Tuesday, July 05, 2011

News items and comments

Tony Windsor responds - sort of

Miranda Devine – Monday, July 04, 11 (09:24 pm)

On Monday night, Tony Windsor sent out a press release responding to my Sunday column.

He is vicious about Katter, claiming his fellow independent is searching for headlines after having taken himself and his electorate “out of the political play”.

Then he claims the reason he didn’t support Katter’s motion two weeks ago which would have ensured the speedy resumption of the cattle trade was because he didn’t want to give Andrew Wilkie a “platform” to attack the live cattle trade.

Then he defends the MLA, a straw man which wasn’t even mentioned in the column.

The whole thing is illogical. But if you read the column and the press release together, it gives an interesting insight into Windsor’s behaviour, superficially plausible, wily and deeply conflicted.

Here it is:

4th July 2011
There are those who do and those who want two BOB each way

The Member for New England Tony Windsor has responded to statements made by the Independent Member for Kennedy, Mr Bob Katter to the columnist Miranda Devine last weekend about Mr Windsor’s position on Mr Katter’s live cattle trade notice of motion in the Parliament.

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Ever hear of George Ballas?

I hadn’t, until 30 minutes ago. I googled him and came up with a whopping 51,000 hits. Sad, actually, as Mr. Ballas, whose death at age 85 is reported in today’sWashington Post, was one of the countless people throughout history whose creativity and entrepreneurship help to make our lives better.

In 1971 he invented the weed-wacker. He added welcome volume to ourprosperity pool.

‘Small achievement,’ you say, with more than a whiff of contempt for such a bourgeois effort.

I respond, ‘compared to what’? Small, no doubt, compared to the polio vaccine, the assembly line, and (one of my favorites, given that, like Mr. Ballas, I’m from Louisiana) air-conditioning. But large – huge – compared to the creativity of the political class.

Question: who has done more good for humanity? George Ballas and his weed-wacker, or [name any one of the many the politicians who 'creatively' figured out a new way to spend person A's money to help (or 'help') person B]?

The weed-wacker reduces the time we spend trimming our lawns and gardens. (“MyGod!” I hear the contemptuous mutter as they roll their eyes at such a trivial achievement. “How many stirring speeches has Mr. Ballas delivered?” [None, as far as I know.] “Was he a great general who led troops into glorious battle?” [No.] “Was he ever elected to public office?” [Not as far as I can tell.] “So he invents a machine to slice weeds and, in the process, makes a small fortune. He was no FDR or even Gerald Ford or John McCain. Get real.”)

RIP, Mr. Ballas – bourgeois hero. While no monuments will adorn the National Mall to celebrate your life, you did much more good than history will remember – and vastly more good than was done by any of the many butchers, frauds, and silver-tongued devils who do have their images recorded in marble or bronze in capital cities around the world.

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MATES RATED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (12:50 pm)

George Monbiot hangs with the coolest people:

An ethnographer I know …

Commenters are invited to list in Monbiot style ("An ----------- I know ...") their own (true) unusual and esoteric contacts.

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363 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT TAX

Tim Blair – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (12:49 pm)

Besides actually making things, engineers also make sense:

G&S Engineering Mackay chief executive officer Mick Crowe said shutting down the coal industry was only possible if every Australian was willing to accept a lower standard of living.

“If you said 100 years from now there won’t be a coal industry, that might be believable, but it’s disrespectful to Australians for a politician to stand up and say that’s an option inside 40 years to live to first world nation standards without coal or nuclear power,” Mr Crowe said.

“It’s especially disrespectful if the same politicians are travelling around in a motor car, living in a house with steel in it and air-conditioning.”

Meanwhile, Greens deputy Christine Milne – suddenly one of Australia’s most powerful politicians – looks forward to the announcement this Sunday of carbon tax details:

“What I think we’re going to see now is real community engagement in this process.”

You betcha, lady.

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S.MOUSE S.LAMMED

Tim Blair – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (12:23 pm)

US rappers be hatin’ on Australian rap parodist Chris Lilley. Kool A.D.:

This is dumb. I had to turn it off a couple minutes in. His accent is bad, which makes the blackface worse.

And Zilla Rocca:

He is ten years late on his ‘clever’ takedown.

I have no idea who any of these people are, including Lilley.

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RANGA REVOLT

Tim Blair – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (05:02 am)

It’s over for our Prime Ministerial redhead:

Just when Julia Gillard thought things couldn’t get worse, she has now lost the support of her last power base: rangas.

The Red And Nearly Ginger Association, which claims to represent the nation’s redheads, said it is withdrawing its support because she is giving gingers a bad name.

The RANGA group cited disloyalty, dishonesty and incompetence as the three contributing factors.

They’d probably have listed more, but they had to punch somebody.

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BRONCO UNIVERSITY

Tim Blair – Monday, July 04, 11 (06:42 pm)

Quickly imagine what your personal list of top 1000 worst fears might look like.

If you’re normal, the first 20 or so will probably involve the deaths or illnesses of various family members or loved ones. Beyond that, divorce, unemployment and aging might begin to feature.

Once you’re past the first 100, pickings likely become a little slim. The failure of certain favourite sports teams? Another agonising series of Top Gear Australia? Sharia law in Britain banning pictures of Pippa Middleton‘s arse?

By the time you’ve counted up to personal fear 950, if you can list that many, your primary remaining fear will possibly be finding another 50 things to be worried about. You’ll be down to truly miniscule concerns, like the prominence of roles for Australian performers in local soaps or whatever’s going to happen with that WikiLeaks bloke.

Even if you make it all the way to 1000, however, it’s unlikely that any of your fears will include a certain English gentleman who enjoys chatting about the weather.

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GARNAUT GOES

Tim Blair – Monday, July 04, 11 (03:53 pm)

Bossy Rossy takes his leave:

The federal government’s climate change adviser Ross Garnaut has celebrated his last day in the job with a stinging rebuke of the Australian media and a swipe at the most recent Liberal government.

Professor Garnaut, who compiled his original Climate Change Review in 2008 and an updated version last November, said much of the media and public discussion on climate change was crude and distorted.

Crude: Garnaut invokes Australia’s 60,000 dead in WWI to support his case for a carbon tax.

Distorted: Garnaut claims that Australia is the “world champion” of emissions – if measured by population.

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THE AIR GETS MORE SUSTAINABLE

Tim Blair – Monday, July 04, 11 (01:36 pm)

An important question for leading sorryist Peter FitzSimons:

I have a question about the carbon tax that nobody seems to be able to answer. How does the carbon tax reduce pollution?

Ian

And Fitzsy’s reply:

Dear Ian,

The answer is that if there are two companies that make widgets, one using dirty power and the other using clean power, the one with dirty power will have to pass on the tax to consumers, making their widgets more expensive. This means the clean power widget-makers get rich as they sell more of their widgets, encouraging everybody in the widget business to convert to clean power or get left behind. On that basic model, the air gets cleaner and more sustainable.

Genius.

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364 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S NEVER FOREVER TAX

Tim Blair – Monday, July 04, 11 (12:55 pm)

Julia Gillard rules out a carbon tax on petrol:

Families, tradies, small business people do not have to worry about a petrol price increase.

Unless the price of petrol somehow rises due to other cost increases brought about by the tax. Just a theory. More from Gillard:

The design of this scheme is that carbon-pricing petrol will be out now and out for the future.

Out for the future, you say? The rogue Labor identity was quickly put in line by her Prime Minister:

Senator Brown, who had campaigned for petrol to be included in the tax, said: ‘’Forever is a very brave word in politics. Down the line I think there is an inevitability that all fossil fuels will, under the weight of evidence that they should, pay the full cost of the creation of climate change.’’

There was no climate change prior to the use of fossil fuels. Brown’s junior tyrant Christine Milne weighs in:

We want Australians to drive less, and when they do drive, to drive more efficiently,” she said.

It might be time to buy a third car. Just a little urban runabout.

UPDATE. Power makes him happy:

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UPDATE II. Petrol or all fuel? The government doesn’t know.

UPDATE III. Chris Kenny:

There will not be any carbon tax on birthday cakes transported by light commercial vehicles under a government I lead.

(Via Garth Godsman)

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IT’S ALL OVER WHEN SOMEONE WRITES A PLAY

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.

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The bit I hadn’t yet posted

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (05:08 pm)

Of waxing, censoring, exaggerating and coming back to our senses.

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Networks say no to the reading out of a suicide note

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (01:16 pm)

Not travelling that well:

JULIA Gillard has requested free TV airtime on all television networks on Sunday night for an address to the nation on her proposed carbon tax.

But at least two networks, Nine and Seven, have turned down the request, saying they will not provide a slot to the Prime Minister.

A Seven source said the network would not provide airtime for what it regarded as a party-political announcement.

“What does she need an address for the nation for? She’s not sending anyone to war. It’s a political announcement.”

(Thanks to reader Gab.)

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The view today of a blog reader

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (11:38 am)

image

A new series: what typical readers of the blog have seen through their window.

Today it’s reader David.

UPDATE

Reader Bernie Slattery has an even better view, for which I’m very glad:

I’ve just had a marvellously clear view of the rooftops of central Geelong from the sixth floor of St John’s Hospital. I had my second cataract removed yesterday and have not had such bright sight in 20 years. Got a nice shiner though and a headache you could photograph.

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Rhiannon remembers Howes’ past no better than her own

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (11:23 am)

National Workers Union boss Paul Howes writes to new Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon:

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The full letter below:

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How brave is that Judith Lucy?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (10:35 am)

Professor Bunyip on the latest offering of the ABC and Film Victoria:

HAVE you caught word of the hot new ABC comedy series? It’s edgy, transgressive even, and brave as can be, the most daring and provocative thing you will ever see.

Picture a kooky chick who goes to Mecca and really sticks it up those bearded old farts, gets in their faces, shows ‘em what a hip broad is all about. This babe has balls. She disrupts their holiest rite, tips the sacred items all over the ground and then, just to stick it up those Prophet lovers, she gets damp in the surf with a hot and horny mullah.

Whoops! Sorry, wires slightly crossed. Muslims actually have nothing to do with Judith Lucy’s Spiritual Journey – not the ridiculing of Muslims, anyway. That might have been just a tad too daring.

So while all other religions appear to be indulged, it is ...

Well, I suspect you can guess which faith is again the target of taxpayer-funded mockery, and which again is spared. But do read on for details.

(Thanks to reader Sally.)

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Up to 300 brawl

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (09:34 am)

This kind of mass brawling is increasingly common in Melbourne, and suggests a new cultural development:

POLICE were pelted with rocks during a wild brawl involving up to 300 people in Melbourne’s west last night. Officers were called to a function centre in Carrington Drive, Albion, after a number of fights broke out just before 10pm.

Police say offenders were of a cross section of ethnicities, and discount an ethnic dimension to the problem.

Which leaves us to ask what’s gone wrong with the way we socialise our young?

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Scenes from a madhouse

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (09:07 am)

But think of all those school halls we built and pink batts installed for $20 billion:

AUSTRALIA risks falling desperately behind in much-needed improvements to the nation’s transport, ports and water infrastructure and may not be able to fund up to $86 billion in projects without urgent reforms, a key Gillard government adviser has warned in a report that sounds alarm bells on productivity.

Infrastructure Australia has declared that in the three years since Kevin Rudd set up the body, governments have failed to grasp the nettle on reforms to infrastructure planning, funding and pricing, such as using tolls to fund new roads.

The advisory body’s chairman, Rod Eddington, said frustratingly slow progress on government reform was a drag on national productivity, which had slowed over the past decade to the point where it was below the average for countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

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Another Digger dead

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (08:59 am)

From a war that Barack Obama’s generals warn is being fought without the right long-term commitment:

ANOTHER Australian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, with at least one more wounded, potentially fatally. The death brings to at least 28 the number of Australian soldiers killed in Afghanistan, and is the seventh this year.

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The price of this Government’s folly

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (07:55 am)

Nico Botha of the Kimberleys’ Beefwood Park Station tells MTR 1377 this morning he’s shooting the first 200 of some 3000 cattle he may have to destroy, thanks to the Gillard Government’s bungling of the live cattle trade.

He’s overnight lost up to $4 million, he says.

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Can Gillard be trusted to keep our lights on?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (07:52 am)

The shuffling around of these billions is a loud warning. Can you trust this Government to spend this huge amount of money wisely - and to stop the power industry frm being broken by its mad tax?

THE Gillard government is putting together a $3 billion package to promote clean energy, pay for the closure of Australia’s dirtiest brown coal-fired power plants and avoid systemic failure of electricity supply in southeast Australia.

But having exempted petrol from the carbon tax, lifted the renewable energy fund to satisfy Greens’ demands and provided finance to keep power stations operating, the government’s pledge to keep the carbon tax “revenue-neutral” and not draw directly from taxpayers’ funds is under pressure.

And isn’t this the kind of “direct action” that Julia Gillard mocks?

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Confirmed: no warming for a decade

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (07:04 am)

A new peer-reviewed paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences confirms no warming for a decade:

Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.

The paper curiously blames both unknown natural factors and the big rise in China’s coal use, which is says means more emissions of sulfur to cool the planet. But shouldn’t that also mean more carbon dioxide, which we’re told would warm the wold dangerously?

(Thanks to reader Timdot.)

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Tell that to the workers, Senator

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (06:57 am)

An absolute bubblehead, babbling brightly about destroying a city’s industry:

GREENS senator Sarah Hanson-Young believes the South Australian steel town of Whyalla can transform itself into a hub of wind energy if Julia Gillard’s carbon tax forced manufacturer OneSteel to close its operations.

The South Australian senator yesterday said OneSteel’s steelworks employed “several hundred people . . . and I imagine the flow-on effect for that small town would be significant”.

OneSteel is directly responsible for the jobs of up to 4000 people in the city of 22,000 people…

But yesterday, on the day the Australian Greens took the balance of power in the Senate, Senator Hanson-Young declared Whyalla would thrive without the steelworks that has sustained the industrial city since the 1960s…

“Whyalla and that whole area along that peninsula is one of the best places for wind energy in this country, and one of the best places in the world.”

(Thanks to reader cynical1.)

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A stroke of Labor and the Liberals’ pen could wipe out the Greens

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (06:24 am)

Gerard Henderson says the Greens have just reminded Labor - and the Liberals - of what to do about these extremists at the next election:

A little hubris is a dangerous thing. And a large dose of arrogance can prove fatal. Yesterday in the Senate, the Greens leader, Bob Brown, nominated his Western Australian colleague, Scott Ludlam, for the position of president of the upper house. The motion was defeated, with the Labor, Coalition and minor party senators supporting the Labor incumbent, John Hogg…

On Saturday The Weekend Australian ran a report of an interview with Brown as its front page lead. The message was that, within 50 years, the Greens will supplant Labor as one of the major entities in Australia’s two-party system. Since the Greens receive Labor preferences in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, and at present enjoy an agreement with the Gillard government, this seems an unnecessary provocation.

It is much the same with the Coalition. Lately Brown has been bagging the Liberals and the Nationals while exhibiting a special vehemence for the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott. This overlooks one inconvenient fact: Bandt won his seat on Coalition preferences.

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And is all that shower water heated?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (06:05 am)

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Spot the push-me-pull-you inconsistency here, in which a green solution is yet again undone by the unforeseen consequence:

COMPANIES that own almost 60 per cent of Sydney’s commercial office space have endorsed the lord mayor of Sydney Clover Moore’s plan to slash carbon emissions, signing an agreement paving the way to build new systems to cut power and water use.

Representatives of the 13 biggest property companies also said Cr Moore’s push to get more people cycling to work is clearly working and that their tenants across the city are demanding showering and bike storage facilities to cater for a big increase in the number of staff riding to work.

(Thanks to reader Big Ted.)

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“Price on pollution”: Wong parades the latest deceit

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (06:03 am)

Reader Nathaniel yesterday wrote to tell me he’d noticed the Gillard Government ratchet up the Orwellian language yet again.

The carbon dioxide tax had already moved from a “price on carbon” to a “price on carbon pollution”.

Now it’s morphed again to the even more deceitful “price on pollution”. You know, like on garbage and arsenic.

And, bingo, last night on Q&A, Finance Minister Penny Wong used this new piece of Newspeak repeatedly.

Even their language lies.

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Gillard won’t tell you her tax won’t stop any warming

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (06:02 am)

For months - years - I have asked this fundamental question: for all the pain of the Labor Government’s planned cuts to our emissions, what’s the gain? By how much will we cut the world’s temperature?

This is a fundamental question because we need to know if our huge sacrifice is worth it. And it is a scandal that no Canberra journalists have asked it of any politician.

That still has not changed. But yesterday, at last, there was a minor breakthrough.

Yesterday, warmist journalist Lenore Taylor twice asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to at least explain how much the world would warm even if we did all she asked. .

And the non-answers she got were not just an insult to Taylor and to all voters, but a partial admission of the utter futility of Gillard’s planned tax:

TAYLOR: Prime Minister, you were talking about the increase in the (inaudible) outside the atmosphere that has already occurred, scientists are also talking about the fact that even if we meet our targets, even if all the other countries meet their targets that they’ve got on the table, that increase will continue to go on. So, what’s your best advice on how far are things going to go in the red anyway, and how much are temperatures going to rise anyway, even if we do what we say and everyone else does what they’re saying as well?

PM: Well, the aim here, of course, is to prevent the continued growth of carbon pollution and its impact on climate change. You’re right – a lot of damage has been done already. We can’t go back into the past and fix that damage. What we can do is we can change our future, and I’m certainly saying to the Australian community we need to change our future and we can change our future through a scheme that protects Australian jobs, where households – 9 out of 10 – have got the benefit of tax cuts or payment increases, and we have the 1,000 biggest polluters in this country paying a price for carbon pollution so they innovate and change, and all of that adds up to a clean energy future.

TAYLOR: The question is, you’ve warned about what will happen if we don’t do anything, but how much of that warming is already in system? how much (inaudible) about even if we take all the actions that you’re talking about?

PM: Well, obviously, having gone to 387 parts per million in late 2010 – yes, you’re right that carbon dioxide’s already in the atmosphere, but I don’t believe that you can use that and say ‘well, we shouldn’t act in the future.’ Of course we should act. We can make a choice between a future with increased levels of dangerous climate change, or we can act to address that. I’m for action.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, you said that you want the debate to be informed by facts, but twice there Lenore asked you what your advice was one the net effect of our action, taking into account action or lack of action in the rest of the world. Will you provide that fact?

PM:
We’re one of the 20 biggest polluters on the planet. Per head of population, we are the biggest generator of carbon pollution per head of population in the developed world. That means we have to act.

Is the rest of the world acting? Well, we’ve been through those facts and figures before, and I’m happy to supply them all again, but, yes, the rest of the world is also acting on climate change and we can’t afford to be left behind.

I consider Gillard’s answers to be so evasive as to be dishonest. You are being deliberately deceived. The sacrifice Gillard is demanding of you - of your money and perhaps your job - will achieve nothing at all to stop the predicted warming. And it will not slow that warming either, which is my point, and the answer to my own question

To remind you of one Gillard minister, Mark Dreyfus, who let slip the truth to blog reader Mark, who’d asked:

Can you provide details on how much the global temperature will drop with the introduction of the this tax in 2020 (~5years)/ 2025 (~10years) /2065 (~50 years)?

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UPDATE

Another press gallery journalist, Dennis Shanahan, sees the significance of Taylor’s question and Gillard’s evasion:

Imploring that the debate be based on facts, Gillard said the scientific advice “indicates that if we do not cut carbon pollution average temperatures around Australia could increase by between 2.2 to over five degrees Celsius by 2070”.

But when asked what the temperature would be if we did everything she was urging, she was unable to provide a figure and she was even less forthcoming about the carbon tax to be unveiled this weekend.

UPDATE

PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has secured a deal on the carbon tax and will announce the full package at lunchtime on Sunday.

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Camel lovers of the world horrified by Australia’s warmists

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (12:14 am)

I’m not surprised the rest of the world recoils at the sheer inanity of Australia’s warmists:

The world’s association of camel scientists fought back angrily over Australian plans to kill wild dromedaries on the grounds that their flatulence adds to global warming.

The idea is “false and stupid… a scientific aberration”, the International Society of Camelid Research and Development (ISOCARD) charged yesterday, saying camels were being made culprits for a man-made problem.

“We believe that the good-hearted people and innovating nation of Australia can come up with better and smarter solutions than eradicating camels in inhumane ways,” it said.

The kill-a-camel suggestion is floated in a paper distributed by Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, as part of consultations for reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

Only in Australia could the warming movement be so out of control that a government department treats such an idea seriously.

(Thanks to reader Pira.)

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When even the gingers disown her, time’s up

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (12:01 am)

It couldn’t get worse, unless even her cat stopped speaking to her:

JUST when Julia Gillard thought things couldn’t get worse, she has now lost the support of her last power base: rangas.

The Red And Nearly Ginger Association, which claims to represent the nation’s redheads, said it is withdrawing its support because she is giving gingers a bad name.

The RANGA group cited disloyalty, dishonesty and incompetence as the three contributing factors.

(Thanks to readers CA and Grand Wizard.)

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ACTU too green for even teachers

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 05, 11 (12:01 am)

When the Greens are too extreme even for teachers, we have a hope:

THE national union representing 68,000 non-government school workers has split from the ACTU, accusing the peak union body of being captive to an “extreme” Greens agenda and not having a credible education policy.

On the other hand, when the ACTU is captured by Greens ideology, the workers are in danger…

But while I’d love to say that independent school teachers are rebelling against the Greens agenda being stuffed down the throats of students, the truth is that self-interest is more the motive here:

The decision by the Independent Education Union of Australia represents one of the few national disaffiliations from the ACTU in its 84-year history and the first since the Transport Workers Union split in 1995. In a scathing letter to ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence, IEUA federal secretary Chris Watt accused the ACTU of discriminating against “our tens of thousands of members in Catholic and independent schools” by favouring state-run schools…

Mr Watt told The Australian that the union was furious at Mr Lawrence’s decision to change the wording of the ACTU’s Working Australia Census, which surveyed union members nationally on an array of issues, including education. The survey asked workers to what extent they agreed that unions should be campaigning on “the quality of education, including adequate funding for public schools?”

Mr Watt said a teleconference of union officials had agreed the survey question should ask only about the “quality of education”, and the reference to “adequate funding for public schools” was added by Mr Lawrence.

“From the perspective of the IEUA, the current positioning of the ACTU in relation to education and school funding is not only inconsistent with ACTU policy, but has in fact moved to a position in line with that taken by the Greens,” Mr Watt wrote.

(Thanks to reader CA.)

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Even worse for Labor

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (03:24 pm)

Essential Research records Labor’s worst vote yet: 44 per cent to 56, two-party preferred.

Its primary vote is just 32 per cent. And 45 per cent of those polled said they were worried about them and theirs keeping their jobs.

The uncertainty, incompetence and ad hockery in Canberra is punishing this country. An anxious shopkeeper this morning told me, “What business is safe if this government can kill the cattle exports overnight?”

UPDATE

Indeed:

Australian sales of retail goods, such as clothes and shoes, fell unexpectedly in May suffering the biggest drop in seven months.

Retail sales dropped 0.6% compared to the previous month, according to the bureau of statistics. Most analysts had expected a gain of 0.3%.

(Thanks to reader Simon.)

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Monckton outdone: ABC’s own fascist smear

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (03:10 pm)

Before the next ABC journalist takes a shot a climate sceptic Lord Monckton for accusing warming guru Ross Garnaut of having “fascist” thoughts, could they first attack their own employer for funding a film depicting John Howard as a Hitler:

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(Via Stephen Dawson.)

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Scenes from our descent into superstition

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (02:46 pm)

Last year, I reported on a tragic example of our growing unreason:

PETER Dingle had a choice when his wife, Pen, finally learned she had rectal cancer.

Would the professor push her to have the operation that would most probably cure her?

Or would he keep pushing the mad faith in alternative medicine that has since made him, as he modestly advertises, a “renowned author, juggler, media personality and Murdoch University academic”?

Ah. Tough choice.

You see, Dingle, an “environmental toxicologist” at this Perth university’s school of Health and Environment, has spent the past 20 years getting rich and kinda famous by demonising the very kind of medicine that could spare a woman like Pen from what a surgeon told a Perth coroner this week was “one of the most painful diseases you could possibly get”.

Tonight at 8pm on ABC television, Australian Story will have the first of a two-part report on this case. The script suggests some gripping viewing:

Toni Brown, sister
Peter actually became the gatekeeper in that situation in that it was Peter who seemed to be the one who was more in control of who was welcome and who wasn’t welcome. Which meant that you went in, did a bit of house cleaning and you didn’t ask any difficult questions.
Natalie Brown, sister
As I was leaving one day she said, “Oh do you think I’m getting better?” And I said, “No I don’t”. And we were standing in the hallway. I said, “No I don’t think you’re getting better. And she said, ‘Oh, you mustn’t say that you won’t be allowed to come back’.
Annie Malcolm, sister
He was completely convinced in his program, methodology - the exercise, the positive thinking, the life- the diet. And the supplements, that’s what was going to really work, yep…

Peter:
I just broke down and I yelled. I was stupid. How could I do this. How could I go along with this craziness.

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On the other hand, Gillard could still tax the drivers

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (02:29 pm)

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.

UPDATE

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.

UPDATE

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.

UPDATE

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 below.)

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

UPDATE

Disaster:

Steve Price: We were a little confused about the use of the world petrol. Did the PM mean “fuel”?

Dreyfus: The PM meant petrol, very clearly....

Price: So it’s petrol not fuel.

Dreyfus: It’s petrol that we’re talking about…

Price: So her promise doesn’t apply to diesel or LPG?

Dreyfus: No, we’ve made it clear at the moment that we’re talking about petrol…

Price: We contacted the PM’s office this morning because we were confused about the word petrol as opposed to fuel, and according to the Prime Minister’s office she meant to say fuel, not petrol.

Dreyfus: Well, that’s good. If that’s clear.

Price: Well, you don’t know. You’re the minister here. Is it petrol or is it fuel?

Dreyfus: Well, we were about to announce, ah, we hope within a short time the full details of this package… What was made clear by the Prime Minister yesterday was petrol. And if we’ve gone to fuel, that’s clear, too… And if you’ve had confirmation this morning from the Prime Minister’s office that it’s fuel , then it’s fuel.

UPDATE

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten tells parliament the carbon dioxide tax will not be levied on passenger, light commercial or passenger vehicles.

Trucks, however…

How does that work at the bowser?

UPDATE

It’s getting just too awful to watch. In Question Time, Liberal MP Kevin Andrews asked Treasurer Wayne Swan if the exemption of fuel from the carbon dioxide tax included passenger buses.

Swan: “I can tell you it will not apply to light commerical vehicles.”

He didn’t know.

An early election. Now.

UPDATE

Swan could not or would not answer questions about whether the tax would apply to cruise boats, bob cats and the like.

And a reader asks:

I am a Caltex Fuel Distributor in Central NSW.

Juliar has said no tax on petrol (maybe not diesel) for tradies, small business etc.

However transport will be taxed. What red tape will they put into place for service station owners and distributors.

Will we need to do a similar report as the monthly or tri monthly BAS. A Carbon Dioxide Fuel Transport Sales report and forward the cheque for all sales that were to bodies not exempted.

How will staff at a service station decide whether a vehicle filling is Carbon Dioxide Fuel Tax exempt or not.

As far as diesel is concerned I read recently that 25% of all imported cars are now diesel because they are more efficient.

This threatens to be one of those birthday-cake fiascos.

UPDATE

Reader Shaun has another question:

Will either of the following be subject to the Carbon tax:

- Emissions resulting from the Refining process
- Emissions from tankers delivering petrol to the retail network

If the answer to either of the above questions is Yes, How can you assert that fuel prices will not increase for domestic users under a carbon tax?

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Just a hunch

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (02:03 pm)

image

My deep knowledge of foreign affairs tells me we’ll see a few more stories on television about Thai politics after the election of the new Thai prime minister.

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The government needs a mandate, but the Opposition should never be silent

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 04, 11 (12:16 pm)

High stakes politics - and probably effective:

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he will accept the result of a national vote on the carbon tax.

Mr Abbott previously has stated the coalition’s opposition to a carbon tax would not change even if a plebiscite found in favour of the government’s proposed scheme.

But on Monday he told the House of Representatives, in presenting his private member’s bill that aims to set up the national poll, he would accept the final vote…

“I want to make it absolutely crystal clear, should I succeed and should this matter of the carbon tax be put to the people that will determine this matter.

“It may not change the arguments but it will certainly settle the politics… It’s absolutely inconceivable that the opposition, faced with a vote in favour of a carbon tax, will continue to oppose it,” Mr Abbott said.

Some wriggle room there. But I do not like having a party’s position of high principle and national interest settled by a national vote. Yes, a vote can establish the majority will, which should then prevail. But it must not commit a party to accepting a position contrary to its judgment of where the country’s deepest interests lie. Whether 20 per cent or 80 per cent of Australians want a carbon dioxide tax, the fact remains that it will do nothing to stop a global warming that may have stopped anyway and may not hurt us even if it resumed.

It is madness, and no political party should be bound by a plebiscite from warning the nation against unreason and economic suicide.

The Opposition

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I’m sorry, but the fascist analogy must now be drawn

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

I never dreamed I’d live in a country in which Jewish businesses were boycotted and blockaded.

The shame. The utter shame.

But then I’d never dreamed, either, that I’d be taken to court for expressing my opinion. Or that a news organisation would be denied a government contact for being politically unsympathetic. Or that news outlets would be banned by government ministers for asking basic questions. Or that academics could protest against free speech.

UPDATE

And that a letter such as this could appear in the Sydney Morning Herald:

The wise and timely essay by Samantha Selinger-Morris (’’Old hatreds in a new medium’’, July 2-3) raises an issue that should make Jewish community leaders in Australia rethink their attitudes to the growth of anti-Semitism.

Tragically this upsurge of racism is attributable directly to the perceived suffering the Israeli government has imposed on the Palestinian people. The current Israeli government is more responsible for the spread of anti-Semitism worldwide than any ratbag racist groups waving symbols of Germany in the 1930s…

Vincent Matthews Forestville

(Via RWDB.)

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