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Archive for the ‘Current Affairs’ Category

No blow too low!

That could well be the motto of some of Australia’s legacy media outlets.

The latest example is the claim that Tony Abbott made light of an Australian soldier’s death by saying ‘Well, shit happens.’

He did say that. But not about the soldier’s death.

The claim that he did is simply, and outrageously, dishonest. But I guess it makes a good headline.

Sometimes I wonder how some of these slimo journalists can sleep at night. Anyone who works for the fag end of Australian news organisations, Channel 7, for example:

In a 7 News exclusive, Tony Abbott has been caught on tape making an insensitive remark about one of our fallen soldiers while visiting Afghanistan.

What Channel 7 means by ‘exclusive’ is that they made it up all by themselves.

But whatever the garbage is, it won’t be exclusive for long. Other losers like Malcolm Fart, sorry Farr, national editor for making stuff up and ripping off other people’s stories at news.com, can be relied on to repeat anything as gospel if they think it will gain a few more readers.

So what was Tony talking about? The fact that, no matter how well tactics are planned and resources allocated, in battle things will sometimes go wrong, and when they do, this does not mean anyone is to blame.

Mark Riley – the dim-witted self righteous arse at Channel 7 who made up this story – deserves a lot more than 45 seconds of silence and a stony glare.

If any integrity at all was required for a job with Australia’s mainstream media he would be out on his shiny bum.

Answer: No.

Kristina Keneally has one significant advantage in announcing policies (I use the word loosely): she doesn’t have to worry about being around to implement them.

With that knowledge, it’s a surprise that the fag end of New South Wales government hasn’t gone much further than yesterday’s $250 electricity rebate giveaway. Why stop there? How about a $500 rebate on gas bills, $1000 cash back on bus tickets and $2000 for dog registration? And a free airconditioner personally installed by Mark Taylor just for asking?

‘Don’t worry about the Muslim Brotherhood’, President Obama is reported as saying, ‘they don’t have majority support.’

Maybe not, but they do have majority support for the majority of things they believe in – an islamist state, sharia law, beheading people who leave islam, stoning adulters, war with Israel, etc.

And they are the only well organised opposition, the only opposition likely to be able to field and fund a large number of candidates.

I heartily agree with the implied answers to President George Bush’s rhetorical questions about freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

People in Islamic countries should be able to choose those who govern them, should have economic freedom, freedom of movement and religion.

They should. But it is counter-factual to write off as ‘cultural condescension’ a suggestion that a commitment to Islam may be very difficult to combine with a commitment to democracy.

Democratic government does not instantly result in everyone’s suddenly deciding to abandon old enmities, to foreswear the use of violence in the resolution of political debate, and to work together for the good of all.

In 2003 Robert Congleton set out some Economic and Cultural Prerequisites for Democracy.

Perhaps the key pre-requisite for effective democratic government is a commitment by every citizen, or at least, an overwhelming majority of them, to the rule of law.

This means being willing to accept a government you don’t like and didn’t vote for, which takes your money to do things you don’t believe in.

Every Muslim is required to work for the implementation of sharia law. Sharia means, amongst other things:

No freedom of religion
No equal rights for women
No freedom of speech
No freedom of thought
No freedom of artistic expression
No freedom of the press
Justice does not apply equally to all – there are different rules for Muslim males and for women and non-Muslims.
Gays and lesbians subject to the death penalty
Girls as young as nine can be married and divorced

In theory, democracy is incompatible with sharia. A democratic government means equal weight is given to the opinions of muslims and non muslims. And a democratic government could introduce laws contrary to sharia.

By all means let’s work for democracy in Islamic countries. But let’s not be naive. To a large number of muslim leaders in those countries, such efforts are another example of the imposition of corrupt Western values on islamic people.

It won’t be easy. And we shouldn’t expect any thanks.

OK, so Brisbane needs better traffic systems. But this absurdly expensive, oversold, poorly researched, underused tunnel?

The Clem 7 tunnel would never have been built if actual costs and usage had been known beforehand.

RiverCity is carrying $1.3 billion in debt and wrote down its $1.56 billion of assets to $258 million at June 30 last year.

What the heck were they thinking?

At least it only cost taxpayers and private investors about $3 billion.

The NBN is even more overpriced and unnecessary. $40 billion – $6000 for every household in Australia whether they want it or not – when existing and wireless technologies can provide similar speeds at a fraction of the cost with no public investment?

What the heck are they thinking?

The only internet infastructure sector that genuinely needs taxpayer money is rural and remote Australia, where an investment of about $3 billion into satellite and wireless technologies would provide speeds comparable with those currently available to city users.

Right up there with the great moral challenge of our time.

Having a single government funder of health services would help to prevent some of the bickering between Sate and federal governments, and reduce some of the cost of bureacratic oversight in health service delivery. So more money could be spent on actual medical care.

Well, maybe that’s wishful thinking. Reducing the size of a bureaucracy is a bit like trying to clean out the Augean stables. The crap just keeps flowing in. But Hercules managed it, so why not Julia Gillard?

Oh. Right.

Anyway, Julia seems to be thinking the same thing. Or something. Because the ‘important, historic Labor health reforms’ of 60% funding of state health services in return for a reduced portion of GST might be replaced by something else.

Something like the Liberal Party’s policy of direct funding to hospitals, bypassing state government coffers and management altogether.

This is a good idea, for the reasons outlined above. Fewer layers of government oversight mean more local autonomy, more responsiveness to community needs, less cost, more money for services.

But the delays and dithering make this yet another stuff up, run around, prevaricating around the bush episode by this utterly inept government.

Federal opposition health spokesman Peter Dutton says Prime Minister Julia Gillard makes her predecessor Kevin Rudd and former environment minister Peter Garrett look competent.

The Prime Minister is more incompetent than Kevin Rudd? Or the Minister for Plastic Bags and Pussy Cats?

Amazingly, this might be true. Has anything they have done worked? Has any policy when implemented had the results we were promised?

More about Egypt a bit later, but for now, these tidbits from the Daily Mail:

A handy supply of stones for peaceful pro-democracy protestors to throw at people who disagree with them:

Peaceful Pro-democracy Protestors Throw Peaceful Stones

 And a selection of creative protective headgear in case one happens to be hit by a peace-loving stone:

Egyptian Head Protection - Bakery Theme

Egyptian head Protection - Cookware Theme

Egyptian Head Protection - Invisibility Theme

Climate change alarmists need to be called to account.

When they talk about global warming, they actually mean three separate things:

1. The world is getting warmer in an unprecedented, or at least highly unusual and alarming, way.

2. This unusual warming is caused by human activity, specifically, the use of fossil fuels.

3. The world getting warmer is a bad thing.

Is the world getting warmer at an unusual rate?

No.

No one argues about the fact that the world is getting warmer.

But the last century has been one of remarkable climate stability. There has been an average global temperature increase of less than 1 degreee Celsius over the last 100 years.

Given that we have just come out of a period of extreme cold that lasted for 500 years, this minor increase is neither unusual or alarming.

This very small rate of warming has continued unchanged except for minor fluctuations for the last 150 years. There is no evidence of any correlation between temperature change and human activity.

The real ‘climate change deniers’ are the global warming alarmists, who persistently ignore or downplay much faster and larger historical changes in climate, or worse, deliberately alter data to make past temperatures look colder, and recent records look warmer.

Everyone has heard of the HadCRUT/Mann/‘hide the decline’ alterations to the twentieth century temperature record.

But even little New Zealand’s official record keepers have done the same thing – changing the temperature record to hide the fact the raw temperature data show no warming at all.

Organisations which depend on creating alarm over alleged climate change in order to gain funding cannot make their case without lies and exaggerations.

More recently the NASA GISS records have been tampered with in the same way.

Comparing the data they offered as fact in 1999 with data they assure us is correct now, it takes two seconds to see that over that ten year period, earlier temperatures have been reduced, while later temperatures have been increased. The resulting graphs change from one that shows a mild and moderate increase in temperature, to one that shows a much greater increase.

From WUWT:

James Hansen and NASA GISS Telling Fibs Again

Climate change alarmists need to be called to account.

‘Recent extreme weather events are because of global warming!’

Really? Is there any real world evidence of an increase in the number or intensity of extreme weather events?

‘Our modelling shows…’  No. Forget the computer games. Is there any evidence of an increase in extreme weather events.?

‘Well, no.’

“Sea levels will rise catastrophically!’

Really? Is there any real world evidence of an increase in the rate of sea level rise?

‘Our modelling shows…’ No. Forget the computer games. Is there any evidence of an increase in the rate of sea level rise?

‘Well, no.’

‘The world is warming at an unprecedented rate!’

Really? Is there any real world evidence that recent climate change has been unusual?

‘Our modelling shows…’ No. Forget the computer games. Is there any evidence of unusual warming over the last century?

‘Well, no.’

‘Damaging climate change is caused by human activity! We have to stop using fossil fuels!’

Really? Is there any real world evidence of a correlation between human activity and changes in global temperature?

‘Our modelling shows…’ No. Forget the computer games. Is there any evidence of correlation between human activity and climate change?

‘Well, no.’

Over 100 billion dollars has been spent on this farce.

This money, completely wasted, could have made a real difference if spent on, for example:

  • Real environmental issues. 
  • Disaster – flood/fire/cyclone – preparation and mitigation.
  • Fusion research.
  • Building roads, hospitals, schools or other infrastructure.
  • Eradicating malaria, measles, polio.

The list could go on…

Climate change alarmists need to be called to account.

The climate change farce has to stop.

As the Daily Mail points out, this looks like a computer generated graphic of the Ice Age:

NOAA Satellite Photograph - Snow and Ice

But this was yesterday.

Of course Al Gore now claims: 

‘As it turns out, the scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming.’

Sure, buddy.

Just like the accuracy of Australian of year Flim Flannery’s prediction of dire heat and droughts extending into the foreseeable future were confirmed by the recent cold wet Winter, cool wet Summer, and extensive flooding in Eastern Australia.

Top Gear is in trouble (again).

Richard Hammond said Mexicans were ‘lazy, feckless, and flatulent.’ James May said Mexican food looked like ‘sick with cheese on it.’

Jeremy Clarkson then claimed that the ambassador to the UK wouldn’t complain because he would be snoring in front of the television at his embassy.

But the ambassador apparently woke up at the critical moment, because he complained to the BBC that Top gear’s remarks were ‘offensive, xenophobic and humiliating … ‘ and ‘only serve to reinforce negative stereotypes and perpetuate prejudice against Mexico and its people.’

A commentor on the Daily Mail website felt obliged to offer an apology:

I apologise on behalf of the British people for the insult to Mexico. The slur by Top Gear is blatantly untrue. On the other hand the terms CORRUPT, OPPRESSIVE, caing nothing for the rampant POVERTY and in the hands of the DRUG BARONS who slaughter your people are all TRUE. Oh yes and that your police, politicians and officials have their hands so far into the drug cartels money-pot that it will take a team of surgeons to get them out. So, there you go Mr “Ambassador”, no more insults, just the PLAIN, UNVARNISHED TRUTH, while you lord it up in your expensive diplomatic five-star residence.

I’d still love Top Gear if they described Australians as a bunch of drunken convict sheep shaggers.

But then, I know that’s not true, so there would be no reason for me to get upset.

You may have heard about Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s response to Obama’s State of the Union speech. All the dumb things she said. And how she is so dumb she wasn’t even looking at the right camera.

Here it is. Judge for yourself:

Glacier retreat has been one of the key pieces of evidence in the warming alarmists’ campaign against cheap fuel and the world economy that depends on it. Himalayan glaciers are melting!

Never mind the fact that even if the world were warming, this would prove nothing about why it is warming. Less than 1 degree Celsius of warming in the last hundred years as we come out of an extended period of intense cold does not seem either unnatural or alarming to me.

But now we know the Himalayan glaciers are not melting. And the IPCC research that said they were was one phone call with one scientist who had no evidence to back up that claim at all. But that’s the IPCC. No facts necessary.

Investors.com notes that with the collapse of the ‘glaciers are retreating and it’s our fault’ claim, the whole ‘climate change = human caused disaster’ story seems to be melting away. But they also note that Ed Josberger, a researcher for the U.S. Geological Survey, now claims that glacial expansion is proof of global warming.

Oh, those global warming guys: ‘Australia is in for extended drought. Dams will never be full again. When this happens it will prove what we have been saying is true.’

Then there are huge floods, dams are overflowing. ‘Hey everyone, we said this would happen. This proves what we have been saying is right.’

‘Glaciers everywhere are melting. This proves global warming is real. Stop driving those SUVs you rednecks. Act now or it will be too late.’

But many glaciers are growing. ‘Yeah, we said this would happen. This proves global warming is real. Increase our funding or it will be too late.’ 

This Ramirez cartoon sums up the present state of the debate:

Gore Speaks With Forked (and Frozen) Tongue

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

Politicians are dreaming up ways to look responsible and caring by creating ‘green jobs’ which will help end unemployment and the global warming crisis at the same time.

Except that we already know there is no global warming crisis, and that every ‘green job’ created costs two real jobs.

Spain, the darling of the green jobs lobby, now has the highest rate of unemployment in the industrialised world – over 20% – and is struggling to win the trust of lenders and trading partners.

So naturally Obama in the US and Gillard in Australia are saying ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’

Oh joy.

And so is Tunisia. And Yemen. And Jordan. And Algeria.

None of these are places I would choose to live. And since Islamic states generate most of the world’s refugees, I guess lots of other people would choose not to live there either. If they had the choice.

So it is not surprising that residents of those countries want things to change.

Many of the protestors across the Arab world seem initially to have been motivated by increasing food prices. Algeria’s frantic purchase of a million tons of wheat may not be enough to save its government.

Bookworm Room has some interesting, and only partially tongue in cheek thoughts on this, sugggesting global warming hysteria is a major root cause of the present riots:

2.  As part of their apocalyptic battle against rising seas and dying polar bears, warmists declare ethanol is one of the answers (never mind that it turns out that it takes 1.5 gallons of fossil fuel to produce a gallon of ethanol).

3.  Did I mention that ethanol comes from corn?  In the old days, people used to eat corn.  Now they drive it.

4.  To satisfy the panic-stricken need for drivable corn, food crops are diverted into fuel production.

5.  The cost of staples rises substantially around the world.

5.  In 2008, food riots break out, including riots in Egypt.

Bookworm Room links to this Business and Media Institute article on ethanol production, rising food prices and riots. Even Al Gore has acknowledged the problems the ethanol campaign has caused.

Whatever the intial cause of the rioting – hunger, a desire for greater freedom, perceived alliance of some leaders with the West, trouble-making by Mossad (wait for it) – radical islamists are using the widespread dissatisfaction to grow their own powerbases.

In Jordan, for example, protests are being organised by the Islamic Action Front, the only real opposition party in Jordan, and the political wing of the Islamic Brotherhood.

The same is true in Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood are supporting Mohamed ElBaradei. Mr ElBaradei is not a liberal, or even a moderate, despite his history of involvement in Western organisations.

These are not pro-democracy protests. The Muslim Brotherhood is not a democratic organisation. It regards democracy as contrary to the Koran, and the practice of sharia.

I hope I am wrong about this, but I see nothing hopeful for the West, or democracy, or North Africa or the Middle East, in the current political unrest in the Arab world. It could very well be the beginning of a widespread political implementation of sharia and radical Islam.

There are lots of things to like about Sarah.

She is courageous, caring, loyal, and she understands what makes the economy work – how jobs and wealth are created.

For a long list of real accomplishments, see Bob Beers’ article ‘In Praise of Sarah’ from Canada Free Press, which includes this assessment: “She has a proven record of honesty and self-sacrifice for the people who elected her.”

Her commentary on Obama’s State of the Union speech can be found on her Facebook page.

A couple of excerpts:

He couched his proposals to grow government and increase spending in the language of “national greatness.” This seems to be the Obama administration’s version of American exceptionalism – an “exceptionally big government,” in which a centralized government declares that we shall be great and innovative and competitive, not by individual initiative, but by government decree. Where once he used words like “hope” and “change,” the President may now talk about “innovation” and “competition”; but the audacity of his recycled rhetoric no longer inspires hope.

Real leadership is more than just words; it’s deeds. The President’s deeds don’t lend confidence that we can trust his words spoken last night.

In the past, he promised us he’d make job creation his number one priority, while also cutting the deficit, eliminating waste, easing foreclosures in the housing markets, and making “tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development.” What did we get? A record $1.5 trillion deficit, an 84% increase in federal spending, a trillion dollar stimulus that stimulated nothing but more Tea Party activism, 9+% unemployment (or 17% percent if you include those who have stopped looking for work or settled for part time jobs), 2.9 million home foreclosures last year, and a moratorium on offshore drilling that has led to more unemployment and $100 dollar a barrel oil. …

As it is, the American people should fully understand that when the President talks about increased “investments” he’s talking about increased government spending. Cut away the rhetoric and you’ll also see that the White House’s real message on economic reform wasn’t one of substantial spending cuts, but of tax increases. …

And what about that crucial issue confronting so many Americans who are struggling today – the lack of jobs? The President came to office promising that his massive, multi-trillion dollar spending programs would keep unemployment below 8%; but the lack of meaningful, pro-free market reforms in yesterday’s speech means his legacy will almost certainly be four years of above 8% unemployment, regardless of how much he increases federal spending (or perhaps I should say because of how much he’s increased it).

Perhaps the most nonsensical bit of double-speak we heard last night was when the President said that hitting job-creators with a tax increase isn’t “punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.” But government taking more money from the small business entrepreneurs who create up to 70% of all jobs in this country is not “promoting America’s success.” It’s a disincentive that will result in less job creation. It is, in fact, punishing the success of the very people who created the innovation that the President has supposedly been praising.

Despite the flowery rhetoric, the President doesn’t seem to understand that individuals make America great, not the federal government. American greatness lies in the courage and hard work of individual innovators and entrepreneurs.

No, she’s not the messiah. But she could just be the leader America needs.

Four of New York’s seven worst ever recorded snow storms have occurred since 2003.

This January has been new York’s snowiest since records have been kept, breaking a record that goes back to 1925. January 26th also broke the 1871 record for the most snow to fall in one day.

Records for cold and snow are being broken across the northern hemisphere. In Korea, for example.

Last year saw record cold in the Southern hemisphere. In Australia and South America for example.

But that’s just weather. It doesn’t mean anything. No one could have predicted it.

Except that Piers Corbyn did. Based on science. Against the global warming establishment.

So did the Farmer’s Almanac. Based on science. Against the global warming establishment:

And it’s going to keep getting colder.

At work, but just had to take a moment to pop in these brief comments from Sarah Palin on President Obama’s STUFU speech:

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