Tim Blair – Saturday, June 11, 11 (07:16 am)
The New York Times observes Kevin Rudd’s one-year sackiversary:
One year ago this month, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, his eyes brimming with tears and his poll numbers in the dirt, stood on the steps of Parliament and announced his resignation. No Australian prime minister had ever been ousted by his party during his first term in office — an Icarus-like fall from grace for a man who had, just months earlier, held the highest-ever approval rating for a sitting Australian head of government.
The NYT piece doesn’t mention in any great detail the role of Rudd’s Copenhagen carbonhoping in his downfall. In fact, the paper suggests that Rudd now thrives because of his environmental far-sightedness:
Rudd, who is now foreign minister, is consistently polling as the most popular political leader in the country. His signature legislation — an emissions trading program to tackle climate change — is at the top of the government’s agenda, and his smiling visage and distinctive mop of gray hair are ubiquitous in the news media.
His “signature legislation” (or its latest model) is taking Labor down. No wonder Rudd is smiling.
During a wide-ranging interview last week in his offices in Parliament, Mr. Rudd dodged and parriedattempts to draw him out on whether he intended to pursue the leadership role again. While he insisted that he was not actively seeking a return to the premiership, he repeatedly refused to rule out the possibility in the future.
An anonymous Rudd mate – aren’t they all? – supports the ex-PM:
“It would kill you and I and my dogs, what he went through, but Kevin’s not normal,” said a Labor insider and close friend of Mr. Rudd’s who requested anonymity in order to speak openly.
An intriguing Kevin office fact:
Above his desk hangs a monograph of four Chinese characters drawn in calligraphy. Their Australian translation: “Don’t mess with me,” Mr. Rudd said with a laugh, though he used a saltier epithet than “mess.”
Didn’t stop Julia, whose speaking style is described by the NYT as “wooden”. Readers are invited to pick the exact form of timber that most conforms with the Prime Minister’s, er, timbre. Final cringe-making word from Rudd:
“I’m still on the stage of politics, I’m not in some Brechtian sense self observing. To sustain the analogy, we are the dramatis personae. We are in it, we are not the audience.”
Tim Blair – Saturday, June 11, 11 (06:34 am)
Richard Glover, now aware that his little Sydney column is on the internet, says sorry:
The thing about tattoos was not meant to be taken as a serious suggestion. For those who took it as such, my apologies.
Australian leftists often pose as international sophisticates, yet behave provincially. Glover evidently had no idea that his column – published online – would somehow reach the US, where a great many survivors of WWII concentration camps and their descendents might find his tattoo joke offensive. Imagine the response from Glover and his kind if, say, Sarah Palin ever attempted a similar gag …
Tim Blair – Saturday, June 11, 11 (06:07 am)
Former Queensland premier Peter Beattie despairs over Julia Gillard’s communication skills and Labor’s selling of the carbon tax:
While endorsing the Prime Minister’s proposed carbon tax, Mr Beattie has also described himself as despondent and frustrated about Labor’s political position, but noted that it has two years until the next election to improve its political sales effort.
Two years ago, Labor in NSW held out similar hopes for 2011. Miners continue to be a carbon conundrum:
One of Australia’s largest unions has threatened a blue-collar revolt should the nation’s dirtiest coalmines fail to receive the same level of assistance as they were promised under the original emissions trading scheme.
With industry compensation still being thrashed out behind closed doors, the national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Tony Maher, said he is worried coalminers will be dudded to appease the Greens.
Maher’s views on the Greens are worth extracting:
• “They want to single out mine workers as some sort of trophy hunt.”
• “The Greens are in la-la land.”
• “The government’s been really silent about coal. The Greens have been silent; they have been poisoned by prejudice.”
Tim Blair – Friday, June 10, 11 (01:29 pm)
Person with no university degrees:
Violence is popular.
Person with two university degrees:
It can hardly be denied that violence has a peculiarly vicarious allure in the modern mass media environment, regardless of whether we are talking ratings, book sales, ticket sales, clicks, or good old-fashioned circulation.
Tim Blair – Friday, June 10, 11 (01:13 pm)
This week’s open thread is brought to you by the election of John F. Kennedy:
Tim Blair – Friday, June 10, 11 (12:26 pm)
Greg Combet gets things half right during an interview with the ABC’s 7.30:
LEIGH SALES: But I just wonder, minister, if people - I just wonder if people are sitting around their dinner tables tonight going, “Oh, sweetheart, oh my goodness, we’re falling behind Germany. Guess we’d better get behind this carbon price.”
GREG COMBET: I think that’s rather silly, actually. I mean, I think it’s valid ...
Either way, Tony Windsor is convinced: “I think the answer is yes, the rest of the world is moving in a direction.”
Tim Blair – Friday, June 10, 11 (12:24 pm)
Man, the June 2011 issue of The Freeman is loaded with good stuff. But I want here to single out Bob Higgs’s deeply profound analysis – “James Buchananian,” I would say – of how economic theory often sets itself up to be used (and misused) to unleash mischief. Here’s a central selection:
Had economic theorists [in the 1960s] rested content with using the microeconomics of the Neoclassical Synthesis strictly as a conceptual device employed in abstract reasoning, it might have done little damage. However, as I have already suggested, this type of theory cried out for application—which, in practice, was nearly always misapplication. The idealized conditions required for theoretical general-equilibrium efficiency could not possibly obtain in the real world; yet the economists readily endorsed government measures aimed at coercively pounding the real world into conformity with these impossible theoretical conditions.
Closely examined, such efforts represented a form of madness. As the great economist James Buchanan has observed, the economists’ obsession with general equilibrium gives rise to “the most sophisticated fallacy in [neoclassical] economic theory, the notion that because certain relationships hold in equilibrium the forced interferences designed to implement these relationships will, in fact, be desirable.”
Speaking of “Buchananian” political economy, one of Jim’s premier students from Jim’s time at the University of Virginia, Dick Wagner (one of my colleagues at GMU Econ), explores in this paper the complexity of political fiscal-decision-making in democratic societies.
Jonah Goldberg takes on the dangerous and fact-challenged notions that motivate Thomas Friedman’s recent – and indescribably awful – New York Times column entitled “The Earth is Full.” If time allows, I plan my own response to Friedman’s historically uninformed and economically idiotic fear-mongering. Where O where is today’s Julian Simon?!
Here’s a letter to Politico:
You report that [any-decent-person-in-his-shoes-would-be-disgraced U.S. Rep. Anthony] “Weiner has also complained to friends that he wasn’t sure how he would make a living if he were to leave Congress and its $174,000 annual salary. ‘He’s worried about money and how to pay his bills,’ said a Democratic insider. ‘He’s very concerned about that’” (“Weiner shows no signs of quitting,” June 9).
Overlook the fact that, by admitting this reason for clinging to political office, any professions that Mr. Weiner has made in the past or will make in the future about his ‘devotion to public service,’ his ‘love of country,’ or his ‘loyalty to the Democratic party’ should be seen as the self-serving lies that they are.
Instead, ask this simple question: why should Americans trust Mr. Weiner with substantial power to decide how to annually spend $3.8 trillion dollars of other people’s money if he, a 46-year-old college graduate who’s earned a six-figure salary for each of at least the past 12 years, has neither saved enough to pay his bills should he be unemployed for a while nor developed any skills that would allow him to earn a decent living in the private sector?
Donald J. Boudreaux
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (09:42 am)
The Gillard Government clearly isn’t counting on being able to stop the boats or send back the boat people:
The state-owned, 492-bed facility on the outskirts of Ipswich has been managed and operated since January 2008 by Serco Australia, which also runs the Scherger Immigration Detention Centre near Weipa…
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen said yesterday: “No decision has been made with respect to a new IDC in Queensland.”
(Thanks to readers Jim, John and Bonnie.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (09:40 am)
Poo food kills:
Vegetable sprouts grown on an organic farm in northwestern Germany caused the E. coli outbreak that’s sickened nearly 3,000 people and killed 29, according to the head of the nation’s national disease control center.
While no tests of vegetable sprouts from the farm in Lower Saxony came back positive for the E. coli strain responsible for the outbreak, an investigation into the pattern of the outbreak yielded enough evidence to put the finger of blame on the farm, Reinhard Burger, president of the Robert Koch Institute, said...
Hello? Environmental groups? Journalists? Hello?
The death toll is now 33,
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (09:25 am)
WHEN I saw the story A Bloody Business on ABC1’s Four Corners, I felt the same way as most viewers: shocked at the cruelty of the handlers and the general treatment of the cattle displayed. It was clearly unacceptable and violated any standards of decent treatment of animals.
As a trained veterinarian I have had extensive experience involving many aspects of the treatment of animals in Indonesia.
I have seen many abattoirs first-hand and believe that, as shocking and appalling as the footage in the Four Corners expose was, it is in no way representative of the conditions in most abattoirs in Indonesia.
Thus, as commendable as efforts by reporter Sarah Ferguson and Animals Australia’s Lyn White have been in bringing to light this mistreatment of some of the cattle exported to Indonesia, the implication that all Indonesian abattoirs are the same is incorrect, and the blanket ban that has come in the wake of this program is thus uncalled for.
THE chief executive of Australia’s largest cattle producer says an urgent resumption of live exports to Indonesia is needed to prevent the ‘’implosion’’ of remote communities in the Northern Territory reliant on cattle farming.
David Farley, the head of Australia Agricultural Company (AAco), said the ban had potentially ‘’psychologically devastating’’ effects on isolated communities who relied on the cattle trade as their predominant source of income, but were now left ‘’trying to work out what to do next’’…
‘’There are family operations, there are indigenous operations, there are townships and communities that are totally reliant on this business.
‘’We’re talking about people in communities in remote isolated areas … who have one cash flow once a year.’’
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (08:52 am)
The Gillard Government is waving around so many reports on global warming poiicies, telling is to trust them. Buthow can we trust reports which disagree so violently on the basic facts?
The (Productivity Commission) report contradicts the previous week’s final Garnaut review, which argued Australia was left behind by much of the world on climate change action. The Productivity Commission found that measured by emission-reduction resources as a portion of GDP Germany is in front, followed by Britain, with Australia, China and the US in the “mid-range”. When measured as an average implicit abatement subsidy Australia was estimated at $44 a tonne of carbon dioxide, with America at $43 and China $35 respectively…
Indeed, the PC goes further and brands as invalid the 2010 analysis by the firm, Vivid Economics, as commissioned by the Climate Institute and used by minister Greg Combet earlier this year when he argued the effective price in parts of China was $14 a tonne compared with $1.68 a tonne in Australia. The commission says “no” to such analysis and it can be expected to be quietly forgotten by Labor.
Some “experts” seem to trying to fool us.
And that’s not even allowing for the fact that governments are selling us schemes that they should know are actually useless:
(The Productivity Commission report) estimates that for Australia in 2010 the combined impact of the Renewable Energy Target and solar PV subsidies equated to $149 million-$194m, with windfall gains going to homes that took up the option. The implicit abatement subsidy in relation to solar PV was in the astounding range of $431 to $1043 a tonne of carbon dioxide…
The PC proceeds to the incredible conclusion that because state and territory feed-in tariffs overlapped completely with the RET in 2010, “they did not lead to any additional abatement” and “could have actually led to higher emissions than if there had been no feed-in-tariff schemes”.
The whole debate - from the science to the politics to the policy - is riddled with falsehoods, false assumptions, dodgy statistics, exaggeration and utterly useless gestures.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (08:46 am)
Labor really must get over the fantasy that smoother words can sell poison:
FORMER Queensland premier Peter Beattie has questioned Julia Gillard’s communication skills, warning that she is losing the rhetorical war on climate change and urging her government to work harder to explain its policies. ..
“In a sense, like a lot of fanatical Labor people, I am sort of despondent that they are not explaining and selling it (the carbon dioxide tax) better,” said Mr Beattie.
“Frankly, they’ve really got to do better at the job than they have been. I find it frustrating that they are on the right path and they’ve got time on their side but they just haven’t got the rhetoric right and they haven’t got the detail right.”
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (08:26 am)
Bloodier and more tyrannical than the Libyan regime, now the target of a UN-backed war:
‘’Army units have started their mission to control Jisr al-Shughur and neighbouring villages and arrest the armed gangs,’’ state television said, adding that the raid had been launched ‘’at the request of residents’’.
One witness said that ‘’military forces bombarded the villages around Jisr al-Shughur in their advance upon the town’’…
Rights activists said almost all of the 50,000 inhabitants of Jisr al-Shughur had fled - some to neighbouring Turkey - since tanks and troops began earlier this week to converge on the north-western town.
The Syrian regime blames “armed gangs” for the killing of the 120 police, but locals say many were killed by the regime itself:
Some residents said Syrian police had turned their guns on one another and that soldiers shed their uniforms rather than obey orders to fire on protesters.
A 21-year-old Syrian policeman, who identified himself as Ahmed Gavi, told a Turkish newspaper that he saw five officers killed on the spot when they refused orders to shoot unarmed protesters. He said he escaped across the border with 60 other officers.
Gavi said so many officers died because a firefight broke out among the more than 200 policemen ordered to carry out an operation against the protesters. His account could not be independently verified, but other refugees have given similar descriptions.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (08:21 am)
Samuel J, who actually favors adaptation to abatement, makes the political choices brilliantly clear:
The Government has been pushing the Productivity Commission report on Emissions Reduction Policies and Carbon Prices in Key Economies as evidence that its carbon tax and ETS should be supported.
Well, yes, perhaps – if the 230 policy measures identified in Australia were simultaneously removed.
The PC found an implicit abatement subsidy of $44 a tonne of CO2.
So if the Government proposed a carbon tax of $44 a tonne and the removal of the 230 other measures that would be a sensible way forward.
But instead it is offering to keep the 230 measures and add a carbon tax.
In these circumstances, the Coalition’s direct action plan is probably superior.
And if you needed a louder warning:
HOUSEHOLD electricity bills are set to skyrocket up to 30 per cent by mid-2013, with the Gillard government’s renewable energy scheme responsible for 11 per cent of that increase, a report by the government’s chief energy adviser has found.
The costs of the Renewable Energy Target - which provides generous subsidies for rooftop solar schemes and large-scale projects such as wind farms - will explode by 360 per cent over the three years to June 30, 2013, as power companies try to meet the target of sourcing 20 per cent of their energy from renewable sources by 2020…
The report by the Australian Energy Market Commission was released after a meeting of energy and resources ministers in Perth, who vowed to hold special meetings to “consider energy security implications arising from the introduction of a carbon price”.
The document will add further weight to this week’s warnings by the Productivity Commission that the renewable energy incentives being demanded by the Greens are pushing up costs for little environmental gain.
While the commission and big businesses are urging that subsidies for renewable energy be scrapped with the introduction of a carbon price, Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson yesterday stared down the demand. He said the government’s approach to clean energy in Australia was through setting a price on carbon and the renewable energy target.
And by how much will all these billions cut the world’s temperature?
But try telling the warmists who will impose the carbon dioxide tax to let go of their pet subsidies:
KEY independent MP Tony Windsor says the Productivity Commission has convinced him that a carbon tax is the cheapest way to cut Australia’s greenhouse gases. But he has yet to back away from his support for costly ethanol handouts.
Greens deputy leader Christine Milne likewise welcomed this week’s Productivity Commission report for undercutting “the ridiculous notion that Australia might be moving ahead of the world in putting a price on pollution”.
But she also rejected its finding that direct support for clean “sunrise industries” is a costlier way to deliver Australia’s promised emissions cuts.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (08:02 am)
WITH the planet threatening to turn into a ball of fire, it’s a relief to find the Gillard Government may have a solution: Kill the camels.
Yes, shoot the buggers. From a car, from a helicopter. Exterminate.
As you know, we have herds of camels roaming the outback, but only now have they been revealed as a menace to the planet.
In a proposal the Department of Climate Change has released for consultation, the Northwest Carbon company notes these cud-chewers burp clouds of methane.
“Methane is a potent greenhouse gas,” it warns.
These camel burps are baking the planet. And so, under this proposal, we must shoot the camels to save ourselves.
It’s plans like this that make me wonder who the planet is actually being saved for. Certainly not for the camel.
But has anyone calculated whether the gain is worth the camels’ pain?
So I looked in this detailed proposal to discover by how much the world’s temperature would fall if we wiped out our camels.
Strangely, that figure is missing. Indeed, it’s always missing.
The Government never tells you by how much its global warming schemes—even its $11 billion a year carbon dioxide tax—will cut the expected temperature.
Is it embarrassment that stops it from saying? After all, the real answer is virtually zero.
Or is it just a symptom of a mass delusion, in which no one stops to ask why are we doing all this. Let me give you an example from a Senate estimates committee hearing early this month.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (07:59 am)
THE second major riot on Christmas Island in less than three months has sparked another promise of a detention centre review. A guard suffered a leg injury when poles and concrete were used as weapons to attack authorities during a violent uprising that began on Thursday night.
Police used capsicum spray and bean-bag bullets to quash the unrest involving 80 to 100 asylum seekers.
And in the same story:
More than half of all Australians want immigration cut, up from 40 per cent in 2007, the Australian Election Study shows.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (07:55 am)
WHERE’S Kevin? Where’s the Foreign Minister when his leader has two foreign crises on her hands?
Normally the punishment for desertion in battle is death, politically speaking.
But Kevin Rudd is so untouchable in this shambolic government that he can desert his post without Prime Minister Julia Gillard daring to whisper even a word of criticism.
Watch him now, skylarking on his own off in Hungary, Finland, Stockholm Sweden, Abu Dhabi, New York and London—anywhere but where he’s needed right now.
You see, Gillard is drowning in two foreign policy disasters entirely of her own making.
One is her overreaction to the barbaric slaughter of Australian cattle in Indonesia. Rather than simply ban the cruellest abattoirs, Gillard has frozen all live exports of our cattle to Indonesia, where our beef supplies a third of the entire market.
Indonesia is naturally offended. It has hinted at retaliation. It has talked of needing to become independent of our beef imports, which would kill a trade worth more than $300 million a year to us.
Clearly Indonesia needed to be consulted, placated, talked around. And who better to do that than our Foreign Minister?
Meanwhile, Gillard has also made a pig’s breakfast of her boat people policy.
First, she drafted the softening in 2008 of our border laws, thus luring nearly 7000 boat people into our detention centres and some 200 more to their deaths at sea.
Her “fixes” since have been ludicrous. Last year she promised to build a detention centre in East Timor, which was news to the offended East Timorese.
Last month she announced a deal with Malaysia - 800 of our boat people for 4000 of their refugees - before it had even been signed. Indeed, it’s still not signed.
She also vowed to send every new boat person from that date overseas, clearly banking on Papua New Guinea agreeing to reopen a detention centre on Manus Island.
But the PNG Government is now in disarray, with its Prime Minister off sick and its Foreign Minister sacked. Forget Manus Island for now.
So looking like fools, the Government desperately needs someone to sweet-talk PNG into action and Malaysia into signing. Again. who better to do that than our Foreign Minister?
Calling Kevin Rudd. Kevin? Where are you, mate? Hello?
Actually, with Rudd needed most in Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and Indonesia, let’s check where he’s been this past month.
A month ago today, he was in Bangkok, for a stopover on his way to Helsinki and Stockholm. Then he was in Oslo, before flying back via Guangzhou, where he gave a speech.
Two weeks later he was off again, this time to Hungary, Abu Dhabi, Washington and London.
You may think he had pressing business in our national interest in those places. And you’d be wrong.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (07:49 am)
In May 2008, the CSIRO’s warmists warned of vanishing snow:
Scientists say Australian skiers should prepare for shorter ski seasons because of global warming…CSIRO climate change expert Dr Penny Whetton says Australia’s mountain snow cover could be reduced by up to 54 per cent by 2020.
In August 2008, skiers were snowed in:
CARS buried at Falls Creek and Mt Buller, others abandoned on the Kosciuszko Rd and Alpine Way, massive snow drifts up high at Perisher and Thredbo, blizzard conditions, snowfall accumulations in excess of 40cm. As the big dump continues Friday, skiers are looking up at the scoreboard - with a 2m season well within our sights....Clearly, July 2008 has delivered the best consistent skiing conditions since the great 2004 season - and there is potential for a cold and snowy peak month of August.
And now, in June 2011, the snow has only got better:
Every major resort is opening lifts for the start of the ski season and this is set to be the biggest opening weekend in more than a decade.
Is there something wrong with the CSIRO’s models?
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, June 11, 11 (07:36 am)
ABC presenter Richard Glover’s one regret about making a joke about tattooing sceptics as the Nazis tattooed Jews is that some readers didn’t realise he was just joking about the Holocaust thing:
Andrew Bolt – Friday, June 10, 11 (01:58 pm)
Lured in by Labor’s soft policies, detainees show why they should now be sent home:
The Australian Federal Police said they were forced to use “chemical munitions” and bean bag bullets to quell the overnight protest involving about 100 detainees, some of whom armed themselves with metal poles and broken concrete.
Are these the detainees Malaysia will be taking off our hands? Or is Malaysia looking on and saying, well, on second thoughts....
I like Ponting and Clarke. I think Ponting has achieved much in a difficult transition time. I think the selectors have made the transition worse in the short term. Clarke will probably not be as successful as Ponting was because his team is coming off a very successful stage and is being dismantled. But the selectors might achieve longer term success with their policy. It just hurts right now.
Risk Rarius Please distribute guys. I spent the last two days figuring how to do this video on my iPad, and at the end of the day, they must be remembered by all Australians which is what I want, and what they deserve
David Daniel Ball also this plea ..http://www.youtube.com/wat