From The Punch:
When I was in my first year of university I consented to attending some forum where politicians talk to young people about politics and spirituality. This was achieved through a combination of hassling by my parents, and an idea that I may be able to pick up some attractive young female leader type impressed with my attendance at such a deep thinking event.
Having entered the room and scanned through the earnest polar fleeced mini-lawyers, I quickly realised this was an asexual event more concerned with signing up for the Liberal or the Labor Right, and as such, planned to quietly head back down to the bar where the demarcation between male and female was more obvious and less sober. Unfortunately I was spotted by a friendly tutor who was happy one of his students had turned up, so I stuck around and we were introduced to that week’s guest speaker: Tony Abbott MP.
I can’t remember much of what was said, except for the fact that afterwards at dinner Tony and I got into an argument about the prospect of an Australian republic.
It was only a year since the failed referendum of 1999 and it was still something students would bother talking about. Abbott was impressive as much for the fact that he wasn’t condescending when arguing with a student - he just let you have it like he would anyone else.
Abbott’s arguments for maintaining a monarchy in Australia haven’t changed over the years. They are best summed up as “if ain’t broke don’t’ fix it.” At one point Abbott said to me: “I’m a Manly fan, becoming a republic makes as much sense as switching the team I go for.”
Besides wanting to point out that Manly are team for tossers, it struck me that Abbott’s argument for not becoming a republic also summed up this man’s brand of conservatism. I disappeared into the night, smug in the assessment that my support for a republic was evidence of a more open mind.
But ten years on I am really having doubts about my desire for a republic, and if yesterday’s Fairfax poll is anything to go by, so are most people.
Full article here.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
The UK Telegraph’s Christopher Booker on the greatest green scam of them all:
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent do-gooder dogmas
On vacation in Massachusetts, I reel from frequent arguments from lefties. (I vacation right between a home owned by the late Howard Zinn and one owned by Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSR Wire). I also rage at the NYTimes, which I unfortunately now have time to read.It is then such a relief to stumble across a rare bright spot on the Op Ed page, like this one by Stephen Budiansky. What a joy too when the latest group of silly people, the locavores, have their myths punctured in their own "paper of record.""[T]he local food movement now threatens to devolve into another one of those self-indulgent — and self-defeating — do-gooder dogmas. Arbitrary rules, without any real scientific basis, are repeated as gospel by “locavores,” celebrity chefs and mainstream environmental organizations... [I]t is sinful in New York City to buy a tomato grown in a California field because of the energy spent to truck it across the country; it is virtuous to buy one grown in a lavishly heated greenhouse in, say, the Hudson Valley...One popular and oft-repeated statistic is that it takes 36 (sometimes it’s 97) calories of fossil fuel energy to bring one calorie of iceberg lettuce from California to the East Coast.... It is also an almost complete misrepresentation of reality... Shipping a head of lettuce across the country actually adds next to nothing to the total energy bill.Eating locally grown produce is a fine thing in many ways. But it is not an end in itself, nor is it a virtue in itself. The relative pittance of our energy budget that we spend on modern farming is one of the wisest energy investments we can make..."Source
Via the Food & Health Skeptic
Friday, August 27, 2010
An immediate and complete correction to a Guy Rundle item in Crikey helps avoid expensive legal processes:
Crikey‘s previous editor wasn’t so alert. The correction is appreciated.
I'll reproduce the last paragraph of the media article, as pointed to by the Food & Health Skeptic, who comments himself "Just the antioxidant religion again."
No doubt this will not worry the true believers, but the fact remains that there is no evidence to actually support the absurdly inflated claims about the benefits of so-called antioxidants, despite them first being mooted over 50 years ago.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Germaine Greer, (who, you ask? Um, oh, never mind), is simply the latest in a long line of quite smart people who not only never bothered to try and get to grips with the real Tony Abbott and what he believed in and stood for, but actually wilfully preferred the fantasy one of their own imaginations' creation.
Even as the Coalition's desperately dire position under Malcolm Turnbull, (who had made the Coalition a bigger laughing stock than it was under Brendan Nelson), immediately began to improve under the leadership of Mr Abbott, the "smart" opinions did everything possible to find another reason for this because, well, as they believed so emphatically, he was after all unelectable. Everybody down at the new and oh so trendy cafe said so.
So even on Saturday night we saw the woman on Channel 9's panel who was Julia Gillard's biographer assert that taking 13 to 14 seats off of a first term government, and coming within a hare's breath of winning a majority, was somehow a bad result for Mr Abbott.
You could see what was going on; the cognitive dissonance so clearly on display - but everybody at the cafe, (you know, that really cool new one that's just opened up in a converted inner-city brothel, with the girls' "working" clothes on the walls - so daringly transgressive!), said that far-right "christianist" madman could never be elected. Anyway, we all read that he was quite mad in The Age or The Sydney Morning Herald, so it must be true.
I'm forever amazed at the capacity of otherwise clever people to use their intelligence to delude themselves.
From Andrew Bolt:
TONY Abbott is “unelectable”. He will “reduce the party to a reactionary rump”. “No one thinks Abbott can win in 2010; he would be doing well if he held the line.” The Liberals’ choice represents the “spirit of kamikaze fundamentalism”. The Liberal Party has chosen “the least electable” candidate. The Liberal Party will likely face “a lengthy period in the wilderness of opposition”....
The Opposition Leader has confounded them all. Even if the Coalition fails to form a minority government, this election is about the rise and rise of an eminently electable Abbott, and the demise of brand Labor.
When the facts change, it’s sometimes wise to change your opinions, too:
Laura Tingle in The Australian Financial Review, December 2, 2009:
VETERAN pollster Rod Cameron says simply of Tony Abbott that he is “unelectable”. ”This is a description I reserve for a very small group of politicians,” he adds.
Cameron tells Paul Kelly in The Australian on March 3:
I STAND by my earlier view that Tony Abbott is unelectable, but the government is doing everything possible to prove me wrong.
Tingle in the AFR, April 23:
ANOP pollster Rod Cameron thinks that “until a month ago, even two weeks ago, Kevin Rudd was in serious trouble, not because of Tony Abbott but as a result of his own work”.
Lenore Taylor in The Sydney Morning Herald, June 12:
CAMERON believes that with almost any other leader the Liberals would now be almost assured of victory.
The Australian, July 22:
VETERAN pollster Rod Cameron of ANOP Research Services believes that “the hard heads” in the Coalition recognise Mr Abbott is deeply vulnerable with women voters.
Tingle in the AFR, July 30:
THE pollster for ANOP Research Services, Rod Cameron, agrees with the assessment that Gillard won the leaders’ debate but Abbott may have got more out of it since the expectations for his performance were so low.
For those who don’t know, William Connolley, a Real Climate founding contributor, has been the most prolific climate information gatekeeper at Wikipedia, and was the subject of this Lawrence Solomon article: Given the volume of his volunteer Wiki output, one wonders how he supports himself with regular work. Full article here:
Given the volume of his volunteer Wiki output, one wonders how he supports himself with regular work.
Full article here:
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Saturday, August 21, 2010
James Paterson holds to account the journalists and Labor hacks who thought Tony Abbott a loser.
Gavin Atkins does more naming and shaming of those who mocked Abbott.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Next 4 Corners - so it was government intervention, not the evil banks, that caused the financial crisis? #ausvotes
Monday's 4 Corners program:
Oh dear. To all those who have been saying that it doesn't matter how much debt the current government has racked up, it's at least lower than other peoples', think again.
And finally, the truth is getting out - the mess the world's financial system is in isn't primarily due to unrestrained capitalism and lack of government regulation.
Quite the opposite. It's because governments decided they knew better than markets and fiddled with the banking and financial systems to pursue "social" policy ends.
There would have been no sub prime crisis in America if American Democrats (read Labor Party in Australia) hadn't moved to force banks to lend to people who had no hope of ever repaying a mortgage.
And why? Because they decided that because so many of those with no jobs and no incomes were black and Latino, then the "obvious" reason why banks wouldn't lend to them wasn't because they could never repay the loan, it was because the banks were racist.
Thus the critical amendments to the Community Reinvestment Act were passed by the Democrat controlled Congress and signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1995. These required banks to prove that they had made sufficient mortgages available to mandated zip codes that covered poor and disadvantaged communities.
The rest is sad (if fucking predictable) history.
Kevin Rudd, you arrogant and stupid fuck, it wasn't neoliberalism that caused the problem. It was politicians like you who thought they knew better than anybody else and who thought they could intervene in the market without perverse and unintended consequences.
Fuck you. Fuck Labor.
Leading physicist labels Satellitegate scandal a 'catastrophe' Will the Greens finally honestly face up to this?
From Greenie Watch:
"NOAA Proven to have engaged in Long-term Cover Up". It's not only Britain's UEA that has been crookedBy John O'SullivanRespected American physicist, Dr Charles R. Anderson has waded into the escalating Satellitegate controversy publishing a damning analysis on his blog.In a fresh week of revelations when NOAA calls in their lawyers to handle the fallout, Anderson adds further fuel to the fire and fumes against NOAA, one of the four agencies charged with responsiblity for collating global climate temperatures. NOAA is now fighting a reargaurd legal defense to hold onto some semblance of credibility with growing evidence of systemic global warming data flaws by government climatologists.NOAA Systemically Excised Data with ‘Poor Interpolations’Anderson, a successful Materials Physicist with his own laboratory, has looked closely at the evidence uncovered on NOAA. He has been astonished to discover, “Both higher altitudes and higher latitudes have been systematically removed from the measured temperature record with very poor and biased interpolated results taking their place.”Like other esteemed scientists, Anderson has been quick to spot sinister flaws in official temperatures across northern Lake Michigan as revealed in my earlier articles.
Full article here.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I must say the same thought crossed my mind. Plato was no friend of democracy.
I've said it before to the naive idiots entranced by Labor's proposal for the National Broadband Network, and I'll say it again - technology is racing ahead so fast from so many different directions that anything built by government is almost certainly going to be obsolete before it is even built.
The days of massive government infrastructure projects like the installation of the copper wire network belong in the last century. The pace of change back then, being so much slower, made these projects sensible even given the natural inefficiency of government bureaucracy.
Not today. Not in the 21st Century.
Honesty of a kind at last I suppose. At least it is clear now that GetUp! is nothing more than a campaigning arm of the Labor Party.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Health & Food Skeptic comments:
The finding makes no sense. Why do small variations in the amount eaten make a big difference? The finding looks like data dredging. They just picked out of a whole lot of data one small bit that tended to justify their nine years of work.
Article at the web site.
Via Greenie Watch
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Full article here.
From perthnow.com.au - basically the Sunday Times.
As an aside, I can personally recommend Julie and the Food Store in West Perth. Especially the chocolate brownies! To die for.
Full article here.
Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans: no statistically significant acceleration in sea level rise in last 100+ years
A paper published yesterday in the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans, confirms other studies of tide gauge records which show that there has been no statistically significant acceleration in sea level rise over the past 100+ years, in contrast to statements of the IPCC and Al Gore. Sea levels have been rising naturally since the peak of the last major ice age 20,000 years ago, and the rate of rise began to decelerate about 8,000 years ago
Full post here.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Well, I suppose at least these days he is no longer ripping off The New York Review of Books and passing it off as his own work.
Malcolm Turnbull, co-founder of OzEmail, lists the eight reasons Labor’s broadband plan will be a white elephant.
The above link requires free registration. This one does not, but Turnbull’s eight reasons have been edited down to seven.
Like I've said, I want faster and better quality porn on the internet as much as anyone else, but at taxpayers' expense?
Reader Wayne warns us to look out for this research:
Julia Gillard's speech on the lectern at the Australian Labor Party campaign launch at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Photo: Andrew Meares
It was supposed to be delivered without anything more than a few dot points and without the use of a teleprompter.
Tony Wright from The Sydney Morning Herald is less than impressed with this latest example of how totally addicted the modern Labor Party has become to spin:
The earth’s southern hemisphere is now in the winter season, and it is proving to be a severe one. There have been many deaths of people, animals, fish, and crops. But you haven’t heard about that from the northern hemisphere media.
As far as the media is concerned, there is no southern hemisphere. All the media coverage is about fires in Russia, Arctic ice melting, glaciers calving icebergs, heat waves on the U. S. east coast, and other “weather” occurrences up north. So let me bring you up to date on the highlights from down south.
June 17, 2010, “500 African penguins freeze to death in South Africa”.“Nearly 500 rare African Penguins have died in the past 24 hours as a result of extremely cold weather in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province.” Here
July 19, 2010, “South Africa, Freezing Cold destroys several 100 (sic) Solar Thermal Systems”. Here
August 5, 2010, “Snow in Brazil, below zero Celsius in the River Plate and tropical fish frozen”. Here.
August 6, 2010, “Chilly in Chile: South America Hit by Cold Snap”. Here,Here, and Here
The total death toll among people and animals across Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil is rising. A meter of snow across Patagonia and along the Andes is hampering communications. Many people have died across southern South America, and the livestock toll is in the millions. True numbers won’t be known until the snow melts.
Citrus and avocado crops in Chile have been damaged by frosts, and fruit exports may be reduced by 40%.
August 9, 2010, “Australians shiver through the coldest winter morning in 30 years.”
Meanwhile, the Southern Ocean ice cover is 1.3 million square kilometers above the mean value (1979 to 2008, since measurements began), and growing. This balances out the Arctic ice cover, giving us a global ice cover of almost 20 million square kilometers. See WUWT Ice Page Here.
These reports are from local sources. The mainstream media rule seems to be “If it doesn’t support our agenda, don’t report it.” For their practical purposes, the globe stops at the equator. Not only do they shut out scientific dissent, but also the cold hard facts from half the globe.
In Britain, economy first puts decarbonisation on hold; while in Germany climate change now a "loser topic"
Ah, reality starts to break through!
Very interesting article from Christopher Joye. Interesting and very worrying because, as it seems likely, the current government will be returned on Saturday and will press ahead with spending tens of billions of dollars on a national braodband network.
Joye sets out just how suspect are the assumptions underpinning the financial viability of the project, (such as the ones that assume that the NBN will earn significantly more than what Telstra currently does and that it will be able to increase its prices every year indefinitely):
The assumptions relating to take up of the service by consumers appear to be equally heroic.
And then, perhaps the most heroic assumption of all!
Lateline's dodgy story about Roman Catholic archbishop & paedophilia escapes Media Watch's attention
Just how useless is Media Watch? The fact that so many people still seem to take it seriously has been a source of bemusement to me for some time.
You can find out how fearlessly Media Watch pursued this story here.
Our Prime Minister is a liar. A serial liar. Brazen. We shall detail some of the more preposterous lies presently but I don't think this will deter the electorate from returning Julia Gillard's government to office next Saturday, for all the wrong reasons. Labor will harvest the votes of the Australian pie-eaters, whose numbers are great and growing.
A VOTE for the Greens is a vote against indigenous rights, says Aboriginal academic and community leader Marcia Langton.
Professor Langton told The Australian the Greens could not pretend to support indigenous rights while they supported Queensland's Wild Rivers laws.
And she accused the environmental movement of displaying a "distinctly Australian form of environmental racism".
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Journalist twitters invent an anti-Abbott joke. Newspaper changes story to include false "fact" #ausvotes #boatphone
I saw this happening myself last night on Twitter. Indeed, I tweeted at Samantha Maiden and SBS's Karen Middleton complaining that their comments ran counter to the actual substance of the story, because unlike so many others, I'd bothered to follow the link and read the bloody thing.
All it said was that as prime minister Abbott would make the final decision about boats following advice from the navy. there was nothing about a "boatphone" or a "hotline."
Disgraceful and unprofessional journalism. But the fact that the Daily Telegraph changed its story later to incorporate the false boatphone element is especially disturbing.
I wonder how many people voting against Tony Abbott this coming Saturday will be voting against not the real man, but rather the cartoon cutout caricature created by biased and unfair media reporting like this?