Thursday, August 04, 2011

News items and comments

What Australians really want

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, August 03, 11 (06:46 pm)

WHAT is the great Australian dream? What do Australians want most out of life?

My take on what is important is it doesn’t work to hold onto it, but to foster it. I believe that in worshipping God my family life will sort itself. Yes my loved ones deserve love and respect, but they don’t necessarily get that if I invest my hopes and dreams in their performance. Instead they deserve my love and support and I am confident they will return it as they can. It is related to what God promises me, what he has given me. He is my father and wants my prosperity and worship and through that his family grows. Hallelujah.

Not a lot of Australians agree with me on that, but far more than believe that ruining industry will stop the world from heating. I will share my world with Charles Spurgeon in a morning or evening. They can share their dreams with Flannery’s Gaia. My tradition is richer, older and more rewarding.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Wed 03 Aug 11 (07:14pm)
MattFromOz replied to DD Ball
Thu 04 Aug 11 (12:48pm)

You live in a Fantasy World! I hope you have a soft landing when you eventually come back to reality - or maybe not, I guess you’ll never really know that Heaven and Hell were a long-term joke!

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Lucky country tossing away its advantage

Piers Akerman – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:49 pm)

ANY comparison with other Western nations demonstrates that Australia is the luckiest of countries - yet the Gillard Labor-Green-independent government seems hell-bent on destroying this legacy.

Australia under ALP is set to tax the 500 largest producers of plant food. This isn't going to benefit Australians or Australia. It will probably startle the world. But it is minority government. It speaks volumes that they can do anything at all. If only one good person were a member of the parliament and ALP it wouldn't happen at all.
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… is from the late G. Warren Nutter, a University of Virginia economist who from the late 1960s through the early 1970s served as Assistant Secretary of Defense:

In the academic world, you think now and decide never; and in the government, it’s just exactly the other way around.

Explains a lot.

Nutter here is quoted in the fascinating paper by William R. Allen (of Alchian & Allen fame), “Economics, Economists, and Economic Policy: Modern American Experiences,” History of Political Economy (Spring 1977), Vol. 9, pp. 48-88. This Nutter quotation is found on page 51.

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Russ, James Pethokoukis, and I were each asked by Reuters to contribute short responses to Larry Summers’s reflection on the debt-ceiling resolution.

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Fabulous picture, but…

by RUSS ROBERTS on AUGUST 3, 2011

in DEBT AND DEFICITS, UNCATEGORIZED

James Fallows called this picture which uses numbers from the CBO and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the “chart that should accompany all discussions of the debt ceiling:

The debt ceiling debate is over for now, but I found this to be a very useful chart. Fallows has some interesting observations but one of his points is that the Bush tax cuts are the “largest single contributor” to the Federal deficit.

That’s one way to look at it. A richer perspective is that during the Bush Administration, the government spent like a drunken sailor while cutting taxes. So while the tax cuts are measured to have decreased revenue by their full amount (I assume that the CBO and CBPP neglect any incentive effects of lower rates), you can’t help but be struck by the magnitude of the spending increases. So another way to interpret the chart is that roughly 2/3 of the increases in deficit in the Bush years came from spending. A lot of spending.

But for me the more interesting (and misleading) aspect of the chart is the “modest” increases in the deficit coming from Obama, a “mere” $1.44 trilion. There’s a pernicious assumption built into that conclusion, that all previous spending is “mandatory.” I put that word in quotes because it is used all the time in a way that has nothing to do with its use in the English language.

(I am reminded of the scene from the Princess Bride when Inigo says “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Here’s a clip.)

Mandatory in English means you have to. Mandatory in Washington-speak means optional but let’s pretend otherwise.

So Obama stays in Iraq, stays in Afghanistan, stays in Guantanamo Bay and opens a war with Libya. What does the chart say? He gets some “Savings” (modest, but real evidently) on defense spending. Notice that the Bush part of the chart includes wars and defense. I assume that any changes in the wars under Obama (and I have no idea if spending has increased or decreased on net) aren’t in the chart because other than Libya, they aren’t new. They aren’t “New Policies.”

So the decision to keep the insanity of Bush’s spending is irrelevant. The chart acts as if Obama is stuck with that. That’s mandatory. It isn’t his. And so the decision to add another $1.44 trillion seems something like small potatoes. But that’s a terrible way to look at it. The same point can be made about the Bush tax cuts. Obama voted to extend them. Why aren’t they part of his fiscal record?

Suppose you take a loan and buy a Lexus. You decide to buy a car for your wife. You keep the Lexus and take out a second loan to buy her a Ferrari. Your wife loses her job, so you’re struggling to make the payments on both cars and your teenaged daughter asks for a car and you buy her an Acura. So what’s the source of your impending bankruptcy? It can’t be the Acura, right? That’s only a small part of your debt!

The chart is misleading on two counts. First, it implies that you can look at Obama’s contribution to the debt independently of what went before. And second, it implies that what went before has nothing to do with Obama. But when you’re living beyond your means and they’re about to take your Ferrari, you don’t buy an Acura, even if it’s a nice car and relatively affordable.

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Kling on metaphors

by RUSS ROBERTS on AUGUST 3, 2011

in POLITICS

I have long been a fan of the rainforest as a better metaphor of the economy than an engine. But what I really like about this post of Arnold Kling’s is his summary of the spectrum of views of government action–Mafia Godfather vs. Day Care Center Supervisor.

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Dear Mr. or Ms. WorkingAmerican:

In your e-mail – inspired by my account of my grandfather – you speculate that my late grandparents and parents would be “ashamed” of me were they still alive to see me (as you put it) “apologize for multinational corporations, the mega rich and other economic vermin.” Unable to “fathom” how I “join ranks with the sworn enemies of poor and working Americans,” you speculate that I am “paid well” to be a “mouthpiece for the exploiters.”

In fact, because (as I gather you’re aware) my parents both died only very recently, I can report confidently that neither of them were ashamed of me. Quite the opposite. Save for my support of open immigration and my disgust at most of the ways the U.S. military has been used in recent decades, my public writings enjoyed the strong approval of both of my parents.

A true story: when my father was laid off from his shipyard job in the mid-1970s, a neighbor who came to my parents’ house for coffee one evening encouraged my mother to apply for Food Stamps. I’ll never forget the look on mom’s face and her response.

Her face alternated between expressions of disbelief (that anyone would suggest such a thing to her) and anger (that anyone would suppose that she would stoop to living off of the dole). “Jenny!” mom said firmly, “I don’t care how bad things get, I’m not about to apply for Food Stamps. I’d be ashamed to use those things.”

And ashamed she (and my father, and my grandparents) would indeed have been. It was shame sparked not from reading Milton Friedman or listening to Rush Limbaugh (neither of which they ever did); it came from the values that were instilled in them since childhood.

The world needs more people, like my parents and grandparents, who are ashamed to live off of government welfare.

So in fact, Mr. or Ms. WorkingAmerican, the values that you find so disagreeable in my writings are not values different from those of my parents; they are the verysame values that guided mom and dad and that they passed on to their four children. My parents would be ashamed of me if I were instead (to again use your word) a “mouthpiece” for all of those who encourage individuals’ dependency upon the state.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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It Was 30 Years Ago Today….

by DON BOUDREAUX on AUGUST 3, 2011

in DATA, HISTORY, MYTHS AND FALLACIES, WORK

Here’s a letter to the New York Times:

Joseph McCartin describes Ronald Reagan’s firing of the striking PATCO workers in 1981 as “the strike that busted unions” (“The Strike That Busted Unions,” Aug. 3).

Historian McCartin’s history is flawed.

Union membership as a percentage of all U.S. workers peaked at just above 32 percent in 1954. Since then this figure has steadily fallen. Today the percentage of all U.S. workers who are unionized is just under 12 percent, with no change in the rate of decline occurring in the early 1980s. Indeed, the rate of decline, if anything, eased a bit starting in 1983. As for the percentage of government workers who are unionized, that figure has remained largely unchanged since the early 1980s rather than – as one would expect were Prof. McCartin’s tale true – fallen.

Regardless of its merits, if Reagan’s firing of PATCO workers was a landmark event in “busting unions,” that fact doesn’t show up in the data.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Last week in London George Selgin and Jamie Whyte debated Lord Skidelsky and Duncan Weldon on – so I understand broadly – Hayek vs. Keynes. The debate (or, George tells me, the bulk of it) will be broadcast today in the U.K. at 8pm U.K. time (which is 3pm EDT). Info here.

In addition, here’s a teaser, featuring a beautiful come-back from George to a comment by Lord Skidelsky.

And quoting the BBC: ” You can listen again via the BBC iPlayer or by downloading the Analysis podcast. Share your thoughts on the Keynes vs. Hayek debate on Twitter using #lsehvk “

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FORTY SAVED

Tim Blair – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:39 am)

Unheralded heroines of the Norwegian massacre.

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333 DAYS UNTIL LABOR’S BUMBLING NUMBERS TAX

Tim Blair – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:13 am)

“Consider these numbers,” asks former Labor MP Gary Johns:

In 2006, China had 350 gigawatts of coal-fired power generation capacity. It plans to install an additional 600 gigawatts (plus transmission and distribution systems) by 2030. To put this into context, in 2008, the entire coal-fired power generation capacity of the US was 313 gigawatts (31 per cent of total US power generation capacity). By 2030 China plans to install additional coal-fired power generation capacity equal to almost 200 per cent of existing US capacity.

Keep those numbers handy for the next time Julia Gillard or anyone else starts in on China’s magical transition to a low-carbon economy. Further numbers from Miranda Devine:

If you ask Australians what are the five most important things which government should act on quickly global warming is closer to the end of the list.

The top five are the economy and public healthcare (both at 41 per cent), education (30), violent crime and unemployment (both 28).

Global warming was nominated in the top five by only 15 per cent of people, averaging out at number 13 of 25 items.

It’s never been high. And Labor is chasing that figure:

Support for federal Labor has collapsed in metropolitan Sydney and is so low in Queensland that former prime minister Kevin Rudd would be the only government MP to hold his seat in the state if elections had been held last weekend.

Polling commissioned by the Australian Coal Association also shows the government has achieved only marginal gains in support for the carbon tax since the package was released early last month and that a clear majority of voters remain opposed.

And potentially unemployed:

The Hunter would be the “most adversely affected region in Australia” under the federal government’s carbon tax losing 18,500 jobs by 2020, according to new NSW Treasury modelling …

“The reduction in jobs in the Hunter is absolute, not a mere reduction in growth prospects,” it said.

In only one area do carbon numbers look any good:

Shall we build your new Z06 Carbon with 1,000 horsepower, sir, or would a figure of 1,500 be better suited to a man of your stature?

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CARATS vs CARROTS

Tim Blair – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:07 am)

Miner opposition to the Labor government is now gold-plated:

WA’s gold sector has thrown its weight behind the Andrew Forrest-led iron ore industry’s campaign to defeat Julia Gillard’s mining tax, saying it would no longer trust Australia’s elected leader.

Mining industry hostility towards the Prime Minister increased yesterday and included Canadian billionaire Robert Friedland denigrating Ms Gillard as “the redhead”

That’s rangaist, that is. Expect big redhead protest rallies in all state capitals today, if the sun isn’t out.

Silver Lake Resources managing director Les Davis and former Dominion Mining managing director Jonathan Shellabear joined the heads of iron ore producers Fortescue Metals Group (Mr Forrest), Atlas Iron (David Flanagan) and BC Iron (Mike Young) in attacking the proposed minerals resource rent tax …

“Twelve months ago we weren’t directly affected by the MRRT and we are certainly not directly affected today,” Mr Davis said. “But 12 months ago I didn’t think I’d have a carbon tax and lose 6¢ a litre in diesel fuel rebate.

“Can we trust the Prime Minister? Absolutely not.”

How he’s come to that view I have no idea.

UPDATE. Despaxious comments:

David Flanagan, CEO of Atlas Iron, is a ranga. I can’t wait for the left to attack him as an Uncle Tom, a hair traitor, a self-loathing ranga, or the worst insult possible: a jaffa – red on the outside, with a carbon polluting black heart on the inside.

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BAN READING

Tim Blair – Thursday, August 04, 11 (05:46 am)

Brendan O’Neill, enjoying his time in Australia, ponders progressive stuffiness:

Q & A confirmed that, post-Norway, we’re witnessing the rehabilitation of “media effects” theory, the stubbornly unproven idea that words directly cause carnage.

In the old days, that theory was promoted by the stuffy, conservative, purple-rinse lobby, who wanted to ban video nasties and saucy movies on the basis that they might turn men into psycho-killers or rapists.

Now it is the so-called “progressive” sections of society who cling most tightly to “media effects” theory, believing that newspaper articles can make men into mass murderers.

If the theory holds, progressives who obsessively read everything by their favourite despised conservatives ought be most susceptible. Maybe they have some kind of invulnerability chip.

UPDATE. Hey, what have these guys been reading? Something shabad, obviously:

The Shabab Islamist insurgent group, which controls much of southern Somalia, is blocking starving people from fleeing the country and setting up a cantonment camp where it is imprisoning displaced people who were trying to escape Shabab territory.

The group is widely blamed for causing a famine in Somalia by forcing out many Western aid organizations, depriving drought victims of desperately needed food. The situation is growing bleaker by the day, with tens of thousands of Somalis already dead and more than 500,000 children on the brink of starvation.

Via Chris Poole, who emails: “But no, let’s just talk about how some vague references to ‘Christianity’ ‘made’ someone kill 77 people in Norway …” Those Norge Jesusers are obviously working overtime in Pakistan:

If July was one of the bloodiest months in Karachi history with 343 dead and thousands injured, then August could even be worse after 29 people were gunned down on the first day of the month, police and ambulance services said.

Anyone checked their manifestos yet for any mentions of Mark Steyn?

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MALCOLM THE MAGNET

Tim Blair – Thursday, August 04, 11 (05:40 am)

He thinks he’s helping:

Malcolm Turnbull has hit back at critics within the right wing of the Liberal Party, saying his popularity with Labor voters is a strength because it means he can lure votes to the Coalition that others cannot.

Following this logic, Julia Gillard – someone who currently needs votes – will set out to recruit Tony Abbott.

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SYDNEY BOMB HORROR

Tim Blair – Wednesday, August 03, 11 (10:18 pm)

The situation is in its seventh hour:

A young woman at the centre of a major bomb scare in Sydney is holding up well and being reassured by trained officers, police say.

The 18-year-old woman remains close to a bomb at a home in Mosman, on the lower north shore, with police negotiators and bomb disposal experts working frantically to defuse the situation.

The bomb is believed to be attached to the teenager in what is thought to be a ransom situation, although police have refused to confirm this.

The only similar circumstance that comes quickly to mind involved a Pennsylvania pizza delivery man named Brian Wells in 2003, although in that case Wells turned out to be an accomplice rather than victim.

image

Earlier:

Assistant police commissioner Mark Murdoch did not confirm whether the 18-year-old girl was a victim of an extortion attempt …

She has not moved from a room at the front of the house in more than six hours.

When asked whether the girl could move away from the bomb, Mr Murdoch said: “No, she can’t get away from it.”

UPDATE. 2GB reports the girl has been freed:

Mosman woman attached to a suspected bomb has been released.

Police now scouring a Mosman home after releasing a woman who spent hours with a suspected bomb attached to her.

A Mosman woman is now with her parents after being released from a suspected bomb.

Police: We want to get our hands on the person responsible for the Mosman bomb scare.

Let’s hope they do.

UPDATE II:

Shortly after midnight, Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch told reporters that the 18-year-old woman had been released from the “very elaborate, very sophisticated device”.

“The important thing, ladies and gentlemen, is the young lady is safe,” Mr Murdoch said.

That it had taken 10 hours for bomb technicians to “come to grips” with the device was an indication of how elaborate it was.

Police sought the advice of Australian Federal Police and the British military before freeing the woman, Madeleine Pulver.

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Trading children

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:02 pm)

Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison is right:

The reported presence of 19 children, including 14 unaccompanied minors, amongst the latest illegal boat arrivals has exposed the policy catch 22 Labor has created for themselves with their Malaysian people swap, according to Shadow Minister for Productivity and Population & Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison.

“Labor’s anything but Nauru strategy has created a policy catch 22 of the Government’s own making. With a third of the passengers on this latest boat being children, it will only take one exception for someone not to be sent to Malaysia for people smugglers to market it as a rule, creating more pull factors,” Mr Morrison said.

If John Howard were shipping children to Malaysia, would we hear the end of it from the Left? From Labor itself?

(No link.)

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Two coincidences

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (05:29 pm)

Queensland’s Premier says the department headed by her husband filmed an ad starring their son, but she can discover only one potentiial appearance of nepotism:

ANNA Bligh has been forced to personally pay to edit a Government video advertisement which featured her son.
Ms Bligh told Parliament that 18-year-old Oliver was an extra in an advertisement for the ClimateSmart Home service without her or her husband’s knowledge…

Ms Bligh’s husband Greg Withers heads the Government’s Office of Climate Change…

She told Parliament Mr Withers had ensured Oliver wasn’t paid and the ad edited to take him out.

A teary Ms Bligh said the cost was $1880.

“Our concern was simple - while Oliver’s involvement was completely innocent and frankly unbelievably coincidental, it could nevertheless give rise in a reasonable person to the view that the procurement processes of Government were tainted by nepotism,’’ she said.

(Thanks to several readers, including John and Darren.)

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The climate wouldn’t notice

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (10:56 am)

A department set up to invent problems it can’t fix deserves to be chopped. So good on Opposition Treasurer Joe Hockey:

TONY JONES: Not everyone agrees with you though. Greg Combet says that analysis by his department, the Department of Climate Change, shows the direct action policy would cost the average Australian household $720 per year.

JOE HOCKEY: Well this is the same Department of Climate Change that said there’d be a thousand companies that would pay the carbon tax, and then 24 hours later it’d be 500 companies.

It’s the same Department of Climate Change that has been party to Treasury modelling where they’ve modelled the impact of their own carbon tax at $20 a tonne instead of $23 a tonne.

TONY JONES: But are you saying they’re putting out false figures about your direct action plan?

JOE HOCKEY: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

TONY JONES: Well, would you be disbanding this department if it’s a department that puts out false figures for political reasons? I mean, you are talking about getting rid of 12,000 civil servants.

JOE HOCKEY: Yeah. Well the Department of Climate Change will be pretty high up the list for very close scrutiny.

TONY JONES: You mean, you’ll be thinking of disbanding it.

JOE HOCKEY: Yep.

Exactly how much has the climate changed as a result of the work of those 12,000 public servants?

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And another $100 billion to actually give the Greens their train

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (10:00 am)

So far this Greens dream is costing $20 million just to look at. See what it costs to actually build:

A TICKET on a high-speed train to Melbourne or Brisbane would cost between $75 and $197 for a journey taking about three hours, a major federal government-commissioned study has found.

And travelling between Newcastle and Sydney could take just 40 minutes, for a ticket price as low as $16.50, the study also shows.

The federal Transport Minister, Anthony Albanese, will today honour an election commitment and release the first stage of a $20 million study into building an east coast high speed rail network.

As previously reported in the Herald, the costs of the entire project could run to as much as $100 billion, and the government is not about to commit to build a fast rail system any time soon.

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MP Thomson approved a payment to a brothel

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (07:10 am)

No comments, please, but this is indeed a fascinating case:

THE federal opposition has called on the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions to launch criminal proceedings against the Labor MP Craig Thomson, an act that would have the potential to force a byelection and bring down the Gillard government.

The shadow attorney-general, George Brandis, seized on an admission by Mr Thomson on the radio station 2UE on Monday that he approved a Health Services Union credit card payment to a Sydney escort agency.

Mr Thomson, who was the head of the union before entering Parliament in 2007, said: ‘’I authorised all credit card bills’’, when asked about a payment of $2475 to a brothel in April 2005. The bill had appeared on his union-supplied credit card.

‘’I didn’t know it was an escort agency,’’ he said. ‘’The union reached a settlement with another gentleman who paid back $15,000 in relation to use of credit cards at an escort agency.’’

Mr Thomson did not name the man. Nor did he explain why mobile phone records suggest he made calls to two numbers matching Sydney escort operations.

UPDATE

The full interview with 2UE’s Michael Smith is here. The interview includes Thomson’s denials of any wrong doing.

Senator Michael Ronaldson spoke of this matter in Parliament. The relevant Hansard extract is here.

(Thanks to readers the Great Waisuli and James.)

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Utterly useless

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:45 am)

Gary Johns puts Julia Gillard’s absurd carbon dioxide tax into context:

To illustrate, at the end of the (Kyoto Protocol’s) first commitment period 2012, the increase in China’s emissions will be in the order of 1000 per cent of the total reductions the developed countries were to make under Kyoto…

By 2030 China plans to install additional coal-fired power generation capacity equal to almost 200 per cent of existing US capacity.

And along comes Gillard with her little tax.

UPDATE

Surely the Gillard Government wouldn’t have made a mistake?

THE carbon tax will inflate electricity prices by up to $200 a year more than Julia Gillard promised, demolishing claims her compensation package would ensure most people were hardly affected.

A NSW Treasury review into the carbon tax ordered by Premier Barry O’Farrell found electricity prices would go up by 15 per cent - not the 10 per cent predicted by the Prime Minister. That would mean an increase in a high-usage household of $498 a year, $300 for a medium-usage household and $183 for a low-usage household.

The report also found NSW would be the worst affected of any state by the tax, with 31,000 jobs to go and a hit to the state’s economy of nearly $4 billion in 2020, rising to $9 billion a year in 2030.

(Thanks to reader the Great Waisuli.)

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It now takes a visitor to defend our own free press

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:18 am)

I did warn visiting Brit Brendan O’Neill about Q&A and the new enemies of free speech, yet the reality exceeded even my gloomy predictions:

As I discovered on Q&A on Monday, these days defending the ideal of a free press will win you bemused looks from chin-scratching audience members, narrow-eyed stares from liberty-allergic politicians and a tsunami of tweets asking if you have gone completely mental.

Two freedom-of-the-press issues came up on Q&A: whether right-wing commentators bore responsibility for the actions of the Norway nutter Anders Behring Breivik; and the question of whether, post-phone hacking, it was time to tame and possibly break up the “Murdoch empire”.
My answer to both was no.

No, you cannot blame the grotesque murder of 77 Norwegians on the fact Mark Steyn or Keith Windschuttle once wrote a column bemoaning the decline of Western culture. And no, we should not invite the state to dismantle Rupert’s regime.

Instead, if you really don’t like what his papers have to say, you should set up your own post-Murdochian, pot-stirring paper. That’s one of the great things about press freedom…

Labor Minister for Human Services Tanya Plibersek..., seemed outraged when I suggested right-wing writers, however much we might disagree with some of them, were not “the cause of all violence and horror in the world”.

Indeed, my suggestion made Plibersek sick to her stomach, she said. “I cannot understand that you think that it is fine for people to go out and say we should kill all Muslims . . . and that that has no real effect in the world,” she said.

Even after I pointed out that the right-wing columnists being fingered as intellectual accessories to the worst crime in peacetime Europe did not call for all Muslims to be killed but simply expressed disagreements with the ideology of multiculturalism, still Plibersek seemed convinced that their words were wicked, the moral equivalent of weapons.

“What you’re saying is that there is no responsibility if you preach hate for what happens when you preach hate,” she said, once again mixing up “making legitimate criticisms of multiculturalism” with “preaching hate”....

The censorious implications of the idea that heated or experimental words and ideas provoke murderous behaviour are profound. Maybe we should ban J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye? After all, John Lennon’s killer cited it as his inspiration.

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What Arab Spring?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (06:11 am)

Greg Sheridan:

THE Arab Spring has turned cold. Cold and nasty…

Last week saw a mass demonstration in Cairo by many thousands of Islamists who celebrated the presence of known extremists with long records of calling for jihad and violence.... Tourism is dead and a prodigious capital flight is under way....(and) the latest polls show the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots would score spectacularly well in a parliamentary election…

In Tunisia, where it all began, the economy has also tanked, and the hitherto most socially liberal of Arab states has seen a rise of intolerant Islamism.

In Libya, we are in the midst of a horrible stalemate.... While NATO has intervened militarily in Libya, it has done so in an exceptionally cack-handed way....A faction of the rebels murdered their military commander, General Abdel Fattah Younis…

In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has killed thousands of people...The Syrian economy, which unlike Libya has no oil to speak of, is also going down the drain.

In Yemen, the ... old regime has not been toppled and the local al-Qa’ida affiliate is still full of fight.

In Bahrain, protesters representing a Shi’ite majority under Sunni rule have been crushed....

In Lebanon, where for a time a pro-Western coalition ruled, the government is now dominated by Hezbollah.

UPDATE

Samah Hadid, the “human rights advocate” and Q&A token Muslim, should realise that at just 23 she is prone toconfuse dreams with reality, and plans for consequences:

I was in Egypt in May, where I saw in Tahrir Square the most beautiful display of democratic political participation, one which even we could stand to learn from as Australians, the “Arab Spring” has unleashed a vibrant civil society that will not settle for anything less than the full political participation and freedoms of its citzenry, men and women alike.

(Thanks to reader Michael.)

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Galaxy exposes Labor’s false hopes

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (05:50 am)

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Galaxy confirms the other poll results - Labor is cactus and Julia Gillard can’t sell this tax even with a taxpayer-funded campaign:

SUPPORT for federal Labor has collapsed in metropolitan Sydney and is so low in Queensland that former prime minister Kevin Rudd would be the only government MP to hold his seat in the state if elections had been held last weekend.

The large survey also confirms the Government’s illegitimacy problem:

...67 per cent of voters believed the Prime Minister should wait to introduce the tax until after an election.

It exposes the ”I’m not stupid” problem:

Galaxy said while more voters were claiming they better understood the tax and options were becoming more deeply entrenched “this is not translating into increased support”.

It exposes as false the Labor hope that the NSW state election would drain the anti-Labor bile:

Labor’s primary vote has collapsed to just 29 per cent in the Sydney metropolitan area ...

And scepticism about the whole reason for this tax is growing:

While the number of people who thought man’s emissions were to blame for global warming stayed the same between the April poll and the latest survey at 36 per cent, the number of people who thought global warming was part of the natural cycle of nature rose in the latest survey to 32 per cent from 26 per cent.

UPDATE

Meanwhile:

MALCOLM TURNBULL has hit back at critics within the right wing of the Liberal Party, saying his popularity with Labor voters is a strength because it means he can lure votes to the Coalition that others cannot.

Is Turnbull claiming that he’d have achieved even better than this 56 to 44 result? Let’s consult his actual performance when tested:

Before Tony Abbott replaces Malcolm Turnbull
Two-party elected preferred:

* Roy Morgan (November 28-29, 2009): Coalition - 41.5%, ALP - 58.5%
* Newspoll (November 27-29, 2009): Coalition - 43%, ALP - 57%
* Nielsen (November 27-28, 2009): Coalition - 44%, ALP - 56%
* Galaxy (June 26-28, 2009): Coalition - 44%, ALP - 56%
* Essential Media (November 29, 2009): Coalition - 42%, ALP - 58%
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They’ll have to drag Rann out

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (05:41 am)

This bloodless coup has got awfully bloody:

SOUTH Australian Legislative Council president Bob Sneath has warned Premier Mike Rann if he does not resign by the time parliament resumes on September 13 then Jay Weatherill’s Left faction will bring on a partyroom ballot.

Mr Sneath yesterday said the minority Left had resolved to force a leadership spill if necessary after the dominant Right faction reached a consensus to back Mr Weatherill, the Education Minister and leader of the Left…

In a statement on Sunday from India, Mr Rann said he would stand aside only on his terms on an undisclosed date when “several key projects”, including the expansion of Olympic Dam, were completed. “On my return to the state I intend to make a further announcement about my future,” he said.

When in doubt, blame the international Murdochai conspiracy:

MIKE Rann confidant Bob Ellis has linked the Premier ‘s alleged affair with waitress Michelle Chantelois to the British phone hacking scandal.

Mr Ellis, a former speechwriter to Mr Rann, asked whether News Limited executives conspired with Ms Chantelois’s estranged husband, Rick Phillips, before he hit the Premier with a rolled-up magazine last year.

“Was this another Murdoch election cheat?” he said in a blog posted on the ABC website The Drum on Tuesday. “Were text messages hacked, a husband informed, a deal arranged?"…

Despite Mr Ellis’s allegations, it was the Seven Network’s Today Tonight that sought telephone records from Telstra, which revealed Ms Chantelois had sent more than 200 text messages to the Premier’s personal mobile phone.

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Anyone feel safe with these people in charge?

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (05:29 am)

And on top of this will come the carbon dioxide tax?:

THE worst retail growth in half a century and fears of a double-dip recession in the US have fuelled concerns of an economic slowdown and stripped billions from the value of Australian shares.

Figures released yesterday revealed consumers have embarked on one of their biggest spending strikes in decades, boycotting the shops again in June and forcing economists to predict cuts to growth forecasts.

Retail sales fell for the second month in a row in June, down 0.1 per cent after May’s 0.6 per cent slump. The annual growth rate of 2.6 per cent was the lowest since 1962—worse than the recession years of the early 1990s and the global financial crisis of 2008-09

No doubt a lack of confidence in the Government is already making consumers save rather than spend.

UPDATE

Michael Stuchbury is describing the dilemma of stagflation:

SOME say the economy is so weak that interest rates should be cut. Some say interest rates must rise to snuff out inflation. What if both are right?

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No comment about our Jewish Aborigines

Andrew Bolt – Thursday, August 04, 11 (12:02 am)

I had no idea there were so many Jewish Aborigines. I thought Professor Lisa Jackson Pulver must surely have been the only one:

image

Because of my legal troubles after writing about people identifying as Aborigines, I must not comment further and I must not allow you to comment, either.

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Lots that her government does reeks of corruption, of which nepotism may play a part.
www.news.com.au
ANNA Bligh has been forced to personally pay to edit a Government video advertisement which featured her son.
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Find them and prosecute them.
www.news.com.au
A SCHOOLGIRL spent more than ten hours in terror after balaclava-clad intruder broke into her Sydney home and fitted a fake bomb around her neck in a possible extortion bid.
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Pay for the booze and go home ..
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A living horror which should be purged.
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Space research by AGW believers
conservativeweasel.blogspot.co​m
In the past few months, a slew of big-budget alien movies has hit theaters, from kiddie flicks ("Mars Needs Moms") to comedies ("Paul") to high-octane action films ("Battle: Los Angeles," "Green Lantern" and the just-released "Cowboys & Aliens," among others). And many more such movies are on the wa...
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From AGW believers
conservativeweasel.blogspot.co​m
New research suggesting that cloud cover, not carbon dioxide, causes global warming is getting buzz in climate skeptic circles. But mainstream climate scientists dismissed the research as unrealistic and politically motivated.
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They have an answer for anything and plans for nothing.
A DOCUMENT came across my desk recently which probably sums up everything that's wrong with the Labor Party and its culture.
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But it was a mistake. They thought she was a victim
HEATHER Mills has said overnight that a journalist at Britain's Mirror Group newspapers admitted hacking into her phone.
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How dare they tell a Chinese girl to shut up and stop eating
A MALAYSIAN television station has axed commercials to mark Ramadan after viewers denounced them as racist.
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Panama can play with their little man
PANAMA'S former strongman Manuel Noriega looked set to finally return home after France ordered his extradition.
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The money would be evidence
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China is not entitled
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Retail down. Inflation up. ALP government
RETAIL spending fell 0.1 per cent in June, according to official figures.
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Disgraceful.
THREE young men who bullied and subjected two international students to "cruel'' and "disgraceful'' assaults have avoided jail sentences.
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Don't do drugs?
A YOUNG woman who saw a car deliberately hit her partner says she is now living in a state of constant terror.
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It wouldn't cost much more to include Adelaide and Perth. We should stop building the NBN
THE long-held dream of a high-speed rail link from Melbourne to Brisbane would cost as much as $108 billion to build and the clearing of a corridor 200m wide and 1600km long.
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One thing local governments run by Greens and ALP are good at is bad decisions.
NOT content with gathering their policies from all over the globe, local councils are now travelling through time.
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Wait for them to hear about ALP and Hamidur Rahman
THE legal bill for Gillian Sneddon, who blew the whistle on paedophile MP Milton Orkopoulos, will be picked up by the state government.
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Before he was a gang member he was a child and had friends.
HOURS before Brandon Siaa was stabbed to death on a suburban railway platform, the 16-year-old told his cousin that he was having trouble with a boy from a rival gang.

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Being rich doesn't entitle murder.
THE overprotective fiance of a Canadian woman living in a luxury Sydney apartment pushed her off a 15th-floor balcony after an argument, police allege.


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But he was represented by someone competent?
www.dailytelegraph.com.au
A MAN charged with stabbing another man to death at a public housing block was unable to appear in court yesterday because he was suffering his own serious injuries.
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Thank you
AN international search is under way to fill the top job at the Art Gallery of NSW after Edmund Capon finally ended speculation about his future and announced his retirement as director.
===
She has nothing to offer.
developers.facebook.com
FORGET her hair. The real mystery surrounding Kristina Keneally is what's going on in her head.
===
Maybe they would be more successful selling beds of nails to fat people
SUPPORT for federal Labor has collapsed in metropolitan Sydney and is so low in Queensland that former prime minister Kevin Rudd would be the only government MP to hold his seat in the state if electi...
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The amount of honey was substantial, not insignificant. But it wasn't a majority.
www.dailytelegraph.com.au
DISCOUNT grocery giant ALDI is in trouble again, this time from the ACCC for misleading consumers about the contents of its "Just Organic'' honey.
===
It is not fair to judge Nixon as commissioner. Her great achievement was to be a token appointment.
developers.facebook.com
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard has launched Christine Nixon's book, urging readers to judge the former chief commissioner's actions for themselves.
===
Another seven to join?
developers.facebook.com
THE company delivering the national broadband network (NBN) will start work on another nine new sites in Queensland, NSW and the ACT over the next six months.
===
If they had planned to be a family why didn't they marry?
www.dailytelegraph.com.au
A BRISBANE Supreme Court judge granted an a woman's application to remove and store the sperm of her partner who was killed in a level crossing accident.
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An early depiction of Gillard Brown
MONSTERS and hermaphrodites roamed a great southern land that couldn't be precisely mapped but counter-balanced the northern hemisphere.
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Maybe he needs to ask a young teen about their sexual experiences.
SORRY is not a word you usually associate with spicy-tongued AGT judge Kyle Sandilands.

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Australia has a lot of land. Mining does not need to be done in the food bowl. ALP government fails again
FARMERS have resorted to locking their gates to stop coal seam gas companies entering their properties and exploring.
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Gillard lied again
THE carbon tax will inflate electricity prices by up to $200 a year more than Julia Gillard promised, demolishing claims her compensation package would ensure most people were hardly affected.
===
A kind of clockwork orange? Ban Beethoven?
TWO video games played by far-right extremist and mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik have been withdrawn from a number of stores across Norway.
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I understand she is now safe. But I don't feel that way. Any perpetrator needs to caught.
developers.facebook.com
THE investigation into a Mosman bomb incident is now being headed by the robbery and serious crimes squad, which also deals with extortion attempts.
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Obama is still president. Gillard is still PM
FEARS the US economy is faltering sent the Australian stock market into a tailspin today with more than $30 billion wiped off the accounts of superannuation holders and investors.

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