Monday, June 20, 2011

News items and comments

YES OR NO

Tim Blair – Monday, June 20, 11 (09:12 am)

Denied the chance to vote on a carbon dioxide tax last year, Tony Abbott now presents Australians with theiropportunity:

Australians would be asked to vote on whether they want a carbon tax under a radical plan by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to be put before parliament today.

Mr Abbott will lodge a bill to force the government to a plebiscite on the carbon tax in a move which, if successful, could force Julia Gillard to junk the tax or go to the polls to seek a mandate.

In what would be the first full national plebiscite since the conscription votes of World War I, the question to be put to the Australian people would ask: “Are you in favour of a law to impose a carbon tax?”

Simple question. If independents and Greens are serious about an improved democracy, we might soon be permitted an answer. Interestingly, Greens leader Bob Brown called for plebiscites in 2009 and again in 2010:

Let’s bring it on. The Greens are saying, “Let Australians have a say now”, it’s a very simple thing, a plebiscite, indicative, it doesn’t lock governments in, but says, “Yes”, or, “No”.

In those cases, Brown demanded a plebiscite on Australia becoming a republic. The carbon tax is a more important issue. Will Brown let Australians have a say?

(Via CL)

UPDATE. No, he won’t:

This morning, Greens leader Bob Brown told Radio National his party would not be backing the plebiscite call, which he described as a “sideshow”, “tricky” and a “huge waste of taxpayer’s money” …

“It’s a tricky political move but one that’s very expensive on the public purse,” Senator Brown told Radio National.

“What [Abbott is] saying here is I didn’t get government, so I want to sideline government while I go with taxpayer-funded plebiscites on various issues.”

Senator Brown says the Greens will not support “this extremely expensive way of getting an opinion but not binding parliament”.

The hypocrisy hurts.

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PARTY OVER

Tim Blair – Monday, June 20, 11 (08:40 am)

Like Labor itself, Kevin Rudd’s party isn’t moving forward:

Kevin Rudd’s “assassination party” has been killed off.

The former prime minister had intended to celebrate the first anniversary this week of his political ousting by Julia Gillard by hosting a tongue-in-cheek “assassination day” party at his Brisbane mansion.

However, his wife Therese Rein, in a tweet last night, says the party is off – at least for now …

“Given that it seems to be turning into something of a media event, Kevin and I have decided to postpone it,” tweeted Ms Rein.

This is the first time that Rudd has ever cancelled anything because of media attention. Although Phil Coorey suggests an alternative reason:

Mr Rudd had invited former and present staff - but it’s believed not very many were attending.

One guest who declined the invitation said they thought this was more the reason for the postponement.

Some former staff are interstate or overseas and others were angry at comments Mr Rudd made in an interview with the Herald on Saturday in which he said he should have surrounded himself with a few more experienced staff, or ‘’greybeards’’.

Reader Shelley believes the party-killing conspiracy goes all the way to the top: “What a party pooper Gillard is. She knifes Rudd a year ago. People talk about his sackiversary party. She’s not invited and upset. Now no one gets cake.How mean is that!”

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CANVAS ENNOBLED

Tim Blair – Monday, June 20, 11 (08:17 am)

“The arts,” writes David Thompson. “They ennoble."

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380 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S ALTONA TAX

Tim Blair – Monday, June 20, 11 (07:35 am)

Voters in Julia Gillard’s electorate speak their mind:

Eric Gray, 47, is Julia Gillard’s worst nightmare, in his own words a “rusted-on Labor voter who’s had enough”.

“I wouldn’t vote for Labor again even though I’ve voted for them all my life,” the meat processing worker said …

“Before the election, she said no carbon tax; now, she’s backflipped.

“She’s a liar.”

Across the park, scaffolder Ryan Dunn, 24, is cooking some sausages on a barbecue for his partner, Merryn Griffiths, and three-year-old daughter Harper …

Merryn, 20, can’t understand the need for a carbon tax. “There’s just more that they should be doing for families,” she said.

“The carbon tax just shows she has no idea …”

The carbon tax is the issue that comes up again and again – a clear indication that the Government has simply failed to sell the policy to the people who count.

This is a job for the Chief Commissioner. Go and fix those opinions, Chief. Earn your $720,000.

UPDATE. Gillard speaks “contemptfully” from her “high dungeon” in the “hyperbowl”:

I have been very clear about what the purpose of the Labor party is and what the purpose of this government is. I’ve spoken about this on a number of occasions very fulsomely.

Yes, Prime Minister. Yes, you have. Gillard also complains:

Political commentators … set more tests for me in this government than the average student has at the end of year 12.

You’re the leader of the federal government. What did you expect? Free golf lessons?

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LEAVE JULIAN ALONE

Tim Blair – Monday, June 20, 11 (07:11 am)

The official torment continues:

To WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the self-styled defenders of liberty who support him, it was a clear case of a Big Brother-style conspiracy.

A clutch of ‘Government’ cameras had been strategically placed outside the Norfolk estate from where he is fighting extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges.

The devices’ sinister presence was, they claimed, to record the car number plates of Mr Assange’s visitors …

Sections?of the liberal media grabbed the chance to lambast the heavy-handed state. In The Guardian, columnist Roy Greenslade was incandescent. ‘Is it really necessary to spy on Julian Assange every minute of the day?’ he demanded.

Then the truth emerged:

The devices are radar guns attached to ‘reactive signs’ which flash up a ‘Slow down’ message to speeding drivers.

And they were installed eight years ago.

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NOT JUST YOUR STANDARD RIGHT-WING HACK

Tim Blair – Monday, June 20, 11 (06:34 am)

Some mild amusement makes all the difference:

I used to think Blair was just your standard right-wing hack, but his callous indifference towards (and, I would argue, mild amusement at) death threats towards innocent people bears all the characteristics of a sociopath. The fact that he has been elevated to a position where he is paid to influence the ideas of millions of Australians is truly frightening.

I should be a Halloween mask. Hey, according to some, I already am. In other frightening news, a complaint made to the Press Council about my column mentioning the so-called “death threats” has been dismissed with no hearing required.

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THEY’D BE FEELING FAILY, AS USUAL

Tim Blair – Monday, June 20, 11 (06:06 am)

James Delingpole asks:

And how are you feeling today, all you Greenies, after your most embarrassing week (well, one of the most embarrassing: the competition, it must be said, has been pretty stiff these last 18 months) since Climategate?

According to alarmist types, they’ve got all the science on their side. They’ve also got the support of most media and governments. Yet they keep getting busted pushing false data, exaggerating like maniacs and relying on the likes of Greenpeace. Maybe they’re just not very bright.

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Open Letter to Paul Krugman

by DON BOUDREAUX on JUNE 19, 2011

in ECONOMICS,MYTHS AND FALLACIES

Prof. Paul Krugman
Dep’t. of Economics
Princeton University

Dear Mr. Krugman:

Interviewed recently in “The Browser,
” you said that

if you ask a liberal or a saltwater economist, “What would somebody on the other side of this divide say here? What would their version of it be?” A liberal can do that. A liberal can talk coherently about what the conservative view is because people like me actually do listen. We don’t think it’s right, but we pay enough attention to see what the other person is trying to get at. The reverse is not true. You try to get someone who is fiercely anti-Keynesian to even explain what a Keynesian economic argument is, they can’t do it. They can’t get it remotely right. Or if you ask a conservative,”What do liberals want?” You get this bizarre stuff – for example, that liberals want everybody to ride trains, because it makes people more susceptible to collectivism. You just have to look at the realities of the way each side talks and what they know. One side of the picture is open-minded and sceptical. We have views that are different, but they’re arrived at through paying attention. The other side has dogmatic views.

Let’s overlook your failure to distinguish conservatives from libertarians – a failure that, for the point I’m about to make, is unimportant.

You’re able to conclude that “liberals” are open-minded thinkers while “conservatives” are dumb-as-dung dogmatists only because you compare the works of “liberal” scholars to the pronouncements of conservative popular pundits. However valid or invalid is the artistic license used by conservative celebrities such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh (and, for that matter, by “liberal” celebrities such as Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann) to entertain large popular audiences, you’re wrong to equate the pronouncements of conservative media stars with the knowledge and works of conservative (and libertarian) scholars.

Because, as you claim, you study carefully the works of non-”liberal” scholars, you surely know that the late Frank Knight, Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, andMilton Friedman – influential economists whom you would classify as “conservative” – were all steeped in and treated seriously the writings of Keynes, Marx, Veblen, Galbraith, and other “liberal” thinkers.

The same is true for still-living influential non-”liberal” scholars.

I’d be obliged to conclude that you in fact, contrary your claim, do not carefully engage the works of non-”liberal” scholars if you insist that “liberal” scholarship is ignored by conservative and libertarian thinkers such as James Buchanan,Gordon Tullock, Ronald Coase, Armen Alchian, Harold Demsetz, Anna Schwartz,Gary Becker, Vernon Smith, Leland Yeager, Henry Manne, Deirdre McCloskey,Allan Meltzer, Richard Epstein, Tyler Cowen, Arnold Kling, George Selgin,Lawrence H. White, and James Q. Wilson, to name only a few.

You do a disservice to scholars such as these, as well as to scholarship generally, to assert that serious thinking is done only by you and your ideological cohorts.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Yosef for reminding me of this recent boast of Mr. Krugman:

Some have asked if there aren’t conservative sites I read regularly. Well, no. I will read anything I’ve been informed about that’s either interesting or revealing; but I don’t know of any economics or politics sites on that side that regularly provide analysis or information I need to take seriously.

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Quotation of the Day…

by DON BOUDREAUX on JUNE 17, 2011

in CIVIL SOCIETY,CRIME

… is from page 237 of (now GMU Law Dean) Daniel D. Polsby, “Regulation of Foods and Drugs and Libertarian Ideals: Perspectives of a Fellow-Traveler,”Social Philosophy & Policy (1998), Vol. 15:

The “externalities” case for regulating marijuana and hallucinogenics such as LSD, as near as I can make out, seems to involve the claim that they are, in effect, a solvent of republican virtue – that a self-governing nation cannot be a nation of pot- or acid-heads. Though there is surely a great deal of truth in this claim, such harms are far too marginal, and the embedded concept of public good far too general and unbounded, to support any serious regulatory effort beyond keeping the ingestion of these drugs out of public places; certainly the potential harms associated with these drugs do not justify their management by criminal law. Republican democracy beats out its competition only if one does not insist on brutal coercions aimed at ensuring that everyone will be mentally competent to participate.

David Daniel Ball June 18, 2011 at 6:51 am

As a high school teacher in a melting pot community my two cents follow. I acknowledge I may be wrong. I have had students who have died from drugs. Not because they were illegal, but because they were available. My state government experimented with harm minimization. So my students didn’t have to die from the effects of the drugs .. Help was available. It isn’t a perfect argument. Some of my students have died from alcohol too. Some committed suicide. It isn’t that I am a lousy teacher. It is about standards.
I am a wowser. I understand in 50′s US people warned (possibly hysterically) of the number of single parent families in African American families. Those numbers, if you look them up. They exploded. Interestingly, the wider US has similar numbers now as African Americans then. And legalized drugs are related. And I am aware I haven’t presented the link.

REPLY

38tdp June 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm

What is your point, exactly?

REPLY

39David Daniel Ball June 19, 2011 at 12:52 am

Harm minimisation does not work as a policy. “The war on drugs” viz Zero Tolerance is the best, most compassionate way of dealing with the drug situation. It isn’t nice. There are casualties. But it is the best way. Let us say we can legalise drugs and restrict them to adults. Let us say we can get the government (or private industry) to produce the stuff for those who can afford it. Do you honestly believe that fewer people will die? That somehow there will be less crime as former drug lords realise they can’t make their money from exploiting people? Can you point to anywhere in space and time where that has happened? Yet I can point to places where Zero Tolerance has been applied and it works. Maybe the problem is not that the war on drugs has failed, but that too many people internationally profit from it.

REPLY

40MWG June 19, 2011 at 11:51 am

“Can you point to anywhere in space and time where that has happened?”

Portugal. They decriminalized the possession of all drugs. I believe they saw a ‘slight’ increase in MJ use, but an overall decrease in hard drugs and a doubling of those seeking help through rehabilitation.

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html

REPLY

41David Daniel Ball June 19, 2011 at 11:13 pm

I concede you found a glowing article by a rag which notably embraces anthropogenic global warming theory/alarmism. I also note you resisted the urge to point to a wikipedia entry. However, I won’t concede my point which you didn’t feel you needed to address before making your post.
“Do you honestly believe that fewer people will die? That somehow there will be less crime as former drug lords realise they can’t make their money from exploiting people?”
Even the numbers put forward by the most willing of believers doesn’t show that drugs are safer or that crime is reduced. Only that numbers have stabilised. Compare and contrast that with NY’s Zero Tolerance experience and dealing with broken windows.
The issue hammered home in Portugal is that it isn’t criminalised any more. But that is no cause for dancing in the streets because the human tragedy from drug use is still not addressed. Marijuana is more powerful now than it has ever been, and the reporting of welfare workers and Psychiatrists is that the modern Marijuana has long term and short term effects which lead to mental disease .. paranoia, aggression, and abilities akin to long term drunks. Drug use is seen as being a cause in a substantial number of driving accidents. There are deaths from drug use and not all crime related. As I wrote before, even in harm minimisation states There is a reason to not use. Portugal offers so many health services to drug users. Even in the land of Nirvana people are discouraged from use.

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Probably Presbyterian

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (01:05 pm)

Sweidsh journalists are just as prone to self-censorship as our own:

The police station in Malmö district Rosengård, in the south of Sweden, was fired upon early Saturday morning.... Rosengård, centrally located in Malmö, is an area commonly associated with social difficulties, and has been the place of several riots and clashes between local youths and authorities in recent years.

The French, too, are prone to the euphemism “youths”. But “social difficulties” is a new one.

Fox News, at least, dares to name names:


Welcome to Rosengård in Malmö, Sweden by ArgSvenne

(Thanks to reader Anders.)

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A stain on all scientists

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (11:16 am)

image

The exaggeration and the suborning of scepticism to “the national building work” show exactly why this latest campaign is yet another warmist disgrace:

AUSTRALIA’S scientific community will launch a campaign tonight aimed at redressing what it says is the damage to science which is being caused by climate change denial.

At its annual gathering in Canberra today, the Federation of Australian Science and Technological Societies will tell politicians that the campaign being run against scientific evidence of man-made climate change ‘’is undermining the national building work of all scientists’’…

The valuable and credible work of all scientists is under attack as a result of a noisy misinformation campaign by climate denialists....” the federation’s chief executive officer, Anna-Maria Arabia, said.

So who is this Arabia, so concerned about sceptics undermining the “national building work” and so eager to smear them as “climate denialists”, of all things?

Why, she’s a former infrastructure advisor to Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and former aide to then Labor leader Kim Beazley.

And what’s her scientific expertise, that she can denounce sceptical scientists as a threat to all scientists everywhere?

Previous to her work in politics, she was an assistant director in the Department for Health and Ageing; a research officer in the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne; and a Project co-ordinator at the Embassy of Italy. Her academic background is in science, with a focus in pharmacology and neuroscience and was a doctoral candidate at Melbourne and Baker MRI.

Seems a bit thin.

Let’s compare her scientific record to that of one of the sceptics she denounces, Professor Richard Lindzen:

Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences

Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability.... He has developed models for the Earth’s climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000 year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate.

Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMS’s Meisinger, and Charney Awards, the AGU’s Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Council of the AMS. He has also been a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technology’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (Ph.D., ‘64, S.M., ‘61, A.B., ‘60, Harvard University)

So, let’s ask again which of the two represents the bigger threat to the reputation of scientists - the lightly credentialled former political operative who denounces sceptical inquiry and demands scientists join some national cause, or the massively credentialled expert who resists demands that he follow the political consensus?

Arabia should pull her head in and apologise. Science is about science, not politics.

UPDATE

In the US, Bill Gray, a professor emeritus at Colorado State and a member of the American Meteorological Society for more than 50 years, protests at the hijacking of his own society by activists:

I am very disappointed at the downward path the AMS has been following for the last 10-15 years in its advocacy of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis. The society has officially taken a position many of us AMS members do not agree with. We believe that humans are having little or no significant influence on the global climate and that the many Global Circulation Climate Model (GCMs) results and the four IPCC reports do not realistically give accurate future projections. To take this position which so many of its members do not necessarily agree with shows that the AMS is following more of a political than a scientific agenda. ...

We AMS members have allowed a small group of AMS administrators, climate modelers, and CO2 warming sympathizers to maneuver the internal workings of our society to support AGW policies irrespective of what our rank-and-file members might think. This small organized group of AGW sympathizers has indeed hijacked our society. ...

James Hansen’s predictions of global warming made before the Senate in 1988 are turning out to be very much less than he had projected. He cannot explain why there has been no significant global warming over the last 10-12 years.

Many of us AMS members believe that the modest global warming we have observed is of natural origin and due to multi-decadal and multi-century changes in the globe’s deep ocean circulation resulting from salinity variations. These changes are not associated with CO2 increases

So I guess in Arabaia’s book, Professor Gray is also one of these “climate deniers” who is attacking the credibility of “all” scientists and undermining their “national building work”.

Notice how Maoist Arabia’s language is? Demonise doubters. Valorise the collective. Demand individual judgement be subservient to some “national” ideology.

Freaky.

(Thanks to reader Greg.)

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Thanks again

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

Our cumulative audience for yesterday’s The Bolt Report - 300,000. Our second best so far.

Thanks for watching.

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And the temperature won’t change a flicker

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (09:57 am)

Just 155,800 jobs lost to make an utterly meaningless gesture? What a great deal:

The Energy Users Association of Australia has released a new report it gained from forecaster Deloitte Access Economics on the impact of a carbon tax combined with renewable energy targets. It shows that by 2020, the price of electricity on the wholesale market may increase by 121%.

That claim, and a prediction for up to 155,800 jobs to be lost, will put pressure on the Federal Government to promise compensation measures for certain high-emissions sectors. Much will hinge on whether a global emissions trading scheme is operational or not.

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Gillard must close these deals … or else

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (09:51 am)

Failure to strike either of these deals could be fatal to Julia Gillard’s leadership.

The carbon dioxide tax:

THE Greens have dealt a prospective blow to Julia Gillard’s hope of finalising the details of her carbon tax by July 1, with weekend negotiations failing to seal a deal.

Greens leader Bob Brown and his deputy, Christine Milne, flew to Canberra ahead of the parliamentary sitting week to continue negotiations with the Prime Minister, Wayne Swan and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet, after Friday’s meeting of the multi-party climate change committee terminated abruptly. A spokeswoman for Senator Brown said last night Labor and the Greens would continue their discussions this week but the Greens “did not expect any immediate final conclusion”.

The Malaysian boat people swap:

While the UNHCR remains actively involved in the discussions, its final support for the deal is not assured…

Yesterday, Malaysia’s Home Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein underscored the moral weight the UNHCR would lend to the arrangements.

“In anything that we do, UNHCR needs to come on board because the world sees it as setting the standards of what is required to protect those that we are dealing with,” Mr Hishammuddin said.

The minister said Kuala Lumpur remained committed to the plan, although he indicated it may be some time before it is finalised.

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Abbott demands a plebiscite on Gillard’s tax

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (05:56 am)

Do the the independents and Labor believe in democracy or not?

AUSTRALIANS would be asked to vote on whether they want a carbon tax under a radical plan by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to be put before parliament today.

Mr Abbott will lodge a bill to force the government to a plebiscite on the carbon tax in a move which, if successful, could force Julia Gillard to junk the tax or go to the polls to seek a mandate.

In what would be the first full national plebiscite since the conscription votes of World War I, the question to be put to the Australian people would ask: “Are you in favour of a law to impose a carbon tax?”

I accept that governments have a general mandate from an election and do not need a plebiscite to approve every fresh decision over the following three years. But the carbon dioixde tax is different in this respect: it was specifically opposed at the election by 146 of the 150 members of the House of Representatives. The only mandate this Government has on this issue is to do the very opposite of what it now intends. To seek a new mandate seems the only democratic thing to do.

UPDATE

Tim Blair notes that the Greens used to demand plebiscites - but this time Greens leader Bob Brown considers a plebiscite a menace:

This morning, Greens leader Bob Brown told Radio National his party would not be backing the plebiscite call, which he described as a “sideshow”, “tricky” and a “huge waste of taxpayer’s money” ...

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Howes is rightly angered that I’m not allowed to argue he’s wrong

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (05:39 am)

I’m very sorry AWU boss Paul Howes doesn’t understand at all my argument about people of overwhelmingly non-Aboriginal ancestry claiming an exclusively Aboriginal identity, but I am prohibited on legal advice from explaining why his criticism of it is so ill-informed.

But that I’m unable to comment, given a legal action against me, is precisely what angers him most, as he’ll (generously and courageously) say tonight at an Institute of Public Affairs function defending free speech:


I actually disagree with many, if not most, things Andrew Bolt says and writes. But I am concerned that people in some of the circles in which I mix, on my side of politics, increasingly seem to think they should write, or invoke or resurrect, laws that will shut Bolt up.

A democracy is, at the very least, a free marketplace of ideas, and a free marketplace of arguments against those ideas…

But despite all the bombs he regularly throws over the parapet at some of my mates in Canberra, I have to own up to liking Bolt. I have done media battle with him plenty of times and I know there is a real decency there, to which I would be proud to attest in any court.

So I am sorry to see him now dragged through the courts for possibly breaching - if he did - a law that, probably, should not be there, stretching out its fingers into the realm of what Orwell might have called a Thought Crime; because he impertinently asked the wrong questions, when all the right answers have been handed down from above - in tablets of stone - long ago.

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Beattie begs Rudd to quit and save Labor

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (05:31 am)

An astonishing plea for the people’s choice to get out of politics:

LABOR life member and former Queensland premier Peter Beattie has urged Kevin Rudd to leave politics, warning that leadership speculation is “killing Labor” and risks handing government to Tony Abbott. ..

“I fully understand the difficulty of a by-election,” Mr Beattie writes in The Australian today. “But some time on the back bench followed by a dignified exit would put Kevin in history as a man interested in good government and not himself. Kevin has to put Australia first."…

“Forget about tough issues like the carbon tax, the resource rent tax and plans to send asylum-seekers to Malaysia,” Mr Beattie writes. “What is killing Labor electorally, particularly in Queensland, is the continuing division over the leadership change.

“Tony Abbott won’t win the next election—Labor will lose. But Abbott will still be PM. History will put a large slice of the responsibility for that at Kevin’s feet."…

Mr Beattie’s intervention followed another day of Labor introspection after news that Ms Gillard ordered Mr Rudd to stop giving retrospective interviews last week after he gave two newspaper interviews. Yesterday, his critics said they were angered by the fact that after agreeing not to conduct further interviews he appeared several times on radio and TV over his involvement in the charity event CEO Sleepout.

If you asked voters which of the two should quit - Rudd or Gillard - I wonder what the answer would be?

UPDATE

Rudd makes a tactical retreat:

The former prime minister had intended to celebrate the first anniversary this week of his political ousting by Julia Gillard by hosting a tongue-in-cheek “Assassination Day” party at his Brisbane mansion.

However his wife Therese Rein, in a tweet late on Sunday, says the party is off - at least for now.

Ms Rein said she and her husband had thought it would be nice to honour their promise made at the time of his sacking to arrange a party for staff and friends.

“But, given that it seems to be turning into something of a media event, Kevin and I have decided to postpone it,” tweeted Ms Rein.

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Retailers now lash a weakened Labor over workplace laws

Andrew Bolt – Monday, June 20, 11 (05:27 am)

A new front opens for troubled Labor, but this time the Opposition has some questions to answer, too:

THREE of Australia’s retail giants have joined the criticism of the government’s workplace regime, warning that it is damaging a key part of the economy and leading to excessive wage costs that could trigger job losses.

Contradicting Julia Gillard’s claim she does not encounter many businesspeople raising the Fair Work system as a frontline issue, shopping centre owner Westfield is warning that high labour costs are contributing to increasing prices for consumer goods and could lead to job losses in the retail sector that was once the nation’s largest employer.

Woolworths - which employs 170,000 people - also warns that constraints on labour flexibility threaten to further erode the retail sector, which has been hit by a surging Australian dollar that is encouraging consumers to shop over the internet.

And the chief executive of the Myer department store chain, Bernie Brookes, yesterday complained that the “leading party at the moment are pushing for labour market restrictions and you’ve got the opposition noticeable by their absence from the argument”.

“If anything, the restrictions are now getting more significant,” Mr Brookes told The Australian.

The warnings come as opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey will today use a speech to CEDA to urge greater flexibility in industrial relations.

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Kelly votes for a green pig in a poke

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, June 19, 11 (05:49 pm)

ABC Radio National host Fran Kelly will vote for any carbon dioxide tax the Gillard Government dreams up, no matter that we’re the only country to think it makes sense, that it will cots jobs, that it won’t cut the temperature and that no compensation package has yet been devised:

Here she is on Insiders today:

FRAN KELLY:

Bring on the certainty I say, get the thing voted in.

PIERS AKERMAN:

I wouldn’t vote for it in a fit.

FRAN KELLY:

Really?

PIERS AKERMAN:

No.

FRAN KELLY:

You surprise me Piers.

PIERS AKERMAN:

Well, why would you vote for something with absolutely no detail?

FRAN KELLY:

I’m firmly of the view that a price on carbon is the way forward. The Shergold Report convinced me that that’s the most effective way for this country to prepare for a low carbon economy. We have to get into this.

It’s messianic.

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Yet many in the press still endorse Weiner
www.foxnews.com
The O'Reilly Factor on FoxNews.com – with Bill O'Reilly, Weeknights at 8 PM and 11 PM EST

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The left wing sometimes think this mob do good work ..
www.foxnews.com
Pressured by increased scrutiny of terrorist money sources and strikes aimed at its financiers, Al Qaeda's core organization in Pakistan has turned to kidnapping for ransom to offset dwindling cash reserves, according to U.S. officials and information in files retrieved from Usama bin Laden's compou
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Does Obama have to spend all the money he does? Maybe if he cut back on his surveys of the sex lives of children. Perhaps less spent on pork ..
www.foxnews.com
Negotiators have set July 1 as a preliminary deadline for reaching an agreement on the debt ceiling, but to hear Capitol Hill lawmakers' grandiose ideas, combined with large amounts of partisanship, it may be impossible to find a deal in under two weeks.
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Her comment was insensitive and stupid. No one needs that in a female lead.
www.news.com.au
MEGAN Fox didn't quit the latest Transformers film to pursue other acting opportunities. She was fired because she upset Steven Spielberg.
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Victoria had a lot of problems with Overland as Police Chief.
www.news.com.au
EIGHT people have been murdered by parole violators after case workers failed to notify the Victorian Parole Board of new offences that would have put them back behind bars.
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The headline "In favor of a Carbon tax?" is badly worded, suggesting the opposite of the poll question "Should there be a Carbon tax?"
www.dailytelegraph.com.au
AUSTRALIANS would be asked to vote on whether they want a carbon tax under a radical plan by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to be put before parliament today.
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Teenage boys have always been a worry. But for a time popular press seemed not to care
WAIT until she's a teenager, then you'll have a lot to worry about. This is the age-old remark made to parents of baby girls for generations.
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Gillard's "high dungeon" and "hyper bowl" seem to have come from the ALP pr chief.
To where did Super Julia vanish? THE big surprise of the past 12 months isn't that the Labor government has turned out to be so bad.
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Book sellers are cutting their own throats through bad business.
TIMES are tough if you are in the book industry as sales fall and increased competition from websites forces major book outlets to close.
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Business is struggling right now, and will get weaker under ALP plans
TREASURER Wayne Swan has attempted to reassure the Australian businesses community by insisting that the nation's economic prospects remain strong.
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The pacific solution was the best, the fairest, available. Still is.
LEFT-WING Labor MPs will not support Julia Gillard's Malaysian solution unless it is endorsed by the UN.

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A good plan
THE North West Rail Link could be extended to join the Richmond line, linking it to a $2 billion industrial, office and residential precinct at Marsden Park, confidential tender documents have reveale...
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We all die. But few will ever give so much.
TONY Guerra yesterday died trying to save his family as fire roared through their home.

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Something I might win. I give about 11% of my income.
HIGH school teachers are more likely to give to charity than chief executives officers and managing directors, despite the fact teachers earn less than a third of the average management income.
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Poor planning
SYDNEY'S busiest CBD streets are to be ripped up for bike paths within the next six years, a master plan reveals.
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Sounds like a lot of work for little pay
IF Kevin Rudd is looking for a way back into The Lodge, he may consider a small ad published this week by the Australian Public Service.
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So very sad.
FOR 14 years, Ricki Small has lived with the agony of not knowing the whereabouts of her youngest daughter Jessica, who was allegedly abducted and killed - until now.
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The BER could have provided bigger, cheaper air conditioning, but they weren't allowed. So the states must pay even more.
NSW public schools will soon be forced to use money allocated for teaching to pay soaring electricity bills.

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Sounds like someone has rolled.
THE ICAC will investigate whether there was corruption in the alleged actions of former planning minister Tony Kelly amid claims he drew up a fake letter concerning a property deal.
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Jason Clare, as well as Gillard, is responsible for this
THE federal government's $16 billion Building the Education Revolution has left a trail of destruction across NSW, costing small business millions of dollars and sending some to the wall.
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A good, democratic plan. Why force what Australia doesn't want?
AUSTRALIANS would be asked to vote on whether they want a carbon tax under a radical plan by Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to be put before parliament today.
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Fran Kelly on Insiders. She isn't aware. But she is an insider
blogs.news.com.au
Andrew writes for Melbourne's Herald Sun, Sydney's Daily Telegraph and Adelaide's Advertiser. He runs Australia's most-read political blog, is on MTR 1377 mornings. He’ll host Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am
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For Burma
conservativeweasel.blogspot.com
Today is Aung San Suu Kyi's 66th Birthday. Will you make a special donation of $66 so we can keep the cause of Burma alive? She has said that this is one of the most important things we can do to support her and Burma, and the U.S. Campaign for Burma has worked relentlessly to ensure that politician


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