Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Britain's David Cameron urges election in 2009

Britain's opposition leader on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Gordon Brown to call an election in 2009, saying the country needs a chance to choose between their competing economic plans. In a written New Year's message to Conservative Party supporters, David Cameron said Brown had failed to prepare Britain for the financial crisis and was now pursuing policies likely to deepen and lengthen the country's recession. Brown, of the Labour Party, spent a decade as Treasury chief before he replaced Tony Blair as prime minister in 2007. Brown must call a national election by mid-2010. He has largely pinned his hopes of reviving Britain's economy on a 20 billion pound ($30.2 billion) package of tax cuts and public works projects. Cameron claims the package involves an irresponsible amount of government borrowing. >> more

Monday, December 29, 2008

Key Political Scientist Samuel Huntington Dies At 81

Donald Douglas over at American Power reports that Samuel Huntington one of America’s greatest political scientists has died adding:

His recent book on immigration and national culture, Who Are We? The Challenges to America's National Identity, is the essential primer on the conservative cultural foundations of the American democracy.

Amazon notes the text is:

... an aggressive polemic whose central argument-that America, at heart, has been and in many ways should remain a Christian, Anglocentric country. The author seeks at length to prove that the American Creed, which he defines as a Protestant-influenced ideology modeled on the British system, was the founders' original intent and remains America's best course ...
Like America, Australia too was founded by British settlers and it is my firm belief that we are facing the same identity challenges. I guess that I too, have lost confidence in the power of Australian identity, a distinctiveness proudly based on Anglo-Protestantism rudiments. The success of Australia, and the U.S. owes much to British and protestant beginnings that defined and created our legal and democratic systems, culture, and a “roll your sleeves up” work ethic.

Quotation

Cultural America is under siege and, as the Soviet experience illustrates, ideology is a weak glue to hold together people otherwise lacking racial, ethnic, and cultural sources of community
Similarly, is cultural Australia also under siege?

Undeniably there would be some interesting and persuasive correlations between both America and Australia in Huntington‘s writings. Through this post, I unashamedly record my preference to keep and uphold the present and future identity of our great nation rooted in its historic Anglo-Australian culture and Christian heritage.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Czeck President on Warming Fanatics

The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.

Read more

Update

We present two further must read articles on the debate:

A Glimpse inside the Global Warming Debate by William DiPuccio

"Do you believe in Global Warming?" I have often been asked this question by people with little or no scientific background. It seems like a simple question that demands a "yes" or "no" answer. But in reality it is a complex question that cannot be reduced to an unqualified "yea" or "nay". The intent of this paper is not to resolve this question by rallying evidence for or against Global Warming (as if that can be done in a few pages!), but rather to lay bare the complexity of the climate change issue. Those who come to appreciate this fact will likely agree that simple answers are not only bad education, but can lead to bad policies.

Read the whole piece here

Warming or Hot Air? by William Katz

As regards global warming, my view is essentially the same as yours: Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a scam, with no basis in science. A few comments on my own particular view of global warming: (1) I am particularly annoyed by the claims that the "the debate is over," because this was exactly the claim originally made against the Copernican theory of the Solar System. Copernicus' opponents said the idea that the Earth was the third planet from the Sun was advanced by Aristrachus in 300 B.C. (true), and had been definitely refuted by 100 A.D. The debate is over! Sorry, it wasn't: the Earth IS the third planet.

Read the whole piece here

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Simply Merry Christmas

Sometimes we get so absorbed by our daily challenges and routines that we fail to understand, let alone appreciate our creators plan for us. This is most true at Christmas. In a rush to get it all done and dusted, meals planned prepared and cooked, presents sourced purchased and wrapped, in addition to the many trappings of modern day life (including those forces that compel us to link our identity to such trappings), it is all too easy to get distracted from the message that Christmas brings.

We are, in spite of everything celebrating the birth of Jesus, son of God. The birth of Jesus was a fulfillment of the prophecies of ages, and foretold, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” (John 1:9).

Jesus was the one who saw it to establish a faith so powerful and mysterious, a faith based on the magic elixir of love. You see, Christmas is also a season of love, especially that love that we share with family, coming together to eat with those that mean the most, sharing a meal – a very human experience, remembering also, that the Eucharist is at the heart of our faith as Christians – the sacred meal.

Finally, let us not forget those servicemen and women who are defending our values in very dangerous places around the world.

Wishing all my readers and anyone else passing by, a very MERRY CHRISTMAS.

To my readers of other faiths, it is hoped that this post merely serves to deepen your understanding of ours.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ABC Television - Rudd's own Broadcasting Service

The ABC’s “7.30 Report” was once again doing the Rudd government’s handiwork last night, with a one-sided report on the homelessness announcement.

Stand-in host Heather Ewart declared that “The welfare sector hailed the Government’s $1.2-billion commitment, but much detail is still up for negotiation.”

Ewart had obviously not read yesterday’s “The Australian” newspaper.

The Salvation Army, which is one of Australia’s leading welfare providers and the operator of the largest job provider, Employment Plus, had this to say about Rudd’s “plan”.

“Overly ambitious”, “failed to consult”, and “the announcement had been rushed”.

The Australian also reported that a spokesman described the aim to halve homelessness by 2020 as “akin to Bob Hawke’s much-ridiculed claim he would eliminate child poverty in Australia.”

“The spokesman said many of the state-based issues contributing to homelessness - including the poor quality of mental health services - had not been addressed.”

So much for the welfare sector ‘hailing” the plan.

Check out other ways the ABC has been helping Kevin.

Via: The Australian Conservative

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The “arrogance” of those who hold to global warming

The number of scientists that are coming out against the “undisputed fact” and “closed discussion” of global warming keeps getting larger as time passes. Last week, we had the 650 scientists in a Senate report who opposed global warming alarmist claims. Even the scientist at the helm of the UN's global warming panel has expressed some caution on jumping to conclusions based on the IPCC’s data.

Not to mention the 31,000 scientific signatories to a petition opposing global warming, collected by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.

And the study by Christopher Monckton noting the flaws of the IPCC’s computer-modeled projections that have failed to accurately report climate phenomena for over a decade.

And now a CNN meteorologist—and holder of the American Meteorological Society's Seal of Approval—has come out swinging against what he terms the “arrogance” of those who hold to global warming.

Read the whole piece here

Update: While most Australians can only dream of a white Christmas this week, Canadians are set to experience their whitest in almost 40 years. The entire country is covered in snow for the first time since 1971. Source

Monday, December 22, 2008

Senator Mitch Fifield’s new site

Victorian Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield recently launched his new personal website. Senator Fifield is deputy chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance & Public Administration and a voting member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.

He is also a member of the Coalition Waste Watch Committee. With Andrew Robb, Mitch publishes the policy journal - the Party Room - a journal of ideas … Before entering Parliament, Mitch worked as senior political adviser to the former Federal Treasurer and held senior advisory positions in the Kennett and Greiner state governments.
His new site can be viewed here

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Sunday Funny


Would anyone hasten to guess the U.S. Federal Reserve's liabilities because of rescue efforts for the financial system in this past week alone? $2.295 trillion!

Source

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Saturday Funny

Not a good look and actually, it is not so funny after all...

I first saw this image here under the heading, "Sign o' the times" ...

Professor Ross Garnaut gets candid on Rudd's ETS Plans

Ross Garnaut has launched a scathing attack on the Government's emissions trading policy, condemning its failure to embrace a more ambitious goal and the multibillion-dollar compensation for electricity generators.

In his first intervention after Monday's unveiling of the Government's blueprint, Professor Garnaut — the Government's climate guru — said last night that the plan would get "5½ out of 10 at a good university".

Writing in today's Age, he says it makes large transfers of money "from the general community to particular interests", and warns of its fiscal and environmental risks.

There is "no public policy justification for $3.9 billion in unconditional payments to generators" for hypothetical future loss of asset value.

"Never in the history of Australian public finance has so much been given without public policy purpose, by so many, to so few,"
he writes. "The best that can be said is that these are once-and-for-all payments — unless the spectacular success of investment in lobbying inspires repetition and emulation." >> more
Are these words meant to excite laughter or amusement? What a circus!

Friday, December 19, 2008

World GDP will contract by 0.4 percent in 2009

The Institute of International Finance, the Washington-based association representing more than 375 of the world's major banks and financial institutions, has projected the world economy would shrink 0.4 per cent in 2009, after 2.0 per cent growth this year.

In a press release issued today, the institute says that, “the weakening economy will increase credit losses, continuing to put pressure on bank capital. This underscores the point that capital injection alone will not be sufficient to strengthen the banking system until the economy and financial markets stabilize.”

The US economy, the world's largest and the epicentre of the financial tsunami, would shrink 1.3 per cent in 2009 after growth of 1.2 per cent this year, according to the IIF projections. >> more

Otherwise said, it's a global recession in 2009.

In the apparent absence if any specific mention of Australia, it we be interesting to see how we fare in comparison.

What's your view ...

2008: A bad year for Global Warming and Climate Change preachers and alarmists

It seems 2008 has been particularly bad year for Global warming preachers and alarmists in Australia. Pity the doomsayers!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

British Upper-Class Twits Saving the Planet

A new breed of environmental activist is on the warpath in Britain — and ” breeding” is the operative word. With names like Lily, Tilly, and Joss they sound like characters in a BBC costume drama, or the guest list for a society ball. They are the scions of the great and the good, and they have nothing better to do than save the planet. Mike McNally Pajamas Media

Labor's Emmisions Trading Scheme

If you only intend on reading one opinion/article on Kevin Rudd's Emmisions Trading Scheme white paper make it this one.

Blessed change in the climate

Every now and then you have to be grateful when you discover our political leaders have told a deliberate, calculated lie. Monday was such a day. Kevin Rudd's announcement of a carbon emissions reduction target of 5 per cent by 2020 demonstrated that his pre-election claim that climate change was the great moral issue of our time, and demanding that Australia lead the way, was what Winston Churchill would call a terminological inexactitude: a whopper, a piece of bare-faced duplicity of epic proportions. But thank goodness Rudd and his colleagues deceived us. Janet Albrechtsen

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Labor's Emmisions Trading Scheme White Paper

The Liberals are correct in delaying their response to Labor's ETS white paper. With the details covering some 800 pages it's vitally important that it be reviewed with utmost care, especially given some of the flaws of it's earlier green paper.

Labor’s White Paper on an emissions trading scheme opens up a bucket load of complications and anomalies, leaving Australian families and industry exposed to higher taxes that most of the rest of the world will not pay. The Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Transport and Regional Development Minister, Warren Truss, said the complexity of the proposed ETS would make it a nightmare beyond any economic reform seen in this country. “A political leader of the past once had trouble trying to explain how the different components of a birthday cake were going to be taxed,” Mr Truss said. “The Rudd Government has unveiled a baker’s shop full of birthday cakes.” The Government may argue that agriculture is "exempt” from an ETS until at least 2015, but fails to take into account the increased cost of inputs and energy that will be used in producing Australia’s clean and green food and fibre. For example, New Zealand has decided to exempt food processing from its ETS. Rudd Labor’s White Paper does not provide the same exemption for Australia, so energy intensive industries like dairy processing would be placed at a severe disadvantage. “This means that we will see a flood of New Zealand dairy products onto the Australia market and our producers will lose the international markets they have fought long and hard to enter.” Mr Rudd was also unable to explain why an effective 100 million tonne decrease in Australian emissions will counter an expected 10 billion tonne increase in China’s emissions. The Rudd Government plan will just export emissions and Australian jobs. All the critical numbers in White Paper are based on a five percent reduction in emissions between 2000 and 2010 – that is effectively one tonne in every five compared with business as usual.

The Rudd Government’s modelling assumes that the rest of the world will act at Copenhagen next year and Australia will not be going it alone. “The ETS will hit some of the nation’s most energy efficient transport sectors such as rail, coastal shipping and aviation with much higher energy taxes. “Instead of trying to encouraging commuters to use rail to get to work, electric passenger rail services will be slugged with new taxes on the electricity they use. “If you live in remote Australia and need to fly to the city you will be taxed, which could lead to emissions rising, not falling. If you fly around Australia you will pay Labor’s new ETS, but if you go overseas it appears you won’t,” Mr Truss said. The Government’s White Paper is 800 pages long and the Coalition has asked the Centre for International Economics to examine Labor’s proposals and to report on the implications for Australian industry.

Source

We remain sceptical about the need for the scheme given that temperatures have not warmed in ten years. In any event, even if some warming has occurred since the birth of the industrial age, there is a great body of science which excludes carbon emmisions from the cause. What body of science you ask? Begin here and here and then Google the question.

Like Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said in an emailed newsletter, "I remain unconvinced about the need for an ETS given that carbon dioxide is vital for life on earth and the earth hasn't warmed since 1998".

Unlike the Government, I dare anyone to go to their local library and find even one science text that refers to Carbon, as a pollutant - the Government's favored descriptor.

Video: Carbon Dioxide: They call it pollution we call it life ...

For those viewing this post via feed, please visit site to view the accompanying video clip, by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Listen up Mr. Turnbull: No time for Conservative - lite

Rudd’s scheme massively increases government intervention in the economy ...

As the coalition goes about the business of commissioning an independent economic analysis of the Government’s proposed emissions trading scheme. We feel compelled to point out that the Libs are the opposition, sounds simple enough, however after reading that Malcolm Turnbull has, “left the door open to supporting the Government’s modest 5 per cent target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020”, we remind the powers that be:

“intrusive government has been demonstrated by history to beinefficient, cruel and discouraging to human achievement. Liberalism is a philosophy of strategic but limited government. The role of government is to set the framework of laws and other rules within which individuals and families can freely make decisions about their own lives and pursue their goals with confidence. By both the laws it enacts and the taxation it exacts, government should interfere ..."
As Bolt points out:

Rudd’s scheme massively increases government intervention in the economy. Its first year alone involves the Government ripping out $11.5 billion from industry and consumers and deciding who best to reward or prop up. State planning is back with a vengeance. Bottom line: Rudd boasts that he is in fact imposing on each person emission cuts of 34 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020 - the biggest cuts per capita of any country in the world, Britain possibly excepted. Think what it would involve in taxes, costs and fines to get you emitting a third less in just 12 years ...
Once again must we remind the party that 47% of Australians did not vote for Kevin Rudd’s Labor last November.

Kevin 07 morphs into a classic version of Howard

After all that, we are more or less back where we started. The Rudd model for tackling climate change now looks remarkably similar to the Howard model from 2007. By the time the Coalition has forced further changes in the Senate — as it will — the scheme could end up almost identical to John Howard's. Tim Colebatch

Monday, December 15, 2008

Emissions Trading Target – What figure would Howard have set?

Remember this:

Tue Jul 17, 2007

Prime Minister John Howard says the Federal Government will introduce a new "cap and trade" emissions trading system … The Government will increase spending on measures to tackle global warming by $627 million … Mr Howard says the new emissions scheme will help Australia substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost.

"Australia will more than play its part to address climate change but will do it in a practical and balanced way in full knowledge of the economic consequences for our nation," he said.

Federal Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull says the carbon emissions trading scheme will be comprehensive adding:

"It will cover 80 per cent of all emission outside agriculture and about 55 per cent of total emissions in Australia," he said.

The scheme is set to be up and running by 2011.

Source

Now the question is. If Howard was still Prime Minister or otherwise, if the Liberals retained power, what target would have been set?

It is not an easy question, however given the previous Governments balanced approach; one that placed equal emphasis on economic cost, I would venture to suggest that it would have been a soft target, certainly in single digits.

So what do we get today? Rudd commits to 5%

Despite his critics in the green brigade, John Howard would have touted such rational measures all along, Kevin Rudd on the other hand was happy - politically savvy - to raise expectations high, very high in fact, recall 25 to 40 percent by 2020 and 60 percent by 2050.

John Howard paid a price for his reasoned and rational approach.

The Government, Telstra, and Australia’s proposed National Broadband Network

Today’s Federal Government decision to exclude our largest telecommunications provider Telstra, from the national broadband network tender process should come as no surprise. Indeed the reasoning provided - that its November 26 proposal did not include a plan on how to involve small and medium-sized enterprises - is nothing short of trifling and underscores what has been a rocky relationship between the Telco and Government.

I cannot see the sense of totally excluding Telstra from the process; regardless the Federal Government has treated the company poorly and this raises questions of integrity. Perhaps the Government sees this as payback for Telstra’s treatment of ALP mates as the companies present and past approach to matters IR are not in line with those of the Governments or it’s union bro’s.

Telstra chair Donald McGauchie said this morning:

Telstra is the only company to have submitted a proposal with a real financial commitment - $5 billion -” adding, “Telstra is the only company with the existing network, technical knowhow, world leading vendor, skilled workforce, established wholesale systems and proven track record of building world class networks.
Proven track record or not, if Conroy and the Government's decision smacks of any resentment, that is politics, then we shall all suffer for it - you cannot strengthen the weak by attempting to hurt the strong.

Related: How Bloomburg reported it

See also: Why The Federal Government Is Stuffed Without Telstra

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Labor's proposed ISP filtering.

Senator Cory Bernardi shares his thoughts about Labor's proposed ISP filtering.


For someone who is a confirmed conservative and has an Internet reputation as 'the man who wants to ban swearing' - thanks to my senate inquiry into the broadcasting codes of practice; I want to share my thoughts on Labor's proposed ISP filtering. It will likely surprise many readers that right now, I cannot support it. Let me confirm that a big part of me wants to support it. Surely anything we can do to prevent access to illegal material is a lawful and moral obligation. However, the proposal that is being debated in the blogosphere is so devoid of detail that no-one can form a considered opinion of the policy or reasonably become an advocate for it. >> more
Personally, I think the responsibility to protect our kids from some of the more unsavory elements of the WWW should fall with parents hence; the use of filtering technology should not abdicate parents of their responsibility. In any event, we have not heard or read anything in the past or present to inspire any confidence in the Governments censorship plans.

Moreover, let’s be clear on one thing, it’s typically only in oppressed societies as for example, China or Saudi Arabia that Governments would even consider forms of mandatory filtering.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Australian Media's Climate Change lies ...

THE Poznan climate change conference guarantees the public will be fed the usual diet of myths and lies by an Australian media opposed to the Garnaut report, the most comprehensive published analysis of climate change mitigation so far. Paul Kelly >> more

The unfathomable "myths and lies" ignore the views of many in the science establishment who remain unequivocal about accepted conclusions in relation to CO2 emissions and climate influences. In an open letter to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, no less than 100 prominent scientists declared:

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued increasingly alarming conclusions about the climatic influences of human-produced carbon dioxide (CO2), a non-polluting gas that is essential to plant photosynthesis. While we understand the evidence that has led them to view CO2 emissions as harmful, the IPCC's conclusions are quite inadequate as justification for implementing policies that will markedly diminish future prosperity. In particular, it is not established that it is possible to significantly alter global climate through cuts in human greenhouse gas emissions. On top of which, because attempts to cut emissions will slow development, the current UN approach of CO2 reduction is likely to increase human suffering from future climate change rather than to decrease it.
In other words the current Climate Change debate, so accepted by mainstream media and many Governments - of which our own is no exception - is taking us and the world, in entirely the wrong direction.

The letter concluded:

Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity's real and pressing problems.

Yours faithfully,

[List of signatories]

CC. Heads of state of countries of the signatory persons
Readers may want to amaze themselves and follow the list of signatories link ...

Click here to view all posts on the Climate Change farce.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Australian Recession Warning

Economists warn of impending recession just prior to forecasting a $25b deficit blow-out.

Related: How Bloomberg reported it

Howard on Kyoto protocol

Former Prime Minister John Howard says he believes doubts will increase among the public as to whether all claims made about the effect of climate change are accurate.

Mr Howard has also defended his government's decision to not sign the Kyoto protocol even though voters were expressing support of its ratification.

Mr Howard's comments come as Climate Change Minister Penny Wong heads to Poland for international talks on a new international agreement on greenhouse gas reduction targets. >> more

Related: The Howard Years

See also: Kyoto - a lot of hot air

Monday, December 08, 2008

Spending half the Surplus

How Does Half The Surplus Spent Feel

The Labor Government's naive attempt to stimulate world economic malaise from an Australian retail spend-a-thon is soon to be judged as an outstanding success or as profligate waste of an opportunity to create a long-term boost to infrastructure, said Senator Barnaby Joyce, the Leader of The Nationals in the Senate.

Today we have Government ministers behaving like spruikers at a bargain basement sale, exhorting recipients of $8.7 billion of payments to spend. They’ve got the boot full of vacuum cleaners and they are ready to sell, sell, sell. Instead of long-term employment on infrastructure projects we will have imported plasma TVs ... Consumer spending in Australia is a miniscule stimulation of other economies that actually produce the products that we buy,” he said ... Instead of a future asset to sell we will have an increase in the social disaster of certain vulnerable households exacerbating current social problems with the arrival of, not so much a solution, but a multiple-thousand-dollar problem. Instead of a long-term increase in pension payments we have a package that has plucked an amount out of thin air that squandered those funds for a long-term solution. >> more

Source: Barnaby Joyce

Friday, December 05, 2008

Senator Mitch Fifield: Academic freedom inquiry

Human nature retains an inordinate and profound faculty for self-deception and for that; we can thank the numerous leftist thinkers populating both academia and media… Now that you know where I stand, find excerpts from Senators Fifield's interview in relation to left wing bias in our educational institutions and media:

SENATOR MITCH FIFIELD, Radio 2CC Canberra with Mike Jeffries

5 December 2008

E & OE

SUBJECT: Academic freedom inquiry

JEFFRIES: “ … The other is the general concern about left-right bias, whether it’s in the media or more particularly in this case at universities. Now a report came out, this had been the result of a Senate inquiry and I thought this was worth noting, the Chairman of the Committee, Gavin Marshall, said the Committee’s finding is “in view of the relatively tiny number of submissions received from the hundreds of thousands of students who were said to be affected, there can be no basis for arguing that universities are under the control of the left.” He, Senator Marshall, said the inquiry was “a waste of time.” Commenting further on this is Liberal Senator Mitch Fifield who I believe sees it rather differently. Mitch Fifield is Senator for Victoria.”

FIFIELD: On the validity of the enquiry, “The committee report broke along party lines so there was a Government majority report and an Opposition minority report. So you’d expect Senator Marshall to give that short of response. But the genesis of the inquiry was the concern which had been expressed by many students at both secondary and tertiary level about the perceptions of academic bias on campus, the reasons for it and the avenues of redress. We did uncover some quite startling evidence. The Government senators as you mentioned stated that the inquiry itself was as a result of requests from the Young Liberals and Liberal Students and other campus Liberals. To some extent that’s true, they did request the inquiry. But Senate inquiries are often instigated by concerns expressed by members of the community and this inquiry was no different.”

JEFFRIES: “Anecdotally what you hear is students tell their lecturers what they want to hear so they get the kind of marks that they need. Whether that leaves a lasting impression on the remainder of their life is an interesting question. What’s your view on that?”

FIFIELD: “Yes it is an interesting question. There’s no doubt that some students feel the need to be strategic in how they frame their essay responses, in how they frame their exam work and that they do try and take a tack which will appeal to their particular lecturer. I guess that’s just human nature. If you’ve got a university academic who’s marking your work you want to please them and try to get a better result. My concern, and I think what was borne out of the evidence, isn’t so much that we have lots of individual cases of bias by academics. I think the greater concern is the curriculum and the course content which tends to be pretty monochromatic and doesn’t give a wide range of perspectives. Just one example, there’s a course at one university called Contemporary Ideologies and in this series of 12 lectures there was one lecture on liberalism and conservatism and 11 lectures on different sorts of socialism. Now I think what’s needed is a bit of balance and clearly that wasn’t the case in that course. But we also had some disturbing examples outside of university in primary school where one of my Senate colleagues came across a display at a primary school which had a picture of Mao Tse-tung displayed under the banner of "freedom fighter.” Now, you know, that’s certainly someone’s perspective. I think what we need whether it’s primary school, secondary school or university is a range of perspectives which are taught, a range of perspectives which students are exposed yo. I don’t think that’s happening to the degree that it should.”

JEFFRIES: “That’s interesting. I was talking to a colleague of mine and discussing the events in Mumbai and reports from what are generally considered to be left-leaning media. I said “oh about half the time they’re calling them ‘terrorists,’ the other half they’re calling them ‘anti-government protestors.’” And he said “well that’s an improvement.” Maybe so. But you hit on an interesting point, and I think this applies to media and certainly applies to education, it’s not where there’s obvious (inaudible), it’s not where there’s obvious editorialising, anybody can see that. The real bias comes in what you’re not told, what you’ve not covered, as in your example about, what was it, 11 of the lectures on socialism and one on the more conservative side of politics that might be offered.”

FIFIELD: “That’s exactly right. It’s so often what students aren’t exposed to. And in that particular example of the 12 lectures, 11 of them on socialism, that was at Melbourne University and Melbourne University in light of our report have no agreed to change that particular course and to provide a little more balance. There are other isolated instances which are disturbing. We had some students, or one student in particular, give evidence that one of their colleagues who was Jewish was eeferred to in a lecture as “our resident Zionist.””
No, of course, there is no bias; teachers and lecturers would not dare instill students with their leftist agenda, where do the conservatives get that notion?

Related links:

The real Rudd-Gillard education revolution gathers momentum

Forget the Rudd Government’s populist computer-for-every-student routine, the real revolution is ready to roll, as reported in today’s Age. In this month’s Quadrant, Dr Kevin Donnelly, director of Education Strategies, explains what the ALP education revolution is really all about.

Dr Donnelly writes: Similar to Australia’s failed politically correct, outcomes-based education model of curriculum, the national goals paper argues that education must celebrate diversity and difference, students must become Asia-literate, and all must "respect Indigenous cultures and the unique place of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as a valued part of Australia’s heritage and its future” … [O]ne searches in vain for any mention of Australia’s Judeo-Christian heritage or what we owe to the institutions, language and culture inherited from the United Kingdom. Instead ... >> more

New Left offensive in culture war

The appointment of former Communist Party member Professor Stuart Macintyre to oversee history as a subject in the national curriculum, Kevin Donnelly writes in today’s Ausralian, means that his worst fears have been realised. It also reveals that the Rudd Government is mounting a new left wing offensive in the ‘history wars’. In his 2007 book Dumbing Down, Dr Donnelly wrote:

“The way Australian history, social studies and geography are now taught provides a further illustration of how successful the cultural-left has been in imposing its approach on curriculum..." >> more

We need an education counter-revolution
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s plan to continue with the education revolution misses the point. Over the past 30 years, state Labor governments across Australia have been revolutionising education as part of the left’s long march through Australian academic, cultural and media institutions. What is needed is a counter-revolution to root out the left wing ideology that has been so successfully implanted in the education system... >> more

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Listen up Mr. Turnbull: It's time to contest ...

In light of some of the latest criticisms must we remind the party, that 47% of Australians did not vote for Kevin Rudd’s Labor last November.

If the opposition is unwilling to oppose, to show some spine and courage, and adhere to its conservative philosophy then it shall go the way of McCain.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lesson from a Conservative: Fred Thompson discusses the Economy

Fred Thompson discusses the Economy in no uncertain terms ... Stop what you are doing for a little over 8 Min's and listen up! It's well worth it for those willing to draw parallels with Australia.

"...The Government has figured out what we should do...more borrowing, more spending and consuming. That's right we can spend our way to prosperity ... We can bail out irresponsible home buyers, and big business that can't cut it in the marketplace and the rest of us can buy more stuff ... with our economic stimulus money..."

Feed viewers click here to view video

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Fair Work Bill empowers Unions

Following on from concerns raised here, Brad Norington and Patricia Karvelas highlight some genuine unease about the proposed new IR changes.

THE Rudd Government faces growing business condemnation of its plan to allow a return to industry-wide union bargaining and an umpire's decision at the end of negotiations that fail. Workplace Relations Minister Julia Gillard is highly sensitive to the employers' concerns, dismissing claims that Labor's Fair Work legislation unveiled last week would revive the practice of "pattern bargaining".

But Ms Gillard is confronting protests from business groups led by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which argue a resurgence of union power would be inappropriate, especially during the global economic crisis.

Malcolm Turnbull has said Work Choices is dead and the Coalition accepts Labor's mandate to abolish the Howard government's regime. But Liberal MP Alby Schultz said yesterday he would break party ranks and vote against the bill, unless the Government agreed to amendments. >> more
Opposition workplace relations spokesman Michael Keenan weighed into the debate saying that he was deeply concerned that the bill will increase unemployment.
Just as Australians understand that the Labor Party stands for deficits, they also understand that Labor stands for unemployment," he said, adding “The Deputy Prime Minister risks becoming the empress of unemployment.
While Liberal backbencher Stuart Robert noted that the Government's bill breaks a promise regards unions' right of entry to workplaces.
These are things Mr Deputy Speaker did not vote for, in fact the Australian people were expressly and explicitly told the exact opposite … "They were told that many of these features would not be in any new legislation.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Bishop v Gillard

In a sobering piece, Glenn Milne reminds us that while Julie Bishop is being crucified for minor errors, Julia Gillard gets away with punching a massive hole in the budget.

THIS is a story about double standards. So, inevitably it is also about politics. And about Julie v Julia. The Julie, of course, is shadow treasurer Julie Bishop. And the Julia is Julia Gillard, Deputy Prime Minister, the two highest-profile women in Australian politics. But being of equal status, does this mean they receive equal treatment from both the media and their colleagues? On the evidence of recent weeks, apparently not. >> more
Just yesterday Julie Bishop was forced defend herself against allegations that she is being forced to step down reminding us that:
"Wayne Swan is looking for the green light from the Australian public to go into debt but he has no plan to pay it off," ... "Once the country is plunged into debt under the Labor Government there is a very fair chance that they will raise taxes to pay it off. "That's what we've seen in the past, that's what we'll see again."

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Mumbai Terror Analysis: Praiseworthy Linkage

The Australian Government has rightly condemned the latest terror attacks in Mumbai. As Malcolm Turnbull added:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, and their families, of this appalling terrorist attack in Mumbai. We have had confirmation that two Australians have been killed. One of them, Doug Markell, was a constituent of mine and a former Deputy Mayor of Woollahra, and our prayers and condolences go to his family as indeed they go to the families of all those who have been killed or injured in this dreadful, murderous outbreak of terrorism … The terrorist attacks in Mumbai remind us of the importance of the war against terror and the very heavy price that s being paid by Australian soldiers in the front line in the war against terror.

Presented are links to three influential weblogs’ and a fine columnist, highlighting some of the more pertinent questions arising from the Mumbai attacks.

Via American Power: Mumbai and the Ideological Challenge to the West

Via Chesler Chronicles: The Thanksgiving Day Massacre in Mumbai

Via The Interpreter: Mumbai: Messages from the ruins

From Mark Steyn: Mumbai could happen just about anywhere

For the world’s decision makers, foreign policy experts, and military and strategic analysts Mumbai should serve as a wakeup call that the traditional approach to terrorism needs reviewing. Though the attacks were localized, the terrorists successfully took hold of a major city and drew the world media attention to their message of hate. For terror cells aspiring to wreak more havoc for their own selfish reasons or, as aspirants of the al-Qa'ida cause, Mumbai may serve as a prototypical model for future terror strikes; precisely why local, regional, and international intelligence establishment cannot overlook local terror armies.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Julia Gillard’s IR Reforms

Paul Kelly ventures where Malcolm does not, arguing that the new workplace relations model introduced by Julia Gillard is a, “step into the past.”

Mumbai Terror: Right perspectives ...

Religion of Peace rears its ugly head again.

The attacks in Mumbai, India are the latest in the 1,400 year history of Islam and yet people continue to express surprise that the alleged religion of peace could harbor so many cold-blooded killers of innocent people. Since 9/11, Muslims have carried out more than 11,000 attacks all in the name of Islam and Muhammad. Americans got a taste of it when 3,000 of their own were mercilessly killed without warning and, I might add, without any better reason than Muhammad’s call to “wage war against such of the infidels as are your neighbors. >> more

At the heart of the matter it's simply another case of Islamic radicals once again targeting Westerners. This is no ordinary part of India; Mumbai not merely chic but India’s financial center. Islamic fundamentalists have now targeted Western civilians in Bali, Tanzania, Kenya, Cairo, London, Madrid, New York City, and Washington D.C. Those foolishly hoping for abatement in the war on terror following Obama’s victory may be in for a surprise. Is it time we take the fight to the enemy? India is a major U.S. ally, a democracy that is well armed, will Europe and America act or stand on the sidelines and if it does, how will it act? For us in the West the appropriate response to Islam is ... Resistance.

From Turnbull's doorstep:
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai remind us of the importance of the war against terror and the very heavy price that is being paid by Australian soldiers in the front line in the war against terror. And so our thoughts and prayers too are with the family of the Australian soldier who was killed in Afghanistan. Australians are putting their life on the line under our flag, wearing our uniform, taking the fight up to the terrorists that are threatening freedom and democracy around the world.

However pervasive, Rolf still won’t cave in to PC …

…blaming “traditional Aboriginal values for the dire living conditions in many indigenous communities.” Or rather, telling it like it is.

Source

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

John Howard defends taxpayer funded $400,000 first year bill

The morning The Age being true to form, reported that former Prime Minister John Howard has cost taxpayers more than $400,000 in the past year.

By day’s end, Mr. Howard defended his decision to run up the expenses adding they they were "strictly in accordance" with his entitlements and denied any wrong doing.

All costs incurred are strictly in accordance with the guidelines set for all former Prime Ministers,'' he said in a statement released this afternoon to The Australian Online.
Of course and as Bolt pointed out, there was no mention of any other past PM. Now I wouldn't mind knowing what Bob Hawke and/or Paul Keating spent in their first year post Prime Ministership and perform a simple extrapolation in today’s numbers, for we are certain, the results would be illuminating …

Walter Russell Mead at the Institute of Public Affairs

The Institute of Public Affairs advises that Walter Russell Mead, the international foreign policy expert from America and the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, will talk on Wednesday 3 December, 2008 on the topic, 'The Anglosphere in Crisis?'

W.R. Mead first came to my attention following the release of the title, “God and Gold - Britain, America, and the Making of the Modern World” which traced the assent of the Anglo-American world system.
2008 CD Kemp Lecture in Melbourne The Anglosphere in Crisis?
More details at IPA’s website

Climate Change, Global Warming - Two recent must read articles ...

Three (3) actually...

Nov 24, 2008: When Environmentalism Is a Luxury

Suspect data, the ways in which consumers are manipulated ...

Environmentalism is a luxury of the rich, pure and simple, and these same people preaching often live lifestyles that offset their environmentally conscience choices. For all his moralizing, Al Gore has yet to give up private jets or his huge home.
The hypocrisy of enacting “policies that may or may not help the environment but will certainly harm lower- and middle-income families” is made clear.

Nov 16, 2008: The world has never seen such freezing heat

…A surreal scientific blunder last week raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming …
Nov 23, 2008: Stubborn glaciers fail to retreat, awkward polar bears continue to multiply

… all last week, ITV News was running a series of wearisomely familiar scare stories on the disappearing Arctic ice and those "doomed" polar bears - without telling its viewers that satellite images now show ice cover above its 30-year average …
For those interested, further reading:

Dangerous human-caused warming can neither be demonstrated nor measured
Fodder for Opposition Climate Change Policy
Climate Change and Misguided Policies
Climate Change falsehoods
Governments Environmental Spin

Monday, November 24, 2008

Kevin Rudd s pessimism and the art of Self-fulfilling prophecy

Peru's President in an apparent act of faith and positive thinking suggested that the present crises would be over in 18 months. Notwithstanding the impracticality of the statement, it seems our Kevin Rudd, having little appreciation of positive thinking and, in true to form style responds:

"What I know is, it's going to be tough and hard in '09," he said, adding, that he has no doubt the next year will be very tough for the Australian economy. "It's going to involve a lot of hard work, a very tough year ahead, not just for the Government, we're talking about the economy, Australian people, families, this will be a very difficult year … “
Personally, I think he is enjoying the crises, much like the Greek mythic figure Oedipus who fulfills the oracle’s prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother, by striving to avoid the prophecy. Kevin Rudd, true to form in talking down economies while talking up a crises, will inadvertently bring about a worse than would otherwise be economic crises, in this instance, the prediction that could otherwise be false but is made true by Rudd’s words and deeds.

Malcolm Turnbull’s Press Club Address

Malcolm Turnbull is pushing for tax reform and a review of bankruptcy laws for big companies to protect jobs amid the global financial crisis, condemning the Government's own response as making the situation worse.

Read the address in full here

National Service: A time to serve the nation

In a compelling idea, Senator Cory Bernardi highlights the benefits of a national service program.

"National service in its many forms, time spent in ournation's defence forces; volunteering to help those less fortunate or facilitating community events; lending a hand when natural disasters strike, are ways in which Australians can demonstrate their link to something bigger than their own immediate interests.

"Now when one mentions 'National Service', the immediate image is offorcing young men and women into the army for a year or two of training. This meets with strong support in some quarters and vigorous resistance in others. I believe one of the key areas of resistance tothis is from the Australian Defence Forces (ADF) themselves. Many in the ADF believe that the military are better prepared and provide a better service if the soldiers actually want to be there, rather than forced to be there. I happen to agree with them. Forcing people to take front line or combat roles against their wishes could compromise the safety and effectiveness of the unit. I can't think of anyone who would want that to occur. But national service is much more than forcing military training. National service is about committing to one's community >> more

In addition to the benefits outlined, I also believe that every young Australian should do what they can to benefit themselves. The personal growth afforded by a well-managed stint serving the nation is both vast and for life. Every young Australian should do what they can to facilitate their own growth, and the personal growth afforded by a well-managed stint serving the nation is both vast and for life. For our young, it is a way of serving the nation, the community, and themselves.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Kevin Rudds first year

A Sunday funny... Kevin says thanks.


Hello my loyal constituents,

Can I just say, thank you for celebrating with me the first anniversary of my Government.

And you know something? As I travel the world, I passionately believe you got it right when you voted for me, for an education revolution, for new directions, new leadership, fresh ideas, fresh thinking, and several of my other cliches.

What are some of my favourite achievements? The bottom line is this:

>>Hosting the 2020 Summit, starring Cate and 999 other "average" Australians – I found it so rewarding that I took decisive action and announced at least 168 more reviews, committees and inquiries.

>>On the question of taxpayer-funded travel, I'm lapping it up. In just 12 months I've spent the equivalent of almost two months overseas!

>>Fresh ideas like our unlimited bank guarantee, and telling those who consequently can't access their non-bank savings to "go to Centrelink".

My challenge to you is this: visit my memorabilia website at http://www.ruddshop.com/ (where the buck really does stop with me) and show your heart-felt appreciation for 12 long months of Labor.

Your Dear Leader,

Kevin

If only for a laugh, you really should check out the Kevin Rudd Memorabilia Store

Saturday, November 22, 2008

GroceryChoice

The Rudd Government should scrap its farcical GroceryChoice website rather than just tinkering with it, Shadow Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Luke Hartsuyker, said today.

Mr Hartsuyker’s comments follow remarks made by Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen today that more information will be added to GroceryChoice but only if it does not cost more money.

“GroceryChoice is widely regarded in industry circles as being nothing more than a basket case”, Mr Hartsuyker said.

“The website would be just as useless if Mr Bowen poured four times the amount of money in to it. The idea that he can somehow make it more useful now is ludicrous.

“The site does not provide any specific costs on any specific items at any specific supermarket. “The website is damaging to independent supermarkets as it places shops of all shapes and sizes in the one group and ignores the convenience many of them provide. “The website breaks Australia up into enormous regions that provide absolutely no relevance whatsoever regarding where a consumer may obtain the cheapest groceries. “And to top it off, the information is over a month old. “Grocery Choice is a complete, useless farce.

The Government should admit it and kill it of quickly.

“While I commend Independent Senator Nick Xenophon’s plans to introduce a bill to Parliament, calling for the website to be improved, unfortunately it was flawed from the start and remains fundamentally flawed now. “Mr Bowen’s comments today that feedback on the site has been that the information is useful, raises the question as to what planet Mr Bowen has been on.

“The figures falling from 3,000,000 hits a month to just 104,000 hits a month - a 97% drop in website traffic - should be evidence enough. “Mr Bowen is a C-grade ring master in a D-grade circus. He should admit Grocery Choice was a big mistake and save taxpayers’ money by shutting down the site.”

Source

Friday, November 21, 2008

Labor’s Cyber Safety sham

Remember the news? That Labor will spend $126 million over four years on their Cyber-Safety plan which Senator Conroy says will create a safer online environment for Australian children….

The Labor Party's "Plan for Cyber Safety" is much like the itsy bitsy spider trying to climb the water spout. It popped out on a sunny day five days prior to the Federal election, got washed away with the first drops of public criticism, and crawled back into its hole to regroup. Once the rain had cleared, it attempted the climb again … Right now, public outrage is raining pretty hard on the proposed policy … The original "Plan for Cyber Safety", released during last year's election campaign, said that a Labor Government would:

"Provide a mandatory clean feed internet service for all homes, schools and public computers that are used by Australian children. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will filter out content that is identified as prohibited by the Australian communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA 'blacklist' will be made more comprehensive to ensure that children are protected from harmful and inappropriate online material."

When the Rudd Government came to power, Senator Stephen Conroy was appointed the super-human task of delivering this policy. Now, one year later, a thorough search of Conroy's website reveals no mention of the plan.” >> more
The idea of crippling Internet speeds while possibly increasing consumer costs for what would have ultimately been an ineffective solution was always going to be bad policy. Here Labor would have simply degraded the net with an easily breached filtering system and infringed upon the freedom of computer users to browse the WWW.

Further reading: The high price of Internet filtering

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Malcolm Turnbull on John Howard’s 2007 Obama comments

A couple of days ago, Malcolm Turnbull distanced himself from John Howards February 2007 remarks about Obama.

Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull has publicly condemned former Prime Minister John Howard's remarks about Barack Obama. Mr Howard said early last year that Al Qaeda would be praying for Mr Obama to win the US presidential election.Mr Turnbull has repeatedly declined to denounce Mr Howard's remark since Mr Obama's election win. But yesterday he told Perth radio it was an "unfortunate comment" which he did not agree with at the time and he does not agree with now.
Malcolm maybe right, but as a New York Times article shows, John Howard was UNQUESTIONABLY right.

“DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The leader of a jihadi group in Iraq argued Friday that the election of Barack Obama as president represented a victory for radical islamic groups that had battled American forces since the invasion of Iraq … The statement, which experts said was part of the psychological duel with the United States, was included in a 25-minute audiotaped speech by Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq, an umbrella organization that claims ties to Al qaeda. Mr. Baghdadi’s statement was posted on a password-protected Web site called Al Hesbah, used to disseminate information to Islamic radicals. >> more
More here via The Australian Conservative

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Rudd Watch: Grand Interventionist

How many more things does our fiscally conservative Prime intervention fundamentalist Prime Minister intend to guarantee? >> more

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ETS and Economic Forecasting do not mix

THE global financial crisis showed how foolish the Rudd Government would be to base its climate change response on economic forecasts for the coming century, academic and Reserve Bank board director Warwick McKibbin said yesterday.

A frequent commentator on carbon reduction schemes, Professor McKibbin said the carbon pollution reduction scheme proposed in a green paper, and the subject of an upcoming white paper, was the result of a "diabolical policy process" and risked disadvantaging Australia in global markets. >> more

On a related note ...

A professor from Carleton University may get the cold shoulder from environmentalists when he speaks in London tomorrow. Tim Patterson, a paleoclimatologist from the department of Earth sciences, will give an opposing view to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. Patterson is speaking at a Canadian Club of London luncheon. He believes we should expect global cooling rather than global warming in the coming years. "We're off on the wrong foot," he says. "There's been no global warming in the 21st century." >> more

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ABC1's The Howard Years: Sure to be spark controversy

Click here for The Howard Years Preview

National and international politicians describe John Howard in one word. Footage courtesy of the ABC's The Howard Years.

The Howard Years will screen tomorrow on ABC1 at 8.30pm, we suspect it should be ... polemically stimulating ...

One word to describe John Howard? >>> Towering <<<

Home

Saturday, November 15, 2008

America will remain Strong

... America’s capacity to regenerate and re-invent is driven by a broad range of structural advantages that most other nations can only dream of...

America’s critics can be naively ostentatious. The Obama victory, a ballooning deficit, and the financial crises are leading many a foreign policy and economic pundits to assume that America is finished. For those like myself, proponents for, and advocates of a strong and decisive America such events though concerning, beckon for a little perspective. After all, American declinism theories are nothing new and will be the subject of continuing debate.

Interesting term declinism, first coined by Samuel P. Huntington in a winter of ’88 response to Paul Kennedy’s ideas, in which the author deduced that:

“… although US predominance in world affairs is not so secure as it was, "the ultimate test of a great power is in its ability to renew its power..."
Remembering that this was written 20 years ago. It is in this very regard that America shall remain powerful, the capacity to turn the corner and regenerate itself in spite of politics and economics of the day remains her greatest strength. Needless to add, the likes of Fareed Zakaria will for example persist with their version of The Post-American World. But all things considered, and especially that of an impending Obama presidency, America is far from the ‘enfeebled superpower’ that Zakaria purports to. The endless stream of negative waffle coming from many a public intellectual, think tank theorists, and media elite is both unconstructive and damaging. No my friends, we are not Waving Goodbye to Hegemony just yet, nor are we ready to proclaim The End of the American Era. Obama is far removed from the declinist specialists; his view of America though not to the liking of us conservatives remains positive, to this end Kagan it seems, is right.

Obama, it should be said, has done little to deserve the praise of these declinists. His view of America's future, at least as expressed in this campaign, has been appropriately optimistic … declinism. It seems to come along every 10 years or so. In the late 1970s, the foreign policy establishment was seized with what Cyrus Vance called "the limits of our power". In the late '80s, scholar Paul Kennedy predicted the imminent collapse of American power due to "imperial overstretch". In the late '80s, Samuel P. Huntington warned of American isolation as the "lonely superpower". Now we have the "post-American world".

Yet the evidence of American decline is weak. Yes, as Zakaria notes, the world's largest Ferris wheel is in Singapore and the largest casino in Macau. But by more serious measures of power the US is not in decline, not even relative to other powers. Its share of the global economy last year was about 21 per cent, compared with about 23 per cent in 1990, 22 per cent in 1980 and 24 per cent in 1960. Although the US is suffering through a financial crisis, so is every other important economy. If the past is any guide, the adaptable US economy will be the first to come out of recession and may find its position in the global economy enhanced.

Meanwhile, US military power is unmatched … America's image is certainly damaged, as measured by global polls, but the practical effects of this are far from clear. Is the US's image today worse than it was in the '60s and early '70s, with the Vietnam War; the Watts riots; the My Lai massacre; the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy; and Watergate? Does anyone recall that millions of anti-American protesters took to the streets in Europe in those years?

Sober analysts such as Richard Haass acknowledge that the US remains the single most powerful entity in the world. But he warns: "The United States cannot dominate, much less dictate, and expect that others will follow." That is true. But when was it not? Was there ever a time when the US could dominate, dictate and always have its way? Many declinists imagine a mythical past when the world danced to the US's tune.

Nostalgia swells for the wondrous American-dominated era after World War II, but between 1945 and 1965 the US suffered one calamity after another. The loss of China to communism; the North Korean invasion of South Korea; the Soviet testing of a hydrogen bomb; the stirrings of post-colonial nationalism in Indochina: each proved a strategic setback of the first order. And each was beyond America's power to control or even to manage successfully. >> more

To paraphrase what we wrote in the first paragraph, America’s capacity to regenerate and re-invent is driven by a broad range of structural advantages that most other nations can only dream of. Economic cycles come and go, some worse than others, deficits hover, foreign and domestic crises and the ongoing process of globalization will provide challenges, yet neither of these will counteract the advantages - its sheer present and potential dynamism, one borne of longstanding political and economic liberalism, its size, wealth, competitiveness and human capacity. For this, we ought to be grateful for only America remains the principle provider of public good and keeper of the peace. For the 21st century to have any chance of being peaceful, it must continue having a rule based international order which cannot exist, in the absence of U.S. global strategic power.

As a final point, and for those with the Newsweek or Zakaria mindset, I submit the wise words of Robert J. Lieber:

Over the years, America’s staying power has been regularly and chronically underestimated—by condescending French and British statesmen in the nineteenth century, by German, Japanese, and Soviet militarists in the twentieth, and by homegrown prophets of doom today. The critiques come and go. The object of their contempt never does.

Recommended reading: Falling Upwards: Declinism, The Box Set Robert J. Lieber

Cross posted at: American Interests blog

G20 leak say's much about Rudd ...

KEVIN Rudd reckons Australians don't much care about claims his big-noting has offended US President George Bush and worried other governments. He made that clear when he was pressed on the issue in a TV interview before jetting off to Washington on Thursday.

"I'm on about dealing with the real challenge of jobs, the financial system and whether people's bank deposits are secure for the future around the world," the Prime Minister said. "That, I think, is what the mums and dads of Australia are interested in."

And, basically, he is right. For voters - particularly the "working families" Rudd uses as a benchmark - bread-and-butter concerns will always trump insider political arguments about who did what to whom.

The Liberals are well aware of this, which is why some Opposition MPs are not sure that Malcolm Turnbull is smart to bang on about the leaking of details of a telephone conversation between Rudd and Bush.

But the way Rudd reacted leaves little doubt that something is smelly.

The PM has looked and sounded as guilty as hell. That is more than enough to justify the Opposition Leader's persistence.

It is true that what matters most in Washington this weekend is the outcome of the G20 summit. The meeting could have a profound impact on employment, economic growth and financial stability here as well as overseas.

Rudd is convinced the Group of 20 leading developed and developing nations is the best forum to try to manage the global financial crisis, if for no other reason than that it includes China and India.

He was one of those pushing Bush hardest to call the summit. That was the purpose of the phone call five weeks ago that is at the centre of allegations about Rudd's lack of discretion.
So the mums and dads the PM refers to are right to be more concerned with the summit and its impact on their economic wellbeing than with the parliamentary argy-bargy about a leak.

But the leak still matters. >>more

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fuelwatch gone, Grocerywatch next ... Just quietly

After the demise of Fuelwatch this week, Grocerychoice should be the next to be shown the door according to Nationals Senator for NSW John Williams. “Mr.Rudd went to the election telling us he would put downward pressure on fuel and grocery prices. He’s failed on both counts, and thankfully Fuelwatch has been laid to rest. But he persists with the $13 million white elephant Grocerychoice which never has and never will have any relevance to people trying to combat rising food prices. The grocery basket was designed in such a way as to mix large independents with very small independents that do not have the same economies of scale, thus inflating the basket price artificially. The same methodology was not used for the large supermarket chains”. Senator Williams said he likens Grocerychoice to a once-a-month weather report that offers a lot in general but nothing specific or useful. “Australians have now seen through this debacle and I understand the flood of people who first visited the website out of curiosity have now been reduced to a trickle. This should convince the Prime Minister to switch off its life support and spend the money on much-needed infrastructure”, Senator Williams concluded.

Source

Now in the good interests of better Governance let us quietly put down the just as useless, Grocery Watch.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rudd Watch: KevinPM.com.au



"Welcome to KevinPM, where we can communicate about the big challenges confronting Australia". Kevin Rudd

Obama's win showed how important technology and real grassroots ownership will be in future contests — lessons that KevinPM.com hasn't understood yetSo now Kevin wants me back! After almost a year of net silence, an email popped into my inbox yesterday afternoon from our Prime Minister, hoping to embark again on our glorious internet relationship of last year, with a new website — "KevinPM.com.au".

There may be many similarities between the political strategies and philosophies of Australia's Prime Minister and the United States President-elect, but a telling divergence is how they managed their relationship with their vast email supporter lists in the aftermath of victory. Whereas Barack has immediately launched a whole new online community called "Change.gov" to engage with the public during the transition, Kevin last emailed me on the day before his win in the Australian federal election. (Not even a celebratory thank you came my way.) >> more

Source

As I wrote here in 2007, "the ALP made far better use of the World Wide Web and was able to communicate its message effectively, particularly to our younger voters." This is an area the Liberals need cultivate to drive home there message and cultivate the hoi polloi amongst us...

Home

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Remembrance Day 2008

The First World War ended on the 11 of the 11th in 1918, leaving behind an incredible 60,000+ Australian soldiers that lost their lives during battle. Today we remember and honour those who fell, the contribution they made to our great nation, and the world at large.

Ninety years after the end of World War I the benevolence of the sacrifices of Australian service men and women still shines brightly over all of us. In a tribute to their service, Senator Barnaby Joyce, Leader of the Nationals in the Senate, reflected on the deaths and casualties suffered during the Great War and the tremendous impact through succeeding generations. There are no Australian soldiers still alive from this period, with the death of Navy man William Evan Allan in 2005 marking the end of that brave line. “We are so fortunate that we do not have to go through the horrific trauma that these people suffered on our behalf,” Senator Joyce said. “The peace and security of our nation today is directly related to their sacrifice. Personally, both my grandfathers served in the First World War. One was a New Zealander in the Infantry and the other, a radio operator for the Australian Flying Corps. At one time they were within a mile of each other at Messines Ridge on the Western Front ... it is entirely appropriate that our Nation’s Parliament faces the Australian War Memorial. “It is a continuing reminder that our Nation is their legacy and our actions in the Federal Parliament reflect our respect or otherwise for that legacy. On this Armistice Day, 90 years after the end of the First World War, we must never forget the sacrifice of so many Australian lives or we will belittle the blessing that this nation is to us. “Lest we forget.”

Source: Senator Barnaby Joyce

Monday, November 10, 2008

On John Howard

Rather belatedly, the Chicago Sun –Times and Blogburst discovers my October 3 post about John Howard's recent award.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Conservative Rule for New Zealand

New Zealand entered a new era of conservative rule Sunday, with incoming Prime Minister John Key promising to be a moderate amid fears some of the country's policies on global warming and indigenous people could be rolled back ... Voters on Saturday elected the wealthy former currency market trader to lead them through a recession worsening because of the global financial meltdown, handing long-serving Prime Minister Helen Clark and her central-left Labour Party a crushing defeat >>more

On a related note, the Greens vote was down which is what happens post cold and wet winters.

It's been a bad year for global warming alarmists. Record cold periods and snowfalls are occurring around the globe. The hell that the radicals have promised is freezing over.

Must read: Alarmists Still Heated Even As World Cools

Thursday, November 06, 2008

On Obama's Victory

If your are tired of watching endless exit polls, your candidates every move and now suffering from election withdrawal symptoms you are probably not alone, it’s been an emotional and tumultuous ride.

Many questions prevail, with yet, only half-baked answers. What exactly lost it for McCain? Will an Obama Presidency End Racism in America? To what extent was media bias to blame?

On another note, local conservative journalist, Andrew Bolt had this to say:

John McCain is beaten, and this is what I haven’t yet seen or heard. Screams that the vote was rigged, lawyers taking the result to court, the loser blaming anyone but himself, angry celebrities vowing to move overseas, stickers claiming the winner stole the election, furious reporters denouncing ads by the losers’ critics, furious reporters blaming the winner’s evil genius, the bitter losers warning the country “is more divided than ever” … Graceful losers in a democracy need to be acknowledged just as much as graceful winners, if not more. At the very least, it may help to ensure the example catches on.
And another noteworthy point:

… a another gentle lesson to the Left … So now we know for sure. The Noam Chomsky … view of America is wrong. In George W. Bush’s America, a land allegedly rife with militarism and racism, the white military hero lost and the black memoirist won a slashing election victory ...
In terms of simple numbers, America remains politically divided if these figures are correct:

Final vote tally: OBAMA: 63,685,576 to MCCAIN: 56,280,668 representing a 7.4 million difference or just over 6%, McCain was beaten not thrashed.

Survey Issue Autopsy ’08

The American Issues Project has been active throughout the 2008 election cycle. The group first came to the fore with an ad exposing Barack Obama's connection with domestic terrorist, William Ayers. A follow-up ad spotlighted the role congressional liberals played in blocking sensible oversight and reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Still, it is time to look at what happened to the Republican Party and find the road to recovery for the GOP. Here the project conducted a survey of 4 swing states BEFORE the votes were cast and the result are telling:

American Issues Project Releases Issue Autopsy ’08; Survey says Voters Punished Republicans for Abandoning Conservative Principles ...

Washington, DC - The decisive defeat Republicans suffered in Tuesday's election came because conservative voters decided the party had lost its way, not because the electorate has shifted to the left, according to Issue Autopsy '08, a survey of swing state voters in Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia commissioned by the American Issues Project, the group that accounted for the largest outside expenditures made to advocate conservative issues during this election cycle.

"Tuesday's elections were a shellacking that revealed the Republican brand is diluted to the point where the American people do not really know what the GOP stands for anymore," said Ed Martin, the organization's president. "The clear lesson from the American Issues Project survey is that while the United States remains a center-right country, voters no longer trust the Republican Party to represent those interests in Washington."

The survey found that approximately 72 percent of those voters agreed that: "The Republican Party used to stand for keeping government spending under control, but not anymore." More than 75 percent of likely voters agreed with the statement: "When the Republican Party took control of Congress in 1994, they promised to reform government and clean up corruption in Washington, but they failed to live up to that promise."

Respondents gave Democrats huge edges on fiscal issues, typically a Republican strength ... On the immediate economic issue, the credit crisis and bailout, voters blame Republicans more than Democrats by 11 points (34 percent to 23 percent). By a huge majority (69 percent to 21 percent) the voters also believe the bailout passed by Congress is unfair to taxpayers.

"Going forward, we intend to be very active during the 2009 legislative session, when a liberal-dominated Congress and a far-left administration will set their sights on a massive expansion in the role of the federal government, in everything from health care and labor law to taxes and spending,"

In order to gauge a true reading of voter intent the American Issues Project conducted its election analysis survey pre-election, November 2 and 3, 2008, via telephone interviews. The survey consisted of likely voters and early voters in four swing states: Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Colorado. Three hundred interviews were conducted in each of the four states for a total sample of 1,200 likely and early voters. Interviews were stratified by region within each state to accurately reflect historic voter turnout patterns. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 2.8 percent.

Obama, the 47-year-old freshman Senator now faces a daunting series of national security and economic challenges with nearly half the country still sceptical about his rise to the most powerful position on the planet. The next four years will be just as interesting as the past; we wish him luck.

On a positive note, one consistent with the true subject matter of this blog, and notwithstanding imminent foreign policy challenges, I do not believe that Obama was the candidate of American decline, therefore we will not write the U.S. off just yet, the subject of my next post.

Finally, I came across this here and thought it did demonstrated class:



Cross posted at: American Interests