Sunday, October 16, 2011

News Items and comments

It’s certainty: tax is political death

Piers Akerman – Saturday, October 15, 11 (08:43 pm)

WHEN Julia Gillard told the Australian public she would govern with the aid of the Greens and the independents, she did not say she would govern with the assistance of the Opposition.

Now she says the Opposition and its leader Tony Abbott are to blame for her failure to protect border security.

Truly, she is beyond a joke.

She does not deserve Australia’s prime ministership.

...And Heiner’s coming!

Line-Up of Dee-Why (Reply)
Sat 15 Oct 11 (09:03pm)
DD Ball replied to Line-Up
Sun 16 Oct 11 (10:38am)

Heiner could even play a role before the state election if the ALP wish to actually try to win government in Queensland again .. they could use it as a public bargaining chip to show they have changed. But I wouldn’t expect it.

General replied to Line-Up
Sun 16 Oct 11 (10:41am)

The day Abbott or any senior member of the Coalition stands up in Parliament or in front of the press gallery and talks about Heiner is the day that anyone will believe that there is any substance to the allegations that have been made about Rudd’s role in Heiner. The last thing I want to do is defend Rudd but I find it hypocritical that Coalition politicians will take Rudd to task over a visit to a strip club and then make no mention of his role in Heiner - which issue do you feel is more important?
reply: The Coalition did stand up for Heiner in the Senate but Labor, Greens and Fielding blocked further inquiry. Nice to see you back in all your ignorance.

Pericles replied to Line-Up
Sun 16 Oct 11 (12:35pm)

We hope so. We look forward to the time when good men
at last act to expose those whose actions need exposing to
the cold light of day and public opinion.
Better late than never as the ALP falls domino like around the country

Piers,

It does not make sense because there is another far more subtle game in play. Remember that this legislation is the culmination of at least 20 years of behind the scenes, bureaucratic beavering at an agenda.

While an ETS seems to be the end play, it’s this system which I suspect will be used to replace the fast becoming bankrupt fiat money system globally in use. Paper money is fast becoming worthless, but what to replace it with?

Carbon trading permits?

We have an economic crisis and it is moot whether it was engineered for political purposes or from plain common socialist stupidity; perhaps a mixture of both.

DD Ball replied to Recalcitrant Redneck
Sun 16 Oct 11 (10:40am)

I dismiss it as being nothing more than mere opportunism. The global conspiracy thingy seems to suggest they are much smarter than they are. It is easily explained as wedge politics and dumb politics.

Gillard is not a great negotiator. She is a bully, negotiating from strength into weakness, as she has done, putting Australia in a weaker position. Obama is similar in ability, having managed to alienate or eliminate his supporters in the Middle East while betraying US peoples, Jews and desperate migrants.

I know stories of great negotiators. John Howard was a great negotiator. He met with the leader of the Liberal party, then being Downer, for lunch, and walked away as leader and from his underdog position, took on the vastly inflated Keating and won elections for more than a decade, prospering Australia. Or Richard Milhous Nixon, who negotiated with China when the UN wouldn’t recognise her. Nixon was later invited to negotiate with China again by President Bush Sr. Of course his critics would say his diplomacy was meaningless and achieved nothing. But look at China now and imagine her with the belligerent stance she had had before Nixon visited.

Great negotiation does not have to be recognised and admired. Hawke was, but he wasn’t great, just overvalued. Gillard, and Obama are just not in the same small master class as the others, they are in the big class, marked failures.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 15 Oct 11 (09:04pm)
Laura replied to DD Ball
Sun 16 Oct 11 (06:58am)

DD Ball, you are 100% right.

Miss (Junk Negoshiadar) Gillard sold her soul to the Greens and the Independents to get into the Lodge. She was dealing with a combination of greed and vengeance. She had deceit and duplicity on board as well as the support of her media chums. This is not negotiating.

When Miss (Devious) Gillard’s stars are aligned, she can negoshiade (a la the carbon tax) and when push come to shove she can certainly push and she can certainly shove and she can certainly name-call but she can’t negoshiade to save herself (a la the Malaysian Solution, East Timor and the mining tax etc, etc).

Miss Gillard’s negotiating skills are in the same class as her competence. Both have been over-rated. angry

DD Ball replied to DD Ball
Sun 16 Oct 11 (10:36am)

Yes, Laura, we haven’t actually seen her negotiate. There is a liberal view of negotiation that says it is anything that allows a transaction, and this is what allows Gillard to say she negotiates. But then there is the classical form of negotiator, a person who meaningfully catalyses transactions, and this is not something we have seen Gillard do.

Franny replied to DD Ball
Sun 16 Oct 11 (01:33pm)

No, she’s definitely not a negotiator, or even a negoshiador.

She is a neg-o-see-ata. Said slowly for us imbeciles, with emphasis on the “see”.

The day can’t come soon enough when I hear the last of that rotten voice. I might even be able to sit through the farewell speech albeit, with bucket between the knees and tissues to mop up the tears of joy.

jn replied to DD Ball
Sun 16 Oct 11 (01:39pm)

Like most people, when Gillard appears on screen, I reach for the mute button. In this house it is always called the Gillard button. Her monotonous tone, the waving fists punching the air with studied timing, her entire range [small] of performances are sometimes greeted with guffaws. Surely her own party must view her actions with horror. She is a misfit,her front bench and the noddies behind her match her perfectly.

A kindergarten child could see through Gillard’s bizarre logic that Tony Abbott is to blame for the influx of boat people -

Destroying Howard’s successful solution plus bringing in an unsuccessful solution equals Tony Abott’s fault.

This is Gillard’s equation.

She expects grown adults to buy this.

This is one plus one equals three stuff.

Here is another equation -

Gillard’s nonsense plus Australia’s common sense equals political oblivion for Gillard.

JJ.

John (Reply)
Sat 15 Oct 11 (09:05pm)
mishazoe replied to John
Sun 16 Oct 11 (07:40am)

Fully agree with your comments.Worth keeping in ming Pier’s article above(no criticism and spot on) only scratches the surface of the ALP bungling they have inflicted on the Australian people. The untold millions of dollars spent in Malaysia prior to the present situation and the bonus 4000, the chartered aircraft cost’s, the cost of Federal Police and medical availability to the illegal refugees,the cost of Defence personell, the 4 star accomodation motels for the illegal refugees and I would not be surprised whatever figure was shown re. the administrative costs associated with all this mess.Only some of the of the “rest of the story”.I hope Julia Gillard reads this blog and hangs her head in shame when she equates her mess with the less fortunate in our community, pensioner’s doing it tough ,carer’s and the un-named charity organisers who have to battle for every cent just to name a few. Please think about all of this before you support (to use Pier’s analogy)this VACUUM of a disasterous ALP/Greeeen Government. angry angry angry

John Jay replied to John
Sun 16 Oct 11 (10:37am)

To Mishazoe -

Well said.

What would the entire cost of Labor’s bungling of our border protection be?

Imagine ...

The lives lost at sea .. does Gillard lose sleep at night thinking about this?

What would the entire cost of all Labor’s bungling - across the board - be?

The figure would fall off the edge of the page.

Socialism is self-harm.

Socialism is a path trodden by the naive.

Socialism is bankruptcy.

Socialism is people dying (in roofs, at sea, in beds ..).

Socialism is a power trip for egomaniacs.

Socialism is where people are used by velvet-tongued spin peddlers.

Socialism is a foe of all humankind -

It always was and always will be.

When humanity has learnt her lesson, then will it die.

John Jay.

DD Ball replied to John
Sun 16 Oct 11 (10:42am)

Kindergarten children have an unfair advantage over Gillard. They learn.

proud aussie replied to John
Sun 16 Oct 11 (12:13pm)

Just like Kristina Kennealy wants to be seen as the ‘victim’ because Barry O’Farrell will not agree to providing her with a car plus driver etc to do her charity work with.

Kristina Kennealy was never elected Premier, she was slotted in and didn’t even serve the full term, so therefore should not be entitled to any Taxpayer funded benefits. Nathan Rees was not elected either, but it was Kristina Kennealy that agreed that he should have all the perks. That is her decision.

There are many Australians who do valuable charity work without Taxpayer funded perks, without cameras in tow, without making a big public deal of it.

So Barry O’Farrell is being touted as a ‘ meanie’ . Come on, PLEASE! Lets get real here. Just goes to show how ill informed the lefitst media really are. Enough is enough!

Kudos to Barry O’Farrell, a strong and sure footed Premier. Well done and THANK YOU. smile

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Call off the thought police

Miranda Devine – Saturday, October 15, 11 (08:52 pm)

WITH its intolerance and standover tactics, the more militant arm of the gay lobby is shooting itself in the foot.

When do the militants become the movement? The Gay lobby is not alone in being lead by a vocal and at times violent group who neither debate nor promote but abuse and debase. One can list a lot of minorities and find similar issues. Whites, Jews, Africans, Asians, South Americans, Indians, Cambodians, Cubans, Venezualans, Iranians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Irish, Burmese, Christians, Islamists, Buddhists, Hindus, Protestants, Atheists, Witches, ..

It becomes offensive when, as with the Bolt case, justice seems to support abuse.

Tolerance is preached but must be practiced. It becomes a verb like compassion. The abysmal joke is the winner of the Sydney Peace Prize in any year.

DD Ball of Carramar/Sydney (Reply)
Sat 15 Oct 11 (09:18pm)
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Common Senselessness

by DON BOUDREAUX on OCTOBER 15, 2011

in BALANCE OF PAYMENTS, MYTHS AND FALLACIES, TRADE

Here’s another letter to The Nation:

Thomas Geoghegan writes that “Of course no country should run a trade deficit. That’s common sense” (“What Would Keynes Do?” Sept. 27).

Let’s translate the first sentence into terms more revealing: “Of course no country should ever have a net inflow of capital.”

Appending “That’s common sense” to this translation of Mr. Geoghegan’s sentence seems, well, to contradict common sense.

Thundering against trade deficits is a shoddy and easy means of rousing the economically illiterate to support destructive protectionist policies. But such histrionics remain very bad economics.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

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Here’s a letter to The Nation:

Thomas Geoghegan writes approvingly that “for Keynes, a trade surplus was a ‘stimulus,’ and a deficit was a disaster” (“What Would Keynes Do?” Sept. 27).

Yep. Keynes did indeed fret over trade deficits. This fact shows, however, not that we Americans today should redouble our anxiety over our trade deficit, but simply that Keynes’s understanding (circa 1936) of trade flows was poor.

Even on Keynes’s own terms his fretting isn’t justified. Famously fearful that private investment spending would be chronically inadequate in advanced capitalist economies, Keynes should have recognized that “trade deficits” (even during his era when some remnants remained of the international gold standard) are often balanced by countervailing inflows of capital – that is, by inflows of pro-growth investment expenditures of the very sort that Keynes worried would be lacking.

Keynes’s endorsement of Mercantilist nostrums reflects merely the confused intellectual knot that Keynes tied himself into by trying to build a “new” “general theory” out of the detritus of long-discredited pedestrian notions of how economies work.

Sincerely,
Donald J. Boudreaux

I thank Peter Minowitz for alerting me to this essay in The Nation.

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… is from page 61 of Vol. 9 (Contra Keynes and Cambridge) of Hayek’s Collected Works – and in particular from his 1963 essay entitled “The Economics of the 1930s as Seen from London”:

To me it seems as if this whole effort [begun in earnest in the mid-20th century to scientistically 'scientificize' economics] were due to a mistaken effort to make the statistically observable magnitude the main object of theoretical explanation. But the fact that we can statistically ascertain certain magnitudes does not make them causally significant, and there seems to me no justification whatever in the widely held conviction that there must be discoverable regularities in the relation between those magnitudes on which we have statistical information. Economists seem to have come to believe that since statistics represent the only quantitative data which they can obtain, it is these statistical data which are the real facts with which they deal and that their theories must be given such a form that they explain what is statistically ascertainable. There are of course a few fields, such as the problems of the relation between the quantity of money and the price level, where we can obtain useful approximations to such simple relations – though I am still not quite persuaded that the price level is a very useful concept. But when it comes to the mechanism of change, the chain of cause and effect which we have to trace in order to be able to understand the general character of the changes to be expected, I do not see that the objectively measurable aggregates are of much help.

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48-HOUR NOODLES

Tim Blair – Sunday, October 16, 11 (03:59 pm)

It’s over:

They arrived with fire in their bellies, revolution in their hearts and bags of instant noodles.

But it seems a couple of nights sleeping rough in Sydney’s Martin Place has been enough for most of the Occupy Sydney protesters, whose campaign is fizzling out after less than 48 hours.

A nation’s hope now turns to those firebrands at Occupy Adelaide.

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SYDNEY UNOCCUPIED

Tim Blair – Sunday, October 16, 11 (12:19 pm)

Most of the Occupy Sydney protesters went home:

Over a hundred occupiers held Martin Place overnight.

That’s down from maybe 2000 occupants who were present earlier, and who vowed that they were “here to stay”. Well, until it got dark, anyway. Still, “anticipation is high for the General Assembly” scheduled today. These types love meetings. The gathering to plan this tiny protest lasted for three thrilling hours, and was almost as large as the overnight protest itself:



All that talk meant that they ended up with almost enough committees and working groups for every sleepy attendee. Sadly, given the small turnout, there was no need for occupiers to employ their elaborately devised pre-verbal means of communication:



Larger crowds turned out in Milan, where occupiers smashed their way into a Goldman Sachs building. They also came up with a more concise slogan than did their sparse Sydney brethren:

The protests were quickly dispersed but red graffiti was daubed on its walls expressing anger at Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian prime minister, and saying “Give us money”.

Everybody sing along!

UPDATE. In the US, this post is accompanied by the most appropriate ad ever:

image

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ROEG ROCK

Tim Blair – Sunday, October 16, 11 (12:10 pm)

There should be more songs about film directors.

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WHERE’S THE PROFESSOR?

Tim Blair – Sunday, October 16, 11 (11:54 am)

Judith Sloan wonders at the recent low profile of Professor Panasonic, the Prince of Priuses:

I was quite surprised that we didn’t have Professor Tim Flannery on the teev after the oodles of Carbon Tax bills passed through the House of Reps, telling us what a great day it was for Australia.

A day during which we could at last hold our heads up high. A day during which we could look our children in the eye and our grandchildren in the eye and tell them, sincerely, that we care. A day we could look all those green rent-seekers in the eye and tell them that their time has finally come. But, alas, he seemed to be too busy to comment.

Flannery must have been on the road.

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UNION IN THE BUNKER

Tim Blair – Sunday, October 16, 11 (11:01 am)

Joe Hildebrand tells me that this Downfall video, which is dismissive of New Zealand’s chancesagainst Australia in tonight’s ruggle contest, was scripted by one of the sport’s most knowledgeable insiders. Then again, it could have been written by Joe.

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Scientific consensus, or just a naughty boy?

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (05:04 pm)

image

From the Amazon blurb:

“Blooming brilliant. Devastating” - Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist

“...shines a hard light on the rotten heart of the IPCC” - Richard Tol, Professor of the Economics of Climate Change and convening lead author of the IPCC

“...you need to read this book. Its implications are far-reaching and the need to begin acting on them is urgent.” - Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph

----

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) performs one of the most important jobs in the world. It surveys climate science research and writes a report about what it all means. This report is informally known as the Climate Bible.

Cited by governments around the world, the Climate Bible is the reason carbon taxes are being introduced, heating bills are rising, and costly new regulations are being enacted. It is why everyone thinks carbon dioxide emissions are dangerous. Put simply: the entire planet is in a tizzy because of a United Nations report.

What most of us don’t know is that, rather than being written by a meticulous, upstanding professional in business attire, the Climate Bible is produced by a slapdash, slovenly teenager who has trouble distinguishing right from wrong.

This expose, by an investigative journalist, is the product of two years of research. Its conclusion: almost nothing we’ve been told about the IPCC is true.

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It tastes too much of victor’s justice

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (04:59 pm)

I agree the perks for former Premiers and Prime Minister have got way, way out of hand, but more respect should be shown to the office and those who have held it. In this case, couldn’t Keneally’s perks be limited to a pro-rata period, not denied altogether? One year in office, two years of perks sort of thing?

BARRY O’FARRELL has stripped Kristina Keneally of her post-leadership entitlements, making her the first ex-premier since Jack Renshaw left office in 1965 to receive no benefits at all. The move has prompted one charity for which Ms Keneally volunteers her time to label the Premier ‘’incredibly mean’’.

An email leaked to The Sun-Herald reveals Mr O’Farrell has rebuffed a request by Ms Keneally for the occasional use of a state car and driver to attend night-time charity events, which she does regularly.

In response to Ms Keneally’s request, Mr O’Farrell introduced a minimum five years that a premier must have served before being granted any state-funded entitlements, including office space, staff such as drivers, and airline tickets.

On that basis, however, the former Liberal premier Nick Greiner, who served four years in the job, would be without entitlements. But Mr O’Farrell has decided not to take back Mr Greiner’s perks, which last year cost NSW taxpayers $500,000 by way of a chauffeur-driven car, a city office with secretary and free air travel.

UPDATE

O’Farrell says if you’re not elected Premier, you don’t qualify:

Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally is not entitled to post-leadership entitlements because she wasn’t elected by the people, Premier Barry O’Farrell says…

“Unless you are elected by the people, not appointed by judge Eddie Obeid, you shouldn’t be entitled to taxpayer-funded entitlements.”

Ms Keneally already has a $30,000 allowance as an MP, which in part provides for taxis and hired cars, Mr O’Farrell added.

“Ms Keneally is asking for more than the $30,000 in allowances that’s she’s been provided for these sorts of things already,” he said.

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What do we want? We don’t know. When do we want it? Not sure.

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (04:14 pm)

The Occupy Melbourne protesters want to change the world. Trouble is, they have no idea what to change or how:

The purpose of yesterday’s Occupy Melbourne rally was not entirely clear...

That’s Age reporter Jill Stark, as bemused as anyone. And that’s after consulting the movement’s experts:

As a range of speakers took to the megaphone, including one man dressed as a chicken…

But never mind. If we just wait weeks, even months, these deep thinkers might figure out what’s bothering them:

Asked what he hoped to achieve, Nick Carson, 23, an RMIT sound-art student, who stressed he was an ‘’organising committee member’’ not a spokesman for the ‘’leaderless’’ movement, said that was up to the people of Melbourne. ‘’We’ll be running general assemblies where we’ll be working towards achieving consensus on particular issues. So we may decide we want to release a statement of aims, or a declaration of grievances,’’ he said.

‘’It took them two weeks in New York, two months in Madrid, so let’s see how long it takes us in Melbourne … this isn’t a process that needs to be rushed.’’

These are revolutionaries who haven’t even worked out what they’re revolting against.

Meanwhile, in Sydney, a city of 4,500,000 people, the masses seem utterly unmoved by protests called in their name:

More than 700 people rallied in Sydney’s Martin Place yesterday, with organisers saying they were prepared to camp there ‘’indefinitely’’ ...

But “indefinitely” turns out to mean just a few hours for most of those 700 world changers:


About 200 of them set up camp outside the Reserve Bank of Australia in Martin Place...

UPDATE

An Overland reader complains to editor and academic Jeff Sparrow, the far-Left author of Communism: A Love Story, that the Occupy Melbourne crowd was too ... er .. white - and Sparrow seems to me to join her in breaching thevalues of the Racial Discrimination Act by apparently assuming that the “whites” there weren’t disadvantaged Aborigines:

Maxine says:

October 15 2011 at 8:04 am

Nice post Jeff. Hearing politics on the streets was fantastic. As a young(ish?), black woman though, I felt decidedly out of place in the Occupy Melbourne crowd. How can we get the disadvantaged and marginalised communities of Australia, which are arguably the most f*cked up by many of the policies and politics the Occupy Melbourne crowd gathered to protest against, actively involved?…

Jeff Sparrow says:

October 15 2011 at 8:10 am

Yeah. I undersand the same issue — about whiteness, I mean — came up in OWS.

The crowd was too white. I’m afraid that for legal reasons I am unable to further join Sparrow’s fascinating conversation.

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From the Bolt Report today

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (04:05 pm)


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Brandis and Boswell on the losing of our right to speak freely

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (10:06 am)

Nationals Senator Ron Boswell in Parliament in defence of free speech, now increasingly restricted in this country:

This issue has recently attracted attention in the case of the well known columnist Andrew Bolt. I also wish to draw the attention of the Senate to another case, that of Dr David van Gend, who makes regular public contributions on social conservative issues. Dr van Gend is the subject of a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission of Queensland for comments he made in a public forum on the issue of same-sex parents....

On 29 June 2011 the Courier-Mail invited Dr Karen Brooks and Dr David van Gend to submit opinion pieces—the case for and against—on gay marriage. Dr van Gend wrote for the case against. This is part of what he wrote:

IF you hold to the old-fashioned idea a baby deserves both a mother and a father, the president of the Queensland branch of the Labor Party, Andrew Dettmer, calls your views “abominable"…

Dr van Gend replied:

Yes, it is discrimination to prohibit the “marriage” of two men, but it is just and necessary discrimination, because the only alternative is the far worse act of discrimination against children brought artificially into the world by such men, compelled to live their whole lives without a mother. Now that approaches the abominable.

Dr van Gend’s comments were quoting the Queensland President of the Labor Party when he used the words ‘approaching the abominable’. I do not think they can be in any way construed as vilification on the grounds of race, religion, sexuality or gender identity. These comments invoked an antidiscrimination complaint under section 12A of the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act by a member of the Gay Dads lobby group.... The next thing you know, Dr van Gend has to attend a compulsory mediation… Naturally the doctor feels aggrieved, especially as it takes him away from a busy medical practice where he does much good work.

I did not think that we lived in an Australia where a disagreement of opinion can result in hauling someone before an anti-discrimination board. This is a country where we agree to disagree. This is a country where a two-sided debate can exist. This is a country where people are not intimidated from sharing their point of view. Or is it? First Andrew Bolt, now David van Gend.

I know many people do not agree with their views and I know many who do. It seems that tolerance for the views of others goes out the window if you are from the Left and you do not like to hear an opposing argument. These are the same people who preach tolerance on everything, yet in fact they are the least tolerant when it comes to open debate.

Writing in the Spectator, Senator George Brandis, the Opposition’s shadow attorney general, is alarmed by the jubilation of the Left at my own loss of free speech in a Federal Court decision last month:

There is something peculiarly dispiriting about the sight of journalists celebrating a new restriction on freedom of expression. Yet Fairfax writers in particular were overjoyed. For Mike Carlton, defending Bolt was just the province of ‘the usual reactionaries’. In David Marr’s view, the case was not about free speech at all but the poor quality of Bolt’s journalism. By concentrating on the reasons why the fair comment defence was not available to Bolt, Marr blithely ignored the fundamental issue of whether giving offence or insult — surely a stock in trade of journalists, good and bad, and a practice from which Marr himself has seldom refrained — should attract the attention of the law in the first place.

What these various reactions reflect is something deeper than simple pleasure at the embarrassment of a commentator whose views they find odious. For the Burnsides, Carltons and Marrs, the decision was welcome for the very reason that it limited Bolt’s freedom (and, by extension, anybody else’s) to say things which were offensive to the ‘fair-skinned Aboriginies’ who brought the proceedings against him. For left-liberals and progressives, freedom of speech is not the passionate cause it once was; ‘respect’ (whatever that may mean) matters more. And increasingly, that means controlling what people may say…

As witnessed in the Bolt case, freedom of speech — and its corollary, freedom of the press — are for these people values of less importance than respect for certain favoured groups, who are identified in their minds by their alleged victimhood. Thus, paradoxically, victimhood becomes the basis of a new kind of privilege: showing respect to their special status is a more important value than the freedom to call that status into question. And so, as in the Bolt case, by making certain classes of citizens immune from criticism, the boundaries of legitimate political discussion are restricted.

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Standing up to GetUp

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (04:52 am)

It’s fine by the media when unions and Labor figures create and fund the far-Left GetUp, which artificially bumps up its “membership” numbers to create the illusion of a mass movement.

But it’s not fine when a conservative, using far less money, helps to create something similar:

AS OPINION polls reveal Labor’s worst results on record, largely on the back of plummeting support for the Gillard government’s decision to put a price on carbon, ‘’grassroots’’ anti-carbon tax websites have mushroomed.

But what appears to be a proliferation of community-based, anti-government activism sites is not necessarily what it seems. Several sites are part of an orchestrated political campaign by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi and conservative organisations he is linked with.

Using American Tea Party-style tactics, Bernardi has built a network of ‘’grassroots’’ political websites that promote limited government, lower taxes, free enterprise and ‘’traditional’’ values - as well as a campaign against the government and its policies, most potently against the carbon tax.

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Offensive minister demands law against offending him

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (04:38 am)

The criminalising of causing “offence” by mere words has gone far too far already, making satire of Leftist causes an endangered form of expression. This assault on our right to free speech should be wound back, not extended - and certainly not extended by a “Liberal” government:

STATE Parliament is set to pass new legislation making it a criminal offence to “insult” Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien.

Fines of up to $11,945 will be given to anyone found guilty of upsetting the minister and his staff under the extraordinary new offence.

The Baillieu Government is seeking changes to the Gaming Regulation Act which it says are “reasonably necessary to respect the rights and reputation of the minister and authorised persons”. If passed, the ruling will become law.

The amendment proposed to the Act will make it an offence to “assault, obstruct, hinder, threaten, abuse, insult or intimidate” the minister or authorised persons exercising “due diligence” in monitoring gambling systems such as pokies.

I’m grossly offended by this attack on my right to ridicule. Who can I sue?

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Solution: first eat the lawyers

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (04:33 am)

In this world of lawyers we become not just too scared to speak, but too scared to eat:

SOME restaurants have banned them outright. Others will give one to you - if you promise not to sue. A brave few offer them unprompted.

It’s the ‘’doggy bag’’, the container in which leftovers are taken home. Once common in Melbourne, they’ve all but disappeared amid fears of civil action and the incorrect belief that they’re illegal.

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If you can’t run yourselves…

Andrew Bolt – Sunday, October 16, 11 (04:27 am)

The Gillard team seems to be falling apart, with some leaking the news that Julia Gillard overruled Chris Bowen’s plan to send boat people to Nauru, after all::

Former Labor leader and Gillard loyalist Simon Crean went public with his disgust over the leaks, warning colleagues their behaviour was disgraceful....

“It’s outrageous that cabinet leaks. People ought to understand the damage this can cause government."…

Ms Gillard is believed to be planning to “read the riot act” to Cabinet after the blow-by-blow account was made public....

Ms Gillard’s decision has deeply angered the Right faction, with one cabinet minister conceding a leadership switch to Kevin Rudd or Stephen Smith may prove the only circuit-breaker.

But Labor powerbrokers Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and Senator Stephen Conroy denied colleagues’ claims they “confronted” the PM in her office on Thursday over asylum seeker policy.

Mr Shorten said: “I meet with her all the time. If someone’s telling that I confronted Julia on asylum - I deny that.”

Confronted her about somethng else, then?

UPDATE

Samantha Maiden:

Naturally, some blamed Mr Rudd for yesterday’s leaks, but it is clear Ms Gillard is looking for multiple rats.


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