Monday, October 10, 2011

News Items and comments

Plucking heartstrings of political one-upmanship

Piers Akerman – Monday, October 10, 11 (05:50 pm)

THE sound of the instrumental now known as Duelling Banjos conjures up images of ruthless, toothless, inbred hillbillies from the creepy 1972 film Deliverance.

Rudd's ambition has destroyed him but it has also made him. Latham knew him for what he is. But I gather it was felt by those that run the ALP, faceless grey men, that Rudd could be easily manipulated. Largely that was true, but also Rudd has this towering ego. Contrapuntily, Gillard has never been competent, but the powers that be probably thought she would be pliable. Gillard has no spine. She can support anything that will bring about a pork barrel. So will Rudd. What happens next will be an illustration of two poly-filla candidates trying to squeeze into ALP leadership as everything collapses around them. - ed

Step to the left would be Labor’s death knell

Piers Akerman – Saturday, October 08, 11 (09:15 pm)

Saddled with the unapologetic liar Julia Gillard as its leader, elements within the ALP are hoping to elevate the role of the party’s national president beyond that of an administrative figurehead in a bid to halt Labor’s slide into irrelevancy.

There is no way Labor will survive another episode of a leadership coup like the Rudd fiasco. And the hopeless management of the nation’s affairs.

All the Coalition has to do to win government is not be Labor.

DT replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (10:52am)

Which is why the strategy from the 1980s was to appear to be on Coalition political ground when campaigning for Labor and I assume too why as a party affiliated to international socialists they work so hard to hide it from Australians.

OldOzzie replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (10:57am)

Labor debt in 4 years as at Friday 7th October 2011

Total Commonwealth Government Securities
on Issue - $211.392 Billion

Labor has just hosed money up against the wall with nothing to show for it, from a $20 Billion Surplus, and are running up a budget deficit of $60 Billion per year over the next 2 years

It took the Liberals 7 years to pay down the $96 Billion Debt left by the Keating Labor Government.

Given the American and European Governments have run out of money, you would think Labor would learn, but no they are going to destroy Australia with the Carbon Tax, and destroy our industry.

Labor likes building $25 Billion Desalination Plants with 25 year ongoing coats to appease the Greens, when a $1.9 Billion Dam would have sufficed with minimal on-going cost.

This article in the UK today sums up Labor

How climate change zealots are wrecking every last industry this country possesses

to quote a comment from Telegraph UK today

“he was right to maul the Labour legacy. “They thought you could borrow without regard to ability to pay, and saddled this country with the worst debt crisis in our history”

Sums up where Federal Labor is taking Australia

DD Ball replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (02:36pm)

ALP can survive lots. They are like cockroaches. Who thought after Whitlam ALP would gain power again so soon federally? Or after Keating? Hawke wasn’t good. Yet mainstream media will work hard to erode confidence in the conservative parties. Well placed repeated lies can achieve much

ausebell replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (02:59pm)

I’m reading John Howards book - Lazarus Rising. I have always been intrigued by what actually took place around the sacking of Whitlam and the book gives you a timeline which is very interesting. In a nutshell, this gov is the Whitlam gov all over. Both the Whitlam and Rudd/Gillard Labor inherited a strong economy; with low unemployment’; and apparently good prospects for growth.

Whitlam found economics irksome, far less exciting than the foreign excursions and progressive social posturing that he had been elected to champion. Sound familar?? And people are wanting rudd back??? I cannot believe people would be so stupid!!!

The way Whitlam, Jim Cairns, Treasurer and Deputy PM; AG Lionel Murphy; & Rex Connor met ad hoc at the Lodge, without the knowledge of the GG to borrow $4billion from a Pakistani commodities dealer, rather than from Morgan Stanley, a solid Wall Street bank, had Treasury bewildered why these labor men had taken this path. An untested path. Andeven after the Loans Affair was made public - and Cairns and Connor both lost their jobs, Connor continued negotiations with Khemlani AFTER HIS AUTHORITY TO DO SO WAS REVOKED!

BTW - Howards book is now in paperback - and even though I am not an avid reader, it is an excellent read and takes you back to times that you “recall” in Australian politics, but having it easily retold, makes it a great book to understand where we are today.

proud aussie replied to Mick In The Hills
Sun 09 Oct 11 (08:37pm)

ausebell, thank you for your review of Lazarus Rising. It is indeed a precious treasure and an excellent read, extremely well written. It is refreshing to read what is part of our political history knowing that you can trust what is written.


pat replied to Mick In The Hills
Mon 10 Oct 11 (10:03am)

Swan and Laborites state Labor saved us from the GFC but that is the biggest lie (apart from NO Carbon Tax).

The GFC was caused by incompetent governments around the world having massive debts and no surplus. We rode out the GFC because we had no debt with money in the bank and that was because of the coalition paying off Labors $96Billion debt and creating a surplus of $20Billion. We now have massive debts again and if we get hit by another GFC then were screwed just like Greece…

The Carbon, mining and other new taxes are to pay off Labors debt so face the truth....

Swan is the worst treasurer we have ever had and should resign.

proud aussie replied to Mick In The Hills
Mon 10 Oct 11 (11:47am)

Hear, hear pat. SPOT ON. Thank you.

The more we pull to the Left, the more Australians will learn to loathe the Left.

This can only be good.

It seems each generation needs a dose of toxic Leftism to learn what Leftism really is.

The previous generation were innoculated by the experience of Whitlam .. the current are receiving their innoculation through Rudd/Gillard.

The very sad thing is the damage caused between innoculations .. some of it permanent.


John Jay (Reply)
Sat 08 Oct 11 (09:34pm)
Peter B replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (07:59am)

When Rudd the dud and the disastrous Labor party were first elected I thought the only good that can come from the really dumb decision of electing yet another disastrous Labor Government (at the time all States and Federal Governments were Labor) is that Labor will start to expose thier true RED colours. It will be Australia worst ever man made disaster costing Australia and it’s future hundreds of billions of hard earned taxpayer dollars, the death of hundreds or thousands of people as well as the destruction of democracy and social and Cultural decay. It is a tradgedy Australia has and continues to takes so many steps backwards with diastrosu LEFT wing Governments but if it means Australians wake up to these extremist wolves in sheeps clothing then at least that is a good thing.

DT replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (10:57am)

JJ in 2006 Rudd was interviewed on ABC Compass, so was John Howard and Bob Brown. During the Rudd interview he was asked about his political position, he quickly and proudly answered “Christian Socialist” and then went on to explain about his German hero who was also a Christian Socialist. Later during the 07 election campaign he declared himself to be a “Fiscal Conservative”. How could anyone believe what he says?

Gillard too has of course been in denial about her far left views.

We must ask ourselves what are they hiding from us.

dd replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (12:45pm)

The really sad thing is that Australia has had three decades,at least, of Leftist Ideology in the education system right up to university level. And despite the obvious lack of reality in it’s ideas, a lot has stuck . Plain to see the Greens with their fairy airy “logic’ fill some kind of void in people. Aussies are mostly conservative people who have risen from hard times. We have gone soft and now our once hardened hides are very vulnerable to those who would do us harm. Our vigilance has weakened ,and our enemies are now within. The Greens are Trojan Horse we did not see coming.

DD Ball replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (02:40pm)

Moving to the left will make the ALP unelectable in the short term, but they are that anyway. What it will allow is a ‘snap back’ where a future leader, possibly Jason Clare, can claim they made mistakes and have renewed following their next loss.

Jim Common Sense Non Progressive replied to John Jay
Sun 09 Oct 11 (07:54pm)

I believe Juliar and the extreme Greens have become the Coalition’s best asset. So long as they are the ones running the circus, Abbott is almost certain to win the next election, which could be sooner than everyone expects. All it will take is one NSW-like scandal - which shouldn’t be too hard due to their lack of morals - and we’ll be rid of this Demonic Left Mob.

Having had power in the states and recently federally for so long one might wonder why people were saying the ALP is in bad straights. Surely it isn’t because of recent polls? As late as last year the ALP were elected and federally with enough to hold government. Admittedly the electorate weren’t aware that was what they were voting for. The electorate had been told they wouldn’t be voting for a CO2 tax if they voted ALP. The electorate had been told there was a plan that would solve the boat people issue. The electorate had been told that Windsor and Oakeshott could be relied on the support conservative choices.

Viewed from space the ALP doesn’t have a problem. They are taxing and spending at will.

But it is a house of cards. Which bottom card will fall first? Rudd? One decent, honest ALP lower house member (if there be one)? Wilkie?

One thing is certain. The ABC doesn’t know. And if the ABC did know they wouldn’t tell. Like when Rudd was trounced. One thing worth remembering, no media group got the ALP to answer the questions of Gillard’s leadership before the election in 2010.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 08 Oct 11 (11:00pm)
DT replied to DD Ball
Sun 09 Oct 11 (11:17am)

DD Ball the voters in the electorates of Oakshott and Windsor clearly did not vote for a Labor government last October, both electorates have traditionally been held by the Country/National Party and the two now former Independent members were part of the Nationals before standing as Independents and therefore considered by their constituents to be conservatives not Labor supporters.

By signing an agreement with the prime minister to support her government these men ignored what the majority of their electors wanted.

To add to the shame of it Windsor recently commented on ABC Capital Hill that he had given both Gillard and Abbott opportunity to form a government and call a new election, I knew that was not the case and did some research, at News.Com and others I found that he had in fact told media at the time that he could not choose to support Abbott because he believed that Abbott would call a new election and win it.

We can’t trust anything these people say, it is a disgraceful state of affairs.

dd replied to DD Ball
Sun 09 Oct 11 (01:02pm)

I have no understanding for the technicalities of the law but if an electorate give their votes to a person , is it not on the understanding that person will do as the electorate work for his/her advancement for the better? Otherwise they woud never ever vote for that person. If he/she wins and refuses to acknowledge and work for their electorate, are they not running on false pretences? Or can they just do as they wish after the election?

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Mon 10 Oct 11 (07:18am)

DD, this is representative democracy. Of course they can change their mind. But if they can’t justify it they won’t be reelected. Unless they are ALP


A teen’s plight no photo op for Rudd

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 08, 11 (09:09 pm)

THE way our Foreign Minister has jumped on the Bali case smacks more of Rudd’s ambition than altruism.

I made mistakes as a youth which I am not proud of. I didn’t ask prostitutes for drugs but then maybe I just didn’t have that opportunity. Luckily, I didn’t have Rudd on my side either.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 08 Oct 11 (11:04pm)

Poor Sales



Invictus over at The Big Picture wants Charlie Rose to ask this question of the GOP candidates:

“We repeatedly hear about taxes, regulations, and uncertainty standing in the way of job creation. However, the National Federation of Independent Business (“The Voice of Small Business”) surveys its members every month as to their “Single Biggest Problem.” Among the possible answers are both taxes and regulations, yet “Poor Sales” has, in fact, dominated for the past three years. Additionally, as we see in the chart, “Poor Sales” and the Unemployment Rate correlate very strongly, at about 0.87.

Given these facts, is it disputable that our problem is one of aggregate demand and that, if we could improve demand we could lower the unemployment rate notwithstanding the tax or regulatory environment?”

Is it disputable? Of course it is.

Saying that poor sales is the biggest problem facing small business is like saying that the biggest problem facing the economy is that it’s not doing very well. It has no content. It tells you nothing about an amorphous concept called “aggregate demand” and even if it did, it does not tell you how to increase aggregate demand.

Of course businesses are worried about current and future sales. The challenge is to improve prospects for sales and profitability. We’re not very good at that.

Does the government spending borrowed money increase the sales of the businesses who receive the money? Sure. Does it increase them permanently? No. That reduces the incentives to hire even when your sales increase. Does borrowing money reduce the sales of other businesses? Probably. Does the expansion of the firms that receive the money increase the prices of inputs that they demand and thereby crowd out other firms? Almost certainly. These are empirical questions that we don’t have good information about.

Finally, I would note that while the survey that Invictus cites does indeed list “Poor Sales” as the single most important problem (25% in the September survey (scroll down to “Single Most Important Problem), taxes are listed as the single most important problem by 18% and government regulations and red tape is listed by 19%. So the two combine to 37%. They also happen to be two factors that government can actually control.

BTW, while I believe that regulatory uncertainty, particularly in the health care sector ia discouraging hiring, I concede that any precise evidence on its importance is just speculation (mixed with some bias of course).

UPDATE: Krugman made a similar claim to Invictus’s a while back. My comments are here. I find it interesting how we all use data to confirm our biases. It’s too bad that facts don’t speak for themselves. We speak for them and in doing so, we color them using our own lenses.


Here’s empirical evidence of the reality and significance of Bob Higgs’s theory of regime uncertainty. Pay careful attention.

Ross Kaminsky, writing at The American Spectator, uses his sound voice to argue against Uncle Sam’s retaliation against China for allegedly keeping the value of the renminbi too low American consumers who dare take advantage of good deals made possible by Beijing’s policy of tying the value of the renminbi to that of the U.S. dollar.

And writing at Forbes, the Cato Institute’s Jim Dorn warns against this same pending legislation aimed at slapping additional, discriminatory taxes on Americans who buy Chinese-made goods.

Mark Perry points out the obliviousness of the “Occupy Wall Street” protesters.

The great Bastiat makes a strong case for the flat tax. (HT David Hart)

Rob Bradley is understandably made blue by politically created “green jobs.”

Writing in Investor’s Business Daily, my former student Alex Nowrasteh makes a case for liberlizing H-1B visas.

David Boaz, of the Cato Institute, writes eloquently on Steve Jobs, “prosperity creator“.


Quotation of the Day…



… is from pages 148-149 of H.L. Mencken’s A Mencken Chrestomathy – a book which, if I were stranded on a desert island and could have only one book with me, I would choose to be my lone piece of literary accompaniment:

After damning politicians up hill and down dale for many years, as rogues and vagabonds, frauds and scoundrels, I sometimes suspect that, like everyone else, I often expect too much of them. Though faith and confidence are surely more or less foreign to my nature, I not infrequently find myself looking to them to be able, diligent, candid and even honest. Plainly enough, that is too large a order, as anyone must realize who reflects upon the manner in which they reach public office. They seldom if ever get there by merit alone, at least in democratic states. Sometimes, to be sure, it happens, but only by a kind of miracle. They are chosen normally for quite different reasons, the chief of which is simply their power to impress and enchant the intellectually underprivileged. It is a talent like any other, and when it is exercised by a radio crooner, a movie actor or a bishop, it even takes on a certain austere and sorry respectability. But it is obviously not identical with a capacity for the intricate problems of statecraft.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (04:05 pm)

The modern left’s tribal hatreds are made wonderfully clear in Professor Bunyip’s tale of two Don Watsons, featuring a former Labor speechwriter who now rails against tradesmen:

Four o’clock is the middle of ‘tradie hour’. The tradies are going home in their unbreakable and unstoppable cars. Tough as they are, they are also cosily equipped – twin cabins, 100-speaker stereo, bluetooth, cup holders, the works …

The tradie brings intimations of pointlessness. And when I hear our political leaders, I suspect at least a general trend and complete acquiescence in it. What happened to Albert Schweitzer, Mozart and the CSIRO? Where is physics, anthropology or the simple promise of the Education Acts?

Try fixing a busted water pipe by playing Mozart at it. At such moments the point of tradies becomes suddenly clear. But Watson is still troubled by the cars owned by these workers, and the direction they’re headed:

… they veer off to their Foxtel-fitted pads in the new suburbs …

The new suburbs. How absolutely ghastly. Now go visit the Professor.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (04:02 pm)

Whacking Day in Wasau:

A Wausau man was hospitalized Friday after he was attacked and beaten with a tire iron in what witnesses said was an argument over religion, according to police …

[Wausau Police Lt. Matt] Barnes added that “it is unusual when an argument ends with the use of a tire iron, but it’s not unheard of.”

This seems especially so when it comes to our Presbyterian friends, who have deployed iron debating tools at a Rawalpindi school:

In a first for the garrison city, sixty masked men carrying iron rods barged into a girls’ school in Rawalpindi and thrashed students and female teachers on Friday.

The gang of miscreants also warned the inmates at the MC Model Girls High School in Satellite Town to “dress modestly and wear hijabs” or face the music, eyewitnesses said.

Fear gripped the area following the attack …

The area may have been less frightened if the cops turned up. However:

A police official of the New Town Police Station, asking for anonymity, told The Express Tribune, “We were under strict instructions to do nothing.”

Interesting. In comments following that piece, “JJ” writes: “But it was wrong for the girls to wear UNISLAMIC dress in ISLAMIC republic. The girls must be covered from head to toe and there must be segregation of sexes. And if the government is not enforcing strict SHARIA laws then true muslims have to take law (ISLAMIC LAW) in their own hands and establish NIZAM-e-MUSTAFA. So whats the problem here?” Oh, nothing, really. Except for attacking people with iron rods.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (03:38 pm)

Twenty-nine years ago, Israel’s Dan Shechtman challenged a scientific consensus:

For observing under an electron microscope what the scientific community held to be a physical impossibility, Mr. Shechtman was accused of “bringing disgrace” on his lab. Linus Pauling, the chemistry (and peace) Nobelist, called the discovery “nonsense” and denounced Mr. Shechtman as a “quasi-scientist.” It took two years before a scientific journal would deign to publish his findings.

Today, Mr. Shechtman’s observations have been fully validated and quasicrystals are beginning to have commercial applications. But his story is a reminder that a consensus of scientists is no substitute for, and often a bar to, great science. That’s especially so when the consensus hardens into a dogmatic and self-satisfied enterprise.

Isn’t there another field in which a similar kind of consensus has taken hold, with similarly unpleasant consequences for those who question its core assumptions? Take a guess.

Consensus-buster Shechtman last week won the Nobel Prize for chemistry. His view:

“The main lesson that I have learned over the years is that a good scientist is a modest and attentive scientist.”

He’ll never make it to Monaco with that sort of attitude.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (03:03 pm)

One day you’re a carefree Australian teen enjoying Balinese massages and helping boost the local economy, and the next you’re involved in some kind of custody battle between Julia and Kevni:

The boy, from the central coast, now has the personal attention of both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Kevin Rudd.

Poor kid.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (02:38 pm)

Enviro-minded Californians would attend an execution if it had the prefix “eco”. Well, perhaps in an earlier time. Not any more:

The New World Festival of Eco-Friendly Science and Technology in Santa Monica shuts down after lackluster attendance. Vendors are worried they won’t get paid.

It was the first New World Festival of Eco-Friendly Science and Technology and quite possibly the last.

The event near the beach in Santa Monica, which had been scheduled to run through Sunday, was shut down abruptly Saturday afternoon.

(Via Currency Lad)



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (01:48 pm)

This is unfortunate:

The cast members of The Simpsons have agreed to new two-year deals with series producer 20th Century Fox TV and, with them locked in, Fox has renewed the veteran series for two more seasons.

Just let it die. A friend now reflexively switches channels if a new Simpsons episode appears; he only watches the older shows. In other TV news:

The ABC is paying The Chaser team $1.2 million for the eight-part series The Hamster Wheel, as well as footing the bill for most of the production costs, according to leaked documents.

The comedy series, which launched last week, is produced by The Chaser’s own production company Giant Dwarf in association with ABC TV.

The total cost of the co-production is $3.2m, which makes it one of the most expensive shows on the ABC, at $400,000 per half-hour episode.

Take a look. You may as well, considering that you’ve already paid for it.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (01:20 pm)

The story of Leslie Cannold’s life:

My attempt at provocation fell flat.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (03:45 am)

Conservatives are disinclined to change our minds, and for good reason, since we’re usually right to begin with.

But possibly one or two changes of mind per decade would be acceptable. Any more and you’d be dangerously close to the Fraser-Turnbull Ratio, at which point you suddenly gain the respect of Fairfax readers and at the same time become invisible to everyone who matters.



Tim Blair – Monday, October 10, 11 (03:36 am)

Just watch as a bunch of Occupiers (this group is in Atlanta) decline to hear from John Lewis:

(Via Small Dead Animals and Larry T.)

UPDATE. Drones against drones:

The National Air and Space Museum in Washington was closed Saturday after anti-war demonstrators swarmed the building to protest a drone exhibit and security guards used pepper spray to repel them, sickening a number of protesters.

UPDATE II. It’s a bouillabaisse, if you will:

As the Occupy Wall Street movement enters its fourth week of protests in lower Manhattan and spreads within New York and to several other major U.S. cities, its message is becoming a bouillabaisse of views representing the many groups that have signed on, and their demands are unclear.

Their causes include such diverse issues as global warming, gas prices and corporate greed – though most seem to be fueled by the common thread of anger at the wealthy and powerful at the expense of the middle class and less fortunate.

They also hate museums.

UPDATE III. That concern about global warming seems to have been addressed:

The cold is coming – and they know it …

At Saturday’s 9 a.m. coordination meeting, representatives on the numerous task forces dealt with the need for more donations of sleeping bags, ground pads and shoes. Right now there’s an oversupply of socks, T-shirts and thermal blankets.

“The cold is definitely a concern for all of us,” Olivia Nole-Malpezzi, 18, of Rochester said later. “We definitely need to prepare for the winter, mentally and physically. Donations are everything to us.”

Even squirrels know better than these people.


Not good enough

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (03:27 pm)

The “good week” that Julia Gillard allegedly had with her Potemkin “tax forum” and jobs forum hasn’t shifted the Essential Research poll results today, with Labor still on 45 to the Coalition’s 55.


An unhappy virtue in a child

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (01:20 pm)


Just two days after my column on the loneliness of children who are different, I read Mad Men star Christina Hendricks make exactly the same point that I feared might sound a corny consolation, but which in her own life has proved true:

Hendricks has always trusted herself instead of the crowd, a habit that has worked out more happily for her as an adult than as a teenager. While she was a good student, she was also ‘’pretty unhappy’’.

Her unconventionality led to her being a goth kid. ‘’I dyed my hair about 42 different colours and kids can be pretty judgmental about people who are different. But instead of breaking down and conforming, I stood firm. That is also probably why I was unhappy.’’

‘’Standing firm’’ worked out better 15 years later when she saw the script for Mad Men and her agency - not expecting it to succeed - refused to let her take the part. She took it anyway. Her agency dropped her. She shrugged and found herself a new agency.


On identification

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (11:14 am)

Professor Ramesh Thakur says “racial” or ethnic identities can indeed be chosen:

During my 15 years in New Zealand, I knew some who had reclaimed Maori identity because of newfound pride and others who rediscovered Maori ancestry, no matter how thin, to enhance career goals.

Depending on the prevailing political winds of the time, some may wish to make it a point to reclaim a tribal, caste or other historically discriminated-against identity as a matter of pride and principle.

(No comments for legal reasons.)


Warburton warns

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (11:07 am)

Dick Warburton has spent a lot of time and effort investigating the global warming debate, so it’s just a cheap smear to write him off as someone’s mouthpiece:

A FORMER Reserve Bank board member has been branded a “mouthpiece for Tony Abbott” after launching a last-ditch campaign against the government’s carbon tax.

Dick Warburton came under fire from union leaders as he called for this week’s vote on the carbon tax to be delayed until there is greater global consensus on climate action.
Mr Warburton, the executive director of the new lobby group Manufacturing Australia including companies such as Amcor, BlueScope Steel, Boral and CSR, said moving before the rest of the world would put jobs at risk.

“It seems quite wrong to be going ahead with this when the rest of the world are actually pulling out of carbon taxes and (emissions trading schemes),” Mr Warburton told ABC Radio.

“As long as there is going to be a tax of this nature on manufacturing, which is not comparable to any other countries in which manufacturing is carried out, that has to be a disadvantage.

“It is a disadvantage that gradually would lead to probable loss of jobs and plant closures.”


From yesterday’s Bolt Report

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (09:08 am)

And there was our special panel on global warming and the carbon dioxide tax - asking three scientists to rate Julia Gillard’s four basic claims.


Is Libya now any safer?

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (08:30 am)

Daniel Wagner of Country Risk Solutions on the growing risk of catastrophe in Libya, which seems to have been handed to Islamists by Barack Obama and NATO:

Islamists appear to be gaining control—or have already gained control—of the emerging government in Libya. The new Tripoli Municipal Governing Council is led by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood—Abel al-Rajazk Abu Hajar. The country’s most influential politician—Ali Sallabi—is an Islamic scholar. And the country’s most powerful military leader—Abdel Hakim Belhaj—is the former leader of a group believed to be aligned with Al Qaeda. Belhaj is seeking to unseat the nominal prime minister of the interim government, Mahmoud Jibril, the U.S. trained economist who has criticized the Islamists. Is there any real reason to believe that the evolving government is likely to be either moderate or democratic? The ‘democratic’ forces within Libya have already appear to have been crushed.

The Muslim Brotherhood members of the interim government, who currently dominate the Governing Council, have declared their intention to impose fatwas, ban theater, prevent women from driving, and eliminate art that takes a human form. Article one of the ‘new’ Libya’s draft Constitution states: “Islam is the Religion of the State, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia).” In other words, the law of Islam is the intended law of the ‘new’ Libya.

I find myself wondering if the powers that be in Washington and Europe had any idea that this could be the result of their funding and support for the Libyan resistance movement.... So the same man the CIA arrested in 2004, placed into custody, sent to the Gaddafi government, and was tortured for 7 years because he was allegedly linked with Al Qaeda, is about to run the show in Libya—and I haven’t heard any objection to this from any government in the West.

The NATO intervention was justified by a UN Security Council resolution in March that spoke of saving civilian lives:

Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya...

But seven months later, the war prolonged by NATO continues to kill civilians:

Libyan transitional government forces attacked deposed leader Muammar Gaddafi’s security headquarters in the center of his hometown of Sirte, hoping that once the buildings had been captured the fight for the city would be won.

The protracted battle for Sirte, a showpiece Mediterranean coastal city largely loyal to Gaddafi, has led to concerns the many civilian casualties will breed long-term hostility that will make it very hard for the National Transitional Council (NTC) to unite the country once the fighting is over.


Meanwhile, in the new Egypt of the “Arab Spring”:

NINETEEN people, mostly Coptic Christians, have died in clashes between Copts and Egyptian security forces, sparking fears of renewed sectarian strife.


Give Indonesia a break

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (08:10 am)

Academics Simon Butt and Tim Lindsey are surely right:

UNDERSTANDABLY, Australians are concerned about the 14-year-old Newcastle boy held in a Balinese jail after being caught with a few grams of marijuana… Despite this, it should not be assumed he will be treated cruelly or inappropriately, or face a long period in jail. He has not yet been charged (a process in Indonesia that involves formal naming as a suspect) but he will neither be jailed for 12 years nor treated as an adult, as some media reports have suggested…

In the meantime, Indonesian authorities are apparently allowing the boy’s parents to sleep in a room adjoining his cell in the Bali police station, which is segregated from adult prisoners. Clearly, he is not being treated as serious offender or an adult, nor is he being treated harshly or unfairly by Indonesian criminal justice standards.

But this may change if his case is treated by the Australian media as a crisis and creates bilateral tensions, as in the Corby case. Then the police, prosecutors and judges start to feel cornered and obliged to take a stand. That sort of pressure will not help this boy.

For his sake, Australians should give the Indonesian system a chance to operate before rushing to judgment.

The instant demonising of Indonesia each time an Australian is arrested reeks of xenophobia, and is bound to be counter-productive. I’m also concerned that Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd’s amping up of this issue - even sending our Ambassador to Indonesia over to Bali to deal with a consular matter - only makes things worse.


This becoming farcical, with Gillard now trying to trump Rudd:

The Prime Minster, Julia Gillard, has taken a personal interest in the plight of a 14-year-old NSW boy arrested on drug charges in Indonesia, speaking to him over the phone yesterday to offer reassurance.


Baa baa, they explained

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (06:06 am)

This mass bleating at one of the protests against Wall Street “greed” illustrates perfectly the collectivist mindset that is the enemy of individualism and free thought.


Monty Python was there already:

(Thanks to reader Chris.)


Britain thinks twice about what Gillard recommends

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (05:54 am)

Richard North, author of Scared to Death:

Rather overshadowed by events at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester last week was a line in George Osborne’s speech which could mark the start of a long overdue political transformation in Britain.

The Chancellor acknowledged that a decade of environmental laws had been piling unnecessary costs on households and companies, adding that Britain was not going to save the planet by putting ourselves out of business.

He was referring in particular to the Climate Change Act, famously passed by the House of Commons in October 2008 by 463 votes to three, even as the snow was falling outside. By the Government’s own estimate, it would cost £404?billion to implement – £760 per household every year for four decades.

The Act included a voluntary commitment to reduce Britain’s carbon dioxide emissions to 80?per cent of their 1990 level by 2050 – a target generally acknowledged to be achievable only by shutting down most of the economy – in an effort to demonstrate ‘global leadership’.

The lunacy of this commitment can be demonstrated by the fact that neither China nor the US – who together produce 40?per cent of global emissions compared with our two per cent – are committed to such draconian reductions.

The madness Osborne seems to want to wind back is the very thing the Gillard Government is inflicting on Australia:

The overall effect of the unproven and probably unworkable technology to effectively bury carbon dioxide underground would be to double the price of electricity and make us even more dependent on Russian and other imported energy…

Nevertheless, a mad and ruinously expensive scheme was launched on the European stage. Industries should pay for using fossil fuels, through a ‘tax’ paid on each ton of carbon dioxide produced… Tens of thousands have been pushed into fuel poverty. Firms that could not pass on their costs moved abroad. Huge tranches of the aluminium industry have disappeared, one major firm having moved to the Emirates in October 2009 – taking 300 workers from Anglesey who had to follow to keep their jobs.

(Thanks to reader John of Molong.)


Rudd’s revenge

Andrew Bolt – Monday, October 10, 11 (05:23 am)

Troy Bramston says what Bill Leak’s illustration at the link describes brilliantly:

LAST week, the Prime Minister, her challenger and some powerbrokers were quick to dismiss the so-called “chatter” inside Labor about who should lead the government to the next election.

But there should be no doubt: a leadership contest is about to get under way.

Assessing the government’s performance, one backbencher called it “a train wreck”. They labelled Julia Gillard “a dismal failure” and said “not even Einstein could get us out of this mess”. That’s from a Gillard supporter.

.... much of the caucus admits that the Gillard experiment has failed. The government’s standing couldn’t be lower and it faces diabolical policy challenges that it appears unable to resolve. It is impossible to think of anything that can save Gillard or her government.


Why would Rdd stop doing what works?

KEVIN Rudd’s supporters have told the Foreign Minister to cool his leadership ambitions and make Julia Gillard’s management and standing the issue, as the Prime Minister faces critical tests of her carbon tax and asylum-seeker plans in parliament this week.

After the Foreign Minister fanned leadership speculation with a series of media appearances on Friday, attacking Tony Abbott and former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson, supporters have urged him not to give the appearance of destabilising Ms Gillard.

Mr Rudd’s supporters argue that the government’s poor polling and political challenges are of Ms Gillard’s making and this will force MPs to a “consensus” for change late this year or early next year.

And supporters close to Mr Rudd say there is no prospect of an early challenge and he is not a candidate for the leadership unless “push comes to shove”.

One of Rudd’s supporters is surely right:

The MP who is reportedly running the numbers for Mr Rudd, Alan Griffin, told the Victorian party conference on Saturday that Labor had to treat the Greens as the political enemy and ignore those who believed the minor party’s preferences are critical to the ALP’s survival.

Mr Griffin called on Labor to “take them on” over their policy platform and party ethos. He said the Greens’ preferences were overstated in their value to the ALP and that it was essential for Labor to highlight the differences between the two parties.


Trade Minister Craig Emerson defends Gillard from Griffin’s implicit accusation:

CRITICS of the Gillard government are depicting the Labor-Greens alliance as a threat to Australian business and mainstream values. The government, so the doctrine goes, is being dictated to by the Greens in an unstable minority government whose radical economic policies are scaring away investors and destroying business confidence.

Under scrutiny, the evidence actually points to Gillard Labor governing in the Hawke-Keating tradition.

Emerson in his rebuttal plays down the catastrophic cave-in to the Greens over the carbon dioxide tax - the most suicidal of Gillard’s decisions - and forgets to note several other concessions to the Greens, including a media inquiry and a $10 billion green fund.


Everyone in Labor seems to be messing with the minds of everyone else:

Some Labor MPs opposed to Mr Rudd are being accused of deliberately “talking up” his renewed activity in a bid to shore up Ms Gillard’s position.

Others are being accused of putting him in the spotlight to improve the prospects of “safe pair of hands” alternatives such as Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Trade Minister Simon Crean.


Conservative identity questioned

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

I’m offended:

Just pretending . . . Anne Summers in The Monthly:

HE [Andrew Bolt] accused a number of prominent light-skinned Aborigines of opting for an identity “that has political and career clout”. He portrayed the matter as merely one of opportunism based on the the benefits associated with being “an official Aborigine”.
Later in the same article:

SO is Andrew Bolt the opinionator a construct, the creation of a media-savvy brain that saw the opportunities offered by the internet and the absence of significant right-wing voices among the commentariat in the mid-1990s? A great many people think so.

“I was astonished he was the same man,” [Robert] Manne told me. “He obviously saw there was reputation and money to be made from being conservative. There were no examples of such people in Australia.”

(No comment for legal reasons.)

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