Saturday, September 03, 2011

News Items and comments

Labor’s hopes of leadership are lost at sea

Piers Akerman – Thursday, September 01, 11 (06:31 pm)

THIS was to be Julia Gillard’s year of decision and delivery but the past 12 months have seen an aggregation of disgrace, policy failure and humiliation.

I have no problem with accepting those 4000 from Malaysia .. but not at the expense of other refugees. We still need to meet our commitment to those in need. I mourn for those that died because of Gillard’s cold and heartless policy. I don’t think she has a problem with their deaths. I am sure she feels she can exploit them to attack the Coalition, just as she had before. Truth and responsibility don’t seem to matter to her.

The government should end over this. But I think it will stagger on a bit more.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Thu 01 Sep 11 (08:55pm)
Scrooge replied to DD Ball
Fri 02 Sep 11 (07:49am)

It is possible, even probable, that some of the 4000 may consist of those types that Tunku Abdul Rahman often referred to as ‘bad hats and subversive elements’. Just a thought.

Fox replied to DD Ball
Fri 02 Sep 11 (09:28am)

Being called a “subversive element” in an Islamic country doesn’t necessarily reflect badly… in fact it could be proof of a reasonable fear of persecution. But I suspect that the list will be heavy with people who managed to hold on to enough negotiable assets to influence those compiling the list.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Fri 02 Sep 11 (02:44pm)

It is almost certainly the case that these migrants will not be ideal. Few are. So long as we still have Australian laws I can live with that. Australia is a highly desirable place to live, despite the ALP government. We won’t always be pursuing poverty.


Here’s a letter to the editor of The University of Virginia Magazine:

I genuinely enjoy your publication, and am delighted to find in the Fall 2011 issue Ed Crews’s and Lee Graves’s admirable account of the debt troubles caused by Uncle Sam’s fiscal recklessness (“Our National ‘Time Bomb’“).

Were the Crews and Graves essay published by any institution other than U.VA, I’d not be moved to remark on it. But given that it appears in the U.VA Magazine, I’m obliged to pick a nit.

Crews and Graves report that “Last fall [Peter G.] Peterson was awarded a Thomas Jefferson Foundation medal, the University’s highest external honor, for his role in addressing the nation’s fiscal situation. Harry Harding, dean of U.Va.’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, describes him as a personal hero ‘because he was so far ahead of his time in focusing on this issue of import today.’”

Mr. Peterson has indeed long highlighted the problem of America’s growing public debt, but well before he entered the scene, a U.VA economist (unmentioned by Crews and Graves) almost single-handedly revolutionized our thinking about deficit financing.

Prof. James M. Buchanan – who served on U.VA’s faculty from 1956 to 1968 – wrote in 1958 a book entitled Public Principles of Public Debt. Before its publication, the near-unanimous opinion of scholars, pundits, and policymakers was that even very large government debt imposes only very small burdens – and burdens only of a secondary order. Deficit financing of government spending, therefore, wasn’t much of a problem.

In less than 200 pages Buchanan vividly exposed the flawed assumptions and sloppy reasoning that produced this consensus, thus blowing it to smithereens.

While some people still cling to the “pre-Buchanan” notion of government debt being harmless, it was Jim Buchanan’s little book of 53 years ago, written in Charlottesville, that built the intellectual ground upon which today stand Mr. Peterson and other deficit hawks.

Donald J. Boudreaux (Law ’92)


Quotation of the Day…



… is from page 118 of Deirdre McCloskey’s 1996 book The Vices of Economists – The Virtues of the Bourgeoisie (original emphasis):

But in any event some economist claims he can be prudent on your behalf is not something you should believe if such knowledge could make him rich, and as an adult it’s not something you should stand for. You are not being made “free” by being manipulated by the government.


Trouble-Maker on the Charles?



Here’s a letter sent a few days ago to the New York Times:

MIT President Susan Hockfield lists America’s “trade deficit in manufactured goods” as one of our “problems” (“Manufacturing a Recovery,” August 30).

I disagree that specializing in producing services such as neurosurgery, web design, and education – and then exchanging some of these for manufactured goods produced by people who specialize in producing such things as MP3 players, kitchen flatware, and snow domes and other trinkets – is a problem. But if I’m mistaken and Dr. Hockfield is correct, I wonder if she’s aware of her role in worsening this problem.

Every non-American student who enrolls at MIT spends dollars purchasing, not American manufactured goods, but American-produced educationalservices. In consequence, the U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods rises with every non-American student enrolled at MIT.

If Dr. Hockfield truly worries about America’s trade deficit in manufactured goods, she should impose a moratorium on the admission of foreign students to MIT.

In addition, she can move to close MIT’s Sloan School of Management (whose graduates regularly export their services as business and professional advisors – thereby increasing America’s trade deficit in manufactured goods) and to close MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning (whose graduates produce no manufactured goods and who also sell their services to foreigners and, hence, also intensify the “problem” of America’s trade deficit in manufactured goods).

If Dr. Hockfield is right, then a significant portion of America’s problems are being created right there on the Charles.

Donald J. Boudreaux


Protecting Gillard: ABC sacks Milne

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (12:06 pm)


The work being done to close down any scrutiny of Julia Gillard’s past relationship with a conman is downright sinister.

The Prime Minister has made repeated and inappropriate calls to the head of News Ltd demanding the censorship of articles and guarantees not to mention their contents again.

Fairfax Media has repeatedly banned broadcaster Michael Smith from discussing on air a statutory declaration about the conman and Gillard’s unwitting role. Smith has also been banned from interviewing on air the author of the stat dec, a former state president of the Australian Workers Union.

Now, the ABC has sacked Glenn Milne from Insiders for allegedly not meeting its editorial standards. The trigger for that decision was Milne’s column in The Australian on Monday, now removed from the Internet, in which he detailed some of the material.

Milne was meant to be on tomorrow’s Insiders. Now he is off the panel for good.

This shutting down of debate is sinister and shameful. Had John Howard tried it, there would be a riot in the Left. There should be a riot about it now.


US in no mood to follow our useless lead

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (11:00 am)

Is anyone still claiming the United States, inspired by Australia’s noble sacrifice, will hit its own economy with a carbon dioxide tax or emissions trading, too?

Alan RM Jones lays out a few new home truths:

The (US) job market hit a wall in August, signaling economic stagnation as government retrenches and businesses hunker down.

The nation’s unemployment rate was unchanged in August. In addition, virtually zero jobs were added to the economy.

The U.S. economy neither added nor lost jobs during the month, the worst performance since last September, the Labor Department said.... The unemployment rate remained steady at 9.1%, but with such a poor pace of job creation it’s likely to move higher in the coming months.

So what did the Obama administration do in response?

President Barack Obama, citing the struggling economy, asked the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to withdraw an air-quality rule that Republicans and business groups said would cost millions of jobs.

The surprise move—coming on the same day as a dismal unemployment report—reflected the energy industry’s importance as a rare bright spot in adding U.S. jobs. The tighter standards for smog-forming ozone could have forced states and cities to limit some oil-and-gas projects.

America put “a price on carbon”, too? Tell ‘em they’re dreaming.


Warmists lose control of the “consensus”

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (09:32 am)

Wolfgang Wagner resigns as editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing because a sceptical paper was published without warmists getting yet another chance to close it down. As he explains:

The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is”. The authors revised their paper according to the comments made by the reviewers and, consequently, the editorial board member who handled this paper accepted the paper (and could in fact not have done otherwise). Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.

This is not how peer review is meant to work in global warming circles. It’s generally been warmists reviewing warmists, and rejecting sceptics, to preserve the “consensus”.

To demonstrate, here’s an email revealed in the Climategate scandal, from the University of East Anglia’s Phil Jones to Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann”

I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

Another example:

When Geophysical Research Letters also showed signs of wandering off the “consensus” reservation, Dr. Tom Wigley ("one of the world’s foremost experts on climate change") suggested they get the goods on its editor, Jim Saiers, and go to his bosses at the American Geophysical Union to ”get him ousted.”

As Professor Edward Wegman concluded after his committee inquired into the Mann hockey stick and the nature “peer review” in global warming circles:

One of the interesting questions associated with the ‚"hockey stick controversy’ are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published…

However, it is immediately clear that the Mann, Rutherford, Jones, Osborn, Briffa, Bradley and Hughes form a clique, each interacting with all of the others. A clique is a fully connected subgraph, meaning everyone in the clique interacts with every one else in the clique.

His report added:

One of the interesting questions associated with the ‘hockey stick controversy’ are the relationships among the authors and consequently how confident one can be in the peer review process. In particular, if there is a tight relationship among the authors and there are not a large number of individuals engaged in a particular topic area, then one may suspect that the peer review process does not fully vet papers before they are published.... Of course, if a given discipline area is small and the authors in the area are tightly coupled, then this process is likely to turn up very sympathetic referees. These referees may have coauthored other papers with a given author. They may believe they know that author’s other writings well enough that errors can continue to propagate and indeed be reinforced.

In the Mann hockey stick shambles, for instance, Wegman found there were just 43 climate scientists in the world acting as “gatekeepers”.

But now the clique’s power is breaking down. Who could have dreamed that the editor of scientific journal could accidentally send a paper to three reviewers who each share to some except the scepticism of the two authors?

Must be many more sceptics around than you are told.

Here’s what I’d like to know. Did it ever trouble Wagner when, in the past, the papers of warmists were reviewed only by fellow warmists, as in the Mann case? And why resign now when the paper itself has not been proven wrong?

Wagner says only:

…In other words, the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view (which was later unfortunately much exaggerated by the public media) but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal.

But Dr Roy Spencer says this is nonsense:

But the paper WAS precisely addressing the scientific arguments made by our opponents, and showing why they are wrong! That was the paper’s starting point! We dealt with specifics, numbers, calculations…while our critics only use generalities and talking points. There is no contest, as far as I can see, in this debate. If you have some physics or radiative transfer background, read the evidence we present, the paper we were responding to, and decide for yourself.

If some scientists would like do demonstrate in their own peer-reviewed paper where *anything* we wrote was incorrect, they should submit a paper for publication. Instead, it appears the IPCC gatekeepers have once again put pressure on a journal for daring to publish anything that might hurt the IPCC’s politically immovable position that climate change is almost entirely human-caused. I can see no other explanation for an editor resigning in such a situation.

Professor Roger Pielke Snr is right:

Wagner also writes “three reviewers ….. probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors”. First, he fails to define what is a “climate sceptic”. If this litmus test was required of all referees (that they have to be “correct” in their views of climate science), then the review process itself has failed.

(Via Watts Up With That.)


Slight drop in August

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (09:29 am)


More here on this month’s satellite update.


Gillard has less time than she thinks

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (08:57 am)

JULIA Gillard’s leadership could be over in just a few weeks. She’s suddenly out of tricks and out of time.

The High Court this week humiliated the Prime Minister, and shattered the morale of her MPs.

By overturning Gillard’s last, desperate plan to stop the boats - declaring her people swap with Malaysia unlawful - the court confirmed what most voters already believed.

She is simply incompetent.

Her grand promise to swap 800 of our boat people for 4000 of Malaysia’s refugees will join all the other duds that she proposed and then hastily dumped in just 12 miserable months - the East Timor detention centre that East Timor didn’t want, the Cash for Clunkers that was laughed out of existence and the Citizens Assembly that Gillard was too embarrassed to mention again.

That is an astonishing record of failure.

The Prime Minister’s judgment is appalling. This image of a bungler, able to poleaxe an entire live export industry in a single fit of panic, will stick for good to Gillard after this week.

But that still doesn’t explain why she has run out of time.

Another reputation Gillard will never shake is that she’s untrustworthy. No other Prime Minister has stolen an election with such a brazen fraud as her “there will be no carbon tax” promise.

But that doesn’t explain Gillard running out of time, either.

She also lacks authority - in fact or in bearing. She is dependent on the Greens and the independent MPs, which makes her look weak.

She didn’t call the Greens’ bluff, daring them to make Tony Abbott Prime Minister instead, which means she really is weak.

Yet even then, Gillard could have hoped for time. In fact, she counted on it.

In May, at the Victorian Labor conference, she told her already jittery party she just needed the two years before the next election to turn around the polls.

It was an appeal for time - time to destroy the Coalition’s scare campaign against her carbon dioxide tax, to be introduced next July.

“There is a reason they are begging for an election in 2011, and it is not because they think they can win in 2013,” Gillard said. “When Australia has a carbon price, when households are generously assisted, when jobs continue to grow, when the sun rises in the east, cows keep giving milk, chickens still lay eggs, our opponents know their campaign of fear will be exposed as a sham and then they will face the judgment of the Australian people in 2013.”

Her theory overlooked two big problems. One is that it assumed Gillard would not make more mistakes in the meantime.


The other is that it assumed she actually did have two years.


Last Sunday, independent Andrew Wilkie said he was deadly serious about his threat to vote down the Government if it did not honour its promise to him by May to impose mandatory pre-commitment technology on poker machines to limit losses: “If they don’t pull off this reform I will withdraw my support.” There is no way Labor can agree to Wilkie’s demand.


Burning more millions using solar power

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (08:46 am)

Another solar power disaster, with the usual loss of taxpayer money:

House Republicans are demanding White House paperwork related to a $535 million loan guarantee to a solar company that filed for bankruptcy this week.

The Republicans are probing the White House role in the 2009 federal loan guarantee to Solyndra Inc., a California solar company that announced this week it is shutting down and filing for bankruptcy.

The shutdown is a bit of an embarrassment for the administration, as the company was the first selected to receive the loan guarantee under a new program. President Obama visited the company just more than a year ago to tout White House green energy efforts.

(via Instapundit,)


Gillard’s replacement needs clean hands

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (08:43 am)

It is critical that whoever replaces Julia Gillard do so without seeming to have knifed her as she knifed Kevin Rudd:

Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten, a key figure in last year’s coup against Mr Rudd, said: ”Julia Gillard is the right person, at the right time, for the job.”

A resignation, not assassination, is required.


Lenore Taylor:

Bill Shorten left the businessmen around the table in no doubt about his views on Kevin Rudd, or his own ambitions. It was a gathering over lunch in Sydney some weeks ago. The assistant Treasurer of Australia may have been there representing the Gillard government, including its Foreign Minister, but he seemed to be speaking very much for himself.

One of the business people later summarised Shorten’s exposition over lunch this way: “There’s no way we’re bringing that prick Rudd back again.” And: “I’m ready to serve as leader.” The businessman said: “When we walked out of the room, we all looked at each other and said, ‘Wow’.”


Hartcher’s dream is torched

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (07:35 am)

Sometimes there really is fire where there’s smoke, as the Sydney Morning Herald’s Peter Hartcher finally works out:

Keeping calm in The Sydney Morning Herald last Saturday:

JUDGING how well the Gillard government is doing depends on whether evidence trumps emotion. Australian politics exists in a pair of parallel universes. In one, an illegitimate government is led by a liar Prime Minister with no mandate. This sham government plans to vandalise the economy and make the ordinary people suffer, just to help the Greens realise a mad crypto-communist utopia. . . .

In the other universe, a government that was sworn in under all constitutional norms has just completed its first year. The executive has firm control of the parliament. . . . Far from being paralysed, the Gillard government has delivered some substantial reforms.

Evidence trumps emotion. Hartcher in the SMH yesterday:

AS Julia Gillard’s troops choked back rising panic yesterday, one of her lieutenants compared the government to a “house on fire”. Indeed, there are fires in many rooms. The smouldering problem of the asylum-seeker policy has now burst into a full conflagration.

The editor of The Age tries to maintain his faith:

Any reasonable assessment of the Gillard government would acknowledge its reformist zeal. It has shown a steely determination, despite governing with the slimmest of minorities, to follow through with its pledges.

What, pledges like this one, perhaps?:

There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead.

So what does the Age editor call this deceit, this betrayal, this broken promise?

...her shift on carbon pricing...


Vast right-wing conspiracy detected by PM conspiring to bury bad news

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (07:25 am)

I think screaming at News Ltd executives, demanding permanent bans on them reporting embarrassing information and and then publicly suggesting they are liars is not a good media strategy:

APPROACHING 8am last Monday, John Hartigan was walking into his office after a session of boxing, stairs and weights at a park in Sydney’s inner-city Glebe when his mobile phone rang. It was Julia Gillard.

“I presume you know why I’m calling,” the Prime Minister said.

Hartigan, chairman and chief executive of News Limited, had no idea. He soon did, as the Prime Minister voiced her displeasure at the publication that morning in The Australian of a column by Glenn Milne, which revived 16-year-old allegations about Gillard’s one-time relationship with former unionist Bruce Wilson.

According to Hartigan, Gillard put a series of demands that she wanted addressed in 15 minutes. The deadline was later pushed back to 9am.

As well as a public apology and the Milne article being taken offline, she wanted a commitment that the allegations never be repeated again in The Australian. This demand was later extended to all News Limited newspapers and their websites…

Hartigan told Gillard he would speak to Chris Mitchell, The Australian’s editor-in chief.

Mitchell was at his Manly property on Sydney’s northern beaches reading the morning newspapers and drinking tea when Hartigan called and asked him to ring Gillard.

When Mitchell rang and spoke to the Prime Minister, he said, she was “apoplectic”. He had been on the end of verbal sprays from Paul Keating, he said, but “they were nothing compared to this”.

Asked yesterday for comment regarding the accounts given by Hartigan and Mitchell, a spokesman for the Prime Minister released a one-paragraph statement last night that read: “Those accounts of the conversations are false and inaccurate. Considering what The Australian has already published this week, that’s hardly surprising.”

The paranoia is astonishing:

According to Mitchell, a furious Gillard told him she believed Bolt and Milne had worked together to circumvent her understanding with Hartigan and get the allegations back in the public arena.

“She believed Milne was in league with Bolt and we had published this because Bolt and Milne had cooked it up between themselves to get it in the paper,” Mitchell said. “The irony is that it was Fairfax (through 2UE’s Smith) that started it all.”

Bolt said yesterday he had “zero contact with Glenn Milne”. “There is no vast right-wing conspiracy against the Prime Minister,” he said.

What is it with the Left and this conspiracy theory?:


The nation’s judges, including the Labor-appointed Chief Justice, must be part of this vast conspiracy, too:

AUSTRALIA’S judges have launched a withering attack on Julia Gillard, branding her criticism of the High Court’s judgment on the Malaysia deal ‘’irresponsible’’ and her reflections on the Chief Justice ‘’extraordinary, unfair and curious’’.

As a defiant Ms Gillard responded to speculation about her leadership by declaring she was ‘’not going anywhere’’, the Judicial Conference of Australia, representing the nation’s judges and magistrates, warned her behaviour could upset the separation of powers between executive and judiciary.

Only hours before its comments Ms Gillard, when asked on Sky TV whether her criticism of Chief Justice Robert French breached the separation of powers, said ‘’that’s a ridiculous statement’’.

The Prime Minister has accused the court of turning the interpretation of the migration law on its head in striking down the Malaysia deal and criticised Chief Justice French for being inconsistent with his pre-High Court judgments.


Love us and leave

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (06:59 am)

A rare thing - an edgy show on asylum seekers that would tickle both conservatives and the Left, provided they had a subversive sense of humor. Which rules out most people.

Thing is, here’s a show that wants to encourage sympathy for asylum seekers, while rewarding those who have assimilated most.

If only more on the Left would stop using refugee, immigration and multicultural policies as a cloak for attacks on their own culture....


Here are some people who somehow passed another game show that unaccountably gave them first prize - residency in a country that they’re now turning into one more like the one they fled:

Drive-by shootings were not a part of Sydney’s crime culture until the late 1990s, says the former assistant NSW police commissioner Clive Small.

He says they are a tactic often used by Middle Eastern crime gangs, whose members often come from cultures where gun ownership and use is far more common than in Australia.

There were 60 drive-by shootings in Sydney last year, and 70 in 2009. But some local government areas have been suffering disproportionately.

Since 2007 there have been 29 in Bankstown, 43 in Fairfield and 24 in Auburn.

(Thanks to many readers.)


Letting ‘I dare not’ wait upon ‘I would’

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (06:25 am)

Labor is desperate for a new, strong and popular leader. Trouble is, it can’t think of one:

One who was involved in installing Gillard last year was even more emphatic. “If MPs are clamouring for her to go, they’re f---ing hard to find. I haven’t found any,” he told me.

But this is not to understate the scale of Labor’s problem. As one MP, who has long been resigned to a massive defeat, put it: “We have never been in this situation before. Under normal circumstances, however regrettable, the caucus would have to contemplate changing the leader. But everyone is so scarred and damaged by what we did last year that change is almost too horrific to contemplate. We’re paralysed.”

Lenore Taylor describes a shell-shocked rabble, waiting for rescue:

Senior figures who have for weeks been stoically reciting that they were ‘’working through the issues’’ and ‘’rebuilding the electorate’s trust through delivery’’ and ‘’seeing through the tough times’’ couldn’t find a slogan
to explain away the debris of their policy or the state of the government. Most of what they did say can’t be printed, but the recurring theme was disbelief that everything they touched turned to ‘’shit’’.

The trouble:

Stephen Smith is preferred as Labor leader by just 7 per cent of voters in a seven-way comparison by Essential Media published on August 3. Greg Combet attracted support of 2 per cent. And Bill Shorten? Exactly 1 per cent. Gillard’s support was a dire 12 per cent in the same poll, but still higher than any of the next-generation alternatives.

To change to any of these “fresh faces” would be a change without an improvement. And this is the third reason none is organising a challenge. To take the leadership now would be a poisoned chalice. Shorten may be pathological about being leader, but he is not insane. Paul Keating and John Howard each served 22 years in Parliament before becoming prime minister, Kevin Rudd 9 and Julia Gillard 11. Only Bob Hawke managed it in two. Bill Shorten is not Bob Hawke.

But there is one other leadership alternative, the man who attracted 37 per cent in the Essential poll. As a cabinet minister said yesterday: “The obvious thing to do it to put Kevin back. ‘Oops, sorry, we got it wrong’.”

But Rudd, of course, is the man who drove Labor half-way to this disaster.


Laurie Oakes describes a party made helpless with fear:

Caucus members have woken up to what awaits them. Panic is setting in, and it will get worse.

When Labor MPs look ahead to the next election, whenever it is held, what they see scares the hell out of them.

They see a coalition government, headed by Tony Abbott, with a majority that is simply overwhelming.

They see Labor left with less than 30 seats in the 150-member House of Representatives, compared with the 72 it holds now.

And they see a party in ruins, with most of its talent-the kind of people needed to rebuild after an election defeat - swept away.


Did Labor just fund Thomson’s renovation?

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (06:18 am)

Labor pays Craig Thomson’s legal bills to stop him going bankrupt, only to learn that he’s actually got enough cash for a house renovation:

CRAIG Thomson has lodged plans for a $100,000 home renovation.

Mr Thomson - who was rescued from potential bankruptcy when the New South Wales Labor Party gave him $150,000 to pay legal bills - and his partner Zoe Arnold lodged a development application with Wyong Council on July 27.

This was just a few weeks before the Herald Sun revealed the NSW ALP had bailed him out to avoid bankruptcy, which may have forced his resignation from Parliament and, potentially, the fall of the Gillard Government.

Who’s fooling who here?


A fortunate piece of timing from the Gillard Government:

THE senior public servant ultimately responsible for the investigation into Craig Thomson and the Health Services Union is likely to avoid parliamentary scrutiny after being appointed as a commissioner of the workplace tribunal.

Tim Lee, appointed by Julia Gillard in 2009 to his current role of general manager of Fair Work Australia, has been embroiled in the Thomson affair due to his long links with Labor.

Opposition workplace relations spokesman Eric Abetz said in Mr Lee’s new role as Fair Work commissioner - a quasi-judicial role - he would be shielded from any questions and scrutiny in Senate estimates about the investigation.

‘’One would also have to question just why Labor has, by appointing Mr Lee to the position of FWA commissioner, effectively shut down any possibility of him being questioned further at Senate estimates about the Craig Thomson inquiry.

‘’As FWA general manager with oversight of the Thomson investigation, Mr Lee has in the past been available to give evidence to the Senate committee, but in his new role he is now unable to be questioned further.’’

Fair Work investigator Terry Nassios was to report to Mr Lee about the HSU affair. As general manager, Mr Lee would have been responsible for deciding on whether to refer any possible criminal offences at the HSU onto the director of public prosecutions.

(Thanks to readers Spin Baby, Spin and CA. No more comments, to stop us from going grey.)


What privacy?

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (05:52 am)

Define “privacy”:

IT took British teen Catherine Howard less than a minute to do a naked pole dance in a late-night dare…

Little did she know, she was being filmed (on CCTV). That moment of nudity has turned into a night of infamy for the English backpacker after the vision was broadcast on Australian and international television…

She was playing a “truth or dare” card game with a group of friends on August 5 when she took up a challenge to strip off outside the Asylum hostel in inner-city Cairns about 2.30am.

The art student admits it was in public. “But I feel there has been a really big invasion of my privacy,” she said.

Apparantly you should be able to strip naked in public in private.


Getting comfy

Andrew Bolt – Saturday, September 03, 11 (05:50 am)


THE old headmaster’s house at Warramboo, on the Eyre Peninsula, is for sale. Someone sent me the real estate agent’s spiel.

Normally the sale of some country house in some other state would not interest me much. Except this one was mine. And yet not quite.

Here’s the agent’s description:

54 Barns St, Warramboo, SA 5650, $220,000

This three-bedroom home is the original headmaster’s residence in Warramboo. The kitchen has 2 fan forced ovens installed, an island bench, walk-in pantry and server to lounge.

Other features -lounge with reverse cycle airconditioner, slow combustion heater; office/sleepout; new floating floors in lounge, passages and back room; ceiling fans; carport & pergola over pavers; Colorbond roof; walk ramp to back door; garage; garden watering system; insulation; rain water tanks.

The pictures on the website show a place that from the outside seems much like the one in which I lived in my first three years of high school, up the street from the wheat silos and across from dad’s primary school and its tennis court of cracked bitumen.

But the inside . . . All trace of my boyhood had been renovated away.

So many of the selling points singled out by the agent are ones we didn’t have.

Our heaters back then were the fireplaces in which we heaped the mallee roots we’d got from farmers.

Garden watering systems were for the rich, and even they didn’t have ones with computerised timers. Reverse-cycle airconditioning? Did such a thing even exist then? Heat was what we endured.

All these may seem unremarkable details, even trivial, like being able now to choose a Colorbond roof of any one of 20 colours. But what huge effort it took to transform this house and millions like it in this country.


If Shorten or Crean won’t move, it’s Rudd

Andrew Bolt – Friday, September 02, 11 (09:10 pm)

I’ve warned for months that the longer Labor waits to replace Gillard, the more that Rudd becomes the only alternative:

THE Labor caucus is split over Julia Gillard’s long term future as Prime Minister, with MPs admitting discussions are underway over the possible resurrection of Kevin Rudd as leader.

Several MPs have told The Australian Online that a return to Mr Rudd is being evaluated, though there is no imminent move to replace Ms Gillard in the top job.

Others believe a leadership change would be untenable, bringing “five minutes of sunshine” before the party sank further into oblivion.

My tip in July:

Gone by September?

It is almost as if Clinton's closing down CIA mid east operations was a welcome sign.
Declassified documents, exclusive interviews and phone and banking records present an overwhelming case that the 9/11 hijackers relied heavily on a domestic support network to facilitate the plot.
It was the Carter Clinton programs that did it. Sue them
In a sweeping move that opens a new front on the housing crisis, the U.S. government on Friday sued 17 financial firms, including the largest U.S. banks, for selling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac billions of dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities that turned toxic when the housing market collapsed.
Turkey has gone rogue and is acting disproportionately, antagonizing Israel
ISRAEL has said it will not apologise after a UN report cited "excessive force" in last year's raid on a Gaza aid flotilla.
Good work. Engineering requires mathematics.
FIRST, the good oil about jobs in the resource sector: there have never been more of them and the pay is better than ever.
We need Abbott as PM
THE opposition would support home-basing of US warships in northern Australia, according to Tony Abbott.
Storm in a tea cup
NEW South Australian Liberal senator Sean Edwards filed an incomplete declaration of interests to the parliament, while his staff tried to get taxpayers to foot the bill for the hire of a bus to trans...
Privacy is over rated compared to safety. The danger is she might be identified. The black mark should be on her face.
QUEENSLAND'S Privacy Commission plans to audit the booming numbers of CCTV camera networks to thwart concerns about "significant" abuses of vision obtained by hidden surveillance.
Responsible government, like NSW conservative one, works
THE long-term threat to state and federal finances posed by an ageing population has eased, largely as a result of higher immigration, according to a key document due to be released with the NSW budge...
ALP desperate for good news
TONY Abbott faces his own potential political disaster today with Liberal MP and Deputy Speaker Peter Slipper threatening to resign and sit on the cross benches for the next two years over a local bra...
Sounds like a joke.
TWO police firing ranges have been shut down after off-the-scale lead levels were detected, and two more are being tested.
Bad government policy is causing this
RECORD rates of applicants for the Disability Support Pension are being turned away, government figures show.
He died because of a failed federal government promise with healthcare
A MAN died from a heart attack after waiting almost 30 minutes for an ambulance to arrive at his home - less than 1km from the nearest hospital.
Close Ivy down
A FIFTH security guard has been charged over the alleged bashing at the Ivy club last weekend.
Rudd and Gillard promised more and more affordable places
DESPERATE parents are paying hundreds of dollars in non-refundable childcare waiting list fees without any guarantee of securing a place.
KUALA LUMPUR: Lal Ceu and his family fled horrendous hardship in Burma -- a life of forced servitude and punishment.
Money well spent
WITH a $12.6 million price tag, it's the Royal Children's Hospital's most expensive piece of equipment.

Everything has to be managed
SPACE junk has made such a mess of Earth's orbit that experts say we may need to think about cleaning it up.
His government is doing a great job despite the mess ALP left
JUST three days before a slash-and-burn state budget, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner revealed he spent $30,000 on a one-week US trip.
He is morally bankrupt
CRAIG Thomson, the Labor MP given $150,000-plus from the ALP to pay his legal bills, has lodged plans for a $100,000 home renovation.
I hope it helps and is cooperative
POLICE hope to interview stabbed bikie associate Mark Judge as early as today to find out the identity of his attacker.
We live in great times
A NATURAL compound that protects baby wallabies from bacteria in their mother's pouch holds promise as a powerful new drug able to beat bugs resistant to antibiotics such as tetracycline and ampicilli...
AS flames tore through her weatherboard cottage, Shirley Wilson called desperately to her teenage granddaughter Jessie to help her.
Gorgeous view
IT was just a two-bedroom cottage with dream, never-to-be-built-out panoramic ocean views.

The problem is the UN is dysfunctional. Their peacekeeper operations exploit and expose their personnel.
MATINA Jewell has had many close encounters with death during her 15 years as a peacekeeper with the Australian Army.

The government has lost it's way, it is no longer reformist. It lacks vision. It is dysfunctional and cannot pass good legislation.
JULIA Gillard has launched an extraordinary pitch to keep her job, claiming she is still the best person to lead Labor despite mounting pressure on her leadership.
See it because you are a fan of Tamara. Follow it because it is similarly great.

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