November 30, 2011


Wednesday Wisdom

It always seemed strange to me that the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, aquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self interest are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.

John Steinbeck

November 26, 2011

Peer reviewed - Climate forecasts exaggerated

It's a relief to see real science being reported - not politicians frowning with deep concern and intoning as if they have a clue, nor a single claim to "consensus" - just good old fashioned peer reviewed research:
Dramatic forecasts of global warming resulting from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide have been exaggerated, according to a peer-reviewed study by a team of international researchers.
In the study, published today in the leading journal Science, the researchers found that while rising levels of CO2 would cause climate change, the most severe predictions - some of which were adopted by the UN's peak climate body in its seminal 2007 report - had been significantly overstated.
The authors used a novel approach based on modelling the effects of reduced CO2 levels on climate, which they compared with proxy-records of conditions during the last glaciation, to infer the effects of doubling CO2 levels.
They concluded that current worst-case scenarios for global warming were exaggerated.
"Now these very large changes (predicted for the coming decades) can be ruled out, and we have some room to breathe and time to figure out solutions to the problem," the study's lead author, Andreas Schmittner, an associate professor at Oregon State University, said.
Actually that's not a "novel" approach at all, but the statement merely illustrates how dumb journalists and the rest of us have become, how accustomed to glib statements and insults, in place of actual science.  Their method is closer to a null hypothesis approach - you know, the approach science used to take, until the religion of climate change came along, then half-arsed consensus was suddenly anointed the fully-funded gold standard, preferably if accompanied by abuse of non-believers, stern looks and occasional tears.

Review fails to support climate change link

November 25, 2011

November 24, 2011

Bronwyn Bishop finds something to do!

Liberals MPs Kelly O’Dwyer (a director of Bowls Australia) and Seniors spokeswoman Bronwyn Bishop tabled a petition with over 37,000 signatures yesterday calling for the ABC to bring bowls back Australian TV screens. The pair are accusing Auntie of breaching its own charter by scrapping bowls coverage.

It's time to throw our support behind angry lawn bowlers and bowling fans; they deserve to have their viewing time restored, and I figure it only costs each of us a few cents a year, which is worth it to know that the happiness of bowlers and their followers is restored.

You can sign the petition here

November 23, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

The history of our race, and each individual’s experience, are sown thick with evidence that a truth is not hard to kill and that a lie told well is immortal.
Mark Twain

November 22, 2011

140 more laws and counting

The Gillard government might (ok - does) suck, but unfortunately they're a whiz at passing new and revised laws.
''No man's life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session,'' wrote a 19th century lawyer. 

The fewer sitting days the better. The father of liberalism, John Locke, argued that while parliament was better than monarchy, parliamentarians need to be restrained. One way was to limit how often they sat."
The less parliament sits, the better off we all will be 

November 21, 2011


The Age online poll question:

Is Australia doing enough to maintain good relations with China?

Majority say no.

How did it get to this? 

When did we become the country that feels an burning need to be aligned with China; a large Communist country whose rulers don't and never will give a rat's arse about *upsetting* Australia.  You never see those guys hand-wringing over the allure, or not, of their actions to the rest of the world. 

Meanwhile, the Indonesian President has suggested that, to appease communists, Australia should invite Chinese military to conduct exercises with US and Australian forces.  This would "defuse tensions".

Funny: I wasn't at all tense until everyone got the vapors about China's itty bitty feelings.

God bless America.

Invite China's army - Jakarta

I'm confused

European drink makers have been banned from claiming water can prevent dehydration.

WU officials in Brussels have said that a three year investigation found no evidence to prove the previously undisputed fact.

Companies making the claim for hydration will face a two year jail sentence.

Pass the gin and tonic.

November 18, 2011

November 16, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.

Paul Johnson

November 15, 2011

A global shift on the pivot

Guest post from Geoffff:

Something dramatic has happened in the world. At a strategic level it probably means little because the underlying event had already happened and anyone with an uncluttered mind had seen it coming long ago. However in the world of ideas and culture clashes, not to mention the party chat of the profound and stupid everywhere, it is an earthquake. The slow sneak up event of the year. Perhaps the decade. It is also really really scary.

The Palestinians have abandoned even the pretense of a two state solution and Condoleezza Rice has exposed the breathtaking scope and audacity of their bad faith.  They are now out with it. No Jewish state. They had no choice really. They were offered everything and more. All but a few percent of Judea and Samaria with land swaps for that, a deal on Jerusalem which made it a shared capital, a multi billion dollar Norwegian administered fund for the benefit of the “refugees”, (can you believe this stuff? refugees from 1948? nothing for the Jewish refugees from Arab countries of course who ended up in Israel), some people taken back.  Everything they could possibly conceivably want and so far more than what was reasonable it is on a different planet.

They simply could not take “yes” for an answer. They were cornered so they said “no”.  They demand an unlimited Arab “right of return” and they say seven million people around the place and abroad are eligible. That means no Jewish state. It means no state at all really if it doesn’t have sovereignty over its borders.

We should have seen it coming with the Hamas Fatah shotgun wedding.  The optimists thought the “moderates” might wean Hamas from their violent genocidal ways. They must have known in their hearts that the opposite was true but as is so often the case with Palestine is was just easier to think that.

Certainly it was obvious from the Abbas UN speech and more to the point the open speech to the American Palestinians that immediately preceded it.
On Friday afternoon, Abbas said he was adamant about not recognizing Israel as the Jewish state.

"They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state," Abbas said in a meeting with some 200 senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the US, shortly before taking the podium and delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.

All those silly wet left/liberals who have deluded themselves that the Palestinians were not serious about this (“well they couldn’t be could they? it would mean the destruction of Israel.”) will now, if they are honest, dwell on the consequences of being so badly wrong for so long. They can no longer occupy the space that assumed the Palestinians were acting in good faith. They cannot. They will look like 9/11 truthers or worse. They will have to shift position.

They will have to accept the gut wrenching move that Israel was not the principal obstacle to peace in the Middle East after all. They will have to turn on their beloved Palestinians and ask the question are these men helping or harming their people and therefore are we helping or harming their people by helping them. Or they can conclude they never believed in the Jewish state themselves really and that in any event the best solution is to rob the Jews of their democratic state and deliver the survivors to dhimmitude and say so just like the Palestinians.

Either that or can they abandon all pretense of honesty and good faith. Just like the Palestinians.

November 9, 2011

Canberra Shock: one sensible man; one sensible policy idea

Once again asylum-seekers have met unnecessary deaths at sea. People smugglers are to blame.
We need to break their business plan by offering, for a similar price, a safe passage to Australia by air. Why doesn't the Government license an agency that will do just that?

The agency would operate wherever people smugglers are to be found. The stream of asylum-seekers would end up in the same place as if they came by boat, eg, on-shore detention. 

They would comprise a small additional stream to that now arriving by air and could be in lieu of part of that much larger stream. Presently asylum-seekers arriving by air are virtually ignored. Australians seem to tolerate them because they are processed before entry.

The cost to government of implementing this idea would be much less than any alternative. There need be no increase in the total number of asylum-seekers. The smugglers will be run out of business and the drowning will stop.

Peter Carden, Hughes
Letters - Canberra Times, November 04, 2011  

Baggage handler still not guilty

Schapelle Corby is still guilty.

Nothing has changed since the boogie board was unzipped at the Bali airport more than six years ago.

Now someone has written a book to explain, at length, everything we already knew. 

At the end of the book, I predict that Corby will still be guilty.

I also predict that Corby will spend the rest of her life being shrill and furious at having been caught.

The End

Sins of the father

They won't follow her, follow her, follow her

Julia Gillard's introduction of a carbon tax has been praised at the latest economic summit for showing the way on climate change but Australia is being isolated within the G20 on carbon pricing as members retreat due to changing priorities and economic pressure.
And the prices within the Emission Trading Scheme in Europe continue to crash and burn; that would be the only ETS that will be available (will it still exist?) when the artificially high fixed price of Australian CO2 emission meets and greets the free market, in only a couple of years.
While Australia is pursuing the most comprehensive carbon tax in the world to combat the effects of climate change, other G20 members are retreating from emissions trading schemes to cut greenhouse gas emissions, such as Canada, while others are giving greater emphasis to dealing with the immediate effects of climate change.

"I think the leadership of Australia should be acknowledged but it's not going to be a case of follow the leader."

The business leaders attending the G20 summit in Cannes - the B20 - recommended support for action on climate change but stopped short of recommending carbon pricing, suggesting that helping developing nations with clean energy and carbon emissions control were also necessary.
Gillard on her own on carbon tax

Collapse of carbon price in Europe

Wednesday Wisdom

He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up.

Paul Keating

November 8, 2011

Inquiry to stop public buying Murdoch papers commences

Now that our hyper-powers-that-be have all figured out that Murdoch does not own 70 per cent of print media in this country, everyone is being hyper-pedantic so as to be able to continue quoting the 70 per cent figure without - you know, LYING.

It's an extraordinary deception, one which our inadequate media is yet to bang on about; is yet to hold politicians to account; the latter, supposedly being their core job.
High-profile Melbourne academic Robert Manne, author of a highly critical Quarterly Essay article focusing on The Australian’s political coverage, told the inquiry it was indefensible that "that one company owns 70 per cent of print circulation’’.

 "I think that would be regarded in the English-speaking world as laughable,’’ he said, arguing that the group should be broken up.
That's right, Manne, along with Bob Brown, no doubt, can't figure out how to stop so many people purchasing, on average, 70 per cent of their print media of choice.  They have a genuine belief that 32 per cent ownership - as opposed to circulation, that is, members of the public choosing to purchase particular newspapers - warrants a monopoly, or presents limited choice, and a legal business entity should, therefore, be torn apart.

That is distorted, biased, immoral use of the political process.

Unbelievably, within this context, Manne is opposed to further statutory limits on "freedom", but he didn't go to the trouble or specifying "freedom" - of what ... speech, running a multinational business? 
"The owner (Rupert Murdoch) is a highly political animal,’’ he said, adding his newspaper editors were well aware of the proprietor’s views.

 Professor Manne was, however, cool on the idea of sweeping regulatory reform for the newspaper industry. Fines for breaches of industry codes would be a ‘‘waste of time’’. More productive change would be the capacity for the Press Council to force corrections ‘‘with sufficient prominence’’ when newspapers made factual errors.

"I would be worried about further statutory limits on freedom,’’ Professor Manne said.
It is also, as we've come to understand it, c/o Bob Brown, the ALP, and this inquiry, highly questionable as to what constitutes "factual errors". 

Manne makes a good fist of presenting himself as an almost reasonable man, while being utterly manipulative and deceptive.  For an academic, it's not a good look.

Murdoch papers accused of bias as media inquiry opens

November 5, 2011

Lies about Murdoch and the murky Greens

The Murdoch Media Inquiry, bludgeoned into existence by the Australian Greens, albeit, Gillard and her woeful government was an eager bride, is at least partly driven by a lie.
Remember the figure, the concentration of Murdoch's power?  
He, or News Ltd, of which he is the majority sharedholder, to be more accurate, supposedly owns - and therefore influences the editorial content of - 70 per cent of Australian newspapers.  We know this because Bob Brown has banged on and on and on about it.  It was a figure he used repeatedly when lobbying for an expensive and unnecessary media inquiry.  
That figure is a lie.  It's not even close to being true. 
Murdoch's company only publishes 32 per cent of all Australian newspapers. 
Yes.  Really.  No lie. 
''There is clearly a problem with media diversity in Australia. We have some of the greatest concentration of media ownership in the world, notably of course in the fact that News Limited owns some 70 per cent of the print media.
News rejects the often-quoted 70 per cent ownership figure. It says it publishes 32 per cent of all Australia's newspapers. Parliamentary library figures suggest News's share of circulation - as distinct from ownership - is 68 per cent in the capital cities and 77 per cent of the Sunday market.
Senator Brown, whose attack on News coincides with a visit to Australia by Rupert Murdoch, proposes the Finkelstein inquiry consider a new fit-and-proper-person test for newspaper ownership ...
He also proposes the introduction of new tax breaks for not-for-profit journalism enterprises to encourage quality journalism providing ''a platform for more media voices, particularly in investigative and in-depth journalism''.
Senator Brown argues encouraging philanthropic journalism would enhance diversity and independence.

The murky and amateurish political ploys of the Australian Greens, led by the persistently devious Bob Brown, continue to astound.  

They've only just completed ruining one executive bureaucrat's career, and now they're putting forward another - in a long line of many - absurdist policy proposal, the only person so far identified as being a beneficiary being their major donor during the last election - that person having made the largest single political donation in Australian history. 

After 17 years in parliament, Bob Brown still has no scientific or environmental qualifications, and nor, apparently, has he acquired any knowledge of democracy or the Australian parliamentary system.   

Power, lies, corruption.  He knows that stuff. He also gets away with it.  Every time. 

Apart from being such a stupid, economically and socially ill conceived policy proposal that I could scream, the philanthropic journalism notion wasn't Brown's idea; it's an idea given to him, and that's another murky story -  a retired judge, and now journalism professor, Dr Ricketson, was one of the signatories to the idea sent to Bob Brown only weeks before Ricketson was appointed to assist the media inquiry.

Ricketson is claiming he has no conflict of interest. 

Bob Brown has not claimed any such thing for himself.  He never does. 

November 2, 2011

Police Occupy John.G.Martin's street

Police Occupy John.G.Martin's street while cleaning up Squatting Occupiers (try saying that when you're had a few).
Drunka, unlike the rest of us, doesn't have to pilfer his news from real news sources; he just has to sit at home waiting, and, in due course, if he feels sufficiently alerted, look out the window - and there it is, news unfolding, as he scratches his testicles. 

There they were, Occupy Denver refugees, squatting in his street, being arrested in his street!

And the lies told by others ... told despite having videoed, despite having the visual replay, of the drama.  Fascinating.

Full piece over at Drunkablog's .... lots more pictures too - Occupy My Street.

A whole pile of reasons why Andrew Bolt is sometimes ok and Paul Ehrlich isn't

What makes us so hungry to be told we're doomed, even by people we should mock? Especially by. Take Paul Ehrlich. 

Actually, it's a miracle he's dropped in on us, since by his past predictions he should be half-starved and short of petrol for his wooden jet.

Yet this professor of population studies at Stanford University is among us again, well-fed and cheerfully predicting some fresh apocalypse, this time involving global warming.

But why are the ABC and University of NSW so keen to hear from him again?

A butterfly specialist, Ehrlich started his bizarre career of doomsaying in 1968 with his best-selling book The Population Bomb.

"The battle to feed humanity is over," he declared.

"In the 1970s, the world will undergo famines. Hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate ..."

The very opposite of what happened.

This mass starvation would be visited on even the richest countries, Ehrlich explained in a 1971 lecture.
"By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people.
In 1990, for instance, he received a Swedish Royal Academy of Science prize and the MacArthur Foundation's $345,000 "genius award" for promoting a "greater public understanding of environmental problems", proving you will be forgiven any wild mistake or exaggeration in a "good" cause.

That explains Tim Flannery, Al Gore and David Suzuki, all made rich by predicting our doom to the teacher-preacher class, which likes to think it can see what the masses can't, and likes even more an excuse to control that mob's more unruly appetites.

Yet here he is again, bobbing up on the ABC's Science Show for a chat with presenter Robyn Williams, who himself preposterously predicted that global warming could cause the seas to rise by as much as 100m this century.

Only in one area do we seem to have gone backwards. We seem more irrational these days, and for this Ehrlich for once has the evidence.

Of courses, Ehrlich is hardly the only purveyor of human induced Armageddon, nor the only one to have it so woefully wrong.  In the past, however, crystal ball gazing passed-off as science simply didn't have the political, economic, social and global consequences of the modern day doom-porn promoters. 

All aflutter with continuing toxic predictions of global catastrophe 

Wednesday Wisdom

He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary.

William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway)

November 1, 2011

If Shakespeare didn't, who did?

1. Not a single manuscript has been found in William Shakespeare's handwriting. Not even notes or correspondence.

2. Shakespeare was born to illiterate parents, and both of his children were also illiterate.

3. Shakespeare was not a member of the upper class, but wrote extensively about them with great insight.

4. The only examples of Shakespeare's handwriting are six very shaky signatures.

5. Not one of Shakespeare's poems or plays reflects an actual event in his life, including the death of his son.

6. There is no record of Shakespeare receiving any schooling, yet his level of knowledge of science and humanities is extensive.

7. Once he retired to Stratford-upon-Avon in his late forties, Shakespeare never wrote again.

8. Despite no indication that Shakespeare left England, his work exhibits an intimate knowledge of Italy.

9. The Stratford monument used to celebrate Shakespeare with a sack of grain rather than a quill.

10. Will's will makes no mention of his literary works, but does leave his second best bed as a legacy.

Was Shakespeare a fraud?