Wednesday, July 27, 2011

News items and comments

What a pack of burqas

Piers Akerman – Saturday, July 23, 11 (05:42 pm)

In the middle of its cold summer holiday, Europe is struggling with two major issues - the fragile Euro economy and unwanted Islamic migration. The Left’s obsession with Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is no longer news.
Those among France’s hard-working middle class who do mention Murdoch, proprietor of this newspaper, do so with admiration for the drive and determination he has displayed throughout his corporation-building career.

The big topic is the economic survival of the European community. French president Nicolas Sarkozy held a press conference last Thursday night after an all-day summit with German chancellor Angela Merkel, Greek prime minister George Papandreou and other European leaders and bankers on Greece’s debt crisis.The Clayton’s solution Sarkozy outlined embraces a lowering of the interest rates on Greece’s crippling loans and an extension of the period in which the nation may repay them. This is not an end to the problem, it merely places Greece on an economic drip and its loans on the never-never.

It’s a classic European dodge. Push the problem into the future and hope that when it next erupts, someone else will have to deal with it.

I like migration and want more. I think it is important that the law be applied too. Equally and fairly. I think if we didn’t nuke our ability to grow, by not having water available, people would be less inclined to complain. Also bad immigration policy is an aggravating factor. The pacific solution was fair. The current policy is unfair.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 23 Jul 11 (06:07pm)
Rule303 replied to DD Ball
Sun 24 Jul 11 (09:41am)

Well that’s just jim dandy for you. I am totally unimpressed with the quality of immigrants we are getting and I want a moratorium, to allow time for INTEGRATION and not multiculturalism, which has been and will continue to be an abject failure.

DT replied to DD Ball
Sun 24 Jul 11 (09:45am)

A New South Wales police officer commented recently that he and his colleagues would have far fewer problems if Temporary Protection Visas were still being issued, meaning that troublemakers from the refugee communities here would be less likely to misbehave.

I agree that the Pacific Solution was fair. I cannot understand why Labor abandoned it and I am very annoyed that they pretend that it is not the solution and ignore its past success.

Wazza replied to DD Ball
Sun 24 Jul 11 (09:26pm)

They gives us patheic referendums on Republics, flags, daylight saving, and any other mediocre farce that comes to mind.
Don’t let those dirty plebs have a say on immigration and muliticulturalism though. It might upset the dual passport holder developers who have put us in the top twenty of the world’s most in debt countries !

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Tue 26 Jul 11 (10:06am)

Rule 303, I get the reference to the Boer War order which was unfairly ignored so as to execute the Australian poet Morant. I haven’t been following Pier’s commenters well enough to know if you are using it for this post or to identify you for all posts. Anyways, I am totally unimpressed with your argument. The Australian story is based on successful migration. I challenge you to find one successful Australian who didn’t have ancestors who migrated here. I’ll make it easier for you and insist it is ok if either the mother or father weren’t.

Rule303 replied to DD Ball
Wed 27 Jul 11 (08:45am)

@ DD Ball

Rule303 has been my handle forever. If you are unimpressed by my argument then deal with it, because I stand by my comment.
I want immigrants who want to contribute to Australian society, not bludge off it and try to change it by constant moaning, carping and whiteanting. Post WW2 migrants came to Australia for a better and safer future but most importantly they contributed. The heads of a company I once worked for - Transfield Engineering - started working in NSW with nothing more than 2 shovels and a wheelbarrow and ended up employing thousands. There are many such success stories all over the country but of late all we are attracting are deadbeats and parasites and I want it changed.

Rule303, can you provide substance to your arguments, or are you nothing more than an anecdote?You cleverly sidestepped my challenge by ignoring it. Smart move as there aren't any people here not descended from migrants. It is perception old boy. Grin and bear it or create a totalitarian state to suit you. - DDBall

The internet hate factory

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (10:20 am)


WHEN a young person dies suddenly, chances are that friends will set up an RIP page on Facebook to help them grieve.

But, unthinkable though it might seem, adding sadistic comments to these memorial sites has become a popular fad.

Much of the bile can be traced back to a global “Internet hate factory” known as

Created in 2004 by 15-year-old New Yorker Christopher Poole (aka Moot) the site began as an online discussion forum about Japanese anime. It is now described as the internet’s “scariest hive mind”, with 7 million users, most anonymous, who hurt people for sport.

I cannot think of much worse than victims being victimised again on a support page. I understand FB is taking steps to identify people who participate in the forums. It is the anonymity that lets the abusers feel they can do the appalling abuse.

Community Channel attracts a lot of attention due to her popularity. I see some of the postings and I don't like it. It is specific to social networking because it can't happen when you are present and might be punched on the nose for being a prat.

It is a big problem for children who don't have anywhere to turn, but face it directly and may not have the skills of dealing.

I agree "It’s about time purveyors of hate and the websites they use are held accountable for the pain they cause. " - DD Ball

A network of nastiness

Miranda Devine – Saturday, July 23, 11 (05:52 pm)


SWEET, pretty and popular, 14-year-old Dannii Sanders had almost 2000 Facebook friends. Whether or not cyberbullying played a part in her suicide last week, as her friends claim it did and those closest to her deny, it’s clear social networking was a big part of her short life.

And it’s also clear that after her death, a memorial Facebook page in her name was bombarded with vile hate messages and images.

“Deserved it. I (laughed out loud) hard,” one poster wrote. “She can’t read this because she’s dead,” wrote another. We won’t repeat the more depraved comments because that would just provide pleasure to those who create them.

Yes, pleasure.

There is now solid evidence that a great deal, if not all nastiness is caused by poorly developed brain cirtuitry associated with empathy (or the ability to feel what others are feeling as though we ourselves were in their shoes). Simon Baron Cohen has just written an excellent book on the subject: Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty .Unfortunately, children brought up in nasty and/ or uncaring environments are at most risk of failing to develop empathy to a degree that is considered healthy - it gets back to understanding the golden rule ‘do to others as you would want them to do to you’ - unfortunately, cyber-bullying tends to perpetuaute itself as the mantra becomes an ‘eye for an eye ‘.’

Poor brain development doesn’t excuse this type of behaviour but it sorely needs to be understood, in my opinion. In fact, empathy can be quite easily measured and the apparent lack of it should be a warning sign of potential trouble. This is something that could be assessed in schools.

John McPhilbin of NSW (Reply)
Sun 24 Jul 11 (12:06pm)
DD Ball replied to John McPhilbin
Mon 25 Jul 11 (05:57pm)

Early attempts at such work, like phrenology, are now discredited. Simon Baron-Cohen is a real researcher doing important work. However my experience is anyone can be a pratt without adult supervision, and sometimes are because of adult encouragement. It overstates the issue because any child is capable of much atrocity. It is significant research because it explains some things. The problem with holistic answers in research is that they explain much but mean nothing. So that I can explain in philosophical terms how it is that only boys pull the hair of girls. .. but it isn’t the case.


Paying college athletes

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 26, 2011


Great piece from Sports Illustrated on why it’s a good idea.


Good luck to Team Hayek

by RUSS ROBERTS on JULY 26, 2011


In a few minutes, at the LSE, George Selgin and Jamie Whyte will be representing Hayek’s views contra the Keynesians represented by Duncan Weldon and Robert Skidelsky. You can warm up by watching Fight of the Century. It will air on the BBC tomorrow and if the audio becomes available, we’ll post it here at the Cafe.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (08:00 pm)

Congratulations to Sue Fondrie, winner of this year’s Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for awful prose. Her victorious entry:

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

Also impressive is this, from Basil McDonnell:

The victim was a short man, with a face full of contradictions: amalgam, composite, dental porcelain, with both precious and non-precious metals all competing for space in a mouth that was open, bloody, terrifying, gaping, exposing a clean set of asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth, but clearly the object of some very comprehensive dental care, thought Dirk Graply, world-famous womanizer, tough guy, detective, and former dentist.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (03:08 pm)

Wayne Swan in 2006, following Cyclone Larry:

Peter Costello and John Howard simply don’t get it. They can go out there and blame the price of bananas; they can go out there and blame tropical cyclones, or even tropical fruit ...

It is John Howard and Peter Costello who are in the dock today. They have been warned five times over the last eighteen months about rising inflationary pressures in the Australian economy …

They will attempt to use bananas as a shield, and don’t forget bananas — they are yellow and they’re bent — they will attempt to use bananas as shield ...

Wayne Swan in 2011, following Cyclone Yasi:

Treasurer Wayne Swan has blamed the summer floods and Queensland’s Cyclone Yasi for the impact of high fruit and vegetable prices on the CPI …

“On today’s figures, fruit prices are up 27 per cent in the June quarter, contributing 0.4 percentage points to the quarterly CPI increase of 0.9,” Mr Swan told reporters in Canberra.

Banana prices are up 470 per cent compared to where they were prior to the natural disasterswith some people paying as high as $14 a kilo.”

He said Treasury estimates the natural disasters contributed half a percentage point to headline inflation in the March and June quarters.

Via Currency Lad and Catallaxy Files, where Paul Williams scores comment of the day:

If bananas control the Australian economy, and the Australian economy controls world temperatures, then a banana tax should sort out climate change.

Only denialist hate media would disagree!

UPDATE. Further banana talk from Swan in 2006:

MAXINE MCKEW: Let’s move to the inflation figures we saw this week, consumer prices up nearly four per cent over the year. I’m just wondering, how do you see the mid term outlook for inflation because the Treasurer made the point this week some of the current factors feeding into inflation, food and petrol, will certainly ease over the next year.

WAYNE SWAN: This is the Treasurer’s banana alibi again.

And Swan today:

“Now, we know this has been hard on family budgets, but prices should come down as crops regrow and as farm production comes on.”

Don’t forget bananas, Wayne. They are yellow and they’re bent.

UPDATE II. Joe Hockey addresses Swan’s banana tactics.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (03:05 pm)

A new survey of global religious attitudes:

Muslim and Western publics continue to see relations between them as generally bad, with both sides holding negative stereotypes of the other. Many in the West see Muslims as fanatical and violent, while few say Muslims are tolerant or respectful of women.

Meanwhile, Muslims in the Middle East and Asia generally see Westerners as selfish, immoral and greedy – as well as violent and fanatical.

However, the latest Pew Global Attitudes survey finds somewhat of a thaw in the U.S. and Europe compared with five years ago. A greater percentage of Western publics now see relations between themselves and Muslims as generally good compared with 2006.

In contrast, Muslims in predominantly Muslim nations are as inclined to say relations are generally bad as they were five years ago. And, as in the past, Muslims express more unfavorable opinions about Christians than Americans or Europeans express about Muslims.

(Via Liam Bathgate)



Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (02:59 pm)

Apparently each tiny area of the planet is able to regulate its own micro-climate:

The Australian Climate Commission says the Illawarra region, on the New South Wales south coast, is facing devastating bushfires, floods and loss of biodiversity by the year 2100 if it does not act on climate change.

The commission has released its report today into the impact of climate change in the region, titled The Critical Decade: Illawarra and South Coast Impacts.

The report highlights the key impacts by increased rainfall, rising temperatures and sea levels over the next century.

But if the Illawarra area takes action, the apocalypse will stop at its borders. Neat trick.

The report finds low-lying residential areas around Lake Illawarra could be flooded, along with 50 kilometres of rail line, as the sea level rises by 1.1 metres.

Also, forest fires around Nowra have the potential to increase by 30 per cent by 2050.

Climate commissioner Tim Flannery released the report and says it points to the need to act.

First of all, we’d better cut down those Nowra forests.

(Via Chris Poole)



Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (01:33 pm)

Australian YouTube traffic machine Natalie Tran hasn’t posted since spring. Fans were beginning to lose it.

She’s back:



Tim Blair – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (01:32 pm)

$36 billion doesn’t buy you much security these days:

An unemployed truck driver with the online moniker ‘’Evil’’ hacked into one of the national broadband network’s service providers and had control of its entire system for at least six weeks, police allege.

“Evil” – real name David Cecil – has been refused bail.

(No comments on this post. Ongoing court case.)

UPDATE. Contrary to other reports …

(Via s_dog)


The new journalist just needs the right attitude

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (04:34 pm)

Never worked as a journalist in your life? Then you, too, can teach Monash University students all they need to be what you never were:

Senior Lecturer - Journalism Studies - Monash University

Senior Lecturer - Journalism Studies
Job No. 497258
Faculty / Portfolio:
Faculty of Arts
School of Journalism, Australian and Indigenous Studies
Location: Caulfield campus
Employment Type: Full-time
Duration: Continuing appointment
$109,993 - $126,830 Level C
(includes 17% employer superannuation)

Internationally recognised university
Innovative and creative environment
Caulfield campus
At Monash, we want our research to change things for the better, our teaching to set us apart and our social justice agenda to make a global difference. To continue achieving these objectives, we need people who have the same ambitions....

The Opportunity
Journalism at Monash is one of the university’s fastest growing disciplines housed within the School of Journalism, Australian and Indigenous Studies. The School offers majors in both Journalism Practice and Journalism Studies, and is seeking to appoint an experienced and enthusiastic individual to join our team.

Staff within the School are actively engaged in contemporary and relevant Journalism practice, research and scholarship, and teaching courses at undergraduate, honours and postgraduate level, and supervising research higher degree students

The appointee will:

Hold a PhD;
Have university teaching experience in Media and/or Journalism Studies;
Be familiar with contemporary scholarship in Journalism Studies;
Have a strong research capacity and achievements evidenced by their publication record;
Have a demonstrable capacity for successful leadership and management; and
Have a demonstrable commitment to excellence in teaching.

Before you sneer at Abbott, Mr Jones…

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (04:18 pm)

Former Labor science minister Barry Jones airily dismisses Opposition leader Tony Abbott as a scientific dunce:

This striking observation probably reflects his understanding. If carbon dioxide is invisible, odourless and weightless, in a world outside measurement or analysis, then attempting to control or limit it is pointless.

He appears to take a mediaeval scholastic view of how the universe works…

Carbon dioxide, a compound of carbon and oxygen, is not weightless. The burning of a tonne of coal produces 3.67 tonnes of carbon dioxide

Tony Abbott’s approach to the carbon tax debate is illustrative of a general collapse in the quality of rational discourse.... He simply does not understand the science…

In fact, Jones’ own effort signals a collapse in the quality of rational discourse, because he falsely calls carbon dioixide “carbon”. And, as reader Dr John explains, Jones does not understand the science, either:

Barry Jones laments that many people fail to understand simple science. Mr Jones claims with superiority that the science is easy, writing that “...burning a tonne of coal produces 3.67 tonnes of carbon dioxide”.

Unfortunately that is actually the result of oxidizing a tonne of carbon; not a tonne of coal. Coal is not 100% carbon so his figures are not right.


He’s mad, of course

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (02:37 pm)

No surprise, yet for political reasons there are plenty who claim this man acted as a Christian and a conservative:

This whole case indicates that he’s insane,” Geir Lippestad told journalists, adding that a medical evaluation would take place to establish his psychiatric condition…

Lippestad said Breivik “has a view on reality that is very, very difficult to explain”.


Turns out that Breivik was in fact raised by ”a moderate cultural Marxist and feminist”:

Breivik describes himself as a disaffected product of the Norwegian liberal political elite, furious at the way sexual instability has affected his own life. His father was a diplomat, stationed first in London and then in Paris. His parents divorced when he was a year old, after which his feminist mother married a Norwegian army captain, and his father wed a fellow diplomat who Breivik calls a “moderate cultural Marxist and feminist.”

Though he describes his stepfather as somewhat conservative, he nevertheless complains of a “super-liberal, matriarchal upbringing,” which he says has “contributed to feminise me to a certain degree.”

Well, well, well.

(Thanks to reader Robert.)


Jump, Malcolm, jump

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (01:11 pm)

Plenty of conservatives and Liberal voters would join warmist Rowan Dean in hoping Malcolm Turnbull joins Labor, but they expect a very different result than the one Dean fondly imagines:

If Turnbull were to jump ship, many problems would simultaneously be solved. First and foremost, the prime ministership would be back within his grasp (which is, after all, his sole ambition). Deliciously, it would also put him in a position to savagely attack Tony Abbott, an opportunity for which he is clearly salivating. And above all, it would allow Turnbull some sleep at night over the one issue that genuinely seems to trouble his conscience.

And for Labor? The opportunity to retake the moral high ground on climate change, rejig its emissions scheme, shrug the Green monkey off its back, consolidate the independents (Rob Oakeshott was gushing over Turnbull’s speech), give Kevin Rudd the finger, and put Gillard back where she is best suited (running school staffrooms and kindergartens).

Oh, and it would also give them a pretty good crack at winning the next election.


The baking costs extra with the carbon tax

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (11:00 am)


The judges loved it:

A TERRITORY senator was yesterday accused of being a chauvinist - and introducing politics to a cake-baking competition.

Deputy Nationals leader Nigel Scullion won the celebrity cake-making challenge with a cake showing Prime Minister Julia Gillard seemingly being eaten by a crocodile. His victory speech was all about politics.

One witness said: “It was a political rant about the carbon tax. Everybody was squirming.”

Senator Scullion said the cake wasn’t chauvinistic.

“I matched her emerald shoes with her lime tunic and got her hair just right. Everybody thought it was very tasteful.”

(Thanks to reader Catherine.)


Planet loses heat, climate models lose credibility

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (09:59 am)

New resarch into why the planet hasn’t warned this past decade suggests - crazy, I know - that the global warming models may be wrong:

Data from NASA’s Terra satellite shows that when the climate warms, Earth’s atmosphere is apparently more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”

The result is climate forecasts that are warming substantially faster than the atmosphere, says Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The previously unexplained differences between model-based forecasts of rapid global warming and meteorological data showing a slower rate of warming have been the source of often contentious debate and controversy for more than two decades.

In research published this week in the journal “Remote Sensing”, Spencer and UA Huntsville’s Dr. Danny Braswell compared what a half dozen climate models say the atmosphere should do to satellite data showing what the atmosphere actually did during the 18 months before and after warming events between 2000 and 2011.

“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”


RMIT University is hosting a lecture on why the global warming models can’t be trusted:

Guest presenter and forecasting expert, Dr Kesten Green, has conducted a systematic analysis of the processes used by those who make forecasts of manmade global warming and found that the processes violated basic scientific procedures

Are global warming forecasts scientific? Evidence from a forecasting audit and a validation study

Seminar presented by RMIT University’s School of Economics, Finance and Marketing

Presenter: Dr Kesten Green, International Graduate School of Business and Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, University of South Australia

When: 1pm-2pm (preceded by lunch from 12.30pm to 1pm)

Where: RMIT University Building 108, Level 12, Seminar Room 84 (239 Bourke Street, Melbourne)


Andy Semple’s presentation, with links, on Carbon Dioxide and the Politics of the Carbon Tax.

(Thanks to reader Timdot.)


How the Greens plan to silence the press

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (07:13 am)

I HAVE never been so frightened for our freedom of speech than I am right now.

No, I’m not talking about my own legal troubles, with a court being asked to ban my published columns on how some people claim a “racial” identity.

No, far more chilling - because it was so shamelessly explicit - was the promise made by Greens deputy leader Christine Milne on Monday to punish newspapers which publish articles sceptical of global warming and critical of the Gillard Government.

To hear what she said on the ABC’s Q&A program in supposedly free and democratic Australia, after all the lessons we thought we’d learnt from Stalinist Russia and fascist Germany, is staggering.

And even more frightening is that it seemed so ... natural. So in keeping with the inclinations of this Government and the growing authoritarianism of our times.

Read for yourself Milne’s detailed demand for political censorship and punishment of dissent, delivered on national television to an applauding audience:

“The Murdoch press has been running a very strong campaign against action on climate change.

“The bias is extreme, in The Australian in particular.

“You’ll see column inch after column inch of every climate sceptic in the country ... You’ll find day after day a real attempt at regime change…

“And one of the useful things about the hacking scandal in the UK is that it will lead to an inquiry into the media in Australia.

“We are at least going to see some real discussion ... around issues such as the level of ownership and dominance of the Murdoch press in several capital cities in Australia.

“We’ll also have a look at a range of other issues, including who are fit and proper people into whether we need that test into people to be running media outlets. It’s time we had a good inquiry and certainly bias is certainly going to be one of the things that’s certainly to be looked at.”

First know some things before I tell you exactly what Milne is demanding.

Know that Greens leader Bob Brown has already suggested this punishment for what he calls the “the hate media” - the Murdoch newspapers he says have been too critical of him and the Gillard Government he props up.

Here’s his threat, earlier this month, when calling for an inquiry into newspapers: “I think there’s quite a bit of concern I’m being fed from within the media ... about the narrow range of media opinion and the intrusion of opinion into news columns in sections of Australian media.”

Know also that Prime Minister Julia Gillard has already agreed to consider this inquiry: “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.”

Know that none of these politicians is talking about the Left-wing bias of, say, the ABC, The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald.


Playing with the blood of the dead

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (07:11 am)


HEAR that gloating sound, among the sobs for the 76 people murdered last week by Anders Behring Breivik?

Hear that cackling among the moans?

It’s Leftist polemicists, gleeful that the Norwegian murderer was a “far-Right Christian”.

How often you’ve been reminded.

One ABC news story filed on Sunday mentioned three times that Breivik was a “Christian”.

Yet when Major Nidal Malik Hasan shot dead 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009 while screaming “God is great”, the first substantial report filed by the ABC’s Washington reporter failed to note even once that he was a Muslim.

But this time - at last - the media feels free to mention the faith of the killer again and again. And again and again they stress he’s “anti-Muslim”.

A USA Today report is typical: “Islamophobia has reached a mass murder level in Norway as the confessed killer claims he sought to combat encroachment by Muslims into his country and Europe.”

But two things immediately didn’t fit this narrative.

A true Christian does not live out his faith by shooting dozens of young people on an island. An ethnic Norwegian killing other ethnic Norwegians is not an obvious expression of Islamophobia.

Yet who cared? Here was a chance for the Left to pay back the “Right” for having worried about Islamist terrorism and Muslim integration in the West.

Some used this tragedy simply to smear their political enemies.

Take Guy Rundle, a long-time Marxist writer, whose article in yesterday’s far-Left Crikey gossip site appeared under a headline declaring: “Breivik the armed wing of hysterical Right commentary”.

(Another Crikey writer, a global warmist humiliated in a debate last year with sceptic Lord Monckton, now got square by claiming that having seen a Monckton speech, “the comparison to Breivik’s manifesto is chilling”.)

In The Age, Aslak Sira Myhre, a former leader of Norway’s far-Left Red Electoral Alliance, also settled scores, blaming the killings on “the heart of darkness (which) lies buried deep within ourselves” - by which she actually meant only conservative Norwegians and the “poisonous hatred with which anonymous writers sting anti-racist liberals” such as her.

But behind this demonisation of Christians and conservatives was a frantic desire to see at last an equivalence between the violence of “Right-wing (white) Christians” and that of Muslim terrorists.

Asia Times columnist Pepe Escobar was the most explicit, implying that Breivet, apparently a lone mad-man, was actually the seed of a Christian al-Qaida, or worse: “As much as al-Qaida ... embarked on a defensive (and occasionally offensive) jihad against Christians and Jews, Breivik calls for no less than a Christian jihad to defend Europe from yet another Muslim invasion.”

But every society, whether Norwegian or Lebanese, Australian or Russian, has people so damaged or evily wired that they are capable of mass murder.

Scotland had its Thomas Hamilton, who shot 16 children and a teacher at the Dunblane Primary School. The United States had its Columbine killers, Australia its Martin Bryant.

Rarely do we bother to ask what faith such men followed, or politics they preached, to understand why they killed so many people. They are mad.

If anything, we look first for some short circuit in their psyche or deep wound in their childhood that left them with such a murderous rage and a frozen indifference to the suffering of others.

With Breivik, it seems unlikely that his alleged Christianity gives any clue, not least because he writes: “I’m not an excessively religious man. I am first and foremost a man of logic.”

And while he indeed wanted Muslims out of Norway, he also damned Nazis and the British National Party for preaching “hate”, and claimed he himself was “anti-racist, pro-homosexual, pro-Israeli” and a Darwinist - for what the word of a maniac is worth.

More telling than any of this, surely, is that Breivik was deserted by his father at birth and lost all contact when he was 16. “An ordinary boy but not very communicative,” his father says now.


Her sex, your cost

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (07:08 am)


If they can’t tell the full truth about even Thatcher…

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (07:04 am)

Janet Albrechtsen explains how warmists such as Malcolm Turnbull and Julia Gillard deceive you when they quote Margaret Thatcher in support:

If Gillard and Turnbull want to tell the Thatcher message, they would reveal she said: “The evidence [the world is facing a climate catastrophe] does not so far exist.” They would tell us Thatcher said that “the world climate is always changing and man and nature are always, by one means or another, finding means to adapt to it”....

Thatcher’s early views about global warming were intrinsically linked to her rational pursuit of nuclear power to prevent the coalminers unions holding the nation to ransom.

And, as she acknowledges in her memoirs, when the facts about global warming became less certain, so did her own views.

(Thanks to reader Grandma.)


Gillard gets the backing of another green carpetbagger

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (06:46 am)

Julia Gillard finds someone who likes her carbon dioxide tax:

THE former British prime minister, Tony Blair, was in Melbourne yesterday lending a much-needed political and public relations hand to Julia Gillard’s carbon-tax policy.

Shoulder to shoulder with Gillard, he spruiked the message that the world is shifting away from its dependence on carbon and it needs to be priced.

But just follow the money:

Tony Blair is set to earn millions of pounds advising an American businessman on how to make money from tackling climate change.

The former prime minister will be paid at least £700,000 a year to act as a “strategic adviser” to Khosla Ventures, a venture capitalist firm founded by Indian billionaire Vinod Khosla.

Blair spruiks for Khosla:

I am increasingly and crucially aware of the fact that the answer to these twin challenges — climate change and energy security — lies in developing the technological solutions of the future.

Our taxes, Blair’s potential profits.

(Thanks to reader watty.)


The new blood libel of the Left

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (06:16 am)

Keith Windschuttle on the smearing of conservatives by the atrocity-mongers of the Left:

IT took just two days after Australians awoke on Saturday morning to the terrible news of the mass murder in Norway for the left-wing commentariat to start exploiting the event for political capital.

On Monday, July 25, Aron Paul in New Matilda said the massacre was not only a manifestation of one man’s troubled psyche but of “an increasingly toxic political culture plagued by incivility and extremist rhetoric”....

Among the ideological culprits Paul listed was Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt.... The magazine I edit, Quadrant, was more culpable than most because of “the deliberately provocative language with which Quadrant and other right-wing forums are awash”.

The next day the Crikey website joined the fray. According to Guy Rundle, Breivik was not alone but represented “the armed wing of hysterical Right commentary”. Rundle advised conservative writers to reflect on “the role that a decade-long discourse of hysterical commentary on immigration and culture in Europe played in forming the thinking of killer Breivik”.

The first thing to note is that most of this commentary is completely false…

However, yesterday morning an ABC journalist informed me some of my own writings had been quoted in Breivik’s 1500-page manifesto, 2083: A European Declaration of Independence. Since then, this fact has apparently been repeated on several online sites and innumerable times over Twitter, accompanied in many cases by quite gleeful comments celebrating some kind of victory over the forces of conservative darkness…

This is (Breivik’s) version of what I said:

“For the past three decades and more, many of the leading opinion makers in our universities, the media and the arts have regarded Western culture as, at best, something to be ashamed of, or at worst, something to be opposed. The scientific knowledge that the West has produced is simply one of many ‘ways of knowing’ . . . Cultural relativism claims there are no absolute standards for assessing human culture. Hence all cultures should be regarded as equal, though different . . . The plea for acceptance and open-mindedness does not extend to Western culture itself, whose history is regarded as little more than a crime against the rest of humanity. The West cannot judge other cultures but must condemn its own . . . The concepts of free [inquiry] and free expression and the right to criticise entrenched beliefs are things we take so much for granted they are almost part of the air we breathe. We need to recognise them as distinctly Western phenomena. They were never produced by Confucian or Hindu culture . . . But without this concept, the world would not be as it is today. There would have been no Copernicus, Galileo, Newton or Darwin."…

I made every one of these statements and I still stand by them. In this and similar papers I have provided numerous examples to establish the case.

Having read them several times again, I am still at a complete loss to find any connection between them and the disgusting and cowardly actions of Breivik. The charge that any of this is a provocation to murder is unsustainable.

Anyone who goes through the rest of the killer’s manifesto will find him quoting several other Australians approvingly, including John Howard, Peter Costello and George Pell.

Nothing they say in defence of Christianity or about the problems of integrating Muslims into Australian society could be read by anyone as a provocation to murder....

In contrast, the quality that stands out in the work of most conservative writers today is restraint. Even though the stakes in the present conflict over multiculturalism in the West are very high—with the concepts of free speech, the rule of law, equality of women and freedom of religion all open to debate—most conservatives have respected the rules of evidence and the avoidance of ad hominem abuse.

Their left-wing opponents, however, as the Norwegian tragedy has demonstrated yet again, will resort to the lowest tactics to shut down debate they do not like and to kill off arguments they cannot refute by any other means.

The charge of the Left is the conservatives have by their words incited a mad-man to slaughter Norwegians and that they should now shut up. Among those making that baseless and opprtunistic charge are former communists and current Marxists who for years have held to a doctrine directly responsible for the imprisonment of whole nations and the murder of starvation of tends of millions of people.


It’s actually the Government’s secrecy law

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (06:04 am)

It’s actually a law to keep information from you:

UNLESS the federal government abandons or radically changes its plans for a new way of suing for privacy, publishers and broadcasters face years of legal uncertainty that will have a “chilling effect” on free speech, media lawyers have warned.

“Privacy can be as wide as you want it to be,” said Justin Quill of Kelly Hazell Quill.

“Even if this is never used, its mere existence will have a chilling effect and will lead to news editors taking out facts from stories for fear of being sued,” he said.

His concerns are in line with those of media lawyer Nic Pullen of HWL Ebsworth, who was worried about uncertainty because the planned civil action “will hand everything over to the judges”....

Mr Pullen’s concern comes soon after Privacy Minister Brendan O’Connor said the new civil action would contain a “public interest” defence for the media.

Mr Pullen and Mr Quill both dismissed the significance of the defence. Mr Pullen said the track record of the judiciary on free speech suggested that the defence was unlikely to be effective.

Spot on. Pullen goes on to suggest an excellent point: why doesn’t the Government give us specific instances of the kind of media sins it wants to curb, and just tackle those?


Powering Australia on make-believe

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (05:53 am)

Martin Nicholson says the Gillard Government’s plan to cut our emissions to the global target agreed to at Copenhagen is unbelievable:

According to Treasury, ... fifty-one per cent of our electricity in 2050 will come from renewables… The 51 per cent of electricity from renewables comprises 21 per cent hot rock geothermal, 18 per cent wind, 5 per cent solar, 4 per cent hydro and 3 per cent biomass.

The difficulties become apparent when we realise that hot rock geothermal and CCS are still unproved technologies on a commercial scale. So the ambitious plan calls for almost half of our electricity in 2050 to come from, as yet, unproven technologies. Ambitious indeed.

In case anyone is thinking that 2050 is a long way away and there is plenty of time to prove up these technologies or get new breakthroughs, it’s worth looking at what electricity-generating technologies were around four decades ago.

By 1972, we had several proven electricity technologies using coal, wood, oil, gas, nuclear, hydro, conventional geothermal (using naturally occurring reservoirs of very hot water or steam), wind, solar photovoltaic and tidal power. These are all now considered mature technologies with possible incremental improvements yet to come.

Forty years ago there was a small demonstration hot rock geothermal plant in the US and a concentrated solar-steam electricity plant in Italy. After 40 years of development, these two technologies are still not delivering cost-effective power on a large scale anywhere in the world.

At that time, no one seriously considered carbon capture and storage for power plants; the technology is still less than 10 years old. If we haven’t managed to prove up commercial-scale electricity generation from hot rocks or solar thermal after 40 years, what makes us so confident about CCS?

Given the above brief history, is it wise contingency planning to expect that half our electricity in 2050 will be coming from unproven technologies?

(Thanks to reader The Great Waisuli.)


Vaclav Klaus at the National Press Club

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, July 27, 11 (12:05 am)


What a busy little ABC character assassin

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, July 26, 11 (06:37 pm)

My word, but hasn’t Jeremy Thompson been busy back at the ABC headquarters, smearing conservatives?

Jeremy Thompson
Updated July 26, 2011 15:39:39

Accused Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik praised four Australian conservative leaders - including former prime minister John Howard - in his 1,500-page manifesto.

Not mentioned is that Breivik’s “praise” for Howard and Pell was actually just a lift-and-paste from this 2007 “Americans for Serbia” website, and not written by Breivik at all. But who checks when it fits the preferred narrative?

Young Jeremy’s other effort today:

Czech bounced: leader refused entry to Parliament
By Jeremy Thompson

Updated July 26, 2011 18:34:00

Czech Republic president Vaclav Klaus, made famous in a viral internet clip showing him pocketing a ceremonial pen in Chile, was not taking any chances of souvenirs being found in his pocket at Parliament House today.

The president, in Canberra to address the National Press Club, was on his way for an interview with ABC1’s 7.30 - which has its Canberra studio within the House - and through the security checkpoint.

Waiting for him there was Michelle Ainsworth, mild-mannered producer for 7.30, ready to usher him up to the ABC studio where reporter Chris Uhlmann was already seated at the desk, lights on, cameras focused.

But going through security with all the plebs was not on the Mr Klaus’s agenda

You’ll find Klaus’s thoughtful speech to the National Press Club on global warming mentioned briefly in the very last two paragraphs. He’s a sceptic, you see, but you’d guessed that already.

Thompson has form for smearing sceptics and doubters of climate change “action”, of course. Here is his appalling effort earlier this month on Professor Bjorn Lomborg, after he was quoted by Tony Abbott:

However, it is the credibility of Mr Lomberg rather than Australian economists which may not stand up to scrutiny.

In 2003 the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty upheld a series of complaints laid about Lomberg’s book The Skepical Environmentalist.

They included scientific dishonesty, selective discarding of unwanted results, deliberately misleading statistical evidence, plagiarism and deliberate misinterpretation of others results.

The findings were later declared invalid on procedural grounds.

Merely “procedural grounds”? Professor Sinclar Davidson introduces Thompson to the truth.

Tell me again that the ABC is not biased.

(Thanks to readers Correllio and Mike.)

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