Piers Akerman – Thursday, June 30, 11 (06:45 pm)
BE afraid. With four new senators to be sworn in on Monday, the unrepresentative Greens now hold the balance of power in the senate. Control of the Gillard government is all but total.
The Australian media is culpable.
For years Madhatter Brown and the Madhatter Party have not been properly scrutinized.
Now the result -
Power to extreme Leftists.
This is an appalling situation - it should never have happened.
Australia will survive this, but as with Whitlam, it will be decades before we can reject austerity again. Poverty has increased under the ALP. Gillard is promising compensation, but the poor will suffer more as inflation climbs and growth falls.
James Roane, Jr., a reader of Cafe Hayek and listener to EconTalk writes:
I just bought a 4 oz package of Dole peaches. When I looked at the package I noticed the following:
Grown in Greece
Packed in Thailand
Sold in the U.S.
Oh, and the price, $.79 in a convenience store-not even a mass merchandiser like Wal-Mart, which would probably sell it for $.59.
How is it possible for peaches, a commodity product, unlike say a car or pc, to be shipped around the world to be packed, so that it can be shipped around the world again to be sold? Everybody in the chain has to make some money off of the transaction and even if the packers in Thailand make the equivalent of nothing, why aren’t they packed in Greece? Last I heard unemployment was a problem there, right? Seems like the transportation cost alone would make this incredibly expensive. If fuel is this cheap, why are we paying $4.00 per gallon for gas? This is blowing my mind.
Good questions. Take a shot in the comments and I’ll weigh in later.
… is from page 156 of Helmut Schoeck’s essay “Individuality vs. Equality,” inEssays on Individuality, Felix Morley, ed. (Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1977 ), pp. 145-175:
With very few exceptions, which were years of economic growth and innovation, the periods of human history have seen individuals labor under the controlling myth of a “whole society.” So we tend to forget that mankind’s emergence from stereotyped and stagnating ways of life, on low subsistence, has exclusively depended on the emergence of independent and enterprising individuals, in various fields of endeavor, who had enough resistence to escape from social controls which were usually imposed in the name and interest of “the whole society” or nation.
In light of Deirdre McCloskey’s thesis that the industrial revolution was sparked by the unusual amount of dignity that was first accorded merchants and economic innovators in the northwest corner of 18th-century Europe, how compelling is Schoeck’s claim? (My question is not, pardon the phrase, merely rhetorical. It is genuinely sincere and open.)
Tim Blair – Friday, July 01, 11 (05:49 am)
It’s on, people:
An alliance of some of the nation’s biggest industry organisations is preparing to spend millions of dollars on a campaign to destroy the Gillard government’s plans to put a price on carbon.
The group, which has called itself the Australian Trade and Industry Alliance, is prepared to spend at least $10 million on its campaign …
Warmies will become moist with terror at that amount, but it’s less than the annual salary bill at the Department of Climate Change. Business is taking on a mob that throws $3 million at hippies to “share their stories” about “the clean energy future”, gives $5.6 million to fund Tim Flannery’s let’s-chat-about-carbon roadshow and has already blown $5 million on Ross Garnaut’s unreadable climate bibles.
The alliance’s strategy document, seen by the Herald, lists its key objective as to ‘’build public opposition to the carbon tax so that it is either substantially modified or fails to pass the Parliament’’.
In this way, the alliance will be duplicating work already substantially undertaken by the government.
A campaign involving television, radio, print, the internet and social media would begin within seven days of the government announcing the final details of its scheme and ‘’would run until the likely parliamentary consideration of the legislation in late 2011’’.
Tim Blair – Friday, July 01, 11 (05:47 am)
Environmentalist terrormongers are no longer killing quite so many children. Now their ads are simply incoherent, instead of murderously insane.
Tim Blair – Friday, July 01, 11 (05:45 am)
Leftist Independent columnist Johann Hari is busted adding unattributed quotes from articles and books written by those he interviewed. Hari denies plagiarism but has apologised anyway. The controversy continues, with aninvestigation now underway.
Phillip Adams got caught pulling a similar unattributed-quote move nearly ten years ago. Different era. No fuss was made of it at all.
Tim Blair – Friday, July 01, 11 (03:48 am)
Previous Beatles hierarchy:
John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death - according to the tragic Beatles star’s last personal assistant.
Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon’s death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.
In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn’t the peace-loving militant fans thought he was …
Revised Beatles hierarchy:
If it turns out that Lennon supplied arms to the Contras, he may rise to second.
Tim Blair – Thursday, June 30, 11 (04:27 pm)
Global warming scaredy-boy Clive Hamilton in 2007:
Very few people, even among environmentalists, have truly faced up to what the science is telling us. This is because the implications of three degrees, let alone four or five, are so horrible that we look to any possible scenario to head it off, including the canvassing of ‘emergency’ responses including thesuspension of democratic processes.
Consider them suspended. First the government was returned to power following a denial that it intended to introduce a carbon dioxide tax. This involved co-opting independents who sided with Labor rather than their own electorates. Here’s the next step:
Greens leader Bob Brown will deny Tony Abbott’s mandate to scrap the carbon tax if the Coalition wins the next election, offering a “rolled gold” guarantee that he will block a rollback in the Senate.
So, even if Australia votes against the tax, we’re still going to get it – thanks to Bob Brown and his friends on the fringes. Further from Sinclair Davidson:
Maybe he’d like them more if they threw away their passports and pretended to be teenagers.
For a man who so warmly embraces every foreigner seeking asylum in Australia, Bob Brown is strangely xenophobic when it comes to foreigners who want to lend us money or invest here.
Tim Blair – Thursday, June 30, 11 (12:58 pm)
The religion of perpetual complaint is now upset about cartoon mice:
One of Egypt’s richest men has been accused of mocking Islam after tweeting cartoons of Mickey and Minnie Mouse wearing conservative Muslim attire.
Telecoms mogul and Coptic Christian Naguib Sawiris apologised for re-posting the images on Twitter a few days ago, saying he meant no offence.
But several Islamic lawyers have filed a formal complaint and there are calls for a boycott of his businesses.
Meanwhile, in Sydney:
Almost one hundred students descended upon a branch of the Max Brenner chocolate cafe in Parramatta on Thursday to protest its parent company’s support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
“We’re here because Max Brenner is 100 per cent owned by the Strauss Group, who supports the Israeli army, specifically the Golani brigade which is responsible for human rights violations,” said Jennine Abdul Khalik, spokesperson for the UTS branch of the Students for Justice in Palestine.
Happily, some counter-protesters – including UNSW student Damonn Mehrpour – also turned up:
“I don’t have any particular angst towards either group,” he said. “I just have a lot of Jewish friends and I didn’t want them to feel marginalised ... also I love hot chocolate.”
Chocolate always wins.
(Via Rod C. and Katherin)
Tim Blair – Thursday, June 30, 11 (12:35 pm)
Act I: Australia’s Capering and Pretending Union issues a list of demands, including: “Australian performers have the right to be engaged in lead roles.”
Act II: Geoff of Dulwich comments: “We Will Decide Who Stars In Neighbours, And The Circumstances In Which They Audition.”
Act III: Various other unsympathetic individuals and entities respond to the union’s demands.
Act IV: CPU boss Simon Whipp defends his troops in a piece for the Daily Telegraph, featuring this claim:
If you want to know how important the foreign actor importation guidelines have been to our film and TV industries over the past two decades, consider Sam Worthington. The Avatar star is now one of the world’s most bankable actors after he “broke through” thanks to his lead role in Somersault back in 2004 (incidentally, Abbie Cornish, who co-starred with Sam, has also gone on to thrill audiences worldwide, most recently in Sucker Punch).
Act V: Film producer Jessica Brentnall fires the following letter at Whipp, with a copy sent to the federal arts minister:
Tim Blair – Thursday, June 30, 11 (12:01 pm)
North Korea will chair the UN Conference on Disarmament:
The development comes in the same week the UN defended its decision to support Iran’s holding of an international “anti-terrorism” conference — which saw participants declaring that Western powerswere the international terrorists.
The UN is not on our side. Kind of obvious, really.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (09:30 am)
I may have to apologise to Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd.
I have accused him of abandoning his post, deserting his duty and leaving Julia Gillard to stew in her own juices by travelling to every part of the world except those very bits where he could help solve the Government’s most pressing crises - the sinking boat people deal with Malaysia and the destroyed cattle trade with Indonesia.
That Rudd is not heavily involved remains a disgrace. But the blame may belong to Julia Gillard, if rumors are right - that she has stopped him from solving her problems for fear that he would show her up.
So the hot question is: whose decision was it for Rudd not to have travelled to Indonesia or Malaysia over these past two months?
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (06:51 am)
The Gillard Government first destroys the live cattle exports and then belatedly offers compensation of no more than $25,000 to each cattlegrower affected. The bush is torn between fury at this wanton destruction and contempt for the government responsible:
Meat & Livestock Australia chairman Don Heatley yesterday won loud applause at a meeting of 400 upset cattle producers at Mount Isa by saying the best compensation would be the resumption of trade. Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig, Nationals leader Warren Truss and local MP Bob Katter also addressed the forum, with many in the audience calling for Senator Ludwig’s resignation.
Senator Ludwig was laughed at after answering his third question in a row by saying the aim of the ban was to help the industry to rebuild itself and become ‘’sustainable’’.
At one point during the question-and-answer session, tensions boiled over. ‘’Everyone in this room should be so f---ing angry with you people, just bloody slaughter you,’’ said Neil Byrne, a farm electrical worker, who said he was out of work because of the ban. ‘’I have $60,000 of equipment sitting in my shed. Where’s my compo?’’
But Mr Truss did not blame Senator Ludwig, saying the crisis was the result of people above him intervening, while Mr Katter said the senator was courageous for speaking…
Shona Izod, whose family’s remote NT property has 40,000 head of cattle on it, said it was ‘’a very small Band-aid’’. With a fuel bill of $70,000 a month to keep water bores operating, the bailout would not help, she said.
‘’Five thousand dollars is equal to the amount of interest families are paying every day on their debts and $20,000 would only help families for one week,’’ Ms Izod said.
Next, the Government has a plan to hit industry with a carbon tax without turning out the lights.
It swears it can make this work.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (06:50 am)
Insane. Spending billions to shut down cheap sources of energy, and spending billions more to create expensive forms that will price us out of competition:
AUSTRALIA’S ‘’dirtiest’’ large coal-fired power station, Hazelwood in the Latrobe Valley, could be bought out and shut down under a carbon price package expected to be announced within weeks…
Federal Energy Minister Martin Ferguson yesterday flagged the possibility of the government paying to retire Hazelwood, or the smaller Playford plant in South Australia…
It emerged that the government, in a key concession to the Greens, had agreed to direct $2 billion a year of carbon tax revenue into a renewable energy fund to finance a 17-fold increase in clean power use…
Hazelwood’s owner, International Power, has said it would consider being paid for a phased closure. Its asking price is believed to be about $2.5 billion.
Just Hazelwood and the Greens renewable fund would cost us $4 billion, leave us with more expensive and unreliable power, put thousands of jobs at risk, and make zero difference to the world’s climate.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (06:34 am)
Exactly what those who truly know this country would expect:
A 62-YEAR-OLD Sri Lankan design teacher is not your average TV cult hero.
But MasterChef’s Kumar Periera finds himself struggling with the after-effects of his newfound fame after getting the chop in last night’s terrine challenge.
“It’s the recognition,” Periera told news.com.au
“You’re kind of suddenly vulnerable and exposed.
”I really can’t go anywhere and being the colour I am, I’m easily spotted. But it’s also very comforting and very nice to know that people care about you and look at you and talk to you as if they know you...”
Reject the stereotype. Remember the authentic.
Right on schedule, Oscar Humphries gives the stereotype another spin around the North Shore block:
In Robert Hughes’s seminal (and revisionist) account of early Australian history, he describes the ship Sirius sailing past Cape Solander (now part of Sydney). Captain John Hunter watches Aborigines on the shore, flourishing their spears and shouting what, according to Hughes, were the first documented words said by a black man to a white man in Australia: ‘’Warra, warra!’’ Go away…
It would be impossible, given their history, for Australians not to have an uneasy relationship with race, with national identity and with immigration.... Australia has an island mentality, and to the boat people from such war-torn countries as Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, hoping to start new lives there, it shouts, with less and less ambiguity, ‘’Warra, warra!’’
So, is Australia racist? My own experience, having attended school there until the age of 11, and then lived there during my early 20s, is that underneath the blokey ‘’mateship’’ of a certain type of Australian male there is a seam of racism.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (06:27 am)
Now that the battle is virutally won, business joins in to bayonet the wounded:
AN ALLIANCE of some of the nation’s biggest industry organisations is preparing to spend millions of dollars on a campaign to destroy the Gillard government’s plans to put a price on carbon.
The group, which has called itself the Australian Trade and Industry Alliance, is prepared to spend at least $10 million on its campaign, which will mimic that which was run against the mining tax a year ago…
The organisations involved include the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the Australian Coal Association, the Plastics and Chemical Industries Association and the Australian Logistics Council, which is a loose collection of freight and transport companies.... And despite the government not yet releasing the Treasury modelling underpinning its scheme, the campaign will also focus on ‘’the consequential adverse impact on jobs, economic growth and living standards’’.
So far, so sensible, but be prepared for rent-seekers to sell out the rest of us:
It will advocate ‘’a better way’’ in which industries whose overseas competitors have no carbon price receive free permits until such international conditions exist.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (06:21 am)
And a strange excuse:
Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said that though some radical policy ideas, such as bringing back death duties for estates valued at more than $5 million, remained on the Greens’ website, they were just not on the agenda.
“The Greens are prepared to entertain it as a debate, but it’s going nowhere because the rich and powerful in this country would squash it like a pine nut,” he told the Herald Sun.
For the most part, the seeds are harvested by hand, a contributing factor to their expensive pricetag. Pine nuts are eaten by many cultures around the world, thus they are known by many names. Probably the most popular use is in pesto or as a crunchy salad topper...
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (06:16 am)
Henry Ergas on the origins of the Greek financial crisis:
Read the lot to understand the clash of cultures that produced this disaster. Ergas’s moral:
Here’s one. Much like Europe’s emissions trading scheme, the euro was a “solution” imposed by Europe’s political elites. For the French, it would challenge the despised US dollar; for the Germans, it would buy French acceptance of reunification and a more assertive Germany; and for southern Europe’s socialists, it promised to painlessly transform Sicily into Switzerland. All this proved no more than magical thinking. But because bad policies are easier to introduce than to remove, its costs will be there for years to come.
What can prevent such poorly conceived ideas from getting up? Robust, even divisive, public debate. No wonder elites hate it.
Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 01, 11 (12:02 am)
Laurie Oakes on Nine was even more scathing. As if Gillard could afford to give voters yet more reason to think her deceitful.
I’d bring forward Gillard’s replacement by a month.
I’m happy to say tax. 7.30 on ABC, February 24:HEATHER Ewart: With this carbon tax, you do concede it’s a carbon tax, do you not?
Julia Gillard: Oh, look, I’m happy to use the word tax. I understand some silly little collateral debate has broken out today. I mean, how ridiculous.
The media may make me say it. Gillard, Today, February 27:
LAURIE, I didn’t want to get caught up in what I knew would be one of those semantic word games about whether I would say the word “tax”. You know how these games are played. A politician decides they’re not going to say a word, and then media, people like yourself, Laurie, spend weeks trying to make them say it. I wasn’t going to do any of that.
The parliament made me say it. Gillard, Radio 2SM, February 28:
YES, I did, John, and working with this parliament I have agreed that there will be a fixed price period before we get to a full market-based pricing scheme. That is effectively like a tax, I’m happy to say that and I’m happy to say that I worked with the parliament the Australian people voted for.
Tony Abbott made me say it. Gillard yesterday:
NOW, what Tony Abbott likes to refer to as a carbon tax, a fixed-price period for an emissions trading scheme, is a period I believe should be as short as possible and today can I say to Australians the debate that they are hearing about a carbon tax is a debate about what Tony Abbott calls a carbon tax, which will be for a limited period of time, and then we will move to an emissions trading scheme which I support, John Howard supports, Malcolm Turnbull supports.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 30, 11 (04:52 pm)
Making it up as they panic along…
THE federal government has refused to say if compensation will be offered to producers hurt by the suspension of live exports.
The Federal Government has announced a $3 million compensation package for workers who have been affected by the ban on live cattle exports to Indonesia
The Prime Minister has announced a $30 million compensation package for people and businesses who’ve lost income because of the live export suspension to Indonesia.
But, bottom line, the trade with Indonesia is still suspended, and the offended Indonesians are looking to other suppliers. So what is Australia’s Foreign Minister up to, when there’s a foreign crisis involving Australia to solve?Kevin Rudd tweets from central Asia:
KRuddMP Kevin Rudd
Just appointed Ahmed Fahour, Head of Aussie Post, as Australia’s Special Envoy to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. KRudd
4 hours ago »
KRuddMP Kevin Rudd
Heading into Burma now. Scheduled to have meetings both with Government and Aung San Suu Kyi. KRudd
4 hours ago »
KRuddMP Kevin Rudd
Also looking at effectiveness of our Burma aid program on reducing maternal and infant mortality. KRudd
4 hours ago »
Farce. Utter farce.
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 30, 11 (04:19 pm)
Some Liberals can’t zip it, and should look to Tony Abbott for a lesson on discretion:
RETIRING Liberal senator Nick Minchin has accused Coalition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey of misrepresenting his position on Work Choices during the Howard years…
Senator Minchin, a leader of the hard right in the party, supported incumbent Alan Stockdale as he prevailed against challenger and party icon Peter Reith by one vote in the weekend election for Liberal president.
In the lead-up to the ballot Senator Minchin, whose Senate term ends tonight, wrote to South Australian federal Liberal council delegates urging support for Mr Stockdale and warning Labor would use Mr Reith’s past as the Howard government’s industrial relations minister against the Coalition.
Senator Minchin’s letter to SA delegates prompted Mr Hockey, a leading moderate in the party, to remark during a television interview that Senator Minchin had been a hardliner on workplace reform during the Howard years and that he had argued Work Choices should have gone further.
Mr Hockey’s comments have prompted an angry response from the outgoing Senator Minchin, who wrote: “In any event your comments about me are untrue and I ask you to refrain from any further misrepresentations of my position....”
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 30, 11 (01:26 pm)
It’s been downhill all the way ever since.
Perhaps you could understand Rudd handing out such a huge grant, given that now Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery - a Geodynamics shareholder - swore the technology was a doddle:
In 2007, he warned that “the social licence of coal to operate is rapidly being withdrawn globally” by governments worried by the warming allegedly caused by burning the stuff.
We should switch to “green” power instead, said Flannery, who recommended geothermal - pumping water on to hot rocks deep underground to create steam.
“There are hot rocks in South Australia that potentially have enough embedded energy in them to run Australia’s economy for the best part of a century,” he said.
One more green scheme in strife. One more example of Labor waste. One more example of the dangers of governments picking winners.
Oh, and one more reminder of the insantity of trying to phase out coal-fired power before proper alternatives even exist.
Geodynamics assures shareholders it’s got cash and a plan.
(Thanks to reader Alex.)
Andrew Bolt – Thursday, June 30, 11 (11:55 am)
Barack Obama warns that the US could default:
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the country’s legal borrowing limit was a real deadline and warned that a default would have significant and damaging consequences.
“If the United States government, for the first time, cannot pay its bills, if it defaults, then the consequences for the U.S. economy will be significant and unpredictable,” he told a news conference.
Remember the confected scandal two years ago when Barnaby Joyce warned of this very same thing?:
TONY Abbott’s new finance spokesman, Barnaby Joyce, believes the American Government may default on its debt, triggering an ‘’economic Armageddon’’ that will make the recent global financial crisis pale into insignificance....
Senator Joyce came under attack from several ministers, including Treasurer Wayne Swan, who said he had been elevated ‘’straight from the reactionary fringe of our economic debate to the second most senior economic policy-making job in the alternative government’’…
Senator Joyce first warned of America defaulting at a Senate estimates hearing in October where he asked Treasury secretary Ken Henry for his views.
Dr Henry warned then that public figures had to be careful about discussing ‘’hypotheticals that are that extreme’’ because such discussions could be misinterpreted in the community.
Rather than tempering his language since his promotion, Senator Joyce has stepped up the rhetoric, saying he also had concerns that some states would have trouble repaying their borrowings.
‘’The first thing you tell a new client is exactly where they are. We have to tell the Australian people precisely where they are,’’ said the former accountant from the Queensland town of St George.
Joyce later lost his portfolio after intense media ridiculing for being so silly.
Beware the herd mentality.
Oops. The excellent James Jeffrey was on the case two days ago:
REMEMBER back in 2009 when Barnaby Joyce pondered aloud the possibility of the US defaulting on its debt?
Just to recap in the concisest way, things went badly for Joyce. We found ourselves pondering this yesterday as we listened to the dulcet tones of the ABC’s Eleanor Hall on The World Today: “. . . the [US] Treasury has warned that Congress has only until August 2 to come up with a compromise to lift the $US14 trillion debt ceiling or risk a default and a default would have drastic consequences, not just for the US but for the global economy”. Is the time approaching where Joyce must be acknowledged as a clear-eyed prophet?
(Thanks to reader Paul.)