Monday, August 01, 2011

News items and comments

Just Do It Like Beckham

Miranda Devine – Sunday, July 31, 11 (12:11 am)


OK, so, yes, Harper Seven is an unorthodox name for a child – unless you’re a celebrity, in which case it is positively tame. Compared to Moon Unit and Dweezil Zappa, that is.

But, Harper Seven is what David and Victoria “Posh” Beckham named their fourth child, a daughter, born July 10, to join their three sons, Brooklyn, 11, Romeo, eight, and Cruz, five.

And good luck to them on such a joyous occasion.

Except that the English soccer star and his pop singer-turned fashion plate wife are not being wished luck by everyone, at all.

Instead, a downright nasty campaign has been waged against their prodigious breeding habits by green groups who claim large families are environmentally irresponsible.

Britain’s eco-nazis are denouncing the Beckhams as “selfish” for having a large family, because every new human on planet earth creates more “carbon” emissions.

It goes to the heart of the rhetoric. Who doesn’t like children? I would rather have less room than fewer children.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sun 31 Jul 11 (12:13pm)

Christine Nixon’s unfair cop-out

Miranda Devine – Saturday, July 30, 11 (09:47 pm)


SHE can’t get out of it now, of course, but what on earth was Julia Gillard thinking when she agreed to launch Christine Nixon’s new book?

You only have to know one thing about the former Victorian police commissioner, and that is that on the day of the Black Saturday bushfires, in which 173 people died, she had her hair done, met with her biographer and went out to dinner at a gourmet pub with friends.

“I had to eat,” she said.


No surprise here, Gillard couldn’t back a winner if her life depended on it. It also says quite a bit about Ms Nixon that she’d want the PM’s endorsement. Most of us would consider it the kiss of death. Birds of a feather .......

Caz (Reply)
Sat 30 Jul 11 (10:08pm)
DD Ball replied to Caz
Sun 31 Jul 11 (12:17pm)

Nixon has a point. She wasn’t hired to be a police commissioner. The ALP wanted her to be compliant. She had the role of unofficial police minister. That role meant she needed to have dinner.


Here’s a letter to the New York Times Book Review:

Reviewing Jeff Madrick’s Age of Greed, Sebastian Mallaby reports that “In Madrick’s telling, a cabal of conservatives [from the 1970s forward], driven first by greed and second by ‘extreme free-market ideology,’ gradually seized power” (“Why We Deregulated the Banks,” July 31).

Although Mr. Mallaby ably exposes problems with Madrick’s thesis, he misses its fundamental flaw – namely, the fact that adherence to free-market ideology undermines, rather than serves, the anti-social goals of greedy political insiders. Businesspeople who successfully seek political influence nearly always demand protection from the free market. They lobby for regulations and taxes (such as tariffs) that impose disproportionately heavy burdens upon their competitors and, hence, upon consumers. In doing so, such greedy businesspeople follow a course unmistakably opposite the course they’d follow were they really free-market ideologues.

By failing to see that political power unleashes greed to be used to undermine rather than to protect free markets, Jeff Madrick is a useful, if unwitting, idiot for the ‘greedy’ interests that he fancies himself standing in opposition to.

Donald J. Boudreaux


During the second semester of my freshman year of college (Spring 1977) – the semester in which I was first exposed to economics – Bill Field (then a professor of economics at my alma mater, Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA) recommended that I read the writings of Milton Friedman. Of course, as an 18-year old who’d read very little of anything beyond the sports pages of the Times-Picayune (and, back then, also the sports pages of the States-Item), I’d never heard of Milton Friedman.

“Dr. Field” – as I’d called Bill for many years – let me borrow his copy of Friedman’s collection of Newsweek columns, An Economist’s Protest. I was blown away by the logic, the sensibleness, and the passion channeled toward the goal of maximum human dignity.

That summer, I subscribed to Newsweek simply to get Friedman’s columns (which, if I recall correctly, appeared in every third issue). (I read Paul Samuelson’s Newsweek columns, too, of course; they left me cold.) I believe that the first column of Friedman’s that I read from an actual issue of Newsweek was the one in the July 4, 1977 issue. Its title is “Fair versus Free.” (Here’s a reprint.) It remains today just I recall it from 34 years ago: powerful and compelling. From it I extract today’s Quotation of the Day:

When “fairness” replaces “freedom,” all our liberties are in danger. In Walden,Thoreau says: “If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.” That is the way I feel when I hear my “servants” in Washington assuring me of the “fairness” of their edicts.



Tim Blair – Monday, August 01, 11 (04:26 pm)

Following last week’s exchange of views, New Matilda editor Marni Cordell sends word that her publication has donated to Assistance Dogs Australia an amount equal to that paid for contributor Mike Carey’s July 27 article. As promised, I’ve donated an identical amount. Dogs and people win.



Tim Blair – Monday, August 01, 11 (02:59 pm)

“A new carbon cop will be given sweeping powers to enter company premises, compel individuals to give self-incriminating evidence and copy sensitive records under a carbon tax package that will force about 60,000 businesses to pay 6c a litre extra for fuel.” – The Australian, July 29.

I can’t tell you my name. Those are the rules. Besides, my name isn’t important.

But I can tell you this. No filthy carbon dioxide molecules are going to take over this town while I’m on the beat.

I’m a cop. A carbon cop. This is what I do.



Tim Blair – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:57 am)

Intriguing numbers from the debt-doomed US:

The Federal government now has only $54 billion in cash in the bank.

That’s $2 billion less than the net worth of Bill Gates …

Bill’s military is slightly smaller, however. Anyway, what do people need with cash when they’ve got Obama? Plus, the US retains abundant parkland stocks of ducks, squirrels and pigeons. The prudent are already adapting.


President Obama and congressional leaders Sunday night sealed a deal to raise the federal debt limit that includes sharp spending cuts but no new taxes, breaking a partisan impasse that has driven the nation to the brink of a government default.

The agreement brings to an end a self-created crisis that has consumed Washington, rattled Wall Street, and shaken confidence in the American political system at home and abroad. The deal could clear Congress as soon as Monday night — barely 24 hours before Treasury officials have said they could begin running short of cash to pay the nation’s bills.

Maybe now all of those illegal immigrants will stop going back to Mexico.



Tim Blair – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:44 am)

There might be an element of truth here. Then again, people used to say the same thing about blogs:

Facebook and Twitter have created a generation obsessed with themselves, who have short attention spans and a childlike desire for constant feedback on their lives, a top scientist believes.

Repeated exposure to social networking sites leaves users with an ‘identity crisis’, wanting attention in the manner of a toddler saying: ‘Look at me, Mummy, I’ve done this.’

In fact, this might even pre-date blogs. We could probably trace it all the way back to when newspapers first began running bylines.



Tim Blair – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:32 am)

South Australian Labor Premier Mike Rann employs a Flock of Seagulls strategy as factional leaders hound him from office:

Mr Rann left for a one-week trade trip to India yesterday after being told late on Friday that the dominant Right faction had decided [Education Minister Jay] Weatherill should be the next premier …

Mr Rann, who led Labor to government in 2002, was once the nation’s most popular premier, with a Newspoll satisfaction rating of 70 per cent in 2004. Of the state premiers in 2007, when Labor held power in every state, only Mr Rann and Queensland’s Anna Bligh remain.

Labor’s move to replace Rann has apparently “become close to a farce.”



Tim Blair – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:31 am)

George F. Will is right – Matt Welch is incurably upbeat, despite living in DC. And his book, co-authored with Nick Gillespie, is excellent.


Carbon dioxide tax crazy: Della Bosca

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 01, 11 (07:04 am)

Of course the tax is mad, but so is the delusion that we’re threatened by dangerous man-made warming:

THE former NSW minister John Della Bosca has called the federal government’s carbon tax a mistake and the ‘’craziest thing’’ the Prime Minister could have done.

He is the second senior NSW Labor figure after former premier Morris Iemma to criticise his federal colleagues for introducing a carbon tax.

‘’I’m not a climate sceptic,’’ he said. ‘’Action on climate change is one thing. But I think the carbon tax is a mistake. It’s the craziest thing she [Gillard] could have done.’’…

Mr Iemma is also reported to oppose the Gillard government’s carbon tax, saying it is economically costly and likely to unseat Labor in the next federal election.

He said he accepted the science of climate change, but Mr Iemma suggested the carbon tax policy would do little to improve the environment and reduce carbon emissions. Mr Iemma said the Greens had exercised excessive influence on the government’s policies.

It’s time some of these critics summoned the courage to not only denounce the tax as useless and stupid, but as a fake cure to a faked problem.


Are Islamists playing the West for suckers?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:56 am)

This is the rebel regime that NATO is backing and Britain now recognising as Libya’s government:

A SENIOR opposition figure has confirmed Islamist rebels were responsible for the killing of the head of the Libyan rebel army.

General Abdel Fatah Younis died after being arrested on the front line by his own troops on suspicion of being on Muammar Gaddafi’s payroll....

The brigade - which takes its name from one of the Prophet Mohammed’s military commanders, emphasising its Islamist nature - had been charged with arresting Younis, the former security chief under Gaddafi who had defected to the rebels. He was suspected of passing battle plans back to the Gaddafi regime and was being brought back to Benghazi for questioning when he was killed.

Is the West backing an eventual Islamist takeover of Libya?

In March came this admission:

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime

Mr al-Hasidi admitted that he had recruited “around 25” men from the Derna area in eastern Libya to fight against coalition troops in Iraq. Some of them, he said, are “today are on the front lines in Adjabiya”.

Mr al-Hasidi insisted his fighters “are patriots and good Muslims, not terrorists,” but added that the “members of al-Qaeda are also good Muslims and are fighting against the invader”.

In fact, al Qaeda may be responsible for the murder of the rebels’ military commander:

Defence Secretary Liam Fox on Sunday warned that Islamist militants may have been behind last week’s assassination of rebel Libyan military chief General Abdel Fatah Yunis.

Fox told BBC Radio that the death, attributed by the British press to Al-Qaeda elements within the rebel movement, remained a mystery but that militant influence within Libya was inevitable.


One day they’ll be sent back. Or some of them…

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:44 am)

Last week, a deal is belatedly signed:

The ...Government signed its people-swap deal with Malaysia 11 weeks after it was announced. The deal ...will see the next 800 asylum seekers, who have arrived by boat, forced on to planes to Malaysia within three days.

Er, or maybe not:

PEOPLE-SMUGGLERS in Indonesia are understood to be preparing at least two more asylum boats as Immigration Minister Chris Bowen conceded some of the 800 boatpeople transferred to Malaysia may end up back in Australia.

As authorities on Christmas Island readied themselves for the arrival of 54 asylum-seekers whose boat was intercepted yesterday, and who will be among the first transferred as part of the government’s Malaysia Solution, ...Mr Bowen told the Sky News Australian Agenda program the 54 would be sent to Malaysia within “weeks” once they had been identified and screened…

Mr Bowen’s office confirmed none of the transit facilities that would hold the asylum-seekers was ready, nor had the government signed leases for any of the buildings, which were likely to be old hotels…

Vulnerable asylum-seekers, such as unaccompanied minors, will almost certainly avoid transfer to Malaysia…


Business leaders declare government bankrupt

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:32 am)

We have a weak, incompetent and vindictive government, and more business figures wish they felt free to say so:

Adding to recent concerns expressed by senior business leaders, a new survey covering directors of large publicly listed companies, large public sector organisations, small privately operated businesses and charities in the retail, resources, infrastructure, property and services sectors identified a lack of authoritative leadership as their single biggest concern about the future.

The 2011 Boardroom Barometer survey conducted by independent consulting firms Gell Southam Group (GSG) and Salt & Shein, also says directors believe the economy will improve only marginally over the next six months, and they remain concerned about the potential impact of another global financial shock.

The surveyed directors, who were interviewed anonymously, were asked to rank the key issues confronting Australia on a scale of one to 10—one being lowest, 10 the highest.

A lack of strong political leadership in the current hung parliament was cited as the No 1 issue facing the nation…

The directors were also increasingly negative about Australia’s ability to manage many of the major issues and challenges confronting the nation.

In terms of management, they ranked the government’s handling of the carbon tax issue the worst, followed by its management of the two-speed economy.

And you wonder why more business leaders do not speak up on the madness of this carbon dioxide tax?

The survey also found there was still a culture of retribution towards critics of the government, after respected chairmen such as National Australia Bank’s Michael Chaney, ANZ’s John Morschel and Telstra’s Catherine Livingstone claimed last year that business leaders were being privately attacked and punished by politicians when they spoke out on key issues.

Mr Chaney, who also chairs Woodside Petroleum, said some corporate leaders had been “threatened” by politicians, while Mr Morschel and Ms Livingstone said a culture of “retribution” had become “prevalent”.

“I was at a dinner last night with very prominent business people and two or three said the same things I’ve been saying,” said one director surveyed. “Two people said last night ‘I’ve been invited on a post-budget panel and I’m not going to do it because you get phone calls and get beaten up if you happen to have a view’.”

Another added: “You don’t see business leaders saying as much as they used to say, and it may be because of potential recriminations against the companies they represent.”

Where are all those journalists, academics and activists of the Left who fought the wicked Howard regime’s crushing of dissent?


But bottom line: this is a dysfunctional and incompetent government which punishes those who try to warn Australia of this dangerous fact.

(Thanks to reader Mum of 6.)


Rann: I’ll do a Rudd if I’m pushed

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:23 am)

The faction bosses have Rudded South Australian Premier Mike Rann, but he’s stalling for time and making them wobble:

Mr Rann has remained defiant until the end, rejecting an order by union boss Peter Malinauskas and Treasurer Jack Snelling to vacate the office by the time state parliament resumes from its winter recess on September 13.

Mr Rann left for a one-week trade trip to India yesterday after being told late on Friday that the dominant Right faction had decided Mr Weatherill should be the next premier, even though he was from the Left faction, because he was the best chance of Labor winning a fourth term in 2014.

In a statement last night, Mr Rann said he would decide the timing of his departure after 17 years as state Labor leader and nine as Premier.

“Before I step down as Premier and leader, there are a several key projects that I should complete, including, most importantly, the go-ahead for the Olympic Dam expansion,” Mr Rann said…

A BHP spokesman declined to comment on the issue last night, but the complexity of the approval process means most observers do not believe the expansion project will be officially announced until next June.

And Rann issues the ultimate threat:

Sources said Mr Rann exploded in anger, especially when told Mr Weatherill was to be his replacement.

‘’I know where all the bodies are buried’’, ‘’I’m not going without a fight’’ and ‘’I’ll make more noise than Kevin Rudd‘’, he was quoted as telling the plotters.


And by how much will this tax reduce the temperature?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 01, 11 (06:21 am)

Rubbish tax, and the climate will not change by a flicker:

AUSTRALIANS will pay an extra $200 million to dump their waste under the Federal Government’s carbon tax, a rubbish group claims.
The Landfill Owner’s Association has calculated carbon tax costs for almost 200 of the nation’s dumps.

The association’s Max Spedding said the increase would be passed on to clients, including councils and through to ratepayers.


The Bolt Report yesterday

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 01, 11 (12:02 am)

The last segment in the YouTube version.

To order Andrew McIntyre’s book on the Greens or to attend the Sydney launch, go here.

Liked on
Introduction by The Hon. Dr Peter PHELPS, MLC Joanne Nova has been explaining science as a professional speaker, TV host, radio presenter, and book author for over a decade. Joanne has performed in town halls, five star hotels, schools, outback c...

Sue them. The job requires concentration, not distraction. If she was discriminated against through missed promotion then I hope the edifice crumbles.
A TEST case is under way in a Melbourne court which will determine whether a female air traffic controller can sue for being exposed to male colleagues viewing computer pornography at work.
Useless dolt continues
FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd is recovering after heart surgery in Brisbane.

Obama admits he almost sank medicare, and might yet do so.
President Obama announced Sunday night that leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement on a debt-reduction deal that will "lift the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy" and prevent the nation from potentially defaulting on the nation's financial obligations.
ALP have blood on their hands.
AFTER more than a month of hearings, Queensland's flood victims will today get their first answers about the disaster that killed 30 people, destroyed thousands of homes and affected 70 per cent of the state.
You would think the Feds had more than rumour to back up the raid.
A retired military translator who served in Iraq says he was treated like a criminal when agents from the DEA barreled into his Detroit home just after 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, reported.
When will we admit it is neither drought nor rain which causes this misery?
Tens of thousands of famine-stricken Somali refugees were cold and drenched after torrential rains pounded their makeshift structures overnight into early Sunday in the capital, leading to appeals for aid.
Live or die, I hope he never has freedom again
A former police officer who allegedly admits ordering 1,500 killings during a campaign of terror as a drug gang chieftain along the U.S. border has been captured in northern Mexico, federal officials said Sunday.
Is Reid a prevaricating, or decisive incompetent?
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has signed off on a tentative debt-ceiling compromise, saying he hopes lawmakers can finalize a deal and move to a vote as early as Sunday.
Clover's Sydney is a dangerous place.
A MAN was stabbed several times in the arm, losing a lot of blood, after a vicious attack yesterday in Sydney's CBD.
We used to have government .. Now we have unions.
BANKS will come under pressure to slash their interest rates under a brazen plan aimed at grouping thousands of ordinary homebuyers into a single powerful consumer group so they can insist on a better...
They aren't good computers
FREE laptops in public schools appear doomed after the state government's failure to commit to them beyond next February.
Democrats make bad managers
WITH barely two days to act, the US was this morning closing in on a deal to avert a disastrous debt default
I don't think this is a professional problem, but an access one. Nurses do a great job. Bureaucrats do a bad job.
HOSPITAL drugs are being stolen and sold to addicts on the black market by workers eager to make quick cash from medication intended for suffering patients.

Fraser is a disgrace
DISGRACED Melbourne lawyer Andrew Fraser has made the astonishing claim that British backpacker Peter Falconio is alive, 10 years after he disappeared in Alice Springs.
Swan says it is bananas.
RATEPAYERS will pay an extra $200 million to have their rubbish bins emptied and to dump waste at local tips because of the government's carbon tax.
The next boat won't take long
THE first boatload of asylum seekers bound for Malaysia arrived in Australian waters yesterday - but it could be weeks before they are processed and put on a plane.
Security is a lousy excuse. They should be compensated for the aggravation.
LITTLE girls who paid $50 for a photo with pint-sized pageant star Eden Wood were left high and dry after she failed to show up.
Gillard and Bligh would be feelimg nervous too. Still, Rann is corrupt and no loss to Australian politics. Weatheril has nothing special to offer.
MIKE Rann - the nation's longest-serving current Labor leader - has been forced to stand aside as Premier of South Australia in a deal by ALP factional powerbrokers to replace him with the state's Education Minister, Jay Weatherill.
I just saw Andy Minh T holding a placard for nominations for Australian of the Year. He is everywhere, man.
Q4JC "Man With The Deadly Stool" shoot in Cabramatta.

It's really not my habit to intrude .. but this is magnificent ..
Here's a classic drum riff if there ever was one! And let's not forget there's only 1 Steve Gadd. There are many ways to approach this tune in the arrangement and style. I went with the classic Gadd lick as he described it with the transcriptio...

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