Monday, August 08, 2011

News items and comments

NBN won't improve your broadband service but will be more expensive for the top speeds. Can you outline some of the cheaper alternatives and why your business is not pursuing those?- David Ball, 14 hours ago
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Good women are involved with politics, like Thatcher, Palin, Bronwin Bishop or Julie Bishop. Deeply troubled women like Carmen Lawrence and Kristina Keneally, Bligh and Gillard are also involved in politics. What changes need to happen to allow a good woman to be in politics without emasculating them like Gillard? Palin shows a mum of 5 can be a real presence, graceful and sharp. Thatcher shows a woman can be a great leader. A red headed daughter of a welsh coal miner can lead a nation to greatness. Or she can crumble and stagger from false compromise to corrupt hucksterism, selling out compassion and exploiting children and old folk, eschewing marriage or children while conducting affairs with married men.- David Ball, 14 hours ago
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Why is it that a serious public issue like the death of schoolboy Hamidur Rahman from apparent school neglect can be buried, and the whistleblower smeared and denied work? I get it no one wants to cause trouble for an important institution like Hurlstone Agricultural High School, but maybe what happened was less the fault of the school and more related to individuals who made a mistake that shouldn't be repeated, or accepted?- David Ball, 14 hours ago
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This was death blow for multiculturalism

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.

Imperialism-acquiring
Is illigal immigration the third worlds version of imperialism?

IQ (Reply)
Sat 06 Aug 11 (07:02pm)
DD Ball replied to IQ
Sat 06 Aug 11 (09:29pm)

Noam Chomsky refers to a deep structure within the mind which is what is drawn upon for language acquisition. It is interesting to me as I note that Wikipedia defines Empirialism and Impirialism the same. But I take it it means empire building and is a nasty charge about whomever it is pointed at.

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.
Reply: Don’t quote Chomsky here, he is determined to destroy the West.

Caz replied to IQ
Sat 06 Aug 11 (10:14pm)

With all due respect, DD Ball, when you say

My culture includes out and out bastards. They rape, murder and desecrate churches.

you’re right, but the difference is that when they do, the blogs and forums and streets aren’t filled with cheers and jubilation. We are shocked and outraged and saddened.

Laura replied to IQ
Sun 07 Aug 11 (02:09am)

DD Ball,
Thank you for your thoughtful comment. When you say,’ I despise the Trolls of the ABC, Fairfax etc who seek to score cheap political points from these complicated issues’, I couldn’t agree more. When sick, murdering bastards and rogue political groups become a cause celebre amongst the usual suspects, it is both frightening and dangerous for us all. I suspect some of the usual suspects have a personal agenda which is almost as pathological as the sick, murdering bastards they champion. In this regard I’m thinking of Lee Rhiannon and her desperately angry responses to Israel. Perhaps the usual suspects need sick, mudering bastards and rogue political groups the way the rest of us need oxygen.

DD Ball replied to IQ
Sun 07 Aug 11 (08:14am)

Piers, I might quote it, but I won’t place any store on its’ veracity. We agree.

Caz, true. It is clear the leadership of Islam is captured by extremists, which is not true of conservatives of the West. So that Islamic leaders do not represent a righteous path. So that Piers is spot on to highlight the failure of multiculturalism. There is a need for educational institutions which cater for Islam to embrace the secular world, and they could do little better than to model themselves on Christian institutions which work equivalently.

Laura, we agree. Among the left are leaders who endorse terror and power by any means. They have a journalist following that agree with them and abuse basic principles of cogent argument, replacing debate with abuse.

DD Ball replied to IQ
Sun 07 Aug 11 (08:23am)

Also Piers, I played chess against Chomsky when I was very young, about 5 years old. I can’t tell you the outcome, I don’t really recall it well. Chomsky is a self absorbed git. He may have won to reaffirm his need to appear superior. He might have lost to be gracious (unlikely, or my parents might remember). He probably never finished it, losing interest in not having some camera flash or some coat follower go ‘ah.’

By way of contrast, I played against the gentleman Bob Ludlum. We had bought his old house at Christie St Leonia, in NJ, and he showed several moves, and illustrated a fools mate in a couple of ways.

I think it funny to use a quote to poke at Islamic Imperialism. He really wouldn’t like it.

TrueblueWA replied to IQ
Sun 07 Aug 11 (12:43pm)

Empires are part of what it is to be human always have been
always will be.
Empires have come and gone over the millenia - as one dies
another rises from the ashes.
Sadly for the mighty West it has been brought low by its own
“elite” whose selfloathing and hate for its own people, culture,
traditions and history knows no bounds.
An unfolding tragedy with those responsible running for cover
spitting venom and in serious denial.
Political correctness - that terrible insistence that some things
must remain unsayable even if they are patently true.
Political correctness - the system of censorship which has settled over Australia like a dense cloud of phosgene gas.

doc replied to IQ
Sun 07 Aug 11 (02:49pm)

DD Ball, I have some disagreement with you but agree with your tenets on the basic debate of islamic migration. We might all say we like multiculturalism, we believe in the law, and you say you accept gay marriage and polygamy.

The problem with such blanket agreeability about things is that until we allow such things in full measure we have absolutely no idea of their unacceptable outcomes and costs to society; by that stage the legitimacy becomes irrevocable in practice and law.

We can all think of where polygamy can lead in a society such as ours with its abundant social welfare apparatus. I believe increasing committment to homosexuality makes development and demands on our children, and hence society, hugely more complex in terms of establishing their own sexuality at time of life when nothing is simple.

Even with multiculturalism, we have no idea as to how successful it is until we have a stressed situation in the world of
one culture versus another. I know of plenty of third generation ‘√Āustralians’ where the ethnicity hatreds of their grandparents
still run hot in their grandchildren and probably will continue to the next generation. In England we saw what hatred exists in third generation islamic offspring in blowing up the buses. In
Australia from similar groups we saw applause in the streets when the twin towers went down.

I am not very sanguine about a policy that requires specific laws to impose the ‘acceptance’ of some people upon another,
generally to the advantage of the new party and overused from inception to continue that advantage. That is not acceptance, that is forced integration with all the advantages against the group required to physically and economically integrate the other.

In Australia, a murder is illegal and prosecuted as such. Society cannot tell you to go out and murder someone or ordain the killing as justified on some odd religious concept. Here we seem to allow islamic preachers to produce tirades most foul against our own community which justify adherents committing the most heinous crimes and we appear impotent or worse, unwilling to take any action against them. The grounds appears to be ‘turn the other cheek’ and try to convince the communities
our way is better. A christian preacher would almost be burned at the stake for the same crime. Sharia law, even being allowed a foot in the door, is the beginning of the end for our current legal system. My blood ran cold when I saw polygamy was knowingly being accepted by our law makers currently. Almost like fabian ideas, this is the start of us getting taken down piece by piece.

I cannot understand why our politicians cannot see where encroaching, hate riven islamic migration is taking us when we see day after day what is going on in Europe, where areas become no go zones even for law enforcement and where cartoonists are killed for exercising their craft. We see in this country, even while numbers are small, demands to introduce sharia law. There is no acceptance by these people that they chose to migrate to ‘christian’societies’ and it is they that have to accomodate change to those values and not the other way around. There should be a law allowing, and used, to expatriate
people back to their homelands for inciting hatred in this country.

DD Ball replied to IQ
Sun 07 Aug 11 (06:42pm)

Doc, we broadly agree but I will quibble too. I think Multiculturalism is dead and gone. It was never more than a faux expression for cultural diversity, and was distinguished from cultural diversity by being ALP badged and meaning ALP policy. Multiculturalism philosophically is meaningless. There is no such animal as a multi-culture. People may exist on the fringe of a single culture. They might identify with many cultures. They will only ever belong to once culture. They might adhere to cultural pluralism. But there is no such thing as an entity one might call a multi-culture.

Multiculturalism came into being to describe ALP policy under Whitlam. The aim of it was to distinguish from the conservative position of cultural diversity. ALP policy has never benefited the little person. ALP policy is all about getting money for ALP creditors. The conservative policy has never been to deny cultural identity. That is an ALP policy, which in the past was White Australia and currently denies it. Many conservatives in the past have pointed out that that which unites Australians is stronger than that which divides us. Mateship is an important part of Australian identity, unifying in times of trouble. Celebrating our diversity as we will.

Australians have school uniforms. I didn’t like that when I first came to live in Australia age 11. We accept a dress code for our children. But we don’t accept a dress code for older people. We make fun of the mad dogs and Englishman who wear ties and encumbered clothing in our climate.

Some of the speech against Islamic peoples is hate filled and vicious, adding nothing to debate.

Some of the behaviour of Islamic children is appalling and unacceptable. How does a mother condone rape? How does a father join with his rapist sons to threaten the lives of witnesses? The Islamic community as a community has accepted this, and it is not acceptable. They have pointed to the hate speech against them and they have a point. Not a good point, but one deserving of examination. There are people who feel it is acceptable to prevent the building of community centres and schools on religious grounds. That is wrong. Australian schools working to Australian standards would not produce madrassa.

Clearly the ALP is compromised and its members have invited some individuals who should not be in Australia as they are a security threat and divisive to the community. Multiculturalism is dead. But cultural diversity survives and thrives in the best tradition of Australian migration and there is little recognition for it because of the issues surrounding Islamic extremism.

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… is from this short clip of a 1977 interview that my GMU colleague Tom Hazlett (then a student at UCLA) did with Hayek:

Keynes was very capable of rapidly changing his opinion…. He has been so much an intuitive genius, but not much a strict logical reasoner…. I regard him as a real genius, but not as a great economist, you know. He was not a very consistent or logical thinker.

UPDATE: Tom Hazlett e-mailed me to say that the date of his interview with Hayek likely wasn’t 1977; it more likely was conducted in 1978 or 1979.

And I should have added earlier that in August 1983 Sandy Ikeda, George Selgin, and I interviewed Henry Hazlitt at Mr. Hazlitt’s home in Wilton, CT. (I recall that he had a vanity license tag on his car that read “HAZ.”) At one point during the interview, Hazlitt went on a little riff praising Keynes’s genius and intellect and sharpness of wit; Hazlitt paused in the middle of his praise for Keynes to say something like (I forget his exact words) “Of course, Keynes was a poor economist.”

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There’s a shortage today of low-priced, life-saving drugs for cancer patients. And the cause – surprise, surprise – is the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. Ezekiel Emanuel, an oncologist teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, explains why in this op-ed appearing in today’s New York Times.

Here’s are the central paragraphs:

The underlying reason for this [failure of the laws of supply and demand to keep these drugs in adequate supply] is that cancer patients do not buy chemotherapy drugs from their local pharmacies the way they buy asthma inhalers or insulin. Instead, it is their oncologists who buy the drugs, administer them and then bill Medicare and insurance companies for the costs.

Historically, this “buy and bill” system was quite lucrative; drug companies charged Medicare and insurance companies inflated, essentially made-up “average wholesale prices.” The Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, signed by President George W. Bush, put an end to this arrangement. It required Medicare to pay the physicians who prescribed the drugs based on a drug’s actual average selling price, plus 6 percent for handling. And indirectly — because of the time it takes drug companies to compile actual sales data and the government to revise the average selling price — it restricted the price from increasing by more than 6 percent every six months.

The act had an unintended consequence. In the first two or three years after a cancer drug goes generic, its price can drop by as much as 90 percent as manufacturers compete for market share. But if a shortage develops, the drug’s price should be able to increase again to attract more manufacturers. Because the 2003 act effectively limits drug price increases, it prevents this from happening. The low profit margins mean that manufacturers face a hard choice: lose money producing a lifesaving drug or switch limited production capacity to a more lucrative drug.

The result is clear: in 2004 there were 58 new drug shortages, but by 2010 the number had steadily increased to 211. (These numbers include noncancer drugs as well. )

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PLUNGE PREDICTED

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (07:06 am)

Gemma Jones reports:

One Australian politician predicted the debt crisis enveloping the US.

It wasn’t Treasurer Wayne Swan, though he did join in the mocking of the MP that did, or Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey or Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Who was Australia’s foremost financial forecaster? Read on.

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GREAT WHITE TIPPING POINTER HUNT

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (07:03 am)

Marian Wilkinson seeks the elusive Arctic tipping point in 2008:

Tonight, “Four Corners” goes to the Arctic to investigate whether the great sea ice melt will be a tipping point for rapid climate change …

No-one can predict the future of this unique place with certainty, but the great sea ice is disappearing faster than all predictions. It will change the planet irrevocably. Not only are we partly to blame, but we are continuing to push the Arctic towards its tipping point.

It might be time for Marian to file an update:

Scientists say current concerns over a tipping point in the disappearance of Arctic sea ice may be misplaced.

Danish researchers analysed ancient pieces of driftwood in north Greenland which they say is an accurate way to measure the extent of ancient ice loss.

Writing in the journal Science, the team found evidence that ice levels were about 50% lower 5,000 years ago ...

They argue, therefore, that a tipping point under current scenarios is unlikely.

It’s important that Four Corners revisits this subject, because viewers will otherwise remain misinformed. Viewers likelittle Julia Gillard:

When she was a child she remembered being “propped up” in front of ABC TV’s Four Corners each week for “substantive” reporting and policy debate.

And another piece of the puzzle falls into place.

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SQUIRREL CHALLENGE

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (06:47 am)

From a time when cooking shows were slightly more regional in nature:



In other food news, never get between Takeru Kobayashi and a taco stand.

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GET SOMETHING RIGHT, PLEASE

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (06:41 am)

Yet another victory for Australia’s official hopeless mate:

A High Court judge last night ordered a delay in the forced transfer of the first 16 asylum seekers to Malaysia.

This government can’t even give air-conditioned holidays to people who’ve been floating around without ID on rickety doom boats. And now they’re fighting about Palestine.

UPDATE. These people are hopeless:

The Gillard government’s Malaysia Solution has suffered a new setback with the High Court extending an injunction against deporting asylum-seekers for at least another fortnight.

And even the cranks are firing up:

Only one Greens placard was visible among a sea of more than 20 Socialist Alliance banners and a red Che Guevara flag.

Among the crowd was four-year-old Niki Ryan, holding heart-shaped balloons, including one with the slogan: “Stop the refugee bashing”.

Her mother Jen Mills, 33, became emotional when asked why she had taken her daughter to a refugee protest.

I’m going to cry ... I can’t imagine what it’s like for them ... they’ve been through terrible things, they’ve seen enough and they should not be put through any more,” the university student said.

She brought her daughter to the rally to “show her what’s wrong with the Australian government, to teach her right from wrong”.

Beautiful.

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SPEAK UP

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (06:04 am)

It’s time that oceans and coastal vegetation had their say:

Oceans have been left out of climate change debate in Australia, the founder of Earthwatch says …

“Coastal vegetation and oceans which account for 55 per cent of all the carbon captured in the world should be a part of the climate change conversation,” [American Brian Rosborough] said on Sunday while visiting Australia.

I can think of at least one reason why oceans and vegetation aren’t part of the conversation. Speaking of which:

Cimate researchers should spend less time in front of computer screens building predictive models and more time in the field observing and interpreting “hard or real data”, an internationally recognised coastal science expert and publisher has warned.

Charles Finkl, the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Coastal Research … said modelling was necessary but should be taken with a grain of salt.

“Many researchers do not even go into the field any more because they think the world exists on their computers. Big mistake.”

Won’t find no talkin’ vegetation just sittin’ around at a desk. Not outside of the ABC, anyway.

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TO KNOW HIM IS TO NOT WANT TO KNOW HIM

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (04:45 am)

Julian Assange loses another supporter:

In a new book, British journalist Heather Brooke details her many meetings and experiences with the 40-year-old Australian, who is under house arrest pending court proceedings that seek his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault and rape allegations against two women.

image
What could it possibly be about this warm, sweet human being that creeps people out?

The book, The Revolution Will Be Digitised, due for release in the UK later this month, Brooke’s initial admiration of Assange turns sour.

That seems to be the pattern with Assange’s admirers. Odd to think that only a few months ago this chap was the left’s latest Mr Cuddles. An extract from Brooke’s book is hilarious.

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WORST SONG, PLAYED ON UGLIEST GUITAR

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (04:36 am)

Pointless meets stupid:

Carbon offsets neared all-time lows Friday, confirming their status as the world’s worst performing commodity, as slumping demand meets rising supply of the U.N. instrument traded under the Kyoto Protocol.

Excuse me … rising supply? What kind of crazy outfit would increase supply in these circumstances?

Carbon offsets have fared uniquely badly because a U.N. climate panel continues to print new offsets, regardless of a widening glut in emissions permits in the main demand market, the European Union’s carbon market.

(Via Graham. Headline tip: Achewood)

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DEAN THE GREEN

Tim Blair – Monday, August 08, 11 (04:12 am)

Cultures collide:

A left-wing union boss who abandoned Labor to give more than $300,000 to the Greens has been exposed as a gun enthusiast and pig and game hunter – directly breaching the Greens’ own policy on donations.

image
Dean’s interests include soy and peace

Rogue Electrical Trades Union boss Dean Mighell was dumped from the ALP and labelled a “thug” by Julia Gillard after being caught on tape bragging about assaulting employers during strikes and comparing workplace inspectors to paedophiles. He then affiliated his union – the Victorian branch of the Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union – with the Greens and it gave $125,000 to help Adam Bandt become the only Green in the House of Representatives.

Mighell tipped another $200,000 of union cash into a Greens Senate campaign. Trouble looms:

The ETU Victorian secretary is a long-standing member of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, and told the SSAA’s magazine he owned several guns and loved pig shooting.

“I love the outdoors and particularly hunting,” he said.

“Pig shooting is a favourite, however I could stalk a deer all day in the high country and not take a shot and just enjoy the environment and the freedom of the country we live in.”

This is directly at odds with the Greens’ fiercely anti-hunting position.

Well, technically Mighell isn’t hunting when he’s just following a deer around with a rifle. Although the Greens probably have a policy about mammal stalking, too.

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Her problem is that boat people don’t believe Gillard, either

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (04:59 pm)

Greg Sheridan notes a role reversal:

Julia Gillard is trying to become John Howard, demonstrating an iron fist on boatpeople… And the Labor Left is so terrified of electoral Armageddon it will accept anything…

The Liberals, bizarrely, are criticising the humanitarian aspects of the deal. Yet the Liberals themselves in office forcibly turned back boats, containing unaccompanied minors, to Indonesia. ...

The Liberals are enjoying the chance to have a go at the Prime Minister and her hapless Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, on humanitarian grounds, but they should be very careful. If this new political dynamic were to be sustained, it would give Labor its best chance of reconnecting with the battlers in outer suburban seats who have deserted the party in droves.

Labor’s trouble is that - once again - its word is worthless:

This is because of the one reason the Gillard government’s new efforts are likely to fail, and that is, that its toughness so far has no credibility....

The government announced the East Timor solution and kept on with it for nine months after it was dead. When it announced the Malaysian deal, it said all boat arrivals after that date would be sent offshore but then had to reverse itself when the deal was finally signed. It said initially there would be no special or preferential treatment for those sent to Malaysia but now it has negotiated such arrangements. And it said children would go to Malaysia too, otherwise there would be a massive incentive for people-smugglers to put children on their boats.

All of these solemn declarations by the government have been junked.

UPDATE

Even less reason for boat people to believe Julia Gillard’s threats:

THE Gillard government’s Malaysia Solution has suffered a new setback with the High Court extending an injunction against deporting asylum-seekers for at least another fortnight.

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Just 43 per cent to 57, after a “good week” for Gillard

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (04:15 pm)

There was a bit of talk around over the week about how Julia Gillard might be talking herself back in the game. Here’s Laurie Oakes, for instance:

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.

So what must we conclude when after “a good week for Gillard”, Essential Media comes out with this poll result:Labor 43 per cent to the Coalition 57.

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Reader Nellie sends it back

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (03:52 pm)

image


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In defence of Stuart Rintoul from a warmist’s attack

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (03:39 pm)

On being attacked by Media Watch for heresy:

IT is not easy watching one of your reporters get done over by Media Watch. Particularly when you have worked with the bloke for the best part of 20 years and not once had reason to question his journalistic integrity. But there was something about last Monday night’s mauling of Stuart Rintoul more troubling still.

Rintoul has done some great work over the past month examining the vexed issues of sea rise projections and the response of coastal councils to the risk of future inundation.

He exposed ludicrous planning laws stifling development at Port Albert, a fishing village on Victoria’s Bass Coast. Those laws are currently being being torn up by the Baillieu government.

He brought to national attention research by NSW researcher Phil Watson showing that sea levels around Australia over the past 100 years haven’t risen as quickly as scientists would have expected them to as a result of global warming.

For the first story he received the gratitude of a frustrated coastal community. For the second story he was pilloried, first in obscure, left-leaning blogs and finally on national television, for misrepresenting scientific research for “partisan political” purposes.

Here’s my own take on Rintoul.

He has long argued that there was indeed a “stolen generation” and wrote a book on the subject. When I revealed that perhaps the most famous “stolen” child and co-patron of the Sorry Day Committee, Lowitja O’Donoghue, was actually not stolen at all, Rintoul wrote an angry article denouncing what I’d done.

But here’s a sign of his willingness to write what does not suit his convictions. He then took O’Donoghue back to where she’d been raised with the presumed intention of proving how wrong I’d been. In fact, he had the integrity in that long article to essentially confirm all I’d said about O’Donoghue not having been stolen, but sent to a home by her white father. (For more on this, go here.)

I think Media Watch did him a disservice.

(Thanks to reader Rosalind.)

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Greens go mad: Stopping coal to China will stop Somalis starving

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (02:39 pm)

Droughts in Africa are not new, but they are devastating in a failed state destroyed by war and an Islamist uprising. As the founders of Free the Children put it:

Somalia is different; it’s a failed state, so drought pushed an already desperate people across borders for refuge… Islamic militants hostile to Western-backed aid agencies made long-term development in the fractious country impossible

Drought is not new to East Africa. The response this time is reminiscent of past emergency aid operations that provided short-term relief, but halted prior to addressing systemic change. We need more than food drops to stop famine. We need boreholes, irrigation, agricultural capacity-building, water-catchment systems, permanent schools, sanitation, and policy research...to start.

But Greens Senator Lee Rhianon thinks the way to stop starvation in Somalia is to stop Australian coal exports to China:

Federal Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon today congratulated Rising Tide activists who scaled a coal conveyor belt at the Port of Newcastle to highlight the link between coal, climate change and famine in Somalia…

“Ship after ship leaving Newcastle Port, heaped with coal, is contributing to the greatest threat we face in human history.

Stopping the expansion of Newcastle Port and NSW’s coal industry is essential if we are to ward off similar human tragedies such as that being experienced by Somalians today,” Senator Rhiannon said.

I’m struggling: is Rhianon’s ignorance worse than her opportunism? Or is her endorsement of law-breaking more sinister than either?

(Thanks to reader Ben, who asks: “How low can these people go?")

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Ludicrous. Rann quits - but on October 20

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (02:17 pm)

Mike Rann buys himself two months in the job, but sells South Australia two months of lame-duck leadership:

SOUTH Australian premier Mike Rann has said he will step down as leader on October 20.

Only pride explains the delay in handing over to Jay Weatherill.

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Hmm. Let’s cut Baillieu some slack

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (01:50 pm)

A promising move, which will save money without making the slightes difference to the climate:

THE Baillieu government has been accused of scrapping a $106 million program designed to help communities cut greenhouse gas emissions, prompting fresh claims it is walking away from climate change commitments.

Groups applying for grants from a Climate Communities Fund have been told the program has closed and their applications will not be assessed… The fund was set up last year under climate change legislation introduced by the Brumby government and passed with bipartisan support, replacing an existing Sustainability Fund…

The legislation includes a target of a 20 per cent cut in Victorian emissions compared with 2000 levels by 2020 - a goal Premier Ted Baillieu and senior ministers have since described as ‘’aspirational’’…

Asked why the climate fund was being wound up, government spokeswoman Lauren Bradley said Victorians expected their tax dollars would be spent on programs that ‘’achieve the balance between tangible environmental outcomes and value for money’’.

(Thanks to reader Brook, who is applauding.)

UPDATE

Another good move from the Baillieu Government:

ANTI-Israel activists face investigation for alleged secondary boycotts under landmark attempts by the Baillieu government to curb the global campaign to target companies and businesses linked to the Jewish nation.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has been asked to investigate anti-Israeli campaigners who have joined the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions group to determine if they should be prosecuted for threatening stores with Israeli ownership or connections.

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Too dangerous for me to answer

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (01:19 pm)

I am advised that the legal dangers are too high for me to comment on Gavin Atkins’ posting on the Festival of Dangerous Ideas, which seems in no danger at all of being dangerous:

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is never quite so blatant as to simply exclude all conservatives, but what it does every year is invite only one prominent person of a conservative persuasion for a solo presentation, so that dozens of lefties – the kind of group-thinkers who you can find writing for The Drum every week – can swarm around them in a buzz of disapprobrium....

Claims by the Festival that any of the items – with the possible exception of Thiessen’s – are likely to be provocative to the Left are laughable.

For example, the session as to “Are some Aboriginals more Aboriginal than others” would have been provocative, had they invited Andrew Bolt or Bess Price – but rest assured, they have invited this bloke, this woman and this woman instead.

Apologies, but for legal reasons I cannot allow you to debate what is indeed an interesting question, which has become ludicrously dangerous for many of us to answer.

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Barnaby laughs best. Swan, however…

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (07:08 am)

The word shouldn’t be “oops” but “sorry”, and a vow never to trust to conventional press-pack thinking:

ONE Australian politician predicted the debt crisis enveloping the US.

It wasn’t Treasurer Wayne Swan, though he did join in the mocking of the MP that did, or Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey or Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Senator Barnaby Joyce was laughed out of his opposition finance portfolio for his forecasts that included saying more than 18 months ago that the US could default on its debts.

It’s not so funny anymore, as veteran journalist Michelle Grattan said last week on Twitter.

“US struggling through its crisis - remember how we laughed at Barnaby when he raised the spectre of US default? Oops.”

Barnaby himself:

THE joy of vindication on the prospect of a US government default is bittersweet; I was right, Wayne was wrong. To those sucked in by the Treasurer, placing wishful romantic theory above clinical reality, then saying “you wouldn’t cut it with the Bloomsbury group if you talk like that at our soiree”, I suggest this, get real.

Do not confuse tackling a problem with delaying when it comes to debt. If while out on the tiles on a Friday night you discover a septic gash on your leg, and in response down another five jagermeisters, pain gone, problem gone, keep dancing, that is delay. Going to hospital to avoid amputation is dealing with the problem.

Tim Flannery said that the impact of climate change policies won’t be felt for at least a thousand years. The impact of a catastrophic default this time was avoided by a mere 10 hours. When prioritising threats I know which one I would be concentrating on.

Swan has given 25 speeches this year and mentioned climate change 24 times. Debt has only been mentioned 16 times, and eight of these in one speech made last month. A year and a half ago I implored the government to prepare contingency plans for the threat of a US default stating the prospect was “distant but real” but if it eventuated the fallout would be a financial Armageddon making the GFC look like a mere preamble. US President Barack Obama also used the term Armageddon in the past month, so if I’m mad, so is he.

When asked on ABC radio whether the government had prepared for a potential US default, our Treasurer could point to no specific actions taken. But we do have parts of Treasury modelling climate change. The Treasurer believes I have been captured by “Tea Partiers”. Disagree with him on climate change you’re a denier, disagree with him on economics you’re a Tea Partier.

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Back Gillard against Rudd

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (07:05 am)

Kevin Rudd’s quixotic campaign for the gee-gaw of a UN Security Council has already corrupted our foreign policy debate. Now this:

FOREIGN Minister Kevin Rudd wants Australia to abstain in a potentially explosive United Nations vote to recognise a Palestinian state, pitting him against Julia Gillard’s declared strong support for Israel.

Mr Rudd has written to the Prime Minister recommending Australia vote neither for nor against a resolution set to dominate a UN summit in New York next month.

If followed, the letter - sent before Mr Rudd had heart surgery on August 1 - would result in Australia trying to duck the controversy over efforts to allow Palestine into the UN as a sovereign state.

Mr Rudd’s suggested tactic is being interpreted as an attempt to avoid antagonising Arab nations and to protect Australia’s campaign for a temporary seat on the Security Council, due to go to a vote next year.

But abstaining from any vote on Palestinian statehood would annoy Israel...

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Save the planet! Tax milk

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (06:58 am)

Julia Gillard finds a way to tax even milk:

DAIRY farmers face a rise in energy costs of $7000 and the loss of up to 7.8 per cent of annual income because of the carbon tax.

In a sombre outlook for the country’s third-largest rural industry, the dairy sector has warned the federal government a carbon tax “will impose significant costs” - and likely trigger job losses. While agriculture is exempt from the countrywide plan to curb greenhouse emissions, dairy farmers will be stung with higher electricity and gas costs - causing major concerns across an industry that employs about 40,000 people.

(Thanks to reader the Grand Waisuli.)

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Demand an end to alarmist reporting

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (06:44 am)

The editor of the fiercely warmist Sunday Age offers you an opportunity:

Ever complained about media coverage of climate change in the media? Here’s your chance to change it.

Feel free to help this paper reform. After all check its tatty menu of stories on that link, and count the deceits and exaggerations:

Climate change sceptics endangered: study

Climate change sceptics are an endangered species in Australia, a national survey shows.

Is this the solution to the impact of climate change?

New coastal housing built near Portland will need to be ‘’relocatable’’ to meet the threat from climate change sea level rises, storm surges and erosion.

Rudd pans climate-change sceptics

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd says anyone who still doubts the science of climate change should visit northern Europe.

Treasured Bordeaux wines under threat

Bordeaux’s fabled wine grapes are under threat from global warming, climate experts told a meeting of industry leaders.

UK storm blamed on climate change

A British study concludes for the first time that an extreme storm there is likely to have doubled in intensity due to human induced climate change.

Mangroves shield against climate change

Mangroves, which have declined by up to half over the past 50 years, are an important bulkhead against climate change, a study released yesterday has shown for the first time.

Climate change is real. Let’s deal with it

Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s announcement of a carbon tax has unleashed another round in the climate change fight.

In fact, sceptics are growing in number, not falling; predictions of sea level rises now seem to have been greatly exaggerated; ice loss in the Arctic has not worsened in four years; no one denies the climate changes; and this is not a “carbon tax” but a tax on carbon dioxide that will not change the temperature at all. And the climate models predicting regional effects of any warming have proved near useless, as a National Technical University of Athens study has demonstrated.

Let the Sunday Age know. Demand better journalism.

(Thanks to reader Tony S.)

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The real “stolen generation” is the one we left in Aboriginal camps

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (06:23 am)

A story of intellectual dishonesty, with appalling consequences:

TAXPAYERS are from the $3.5 billion a year they spend on Aboriginal Australia, says a damning review of indigenous spending conducted for the federal Department of Finance.

The report points to “a huge gap between policy intent and policy execution”, which means the situation of many indigenous Australians today is as bad now as it was in 1970.

So for many Aborigines, all that extra money, technology and enlightened thinking has produced zero improvement. Conclusion: it’s not our “racism”, as usually defined, or our lack of good feelings that has produced this failure.

So what has?

The report was obtained by the Seven Network under Freedom of Information laws after a long legal battle in which the department said its release was against the public interest.

Well, here’s a clue. Maybe one problem is a despicable refusal to confront hard facts, or to tell them to a public which is both falsely accused of racism and then taxed hard to pay for failed programs.

Talking of false accusations and money wasted…

Kevin Rudd ordered a strategic review of indigenous funding in June 2009, two years after the then prime minister’s apology to the Stolen Generations...

But back to this report that the government tried to keep secret:

The Department of Finance engaged consultant and former Department of Veterans’ Affairs secretary Neil Johnston, who produced his 470-page report in February last year.

In the findings, revealed by the Seven Network last night, Dr Johnston concluded that governments and bureaucracies had for years failed to turn their good intentions into results for indigenous people. “The history of commonwealth policy for indigenous Australians over the past 40 years is largely a story of good intentions, flawed policies, unrealistic assumptions, poor implementation, unintended consequences and dashed hopes,” he wrote. “Strong policy commitments and large investments of government funding have too often produced outcomes which have been disappointing at best and appalling at worst. Individual success stories notwithstanding, the circumstances and prospects of many individual Australians are little better in 2010, relative to other Australians, than those which faced their counterparts in 1970.”

A tell-tale sign of the real and largely unacknowledged problem is this:

Dr Johnston also questioned the approach of pumping money into small, outlying communities in remote areas—home to about a quarter of the indigenous population. Arguing it was in these remote communities that indigenous disadvantage was most starkly evident, it argued funding be meted out with regard to “long-term economic viability and sustainability” of communities.

The hard truth - so cravenly dismissed as racism by those who’d rather seem good than achieve it - is that Aborigjnes living the most “Aboriginal” way tend to suffer the worst poverty and violence. The fundamental problem is that Aboriginal culture is dysfunctional, at least when judged by the ability of people to lead independent, healthy and responsible lives, filled with possibilities.

Programs to retain and valorise this culture doom yet more generations of Aboriginal children to live it, with the consequences we see. Integration and assimilation are the only escape from this cycle of poverty and despair. We can’t just keep gold-plating the taps of outback slums and expect Nirvana.

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Four steps to making us stronger

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (05:53 am)

Julie Novak has a simple and obvious plan to shore up our economy, but Labor will find it politically too hard:

The first step is to revive economic confidence and secure Australia’s position as a worthy place to invest, by abandoning the economically destructive carbon and mining tax schemes.

The second step should focus on genuine expenditure reductions, by cutting spending commitments in the short term rather than shaving projected spending growth in the budget out years. The location of the spending meat axe, reportedly last seen underneath Kevin Rudd’s hospital bed, would be ideal to reduce the 165,000-strong commonwealth public service.

Third, the government should use some of the spending cuts to fund tax reductions. Personal income tax cuts would boost the labour supply by increasing the incentive to work, while lighter company taxes would enliven business investment outside the mining sector.

Finally, the government should act swiftly to deregulate the economy, allowing the private sector to discover new ways of delivering economic value. Labour market regulation poses a significant barrier to employment. If the government is serious about getting more people into work, it should scrap the unfair dismissals law as a starting point…

If the government reduces its reach over the economy, putting its faith in individuals and businesses instead of itself, in challenging times it would belatedly show it is willing and able to learn from its previous mistakes on economic policy.

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The Bolt Report yesterday

Andrew Bolt – Monday, August 08, 11 (12:01 am)

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Ninja loans .. No Income, No Jobs or Assets.
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Obama has no plan
When Congress gets back to work after Labor Day it will have the chance to achieve something that has largely eluded it for the entire year, passing legislation that might actually create jobs.
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Another failed ALP policy
www.news.com.au
THE High Court has ordered a delay in the forced transfer of the first 16 asylum seekers to Malaysia after a hearing this afternoon.
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ALP have already blown the budget. What now?
www.news.com.au
AUSTRALIAN stocks are tipped to tumble further today with global markets gripped by fears of a second recession in the US and Europe.
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I love lucy
Lucille Ball's work will keep her forever young and forever in the hearts of those of us who grew up with her. Future generations, too, will love Lucy, because she is timeless.
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inclusiveness is part of cultural diversity
The fact that people seek to exclude the Ground Zero cross from any public display, demonstrates a dangerous lack of understanding about what it means to maintain a truly inclusive society

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It is a very close likeness
While "malaise" may have defined the Carter years perhaps the word "funk" best describes the Obama years thus far.

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She wanted someone to not know as much as her?
A New York City female schoolteacher is accused of having sex with a student at a motel, police said. Detectives arrested Tara Driscoll, 33, of Bayshore, N.Y., Friday morning charging her with rape, MyFoxNY reports.
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Senior Democrat still doesn't get it. Spending needs to be cut.
Standard & Poor's faulted political entrenchment in Washington for this weekend's U.S. credit rating downgrade, but it was lawmakers on Sunday bickering over S&P's move that provided insight into how such a decision could be reached.
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As with my Picking Cotton series
LONDON has descended into some of its worst rioting in years after a protest at the fatal shooting of a local man by police turned violent.
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Yuck
QUEENSLAND prison officers are engaging in sexual affairs with prisoners and have recently been caught accepting freebies and exchanging gifts and money, a special Courier-Mail investigation has revea...
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Magic
SYDNEY'S tourist attractions are under a British invasion with the landmark Sydney Tower to be renamed after the London Eye.
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The perpetrators live shallow lives. Probably drink too much and do drugs.
developers.facebook.com
A TEENAGER was knifed five times at an inner-city bar in one of three stabbings in just 24 hours over the weekend.
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Lots of data, but little information
developers.facebook.com
FRUSTRATED parents say they are confused about what to feed their kids because of baffling food labels.
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Another policy failure
developers.facebook.com
A HIGH Court judge last night ordered a delay in the forced transfer of the first 16 asylum seekers to Malaysia.
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Greed is ugly. How were they raised?
developers.facebook.com
OLDER Australians are increasingly falling victim to financial abuse from their adult children, who believe they are entitled to their money.
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I aspire to raise my children like Mr Howard. Talking being a major factor.
A MAJOR church has backed the right of mums and dads to smack their children.

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Another policy failure
developers.facebook.com
A HIGH Court judge last night ordered a delay in the forced transfer of the first 16 asylum seekers to Malaysia.
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The downgrading is a good thing for the US. They mustn't vote in Democrats for a long time.
www.dailytelegraph.com.au
BRACE for it - the local share market will open today with investors selling in response to the US losing its AAA credit rating.
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We don't want the tax.
DAIRY farmers face a rise in energy costs of $7000 and the loss of up to 7.8 per cent of annual income because of the carbon tax.
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The perpetrators live shallow lives. Probably drink too much and do drugs.
A TEENAGER was knifed five times at an inner-city bar in one of three stabbings in just 24 hours over the weekend.
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ALP like to spend and tax
THE state government will have to begin mining coal at the Cobbora mine to supply power stations by 2015 or face having to pay electricity companies hundreds of millions in compensation.
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I want the perpetrator caught too.
FINGERPRINTS have been discovered on parts of a hoax bomb chained to the neck of a Mosman schoolgirl.

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Time to go. He has nothing to contribute to public life. A typical ALP stalwart.
A LABOR MP fighting claims he authorised union funds to pay for prostitutes is under pressure to explain a raft of electoral discrepancies.

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