Piers Akerman – Monday, April 25, 11 (06:54 am)
As the night sky flushed with the Anzac dawn Van Diemen III was on a course to cross the Equator south and west of the “other” Christmas Island.
Miranda Devine – Sunday, April 24, 11 (11:09 pm)
AT a time when Australia’s military is engulfed in cadet sex scandals, political scapegoating, and squabbles over the role of women, the presence of our latest VC winner at the Anzac Cup match at the Sydney Football Stadium should remind us of the respect we owe our frontline troops.
Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 11 (06:44 am)
Chief Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery explains recent Australian political history to a bunch of Canadians:
According to Flannery, whose recollection of events is occasionally flawed, things went like this:
We had our own version of Stephen Harper running Australia. He was John Howard. Primarily because of the climate change issue, along with some workplace reform issues, he lost government and lost his own seat in an election in 2007.
We had a more left-leaning government come to power. Kevin Rudd was the Prime Minister … but it became very difficult for the Prime Minister to push forward a price on carbon in Australia, a carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme.
In the middle of last year he announced he was going to defer that – and the Australian public wouldn’t stand for it. They wanted action. And so his popularity plummeted, the party realised it was in danger, they deposed him and put another person in as Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
She went to an election last October with a promise to set up a climate commission to engage Australians on the issue …
The election was held in August, not October. Gillard didn’t promise to set up a climate commission; she promised acitizens’ assembly composed of random people selected from census data (also, the idea was dropped after the election). And Flannery completely forgets this:
Luckily, Flannery’s Canadian interviewer remembers, although he’s also an idiot:
Now, she campaigned against a carbon tax and eventually changed her mind because she sensed the population wanted it. I mean, what’s going on in Australia?
Why would you ask Flannery? Anyway, Professor Panasonic replies:
There is a very strong feeling that we need to address this issue … there is just a very strong public feeling.
The strong feeling is massively against a carbon tax. Flannery lives in a fantasy world. (Incidentally, Flannery claims in his Canadian interview that “a solid 40 per cent” of Australians support action on climate. But only a couple of months earlier, Flannery told the BBC that 60 per cent were supportive. Those town hall meetings are working a treat.)
Further from Flannery, in another Canadian chat:
For governments, their word is their bond. Trust is the only commodity they trade in—both with the voter and with other governments around the world. If you don’t have trust, if your word is not your bond, then you become a laughing stock or an untrustworthy partner. And that is immensely damaging for countries. It is sort of really sad … I just don’t think any country can afford to do that.
One more reminder:
Flannery now earns $180,000 per year to promote the Gillard government’s carbon tax policy. Word is bo
Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 11 (04:51 am)
Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 11 (04:05 am)
• A fine piece on Christopher Hitchens by Martin Amis.
• Sunset for solar:
Companies that install rooftop solar panels have warned the federal government the industry is on the verge of collapse …
• David Thompson decodes England’s delightful anarchist scamps: “Nice shop you’ve got there. Shame if anything were to happen to it.”
• It’s open season on Russian poley bears.
• Oh noes! The right-wing media celebrated Earth Day by mocking conservation!
• The Large Hadron Collider is rumoured to have found the Higgs boson. Next: the Large Hadron Collider eats the Higgs boson.
• Certain movies that were expected to fail are doing quite well.
• As for a certain President who was expected to succeed …
Americans are more pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook and overall direction than they have been at any time since President Obama’s first two months in office,
Leftoids are especially pessimistic. To cheer everybody up, Marines sing Britney:
Tim Blair – Monday, April 25, 11 (03:19 am)
“What the hell went wrong?” wonders The New Republic‘s Bradford Plummer:
For months now, environmentalists have been asking themselves that question, and it’s easy to see why. After Barack Obama vaulted into the White House in 2008, it really did look like the United States was, at long last, going to do something about global warming. Scientists were united on the causes and perils of climate change. Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth had stoked public concern …
Instead, the climate push was … a total flop.
Well, not total. They did have that stunning triumph with the crappy new light bulbs.
So now greens are in the post-mortem stage, and, not shockingly, it’s a sensitive subject. On Tuesday, Matthew Nisbet, a communications professor at American University, released a hefty 84-page report
trying to figure out why climate activism flopped so miserably in the past few years. Nisbet’s report is already causing controversy: Among other things, he argues that, contrary to popular belief, greensweren’t badly outspent by industry groups and that media coverage of climate science wasn’t really a problem. And he raises questions about whether greens have been backing the wrong policy measures all along. Is he right? Have environmentalists been fundamentally misguided all this while? Or were they just unlucky?
It’s unlucky to be stupid.
Tim Blair – Sunday, April 24, 11 (11:13 pm)
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (10:22 am)
I’m not really convinced of the wisdom of settling African refugees here. Just holding a Sudanese beauty pageant seems - year after year - to lead to people being stabbed. For instance, this weekend in Melbourne:
More than 1000 members of Melbourne’s Sudanese community had gathered at a public hall in Clayton last
night to celebrate the Miss South Sudan Beauty Pageant Australia, held the previous day in Springvale....
Police arrived at the scene to find a large group of people fighting in the street.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said officers were pelted with bottles and were forced to retreat and call for back-up.
It took 12 police units and three dog-squad units two hours to bring the violence under control.
A Sudanese community leader says a disagreement over the price of entry to a beauty contest may have sparked a mass brawl in Adelaide’s city streets.
Four people were stabbed and four were charged over a brawl off Rundle Street, involving about 100 members of the African community.
A YOUNG man was stabbed in the back after a brawl at a party involving 700 people in Keysborough early yesterday.
The 20-year-old Mulgrave man was taken to The Alfred hospital in a critical condition and later underwent surgery… It is believed the gathering was a party following a Sudanese community beauty pageant in Dandenong.
Nor is the violence confined to beauty pageants. Here are just some news reports over the past month.
TWO teenage boys were wounded with a machete while a third was beaten unconscious with a blunt object in a vicious attack in Darwin’s northern suburbs.
Residents of the quiet Wulagi street said a group of boys wearing hoods beat a boy unconscious with a blunt object before taking him away in a car. The attackers were described as being of African appearance.
AN elderly motorist escaped unharmed after his moving vehicle was pelted with rocks on Friday afternoon. The 71-year-old was travelling along Marcia Cres in Toongabbie when his vehicle was struck several times by a number of rocks, about midday…
The driver reported seeing three males aged 13 to 14 of African appearance.
A MARDEN woman has been indecently assaulted by a man who helped her carry home her groceries… Police described the suspect as of African appearance, 20 to 30 years old, 178cm tall, black skin, dreadlock hair, with prominent front teeth.
Detectives from Eastern Adelaide CIB are investigating a sexual assault that is alleged to have occurred in a toilet of a city nightclub, in Hindley Street, Adelaide… It is alleged that a 24-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a male described as being of African appearance, dark complexion, 160cm tall, slim build with short black hair.
THREE armed men terrorised two staff members in a brazen attack at a fast food restaurant in Shepparton last night.
It is believed the three men were armed with a baseball bat and knife when they confronted the Subway staffers about 9.28pm…
Police are looking for three men described to them as of African appearance.
A MAN was stabbed in the head during an altercation with two other men at Ascot Vale last night.
Police are seeking witnesses to the assault, which occurred while the victim was walking through a residential car park on Churchill Avenue about 6.40pm… The two attackers are believed to be of African appearance and in their late teens.
Two men were assaulted with a baseball bat in Dandenong last Friday. About 12.30am, the Dandenong men, aged 26 and 25, were walking along King Street towards Stud Road after a trip to the supermarket. They were approached by four males, one of whom struck the 25 year old man across the head with a baseball bat. He and his 26-year-old companion attempted to flee, but the 26-year-old man fell and hurt his arm. As he lay on the ground, the man armed with a baseball bat struck him across the head…
A short time later, witnesses saw a grey Toyota Yaris with four men on board drive to the spot where the men were assaulted and steal items from the dropped grocery bags.
Three of the four offenders are believed to be of Asian appearance. The man armed with the baseball bat is of African appearance and was wearing a balaclava.
Two men were stabbed in a brawl between two groups of men in Melbourne’s southeast early today.
Police said a group of 15 men, aged in their late teens and early 20s, was walking home from a party in Springvale Road, Springvale when an argument erupted with a second group of similar size about 1.30am.
Investigators said the second group of men were carrying knives and set upon the party-goers leaving two men with serious stab wounds… Police said the aggressors were of African appearance.
POLICE are seeking witnesses to an unprovoked stabbing in Footscray overnight.
A 24-year-old man was walking in Irving St about 7.50pm when another man called out to him to get his attention. The victim approached the second man who lunged at him and stabbed him in the shoulder with a knife.
The victim turned to flee and he was stabbed again in the back.... His attacker is described as aged in his late-20s, of African appearance, with short black hair.
A 19-year-old man is recovering in The Canberra Hospital after being stabbed in the abdomen early this morning…
About 1.45am the victim and his 18-year-old friend were walking along Cohen Street in Belconnen when they noticed a man following them.
The man became aggressive and began yelling at them when they tried to engage him in conversation. The victim and his friend have backed away when the man has rushed at the 19-year-old and an altercation has ensued. The friend has intervened and was stabbed in the arm… The victim realised shortly after that he had been stabbed in the stomach…
The offender is described as being African in appearance...
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship in 2007 described the Sudanese refugees - of which we had already brought in more than 20,000. Read these extracts and wonder at the irresponsibility of our governments in thinking people from such a vastly different and troubled culture cou;d fit in without undue trouble:
Australia has assisted in resettling some of the Sudanese who cannot be repatriated. While they are a diverse people with a wide range of experiences, many have spent a long period of time in refugee camps immediately before coming to Australia. The following section describes Kakuma camp in Kenya. Settlers who have spent time in other camps are likely to have experienced similar conditions…
Kakuma refugee camp was established in 1992 to receive a large group of Sudanese children known as the ‘lost boys’… The camp’s population varies but it is generally home to more than 80 000 people, the majority of them Sudanese. The 25 square kilometre camp lies in an arid region with barely enough resources to provide subsistence for the local population… There is frequent violence in the camp. Regular clashes occur among residents, many of them armed, and between camp residents and the local population with whom residents compete for scarce resources. Sexual assault is common.
Like other refugees, many Kakuma residents have spent years living in camps. They have had limited opportunity to grow crops, work, or otherwise provide for themselves. They have lived in fear of violence from other camp residents and from raiders preying upon them both inside and outside the camps. Children may have been born in the camps and be unfamiliar with any other lifestyle…
Sudanese entrants may face considerable challenges in adapting to life in Australia. They need time to adapt to a new location, language and cultural framework. Their everyday life skills may have been extensively eroded by their experiences in refugee camps…
It is highly likely that entrants from Sudan will require assistance to gain training, work experience and employment… However, many camp residents are unskilled, especially long term residents. Those who do have formal qualifications may find that their qualifications are not recognised in Australia.
Some children may be unfamiliar with formal schooling as a result of living in camps where there is little or no structure to day-to-day living. Moving into a highly structured environment such as a classroom may require assistance. Many parents will be unfamiliar with the Australian schooling system and will require encouragement to engage with schools and teachers. Illiteracy is common, particularly among women from rural areas. Those who are literate may not be familiar with the Roman alphabet as Arabic has been increasingly used in schools. Most Sudanese entrants have limited English language skills and will require interpreting services and English instruction.
Has the desire to seem nice once more overwhelmed the responsibility to be wise? How smart was it to offer such people a home in Australia, so remote in so many ways? How fair was it to do so, given how this would affect Australians themselves? Would it have not been more effective help to work harder to provide safe havens and support in their homeland? Have we offered anywhere enough of the support such people would need to settle in without harm to themselves or their new neighbours?
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (10:14 am)
Tim Flannery really does think Julia Gillard was elected for promising to Do Something about global warming. What universe does the Climate Commisioner inhabit?
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (07:10 am)
Paul Sheehan explains why Julia Gillard’s proposed carbon dioxide tax is mad and illegitimate:
1. There is no mandate for the carbon tax. It was expressly singled out by Gillard during the last election as a no-go, which helped save her government.
2. The tax will have almost zero effect on global carbon dioxide emissions.
3. It is a tax on everything, as higher energy costs flow through the economy.
4. It is regressive, harming households and small businesses on tight budgets.
5. It is a massive exercise in tax churning.
6. It does not address the structural inefficiencies in the energy sector.
7. It is a prelude to a emissions trading scheme, a derivatives market.
8. Large-scale carbon trading is inherently vulnerable to fraud, manipulation and speculation, as seen in Europe.
9. It will introduce a new layer of complexity to the economy.
10. It ignores significant energy savings possible without a punitive tax.
11. The federal government has an abysmal record in delivering large-scale interventions.
12. Australia contributes about 1.5 per cent of global carbon emissions and any local measures will be irrelevant without a global carbon tax regime.
13. It will not introduce certainty to energy pricing as promised.
14. Solar and wind power generation are prohibitively expensive and cannot meet baseload power needs.
15. The tax represents a massive transfer of wealth and power to the bureaucratic class which benefits most from a new labyrinth of compliance and compulsion.
Retail tycoon Gerry Harvey understands the folly of making people pay more for nothing:
Mr Harvey, the founder and executive chairman of furniture, electrical and bedding company Harvey Norman, said the tax would be an added strain on business that would leave Australia with a moral victory but also in the poorhouse.
‘’The bloke overseas is not doing it. Whether it’s right or wrong to have a carbon tax is one issue but whether it’s possible is another issue.
‘’How can you do it? I’d love to be able to do it, but even if I do it it makes 1 per cent of 1 per cent difference to the world. Why am I doing this? Oh, because it’s a good example to the rest of the world, oh, but then I go broke in the meantime.’’…
He said the lack of similar action by other countries made the carbon tax all the more unworkable, with the average Australian growing uneasy with the policy.
‘’Can you explain the logic of that to anyone that’s a human being?’’
Mr Harvey also questioned the ability of future governments to compensate households properly for the increase to the cost of living caused by a carbon tax.
‘’The problem is the government will go in and compensate lower-income and middle-income [households] - but that’s today: what about the year after and year after? Does anyone think that compensation will go on for ever and ever?’’
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (06:47 am)
Remember how a pack of senior Canberra press gallery reporters simultaneously decided Tony Abbott was not a good Opposition Leader. and condemned him in almost identical language?
I won’t rehash the many examples from the past election campaign, during which Abbott was routinely portrayed as a clown who couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth unless he’d written it down—only to astonish almost every commentator by very nearly snatching a win from way back.
Fast forward to just a month ago, when, almost simultaneously, a troupe of senior political correspondent decided that Abbott, who’d understandably opposed the Government’s flood levy, had a say-no-to-everything style.
(Er, but what should he have not opposed? The Government’s disastrous “carbon tax”? Its pie-in-the-sky detention centre in East Timor? Its $37 billion bet on fixed-line broadband?)
What’s more, the collective concluded this style wasn’t working and Abbott’s leadership could even be in trouble.
Laurie Oakes in the Herald Sun declared “Abbott was revealed as a one-trick pony” while Julia Gillard had begun to “look like a prime minister”.
Michael Gordon in The Age agreed that Abbott fitted the “negative stereotype of a one-trick pony”, and Peter Hartcher in The Sydney Morning Herald warned him this was not the time “for angry oppositionism”.
Michelle Grattan in The Age called Abbott the “oppositioniust par excellence”, while Dennis Atkins in the Courier Mail said “some Coalition MPs worry about Abbott’s ‘just say no’ political bulldozer”.
Odd thing is, but Abbott’s opponents actually think he’s formidable.
A senior Labor figure told me “he hasn’t put a foot wrong”. And federal frontbencher Mark Arbib says he’s a model for NSW Labor:
‘’In terms of where to now, they’ve [NSW Labor] just got to focus to get back on the basics, be unified, and also hold Barry O’Farrell to account,’’ Senator Arbib told Sky News. ‘’That’s the key of good opposition. I think Tony Abbott has provided a decent model for John Robertson to follow - keep it simple.’’
Andrew Wilkie also rates him:
The office of Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie has confirmed he said Opposition Leader Tony Abbott would make a good Prime Minister.
Or just look at the polls to see where the Opposition now is under Abbott.
So why did the journalists dismiss him so quickly, unaminously and simultaneously?
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (06:37 am)
Amazingly, despite the devastation of the site, there have been no radiation-related deaths at Fukushima so far, and only two workers have been hospitalised as a precaution.
The only people to have perished at Fukushima were a man who became trapped in the console of a crane during the earthquake and two who were swept away by the tsunami. The entire toll from the earthquake, remember, is estimated at about 25,000.
While it is not yet over, and radioactivity continues to come out of the devastated plant, the good news is that there are still precisely zero deaths attributable to the release of radiation at the plant, and on the basis of doses received, zero are expected.
No effects on health or significant contamination cases have been identified among the general public evacuated from the area, despite the fact the accident has devastated the plant, and involved fires, explosions, and releases of radioactivity. If there is a single lesson from Chernobyl for the Japanese, it’s that in the years to come misinformation is likely to be more dangerous than radiation. To this end, there is nothing harmless about anti-nuclear activists.
Why did an emergency resulting in zero deaths trigger such a colossal wave of fear-mongering in the media?
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (06:17 am)
Remember how Julia Gillard last month tried to pretend we wouldn’t be alone in clashing our emissions because China was cutting its reliance on “dirty” coal?
You know, China [is] closing down a dirty coal-fired power generation facility at the rate of one every one or two weeks. Putting up a wind turbine at the rate of one every hour. They set their own targets by 2020 of reducing carbon pollution by 40 to 45 per cent per unit of GDP
Gillard, now flogging our exports to China, puts the lie to her own misleading impression:
JULIA Gillard believes Asian demand for Australian coal and liquefied natural gas will remain so strong in coming years that her proposed carbon tax will not cost mining industry jobs as energy exports continue to rise.
The Prime Minister has also predicted that the strength of demand means Australian mining will continue to prosper while the nation diversifies its own energy use, creating jobs in renewable energy industries in a win-win for employment…
Which means China will use more coal than ever for cheap power, while Gillard clobbers us with a tax to drive us onto more expensive forms of power generation that will make our own economy more uncompetitive.
This utterly pointless and suicidal policy is bad enough on its own. The lies Gillard tells to sell it tell you tell of a bad conscience and just deepen the shame.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (12:04 am)
It’s hiring young geeks that gets a huge company with even huger responsibilities saying something so dangerously stupid:
Facebook could block content in some countries, a Washington lobbyist for the company has said, adding that it has faced uncomfortable positions over ”too much, maybe, free speech”.
The comments come amid increasing speculation that the company plans to enter the Chinese market, probably in collaboration with a local partner.
“Maybe we will block content in some countries, but not others,” Adam Conner told the Wall Street Journal."We are occasionally held in uncomfortable positions because now we’re allowing too much, maybe, free speech in countries that haven’t experienced it before.”
Asked whether Facebook stood by the remarks, a spokeswoman confirmed Conner, 25, worked for the company but said she could not offer further comment.
I don’t think enough people realise that someone aged 25 can be book smart but exceedingly stupid in the ways of the world. Yet not know it.
Andrew Bolt – Monday, April 25, 11 (12:03 am)
Gillard is right. As Prime Minister, she represents us all, and the Queen is still the Head of State of us all:
Dismissing UK media criticism of her planned attendance, the Prime Minister said in Korea this morning that while she was a republican, she represented all Australians and believed it was appropriate that she accept the invitation to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.
A terrific woman as Queen, a fine young grandson alive to his duty - what’s not to like about an insitution that has worked so well?
SUPPORT for an Australian republic is at its lowest level since the mid-1990s… With renewed interest in the monarchy as Friday’s royal wedding approaches, a special Newspoll puts support for a republic at just 41 per cent, with only 25 per cent strongly in favour.
According to the poll, conducted exclusively for The Australian this month, overall support for a republic is now 10 points below a pre-referendum peak of 51 per cent, and at its lowest for 17 years since hitting 39 per cent in March 1994. The latest poll reveals 39 per cent of Australians are against a republic, while one in five have no opinion either way.
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, April 24, 11 (08:03 pm)
It may do no major good, but blogging can be a therapeutic cleanser amid such a storm of crap.
And already the billabong resounds to the therapeutic sounds of cleansing, involving shovelfuls of matters involving Arlene Composta, The Age’s cone of silence, Robyn “100 metres” Williams’ odd choice of guest, Leslie Cannold and a matter of free speech I’m not free to speak about. Go visit for a splash.
(Via Tim Blair.)
Andrew Bolt – Sunday, April 24, 11 (03:01 pm)
Is this right? Can we really be this insane that bribe asylum seekers to take up our kind offer of sport? To do their duty to this new asylum and learn its language?
Detainees in Australia, including those in WA, are entitled to claim battery-operated grooming gadgets, cigarettes, phone cards, snacks and confectionery by using reward points earned while playing soccer, volleyball and table tennis, and attending English and art lessons.
If bribes are necessary to get asylum seekers to show a willingness to join in at a time when they most need to impress, then I suspect that joining in will never be high on the agenda of our wanna-be new neighbours.
No wonder, with such goodies on offer, that two more boats have been “intercepted” in just two days:
... a boat with 80 asylum seekers on board was able to make it to the small Indian Ocean territory of Cocos Island.
The boat is one of two detected in the area in the last 48 hours.
The other one was intercepted north-west of Christmas Island yesterday morning.
Meanwhile, the protests by detainees widen as the Gillard Government gives up all pretence of control over this farce:
The Immigration Department says it cannot confirm whether asylum seekers are on a hunger strike at the Curtin detention centre in Western Australia’s north, insisting it is a ‘’peaceful protest’’.
The department’s comments followed a claim by refugee advocate Ian Rintoul that a hunger strike and sit-in involving about 300 detainees had begun on Saturday morning.
(Thanks to readers Gary and Linda.)