For last four months allegations have been made that Federal Labor MP and former Federal Secretary of the Health Services Union Craig Thomson had used his union credit card to make make unauthorised cash advances, and to pay for prostitutes.
He has denied those allegations, claiming the cash withdrawals were made by someone else, or if made by him, were appropriate and properly accounted for, and that the signatures appearing to be his on credit card vouchers for ‘escort services’ are forgeries.
Forensic handwriting expert Paul Westwood has examined the vouchers and says there is no evidence of this, and that he ‘would be very surprised if the signature was a forgery.’
The signatures on the license and credit card slip look identical to me:
Radio station 2Ue’s Michael Smith points out that in either case, a crime has been committed, and the police need to be called:
One – Mr Thomson did it.
Two – Someone knocked off his card, then knocked off his licence, then forged his signature. They also knocked off his phone, and used his phone from the area where he lives up the Pacific Highway, then used the phone coming down the highway to Sydney and used that phone to call the same escort agency where the knocked off credit card, forged signature and knocked off licence were presented. Then his card, his licence and his phone were returned to him without him even noticing they were missing.
Then when that $2,745 bill came in as a result of scenario two he just authorised it for payment. Didn’t ask what it was about. Didn’t investigate. It’s just $2,475 anyway.
The NSW Police must be involved in this investigation in either case. In either scenario one or two it is a clear case of fraud.
And the victims here are the poor buggers who go to work every day cleaning hospitals. It’s their union dues. And Craig Thomson was the man who signed off on the way the money was spent.
I just rang the number that appears on Craig Thomson’s mobile phone records on the night that the $2,475 was paid to Keywed Pty Ltd, trading as Sydney Room Service escort agency.
The phone was answered “Sydney Room Service.”
I said “I’m Michael Smith, I’m from 2UE and we’re doing a story on the use of credit cards for escort services. Can you tell if your clients need to show any further ID if they pay for your services with a credit card?”
The lady who didn’t want her name used said, “Yeah, if you pay with a credit card you must produce photographic ID. That’s a standard practice throughout the industry.”
I said, “Are your staff instructed to check the photographic ID against the face of the person in front of them, the person who signs the credit card voucher?”
She said, “Yes, absolutely. They know that if that’s not done they don’t get paid. It happens 100% of the time.”
The Labor Party has so far paid some $40,000 defending Mr Thomson from these allegations. If he has to resign, this will force a by-election, which Labor will lose. If Labor loses one seat, they lose government.
I’m also a bit curious – what on earth would you get for $2475 at Keywed Restaurant aka Sydney Outcalls Network?
Or in this case, don’t say anything about who Muhammed really was and the things he did.
The radio presenter Michael Smith is being investigated by the media watchdog over his assertion that the prophet Muhammad ”married a nine-year-old and consummated it when she was 11”.
Actually Michael was wrong. Muhammed married a six year old and had sex with her when she was nine. He was fifty-three at the time.
“So you see, she was playing with her fellow playmates even though her day of consummation was that very same day—and all that they did was to fix her up for the prophet so he could have sex with her.
Now what do we see when the prophet married Aisha? Did he go to her and say “Okay that’s it, you’re married, you’re now a grown up, you’re supposed to be mature, you need to do this and that; you need to forget about your toys and your little friends; you are now a wife of a man, you have to see to my needs” and that’s it?
No. The prophet allowed her to continue playing with her toy dolls—indeed, the prophet even sometimes gave her such things to play with. [This hadith has more details, including how Aisha’s little girl friends would “hide themselves” whenever the prophet came to her until he called them out.]”
It should be noted that the cleric recounted the above with much awe and amazement—as if to say, “Look how indulgent and open-minded our prophet was!”
For Mulsims, Muhammed is ‘a perfect example of conduct’ not just in his own time, but for all time. Nothing he did can be considered wrong, anywhere, or in any time or culture.
One result of this, as Ibrahim points out, is that Sharia can never condemn the ‘marriage’ of young girls to older men:
Earlier this month we saw—or rather, were once again reminded—that Islam permits pedophilia in the guise of “marriage”: Top Saudi cleric, Dr. Salih bin Fawzan, issued a fatwa asserting that there is no minimum age for girls to marry, “even if they are in the cradle,” and that the only criterion is that “they are capable of being placed beneath and bearing the weight of the men.”
Kathy Shaidle suggests the key difference between Jesus and Muhammed was that Jesus raised a little girl from the dead, while Muhammed had sex with one.
I can think of a few more.
Jesus went to his death praying for those who tortured and killed him. Muhammed instructed his followers to ‘kill any Jew who falls into your power,’ attacked and murdered caravan drivers from Mecca because their city had rejected his message, and ordered the murder of an entire Jewish village. Consequently, Sharia declares that anyone who insults the prophet should be executed.
Jesus had genuine and respectful friendships with women. He listened to them and protected them from violence. Muhammed taught that women were unclean – on the same level as dogs – and took and raped whom he wished of women captured in his raids.
No doubt hearing this will be insulting to some Muslims. But if you don’t want comparisons made between Jesus and Muhammed, don’t ask people to make them.
Asking people to make that comparison is exactly what the ‘Jesus, a prophet of Islam’ billboards in Sydney do.
Anglican Bishop Rob Forsyth has no objection to Muslims buying billboard space to say whatever they like, but notes that billboards advertising Christianity would not be allowed in Saudi Arabia, or any Muslim country.
I dont object either. But Muslim leaders should be prepared for the fact that if they take advantage of freedom of speech in democratic societies to say what they like, they may hear what they don’t.
Facts have defeated the climate alarmist juggernaut. It still lumbers on like a gigantic zombie looking for brains to devour. Poor thing. It does most of its lumbering in universities and Labor Party gatherings, where brains are in short supply.
This is part of a speech to be given by Perth geologist David Archibald at the no carbon tax rally in Canberra today:
My first duty to you today is tell you what is happening to the climate. What is happening is cooling. The oceans started cooling in 2003, and the atmosphere is following. There has been no warming since 1998.
In fact, the temperature of planet today is almost the same as it was when satellites first started measuring it in 1979. No one under the age of 32 has experienced global warming. Some of us predate that and remember the heavy frosts of the nineteen seventies. Those frosts are returning, and worse. Solar activity is weakening, and will remain weak for another 22 years.
We in this blessed country will be spared the worst of it, but a large portion of the grain belt in the northern hemisphere will have crop failures due to longer winters and early frosts. Canada will go from being a large exporter of grain to becoming a frequent importer. As long as Australia remains a net food exporter, we will benefit from the shorter Northern Hemisphere growing season.
For us, climate is a non-problem. Carbon dioxide’s heating effect is real, but minuscule. The one hundred parts per million that we have added to the atmosphere in the last one hundred years has heated the planet by one tenth of a degree. We will add another hundred parts per million over the next fifty years. The total of two tenths of a degree will be very welcome by mid-century.
In fact, the more carbon dioxide we add to the atmosphere, the better. During the ice ages of the last three million years, the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere got as low as one hundred and seventy-two parts per million. Plant growth shuts down at one hundred and fifty parts per million. Life above sea level was almost snuffed out due to a lack of carbon dioxide. We were only twenty-two parts per million from extinction …
Click here to download David Archibald’s Speech in MS Word format.
Stop Islamisation of Europe has issued the following advisory to the government of Turkey:
The organizations “Stop Islamisation of Europe” and “Stop the Islamization of Georgia,” report that they are going to hold a rally of humanitarian assistance in support of ethnic minorities living in Turkey.
Both organisations note the Turkish government permits flotillas sailing to Israel to embark from ports in Turkey with no interference., In this regard, we ask the Turkish government not to interfere in the promotion of the convoy.
SIOE pre-states that among the passengers and volunteers will be well-known personalities: journalists and members of legislative bodies of both Georgia and other European countries.
The column of cars and trucks is for peaceful purposes and called “Rights and Freedom.”
We are purely a humanitarian and an information group acting to expose to the world the status of national minorities living in Turkey and to provide assistance to such minorities.
The date for moving “Rights and Freedom” convoys will be stated later.
Cool! Can’t wait to see how Turkey responds.
Those dastardly right-wing Christians are at it again.
This time they are claiming that we serve the poor best by being financially responsibile:
… we do not need to “protect programs for the poor.” We need to protect the poor themselves. Indeed, sometimes we need to protect them from the very programs that ostensibly serve the poor, but actually demean the poor, undermine their family structures and trap them in poverty, dependency and despair for generations. Such programs are unwise, uncompassionate, and unjust.
The group calls itself Christians for a Sustainable Economy. Here is a bit more of their letter to President Obama:
All Americans – especially the poor – are best served by sustainable economic policies for a free and flourishing society. When creativity and entrepreneurship are rewarded, the yield is an increase of productivity and generosity.
Compassion and charity for “the least of these” is an essential expression of our faith, flowing from a heart inclined towards God. And just as the love of God frees us for a more abundant life, so our charity must go beyond mere material provision to meet the deeper needs of the poor. To suggest that Matthew 25 – or any commandment concerning Christian charity – can be met through wealth redistribution is to obscure these truths. We encourage you to consider the whole counsel of scripture, which urges not only compassion and provision for the poor but also the perils of debt and the importance of wise stewardship.
Wow! Language warning. Courage warning. Un-PC warning.
And on reaping what we sow, by the fierce Theodore Dalrymple:
The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class), even though each member of it has received an education costing $80,000, toward which neither he nor—quite likely—any member of his family has made much of a contribution; indeed, he may well have lived his entire life at others’ expense, such that every mouthful of food he has ever eaten, every shirt he has ever worn, every television he has ever watched, has been provided by others. Even if he were to recognize this, he would not be grateful, for dependency does not promote gratitude. On the contrary, he would simply feel that the subventions were not sufficient to allow him to live as he would have liked.
The ever interesting Katharine Birbalsingh says the riots in England are about race, and nothing will be resolved until authorities are willing to face this fact:
Some of the black kids I used to teach will tell you that the riots are absolutely justified. A number of adults would agree with them. Everywhere I read that the protest was understandable because “people are very angry”. …
At school I remember watching a presentation given to the kids by Trident, the Metropolitan Police Service unit set up to investigate and inform communities of gun crime in London’s black community. I didn’t know what Trident was then, and it struck me that all of the photos of people shot (the idea was to scare the kids) were black. So at the end, I approached one of the policemen and asked him what percentage of those involved in gun crime were black. I kid you not, but my question made this thirty-something white man who was, after all, trained to deal with the black community and its issues, turn pink.
He explained that about 80 per cent of gun crime took place in the black community. I smiled uncomfortably. But no, he said, it was worse than that. Then he told me that 80 per cent was black on black gun crime, and that of the remaining 20 per cent about 75 per cent involved at least one black person: black shooting white, or white shooting black. I pushed to know more. While he kept saying his stats were crude and he didn’t have scientific numbers, on the whole the whites who were involved in these shootings tended to be from Eastern Europe.
Was any of this ever mentioned in their presentation? Of course not. Just like the news about the Tottenham riots doesn’t mention race either.
Problems cannot be addressed unless people are willing to tell the truth. As with so many other things in this country, we stick our heads in the sand and refuse to speak out about it.
The death of petty criminal and gangster Mark Duggan in a shootout with police was not part of a ‘context of oppression’ that explains why young black people are so angry. Nor is planned reduction in social welfare services. These are simply handy excuses to destroy property and steal.
Brendan O’Neill writes in The Australian that the riots are nothing like a political rebellion. They are an expression of the toddler-like rage of a molly-coddled mob.
One of the most disappointing things about these conflicts is the police warning against ‘vigilante justice.’ You have got to be joking.
Vigilantism is when something bad has been done and people try to catch the wrongdoers and punish them without due process under law. Sikhs, Kurds and others who have had the courage to stand and defend their properties and families are not vigilantes. They are trying to prevent crime. They are doing the job the police should be doing.
I don’t mean to be critical of individual police officers. Most of them are people of courage and integrity who really do want to make a difference in their communities. Most of them do not accept the ‘we police with the consent of the communities we serve’ platitudes. They police because they are sworn to uphold and enforce the law, regardless of locality, race or creed.
They are hampered (perhaps betrayed would be a better word) by a politically driven management class of senior officers, many of whom have very little enforcement and operational experience. Christine Nixon, recent and unlamented Commissioner of Police in Victoria, is a perfect example.
The riots in England, and the attempts to excuse them by reference to the down-trodden lives of the rioters and the uncaring attitude of government, remind me of the Palm Island riots in Australia in 2004.
‘Respected local man’ and petty criminal Cameron Doomadgee died in police custody. The circumstances are still unclear. The habitually drunk and violent Doomadgee allegedly attacked the police, who defended themselves and responded with sufficient force to subdue him, including punches to the abdomen. He suffered internal injuries which were not noticed, and died a few hours later.
This was the pretext for riots on the island in which the courthouse, police station and police barracks were burned down. Local police (eighteen police for a population of 2000) and their families were threatened. Fearing for their lives, they barricaded themselves in the small hospital until another eighty police arrived from the mainland.
There seemed to be an infinite supply of social workers and government officials ready to describe the islanders as ‘justly outraged’ and expressing the anger of accumulated years of mistreatment. Police involved were demonised in the press, and the usual intellectuals offered the usual claims about institutionalised racism.
I have worked with police in remote locations with high aboriginal populations. Overwhelmingly they are men and women who care for their communities enough to put themselves in danger when things go wrong. Those who work in remote communities can find themselves alone in threatening circumstances, under great pressure and with little time to make decisions about appropriate words or actions.
The 1999 Guiness Book of World records said that, apart from war zones, Palm Island was the most violent place in the world to live. Criminologist Paul Wilson has confirmed the island has one of the highest rates of violent crime in the world. The homicide rate is 94 per 100,000 people per year, compared with 6 per 100,000 per year for the rest of Australia. Serious assaults are 930 per 100,000, compared with 46 per 100,000 per year for the rest of Australia. Almost every female between the ages of 13 and 16 has at least one sexually transmitted infection. Wilson claimed this horrifyingly destructive behaviour was the fault of repression and colonial mismanagement.
No it is not. Do we really have so little regard for the young people of Tottenham and the aboriginal people of Palm Island that we have no expectation of any ability to control themselves, to take reponsibility for their actions? Do we have so so little respect for them that they don’t even have to make up their own excuses any more, because there is an army of Mrs Jellybys with baskets full of excuses suitable for any occasion?
Even in the poorest parts of London there are still parents who are responsible, honest, work hard, and teach their children to do the same, and to respect other people and their belongings:
In his coffee shop in Stoke Newington, Karagoz tried to explain another feature of these riots – why Turkish and Kurdish youths had generally not joined the looting.
“We have businesses and work hard for what we have. As parents we want our children to work, earn money and be able to buy what they want, not steal it. Our young people know we would be ashamed of them if they were doing this.”
Thanks Karagoz. And all the parents like him.
It has been a month since my last post – my apologies.
I have had some minor health and family issues to sort out. Then there is the retail downturn, and downturn in the number of travellers to the island. I have had to work longer hours, taking on tasks I would not normally accept so the bills can be paid. All that has meant a lack of mental and emotional energy for blogging.
But enough with the excuses!
First up, Sarah. It still amazes me that some people keep buying the liberal media theory that she is a stupid small town mayor who has inflated ideas of her own abilities.
She has vastly more business and administrative experience than Obama.
Her latest Facebook post is the best thing I have read so far on the US credit rating downgrade, the reasons for it and what can be done to restore confidence.
I’m surprised that so many people seem surprised by S&P’s decision. Weren’t people paying attention over the last year or so when we were getting warning after warning from various credit rating agencies that this was coming? I’ve been writing and speaking about it myself for quite some time.
Back in December 2010, I wrote: “If the European debt crisis teaches us anything, it’s that tomorrow always comes. Sooner or later, the markets will expect us to settle the bill for the enormous Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending binge. We’ve already been warned by the credit ratings agency Moody’s that unless we get serious about reducing our deficit, we may face a downgrade of our credit rating.” And again in January, in response to President Obama’s State of the Union address I wrote: “With credit ratings agency Moody’s warning us that the federal government must reverse the rapid growth of national debt or face losing our triple-A rating, keep in mind that a nation doesn’t look so ‘great’ when its credit rating is in tatters.”
Many commonsense Americans like myself saw this day coming. In fact, in June 2010, Rick Santelli articulated the view of independent Tea Party patriots everywhere when he shouted on CNBC, “I want the government to stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending! STOP SPENDING!” So, how shamelessly cynical and dishonest must one be to blame this inevitable downgrade on the very people who have been shouting all along “stop spending”? Blaming the Tea Party for our credit downgrade is akin to Nero blaming the Christians for burning Rome. Tea Party Americans weren’t the ones “fiddling” while our country’s fiscal house was going up in smoke. In fact, we commonsense fiscal conservatives were the ones grabbing for the extinguishers while politically correct politicians and their cronies buried their heads in what soon became this bonfire.
Be wary of the efforts President Obama makes to “fix” the debt problem. The more he tries to “fix” things, the worse they get because his “solutions” always involve spending more, taxing more, growing government, and increasing debt. This debt problem is the greatest challenge facing our country today. Obviously, President Obama doesn’t have a plan or even a notion of how to deal with it. His press conference today was just a rehash of his old talking points and finger-pointing. That’s why he can’t be re-elected in 2012.
Our economic news is disheartening and the task before us can seem daunting, but we must not lose our sense of optimism. People look around today and may see only the negative. They see a culture and a nation in decline, but that’s not who we are! America must regain its optimistic pioneering spirit again. Our founders declared that “we were born the heirs of freedom.” We are the heirs of those who froze with Washington at Valley Forge, who held the line at Gettysburg, who freed the slaves, carved a nation out of the wilderness, and allowed reward for work ethic. We are the sons and daughters of that Greatest Generation who stormed the beaches of Normandy, raised the flag at Iwo Jima, and made America the strongest and most prosperous nation in the history of mankind. By God, we will not squander what has been given us!
She makes some key, commonsense points about what needs to be done:
- Stop Spending
- Cut taxes and red tape
- Make energy cheaper
Given the demonisation of the Catholic Church’s position on the use of condoms, you might be excused for thinking that the science was settled: promotion of condom use is the most effective method of reducing HIV infection.
In fact, as the UN’s own study showed, condom promotion has never been effective in preventing AIDS. See Broken Promises: How the AIDS Establishment has Betrayed the Developing World.
Yet infection rates in Zimbabwe halved from 1997 to 2007.
You would think that this remarkable success would have been shouted from the rooftops, and proven ineffective condom promotion dropped in favour of something that really works.
But remember we live in a world where ideology is more important than fact, and seeming to do good is more important than actually doing it.
So what is Zimbabwe’s secret? Well, no secret at all, really. Just what the Church has said from the beginning. Change your behaviour. Abstain from sex or be faithful to one partner.
Just don’t look for this to become UN policy in a hurry. A UN report published at the beginning of June called for comprehensive state sponsored sex education, including use of condoms, for children from age ten, as a method of reducing AIDS infection rates.
If adopted, that policy will achieve just the opposite.
The opinions of politicians, singers and film stars on the state of the climate and what should be done about it, are eagerly sought by the populist press. As a partial consequence of this, the populist press is becoming less and less popular.
On the other hand, the ABC and other leftist media organisations are quick to dismiss climate realists who do not have science qualifications. According to them, if you are a climate alarmism sceptic, you only have the right to express your views if you have an advanced degree in a relevant field of science. And even then you don’t because your scepticism marks you out as ‘not a real scientist’ or ‘in the pay of the oil companies.’
Point out that science is not decided by consensus but by evidence, that every citizen has the right to discuss matters of public policy, and that in any case, there is no consensus amongst climate scientists that the world is warming in an unusual or alarming way, and you will be greeted by the equivalent of fingers poked in ears, looking away and shouting ‘I can’t hear you.’
If that doesn’t work, they will try to stop you speaking at all, suggest you be imprisoned or tattooed so everyone can see you coming and avoid you, or even suggest you should be gassed or your children blown up if you persist in your dangerous derangement.
This is derangement in the same sense that anyone in Germany who disagreed with Nazism, or in Soviet Russia with Stalin, was thought by the state to be deranged, and dealt with accordingly.
Just don’t say you think their proposals sound like fascism, because then you really will be in trouble. Greenies apparently believe it is OK to act like a fascist. But that it is not OK, in fact grossly unfair and horrible and like, really mean, man, for anyone to point out that they are doing so.
But facts are stubborn things. And scientists with integrity can be stubborn as well.
One such scientist is Dr William Happer, Professor of Physics at Princeton University.
He has written a longish article called The Truth About Greenhouse Gasses, in the current edition of First Things magazine.
Here are a couple of paragraphs:
I want to discuss a contemporary moral epidemic: the notion that increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide, will have disastrous consequences for mankind and for the planet. The “climate crusade” is one characterized by true believers, opportunists, cynics, money-hungry governments, manipulators of various types—even children’s crusades—all based on contested science and dubious claims.
I am a strong supporter of a clean environment. We need to be vigilant to keep our land, air, and waters free of real pollution, particulates, heavy metals, and pathogens, but carbon dioxide (CO2 ) is not one of these pollutants. Carbon is the stuff of life. Our bodies are made of carbon. A normal human exhales around 1 kg of CO2 (the simplest chemically stable molecule of carbon in the earth’s atmosphere) per day. Before the industrial period, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 270 ppm. At the present time, the concentration is about 390 ppm, 0.039 percent of all atmospheric molecules and less than 1 percent of that in our breath. About fifty million years ago, a brief moment in the long history of life on earth, geological evidence indicates, CO2 levels were several thousand ppm, much higher than now. And life flourished abundantly. …
We conclude that atmospheric CO2 levels should be above 150 ppm to avoid harming green plants and below about 5000 ppm to avoid harming people. That is a very wide range, and our atmosphere is much closer to the lower end than to the upper end. The current rate of burning fossil fuels adds about 2 ppm per year to the atmosphere, so that getting from the current level to 1000 ppm would take about 300 years—and 1000 ppm is still less than what most plants would prefer, and much less than either the nasa or the Navy limit for human beings.
Yet there are strident calls for immediately stopping further increases in CO2 levels and reducing the current level. As we have discussed, animals would not even notice a doubling of CO2 and plants would love it. The supposed reason for limiting it is to stop global warming—or, since the predicted warming has failed to be nearly as large as computer models forecast, to stop climate change. Climate change itself has been embarrassingly uneventful, so another rationale for reducing CO2 is now promoted: to stop the hypothetical increase of extreme climate events like hurricanes or tornados. But this does not necessarily follow. The frequency of extreme events has either not changed or has decreased in the 150 years that CO2 levels have increased from 270 to 390 ppm. …
Let me summarize how the key issues appear to me, a working scientist with a better background than most in the physics of climate. CO2 really is a greenhouse gas and other things being equal, adding the gas to the atmosphere by burning coal, oil, and natural gas will modestly increase the surface temperature of the earth. Other things being equal, doubling the CO2 concentration, from our current 390 ppm to 780 ppm will directly cause about 1 degree Celsius in warming. At the current rate of CO2 increase in the atmosphere—about 2 ppm per year—it would take about 195 years to achieve this doubling. The combination of a slightly warmer earth and more CO2 will greatly increase the production of food, wood, fiber, and other products by green plants, so the increase will be good for the planet, and will easily outweigh any negative effects. Supposed calamities like the accelerated rise of sea level, ocean acidification, more extreme climate, tropical diseases near the poles, and so on are greatly exaggerated.
A couple of excerpts from Matt Ridley, writing in The Australian:
No matter how many scares are proved wrong, the next set of dispatches of doom are treated with the same reverential respect.
Remember what the media said about the Y2K computer bug? “This is not a prediction, it is a certainty: there will be serious disruption in the world’s financial services industry . . . It’s going to be ugly” (The Sunday Times); “10 per cent of the nation’s top executives are stockpiling canned goods, buying generators and even purchasing handguns” (New York Times); “Army Fears Civil Chaos From Millennium Bug: Armed Forces Gearing Up To Deal With Civil Chaos” (Canada’s Globe and Mail). In the event nothing happened, but the media were soon saying the same thing about the next scare.
There’s a broad constituency for pessimism. No pressure group ever got donations by telling its donors calamity was unlikely; no reporter ever got his editor’s attention by saying that a scare was overblown; and no politician ever got on television by downplaying doom. …
Governments all round the world are interfering with markets to try to bring about this environmental revolution. One of the policies they have adopted has taken 5 per cent of the world’s grain crop and turned it into biofuel to power motor vehicles. This has driven up food prices, increased malnutrition and encouraged the destruction of rain forest, while enriching farmers.
Yet, given that the planting and harvesting of biofuels use about as much oil as the fuels they displace, it has had precisely zero effect on carbon emissions. Nonetheless, it is considered a green, progressive policy.
Another policy is to bribe rich landowners to festoon the most picturesque landscapes with concrete pads on which are placed gargantuan steel towers topped with wind turbines containing two-tonne magnets made of an alloy of neodymium, a rare earth metal mined in inner Mongolia by a process of boiling in acid that produces poisoned lakes filled with mildly radioactive and toxic tailings.
The cost of this policy is borne by ordinary electricity users and their would-be employers. So far, the wind industry’s contribution to cutting carbon emissions is precisely zero, because it provides less than 0.5 per cent of world energy use and even that has to be offset by keeping fossil fuel plants running for when the wind does not blow.
Oh, and wind turbines have killed so many white-tailed eagles in Norway, wedge-tailed eagles in Tasmania and golden eagles in California that local populations of the species are in increased danger of extinction. And this is a green, “clean”, progressive policy?
Writing in the American Thinker a year ago, Andrew Walden made similar points about the astonishing waste associated with government subsidies to wind farms – they are vastly expensive to build and maintain, they kill wildlife, they save no carbon emissions or fuel.
The same applies to large scale solar power installations.
But still Western governments are intent on spending our money on these utterly uneconomic, wasteful, and non-renewable ‘renewable’ energy plans.
We continue to face a major economic crisis, exacerbated by idiotic ‘stimulus’ spending which sucked up money from sectors which produce and employ.
At the same time, the Australian Federal government is determined to introduce a carbon tax which, even if the worst climate alarmist theories are true, will make no difference to the world’s climate.
What it will do as a certainty, is increase the cost of transport and energy, the cost of living for every person in Australia, and reduce our productivity and the competitiveness of the agricultural and mining exports on which our economy depends.
Somebody is making money out of these scares. But it isn’t me. Or any other ordinary Australian.
‘Sunburnt’ was the headline on the front page of Saturday’s Adelaide Advertiser.
In the accompanying article, The Advertiser revealed the shocking news that the costs of government subsidies to people who installed solar panels, both the installation subsidies and the feedback tariff subsidies, would have to be paid by other electricity users, and that this could add $120 per year to the average power bill.
The article notes the justifiable concerns expressed by some welfare groups:
Welfare groups say the scheme, which rewards householders with 44c a kilowatt hour for electricity they feed back into the grid, effectively results in low-income families subsidising bills of the rich.
“We’re not opposed to a solar feed-in tariff. But those people who are missing out are lower-income households, who simply can’t afford to pay for solar panels, even with a subsidy, yet they are having to pay for everybody else’s solar panels,” UnitingCare Wesley spokesman Mark Henley said.
I don’t know why people find this so hard to comprehend. When the government pays subsidies, whether to ‘renewable’ energy companies, child care centres, or metropolitan bus travellers, it is you, the ordinary tax payer, who pays those subsidies.
This is not shocking. It is obvious. The time to think about it, and to make it a headline story, is before the subsidies are implemented.
Writing in American Thinker, Robert Simmons, Jr says Sarah Palin should run for president, and can win if she does.
His argument is that she is a genuine social conservative/economic libertarian – just what is needed to counteract the interventionist bumbling of the Obama administration, that she is honest, intelligent and has strong administrative experience, and that even after the unprecentedly vicious and dishonest attacks on her and her family by the legacy media, she is still probably the USA’s most visible and popular politician.
It is unlikely the other potential Republican candidates, Romney, Pawlenty, Hunstman, for example, could garner such widespread popular appeal. In addition the media have so far given them an easy run. If one of them won the nomination, that would change, and the full fury of the liberal establishment would turn upon them in the months before the election.
But they have already run out of ammunition on Sarah Palin. She has been subjected to that same fury for the last three years and is still looking like a winner.
Although The Age is a left leaning paper, I was a regular reader up until a few years ago.
I am not sure what changed, but it seemed to me that The Age was no longer content with giving people the news and then saying ‘This is what we think about it.’
Instead ‘what we think about it’ was presented as the news. Alternative opinions, even on the letters page, were not welcomed or considered.
So I stopped buying it. As did other people. Circulation declined notably more rapidly than other metropolitan dailies.
But in the last week, two columns have appeared which offer opinions different from The Age’s customary editorial line.
The first was Paul Sheehan’s article on the SBS crockumentary Go Back to Where You Came From.
In this column Sheehan points out that the SBS uses its customary cut and paste tricks to mislead viewers – see Immigration Nation for several spectacular examples – and notes that real empathy for refugees would lead to policies quite different from those of our present government.
The second was an article by Professor Bob Carter on the fallacies and dangers of climate change alarmism.
Here are some of the facts Bob thinks Australians should be aware of:
Fact 1. A mild warming of about 0.5 degrees Celsius (well within previous natural temperature variations) occurred between 1979 and 1998, and has been followed by slight global cooling over the past 10 years. Ergo, dangerous global warming is not occurring.
Fact 2. Between 2001 and 2010 global average temperature decreased by 0.05 degrees, over the same time that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased by 5 per cent. Ergo, carbon dioxide emissions are not driving dangerous warming.
Fact 3. Atmospheric carbon dioxide is beneficial. In increasing quantity it causes mild though diminishing warming (useful at a time of a quiet sun and likely near-future planetary cooling) and acts as a valuable plant fertiliser. Extra carbon dioxide helps to shrink the Sahara Desert, green the planet and feed the world. Ergo, carbon dioxide is neither a pollutant nor dangerous, but an environmental benefit.
Fact 4. Closing down the whole Australian industrial economy might result in the prevention of about 0.02 degrees of warming. Reducing emissions by 5 per cent by 2020 (the government’s target) will avert an even smaller warming of about 0.002 degrees. Ergo, cutting Australian emissions will make no measurable difference to global climate.
Fact 5. For an assumed tax rate of $25 a tonne of carbon dioxide, the costs passed down to an average family of four will exceed $2000 a year.
So the cost-benefit equation is this: ”Your family pays more than $2000 a year in extra tax in return for a possible cooling of the globe by two one-thousandths of a degree.” Remember, too, that Garnaut’s recommendation is that the tax rate should be increased at 4 per cent a year, which would result in a cost doubling in less than 20 years.
I think the $2000 estimate of costs to the avergae family is too low, and does not take sufficiently into account the flow on from increased energy and transportation prices.
Nonetheless, I suspect that this will be the first time Age readers have been exposed to opnions/facts from an actual scientist questioning the media consensus.
There is a poll at the end of that article which asks readers ‘Do you think tackling climate change should be a priority for Australia?’
At the time of writing the results were: 74% No, 26% Yes.
When that sort of result appears in a poll in The Age, then maybe the tide of public opinion and commonsense is finally pulling the Titanic of the Australian print media back on course.
I am sorry about the slow posting over the last couple of weeks.
The effects of a general downturn in retail sales has been augmented for me by a wet, cold (and therefore unusually slow) season on KI. On top of that, a new guy has set up shop across the road from me offering exactly the same computer services as us. Consequently I am spending more time making less money, which means less time for other things – like this blog.
In addition I have been trying to finish a couple of other writing projects, and am still looking for a publisher or agent for Jennifer Jones and the Corridors of Time.
Nonetheless, I will try to do better!
Incidentally, I passed the 1,000 post mark a few weeks ago.
No big deal, I know, compared with Andrew Bolt or Tim Blair. But hey, I work for a living!