Tuesday, August 16, 2011

News items and comments

Welfare creates a poverty of values

Piers Akerman – Sunday, August 14, 11 (09:11 am)

Quicker than a brick through a window, the navel-gazers were blaming everything and everyone for the British riots except those smashing the glass and looting.

That pinpointed one of the real issues at the heart of the problem, the refusal to nail those actually responsible for the murder and mayhem, the hooded young men and women out for a little excitement during the long twilight of the northern hemisphere summer.

I feel responsibility for the riots needs to be taken by UK Labor. The kids after they are turned in say as much. The empty gestures and broken promises of UK Labor have created a mixture of dissatisfaction and entitlement responsible people are appalled by.

There are many similarities between those riots and ALP inspired Cronulla, Macquarie Fields, Redfern and Democrat inspired LA.

Also there is a hatred for police which is part and parcel of the underclass. A belief among lefties that police need to be tethered.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sun 14 Aug 11 (09:22am)
John A replied to DD Ball
Mon 15 Aug 11 (11:38am)

That’s true DD, but the dysfunctional state of many parts of British society is due also to an all-pervasive soft-left ideology of which Labour is only the most visible element. There is far less robust debate about issues in Britain than here because the Left has a much stronger hold on the media there.

Take global warming for example. We’ve had several Brit warmist identities come here and express surprise at how we’re even debating the issue. True, we have courageous journalists with integrity like Piers, Janet A, Bolt, Jones and Blair, and others, but there are good people there too.

The big difference there is the sheer size and influence of the BBC, which is overwhelmingly left wing. They have several TV channels, many radio stations and a plethora of websites constantly spouting left-wing dogma, and forever identifying and marginalising conservative voices. They’ve got the game down to such a fine art that most people would not consider them an intrusive influence, but they are.

Everyone was brought up with the BBC knocking on their doors demanding hundreds of pounds of ‘TV Licence’ to fund BBC propaganda, so they don’t see it as outrageous. A good deal of BBC is innocuous fluff, but they’re very good at nudging the political centre further left in small increments with their news and current affairs divisions.

Now that Britons search in bewilderment for reasons to understand why their society has become so dysfunctional and violent, the real reason is literally staring them in the face, right out of their TV screens. The overwhelming, monolithic leftist power of the BBC, which controls more than half the media, and sets the parameters within which governments may produce an agenda.

If the Brits want to get serious about wrenching their society back away from the soft-left dysfunction that has gradually ruined their education, their police, their families and almost every other institution, they have to disable the one big institution that has promoted the general disintegration, yet flourished itself: the BBC. The BBC strongly promotes every destructive policy setting that has led to the disaster, from child-centred, non-disciplinary teaching in schools where the child’s desires are paramount and learning is virtually optional, to non-confrontational policing where offenders are reasoned with rather than arrested. From the glorification of single motherhood to the aggressive promotion of welfare dependency as a legitimate lifestyle choice, the BBC is the strident voice of modern Leftism, defending all the factors that have led to the breakdown of civil society.

Not even Thatcher could successfully tackle the BBC, but things have got a lot worse since then and it’s time to act. Until they break up and sell that massive monster of Leftism, it will be impossible to turn Britain back into a country where individual responsibility and civil society are once more the norm.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 15 Aug 11 (04:43pm)

John A, we agree. The BBC is a very big dog. They produce more than the ABC too, and this influences the world. I don’t want that to excuse the ABC from their failure of duty. Q&A;, Current affairs, news and Media Watch are appallingly one sided. Occasionally they show two sides when they explore the ALP Green divide.

John A replied to DD Ball
Mon 15 Aug 11 (06:16pm)

Absolutely, DD. Can you imagine what state our own country would be in if ‘our’ ABC were three times as big and three times as influential? It would be a catastrophe. It’s bad enough as it is, but the BBC is that much bigger than the ABC and Britain is therefore in a correspondingly more dysfunctional state. The ABC is a joke here, a motley crew of pompous prigs like Tony Jones and pantomime clowns like Wil Anderson. No one here with an intellect would subject themselves to the stupidity, but over there the BBC dominates and can hardly be avoided. No wonder blighty has gone pear-shaped!

John Jay replied to DD Ball
Mon 15 Aug 11 (11:12pm)

To John A -

Some very good and well expressed thoughts re the huge Leftist propaganda machine, the B.B.C..

How can the B.B.C. understand what is going wrong in British society when the B.B.C. is steeped in the very culture that is the root cause?

Our own Leftist propaganda machine, the A.B.C., has done untold harm to our country.

May the A.B.C. never become as influencial as the B.B.C..


truth replied to DD Ball
Tue 16 Aug 11 (12:45am)

Your comment and Piers’ blog really resonated as we watched Q&A;tonight,
Labor’s ABC works to corrupt democracy in the same way as the BBC, and it was all up there tonight.
Whatever the subject raised, slagging off at Tony Abbott was the only game in town.
It’s an absolute miracle that he’s doing as well in the polls as he is---hopefully testimony to enough Australians not being as stupid as LaborGreens think they are---for now, anyway.
On the coal seam gas issue, all of the flak was for Abbott, for trying to highlight the plight of the farmers, and the need to protect Australia’s food security, but it seems no one knows [ can it be possible??] that Tony Burke, as the Minister with the responsibility, and up there tonight joining in the attack on Abbott, ignored the advice commissioned and received by his office, that----
[ ‘said it could take more than a millennia for the Great Artesian Basin to recover from the damage caused by the extraction of water associated with the coal seam gas.
Advice from the Water Group within Mr Burke’s department said the companies had been “extremely conservative” in their estimates of how much water they would take from the Great Artesian Basin. The Minister’s Department said it could be “at least 1000 years” before water levels recovered.’]
He gave the go-ahead in spite of the advice.
It seems all these great Left wing ‘environmentalists’ are so desperately worried about putting the dreaded ‘pollutant’ CO2 into the air, that they’re willing to look the other way while Australia’s vital aquifers and the Great Artesian Basin are put at risk of pollution and depletion for up to 3000 years [ some hydrologists say] .
To ‘save’ us from CO2, they’re planning to foul our precious water supply with it, burying millions of tonnes of it next to aquifers ----- and to provide supposedly cleaner energy in the form of coal seam gas, they’re willing to not only destroy the properties of farming families, but to expose Australian citizens to the toxic chemicals of the fracking process, and risk the destruction [ for all intents and purposes] of the precious aquifers of the driest continent on earth.
All of this happens while the ‘settled science’ gets shakier by the day.
And of course , while Brown preaches to Tony Abbott, and the Greens are sucking the farmers in with their cynical and opportunistic support for them on CSG, no journalist of the MSM is the least bit interested in asking the Greens in Australia’s interests, how, since they’re not just against CSG, and CCS, but are demanding an end to the use of coal in any way, both as base load power provider, and as an export------ exactly what, how and when is any renewable going to take over the powering of Australian industry---and which renewable is going to provide the export income we get from coal, aluminium and all the carbon-intensive industries.
It’s treasonous that those journalists supporting this anti-Australia policy, deliberately avoid asking these questions they know GreenLabor can’t rationally answer.
None of these Leftists are environmentalists---not GreenLabor, WWF, Greenpeace, Climate Institute etc etc ---they’re environmental vandals.
This travesty and betrayal of Australia is only possible because the Left owns the ABC as surely as the UK Left owns the BBC.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Tue 16 Aug 11 (05:43pm)

Truth, the best part of the partisan ABC is that their bias also galvanises conservatives. The Howard battlers were held together by the knowledge that the stuff spoken was bad lies by the ABC. But over time, those bad lies become the ‘truth.’ That is what happened with Howard, Nixon, Thatcher, Bush ... the bad lies serve a good purpose for a time, but cannot be opposed in the end.


The problem of a fatherless society

Miranda Devine – Sunday, August 14, 11 (09:09 am)

The fact that Penny Wong’s female partner is to have a baby is a cause for private celebration for them. But why are so many people exhorting the rest of us to celebrate as if this were some major milestone in human civilisation?

You’d think no politician had ever had a child before.

I have just read an article about a person who needed a maternity bed but there was nothing available. The girl was 13 years old. Census statisticians might need to include that fact while looking at where to build more.

It is wonderful for Penny and her significant other that they are to be a family. I wish them well. But I wish to add the truth that modelling works to show others what is acceptable behavior and aspirations. I despise rich leading licentious lives and using money to dig themselves out of scrapes that others can’t. A mum and dad can care for a child on modest means.

Right now we are being challenged to lead more modest lives for Climate Change. How about this example?

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sun 14 Aug 11 (09:32am)
Linda replied to DD Ball
Mon 15 Aug 11 (07:17am)

It is simply appalling that many country towns have no maternity facilities at all for what is a regular occurence of everyday life, which most women expect to have some assistance for close at hand. I think it is good to consider this when cheering the miracles of modern procreation at the other end.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 15 Aug 11 (04:53pm)

Linda, well put. I think the ALP have a history of ignoring country folk because they don’t have enough votes to matter, like old folk, and tend to be independent, rather than bought and owned.

I note Media Watch raised issues that my post addressed. Media Watch failed to acknowledge it. - ed




Vain guy that I am, I’m always flattered when someone asks me to re-run an earlier post. “LibertyBabe” – that’s her e-mail name and her nom de e-plume – asked me to reprise this seven-year-old post:

Venting Against Mysticism

by Don Boudreaux on SEPTEMBER 1, 2004

in Myths and Fallacies

The bottom-line, fundamental reason I endorse markets over government direction of the economy – the essential reason I support extensive and vigorous private property rights and the consequent decentralization of decision-making that this institution brings – is that I cannot tolerate the mysticism that motivates too much reliance on government.

Too many people, including otherwise very smart people, believe in secular magic. They believe that words written on paper by people, each of whom receive a majority of votes on certain days of the year of adult citizens living in certain geographic areas, and who utter ritualistic pronouncements under marble domes in buildings conventionally called “capitols,” are somehow endowed with greater understanding of society’s complexities and with superhuman capacities to care about the welfare of strangers. These priests preach devotion, dedication, and sacrifice to the One True State (your own government), even while each recognizes that legitimate disputes about the details of the dogma divide various cliques of the secular clergy. When they speak and act in their official roles, they expect – usually correctly – that the laity pay their words special heed as if these words have extraordinary power.

For example, what’s so special about President Bush expressing his sympathies to victims of Hurricane Charley? I’m sure that Mr. Bush’s sentiments are sincere. But does he feel for these victims more than I do? More than do, say, the presidents of USX, George Mason University, and the Saginaw, Michigan, chapter of the Knights of Columbus? I’m pretty sure that the answer is no. And yet, the media unfailingly report expressions of such presidential sympathies. When I ask myself why this is so, I invariably conclude that lots of my fellow Americans regard politicians – and the President especially – as possessing certain mystical powers, or an exceptional capacity to empathize and sympathize with strangers.

And, of course, the belief is rampant that enacting statutes with promising titles – for example, “No Child Left Behind Act” – will fulfill the aspirations expressed in the titles.

I suffer from an unusually acute aversion to mysticism, to unsubstantiated claims, and to mish-mash about “we as a nation,” “the hopes of the American people,” “pulling together as a country,” and other romantic foolishness that inevitably is meant to submerge each person’s individuality, wishes, and choices under the suffocating drabness of politicized and allegedly “collective” endeavors.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (06:34 am)

Gavin Atkins debunks climate victim hysteria. This might be a good opportunity for readers to list in comments all of their favourite doom forecasts, from overpopulation panic to post-tsunami nuclear nervousness.

UPDATE. A touch of Climategate-style information concealment in Australia.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (05:58 am)

The last public hanging in the US took place 75 years ago. Big crowd. Lots of hats.

UPDATE. In more recent Kentucky crime news: Kentucky FBI works with Australian police to make arrest in bomb hoax.



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (05:47 am)

South Australian premier Mike Rann unloads on the Labor leaker who revealed that Rann was on the way out:

“The person who leaked the information, I’ve basically got a fair idea of who it is, and it’s not one of our best or brightest,” he said.

“The thing that was appalling was the leaking of a conversation deliberately and with malice by someone who’s got an IQ about the size of his shoe.”

You’re not exactly narrowing the field there, Mike. Apart from obviously ruling out anybody in the Labor party with large feet, that is. Meanwhile, South Australian Public Service Association chief industrial officer Peter Christopherdiscusses his state’s unique prison overcrowding problems:

“Are you going to put a Hells Angel into the same cell as someone from the Rebels?”



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (05:23 am)

This is genius:

Send any picture you want immortalized by one of our terrible artists. If you can’t decide, send us a couple to choose from. All we ask is that you please try to keep the overall file size under 5 megabytes.

It’s been around for a while, but these non-talented artists really do deliver (even if a completed portrait may take “between one and a million days to draw"). Via Nicole, who emails: “I’ve just sent away for my very own Free Crappy Portrait and I suggest everyone else do the same.”



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (05:14 am)

Further to Saturday’s piece on low US house prices, predictions of a continuing slump across ten housing markets:

The real estate market is already in the deepest depression in modern U.S. history. If you think it can’t get any worse, think again. In several cities, the real estate market is about to drop even more.

Particularly in America’s nine worst recession ghost towns.

(Via Instapundit)



Tim Blair – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (04:55 am)

Theodore Dalrymple:

The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class), even though each member of it has received an education costing $80,000, toward which neither he nor—quite likely—any member of his family has made much of a contribution; indeed, he may well have lived his entire life at others’ expense, such that every mouthful of food he has ever eaten, every shirt he has ever worn, every television he has ever watched, has been provided by others. Even if he were to recognize this, he would not be grateful, for dependency does not promote gratitude. On the contrary, he would simply feel that the subventions were not sufficient to allow him to live as he would have liked.

(Via RWDB)


Would Rudd have made that mistake?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (02:14 pm)

To “hyper-bowl”, “Taliband” and “high dungeon” we can now add “veil” for “vale”.


“We can face the confidence with future” Twice..


Anniversary celebrated

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (12:07 pm)


Reader Ant’s photo suggests a decent sized crowd at the Anti-Carbon Tax rally outside Parliament House this morning:

(The Consumers and Taxpayers Association) expects a large turnout, and said it had booked 30 buses to take protestors from Brisbane, Melbourne and NSW to the lunchtime rally.

Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce has confirmed he will address the gathering.

The event has been scheduled to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s 2010 statement that her Government would not introduce a carbon tax.


The real debate, not the media one

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (11:36 am)

My own view is that it’s either Simon Crean soon or Kevin Rudd later - too much, later, in fact. But while most the press gallery refuses to give up on Julia Gillard, former Labor MPs know the game is up:


I’ve got on the line John Black who is a former Labor Party senator during the 1980s. He’s now the chief executive of the demographic profiling company Australian Development Strategies… Is Kevin Rudd’s name still in the frame as a potential leader in this parliament?


Well, I think you’ve got to have a look at what the caucus is saying and what they’re likely to do. I mean, they’ll say one thing but ultimately they’ll act in their own best interests. As I think I said in the Fin Review column we saw the same sort of thing when Hayden was getting challenged by Hawke and Graham (Richardson) would be familiar with that. I mean, none of the caucus were going to vote for Bob Hawke but he ended up winning quite comfortably and then won a few elections after that. So, you know, ultimately they’ll vote for what’s in their own best interests.


What are the backbenchers doing who are sitting on margins of ten per cent or less knowing this woman is leading them into employment oblivion?


Sweating a great deal and looking for alternative employment…


But Wayne Swan could lose his seat. What’s he saying?


Well, well I haven’t spoken to Wayne for quite some time. But basically they’re all making alternative arrangements. Look, I think that the status quo is going to stay the way it is until the carbon tax is through or dealt with. I don’t think that anybody in the caucus wants to actually go out there and defend it so they’re quite happy to let Julia Gillard get it through parliament and then I think that would be the time that they’d make their move, Alan. No one wants to wear the dead chook as I think I referred to it.


Do they think at the moment that under Rudd they individually would have a better chance of being re-elected?


Well there’s no doubt that, you know, if you stuck a compass into Alice Springs and then sort of started to, you know, run it anticlockwise from the Queensland border, I mean you hit the outskirts of Adelaide before you found a Labor seat. I mean, there’s a lot of blue on the map. I mean, they all know what’s happening and they’re all quietly cacking themselves.


Cacking themselves, I love that. You wrote recently ‘whatever some knuckleheads in the caucus tell the Canberra press gallery about how they’re never going to vote for him, self interest may prevail.’


Well, ultimately it does. It always does and I mean, you know, you get the inside culture in the Canberra press gallery where they all talk to each other and some of the more recent arrivals in the press gallery take it seriously. But ultimately you’ve got to have a look at what’s in the vested interests of the caucus and what’s in the vested interests of the government members generally. You know, they want to survive.


And they’ll put their own interests ahead of the national interests.


Well, you know, to the extent that them surviving is what they see as in the national interest they’ll do it. I mean, there was a Nielsen poll out just yesterday, Rudd was preferred as the leader of the government in event of an emergency by I think 29 per cent of the population, Turnbull by 29 per cent, that’s what nearly 60 per cent, Abbott by 21 per cent and Gillard by 15 per cent. I mean, you just don’t ignore that sort of thing if you are running a faction.


Well, let’s go to Graham Richardson. What do you make of that analysis, Graham? Good morning and thank you for your time.


Always a pleasure Alan. Well, I don’t agree with all of it. I’ve got to say that I don’t believe the caucus will elect Kevin Rudd under any circumstances and one of the reasons for that is I don’t believe there’ll be any change. It’s not just the matter of the caucus ballot any more, you’ve got three independents sitting out there in the middle, Wilkie and God knows what he’ll do, I don’t think Wilkie knows what he’ll do, and then there’s Oakeshott and Windsor. All of them have a deal with a woman, not with the Government, not with the party, but with one individual woman and they are not going to move. That being the case what the caucus does is pretty much irrelevant unless you say to yourself ‘we’re happy to be voted out of government tomorrow afternoon.’


But if you were there, you would call the bluff of these people, these weak-kneed individuals Oakeshott, Windsor and Wilkie? You’d call their bluff?


Were I one to want to do that I think I’d have been working on them for quite some time. I wouldn’t just walk into the office and say ‘listen, by the way there’s a whip round to have a crack and change the boss today, what do you reckon?’ I wouldn’t do that. I’d spend a lot of time talking to them and I don’t believe that any of that’s being done.


No better time to kill off a “polluter” completely

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (09:41 am)

Last week:

there is no better time to introduce a carbon tax, Prime Minister Julia Gillard says.

This week:

ABOUT 400 jobs will be cut from OneSteel’s manufacturing division - including at the Whyalla plant - as the industrial giant battles tough trading conditions.


The actual cost to the economy of Gillard’s carbon dioxide tax by 2050? A staggering $1 trillion.

(Thanks to readers Bob and Stephen. UPDATE: The post has been corrected. The $1 trillion figure applies to 2050, not 2020.)


It’s a track that doubles back before ending at cliff’s edge

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (09:38 am)

They’ll later be glad their gullibility wasn’t memorialised:

THE heated climate change debate appears to have forced a name change in the shire.

Sutherland Shire Council has decided not to go ahead with a proposal to name a walking track in The Glen Reserve, Bonnet Bay, after environmentalist and former shire resident Professor Tim Flannery.

(Thanks to reader Craig.)


And every claim false

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (09:30 am)

Gavin Atkins fact checks the global warming scares:

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to check the veracity of each story – but what I was not expecting is that every story up until 2010 (after which some of the claims are too recent to verify one way or another) has either been completely debunked, or has since had some serious doubts placed on it.

So the following examples have not been cherry picked – it’s a quick analysis of every claim made about “the first casualty of global warming” up until 2010.

Read on for Gavin’s list.


Happy anniversary, Prime Minister

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (09:04 am)

It’s a year today since Julia Gillard lied. Question Time in Parliament should be interesting.

Apologies for missing the aniversary yesterday of this deceit, but you’ll understand why I can’t keep up with them all:


Wait until they realise the warming isn’t actually dangerous

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (07:10 am)

Britain’s green dreams don’t come cheap:

Every household is paying £500 more than they should in green taxes, researchers claim. Their figures show that environmental taxes hit £41billion last year as family finances came under great strain. Mr Sinclair said environmental levies represented a critical new threat to family finances. He warned that this figure was likely to be too low because the Government estimate of the social cost per ton of carbon dioxide is itself considered too high.

(Via Benny Peiser. UPDATE: Link fixed.)


The envy of half of Pakistan

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (06:19 am)


So what would they tell their relatives back home about the reception they’d get?

ASYLUM seekers are being put up in taxpayer-funded homes worth up to $500,000 while 38,000 Victorians languish on the public housing waiting list.

A group of three teenage asylum seekers are being held in a large family home (above) that boasts a sprawling garden, polished floorboards, modern stainless steel kitchen and double garage, while they wait to find out if their visa applications are approved.

The $500,000 house in Thomastown, which would cost about $400 a week to rent, is a far cry from the razor wire detention centres across the country.

Incidentally, it’s small wonder that so many men on these boats claim to be teenagers.

(Thanks to reader Pira.)


Hoodie nation

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (06:18 am)

Britain really does have a moral crisis when its Deputy Prime Minister, having damned the thieves and arsonists who ravaged the cities, is asked about his own torching of two greenhouses as a 16-year-old.

(Thanks to reader Greg.)


No to the Greens’ demand for an inquiry into “bias”

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (06:06 am)

The threat was left open for an unpardonable length of time, and a “right to privacy” remains a threat to our already diminishing free speech. But be grateful for small mercies - as measured now by a politician’s refusal to do something dangerous:

JULIA Gillard has indicated to Labor MPs that she won’t back a wide-ranging inquiry into the Australian media being urged by the Greens.
In the first meeting of the Labor caucus since the parliamentary recess, the Prime Minister narrowed the scope of any parliamentary examination of the media to just two issues - the right to privacy and the convergence of media types as a result of technology.

Both issues are already under discussion; the government has established an independent review of media convergence while a discussion paper has been launched on the right to privacy.


Graham Young says if the Left had been more open to debate, the Gillard Government might not be in quite this hole:

Take the global warming debate. On one side we have the government, government-funded organisations such as the CSIRO, government appointees such as the chief scientist and various activists, non-governmental organisations and academics asserting that the science is settled and debate is over.

This reaches beyond the uncontested claim that CO2 is a greenhouse gas to demanding acceptance of any number of conflicting and widely varying modelled predictions and policies designed to mitigate their effects.

They’ve even invented a new type of science called “sustainability science” where if you can think of a threat large enough you are justified in dealing with it as a fact before you have experimental evidence to prove it.

Opponents are tagged as “deniers” or “denialists” in a clear attempt to demean scepticism as immoral and irrational, equivalent to holocaust denial, and the Prime Minister berates sceptical journalists telling them not to “write crap”.

We even have high-profile academics such as ethics professor Clive Hamilton and federation scholar John Quiggin claiming that to even publish sceptical stories is evidence of bias.

On this basis Hamilton urged a boycott of my journal On Line Opinion, while Quiggin spends some of his time altering the Wikipedia entries of opponents to imply they are tobacco lobbyists.

If the government had been more open to entertaining contrary advice, and there are some from within its own ranks who could give it, it might not be facing a carbon tax rout that has some of the hallmarks of its very own Bay of Pigs.


Bligh demonstrates Abbott’s own concerns

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (05:59 am)

Anna Bligh goes further than Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and actually blocks mining near towns - but does so without being attacked by the Gillard Government or the media:

MINING exploration over densely populated areas will be banned in Queensland as the government attempts to quell community anxiety about encroaching resources development.

Premier Anna Bligh moved yesterday to “get the balance right” between mining and residential zones, announcing a freeze on the granting of new exploration permits within 2km of the boundary of a town with more than 1000 people, to take effect from today.

Coal-seam gas exploration would also face further restrictions but existing exploration zones would not be affected.

Ms Bligh’s move to retrospectively excise populated zones from mining permits could spark litigation from affected companies holding 285 exploration leases.

But Abbott meanwhile is being described as having “retreated” or backflipped from what he said on Friday:

The Queensland move came as Tony Abbott retreated from his unqualified support for farmers to be able to determine what happened on their land…

On Friday, Mr Abbott said: “If you don’t want something to happen on your land, you ought to have a right to say no.”

Yesterday, he softened his position...."I think the mining industry is very important and we’ve got to broadly support the mining industry, but mining shouldn’t be allowed to destroy prime agricultural land and mining companies should always respect the rights of farmers.”

What (no longer) surprises me is that almost every report of Abbott’s alleged gaffe gives only one half of his original answer to Alan Jones, to suggest he did indeed give “unqualified” backing to a farmer’s right to veto exploration on his land.

In fact, the full quote from the Jones interview shows Abbott’s backing was not unqualified at all:

Well, it should be and the thing is that if you don’t want something to happen on your land, you ought to have a right to say no. Now, ok, under certain circumstances, the Government ought to be able to resume your land but it’s got to be done at a fair price

I’m not sure that much of the media reporting has been quite fair.


Hair: the musical

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (05:54 am)


Kristina Keneally has ways to make you notice her:

SHE has kept a low profile since her March election defeat but former Premier Kristina Keneally has decided it is time for a change of tune and a return to the spotlight - on the stage.

Once a budding musician, Ms Keneally will give an insight into her life through music during a concert next week that features her favourite classical songs.

Performed by Sydney musicians, the Music and Me concert will explore the pivotal moments of Ms Keneally’s life through song - including one played at her wedding.

Her strong Catholic faith will be highlighted by the classic piece Ava Maria…

Other songs Ms Keneally has chosen include the aptly named Ohio - The Wonderful Town - where she grew up - and a Polish monastic chant Maria Regina Mundi, which she played at her wedding to husband Ben.


Labor helped Thomson fight the brothel claims

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (05:49 am)

What Labor won’t do to save the seat that props up the Gillard Government:

THE Labor Party spent more than $40,000 in legal fees to bail controversial federal MP Craig Thomson out of strife after he sued over claims his former union credit card was used to hire prostitutes.

Mr Thomson dropped his defamation action against Fairfax over the claims in June.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard needs him to stay in parliament to keep her majority. NSW Labor paid most of his legal bill. Sussex St confirmed yesterday NSW Labor headquarters paid “some” of his legal bills, which included settling some of Fairfax’s costs.

A senior Labor source confirmed the payment and said: “...He had a lot of legal bills. He needed help paying them. He’s an MP on $120,000-$130,000 who owed tens of thousands.”

The revelations come as The Daily Telegraph obtained a statutory declaration from a witness to an incident on Saturday in which Mr Thomson allegedly abused a Salvation Army worker.

(No comments for legal reasons. Thanks to reader the Great Waisuli.)


Only one Labor MP noticed the backflip?

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (12:05 am)

She’s exactly right, of course:

A LABOR backbencher has publicly criticised her government’s plans to reopen the asylum seeker detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.
Anna Burke, federal member for the Victorian seat of Chisholm, says the move is a return to the policies of John Howard’s government.

“I personally think Manus Island is basically going back to something we said we wouldn’t do, which is the Pacific Solution,” she told the ABC today.


Rod sends it back

Andrew Bolt – Tuesday, August 16, 11 (12:01 am)


A Canberra source yesterday told me:

The Parliament House mailroom is being flooded with carbon tax propaganda being returned to the Prime Minister and the Climate Change Minister.

On one day last week reliable sources say 17 tubs the size of large eskys came in many with personal messages written on them to the recipients. Today, another flood of returned to sender climate change propaganda- six tubs of which went to Mr Combet.

Bangladesh .. in Australia we don't have those issues.
BANGLADESHI police say they are investigating the death of a woman who jumped under a train with her four children after a village court ordered her ostracism for an extramarital affair.
Nifty is still razor sharp
NIGHTCLUB owner Adam Freeman will be free from jail within days on serious drugs charges after a magistrate yesterday granted bail on the grounds "suspicion, speculation and association is not enough"...
The penny drops?
JULIA Gillard has defended media proprietor Rupert Murdoch's Australian newspapers from attack from within her own caucus, insisting that there is no evidence of telephone hacking within News Limited.
It is a beginning
WELCOME to a bold new world of shopping, where your mobile phone tells you what to buy and where to buy it.
Maybe the home schooled one can go to school later?
WHEN the Mitchell siblings go to school, one joins hundreds of peers while the other fires up the family laptop.
Nifty is still razor sharp
SHE allegedly helped Mark Standen and her husband with their multi-million-dollar drug importation, but Dianne Jalalaty has avoided prosecution after making corruption claims against officers of the A...

They will miss the money wasted on bike paths.
IT survived Lady Gaga shaking it to its foundations but now Sydney Town Hall's clock tower is to be earthquake proofed - 140 years after a report raised fears of collapse.
I so look forward to hearing why.
A 52-year-old Sydney man has been arrested in connection with the collar bomb strapped to Maddie Pulver.

Obama wanted that years ago.
ATTACKS in more than a dozen cities across Iraq killed 67 people yesterday in the country's bloodiest day in more than a year.
They are wise to question the so called reform. Nothing else the Feds have done has worked.
WESTERN Australia has joined Victoria in threatening to scuttle a federally driven push for national transport reforms.
The cost of ALP government
THE cost of living is increasing faster than wages.
Bio engineered virus?
PESKY rodents may pale beside other matters of national importance such as the economy, crime and health - but a permanent body has been established to counter mouse plagues.
Maybe the home schooled one can go to school later?
WHEN the Mitchell siblings go to school, one joins hundreds of peers while the other fires up the family laptop.
The family should be grateful he didn't use it on them.
THE family of a man who shot himself dead in police custody has demanded to know how officers failed to find the weapon, even as they bundled him into a patrol wagon.

Somebody give me some water.
SHE has kept a low profile since her March election defeat but former Premier Kristina Keneally has decided it is time for a change of tune and a return to the spotlight - on the stage.
A waste of life. But she has been redeemed. Will she admit it?
EIGHTEEN years ago, NSW woman Gunn-Britt Ashfield and her boyfriend, Austin Allan Hughes, beat her six-year-old son to death with a hammer, a phone book and a curtain rod.
The ALP left plenty of smoke
AN investigation into the state's bus safety has begun after a bus driver was told by a passing motorist the back of his vehicle was on fire.
Thank you Mr OFarrell
BARRY O'Farrell has been doing the hot shoe shuffle for his first 4 1/2 months in office, having announced four big musical theatre debuts for Sydney, including two world premieres.
Wow. They must taste good.
THEY used to rule the zoo - kings of their mountain home.

This is going to be tricky to do from a hillside in Cornwall, with a flaky mobile connection and an iPad with a one-letter-at-a-time keyboard. However, it's pouring down with rain this August mor...

They will miss the money wasted on bike paths.
IT survived Lady Gaga shaking it to its foundations but now Sydney Town Hall's clock tower is to be earthquake proofed - 140 years after a report raised fears of collapse.
There might be another explanation for that vibrate function
TEEN girls are so desperate to keep in touch with friends they are sleeping with phones under their pillows.

We need these people, or we don't. The policy is bad.
INTERNATIONAL students and other temporary visa holders are being forced to pay thousands of dollars a year in fees for their children to attend public schools in a potential breach of the UN Conventi...
Gillard will protect her useless gesture to the end
THE Mexican and Indonesian governments have raised concerns about Australia's plan to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes.
Compassion is a verb. Gillard shows none with her abysmal policy
THE 800 asylum seekers sent to Malaysia will be test cases for the country's determination to improve its shocking record with refugees, Chris Bowen insists.
Prayer works. The Lord answers prayer. He may not raise Daniel from the dead, but he will give peace and comfort.
OVERCOME by the emotion of their eight-year search for answers, the parents of Daniel Morcombe yesterday prayed at the spot where police believe their son was assaulted and murdered.
The ALP don't need that. They might feel they do to keep power, but it will cost them much more in the future what they fail to save now.
THE Labor Party spent more than $40,000 in legal fees to bail controversial federal MP Craig Thomson out of strife after he sued over claims his former union credit card was used to hire prostitutes.
As he ages he might start saying things which would be unfortunate for the ALP and those who wish the truth hidden
FORMER NSW premier Neville Wran is at the centre of an arm wrestle over his finances and any future care he might need.
They recently opposed statehood for the Northern Territory
FEDERAL Labor has finally agreed to support a bill that gives the territories greater powers to set their own laws, ending months of internal squabbling.
Dyl Dylan is original, but he can belt out a Waits tune too
Dejà-vu ? Probably...Feels like a sickness...cant help but sing some Tom Waits tunes...when the weather is rainy...like this afternoon. All noises homemade. Painting by Ange Supparo. Be careful, it's -almost- a java in 3/4 !!

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