Wednesday, September 14, 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.

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.

Jack Richards replied to IQ
Sun 11 Sep 11 (09:34am)

And what has this idiot comment got to do with Islam’s war against democracy?

IQ replied to IQ
Sun 11 Sep 11 (12:56pm)

Step one,
Bankrupt the country.
Step two,
Take the country.
I expect bankrupt Europe to be taken in my life time.
The Australian Labor Communist Party is doing a great job of bankrupting Australia.
When the chronicly undervalued Chinese Yuan increases in value Australias debt will head north without the government spending one cent.

truth replied to IQ
Wed 14 Sep 11 (01:13am)

DD Ball:

I think your view of China is too benign.

It ignores everything we know about their operations here and around the world.

They’ve stolen all or most of America’s stealth technology, amongst other things.

They’ve got Australian citizens imprisoned without trial.

They’re implementing the People’s Liberation Army’s Asymmetric Warfare policy around the world, part of which is their manipulation of their currency to ensure that their products are always more competitive than anyone else’s, thereby distorting the world’s financial and trading system

They’re pretending to be great environmentalists now, while causing the most horrendous pollution imaginable with their rare earths extraction and processing, and poisoning a great many of their people in the regions in the process.

They used their rare earth supply as an extortion tool to get what they wanted from Japan---and will no doubt do the same with other countries.

They’re generating much of the black carbon that’s responsible for ~50% of the Arctic melt, that the Gillard government is using today and Flannery and his motley crew used in their Critical Decade blurb , to try to scare Australians into toeing the line on the CO2 tax.

They’re desperate for us to get this carbon tax ---probably because they know it will weaken us to the extent that our industry will be crippled , our export income decimated, and we’ll at the very least have to buckle to their prices for commodities---or even have to sell to them our resource industries, and our best farming land to keep our heads above water and pay for our inevitably skyrocketing welfare bill.

They’re desperate for us to sign up to a Copenhagen-like framework too, so that we’ll be obliged to pay them billions in cash every year, and transfer our technology to them, due to the fact that they’re supposedly just a poor developing country that deserves handouts from the despised democracies.

They feel no need or obligation to admit to the evils of Communism though, when they make demands of the free countries---or to look after their people and give them freedom---and no need to acknowledge that the reason they’re still only developing, is that they murdered most of their best and brightest during the terror of their Cultural Revolution, and still keep most of their people under the jackboot.

No mea culpas from them.

Above all, they’re a Communist dictatorship that controls all the business done in and out of China---when some Australian property is sold to a Chinese company, it’s sold to the Chinese Communist dictatorship.

Their supposed embrace of Capitalism is just part of their Asymmetric Warfare Strategy, all spelt out by the PLA----to use Capitalism to become strong---in order to weaken their benefactors and defeat Capitalism.

Truth, those are serious issues and they possibly are related to Afghanistan too. I think the correct way of addressing them is through a position of strength, ala Howard/Bush, rather than a capitulation of responsibility ala Obama/Gillard/Rudd. You agree with that too .. right? - DDB


Touchy-feely policy packs a sting

Miranda Devine – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:44 pm)

THE architecture show Grand Designs on ABC-TV never laughs at the people it features embarking on ambitious home building projects.

Before we invest in wind farms I want the case to be made against coal. I haven't heard one yet. I am aware Carbon Dioxide is plant food. I am also aware the Earth's temperature is not related to the Sun as AGW suggests, and as is evidenced by the heat of the core of the Earth. - DDB

Two nice reviews



Two nice reviews of two of my books. One by Stephen Schmalhofer of The Price of Everything at the Acton Institute blog and one by Katie Cochran of The Invisible Heart at Young Americans for Liberty.


Steve Sexton, over at Freakonomics, argues not. (HT James McCammon)

This post by Sexton is an example of the economic way of thinking at its finest. And it’s a better response than my own to Krugman’s insistence that a liquidity trap nullifies some of the basic laws of economics.


Steven Rattner writes in the Financial Times (HT: Shekhar Patil):

However compelling the merits of long-term deficit reduction, the Keynesian notion of counter-cyclical fiscal policy remains valid. As economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi (a former adviser to Republican John McCain) found, the first Obama stimulus saved about 8.5m jobs and may have prevented a depression.

Really? That’s what they found? He treats it like a discovery of fact. As in “Blinder and Zandi weren’t sure of the distance between the earth and the sun but when they measured it, they found it was about 93,000,000 miles.” That isn’t the way econometrics works. (Here is what I said when the Blinder Zandi study first came out.)

Rattner continues:

Now Mr Zandi calculates the new Obama plan would create 1.9m jobs in the next year and add two percentage points to gross domestic product. The Republican alternative – slamming on the brakes – would have the opposite result.

Calculates? As in the square root of 144? Or a harder one–the square root of 150. Need those decimal points. As in 1.9m million. Gives it an air of precision, doesn’t it? See my comments above.

Rattner continues:

It is always difficult to prove counterfactuals, such as the meltdown that would have occurred had Washington stayed on the sidelines when the crisis hit in 2008, as all the Republican challengers now argue – to varying degrees – should have happened. But we need not turn the economy into a laboratory. Economics is enough of a science for us to know that immediate harsh deficit reduction, with tightened monetary policy, would surely plunge us back into recession.

Alas, economics is not enough of a science to know that.


Quotation of the Day…



… is from page 423 of Frank Graham’s December 1944 article in the Economic Journal (Vol. 54, pp. 422-429) entitled “Keynes vs. Hayek on a Commodity Reserve Currency“:

Lord Keynes, however, is, I think, not right in saying that ‘the error of the gold standard lay in submitting national wage-policies to outside dictation.’ The original gold standard did not submit wage-policies to dictation, by governing authority anywhere, but made them the resultant of impersonal forces issuing out of the disposition, and potentiality, of individuals to follow what they conceived to be their own interest. This system, as Professor Hayek points out, had many virtues, and we should be badly advised if we throw away its virtues along with its imperfections.

Graham, of course, is correct. The point on which he here criticizes Keynes is yet further evidence that Keynes’s disregard of microeconomics – Keynes’s obsession with aggregates, an obsession that numbs one’s analytical senses to the need to understand how unplanned order emerges spontaneously from the countless actions of individuals and to the relevant, detailed ways in which that order can be compromised by various snags and imperfections in the microeconomic firmament – rendered Keynes a poor economist.


Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:

Michael Gerson misses the most germane problem with Pres. Obama’s praise of the transcontinental railroad as a shining example of the wonders of “mobilized government” (“Obama fails the Lincoln test,” Sept. 13).

Save for the one transcontinental line that received virtually no subsidies (J.J. Hill’s Great Northern), the building and operation of the other three lines were contaminated with graft, fraud, and corruption – of which the Credit Mobilier scandal is only the most famous instance. And on top of these shenanigans that predictably happen when government doles out subsidies were other, equally predictable results: shoddy construction, bloated costs, and inefficient and unsafe operation of the lines.*

On further reflection, Mr. Obama is spot-on to cite the transcontinental railroad as an example of his hope for America: it is a great monument to crony capitalism, under which government officials – constantly cackling about their ‘grand visions’ and ‘commitment’ to America’s future – launch boondoggles that succeed only in transferring massive amounts of wealth from the general population to the politically connected.

Donald J. Boudreaux

* The literature on this subject is vast. This good, brief summary is written by my former Clemson University student Timothy Terrell (now on the econ faculty at Wofford College).


Here’s the lead, above-the-fold headline in today’s print edition of the Washington Post:

Obama seeking tax increases to fund jobs bill

These eight words reveal volumes about the screwy economics bouncing around in the brains of Mr. Obama, his advisors, and too many other “leaders” and pundits.

(The link above, to the electronic edition, shows the electronic version of the headline to differ only slightly from the print version.)


Did the golf lure Obama to Australia?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (01:51 pm)

Reader Mervyn:

it just so happens that Barack Obama’s visit, scheduled for the 16-17 November this year, also coincides with the opening two days of The Presidents Cup bi-annual golf tournament to be held at Royal Melbourne Golf Club this year. We all know that the pres is a golf nut but I suppose it would be drawing a long bow to suggest that that is the primary reason for his visit.


Conroy wants tougher sanctions on journalists

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (01:14 pm)

Communications Minister Steve Conroy announces the terms of reference for his media inquriy to make sure the print and on-line media stays healthy, given the technological changes. He says it isn’t a “witchhunt” aimed at any media organisation - as in News Ltd.

But then he adds that the media demands accountability from others, and may need a lot more accountability itself. (Note that this demand does not apply to the ABC.)

He also attacks the News Ltd’s Daily Telegraph for criticising the Government allegedly unfairly.

But his inquiry will be “independent”, he says, with former Federal Court judge Ray Finkelstein, assisted by Matthew Ricketson, the former journalist.

Ricketson? That fits. Here are some of Ricketson’s previous views:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 at 07:06am

MATTHEW Ricketson until last year headed RMIT University’s school of journalism, teaching tomorrow’s reporters how the media “really” works.

Now The Age’s media writer, he is flogging his views to a wider audience of the Left that’s always up for conspiracy theories.

Last weekend they got fed a ripe one, with Ricketson warning “something is afoot among columnists on Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers:

“Andrew Bolt of the Herald Sun and, yesterday, Janet Albrechtsen of The Australian, have abandoned their longstanding support for John Howard’s prime ministership.”

Ricketson said: “Other News Limited columnists, such as Paul Kelly, editor-at-large of The Australian, and Steve Lewis of the Herald Sun have already jumped ship”.

True enough, several News Ltd columnists—and not a single Fairfax one, strangely—have indeed seen the resignation of John Howard as inevitable and have said so.

So, how does Ricketson interpret all this? He suggests only two options, both of which assume Murdoch gave his columnists orders to ditch Howard: “Is Murdoch creating public opinion, as is often alleged, or trying to catch the horse as it bolts from the PM?”

There is, of course, a third and obvious explanation, which Ricketson fails to mention: that Murdoch columnists simply write what they really think, reacting to events that are obvious to anyone with eyes to see and the courage to report.


There is value in being reminded of how Murdoch began using his newspapers to influence governments and protect his business interests.


Shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull is scathing - and eloquently so. He rightly pours scorn on Conroy’s claim that the inquiry will help to make newspapers stay profitable, against the challenge of new technology. What would Finkelstein and Ricketson be able to add that the media proprietors themselves haven’t considered? He sees this as an attack on News Ltd.

I’d add that Conroy has tried to limit the scope of an inquiry that many in Labor - and the Greens - wanted to turn into a lynch-Murdoch party. But he’s produced an inquiry that will almost certainly make fearless journalism even harder, and the left’s ability to monster journalists even greater.


Who needs the protection?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (12:47 pm)


An improbable refugee:

A champion Iranian bodybuilder, personal trainer and bodyguard, now in immigration detention in Derby, has spoken out over alleged assaults on detainees.

Alexander Dianati fled to Australia after being refused refugee status in Cyprus and arrived seven weeks ago after boarding a boat in the Indonesian city of Surabaya....

Mr Dianati, 37, last updated his Facebook account at the weekend and told _The West Australian _ in a series of emails: “Some of the Serco officers behave with us really like racists,” he said.

“They started to act physically and beat us… Something horrible will happen soon if they don’t change their behaviour with us.”

Mr Dianati, born Mohammad Dianati, ... lists his previous jobs as cage fighter, wrestler, security for public places and clubs and bodyguard.

He also says he received a diploma of public relations from the Tehran International School.... Mr Dianati said he had to leave Iran after converting from Islam to Christianity and being arrested during a protest against the Islamic government.

We must be seen as very gullible.

(Thanks to reader Arthur.)


Turnbull announces he will not speak. Yet

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (12:06 pm)

The Opposition Whip gives Malcolm Turnbull a free kick:

MALCOLM Turnbull has cancelled a scheduled speech on the carbon tax, averting a potentially damaging public contradiction of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

The former Liberal leader—a staunch carbon price supporter—was listed to speak in the parliament today on the government’s carbon tax legislation.

But Mr Turnbull had his name removed from the speaker’s list and his office confirmed he would not address the parliament today.

Mr Turnbull tweeted today that he was yet to make a final decision on whether he would contribute to the carbon tax debate…

Mr Turnbull’s office said the opposition frontbencher had been mistakenly included on the list by the office of the chief opposition whip.


More on the Williamson way

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (10:53 am)

I suspect we’re going to hear a lot, lot more about Labor’s senior vice president and what he does for - or to - the workers:

PARAMEDICS claim that an uncompetitive and compulsory insurance scheme they were forced into by the Health Services Union has delivered $35 million into an industry fund of which the HSU boss, Michael Williamson, is a director.

Mr Williamson, who is under investigation by NSW Police over allegations of secret commissions, is the long-standing NSW general secretary of the union.

In that position he brokered a deal with First State Super in 2007 which, in effect, converted the state’s 4000-strong ambulance force into compulsory First State Super customers.

At the same time, he was collecting an undisclosed remuneration package from First State Super as one of 10 non-executive directors, who with eight executive officers shared in almost $3 million worth of employee benefits last year, according to the fund’s annual report.

The death and disability scheme is widely unpopular with the paramedics who each have about $1500 a year deducted from their pay by the union.

‘’We are forced into paying three times what we need to … [as a garnishee] for death and disability,’’ one paramedic said.

Williamson denies any wrongdoing.

(No comments.)


Forgiven, but not

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (10:16 am)

Bindi Cole tells The Age:

BINDI Cole says she has forgiven Andrew Bolt. The indigenous artist, who is part of a class action against the Herald Sun journalist for columns he wrote suggesting ‘’light-skinned Aborigines’’ identified as such for political purposes, has been exploring notions of forgiveness in her new work…

‘’I definitely don’t have a resentment and I kind of feel sorry for him,’’ Cole says

Bindi Cole tells the court:

She is fair skinned, of English, Jewish and Wathaurung descent, but Melbourne artist Bindi Cole insists she should be regarded as an Aborigine.

Ms Cole is one of nine Aborigines bringing a class action against News Ltd columnist Andrew Bolt for racial vilification over articles and blogs he wrote in 2009.

They claim he wrote gratuitous and denigrating articles about them being fair skinned and applying for government grants as Aborigines

(No comments for legal reasons.)


Jackie’s verdict

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (07:48 am)

Jackie Kennedy sold out and later sold herself, yet she wasn’t without judgment:

IN early 1964 Martin Luther King was the unchallenged leader of America’s civil rights movement, still basking in the glory of his “I have a dream” speech the previous summer.

According to former US first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, later Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis, he was also a “phoney”, a sex pest and a “terrible man”.

Four months after her husband’s death, the First Lady of Camelot sat down with a close friend and a tape recorder to give her calm, candid and brutal assessment of many of those she had met in the White House. The recordings are released today

No one who displeased Mrs Kennedy was spared. Charles de Gaulle was a spiteful “egomaniac”.

Indira Gandhi was a pushy, bitter “prune”.


On the intolerance of Robert Manne

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:46 am)

Paul Kelly has a devastating analysis of the intellectual weaknesses and censorious instincts of Professor Robert Manne, voted by his peers as Australia’s “most influential public intellectual”:

THE key to understanding the 25,000-word attack by Robert Manne on The Australian is to grasp the framework he adopts to analyse journalism and politics....

First, he claims The Australian has damaged the country and undermined journalism by publishing material and conducting debates that he feels should be repressed....

Taking the former, the startling feature is Manne’s fixation on repressing stories and debates he doesn’t like. He is a moralistic political censor. This begins in his first case study—his attack on The Australian for staging a debate on Keith Windschuttle’s book, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History.

Manne concedes published opinions were “roughly equal”. Yet he condemns the paper for making the book a “national event” and treating it as “highly significant”. Manne’s emotionalism on this subject is apparent. He loathes Windschuttle for striking at what Manne sees as the “almost uncontested common wisdom” that Australia was founded on a genocide and for reviving the “old racial attitudes”....

For Manne, the paper’s crime was to stage this debate. He believes certain views have reached “uncontested” status and must not be contested. Books and views that contest Manne’s beliefs are to be met with silence and censorship. It is good that Manne’s technique of handling opponents is put on the public record.

His own argument betrays the folly of such pomposity. Manne is attached to the idea of Australia being founded on genocide. This view, however, is contested on intellectual grounds, despite its academic proponents, and there is no justification whatsoever for Manne’s effort to remove it from debate. That is blatant intellectual censorship.

Manne says his originating motive for the essay was concern at the paper’s coverage of climate change. He argues that because there is a consensus among scientists on the core issue then debate “between unqualified people” (virtually everybody) on the fundamentals is “pointless, even absurd"…

Manne says that on climate change our democracy must rely upon citizens placing “their trust in those with expertise”. Again, the idea is that certain beliefs cannot be debated or contested. ...

Once again, the paper’s offence was its refusal to shut down debate. Period.

I imagine what a press run by the likes of Manne - what a revolution or regime - would be like, and how safe would be dissenters. I fear Manne is in an embryonic form precisely what he imagines he denounces.

(Thanks to reader Sally and the Great Waisuli.)


Who will pay for the 440 dead?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:35 am)


ONLY now are we finally meant to care that Labor’s slack border policies have killed more than 400 boat people.

Only this week does the Gillard Government finally admit that 4 per cent of the people lured into the boats do indeed drown at sea.

So who will resign over this lethal scandal?

Who will take responsibility? And why are the Greens so blind to all these corpses, bobbing in the sea?

True, the Government admitted this death toll very quietly, only in the privacy of its emergency caucus meeting on Monday, and only to scare Labor MPs into backing Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s troubled Malaysian solution.

What does it say about the media’s indifference that only The Australian newspaper thought it worth reporting that Immigration Minister Chris Bowen “urged colleagues not to forget that 4 per cent of asylum seekers who got on boats drowned at sea”.

Backbencher Richard Marles made the same argument at the same meeting that “stopping the boats would prevent four in every 100 people who get on a boat from dying”.

Do the maths. That means at least 440 people have died since Labor’s reckless loosening of the laws in 2008—an act of irresponsible vanity by then prime minister Kevin Rudd that inspired more than 11,000 people to take to the boats again.

Yes, 440 dead, under the Government’s own calculations, and not just the 50 or so who drowned last December off the rocks of Christmas Island.

But where are the human rights activists now?

And while Labor may finally care at last about the boat people who have drowned under its own eyes, how can we forgive the Greens, still bent on policies that would be deadlier still?


Censoring the conservatives

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:32 am)

So where are they now that we need them, those fine defenders of a free press and free speech?

How loud they were back when there was no real threat, and only a Liberal Prime Minister to mock.

Take Professor Robert Manne, voted Australia’s “most influential public intellectual”, who in 2007 thundered that the Howard Government had a “policy of systematically silencing significant political dissent”.

Take writer David Marr, who huffed that “since 1996, Howard has cowed his critics, muffled the press, intimidated the ABC ...”

Take Professor Clive Hamilton, the Greens candidate, who in his book Silencing Dissent insisted the Howard government was “especially intolerant of dissenting voices”.

Where are these people now that the threat is real, and the politicians who rule us openly say they want to use state power to persecute journalists who criticise them?

Never has a free press and free speech been so under attack in this country, now from politicians who shame our traditions.

Yesterday the Gillard Government announced it would hold an inquiry into the media, which sounds innocent, but is a deliberate attempt to cow its critics and stifle debate.

Just listen to the politicians demanding this inquiry and helping to write its terms of reference. You’d think you were in the Soviet Union. Truly.

First, some background. For more than a year, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and other Labor MPs have claimed the News Ltd newspapers of Rupert Murdoch (like this one) have waged a campaign of “regime change” against the Government.

Half the Murdoch papers in fact backed Gillard at the last election, and all run Leftist columnists, including Phillip Adams and Jill Singer.

But some - not least The Australian - have also held the Government to account for its waste, bungled policies, broken promises and $36 billion broadband gamble.

Such scrutiny is not “regime change” but the job of a vigorous media. What’s more, this scrutiny is offset by the rah-rah coverage the Government gets from the Fairfax papers (The Age and Sydney Morning Herald) and the ABC.

But the Government has dreamt of revenge, and two months ago got an excuse, in the phone-hacking scandal at Britain’s News of the World, another Murdoch newspaper. News Ltd papers in Australia now had “serious questions to answer”, claimed Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who said she’d consider the Greens’ call for an inquiry.

And last month she seems to have been pushed over the edge by a column in The Australian which recalled her past relationship - personal and professional - with a union conman.

Gillard not only demanded the column be pulled from The Australian’s website, but the next day had her Cabinet discuss strategies for a reported “war” with News Ltd, with its papers possibly denied Government advertising. And now this inquiry.

Conroy is still negotiating with Greens leader Bob Brown on what the inquiry will examine, but let’s check the agendas of the main players.


Scare claim iced

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:25 am)

The warmist Age:

Ice at the North Pole has melted to the lowest level since satellite observations began in 1972, meaning the Arctic is almost certainly the smallest it has been for 8000 years, polar scientists said.

If the trend continues, the Arctic will be largely ice-free in the northern summer 40 years earlier than anticipated in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report.

The cool facts:



Some of these statements are no longer operative

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:24 am)

Julia Gillard sounds committed and firm, but not when what she says is then set against what she said. This is one of her fundamental problems.

(Thanks to reader Julie from the sunny coast.)


All spend, no save

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:13 am)

Former Treasurer Peter Costello warns that this Government is not saving for the future:

When people ask whether we should have a sovereign wealth fund, they are asking the wrong question. We do. The real question is how much we should be putting into it. Other countries with once-in-a-generation opportunities are saving. But nothing has been deposited in our fund since the 2007 budget, and that was when our export prices were far below today’s record levels. Sometimes the government claims that private superannuation is a substitute for a sovereign wealth fund. That is complete nonsense. A superannuation fund holds contributions from individuals which come out of their own wage. They own that money no less than they own the money they deposit in a bank account. The government cannot take it and use it to pay future generations.

It is good that we have this form of private saving. But it is no substitute for a fund by which the present generation provides for the next.

The real reason we are not saving is that our government is spending all it receives and more. If it were more responsible, we would be saving for the future - just like other commodity-rich countries are doing.


How dare they pay Combet back in kind?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (06:02 am)

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet is disgusted by a scare campaign that’s almost as scary as his own:

Greg Combet in last weekend’s The Sunday Age:

IN the last couple of days I have been in my electorate, which is an area where people are not well off, and met pensioners who have been terrified by Tony Abbott. Pensioners in my area are going to receive more than their expected costs [scaring them] is disgusting and irresponsible, and that has crossed the line as far as I am concerned.

ACTU “Your Rights at Work” TV ad in 2007 when Combet was ACTU secretary:

HOW many more nurses will we lose because of Liberal IR laws? This federal election, vote to save our nurses. (Footage): Frail elderly woman on a walking frame in a hospital corridor yelling “Nurse, Nurse” with no answer.

Another ACTU TV ad in the same campaign, 2007:

PENSIONER: These are meant to be prosperous times, so why has my grandson got less rights at work than I had?

And then there’s Combet’s latest scare campaign:

With rising temperatures we can expect to see more extreme weather events, including more frequent and intense droughts, floods and bushfires. The environmental consequences translate readily into economic costs - as well as potential negative impacts on water security, coastal development, infrastructure, agriculture, and health.


With this right, we defend our others

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (05:42 am)

Mark Steyn argues for the free speech we are losing:

Restrictions on freedom of speech undermine the foundations of justice, including the bedrock principle: equality before the law. When it comes to free expression, Britain, Canada, Australia, and Europe are ever less lands of laws and instead lands of men-and women, straights and gays, Muslims and infidels-whose rights before the law vary according to which combination of these various identity groups they belong to…

As John Milton wrote in his Areopagitica of 1644, “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

Or as an ordinary Canadian citizen said to me, after I testified in defense of free speech to the Ontario parliament at Queen’s Park, “Give me the right to free speech, and I will use it to claim all my other rights.”

Conversely, if you let them take your right to free speech, how are you going to stop them from taking all the others?

Dennis Shanahan claims that Labor has defied the Greens in calling for a media inquiry, which is .. er, just what the Greens want:

THE Gillard government has decided to go ahead with a media inquiry, but it won’t go as far as the one Bob Brown called for in the wake of the British phone hacking scandal at the News of the World.

Labor’s intention is not to give the Greens leader what he wanted, so the government is not seen to be dancing to the Greens’ tune, and to avoid a debilitating and distracting contest with media companies…

There are now going to be three media inquiries - one on technological and market convergence, one on privacy, and one on journalistic standards and self-regulation - but none of them is going to go into the issues of media ownership or bias.

First, the best way for Labor to demonstrate it isn’t dancing to the Greens’ tune is not to hold an inquiry at all.

Second, for all the assurances about what the inquiry won’t look at, the Government is still to negotiate the terms of reference with the Greens.

Third, to claim that the inquiry won’t examine “bias” is a big call, when the inquiry will study “journalistic standards” - which the Greens will interpret freely.

At the very minimum, the inquiry is aimed at making it even riskier to report things that others don’t like:

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy told Labor MPs the inquiry, unveiled yesterday, would not target individual media companies nor be skewed to shield politicians from scrutiny.

The inquiry - called amid claims by some government figures of bias against Labor, and in the wake of telephone hacking by media organisations in Britain - will examine the powers of the Australian Press Council and the Australian Communications and Media Authority.

Full details of the parliamentary inquiry, including the terms of reference, are still being finalised. It is expected the inquiry will determine whether the industry-funded press council has enough clout to regulate the major newspaper publishers, and whether ACMA, which is a statutory body regulating the broadcasting sector, should be given a wider remit to cover the press. The probe could consider the introduction of a formal process to deal with complaints made against newspapers.

But sources said the government had rejected demands by the Greens that the inquiry examine media proprietor Rupert Murdoch’s level of ownership of Australian newspapers.

The Australian is naive to welcome this hostile inquiry as a chance to set the record straight, but it is surely right to add:

Labor has been under pressure from its Left and the Greens for the inquiry to cover bias, although we suspect the government will be wary of any scrutiny of Fairfax papers that so often support the progressive consensus. The prejudices of the national broadcaster would be quarantined from an inquiry that looks only at print, but ABC bias could still end up as the elephant in the room. The reality is that claims of bias are often simply crude attempts to intimidate journalists and editors.


We shouldn’t be at home with Julia

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (05:29 am)

Janet Albrechtsen says At Home With Julia is not sexist, but impertinent:

What marks out At Home with Julia as different from previous satires is that it intrudes into a private arena that is, to be blunt, none of our business. By focusing its lens, even a comical one, on the private lives of Gillard and her partner, Tim Mathieson, the show crosses the privacy line. Even politicians are entitled to a private life and the partners of politicians are especially entitled to be spared such intrusions…

Yet, even here, one has to ask, have our politicians, particularly Gillard, invited the intrusion that breaches a contract that should allow politicians to be themselves away from prying, prurient eyes?

From dressing up for a glossy spread in Women’s Weekly to giggling for the 60 Minutes cameras outside Mathieson’s shed at the Lodge, Gillard has encouraged a level of voyeurism into her private life that does nothing to educate or inform us about the things that really matter…

And therein lies the reason the ABC is now screening At Home with Julia. If you invite the cameras into your private life, don’t be surprised when the cameras also appear without an invitation. The shame is that our politicians are not more careful to guard their privacy. We might respect them more if they did.

Albrechtsen has a point, but I’m not sure that having been offered an inch excuses the media for taking a mile.


Xenophon punishes priest before any finding of guilt

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, September 14, 11 (05:20 am)

I do not question Senator Xenophon’s motives, but am troubled by his assumption of the role of judge and jury, without having gone through the investigation that others are still completing:

INDEPENDENT senator Nick Xenophon last night defied warnings by the Catholic Church and the president of the Senate, and named Ian Dempsey as the surviving priest who allegedly sexually abused Traditional Anglican Communion primate John Hepworth.

Under the protection of parliamentary privilege, Senator Xenophon said he felt duty-bound to name the priest of the Brighton parish after the Adelaide archdiocese failed to meet the ultimatum he issued on Monday night that the priest be stood down by midday yesterday while Archbishop Hepworth’s allegations were investigated…

“I don’t provide this information to the Senate lightly, but ultimately I believe that given the inaction of the Catholic Church in South Australia by not setting up a proper process or standing the priest down, they have created a situation where an appropriate duty of care has not been shown to the parish.”

Senator Xenophon told the Senate that, as a former lawyer, he believed in the presumption of innocence and the allegations remained allegations at this stage…

President of the Senate John Hogg cautioned Senator Xenophon before he delivered his speech, pointing to a resolution on the use of parliamentary privilege including the need to exercise freedom speech, the damage that may be done to those subject to allegations and the sound basis for such allegations.

Outside parliament, a spokeswoman for the Adelaide archdiocese last night issued a statement saying: “We are appalled that Senator Xenophon has tonight, under cover of parliamentary privilege, released the name of the priest despite being made fully aware of the extremely sensitive and highly complex background to this 50-year-old matter.

“The fact that the senator has taken this action is a matter of grave concern to us and the consequences, in our view, will have an impact on not merely the person accused, but also on Archbishop Hepworth himself. It is grossly unjust and unfair for these matters to be aired in public when our investigation is not yet complete and when the priest concerned has categorically denied the allegation...”

Xenophon may insist that he is merely raising allegations and not declaring guilt, but to name the priest is already to punish him. To do this while investigations are still continuing and whem there is no risk of further harm in waiting for the outcome strikes me as unwise and potentially unfair.
Obama, I know you want $1 billion a day from now to the end of your Presidency. Please explain this.
House Republicans are eager to find out at a congressional hearing Wednesday why President Obama and his administration continued to promote and refinance $528 million in stimulus loan guarantees to the now-bankrupt solar panel maker Solyndra even after warning signs emerged.
I want to know why the press have failed on the issue of Hamidur Rahman
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Let us see how Weiner spins these pictures.
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@xsydex What you write is misleading and you know it. It is on your site, posted 8 months ago.
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My research shows the crab will be ok. Mine away.
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I am not with Xenophon on this. It is premature.
SOUTH Australian senator Nick Xenophon says he is receiving overwhelming public support for his decision to name a priest accused of raping Adelaide-based Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth about 40 years ago.
So long as it passes health and safety regs. I wouldn't want someone to take the piss.
WOULD you like your coffee with a black, or white cat? There's plenty of tabbies, too.
Maybe it is too much. If they follow that religion ..
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Allow me to help. This is costly legislation which will do nothing for the climate, but allow the ALP to redistribute some cash and siphon off much more. The only people who support it are corrupt.
IT HAS 18 pieces of legislation, making up 1129 pages and 255,539 words.
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All that and he still says nothing in his defense
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ALP is weak on border protection
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Close Ivy down.
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This should have been sorted long ago. But ALP had been in government.
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Press dismiss serious issues of ALP failure.
THE Liberals got angry, Labor laughed and, predictably, the Opposition lost.
ALP should be slammed for accepting this
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Not her only failure
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Good kid
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If Xenophon is wrong?
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ALP are doing this
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Bad ALP government. They are trying to prevent complaints through censorship
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We must not let them win a fight
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Pretty fancy. Most iPhones can do much the same.
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If he is relying on a small charge to sell his book, he can't stonewall
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