Friday, July 15, 2011

News items and comments

Misled into a cold and dark future

Piers Akerman – Thursday, July 14, 11 (08:20 pm)

JULIA Gillard’s carbon dioxide tax has made the Labor-Green-independent government a global laughing stock.

DD Ball replied to Death To The Left
Fri 15 Jul 11 (05:45pm)

Thank you Piers. You wrote what I would like to have said. But I will offer a little criticism too. It overstates things to blame the Greens for much of this. The abysmal leadership and direction is home grown. These idiots have been making those fatuous claims for many years, but they have been shielded from making them policy by the ridiculous ALP Right, which should never be confused with right wing or centre-ist views. The right are pragmatic in their intent to corruptly govern. They don’t try to break the economy. They only seek to divert funds.

The left have long hated nuclear power, as Bob Hawke recently reminded us while talking of his own bad decisions.

The correct way to interpret the aims of the current policy is to note the criticism. Gillard hates business.


… is from Hayek’s 1974 Nobel Prize lecture, “The Pretense of Knowledge“:

This brings me to the crucial issue. Unlike the position that exists in the physical sciences, in economics and other disciplines that deal with essentially complex phenomena, the aspects of the events to be accounted for about which we can get quantitative data are necessarily limited and may not include the important ones. While in the physical sciences it is generally assumed, probably with good reason, that any important factor which determines the observed events will itself be directly observable and measurable, in the study of such complex phenomena as the market, which depend on the actions of many individuals, all the circumstances which will determine the outcome of a process, for reasons which I shall explain later, will hardly ever be fully known or measurable. And while in the physical sciences the investigator will be able to measure what, on the basis of a prima facie theory, he thinks important, in the social sciences often that is treated as important which happens to be accessible to measurement. This is sometimes carried to the point where it is demanded that our theories must be formulated in such terms that they refer only to measurable magnitudes.

It can hardly be denied that such a demand quite arbitrarily limits the facts which are to be admitted as possible causes of the events which occur in the real world. This view, which is often quite naively accepted as required by scientific procedure, has some rather paradoxical consequences. We know, of course, with regard to the market and similar social structures, a great many facts which we cannot measure and on which indeed we have only some very imprecise and general information. And because the effects of these facts in any particular instance cannot be confirmed by quantitative evidence, they are simply disregarded by those sworn to admit only what they regard as scientific evidence: they thereupon happily proceed on the fiction that the factors which they can measure are the only ones that are relevant.

The correlation between aggregate demand and total employment, for instance, may only be approximate, but as it is the only one on which we have quantitative data, it is accepted as the only causal connection that counts. On this standard there may thus well exist better “scientific” evidence for a false theory, which will be accepted because it is more “scientific”, than for a valid explanation, which is rejected because there is no sufficient quantitative evidence for it.


Keynes vs. Reality-2

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 14, 2011


In this earlier post, I noted this 1943 Paul Samuelson prediction:

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.

Samuelson was wrong. When the war ended, there was massive demobilization of the armed forces and a large reduction in government spending. Yet the economy thrived, unemployment remained very low and there was a huge expansion of private sector employment.

One defense of Samuelson is that this quote is mainly about the dynamics of the labor market–it doesn’t say much about aggregate demand. It doesn’t focus particularly on the drop in government spending. But if you go back to the original article (which you can find by taking a line or two and using Google books–I hope to post more on this later) you will find other passages that make it clear that he saw this as a problem caused by a sudden drop in aggregate demand.

There were a number of interesting comments on the post. Some noted the drop in GDP after the war but forgot that wartime price controls and large amounts of government output made measuring of GDP during the war quite difficult. There was a mild recession in 1945–during the war. The most dramatic change was the one I highlighted–a large expansion of private sector employment with very little unemployment. It was an incredible transition achieved with surprising speed.

I’d like to highlight one comment by Daniel Kuehn:

Samuelson was wrong in forecasting. Keynes wasn’t wrong in theorizing.

Why did Samuelson end up being wrong? Have you ever thought that through?

Because post-war demand was substantial and he didn’t expect that.

High levels of private sector demand and a full employment economy… where the hell do you get “Keynes vs. Reality” from that? That has Keynes written all over it.

All you’re demonstrating is that Samuelson didn’t have a crystal ball. That isn’t exactly a news flash.

This defense of Keynes unintentionally highlights a flaw in Keynesianism at least as practiced by Daniel but I don’t think he’s alone or I wouldn’t single him out. (And I would add that I usually appreciate Daniel’s comments, particularly their tone in the face of criticism from the rest of you.) One, would an economist presume that a change in government spending would have no effects on other types of spending? If government spending shrinks and there is suddenly more resources available to the private sector, why would you not foresee a change in private sector spending? Secondly, the fact that full employment corresponds to high levels of spending (regardless of their source) is very close to a tautology. The challenge is to understand causal linkages and the direction of causation.

In the last few sentences of the previous paragraphs, I had originally referred to private demand. I changed it to private spending. I don’t know what private aggregate demand means, or the phrase “pent-up” demand. The usual way that Keynesians explain the post-war expansion despite the huge cut in government spending is to say, well of course the economy boomed, there was a lot of pent-up demand. What does that mean? There is always pent-up demand in the sense there is a stuff I wish I could have but can’t. But the standard story is that people couldn’t buy washing machines or cars during the war–they were rationed or simply unavailable or unaffordable. So when the war ended, and rationing and price controls ended, people were eager to buy these things. But the reason these consumer goods were rationed or unavailable is because all the steel went into the tanks and planes during the war. So when the war ended, there was steel available to the private sector. That’s why cutting government activity can stimulate the private sector. Fewer resources are being commandeered by the public sector. As the Hayek character says in the Fight of the Century when answering the Keynesian claim that WWII ended the Great Depression:

Wow. One data point and you’re jumping for joy
the Last time I checked, wars only destroy
There was no multiplier, consumption just shrank
As we used scarce resources for every new tank

Pretty perverse to call that prosperity
Rationed meat, Rationed butter… a life of austerity
When that war spending ended your friends cried disaster
yet the economy thrived and grew faster

This earlier post where I discuss Krugman’s claims about rationing and the austerity of the early 1940′s may also be of interest.


Ultimately it’s an empircal question – or, rather, a series of empirical questions. The most germane of these questions is this two-part one:

Is the decline in demand for the outputs of many industries throughout the economy (1) chiefly the consequence of an increased demand for money, an increased demand (2) caused not by any structural mal-adjustments in the economy or by actual or anticipated destructive government policies but, instead, simply caused by an intensification of people’s desires to hold larger money balances?

If the answer to this question is “yes,” then the economy will indeed suffer a problem that can fairly be described as “inadequate aggregate demand.” A better term, though, is “excessive demand for money.”

As my great teacher, Leland Yeager, explained – for he is an able advocate of this “monetary disequilibrium” theory – because money “has no market of its own,” attempts by people to satisfy their demands to hold larger money balances have economy-wide repercussions in ways that people’s attempts to satisfy their demands to hold, say, larger inventories of apples do not.

Overlooking the important question of to what extent should consumption patterns, and patterns and techniques of production, in the “real” economy change as a result of people’s increased demand for money, we can nevertheless reasonably conclude that, ceteris paribus, a simple taste-driven increase in the demand for money does not imply that patterns of resource allocation, production plans, and consumption plans are seriously out of whack.

The microeconomic conditions in this scenario are, by assumption, healthy. All that must be done to avoid the negative external effects of each of us attempting to increase the real value of our money balances is for the nominal money supply to grow in order to accommodate this increased demand. (In a fairytale world, prices of all goods and services and inputs would all adjust in unison downward to achieve the same goal. But coordination problems make such price declines too unlikely to rely upon.)

In principle, increasing the supply of money will avoid the problem of inadequate aggregate demand. I say “in principle” because the practical problem of how to get the increased supply of money into the market is real, although typically overlooked.

If the central bank simply injects this new money, (1) how do the central bankersknow how much to inject? and (2) how do they avoid what Hayek called “injection effects”? [The new money must enter somewhere, at least potentially distorting relative prices and then causing genuine resource misallocations and malinvestments.] Indeed, how do central bankers know (with reasonable-enough certainty) that the observed declines in demands-for-output economy-wide are in fact the result of a taste-driven increase in the demand to hold larger money balances rather than a reflection of serious microeconomic misallocations and malinvestments, or of greater concerns that government’s economic policies have taken a turn for the worse?

So back to my starting claim that it’s an empirical question. Only if the above conditions – along with some other, smaller and not-worth-mentioning conditions – hold true does it make sense to talk of restoring “aggregate demand.”

But if the decline in GDP growth and in the rate of employment are caused, not by a taste-driven increase in the demand for money but, instead, by a large enough disruption in what Arnold Kling calls “patterns of sustainable specialization and trade,” then kicking up aggregate demand won’t solve the problem. Neither kicking it up, or trying to, through monetary policy or through fiscal policy will work. The problem is not originally one of widespread inadequate demand. In thiscase, inadequate aggregate demand is a symptom; treating the symptom will not cure the disease and, indeed, will only worsen it.

Without venturing here an opinion on the underlying source of each and every recession throughout American history, I will express an opinion about the current recession: it is clearly the result of distorting government policies, regulatory and monetary, leading up to 2008 as well as of the symptom-treating policies since then that only worsen matters. (And not to mention yet other actual and threatened policies – e.g., Obamacare - that distort microeconomic patterns of sustainable specialization and trade.)

Curing the current recession simply with more money or more stimulus spending is as likely to restore the U.S. economy to health as would dumping more money on Chadians, and raising government spending in Chad, to start that nation on the path to genuine economic growth.


A team of the world’s finest physicians and pathologists combine to create a measure of “Gross Bodily Health” (GBH). The higher is a person’s GBH, the healthier he or she is.

GBH is an aggregate measure made up of measures of heart health, digestive health, pulmonary health, blood-pressure health, and a few others.

The main determinant of GBH is called “aggregate healthiness” (AH). Aggregate healthiness changes for any number of reasons – for example, a change in the frequency of a person’s exercise or a change in a person’s diet. Higher AH, common sense tells us, causes higher GBH.

A diagnostic machine is developed to measure GBH. The patient steps into the machine and, within seconds, that patient’s GBH figure is spit out to the attending physician.

Jones goes to his physician and finds that his GBH is dangerously low. “What should I do?” Jones asks his doctor.

“Increase your AH – your aggregate healthiness” the doctor helpfully responds.


“Oh, it doesn’t matter. Jog, take blood-pressure medication if you think you have high blood-pressure, stop smoking if you smoke, exercise more. Anything to raise your AH. What’s important is that you get your AH up!”

But can you tell me WHY my GBH is so low? Can you give me any details on just what I should do to improve my GBH?”

“No can do. But not to worry, for it doesn’t matter. The use of aggregates is methodologically justified in many cases. GBH and AH are aggregates, and we physicians have determined that GBH and AH are indeed very useful aggregates.

“We understand that the specific values of these aggregates for each patient at each moment in time are determined by literally billions of different things going on in that patient’s body and with that person’s diet, exercise, stress, etc. And there are other physicians – such as Drs. Alchoan, Demsitz, Hayuk, and Klang – who are great experts at looking at these more-detailed aspects of your body’s inner workings. You can consult them, if you like.

“But be aware that the Best Expert Opinion among practioners of what we call the ‘New Medicine’ is that the phenomena studied by physicians such as Drs. Alchoan, Demsitz, Hayuk, and Klang – while important – are phenomena each so sufficiently distinct from AH that we can, and should, treat deficient AH separately from any ailments that might be diagnosed by the likes of Drs. Hayuk and Klang.

“Trust me. Get your AH up and you’ll be fine. Don’t bother yourself with just whyyour GBH is low. Those details aren’t nearly as significant as is the fact that your GBH itself – for it’s kinda, sorta like a real phenomenon (it is measurable!) – is too low.”


“Please calm yourself! I’m a candidate to win a Nobel Prize in medicine. I know what I’m doing. Can you deny that a higher AH will result in a higher GBH? Of course not! Healthiness is the main determinant of GBH, so the trick to raising your GBH is really rather simple: increase your AH.”

“But suppose I take blood-pressure medication even though my blood-pressure is fine. Won’t that hurt me? And what if my GBH is low because of a lung disease. How will I help myself by improving my diet? Shouldn’t I know the details of what ails me? And isn’t it the case that the specific causes of my low GBH should be treated individually. Increasing my ‘aggregate healthiness’ seems like a hamfisted way to go about improving my health. I have SPECIFIC things wrong with me; what’s wrong with me isn’t helpfully described simply as inadequate ‘aggregage healthiness.’”

“Look. I’m the expert. I know what I’m talking about.”



Tim Blair – Friday, July 15, 11 (11:01 am)

Actors remain outraged over the foreign invasion:

Away from the glamour of the big screen or the television drama, actors can play a daily waiting game, not sure when the next casting call or audition will arrive.

That’s really sad. Meanwhile, I will have fries with that.

The federal government’s proposed loosening of restrictions on producers using overseas actors has left many fearing their jobs will be even harder and considering industrial action.

So … they’ll go on strike from jobs they don’t have? Or maybe they’ll just act left-handed.

‘’The problem with acting is it’s always going to be a freelance position,’’ says Anna Hruby, who first appeared as a child performer in the television series Seven Little Australians and has had long-running roles on Prisoner, Home and Away and All Saints. ‘’You’re only getting paid when you’re working and you never know when your next job is going to come.”

Here’s an idea: try a different line of work.

Alan Cinis, who works as a Greens councillor for Leichhardt Council and a drama tutor between screen jobs …

Scratch that last idea.

The national director of Actors Equity, Simon Whipp, says the competition would come from B-list, C-list and D-list overseas actors, which would most affect Australian actors with lower profiles.

If you’re getting beat out by D-listers, perhaps the acting caper isn’t your thing.

Equity members will gather at the Sydney Theatre Company’s Wharf 1 on Sunday …

An ideal gathering place. They’ll be able to repel foreign actors as their vessels advance on the mainland. Secure the perimeter!



Tim Blair – Friday, July 15, 11 (10:33 am)

Greens senator Christine Milne:

The fact is both of the major parties went to the 2010 elections saying that they would not introduce carbon pricing until after 2013 …

Just a theory, but maybe people wouldn’t be so opposed to the carbon tax if they’d first been invited to vote on it.



Tim Blair – Friday, July 15, 11 (09:27 am)

An irresistible lure to become part of Canberra’s superhot 70s swinging set. The precise date of this publication isn’t known, but a few clues are evident:

• A HQ Holden means we’re post-1971.

• The document is pre-metric, placing it before 1974.

• Canberra’s population increased from 146,000 in 1971 to 206,000 in 1976. The document lists the population atover 170,000, so let’s say we’re talking 1973.

• Quote: “Canberra has two television channels.” Hmmm. 2006?

UPDATE. Alert reader AndrewS spots the date on one of the final pages: December 1973.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (01:38 pm)

The many moods of Herald Sun hand-wringer Jill Singer:

Watching Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday night’s Q & A, I felt something I hadn’t for a while – hope.

Hope that an Australian politician might finally be able to cut through the bluster and nonsense about climate change and actually do something …

Then on the other hand you have the likes of columnist Tim Blair who has written of a PhD student who wanted to write a “climate change for dummies” piece. Blair calls this the “latest position of the climate-change lobby ... they’ve decided the problem is you, because you’re stupid”.

For his part, Neil Mitchell in these pages yesterday mocked Gillard’s “patronising impersonation of a Play School host”. You can only imagine how offended Blair and Mitchell might be if Gillard donned a swimsuit and started cycling manically around the country, bleating: “Great big tax, great big tax” to get her message across.

Actually, Jill, I wouldn’t mind at all if Gillard cycled around bleating “Great big tax.” For one thing, it would have the benefit of being true.



Tim Blair – Thursday, July 14, 11 (01:37 pm)

It begins:

Carbon tax tricksters trying to siphon bank accounts via bogus compensation offers are already emerging.

Authorities are warning of scam calls offering to pay $5000 in carbon tax compensation into your bank account or asking survey questions about the pollution tax.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says callers falsely claim to be from the Federal Government or a Federal Government department.

Let’s not be too hasty here. Compared to the government, these guys might be worth a listen.


ABC detects huge support for Gillard’s tax

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:36 pm)

Gerard Henderson wonders whether ABC staffers should widen their circle of friends:

? On ABC TV News last Sunday, Kirrin McKechnie did three case studies on the response to the Prime Minister’s carbon tax announcement. Namely a female pensioner (who supported the carbon tax), a Lesbian couple with two children (who supported a carbon tax) and a heterosexual couple with two children (one of whom supported a carbon tax). So, according to Ms McKechnie spot poll, 80 per cent of Australians support a carbon tax. Yet, according to empirical polls, around 60 per cent of Australians oppose a carbon tax. Fancy that.


No sign of reef decline through man-made warming

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (03:09 pm)

Professor Terry Hughes has had a fine career, predicting doorm for the Great Barrier Reef thanks to man-made global warming:

THE Great Barrier Reef has only a 50 per cent chance of survival if global CO2 emissions are not reduced at least 25 per cent by 2020, a coalition of Australia’s top reef and climate scientists said today…

We’ve seen the evidence with our own eyes. Climate change is already impacting the Great Barrier Reef,” Terry Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said in a briefing to MPs.

But Dr Hugh Sweatman of the Australian Institute of Marine Science now suggests in a peer reviewed paper that this influential alarmist may have been wrong, and that there is no evidence of reef decline from some systemic change. You know, like man-made warming::

Hughes et al. (Coral Reefs, 2011, in press) challenge our interpretations of the changes in coral cover observed on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) between 1986 and 2004 (Sweatman et al. in Coral Reefs 30:521–531, 2011). They question whether we can accurately assign all
causes of coral loss; we contend that this makes no difference to the observed changes. They defend the validity of historical data on coral cover from before the start of systematic large-scale monitoring and conclude that coral cover has been declining since at least 1960, but we find no trend in the early data…

In summary, we stand by our conclusion that coral cover on the GBR declined in the period 1986–2004 but through localised and unsynchronised changes that included recovery.

(Thanks to two scientists I probably shouldn’t name. No link yet to the paper.)


No, the world isn’t watching our futile sacrifice

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (11:39 am)

Peter Costello writes the Diary of the edition of The Spectator about to hit the streets. He’s clearly had a great time on the Grand Tour, but breaks off long enough to observe:

I can confidently say that when I was in Europe I did not read of any other country being so moved by our government’s new tax on carbon dioxide as to embrace measures to harm their own industries. At the meetings I had with investment managers in the US no one seemed to think there was any chance the US would adopt a cap-and-trade or emissions trading scheme. I caught up separately with Condoleezza Rice and Sandy Berger (National Security Advisors in opposing administrations). Neither thought there was any chance of their party going down a path like that!

Costello has a few things he plans to say on The Bolt Report on Sunday, Channel 10 at 10am and 4.30pm.


Gillard’s former school burned

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (11:24 am)

An unfortunate and deplorable coincidence:

FIRE cause investigators believe a blaze that destroyed five classrooms at Unley High School in Netherby early this morning is suspicious… Prime Minister Julia Gillard attended the school as a teenager, and, ironically spoke of her experiences there yesterday during her emotional address on carbon tax to the National Press Club.


At least two on the Left will protect free speech from Bob Brown

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:52 am)


A fine editorial (audio file) on Bob Brown’s dangerous call yesterday for an inquiry into the media - including the kind of opinion writing published.

Paul Murray is of the Left, but is true to his free speech principles. His Sky News show is also very good.


Media Watch host Jonathan Holmes may be a fervent warmist, but he is as astonished as I am that so many on the Left are seizing on an excuse to demand controls on which opinions get published:

Ethicist Leslie Cannold, writing in The Drum, has joined in:

The abuse of media power that lies at the heart of the phone hacking scandal can be seen in News Corp media in other parts of the world, including Murdoch’s Australian tabloids and the national broadsheet, The Australian.

But it seems she’s talking, not of illegality or corruption, but of political power. She points to an editorialin The Age, which in the original runs like this:

News Ltd papers often aggressively pursue a conservative agenda. Even (Rupert Murdoch’s) local flagship, The Australian, has largely abandoned the pretence of journalistic impartiality, embarking on a series of vendettas against its designated foes.

And the solution to these ‘abuses of power’? Britain is now awash with enquiries, Parliamentary and judicial, and talk of tougher press regulation, Cannold notes approvingly, and adds:

If our Australian leaders are smart… they’d jump at the chance to implement a similar inquiry into abuses of media power here.

Hang on!

What kind of inquiry can seriously measure whether The Australian, or any other News Ltd newspaper, has ‘abused its power’ because it takes a particular editorial line, or pursues a particular campaign? Are we seriously suggesting that such matters are proper matters for judicial or semi-judicial inquiry, or should be subject to regulation? Who is to do the inquiring and the regulating? The Government? A state-appointed QUANGO like ACMA?


Imagine what a Keating regime would allow to be published - and what not:

Former prime minister Paul Keating entered the fray, describing self-regulation of newspapers in Australia as ‘’a joke’’. He said there should be stronger laws so people did not have to go to a newspaper-funded press council to appeal about invasions of their privacy. ‘’In the end, the only regulator of this bad behaviour is the law,’’ he told the ABC’s Lateline.


The IPA has now posted highlights from the function it hosted last month defending free speech, not least my own. I apologise for seeming so inarticulate, which is the last thing you want to be when arguing the virtues of speaking freely:

Highlights from Freedom of Speech function, June 2011 from Institute of Public Affairs on Vimeo.

(Thanks to reader Andy. And to reader Mark for the image.)


Bravo, Kevin Rudd

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:47 am)

I respect Kevin Rudd for making this stand:

Kevin Rudd sat down for a hot chocolate in the afternoon on a Melbourne city street.

But his choice of cafe was no accident - rather, it was a deliberate statement of support for a company targeted in a political boycott of Israel.

‘’As an individual citizen - that is me, K. Rudd - I am here because I object to the boycotting of Jewish businesses,’’ he said.

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar in the QV building was the scene of a nasty protest a fortnight ago, with 18 people arrested while rallying outside the store over the occupation of Palestinian territories.

An international campaign for sanctions and boycotts against Israel has targeted the Max Brenner chain, accusing it of tacit support for the occupation.

But Mr Rudd - meeting with Melbourne Ports MP Michael Danby - said anyone with historical memory should deplore boycotts of Jewish businesses.


Polluting our reason, not the air

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:39 am)

One of the masterstrokes of this Government’s propaganda has been to persuade even educated journalists ("even"?) that carbon dioxide is a pollutant, threatening even the air they breathe.

Terry McCrann produces an example:

There is rubbish and then there is utterly unadulterated sludge. Nothing has arguably been more unadulterated than the column from The Age’s Ian Verrender on Tuesday.

Verrender ... proceeded to patronisingly explain how “cleaning up” was a costly business. But we’d been prepared to spend the money on “world-class sewage systems,” paying the cost of stopping companies dumping “dioxin or acids into Sydney Harbour or the Yarra,” and so on and on.

Then came a world-class sentence of idiocy. “But when it comes to polluting the atmosphere, the air we breathe...”

Could somebody down at The Age - anybody? - explain to the poor chap about carbon dioxide.

Which if the atmosphere wasn’t “polluted with,” life on earth would not exist. All plants would die. He wouldn’t actually have any “air to breathe.”

And which - just to break it to him gently - he, ahem, breathes out in concentrations that are 10 times that of the “polluted atmosphere.”

We can laugh, but this meme has escaped. I heard a woman on ABC talkback assert, without contradiction from the host, that if we didn’t stop emitting carbon dioxide, her children would not be able to breath. On Channel 10 on Sunday, former Liberal leader John Hewson, on being told be me that Gillard’s carbon dioxide tax would have close to zero effect on temperatures, insisted that “cleaning” the air would still be good, regardless.


I don’t want to share my country with him

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:22 am)

Any chance of finding this man and paying him back in kind, by denying him the refuge he denied a little girl?

AS a four-year-old girl desperately paddled towards a life jacket amid the wreckage of SIEV 221, a man bobbing in the monstrous Christmas Island swell grabbed it and then kicked her away, an inquest has heard.


Global warming “more dangerous” than Hitler

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:15 am)

Age readers lack a certain sense of proportion, to judge by this letter to the editor:

HOW many of us are so selfish that the first questions we ask when confronted with change, are along the lines of: why should I have to pay a carbon tax?…

Did our forefathers question why they should fight Nazism and fascism? No, they put aside petty arguments and self-serving questions and went off to fight the enemy. Not because they wanted to, but because it was the right thing to do. Today, we are fighting a different and infinitely more dangerous enemy - global warming. This enemy will kill millions of people through famine, flood, drought and other disasters, unless we start fighting it now.

(Via RWDB.)


My worst fault is that I work too hard in the national interest

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:10 am)

Let’s play the game of describing your most obvious fault in the most flattering way.

For instance, I’m sorry if I upset people by sometimes being too determined to get to the truth.

Here’s Julia Gillard’s effort:

‘’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, to hang pretty tough.

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

Your own?


The spy who hacked me

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (06:04 am)


Talking about journalists hacking ….

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (05:42 am)

The sanctimonious have their own questions to answer - and about activities right here, not in London:

THE editor-in-chief of The Age, Paul Ramadge, has refused to detail his personal involvement in the newspaper’s unauthorised access of an ALP database now being examined by the Australian Federal Police.

The Australian understands the AFP is considering whether to launch a formal investigation into The Age’s conduct, after receiving a complaint from the Victorian branch of the Labor Party.

Barrister Peter Faris QC, one of a group of high-profile Victorians whose personal details were accessed through the database by The Age, described the newspaper’s actions as “very close to corruption and criminal conduct."…

The Age has denounced the phone hacking by News of the World reporters, which prompted News International, the British arm of Rupert Murdoch’s global media interests, to close the paper. It has given front-page prominence to the story every day this week.

The complaint also comes as the paper’s former editor-in-chief, Michael Gawenda, yesterday cautioned against gleeful reporting of the phone-hacking scandal at News International.


Taxing credulity

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (05:36 am)

Henry Ergas notes that Julia Gillard has costed her carbon dioxide tax on a complete fantasy:

THE one thing you need to know about Treasury’s modelling of the carbon tax is this: it assumes that by 2016, the US and all the other developed economies that do not have carbon taxes or emissions trading systems in place will have them up and running.

This implies that in next year’s US presidential election, likely to be fought at a time of high unemployment, the winning candidate will campaign on the basis of introducing a carbon tax that will go from zero to $30 a tonne in a matter of months. And that tax will then not only get through Congress but in record time.

Moreover, that feat accomplished, by 2021 China will sign up too, and with 14 per cent of the world’s population and barely 20 per cent of world income, will agree to shoulder 34 to 35 per cent of the costs of global mitigation. As part of that deal, China’s leadership will accept a fall in national living standards, relative to business as usual, of between 5 and 10 per cent, while per capita incomes in the far wealthier US and European Union decline by a fraction of that amount. And with China on board, the rest of the world will join the party.

These assumptions are central to Treasury’s analysis, not least because they ensure that by the time Australia moves to an ETS, there is a fully functioning world market for emissions permits. That world market makes it possible for permits bought overseas to contribute two-thirds of the mitigation we achieve during the period to 2020. In contrast, were the market as it is today, with more than 80 per cent of permit trading occurring within the EU, Australian demand for permits would significantly drive up prices, increasing Treasury’s estimated abatement costs.


Just another of those unforseen effects that make the carbon dioxide tax even more lunatic:

COMMUTERS could be hit with public transport fare increases of up to $150 a year when the carbon tax kicks in, confidential state government figures show.

,,, the NSW Treasury estimated that the potential fare rises for all modes of public transport in NSW alone - due to increased electricity costs for trains and fuel costs for buses and ferries - could be expected at an average 3.4 per cent....

(Premier Barry) O’Farrell said yesterday it was “crazy” that public transport would be hit by the tax when petrol for cars would be exempt: “This will create more pollution and defeat the whole purpose of a carbon tax.

There’s a purpose?


A sceptic’s dream

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (05:26 am)

James Delingpole, soon to tour Australia to promote his new book on the global warming fraud, makes some predictions:

Here, roughly, is how I see things panning out:

2011-2012 Australia totally stuffed. Gillard and her gang of eco-cronies have got you by a very tender part of your anatomy and your only consolation as the carbon tax bites and your economy starts to tank is that Gillard has set herself up as the Worst Prime Minister in Australian history and will take down the Labor Party with her.

2013. Tony Abbott wins landslide victory for the Liberals. He pretends to care about carbon reductions too but this is just a political game. He knows – and everybody knows he knows – that he thinks the whole AGW theory is crap. Unfortunately, the carbon tax cannot be undone immediately. That will have to wait until….

2014. After having his repeated efforts to rescind the carbon tax blocked by the handful of Greens who – more’s the pity – essentially control the casting vote in the Senate, Abbott calls a “double dissolution.” A re-election is called and this time, Australians can properly demonstrate how properly disgusted they feel at having had God’s Own Country urinated on by bleeding heart eco-loons with plaited armpit hair and no understanding of what it means to do a day’s work.

2015 Climate Nuremberg begins:

Bob Brown: sentenced to swim the length of the Daly river and commune with the local wildlife in a caring green way.

Julia Gillard: deported to Wales (one of the nasty bits ruined by wind farms)

Tim Flannery: sent to drive a truck at an open cast coal mine so he can learn where the money comes from that has been paying his inflated government salary.


Klaus in Melbourne

Andrew Bolt – Friday, July 15, 11 (12:02 am)

The IPA announces:

Date: July 28, 2011

The Institute of Public Affairs is pleased to present a special event with the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus.

Vaclav Klaus is the worlds leading critic of global warming ideology. He published Blue Planet in Green Shackles in 2007.

He will be speaking on: The mass delusion of climate change.

The evening will be hosted by Australia’s best known columnist, Andrew Bolt.

Grand Hyatt Melbourne

123 Collins Street
Melbourne, Victoria

Start Time: 7:00 pm

Book here.


Labor gives Greens $10 billion to steal its voters

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


How suicidal is Labor? Julia Gillard’s offer to the Greens of a $10 billion renewable energy fund lets the Greens put up this poster at Melbourne’s busiest intersection to persuade Labor voters to switch parties.

(Thanks to reader Peter.)


Would you trust Bob Brown to run your media?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (03:00 pm)

Greens leader Bob Brown has this afternoon called for an inquriy not only into media ownership, but the opinions newspapers publish.

Julia Gillard is open to the idea:

Ms Gillard says she was disgusted by events in the Britain and she is not surprised some parliamentarians want a review of the media.

“I anticipate we’ll have a discussion amongst parliamentarians about this, about the best review and the best way of dealing with all of this,” she said.

I am shocked to hear the leader of a major political party propose something so dangerous, so threatening to free speech. And to this this within an hour of some in the Canberra press gallery virtually demanding of Gillard advice on how to help her…

Do not doubt just what Brown has in mind as he cynically exploits the scandal that’s engulfed the Murdoch-ownedNews of the World in Britain to muffle conservative media outlets and journalists, and rig the debate more in the favor of the Left.

He says he does not want an inquiry just into media ownership, and the determination of a “fit and proper” newspaper owner - the very kind of restrictions which have allowed the Gillard Government to intimidate TV proprietors.

He also made clear he wants a more Left-friendly coverage. He said he wants to ensure newspapers are “even handed and unbiased and to a degree selfless”. By whose standards, Bob? “Unbiased” the way the ABC is “unbiased”?

He says he wants to the inquiry to tackle “‘the narrow range of media opinion and the intrusion of opinion into the news columns”. What narrow opinion, Bob? Are you worried about the fact that The Age has not a single on-staff conservative as a columnist? That the ABC has not a single conservative host of a TV current affairs show? Or is it the conservative voices which trouble you, especially those in the Murdoch papers of what you call the “hate media”?

Brown wants better rules to guard “privacy”, which could make it harder to tell you important facts about public figures that may safeguard your democracy.

In a healthier age, these suggestions would be seen as the far-fetched demands of a closet totalitarian. But Brown is powerful, Gillard is desperate and despises the Murdoch papers who’ve questioned her policies, and the “elite’ media has rarely been so supine.

Worse, News has stained its reputation and is weaker than it’s been in years to defend itself.

And, of course, those famous defenders of free speech have gone only too silent since the rise of this Labor Government. No one knows that better than me.

These are suddenly dangerous times for those who value free speech. The Murdoch haters may well gloat over the company’s shame in Britain, but it’s their free speech that is now threatened, too.

A word of warning to them. The next prime minister is also certainly going to be Tony Abbott. Would they trust him with the powers that Bob Brown now demands? Would they trust, say, me with the authority Brown demands for a regulator policing bias?

Be very careful what you wish for. Be especially careful of the rise of the new totalitarianism.


How much longer must this go on?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, July 14, 11 (02:57 pm)

The bungling and waste in Canberra has smashed consumer confidence, causing in part a huge profit downgrade by David Jones:

Mr Zhara said e flood tax, a looming carbon tax and threats of higher interest rates were forcing its shoppers, especially higher income earners, to curtail their spending and essentially go on a shopping strike.

He said people just didn’t “know what else is about to hit them”.

“We are in the eye of the storm, it’s a perfect storm,” he said.

“What you have seen in the last month is that the flood levy has become a reality, in people’s pay packets, so the reality is she [the Prime Minister] has hit our customers directly.”

(Thanks to readers John and Richard.)


Canberra press pack rallies 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.

Good 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, but says her advice is: “don’t write crap”.

“Crap”? From a woman who seconds earlier wanted us to consider her shy, reserved and vulnerable?

The Canberra journalists are doing their best to prop up Gillard, but they will not deceive their audience.


Tingle’s question:

The News Corporation group are facing questions in Britain and the US about whether they are led by fit and proper persons to control such extensive media assets. Do our media ownership laws have sufficient fit and proper tests in them and what will be the appropriate response from the Government if governments elsewhere in the world make adverse findings against News?

Riley’s “question”:

I think a few of us have been reflecting on this in the last few weeks and certainly in the last couple of days, very sharply, on our responsibilities. When we see a gentleman in Gladstone trying to encourage people to take up arms against the government, a woman in Melbourne being shoved out of a public meeting and harassed down the street to tears, you confronted in a shopping centre by people screaming and Liberal Party members calling you liar and then a radio station coming here and broadcasting all day on the first day back of Parliament to whip climate change opposers into a frenzy. How do you see our responsibility and the way that we should be reporting this matter?


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.

If Obama were competent he could end this now.
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I don't care about climate change, but if they help find and track pirates ..
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Liked on
Best Speed bump ever

So which one always tells the truth?
7 hours ago · · ·
    • David Daniel Ball
      Sorry that reference might be obscure. It is from an old math puzzle. I can't remember it well. But here is what I do. "Two girls stand at an airport passageway. One route leads to Quantas and the other to Branson's service. One says you look nice and the other always tells the truth. You are allowed only one question before continuing your journey (Sydney airport)." I recall the solution being something like asking one girl what would the other say.
‎@DaveyC95 Go to Google Image search and try "Prisoner TV" then you don't get the sound .. ;D
"ON THE INSIDE" written by ALLAN CASWELL http://www.prisoner-cellblockh​​risoner_%28TV_series%29 earlier posting here​usic/song.php?sid=52394 My first atte...

Congress asking questions Obama won't​m
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And now for 2011 ..
Youth Event.

Hear hear
IT is a measure of how out of touch Julia Gillard is that it has taken this long for her to "get" that she has "disappointed" the nation.
It would be better were Gadaffi to surrender
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Global warming is a fraud
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Abbott is a good leader
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Colorful racing identity ruled under the ALP
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Bad policy costs
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Bad ALP policy costs
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The Bradfield scheme wrould end this lunacy
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I despise drugs
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I look forward to Kelly being jailed
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We cannot accept any child abuse including a mothers'
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Bad policy costs
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Set up? Lol
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Some hope
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A truth
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And so it begins
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The child asked for directions. The mum had given permission for a one off. The kindest thing for all seems like the death penalty.
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