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It’s simple, really. Just make it impossible for anyone to do anything that creates wealth or employment.

John Stossel describes his navigation of the morass of red tape required to open a simple lemonade stand:

 — Register as sole proprietor with the County Clerk’s Office (must be done in person)  

— Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number.  

— Complete 15-hr Food Protection Course!

  — After the course, register for an exam that takes 1 hour. You must score 70 percent to pass. (Sample question: “What toxins are associated with the puffer fish?”) If you pass, allow three to five weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate.  

— Register for sales tax Certificate of Authority  

— Apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit. Must bring copies of the previous documents and completed forms to the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center.  

Then, at least 21 days before opening your establishment, you must arrange for an inspection with the Health Department’s Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation. It takes about three weeks to get your appointment. If you pass, you can set up a business once you:  

— Buy a portable fire extinguisher from a company certified by the New York Fire Department and set up a contract for waste disposal.  

— We couldn’t finish the process. Had we been able to schedule our health inspection and open my stand legally, it would have taken us 65 days.

Trying to set up a business in Australia is little different.

It baffles me that some liberals think the reason people go into business is because they are greedy. I make less money than my wife, a part-time teacher. We have mortgaged our house and put most of our savings into our business. All of that would be lost if it failed.

We work hard to make it work; to give good service, to ensure our prices are competitive with larger city stores. We have been fortunate. Three out of four new businesses fail in the first twelve months. If money was what we were after, I would be far better off working for the government. Public servants take no risks and are paid more.

If the government wants people to do the work and take the risks that are the basis of all wealth-producing activity, it needs to offer some encouragement. I don’t mean grants or advisors. Just stay out of the way.

If they can’t or won’t do that, eventually there will be no-one left to pay the public servants.

It is unimaginable that the leader of any muslim country would wish Israel and Jews everywhere a happy and peaceful Passover.

For many islamists Ramadan is not a time of peace, but a time to renew the commitment to jihad.

The site Religion of Peace keeps a Ramadan jihad attack scorecard.

Wishes for peace are one thing. But peace depends on each party actually wanting peace.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had made the release of 123 Palestinians convicted of the murder of Israeli citizens a condition of recommencing peace talks. This week he refused to agree to peace talks despite Israel’s unhappy agreement to release the prisoners.

Michelle Jenneke easily wins her heat at the IAAF Junior World Championships last week. She’s got personality too!

She came fifth in the final, a not discreditable result. On to Rio in 2016.

Well done Michelle!

Lying:

Two reports came out recently making wildly inaccurate claims about sea level.

The first claimed that sea level was going to rise 12 inches in California over the next twenty years. Yet satellites show that sea level has been falling in California for the past twenty years.

US Sea Level Records 1992 -2012

Stupid:

A paper published today in the Journal of Geophysical Research finds that current global climate models make “very large” errors in determining solar radiation at the surface of the Earth “due to ignoring the effects of clouds.” According to the authors, these very large errors can exceed 800 Watts per meter squared, which by comparison is about 216 times more than the alleged effect of doubling CO2 concentrations (3.7 Watts per square metre).

In other words, those wild scary claims by IPCC scientists about runaway positive feedback causing catastrophic climate change were based entirely on not having a clue what they were talking about.

One of the best speeches I have read from an Australian politician; erudite, amusing, positive. Even Prime-ministerial.

A couple of excerpts to get you started:

The idea that each person should be free to become his or her best self: that, I’m sure, is what the Founding Fathers were grasping towards when they declared these truths to be self-evident, life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The United States and Australia are separate legal entities but few Australians would regard America as a foreign country.

We are more than allies, we’re family. Around the world we seek no privileges, ask no favours, crave no territory.

Our objectives are to promote trade, prevent aggression and, where possible, to foster democracy based on the rule of law.

Narrow self-interest would have kept America out of Iraq, as it did the French and German governments of the time.

It would have kept Australia out of East Timor. Likewise, narrow self-interest would have kept America out of the toughest parts of Afghanistan, at least once the Taliban had been defeated.

Money, not military power, was enough to secure oil supplies.

Stand-off missiles, not boots on the ground, are normally enough to eliminate terrorists and degrade their bases.

America’s military expeditions may sometimes be mistaken but they’re always well-meaning; even if others are tempted to conclude, with Graham Greene of the Quiet American, that he’d never known a man with such good intentions for all the trouble he’d caused!

Australians are less self-consciously idealistic than Americans but Prime Minister Chifley’s “light on the hill…working for the betterment of mankind, not just here but wherever we can lend a helping hand” might be considered an antipodean version of Reagan’s “shining city on a hill”.

Australians have been proud to go into battle with Americans, starting at Le Hamel when Pershing’s doughboys fought under Australian command, and subsequently in the Pacific, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The United States shouldn’t take Australia’s support entirely for granted.

Australia’s national interest might not always be identical with America’s.

Our values, though, invariably coincide and Australia’s foreign policy should be driven as much by our values as by our interests …

The question now being pondered right around the world and, especially in Washington, fuelled by the rise of China, an inconclusive and unpopular war, and congressional gridlock here is: Have we reaching a tipping point in history? Has the United States passed from being a dominant to a declining power?

Facts, as opposed to fears, support no such conclusion.

First, America remains by far the world’s largest economy and has no systems-shaking transitions to manage.

Second, the world instinctively looks to America and to like-minded countries whenever trouble looms or disaster strikes.

Third, other countries’ success largely depends upon and substantially vindicates American traits such as intellectual curiosity, economic innovation, and political liberalisation.

And finally, the more other countries come to resemble America, the more likely they are to be forces-for-good in the wider world.

What’s remarkable is that right now, perhaps for the first time, the world appears to have more confidence in America than America has in itself …

Australia will continue to respect China’s economic achievement and to strive to improve the relationship on everything where we can sensibly work together.

We will try to avoid indulgent gestures over, for instance, live cattle sales to Indonesia or uranium sales to India where our friends want us to be a secure source of supply.

We intend to play our part in the wider world through contributing to humanitarian relief and fully participating in the security partnership with our principal allies.

Over the past decade, there’s been much “expert” advice that Australia would be a better ally by ostentatiously refusing to participate in America’s so-called follies, such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

To their credit, both the Howard government and the Rudd/Gillard government have refused to carp from the sidelines.

These days, America does not need to be told where it is going wrong but where it is going right.

By a large margin, the United States has the best universities, the most creative research, the most sophisticated intellectual property and the most accomplished high-end manufacturing.

America needs to believe in itself the way others still believe in it.

It needs once more to take to heart President Roosevelt’s advice that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

America is exceptional so exceptionalism has its place.

American world leadership might only truly be appreciated were it to disappear.

None of us should want to find out the hard way what a shrunken America might mean. 

Australia wills America to succeed because a strong America means a safer world.

A pill to reduce the risk of HIV infection in members of at risk groups sounds good, but I would put money on HIV infection rates increasing, rather than decreasing, where this drug is made available. Labor and the Greens will press for its early introduction.

But a genetically modified bacterium designed to destroy malarial parasites before they can infect anyone bitten by a parasite-carrying mosquito could save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Wait for the Greens to start protesting about the use of GM organisms.

It is sometimes hard to believe that the AEU, the Australian Education Union, has any commitment to improving educational outcomes at all.

There can be no doubt about their commitment to making life easier for teachers. The constant refrain is “more pay, smaller classes.” Australia has amongst the smallest average class sizes and best paid teachers anywhere in the world. This has not resulted in any improvement in standards of literacy or numeracy. Cultural literacy; an understanding of Western values, history, music, literature and art, has declined precipitously.

The entirely predictable recommendations of the Review of Funding for Schooling (the Gonski panel) were more money and smaller class sizes. But once class sizes get below about thirty-five, further decreases make little difference to student learning. Simply hurling money at education will not help, unless spending is based on real-world research into what works.

Responses from the Labor Party and the AEU to questions from the opposition about the Gonski recommendations were just as predictable as the recommendations themselves.

“I’m not sure that Christopher Pyne’s plan to sack teachers and increase class sizes is the answer to the challenge we face in education,” acting School Education Minister Chris Evans told ABC News Online.

Except that Christopher Pyne said nothing about sacking teachers and increasing class sizes. He said that research and experience in other countries shows that simply focussing on class size does not help students.

The chairman of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), Professor Barry McGaw, agrees the focus on class sizes has been misplaced.

“We have wasted a lot of money in Australian education by reducing class size,” Professor McGaw told ABC NewsRadio.

“It’s a very expensive thing to do and the range in which we’ve reduced it has almost no impact on student learning.”

The AEU has a website called I Give a Gonski. Presumably ‘giving a Gonski’ is meant to indicate concern about education.

Anyone who really does ‘give a gonski’ about education should vehemently oppose these ‘more of the same’ recommendations, and insist on educational policies and spending which will actually improve learning.

The West has faced problems before; wars, the plague, depressions, climate change. We have survived and continued to move forward.

The level of comfort, medical care and nutrition taken for granted by the average Western family now is superior to standards expected even by royalty two or three hundred years ago.

We have moved forward by recognising problems, by researching them and overcoming them. We have always been good at facing reality.

We will keep moving forward. There is no reason for despair.

But there are reasons for concern. Poor economic management is one. Focussing vast amounts of attention and money on non-existent problems like global warming is another. It has been pointed out before that the amount of money spent by governments so far on global warming could have eradicated malaria and provided clean water and basic medical care for every person on the planet.

Another reason for concern is the unwillingness by Western leaders to acknowledge the threat to freedom posed by radical Islam.

Over the last week I have been reading William Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Shirer says early on that even after all the horrors that came after 1933, the German people and the world at large could not say they had not been warned. The policies of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party were clearly set out from the beginning.

So when we have another large totalitarian movement which says it wants to exterminate the Jews, kill gays and destroy democracy, it might wise to consider the possibility, at least, that they mean what they say.

This unwillingness to be face the truth, or even to be truthful, is evident in our media in smaller ways. Over the last week I have been struck by three quite different news stories.

First, the mother of an autistic boy complaining to the media when, after five years of taxis to and from his school, paid for by taxpayers, he got a new driver. I understand routine is important to some autistic people. This is why someone went out of his or her way to ensure that for five years this child had the same driver every day.  But both SA Education Minister Grace Portolesi and Opposition education spokesman David Pisoni said that she had a legitimate complaint. Why? If consistency is so important, why not take your own child to school and back? Most parents do.

Second, the story of a Georgia (US) woman suing her husband’s new doctor after her husband died of a heart attack while engaging in three way sex with another woman at a motel. The doctor was found to have been negligent because he should have warned the husband about the dangers of strenuous activity. The wife was awarded $3 million.

Third, a South Australian woman convicted of stealing over $800,000 from her employers to play the pokies blamed hotel staff for not stopping her from gambling. Nick Xenophon offered his support. No surprises there. Nick Xenophon will offer his support to anything that will get him a headline. But why should anyone else consider her a victim? She stole money from people who trusted her and spent it in multiple pubs and clubs.

There have always been people who are lazy, dishonest, greedy, unwilling to take responsibility. What is different is that now these people are often told they are victims, that they need support or therapy, that what has happened to them is someone else’s fault, that someone else should pay. Anyone who disagrees ruins the risk of being called uncaring. But real compassion is based on truth and responsibility.

In foreign relations, in economic planning, in energy infrastructure, and in personal life, we need to make decisions based on reality. This has been the West’s great strength. It is the only way we will continue to make progress.

We should not have to be afraid to call a spade a spade.

But hey, let’s blame him anyway!

For any company to make money out of aborted babies is monstrous. Anyone who knowingly invests in or works for a company that does so is seriously morally challenged.

So if Romney had been CEO of Bain at the time Bain invested in Stericycle, a company that incinerates the remains of aborted children as medical waste, and if he was aware that this was part of their business, that seriously undermines the credibility of his claim to have been consistently pro-life.

But, as even the person who wrote this ‘gotcha’ article agrees, he wasn’t and he didn’t.

So why pretend it reflects on him at all?

I often post videos of ungrateful idiots. This is a refreshing change:

Amen to the thanks to the monks of Mt Athos, and to everyone who is faithful in prayer.

It looks to me like the logo for the London Olympics:

London Olympics Logo

was designed by the same bloke as Melbourne’s Federation Square:

Federation Square

If they weren’t designed by the same person, does the similarity mean we are now moving into a post-interesting, post-beautiful, post any-kind-of-merit stage of design and architecture?

I have had some doubts about the EDL – the English Defence League. But the more I hear from Tommy Robinson, the more I like him.

Some of the things to note in this video are his absolute rejection of racism, his pointing up of the double standards in policing and reporting of islamist protests (frequently violent) and any expression of any concern (no matter how mild) by ordinary people about islamism, and his statement that if we do not act now, despite the cost, future generations will never understand why we failed them.

It really is worth watching this video in full. Just ignore the poor sound quality at the beginning. It improves quickly.

Given a recent court case, the gubmint’s plans for media regulation to shut up people who say stuff it doesn’t like, because it’s like, unfair and stuff, and the legal and personal persecution of anyone in Australia who even asks publicly what race means, Morgan Freeman’s claim that Barack Obama is not the US’s first black president because because his mother was white so he can’t be black, is, well, interesting.

Heck, it is probably against the law in Australia even to think about whether Obama is really black. Or Anita Heiss, or Ray Robinson, or Michael Mansell.

Sadly, Freeman goes on to make a clot of himself by saying that the reason Obama hasn’t been able to do anything at all really, is because Republicans are mean. They haven’t co-operated in all his cool plans. Which is dumb, considering Obama had both Congress and Senate for the larger part of his incumbency.

Jihadist operations, martyrdom operations, to drive every Jew out of the sacred land of Palestine (home to the Jews for over 3,000 years).

Apart from the fact this guy looks like Fagin, there are two other interesting things about this video.

First, there is no pretence that jihad means an inner struggle for righteousness. Jihad means killing people, especially Jews. Second, this Jew killing will happen soon, because the Arab peoples are throwing off the yoke of oppressive regimes, so that Islamic principles can rule as they should.

Ugly inside and out.

Amused by Rush Limbaugh’s description of Obama as Barack Kardashian? You shouldn’t be. It is a libel on the Kardashians.

As Marc Hopin points out on American Thinker, the Kardashians are hard working wealth creators who are also socially aware and actively involved in their community:

If I were a Kardashian, the association of my last name with one of the most unsuccessful presidents in American history would mortify me.  I’d be talking to my lawyers trying to figure out a way to get Rush to stop.  Kardashian is not just Kim’s last name; it’s the last name used by her three siblings and her mother.  Working together, they have turned the name into a money-making franchise.  Beginning in 2007 with the first season of the reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, they have successfully parlayed their various talents into multiple financial successes including modeling, movie and TV acting roles, singing, authoring, TV production, clothing design, fragrance creation, jewelry design, and the founding and running of a small chain of boutique clothing stores called D-A-S-H.  In addition, Kardashian designs are sold on QVC and in Sears stores. …

Hard as I try, I can find nothing Kardashian about Obama.  If anything, Barack is the anti-Kardashian.  Kim Kardashian is far from perfect, but she is a hardworking, successful, job-creating capitalist who treats people as individuals, goes and gives to church, supports various meaningful charitable causes, is close with her extended family, doesn’t use drugs or drink alcohol, and has no friends who are admitted terrorists.  Obama doesn’t want to work other than on the campaign trail.  He is a man who leads from behind.  He starts his workday late and ends his workday early, unless there’s a party at the White House or a fundraiser somewhere.  Obama wants to golf, vacation, bike-ride, and read off of a teleprompter from time to time.  If Obama and Kim were on Donald Trump’s The Celebrity Apprentice, I have little doubt which would be the earlier recipient of the infamous “You’re fired!”