Tim Blair – Thursday, April 28, 11 (12:27 pm)
According to Canberra rumours, a certain former Prime Minister employed in the diplomatic field now refers to The Lodge as “Boganville”. Perhaps he might like to forward this job opportunity …
Tim Blair – Thursday, April 28, 11 (12:26 pm)
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is quietly bringing back rifles, shotguns and ammunition to hundreds of U.S. stores as the hurting retail giant seeks to reinvigorate its one-stop shopping appeal and attract more male customers.
The world’s largest retailer stopped selling hunting rifles and bullets at all but a third of its U.S. stores five years ago, citing diminishing sales. It is now restoring them to hundreds of locations, bringing the total to nearly half of its more than 3,600 U.S. namesake stores …
Imagine all the profits they avoided during the great firearms surge of 2008.
Tim Blair – Thursday, April 28, 11 (05:15 am)
When Tim Flannery and his team of carbon tax superheroes appeared in Geelong, Victoria, they wore conservative suits.
For their second appearance, at Ipswich, Queensland, the paid tax-pushers went relaxed and casual.
This evening the team speaks at the Panthers Sports Club in Port Macquarie, NSW. What manner of clothing might they wear this time, as they pander to the perceived fashion standards of their local audience? Perhaps Flannery will appear in this stylish garment, which proudly promotes two of his major sponsors:
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (07:03 am)
So was Barack Obama too slow or actually cunning in delaying the release of the birth certificate proving he really was born in the United States?
THE White House released a long-form copy of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate overnight in a bid to put to stop an issue that has captivated some of his political opponents.
White House aides showed reporters a copy of the official document, and it was also posted on the official White House website.
The President also scheduled a live statement on the issue in the White House briefing room.
“The President believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn’t good for the country,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote in a post on the official White House blog.
By waiting this long, Obama has fed the movement to delegitimise him. On the other hand, he’s lured conspiracists such as potential Republican candidate Donald Trump so far out that he’s now destroyed their credibility.
I’m leaning towards the delay being clever.
A lot more discussion over at Instapundit - is it a fake? now release the college records! - where Glenn Reynolds argues that Obama waited too long to do himself good.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (06:31 am)
Victoria’s new police leadership seems less shy about releasing data linking crime to birthplace, thus identifying problems that need fixing:
SUDANESE-born Victorians are the most violent ethnic group in the state, police figures show. More than 330 Sudanese immigrants and visitors were accused of assault in Victoria in 2009-10, according to police records…
The figures come as police investigate violent clashes between Sudanese community members after a national Sudanese beauty pageant on Saturday…
There were 693 assaults by foreign-born residents in Dandenong—114 by Sudanese-born people—compared with 702 in the City of Melbourne and 444 in the City of Casey.
What is disgraceful is that this data should come as a shock to even Sudanese community leaders, who claim the police used to tell them another story:
Sudanese community leader Saturnino Onyala said the data seemed at odds with police assurances their young people were involved in fewer assaults than other groups.
Here is a possible example from four years ago of this peddling of deceptive assurances:
Just before (the 2007) federal election, (Chief Commissioner Christine) Nixon embarrassed the Howard government’s immigration minister, Kevin Andrews, by contradicting his warnings that the crime rates among Somali and Sudanese refugees were high.
Not so, said Nixon: ”Those Sudanese refugees are actually under-represented in the crime statistics.”
She was silent on the crime rate among Somalis, but repeated: “The young Sudanese who actually come into custody or dealt with us, only really make up about 1 per cent of the people we deal with . . . (W)hat we’re actually seeing is that they’re not, in a sense, represented more than the proportion of them in the population.”
I wrote here on Wednesday how police and census figures showed Nixon had said something untrue - and had helped to (unfairly) damn Andrews as racist.
The crime rate among these refugees was in fact anywhere between four and eight times higher than that for the rest of us, despite VicPol’s apparent attempts to have fewer Africans charged or prosecuted.
Did hiding the truth help or hurt? And what’s Nixon’s excuse now for misleading us - and quite probably the Sudanese?
The rise in overall street violence in Victoria, is unmistakable and dramatic:
That is a huge rise in just two years, and evidence that the Australian-born are increasingly feral, too.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (06:22 am)
I do not understand what has changed, other than that the Gillard Government has blown our cash:
Wayne Swan in The Australian on February 16:
Treasurer Wayne Swan has seized on BHP Billiton’s 72 per cent jump in first-half net profit today, saying it showed why Australia needed a tax on resource company profits. He said the result reflected the strength of the sector and its ability to pay the revised Minerals Resource Rent Tax. “That’s why we fought really hard for a resource rent tax,” Mr Swan said. “It’s pretty clear that we were not going to get the original proposal through, it was very clear that we needed to design a tax with different features—which raise less tax. But what we will see in the future of the resource industry is that it is very strong.”
That was then, this is now. Swan in The Age on April 20:
Mining boom mark II will lack the revenue “rivers of gold” of the boom the Howard government enjoyed, Treasurer Wayne Swan will warn today. In a pre-budget speechjustifying substantial spending cuts on May 10, Mr Swan will say the boom now gathering pace will mean “extraordinary new levels of income flowing into Australia”. But it will be very different from before—with all the pressures of the earlier boom, minus the revenue surge.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (05:41 am)
Now even BHP, for too long too acquiescent in this madness, is backing away:
JULIA Gillard is under mounting pressure to give exporters a special deal under her proposed carbon tax after BHP Billiton chief executive Marius Kloppers yesterday became the latest business leader to warn that Australia’s go-it-alone approach would be a “dead weight” on high-polluting industries…
Any carbon tax had to be designed to cut emissions - not simply raise revenue - and had to be trade-friendly, he said in Beijing…
A BHP spokesman confirmed that Mr Kloppers believed there should be “some form of treatment” to recognise export sector industries under the carbon tax, echoing growing calls for special deals across the economy, including from the steel industry, cement manufacturers, food and groceries, oil, gas and aluminium…
Just weeks after last year’s federal election, Mr Kloppers became the first chief executive of a major company to support a price on carbon, urging Australia to act before any international agreement in order to protect the nation’s long-term economic interests.
With all the exemptions and all the rebating being considered, the carbon dioxide tax becomes even more useless and even more purely symbolic, if that were possible. A tax that doesn’t effect BHP and the other huge emitters isn’t a tax that will do the job the Government wants.
Then again, even the purest form of the tax will at the very best cut the world’s temperature by just 0.00005 degrees. Essentially zero. All pain, no gain.
I’ve said Gillard’s leadership is dead. But now Gary Johns, Special Minister of State in the Keating Government, predicts she’ll be gone soon, too:
Having cost the political lives of one prime minister (Kevin Rudd) and two opposition leaders (Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull), Australia is now in the end game for pricing carbon. Pricing seemed like a good idea 10 years ago: it is now looking very sick… Gillard will be the fourth political life lost to carbon abatement.
It’s only going to get worse for the Gillard government. One huge firm is weeks away from making an announcement that it’s moving offices from Australia to Singapore in order to minimise the impact from both the carbon and mining taxes.Keep watching folks.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott tours the country talking to the very people Labor once represented and now threatens:
Mr Abbott’s travel schedule has been almost solely dictated by the government’s problems. In the past 10 days alone, he has been to three mine sites in the Pilbara to exploit worker and industry fears over the carbon tax and the mining tax.
Over Easter, Mr Abbott went to the Christmas Island detention facility to highlight the government’s asylum seeker problems.
Since January, he has visited a number of small businesses and his appearances at a OneSteel plant in Laverton, Victoria, a cement factory in Gladstone, Queensland, and the BlueScope Steel Port Kembla plant in March helped stir worker discontent over the carbon tax to the point where Mr Howes was forced to shift support.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (12:16 am)
Why did the ABC need to be forced to treat the Royal Wedding with the modicum of respect that the vast majority of taxpayers - and even, I suspect, ABC viewers - would expect and even demand:
The organisation blamed restrictions imposed by the royal family as the reason behind the decision.
The Chaser’s Royal Wedding Commentary was due to air on ABC 2 from 7pm on Friday, offering viewers a satirical take on the royal wedding, the ABC online reports…
But in an unexpected move, the APTN issued new conditions over the Easter break stating footage could not be used “in any drama, comedy, satirical or similar entertainment program or content”.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (12:07 am)
Egypt’s revolution promised hope, but Gideon Rachman is worried:
All sorts of contending forces rub shoulders in Egypt these days. Last week, I found myself in the lobby of a Cairo hotel, chatting to a square-bearded, pot-bellied, fundamentalist preacher who is eager to see all women in Egypt wear the niqab – the all-encompassing veil that leaves only a slit for the eyes....
Eventually, after further discussion of the merits of hand-chopping and the possibility of a return to Islam as practised in the seventh century, the sheikh got into his car and drove back to his job as a computer technician.
Egypt’s young liberal middle-classes are discovering that they were not the only forces set free by the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.... Suddenly, Salafi spokesmen are all over the media and are organising politically. By some reckonings they could get 5 per cent to 10 per cent of the vote in parliamentary elections planned for September.
The Muslim Brotherhood, the more established and less fundamentalist Islamist organisation, is generally reckoned to be good for at least a third of the vote. Add in a couple of fringe Islamist parties and you could be looking at an Islamist majority in Egypt’s first parliament. ...
The stakes in the coming elections are very high, since the new parliament will have the power to rewrite Egypt’s constitution and so shape the country for decades. But Egypt’s liberals face formidable odds. They are operating in a country where 40 per cent of the total population live on less than $2 a day. Some 30m Egyptians are illiterate. The Muslim Brotherhood is by far the most organised non-state organisation in the country, while the liberal forces are fragmented and disorganised.
Egypt has a population of 80 million, which includes a substantial Westernised elite. If there is an Islamist takeover which turns sour, the refugee outflow could be enormous. Europe, now brawling over 25,000 Tunisians fleeing their own revolution, may have seen nothing yet.
(Thanks to reader Andrew.)
The Muslim Brotherhood is not a powerhouse. The organisation suffers from big problems.
First, hot-headed and violent Islamists despise it… Second, the brotherhood is weak on the ground. Hesham Kassem of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights notes that its membership does not exceed 100,000 ...
Finally, ...the military has learned to play Islamists like a yo-yo. For example, Mubarak cunningly allowed 88 Muslim Brothers into parliament in 2005; this simultaneously showed the perils of democracy and made his own tyranny indispensible. Having established this point, he allowed just one Muslim Brother into parliament in the 2010 elections.
In brief, while the modernity of Tahrir Square and the barbarism of the Muslim Brotherhood have long-term importance, in all likelihood the military will continue to rule Egypt, making only cosmetic changes.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (12:05 am)
Chris Merritt reports:
Last November, the High Court cleared the way for more legal challenges by asylum-seekers whose claims for residency are not treated with procedural fairness.
Looked at in isolation, there can be no real argument against the need for fairness, but context is everything: that decision took place against the background of a policy-induced surge in boatpeople. It created the conditions for a court-induced litigation boom.
Indeed. Reader Peter counts:
There were about 550 cases in 2010 in the Federal Magistrates Court
There were about 300 cases in the Federal Court last year.
There were about 40 in the Federal Court’s Full Court
This is utterly ludicrous. Who is paying for this industrial-scale justice? How many Australians are missing out on justice of their own, thanks to this tsunami of cases?
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, April 28, 11 (12:02 am)
The great emissions-slashing scam is just a way of shifting jobs from the West to the East, while doing not a cracker for the climate:
Cuts in carbon emissions by developed countries since 1990 have been cancelled out many times over by increases in imported goods from developing countries such as China, according to the most comprehensive global figures ever compiled
....the latest research, published on Monday, provides the first global view of how international trade altered national carbon footprints during the period of the Kyoto protocol.
Under the protocol, emissions released during production of goods are assigned to the country where production takes place, rather than where goods are consumed.
Campaigners say this allows rich countries unfairly to claim they are reducing or stabilising their emissions when they may be simply sending them offshore – relying increasingly on goods imported from emerging economies that do not have binding emissions targets under Kyoto.
According to standard data, developed countries can claim to have reduced their collective emissions by almost 2% between 1990 and 2008. But once the carbon cost of imports have been added to each country, and exports subtracted – the true change has been an increase of 7%.
(Thanks to reader Bob.)
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (04:52 pm)
You’d swear this was a joke, rather than monumental incompetence:
THE Bligh Government has made a complete mockery of its “Buy Local” flood recovery campaign after buying cheap imported T-shirts from overseas to promote the program…
The 1500 shirts emblazoned with “Buy local Back Qld” were to be handed out to promote Premier Anna Bligh’s Operation Queenslander campaign, touting struggling businesses after the summer natural disasters.
The front of the shirt:
(Thanks to reader Peggy.)
Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, April 27, 11 (04:40 pm)
These new laws protecting people from being offended are taking us deeper into crazy territory, where none dare open their mouth:
Simon Ledger was singing at the Driftwood Beach Bar in Sandown, Isle of Wight, on Sunday when he launched into the disco classic…
A Chinese mother and son were reportedly walking past at the same time and took offense.
“I don’t even know who the pair are,” Ledger said.
“It is all quite amazing how an evening of performing on the beach can end you up in a (prison) cell.”
(Thanks to reader Alan.)
Reader Baa Humbug sings along:
Everybody was litigating
Those suits for fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightening
But they sued with expert timing
There where precious pinkomen, from precious pinkotown
They were suing them up
They were suing them down
It’s an ancient Yankee art
And everybody knew their part
From a faint reading a tweet
Or a shooting from the lip
Everybody was litigating
Those suits for fast as lightning
In fact it was a little bit frightening
But they sued with expert timing
Readers below aren’t sure whether this song would have made things better or worse: