Wednesday, June 08, 2011

News items and comments

FROM THE PANIC ROOM

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:14 am)

The Canberra Times reported on Saturday that death threats had forced leading climate change scientists to remove their names from staff directories and office doors, relocate to more secure buildings, decline meetings without security accompaniment, install upgraded home security systems and switch to unlisted phone numbers. Now we see several extracts from those “threats”, which contain obscenities and are therefore available only on the following page.

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BIG METAL FLOWER

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:05 am)

Stupid public art is blooming everywhere:

Grow, an 8m steel sculpture erected in Altona Meadows, has been called ugly and a waste of money …

The sculpture cost $56,000 while $94,000 was spent on landscaping the corner.

But Hobsons Bay councillor Luba Grigorovitch said it was a perfect fit.

“It looks magnificent on this busy corner (Queen and Merton streets) and reflects the history and growth of the area,” she said …

Cr Grigorovitch said the money spent on public art was a small percentage of the council’s budget.

“Some will love this while others may not. This is what makes public art,” she said.

No, councillor. What makes public art is that the public pays for it. Including people who don’t like it.

Artist Jonathan Leahey told a local newspaper the design was inspired by a drawing made by his five-year-old daughter.

Here is the art:

image

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FREE GLOVER MONEY

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (05:39 am)

Win $500 in JunkScience.com’s Climate Change Denier Tattoo Sweepstakes!

(Via possibly-inked Garth Godsman)

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392 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S CORINNE AND SIMON TAX

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (05:24 am)

Say Yes … to international flights! Carbon activists Corinne Grant and Simon Sheikh flee Australia on jets after telling everybody to punish themselves for living by paying Labor’s carbon dioxide tax. I bet they marked the little Holiness Offset option on their tickets, too. Tellingly, however, most people don’t, as Janet Albrechtsen reports:

As at January this year, 88 per cent of people said no thanks to paying less than $2 to offset carbon from their Jetstar flight. When buying a ticket on a Qantas plane, only 8 per cent of online flyers consciously ticked the “yes, offset flights” button to pay $1.82. By May this year, that figure had dropped to 7 per cent.

To make things clear for the political class, most people are saying no to spending less than $2 to apparently help the environment when they fly. Unless you’re travelling through the rich hippie town of Byron Bay, where you’ll find the highest uptake of those saying yes to buying carbon offsets. By contrast, those travelling through Hamilton Island, your more middle Australia holiday destination, account for the highest number of people saying a polite “no thanks” to paying for a feel-good shot of carbon offsets.

That divide tells a story that the Gillard government may want to listen to.

“Listening.” That’s so 2010.

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HOLY SOLAR ROLLERS

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (05:21 am)

A warning in March:

Industry sources say the same operators who opened rainwater tank companies on the back of government rebates had moved to selling solar panels as homeowners raced to grab up to $6000 in federal rebates on roof-mounted solar panels.

Subsequently:

Scammers based at a fake church on the Gold Coast have ripped off dozens of people in the southeast with the promise of solar-power systems that never materialise.

A Courier-Mail investigation has obtained evidence showing that since late last year at least 150 families have paid $900 each to a business called Solar Powered Products.

The Church of Solarology – run by the elusive “Pastor Steve” and his wife – quickly commenced damage control:

On Saturday, following The Courier-Mail’s report, messages appeared on the websites of the Jones’ Solar Powered Products business and its Australia’s Revival religious charity calling on people not to make “hasty assumptions”, apologising for any inconvenience and asserting in both cases that “we are a genuine organisation”.

The Australia’s Revival page was taken down yesterday and replaced with a mission statement including a quote from James 5:16 - “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”.

But effective, fervent scams avail much more:

Dozens more victims of the solar scam exposed by The Courier-Mail this week have come forward with identical tales of woe, with evidence pointing to the fraudsters netting up to $300,000 from the scheme.

Documents indicate at least 320 households in Brisbane and Logan were conned into handing over $900 to Solar Powered Products since September in a scam promising “free” installations that never arrive.

There is no evidence of Solar Powered Products ever having installed a system for anyone.

A message at the company’s website now indicates that the solar rollaring is over:

“Recent negative publications have damaged the business names beyond repair and have therefore rendered any trading impractical.”

Until next time.

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PAY LESS, GET MORE

Tim Blair – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (05:00 am)

In Ohio, fat cats going cheap:

Pound for pound, cat lovers can get more for their money this month at the Capital Area Humane Society.

Much, much more.

Fat cats – oh-so-cute, but oh-so-plump – are on sale for $15 apiece or two for $20, a huge discount from the regular adoption price of $70 per adult cat.

If you are looking to buy a cat, make it a great big slothful one. They’re just cooler.

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My “generosity”

by RUSS ROBERTS on JUNE 7, 2011

in POLITICS

Dan Akerson, the head of GM, evaluates (HT: N Karr) the government rescue of GM that used my money to save his company:

At the current stock price, U.S. taxpayers would be out more than $12 billion on GM’s bailout. Still, Akerson believes that, in the end, taxpayers will see the government made the right call in saving the automaker, as well as crosstown rival Chrysler.

“We are in the midst of transforming an iconic American company so 20 and 30 years from now (taxpayers) will look at this company and they’ll say, ‘Absolutely it was the right thing to do,’” Akerson said. “And it shouldn’t be measured on did it sell for $43 or $53 (a share) or did they lose a couple billion dollars?”

GM was saved, he said, because of the extreme generosity of Americans — a spirit that helped restore Europe and Japan after World War II and rebuild cities such as New Orleans after natural disasters.

“We’re the most generous country, even in terrible times,” Akerson said. “We don’t walk to the disaster as a nation. … We can’t wait to help.”

What an interesting way to describe the government forcing me to help the auto unions (HT: Mark Murphy). Generosity?

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Eichengreen on the dollar

by RUSS ROBERTS on JUNE 7, 2011

in PODCAST

This week’s EconTalk is Barry Eichengreen talking about the dollar–its role as a reserve currency, the advantages of that role for the US, and whether another currency might take over that role.

For me, the most interesting part of the conversation was a discussion of China’s alleged currency manipulation to keep their exports high. Eichengreen argued that this is bad for the US as a whole–that is, it is bad that China is willing to sell us cheap stuff. I have never understood this argument in good or bad times. But Eichengreen made the argument clearly–there is a “fixed lump” of aggregate demand and by keeping the prices of Chinese products low, US aggregate demand goes to China rather than the US. I don’t know what it means to say that there is a fixed lump of aggregate demand. But that’s the argument. I pointed out that Keynes also embraced protectionism during the Great Depression. I am glad I am not a Keynesian. Besides the fact that I do not understand how a nation can thrive by producing things at a higher cost, the political incentives of such a view are not so healthy.

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Yet another boat

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (07:02 am)

Which makes nearly 280 boat people who’ve arrived since the Gillard Government announced the next 800 would be sent to Malaysia in a onefor-five swap:

.A BOAT carrying an estimated 59 asylum-seekers has arrived in Australian waters.

Here is where typical Gillard Government bungling may have ruined the solution it desperately needed. The Government, in a panic, announced the Malaysian deal before it was even signed. It still isn’t signed, in fact.. This means it’s been unable to actually send anyone back yet, to prove it means what it says and to send that message. So by the time the deal becomes operative, that 800 quota may be almost completely filled already, meaning any new arrivals won’t be covered by the deal, with no other country yet signed up to take any more.

What a disaster.

So why the too-early announcement? One theory is that the Government didn’t trust Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd not to leak the details of a deal he wouldn’t like and hadn’t negotiated, or even not to sabotage it. Now the Malaysians can name their price.

UPDATE

It gets worse for the Government:

TONY ABBOTT plans to fly to Nauru tomorrow to reinforce his claims that the centre there is ready and willing to take asylum seekers, while the government’s hopes for a quick deal with Papua New Guinea have been sunk after the shock sacking of the PNG Foreign Affairs Minister, Don Polye - the proposal’s main advocate…

Australia had been dealing mainly with the Prime Minister, Sir Michael Somare, and Mr Polye. But Sir Michael is ill in Singapore and unlikely to return; a political crisis has enveloped the country, with a power struggle between Mr Polye and the acting Prime Minister, Sam Abal.

Mr Polye was the main supporter of the Australian deal, and wanted a quick decision, while Mr Abal has stalled the decision and may demand more economic sweeteners.

Ross Cameron says it’s not just Malaysia that now has the Gillard Government over a barrel:


Ironically, the one Australian with real influence in PNG is Kevin Rudd, as a result of his close bond with Somare, who is thought to be terminally ill. A post-operative bedside visit from Rudd in Singapore was enough to put Manus Island back on the agenda. We now have the extraordinary situation that Rudd - executed for his failure on boat arrivals - may be the only senior government figure capable of brokering that deal....

But indications are that having opened the door to Manus Island, Rudd has bolted for Europe, in part to distance himself from events unfolding under Bowen and Gillard. Backbenchers are praying the bloke they shafted will jet home to save Labor’s bacon in Port Moresby. Don’t hold your breath.

Australia - which has been the strong power in the region for decades - has never negotiated from a position of such weakness.

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A lecture on emissions from the lady on the jet

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:58 am)

IT’S the lectures they give from the door of their jets that tell me the global warmists aren’t serious.

Take Simon Sheikh, the GetUp boss who helped to organise Sunday’s Say Yes rallies for a carbon dioxide tax.

“We say yes to a price on pollution and yes to clean energy investment,” he cried to the crowd in Sydney.

The Australian people must be forced to cut their emissions, Sheikh insisted, but by nightfall Sheikh himself was on a jet powered by unclean energy for a long and gassy flight to New York.

Or take Corinne Grant, the comedian.

She told the Melbourne rally we had to have the Gillard Government’s carbon dioxide tax, to cut the planet-killing “carbon pollution” we belch out by burning coal and petrol.

“We need to try and combat the scaremongering coming from our largest polluters,” she insisted.

But after the rally, she, too, was off on on a plane powered by pollution.

As she tweeted: “Right. I’m buggering off to France for ten weeks.”

And she wasn’t walking there.

Or take - please - actor Cate Blanchett, who starred in the Say Yes ad last week that falsely claimed Julia Gillard’s tax would not only stop the seas from rising but clean the skies of soot.

This week it’s reported that Blanchett has so little fear of the seas actually rising that she’s bought land on Vanuatu’s lovely Havannah Harbour, which, if the alarmists are right, should be washed away in just a few decades of apocalyptic warming.

Just how she’ll get to the island without adding to the emissions she wants the rest of us to cut is a mystery.

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Three deaths a year is not a war we should shirk

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:56 am)

DID any of us think that 10 years after the invasion of Afghanistan, we’d still have soldiers dying there?

Meet our new enemy - time, sapping our resolve.

Modern wars rarely last this long. World War I took four years, World War II took six. Iraq has been and gone already.

But on this one drags, with only promises to draw down the coalition force from next year.

Meanwhile, Australians keep dying. There’ve been four in just these past three weeks, including 23-year-old Sapper Rowan Robinson.

That’s 27 Australian dead in all, and calls for a withdrawal are suddenly growing very loud.

It’s not just the Greens. Most Australians are telling pollsters they’ve had enough. Bring ‘em home.

Never have Australians soldiers fought a war lasting this long, and it seems time’s up.

But there is one other remarkable thing about this war. Never have we fought one so remarkably bloodless.

Yes, the death of every soldier we’ve lost is an incalculable blow to his family.

But 27 dead in 10 years? Fewer than three a year? When were we last in a war that so spared us?

Nor would it be right to say that those deaths are for nothing.

For instance, we are told Robinson died yesterday in an operation in northern Helmand province in which a joint Australian and Afghan force found and destroyed a huge Taliban armaments cache, including 70 anti-personnel mines that will now never kill a Digger or the Afghans they protect.

Our defence force chief, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, considers this symbolic of our whole operation in Afghanistan, and particularly in Oruzgan province, where most of our fighting is done.

“Why would you pull out if you are making the best progress you’ve ever made?” he pleaded yesterday.

“The Taliban in Oruzgan is totally disrupted, and that’s because of the efforts of our people working very effectively with the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.

“We are doing very well in a military achievement sense.”

Just how progress is defined will never satisfy the absolutists, looking for a final victory or an instant Sweden over the Khyber Pass.

The fact is that since World War II, no war has ended in a declared victory, other than the first Gulf War. When exactly was the Iraq war won? Is the Korean War even finished?

Afghanistan is a war that we’ll never know the exact end of, either.

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Where were Bowen’s critics when boat people were drowning?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:53 am)

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SOME of Labor’s angriest new critics should look to their own conscience first.

Oh, they’re so moral, damning Labor for its admittedly inept attempt to fix its deadliest mistake.

Hear them saying how shocked they are by the alleged inhumanity of Labor’s deal with Malaysia to stop the boats.

The Greens say this swap of 800 of our boat people for 4000 of Malaysia’s refugees is “cruel and punitive”.

Amnesty International and Oxfam call it “inhumane”.

Refugee activist Marion Le rages that this “trading in humans” is “reaching to the bottom of the barrel”.

And now Immigration Minister Chris Bowen must stare down a mutiny by some of the Labor Left, arcing up over a deal that at least may stop the boats that Labor lured here so recklessly.

Take Labor MP and former United Nations lawyer Melissa Parke, who’s become a media starlet for warning that Bowen’s plan could contradict the United Nations’ Refugee Convention, International Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, Convention Against Torture and Convention on the Right of the Child.

You mean we’ve disappointed the UN, that corrupt body whose top human rights council includes Libya, Saudi Arabia, China, Cuba and Russia?

Gosh. And you think we should care?

Even more amazing.

Look, time to ask these moralising critics a few questions.

Where were you guys as one boat after another sank in the seas off Australia, drowning some 200 people - all lured to their deaths by Labor’s “compassion”?

Where was your rage at Labor’s policies when one of those boats smashed on the rocks of Christmas Island last December?

Don’t pretend there was nothing to condemn Labor for. The link between its policies and those deaths is undeniable.

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If the economy is booming, why are we hurting?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:48 am)

If all the predictions of a rapid bounce-back prove false, the Gillard Government will be destroyed:

AUSTRALIAN retailers are facing their worst financial year in two decades. Access Economics forecasts released this morning have inflation-adjusted retail sales growing only 1.3 per cent in 2010-11, meaning real spending per person will shrink.

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A culture of dysfunction

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:38 am)

But the fault is far from the schools’ alone:

INDIGENOUS Year 9 students are being failed in the classroom, with a new report showing Aboriginal disadvantage is worsening in education despite government efforts to close the gap.

While reading levels for younger indigenous students in Years 3, 5 and 7 improved last year compared with 2008, a Council of Australian Governments Reform Council report released today shows the gulf in reading ability between indigenous and non-indigenous students in Year 9 has widened.And there has been no significant improvement in numeracy standards of indigenous students in any of the age groups.

The report, which analysed NAPLAN data, finds fewer than two-thirds of Aboriginal Year 9 students can read at the national minimum standard. Year 9 reading results have dropped 6.5 per cent on where they stood in 2008.

Where are the parents in this? Where are the tough programs to crack down on absenteeism? Where the ruthless determination to stamp out the fetish for teaching in Aboriginal languages?

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Greens pray, poor pay

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:20 am)

A small insight into how the solar rebates means the poor paying more to subsidise the follies of the rich, who, like Cate Blanchett, have the up-front dosh for solar panels:

ELECTRICITY customers in NSW will pay for a blowout in the cost of the troubled solar bonus scheme after the Premier, Barry O’Farrell, was forced to back down from plans to retrospectively cut the tariff paid to up to 100,000 participants…

The government estimates the average bill will rise by just $7 a quarter until the scheme ends in December 2016.

UPDATE

Graham Lloyd is spot on:

BARRY O’Farrell’s failure to cut the NSW feed-in tariff for solar electricity is another reminder of how Australia’s climate change response has become a cascading debacle of ill-conceived, knee-jerk policy on the run.

In the case of rooftop solar, one of the most expensive ways to cut carbon emissions has become the most widely used because of its irresistible appeal as a visible demonstration of political eco-cred.

My solution? To pass a law insisting all solar units be painted fluoro orange. That should make them instantly unfashionable.

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Minister stampeded by backbenchers into a full ban

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (06:15 am)

Joe Ludwig’s first response to was call for an inquiry. His second, forced on him by angry backbenchers, was to ban exports to just the worst abbatoirs. Now, in full retreat, it’s top ban all live exports to Indonesia:

ALL live cattle exports to Indonesia have been suspended following public outrage over the country’s cruel treatment of animals…

Prime Minister Julia Gillard had agreed to the suspension to head off am embrrassing party room revolt and protests from the Greens and independent MPs.

The suspension is a victory for Victorian Labor MP Kelvin Thompson and his New South Wales colleague Janelle Saffin who had flagged their intention to call for a ban at a meeting of Labor MPs next Tuesday.

It was likely the ban would have been approved by MPs regardless of the PM’s wishes, in what would have been the first big example of the caucus flexing its muscles since she took power almost a year ago.

MPs have been outraged over Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig’s failure to show a tough stance in his response to the shocking video of animal cruelty aired on the ABC’s Four Corners program.

What if Labor backbenchers got a taste for this kind of revolt? Heavens, they might even learn to get as upset about exporting boat people to Malaysia as they are about exporting cattle to Indonesia.

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A month later, two more government claims fall apart

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (05:55 am)

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen warns boat people on May 7:

From today onwards – fair warning – you do not have a guarantee of being processed and resettled in Australia as a result of our bilateral discussions across the region with Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and others.

But a month later - with still no deal signed with any other nation - that threat is hollow:

NEARLY 300 asylum-seekers who have arrived since the Gillard government announced its controversial refugee swap with Malaysia look increasingly likely to be processed in Australia, despite a government pledge to deport them to a third country.

As a boat carrying 59 passengers and two crew sailed to Christmas Island yesterday, the UNHCR’s top official in Australia, Richard Towle, called on the government to determine the fate of the 274 people slated for deportation, and whose refugee claims the government has refused to process.

On May 11, Prime Minister Julia Gillard again insists that boat people have not been pulled here by her weaker border laws:

JULIA GILLARD: We believe that there are push factors around the world, things that get people on the move. Look at Sri Lanka. We were seeing numbers of people come from Sri Lanka, aftermath of civil war. Now of course it’s stabilising and numbers have gone down. So, people getting pushed by events around the world.

CHRIS UHLMANN: And they were being pulled by Australia.

JULIA GILLARD: Well, I’m not agreeing with that.

But that turns out to be deceitful spin, too:

The warning from the UNHCR came as the head of Customs and Border Protection Command, Mike Pezzullo, predicted the government’s Malaysia deal would stop the people-smuggling model “stone dead”....

But in comments that challenge longstanding government orthodoxy about the root cause of the people-smuggling trade, Mr Pezzullo said asylum-seekers were “very, very sensitive” to changes in Australian approaches to the issue.

“Travellers these days are very, very savvy,” he said.

“And the people coming into Australia are not actually ignorant of the conditions they are coming into.

“They are very, very sensitive to market information. They are very, very sensitive to changes in Australian approaches.”

The government has long maintained that push factors such as war and chaos abroad were the main drivers behind the asylum-seeker surge, downplaying the role of Australian policies, which Labor softened after coming into office.

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Cold stats put the lie to warmist hype

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (05:45 am)

Janet Albrechtsen has the numbers that say no to the weekend’s Say Yes campaign:

As at January this year, 88 per cent of people said no thanks to paying less than $2 to offset carbon from their Jetstar flight. When buying a ticket on a Qantas plane, only 8 per cent of online flyers consciously ticked the “yes, offset flights” button to pay $1.82. By May this year, that figure had dropped to 7 per cent.

To make things clear for the political class, most people are saying no to spending less than $2 to apparently help the environment when they fly....

Irving Kristol ... once remarked that bad politics is like bad poetry, which as Oscar Wilde said, doesn’t get any better just because it springs from genuine feeling. In 1972 Kristol wrote: “It seems to me that the politics of liberal reform, in recent years, shows many of the same characteristics as amateur poetry. It has been more concerned with the kind of symbolic action that gratifies the passions of the reformer rather than with the efficacy of the reforms themselves."…

More than 40 years later, Kristol could have been describing the protest marches last weekend ...

“Today is a big day because today Australians will ask their government for a price on carbon,” said Simon Sheikh, rally organiser and national director of GetUp!. Australians did no such thing. The vast majority stayed home. Eight thousand people turning up to a rally in Sydney is not a success. Across Australia, the turnout was said to be about 40,000. That is not Australia talking. In May 1970, hundreds of thousands of people marched to protest against Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War. In November 1992, 100,000 Victorians protested against budget cuts introduced by then premier Jeff Kennett. About 150,000 took to the streets of Melbourne in February 2003 to protest against a war in Iraq.

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Don’t know and don’t care if it will actually lower the temperature

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (12:02 am)

Sinclair Davidson notes this brilliant exchange in a Senate estimates hearing on June 1:

Senator JOYCE: Just out of curiosity, Dr Nigel Ray calls it ‘climate change modelling’. So, of all the other things, did you model how much the climate was going to change; and, if so, how much will it change?

Ms Quinn (General Manager, Macroeconomic Modelling Division): Perhaps I could take that question. The Treasury looks at the economic implications of climate change mitigation, and we have been very clear about that in terms of the skill sets and the types of analysis that we look at. We do not look at the science of climate change. We have not looked at the implications of climate impacts on the Australian economy.

Senator JOYCE: Do any of these models give any sort of prediction about any sort of change in the climate?

Ms Quinn: That is a question you would have to ask a climate scientist.

Senator JOYCE: Why do you call it ‘climate change modelling’, if you have no idea of what it is going to do to the climate?

Ms Quinn: We call it ‘climate change mitigation modelling’.

Senator JOYCE: So how much is it mitigating the climate by?

Senator Wong: Senator, those questions should go to Climate Change.

Senator JOYCE: I am just curious. It just seems peculiar to go through all of these things and they do not actually do anything for the climate.

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With a record like this, you trust them with a green tax, too?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, June 08, 11 (12:02 am)

To see what a disaster this Government’s green programs have been, check the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s website.

Programs and rebates

The Australian Government is committed to developing programs and initiatives to support householders, industry and the community to save energy and reduce emissions.

Green Loans
Green Start
Home Insulation Safety Plan
National Solar Schools
Renewable Energy Target
Smart Grid, Smart City
Solar Cities
Solar Hot Water Rebate

Now let’s click on the links for those programs which were scrapped, cut or modified as a waste, a menace, a financial blowout or a political disaster:

Green Loans program

Program Closed - 28 February 2011
As announced by the Government on 21 December 2010, the Green Loans Program closed at 5pm AEDST on Monday 28 February 2011.

Green Start

On 21 December 2010, the Government announced that it would not be proceeding with Rounds 1 and 2 of the Green Start Program. The current Green Loans program, which was planned to end in late 2010, will now be extended to 28 February 2011. To assist those affected by this decision, $30 million set aside from the closure of the Green Loans and Green Start programs will be used to assist uncontracted Green Loans assessors and support accredited assessors to receive further training.

Home Insulation Safety Plan

The Home Insulation Program (HIP) was announced as part of the $42 billion Nation Building – Economic Stimulus Plan on 3 February 2009. Under the HIP, around 1.2 million households were insulated at a cost of around $1.45 billion… The program was closed on 19 February 2010 due to escalating safety and compliance concerns, including four tragic installer deaths and a number of fire incidents in households with insulation installed under the HIP.

National Solar Schools Program

As part of the 2011-12 Budget, the Government announced that the NSSP will close two years earlier than expected, with two remaining funding rounds. Savings generated will be reinvested in new proposals to move Australia to a clean energy future, principally through the introduction of a carbon price. Approximately $50 million in funding remains available under the program.

Renewable Energy Target

...Solar Credits

On 5 May 2011, the Government announced changes [reductions] to the Solar Credits multiplier which will apply from 1 July 2011.

Solar Hot Water Rebate

REBS replaced the former Solar Hot Water Rebate Program which was discontinued as of close of business 19 February 2010.

That makes six out of eight green programs which turned out to be overpriced, underperforming or otherwise botched. And this from a Government now planning the most complicated, controversial and expensive green program of all - a carbon dioxide tax.

Good luck.

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Bare-faced liar excused

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, June 07, 11 (04:59 pm)

image

It’s different if you’re a Democrat.

Here’s how the story broke:

Andrew Breitbart’s ”Big Government” website has published a racy photo that it claims was Tweeted by New York Representative Anthony Weiner to an unnamed recipient.

Weiner has claimed that his Facebook account was hacked and that, while the photo did appear on his Twitter feed, he did not send it. The photo shows a man’s erect penis outlined in a pair of tight boxer briefs. Today, Breitbart has been taunting Weiner via Twitter, claiming that he has “much more” scandalous material to reveal.

Some bare-faced denials followed

But more details emerged:

A new woman has come forward with what she claims are photographs, chats, and emails with Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY). These appear to undermine severely Rep. Weiner’s explanations that he was the victim of a “prank” or a “hack.”

The detailed new information suggests that the Brooklyn- and Queens-based representative and the young woman in question were involved in an online, consensual relationship involving the mutual exchange of intimate photographs.

And so did more allegations:

Star magazine has another woman--described as a Democratic campaign volunteer who is “middle-aged and from Nevada"--to whom Weiner allegedly sent 200 sexually explicit messages on Facebook. She also says that she never met Weiner, but “once had a 30 minute phone sex session with Weiner on his government provided telephone.” (Maybe he got the idea from Bill Clinton.) I don’t have the same confidence in Star’s editorial standards that I do in Breitbart, so take it for what it is worth. If you follow the link, the quoted messages do have a seeming ring of truth. One wonders, now that the floodgates have opened, whether other women will emerge.

So Breitbart was right. But how the main-stream media attacked the man who’d been labelled a liar:

Then Weiner fronted and admitted to lying:

But the New York Times played the whole thing down as it would never do with a Republican, leading Mark Steyn to mock:

re that New York Times “news alert” — “Representative Anthony D. Weiner Acknowledges Communication With Women Online” — nobody who could write that headline with a straight face should be in the news business.

It’s one thing to lose the story to Andrew Breitbart because you’re too snooty to sully yourself with Weiner’s briefs. It’s another thing to pile on and support Weiner’s slandering of Breitbart out of ideological solidarity. But, when the congressman himself is at a press conference admitting he’s e-mailed explicit photos of himself around the Internet and you choose that headline to convey the story to your readers, you’re basically telling them you’re the paper for court eunuchs.

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Slash your emissions, they yelled from the jet

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, June 07, 11 (04:45 pm)

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Corinne Grant tells the Say Yes warmists that wicked polluters must be punished:

Comedian and Melbourne rally MC Corinne Grant said a carbon tax must be introduced this year.

“We need to try and combat the scaremongering coming from our largest polluters,” Ms Grant said.

Corinne Grant then steps on a polluting plane and tweets fans she’s off:

Right. I’m buggering off to France for ten weeks. (Or, as the French say, ‘Je suis boogerrang erff’. Au revoir!

GetUp boss Simon Sheikh did the same. In the morning of the rallies, he told crowds we had to slash our emissions. By nightfall, he was on a jet to the US.

(Thanks to reader Brian.)

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Thanks for dropping in

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, June 07, 11 (12:43 pm)

Another cracker month in May for the blog:

Unique browsers: 233,581

Page views: 2,438,330

Your support is what keeps this going.

UPDATE

Oops, figures corrected to restore 2 million page views I’d accidentally deleted.

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A sign of faith in Julia’s tax

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, June 07, 11 (12:18 pm)

Well, this sign at Sydney’s Say Yes rally convinces me.

(UPDATE: The photograph has been taken down after a protest by the photographer at our use of this evidence. Odd: I’d have thought this stunning rebuttal of all sceptics would have been considered so powerful that the widest publication was in the public interest.)

UPDATE

Economist Professor Sinclair Davidson marks the assignment:

The graph above shows that people will substitute one product for another when relative prices change. But a whole category of ‘clean products’ at present either does not exist or is inferior to existing offerings. The welfare analysis in the graph assumes that people can be indifferent to combinations of the product offerings. But ask yourself, would you be indifferent to having continuous energy to operate all your electrical appliances (dirty products) or intermittent energy to operate all your appliances when the wind blowing or the sun shining (clean products)? How much would the government have to pay you to be indifferent?

Final point – that graph shows that people who get 100 percent compensation can be as well-off as before, what it doesn’t show, of course, is that everybody else is worse off. That is a huge omission. To be fair, it is only a partial equilbrium result and can’t show everything.

(Thanks to reader Burchell.)

UPDATE

Sign-writer Martin Jones responds:

As the smug, gormless, homosexual (yet unfashionably dressed), know-it-all, nazi, dole-bludging, sexually-frustrated beta-male prat pictured, let me respond:

First of all, thank you all for underestimating my age and experience by up to a decade; it’s very flattering to know my thrice-daily moisturising regime (organic products, made from happy plants) has shown such effect, even in the harsh sunlight causing me to squint as I faced one of the multitude of cameras immortalising my courageous attempt to educate the unwashed masses (this was a climate rally, after all).

Secondly, to the (very) few who’ve picked the economics of the graph with any degree of rigour: by and large, your criticisms are correct. It would be absurd to try and fit a fully-fledged and nuanced economic justification of a multi-instrument response to anthropogenic climate change on a placard, so I didn’t even try. Instead, I used a simplistic graph (drawn from memory, rather than a textbook, my pseudo-intellectual superiority complex compels me to note) that would be recognisable to those who understand economics and whose principles could be easily explained to those who hadn’t.
Combined with a slogan that slyly references XKCD for all the nerds out there (hold those TI-86s up high!), the phone numbers of impressionable young arts student activists scrawled on the back of my poster in crayon are a testament to my success.

Finally, you’re not my target audience, so basically you can all sod off while I cycle (no Kombi; it got trashed at a bush-doof) to my local cafĂ© and drink chai (much more ethical than coffee) with my socialist, testosterone-free brethren.

But thanks again for saying I look so young!

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Gutman vs the hyenas

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, June 07, 11 (11:30 am)

“Why are you so obsessed with Israel?”

Sandy Gutman takes it to the anti-Israeli bigots Lee Rhiannon and Paul “hyenas” McGeough on Q&A from 40:00. How squalid and implausible they seem when confronted, even with Tony Jones running interference.

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A very long war

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

Did we think that 10 years after going into Afghanistan, we’d still be losing soldiers there?

A 23-year-old Australian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan overnight, taking to 27 the number of Australians killed.

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Does Cate really believe what she preaches?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, June 07, 11 (10:20 am)

But won’t rising seas drown the island? Won’t flying there cause planet-choking emissions? Isn’t owning so many properties a crime against the fragile planet?

Or does Cate Blanchett not believe her own eco-alarmism?

The movie star-turned-eco warrior is believed to have recently bought a plot of land in Vanuatu, one of the countries hardest hit by global warming....

Blanchett is thought to have bought some waterfront property in or around the luxury area of Havannah Harbour during a visit last year…

Other sources said she bought property around Havannah Harbour, where the property market for international celebrities and other jetsetters is booming…

The Vanuatu travel and luxury magazine Pacifique breathlessly opined: “Cate Blanchett’s purchase in Havannah Harbour has everyone rethinking this tropical paradise.”

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for Australia
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Titanic mistake. But it is all that supports ALP policy
www.news.com.au
MOST people would think twice before buying a boat named Titanic II. And sure enough, when Briton Mark Wilkinson took the 4.8-metre cabin cruiser out for its maiden voyage, it promptly sank.
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Now is not the time to cut costs with our troops
DID any of us think that 10 years after the invasion of Afghanistan, we'd still have soldiers dying there? Meet our new enemy - time, sapping our resolve.
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Reducing carbon will destroy industry but won't change climate
LIKE the many thousands of Australians who attended rallies at the weekend, I believe it's critical to take action on climate change to protect our environment for this generation and the generations ...
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ALP could improve their failed policy by following Liberal party policy
SOME of Labor's angriest new critics should look to their own conscience first. Oh, they're so moral, damning the Labor government for its admittedly inept attempt to fix its deadliest mistake.
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Teachers need to learn the discipline of advocating a position other than their pet beliefs. They need to listen to their students and incorporate their students insights into the classroom experience. But most teachers prattle Green dogma.
TEACHERS are stuck in a "model of mass production of schooling" and need to be liberated.

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Science needs to be documented. This isn't science, but then neither is global warming
WELL, that was fun while it lasted.


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Gillard can show him how she prays
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott will meet with the Dalai Lama next week, but Prime Minister Julia Gillard still isn't saying whether she will do the same.
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Rubbish. His death is a tragedy. His life and work as a soldier saved lives. Gillard has no effective policy
THE mood within the special forces patrol was buoyant as they flew low and fast across the grey, dusty countryside of Helmand province.
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ALP is still imploding
FORMER planning minister Tony Kelly has quit parliament just two months after becoming Labor leader in the upper house after he was drawn into an ICAC investigation into the former government's purcha...
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The problem is worse because she is incompetent
SHE travels the world as the Lord Mayor of Sydney but "Clover the Rover" is only backed by barely 34,000 people in a city of 4.5 million.
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Logic suggests the coolest part of the day immediately follows sunrise. This is because for a time it is still cooling, but the rate of change of cooling tends to warming.
THAT extra-frosty feeling if you rise at the crack of dawn is not just a wintry illusion.

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I am a pedestrian .. Will I be labelled a tax avoider?
THE man who brought Manchester its congestion tax said Sydney needs a road pricing system - starting with green hybrids and electric cars which avoid a fuel tax.
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This is responsible government, something NSW has not been used to and journalists don't want
THE state's coldest start to winter in 40 years and bureaucratic bungling helped torpedo Premier Barry O'Farrell's unpopular plan to shut down the solar bonus scheme.
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A failed policy
A BOAT carrying an estimated 59 asylum-seekers has arrived in Australian waters.
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I hope they charge him too
A FORMER TV star has been interviewed by the state's corruption watchdog into the sale of the former union retreat Currawong, which was bought by the state government just days before the March state ...
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Protectionism is a failed economic policy. Government regulation is bad when it isn't essential
AUSSIE Home Loans founder John Symond has slammed the latest Greens proposal to impose a mining-style tax on the big four banks.

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Can we add to McNeil's sentence?
POLICE have abandoned a dig in the garden of the Norfolk Island house which was home to the killer of Sydney woman Janelle Patton after finding no fresh evidence.
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The adage goes "if you fall off a horse you get back on immediately" but OHS suggests otherwise.
A STUDENT fell twice from a former racehorse just a fortnight before another teenager died while riding the same horse as part of her TAFE training course, an inquest heard yesterday.
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Gillard desperate to add to her 200 deaths in migration so far, caused by her bad policy which replaced the Pacific solution
A US State Department report has highlighted 1300 deaths of Malaysian immigration centre detainees and prisoners in just six years due to overcrowding and poor sanitation.
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Meanwhile the killers kiss and canoodle in the dock and a sympathetic magistrate will consider their life story.
WITH a toddler's clumsy wave, Hudson Leeding said goodbye to his daddy. The two-year-old looked confused as he was led away from the hearse carrying Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding's coffin.
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I don't have a car, but aspire to have one and yet pity those who do.
THE Rocks will become a pedestrian-focused "village" catering to Sydneysiders instead of tourists, with private car use potentially restricted in the area.
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Good government means effective government. Eventually we all benefit
ELECTIVE surgery waiting lists are about to blow out by an extra 30,000 patients as the state government orders hospitals to stop fudging lists.
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Witness the life of another atheist fornicator
HE treated her like the "princess" he called her, right down to the "Pretty Woman shopping" before she started a new job.
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So is Gillard praying again? Will the atheist fornicator turn to God for help, or is she mouthing what she desperately hopes is the right words to manipulate the most people?
AS US President Barack Obama met yesterday with his security chiefs over plans to start drawing down forces in Afghanistan next month, a defiant Julia Gillard vowed Australia's resolve would not waver...
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I still don't know what was wrong with work choices. I know ALP industrial relations is a failure ..
NURSES are leading the fight against the NSW government's public sector wage changes, with health workers across Sydney threatening to strike en masse next week.
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Chomsky is a highly lauded fool
SINCE the Vietnam war era, Massachusetts Institute of Technology linguistics professor Noam Chomsky has been a veritable paladin of the Left.
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The press attack Mr O'Farrell over good decisions
ONLY a scant few months in to his first term, and Premier Barry O'Farrell is wobbling like the ratings for once-soaring, now-sinking ABC comedy series Angry Boys.
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He said this in 2009. It was true then and is true now.
www.youtube.com
Complete video at:http://fora.tv/2009/04/23/Uncommon_Knowledge_John_Howard Former Australian Prime Minister John Howard expresses reservations over economic...


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Children, even newborns, are desensitized to pornographic imagery each time their parents take them shopping. Newsagents, petrol stations, milkbars, convenience stores and corner shops should all be forced, by law, to no longer display the covers of magazines, DVDs etc if the material contained therein is of a sexual nature, promoting sexual services and products and not suitable for marketing to young children
www.education.gov.uk
Report recommends clampdown on sexualised ‘wallpaper’ surrounding children.
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Press call it a backflip, but it is a sound decision. The loss was not what was thought, and it would be too expensive to implement the solution. The idea is the same. NSW are caught in a bad deal made by the ALP.
bigpondnews.com
NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has caved on his plans to slash the solar bonus scheme.
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Stand up and walk shoulder to shoulder with the police. They deserve our respect.
www.couriermail.com.au
THE funeral of Detective Senior Constable Damian Leeding will be the biggest event in Queensland Police Service history.

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