Piers Akerman – Saturday, August 06, 11 (06:31 pm)
THE responses to the Norwegian terrorist massacre have more clearly delineated the fault lines in Western culture fault lines which are just as evident in our own isolated microcosm.
Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people and left scores of others wounded in Oslo and on the resort island of Utoya on July 22.
I have no problem with migration. I have no problem with cultural diversity. I won't accept being beaten up by anybody, be they sole parents, unemployed or cultural imperialists. I expect the law to be followed.
I follow a higher standard than the law. I have a moral code. I still follow the law while having my code. I have no problem with gay marriage. I have no problem with multiple partners. I have no problem with Islam. I wouldn't choose to adopt any of those practices, but I will accept from others what is legal. I will act according to my conscience.
My culture includes out and out bastards. They rape, murder and desecrate churches. I don't accept that, and insist the law prosecutes offenders. I am unaware of any other culture that is worse. People in my culture have killed women and children because they felt like it. I take some comfort in that my religious leaders don't claim they are also fellow worshippers in Christ. But, and I believe them when they tell me this because it is in the Bible, they can be.
The issue of Islamic extremism is serious and exposing the civilian community to it is wrong. I won't let that impugn Islamists.
I don't think there is a lesson to be learned from the likes of Martin Bryant or Breivik. I think they are mentally ill and it was irresponsible to condone their ravings before their crimes, just like it is wrong to condone their crimes. I despise the Trolls of the ABC, Fairfax etc who seek to score cheap political points from these complicated issues.
Multiculturalism is a failure. There isn't any such animal as a multiculture, philosophically, it is one culture or another. But cultural diversity is the future. It isn't the law. But it is the code I embrace.
Miranda Devine – Saturday, August 06, 11 (06:29 pm)
WHAT do you do with a problem like Malcolm Turnbull? It’s a question exercising the minds of a few in the Liberal party, and exciting many in the press gallery.
Malcolm, crush the NBN. That is your task. If you want to be remembered as a great leader of vision, then support a Bradfield scheme. Or get out.
I’m glad that George is on the side of sound economics.
I’ll offer further thoughts on this debate in subsequent posts.
… is from page 22 of the first volume of Eli Heckscher’s Mercantilism:
[Mercantilism's] first object … was to make the state’s purposes decisive in a uniform economic sphere and to make all economic activity subservient to considerations corresponding to the requirements of the state and to the state’s domain regarded as uniform in nature.
Economic nationalism in service to the state. What a lovely goal.
Tim Blair – Saturday, August 06, 11 (04:10 pm)
A masterpiece from Matthew B., simply entitled: “Petrol. Lighter. Propaganda. Some assembly required”:
Maverick is a mail-returner:
David B. emails: “The bin near my PO box. That’s mine on top. There were 20 or 30 in there.”
Laura answers the big carbon question:
Jack waits and waits:
Some fine editing from Bruce:
Over at Bolt’s, Bernd joins in the fun. Hit the links for previous works submitted by Lauren and Maurie.
Tim Blair – Saturday, August 06, 11 (02:56 pm)
The outlook only a few months ago:
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Tuesday there is “no risk” the U.S. will lose its top credit rating …
A cornerstone of the global financial system was shaken Friday when officials at ratings firm Standard & Poor’s said U.S. Treasury debt no longer deserved to be considered among the safest investments in the world.
S & P removed for the first time the triple-A rating the U.S. has held for 70 years, saying the budget deal recently brokered in Washington didn’t do enough to address the gloomy outlook for America’s finances. It downgraded long-term U.S. debt to AA+, a score that ranks below more than a dozen governments’, including Liechtenstein’s, and on par with Belgium’s and New Zealand’s. S&P also put the new grade on “negative outlook,” meaning the U.S. has little chance of regaining the top rating in the near term.
We’re safe in Australia, thanks to carbon:
Australia’s economy is strong and should not be badly affected by Standard & Poor’s downgrading of the US’ credit rating, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.
Australia had its best terms of trade figures in 140 years, she said, attributing the economy’s healthy state to China’s demand for resources.
She’s talking about coal, Bob. It’s a lifesaver.
Tim Blair – Saturday, August 06, 11 (02:31 pm)
I’m late to the Great Mia Freedman Outrage. Freedman – who last came to our notice following an unscheduled appearance on the ABC’s 24-hour non-news channel – ended up housebound and horrified after venturing an opinion on Australia’s fondness for athletes:
My point was simply this: why do we place such a disproportionate emphasis on sporting achievement in Australia? Why doesn’t success in other fields receive similar attention?
It’s a point nobody in our nation’s history has previously addressed. Rebecca Wilson’s response:
For those regular readers of the sports pages, and little else, there is a woman out there in blog land called Mia Freedman.
She is a former editor of women’s magazines and the creator of a social website called Mama Mia, on which its author dispenses all sorts of wisdom on everything from newborns to Botox.
Freedman is an attention seeker who will no doubt be thrilled to see her name in print when she receives her media monitor records on Monday. Her livelihood revolves around attracting attention by espousing views that she believes are original.
Rebecca is just getting warmed up. Read on.
Tim Blair – Saturday, August 06, 11 (04:41 am)
Current NSW Labor leader John Robertson in 2009:
Climate change sceptics will be drowned out if floods hit Sydney this summer, NSW Climate Change Minister John Robertson said.
“The ranting of climate sceptics will almost certainly be drowned out when king tides hit this summer and areas of NSW’s coast that have never flooded before are inundated with water,” Mr Robertson said.
The terror tides predicted by Robertson never arrived. Lately he hasn’t much to say on climate issues. It’s as though he’s been drowned out.
(Via Alan R.M. Jones)
Tim Blair – Saturday, August 06, 11 (03:48 am)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (04:37 pm)
Reader Andrew does some basic sums on the Gillard Government’s latest thought bubble/distraction - its study into a $100 billion fast train from Brisbane to Melbourne, via Sydney:
By my back of the envelope, there’s the numbers on the Very Foolish Train:
$100bn @ 10% WACC means it needs to earn $10bn p.a. profit to be commercial.
@ a very generous $50 gross EBIT margin per passenger (after wages, depreciation, electricity or whatever it runs on): By my count there need to be 200 million journeys a year to generate $10bn EBIT, or 550,000 every day incl Xmas and Easter. This is more than half the patronage of the ENTIRE Sydney Cityrail network with their 1500 carriages!
Even if operating costs were zero because the stupid thing was unmanned, immortal and ran on solar and cost of capital was cut to 5% that’s still about 100,000 journeys a day to be viable. I don’t know how many Brisbanites commute daily, but a fair number of them would need to get jobs in Sydney. This is the single dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (02:07 pm)
Having had WorkChoices so demonised - not least by the media - the Liberals are reluctant to get burned again on industrial relations. But the problems are too big to ignore forever:
THE Liberals have ventured into industrial relations, urging the Gillard government to review its laws in the wake of a critical Productivity Commission report into Australia’s chronic retail slump.
The call yesterday by the Coalition’s industrial relations spokesman Eric Abetz followed a somewhat bracing early morning television pep talk by former workplace relations minister Peter Reith, who blasted his former colleagues’ silence on the issue. ‘’The Productivity Commission really fingers labour market reform in the retail sector as needing some change, and I don’t see one opposition person being prepared to stand up and support what the Productivity Commission says,’’ Mr Reith declared on Sky News.
‘’Now, as far as I am concerned, that is simply not good enough. Our side keep on saying we don’t want to be the issue. Well, quite frankly, they’re not the issue. The issue is the good governance of this country, and that is why people have got to speak out.’’
Senator Abetz then issued a statement calling for the government to bring forward its planned review of the Fair Work Act given the commission’s report, which found ‘’bricks and mortar’’ retailers could use more workplace flexibility to compete with online shopping.
Smart observation from Judith Sloan:
The Productivity Commmission yesterday released its report on the retail industry which was ostensibly focused on the smallish issue of the payment of GST on goods purchased online from overseas (is it not strange how all those left-wing luvvies have become fans of tax evasion?).
And Sloan wonders if Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, the former union man, really understands the workplace rules he defends or the small businesses he presumes to lecture.
The idea that a shop assistant on $15 an hour, and reducing those people’s wages, will lead to a new golden age of Australian retail are short-sighted.
Here’s just a bit of Sloan’s smackdown:
OK, Bill, here is the real information. The lowest rate of pay in the Modern Retail Award is actually $17.03; with a casual loading now set at 25 per cent, that comes to $21.29 for a casual staff who must be employed for at least three hours at a time (save for very exceptional circumstances for school students). On Saturdays, staff are paid between 125 and 135 per cent of the base rate and on Sundays, it is 200 per cent. On public holidays, 275 per cent. (I am not making this up, go and have a look at the award). These rates are of course before SGC, WorkCover levy etc.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (01:32 pm)
Like many, reader Bernd returns the propaganda to sender ... with a message from us all.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (12:25 pm)
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (11:48 am)
YESTERDAY just underlined the spectacular folly that is the Gillard Government’s carbon dioxide tax.
And it may give Prime Minister Julia Gillard her get-out excuse.
Australia’s share market dropped like a stone, taking the week’s losses to more than $100 billion. Fears are rising that the United States is about to have its debt-crushed economy go over a cliff.
Then there’s Europe, struggling with the debts of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
And what shape are we in to cope with any international financial crisis?
Unemployment is low, but the Government has blown the surplus.
Worse, inflation is up, productivity has slumped, the Reserve Bank has cut its growth forecast and retail sales growth is at the lowest level for 50 years.
So what has the Government done to keep us afloat?
Well, those billions it blew on stimulus programs went on largely unproductive indulgences, such as school halls.
Its re-regulation of workplaces means, as the Productivity Commission said this week, that we have an industrial relations system with restrictions stopping existing retailers from responding and adapting to that new competitive environment.
Its planned new tax on mining companies threatens to switch investments overseas.
Its panicked decision to freeze live cattle exports to Indonesia already has cost hundreds of jobs, and warns other businesses that no one is safe from this Government’s bungling.
No wonder people have decided to save, not spend.
Meanwhile, Chinese investments in our farmland and coal deposits warn us that if we do not keep growing, we will lose control of our own future.
That’s the background. Now let’s add the carbon dioxide tax.
If you were faced with such challenges, would you really respond with a tax that will:
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (11:14 am)
Jennifer Hewett sums it up well - that we’ve been told to stay calm by a government with a record to inspire panic:
FEAR is back in control—or out of control. And nothing Wayne Swan says about the resilience of the Australian economy will reassure investors until and unless the global panic recedes again.
In fact, the government’s record has more of a reverse impact on confidence. Everyone from business leaders to suburban voters to the government’s own backbench is complaining about their lack of faith in the Gillard government’s ability to handle economic pressures. The imposition of a carbon tax is just the most telling example.
The Sydney Morning Herald’s Michael West still insists the Tea Party anti-debt activists were wrong, although the quotation marks suggest a note of doubt:
The last plan, to respond to the global financial crisis in 2008, was the mother of all stimulus programs. It was designed to flood the world with money and restore confidence.
Instead, it flooded the world with more debt. Although that plan did prop up markets for a time, taxpayers have paid handsomely for it. It is our debt now. It was transferred from the private to the public sector. We own it, and it’s higher by the trillions.
Perhaps policymakers did get it wrong, perhaps they should have let the whole show collapse in 2008, let capitalism really take its course and wait for new corporate life to spring up from the dust and ashes…
What other plan could there be?
Professor Sinclair Davidson helpfully offers one:
At the very least, this would ensure that the billions spent go on stuff people actually want, rather than useless pink batts and unneeded school halls.
Meanwhile, tiny signs of hope that another financial crisis may be averted:
ITALIAN Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi pledged to loosen up the country’s labour market and said Italy would balance its country’s budget by 2013, a year earlier than planned, in an effort to quell weeks of market concerns the euro-zone’s third-largest economy will be drawn into the continent’s escalating debt crisis.
You can take the word of the Italian Prime Minister to the bank, surely. And then thee’s this flutter of a heartbeat:
American employers surpassed Wall Street’s low expectations for hiring in July, easing the extreme anxiety in financial markets by countering predictions that the U.S. economy was facing an imminent collapse.
Non-farm payrolls increased by 117,000 last month, an uninspiring amount given more than 7 million people who lost their jobs during the recession remain unemployed, but more than the 85,000 that was the median estimate of analysts polled ahead of the release of the latest Labor Department jobless figures on Friday.
That’s roughly the amount of jobs the U.S. economy must create every month to keep up with the addition of new work seekers due to immigration and graduation.
More bad news, I’m afraid:
STANDARD & Poor’s has taken the unprecedented step of downgrading the US government’s “AAA” sovereign credit rating, in a move that could send shock waves through global financial markets and potentially undermine world economic growth.
In a press release, S&P, today cut its top-notch long-term credit rating for the US Treasury’s debt to AA plus with a negative outlook. It is the first time in modern history one of the three main ratings firms has stripped the US of its coveted AAA rating.
S&P warned last month if the US government didn’t approve a credible medium-term plan to shrink its fiscal shortfall, it would downgrade the rating even if Congress approved a debt deal that raised the Treasury’s borrowing limit.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (10:22 am)
Professional alarmist Tim Flannery in 1996 warned that global warming would drown beachfront houses eight storeys high (see from 4:23):
Anyone with a coastal view from their bedroom window, or their kitchen window, or whereever, is likely to lose their house as a result of that change, so anywhere, any coastal cities, coastal areas, are in grave danger.
But the very next year he bought a house just four or five metres from the edge of the tidal waters around the Hawkesbury estuary:
According to property searches, in 1997 Professor Flannery bought one house on the Hawkesburywith his wife, Alexandra Leigh Szalay, for $274,000.
Five years later—even as climate scientists, including Professor Flannery, claimed evidence of global warming and rising sea levels was even more solid—the couple bought the property next door, for $505,000.
And now the shameless alarmists contradicts that earlier scare, without apologising for it:
For a week, Professor Flannery declined to speak to journalists about his properties, but he broke his silence yesterday to tell The Weekend Australian that while waterfront property generally was at risk, his little bit of paradise was secure for his lifetime.
”There is no chance of it being inundated, short of a collapse of the Greenland Ice Shelf,” Professor Flannery said.
Let’s check on another Flannery scare from 2008 - his claim that the Arctic could be ice-free by 2013:
So, if you look at the data for the decay of the Arctic ice cap for example, that is just moving so quickly now. I mean last year was the worst year ever. People are saying, you know, that instead of the ice cap lasting a century, that maybe in five years there’ll be no Arctic ice cap. So you can’t look at things like that without seeing that we are in deep trouble.
Now being debunked:
Writing in the journal Science, the team found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago.
They say changes to wind systems can slow down the rate of melting. They argue, therefore, that a tipping point under current scenarios is unlikely....
Dr Svend Funder from the Natural History Museum of Denmark ... and his team say their data shows a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. The researchers concluded that for about 3,000 years, during a period called the Holocene Climate Optimum, there was more open water and far less ice than today - probably less than 50% of the minimum Arctic sea ice recorded in 2007.
But the researcher says that even with a loss of this size, the sea ice will not reach a point of no return.
Kevin Rudd doesn’t believe Tim Flannery, either:
Yesterday, the former prime minister and his wife Therese Rein put some high-profile faith in both the Brisbane property market and its resistance to flooding by buying a block of dirt near the river in his electorate of Griffith.
Flannery debunked again:
(More at Watt’s Up With That. Thanks to readers David, Peter and Bruce.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (10:18 am)
Former Prime Minister John Howard has swung back to scepticism:
Mr Howard also told the audience he doubted mainstream climate science.
“There is a lot of scientific evidence that suggests the world is getting warmer and mankind is making a contribution and it’s hard to say that is completely wrong."…
Mr Howard said some people were so vocal on the climate change issue that it seemed to be an “alternative religion”.
“There’s a growing sense in the community that there’s too much zealotry and there’s too much religion in the climate change debate,” he said.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (10:00 am)
But another factor was Gillard’s switch from campaigning on carbon to delivering outcomes and unveiling policy in other areas - disability pensions, health reform, national broadband and aged care among them. It was a good week for Gillard. A bit more of this and she might start to look prime ministerial.
IT should be possible to sell Julia Gillard’s climate change package to voters. Despite Tony Abbott’s alarmist claims, it can be portrayed as a good news story… I can reveal that work done by Treasury in final preparations for Sunday’s big announcement shows that over a million more households will benefit from over-compensation via tax cuts and extra payments than was first thought.
So last Monday - again in dire trouble and desperate to turn things around in the carbon tax battle - Gillard faced the Q&A audience again. And again it paid off… The performance at last gave some direction to the Government’s botched campaign to sell the policy.
There is also a strong view that action must be taken to reduce emissions. The “do nothing” ... approach has very little support in the community.
It’s not hard to imagine the response (Liberal Senator and sceptic Nick) Minchin would have got if he’d tried to sell his “no need for action” line to mothers of young children in Adelaide as the temperature hit 42C the other day.
So (Malcolm) Turnbull is right when he says a party without a policy to deal with climate change would have no credibility.
Kevin Rudd and Company can hardly believe their luck… Unless (Opposition Leader Malcolm) Turnbull can bring the climate change dissidents to heel, the Liberals will face humiliation at the polls...
Labor “sources” also detect a turning point:
Other Labor sources have noted that Ms Gillard is looking more confident and appears to have had a makeover, with her hair darker and her trouser suits and blouses making way for more tailored suits.
“I don’t think there’s been any dramatic makeover, but people are noticing she’s looking good,” said one source.
A pant-suit-led recovery. Our future is safe.
(Thanks to reader Alan RM Jones.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (09:51 am)
Christopher Pearson meanwhile notes that Julia Gillard’s shoes have very thin soles:
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (09:37 am)
I’ve said before, this seems more a British disease than a Murdoch Inc. one:
THE British phone-hacking saga deepened as it was revealed that the assistant editor of The Guardian - the newspaper that originally uncovered the scandal - admitted hacking into telephone messages and getting a “thrill” from it.
In an article written for the media section of the newspaper in 2006, David Leigh said he hacked into private voicemails in order to explose “bribery and corruption,” not “witless tittle-tattle.”
Leigh, a Guardian executive, wrote the article after News of the World (NotW) royal editor Clive Goodman pleaded guilty to phone hacking, a crime for which he was later jailed.
He wrote, “I’ve used some of those questionable methods myself over the years. I, too, once listened to the mobile phone messages of a corrupt arms company executive - the crime similar to that for which Goodman now faces the prospect of jail."…
He also admitted to blagging - pretending to be someone else on the phone - to get stories and added, “As for actually breaking the law? Well, it is hard to keep on the right side of legality on all occasions.”
The Age uses Guardian copy. I wonder whether Julia Gillard will now thunder that it has “hard questions” to answer.
Meanwhile, Guido wants to know why David Leigh lied to him:
On July 6 this year Guido spoke to him directly and put specific allegations to Leigh that he taught a new generation of journalists, journalism students at City University, about phone hacking. He gave an angry blanket denial of the allegations – which were double sourced – so vehement were his denials that despite the double sourcing Guido held back on publication. In an effort to stand-up the story we sought a third source to no avail. Until today.
(Thanks to readers Jono and JEM.)
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (08:50 am)
True, this is an extraordinary move from a pack of Labor hypocrites who would have screamed murder had John Howard done this instead:
THE Gillard government’s insistence on deporting unaccompanied children to Malaysia is illegal, will traumatise and psychologically scar the minors, and will damage Australia’s international reputation for compassion, the UN children’s agency has warned.
UNICEF yesterday made its strongest appeal yet for reconsideration of the government’s hardline stance, saying Canberra’s determination to deport 14 unaccompanied children to Malaysia was unprecedented in recent memory.
The Australian head of UNICEF, Norman Gillespie, said he was at a loss to explain the “cold and calculating demeanour” that had come over the government in the past 24 hours. “From a humane point of view, the world is watching this,” Dr Gillespie said.
That “cold and calculating demeanour” can be quite easily explained, actually. It’s called desperation for political survival by a pack of bungling hypocrites.
But three things need to be kept in mind:
- many “unaccompanied children” are in fact not children at all, and the real scandal is that the Government refused for so long to admit it or to crack down on this scam.
- the parents of these “children” clearly believe that they are quite able to be sent off alone on dangerous boat trips to detention centres.
- if unaccompanied “children” are allowed to stay, you can bet your house that the people smugglers will load even more of them onto their boats, not all of which will make it.
That doesn’t answer all the objections, of course. But anyone who does not bear those points in mind is guilty of moral showboating, and an intellectual dishonesty of the kind that led directly to this:
Have we been given the full facts on this?
MORE than 40 unaccompanied children who arrived via boat will be sent back to Vietnam, with the Immigration Department stating none had made protection claims.
A group of 49 Vietnamese citizens held at the Port Augusta community immigration facility in South Australia have been told they have no right to stay.
The group includes 44 unaccompanied minors, among them a six-year-old who a source with knowledge of the detainees says may be in the company of an older sibling.
Reader Dave suggests an elegant solution:
Presumably the idea is that the unaccompanied minor makes it to Australia, then the parents in SE Asia claim entry to Australia on that basis. Seems like, the moment the parents identify themselves, the child should be flown back to Malaysia (or wherever) and claimed at the airport by the parents.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (08:37 am)
I tried to warn Brendan O’Neill of the intellectual vacuity of the Left here, and warned even more strongly that he would encounter it at its baying worst on Q&A. So no pity now:
I perused Twitter after my Q&A appearance, to see where the Twits (is that what you call them?) came down on the issues discussed. Yet all I discovered is that I dress like the saxophonist from Madness, have the moustache of a pubescent boy, sound like a whingeing Pom, and look like Oswald Mosley.
Leslie Cannold tweeted the following profound contribution: “What is that rat tail on that British guy’s face?” According to her website, Cannold is one of Australia’s Top 20 [public] intellectuals.
Andrew Bolt – Saturday, August 06, 11 (08:13 am)
John Howard ended this, Labor has brought it back:
ASYLUM-SEEKERS who have been told they will be deported to Malaysia began a hunger strike last night, according to a refugee advocate contacted by one of the group from Christmas Island.
Asylum Seekers Christmas Island director Michelle Dimasi said she received a phone call from an extremely distressed man inside the Bravo compound where 22 men, women, minors and young children are being held pending expulsion under the Malaysia Solution.
Reader Brian of Perth:
How do asylum seekers get phones with Aussie sim cards? How do they know the number for these advocates? Who pays for the phone call?
The report doesn’t say, but surely this is one “asylum seeker” who won’t be staying:
AN ASYLUM seeker who threatened to kill Australians three days before stabbing two security guards at a Darwin detention centre has been sentenced to nine months in jail.
Ibrahim Solumani, 31, pleaded guilty in Darwin Magistrates Court to causing harm to a Commonwealth official and manufacturing a weapon…
His lawyer Matt Hubber told the court Solumani fled Baghdad as a child and was a wheat farmer in Iran before flying to Indonesia on a fake passport 18 months ago.
He said he swapped the passport for a lift to Australia and had been detained in Darwin for about 16 months.
Years in apparent safety in Iran before spending big to get here by illegal means, via a safe Muslim country like Indonesia.
We really are being played for fools.