Monday, July 04, 2011

News items and comments


Tim Blair – Monday, July 04, 11 (11:07 am)

Wayne Harrison, director of a play about Wikileaks, asks a question that likely has not occurred to many:

Well, the question is, is Julian Assange a bogan with a modem or the most revolutionary Australian of our time?

This is the greatest moment in Sydney theatre since the debut of the David Hicks dancers.


An Empirical Question

by DON BOUDREAUX on JULY 3, 2011


I pose an empirical question, namely -

How many people today – especially professional pundits, professors, and politicians – believe simultaneously in both of the following propositions: (1) raising taxes on imports reduces the amount of importing activity significantly enough to cause noticeable increases in activities that are substitutes for importing (such as producing more of the high-tariffed goods domestically); and (2) raising taxes on incomes does not reduce the amount of income-earning activity significantly enough to cause noticeable increases in activities that are substitutes for income-earning activity (such as taking more leisure)?


George Will writes on the dark and despicable political maneuverings that inflated the now-burst housing bubble.

Happy 4th-of-July everyone. Can we again declare independence from predators, today with names such as Barney Frank, James A. Johnson, and Chris Dodd?


On the other hand, Gillard could still tax the drivers

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (09:29 am)

There will be no carbon tax on petrol under a government I lead (unless the Productivity Report says different):

PETROL will be excluded from the carbon tax but the Greens have won a sweeping Productivity Commission inquiry that will probe whether future excises should be levied according to a fuel’s carbon content and whether road-user charges are needed to discourage driving.

After Julia Gillard yesterday confirmed that motorists would be spared the impact of the carbon tax on bowser prices, “now and in the future”, the Greens revealed the deal included an inquiry, which would recommend changes that could be made with the support of parliament from 2015.


Lenore Taylor notes another loophole:

But implicit in the leak is some bad news. Julia Gillard was very careful to say that ‘’families, tradies and small business’’ would not have to pay the tax. Note, big businesses, like mining companies, are not mentioned.


There will be no carbon tax on petrol under a government I lead, says Gillard. But on the other hand…

Key independent MP Tony Windsor doubts whether the Gillard government can guarantee petrol’s exemption from a carbon tax forever....

But parliamentary secretary Richard Marles said the petrol exemption announcement was the “beginning of the end” to the coalition’s scare campaign against a carbon tax…
But Mr Marles, when pressed by Senator Fifield, could not rule out an increase to the excise on petrol, if such a move was recommended by a Productivity Commission review.


Another loophole.

Julia Gillard said the carbon dioxide tax wouldn’t apply to “petrol”.

Our MTR 1377 producer asked her office if this meant the tax would still apply to diesel and gas. A spokesman was unsure and promised to check.

We were then told, no, diesel and gas would also be exempt from the tax.

Then we spoke on air to Mark Dreyfus, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy, who insisted yesterday’s exemption applied strictly to petrol.

We told him Gillard’s office said it applied to other fuels as well.

Well, then it does, he said. (Transcript to come when the audio is up.)

Is diesel exempt or not? A definitive statement is needed.

Oh, and Dreyfus refuses to tell me what difference this tax will make to the world’s temperature. He also refuses to say when difference will be made to the world’s temperature if the whole world joins us in cutting their emissions likewise. You are being denied the facts: that for all this pain, there will be zero gain.


The price to pay for not being as tame as the ABC

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (07:07 am)

This reeks of yet another attempt by this vindictive government to tame a media organisation it a friendlier attitude:

THE Gillard government has made an extraordinary intervention in an official tender process to stop Rupert Murdoch’s part-owned Sky News Australia winning a $223 million contract to broadcast Australia’s overseas television service.

An aggressive bid to expand Australia’s presence in China helped push Sky News over the line in a fierce contest with the ABC to win the rights to the station, known as Australia Network.

An independent panel of public servants set up to evaluate the competing tenders saw Sky’s as the better bid, only for the government to baulk at the prospect of stripping the contract from the publicly funded ABC to hand it to a company part-owned by Mr Murdoch’s News Ltd, Channel Seven and the Nine Network. Labor then made late changes to the tender rules, sidelining the role of the independent panel and throwing the legitimacy of the process into doubt.

And people wonder why so many Australian business leaders are so reluctant to speak up against the most incompetent government in our lifetime. There is more I could tell, if I didn’t respect confidences. But be very worried.


Sounds like horsefeathers to me:

KEVIN Rudd says growing tensions in the Middle East forced the federal government to redraft its tender for the Australia Network, which had appeared set to be won by Sky News over the ABC…

“If at the end of last year we could all predict that the Middle East would be turned upside down and that we as Australia would face a rolling set of consular crises in the Middle East and therefore the ability to contact thousands of Australians in a range of Middle Eastern countries, then of course we would have framed the guidelines a little more differently,” he told ABC radio.


Chomsky shocked that another Leftist thug is a Leftist thug

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (06:57 am)


Reader TQS:

Aww… Noam Chomsky is worried that Hugo Chavez might be a dictator:

Noam Chomsky denounces old friend Hugo Chavez for ‘assault’ on democracy

Speaking to the Observer last week, Chomsky has accused the socialist leader of amassing too much power and of making an “assault” on Venezuela’s democracy.

Speaking from his home in Boston, Chomsky said Chavez, who has been in power for 12 years, appeared to have intimidated the judicial system…

He also faulted Chavez for adopting enabling powers to circumvent the national assembly. “Anywhere in Latin America there is a potential threat of the pathology of caudillismo [authoritarianism] and it has to be guarded against. Whether it’s over too far in that direction in Venezuela I’m not sure, but I think perhaps it is. A trend has developed towards the centralisation of power in the executive which I don’t think is a healthy development.”

Who would of thought that a mad socialist dictator would turn out to be a mad socialist dictator? Not Noam Chomsky, from the 5th September 2009 GreenLeft Weekly:

Chomsky praises Venezuela’s revolution

Chomsky is well known in Venezuela for his critiques of US imperialism and support for the progressive political changes under way in Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

Chavez regularly references Chomsky in speeches and has made widely publicised recommendations of Chomsky’s 2003 book Hegemony or Survival....

Through an interpreter, Chomsky responded: “I write about peace and criticise the barriers to peace; that’s easy. What’s harder is to create a better world and what’s so exciting about at last visiting Venezuela is that I can see how a better world is being created.”

I too am shocked, shocked! that yet another socialist revolution didn’t work out.

Will Australia’s Chavez admirers now rescind their invitation?

(In 2008) ago a collective of our snowfield socialists - including the ABC’s Phillip Adams, propagandist John Pilger, the Greens’ Kerry Nettle and Kevin Rudd’s nephew Van Thanh Rudd - begged Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez to come teach Australians a lesson:

Every country has its own traditions and culture and has to find its own solutions, but what Venezuela has been able to achieve in so little time will be a source of inspiration and ideas for many in Australia.


Missing: a Muslim counter to this poison

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (06:47 am)

I’d love to report all those Muslim spokesman rejecting this poison:

MUSLIMS in Australia were urged yesterday to join the uprisings that have toppled regimes across the Middle East, to renounce moderate forms of the religion and to reject democracy, during a day-long conference sponsored by a radical Islamic organisation.

Hizb ut-Tahrir, a fundamentalist group that calls for the establishment of a caliphate stretching from the Middle East to Indonesia, hosted the event at Lidcombe, which drew about 1000 people

The keynote speaker, Dr Mohammad Jeelani, said the West had decided to ‘’plant a cancer in the Muslim world’’, and that cancer was the state of Israel.

The group openly rejects democratic government and tells Muslims in Australia to boycott elections.

If this is a perversion of Islam, I’d expect Muslims to fight it furiously - not least to protect the good name of their faith. If it is in fact a mainstream interpretation, I’d expect the Federal Government to limit immigration of people hostile to our freedoms.

(Thanks to reader Grand Wizard.)


Would Windsor rather save Labor than farmers?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (06:42 am)

Miranda Devine is amazed by Tony Windsor, an “independent” MP who seems desperate to keep Labor in power no matter what it wrecks:

IF you ever needed proof that Tony Windsor has betrayed his electorate, look no further than his behaviour over the live cattle export ban.

The independent MP for New England, who holds the balance of power, represents one of the largest cattle electorates in the country.

But two weeks ago, Windsor voted against a motion drafted by Queensland independent Bob Katter that would have delivered stun guns to Indonesian abattoirs - and ensured the speedy resumption of the live cattle trade.

(Thanks to reader Spin Baby, Spin.)


Was there a quo for Brown’s quids?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (06:35 am)

Glenn Milne on the indirect help Greens leader Bob Brown appears to have given a company which incidentally gave his party an astonishing $1.6 million donation.

As Liberal Senator Helen Kroger put the matter in Parliament:

Clearly senator Brown does believe that corporate donations make a difference to the integrity of the political process. So I ask senator Bob Brown here today: is that what has happened in this case? Has Mr Wood’s groundbreaking million-dollar donation made a difference to your political considerations? Why have you angled for a consortium of which Mr Wood is a partner to be considered as a buyer for the Triabunna woodchip mill?

No one is suggesting any impropriety on the part of the donor. And we are asking questions of Brown, not making allegations.

(Thanks to reader Paul C.)


Gillard’s last hope is to defy the Greens

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (06:20 am)

Professor Kenneth Wiltshire has excellent advice:

THERE is only one way Julia Gillard can hope to salvage her leadership of her government and that is to break the pacts with the Greens and the independents

Team leadership will be nigh impossible for her when the terms of the pacts mean that the Greens and independents will always have more significant access to her, and more sway over her decisions, than her own caucus members…

And the key point is that all this is not necessary anyway.

She does not need the six-page agreement with the Greens or the 19-page agreement with the independents. All she needs is their agreement to grant supply and to support her in no-confidence motions. The Greens will never switch their support to the Coalition which they regard as poison; the independents are solely interested in lasting a full parliamentary term and they fear Tony Abbott would call an early election.

Gillard needs to form a true minority government, develop Labor policies with Labor politicians alone and stand by them, and take them forthrightly into the parliament.

Let the Greens and independents work out their own responses.

(Thanks to reader Spin Baby, Spin.)


First the cattle industry, next the coal

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (05:57 am)

The news gets more ominous for cattle growers:

INDONESIA has slapped its own ban on live cattle imports, citing the Australian government’s export embargo that has paralysed the northern cattle industry.

A memo sent on Friday from a senior official in the Indonesian Agriculture Department to the nation’s beef importers indicates that in the wake of the Australian ban on live cattle exports, no permits to import cattle will be issued for the July-September period…

A senior Australian government source said the move was not a surprise, was not confined to Australian cattle and did not mean Australian farmers were facing a three-month ban as permits could be reissued on an “interim” basis…

The Indonesian memo emerged as an internal Australian government briefing revealed that the ban - imposed in response to evidence Australian cattle were being mistreated in Indonesian abattoirs - could affect up to 324,000 cattle and that farmers could lose as much as $240 million if it remained in place until December…

The internal Australian government assessment shows that producers will lose between $42m and $62m from the initial “first-round” impact of the ban.

It’s not just the producers who could go broke:

Brooke Hartley ... has not seen the Top End cattle industry in such turmoil.

“It’s a mess; I can’t remember people hurting so much,” he says as he walks between the empty rigs that bank up at Road Trains of Australia’s Noonamah depot, 45km south of Darwin…

Hartley is the company’s operations manager, and at any given moment in the dry season, co-ordinates 70 Mack and Kenworth road trains across the north.

Normally, the $800,000 rigs may be collecting stock in Broome, filling holding pens across north Queensland or heading along the dusty gravel highways of the Territory to pick up cattle.

But according to the firm’s part-owner and managing director, David Jones, the Gillard government’sban on live cattle exports to Indonesia has put at “serious risk of bankruptcy” a company he has spent 30 years building from a small Kalgoorlie-based family… He’s “filthy” about the government’s handling of the issue, saying the $30 million assistance package announced last week would have been better spent fixing the initial problem in Indonesia and allowing the industry to continue.

Next, the Gillard Government will “reform” our electricity industry


The shameful 50 who tried to silence Monckton

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (12:04 am)

So who are these 50 academics who so shamefully tried to have Notre Dame University ban sceptic Christopher Monckton from even speaking?

Professor Bunyip reviews the credentials of these enemies of debate, from professional alarmist Ove Hoegh-Guldberg to a specialist in the representation of the Salvation Army in Finnish cinema.

With enemies like these, it’s not Monckton who is in trouble, but the rest of us.


From today’s Bolt Report

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, July 03, 11 (04:40 pm)

John Della Bosca on having an early election, and Peter Reith on the unfolding catastrophe.

One of the things that makes our country a great place to live is that America is a good place to do business.

Can anyone point to what the child did wrong? If not the community should bear the burden.
An online campaign is now under way to help the family with the legal costs, which were assessed by a judge who dismissed the lawsuit they filed after she was suspended as a cheerleader for her protest
He was drafted, but he became a volunteer. I thank him for his service.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jeff Mellinger was drafted to fight the Vietnam War, and the Army believes he's the last draftee to retire, after 39 years.
Obama's profound incompetence seems matched with his contempt for the people.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, warned President Obama on Sunday to not even consider interpreting the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment to bypass Congress and raise the debt limit without its approval.
A brief history sampling ALP incompetence and insanity.
IT was a quiet February afternoon when actor Shane Withington drove south from his home in Pittwater to Darling Harbour. An auction was under way at the Mori Gallery where some of Sydney's leading art...
Gadaffi must go
HOURS after thousands cheered for Muammar Gaddafi at Tripoli's Green Square, a body was dumped outside a family home.
A win for Thailand
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has conceded his party lost national elections to the opposition.

Sail to Libya. They need your toys.
Organisers of a Gaza-bound flotilla say they have not abandoned their plans to breach Israel's sea blockade of the territory despite a Greek government ban.
She lied about the carbon tax, having had plans drawn up before the election. I am sure she is lying now.
MOTORISTS will escape a carbon tax petrol pinch, but prices could go up in the long run now that a review of fuel excise has been ordered.
The injuries are accidental. Live with it.
A 13-YEAR-OLD intruder is in hospital with serious head injuries and his self-confessed assailant claims to be in fear of his life after a botched break-in at the weekend.
When people eat grapes before buying them I won't buy the grapes left behind.
SHOPPERS will be able to "try before they buy" some fruit and vegetables as the supermarket giants crank up the war at the checkout.
So long as willful judges, like Jefferys, interpret things to grandstand no law is good enough
LAWS intended to protect victims are instead being used to shield dozens of Victoria's worst sex offenders.

Ridiculous. He is doing a good job. The changes he makes will be reasons for voting him back. And there is much more to do.
PREMIER Barry O'Farrell has been accused by MPs of concentrating too much on ticking off achievements in the government's 100-day action plan, at the expense of anything else.
I also understand that many use their rooms for family which the department won't acknowledge .. Because kids have grown up, or grand kids etc.
NEARLY 50,000 NSW Housing dwellings are under-occupied, with almost 11,000 people living on their own in houses with more than three bedrooms.
Actually the article shows most have no preference
PARENTS are overjoyed to just have a healthy bub, but new figures show a leaning towards bouncing baby boys.
Feds handled this badly
TIGER Airways executives will attend crisis meetings with aviation authorities as the regulator assesses the airline's safety record.
Good article
THEY are the forgotten victims - people who have had their lives cut short at the hands of someone else but who don't make the headlines.
I never climbed trees and I was neglected. I think it sad that kids miss out on simple fun. But I also get why good parents might shy away from risk.
IT'S a tree change - but not of the positive kind.

Tragic. Some things need to be left with the overworked police, or left with God.
UPDATE 6.50am: A MUM was fatally stabbed last night after an egging prank in Melbourne's north.

I heard Harvey is changing the wood into coal, using dark magic
RETAIL giant Harvey Norman is selling Chinese-made furniture harvested from Australian native forests, according to environmental activists.
Greens are insane
THE Greens' plans to close down Australia's coal industry within 10 years would cost the economy up to $36 billion a year.

Lucky for her there is Fair Work laws so she can sue the company and not the cad.
THIS is Luis Izzo, the Clayton Utz lawyer at the centre of a $200,000 sexual harassment claim by a former colleague.
It might be family, but it isn't my family.
A DRIVE-BY shooting at the eastern suburbs home of nightclub boss John Ibrahim last week was the third occasion his house had been targeted in the past month, it was revealed yesterday.
He only has a limited number of threats he can make. Instead, maybe he can think about what he has done. He needs Christ in his life.
A HEARTLESS killer who murdered his two-year-old daughter has telephoned the little girl's grandmother from jail.
This is what happens when a fool misuses the word "invasion"
AUSTRALIAN troops fighting in Afghanistan are "fair game" and Muslims "have an obligation" to target them, a spokesman for a Muslim conference in Sydney said yesterday.
As this matter is considered by the coroner's office I ask you to pray. I long for this saga to end, but I will not give up before I have finished. But when I have finished, I will need to forgive my abusers, and I need great strength to do that.
From the Minister of Education, Adrian Picolli. He has been wrongly advised about the coroner's report and I would be happy to explain why. I have made report to the police and called the Ed Dept. as directed.

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