Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category
This is about Obamacare, but much of it applies anywhere medical services are paid for by anyone but the end consumer, including Australia:
Sensible and well-spoken as always:
Traffic light tendency: greens who are too yellow to admit they are red. Wonderful!
I discriminate every day.
When buying products for the shop I discriminate against products which are poorly made or over-priced. I discriminate against suppliers who do not have items in stock when they say they do, or who charge too much for delivery, or don’t respond to questions.
I do the same when at the supermarket or liquor store. I discriminate. I choose based on my perception of differences between products. I do it every day.
Social welfare organisations also discriminate. They have to.
Several years ago I was a member of Synod in the Anglican Diocese of Brisbane. Legislation was introduced which would enable to provision of welfare services to particular groups. There was a page listing the ways in which those groups and individuals would be identified. In other words, how services would be offered in a discriminating way, so as to target people most in need. Then at the end was the assertion that all services would be provided without discrimination.
I objected to that on the basis that the entire preceding page set out the kinds of discrimination that would be used to target services. The Church is supposed to be about the truth, always and everywhere. It was doublespeak to set out at length what kinds of discrimination would be employed, and immediately after to say “all services will be provided without discrimination.”
They couldn’t even say “without discrimination on the basis of race or gender,” because some services were to be offered to refugees, to women, to aboriginal people. So why say “without discrimination” at all, except to appear righteous, pious, etc?
Of course, I was howled down. “We can’t discriminate!”
“But the whole preceding section sets out the ways in which you intend to discriminate.”
“No it doesn’t.”
It was a bit like this:
John Stossel writes in praise of discrimination when it comes to health insurance.
I have never had car insurance. I have been driving for over thirty years; cars, tractors, trucks, motor cycles. I have never had an accident. Motor vehicle insurance is a scheme designed to allow bad drivers to be subsidised by good ones.
Insurance only makes sense when you have no control over the level of risk. In every other circumstance, insurance will always be the careful and responsible subsidising the careless and lazy.
Health insurance is a perfect example. It is a scheme designed to allow the fat and lazy, smokers and heavy drinkers, the sex addled and gluttonous to be subsidised by people who make choices which lead to better health.
I have never smoked. I have a couple of drinks most nights, never more. I am approximately the right weight for my height. I run or walk every day. I look after my teeth. I have only been in hospital once, for one night. It makes far more sense for me to put aside a little money for health care on a regular basis than to put money into a collective in which I not only pay for the foolish choices others make, but also for the bureaucracy that supports them.
Other people have the right to make whatever choices they want. If they want to chain smoke, have casual sex and live on chocolate and beer, well, more joy to them. But I don’t see why I should have to pay for the consequences of those choices. Of course, if they had to pay for the consequences of their choices, they might choose differently.
Until then, until someone offers health insurance specifically for people who don’t make those choices, and which doesn’t offer expensive non-therapies like chiropractic, homeopathy and reiki, I’ll just look after myself.
Is that discriminatory? You bet.
Michael Coren on MRC TV:
To pick just one Islamic Brotherhood lie, take “Copts are not real Egyptians.” The word “copt” is the “gypt” in Egypt. The Copts are the original Egyptians. Like the Jews in Israel, they are told by Hamas, the Islamic Brotherhood, the New York Times and other fellow travellers that they have no place in their own land.
That lie is used to portray them as invaders or parasites, so violence towards them becomes OK.
Lies can be powerful weapons.
From James Delingpole:
Here we are in a world turned so ignorant, self-hating and wrong that not just thwarted lefty journalists but a host of celebrities too actually believe that there is some merit in the argument that a failing left-wing media organisation should be permitted by some special charter arrangement to go on spewing drivel regardless of the bottom line or who owns the business or whether the readership gives a damn anyway.
In a letter to Fairfax’s Melbourne newspaper, The Age, a range of prominent Australians including Malcolm Fraser, the former prime minister, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Peter Doherty and the actor Geoffrey Rush today urged the Fairfax board not to abandon the charter.
The fact that we live in this World of Stupid is precisely what makes Gina Rinehart’s move on Fairfax both so heroic and so very necessary. It’s heroic because so few business people put their money where their mouth is these days, never championing free markets when they can do better via cosy regulatory stitch-ups with big government instead. And it’s very necessary because, as I argued yesterday and will no doubt many times again, the world economy is on the brink of a precipice.
The things that have brought us to the edge of that precipice are the things that Gina Rinehart has spent her business career opposing: over-regulation; destructively high taxes; bureaucracy; government meddling; and insane overspending by the state. Gina Rinehart is doing what all business people should be doing, but which so few of them are. She is sticking up for the free market system which is the only way we’re all going to get of this mess in one piece.
Gina Rinehart is a totally bloody heroine – and Australia should count itself very lucky to have her. As should those wretched ingrates at Fairfax Media.
James also has some nice things to say about Australian coffee.
Yet another ship carrying illegal immigrants sinks in the Indian Ocean.
Somehow this is Tony Abbott’s fault, or George Bush’s or John Howard’s, or something. Even though the boats had slowed to a stop under the Howard government.
Michelle Grattan gives a perfect demonstration of why the Age is in such a parlous state:
It’s time Abbott agrees to Labor’s deal on asylum seekers
Tony Abbott’s intransigence over asylum seeker policy looks more indefensible and irresponsible after the latest boat disaster.
This is the kind of flummoxing dullness that causes people looking for intellectual stimulus to walk past the Age and pick up Zoo magazine.
What has it got to do with Tony Abbott? Labor is in government.
Michelle? Hello? Michelle? Labor is in government. You know, Julia, Wayne, Kevin, that mob?
It is the opposition’s job to oppose. That is what they are meant to do. Oppose.
If the Labor party cannot govern, why are they still in power? If they cannot make and implement decisions about border security, how is that Tony Abbott’s fault?
Nonetheless, Tony Abbott has said he will agree to any deal that means illegal immigrants are processed in any country which is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention. Well done. That is reasonable and fair and sensible.
But there is no reason why he or the Liberal Party should need to agree to anything. It is the government’s job to govern.
It is the Labor Party which needs to be serious about acting to save lives, and that means making it absolutely, unmistakably clear to those who would come here that if they try to circumvent the rules, they will not set foot in Australia.
From The Register:
Twenty-year-old models which have suggested serious ice loss in the eastern Antarctic have been compared with reality for the first time – and found to be wrong, so much so that it now appears that no ice is being lost at all.
“Previous ocean models … have predicted temperatures and melt rates that are too high, suggesting a significant mass loss in this region that is actually not taking place,” says Tore Hattermann of the Norwegian Polar Institute, member of a team which has obtained two years’ worth of direct measurements below the massive Fimbul Ice Shelf in eastern Antarctica – the first ever to be taken.
The team’s results show that water temperatures are far lower than computer models predicted …
Twenty year old computer models compared with reality for the first time? Scientists looking at the world rather than their computers? Whatever next?
This has been around for a while, but it is worth re-reading:
Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.
If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1 The sixth would pay $3 The seventh would pay $7 The eighth would pay $12 The ninth would pay $18 The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59
So, that’s what they decided to do.
The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball.
“Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.
The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.
So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?
They realised that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.
So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.
And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).
The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).
The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving).
The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving).
The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving).
The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving).
Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.
“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”
“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!”
The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!
And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works.
The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.
In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.
Anonymous, sometimes erroneously attributed to Dr David R Kamerschen.
If you haven’t visited it lately, Dr John Brignell’s numberwatch site has a great list of everything so far blamed on global warming. Over six hundred links listing everything from AIDS to haggis to lampreys to feminised turtles to women cheating on vacation.
Of course, global warming hasn’t caused any of these things, because the world hasn’t warmed at all for the last fourteen years, and the total global increase in temperature over the last one hundred and fifty years (including ‘adjustments’) has been 0.8 degrees; nothing at all out of the ordinary, and a difference a normal person cannot even feel.
For more see Daren Jonescu in the American Thinker.
From the frequently amusing People’s Cube:
Man-Made Warming Blamed for Disappearing Bird Populations
A research team working on a two-million-dollar government grant just made a shocking discovery: intense man-made heat waves are decimating bird populations throughout the globe, including birds that were recently thriving in local neighborhoods.
According to the researchers, anthropogenic warming-related activities are directly responsible. Steady temperature increases, especially when confined to small areas, target inactive birds that can no longer fly away to avoid the consequences. As technologically induced heat waves are being absorbed across the skin, the affected birds begin to turn brown.
“These incidents illustrate a need for an increase in government spending on further research in order to predict with accuracy the impact of more government spending on raising public awareness about an increase in government spending to study the effect of man-made warming events and activities on biodiversity and lifestyle,” stated the report released last Tuesday by Moon Batts, a professor of biology and Paul Choom, a professor of natural studies.
The scientists indicated that the next step would be to calculate the exact avian mortality rates caused by man-made warming events and the role played in it by the condiment industrial complex as enablers and facilitators of such activities.
Egypt’s Constitution should be based on the Koran and Sharia law, presidential candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement Mohamed Morsi said.
“The Koran is our constitution, the Prophet is our leader, jihad is our path and death in the name of Allah is our goal,” Morsi said in his election speech before Cairo University students on Saturday night.
Today Egypt is close as never before to the triumph of Islam at all the state levels, he said.
Of course, now he has been elected, he will have to mellow out, right?
What, you didn’t know?
Hardly surprising, since attacks on Israeli civilians get short shrift in the Australian media.
From Times of Israel:
Gaza-based terrorists fired 25 rockets into southern Israel on Saturday, causing damage to a school and factory. The latest attacks bring the total number of rockets and other projectiles fired from the Strip to approximately 150 over the past six days …
Sderot mayor David Buskila convened a special meeting Saturday morning with police and Home Front Command officials. He demanded that the government restore calm to his city. “We have known this reality for 11 years already.”
During a visit to Sderot and neighboring towns surrounding the Gaza Strip on Saturday, Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai said “Israel cannot remain silent following the events in the South in recent days.” He said Israel holds Hamas fully responsible for everything happening around the Gaza Strip, and that Israel will continue to use a heavy hand against anyone who tries to escalate the situation.
Interesting that when Syria shoots down one Turkish fighter jet, no one suggests that Turkey would not be within its rights to respond with force.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said Syria’s actions were “outrageous” and underlined “how far beyond accepted behaviour the Syrian regime has put itself”.
“It will be held to account for its behaviour. The UK stands ready to pursue robust action at the United Nations Security Council.”
But when Israel responds to relentless attacks on its people within its own borders… well, that’s different.
A few years ago a biologist I know looked at how climate change might affect the spread of a particular invasive insect species. He obtained climate-model projections for North America under standard greenhouse-gas scenarios from two modelling labs, and then tried to characterize how the insect habitat might change. To his surprise, he found very different results depending on which model was used. Even though both models were using the same input data, they made opposite predictions about regional climate patterns in North America.
This reminded me of a presentation I’d seen years earlier about predicted changes in U.S. rainfall patterns under global warming. The two models being used for a government report again made diametrically opposite predictions. In region after region, if one model predicted a tendency toward more flooding, the other tended to predict drying.
Just how good are climate models at predicting regional patterns of climate change? I had occasion to survey this literature as part of a recently completed research project on the subject. The simple summary is that, with few exceptions, climate models not only fail to do better than random numbers, in some cases they are actually worse.
That is just the summary. Read the whole thing.
The point is that the models simply do not work when it comes to predicting changes in global (or even regional) climate. But it is predictions based on these same models which have been used to justify crippling legislation like the carbon dioxide tax, and spending billions of dollars to solve a problem which doesn’t exist.
The end result of quantitative easing (governments printing money to pay their bills):
In 1980, the Zimbabwe dollar was worth more than the US dollar. In 2009 Mugabe’s government printed notes with a face value of 100 trillion dollars. At that time they were worth about $300 US. Shortly after that, Zimbabwe abandoned its own currency. Zim dollars were worth less than toilet paper, so that is what people used them for.
That is the end point of excessive government spending; an economy down the toilet.
Ha, ha, ha, ROFL.
Wayne Swan says Gina Rinehart’s interest in Fairfax is a threat to democracy. No Wayne, that would be a minority government that introduces destructive legislation it promised it would not introduce, then spends millions on bribes to retain power.
Communications Minister Stephen Conroy (who?) says Gina Rinehart is not entitled to trash the Fairfax brand for other shareholders. No Stephen, she doesn’t need to. The crony crowd of Karl worshiping clod-hoppers who call themselves Fairfax journalists have been doing that for years.
Meanwhile, back at boring central, David Marr, who seems to find it difficult to think rationally at any time, offers the following brilliantly irrational analysis:
The charter which gives journalists complete control over the Fairfax product “Has protected the assets of Fairfax. It has protected the readers, it’s protected the community and it’s also protected the journalists and that is now what is under direct challenge by Mrs Rinehart.”
He may have a point about the readers, if he means they have been protected from ever having to read an opinion that might cause them to rethink their own.
But “has protected the assets of Fairfax”? Only if protecting means acting in such a way that the share price has fallen to about ten per cent of what it was five years ago, and two state of the art print plants must be sold off to keep the company going.
“Protected the journalists”? Really? Almost all daily papers have seen declining circulations over the last ten years. But Fairfax papers are right at the bottom of the pile. They offer a product few people want. That does not lead to a secure work environment for journalists.
If you grow pink mushrooms, and they sold well for while but now they don’t, you can’t just sit around whining about it and demanding the government support your right to keep growing pink mushrooms. Grow something else, something people want. It’s the same with newspapers. You do not have the right to keep producing a product nobody wants. Well, you do, you just don’t have the right to demand people pay for it.
Journalists, readers and public will all be better served (and protected, whatever that means) by a Fairfax press with a sound business model, and a board that encourages, no, demands, the production of news and information services that offer Australian consumers worthwhile products at a reasonable price.
But hey, let the Fairfax journos go on strike with the printers. No papers is a great way to undermine the share price even further, and maybe some Age readers will pick up another paper by mistake and discover what they have been missing.