Monday, September 12, 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.

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.

John Jay replied to John Jay
Sun 11 Sep 11 (10:39am)

To Jack Richards -

You have said nothing.

Explain concisely where the “lunacy” is.


sensei replied to John Jay
Sun 11 Sep 11 (11:46am)

J J I agree and I’m a school teacher albeit a conservative one. I work relief to distance myself from this nonsense. I am asked constantly to work full time but refuse. Ironically it is my conservative approach to classroom management and instruction (i.e. that I am there to teach not ‘facilitate’!!!!!) that ,I believe,makes me useful at the former and sought after for the latter. The left has an enormous amount to answer for.

John Jay replied to John Jay
Mon 12 Sep 11 (09:50am)

To DD Ball -

“It is a mistake to connect the Left with terror.”

A shallow and blind statement.

Tell this to those in England who lost loved ones in World War 2.

The can’t-see-or-cope-with-reality Left, through continually offering flowers to the dictator, gave him more time to build up his army of terror.

It was when lion-hearted can-see-and-cope-with-reality Churchill was in command that reality was faced.


John Jay replied to John Jay
Mon 12 Sep 11 (01:44pm)

To Sensei -

Interesting - thanks for that.



“It is a mistake to connect the Left with terror.”

A shallow and blind statement.Tell this to those in England who lost loved ones in World War 2.

True, but overstated. Think of it in terms of a cancer patient. Do you reject the patient because they have cancer, or do you remove the bit with the cancer and try to work with the rest? I don't know who they are, or why they are so silent, but there are those among the left who are not viscous stupid bastards. They may be sheep-like lined up behind some of the worst 'leaders' in history and living in hope every time someone assumes the mantle. They may have marched for some of the worst bloodthirsty killers in history. Supporting Hanoi Jane and praising Bob Guccione and freedom of the press. But sometimes they have come to see reason, and they swung behind Mr Howard once, and George W Bush, and Thatcher, Nixon, Menzies, Churchill and Reagan. The left will never bear responsibility for anything. They will put it in the past, like dropping an atomic bomb on a civilian population twice. Or starving MacArthur of equipment in the fight against Japan because he was not politically the right person. Or firebombing German civilians because of their race to get to Berlin before the Soviet allies. - DDB

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.

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)
I think and I vote replied to DD Ball
Sun 11 Sep 11 (11:31pm)

Its funny you should mention Amnesty. I did the same thing thinking I was supporting something very different.

While Nero Fiddled replied to DD Ball
Mon 12 Sep 11 (02:38pm)

I have never been conned by them, and have had arguments with their supporters handing out pamphlets in the street as to why they support perpetrators and not victims - but then it was started by a lawyer. What more can one say?

“...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.

Tony the Space Cadet!! replied to Tony the Space Cadet!!
Sun 11 Sep 11 (03:44pm)

To DD Ball: And what is there manifest destiny? To go broke?
I have no problems with a joint religious service at the site but Americans in general need to grow up.
They need to travel ore, see the world and realise that they are not the only ones who populate the earth.

I think and I vote replied to Tony the Space Cadet!!
Sun 11 Sep 11 (11:36pm)

On this day of all days, they are entitled to grieve and behave as if they are on their own. After all, they are the first called up to sort out peace a la Libya. They can be annoying, they can be over the top but they are our allies and we have more in common with them than most countries.

[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.

bennoba replied to Zaf
Sun 11 Sep 11 (03:39pm)

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

Including the Church of Climatology?

Zaf replied to Zaf
Sun 11 Sep 11 (05:09pm)

@ DD Ball

[I feel it overstates things to say that the war continues because of mistakes made in the invasion.]

I don’t recall that I did say that, actually.

[The invasion was clean and effective. ]

Arguably not so.

Exhibit A: Osama Bin Ladin was not in the invaded country (Afghanistan) but in a neighbouring country (Pakistan) which is a nominal ally in the War on Terror. What’s more, his location in Pakistan (along with other senior Al Qaeda members) was widely assumed and discussed in the Western press for YEARS before his death. What’s so clean and effective about that?

[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]

1 Iran’s dissatisfaction with the US is both well known (it couldn’t have come as a surprise to US military planners, right?) and overstated (better Karzai than the crazy Taliban.

2 I repeat: Pakistan is a nominal ally, is well paid in aid, and also has an Islamist issue that is long standing and well known.

iow - problems with both of these countries have been well known for decades BEFORE the invasion of Afghanistan. It’s incompetence to have failed to take these issues into account when invading Afghanistan.

What’s more, the US (and we, as their sidekicks) seem to be set to repeat the poisonous pattern of ME diplomacy - propping up a hated corrupt Govt (in Pakistan, Zardari’s PPP) for short term gain but at the cost of long term undercutting of any chance democracy has to grow there. This is exactly what happened in Egypt (Mubarak) and Iraq (Saddam Hussain) and any number of other squalid geostrategically important little dictatorships.

Finally - any child of 13 in South Asia or the Middle East could have given you a pretty sound idea about all this fifteen YEARS ago. Trying to blame ignorance on Clinton’s budget cuts to the CIA is ludicrous. Why didn’t anybody in the US and Australian missions in the region bother to read the local newspapers?

Zaf, It was known the Taliban worked with Osama. You might choose to believe now that they were independent, but that doesn't suggest you know what you are talking about.

Back in 2005 Afghanistan was thought to be settled. So much so that Hilary Clinton labelled Iraq as a failure and Afghanistan as the war she supported. Similarly Rudd and Gillard.

The policy has not been bloody minded, as you seem to suggest, but to win the hearts and minds of locals. The fact they haven't yet done so suggests outside influence, like China in Vietnam which the peace movement denied was happening.

I have spoken with children from there and their view is not as you put it. There is always a dumb left wing position that shifts depending on the political wind and certainly the accusation of puppetry is there. The shrinking of the CIA operations is a fact, as is the result. - DDB

Quotation of the Day…



… is from page 678 of Will & Ariel Durant’s 1963 book The Age of Louis XIV:

It is easier to be original and foolish than to be original and wise; there are a thousand possible errors for every truth, and mankind, with all its efforts, has not yet exhausted the possibilities.


This graph from Mr. Graph himself – the indispensable Mark Perry – captures very concisely much of what Russ and I (and Mark, and Doug Irwin, and many other economists) have said in one venue or another over the years. Proponents of imposing heavier tax burdens on Americans who purchase goods and services from abroad should look at this graph and ponder the following questions:

1. Do you not worry about the possibility that fewer American imports will reduceAmerican economic activity – and, hence, reduce American employment – even in the short-run? Because nearly six in every ten dollars that Americans spend on imports are spent buying inputs to production, why do you overlook the possibility that, with fewer or more costly inputs for use in production, some U.S.-based producers will either shut down completely or produce less?

2. Because so many American protectionists are (rather inconsistently) also champions of increasing American exports, do you not worry that, by employing protectionist policies that raise the cost to U.S.-based producers of producing, that higher tariffs will actually and directly reduce exports?

3. Do the data in Mark’s graph cause you to question the oft-heard argument that America’s trade deficit is a symptom of Americans “eating their seed corn” – that is, of Americans borrowing from foreigners simply to finance consumption today?


Here’s Mark’s take – relying heavily on Dan Ikenson’s recent superb WSJ essay – on the data.


Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Steven Pearlstein alleges that a laughable mysticism drives those of us who “reject as thoroughly discredited all of Keynesian economics, including the efficacy of fiscal stimulus, preferring the budget-balancing economic policies that turned the 1929 stock market crash into the Great Depression” (“The magical world of voodoo ‘economists’,” Sept. 11).

Before guffawing at us oafs, Mr. Pearlstein should check his facts.

After running a budget surplus in 1930, Uncle Sam ran a budget deficit in 1931 of $462 million and a budget deficit in 1932 of $2.74 billion. Moreover, 1932′s budget deficit was four percent of GDP – a deficit-to-GDP ratio the size of which was not matched after 1946 until 1976, and which was exceeded by only three of FDR’s non-war-year budgets. For 1930-1932 as a whole, the U.S. government ran a net budget deficit of $2.46 billion.* Herbert Hoover’s deficit spending was so alarming that, during the 1932 presidential campaign, FDR emphasized his own commitment to reverse what then seemed to be unprecedented fiscal recklessness.

Of course, FDR broke that campaign pledge. He ran a budget deficit during every year of the greatly depressed 1930s – a fact that should cause Mr. Pearlstein to shed some of the arrogance with which he dismisses skeptics of Keynesian economics.

Donald J. Boudreaux

* See Tables 1.1 and 1.2 here.


Police move in on HSU

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (06:10 pm)

It won’t just be Craig Thomson who is sweating:

NSW Police today established a strike force to investigate ``inappropriate practices’’ in the Health Services Union.

The HSU has been central to allegations that former senior officials, including Labor MP Craig Thomson, mis-used union credit cards.

Mr Thomson has denied breaking the law.

But police announced that Strike Force Carnarvon was created after senior police received additional information from union members this morning.

The investigating officers include senior members of the State Crime Command’s Fraud and Cyber Crime Squad.

“The NSW Police Force has established a Strike Force to investigate allegations of inappropriate practices within the Health Services Union,” said a statement.

There was no mention of Mr Thomson or any other former or past official of the HSU.


The debate gets very cloudy

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (01:29 pm)

No, the debate isn’t over at all:

In April 1990, Al Gore published an open letter in the New York Times “To Skeptics on Global Warming” in which he compared them to medieval flat-Earthers. He soon became vice president and his conviction that climate change was dominated by man-made emissions went mainstream. Western governments embarked on a new era of anti-emission regulation and poured billions into research that might justify it. As far as the average Western politician was concerned, the debate was over.

But a few physicists weren’t worrying about Al Gore in the 1990s. They were theorizing about another possible factor in climate change: charged subatomic particles from outer space, or “cosmic rays,” whose atmospheric levels appear to rise and fall with the weakness or strength of solar winds that deflect them from the earth. These shifts might significantly impact the type and quantity of clouds covering the earth, providing a clue to one of the least-understood but most important questions about climate. Heavenly bodies might be driving long-term weather trends.

The theory has now moved from the corners of climate skepticism to the center of the physical-science universe: the European Organization for Nuclear Research, also known as CERN. At the Franco-Swiss home of the world’s most powerful particle accelerator, scientists have been shooting simulated cosmic rays into a cloud chamber to isolate and measure their contribution to cloud formation. CERN’s researchers reported last month that in the conditions they’ve observed so far, these rays appear to be enhancing the formation rates of pre-cloud seeds by up to a factor of 10. Current climate models do not consider any impact of cosmic rays on clouds.

(Thanks to many readers.)


Wilkie, at least, believes in a free press

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (12:32 pm)

The smartest independent believes in the freedom of the press:

A KEY independent has warned the government against any media inquiry with narrow terms of reference that smack of politics.

Tasmanian Andrew Wilkie has cautioned that he might not support an inquiry “that was obviously political”.

Cabinet is expected to canvass the issue when it meets in Canberra tonight amid speculation the government is considering a review that focuses on print rather than the wider industry.

Greens leader Bob Brown has flagged a broader inquiry of his own which he plans to put to the Senate on Wednesday.

Senator Brown is understood to want the inquiry to look at media ownership and “past and present practices of the media both in Australia and internationally"…

But Mr Wilkie says he does not share many of the concerns of the government and the Greens. “I don’t have a concern with any perceived bias in the print media,” he said. “I am not fussed at all about issues like bias in the media. That is just the nature of things.”


Gillard’s latest boat plan will flop, too. UPDATE: 440 dead so far

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (11:12 am)

So what’s plan F?:

JULIA Gillard’s bid to resurrect her Malaysia Solution for asylum-seekers faces defeat after the opposition last night attacked it on four separate criteria and the Greens warned the Prime Minister against an “unholy alliance” with the Coalition to revive offshore processing.

Ms Gillard looks set to overcome internal divisions within Labor to win support for a new Malaysian plan in special cabinet and caucus meetings this morning.

But opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has rejected the Malaysian policy…

With the Greens insisting on onshore processing of asylum-seekers - and Labor and the opposition at odds over appropriate arrangements for offshore processing - the government’s bid to continue offshore processing faces a political stalemate…

Writing in The Australian today, Mr Morrison said the primary weakness of Immigration Minister Chris Bowen’s policy was that adequate protections were not in place for asylum-seekers sent to Malaysia. He said children would be denied access to public schools and one medical clinic funded by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees would be shared with 94,000 people.


One win so far for Gillard:

JULIA Gillard has won the backing of caucus to pursue her Malaysian Solution amid a warning that onshore-only asylum-seeker processing would cost $4 billion a year.

The Prime Minister’s proposal to amend the legislation was carried on a clear majority of voices, despite opposition from the party’s Left.

The change would restore the powers of the Immigration Minister to declare third countries as offshore processing destinations after the High Court placed them in doubt.

Inside the caucus room, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen argued the merits of his Malaysian Solution.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard told colleagues this morning that an amendment to the Migration Act would allow the government’s Malaysian Solution to proceed.

It would also pave the way for Tony Abbott’s preferred Nauru option but “we won’t use it’’.

This is legislationthat should help make Tony Abbott’s preferred solution of Nauru safe froma High Court challenge, too, which put pressure on the Opposition to approve it.

But let’s hear no more from Labor’s Left on the “cruelty” of the Howard Government.

And let’s not allow Labor to escape the moral responsibility of having so recklessly lured so many people to their deaths:

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen ... urged colleagues not to forget that four per cent of asylum seekers who got on boats drowned at sea

Do the maths. Since Labor foolishly relaxed the boat people laws, more than 11,000 boat people have arrived. If Bowen’s death rate is right, then more than 440 people have drowned at sea, lured to their deaths.

Which makes that change in the laws the deadliest mistake Labor has made.


Let’s all be Macedonian

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (06:41 am)

As I asked on Saturday,

Do you have to be Macedonian to be free to speak? Are only Anglo-Saxons racist?

For instance:

Tom Switzer, Australian Financial Review, December 23, 1998:

THE moral of this story is simply this: the Palestinians cannot be trusted in the peace process. Contrary to the accepted wisdom, it is the Palestinians—not the Netanyahu government—who are the true culprits in derailing efforts to reach an agreement over Gaza and the West Bank. Add to this that Mr Yasser Arafat uses Western aid not, as it is intended, for the poor of Gaza, but to build luxury flats for his military and bureaucratic elite, and it would appear that the Palestinians remain vicious thugs who show no serious willingness to comply with agreements.

Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW anti-discrimination ruling on AFR July 24, 2000:

THESE proceedings concern a complaint of racial vilification made by Mr Ali Kazak against The Australian Financial Review. Mr Kazak alleges that an article written by Tom Switzer published on 23 December 1998, contravenes s20C of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (the Act). The article as a whole paints an extremely negative picture of the Palestinian people and an extremely positive picture of the Israeli people and their government. The language used suggests that the Palestinians, unlike the Israelis, are unworthy and undeserving of support because, at least in relation to the peace process, they are hypocritical, untrustworthy, blameworthy and viscous[sic] . . . ..The complaint is substantiated.

Australian Macedonian Weekly, May 19, 2009:

WHAT we cannot disregard, cannot forgive, cannot close our eyes to, and we cannot ever remain silent about is the fact that these Greek zealots, these Greek deranged bastardly monsters took the Macedonian language away from our Macedonian children. Who gave a right to these freaks of nature to impose their ugly nature on other populations ?

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal anti-discrimination ruling on Australian Macedonian Weekly September 6, 2011:

IT is without doubt a grave matter to restrict or control the free expression of political thought. . . . It is a concomitant of political freedom that political activists, especially those at the extreme ends of the political spectrum of ideas, will from time to time, even frequently, hurt and offend other members of society. It seems to me that we must be mature enough to accept that as a price that we must pay for the privilege of living in a society where political expression is to remain free and unfettered . . . The complaint is dismissed.


Did Gillard have a quiet word to Fairfax, too?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (06:27 am)

Julia Gillard made “multiple” calls to News Ltd to stop any referral to her past relationship with a union conman - andto stop any referral to an expose about to be broadcast on Fairfax radio.

Is it conceivable that she did not make any call to Fairfax itself, which has censored its broadcasts and seems about to sack a presenter?

Amazing stuff.


Poll: Rudd could save Labor

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (06:20 am)

Pretty simple proposition to put to a demoralised party:

REPLACING Julia Gillard with Kevin Rudd would take Labor from confronting a landslide defeat to a potentially election-winning position, according to an Age/Nielsen poll that also finds a slump in the PM’s approval to her lowest ever.

Labor’s two-party vote, steady on 42-58 per cent from last month, would jump to 52-48 per cent under Mr Rudd.


Peter Hartcher:

The poll does not tell us why but we can reasonably suppose the main reason is legitimacy. In the eyes of the people, Gillard never had it. Rudd never lost it. ...

But would Rudd’s popularity survive his return? Rudd is martyr popular. If his martyrdom were reversed, would his popularity reverse too?…

“This whole situation is unique in history,” says the Herald’s pollster, John Stirton, of Nielsen. “If you give it back to Rudd, he’s then the legitimate leader. But he still owns the problems created in his first term.”

The big policy problems facing Gillard are the same ones bequeathed her by Rudd - carbon pricing, asylum seekers and the mining tax. This is Labor’s dilemma - the strong likelihood of defeat under Gillard, or a wild gamble on Rudd. And it’s all self-imposed. Oops.


But such is the hatred for Rudd among those who know him best…

LABOR’S most powerful faction has locked in behind Julia Gillard, making a leadership change in the federal government less likely.

In an article in The Australian today, the leader of the NSW Right, Sam Dastyari, has declared changes in party leadership should be “rare and infrequent” and “never be allowed to transform into a prevailing culture”.

Mr Dastyari, the NSW Labor Party’s general secretary, says the party must hold its nerve on action to combat climate change and demonstrate to party members - the “true believers” - that it has the “courage of its convictions.”

Other senior Right figures confirmed yesterday that Mr Dastyari’s comments had been widely canvassed among factional players in Sydney and Canberra and should be read as an unqualified statement that the group would not back a move on the Prime Minister, despite dire recent polling.

It’s telling that Dastyari’s list of federal Labor’s “convictions” starts and ends with “climate change”. How very sad for the party.

(Thanks to reader Pira.)


Playing at families: Make mummy a man, and foster son a girl

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (06:07 am)

Are some child welfare officials stark staring mad with fashionable non-judgment?

A SIX-year-old boy placed in the care of a lesbian foster couple was dressed in girl’s clothes and the humiliating pictures were posted on the couple’s Facebook page.

One of the women was preparing for a sex change to become a man at the time, while her girlfriend was undergoing fertility treatment.

The boy and his 12-year-old sister have since been moved but former Children’s Court magistrate Barbara Holborow yesterday called for a full inquiry into the decision to put them there. “Oh my God, what are we doing?” Ms Holborow, who has fostered eight children, said.

Families Minister Pru Goward has demanded a full explanation from child welfare service Barnardos, which had recruited the couple.


Piggybank raided

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (05:58 am)

Labor will do anything to avoid breaking yet another promise:

LABOR is planning to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars from the Future Fund in an unprecedented move that will help the government meet its promise of returning the budget to surplus in 2012-13.

A spokeswoman for Finance Minister Penny Wong confirmed to The Australian that more than $250 million worth of assets were due to be withdrawn from the Future Fund in the 2012-13 financial year, despite the fund having been created, by Peter Costello, under the condition it was not to be touched before 2020.

The government, which has forecast a surplus of $3.5 billion in 2012-13 after several years of heavy deficits, claims that the assets will be returned to the fund at a future date.

But the opposition has slammed the move as “reckless and fiscally irresponsible”.


The Government denies any such plan. Or it’s backed down:

FINANCE Minister Penny Wong says Opposition claims the Government is about to withdraw monies from the Future Fund are “completely incorrect”.
The Opposition has accused the Government of having a “secret plan” to dip into the fund set up by the Howard Government to pay public servant superannuation liabilities so it can meet its goal to return the Federal Budget to surplus in 2012/13.

But Senator Wong said the Coalition had misconstrued plans by the fund, flagged in the Budget, to rearrange some of its assets.

“The Government is not making withdrawals from the Future Fund. The Future Fund is simply making a small change to the types of assets it holds,” Senator Wong said today.

(Thanks to readers CA and the Great Waisuli.)


Another withdrawal of credit

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (05:45 am)

It’s probably time for a proper inquiry into how union leaders spend their members’ money:

THE boss of Craig Thomson’s union, Labor Party vice-president Michael Williamson, was accused of spending thousands of dollars on his union credit card for personal items including bedding, perfume, shoes and electrical goods in the 1990s.

In a scenario reminiscent of the Thomson affair a decade later, Mr Thomson’s mentor Mr Williamson took defamation action against his accusers and later came to a confidential settlement.

The accusations against Mr Williamson, Health Services Union East (NSW and Victoria) secretary and national president of the union, are in documents lodged at the District Court. Mr Williamson has consistently denied the allegations.

Although unproven, these claims will apply pressure on the federal government for a proper investigation into the activities of the union.

Mr Williamson is one of those Labor officials who were part of the decision to have NSW Labor pay more than $150,000 to settle Mr Thomson’s legal costs to stop him going bankrupt and keep him in parliament when Mr Thomson settled with Fairfax this year over alleged misuse of his union credit card.

Williamson denies wrongdoing, and, like Gillard about her relationship with a large-spending union official, says this is all old news.

(Thanks to readers CA and the Great Waisuli.)


The Bolt Report yesterday

Andrew Bolt – Monday, September 12, 11 (12:07 am)

To watch go here and search on The Bolt Report. The home page videos aren’t working.


Counting on Rudd

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

The Courier Mail reports on number counting by supporters of Kevin Rudd and Stephen Smith:

Several MPs have confirmed they were sounded out by third parties over Mr Rudd and Mr Smith as leadership contenders. Others have named a Labor MP as “doing the numbers” for Mr Rudd.


From the Bolt Report today

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, September 11, 11 (08:02 pm)

The shovel is now on his doorstep.
NSW Police today established a strike force to investigate ``inappropriate practices'' in the Health Services Union.
Good news is that it is only Australian dollars.
‎$27 billion was wiped off the ASX 200 this morning and $32 billion from the value of all Australian companies as local investors reacted to turmoil in the European and US markets.
It is the ones who smack other's kids you have to worry about
A NEWS.COM.AU poll has found 85 per cent of people admit they smack their kids - and experts say they're surprised the figure isn't higher.
I still haven't heard what she sacrificed.
A WOMAN quit the escort business to become the mistress of late billionaire Richard Pratt in return for promised cash payments and other inducements, a court has heard.
I gather from this it isn't sufficient to win a fight. One must bury their opponent to be a victor. Even if it means extreme risk. Wow.
Holy shit! This trailer for the action-packed film The Raid will go doen in history as one of the most radically badass action packed movie trailers I've ever seen. This movie looks insanely awesome! For those of you looking to watch an incredible...
‎@ChromeGhost0219 I have, but you still don't get it.
Family heritage and early life Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born in Rosario, Argentina, the eldest of five children in a family of Spanish and Irish descent; both his father and mother were of Basque ancestry. All of which paints Guevara a...
@ChromeGhost0219 If he is smart enough let him speak for himself
In 1948 Guevara entered the University of Buenos Aires to study medicine. As a student, he spent long periods traveling around Latin America. In 1951 his older friend, Alberto Granado, a biochemist, suggested that Guevara take a year off from his ...
Economically? Militarily? Diplomatically? in terms of freedoms? or merely rhetorically?
President Obama, recalling the uncertainty and grief that struck a nation suddenly thrust into war, said Sunday that the decade since the Sept. 11 attacks has underscored America's resilience in the face of trial.
· · Read more · 8 hours ago via Fox News
Ten years ago some atheists posing as Islamic crashed some planes killing some 3000 people. They had gone on a porn binge to rev themselves up. One was caught beforehand.
WITH the mournful pealing of bells, moments of silence and a sorrowful intoning of victims' names, the US has marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
ALP treat farmers badly
WATER authorities will press ahead with plans to charge Adelaide Hills farmers for using water from their dams.
Cheaper than prison
THEY call it the 21st Century ball and chain - an ankle bracelet that uses global positioning system technology to track your every move.

Is it legal to charge a drunk with something?
A MAN who allegedly hijacked and crashed a taxi which then burst into flames was so intoxicated that he could not be interviewed by police for several hours after the incident.
So the decision was good
THE state government's move to force first home buyers to pay stamp duty has sent auction clearance rates soaring - moving $140.5 million of Sydney property in one day after months in the doldrums.
So the inept Bligh caused this too?
THE crayfish have climbed back down from the trees, but the mighty murray cod have vanished from long stretches of the Murray River.
We grow impatient. We hope.
A BREAKTHROUGH by Melbourne researchers is offering new hope to sufferers of devastating genetic disorder Huntington's disease.
AI is ok
A FEDERAL Court judge will today decide whether the secret to one of the great betting splurges in racing track history should be revealed.
Family is the right choice
THE same technology that enabled Sean Egan to find out if he carried the defective Huntington's disease gene also enabled him to bring a child into the world who would live free of the deadly curse.
Gillard lacks compassion
"PLEASE help ... We want freedom."
Time to roll
JULIA Gillard faces a crucial week as she moves to revive the Malaysian solution, introduce carbon tax legislation and stare down leadership talk.
Social engineering
A SIX-year-old boy placed in the care of a lesbian foster couple was dressed in girl's clothes and the humiliating pictures were posted on the couple's Facebook page.
Good people can be exploited
HIS last known act was one of kindness, helping a neighbour move furniture.

I have bought DVDs that I cannot watch because of regional codes.
MOVIE fans are loving our film and TV industry to death.
The delay isn't needed. Go to Nauru now
PRIME Minister Julia Gillard looks set to win party approval today to revive the Malaysia deal because the majority of Labor MPs are now likely to back laws for a new offshore processing regime for as...
All that and tax minimizing
THE boss of Craig Thomson's union, Labor Party vice-president Michael Williamson, was accused of spending thousands of dollars on his union credit card for personal items including bedding, perfume, s...
Liked on
TV commercial for the strongest cheese

Can't we tell the truth now that it is dead?
Jermaine Jackson says his family had secretly arranged to fly Michael to Bahrain if the pop icon was found guilty of child molestation.
Dent is the same guy who didn't predict the GFC
AUSTRALIA'S love affair with property is about to turn sour as an "economic tsunami'' looks set to hit world markets, American economic forecaster Harry Dent says.
Self help books don't replace God.
A WOMAN'S illness led her to kill her young daughter and then take her own life in front of her son, her family says.
With or without Rudd, it will still be a wipeout .. they still need to change policies ..
KEVIN Rudd's supporters warn Labor colleagues that voters will "wipe us off the planet" unless there is a change in leadership.

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