Thursday, July 14, 2011

News items and comments

A question of trust

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 13, 11 (08:07 pm)


WEARING out prime ministerial shoe leather doesn’t get much more awkward than the illuminating confrontation Julia Gillard had in a Brisbane shopping centre yesterday.

it is too kind to say the Greens prompted this. ALP had plans before the election with treasury. They knew they were lying as they expected to lose. They probably thought, like Keating had once before, if they promised more than they could deliver their stay in opposition would be short. they didn’t expect to win, and now they are doomed. It will get worse each day that no ALP member pulls the pin.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Wed 13 Jul 11 (10:53pm)
Anabel replied to DD Ball
Thu 14 Jul 11 (10:06am)

Even if you were to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” was intended at the time, it was most certainly purely for the purposes of re-election and her back flip explained by “I didn’t mean to mislead anyone” is proof she at the very least is devoid of any honour and integrity. But then she deliberately defended the indefensible with lies and word games before she finally acknowledged she did say “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead”.

This is a woman who thinks she is capable of pushing down brick walls, she has a history of bulldozer tactics, even her own mother says she always gets her way, and now she is trying to tell us the Greens forced her hand. I don’t ware it either. She had choices, she made dishonourable ones.

She is prostituting herself at the expense of democracy. This deceitful unethical (pity Wilkie still doesn’t understand what ethical means), arrogant dishonourable unprincipled morally corrupt contemptuous fraud of a woman is not a fit to hold the highest office in the country. I agree with you that until an ALP MP pulls the pin each day will become worse for them, and it seems to be. Is this the look of someone who has disappointed us?

John Z replied to DD Ball
Thu 14 Jul 11 (12:14pm)

Speaking of ALP members who might pull the pin, it could be argued that the most likely members to do that are the ones who might not lose their seats if an election were called now or soon, but would likely lose their seats if an election were held down the track - and if the current unpopularity trend for the government continues.

Members in marginal seats would definitely not want an election soon because their parliamentary careers would be over. They’d prefer to wait in the hope that things improve. But those whose majorities are between 4 and 8 percent, say, might be more susceptible to persuasion that an election held soon, while not really winnable overall, might not actually cost them their own seat, while one held later definitely will, and will also consign their party to the wilderness for a generation.

The main reason for that is that they’re stuck with Gillard and Gillard is stuck with the carbon tax, and the long term trend of public opinion in relation to climate change is increased scepticism. If anything the scepticism has increased as a result of Gillard’s tax, but it was trending that way anyway and that’s happening all over the world. The strong likelihood is that Gillard and her tax will get less popular over time, not more, as more and more people realise the climate scare itself has been massively overblown. Gillard’s own transparently dishonest attempts to stem that inexorable tide are and will continue to be fruitless and even counterproductive.

Here is a list of seats and their ALP MPs whose margins are between 4 and 8 percent. If an election were held soon, they’d still have a chance of retaining their seats. A friendly email pointing out that their party will receive less of a drubbing, and therefore spend less time in the wilderness if an election were held sooner rather than later, might just be enough to get them thinking. They are probably only too aware of their own vulnerability if things get worse, but an oblique reference to that wouldn’t hurt either.

Franklin: Julie Collins 4.0%
Leichhardt: Warren Entsch 4.1%
Petrie: Yvette D’Ath 4.2%
Kingston: Amanda Rishworth 4.4%
Bonner: Ross Vasta 4.5%
Hindmarsh: Steve Georganas 5.1%
Greenway: Michelle Rowland 5.8%
Brand: Gary Gray 6.0%
Bendigo: Steve Gibbons 6.1%
Moreton: Graham Perret 6.2%
Lindsay: David Bradbury 6.3%
Wakefield: Nick Champion 6.6%
Melbourne Ports: Michael Danby 7.1%
Blair: Shayne Neumann 7.4%
Chisholm: Anna Burke 7.4%
Isaacs: Mark Dreyfuss 7.7%
Makin: Tony Zappia 7.7%

This approach might be our best chance of saving Australia from further ravages by this absolute disaster of a prime minister.


Bob Brown, maitre d’ of a slightly seedy restaurant

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 13, 11 (07:42 pm)

IN all the scripted predictability of Carbon Sunday and the serial press conferences of the government, followed by the crowing Greens, followed by the Independents, there was a singularly odd moment.

It was when Bob Brown ushered “my Independent friends”, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, to their seats, like an attentive host at a dinner party, or the maitre d’ at a slightly seedy restaurant.


Moment of truth

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 13, 11 (02:59 pm)

Wearing out the shoe leather doesn’t get much more awkward than this or this:

It was patronising of Gillard to touch her at all. And she did so many times. Gillard’s minders nodded together, putting intense pressure on this brave woman to capitulate. I am glad that god made such a good woman who stuck to her guns and was never offensive. She asked questions that deserve an answer. Gillard was not up to answering her. It was reminiscent of Bob Hawke’s “Silly old bugger” moment, only this lady was way more gracious, intelligent, focused and clear.

I want to know how long will every single other ALP parliamentary member accept this state of affairs?

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Wed 13 Jul 11 (04:11pm)
Anabel replied to DD Ball
Wed 13 Jul 11 (06:35pm)

Agree, she certainly is a good woman, with a lot more courage than the duplicitous Gillard. She could even be awarded “extremist” status!

You would think there would be just one who would stand up and say they have had enough! The consequence is a hell a lot of them will eventually lose their seats.

carbon worker replied to DD Ball
Wed 13 Jul 11 (10:27pm)

A gentle female did more damage in questioning the wicked witch than all the gasbagging media incompetents combined. And of course gillard will never face up to geuinely objective journalists let alone hostile conservative ones.

She has a hard enough time making normal statements of fact when encouraged to do so by sycophants like qanda, 7pm or TheirABC.

Awful pathetic stuff.

Peter replied to DD Ball
Thu 14 Jul 11 (09:17am)

Howard agreed with Bush to punish the gutless people that killed innocent 3000+ citizens who died in 7/11 attack . These terrorist don’t attack people that are able to defend themselves but kill woman children ,even sending pregnant women and children suicide bomber to do their dirty work. As for weapons of mass destruction. This term was used by the media regarding the bomb that was left in a vehicle in New York and yet the same people of the media fail to class chemical attacks which killed thousands of Kurd s as a weapon of mass destruction. The same media still don’’t admit that the enemy in Iraqi were defeated by the American invasion. Thirdly if Howard was wrong and Gillard the hero why are our troops staying after the Yanks pull out this is not Howard but Gillards instructions.


… is another from the superb economic historian Gavin Wright. This one is from page 10 of his paper “The Myth of the Resource Curse” (co-authored with Jesse Czelusta) in the March/April 2004 issue of Challenge:

There is good reason to reject the notion that American industrialization should be somehow discounted because it emerged from a setting of unique resource abundance: On closer examination, the abundance of American mineral resources should not be seen as merely a fortunate natural endowment. It is more appropriately understood as a form of collective learning, a return on large-scale investments in exploration, transportation, geological knowledge, and the technologies of mineral extraction, refining, and utilization.

Wright and Czelusta here make the Julian-Simonesque point – and back it up with data from the empirical record – that the size of resource ‘endowments’ is variable and, more importantly, largely a function of human ingenuity. Human beings – and not molecules buried in the ground – are the ultimate resource. The latter become resources only through the creativity, choices, and actions of the former.


Keynes vs. Reality

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 13, 2011


Here is Paul Samuelson in 1943 (HT to David Henderson):

When this war comes to an end, more than one out of every two workers will depend directly or indirectly upon military orders. We shall have some 10 million service men to throw on the labor market. We shall have to face a difficult reconversion period during which current goods cannot be produced and layoffs may be great. Nor will the technical necessity for reconversion necessarily generate much investment outlay in the critical period under discussion whatever its later potentialities. The final conclusion to be drawn from our experience at the end of the last war is inescapable–were the war to end suddenly within the next 6 months, were we again planning to wind up our war effort in the greatest haste, to demobilize our armed forces, to liquidate price controls, to shift from astronomical deficits to even the large deficits of the thirties–then there would be ushered in the greatest period of unemployment and industrial dislocation which any economy has ever faced.

From Paul Samuelson, “Full Employment after the War,” in S.E. Harris, ed., Postwar Economic Problems, 1943.

And now a quote from the The Economic Report of the President, page 1, issued by Harry Truman on January 8, 1947:

During 1946, civilian employment approached 58 million. This was the highest civilian employment this Nation has ever known— 10 million more than in 1940 and several million higher than the wartime peak. If we include the military services, total employment exceeded 60 million. Unemployment, on the other hand, remained low throughout the year. At the present time it is estimated at about 2 million actively seeking work. This is probably close to the mini- mum unavoidable in a free economy of great mobility such as ours.

Thus, at the end of 1946, less than a year and a half after VJ-day, more than 10 million demobilized veterans and other millions of war- time workers have found employment in the swiftest and most gigantic change-over that any nation has ever made from war to peace.


Dudley North on Free Trade

by DON BOUDREAUX on JULY 13, 2011


One way to state the case for free trade is to note that government has no business protecting politically influential producers from consumers who spend their money in ways that naturally enhance their (the consumers’) satisfactions rather than in ways that artificially enhance others’ (the privileged-producers’) profits.

As the 17th-century champion of free trade Dudley North observed,

That to force Men to deal in any prescrib’d manner, may profit some as happen to serve them; but the publick gains not, because it is taking from one Subject, to give to another.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (12:52 pm)

Israel is roughly one-third the size of Tasmania. The Washington Post seems unaware of this. Then again, the Posthas never known much beyond its own boundaries.

UPDATE. Further from the Middle East:

Surprisingly, Obama’s approval ratings are even lower than President Bush’s before he left office in 2008. They dropped from 26 percent to 12 percent in Morocco, 9 percent to 5 percent in Egypt, 16 percent to 10 percent in Jordan and 22 percent to 12 percent in the UAE (though they did improve in Saudi Arabia, and tick up slightly in Lebanon).

Obama’s unique background was supposed to make him a prime candidate to improve the relationship between the U.S. and the Arab world. But more than halfway through his first term, not only has there been no progress, it looks like relations are worse than before.

There is to be no yelling at the President.

(Via Drudge)



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (12:29 pm)

Holy science! Steve Waterson attempts to measure the temperature of the world all by himself, but is defeated by the elements. And Bunnings.

UPDATE. In other scientific inspection news, the fellow shown being tossed around by Sydney’s massive waves isCoastalwatch chief swell forecaster Ben Macartney:


Chap takes his job seriously.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (05:44 am)

This is different:

Tasmania’s timber industry is in shock after two wealthy environmentalists bought a woodchip mill, giving them a strategic grasp of the controversial native forest logging industry.

Jan Cameron, founder of outdoor wear group Kathmandu, and online travel entrepreneur Graeme Wood paid $10 million for Gunns’ Triabunna mill, on the coast east of Hobart.

The wealthy pair outmanoeuvred a local logging company to clinch the deal. The rival bidder cried foul, saying its offer was worth an extra $6 million.

The purchase could bring a game-changing shift in the native forest logging debate, putting the pro-environment pair in a powerful position.

For the time being, the mill will continue to operate (this was a condition of the sale), but eventually its new owners plan to turn the place into some kind of tourist zone. “Former Employment Land”, it’ll probably be called. Children will be able to ride the free-fall Welfare Slide and thrill to the enchantment of Uncle Government’s Basic Protein Provision Emporium.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (05:32 am)

My old home town, one of the most pro-Labor areas in Australia, now faces a Labor-led tax beating:

Julia Gillard’s own neighbours and constituents will be hit by an estimated $35 million as a result of her new carbon tax, according to modelling by the Baillieu Government.

The figures show the carbon tax on schools, businesses, public transport, households and council infrastructure will hit the Prime Minister’s blue-collar Lalor electorate hard …

The State Government’s modelling does not account for the $5 billion a year in tax cuts and increased family payments and welfare the Federal Government is paying and there are no estimates on how much of the relief will be provided to Lalor.

But, of the electorate’s 8500 businesses, 99 per cent are not expected to gain any form of compensation, despite their power bills rising between $215 and $1341 a year, according to the State Government’s analysis.

Where are famous Werribee identities Mike Sheahan, Rebecca Maddern and Merv Hughes during all of this? The homeland is threatened. Speak for your people. Meanwhile, foreign types look set to cash in:

The long-term scenario revealed in Treasury’s own modelling on the carbon tax shows that Australian polluters will be spending $57 billion a year on clean energy projects in other countries by 2050 to meet our own pollution abatement targets.

Well, that’s just wonderful.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (04:55 am)

Multiple bomb blasts, in the usual fashion of Islamic terror attacks, kill 21 people in Mumbai:

The bombs were detonated over a period of 30 minutes. The first blast took place at the Zaveri Bazaar near a Hindu temple, the second in a taxi at Dadar, and the third at Mumbai’s Opera House.

There may be a connection to the 2008 assault on Mumbai that left 173 dead:

The terror strike coincided with the birthday of Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman in 26/11, who turned 24 today. Kasab has been sentenced to death by a trial court.

Happy birthday, coward.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (02:51 am)

Poor Viktor Jasinski. The tragic Russian bandit has broken into the same hairdressing salon twice in two years, and an identical fate has befallen him both times …


The attempted armed robbery of a Russian hairdresser became a three-day sex ordeal for the would-be thief.


A man who tried to rob a hair salon ended up as the victim when the female shop owner overpowered him, tied him up naked and then used him as a sex slave for three days.


The man, known as Viktor, tried to rob the hairdresser in the town of Meshchovsk.


Viktor Jasinski, 32, had gone to the salon with the intention of robbing it.


The owner, 28-year-old Olga, agreed to hand over the takings but as she was giving him the money, used her karate skills to knock him to the ground and tie him up with a hairdryer cord.


But the tables were turned dramatically when he found himself overcome by owner Olga Zajac, 28, who happened to be a black belt in karate.


She tied him to the radiator with handcuffs covered in frilly pink fabric, gave him some Viagra and had her way with him several times over the next 48 hours.


Zajac dragged the semi-conscious Jasinski to a back room of the salon and tied him up with a hair dryer cable. She allegedly stripped him naked and, for the next three days, used him as a sex slave to ‘teach him a lesson’ - force feeding him Viagra to keep the lesson going.


Olga was resentful when she was taken by the police. “What a bastard,” the woman said about Viktor. “Yes, we had sex a couple of times. But I’ve bought him new jeans, gave him food and even gave him 1.000 roubles (around $ 30) when he left.”


When police arrived to question Zahjac, she said: ‘What a bastard. Yes, we had sex a couple of times. But I bought him new jeans, gave him food and even gave him 1,000 roubles when he left.”

Viktor’s next appointment is scheduled for 2013.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 13, 11 (08:19 pm)

Like drunks enforcing prohibition:

Hundreds of “carbon cops” will police compliance with the carbon tax and will have the power to inspect premises, take companies to court and impose financial penalties.

Yet the 200 workers employed at the new $256 million Clean Energy Regulator might actually contribute to climate change, like the government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

The government arm responsible for the implementation of the carbon tax yesterday admitted it was not carbon neutral and it was too early to say if tax enforcement would add to the department’s pollution output.

A spokesman for the Department of Climate Change said it used green power but its emissions were still 12.5 tonnes a year - about the same as a family home. The figure was an underestimate as it does not include staff plane travel and taxis.


Canberra press pack rally around Gillard

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (01:17 pm)

Rival media outlets fall over themselves to run an anti-Murdoch campaign and demonise those journalists and outlets who oppose Julia Gillard’s tax and her broken promise.

Laura Tingle of the Financial Review asks Gillard at the National Press Club if it’s time the Government had tougher rules on who was a “fit and proper” holder of a licence to publish.

Mark Riley of Channel 7 asks Gillard about the “responsibilities” that journalists such as he have not to whip up anger against the Government.

Godd heavens. These people seem to want rules to prevent criticism of the government. Well, of this government, anyone.

What was it that David Marr once said, when John Howard was Prime Minister instead:

The natural culture of journalism is kind of vaguely soft-Left inquiry sceptical of authority. I mean, that’s just the world out of which journalists come. If they don’t come out of that world, they really can’t be reporters. You know, just find another job. And that is kind of a soft-leftie kind of culture.

Gillard says we will have a “national conversation” on media ethics, maybe even an inquiry, and denounces the “crap” that gets reported.


Gillard appeals: not just “steely”

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (12:59 pm)

An extraordinary last bid by Julia Gillard to present a “real Julia” who can be trusted.

In her National Press Club speech, Gillard says she’s made the mistake of letting her decisions speak for themselves and, being a shy and reserved person determined to make decisions, had won a reputation for being “steely”.

She then teared up - almost on cue at the bits I’ve put in bold:

Australians do want to know more about me and how I’ll lead this government in coming years.

Especially when confronted with new challenges in the future, and that means they do want to know what kind of person I am. And look, I’m a decision-maker by nature and I have tended to let the decisions speak for themselves.

It doesn’t come easy to me to expose my feelings as I make these decisions. I was the shy girl who studied and worked hard, and it took time and effort but I got from Unley High to the law and as far as here, where I am today. I’ve brought a sense of personal reserve to this, the most public of professions. And the rigours of politics have reinforced my innate style of holding a fair bit back in order to hang pretty tough.

If that means people’s image of me is one of steely determination, I understand why.

But I don’t forget where I come from, why I’m here, or what I’ve learned along the way. I don’t forget Unley High, where I saw kids who sat at the back of the room and did “make work” and were left behind. I don’t forget how I felt at Slaters when I won my first case on behalf of an outworker, I got her paid what she deserved, and she just said, quietly, “thanks”.

Then she reverted back to her normal style of speech.

I found it excruciating. And desperate.

I do feel sorry for Gillard, but I do not think her pitch, which sounded so manufactured, will convince voters who are asked to believe that this Prime Minister is actually shy and teary.


“Respect the science”? If only the Greens would

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (10:58 am)

Respect the science. the Greens say at the Science Meets Parliament function:

Senator Christine Milne ...said The Greens were committed to evidence-based policy and believed the tide is about to turn in this direction.

Of that famous (and unpublished) climate change commentator, Lord Munkton, who will be visiting Australia soon, she said: “He will collect the last of the climate science denialism left in this country and take it with him when he flies home.”

But overnight, the Greens and their global warming allies show how anti-science they really are:

Greenpeace protesters have broken into a CSIRO experimental farm in Canberra to destroy a crop of genetically modified wheat...

They say the entire crop of genetically modified wheat has been destroyed… The wheat’s genes have been modified to lower the glycemic index and increase fibre to create a product which will improve bowel health and increase nutritional value…

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury used to work for Greenpeace and says he is not surprised the group has taken such action.

“It’s always very controversial these sorts of actions, but you have to stand up for what you believe in sometimes,” he said.


Not surprisingly, the demonstrators are quoting a study which has been comprehensively debunked.

(Thanks to readers Alan RM Jones and Robert.)


Green dreams don’t power lights

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (10:51 am)

Reader Phil asks: how is Julia Gillard going to replace the power station she wants to close?

The chief of Macquarie Generation, Russel Skelton, said in Tuesday’s Australian that it would take 3,500 turbines to replace the generator at Bayswater, NSW.

I had a look at the consequences of replacing Hazelwood, in the Latrobe Valley, with wind power, a measure being contemplated by the Government as part of its direct action plan for CO2 emissions reductions.

The figures are mind boggling. First is the cost of the buyout of Hazelwood. Probably about $3b.

Second is the cost of the replacement turbines. Hazelwood is 1470mw. ( say 1500mw for simple sums ). A standard 3mw turbine costs about $7m. ( ) That would be 500 towers for nominal capacity of 1500mw. But, given that the average output of these devices is only 1/4 of the nameplate capacity, (or less ), a total of at least 2000 towers would be needed to replace Hazelwood.

Bayswater is bigger than Hazelwood, so Skelton’s figure for Bayswater is probably right.

And 2000 turbines at $7m each works out to $14b! This is 40 windfarms with 50 turbines each, scattered around Victoria.

Thirdly, since the wind farms will spend half their time supplying less than their average output ( by definition), the system will need open cycle gas turbine backup. And backup for even 1/3 of the windfarms capacity will require at least a 500mw of gas turbine generation. This will cost maybe $1.3b, or more. Origin just built one at Mortlake.

Then comes the cost of the gas supply infrastructure, and connection costs to the electricity grid. In total, close to $2b.

Finally comes the cost of the grid connection for the 40 dispersed windfarms. At least another $1b.

So the final cost to replace Hazelwood with wind and gas is 3+14+ 2+1= $20 billion! This is more than the whole Latrobe Valley generating system is worth! Where on earth is this sort of money going to come from? And what will be the price of power with such a monumental amount of capital to service?

And here’s the kicker. The cost of abatement. Assuming that the 16mtpa of current emissions from Hazelwood are foregone, (and not counting the gas that will be used in the scheme anyway), the cost of abatement is $1,350/tonne! This is all madness.


Two green scares collide - into each other and into a basic reality:

The German government wants to encourage the construction of new coal and gas power plants with millions of euros from a fund for promoting clean energy and combating climate change.

The plan has come under stiff criticism, but the Ministry of Economics and Technology defended the idea. A spokeswoman said it was necessary as the government switches from nuclear to other renewable energy sources and added that the money would promote the most efficient plants possible.

(Via Watts Up With That. Thanks to many readers.)


Gore deceives the world again

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (10:43 am)

Professional catastrophist Al Gore tells yet another untruth as he whips up the fears that has made him a billionaire:

FORMER US vice-president turned climate crusader Al Gore has used footage of the Queensland floods from earlier this year as proof of climate change, contradicting the findings of the Gillard government’s Climate Commission.
A new video posted on YouTube, narrated by Mr Gore to promote his Climate Reality Program, opens with footage of the wall of water that swept through Toowoomba in January. In the video, Mr Gore says “big oil and big coal are spending big money” to distort debate on climate change.

Yet he has ignored the findings of the Climate Commission, which says the Queensland floods were probably not a product of climate change but instead a natural part of climate variability.

Commissioner Will Steffen wrote in the May report The Critical Decade: “The floods across eastern Australia in 2010 and early 2011 were the consequence of a very strong La Nina event and not the result of climate change.”

(Thanks to reader Ben.)


Oakeshott blames sexism for Gillard’s falling support

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (10:37 am)

No, it’s not the lie, the waste, the incompetence or the imposition of a mad and useless carbon dioxide tax. “Independent” MP Rob Oakeshott prefers to blame Julia Gillard’s woes on the sexism of voters:

Australians are still struggling to come to terms with the fact that they have a female leader — that’s something we all have to reflect on.

So Gillard had high approval rates at first because voters didn’t know she was a woman, and now that they’ve realised this terrible fact, they’ve suddenly deserted her.

Oakeshott is a dill. And I say that even though he’s not a woman.

(Thanks to reader Victorian 3220.)


Do not mention what’s being mocked

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (10:13 am)


The BBC seems disdainful:

An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as “religious headgear”.

Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.

Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.... A self-confessed atheist, Mr Alm says he belongs to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a light-hearted faith whose members call themselves pastafarians.

A medical interview established the self-styled ‘pastafarian’ was mentally fit to drive The group’s website states that “the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma”.

Now, this talk of “religious headgear” and dogma suggests one faith in particular.

But the only one the BBC mentions as an example of the kind of faith the “pastafarians” reject is ... Well, you know:

In response to pressure for American schools to teach the Christian theory known as intelligent design, as an alternative to natural selection, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster wrote to the Kansas School Board asking for the pastafarian version of intelligent design to be taught to schoolchildren, as an alternative to the Christian theory.

(Thanks to reader Charles.)


Turnbull takes revenge on a critic

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (09:54 am)

I’ve obscured the number, but shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has not - which I think is poor form:



How pure are the critics?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (09:47 am)

Stephen Brook says the Murdoch-owned News of the World is being demonised, but its competitors don’t have clean hands:

We know this because of the discovery, by the UK Information Commissioner, of a cache of documents belonging to private investigator Steve Whittamore, who stole confidential information from British Telecom, mobile phone companies and the motor licensing agency.

The commissioner’s report to parliament showed that News of the World and other News International titles were not Whittamore’s only customers: 305 journalists on nearly 30 publications were. Associated Newspaper’s moralising tabloid the Daily Mail bought 958 pieces of information from him; Trinity Mirror’s left-wing tabloid the Daily Mirror 681; the biggest-selling broadsheet, News International’s The Sunday Times 52; and The Observer, sister paper to the holier-than-thou Guardian, 103. Others were involved.

The papers said the information gained was in the public interest or had been obtained by legal means…

Why has News of the World been at the centre of this? Because police took the files from its private investigator while they probed the hacking of phones of Prince William and Prince Harry.


There will be no gay marriage under a government I lead

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (07:05 am)

Julia Gillard’s latest promise is conditional enough, with that talk of “plans”:

I don’t have any plans to change the Marriage Act.


Someone in the Rudd family seems to not quite believe a Gillard guarantee:

KEVIN Rudd’s sister, Loree, is waging a one-woman campaign against gay marriage, lobbying federal MPs and threatening to quit Labor if it backs the push at the party’s national conference in December.

The divorced nurse from the Sunshine Coast town of Nambour, who once trained as a nun, has accused Labor members supporting the proposed changes of being brainwashed by a “global gay Gestapo”, which is lobbying political parties and governments worldwide.

(Thanks to reader the Great Waisuli.)


I arrest you in the name of the Earth

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (07:03 am)

Julia Gillard’s green bureaucracy includes police:

HUNDREDS of “carbon cops” will police compliance with the carbon tax and will have the power to inspect premises, take companies to court and impose financial penalties.

Yet the 200 workers employed at the new $256 million Clean Energy Regulator might actually contribute to climate change, like the government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency.

Imagine such a force headed by Bob Brown.

(Thanks to reader Pira and others,)


Reordering Canada

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (06:58 am)


Mark Steyn:

It’s the scene every Friday at the cafeteria of Valley Park Middle School in Toronto. That’s not a private academy, it’s a public school funded by taxpayers. And yet, oddly enough, what’s going on is a prayer service – oh, relax, it’s not Anglican or anything improper like that; it’s Muslim Friday prayers, and the Toronto District School Board says don’t worry, it’s just for convenience: They put the cafeteria at the local imams’ disposal because otherwise the kids would have to troop off to the local mosque and then they’d be late for Lesbian History class or whatever subject is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

The picture is taken from the back of the cafeteria. In the distance are the boys. They’re male, so they get to sit up front at prayers. Behind them are the girls. They’re female, so they have to sit behind the boys because they’re second-class citizens – not in the whole of Canada, not formally, not yet, but in the cafeteria of a middle school run by the Toronto District School Board they most certainly are.

And the third row? The ones with their backs to us in the foreground of the picture? Well, let the Star’s caption writer explain:

At Valley Park Middle School, Muslim students participate in the Friday prayer service. Menstruating girls, at the very back, do not take part.

Oh. As Kathy Shaidle says:

Yep, that’s part of the caption of the Toronto Star photo.

Yes, the country is Canada and the year is 2011.

Read the lot.

(Thanks to reader perturbed and others.)


Crean’s odds shorten, so to speak

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (06:43 am)

Simon Crean’s odds of becoming leader shortened from $101 to $34 at BetStar the day after Julia Gillard unveiled her carbon dioxide tax pacakage.

(Thanks to reader JJ.)


Nigeria will love this one

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (06:37 am)

All that pain - and only foreigners gain:

The long-term scenario revealed in Treasury’s own modelling on the carbon tax shows that Australian polluters will be spending $57 billion a year on clean energy projects in other countries by 2050 to meet our own pollution abatement targets....

The figures revealed in an extended Treasury modelling document show that Australia’s own domestic carbon emissions would be 545 million tonnes a year by 2050 - only 30 million tonnes less than what is produced now.

In order to reach our pollution target of reducing emissions by 80 per cent on 2000 levels by 2050, Treasury said that 434 million tonnes of carbon abatement would have to be sourced from overseas.

Treasury’s forecast of a carbon price of $131 by 2050 means that Australia will be putting $57 billion in today’s dollar terms into the hands of foreign clean energy schemes to reach Australia’s own abatement target.

That’s all money no longer available to the Government for compensation.

It’s unsustainable.

(Thanks to reader southerncross.)


Greg Sheridan cannot believe the insanity of an economy such as ours - more dependent than almost any other on fossil fuels - imposing the toughest tax in the world on emissions:

IF ever there were a single country in the entire world spectacularly unsuited to be the sole imposer of a vast, unprecedented carbon tax, which no other country in the world is remotely duplicating, it is Australia.

Isolated from our strategic friends, far distant from our biggest markets, a member of no natural trading bloc or customs union, we have just one serious, competitive advantage in the global economy.

That is the abundance of our fossil fuel endowments. If ever there were a nation well advised to move slowly and carefully on policies to cut greenhouse gas emissions, we are it.

As Productivity Commission head Gary Banks commented: “It will not be efficient from a global perspective [let alone a domestic one] for a carbon-intensive economy, such as ours, to abate as much as countries that are less reliant on cheap, high emission, energy sources . . . Modelling aside, it’s common sense that achieving any given level of abatement is likely to be costlier in a country with a comparative advantage in fossil fuels.”.

No wonder such a monumental stupidity relies on lies:

The whole enterprise is built on a falsehood, the supposition that nations around the world are taking comparable economy-distorting actions to that proposed by the Gillard government.

There is no really polite way of putting this but it is simply, utterly and comprehensively untrue…

In the US, cap and trade, their name for an emissions trading scheme, is dead and buried. Far from approaching the official US target of reducing 2005 level emissions by 17 per cent by 2020, US emissions grew by 4 per cent last year…

China’s greenhouse gas emissions will increase from 2005 levels of five billion tonnes a year to 12 billion tonnes by 2020. That’s an increase of seven billion tonnes a year. Australia, notionally, in that time might cut emissions by 70 million tonnes. So China’s increase will be 100 times greater than Australia’s decrease....

Japan has not only rejected an ETS approach but is likely, in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, to make renewed investments in coal. Canada has elected a government committed to no carbon tax or ETS. The remaining ETS schemes in a couple of states in the US are falling apart. South Korea has put off action until 2015 at the earliest. The European ETS raises $1 a person and has very little effect on economic activity. India has no interest in a carbon tax approach. It levies a tax on coal of $1 a tonne and its carbon emissions will grow almost as quickly as China’s.


Terry McCrann says the tax will rise, and the tax cuts in compensation will shrink:

THE carbon (dioxide) tax is forever. And going higher and higher. But the supposedly compensating tax cuts will quickly evaporate thanks to good old bracket creep.

Before you even get to 2020 your tax cuts will have all-but disappeared in real terms. But the carbon (dioxide) tax will be plucking more and more dollars out of your wallet and purse… In part, to send billions of dollars a year overseas to; at best, investment banking spivs and main-chancers that brought us the 2008 global financial meltdown; at worst, to outright Nigerian-scam style thieves. All just for the ‘right’ to keep using some of our coal-fired electricity…

And who gets ripped off first and worst? People earning between $19,400 and $80,000. People earning between $400 a week and $1500 a week.

Costello left them with 83.5c and 68.5c of every extra dollar they earned. JiW (Julia in Wonderland) and Swannie will leave them with only 79.5c and 65.5c of every extra dollar they earn.


Other people’s money

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (06:17 am)

Add government to a construction project and watch the costs blow - for everyone:

Such wage claims are now widespread in Victoria and other states following the generous pay deal negotiated by workers on the desalination plant at Wonthaggi in 2009.

The Herald Sun has now learned that labour costs at the $93 million Northern Water Plant, being built by John Holland for Barwon Water with $9.2 million of government funding, are triple the normal rate.

Workers on the project costs the company $95.70 an hour in total labour costs, compared with $36.95 for a civil contractor doing the same job.


The public has spoken and it’s over

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (06:05 am)

Julia Gillard kept her cool admirably at the people’s forum in Brisbane last night, yet the whole thing was a disaster for her. No Labor MP watching could conclude that the party has a hope under a woman so distrusted.

And that was on a day after every TV bulletin ran this:

Note also at the forum that Gillard refused to answer a scientist’s plea that she tell the public by how much her tax would change the temperature.


Tony Abbott goes into enemy territory, and despite one obvious ambush, does pretty well. He decided to go for earnest rather than endearing. Hughes was very fair.


Steve Price on being bumped from the 7pm Project for Julia Gillard, and on the Prime Minister’s boycotting of shows like mine.


Greens decide, and the Minister can only protest

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (05:48 am)

Who is running this Government? Now the Resources Minister must protest as the Greens decide where $10 billion of what should be his budget gets spent.


THE Gillard government has been accused of distorting its $10 billion clean energy fund to favour the Greens’ pet projects after Bob Brown confirmed he insisted on the exclusion of carbon capture and storage from the fund....

“We didn’t want it in there because . . . the coal industry is making tens of millions of dollars each year and exporting most of that money overseas - its pockets are bulging,” Senator Brown said.


FAILURE to develop carbon capture and storage technology will release 25 million more tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by 2050 and increase the hit on the economy caused by Julia Gillard’s carbon tax, Treasury warns…

The Greens yesterday defended their decision to exclude CCS from the $10 billion clean energy fund, which was announced with Sunday’s carbon plan and will help bankroll renewable projects such as wind, solar and wave power.

Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson led the attacks, lashing Greens leader Bob Brown for trying to “social engineer Australia’s economic future” and accusing him of seeking to “pick winners without any regard for the economic consequences for Australia”....

In truth, solar, wind and carbon capture just won’t do the job of powering Australia cheaply any time soon. And so:

A LEADING businessman has warned that the Gillard government’s carbon policy could “bugger the country”, joining a chorus against the tax, as consumer sentiment sinks.

University of Queensland chancellor and former Suncorp chairman John Story said yesterday the government’s carbon package relied on a “huge leap of faith”, because the technology to manage a cost-effective transition to a low-carbon economy did not yet exist.

And how much will Australia’s huge sacrifice and giant gamble affect the world’s temperature?


Give that man a hanky

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 13, 11 (05:15 pm)

The man really is no team player, and will be lucky to be made even Arts Minister after the election:

MALCOLM Turnbull has reactivated the bitter leadership rivalries which have threatened to derail stability in the Opposition, accusing Tony Abbott of disloyalty and inconsistent conduct when he was leading the party…

“He (Mr Abbott) changed his position and resigned from shadow cabinet and challenged me for the leadership and was successful,’’ he told the ABC.

“So, the point is that as long as you are a member of the shadow cabinet, politics is a team sport and you stick with the team position.

“So I’ve given Tony Abbott a consistency and the loyalty that, you know, frankly I didn’t receive.

“I’ve given him that consistency and loyalty.’’


The US overdrawn at the bank

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 13, 11 (03:39 pm)

The US is in desperate financial strife that may yet rock us, too - and you can be rock certain that cutting emissions and growth is of zero priority:

President Obama on Tuesday said he cannot guarantee that retirees will receive their Social Security checks August 3 if Democrats and Republicans in Washington do not reach an agreement on reducing the deficit in the coming weeks.

“I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it,” Mr. Obama said in an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, according to excerpts released by CBS News.

The Obama administration and many economists have warned of economic catastrophe if the United States does not raise the amount it is legally allowed to borrow by August 2.

Lawmakers from both parties want to use the threat of that deadline to work out a broader package on long-term deficit reduction, with Republicans looking to cut trillions of dollars in federal spending, while Democrats are pushing for a more “balanced approach,” which would include both spending cuts and increased revenue through taxes.


Telling them yet again will just make them crosser

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 13, 11 (03:13 pm)

Labor has convinced itself of a monumental fantasy - that if it just explained its carbon dioxide tax more often, or more simply or more vividly, more voters would change their minds.


People aren’t stupid. They’ve heard, considered and decided - decided that Gillard is wrong:

Meanwhile, tempers flared at Brisbane’s Fairfield shopping centre as the Prime Minister tried to convince voters of the merits of her climate plan.

“Why did you lie to us and why are you continuing to lie?” one woman said.

Gillard: “I can give you an answer right now if you’ll let me. What I want to do is put a price on carbon pollution. The big polluters are going to pay.

Woman: ”I understand that. I’m not stupid.”

Global warming is a HOAX and is merely preying on our weaker citizens in an attempt to extort more freedom and money.
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