Sunday, September 11, 2011

News Items and comments

9/11: Do mention the war

Piers Akerman – Saturday, September 10, 11 (06:32 pm)

Most readers remember where they were when the heard the news of the 9/11 attacks, just as older generations remembered where they were when World War II ended, or when they heard of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour.

Those earlier examples were as defined as the attacks on the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon but they also had a finite ending: a closure, to use the clich aac.

Gazing upon the rows of war graves which lie in manicured parks along the Somme, or at Gallipoli or in Thailand and Indonesia, we have an idea of what the aftermath of war looks like as time flows on.

But the memorials in Manhattan and Washington and in a green Pennsylvania field lack that finality, the definition of a conflict.

W/E AFR September 10-11,2011 Page 6

Spiralling state debt set to top $252Bn.

Federal debt is over $200 billion.

Australia is on it`s way to $500 billion of combined federal and state debt and every cent of it has been racked up by labor governments.

AFR Friday 9 September 2011 Pages 17 and 24

The Chinese Yuan will be fully convertable by 2015.
The Chinese Yuan is significantly undervalued.
How much is Australia in debt to China?

IQ (Reply)
Sat 10 Sep 11 (06:55pm)
DD Ball replied to IQ
Sat 10 Sep 11 (07:23pm)

China is slowing being converted to capitalism. As such their people will not tolerate the corrupt government for very long. It is a hurdle for them. India has a hurdle too. To talk about debt in doom terms is to overstate the issue. It will have to be addressed by responsible governments. It will mean many are poor who did not have to be.

Les replied to IQ
Sat 10 Sep 11 (10:22pm)

@ DD Ball: Oh - so we are advocating the Revolution ? Let me tell you - people in China had their revolution and their Great March already. They are still recovering from it. And, if the past is any guide - they have as much influence on what is happening in Chine as we on what is happening in Australia. Which means - zilch.

The debt which is just a “hurdle” using your terminology - for great many people means ruined lives and lack of perspectives for the future. But this never caused lack of sleep on the part of descisions makers.

Pity that you seem to be sharing their lack of concern.

IQ replied to IQ
Sat 10 Sep 11 (10:40pm)

Labor have never retired debt or turned in a surplus without selling a major government assett such as CBA,CSL or Qantas so if you want to be debt free with a job who do you vote for?
In the past states had little debt and in 2007 Australia had zero net federal debt.
Full employment and a strong economy was destroying the Australian Labor Communist Party.
Unemployment: going up.

DD Ball replied to IQ
Sun 11 Sep 11 (08:54am)

Les, I don’t advocate revolution. But there will be change. Communism has failed in China too, but those dictators still have charge for the moment of some levers. The revolutionary leaders, who came so close to failing at the start, have died.

But as for debt, there is a danger in the future that a communist style China will eat nations whole through manipulation of the stock markets. We need our markets to be bigger than China. That means there will be times of debt even if we are responsible, which our ALP federal government isn’t.

“We must not lose sight...” - it sounds more like a wish than any reasonable expectation of what is to happen.

The war is won - by the enemy - already. And in the manner in which most wars are lost - before it really started. It always happens when there is no will to resist, and when the internal enemy cooperates with the external one.

Conveniently - the borders between who is who are blurred - and a great effort is made to make them more blurry still.

It starts in schools, and then the brainwashing continues throught all layers of life. When it is illegal to tell the truth, when it is OK to admit the enemy within one’s nation borders, when the taxpayers are made to pay for the enemy’s propaganda, organizations, schools - then the war is already lost.

Not the first time, not the last time. There are always those who will sell their country, their nation, their neighbours - for a phantom of an idea, for the lure of power - with one objective only - to be bowed to by all.

Les of Sydney (Reply)
Sat 10 Sep 11 (07:03pm)
DD Ball replied to Les
Sat 10 Sep 11 (07:30pm)

The war has been won by the West. But brush battles will continue. Some are keen to write of defeat, but the reality is we always faced eternal vigilance.

To Piers -

I really like this sentence -

“The Western nations have permitted their values to be diminished through the acceptance of a hard left-wing culture masquerading as environmentalism, as pacifism, as progressivism, and being taught from infancy to our children through the media and through our schools.”

The root cause.

If you don’t identify the cause you go nowhere.

If a doctor treats you for a headache and you have cancer you go nowhere.

The Left cause the problem ... and then misdiagnose. They never realize it is they .. their ideology.

We MUST identify the root cause - Leftism - or we will go nowhere.

Where does Leftism begin? Our schools. After solid brainwashing in our schools it contiues in universities, then the media continue it post-university.

Poison. Mental poison.


John Jay (Reply)
Sat 10 Sep 11 (07:05pm)
DD Ball replied to John Jay
Sat 10 Sep 11 (07:34pm)

I am happy to treat the symptoms. Smack the terrorists hard. Eventually they will learn. Or not.Smack them again. That feels better.

John Jay replied to John Jay
Sat 10 Sep 11 (07:48pm)

To DD Ball -

What are you talking about?


John Jay replied to John Jay
Sat 10 Sep 11 (09:08pm)

To Piers -

What I really like about this article is you are focusing more on cause and not symptom.

Wars and problems start in the hearts and minds of people.

They do not start at the trigger of a gun.

It is easy to vent, be upset, about something that happens that you know shouldn’t have. It is much harder to trace the path that leads to the flashpoint.

What were the preconditions that led to the problem?

What happened in the hearts and minds of enough people for the thorn bush to be able to grow?

Enter the Left school teacher.

This is where there is a silent war being waged.

The Left school teacher imposes a world view on the unsuspecting child -

A world view that is born not of wisdom but young soul illusion and romanticism.

A poison seed.

The child is conditioned to live his or her life in accord with the poison seed of Leftism.

The child is not taught “To Thine Own Self Be True” but is conditioned to abandon his or her inner feelings and instincts.

Some examples -

All people are the same except skin colour.

False. Different cultures vary enormously on all levels. Different cultures are energetically and spiritually very, very different.

Sexual health is to do anything you want. All is O.K. and simply your choice.

False. To enter sexually unnatural activity damages you accumulatively on an energetic and spiritual level. You will change.

This universe has laws. Something the Left don’t understand.

We should save the world.

False. There is only so much we can offer those who are not in the position we are in. There is a line. To go over this line is to begin down a road that leads to cultural extinction.

We should not go to war.

False. There will always be times when there is no choice. Some situations are a choice between your own survival or that of an aggressor. Sometimes there is no third choice.

We should be soft.

False. At times you can be but those you are dealing with need to be open to gentleness, softness. Some people are too damaged to be able to do this and can only function on a more robust level.

There are many more falsehoods in the Left handbook.

In our schools our children need to be taught that their own natural feelings, instincts, intuitions etc should be their compass.

This is why we have them.

They are God-given.

This is the point of attack in our schools - our children are required to suppress what is naturally in them. They can be punished if they are true to themselves.

Pressure begins very early in our school system to dissociate from one’s inner life, one’s inner warnings, and adopt Left illusion.

Our children are literally schooled in self-betrayal.

This is the precondition for so, so many ills in this world. Once your compass within is broken (the deeper purpose of Leftist indoctrination) it is so much easier for someone to graft a poisonous philosophy onto your head.

When contact with soul atrophies all manner of ills can seem reasonable.

John Jay.

Peter B replied to John Jay
Sun 11 Sep 11 (07:15am)

Another prfound and wise comment from JJ. Well said.

Oldtimer replied to John Jay
Sun 11 Sep 11 (09:03am)

What you say John is well put,To see the results of brainwashing on children, look at the way Islam teaches its young,To be willing to die for stone age beliefs is madness,to be prepared to maim and butcher the people who gave you sanctuary is the worst kind of betrayal. To have to listen to those of our own people defending and supporting these mad men is insufferable.
The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, Always was, Always will be.

DD Ball replied to John Jay
Sun 11 Sep 11 (09:06am)

JJ, the idea that we are still fighting to save the towers is misleading. The towers are gone. The people have died. But we have won that fight too. We now have a responsibility to a related battle of eternal vigilance. We cannot accept terrorism becoming part of our lives. We are bigger than they are and we will win each protracted battle. But we can be hurt too, as we were in 911.

It is a mistake to connect the left with terror. It may well be true that terrorists are leftists and leftists are terrorists but not all of them. It may well be true that President Clinton weakened the CIA in the Middle East and so brought on 911. It is also true that Clinton weakened fiscal prudence and brought on GFC. That does not mean that Clinton gave us terror through the GFC.

We need to be responsible. We need to be restrained from excess as we also are unforgiving of corruption.

Leftism will not be addressed permanently. But those symptoms of the corruption leftism brings must be addressed as it arises. We have the weapons to do so and we should use them. We cannot meet corruption with corruption, we must instead meet it with justice.

Jack Richards replied to John Jay
Sun 11 Sep 11 (09:45am)

After reading this, I am now certain that there are just as many lunatics on the Christian right as there are amongst the socialists and the Muslims.

I remember Star Trek was interrupted. I knew straight away it was a terror attack. Such things don’t happen by accident. But I wasn’t expecting my view to be proven right in minutes. Or for the collapse of the towers.

I didn’t miss the program. I didn’t know any of the people involved as victims. But I stand by President Bush’s and PM Howard’s response.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 10 Sep 11 (07:19pm)
Les replied to DD Ball
Sat 10 Sep 11 (08:34pm)

To make the cure effective - one needs to make a proper diagnosis and not treat only the symptoms.

Were so politically correct that we can’t make the diagnosis: that we are in a war with a political/religious/social system which has, as a main objective, the destruction and subjugation of any who is not within that system.

The rest - just follows: we are not only not talking about it, but also pay for our own destruction - with tax money which is being handed out to the enemy by incompetent Governments.

So, DD Ball, keep dreaming and flexing your muscle. And, in your spare time - do a little bit of investigation into how wonderfully things are going in Europe, which wholeheartedly embraced the “multiculturalism” idea about 20 years before we did. As a result - they are much closer to destruction that we are - but no worries, we trying hard to catch up…

While Nero Fiddled replied to DD Ball
Sun 11 Sep 11 (06:52am)

Such things don’t happen by accident.

There was such an accident with the Empire State Building on July 28, 1945.

Plane hits Empire State Building
Reply: It takes a real fool to post such a comment, remind us all when TWO jet passenger aircraft hit the same building complex minutes apart by accident. We are waiting.

While Nero Fiddled replied to DD Ball
Sun 11 Sep 11 (09:22am)

Reply: It takes a real fool to post such a comment, remind us all when TWO jet passenger aircraft hit the same building complex minutes apart by accident. We are waiting.

A fool I may be - I gave too short an answer - so the longer answer now - but my intention was to say that after the first air craft hit the building, I was not sure that it was a terrorist attack as I was already aware of the Empire State accident - and it was only after the second that I realized that it was not an accident. I was just pointing out that accidents DO happen, and that after the first accident no pattern had yet been formed in my foolish mind! If that is being foolish - then the cap fits and I will wear it. I try not to get my exercise by jumping to conclusions, and I seem to recall that those reporting it initially did not conclude that it was a terror attack until after the second crash. At no stage did I imply (or intend to imply) that two crashes were an accident.

I knew straight away it was a terror attack. Such things don’t happen by accident. But I wasn’t expecting my view to be proven right in minutes.

This indicated to me that DD Ball was sure that it was a terror attack after the first plane hit, and was proven right after the second plane hit.
I was initially prepared to consider the possibility of an accident (by precedent of the Empire State accident) or of a terror attack.
How many investigators would have determined after one crash that it was a terror attack?
I learnt a long time ago not to just take things at face value. That is the benefit remembering what has happened before.
Getting to the truth is annoying for some people, and that generally takes assembling more evidence. Before the second crash it seems that the security services had also not yet grasped the situation.

Timeline of attacks

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Sun 11 Sep 11 (09:39am)

Les, people have been claiming Europe is dead for millenia. It won’t be true just because people are alive now and want to make precious observations and claim cleverness on their part. The west is mighty and won’t be cowed because she has refugees from the pathetic third world. Yes there are riots in France and Germany and many other fine places where one would expect civilisation had advanced. Except you would not be able to find a time when there haven’t been riots. Law and order advances and as it does so many find ways to circumvent it for profit. People are profiting from left wing violence. I think we shouldn’t let them. But I also think hitting refugees, illegal or economic or otherwise, isn’t hitting the ones profiting.

While Nero Fiddled, Piers is right. But also the accident did not involve a passenger jet. You might have referred instead to Concorde accidents. A passenger jet crashing into a block of units .. even then the reasons for the accident were self evident, and not some simple, mysterious pilot error.


Terror has not defeated us

Miranda Devine – Saturday, September 10, 11 (06:23 pm)

TEN years ago, I flew into New York on the first Qantas plane after the September 11 terrorist attacks, as the smoke was still billowing from the gaping hole n the ground and the city was still breathing in the ashes of the 3000 dead.

Looking back now it seems almost innocent to have been as shocked as we were.

At Union Square, a few blocks north of Ground Zero late one night a few days after the attacks, I sat and listened to New Yorkers arguing among themselves about how America should respond.

Passionate and courteous, they were formulating the debate we have been having ever since - do you appease the hatemongers, shower them with largesse, apologise for past perceived misdeeds, change your way of life in order not to cause future offence, or do you strike back at the terrorists and their supporters.

America and its allies among the Coalition of the Willing chose both courses - the velvet fist inside the iron glove. We didn’t just invade Iraq and Afghanistan to hunt al-Qaeda and destroy weapons of mass destruction. We also invaded to bring freedom, and establish a beacon of democracy in the Middle East - with mixed results, and the naivety of born winners.

Mistakes were made and the cost in blood and treasure has been in the high trillions of dollars, 6000 dead US soldiers, and 29 Australian soldiers lost in Afghanistan.

I thought I was doing the right thing in giving money regularly to Amnesty International. I thought I was supporting prisoners of conscience around the world who were imprisoned for their peaceful beliefs in freedom. But I was wrong. My money was diverted to support Hicks and Mamdouh Habib. Terrorism has not won. It will lose. But it has a pervasiveness that has existed for a long time. In almost all of its incarnations it is anti Semmitic. I stand up for reason and oppose terror. I look to the future, and growth and prosperity.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 10 Sep 11 (06:35pm)

“...Islamic fundamentalists who perverted religion for their cause...”. I think it would be a healthier society if we could actually discuss that statement. Rather than being told that Islam is the religion of peace by Muslims, I think it would be better if we delved into their documents ourselves. I don’t see much peace and tolerance coming out of Muslim countries, but I do see a lot of violence, hatred and anger. Is that really all the West’s fault as they say, or is something rotten in Islam? Winston Churchill certainly thought so.

Peter (Reply)
Sat 10 Sep 11 (09:47pm)
dd replied to Peter
Sun 11 Sep 11 (01:52pm)

Before 9/11, I had never even thought about Islam,since then everything points to it being a toxic religion of pure hate. They always appear to be on a fanatical edge somewhere. Not the same tribe, not even the same nation but always the same hate,belligerance and aggression. What central core drives them?Yet they remain immured in their ancient beliefs while spreading their people among those they profess their utter contempt for. Why does the West tolerate them and willingly take them in while knowing how dangerous,how thankless they really are?

DD Ball replied to Peter
Sun 11 Sep 11 (02:29pm)

I think it is a mistake to focus on religion. Poverty and bad leadership make for bad bedfellows. Christian South American nations which are poor have similarly bad problems. Frequently it doesn’t seem to be the religious people who cause the problems, but those who seek to exploit religion, as Communists have claimed to do in the past, without actually believing in the religion they exploit. Even looking at dysfunctional lands such as Ireland can be illustrative of the point. In the recent past Irish rebels have traded in arms with Al Qaeda. They don’t really have a common religion, but they certainly have much in common.

‘....To banish God from Ground Zero is as much an admission of defeat as any for the most open - and most religiously observant - nation on Earth...’
What rubbish! Americans are divided significantly on what they believe and how they worship. You have complete fundamentalist fools like Palin and her ilk claiming that the world is about 8 thousand years old! About sums up the mentality and education levels! Where was God when the planes hit?
America bought a lot of the hate on one gave them the right to be the world’s policeman. Look at the dreadful atrocities the “In God We Trust’ mob have committed!
They are a country divided by tribes, poverty, religious extremism, greed and significant divisions between the rich and poor. They need to concentrate on rebuilding infrastructure, putting people in jobs and cut spending on defence.
They need to forget the myths and believe in themselves.

DD Ball replied to Tony the Space Cadet!!
Sun 11 Sep 11 (02:34pm)

And yet the USA is united in much. They have a manifest destiny which unites them. Their founding fathers decreed it wasn’t religion and separated church from the functions of state. But they were themselves men of faith and acknowledged the role faith plays in the lives of all peoples. The ridiculous removal of christian references from a memorial is nothing more than the triumph of the areligious many of whom were those who committed the atrocity.

[Mistakes were made and the cost in blood and treasure has been in the high trillions of dollars, 6000 dead US soldiers, and 29 Australian soldiers lost in Afghanistan.]

Not to mention Afghan civilian deaths. I don’t see much of an alternative to invading Afghanistan, but we’ve made so many mistakes while there, and steadfastly ignoring or diminishing their civilian dead (some killed at our hands) is one of these.

Wrt giving religion a space at the commemoration - in the immediate aftermath, it became apparent that people of many religions had been killed while working at the Twin Towers. Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. (And perhaps more. It is NY, after all.) This immediately became problematic - not just in terms of recognising the Muslim victims, but also in terms of recognising the Hindu victims (which put one ally in the WOT - Pakistan - off side).

Is there honestly a public space for all these religions today to commemorate the dead?

If not, it becomes an issue that takes away from remembering those who were lost. If you include them all, it similarly becomes an issue that diminishes the solemnity of the memorial. Better to leave it in the hands of family members.

Zaf (Reply)
Sun 11 Sep 11 (11:38am)
Fair and Balanced replied to Zaf
Sun 11 Sep 11 (01:21pm)

Exactly why religion should not be foist onto other people, by religious zealots.... of ANY DENOMINATION.

Religion should not be at the forefront of the political spectrum… Isn’t that the problem highlighted by the extremist that bomb in the name of religious beliefs… ???

DD Ball replied to Zaf
Sun 11 Sep 11 (02:42pm)

I feel it overstates things to say that the war continues because of mistakes made in the invasion. The invasion was clean and effective. The impetus behind what we see now is less related to that than those who profit from continued problems. I would look to the neighbors Iran and Pakistan neither of whom wish the US was involved next door. It is an intelligence failure related to the Bill Clinton decision to remove the CIA from the Middle East and rely on NSA surveillance.


Quotation of the Day…



… is from Plutarch, quoted on page 95 of the 1998 Liberty Fund re-issue of Trevor Colbourn’s superb 1965 book The Lamp of Experience:

No beast is more savage than man, when possessed of power equal to his passion.


Keynes was – without any intention of slurring him – an opportunist and an operator…. [I]n 1931 he came out in favor of protection. These gyrations frequently made him seem inconsistent to his contemporaries; actually, the examples cited can easily be reconciled by reference to the modern theory of second-best, but Keynes never spelled out such a theory. The General Theory represents the apotheosis of opportunism in this sense, in two ways. Mass unemployment had lasted so long that it appeared to the average man to be the natural state of affairs, which economics was powerless to explain and political processes powerless to alter; a new theory of its causes that promised an easy cure was thus virtually certain to sell, provided its author had impeccable professional credentials. But to be a new theory it had to set up and then knock down an orthodox theory, not merely explain what traditional theory really was and develop its application to the problem at hand – a procedure that Keynes had applied frequently in his younger days…

Earlier in this 1973 essay (entitled “Keynes and British Economics,” and reprinted on pages 77-90 of Johnson’s 1975 collection On Economics and Society), Johnson quite properly derides Churchill’s catastrophic 1925 decision to return Britain to the gold standard at pre-war parity – a policy that even a good freshman economics student would have seen would require a significant reduction in the price level given the inflation that Britian had experienced over the previous ten years. About this historical calamity, Johnson writes (on page 79):

Had the exchange value of the pound been fixed realistically in the 1920s – a prescription fully in accord with orthodox economic theory – there would have been no need for mass unemployment, hence no need for a revolutionary new theory to explain it, and no triggering force for much subsequent British political and economic history.


One of the best books on political theory that I’ve read in years is Mark Pennington’s Robust Political Economy. I’ll be writing more about it in the future.

Compared to many other bloggers, Arnold Kling is more polite – and thinks more much more deeply – about the state of economy (and about proposed ‘solutions’).

And while we’re highlighting Arnold’s work, don’t miss this gem of a post – in which, by the way, he mentions the important new study by my GMU Econ colleague Garett Jones and AEI’s Dan Rothschild.

Bob Higgs here discusses the relevance to economic theory of the recovery of consumer spending.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, the Cato Institute’s Dan Ikenson argues that “the president should strongly advocate the elimination of duties on imported manufacturing inputs and other domestic impediments to U.S. competitiveness abroad and at home.” [Dan's correct - although I pick a nit: talk of "U.S. competitiviveness," while it might help to better sell politically the case for freer trade, is wrong and misleading. As Paul Krugman correctly argued in 1994, "competitiveness is a meaningless word when applied to national economies."]


Fairfax declares: we’re not biased on global warming

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 11, 11 (11:10 am)

The warmist Sunday Age asked readers to nominate the global warming questons that most needed answering.

Last week, it had to addresss the winning question - the one about what difference Julia Gillard’s tax could possibly make to the temperature. Answer: less than 4 one-thousand parts of a degree.

This week, it has to answer this one:

THE QUESTION: It is accepted that man’s carbon dioxide emissions are causing an amount of warming of the climate. However, the magnitude of any future warming is highly uncertain. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledges that its understanding of a number of key natural climate drivers and feedbacks is ‘’low’’ or ‘’very low’’. Why is it, therefore, that the Fairfax press is reluctant to engage with and investigate this uncertainty with an open-minded impartiality, and instead continues to publish articles based on a rigid editorial agenda that ‘the science is settled’?

Good question.

And the answer offered?

With such doubt, why do Fairfax newspapers make comments like this (in an editorial in The Age)?: ‘’There is now little chance of containing global warming within the ‘guardrail’ [of 2 degrees] that most scientists believe is necessary to avoid catastrophic climate change … failure to keep temperature rises within the guardrail raises the prospect of a 4 degree rise by as early as 2060, causing widespread droughts and desertification, coastal flooding with the dislocation of millions of people, dwindling food supplies because of the loss of agricultural land, and the extinction of many species’’.

The reason, says Sydney Morning Herald editor-in-chief Peter Fray, is that the uncertainties are not sufficient to undermine the main conclusions of the science. ‘’The IPCC … may still be investigating the natural drivers of climate change but that is not the same as saying climate change does not exist or the science is in doubt,’’ he said…

But the editors of the Fairfax papers deny they have a ‘’rigid editorial agenda’’.

‘’In editorials we have accepted the views of the IPCC, just as we would have accepted the peer reviewed work of a [Sir Isaac] Newton or [Michael] Faraday,’’ Fray said. ‘’[But] we have reported, for instance, the Climategate leaks saga and we have often reported alternative or sceptical views about climate science.’’…

Age editor-in-chief Paul Ramadge said the newspaper had published ‘’a range of opinions on the IPCC and the issue of scientific uncertainty’’ in its news reporting, and had also reported on the ‘’divisions in the scientific community’’. ‘’It’s important to understand that The Age’s editorial opinion is separate to … our reporting."…

And Australian Financial Review editor Paul Bailey said ‘’we don’t believe there is or has ever been, a Fairfax line on climate change’’…

Sunday Age editor Gay Alcorn acknowledged that coverage of climate change in Australia could be improved. ‘’As far as I know, we have never done a detailed story before about what the uncertainties around the science actually are. It is one of the reasons why debate on climate change can get so fraught so quickly. It is a complex subject and the reporting in Australia has at times lacked depth and context.’’

Simon James responds.


Press being muzzled, “human rights” lobby silent

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 11, 11 (09:37 am)

Chris Berg is absolutely right about these hypocrites:

WHERE are our great public intellectuals on new threats to freedom of the press? Under the Howard government, there was a minor genre of books and essays condemning the prime minister’s apparent antipathy to public debate. With titles like Silencing Dissent, academics and activists lined up to say John Howard was cracking down on his opponents. David Marr argued in a 2007 essay that Howard was ‘’corrupting public debate’’. Howard had ‘’cowed his critics’’ and ‘’muffled the press’’.

So the silence on the inquiry into media bias is jarring. Yesterday the Greens proposed an inquiry to look at ‘’whether the current media ownership landscape in Australia is serving the public interest’’. Those are weasel words. The inquiry - also supported by some independents and many within the government - is obviously intended to influence what the media publishes.

After all, Rob Oakeshott supports an inquiry because he thinks ‘’complete rubbish’’ is being written about him. Labor MP Steve Gibbons spoke of the need for an inquiry because of ‘’vendettas of hate’’ being waged against the government. Greens senator Christine Milne has said ‘’bias is certainly one of the things which is going to be looked at’’. Bob Brown talks of the anti-Green ‘’hate media’’.

The federal cabinet reportedly held lengthy discussions several weeks ago about ‘’going to war’’ with News Ltd and The Australian newspaper. Along with an inquiry, the cabinet also canvassed a government advertising boycott, because it wasn’t happy with coverage of the Craig Thomson affair and journalist Glenn Milne’s airing of old allegations that Julia Gillard had been tangentially associated with similar things.

But recall: in his Howard-era essay, David Marr described the government’s reluctance to use taxpayer money on objectionable artistic grants as ‘’censorship by poverty’’.

Many agreed. Surely by this loose standard, the Gillard government’s threat of withdrawing advertising from a media company it objects to is ‘’censorship’’ as well? Where’s the outcry?

Where indeed? These are people support a side, not a principle.

(Thanks to reader Steve.)


A consecration

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 11, 11 (08:58 am)

A fine speech, properly drawing on an even finer one.


Wilkie won’t get what he was promised by Labor

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 11, 11 (06:09 am)

The likelihood grows of an election by June, on the eve of the implementation of the carbon dioxide tax:

CLUBS and pubs will target individual federal Labor MPs in marginal NSW and Queensland electorates with a poster campaign against changes to poker machine laws....

As part of the second phase of their ‘’It’s un-Australian’’ campaign, Clubs NSW and the Australian Hotels Association say they will plaster clubs and pubs with posters and banners - some as long as 1.5 metres - showing the face of their local federal MP.

The posters will feature the first name of the MP, followed by: ‘’Why don’t you stand up for our community?’’ ...

Clubs and pubs say they will have to outlay about $40 million to install pre-commitment spending computer chips in their pokies.... The measure was promised to the Tasmanian independent, Andrew Wilkie, as part of the deal to win his support for Labor to form government....

Federal Labor MPs in NSW are reportedly trying to distance themselves from the government’s promise to introduce mandatory pre-commitment for poker machines, describing the impact of Clubs NSW’s grassroots campaign as ‘’worse than the carbon tax’’.

Mr Wilkie ... has threatened to bring down the Gillard government if it is not legislated by next May.


It’s Rudd, tweets a little birdie

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

Oh, and just in case you forgot he was there:

Just got to a million twitter (sic) followers. Thanks to all. One guy said it’s time for a new twitter pic. How about my 1977 mo photo? KRudd,” the Foreign Minister tweeted, using his KRuddMP account.


Is $30 billion making us all that much safer?

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 11, 11 (05:55 am)

How much of our spending on counter-terrorism is justified?:

Athol Yates, executive director of think tank the Australian Security Research Centre, has calculated that Canberra has spent about $10.5 billion on homeland security, while state and local governments plus private industry have forked out another $5.5 billion, taking the total domestic security bill to about $16 billion.

When combined with the extra military spending, the tally is $26.9 billion so far. ..

More than 100 Australians have been killed by terrorists since 2001 - all of them overseas, the majority in the 2002 Bali bombing…

Newcastle academic Professor Mark Stewart, co-author of the book Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security, ,,, said no one in government was asking how counterterrorism funds were being spent or if the spending was effective…

‘’Given that the risk of an Australian being killed in a terrorist attack is one in 7 million per year … how much more money do we need to spend to make that risk smaller, when the remote risk is about the same as being struck by lightning?’’


After all that huffing, they’d vote for something tougher than Nauru?

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 11, 11 (05:23 am)

Will Labor’s Left really vote for a “solution” that’s sold as tougher than Nauru? Will the Greens really wave this through? Will hypocrisy triumph? Stay tuned:

LEGISLATION will be rushed into Parliament to allow the federal government to resurrect its failed attempt to send asylum seekers to Malaysia.

Although the Greens are opposed to offshore processing, the government may win the support of the independents with Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott saying they would wait to see the details of the new policy before making a decision…

A return to the ‘’Pacific solution’’ has been ruled out after the government said it would cost more than $1 billion to send people to Nauru…

The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, maintains he would only side with the government if it decided to send asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island, not Malaysia.

Let’s see if Gillard can persuade the Left to yet again vote against its noisy conscience:

Left faction convener Doug Cameron, who once complained the ALP caucus had become political zombies too scared to speak their minds, said the Malaysian solution was no solution at all.

“We should stick to the party platform,” he said.

“That’s onshore processing. It’s the humane thing to do.”

Northern Territory Senator Trish Crossin said: “I don’t think we should compromise on human rights as a first resort.”

WA Labor MP Melissa Parke said she would argue strongly against offshore processing.

ALP sources also suggested some Labor MPs may abstain from any vote.

More hypocrisy.. . Remember the outrage Labor manage to summon over the sinking of the SIEV X duringthe Howard Government’s time?:

SIEVX was a genuine tragedy. Many of the issues we are concerned about have not been fully resolved, but they need to be. We recommend that there be an independent inquiry into all the events surrounding SIEVX

Now it cannot be bothered even mentioning the sinking of other vessels under its own watch, and certainly not to the families of the dead:

A DISTRESS call giving out the co-ordinates of a stricken boat carrying 105 Hazaras seeking asylum, who are now presumed to have drowned, was received by Australian Customs and Border Protection officials but the agency has never publicly revealed the details.

Advice that the vessel was in distress and its position in seas between Indonesia and Australia on October 3, 2009, was passed by the agency to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority…

But the boat has never been found and those on board have not been heard from since, despite the Home Affairs Minister, Brendan O’Connor, having later said that ‘’subsequent credible information’’ showed the boat’s difficulties had been resolved…

Shortly after the boat disappeared, frantic Afghan community members in Australia made inquiries with the Department of Immigration and Customs and Border Protection, but were told nothing about the fate of the boat....

Information about the 105 missing Afghan Hazaras ...only came to light after the opposition asked in Parliament what the government knew about each of the missing eight boats.


Will Kevin Rudd explout Julia Gillard’s crash-through-or-crash ultimatum to her party tomorrow? Remember what Rudd said on the night before Gillard took his job?:

If I return as the leader of the Government and Prime Minister, I will be very clear of one thing, this party and Government will not be lurching to the right on the question of asylum seekers.

And now, with Gillard trying to lurch to the Right on asylum seekers, there’s this:

Caucus tensions are rising as former PM Kevin Rudd continues to build his profile. Mr Rudd’s supporters have warned Labor colleagues that voters will “wipe us off the planet” unless there is a change in leadership before the next election.

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If this Government believes it must put offshore processing beyond legal doubt by amending the Migration Act, then the Coalition is prepared to work constructively with them.

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