Friday, June 03, 2011

News items and comments

With a $50 billion deficit budget they must go to election this year. They will not introduce cuts to surplus before next election
INCREASING numbers of Australians and, importantly, federal Labor politicians are now acknowledging that the Gillard-Green-independent minority government is a failure.
@WithoutAnAnchor Thank you. I am sure I can improve on it. I am hesitant about the backing track because I used one once before and was deemed to have broken copyright when I hadn't. If I use one again and am deemed to have broken it again I would...
That is me singing. I love the piece, yet I had to try. I compiled the pictures too Audio may be found here more info is here .. And now I'm...

I don't have a mobile phone
MORE internet searches will be done on mobile phones than on desktop computers by 2013 as Australians increasingly embrace smart phones, Google says.
She wasn't embezzling money which the ALP do while awake
UPDATE 1.05pm: THE Opposition has slammed the State Government for failing to respect the procedures of parliament after a vote was missed for the second time in a week because a Liberal MP failed to ...

Rudd has been unbalanced regarding Israel when representing Australia overseas
LIBERAL deputy Julie Bishop has accused Labor of backing the Greens' anti-Israeli stance after it watered down a motion condemning the Greens-dominated Marrickville council.
They cut their own throats to support the ALP
BOOKSTORE Borders is preparing to close its last Australian stores after failing to find a buyer to help pay off its mountain of debt, but readers will still be able to buy its books online.
It is difficult to have children alone.
COOKING, cleaning, child-minding, gardening, financial planning, not much time to yourself and little peaceful sleep - as far as job descriptions go, the role of a single mother is a tough one.
The deal Keneally signed up to was to give ALP money .. Nothing to do with sick people.
NSW stands to lose tens of millions of dollars in Commonwealth funding under a national health deal designed to boost hospital standards.
Scary. What do those crims want?
A MAN was assaulted with a hammer and a gun in a violent home invasion in Sydney's south west last night.

It isn't the Prinipal's fault. They do what they can. But it doesn't have to be as bad as it had been under the ALP
MORE than 500 of the state's most dangerous students are now being taught in special schools because they are such a menace in mainstream classes - and the number is growing at 57 a year.
Psychiatrist is no judge of a judge
THE psychiatrist who diagnosed a magistrate with bipolar disorder has criticised the Judicial Commission's findings, saying Brian Maloney is fit to work and unlikely to have further episodes.
ALP don't know what left or right hand do
AN architect of the state government's industrial relations reforms is Michael Coutts-Trotter, the husband of federal Labor minister Tanya Plibersek and a former chief-of-staff to Labor treasurer Mich...
Wrong house. No one there is named Ibrahim
A BABY's car seat, pram and a little girl's bike sat outside a house peppered with bullets in Sydney's southwest. Five people, including a four-week-old baby girl, were in the house on Lalich Ave, Bon...
In years to come Elle may be a bigger name than Dakota. Thanks to this film
SCI-FI fantasy Super 8 has been described as E.T. for the 21st century, but 13-year-old Elle Fanning had no idea what she was in for when she signed on for the role.
They should talk with the CEO of Intelligent Solutions John Ball. He could produce a great search engine for them.
FACEBOOK may take on Google in the search engine market in the near future, according to its Australian boss Paul Borrud.
The pussy wasn't married
THE AFL has asked the Ten Network to explain why it aired footage of a Cats supporter's banner inviting a star player to have sex with his wife.
Wilkie still supports Gillard
OUTSPOKEN independent MP Andrew Wilkie has lambasted the Gillard government again, accusing it of showing "complete contempt" to the Australian people for doing little in response to shocking evidence...
Gillard lies about this too.
THE federal government's promise to protect the human rights of 800 asylum seekers sent to Malaysia, where they could be caned, was in tatters last night.
Gillard chose this, highlighting her lack of competent judgement.
REFUGEE women living in Malaysia are too afraid to leave their shanty homes for fear they will be sexually harassed and assaulted by police, with officials reporting such incidents are reaching "extra...
Hawke is a silly old bugger
AS prime minister, Bob Hawke sparked a diplomatic row by calling Malaysia "barbaric" for hanging two young Australian heroin traffickers.
ALP lack competent leadership
IN an attempt to turn the heat up on Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, Prime Minister Julia Gillard turned the blowtorch back on herself yesterday.
Congratulations. Now for Hamidur Rahman
HER smile as she took the first sip of champagne said it all - the woman punished for blowing the whistle on disgraced state MP Milton Orkopoulos finally had something to celebrate.
ROTFL government is now confused about it's own policy. ALP are looking to the Liberals for a lead, and their media patsy's are willing accomplices. Barry O'Farrell can speak for himself well.
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell gave explicit backing for Labor's emissions trading scheme two years ago, possibly delivering a damaging blow to federal opposition leader Tony Abbott's campaign against a ...
ALP failed to manage the safety of those at the center. What a lousy welcome.
A SAFETY order was issued to the federal government less than three weeks before riots broke out at the Villawood detention centre, warning that sections of the facility posed a serious safety and sec...
A possible recession caused by bad ALP management
MORE than $33 billion was wiped from the value of the Australian share market yesterday, which fell in line with bourses around the world on renewed concerns about a global economic slowdown.
The ALP could spend money, but couldn't manage it.
THE state government's $3.6 billion Waratah train project is in disarray with RailCorp refusing to again accept the first train due to serious passenger safety concerns.
They are wrong. Harm minimisation has failed. Not zero tolerance. They are advocates for bad policy. Maybe Kofi Annan is sad he killed lots of Africans but not more people from the Americas ..
THE global war on drugs has failed with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world, argues a new report.
It would never have been paid out under the ALP. They should hang their heads in shame
A 69-YEAR-OLD deaf-mute Perth man who was wrongly convicted of the 1959 murder of socialite Jillian Brewer has been granted a $425,000 ex gratia payment.
I am too fat to ride a bike, but I wish I could.
AUSSIES want to jump on their bike but they're just too afraid to start pedalling.

Here is to the great outdoors
IT'S all well and good to want to walk on Mars, but has anyone thought about what the first explorers would live in once they got there?
This is not vigilante justice. This is justice.
When Joshua Kaufman's Apple MacBook was stolen from his apartment in Oakland, Calif, he didn't throw up his arms in despair. Instead, Kaufman turned on an app called Hidden that allowed him to surreptitiously photograph the thief -- and ultimately catch him.
David Daniel Ball likes a link.
On March 21, 2011, my MacBook was stolen from my apartment in Oakland, CA. I reported the crime to the police and even told them where it was, but they couldn't help me due to lack of resources....
In his defence, he is a Democrat and can't be expected to not be unfaithful to his spouse in any of many possible gender variations
Rep. Anthony Weiner, sitting down for a set of television interviews Wednesday to answer questions about a lewd photo sent from his Twitter account to a college student, flatly denied sending the image. But he could not say with certitude whether the photo, which depicted a man's bulging underwear,

Phony scare tactics won’t fool anyone

Piers Akerman – Thursday, June 02, 11 (07:28 pm)

INCREASING numbers of Australians and, importantly, federal Labor politicians are now acknowledging that the Gillard-Green-independent minority government is a failure.

With a $50 billion deficit budget they must go to election this year. They will not introduce cuts to surplus before next election.

On another front, I am trying to find a quote from Bob Hawke. It was to do with an address he made to the UN. I understood it was his first address to the UN after becoming PM. I understand he told a joke to the assembly. It was to do with the issue of raising money for education. So (in the joke) India held a raffle in which three prizes were to be given. On the day of the raffle, millions collected outside the Taj Mahal to hear the winners declared. Third prize was given when a ticket number was called out, and walking on the heads of his fellow countrymen, the ticket holder walked over the crowd to collect his prize of a new BMW. The second prize ticket was announced, and the ticket holder walked over the crowd to collect their prize. He was handed a cake. "A cake?" was the disappointed exclamation. "But sir, came the response of an Indian official, this cake was baked by Mother Theresa." "Fuck Mother Theresa said the second prize winner, I want a BMW." "No, no no!" said the Indian official. "That is the first prize."

I had thought I had read of that in a Piers article, but I can't find reference to it .. and the Hawke Library can't find a reference to him ever having addressed the UN as PM. - ed.

Garnaut’s report based on humbug to support Gillard’s lie

Piers Akerman – Wednesday, June 01, 11 (10:40 am)

It has not been enough for Julia Gillard to go through an election on a lie, to maintain her fiction she now must rely on a report based on outright falsehoods.
It is a painful but obvious truth that Gillard promised before the election that there would be no carbon tax under a government she led.
She leads the government and she is now promising a carbon tax. That is the big lie in Australian politics today.

DD Ball replied to John Jay
Thu 02 Jun 11 (12:07pm)

Welcome home, Piers. I think once the ALP are booted from government it will be clear sailing. In the meantime there is so much chaff that needs to be batted away. This morning on Channel 9 news they put out a report saying that Mr Abbott was going to remove tax cuts put in by the ALP. The lie being that in fact he was promising to remove the tax .. many will fall for the ALP lie. The true believers.


Over at Carpe Diem, Mark Perry runs the data, a bit more formally than I did, on Americans’ risks of being killed, between 1940 and 2009, by tornados, floods, and hurricanes. Here’s Mark’s concluding paragraph:

Excluding the year 2005 for Katrina, the trend lines in the two graphs above are statistically significant at the 1% level. Adjusted for the U.S. population, the average American was more than 2.5 times more likely to get killed in a flood, hurricane or tornado between 1940 and 1979 than in the period between 1980-2009. The bottom chart shows that 2009 was the safest year ever since 1940, with fewer than 0.25 deaths per 1 million population.

As for my bet, I have two people so far who have offered to accept it. One is Roger Pielke, Jr., who was the first person to offer to accept my bet. I’m in e-mail contact with Roger and we’re working out the details, such as the amount of money Roger is betting. If that sum turns out to be less than $10,000, then I’ll let the other person in on the bet.

And at the risk of being too repetitive, I say again that my bet is not about the reality of climate change and it’s not about climate-change’s cause. My bet is that, even if the frequency of severe weather events – specifically, tornados and floods and hurricanes – increases over the next 20 years in the U.S., the number of Americans killed by these weather events will be fewer in the 2011-2030 period than was the number killed by these events in the 1991-2010 period. The official data set for the calculation and classification of these deaths will be one assembled by the National Weather Services under the rules and method that it used to classify such deaths for the 1940-2009 period. (Roger Pielke links to this data set in his blog post mentioned above.)

My prediction is that, as long as ours remains a reasonably free-market economy – and, for all of its imperfections, I’m predicting that the U.S. economy will continue to be ‘reasonably free market,’ and one that, despite the absurd protectionist efforts of the likes of Sens. Sherrod Brown, Lindsey Graham, and Chuck Schumer, an economy increasingly and (hence) beneficially integrated in to the global economy – our increasing prosperity and the global-economy’s innovation will make Americans increasingly safe from the worst effects of tornados, floods, and hurricanes.

By the way, not only will Americans become more protected from these weather events; peoples in other market-oriented societies will, too.

UPDATE: Thanks to kyle8, here’s Pat Michaels writing at Forbes.



Tim Blair – Friday, June 03, 11 (04:50 am)

British political commentator Iain Dale observes our Question Time:

I have been watching Prime Minister’s Questions in Britain for very many years and that can get incredibly rowdy but I have never seen anything like the Australian parliament.

The speaker interrupts virtually every 20 seconds, shouting “order!” or even naming members of parliament or even throwing them out of the chamber itself.

That happens in the UK Parliament maybe once every year or two – in the Australian parliament, it seems to be happening virtually every day …

It is an absolutely shameful, horrific spectacle.

Further from the BBC’s Nick Bryant:

At moments like this, I recall my first visit to Canberra. Over dinner at Parliament House, I found myself sat next to a Labor politician who could hardly contain his delight at being ejected from the chamber for haranguing the prime minister at the time, John Howard. Indeed, throughout dinner, admiring colleagues came up to congratulate him on his mischief. New to Australian politics, I came away thinking he must be a professional parliamentary troublemaker. Every party has one, after all. But a year later, he became the country’s defence minister.

No big deal. It’s my turn in a couple of weeks.



Tim Blair – Friday, June 03, 11 (04:41 am)

Tap “carbon tax” into Google and the very first site that appears is Say Yes Australia. The tax-happy site accepts comments, but at last inspection isn’t exactly overwhelmed by them.

Please help. Every comment saves a frog. Theatre-lovers will applaud you:

Noisy opponents may dismiss her as the carbon copy Boadicea of climate change rage, but Cate Blanchett is majestically sweeping all before her and was even bold enough to take the carbon tax issue to a night at the theatre. Australia’s most internationally lauded actress attended the premiere of the Abbey Theatre’s production of Terminus at the Sydney Opera House on Wednesday and, as artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company, thought it a good idea to graciously anoint the Irish play, to be sure, to be sure. Start up the fog machine, dim the lights and cue Blanchett. She emerged from the mist-shrouded stage right uttering the words ‘’Ugh, carbon emissions’’. The audience loved it.

And then they drove back to Wollongong for their early shift at the steel mills. Or maybe they work at our coal mines, so long as they remain open:

Reuters reported that mining giants warned Australia that its planned carbon reduction scheme could cost the industry as much as USD 25 billion through 2020, cut coal production by a third and send investment in that sector tumbling 13%.

Mr Seamus French, who runs the coal division of miner Anglo American Plc, said that “Australia is walking the plank.”

It’s time for multi-faith interdenominational prayer:

Monks and rabbis have stood alongside Catholics and Anglicans in Canberra to show support for the federal government’s plan to tackle climate change.

Leaders from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) met Prime Minister Julia Gillard in support of the carbon tax today.

(Via Alan R.M. Jones, who emails: “Cue angry left demanding religion butt out of policy.")



Tim Blair – Friday, June 03, 11 (04:16 am)

A spiritual appointment at the New York Times:

Jill Abramson, a former investigative reporter and Washington bureau chief for The New York Times, will become the paper’s executive editor, succeeding Bill Keller …

Ms. Abramson, 57, said that as a born-and-raised New Yorker, she considered being named editor of The Times to be like “ascending to Valhalla.”

“In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion,” she said. “If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

Besides her unawareness of Valhalla’s post-mortem invitations, note the past tense, and the fact that Ms Abramson’s religious fanaticism for the NYT last occurred around 1971.



Tim Blair – Friday, June 03, 11 (02:45 am)

If you want to get arrested, this is pretty much the best way to go about it.

UPDATE. “This’ll do the trick, too,” emails Nicole.



Tim Blair – Thursday, June 02, 11 (01:16 pm)

Reader Ryan Bullivant lobs a comment into a five-month-old thread. Seems a shame for it to be hidden:

I can’t believe how ignorant/stupid most of the people on here are. It’s disgusting that you ignore the fact that if you keep turning a blind eye to your primitive ways, your children will be living in hell ... shame on you. If it wasn’t for you uneducated, selfish bogans, Australia would be leading the way in regards to developing and implementing new, clean technologies. Instead we are f**king around trying to usher in a simple and necessary tax on carbon emissions. All you are doing by selectively ignoring the most obvious and pressing problem of our time is passing it on to future generations and making it even harder to deal with.

The most pressing problem of our time: pre-teen hell-dwellers! A tax’ll fix that.



Tim Blair – Thursday, June 02, 11 (12:42 pm)

Today’s big story – the cat fight.

UPDATE. Now with added poodle.

UPDATE II. And now … snakes!


Don’t mention the blowout

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (07:15 am)

Terry McCrann says the latest NBN deal simply postpones an admission of a huge blowout”

THE National Broadband Network Company is going to get its core network built at the sticker price of $12 billion or so that it needs to bring the total project in at its budgeted $37 billion or so.

At least on paper. Whether it actually does or not, is though an altogether different matter. For that sticker price now comes with an asterisk. NBNCo assumes a big part of the risk that the costs blow out.

The ‘benefit’ - to NBNCo - is that any cost blow-out will only surface later. It doesn’t have to ‘fess up to a big cost blow-out upfront.

It would have had to have done that, if it had accepted the initial fixed-price bids that had come in at $16 billion or so instead of the $12 billion budgeted.


If the price of a dog is the bluebell, I’ll choose Ralf

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (10:29 am)

The measure of intellectuals should be to imagine them with power over you:

Outspoken Australian feminist Germaine Greer has launched a stinging attack on domestic dogs, blaming them for the ruination of a protected perennial flower, the English bluebell.

Addressing Britain’s Hay Festival on Thursday, the 72-year-old Melbourne-born academic who owns a patch of land covered in the plant that flowers in spring, pointed the finger at toxic dog poo for the plant’s scarcity.

If you love your bluebells, kill your dog,” said Greer dramatically…


St Ross and the gospel of doom

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (07:10 am)

Henry Ergas is astonished by Ross Garnaut’s apocalyptis and his ego - but also by his economics:

ROSS Garnaut’s new report released this week starts with an episode of enlightenment.

“I” the report opens (and suitably so, for the personal pronoun appears to be the professor’s closest friend), “was explaining to the Multiparty Climate Change Committee how I had worked out the costs and benefits of reducing emissions.

“The costs come straightaway. The benefits come later. So I needed a way of comparing income now with incomes of young Australians later in their lives and who are not yet born. ‘So we had to choose the right discount rate’, I said.

“Then I said something that brought back the Prime Minister’s attention. ‘If we used the sharemarket’s discount rate to value the lives of future Australians,’ I said, ‘and if we knew that doing something would give benefits now but cause the extinction of our species in half a century, the calculations would tell us to do it’.”

Triumph! “The smile on the Prime Minister’s face became a hearty laugh. ‘You’ve got us there, Ross’, she said, as the others were infected by the lift in spirits. ‘That’s a unanimous decision. We’re all against the extinction of the human species’.”

Thank God you’re here, Professor Garnaut! But had Julia Gillard known any economics, she would have known the claimed demonstration makes no sense.

Read on.


Labor gets desperately personal and abusive

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (07:05 am)

Dennis Shanahan on Labor’s shameless attempt to smear Tony Abbott over a backbencher’s “meow”:

Labor has always identified Abbott’s greatest weakness, beyond an increasingly diminishing propensity to blow up, as his “problem with women”. Anything vaguely misogynistic about Abbott is relayed immediately and incessantly to the media to try to discredit and damage him…

From the moment Abbott was elected Opposition Leader in 2009 Labor ministers in the Rudd government, advisers and strategists have done all they can to put Abbott and Hockey in the frame as “the misogynist and the fat man”, as Gillard told parliament.

“Sloppy Joe” Hockey and old-fashioned, woman-hating Abbott have been subjected to these personal attacks for years from Labor leaders, egged on by fellow MPs and gleeful supporters. On Wednesday, the opportunity represented itself for another cynical exploitation of the theme and Abbott was dragged into the “catfight” by senior ministers, although he had nothing to do with it whatsoever. Wayne Swan, happy to be diverted from a negative March quarter of economic growth, suggested Abbott and his “goons” were at it again and Social Inclusion Minister Tanya Plibersek decided to take one of her rare allocated questions in parliament not on human services or social inclusion but on the Liberal leadership’s sexism. It turned into a parliamentary slanging match, unedifying and damaging the parliament’s image.

It was counterproductive and by early yesterday the Prime Minister was standing accused of using her own sexist and personally insulting parliamentary sledges against Christopher Pyne, a Liberal frontbencher and the manager of opposition business, for being a mincing poodle.

Attacking journalists for not checking the Hansard, Gillard denied it had happened and that she hadn’t used the “terminology”. She had used it and by question time there wasn’t a mention of Abbott’s misogyny.

But the tactic of executing a ruthless political campaign with nothing more in mind than damaging an opponent was emblematic of the government’s shortage of anything positive or definitive to say in parliament.


Billions of stimulus, just when we don’t need it

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (07:00 am)

Too much for too little, and now too late:

ALMOST $2 billion of the government’s schools building program is yet to be spent more than two years after the end of the global financial crisis the $16.2bn stimulus plan was designed to tackle.

Brilliant., A stimulus package that’s still running at a time when the Reserve Bank is wondering about the need to lift interest rates.


If the Liberals carried on like this about the ABC’s Leftists…

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (06:56 am)

Bob Brown is singling out the one interviewer on the ABC who takes a vaguely sceptical line on global warming and the alarmists who preach it:

GREENS leader Bob Brown has widened his attack on the media, slamming the ABC for “feeding straight off” other outlets and deepening his assault on The Australian.

Senator Brown has used an interview with The Conversation website to launch a broadside at 7.30 political editor Chris Uhlmann, with whom he has clashed.


Sending the children away

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (06:45 am)

It might help Bowen’s case to concede that many “unaccompanied minors” are in fact frauds in their twenties or even older:

THE Gillard government will transfer unaccompanied child asylum-seekers to Malaysia as a deterrent to stop their parents sending them to Australia by boat.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen last night confirmed there would be no special treatment for unaccompanied minors in Australia’s asylum-seeker deal with Kuala Lumpur, because it would lead to parents placing children on boats by themselves hoping they would be accepted here…

“I don’t want children getting on boats to come to Australia thinking or knowing there is some kind of exemption in place...”

I agree that these “children” should be sent back ... to Nauru. Else you will get more sent here, to exploit the loophole.

Bowen says the draft of the deal with Malaysia is out of date, but it had better be since it makes a liar of the Prime Minister - and a desperate beggar of Australia:

According to a draft agreement between the two countries for the “Malaysian Solution” obtained by Lateline, Malaysia wants any reference to human rights deleted from the transfer agreement. Malaysia will also have veto power over asylum-seekers sent there, and will despatch its full quota of 4000 refugees to Australia regardless of how many asylum-seekers Australia sends.

The inclusion of a Malaysian veto power over those Australia sends among its 800 refugees directly contradicts Julia Gillard, who in May denied any such caveat would exist.

On May 10, Tony Abbott asked in question time: “Can the Prime Minister confirm that it will be Malaysia and not Australia who will choose the 800 people they are supposed to take under her people-swap deal?”

To which Ms Gillard replied: “That statement is completely untrue.”

Under the agreement, Australia will be responsible for all costs of the refugee swap, including housing and education, and it appears Australia will be responsible for sending back to their country of origin people who found not to be valid refugees in Malaysia.

“Where the transferees do not agree to return to their country of origin, voluntarily forced returns may be necessary. In this event, the government of Australia will be fully responsible to accept and ensure voluntarily forced returns,” the draft document states.


Manne seems a better hater now that he’s of the Left

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (06:39 am)

Roger Sandall on the hate-speech of Professor Robert Manne:

In an extraordinary spasm of hate-speech, he charged McGuinness with turning Quadrant into an organ of “denialism in the David Irving mode”, that is, with being a neo-Nazi.

But McGuinness is only one target among many. Peter Howson talks “racist nonsense”, Ken Minogue is “supercilious”, Ron Brunton “mean-spirited”, Piers Akerman “vicious”, Christopher Pearson “pompous”, Roger Sandall “shallow and morally shabby”, Douglas Meagher QC “bombastic”, and Keith Windschuttle “sinister”. In another chapter, he repeats his preposterous charge that Windschuttle had once been “a Pol Pot enthusiast”, with the innuendo that Windschuttle had supported Pol Pot’s holocaust.

What I find interesting is how Manne has become much more abusive now that he’s identifiied with the Left. In those few years of his conservative period, he seemed a great deal more civil, including to those he criticised,


If she was proud of it, she wouldn’t be backing off now

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (06:29 am)

Julia Gillard does a ”who, me?” on referring to Christopher Pyne as a mincing poodle:

One of the remarkable things about modern journalism is no one actually goes back and ever checks the source document, so that, with grand respect to every member of the press gathered here, there is a tendency to report what everybody else has said...

But she’s then confronted with the evidence - an increasingly common and uncomfortable experience for her.


The land where people smile and their politicians shout

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (06:14 am)

Iain Dale, a British political pundit and former chief of staff to a Conservative minister, visits our Parliament and tweets in dismay:

The UK House of Commons is often accused of behaving like a playground. It has nothing on the Aussie House of Reps. Unbelievable behaviour

Instant fame - in Australia - follows. Talkback callers are in furious agreement. And Dale will join us on MTR, after 8am today.

Oh, and he also observes:

The one thing that has struck me so far is that it is an incredible optimistic, cheerful nation. People actually smile at you. You don’t get many smiles to the dozen in London, but here, it’s as if people are enjoying life and are not letting problems get them down. Sydney is a very cosmopolitan city and on the outside at least has coped very well with integrating a huge number of migrants from fellow Asian countries. But the prices! My God, this is the most expensive place I have ever been in my life. It’s far more expensive than Scandinavia and Switzerland. A Mars Bar costs £2! A can of coke in the hotel is £5. I ordered a club sandwich, a cranberry juice and a cherry strudel desert. The bill came to more than £55. Breakfast is £30. Madness.


Thank you, Mark

Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 03, 11 (06:05 am)

A very kind word of support from the great Mark Steyn, whose own freedom of speech was so disgracefully attacked:

Free speech - that’s to say, stuff that would have been well within the realm of public discourse a few years ago - is on the retreat in Oz, as it is in Canada, the Netherlands, Denmark, and elsewhere. It’s happening very fast, and it needs to be stopped. If you’re an Aussie or you just happen to be in Victoria this month, please consider showing your support for Andrew Bolt and the cause of free speech down under. The IPA, who hosted me on my last appearance in Melbourne, are putting on an event for Andrew at the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria on Monday June 20th. Michael Kroger, who threw a splendid dinner for me and Peter Costello a couple of years back, will be speaking, as with others. And through the miracle of technology I’ll be appearing via videotronic technicolor vistavision.

To book, go here.

(Thanks to reader Ant.)


Hawke shouldn’t remind us he fell for a green fraud, too

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 02, 11 (05:04 pm)

Bob Hawke says Julia Gillard faces the kind of challenge that he stared down 20 years ago over Kakadu:

JULIA Gillard has turned to Labor’s longest-serving and most popular PM Bob Hawke to help her sell the carbon tax.

The Prime Minister said the fear campaign against the carbon tax was just as silly as the claims 20 years ago that Mr Hawke’s decision to save Kakadu would kill the mining industry…

Mr Hawke said his decision 20 years ago to ban mining in Kakadu was attacked by the Coalition and mining companies, who claimed it would kill the industry and frighten away investors.

First, the exaggeration is so typical from this lot. The decision was actually to extend Kakadu to cover Coronation Hill, site of a rich mineral deposit.

Second, Hawke should not be reminding us of one of the most shameful surrenders to unreason of his time in power - the decision that marked the end of his government’s intellectual rigor and the beginning of his fall:

In 1991, then prime minister Bob Hawke, nearly crying in spiritual ecstasy, banned a new mine at Kakadu’s Coronation Hill, out of respect for the Aboriginal spirit Bula.

Aboriginal activists, backed by green groups, had convinced him that if the hill were disturbed, an angry Bula would visit a great sickness on the land—one that might make even Hawke’s green vote lie down and die.

Never mind that no one had ever associated Bula with the site until the 1970s, or that uranium had been mined there for nearly 20 years without the local Jawoyn people complaining, or Bula making anyone vomit.

Never mind that the Jawoyn leader, Andy Andrews, said to hell with Bula—most locals wanted the cash and jobs this $500 million mine would bring. Even his petition with 92 Jawoyn signatures begging the mine go ahead failed. Green pagans beat black rationalists.

Anthropologist Ron Brunton shows how Hawke overrode his colleagues and the evidence to impose a decision that cost us billions and cost local Aborigines jobs. Even the now-green Age was dismayed, and some suggested the now emotional Hawke was even embracing Bula to repair his relationship with his son.

Hawke yesterday claimed he defied the scares of the mining companies in banning mining at Coronation Hill. In fact, his own colleagues were furious that was throwing away billions so lightly. As Laurie Oakes reported before Hawke’s final decision:

LAURIE OAKES: When Cabinet decided to delay mining at Coronation Hill, in Kakadu National Park, pending new inquiries that will take a year, (Primary Industries Minister) John Kerin was overseas. But yesterday, back in Canberra and talking with a group of journalists, he criticised the Cabinet decision, suggesting it was based on environmental hype and said Australia could not keep scaring off capital. It was the first time since Labor won office in 1983 that a Minister had breached the principle of Cabinet solidarity, and today, the Opposition went on the attack.

A perfect parallel, then, to Gillard’s own retreat from reason and her embrace of the latest green mysticism.


Wilders on free speech

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 02, 11 (04:49 pm)

A brilliant speech by Dutch political leader Geert Wilders, at the conclusion of his obscene trial for heresy. Here are some excerpts, but please read it all. The issue here is not whether he is right, but whether he has the right to speak:

Mister President, members of the Court,

I am here because of what I have said. I am here for having spoken. I have spoken, I speak and I shall continue to speak. Many have kept silent, but not Pim Fortuyn, not Theo Van Gogh, and not me.

I am obliged to speak. For the Netherlands is under threat of Islam. As I have argued many times, Islam is chiefly an ideology. An ideology of hatred, of destruction, of conquest. It is my strong conviction that Islam is a threat to Western values, to freedom of speech, to the equality of men and women, of heterosexuals and homosexuals, of believers and unbelievers.

All over the world we can see how freedom is fleeing from Islam. Day by day we see our freedoms dwindle…

That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.

The statements for which I am being tried are statements which I made in my function as a politician participating in the public debate in our society. My statements were not aimed at individuals, but at Islam and the process of Islamization…

I am acting within a long tradition which I wish to honor. I am risking my life in defence of freedom in the Netherlands. Of all our achievements, freedom is the most precious and the most vulnerable. Many have given their lives for freedom....

Every day the armored cars drive me past the statue of Johan de Witt at the Hofvijver in The Hague. De Witt wrote the “Manifesto of True Freedom” and he paid for freedom with his life…

I do not wish to betray the trust of the 1.5 million voters of my party. I do not wish to betray my country.... I wish to be a politician who serves the truth end hence defends the freedom of the Dutch provinces and of the Dutch people. I wish to be honest, I wish to act with honesty and that is why I wish to protect my native land against Islam. Silence is treason.

That is why I have spoken, why I speak and why I shall continue to speak.

Freedom and truth. I pay the price every day. Day and night I have to be protected against people who want to kill me. I am not complaining about it; it has been my own decision to speak. However, those who threaten me and other critics of Islam are not being tried here today. I am being tried. And about that I do complain.

I consider this trial to be a political trial. The values of D66 [a Dutch leftist liberal party] and NRC Handelsblad [a Dutch leftist liberal party] will never be brought before a judge in this country… Those on the Left like to tamper with the separation of powers. When they cannot win politically because the Dutch people have discerned their sinister agenda, they try to win through the courts.

Whatever your verdict may be, that is the bitter conclusion of this trial.

This trial is also surrealistic. I am being compared with the Hutu murderers in Rwanda and with Mladic. Only a few minutes ago some here have doubted my mental health. I have been called a new Hitler. I wonder whether those who call me such names will also be sued, and if not, whether the Court will also order prosecution. Probably not. And that is just as well. Because freedom of speech applies also to my opponents…

Acquit me. Political freedom requires that citizens and their elected representatives are allowed to voice opinions that are held in society.

Acquit me, for if I am convicted, you convict the freedom of opinion and expression of millions of Dutchmen.

Acquit me. I do not incite to hatred. I do not incite to discrimination. But I defend the character, the identity, the culture and the freedom of the Netherlands. That is the truth. That is why I am here. That is why I speak. That is why, like Luther before the Imperial Diet at Worms, I say: “Here I stand, I can do no other."…

Mister President, members of the Court, though I stand here alone, my voice is the voice of many. This trial is not about me. It is about something much greater. Freedom of expression is the life source of our Western civilisation....

Mister President, members of the Court, you have a great responsibility. Do not cut freedom in the Netherlands from its roots, our freedom of expression. Acquit me. Choose freedom.

(Thanks to reader Charles.)


And emissions still rise

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 02, 11 (04:39 pm)

But Julia Gillard’s emissions trading scheme will be perfect:

The international market in carbon credits has suffered an almost total collapse, with only $1.5bn (£916m) of credits traded last year - the lowest since the market opened in 2005, according to a report from the World Bank.

A fledgling market in greenhouse gas emissions in the US also declined, and only the European Union’s internal market in carbon remained healthy, worth $120bn. However, leaked documents seen by the Guardian appear to show that even the EU’s emissions trading system is in danger.

(Thanks to reader SmirkingLiberal.)


Depends on the animal you use, or the politician you insult

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 02, 11 (04:29 pm)

Labor says likening someone to a cat is disgusting:

Tasmanian Liberal David Bushby made a loud “meow” noise to Senator Wong, who then accused him of sexism and “schoolyard politics”.

“Oh yes, why don’t you meow when a woman does that? That’s a good idea,” Ms Wong said during the fiery exchange…

Human Services Minister Tanya Plibersek labelled the Opposition Leader and his frontbench as sexist.

“I think everyone in this house agrees there is room for humour, but what I am tired of and what so many women are tired of, is that whenever there is conflict, we have the Leader of the Opposition and his senior ministers reverting to this sort of sexist language,” she told Parliament.

Bob Hawke today demonstrates that likening someone to a snake is fine:

Now I don’t mind Tony [Abbott], he’s not a bad bloke, but as I said during the [election] campaign he’s as mad as a cut snake

And Julia Gillard has long thought likening someone to a mincing poodle is fine, too:

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard mocked the Coalition for choosing Christopher Pyne as the manager of opposition business…

“In a choice between macho and mincing I would have gone for macho myself,” she said. “The leader of the Opposition faced with the choice of a doberman or the poodle has gone for the poodle.”

So your offensiveness depends on the animal you choose, or the gender you insult. Or maybe just the party you represent.

(Thanks to readers Michael and others.)


I thought religion had to be kept out of the classroom

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 02, 11 (03:44 pm)

The teachers’ union tells teachers to back the Gillard Government’s useless tax to stop a warming that’s wildly exaggerated:

We believe, as educators and unionists that it’s vital unions are involved in debates on climate change...

What chance that the students will get an unbiased education?

(Thanks to reader James.)

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