and London women are an inch taller

Karl Fitzgerald: A monoculture of money, I haven’t really heard that.

Deirdre Kent: Yes, well, let’s look at two civilizations. Let’s look at the period in Europe between 1040 and 1290 where there were two currencies in every area. The lord of the land issued the currency for the land. He also owned the land. So there was a currency that he’d issued here but there was also a trading currency of gold. So we had gold as one currency for trading and a local currency within that fiefdom or that area that the lord or the baron, in all European areas. But the currency was a currency which was a decaying currency. Every now and then he would re-mint the currency, and you brought in five of your coins and only got four in return. So that meant people spent and the currency flowed because they had to spend it; it was going to be worth less. It’s like inflation, but it affects everybody, and it affects those who hoard, so it’s a tax on those who hoard the currency. And Bernard Lietaer has developed in his books a lot of the story of how important it was to have a decaying currency as well as the gold, and that that was responsible for the building of all the cathedrals, for maintenance of equipment during this period, the maintenance of everything like waterwheels and wine presses, and the poor people were relatively well off and they were well fed, and he says that the women of London were actually an inch taller than they are today. I think that’s right, but certainly they were so well nourished, four meals a day was common.

Transcript below the fold. Read more about Lost in an Australian podcast where currency decays, cathedrals are built, and London women are an inch taller

Australian David Hicks: Survivor of Gitmo’s Sadistic Abuse

Richard Phillips in “David Hicks seeks to overturn Guantánamo “terrorism” conviction” reveals that former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Australian citizen David Hicks has lodged an appeal with the US Court of Military Commission Review to overturn his 2007 conviction of “providing support for terrorism.” It is expected that the commission will NOT quash Hicks’ conviction. His American lawyer from the Center for Constitutional Rights will then appeal the case to the US federal district court. Read more about Australian David Hicks: Survivor of Gitmo’s Sadistic Abuse

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Emergent parties make major gains down under

Minor parties are the big election story

The big story of the night was the impact of minor parties, led by the Palmer United Party claiming 5.67 per cent of the national primary vote and a double digit primary figure in Queensland.

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The Manning Cage, Melbourne Australia, June 1, 2013

YouTube posted by akaWACA, June 1, 2013

screenshot transcript below fold Read more about The Manning Cage, Melbourne Australia, June 1, 2013

Being Julian Assange

Chris Hedges calls out the “vast subterranean network of governmental and intelligence agencies from around the world dedicated to destroying Wikileaks and arresting its founder, Julian Assange.”

According to Hedges, on Hans Crescent Street in London is a red-brick building housing the Ecuadorean Embassy and in some of its rooms lives the “world’s best-known political refugee.”

Julian Assange was offered sanctuary there beginning last June. Read more about Being Julian Assange

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Beowulf: Notes on the Miniwage

Marshall Auerback recently posted in support of raising the minimum wage, joining Jamie Galbraith in advocating for it. This caused some disagreement among bloggers sympathetic to Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). Read more about Beowulf: Notes on the Miniwage

Obama 'Quixote' with 'Sancho' Australia Tilts at China!

According to Michael Klare, Obama has now launched a “military-first” policy in Asia. Or what any sane person would call it, a LOSE/LOSE policy. During his Nov. 19, 2011 visit to Australia, in Canberra Obama declared:

"After a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly, the United States is turning our attention to the vast potential of the Asia-Pacific region."

Klare paints the realpolitik, large, geo-political picture: Read more about Obama 'Quixote' with 'Sancho' Australia Tilts at China!

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Plantidote of the Day 2011-07-28

spear lily

Doryanthes palmeri

Spear lily

What you're seeing in the photo above is a small portion of the spear lily flower. The plant itself is enormous, well over 6 feet tall and probably just as wide. The blossom is the size of a king-size bed pillow, so large and heavy that it needed a special support thingy built to hold it up. Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-07-28

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Plantidote of the Day 2011-03-29


Mystery plant

This is one I actually know (for a change!), but since it looks like something from outer space, it seemed like a good candidate for a mystery plant.

A few clues: loves sun, doesn't require much water, originated in Australia and the name consists of two words. The foliage in the photo does not quite match descriptions of this plant on the internet. According to those sources, the leaves should be fuzzy and grayish green. Ready? Name that plant!

------------------------------------------ Read more about Plantidote of the Day 2011-03-29

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What If the US Didn't Join the Race to the Bottom?


Deficit terrorism has lately turned to deficit hysteria. With Germany leading the way, most Eurozone countries appear ready to implement austerity programs. The United Kingdom, under its new Conservative/Liberal overlords, appears to be taken with austerity too. And Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have all jumped on the bandwagon. But it doesn't look like this bandwagon will include Brazil and Argentina. They've had their fill of austerity, and the prescriptions of the IMF, and they're not taking on neo-liberal ideology again any time soon. Read more about What If the US Didn't Join the Race to the Bottom?

Ponies for everybody!

The ponies can be found at the show, along with the dogs. And the chickenhawks. And the weasels.

Why is it that when the Republicans fight a real war, they turn it into a total Clusterfuck, yet when they fight a propaganda war, they absolutely excel?

Is it the Cheetohs diet?

The wierd sex?

What? Read more about Ponies for everybody!

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