Wednesday, October 05, 2011

News Items and comments

Abbott book drawn with a poisoned pen

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 01, 11 (09:50 pm)


FRUSTRATED Abbott-haters have been slavering in anticipation of a new book by Susan Mitchell which attempts a vicious hatchet job on the Opposition leader.

That book is one of many such which, combined with the criticism from mainstream media commentators will innoculate Abbott against the abuse. People will vote for Abbott and he will be the next PM following the next election. The ALP may have several more as PM before then.

Also, that abuse will bring down the Abbott administration some time in the future too. Much as the lies coalesced around Howard to bring down his administration in favour of the current jokes.

That is the way the media functions in our democratic society. It was said around the time of Nixon that conservatives (worldwide) needed an extra 5% of the votes to win a neutral election. That is what they have to fight in terms of media manipulation of stories endorsing the left. I see no reason to believe that resistance isn’t present today. The book Mitchell has written is evidence of it. It would not be possible to write something similar of Gillard.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 01 Oct 11 (10:22pm)
Roz replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (08:25am)

You are right DD Ball, they wouldn’t allow anything to be written like this about Julia Gillard. It seems to be 2 sets of rules today. One for the left (who can say anything) and another for the right ( who are stifled at every turn). It seems to be getting worse the more we hear. I don’t know if I could call it a true democratic society anymore we seem to be losing that. Democracy only seems to apply to some. We only have to look at Julia Gillard as far as Glen Milne goes and now with Andrew Wilkie because someone has dared to have a say about his Poker machine reform. I don’t play the pokies so it doesn’t really worry me and I don’t spend much time in the local club. It just seems that all our freedoms are going.

P.J replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (10:11am)

You are correct in stating they could not write about Gillard like that because there is no strength of character, faith, it would be a washout! Who would read it when we don’t even KNOW THE REAL JULIA! If she wrote it herself, it would be FICTION and LIES! Susan Mitchell, apparently ,has a problem with strong minded men! She probably prefers the Burnside twits!

Gordo replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (10:17am)

Spot on David, I wonder what happened to the book that Gillard wanted to hide.

Tony the Space Cadet replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (10:37am)

Media stories endorsing the left??? Where?? News Ltd have about 6 anti Labor diatribes per week. Bolt will go on 7 days a week just before the election! Their own editorials are biased!
The Age gets stuck into all sides of politics while the Australian is OWNED by the Coalition.

I do not hate Abbott but like many others do not see him as PM material. He still has a poor rating with high dissatisfaction rating.

I do see Malcoul as PM material. He has a brain!

sam replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (12:06pm)

Tony the space cadet,

How did you manage to slip that post passed the telegraph censors?

Shane replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (01:25pm)

Roz ,dont want to be pedantic, but you are mistaken in saying
‘’they wouldn’t allow anything to be written like this about Julia Gillard’’

....its not a case of ‘’wouldn’t allow ‘’,
they actually DIDN’T allow the bio of Julia to be published, even though it had already been written.

Now that would make interesting reading if it ever saw the light of day.

mags replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (01:47pm)

Tony the Space Cadet Are you one of those who believe that there should be no criticism of the government? That the media should hide the realities of failure from the public? Judging by your comments you are woefully ignorant about a lot of things, particularly Tony Abbott.

Oldtimer replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (08:49pm)

Tony the space cadet, ‘’ I do see Malcoul as PM material. He has a brain! ‘
Unlike you it appears.


Pat replied to DD Ball
Sun 02 Oct 11 (09:12pm)

So this left wing writer wrote a book about Abbott, but did not speak to him to get his view, who did this person speak to the greens, labor, left wing people who hate him, another pathetic left wing loony who we can ignore.

She can’t call it a biography of Tony Abbott, maybe call it “hating Tony Abbott by someone who does not know him”. I might write a book about gillard after all I know more about gillard then this hack writer knows about Abbott.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 03 Oct 11 (11:05am)

Tony the space cadet, I didn’t ask you to prove my comment on bias. But I see you have valiantly done so.

I notice the update too. Burnside clings to moral high ground blaming others for misunderstanding his slur. Nothing he wrote before or after suggests I should give him attention. He has nothing worthwhile to offer debate. Much like Tony.

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 03 Oct 11 (07:46pm)

A man enters a bar and orders a drink. The bar has a robot barman.
The robot serves him a perfectly prepared cocktail, and then asks him, “What’s your IQ?”

The man replies “150” and the robot proceeds to make conversation about global warming factors, Quantum physics and spirituality, bio-mimicry, environmental interconnectedness, string theory, nanotechnology, and
sexual proclivities.

The customer is very impressed and thinks, “This is really cool.” He decides to test the robot. He walks out of the bar, turns around, and comes back in for another drink.

Again, the robot serves him the perfectly prepared drink and asks him, “What’s your IQ?” The man responds, “About 100.” Immediately the robot starts talking, but this time about league, Holdens, racing, the new BIG Mac, tattoos, Jennifer Hawkins and women in general.

Really impressed, the man leaves the bar and decides to give the robot
one more test. He heads out and returns, the robot serves him and asks, “What’s your IQ?” The man replies, “Err, 50, I think.”

And the robot says...real slowly… “So...............are ya gonna vote for Kevin again?

Tony the Space Cadet replied to DD Ball
Tue 04 Oct 11 (02:59pm)

DD Balls:
And the robot says...real slowly… “So...............are ya gonna vote for Howard again?

LOL cheese smile

bennoba replied to DD Ball
Wed 05 Oct 11 (12:17pm)

“So...............are ya gonna vote for Howard again?

It would have to be a pretty stupid robot not to realise the John Howard retired from public life in 2007.

The only other plausible explanation would be that it was programmed by someone equally idiotic.

Now who could that be?


I meant to blog on this months ago, but it really tells you all you need to know about the protests on Wall Street and the reality of politics vs. the illusions many people labor under. From the New York Times back in June:

A few weeks before announcing his re-election campaign, President Obama convened two dozen Wall Street executives, many of them longtime donors, in the White House’s Blue Room.

The guests were asked for their thoughts on how to speed the economic recovery, then the president opened the floor for over an hour on hot issues like hedge fund regulation and the deficit.

Mr. Obama, who enraged many financial industry executives a year and a half ago by labeling them “fat cats” and criticizing their bonuses, followed up the meeting with phone calls to those who could not attend.

The event, organized by the Democratic National Committee, kicked off an aggressive push by Mr. Obama to win back the allegiance of one of his most vital sources of campaign cash — in part by trying to convince Wall Street that his policies, far from undercutting the investor class, have helped bring banks and financial markets back to health.

Last month, Mr. Obama’s campaign manager, Jim Messina, traveled to New York for back-to-back meetings with Wall Street donors, ending at the home of Marc Lasry, a prominent hedge fund manager, to court donors close to Mr. Obama’s onetime rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton. And Mr. Obama will return to New York this month to dine with bankers, hedge fund executives and private equity investors at the Upper East Side restaurant Daniel.

“The first goal was to get recognition that the administration has led the economy from an unimaginably difficult place to where we are today,” said Blair W. Effron, an investment banker closely involved in Mr. Obama’s fund-raising efforts. “Now the second goal is to turn that into support.”

Later on, the article discusses Romney’s ability to raise cash from Wall Street. That apparently continues to be a problem for Obama but it’s really our problem. Politicians go to Wall Street because that’s where the money is. The money is there because politicians help them. Bad symbiotic relationship. It’s the single most important thing that has to be fixed if we’re going to ever try capitalism in this country instead of crony capitalism.


Addressing here again this e-mail to me yesterday from C. Fred Bergsten:

Professor Boudreaux,

Your comment on my op-ed for last week is ridiculous.

Of course the American seller of land to the Chinese COULD buy US pharmaceuticals. But she could also save all the proceeds. Or use it to buy more imports from China and elsewhere.

We would never have a trade deficit in the first place if your postulated scenario were to occur in the real world. Come on!


C. Fred Bergsten

In this post yesterday, I addressed the most serious flaw in this e-mail, namely, a U.S. current-account (“trade”) deficit is simply another name for a U.S. capital-account surplus. (Mark Perry has more precise data.) So even if we accept unalloyed Keynesianism – that is, the most vigorous case that economic health is positively promoted by more spending – Mr. Bergsten’s allegation that eliminating the U.S. trade deficit is a costless (!) means of increasing the employment rate in America remains naive. Reducing the current-account deficit would simultaneously reduce capital inflows into the U.S.

(Note: I will not deal here with arguments that an increasing U.S. capital-account surplus threatens America by turning over more assets in the U.S. to non-Americans. That argument is entirely different from the one that Mr. Bergsten makes, which is that the U.S. trade deficit means that there is less aggregate demand in America and, hence, American unemployment is thereby kept unnecessarily high.)

Take another look at Mr. Bergsten’s second paragraph where he says:

Of course the American seller of land to the Chinese COULD buy US pharmaceuticals. But she could also save all the proceeds. Or use it to buy more imports from China and elsewhere.

Yes. He’s correct. But note that:

(1) If she (the American seller of land to the Chinese) saves all of the proceeds the problem is hoarding (which I will assume here is, in fact, a problem). The nationality of the hoarder is irrelevant. Suppose the dollars that the Chinese person used to buy the land had instead never gone to China as dollars spent by Americans on Chinese exports. Suppose instead that the American buyers had bought their goods from American producers and then these American producers then hoarded the dollars. The result would be the same (problem or not) that Mr. Bergsten mistakenly attributes to the U.S. trade deficit but without any resulting increase in the U.S. trade deficit.

(2) If instead, as Mr. Bergsten postulates as another possibility, the American seller of land then buys “more imports from China and elsewhere” – so what? What do these foreign exporters do with their newly earned dollars? Answer: they either spend these dollars buying American exports, or invest these dollars in dollar-denominated assets (including possibly hoarding dollars themselves). With this possibility, Mr. Bergsten has simply added another round to trade – a round to be analyzed just as we analyze the first round. (Hint: in the second round the dollars in any increase in the U.S. current-account deficit return to the U.S. as investment, unless they are hoarded – in which case, see my above point that there is nothing unique about foreigners’ ability or propensity to hoard dollars. [I ignore here, for the sake of argument, the real-cash-balance effect.])

But the paragraph that I find most mysterious in Mr. Bergsten’s brief e-mail is his third one:

We would never have a trade deficit in the first place if your postulated scenario were to occur in the real world. Come on!

This claim is simply wrong. If Americans buy, say, $1M worth of goods from China and then the Chinese exporter uses this $1M to buy land in Texas or Florida or Maine – or if the Chinese exporter uses it to buy stock in American corporations – or lends it to Uncle Sam, to the Fairfax County, VA, school district, or to me personally – or uses it to fund FDI in the U.S. – those purchases are recorded in the capital account (not the current account). The transaction I describe in my initial letter – my “postulated scenario” – will in fact increase America’s trade deficit (or, to be precise, if the U.S. had a trade surplus, it would reduce that surplus).


I understand that Mr. Bergsten’s e-mail to me is short – and probably dashed off quickly. One must be forgiving when evaluating the contents of things written and said informally. But insofar as Mr. Bergsten actually believes what he wrote to me in his e-mail, he’s quite mistaken about the meaning, causes, and consequences of a U.S. current-account deficit (nee: capital-account surplus).



Tim Blair – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (09:48 am)

“Want to know what global warming has in store for us?” asks Rolling Stone magazine. “Just go to Australia, where rivers are drying up, reefs are dying, and fires and floods are ravaging the continent.” Jeff Goodell reports:

It’s near midnight, and I’m holed up in a rickety hotel in Proserpine, a whistle-stop town on the northeast coast of Australia. Yasi, a Category 5 hurricane with 200-mile-per-hour winds that’s already been dubbed “The Mother of All Catastrophes” by excitable Aussie tabloids, is just a few hundred miles offshore.

Goodell thinks our tabloids are excitable. His piece runs under the sober and not-excitable-at-all title: “Climate Change and the End of Australia.”

I have come to Australia to see what a global-warming future holds for this most vulnerable of nations …

Of all the world’s nations, Australia is the “most vulnerable”? To stupid journalism, perhaps.

The sense that Australia – which maintains one of the highest per-capita carbon footprints on the planet – has summoned up the wrath of the climate gods is everywhere.

We need names for these climate gods, so we can ridicule them in more personal ways.

“Australia is the canary in the coal mine,” says David Karoly, a top climate researcher at the University of Melbourne. “What is happening in Australia now is similar to what we can expect to see in other places in the future.”

You mean like record wheat crops?

As Yasi bears down on the coast, the massive storm seems to embody the not-quite-conscious fears of Australians that their country may be doomed by global warming.

Goodell can read our minds.

The Murray-Darling Basin, which serves as the country’s breadbasket, has suffered a decades-long drought, and what water is left is becoming increasingly salty and unusable, raising the question of whether Australia, long a major food exporter, will be able to feed itself in the coming decades.

I’ll take that bet.

The oceans are getting warmer and more acidic, leading to the all-but-certain death of the Great Barrier Reef within 40 years.

Just hurry up and die already, reef. Predictions of this coral crop’s extinction have been around for almost as long as the reef itself.

Homes along the Gold Coast are being swept away, koala bears face extinction in the wild, and farmers, their crops shriveled by drought, are shooting themselves in despair.

Best conditions in 20 years.

Australia … happens to be right in the cross hairs of global warming. “Sadly, it’s probably too late to save much of it,” says Joe Romm, a leading climate advocate who served as assistant energy secretary in the Clinton administration.

For real, Joe?

What is likely to vanish – or be transformed beyond recognition – are many of the things we think of when we think of Australia: the barrier reef, the koalas …

I’d actually like to see koalas be “transformed beyond recognition”. Next, Goodell imagines Australia under a nine-degree temperature increase:

Habitats for most vertebrates will vanish. Water supply to the Murray-Darling Basin will fall by half, severely curtailing food production. Rising sea levels will wipe out large parts of major cities and cause hundreds of billions of dollars worth of damage to coastal homes and roads. The Great Barrier Reef will be reduced to a pile of purple bacterial slime. Thousands of people will die from heat waves and other extreme weather events, as well as mosquito-borne infections like dengue fever.


Depression and suicide will become even more common among displaced farmers and Aborigines.

Well, of course. But how will they still be alive in order to kill themselves?

The morning after Yasi, I emerge from my hotel to find a few broken windows and downed trees. The flooding isn’t as bad as had been feared …

Those climate gods never deliver when a truly monstrous narrative device is needed. So Goodell falls back on a reliable standby:

In the following days, there is much speculation in the Aussie press about whether or not Yasi was “caused” by global warming. Most media outlets gloss over the complexities of the science – an unsurprising omission, given that Australia is home to Rupert Murdoch’s media empire …

After all of this, Goodell carries on for another 5120 hilariously doom-laden words. His conclusion:

We walk for a while, watching all the happy people strolling along the boardwalk and drinking wine in cafes and surfing the waves. The sun is shining, and everything is lovely. Too bad that it all has to go.

Too bad he had to show up. Bye, Jeff.



Tim Blair – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (07:33 am)

Carbon Cate turns shy:

Cate Blanchett went to great lengths to hide herself from the photographers awaiting her return from James Packer’s country estate this week. Could that have something to do with her eco unfriendly mode of travel?

The controversial environmentalist – who was attacked by Tony Abbott and other opponents to a carbon tax following a polarising TV campaign in May – was without the eco-friendly hybrid vehicles that take her everywhere in Sydney, instead opting for Packer’s private helicopter.

The chopper is a 12-seater Sikorsky S-76.

Note the delightful means by which Cate attempted to conceal her carbon consumption:

A petrol tanker was moved in front of the chopper to block lenses.



The Monthly way

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (01:56 pm)

To be clear, Jana Wendt didn’t have her profile on me killed by The Monthly. She pulled out after I suggested she check with the editor if what she had in mind, which I took to be a balanced article, was what The Monthly really wanted and would print.

I am not at liberty to reveal what Wendt learned ... but Tim Andrews has a guess:

It was with great interest that I read a few days ago that Jana Wendt was commissioned by The Monthly to write a profile piece on Andrew Bolt, and that when it emerged that it would not be a hatchet-job, Monthly Editor Ben Naparstek killed the piece, and in its place, an inaccurate attack piece by Anne Summers was commissioned and published.

I found this particularly interesting, because, well, the exact same thing happened to me!

But first, some background.

Rachel Hills is a prominent Australian left wing writer, commentator, and journalist. I first met Rachel in my second year of University when she was running for Student Union, and I dedicated a few weeks of my life to try to make sure that she wouldn’t get elected… Which would make it understandable as to why Mr. Naparstek commissioned Rachel to write a profile piece on me.... With her credentials, it is rather obvious that someone who didn’t know Rachel well would come to the conclusion that anything she wrote about me would be negative. Right?

And that’s where the trouble started. Read on.


How I became a monster

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (01:52 pm)


Ever wondered how it would feel to have a pack of journalists write about you? Especially one drooling to see in you the very worst?

I thought it would hurt a lot more.

Sure, it’s bad at first, but there comes a point when the hypocrisy, malice and sheer invention become so bizarre - especially from some members of the Leftist “elite” media - that you have to laugh.

For me, that point came on Monday, five days after being found to have breached the Racial Vilification Act for writing about fair-skinned Aborigines, by which time I’d read that I was actually a “Lying Dutchman” (Sydney Morning Herald) from the “outback” (The Monthly) of a country I’d never written about “with passion” (The Age), since I was confused about my identity and clung to “an archaic notion of European culture” (The Age).

I’d read that it was “the neo-Calvinist faith instilled by (my) Dutch father” (Crikey) which made me obsessed with the purity of the “Master Race” (The Age) and convinced that Aborigines were an “inferior race” which got “too much support” (The Age).

By Monday I’d even acquired a “former fiancee” (The Monthly) who next issue will help explain how I changed from the “‘introverted, restless, romantic’, with strong ethics” she’d reportedly known into this thing with dreadful views I never knew I had.

Naturally, I blamed my wife for this transformation - from a Byronic figure into a “serpent” (The Age) and “egomaniacal lackwit” with a “soft, white, privileged a--- “ (Brisbane Times) who “prefers his darkies dark” (SMH) - but oddly enough she wasn’t in a laughing mood.

Trying hard to see the upside, I boasted to my eldest son, a Mad Men fan, that at least I was now a man with a Hidden Past, the Don Draper of journalism, but he just smirked and said nothing would convince him I wasn’t boring.

I then rang Dad to blame him for having preached into me these racist notions during my most formative years (which I’d falsely imagined were spent in suburban Elizabeth and Darwin), but he just laughed, before asking why I’d never told him I’d been engaged before.

I accused him in turn of pretending to me for decades that he was an agnostic refugee from the Uniting Church, when I’d read in Crikey he was actually a Calvinist bigot whose faith’s “obsessions with purity ... rolled over into racial terms when the Dutch acquired empires”. Dad just laughed again, and suddenly it all became clear.


Smarter folk are more likely to be sceptics

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (01:49 pm)

The less you know about science, the more likely you are to believe man is warming the planet dangerously. From a new study by Professor Dan Kahan and others:

The conventional explanation for controversy over climate change emphasizes impediments to public understanding: Limited popular knowledge of science, the inability of ordinary citizens to assess technical information, and the resulting widespread use of unreliable cognitive heuristics to assess risk. A large survey of U.S. adults (N = 1540) found little support for this account. On the whole, the most scientifically literate and numerate subjects were slightly less likely, not more, to see climate change as a serious threat than the least scientifically literate and numerate ones.

Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery has outed the Resources Minister as a sceptic (from 32:30):

Martin Ferguson has been a climate sceptic for a long time.

(Thanks to reader Owen.)


Richardson: Labor in unimaginable crisis

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (01:35 pm)

Graham Richardson becomes even more insistent with every month:

LABOR is facing an unimaginable crisis and must find a way to rebuild support across the country, former party powerbroker Graham Richardson says.

The latest Newspoll shows Labor’s approval rating in West Australia has dropped below 30 per cent, a fate that has already befallen the party in NSW, Queensland and Victoria.

Federal Labor has polled below 30 per cent since July…

“It is now a sad fact to reveal that Labor cannot poll 30 per cent in any state in Australia,” Mr Richardson said at the launch of former NSW minister Frank Sartor’s new book, The Fog On The Hill: How NSW Labor Lost Its Way…

“That is a crisis that none of us could ever imagine.”

(Thanks to reader Max.)


Britain goes cooler on warming targets

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (11:11 am)

A big call from the British Government in May:

The UK is to put in place the most ambitious targets on greenhouse gases of any developed country, by halving carbon dioxide emissions by 2025, after a tumultuous week of cabinet rifts on the issue.

Second thoughts in October:

George Osborne has vowed the UK will not lead the rest of Europe in its efforts to cut carbon emissions, raising the prospect that the country’s carbon targets could be watered down if the EU does not agree to more ambitious emissions reduction goals.

In a potentially explosive intervention, Osborne insisted the government will only cut emissions in line with its neighbours to ensure British businesses are not disadvantaged....

“We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business,” he said. “So let’s, at the very least, resolve that we’re going to cut our carbon emissions no slower, but also no faster, than our fellow countries in Europe.”

He also stressed the UK accounts for less than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, compared with 40 per cent from the US and China, warning that if the UK attempts to cut emissions too quickly, carbon-intensive businesses will simply migrate overseas.

Significantly, Osborne said he had “insisted” on a commitment that the UK’s emissions reductions would not outstrip the rest of Europe as part of the agreement on the recent fourth carbon budget, which commits the UK to halving emissions against 1990 levels by 2025.

This is a reference to the deal brokered earlier this summer, which saw the UK agree to the ambitious targets recommended by the Independent Committee on Climate Change, but only after the Treasury had secured a commitment to review the targets if the EU failed to agree to similarly ambitious targets for post-2020.

Which leaves warmist Adair Turner’s comments last month looking ... overheated:

AUSTRALIA is debating how to take action to reduce carbon emissions. Many fear that doing so will hit prosperity and jobs.

In Britain there is a general appreciation that a low-carbon economy can be a prosperous one, and that the costs of global inaction on climate change would be great. There is therefore cross-party consensus behind the stretching target of an 80 per cent cut in Britain’s greenhouse gas emission below 1990 levels by 2050. This was made a legal commitment of the British government by the Climate Change Act of 2008.


Why is hate speech only the stuff from the Right?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (10:45 am)

Serious question: why can someone of the Left be excused talk of beheading people she doesn’t like, when the media would froth at the same sentiments from a conservative, and warn darkly of “hate speech”?

(Thanks to reader marcus.)


Bad government, but good insight - into the Greens

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (08:41 am)

Janet Albrechtsen says one benefit from having had a year of this deeply compromised government is that the Greens have finally been exposed:

The getting of a Greens education these past 12 months has meant more of us see behind the carefully modulated voice of Brown to the doctrinaire green hulk that is committed to closing down the coal industry, that believes mining is evil and ought to be subjected to a super-profits tax, is driven by a utopian dream of drawing baseload power from renewables and holds a cavalier attitude to cities, such as Whyalla, which Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young thinks can be turned into windmill centres.

We saw the Greens at work too when the Gillard government capriciously shut down the $320 million live cattle exports trade on June 8. The cattle industry paid the price for Labor’s desperation to hold power by placating the Greens agenda. No other policy reveals a more complete disconnect between Canberra and rural and regional Australia.

We learned that the Greens have a peculiar view of freedom of the press. When Brown labelled News Limited the “hate media”, it became clear that a newspaper knows it is doing precisely the right thing when the Greens are upset by the scrutiny. And now the Greens leader is suggesting individual journalists should be licensed. This is the green face of fascism.

We have learned that the Greens don’t have much time for other old-fashioned notions of democracy either. At the National Press Club, Brown laid out his preference for a world government. That’s Brown’s elitist view of participatory democracy.


And I’d better not comment. Nor may you

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (08:30 am)

Oh, dear. Another brawl about Aboriginality and preferment, but not - thank God - involving me this time.

(And, of course, the legal risks of running your own views are too high for us to allow it. Sorry.)


More reaction

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (08:01 am)

Marxist Brendan O’Neill on the Left’s failure to defend free speech:

THE most shocking thing about the Andrew Bolt case is not the judge’s decision but the slavish, unquestioning acceptance of it by huge swaths of Australia’s cultural elite.

For simply expressing his opinion about the weird fluidity of modern-day identity politics, Bolt was found guilty of racial discrimination. Mordecai Bromberg, the judge in the case, said Bolt had contravened section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The act forbids any race-based “offensive behaviour” that is likely “to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or group of people”.

In a stinging judgment that has spectacularly illiberal implications, Bromberg decreed that Bolt’s words would definitely have been experienced as “insulting” by pale-skinned Aborigines, possibly leading to a “loss of esteem”.

And as a punishment for this heinous crime of making people feel a little bit down, Bromberg served up a double whammy of censure and censorship.

He .... censored everyone else in Australia by ruling that two of Bolt’s 2009 articles, headlined “It’s so hip to be black” and “White fellas in the black”, must never be republished in any form. That is, these words must be purged, like those generals who found themselves scrubbed from group photographs with Stalin…

Yet, as I say, Bromberg’s censorious judgment isn’t even the most shocking thing about this sordid show trial of a man who dared to reject the multicultural ethos. No, the most shocking thing is the stunning absence of anger over what has been done to Bolt.

Those who describe themselves as liberal with a small L, as leftish, progressive and open-minded, have demonstrated no liberal tendencies whatsoever in relation to the ruling against Bolt…

They bring to mind those European “liberals” who failed to defend the right of Danish cartoonists to mock Mohammed. Like them, the liberals who have refused to speak up in defence of Bolt have effectively made themselves accessories to an intolerant assault on freedom of speech, in this case to Justice Bromberg’s alarming attack on journalistic liberty… In failing to speak up for Bolt, or at least speak out against his illiberal critics, commentators are behaving like turkeys voting for Christmas.

But I should, for balance, point out that the judge said I couldn’t claim fair comment, in part because I made mistakes like this:

Mr Bolt wrote that Ms Cole was raised by her “English-Jewish” or “English” mother (1A-2; 2A-24). That statement is factually inaccurate because Ms Cole’s Aboriginal grandmother also raised Ms Cole and was highly influential in Ms Cole’s identification as an Aboriginal.

And in a video made for Melbourne Museum, Cole shows a photograph of that “Aboriginal grandmother” from whom she traces her Aboriginal identity. I think you will have a better appreciation of my factual inaccuracy when you hear about it from Cole herself, although I caution you that the view you reach on its meaning may breach the Racial Discrimination Act and is perhaps safest left unsaid.


Henry Thornton on my case - or the bit of his article I dare to quote:

Similar observations are made every day by people of predominantly Aboriginal descent, who bitterly resent the success that those with limited Aboriginal ancestry have in gaining access to funds that were supposed to be reserved for the truly disadvantaged. Such observation can be made safely enough: the views of ordinary Aborigines don’t matter to anyone of importance.

Bolt’s mistake was to put unwelcome truths into print, to point out that the Emperor has no clothes...


From the latest issue of The Spectator:

There are few names whose mere mention can send Australia’s cultural left into paroxysms of rage more quickly than that of Andrew Bolt. So it was predictable that this week’s verdict delivered against the Herald Sun columnist in the Federal Court of Australia for breaching the Racial Discrimination Act would cause shouts of celebration. As depressing as the ruling is — in practice, it means that uncomfortable but important debates can be shut down as soon as one side claims hurt feelings — the gloating of Mr Bolt’s enemies is even worse.

It is not necessary to interrogate the facts of the case to see how disturbing Justice Mordecai Bromberg’s judgment is. Mr Bolt was found guilty simply because Justice Bromberg agreed that the complainants felt ‘offended, insulted, humiliated or intimidated’ by Mr Bolt’s columns about light-skinned Aboriginal Australians. This is a dangerous precedent, especially when seen in light of other events in Australia (most notably the Greens’ attempts to mount a Parliamentary inquiry as payback against News Limited) and abroad.

(No comments. I apologise, but we cannot afford the lawyers we’d need to safely moderate every comment.)


Thomson investigated

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (06:11 am)

Victoria Police get cracking after a month on a case on which Fair Work Australia has spent a couple of years:

LABOR MP Craig Thomson will be investigated by the Victorian fraud squad over allegations he misused his Health Services Union credit card during a $100,000 splurge on prostitutes, cash withdrawals and airline tickets.

Victoria Police confirmed to The Australian yesterday that an investigation into the allegations against Mr Thomson had begun, after they spent almost a month “assessing” the file they received from their NSW counterparts.

(No comments.)


Once more, with less feeling

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (05:58 am)

Jacqueline Maley at the charade of a tax forum:

And so, as with other parts of Labor’s agenda - notably the carbon tax and its pokie reforms - the poor, dear tax forum was overshadowed by the perception that it was just another thing Julia Gillard was forced to do to retain power.

A former treasury secretary Ken Henry seemed to think he had seen it all before.

“You could have written the script to this before coming in,” he said.

He may have a point.

The vast majority of recommendations from his eponymous tax review in 2009 still languish in its final report, unmolested by any attempt at government implementation.

Gary Banks at least tried to push back against the dicatatorial tone of the times:

THE Productivity Commission chairman, Gary Banks, has sounded a warning to the government against using the tax system to change community behaviour in areas such as gambling, road congestion and carbon pollution.

And there’s a warning about the failure of so many green schemes:

On carbon pricing, Mr Banks said “the complexities are unbounded” and a key challenge for the government would be reviewing which of the 200 other climate schemes around Australia “deserve to stay and which of those deserve to go”.

His comments echo the Productivity Commission’s findings that state climate change schemes such as solar feed-in tariffs were greatly increasing the cost of carbon emissions abatement.


Artist exposed

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (05:38 am)

Is it permitted that we laugh at them?

STATE and Federal taxes will pay for a “naturist” exhibition that will see art lovers shed their clothes at a Melbourne gallery tomorrow night.

The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art at Southbank will be clothes-free for an hour while artist Stuart Ringholt, who will also be naked, guides guests through the artworks on display.

Apparently no artist has ever thought of taking off people’s clothes:

A spokeswoman for ACCA defended paying Mr Ringholt for his work, saying it was only a small part of the exhibition and admittance was adults only.

“ACCA’s remit is to present the latest in cutting-edge art, and this is an example of that,” the spokeswoman said.

More cutting edge stuff, this time from nearly 500 years ago:



Keep an eye on Clive

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (05:25 am)

Tim Blair has some of the script and vision of the show that has Gaia preacher Professor Clive Hamilton cheering the punching of a climate sceptic in the face.


Is Julia written off by JRudd?

Andrew Bolt – Wednesday, October 05, 11 (05:16 am)

Jessica Rudd isn’t telling us yet how it all works out:

A FEMALE prime minister who rolled the sitting leader to take Australia’s top job finds herself sinking in the polls - but it’s purely fiction, of course.

Such is the fantasy detailed in the new novel from Jessica Rudd - the daughter of rolled prime minister and now Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd.

The 27-year-old author and former Labor campaign worker is putting the final touches on the follow-up to her debut novel Campaign Ruby, the tale of a prime minister cut down by his ambitious female deputy.

Her 2010 chick-lit hit won praise and puzzlement for the remarkable prescience of its storyline, given it was finished months before the sudden departure of her father as prime minister in June last year. The book was released for sale two months after the Labor coup, which Ms Rudd later described as a “spooky” but a distressing coincidence.


Jessica Rudd corrects the report. In fact:

IN the fictitious world of Jessica Rudd’s second novel, the government is indeed imploding - but it’s not under a female leader.

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