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And not radical islamists?

Given that Sarah is an attractive, powerful, intelligent woman who is successful in her own right and has challenged and beaten corrupt men and corporations?

And that she doesn’t believe, for example:

  • Women are inferior to men.
  • Women should have fewer rights and responsibilities than Larry the Cable Guy.
  • Women count for one-half of a dude in giving evidence in a court of law.
  • Women should be horse whipped if they ever make their husband feel like a dork.
  • Victoria’s Secret Miraculous Bra (with extreme level 5 cleavage) makes God angry.
  • Women can’t say squat in regard to whom they’ll marry, what they’ll wear, where they’ll live, or whether or not they can divorce their cheating and/or abusive husband.
  • Girls can be wed beginning at the ripe old age of frickin’ nine.
  • Women should be cool with hubby having a couple of hoochies or female slaves on the side.
  • Women, on the pretext of “honor,” should be locked up, isolated and unable to have a girls’ night out at Mango’s on Ocean Drive.

While radical islamists do believe those things, and are earnest about putting them into practice, to the point of killing people who disagree.

It’s a mystery.

I believe there is genetic influence on human behaviour. Call it human nature if you like.

In between theology and philosophy I had time for a little bit of science. One of the units I took was Sociobiology – a branch of population genetics devoted to understanding genetic influence on animal behaviour. There is no doubt this is real and that certain behaviours are ‘inbuilt’ in certain species, eg dogs turning around before lying down to sleep, bees dancing messages, etc.

But I have been amused by the frequent media claims that scientists have discovered a gene for, take your pick, being fat, being gay, being an alcoholic, being outgoing. There is no one gene that accounts for any human behaviour, and in any case, one of the things that makes us human is that we can stand back from our instincts and make choices based on reason.

Too often the ‘it’s my genes’ argument has been used to justify a refusal to take responsibility. I didn’t choose to want to do that. So it must be in my genes. So it must be natural. So it must be good. So you have no right to criticise me for what I do. Or even, this is part of who I am, so it must be part of God’s plan for who I am, so you should support me and celebrate my gayness, laziness, whatever it is.

So I enjoyed this post on Maggie’s Farm. A collection of news headlines from the last three about the latest fat gene, friendly gene, bad driving gene.

Here are a couple:

Fat Gene

Lonely Gene

Sleep Gene

One of the things this demonstrates is how easily, if it makes good headlines, a mere suggestion by a group of scientists can suddenly become ‘settled science.’

I am not normally given to swearing, but honestly, for f&#%’s sake.

As if you needed another one, reason number 126,475 never to go into an Anglican church again.

Gay vicar, 65, to ‘marry’ Nigerian male model half his age.

According to the article, they met and fell in love at a Christian conference in Togo.

And don’t they look lovely together:

Gay vicar to marry male model

Gay vicar to marry male model

Really, for f&#%’s sake.

I haven’t always been a fan of Michael Kroger, or at least, I regretted the apparent division between him and Jeff Kennett, and the harm it did the Victorian Liberal party.

But boy I am a fan now.

We really do need more politicians and business people to stand up to the arrant nonsense peddled by people like Wayne Swan, who, never having run a business themselves, and having no idea how to do so, ceaselessly lecture those who do, and who therefore generate tax income, employment, and useful goods and services.

via Tim Blair:

Amidst the deafening and ceaseless talk about environmental sustainability, Australia seems to have lost any reality based sense of the need for a sustainable balance between production, taxation and expenditure.

By Walter Starck on the Quadrant website.

All over the world developed nations have created more government than their increasingly uncompetitive, over-regulated, over-taxed economies can support. Deficit spending is epidemic and borrowing is reaching the limits of capacity to even maintain payments on interest. Increasing numbers of local, state and national governments are running on empty. Unpaid bills, layoffs and cuts to welfare and essential services are spreading. Financially desperate governments seem determined to seek and destroy any remaining pockets of economic viability via increased taxation and regulation.

While better off than most, Australia is not immune to this global malaise. We too suffer from chronic balance of trade deficits, unsustainable government commitments and proliferating bureaucracy strangling any productive activity. Australia has the highest house prices in the world, the highest level of personal debt, the steepest increases in food prices of any OECD country over the past decade and a declining manufacturing sector that is now the smallest in the developed world.

The city-centred cult of environmentalism puts up dire tales of species loss and climate change as barriers to new resource development, energy production, and manufacturing projects. But these tales frequently have no connection to reality, and draw their ‘facts’ from the popular media.

Like over-indulged children, the non-producers feel neither guilt nor gratitude, but rather a sense of entitlement. To this purpose environmentalism serves an important role. The world of non-producers begins at the shop and ends at the rubbish bin and it largely exists in an urban realm wherein nature has been virtually exterminated. From this viewpoint, only producers despoil the natural environment. Environmentalism affords non-producers a satisfying sense of moral superiority over those who support them. Not surprisingly, it is a popular belief commonly held with great conviction and righteousness. 

Anyone who produces anything is seen as an irresponsible exploiter. Our failure to make sensible use of our own fisheries is just one example:

In fisheries the situation is even worse. With the largest per capita fisheries resource in the world, we have the lowest production and our harvest rate is the lowest in the world at only 1/30 of the global average. Our fishing fleet has already been reduced to one-third of what it was two decades ago. All this is entirely because of bureaucratic mismanagement and over regulation. None of it is due to overfishing.

That we now have to import two-thirds of the seafood we eat, and all of it comes from much more heavily exploited resources elsewhere, is unconscionable. That we are selling off non-renewable resources to pay $1.7 billion annually to import a renewable one we ourselves have in abundance, then call this sustainable management and pat ourselves on the back with self-proclaimed status as the world’s best fishery managers, is beyond moronic.

Over the last few years, at both state and federal level, we have seen increased government spending, massive debt, manufacturing hampered, land and other resources locked up, and a failure to build and maintain transport and energy infrastructure.

How is this responsible and sustainable?

At 8.15 SA time, Labor holds Eden-Monaro.

Not a good sign. Since 1972 Eden-Monaro has gone to whichever party eventually formed the government. Maybe it is time for a change.

I was wrong about Melbourne. The Greens will take that seat.

I was right (well, pretty sure at this stage) about South Australia. There was a swing to Labor as predicted, but not enough in the two key marginal seats of Sturt and Boothby for them to take either of those seats.

I hoped the Liberals might retain McEwan. Other than that, the result is pretty much as I thought.

There is still a large number of uncertain seats in NSW and Qld.

The Liberals will come in ahead, but enough to form government on their own?

It may come down to Swan and Hasluck in Western Australia.

At 8.30 SA time, Wyatt Roy has won Longman for the Liberals. Typical snarky comment from Annabel Crabb on Twitter: Wyatt Roy claiming victory now. Parents allowed him to stay up late in recognition of his new status as MP for Longman.

Wyatt seems to be demonstrating far more maturity than the average ABC commentator.

Anthony Green’s latest prediction: Labor: 73 seats; Coalition: 72 seats; Greens: 1 seat; Independents: 4 seats.

He may be right. That would mean a very tight Coalition government.

The ABC still predicting the ALP will hold Lindsay. I don’t think so.

What else? Solomon will come to the Liberals. So will Cowan, Greenway and Macquarie.

Swan and Hasluck still too early to call. Looking like there is a small swing to the ALP in Western Australia.

We may have a result tonight. Going to have a beer. Back in half an hour.

9.00pm SA time. Labor spokesmen seem to be acknowledging they will not be able to form government on their own.

Maxine Mckew speaks very well in response to questions from Kerry O’Brien. Blames change of leadership, poorly planned campaign and loss of credibility over abandoned CPRS after earlier ALP claims it was the great moral issue, etc. Right with all of that. Says the ALP should have clearer about its great economic successes. Ha, ha.

Looking like Swan and Hasluck will come to the Liberals, but Stirling may fall to Labor. Only 25% of the vote counted, though, I’d love to know which booths. I wouldn’t have called that one.

At this stage, it looks like the Liberals will win seventeen and lose three.

Highlight of the night so far – Kerry O’Brien cutting Kevin Rudd off with the words ‘It could go on for some time.’  ROTFL.

Right on Solomon. Another point for me.

Time for another beer.

9.30pm SA time.

Stirling stays with the Liberals. They probably need Corangamite to get over the line.

The ABC is currently calling 69 for Labor and 70 for Liberal. There are five other/independent. Three of those will feel more comfortable with the Coalition.

Six seats are still in doubt. If three go to the ALP, three to the Liberals, the final figures will be Coalition and independents 76, ALP and independents, 74.

On track for the two seat majority I predicted this morning, and I’m calling it for the Coalition.

Even if four of the doubtfuls go to the ALP instead of three, the ALP will not be able to form government.

The Liberal Party will be in a better position. It could be a re-run of Peter Lewis’ appointment as Speaker in SA in 2002, but the other way around, with a left leaning independent acting as Speaker for a Liberal government.

The Senate is a mess, and Bob Brown says he intends to use the power the Greens now have to push for carbon taxes and gay marriage.

It looks like Steve Fielding is out of the Senate for Family First in Victoria, but Bob Day is in for Family First in SA.

The ABC is now predicting 74 seats for the Coalition. With three independents likely to ally with them, even if reluctantly, that is a win – 77 to 73. 

Not a bad night. Better than I would have hoped a couple of months ago.

Interesting comment from Alexander Downer:  I have never known a political leader as determined and hard working as Tony Abbott.

Time for a Milo and off to bed.

… from two hours of handing out how to vote cards in Kingscote (Mayo, SA).

Two things of interest.

1. Someone who thought I was offering her a Labor card said ‘Not without Kevin.’

I wasn’t sure the knifing of Kevin Rudd really would make a difference to the election. It has.

2. The number of people who specifically asked for Family First cards.

I know the candidate for Family First in Mayo. He is a great guy. Honest, intelligent, compassionate, hard working.

He won’t get in.

But the fact that so many people asked for Family First cards makes me wonder whether Bob Day has a chance of taking Sarah Hanson-Young’s senate seat.

That would certainly be a cause for rejoicing in my household.

Finally, the following from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Labor has denied employing dirty campaign tactics in the marginal electorate of Lindsay where candidate David Bradbury is at risk of losing his seat.

Labor campaigners are distributing how to vote cards dressed as Liberals, wearing recplica T-shirts to booth workers campaigning for Liberal candidate Fiona Scott.

The light blue T-shirts are unmarked with Labor branding and are precisely the same shade as their liberal counterpart.

A Labor campaign leaftlet is also styled to look like Greens election material. It is authorised by the ALP but contains no party logo.

Why would anyone vote for these people?

From James Delingpole at the UK Telegraph:

One of the great lies told us by our political leaders in order to persuade us to accept their swingeing and pointless green taxes and their economically suicidal, environmentally vandalistic wind-farm building programmes is that if we don’t do it China will. Apparently, just waiting to be grabbed out there are these glittering, golden prizes marked “Green jobs” and “Green technologies” – and if only we can get there before those scary, mysterious Chinese do, well, maybe the West will enjoy just a few more years of economic hegemony before the BRICs nations thwack us into the long grass.

This is, of course, utter nonsense. The Chinese do not remotely believe in the myth of Man-Made Global Warming nor in the efficacy of “alternative energy”. Why should they? It’s not as if there is any evidence for it.

There is much more. And it is all interesting.

China, after all, is the world’s future dominant economic power and, this being so, it makes an absolute nonsense of attempts by the EU and the US to hamper our industrial growth by imposing on our economies eco-taxes and eco-regulations which the Chinese intend to ignore completely.

This truth hasn’t hit home yet: not in the EU; not in the Cleggeron Coalition; not in Obama’s USA. Here’s my bet. The first to see sense on this will be whichever Republican administration takes over from Obama’s one-term presidency in 2012. From that point on – by which time we’ll have had two more exceptionally cold winters to concentrate our minds – British and European environmental policy will look increasingly foolish and irrelevant.

And so will Australian Labor or Greens environmental policy, along with any compromise carbon deals by the Liberals.

If the Tamil asylum seekers thought they were going to have an easier run in Canada than in Australia, they may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

A poll of 1500 Canadians reported in the Toronto Sun turned up this result:

Asked which statement best described their own opinion on what should be done with the ship, which may include members of the banned Tamil Tiger terrorist group, 60% agreed with the statement: “They should be turned away – the boat should be escorted back to Sri Lanka by the Canadian Navy.”

Just 17% agreed with the statement: “They should be accepted into Canada as political refugees.”

The boat won’t be turned around, though, no matter what most Canadians think:

Martin Collacott was Canada’s highest-ranking diplomat in Sri Lanka during the period when the civil war launched by the Tamil Tigers started in the early 1980s. Collacott says we can’t just turn the boat back.

“We need to follow the process that takes the ones that are legitimate refugees and return the others,” said Collacott.

How many are legitimate refugees is up for debate said Collacott, who noted that the ship, the MV Sun Sea, didn’t come directly from Sri Lanka, but from Thailand where the passengers were safe from any possible persecution from the Sri Lankan government.

If they were all safe from any possible persecution, on what basis can any of them be legitimate refugees?

All right, so I may be embarrassed tomorrow, but here goes.

In primary votes, the Liberals are way ahead. But with preference deals counted, most polls show them at 48% and Labor at 52%.

Tim Blair has all the bases covered, but suggests the most likely outcome is a three to eight seat victory for Labor.

If the polls are right, the overall swing may not be enough to give the Liberals a clear victory.

But the polls may not be right.

Julia has shot herself in the foot over the last couple days with her incessant bleating about how rotten Tony Abbott is, and how Work Choices would be back on Monday if the Liberals win. She looks tired, brittle, and untrustworthy.

I suspect the swing will be slightly stronger than the polls suggest.

But the overall swing is less important than the extent of movement in particular marginals.

Labor will lose seats in New South Wales and Queensland. They seem to be hoping to pick up two in South Australia. Julia is an Adelaide girl.

I doubt this will happen. The Rann government is not as popular as it was, and however Julia may try to distance herself from unpopular state governments, Labor is Labor.

The Greens will not win their seat in Melbourne.

The Liberals will win by two seats.

This may make effective government difficult. But Tony Abbott has shown over the last months that he can command loyalty and draw disparate party elements together. He will be a good Prime Minister.

In the Senate? The Greens will not get the vote they hope for. But the pixies in the garden parties may still hold the balance of power.

Incidentally, and in case you were wondering, I am not a member of the Liberal Party. The only political party I have ever belonged to was the Socialist Workers’ Party. That was at university.

My views have changed since then!

According to the ABC:

In the final hours of the 2010 election campaign, both parties have ramped up the negative rhetoric as they scramble to win over voters in what is tipped to be the closest election since 1961. …

Despite the colour and stunts of the last few days both leaders have turned to personal attacks to sway any undecided voters.

Reading that, you might be lead to believe that both leaders had turned to negativity and personal attacks.

Let’s see. The story reports Julia as unrepentant over her attacks on Mr Abbott, and saying:

“There’s a real risk Mr Abbott will become prime minister. And I think it is fair when Australians go and vote that they contemplate the risk of the return of WorkChoices.”

If you say so, Julia.

So what details does the ABC have to report on Mr Abbott’s personal attacks and negativity?

Well, someone ran past him in a pair of Speedos.

Right. What else?

He drank a shandy, whereas last night Julia drank a stout.

So obviously he’s not a real bloke at all. Thanks for that. Anything else?

Yes, he talked about policies.

Policies?

Yes, he talked about reducing taxes and spending, and better border control.

Did he? What a bastard. Did he mention Julia at all? Say anything nasty about her?

No. But he was still ramping up the rhetoric in a negative and personal way. By talking about policies.

So, no. No personal remarks or negative attacks from Mr Abbott.

This kind of nonsense is what passes for reporting on ‘your ABC.’

4. Impartiality
Principles: The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective journalism. Impartial, accurate and fair coverage of news and information equips audiences to make up their own minds.

I guess they’re planning on starting that after the election.

No, Julia Gillard being strident and negative is not news. What is news is that an ABC correspondent says she is.

Even Julia seems to be admitting that she is now running a wholly negative campaign. She has to, you know, because things are tough.

John Styles at Australian Conservative nails the Labor strategy:

  • Lies: simply assert something about your opponent’s policies, or costings, without any basis in fact
  • Fake polling: Release “secret internal polling” in an effort to drive the media agenda
  • “Friday dumps”: Untrue “news” stories dropped into marginal seats on the day before the poll
  • Endless negativity: Claim you’re being positive but all you do is attack your opponent
  • Scare campaigns: Make up things about your opponent and his policies
  • Personal attacks: Relentlessly repeat that your opponent is a “risk”

This may work with some of the people, some of the time (hmm.. that sounds familiar).

But my suspicion is that people have had enough, and this latest bout of ranting about how horrible Tony Abbott is, and he will bring back Work Choices, and reduce the number of doctors, and ruin the environment, and goodness knows what other dreadful things he is planning because you can’t trust a word he says, will backfire.

Julia really does look and sound strident and negative and desperate. Maybe she’s beginning to wonder if people have realised she is the one who can’t be trusted, who is too big a risk.

I noted a couple of posts ago that on present costing, the price of the National Broadband Netwreck would be about $6000 per Australian household.

Everyone will pay for that through increased taxes, whether they use it or not. And that’s assuming (ha, ha, ha) that costs do not increase.

According to some experts, the planned $43 billion may end up being $8o billion, which brings the cost up to about $12,000 per household.

But even this is not the total price. I had overlooked the cost – anywhere between $750 and $3000 – of getting access points installed in the home.

So the total cost of the NBN could be anywhere up to $15,000 per household. And that’s before any monthly fees.

This is madness. $15,000 for an internet connection? 

No wonder the Labor party doesn’t want a business plan prepared.

How many dams, power stations, hospitals could be built with that money?

Madness.

PS

Stephen Conroy dismissed a prediction that as few as 16% of homes in Tasmania would take advantage of the NBN.

The take-up rate in Tasmania is effectively zero. So far a total of 70 homes connected.

iiNet CEO Michael Malone:

“A total of 70 customers have been signed up in Tasmania under the three brands – so that’s not 70 each but a total of 70 between iiNet, Internode and Primus,” he said. “Demand from our point of view is zero.”

“We’re not getting people calling us up to sign up.  We’ve got the customers that we have on there by calling them.  We’re identifying customers that are on our footprint, looking at those who’ll be better off with NBN products, so where they are going to get a higher speed at the same or more quota for the same price… we haven’t had any cases of people calling us up saying ‘I need to move across now; what do I have to do?’ It’s actually been driven by us.”

A few people I have spoken to over the last couple of weeks, people who are otherwise intelligent as far as I can tell, have told me they intend to vote for the Greens in the Senate.

When asked why, they usually respond by saying they think the Greens will do a better job of protecting the environment.

So I ask if they can tell me about any specific Greens policies.

‘No. Well, they’re in favour of the environment.’

‘OK. How do their specific policies differ from those of the Labor or Liberal parties?’

No answer.

The Greens win votes by making sure people don’t know about their policies. There’s just a general fluffy, let’s be nice to green things and furry things feel about them.

But there is nothing green or pleasantly furry about the Greens.

Just consider two Greens policies, one which will impact on everyone, and one which will impact on a few in real need.

First, the Greens have made it clear that if Labor depends on them, even occasionally, to get legislation through the Senate, the price of their co-operation will be a carbon tax.

A Carbon tax will have no positive effect on the environment.

Human activity has had a miniscule impact on the level of CO2 in the atmosphere – from about 3 particles per 10,000 to about 4 particles per 10,000.  And that is assuming we are to blame for all of that small increase over the last 100 years. But we don’t know. It really is just an assumption. CO2 levels change all the time. They have been much higher in the past, and sometimes lower.

Higher is good. During the Carboniferous period, when most modern trees evolved, temperatures were about the same as they are now. CO2 levels were three times higher than now. At current levels, trees and other green things are Carbon deprived. For plants, surviving at current levels of CO2 is like our surviving on Oxygen depleted air. Less CO2 means less green, not more.

More CO2 means better crops, and more resilience in forests and wetlands.

So a carbon tax is bad for the environment. It is also bad for industry, because it is a tax on energy, which means it is a tax on transport, manufacture, travel, power generation, etc, etc, etc.

Everything will be more expensive, for no point whatever.

This is what voting for the Greens means.

A second Greens policy is the closure of the Lucas Heights reactor.

I have mentioned this to a few people, and the response is always something like: ‘Well that’s OK. Good. We don’t need any nuclear reactors in Australia anyway.’ 

Actually we do. They are a cheap, clean, sustainable form of energy production that will reduce our dependence on coal and imported fuels. But that is not the immediate point.

The Lucas Heights reactor produces the isotopes required for nuclear medicine. Radiotherapy. Diagnosing and treating cancer.

1.5 million doses of nuclear medicine (radiotherapy) are administered in Australia every year.

If the Greens have their way on this, cancer patients in Australia will die because a basic modern form of treatment will not be available to them.

Know what you are voting for.

This is honestly one of the funniest things I have ever seen:

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