Monday, July 18, 2011

News items and comments

Meet the real hacks behind media probe

Piers Akerman – Saturday, July 16, 11 (05:43 pm)

IF Julia Gillard and Bob Brown want to waste more taxpayers’ money on an inquiry into the media, bring it on.

It’s a political stunt, of course.

Unfortunately for the unpopular pair, should they launch a probe that begins looking into perceived bias, it may just make the reasons why they are so disliked across the nation front-page news.

I have long complained about the left’s argument problem. They don’t argue well. They are emotive. They are abusive. They are rarely factual. I posted an amateur series of videos on Che Guevarra a few years ago because lots of people don’t know who he is, but wear his picture on their T Shirts. They think that monster is some kind of hero. So I read from a lefty site (wikipedia) about the monster and collected pictures of his atrocities as well as his ‘achievements’ and posted the series in twelve parts. The abuse I got from people I believe to be Cuban sponsored is illustrative of the problem with argument from the left. They haven’t argued with the material. They have complained about my accent, my knowledge. My definition of monster. They have even argued the CIA did worse.
The truth is Gillard has not told us what she plans to do with the money she is taking from us. But we know it won’t help the identified issue of climate change.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 16 Jul 11 (06:39pm)
Dave Wane replied to DD Ball
Sun 17 Jul 11 (05:34pm)

I have long complained about the left’s argument problem. They don’t argue well. They are emotive. They are abusive. They are rarely factual. I posted an amateur series of videos on Che Guevarra a few years ago because lots of people don’t know who he is, but wear his picture on their T Shirts.

David, I have found all of the above to be absolutely true and correct when it comes to those of the left.


Another Great Leap Forward

Miranda Devine – Sunday, July 17, 11 (01:37 am)


GREENS leader Bob Brown is now in an unprecedented position of power. As minority government partner, he is taking the country down a path it has never been and which most Australians don’t like.

The Greens like the power - they don’t like the public accountability which comes with it. Hooray that we are finally seeing some of that being held to account, becuase we have to rely on the media to do that.

In Britain the media holds the government to account fearlessly - we don’t see too much of that here. Few journalists have the guts to tell it like it is like Miranda and Piers. One of the most recent exposures in Britain was of the widespread rorting amongst politicians of parliamentary expenses, which resulted in an inquiry, resignations, prosecutions and even jailings. Yet I did not hear any politicans here demanding the same kind of scrutiny of politicians as in Britain as they are now for the same media scrutiny. Here in NSW we have had two inquiries by the ICAC which have found rorting, but they only resulted initially from whistleblower reporting, certainly not from any vigorous media campaigning.

On the subject of which, from today’s ST, how is it that our State Government cannot forcibly get rid of surplus public servants when it has no trouble whatsoever getting rid of those pesky whistleblowers?

Linda (Reply)
Sun 17 Jul 11 (07:33am)
DD Ball replied to Linda
Sun 17 Jul 11 (10:35am)

Unless we die, Whistleblowers don’t disappear. The issue of Hamidur Rahman has not yet been addressed. Fair call for Barry O’Farrell, his party has listened to me and he has not yet had time to act. But I think it will be important for the party’s continued success that they do so before I die. Or they will not not be able to maintain their momentum.

There are not enough significant conservative journalists in Australia. The industry weeds out a lot, and places the rest into positions of compromise in which they must espouse leftwing views to get ahead. The ones that are writing are very good and respected worldwide. There aren’t enough of them. I am told there is one journalist for the ABC in Western Australia who is known to have conservative leanings. I think that fact alone speaks volumes about our troubles.

Fair and Balanced replied to Linda
Sun 17 Jul 11 (09:36pm)

How did I miss that DD....

Miranda you may not be awear of it, but Hartigan described Newslimited as a centre right organisation as does Murdoch. He also said that the organisation “makes the market’s”. (conservative ones)

To pretend that the organisation you work for is fair and balanced is like Murdoch stating he is happy the way things have been handled in the UK… and things are progressing well, other then someminor mistakes. What a load of rubbish… Minor mistakes shutting down a paper and losing his bid for Sky News… minor mistakes...??

That’s the sought of spin we have become accustomed too by News Corp. It’s reporting has been like your own, ant-left, regardless of merit. Everything is a Great Big Disaster, as per Abbott’s script. A good example is .... How much will the tempreature drop by Abbott’s Direct Action Plan, to reduce Co2 emmisions by 5%...?? This is a gotcha question..(which is rediculous in the first place) but is asked constantly by the conservative shock jocks of Julia Gillard ....BUT NEVER OF ABBOTT.

The usual numderskulls will state that he is not in power he can just say whatever he likes ...and presumablly lie through his teeth if he wants too.

sdog replied to Fair and Balanced
Sun 17 Jul 11 (02:24pm)

You’re “Livid,” who used to claim to be a psychologist, yeah? Ever thought of getting some help yourself?

DD Ball replied to Fair and Balanced
Sun 17 Jul 11 (03:17pm)

The general rule is not to feed the trolls, and my apologies to others, but I must point out that Bolt asked the shadow environment minister the temperature question. He replied it probably wouldn’t change the temperature. Then Bolt asked “why have it?” and was answered that the policy allowed industry growth and development which the current government policy didn’t.
The dialog was on the Bolt Report, I believe it was 10/7/2011

Fair and Balanced replied to Fair and Balanced
Sun 17 Jul 11 (07:28pm)

Not bad DD...

I don’t think it is worth trying to satisfy everyone. It is expected for people to complain and I have no problem that some complain bitterly. Sometimes I make unwitting mistakes and it needs to be brought to my attention. Sometimes I make a bad judgement call. Sometimes I am right and need to explain myself better.
The problem with Brown and his supporters is that they don’t listen. They have their opinions, and they are rarely informed opinions, and they gum up administration with bad policy. But that has always been the case. Brown’s politics over the Franklyn Dam were appalling and the result abysmal, so that very few dams have been built since and the Bradfield Project was stymied.
His supporters might not know it, because they don’t listen either, but all of this has been noted before. But it is glaringly obvious now because of the abysmal ALP who are blaming the Greens for their own bad policy. They haven’t listened but now they have to explain why their heroes look so bad when what they say now is little different to what they said before.
It isn’t only a carbon tax.
The winding back of the Pacific solution was stupid, tragic and predictable. But it was Green policy before they had power.
The tragedy of roofing insulation was similarly Green policy before they had power.
We have long known of the Green hatred for Israel. It isn’t a good look and a good reason to despise the fringe, but some are attracted to such.
The problem is not the policy. The problem is not the support. The problem is the need to explain why the policy and the support is so bad.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sun 17 Jul 11 (10:24am)
Titus Aduxas replied to DD Ball
Sun 17 Jul 11 (05:19pm)

For those who have a hatred of Israel.

Fair and Balanced replied to DD Ball
Sun 17 Jul 11 (05:41pm)

DD… Some explanation. Fires in roofs were not invented by Labors rebate on insulation..

Insulation has been put in roofs, as a matter of course, for decades and fires have happened in roofs for decades before the rebate, as a result of faulty and/or poorly laid insulation. Over 1.2 million homes were insulated by the terrible Green rebate. The Insulation Industry did well from the rebate.

Apparently...insulation is useless in your eyes and that of Barnaby Joyce who described it as “kitty litter for mice"… How rediculous can you get. Of course he missed the point that in Qld, in particular, they use foil insulation, risking electrifying their roofs, if there are faulty wires.

Insulation doesn’t start fires.

Of course the proportion of fires, per capita of insulated roofs did not go up… I suspect that is their were 2 fires out of 1.2 million we would have exactly the same hyperbole as we’ve had now. From the usual conservative media types. The proportion of fires, in roofs, per 100.000 homes did not go up.

Of course you completely ignore the operators who acted against OH&S;policies the two operators who sent a disabled lad, into a roof, who died of heat exhuastion in the roof… but they waljed out of court blaming the Government for the tragic death. They got away with a fine. Other operators used metal fasteners… also against OH&S;and some workers were eletcrecuted.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Sun 17 Jul 11 (09:45pm)

Titus, I have not checked the bona fides of that video, but I believe it to be commensurate with what is happening.

Fair and Balanced. I am sorry, you aren’t making sense. Please explain the point you are trying to make. It sounds like the ALP is not responsible for their policy burning down homes and killing workers because they couldn’t be expected to be responsible for their policy. Is that what you meant? Or, did you mean that the ALP aren’t capable of managing a scheme so simple? Or are the workers responsible for killing themselves and the home owners for burning down their own houses in following ALP policy? I find those three arguments of yours, if you are making them, compelling and believable. But then you write that insulation doesn’t start fires. I believe the ALP need to be held to account for their actions, you don’t seem to. Next I suppose you will blame the people of Pompei for failing to follow Roman evacuation policy.


The reality is, we’ve all gone batty

Miranda Devine – Saturday, July 16, 11 (05:38 pm)


WHEN Australia’s farming sector was under threat from a rabbit plague in 1950, the CSIRO released the myxomatosis virus, which wiped out the population within two years.

The world’s first successful biological control of a mammal pest saved the wool and meat industries and reduced rabbit numbers from 600 million to 100 million.

In those days it was regarded as one of CSIRO’s greatest triumphs.

Today it would probably be called genocide. That is, if animal rights activists, the Greens and government bureaucracies allowed it to go ahead at all.

There is something frightening about the politicisation of our public service bodies whenever the ALP is in power. Scientists embrace the Global Warming Fad. Teachers fail to teach their students topics they are employed to teach. Police don’t look at the ethnicity of those they police. Judges don’t go by written guidelines of the law.
I remember taking an issue before Legal Aide once. I have Aboriginal ancestry, but because I didn’t have Aboriginal culture they wouldn’t help me. It didn’t have anything to do with my race.
As the ALP have shown before, this issue is serious, and could shut down the industry. If it put a halt to gambling I am confident we would have the ear of the PM.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 16 Jul 11 (07:07pm)

Yes let me see....

Man induced climate change or ...bats. Mmmm where is the CSIRO when you need them. Well I guess their with the rest of the scientific community, around the world, trying to save the planet from distruction, which I guess to them is a higher priority by just a little bit.

Year after year, I’ve watched over the last ten, deniers hold on to some slim hope that their denial of climate change will just make it go away. When in reality the opposite is the truth. Ten years ago conservatives were in complete denial (some still are). In 07’ Howard introduced an ETS policy, now Abbott admitts reluctantly that he was wrong and that climate change ..."is influenced by man”. Incrementally boarding the climate change bandwagon. Europe and New Zealand are steeming ahead, China and India are doing what they can, with newables and building lower Co2 power stations ... while still developing of course. Climate change policy is stalled in the US by conservatives who have won the senate… much to the detrement of the US economy which is already on the skids… from 8yrs of the Bush administration, that turned a blind eye to bad debt and who allowed Freddy and Fanny to expand their lending by $440 billion i his last term… But of course, to conservatives… it’s all Obama’s fault. You know the guy who was a non US citizen, muslim and friend of terrorist Osama bin Liner.

I’m just wondering how much egg on the face, of opinion reporters, who are ideologically driven ...can they take. Before they are smothered by a Great Big Frittata. That’s a sought of omelette… to the non latte drinkers.

DD Ball replied to Fair and Balanced
Sun 17 Jul 11 (10:06am)

Because you claim to be fair and balanced I must point out that Bush pointed out the Fannie May/Freddie Mac thing in his campaigning for office and (I understand) in his first inaugural address but his economic program was sidelined by the war effort. He was a gifted President and even as a lame duck was able to make substantial change addressing the issue when it arose.
Mr Howard’s ETS policy has been explained by Mr Howard, and you, as a fair and balanced person should acknowledge that.
Europe and NZ are busy repealing the worst aspects of their efforts. US is too, and isn’t implementing it federally. Canada has elected a majority government that won’t go near it. China and India are burning ahead with coal.
I am glad you acknowledge that Obama, who promised civilian trials for detainees, assassinated Osama instead of allowing him to speak about Obama connections.

Amused replied to Fair and Balanced
Sun 17 Jul 11 (10:44am)

DD, best just to ignore this brain dead imbicile formerly known as the bull shite artist Livid. Everything that comes from this irrational unintelligent woman is just bile, hatred and poison.

And talk about poison, this thing is just too brainwashed and stupid to see the important issues of bats flying around carrying fatal diseases. But oh no, lets juts go back to this garbage about global warming and what will happen in 1000 years if we do not tax the air we breath.

Fair and balalnced alright, fair price for the cap and balanced mix of water for the spoon.

Fair and Balanced replied to Fair and Balanced
Sun 17 Jul 11 (12:21pm)

More complete denial from you DD…


In the unreported parts of his e-conversation with the protectionist Ian Fletcher,David Henderson very likely made the following point. But because David didn’t quote that part of his e-debate with Fletcher, I take the opportunity here to highlight another critical way in which Fletcher is just plain wrong. Fletcher writes:

First, you [Henderson] seem to contend that FDI [foreign direct investment] is an exception to the basic rule in economics that, in Milton Friedman’s words, “there is no free lunch.” That is, you ignore the fact that when foreigners make an investment in the U.S., they own the investment. That the investment took place may be a good thing, but this doesn’t change that fact that when foreigners, rather than Americans, own an investment, this increases the net worth of foreigners and reduces the net worth of Americans by the same amount.

Wrong. There is no reason to conclude that the net worth of Americans is reduced by any amount. It is not a “fact” that an increase in FDI in the U.S. increases the net wealth of the foreign investor by some $$ amount and decreases that of some American (or Americans as a group) by the same $$ amount. Any number of examples might suffice to show why Fletcher is utterly off-base to make such an assertion. Here’s a straightforward one:

Suppose my neighbor Smith sells his vacant lot in Virginia for $100,000 to Mr. Lee from China. Mr. Lee then grows corn on that lot and earns profits from doing so. Mr. Lee’s net worth rises. Has my neighbor’s net worth declined? Possibly – ifhe spends the $100,000 on consumption goods (which, as David ably argues, is not necessarily a bad thing; what, after all, is the ultimate goal of economic activity if not to be able to consume more?).

But “possibly” is not “necessarily,” or even “probably.” If Smith spends the $100,000 to pay his way through medical school or to invest in his sister-in-law’s new business venture that turns out to be quite successful, Smith’s net worthincreases. It might increase by more (or by less – it doesn’t really matter) than the increase in the net wealth of Mr. Lee.

Mr. Lee is richer. Smith is richer. No American is poorer. No foreigner is poorer. And Lee’s customers are richer (they get more or better or less costly corn as a result of Lee’s efforts), as are Dr. Smith’s patients or the customers of Sister Smith’s booming new business.

Fletcher’s mind seems so stuck in a zero-sum gear that he misses this not-at-all far-fetched possibility.

Or look at the matter from a different perspective by asking what would happen to Americans’ net wealth if foreigners were to completely remove themselves – or be completely removed by Congress – from the pool of potential investors in dollar-denominated assets. Would the value of publicly traded corporate shares currently owned by Americans rise? Would the value of real estate currently owned by Americans rise? Would the value of successful American start-up companies rise?

I gather that Ian Fletcher believes that the answer to these questions is an unambiguous “yes.” Do you?

… There are ways other than the one I highlighted in my above example with Smith and Lee that FDI in America results in increases in both the net wealth of foreign investors and in the net wealth of Americans. Take a stab in the comments section offering examples.


I’m with Bryan Caplan: people are resources, and the world needs more of them.

Here’s George Selgin on the “local currency” movement.

Here’s a video from last-month’s debate at The Urban Institute on the merits of private community associations. (HT Daniel Kuehn) Defending private community associations is the always-wise Bob Nelson. (And here’s an abstract of one of my favorite pieces of research on the topic. ;-) )

John Stossel discusses playwright David Mamet’s new-found appreciation for the economic and ethical merits of free-market capitalism.

Undercover Economist Tim Harford delivered this superb talk, on trial-and-error, at last-week’s TED conference in Edinburgh. Superb!

Hmmm….. I wonder, I just wonder, if this might have something to do with rising health-care costs.

David Henderson debates Ian Fletcher. Fletcher clings to the ancient superstition that voluntary exchanges that take place across the political borders of nations are mysteriously transformed by those borders into a class of exchanges fundamentally different than voluntary exchanges that take place within the political borders of nations. And, frankly – as this dialog reveals – he argues as all defenders of indefensible superstitions argue: by distorting others’ arguments and by conflating issues that must be kept separate when doing analyses. It’s to his credit – and my discredit – that David has more patience with such people than I have.


Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Writing ominously that “All across America, school budgets are being cut, teachers laid off and education programs dismantled,” Nicholas Kristof accuses us Americans of recklessly endangering our future (“Our Broken Escalator,” July 17).

Context calms these fears.

While Mr. Kristof is correct that “70 percent of school districts nationwide endured budget cuts in the school year that just ended, and 84 percent anticipate cuts this year,” a quick web check reveals that these cuts average no more than about five percent from the previous year. Further, these cuts overwhelmingly reflect simply the completion of the distribution of the $100 billion in federal ‘stimulus’ funds shoveled from Washington to state school systems in 2009-2010.

More broadly, data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics show that inflation-adjusted per-pupil expenditures for K-12 public schools have steadily and dramatically increased over the past half-century. In 2007-08 (just before the recession and the ‘stimuli’) real per-pupil funding was 19 percent higher than in 1999-2000, 33 percent higher than in 1990-91, 83 percent higher than in 1980-81, 129 percent higher than in 1970-71, and 272 percent higher than in 1961-62.

Mr. Kristof’s portrayal of the funding of K-12 schooling in America is recklessly uninformed.

Donald J. Boudreaux



Tim Blair – Monday, July 18, 11 (07:19 am)

This week’s column is a total Green-pleaser.



Tim Blair – Monday, July 18, 11 (07:17 am)

The SMH’s Phil Coorey, last year:

Labor’s now-entrenched primary vote of about 35 per cent means the party has been reduced to its base.

To go any lower would mean it would lose its diehard supporters, those who would vote Labor come what may.

And this year’s latest poll:

The ALP primary vote is down 1 point to 26 per cent - the lowest for either major party in the [Nielsen] poll’s 39-year-history.


The Nielsen poll director, John Stirton, said Labor was facing a wipe-out on par with the thrashing NSW Labor received on March 26.

‘’There is just one reason: the carbon tax is alienating voters like nothing before it,’’ he said.



Tim Blair – Monday, July 18, 11 (04:37 am)

Tom Petty will back down after all, when a few hundred bucks are involved. Still, trust the art and not the artist; Petty can put a song together.


ABC slimes Monckton again, but slips on the stuff

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (05:27 pm)

Wendy Carlisle of the ABC’s Background Briefing devotes an entire program to smearing Lord Monckton and his backers, focussing on such irrelevancies as who paid for his air fares. (Who pays for Al Gore’s? Tim Flannery’s? Has the ABC ever asked?)

There are just a couple of attempts to rebutt Monckton on the science. They turn out to be embarrasingly lame and ill-informed.

This report simply confirms Monckton’s most important point on this tour - a furious refusal by the Left to engage in a genuine debate, with the ABC a prime offender. Indeed, Carlisle spends some time quoting Naomi Oreskes - see post below - on why debate should not even be entertained.

Oh, and Wendy? No, I have not “supported” the Monckton tour. I have had nothing at all to do with it, other than report on it and, in particular, the extremist reaction against it.

When you got that bit wrong about me, right at the start, I was pretty sure the rest of the report wouldn’t be much better. The attack on Professor Fred Singer was close to defamatory, among other things misrepresenting him as disputing the link between smoking and cancer, rather than in disputing the link between passive smoking and cancer .

Now, where’s Background Briefing’s equally hostile examination of the record of Tim Flannery, his dud predictions, his conflicts of interest, his alarmism and his hypocrisy?


Check the price of Gillard’s “clean energy future”

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (04:20 pm)

Julia Gillard’s latest taxpayer-funded ads insist we’ll make money from the “clean energy future”, and cite Infigen Energy.

Inifgen sure has kind words for Gillard’s tax:

WIND power group Infigen Energy says the carbon tax could be the game-changer to drive sustainable growth in renewable energy assets.

Managing director Miles George says his company - which generates electricity without producing carbon - will be one Australia’s key listed beneficiaries.

The price of $23 a tonne is a good outcome. The question will be whether that, combined with other initiatives, lifts the price of electricity and the price of renewable certificates is enough to facilitate new renewable investment,” Mr George said.

But plot the company’s performance against the rest of the stock market, and ... oh dear, you might figure why it’s so desperate for a tax that helps to transfer cash from your wallet to its own:


(Thanks to reader Alan.)


Before and oh-my-god- after

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (04:03 pm)

What they predicted before:

“Prime Minister Julia Gillard remains confident she can turn around public and industry opinion in favour of a price on carbon, once the final details are revealed.”

“Fellow right-wing faction boss Joe de Bruyn, the leader of Australia’s biggest union, predicted the party’s poll numbers would turn around once the details of the carbon tax were released.”

“Australian Greens leader Bob Brown, who reached a deal last year to deliver Labor minority government, said it was important the caucus stick with their leader. He predicted a “big turnaround” in public opinion once the details of the carbon pricing scheme, including household assistance, were released.”

Gavin Atkins now shows how those predictions have turned out.


Oruzgan may now get more dangerous for our Diggers

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (02:13 pm)

This assassination could make life even more dangerous for the Australian troops in Oruzgan, where the dead man once helped to keep the tribes in line - or sort of:

Insurgents killed a senior adviser to President Hamid Karzai at his Kabul home on Sunday night, the second assassination in a week of an influential official from southern Afghanistan and a major setback to the government’s power there.

Jan Mohammed Khan, the former governor of southern Uruzgan province, was killed when at least two insurgents burst into his home at about 8 p.m., police officials said…

The Taliban took responsibility for the attack, which also killed Mohammed Hashem Watanwal, a parliamentarian from Uruzgan who was visiting Mr. Khan at the time…

Mr. Khan was a close ally to the Karzai family and a key strongman in southern Afghanistan. His death followed last week’s assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the president’s half brother. Considered the most influential power broker in the south, Ahmed Wali Karzai was the provincial council chief for Kandahar, the homeland of the Taliban…

With the deaths of Messrs. Khan and Karzai, the Afghan government and U.S. forces will have a harder time navigating the complicated Pashtun tribal structure in the south. Both men were veterans of the region’s tribal politics.

(Thanks to reader J.)


Yes, they have, haven’t they?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (01:37 pm)


And even now the Liberals have not yet begun to fight. Not really

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (01:31 pm)

Global warming has turned from a weapon of the Left to a bludgeon of the Liberals:

CAMPBELL Newman has launched a personal attack on Premier Anna Bligh’s husband as he threatens to shake up a ballooning green bureaucracy captive to “environmental ideology”. ..

“Let’s face it, when you have a climate change policy in Queensland decided by the Premier’s husband, not science, then you know there’s a problem,” Mr Newman said.

Consider, too. All this damage is done to the Left while the Liberal and LNP still do not dare to openly attack the theory that man is heating the world dangerously. Once that bridge is crossed…

But do not forget or forgive. When the battle looked hopeless, many in Labor and the Liberals refused to speak in defence of reasons and against the fear-mongering. I despise them for having left it to only a few to fight, and to take on the inevitable reputational risk.

Let them never come out later as “moderates” and “rational” people without remembering they were in fact cowards, prepared to sell out their country, their conscience and their reason.


In the meantime, Tony Abbott demonstrates the peril of holding one belief while espousing another on cutting of our emissions by 5 per cent:

He added: “The other crazy thing about this is that, at the same time that our country is proposing to reduce its emissions by 5 per cent - just five per cent - the Chinese are proposing to increase their emissions by 500 per cent.

“So any emissions reduction that we put in place will be wiped out in just a few days by the emissions increase that the Chinese do.”

But speaking to a different audience today, on Mia Freedman’s blog, Mr Abbott endorsed the 5 per cent target.

The Liberals’ policy on global warming is mad. It’s only virtue is that it’s less mad than Labor’s, costing us less.

(Thanks to reader John.)


How dare they

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (12:47 pm)

Lies, half-truths and platitudes, with a jingle and a patronising school-room pitch. It’s the underlying assumption that voters are children that is helping to kill Labor, not least because the lies are so transparent.

And to think your taxes are used to produce such propaganda…

(Thanks to reader Jodie.)


One lie in particular will never be lived down:

THE country’s richest woman, WA mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has demanded a referendum on Julia Gillard’s carbon tax...

“After this unnecessary shock to investment and exploration the carbon tax (and MRRT) is causing, we should also demand from our politicians that they introduce legislation that requires a majority by referendum before they can introduce any new taxes or tax increases,” she said.

I think such a restriction ties the hands of government too much. But when the voters’ will is defied so flagrantly as they have by Gillard, it invite just this kind of reaction. Labor’s urgent business must be act promptly to make amends. The reputational damage to Labor is terrible enough. The damage done to the public’s faith in democracy is even more significant.


Labor now just 39 per cent to 61

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (11:51 am)

The Nielsen polls has utterly devastating results for Julia Gillard, her tax and Labor:

Labor’s two-party vote has fallen a further 2 points, leaving it trailing the Coalition by a massive 39-61 per cent.

The ALP primary vote is down 1 point to 26 per cent - the lowest for either major party in the poll’s 39-year-history.

Over the past month, Tony Abbott has opened an 11-point lead as preferred prime minister - the first time he has been ahead of Ms Gillard....

In results that will send waves of fear through the government, approval for Ms Gillard’s performance has tumbled another 3 points to 34 per cent, while her disapproval rating has jumped 3 to 62 per cent.

The carbon plan has been given an unequivocal thumbs down, with 56 per cent of respondents opposed to a carbon price, 52 per cent rejecting the government’s carbon price and compensation package, and 53 per cent believing it will leave them worse off

And in response to a question from Laurie Oakes:

Ms Gillard yesterday denied she had been ringing around to gauge backbench support for her failing leadership.

Glenn Milne:

ASKED the mood of the government at the end of the week that saw the carbon tax battle finally joined, a Labor Party figure with roots stretching back to the Hawke-Keating era and deep networks inside the ALP replied: “Dispirited”.

Asked how Labor MPs had viewed Julia Gillard’s attempt to turn the tide of the carbon tax debate the same operative replied: “Disastrous”. “MPs don’t even want to raise the carbon tax with the punters. It is just too divisive. They’re likening it to the Keneally government in its last days. Voters have just switched off.”

No, not switched off. They’ve decided.


Michael West now fears the caron dioxide tax won’t get passed by Parliament, after all:

The rub for Julia Gillard is that only one quarter of the country backs her. That’s not enough to push through such a landmark reform. The public mandate is too skinny, the risk of parliamentary defections too fat. Only one member has to cross the floor. And bear in mind, Liberals crossed the floor to support the CPRS when Kevin Rudd was in power. It happens.


Reader Jordan calculates who’d Labor have left in the House of Representatives if the Nielsen poll is repeated at the election, and evenly across all electorates:

Isaacs (VIC) ALP 0.02% DREYFUS, Mark
Jagajaga (VIC) ALP 0.5% MACKLIN, Jenny
Ballarat (VIC) ALP 0.7% KING, Catherine
Wakefield (SA) ALP 1.0% CHAMPION, Nick
Throsby (NSW) ALP 1.1% JONES, Stephen
Makin (SA) ALP 1.2% ZAPPIA, Tony
Blaxland (NSW) ALP 1.2% CLARE, Jason
Lyons (TAS) ALP 1.3% ADAMS, Dick
Chifley (NSW) ALP 1.3% HUSIC, Ed
Hunter (NSW) ALP 1.5% FITZGIBBON, Joel
Newcastle (NSW) ALP 1.5% GRIERSON, Sharon
Charlton (NSW) ALP 1.7% COMBET, Greg
Shortland (NSW) ALP 1.8% HALL, Jill
Cunningham (NSW) ALP 2.2% BIRD, Sharon
Holt (VIC) ALP 2.2% BYRNE, Anthony
Hotham (VIC) ALP 2.5% CREAN, Simon
Kingston (SA) ALP 2.9% RISHWORTH, Amanda
Fraser (ACT) ALP 3.2% LEIGH, Andrew
Corio (VIC) ALP 3.2% MARLES, Richard Donald
Maribyrnong (VIC) ALP 5.9% SHORTEN, Bill
Sydney (NSW) ALP 6.1% PLIBERSEK, Tanya
Calwell (VIC) ALP 8.7% VAMVAKINOU, Maria
Port Adelaide (SA) ALP 9.0% BUTLER, Mark
Grayndler (NSW) ALP 9.6% ALBANESE, Anthony
Lalor (VIC) ALP 11.2% GILLARD, Julia
Gorton (VIC) ALP 11.2% O’CONNOR, Brendan
Scullin (VIC) ALP 11.3% JENKINS, Harry
Wills (VIC) ALP 11.6% THOMSON, Kelvin
Gellibrand (VIC) ALP 12.9% ROXON, Nicola
Batman (VIC) ALP 13.9% FERGUSON, Martin John

Notice how there Labor do not win a single seat in WA, QLD or NT, the very states most threatened by Gillard and Brown’s Carbon Tax?

Bye bye, Wayne Swan, Stephen Smith, Gary Gray, Chris Bowen, Peter Garrett and more.


The madness of closing Hazelwood

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (07:04 am)

Victoria’s Energy and Resources Minister, Michael O’Brien, describes the reckless stupidity of Julia Gillard’s plan to shut Hazelwood, the cheap coal-fired power station proudcing up to a quarter of the state’s power:

The claim by some in Labor, the Greens and environmental groups that Hazelwood can be replaced by renewables is sheer nonsense.

Wind and solar, being intermittent, are not presently viable sources of base load electricity… The Greens oppose the dams that are needed for hydro. Geothermal is still a long way off being commercially viable. Nuclear is not on the table.

Aside from coal or gas, there is no viable base load technology that could be built in Australia within the next decade.

But the sensible option of investing in carbon capture and storage to clean up Victoria’s brown coal emissions has been rejected by the federal government which capitulated to a Greens-imposed veto on new CCS investment in the carbon tax package.

... that only leaves gas… (T)here may be enough gas in Victoria to replace one base load coal power station, but the Gillard government’s carbon tax is designed to shut down the brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley. This means the additional gas is likely to come from Queensland, requiring a multi-billion dollar infrastructure upgrade that will have to be paid for by Victorian families and industry.

Gas is also a much more expensive form of electricity generation. At current gas and wholesale electricity prices, CCGT will need a carbon price of about $45 a tonne.

With the Gillard government’s carbon tax starting at $23 a tonne, a CCGT plant will not be commercially viable.

But ... gas prices in the eastern states are expected to almost triple in the next five years, because our gas prices will move to international levels with the building of LNG terminals in Queensland.

With these higher gas prices, the carbon price required to make a CCGT viable will also increase to around $70-$80 a tonne.

This implies a 100 per cent increase in wholesale electricity prices which equals about an additional 30-40 per cent increase in household bills (on top of the hefty rises caused by the Gillard government’s carbon tax).


Meanwhile another one of these green schemes goes bust:

A company that specialises in forestry carbon credit projects in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Australia has collapsed.

First Growth Funds which describes itself as an Australian investment company and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange since December 1986, was placed in administration by its secured lender Noble Investments Superannuation Fund last night.

The company’s board includes Peter Mullins, a former chief executive of Greenpeace Australia Pacific. First Growth Funds’ website also says that Mr Mullins is a former Australian diplomat, with a “strong personal commitment to saving the tropical forests of Asia and the Pacific while, at the same time, securing effective development opportunities for local communities living in these forests.”

(Thanks to reader Brook.)


Sick of global warming scaremongers

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (06:33 am)

Australian researchers says global warming alarmism is making us sick:

Writing in the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Searle andGow (2011) say “there is a growing consensus that increased awareness about climate change is leading to negative emotional reactions in certain individuals (Fritze et al., 2008),” while noting that “expressions of negative psychological states relating to climate change appear in popular commentary, public opinion polls and increasingly in the medical and psychological literature (Searle and Gow, 2009).” And they add that “doctors are reporting that more and more patients, presenting with anxiety and depression, are citing climate change news as something that they are having difficulty coping with” and that “leads to distress and/or interferes with daily living (Fritze et al., 2008).”

The two Australian researchers note that “other climate related pathologies are also emerging,” citing the work of Wolf and Salo (2008), who “described a patient with climate change delusions and visions of apocalyptic events who believed that his personal water consumption could lead to the deaths of millions of people,” while they write of “an increase in climate-related obsessive compulsive checking behaviors such as checking: gas and power meters to monitor their usage; taps for leaking water; and petrol consumption via the car’s odometer reading.” In fact, they report that displays of climate change related obsessive and depressive behaviors has led to the creation of the term “carborexia,” which “refers to individuals who have a fanatical desire to reduce their personal carbon footprint, to the point where it severely affects their lifestyle and normal daily activities.”

The victims tend to the be the usual followers of superstitions, caught at an age before experience gives ballast:

Findings – This study indicates that the public is becoming increasingly concerned about climate change and that there is a relationship between this concern and symptoms that are indicative of depression, anxiety and stress. The results indicate that an individual is more likely to be distressed about climate change if they are female, under the age of 35 years, have a pro-environmental orientation, and possess personality traits such as high levels of future anxiety.

That said, both the authors are women.


So earnest, so eager to believe, so frightened of debate, so female.

Apparently, and please follow this argument closely, those of us who doubt the alarmists are tied to Big Tobacco.

The discussion at the Sydney Writers Festival is an extraordinary example of group-think, with opponents demonised, prejudices reinforced, counter arguments totally ignored and platitudes treated as profundities. Just imagine if one of the participants were a sceptical scientist. Also imagine how disappointed the audience would be if there were a debate.

There’s general agreement that the public is just stupid: “People still thing science is about right and wrong.”

And this declaration by Naomi Oreskes:

I don’t do debates.

Something to fear, lady?

Quote of this farcical conversation, by writer Anna Krien, taking about tackling a sceptic:

Do you even know what carbon is?

Well, one thing that carbon is not, Anna, is carbon dioxide.

(Thanks to reader Graham.)


Together again, a future to build

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (06:06 am)

It’s true enough that every party needs to have policies in place for an election - not just to convince voters, but because Governments tend to make their worst mistakes early:

TONY Abbott has been told to urgently rebuild the Liberals’ policy credentials after an internal party review found a fragmented approach to policy helped cost the Coalition the last federal election.

Howard minister Peter Reith’s 33-page post-mortem of the Liberals’ election effort last year ... - has told Liberals they need to get on a campaign footing earlier and policy development needs to be “given high priority”.

“Today, the federal party no longer takes an interest in policy,” the review finds. “The advisory committee on federal policy has been defunct for years.”

That verdict may be overly harsh. But John Howard, too, has advice:

The former Liberal prime minister told the ABC TV’s Insiders yesterday it was inevitable that a future government would need to reverse Julia Gillard’s “calamitous” IR reforms. “I think that this nation will have to revisit industrial relations in the future and the calamitous retreat on that issue will do us steadily more harm as the years go by,” the architect of Work Choices said.

Small businesses needed relief from unfair dismissal laws, he said.

It is still too soon to release much policy, given the election is two years away, and time would dull some policies and give Labor time to destroy the others. Besides, why distract attention from Labor’s self-destruction?

But it is certainly not too soon at all to develop a narrative and the policies to support it. That narrative should be a cross between Menzies “the forgotten Australians” and Hawke’s “Bringing Australians together”.

The modern version should be address a real concern our fracturing on not just ideological grounds, but socially. Whole classes of people feel disenfranchised or disconnected. Their politicians seem beyond their control, the economy seems unpredictable, the debate seems hogged by the representative, identity politics makes more people feel strangers in their own home, the country seems slaves to the cities, some ethnic groups seems utterly disconnected with the rest of us, many families have fallen apart, too many of the young seem divorced from our traditions, and Labor and the Greens have made even the weather seem hostile.

I suspect there is a yearning for a feeling that we’re together again.


Brooks arrested

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (05:27 am)

She insists on her innocence, but the arrest only highlights how badly this scandal has been handled:

REBEKAH Brooks was arrested by Scotland Yard last night on suspicion of phone hacking and bribing police for information as the former editor and News International chief executive was preparing for a parliamentary grilling tomorrow alongside her mentor, Rupert Murdoch.

Ms Brooks, 43, resigned on Friday as chief executive of Mr Murdoch’s British subsidiary after a 22-year career in which she became one of his closest employees.

The fallout gets even worse:

BRITAIN’S most senior police officer, Paul Stephenson, has resigned over allegations about Scotland Yard’s links to Rupert Murdoch’s empire amid the phone-hacking scandal...

Mr Stephenson was linked to former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis in reports which said the police chief accepted a five-week stay earlier this year at a luxury health spa where Mr Wallis worked as a public relations consultant…

The force is already facing questions about why it hired Mr Wallis as an adviser two months after he quit the tabloid. Mr Wallis was arrested last week.


From The Bolt Report yesterday

Andrew Bolt – Monday, July 18, 11 (12:05 am)

YouTube links when I get them.

Wikipedia has been taken over by a cabal of left wingers. Maybe it has always been that way ..​m
Scientists do not define a "trend" by looking at the difference between two given years. Instead they use methods such as linear regression that take into account all the values in a series of data. 10 years isn't long enough to detect a climate trend. The World Meteorological Organisation specifies

It has not been a bad decade. But Obama is a bad President.
According to New York Times columnist and bestselling author Tom Friedman, the first decade of the 21st century was the worst in American history: Did you know that?

Iran's cooperation is overstated, but they probably participated
Argentina's government on Sunday described as "very positive" an Iranian offer to cooperate in a probe of this South American nation's worst terrorist attack.

If you need to be warned ..
LOVERS wanting to improve their sex lives have been warned to steer clear of caffeine-based drinks containing a substance similar to Viagra.
Apologies to AWU members who paid money to their leadership to make this decision.
THE country's largest union says it will support the Federal Government's plan to put a price on carbon.

Not a good investment, eh, Chris Murphy?
TWO former directors of failed stock lender Opes Prime have formally pleaded guilty to breaching their duties as company directors.
I do not know him. But I am willing to stand by him. I want his testimony tested before an international court and, if corroborated, for the Burmese Government to stand trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity.
A BURMESE refugee living in Australia has confessed to committing 24 executions while working undercover for the Burmese military regime and says he was involved in at least another 100 murders.
Unavoidable tragedy. It happens. I feel so sorry for his loved ones who will question what they might have done. But it is a tragic accident.
RUGBY union player Halley Appleby has died two days after being injured in a freak on-field accident in Brisbane.
This is a human error in which no real tragedy occurred. I am sure the babies won't be developmentally challenged as a result. They might grow up to be milk siblings.
TWO newborn babies have been mistakenly given to the wrong mothers who breastfed them at a Geelong hospital.
He should have had to pay more. And he should never again represent Australia.
AUSTRALIAN swimmer Nick D'Arcy has been ordered to pay Simon Cowley at least $135,000 in damages after he hit Simon Cowley in a nightclub and left the former swimmer with serious facial injuries in 2008.
Any day now questions will be asked about other news groups
BRITAIN'S most senior police officer has resigned, citing allegations about Scotland Yard's links to the phone-hacking scandal.
Nepotism. The creep heads a public office. Newman is not attacking Bligh's husband, he is legitimately criticizing an incompetent public service chief who has too much power
CAMPBELL Newman has launched a personal attack on Premier Anna Bligh's husband as he threatens to shake up a ballooning green bureaucracy captive to "environmental ideology".
He should get his wish of doing a lot more time
A PRISON escapee was being hunted last night after a five-year-old girl was snatched from her bed and had her hands bound in a horrific attempted abduction at Wagga Wagga.

Magnificent show. Accidents like that could end it
AN eagle has been banned from Taronga Zoo's bird show after it attacked a toddler.
Derailed gravy train
JETSTAR'S chief has given the pilots union a tough warning his low-cost group will stop carrying Qantas passengers on code share flights rather than pay equivalent wages to that of the national flag c...
ALP are guilty of policy drift
QANTAS flights to and from Fiji may be disrupted as the Transport Workers Union threatens industrial action.
An eye test
AUSTRALIAN scientists are reporting encouraging results from an eye test they hope will create a simple way to detect signs of Alzheimer's disease.

Yet Australian media has failed generally with whistleblowers and specifically over Hamidur Rahman
THE Australian media should be left to do its job and a call for a parliamentary inquiry was ridiculous, former prime minister John Howard said yesterday.
They still aren't as generous as clubs .. Which are being taxed more heavily
WOOLWORTHS has fired the latest salvo in the supermarket battle, with a new education rewards program trying to grab shoppers' hearts, minds and wallets.
The ALP is so dysfunctional important decisions are not being made.
PEOPLE with life-threatening ant allergies are living in fear because a therapy that could desensitise them to the venom is out of reach.
The ALP have never helped. Why would they start?
THE mother of Bali Nine drug smuggler Myuran Sukumaran has made an emotional plea to Indonesia's President for her son's life.
This will spiral to include competitors .. If it is impartial.
BRITISH police have arrested Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, in connection with an investigation into phone hacking by the News of the World.
Daylight corruption, similar to the BER
ALMOST a quarter of the $308 million allocated to put set-top boxes in pensioners' homes will go to administration and two government departments.
Important questions. We see when adults fail.
MODERN technology may have changed the world in which our children are growing up, but parents today still face the age-old question that their own parents and grandparents asked: Just how old is old ...
Commit the crime, do the time
THE licensee of John Ibrahim's two flagship Kings Cross nightclubs has been found guilty of breaching liquor laws following a covert police operation into Kings Cross bars.

Completing the education revolution.
STRUGGLING schools will be hit by an annual $200 million rise in power bills - costing about $57 per student - under the carbon tax.
Good ideas.
SYDNEY'S complex and unreliable public transport timetables should be scrapped and replaced by frequent peak-period bus, train and ferry services, according to a report released today.
Classic Democrat war technique is to use bombs, not troops to settle things.
Tripoli was rocked by a series of airstrikes by NATO forces in the early hours of the morning Sunday.

Can anyone point to a policy of his they dislike?
PRIME Minister Silvio Berlusconi faces trial hearings for bribery and for paying for sex with a 17-year-old girl tomorrow.
People begging for tax
THE success of the alcopops tax in cutting teen drinking could be used as a model to introduce a minimum price on all alcoholic beverages, drug and alcohol experts suggest.
I want it noted the person posting as David D B is not me. I like and respect Joseph, but I disagree with his views on some things. Joseph is a former student of mine and I know he isn't a bigot. He hasn't explored the issues as well as he could.
READERS DIVIDED: See what readers of the Fairfield Champion have been saying about the controversy in Smithfield MP Andrew Rohan's office - you'll be surprised.
    • David Daniel Ball Fairfield Champion, what can I do about people posting on your site so as to appear to be me?
      Yesterday at 12:22 ·
    • Fairfield Champion
      Hi David,
      unfortunately it's really difficult for us to control under what names people post their comments.
      Our sister website like the Sydney Morning Herald require commenters to establish an account and only comment through that, but we haven't moved that way as yet.
      The best I can suggest, and I'm sorry it's such an onerous suggestion, would be to keep an eye out for those comments and post your own under your own name to clarify.
      I will forward these concerns on to management, though, and hopefully we can work towards a solution!
      Cheers, Jenna
      8 hours ago ·
    • David Daniel Ball I appreciate that you try. Very few of my moderated comments make it online, but I am (I believe) never rude or inappropriate.So clearly a lot of thought is going into the moderation. I have noticed a poster under that name before, and in other contexts, so that it appears highly political and misleading. I will do as you suggest. Publicly.

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